Eolian material within pelagic North Pacific Ocean (NPO) sediments contains considerable information about paleoclimate evolution in Asian dust source areas. Eolian signals preserved in NPO sediments have been used as indices for enhanced Asian interior aridity. We here report a detailed eolian dust record, with chemical index of alteration (CIA) and Rb/Sr variations, for NPO sediments from Ocean Drilling Program Hole 885A over the past 4.0 m.y. CIA and Rb/Sr co-vary with the dust signal carried by combined eolian hematite and goethite concentrations. Changes in CIA around the intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation (iNHG) event at ca. 2.75 Ma indicate that dust production in source areas was associated mostly with physical and chemical weathering before and after the iNHG event, respectively. We here attribute the eolian flux increase into the NPO across the iNHG event mainly to increased availability of wind-erodible sediment in dust source areas derived from snow and glacial meltwater runoff, which resulted from glacial expansion and enhanced snowfall in the mountains surrounding the Tarim region in response to global cooling. Our results provide a deeper understanding of Asian interior environmental changes in response to global paleoclimate changes, where dust source areas became intermittently moister rather than more arid in response to global cooling.

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