A Caltech Library Service

Hydroclimate of the western Indo-Pacific Warm Pool during the past 24,000 years

Niedermeyer, Eva M. and Sessions, Alex L. and Feakins, Sarah J. and Mohtadi, Mahyar (2014) Hydroclimate of the western Indo-Pacific Warm Pool during the past 24,000 years. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (26). pp. 9402-9406. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC4084490. doi:10.1073/pnas.1323585111.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

PDF - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP) is a key site for the global hydrologic cycle, and modern observations indicate that both the Indian Ocean Zonal Mode (IOZM) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation exert strong influence on its regional hydrologic characteristics. Detailed insight into the natural range of IPWP dynamics and underlying climate mechanisms is, however, limited by the spatial and temporal coverage of climate data. In particular, long-term (multimillennial) precipitation patterns of the western IPWP, a key location for IOZM dynamics, are poorly understood. To help rectify this, we have reconstructed rainfall changes over Northwest Sumatra (western IPWP, Indian Ocean) throughout the past 24,000 y based on the stable hydrogen and carbon isotopic compositions (δD and δ^(13)C, respectively) of terrestrial plant waxes. As a general feature of western IPWP hydrology, our data suggest similar rainfall amounts during the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene, contradicting previous claims that precipitation increased across the IPWP in response to deglacial changes in sea level and/or the position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. We attribute this discrepancy to regional differences in topography and different responses to glacioeustatically forced changes in coastline position within the continental IPWP. During the Holocene, our data indicate considerable variations in rainfall amount. Comparison of our isotope time series to paleoclimate records from the Indian Ocean realm reveals previously unrecognized fluctuations of the Indian Ocean precipitation dipole during the Holocene, indicating that oscillations of the IOZM mean state have been a constituent of western IPWP rainfall over the past ten thousand years.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Information CentralArticle
Sessions, Alex L.0000-0001-6120-2763
Feakins, Sarah J.0000-0003-3434-2423
Additional Information:© 2014 National Academy of Sciences. Edited by Thure E. Cerling, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, and approved May 6, 2014 (received for review January 13, 2014). Published ahead of print June 16, 2014. We thank Camille Risi for helpful discussions on isotope fractionation of tropical rainfall. We thank Mengfan Zhu for providing the Matlab code used to plot vector winds of Fig. S1, and Matthew Forrest for helping us to create Fig. S2. Lichun Zhang and Miguel Rincon are acknowledged for laboratory assistance. This study used samples acquired during cruise SO189-2 in September 2006 through the Federal Institute for Geoscience and Natural Resources (BGR) Hannover, Germany, kindly provided by Andreas Lückge (BGR). Financial support for this research was provided by the Caltech Foster and Coco Stanback fellowship and the research funding programme “LOEWE – Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz” of Hesse's Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the Arts to E.M.N., U.S. National Science Foundation Award 1002656 to S.J.F., and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Grant HE 3412/15-1 to M.M. Author contributions: E.M.N., A.L.S., and M.M. designed research; E.M.N. performed research; A.L.S., S.J.F., and M.M. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; E.M.N. analyzed data; E.M.N. wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest. This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. This article contains supporting information online at
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Foster and Coco Stanback fellowship, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Hesse Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the ArtsUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)HE 3412/15-1
Subject Keywords:plant wax δD; plant wax δ13C; Indonesia
Issue or Number:26
PubMed Central ID:PMC4084490
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140623-092251695
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Eva M. Niedermeyer, Alex L. Sessions, Sarah J. Feakins, and Mahyar Mohtadi Hydroclimate of the western Indo-Pacific Warm Pool during the past 24,000 years PNAS 2014 111 (26) 9402-9406; published ahead of print June 16, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1323585111
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:46428
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:23 Jun 2014 18:15
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:25

Repository Staff Only: item control page