Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 34 (2007): L13701, doi:10.1029/2007GL030017.
Paleoceanographic data from the low latitude Pacific Ocean provides evidence of changes in the freshwater budget and redistribution of freshwater within the basin during the Holocene. Reconstructed Holocene seawater δ 18O changes compare favorably to differences predicted between climate simulations for the middle Holocene (MH) and for the pre-Industrial late Holocene (LH). The model simulations demonstrate that changes in the tropical hydrologic cycle affect the relationship between δ 18Osw and surface salinity, and allow, for the first time, quantitative estimates of western Pacific salinity change during the Holocene. The simulations suggest that during the MH, the mean salinity of the Pacific was higher because less water vapor was transported from the Atlantic Ocean and more was transported to the Indian Ocean. The salinity of the western Pacific was enhanced further due both to the greater advection of salt to the region by ocean currents and to an increase in continental precipitation at the expense of maritime precipitation, the latter a consequence of the stronger Asian summer monsoon.
This work was supported by NSF grants ATM-0501241, ATM-0501351,
and WHOI’s Ocean and Climate Change Institute.
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