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Global Monsoon scientific goals

The paleo-monsoon is still being studied as a regional, if not local phenomenon. Some efforts, however, have been made for synthesis (Wang et al. 2003; Wang et al. 2005; Clemens 2006), and the global monsoon has been simulated for the Holocene to compare the responses of the six summer monsoon systems to the direct insolation forcing and oceanic feedback (Liu et al. 2003, 2004).

Based on high-resolution records and paleoclimate model simulations, the displacement of the ITCZ identified for the Americas during the Late Plesitocene (e.g. Haug et al. 2001; Koutavas A, Lynch-Stieglitz J 2003; Wang et al. 2004; Cook and Vizy 2006) are perfectly comparable to the Asian, African and Australian monsoon records. It was therefore appropriate in 2007 to launch a program to approach monsoon evolution and variability as a global system, to compare the monsoon records across various continents, and to promote global-scale monsoon modeling activities.

To this end, this working group intended to:

1. Compile well-dated paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental records from various monsoon systems, to make phase comparisons of their variability at various time-scales.

2. Reconstruct variations in the seasonal mean position of the ITCZ.

3. Reconstruct the evolution and variability of the global monsoon in general.

4.  Deduce specifics of each monsoon system by comparison with the global mean reconstruction.

5. Unravel the mechanisms causing variations in both the global and regional monsoon systems.

6. Identify and understand teleconnections between global and regional-scale monsoon variations and other components of the climate system.