An Energetic Perspective on the Holocene North American Monsoon

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The North American Monsoon (NAM) is a critical component of the hydrologic cycle in southwestern North America. However, our understanding of the long-term evolution of this monsoon system is incomplete due to a paucity of long-term paleoclimatic records from the core and periphery of the NAM domain. C. Routson et al. (2022, leverage a new compilation of Holocene proxy records to generate a new composite index of NAM evolution over the Holocene. They identify a relationship between NAM strength and the latitudinal temperature gradient over the Holocene. The authors suggest that shifts in the strength of the westerlies altered NAM convection via ventilation, a process whereby the large-scale circulation imports low moist entropy air into the monsoon domain. These results highlight the importance of paleoclimatic records, especially from past “warm” intervals, for generating new insights about the evolution of regional monsoons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022GL100782
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 16 2022


  • Holocene
  • North American Monsoon
  • monsoon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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