Obliquity pacing of the western Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone over the past 282,000 years

Yi Liu, Li Lo, Zhengguo Shi, Kuo Yen Wei, Chien Ju Chou, Yi Chi Chen, Chih Kai Chuang, Chung Che Wu, Horng Sheng Mii, Zicheng Peng, Hiroshi Amakawa, George S. Burr, Shih Yu Lee, Kristine L. Delong, Henry Elderfield, Chuan Chou Shen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) encompasses the heaviest rain belt on the Earth. Few direct long-term records, especially in the Pacific, limit our understanding of long-term natural variability for predicting future ITCZ migration. Here we present a tropical precipitation record from the Southern Hemisphere covering the past 282,000 years, inferred from a marine sedimentary sequence collected off the eastern coast of Papua New Guinea. Unlike the precession paradigm expressed in its East Asian counterpart, our record shows that the western Pacific ITCZ migration was influenced by combined precession and obliquity changes. The obliquity forcing could be primarily delivered by a cross-hemispherical thermal/pressure contrast, resulting from the asymmetric continental configuration between Asia and Australia in a coupled East Asian-Australian circulation system. Our finding suggests that the obliquity forcing may play a more important role in global hydroclimate cycles than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10018
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 25

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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