Hydroclimatic variations during the summer monsoon season (June–September) across the Himalaya are examined over the past several hundred years using tree-ring oxygen isotope records. Owing to their strong associations with hydroclimatic variables including precipitation, relative humidity, and the Palmer Drought Severity Index, tree-ring δ18O chronologies from the Himalaya can be used to reconstruct summer monsoon intensity precisely. A regional chronology derived from five local chronologies across the Himalaya shows a significant correlation with Indian summer rainfall data. One of the most noteworthy features of the regional chronology is a drying trend over the past 180 years, indicating that summer monsoon intensity in the Himalayan region has weakened. A declining land–ocean thermal gradient over South Asia seems to be responsible for the weakened summer monsoon. By analyzing spatio-temporal correlations between zonally distributed tree-ring data over the Himalaya, we also explore possible changes in the relative contributions of source water originating in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
- Environmental Science(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)