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A 1500-year El Niño - Southern Oscillation



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JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH VOL 109 D20117 doi 10 1029 2004JD004694 2004 A 1500 year El Nin o Southern Oscillation and rainfall history for the Isthmus of Panama from speleothem calcite Matthew S Lachniet 1 Stephen J Burns 2 Dolores R Piperno 3 Yemane Asmerom 4 Victor J Polyak 4 Christopher M Moy 5 and Keith Christenson6 Received 25 February 2004 revised 28 May 2004 accepted 6 August 2004 published 30 October 2004 1 The effect of the El Nin o Southern Oscillation ENSO on tropical rainfall variations of the past 2 millennia is largely unknown High resolution monsoon records are sparse despite the role of ENSO in generating global hydrologic anomalies in modern climate To investigate the relationship between ENSO and the Central American Monsoon we generated a high resolution 2 9 years sample oxygen isotope monsoon rainfall record from a U Th dated stalagmite 180 B C to 1310 A D from the Isthmus of Panama We present evidence for a weakened monsoon during the High Medieval 1100 1200 A D and the Classic Maya Collapse 750 950 A D Rainfall decreased and was more variable after 550 A D and the period 900 1310 A D was drier than the preceding millennium A weaker monsoon corresponds with increased El Nin o variability and our data display statistical variance in the ENSO band We conclude that ENSO variation has forced isthmian rainfall and may have contributed to hemispheric climatic anomalies INDEX TERMS 1040 Geochemistry Isotopic composition chemistry 1620 Global Change at this time Climate dynamics 3309 1854 Hydrology Precipitation 3354 3344 Meteorology and Atmospheric Dynamics Paleoclimatology 3339 Meteorology and Atmospheric Dynamics Ocean atmosphere interactions 0312 4504 KEYWORDS paleoclimate El Nin o Southern Oscillation speleothem Medieval Climatic Anomaly Intertropical Convergence Zone Panama Citation Lachniet M S S J Burns D R Piperno Y Asmerom V J Polyak C M Moy and K Christenson 2004 A 1500 year El Nin o Southern Oscillation and rainfall history for the



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