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Atmospheric carbon dioxide level is one of the major drivers responsible for the global temperature change (Lacis et al., 2010). The role of carbon dioxide as an important greenhouse gas, and its contribution towards regulation of global surface temperature has been recognized for over a century (Arrhenius, 1896; Chamberlin, 1899; Royer, 2006). The ice core records along with other proxy based records provides an evidence signifying a strong coupling between CO2 and global temperature for at least the last ~65 m.y. (million years) (Petit et al., 1999; Siegenthaler et al., 2005, Zachos et al., 2001). The intensification of convective hydrological cycle inducing heavy rainfall during high pCO2 condition is both simulated and estimated from General Circulation Models (GCM) and geochemical analyses of fossil record respectively (Kutzbach & Gallimore, 1989). The evidences of intensification of monsoon, which refer to the rainfall due to seasonal reversal of the wind direction along the shore of the Indian Ocean especially in the Arabian Sea and surrounding regions, are preserved in the sedimentary records from continental and oceanic region (Fig.1). The other factor which affected the regional hydrological cycle apart from the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is tectonic rise of Himalayan mountain. Proxy record based on parameters like stomata index, alkenones and boron isotopes clearly suggested high concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere (~400 ppm) during Miocene time. The estimated concentration of CO2 observed in the atmosphere was rather similar to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere measured in the recent years at Mauna Loa (Thoning et al., 1989). The effect of such high CO2 concentration is seen to have significantly modulated and altered the pattern of rainfall distribution, intensity and its spatial variability. Record from sedimentary archives from the continental and marine sites over the Indian region yielded evidence of warmer, wetter and higher temperature seasonal climate for the Miocene period. A similarity of signature both from continental region and the marine archives support the argument for the change in hydrological condition during last 20 m.y. The marine records are only a few but the largely scattered along the continental margin and central Indian Ocean. A more recent study of such sedimentary sequences lying on the western and eastern India provided glimpses of spatial variability of regional climate. The chapter will narrate the long term variation in Miocene monsoonal rainfall and its spatial pattern using large set of available observations from the palaeo record.





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Modern Climatology, whole system, historical statistics, variability, atmosphere, prediction


Climate | Earth Sciences


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10 Cenozoic Climatic Record for Monsoonal Rainfall over the Indian Region