We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Intertropical convergence zone variability in the Neotropics during the Common Era.

Asmerom, Y. and Baldini, J.U.L. and Prufer, K.M. and Polyak, V.J. and Ridley, H.E. and Aquino, V.V. and Baldini, L.M. and Breitenbach, S.F.M. and Macpherson, C.G. and Kennett, D.J. (2020) 'Intertropical convergence zone variability in the Neotropics during the Common Era.', Science advances., 6 (7). eaax3644.


Large changes in hydroclimate in the Neotropics implied by proxy evidence, such as during the Little Ice Age, have been attributed to meridional shifts of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), although alternative modes of ITCZ variability have also been suggested. Here, we use seasonally resolved stalagmite rainfall proxy data from the modern northern limit of the ITCZ in southern Belize, combined with records from across the Neotropics and subtropics, to fingerprint ITCZ variability during the Common Era. Our data are consistent with models that suggest ITCZ expansion and weakening during globally cold climate intervals and contraction and intensification during global warmth. As a result, regions currently in the margins of the ITCZ in both hemispheres are likely transitioning to more arid and highly variable conditions, aggravating current trends of increased social unrest and mass migration.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:Copyright © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:03 December 2019
Date deposited:18 February 2020
Date of first online publication:14 February 2020
Date first made open access:18 February 2020

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar