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A newly discovered long-term link between the Asian monsoon and the North Atlantic climate could affect predictions for future climate change.

A team of researchers led by Anil K. Gupta of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, analysed data from sediments in the Arabian Sea to produce a near-complete record of monsoon variability over the past 11,000 years. Their findings, published in this week's Nature, reveal that the several intervals of weak summer monsoons over this time coincided with cold periods in the North Atlantic region.

The Indian Ocean monsoon system is a topic of great current interest because of its importance in the global climate and its direct role in the socio-economic life of the people of Asia, explains Rainer Zahn, of the University of Barcelona, Spain, in an accompanying article.

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