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The Asian Monsoon: Causes, History and Effects

Unifies key developments in monsoon reconstructions, to show the link between tectonic evolution and regional and climate systems
Offers new insights into how human society has been influenced by monsoon through a discussion of human and climate interactions
Shows the effects that monsoon has had on the geology of mountain building, illustrating how climate may have helped build the Himalayas

By: Peter D Clift (Author), R Alan Plumb (Author)

296 pages, 4 plates, 24 b/w photos, 126 b/w illustrations

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | May 2014 | #210169 | ISBN-13: 9781107630192
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £35.99 $44/€40 approx
Hardback | May 2008 | #175368 | ISBN-13: 9780521847995
Out of Print Details

About this book

The Asian monsoon is one of the most dramatic climatic phenomena on Earth, with far reaching environmental and societal effects. Almost two thirds of humanity lives within regions influenced by the monsoon. With the emerging Asian economies, the importance of the region to the global economy has never been more marked. The Asian Monsoon describes the evolution of the monsoon, and proposes a connection between the tectonic evolution of the solid Earth and monsoon intensity.

The authors explain how the monsoon has been linked to orbital processes and thus to other parts of the global climate system, especially glaciation. Finally, they summarize how monsoon evolution since the last Ice Age has impacted human societies, as well as commenting on the potential impact of future climate change.

"[...] this book is highly recommended. It is one of the few, easily accessible and summative texts in the subject area."
- Yongqiang Zong, University of Durham



1. The meteorology of monsoons
2. Controls on the Asian monsoon over tectonic timescales
3. Monsoon evolution on tectonic timescales
4. Monsoon evolution on orbital timescales
5. Erosional impact of the Asian monsoon
6. The late holocene monsoon and human society


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Peter Clift is Kilgour Professor in the School of Geosciences at the University of Aberdeen, a Research Affilliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a visiting professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou. His research focuses on the integration of marine and terrestrial data sets to understand how the monsoon changes with time. He has authored over 100 peer reviewed papers and has acted as lead editor on two other books, as well as a special collection concerning the monsoon for Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. He is co-leader of IGCP 476 "Monsoons and Tectonics".

Alan Plumb is Professor of Meteorology and Director of the Program in Oceans, Atmospheres, and Climate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an editor of Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences and of Pure and Applied Geophysics and has published approximately 100 peer reviewed papers, as well as co-editing one previous book and co-authoring an undergraduate textbook on The Circulation of the Atmosphere and Ocean (in press).

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