Monday, 30 November 2015 09:44

[Glory]Dynamics of tropical rainfall belt in the western Pacific over the past 282 thousand years

Dynamics of tropical rainfall belt in the western Pacific over the past 282 thousand years

Top notch studies by NTU geological research team published in renowned Journal "Nature Communications" and also highlighted in “Science

The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the most important realm for global ecosystem and human population, encompasses the heaviest tropical seasonal rain belt on Earth. Due to its intensive rainfall gradient, a small displacement can cause dramatic changes in hydroclimate.

Being the corresponding author, Dr. Chuan-Chou Shen, a Distinguished Professor of the Department of Geosciences, and his team published their newest research results in the internationally renowned journal “Nature Communications” on November 25. According to the marine sedimentary geochemical records off the eastern coast of Papua New Guinea, the western Pacific tropical rainfall belt migration was surprisingly influenced by combined solar precession and obliquity changes, unlike the precession paradigm expressed in its East Asian counterpart. This priceless finding provides in-depth understanding of past global precipitation distribution and dynamics and may offer valuable clues for future climate prediction. This study was also highlighted in the top journal “Science” on November 27.

The full research article “Obliquity pacing of the western Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone over the past 282,000 years” is available on

The highlighted report “A shifting wet girdle around the tropics” is also available on

Figure 1. Prof. Chuan-Chou Shen making experiment tools in a study room.

Figure 2. Taiwanese and international researches on board the R. V. Marion Dufresne of the French Polar Institute during the IMAGES XIII-PECTEN (Past Equatorial Climate: Tracking El Niño) cruise in 2005.

Figure 3. A 15000-km paleoclimate research cruise from Kaohsiung to Darwin during June 1-July 8, 2005.

Figure 4. Foraminiferal carbonate shells (0.03 cm), one of natural archives, documenting recent and geological-scale ocean and climate histories.