News Release 

Precession-driven precipitation cycles in Chile

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

A study of precipitation-derived sediment inputs to the Southeast Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Atacama Desert finds cycles of precipitation correlated with precession, or the natural wobble of the Earth around its axis; model simulations reproduce this relationship between precession and Atacama rainfall, suggesting that precession reconfigures the southern hemisphere westerlies differently than previously assumed for paleoclimate changes, with possible implications for the build-up of sea ice around Antarctica and for global ocean currents.

Article #19-05847: "Precession modulation of the South Pacific westerly wind belt over the past million years," by Frank Lamy et al.

MEDIA CONTACT: Frank Lamy, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, GERMANY; e-mail:


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