Coupling of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian monsoon (IM) is central to seasonal summer monsoon rainfall predictions over the Indian subcontinent, although a nonstationary relationship between the two nonlinear phenomena can limit seasonal predictability. Radiative effects of volcanic aerosols injected into the stratosphere during large volcanic eruptions (LVEs) tend to alter ENSO evolution; however, their impact on ENSO-IM coupling remains unclear. Here, we investigate how LVEs influence the nonlinear behavior of the ENSO and IM dynamical systems using historical data, 25 paleoclimate reconstructions, last-millennium climate simulations, large-ensemble targeted climate sensitivity experiments, and advanced analysis techniques. Our findings show that LVEs promote a significantly enhanced phase-synchronization of the ENSO and IM oscillations, due to an increase in the angular frequency of ENSO. The results also shed innovative insights into the physical mechanism underlying the LVE-induced enhancement of ENSO-IM coupling and strengthen the prospects for improved seasonal monsoon predictions.


Singh, M., Krishnan, R., Goswami, B., Choudhury, A. D., Swapna, P., Vellore, R., Prajeesh, A. G., Sandeep, N., Venkataraman, C., Donner, R. V., Marwan, N., & Kurths, J. (2020). Fingerprint of volcanic forcing on the ENSO–Indian monsoon coupling. Science Advances, 6(38), eaba8164.

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