We reconstruct here the history of the Red Sea Outflow (RSO) over the past 27,000 years from an AMS C-14-dated high-resolution delta(13)C record of benthic foraminifera from the inner Gulf of Aden assuming the dominance of circulation over productivity in regulating benthic delta(13)C. The results reveal that, following a period of suppressed RSO due to shallow sill 24,000-18,000 yr BP, the Red Sea was vigorously flushed for similar to 2,000 years before a major monsoon intensification caused the cessation of deep water formation from 15,500 to 7,300 yr BP. It appears that the monsoon intensification did lag behind insolation until 15,500 yr BP. Between 15,500 and the present, however, there was no lag in conflict with the previous reports, implying a negligible dampening effect of continental albedo during this period. However, since our analysis is confined to a single depth horizon and our record is sensitive to sea level, it has some limitations as an indicator of monsoon intensity.
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