The oxygen isotopic composition of a banded coral from the western equatorial Indian Ocean provides a 150-year-long history of the relation between the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and the Asian monsoon. Interannual cycles in the coral time series were found to correlate with Pacific coral and instrumental climate records, suggesting a consistent linkage across ocean basins, despite the changing frequency and amplitude of the ENSO. However, decadal variability that is characteristic of the monsoon system also dominates the coral record, which implies important interactions between tropical and midlatitude climate variability. One prominent manifestation of this interaction is the strong amplitude modulation of the quasi-biennial cycle.
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