Deep insight into exact mechanism(s) controlling past monsoonal variability on inter-annual to millennial time scales is a pre-requisite for developing predictive capability of monsoon on timescales relevant to human life. Reliable monsoon predictions developed by climate modelers play a crucial role for making country’s future economic programme. Basic data input to generally applied monsoon models is instrumental rainfall data, beyond which search for monsoon variability relies upon proxy records stored in various natural repositories such as tree rings, corals, cave deposits, lake and marine sediments. While tree rings, cave deposits and corals are capable of yielding paleo-monsoonal information on extremely high temporal resolution, continental margin sediments depositing in the Arabian Sea have provided relatively coarser but longer proxy records of monsoonal variability. Here we review some of such recently studied sedimentary records from precipitation dominated eastern Arabian Sea in an attempt to comprehend past monsoonal variability in Indian as well as global context. We also focus upon different proxies used so far in the Arabian Sea, their fidelity, limitations and future scope of using novel proxies for a better understanding of past monsoonal variability especially in the anthropocene epoch.
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