Climate Dynamics

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 941–951 | Cite as

Spatial drought reconstructions for central High Asia based on tree rings

  • Keyan Fang
  • Nicole Davi
  • Xiaohua Gou
  • Fahu Chen
  • Edward Cook
  • Jinbao Li
  • Rosanne D’Arrigo


Spatial reconstructions of drought for central High Asia based on a tree-ring network are presented. Drought patterns for central High Asia are classified into western and eastern modes of variability. Tree-ring based reconstructions of the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) are presented for both the western central High Asia drought mode (1587–2005), and for the eastern central High Asia mode (1660–2005). Both reconstructions, generated using a principal component regression method, show an increased variability in recent decades. The wettest epoch for both reconstructions occurred from the 1940s to the 1950s. The most extreme reconstructed drought for western central High Asia was from the 1640s to the 1650s, coinciding with the collapse of the Chinese Ming Dynasty. The eastern central High Asia reconstruction has shown a distinct tendency towards drier conditions since the 1980s. Our spatial reconstructions agree well with previous reconstructions that fall within each mode, while there is no significant correlation between the two spatial reconstructions.


Tree-ring PDSI Central High Asia Principal component regression 



The authors acknowledge Fritz Schweingruber, Gordon Jacoby, Jan Esper, Paul Sheppard, Xuemei Shao, Neil Pederson, and some other scientists who have contributed their tree-ring data for this study. We thank Ken Peters for his kind helps on language improvements. Constructive comments and suggestions from two anonymous reviewers are highly appreciated. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (No. 40971119), the US National Science Foundation (No. ATM0117442 & ATM-0402474), the NSFC Innovation Team Project (No. 40721061), the Chinese 111 Project (B06026), and the One Hundred Talents Program of CAS (Grant No. 29O827B11).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keyan Fang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nicole Davi
    • 2
  • Xiaohua Gou
    • 1
  • Fahu Chen
    • 1
  • Edward Cook
    • 2
  • Jinbao Li
    • 2
  • Rosanne D’Arrigo
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Western Chinese Environmental Systems (MOE), Center for Arid Environment and Paleoclimate Research (CAEP)Lanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Tree-Ring Lab, Lamont-Doherty Earth ObservatoryColumbia UniversityPalisadesUSA

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