Climate Dynamics

, Volume 44, Issue 7–8, pp 1777–1787 | Cite as

Interdecadal hydroclimate teleconnections between Asia and North America over the past 600 years

  • Keyan Fang
  • Heikki Seppä
  • Deliang Chen


Hydroclimate teleconnections on interdecadal timescale are poorly understood due to the shortness of the instrumental records. We use tree-ring based hydroclimate reconstructions in Asia and North America (NA) to investigate the spatiotemporal evolution of the interdecadal teleconnections over the past 600 years and their associations with coupled ocean–atmosphere patterns. The most dominant interdecadal covarying patterns are the anti-phase hydroclimate change between central Asia and central NA, i.e. the “central Asia–central NA teleconnection”, and the covarying pattern over southwestern (SW) and northeastern (NE) Asia, SW and central NA, i.e. the “SW and NE Asia–SW and central NA teleconnection”. The teleconnections are generally robust except for the cold periods during the Maunder Minimum from the fifteenth century to the end of the sixteenth century and towards the end of the Little Ice Age near the middle nineteenth century. The Asian-Pacific Oscillation (APO) related atmospheric circulations and the westerlies are found to bridge these interdecadal hydroclimate teleconnections. The coupled ocean–atmosphere patterns in the Southern Ocean can modulate the strength of APO related circulations by modulating the Asian summer monsoon and the westerlies via meridional teleconnections. In addition, the wave train from Southern Ocean to Asia may also play an important role on modulating the interdecadal teleconnections.


Interdecadal timescale Hydroclimate teleconnection North America Drought Atlas Monsoon Asia Drought Atlas Westerlies 



We acknowledge the very helpful comments from the two anonymous reviewers. This study is funded by the fellowship of the Nordic top-level research initiative cryosphere–atmosphere interactions in a changing Arctic climate (CRAICC), the Key National Science Foundation of China (41171039) and the Minjiang Special-term Professor fellowship.

Supplementary material

382_2014_2266_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16761 kb)


  1. Bretherton CS, Smith C, Wallace JM (1992) An intercomparison of methods for finding coupled patterns in climate data. J Clim 5:541–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen D, Gao G, Xu C-Y, Guo J, Ren G (2005) Comparison of the Thornthwaite method and pan data with the standard Penman–Monteith estimates of reference evapotranspiration in China. Clim Res 28:123–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Compo GP, Whitaker JS, Sardeshmukh PD, Matsui N, Allan RJ, Yin X, Gleason BE, Vose RS, Rutledge G, Bessemoulin P (2011) The twentieth century reanalysis project. Q J R Meteorol Soc 137:1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cook E, Briffa KR, Meko DM, Graybill DA, Funkhouser G (1995) The ‘segment length curse’ in long tree-ring chronology development for palaeoclimatic studies. Holocene 5:229–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cook E, Meko DM, Stahle DW, Cleaveland MK (1999) Drought reconstructions for the continental United States. J Clim 12:1145–1162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cook E, Woodhouse CA, Eakin CM, Meko DM, Stahle DW (2004) Long-term aridity changes in the western United States. Science 306:1015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cook E, Seager R, Cane MA, Stahle DW (2007) North American drought: reconstructions, causes, and consequences. Earth Sci Rev 81:93–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cook E, Anchukaitis KJ, Buckley BM, D’Arrigo RD, Jacoby GC, Wright WE (2010) Asian monsoon failure and megadrought during the last millennium. Science 328:486–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dai A, Trenberth KE, Qian T (2004) A global dataset of Palmer Drought Severity Index for 1870–2002: relationship with soil moisture and effects of surface warming. J Hydrometeorol 5:1117–1130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ding Y, Wang Z, Sun Y (2008) Inter-decadal variation of the summer precipitation in East China and its association with decreasing Asian summer monsoon. Part I: observed evidences. Int J Climatol 28:1139–1161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Duan AM, Wu GX (2005) Role of the Tibetan Plateau thermal forcing in the summer climate patterns over subtropical Asia. Clim Dyn 24:793–807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eddy JA (1976) The maunder minimum. Science 192:1189–1202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fang K, Davi N, Gou X, Chen F, Cook E, Li J, D’Arrigo R (2010) Spatial drought reconstructions for central High Asia based on tree rings. Clim Dyn 35:941–951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fang K, Gou X, Chen F, Cook E, Li J, Buckley B, D’Arrigo R (2011) Large-scale precipitation variability over Northwest China inferred from tree rings. J Clim 24:3457–3468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fang K, Davi N, D’Arrigo R (2013) A reconstruction of the Asia-Pacific Oscillation Index for the past 1500 years and its association with the Asian summer monsoon. Int J Climatol. doi: 10.1002/joc.3856 Google Scholar
  16. Fang K, Chen D, Li J, Seppä H (2014) Covarying hydroclimate patterns between Monsoonal Asia and North America over the past 600 years. J Clim (accepted)Google Scholar
  17. Gao G, Chen D, Xu C, Simelton E (2007) Trend of estimated actual evapotranspiration over China during 1960–2002. J Geophys Res Atmos (1984–2012) 112. doi: 10.1029/2006JD008010
  18. George S, Meko D, Cook E (2010) The seasonality of precipitation signals embedded within the North American Drought Atlas. The Holocene 20:983–988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gong D, Wang S (1999) Definition of Antarctic oscillation index. Geophys Res Lett 26:459–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kalnay E, Kanamitsu M, Kistler R, Collins W, Deaven D, Gandin L, Iredell M, Sana S, White G, Woollen J (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 77:437–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kistler R, Kalnay E, Collins W, Saha S, White G, Woollen J, Chelliah M, Ebisuzaki W, Kanamitsu M, Kousky V (2001) The NCEP–NCAR 50-year reanalysis: monthly means CD-ROM and documentation. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 82:247–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lau KM, Weng H (2002) Recurrent teleconnection patterns linking summertime precipitation variability over East Asia and North America. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 80:1309–1324Google Scholar
  23. Li JP, Wang J (2003) A modified zonal index and its physical sense. Geophys Res Lett 30:1632. doi: 10.1029/2003GL017441 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li J, Cook ER, Chen F, Davi N, D’Arrigo R, Gou X, Wright WE, Fang K, Jin L, Shi J (2009) Summer monsoon moisture variability over China and Mongolia during the past four centuries. Geophys Res Lett 36:L22705. doi: 10.21029/22009GL041162 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Li J, Xie SP, Cook ER, Huang G, D’Arrigo R, Liu F, Ma J, Zheng XT (2011) Interdecadal modulation of El Nino amplitude during the past millennium. Nat Clim Change 1:114–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Li J, Xie SP, Cook E, Morales MS, Christie DA, Johnson NC, Chen F, D’Arrigo R, Fowler AM, Gou X, Fang K (2013) El Niño modulations over the past seven centuries: amplitude, teleconnection, and the volcanic effect. Nat Clim Change 3. doi: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1936
  27. Lu R, Dong B, Ding H (2006) Impact of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation on the Asian summer monsoon. Geophys Res Lett 33:L24701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ma ZG (2007) The interdecadal trend and shift of dry/wet over the central part of North China and their relationship to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Chin Sci Bull 52:2130–2139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mann ME, Zhang Z, Rutherford S, Bradley RS, Hughes MK, Shindell D, Ammann C, Faluvegi G, Ni F (2009) Global signatures and dynamical origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly. Science 326:1256–1260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mantua NJ, Hare SR (2002) The Pacific decadal oscillation. J Oceanogr 58:35–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mitchell TD, Jones PD (2005) An improved method of constructing a database of monthly climate observations and associated high-resolution grids. Int J Climatol 25:693–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nan S, Li J (2005) The relationship between the summer precipitation in the Yangtze River valley and the boreal spring southern hemisphere annular mode: the role of the Indian Ocean and South China Sea as an oceanic bridge. Acta Meteorologica Sinica 63:843–856Google Scholar
  33. PAGES 2 k C (2013) Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia. Nat Geosci 6:339–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pyper BJ, Peterman RM (1998) Comparison of methods to account for autocorrelation in correlation analyses of fish data. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 55:2127–2140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rayner NA, Brohan P, Parker DE, Folland CK, Kennedy JJ, Vanicek M, Ansell TJ, Tett SFB (2006) Improved analyses of changes and uncertainties in sea surface temperature measured in situ since the mid-nineteenth century: the HadSST2 dataset. J Clim 19:446–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schlesinger ME, Ramankutty N (1994) An oscillation in the global climate system of period 65–70 years. Nature 367:723–726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sheffield J, Wood EF, Roderick ML (2012) Little change in global drought over the past 60 years. Nature 491:435–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang B (1995) Interdecadal changes in El Niño onset in the last four decades. J Clim 8:267–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang H, Fan K (2006) Southern hemisphere mean zonal wind in upper troposphere and East Asian summer monsoon circulation. Chin Sci Bull 51:1508–1514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wang L, Chen W, Huang R (2008) Interdecadal modulation of PDO on the impact of ENSO on the East Asian winter monsoon. Geophys Res Lett 35:L20702. doi: 10.21029/22008GL035287 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yang F, Lau KM (2004) Trend and variability of China precipitation in spring and summer: linkage to sea surface temperatures. Int J Climatol 24:1625–1644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yang LM, Zhang QY (2007) Circulation characteristics of interannual and interdecadal anomalies of summer rainfall in north Xinjiang. Chin J Geophys 50:412–419 (in Chinese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zhai P, Wang B, Zhou X (2012) Boreal summer continental monsoon rainfall and hydroclimate anomalies associated with the Asian-Pacific Oscillation. Clim Dyn 39:1197–1207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zhao P, Zhu Y, Zhang R (2007) An Asian-Pacific teleconnection in summer tropospheric temperature and associated Asian climate variability. Clim Dyn 29:293–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zhao P, Yang S, Wang H, Zhang Q (2011) Interdecadal relationships between the Asian-Pacific Oscillation and summer climate anomalies over Asia, North Pacific, and North America during a recent 100 years. J Clim 24:4793–4799CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Humid Subtropical Eco-geographical Process (Ministry of Education), College of Geographical SciencesFujian Normal UniversityFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Geosciences and GeographyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

Personalised recommendations