Climate Dynamics

, Volume 44, Issue 3–4, pp 717–733

Drought variability in eastern Mongolian Plateau and its linkages to the large-scale climate forcing


DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2273-7

Cite this article as:
Bao, G., Liu, Y., Liu, N. et al. Clim Dyn (2015) 44: 717. doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2273-7


A robust regional tree-ring chronology with a span of 1819–2009 was developed for the Hulun Buir steppe, China, a region in the eastern edge of the Mongolian Plateau. This chronology exhibited significantly positive correlation with precipitation in June, and negative correlations with temperature from April to September except for May. Highest correlation was found between tree rings and the average April–August standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI), suggesting that pines growth strongly respond to the seasonal drought conditions. Accordingly, the average April–August SPEI reconstruction was performed for the period 1854–2009, explaining 45.5 % variance of the calibration period 1953–2009. New reconstruction shows some synchrony with regional-scale events found in other reconstructions to the west Mongolian Plateau. The recent droughts in late 1990 to present are not unusual in the context of the past several centuries. Spectrum analyses suggested that the average April–August SPEI variations, especially severe droughts in the late 1870s-early 1880s, 1920s and since the late 1990s could be associated with large-scale climate forcing, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the summer North Atlantic Oscillation. Significant teleconnections indicated drought variability during the past several centuries in eastern Mongolian Plateau existed close connections with large-scale synoptic features.


Tree rings Regional drought Eastern Mongolian Plateau Teleconnection Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica 

Supplementary material

382_2014_2273_MOESM1_ESM.tiff (383 kb)
Fig. S1 Spatial correlation of reconstructed average April–August SPEI with the sea surface temperature of NCDC ERSSTv3 (Smith et al. 2008) (first-difference series after removing trend) during the period 1953–2009 (TIFF 382 kb)
382_2014_2273_MOESM2_ESM.tif (1.4 mb)
Fig. S2 Sliding correlation of first-difference series of RECSPEI48 and the PDO reconstruction index (Felis et al. 2010) with a 21-year window (TIFF 1478 kb)
382_2014_2273_MOESM3_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Table S1 Magnitude and intensity of drought and pluvial events five-year or more in duration for the reconstructed average April–August SPEI for the Hulun Buir steppe (DOC 35 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Disaster Monitoring and Mechanism Simulating of Shaanxi ProvinceBaoji University of Arts and SciencesBaojiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Science and Technology, School of Human Settlements and Civil EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  4. 4.Regional Climate Group, Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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