Climate Dynamics

, Volume 49, Issue 9–10, pp 3111–3121 | Cite as

Reconstruction of March–June precipitation from tree rings in central Liaoning, China



A dendrochronological profile was generated from Chinese pines (Pinus tabulaeformis Carr.) in the Qianshan Mountains in northeastern China. Based on correlation analyses, the pattern of precipitation from March to June (P 36 ) was reconstructed using a simple linear model, which explained 42.7% of the total variance in observed precipitation from 1951 to 2012. The reconstructed P 36 series revealed a consistently increasing trend in precipitation during the twentieth century in the Qianshan Mountains. The reconstructed data showed trends that were similar to those in the variation in trends for March–June precipitation observed at the Shenyang station, the reconstructed January–May precipitation trends in Shenyang City, and the reconstructed average June–September relative humidity for Yiwulü Mountain. The reconstructed data also showed good agreement with the droughts reported in historical documents and recorded by meteorological stations in Liaoning. Spatial correlation analyses show that the reconstructed data reflect the variability in precipitation that occurs over much of northeastern China. In addition, our reconstruction showed a significant periodicity. The significant correlations between the reconstructed P 36 and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and sunspot numbers indicate that precipitation variability in the Qianshan Mountain region is probably driven by extensive atmosphere-sea interactions and solar activities.


Liaoning Pinus tabulaeformis Carr Tree-ring width PDO Sunspot number 



The authors thank Qiang Li, Huiming Song, Baofa Shen and Li Xie for their help. This research was funded by the State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology (SKLLQG1420), the higher education scientific and technology research project in Hebei province (BJ201602, ZD2016206), the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province (D2016108005) and the National Basic Research Program of China (2013CB955903).


  1. Akkemik U, D’Arrigo R, Cherubini P, Kose N, Jacoby GC (2008) Tree-ring reconstructions of precipitation and streamflow for north-western Turkey. Int J Climatol 28:173–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allan RJ, Lindesay JA, Parker DE (1996) El Nino Southern Oscillation and Climatic Variability. CSIRO, Collingwood, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
  3. Auer G, Piller WE, Harzhauser M (2014) Two distinct decadal and centennial cyclicities forced marine upwelling intensity and precipitation during the late Early Miocene in central Europe. Clim Past Discuss 10:1223–1264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balachandran NK, Rind D, Lonergan P, Shindell DT (1999) Effects of solar cycle variability on the lower stratosphere and the troposphere. J Geophys Res 104:27321–27339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bao G (2015) Mongolian pines (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica) in the Hulun Buir steppe, China, respond to climate in adjustment to the local water supply. Int J Biometeorol 59:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bao G, Liu Y, Linderholm HW (2012) April-September mean maximum temperature inferred from Hailar pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica) tree rings in the Hulunbuir region, Inner Mongolia, back to 1868 AD. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 313:162–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bao G, Liu Y, Liu N, Linderholm HW (2015) Drought variability in eastern Mongolian Plateau and its linkages to the large-scale climate forcing. Clim Dyn 44: 717–733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bollasina M A, Ming Y (2013) The general circulation model precipitation bias over the southwestern equatorial Indian Ocean and its implications for simulating the South Asian monsoon. Clim Dyn 40: 823–838.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Briffa KR, Osborn TJ, Schweingruber FH (2004) Large-scale temperature inferences from tree rings: a review. Global Planet Change 40:11–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cai Q, Liu Y, Liu H, Ren J (2015) Reconstruction of drought variability in North China and its association with sea surface temperature in the joining area of Asia and Indian–Pacific Ocean. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 417:554–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen ZJ, He XY, Cook ER, He HS, Chen W, Sun Y, Cui MX (2011) Detecting dryness and wetness signals from tree-rings in Shenyang, Northeast China. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 302:301–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chen ZJ, Zhang XL, Cui MX, He XY, Ding WH, Peng JJ (2012) Tree-ring based precipitation reconstruction for the forest-steppe ecotone in northern Inner Mongolia, China and its linkages to the Pacific Ocean variability. Global Planet Change 86–87:45–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. China Meteorological Administration, 10 provinces weather bureau from northern and northeastern China (1975) Historical materials of drought and flood in northern and northeastern China for the last 500-year period. Peking University press, Beijing, pp 1–614 (Chinese)Google Scholar
  14. Cook ER, Holmes RL (1986) Users manual for program ARSTAN. Laboratory of tree-ring research, University of Arizona, Tucson AZGoogle Scholar
  15. Cook ER, Kairiukstis LA (1990) Methods of Dendrochronology. KluwerAcademic Publishers, The NetherlandsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cook ER, Meko DM, Stahle DW, Cleaveland MK (1999) Drought reconstructions for the continental United States. J Climate 12:1145–1162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dai A, Trenberth KE, Qian TT (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
  18. Devineni N, Lall U, Pederson N, Cook E (2013) A tree-ring-based reconstruction of delaware river Basin streamflow using hierarchical bayesian regression. J Climate 26(12):4357–4374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Editorial Committee of Academy of Meteorological Science, China Central Meteorological Administration (1981) Yearly charts of dryness/wetness in China for the last 500-year period. Map, Beijing (Chinese)Google Scholar
  20. Esper J, Cook ER, Schweingruber FH (2002) Low-frequency signals in long tree-ring chronologies for reconstructing past temperature variability. Science 295:2250–2253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fang KY, Gou XH, Chen FH, Yang MX, Li JB, He MS, Zhang Y, Tian QH, Peng JF (2009) Drought variations in the eastern part of northwest China over the past two centuries: evidence from tree rings. Clim Res 38:129–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fang KY, Gou XH, Chen FH, D’Arrigo R, Li JB (2010) Tree-ring based drought reconstruction for the Guiqing Mountain (China): linkages to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Int J Climatol 30:1137–1145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fritts HC (1976) Tree rings and climate. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Fritts HC (1991) Reconstructing large-scale climatic patterns from tree-ring data. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, p 286Google Scholar
  25. Fritts HC (2001) Tree rings and climate. Blackburn Press, Caldwell, New Jersey, pp 1–567 (Originally published in 1976 by Academic Press, London)Google Scholar
  26. Fu CB, Zheng ZM (1998) Monsoon regions: the highest rate of precipitation changes observed from global data. Sci Bull 43:662–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gao XN, Xu QZ, Cong JX, Xu YQ (2015) Temporal and spatial patterns of droughts based on standard precipitation index (spi) in liaoning in recent 54a. Ecol Environ Sci 24:1851–1857 (Chinese)Google Scholar
  28. Gedalof Z, Mantua NJ, Peterson DL (2002) A multi-century perspective of variability in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation: new insights from tree rings and coral. Geophys Res Lett 29:2204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gou XH, Chen FH, Cook E, Jacoby G, Yang MX, Li JB (2007) Streamflow variations of the Yellow River over the past 593 years in western China reconstructed from tree rings. Water Resour Res 43:113–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Grandprélouis D, Tardifjacques C, HesslAmy et al (2011) Seasonal shift in the climate responses of Pinus sibirica, Pinus sylvestris, and Larix sibirica trees from semi-arid, north-central Mongolia. Can J Forest Res 41(6):1242–1255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Guo X, Wang Z, Yu SB, Guo YX (2013) Precipitation and variations of extreme drought /flood events in the Eastern China in the 20th century. J Arid Meteorol 31:476–481 (Chinese)Google Scholar
  32. Holmes RL (1983) Computer-assisted quality control in tree-ring dating and measurement. Tree-Ring Bull 43:69–78Google Scholar
  33. IGBP (1990) The international geosphere-biosphere programme (IGBP): a study of global change. The initial core projects. Report No. 12, International Council of Scientific Unions, Stockholm, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  34. Kozlowski TT (1971) Growth and development of trees: Vol.II: cambial growth, root growth, and reproductive growth. Academic Press, London, pp 1–435Google Scholar
  35. Liang EY, Shao XM, Liu XH (2009) Annual Precipitation variation inferred from tree rings since AD 1770 for the Western Qilian Mts., Northern Tibetan Plateau. Tree-Ring Res 65:95–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Linderholm HW, Björklund J, Seftigen K, Gunnarson BE, Fuentes M (2015) Fennoscandia revisited: a spatially improved tree-ring reconstruction of summer temperatures for the last 900 years. Clim Dyn 45:933–947CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Liu Y, An ZS, Ma HZ, Cai QF, Liu ZY, Kutzbach JK, Shi JF, Song HM, Sun JY, Yi L, Li Q, Yang YK, Wang L (2006) Precipitation variation in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau recorded by the tree rings since 850 AD and its relevance to the Northern Hemisphere temperature. Sci China Ser D 49:408–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Liu Y, Linderholm HW, Song HM, Cai QF, Tian QH, Sun JY, Chen DL, Simelton E, Seftigen K, Tian H, Wang RY, Bao G, An Z (2009) Temperature variations recorded in Pinus tabulaeformis tree rings from the southern and northern slopes of the central Qinling Mountains, central China. Boreas 38:285–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Liu Y, Sun JY, Song HM, Cai QF, Bao G, Li XX (2010) Tree-ring hydrologic reconstructions for the Heihe River watershed, western China since AD 1430. Water Res 44:2781–2792CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Liu Y, Wang YC, Li Q, Sun JY, Song HM, Cai QF, Zhang YH, Yuan ZL, Wang ZY (2013a) Reconstructed May–July mean maximum temperature since 1745 AD based on tree-ring width of Pinus tabulaeformis in Qianshan Mountain, China. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 388:145–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Liu Y, Sun B, Song H, Lei Y, Wang C (2013b) Tree-ring-based precipitation reconstruction for Mt. Xinglong, China, since AD 1679. Quatern Int 283:46–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Liu N, Liu Y, Bao G, Bao M, Wang Y, Ge Y, Zhang L, Bao W, Tian H (2015a) A tree-ring based reconstruction of summer relative humidity variability in eastern Mongolian Plateau and its associations with the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 438:113–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Liu Y, Wang Y, Li Q, Song HM, Zhang Y, Yuan ZL, Wang Z (2015b) A tree-ring-based June–September mean relative humidity reconstruction since 1837 from the Yiwulü Mountain region, China. Int J Climatol 35:1301–1308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Liu Y, Zhang X, Song H, Cai Q, Li Q, Zhao B, Liu H, Mei R (2016a) Tree-ring-width-based PDSI reconstruction for central Inner Mongolia, China over the past 333 years. Clim Dyn. doi: 10.1007/s00382-016-3115-6
  45. Liu N, Liu Y, Bao G, Bao M, Wang Y, Zhang L, Ge Y, Bao W, Tian H (2016b) Drought reconstruction in eastern Hulun Buir steppe, China and its linkages to the sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. J Asian Earth Sci 115:298–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lu RY (2005) Interannual variation of North China rainfall in rainy season and SSTs in the equatorial eastern Pacific. Chinese Sci Bull 50:2069–2073CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. MacDonald GM, Case RA (2005) Variations in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation over the past millennium. Geophys Res Lett 32:L08703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mann ME, Lees JM (1996) Robust estimation of background noise and signal detection in climatic time series. Clim Change 33:409–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mann ME, Zhang ZH, Hughes MK, Bradley RS, Miller SK, Rutherford S, Ni FB (2008) Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia. P Natl Acad Sci USA 105:13252–13257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Maxwell RS, Hessl AE, Cook ER, Pederson N (2011) A multispecies tree ring reconstruction of Potomac River streamflow (950–2001). Water Resour Res 47:159–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Minobe S (1999) Resonance in bidecadal and pentadecadal climate oscillations over the North Pacific: role in climatic regime shifts. Geophys Res Lett 26:855–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mu LP (2007) Flood calamity analysis and disaster-reduction measures in Liaoning. Res Soil Water Conserv 14(3):271–273 (Chinese)Google Scholar
  53. Nagovitsyn YA (2001) Solar activity during the last two millennia: Solar patrol in ancient and medieval China. Geomagn Aeron 41:680–688Google Scholar
  54. Ogurtsov MG, Nagovitsyn YA, Kocharov GE, Jungner H (2002) Long-period cycles of the Sun’s activity recorded in direct solar data and proxies. Sol Phys 211:371–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Peterson DL (1998) Climate, limiting factors and environmental change in high-altitude forests of Western North America. The impacts of climate variability on forests, Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 191–208Google Scholar
  56. Rayner NA, Parker DE, Horton EB, Folland CK, Alexander LV, Rowell DP, Kent EC, Kaplan A (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res 108:10633–11082CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Shi J, Liu Y, Vaganov EA, Li J, Cai Q (2008) Statistical and process-based modeling analyses of tree growth response to climate in semi-arid area of north central China: a case study of Pinus tabulaeformis. J Geophys Res 113:341–356Google Scholar
  58. Song HM, Liu Y (2011) PDSI variations at Kongtong Mountain, China, inferred from a 283-year Pinus tabulaeformis ring width chronology. J Geophys Res-Atmos 116:898–908Google Scholar
  59. Stahle DW, Cleaveland MK, Grissino-Mayer HD, Griffin RD, Fye FK, Therrell MD, Burnette DJ, Meko DM, Diaz JV (2009) Cool- and Warm-Season Precipitation Reconstructions over Western New Mexico. J Climate 22:3729–3750CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Su MF, Wang HJ (2007) Relationship and its instability of ENSO—Chinese variations in droughts and wet spells. Sci China Ser D 50:145–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sun MN, Guan ZY, Zhang PB, Cao SY (2011) Possible relationship between summer rainfall anomaly in North China and principal modes of SST variations over the South Pacific. Trans Atmos Sci 34:312–321 (Chinese)Google Scholar
  62. Sun JY, Liu Y, Sun B, Wang RY (2012) Tree-ring based PDSI reconstruction since 1853 AD in the source of the Fenhe river basin, Shanxi province, China. Sci China Earth Sci 55(11):1847–1854CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Tian Y, Li HL, Liu S, Liu C, Guo QN, Xia YQ (2009) Evaluation on soil fertility of forest based on analytic hierarchy proess in Qiangshan Mountain, Anshan. J Liaoning Forest Sci Technol 5(29–31):45 (Chinese)Google Scholar
  64. Tsuji H, Nakatsuka T, Yamazaki K, Takagi K (2008) Summer relative humidity in northern Japan inferred from δ18O values of the tree ring in (1776–2002 AD): Influence of the paleoclimate indices of atmospheric circulation. J Geophys Res-Atmos 113:D18103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wigley TML, Briffa KR, Jones PD (1984) On the average value of correlated time series, with application in dendroclimatology and hydrometeorology. J Climate Appl Meteor 23:201–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wilhite DA (2000) Drought as a natural hazard: concepts and definitions. In: Wilhite DA (ed) Droughts: Global Assessment. Routledge, London, pp 3–18Google Scholar
  67. Yang YK, Liu Y, Cai QF, Ma HZ, Ma LM, Guo JW (2005) Precipitation reconstruction from tree ring width over the central Qilian Mountains for the last 248 years. Mar Geol Quat Geol 25:113–118 (Chinese)Google Scholar
  68. Yang B, Kang XC, Brauning A, Liu J, Qin C, Liu JJ (2010) A 622-year regional temperature history of southeast Tibet derived from tree rings. Holocene 20:181–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yang D, Liu H, Guo P, Zheng F, Liu Q (2011) The precipitation changes in Liaoning during 1956–2008. J Arid Land Res Environ 25:96–101 (Chinese)Google Scholar
  70. Yang B, Qin C, Wang J, He MS, Melvin TM, Osborn TJ, Briffa KR (2014) A 3500-year tree-ring record of annual precipitation on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111:2903–2908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Yi L, Yu H, Ge J, Lai Z, Xu X, Qin L, Peng S (2012) Reconstructions of annual summer precipitation and temperature in north-central China since 1470 AD based on drought/flood index and tree-ring records. Clim Change 110:469–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zhang D, Liang Y (2010) A long lasting and extensive drought event over China in 1876–1878. Adv Clim Change Res 1:91–99 (Chinese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zhang RH, Sumi A, Kimoto M (1999) A diagnostic study of the impact of El Niño on the precipitation in China. Adv Atmos Sci 16:229–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zhang H, Zhao J, Meng W (2014) Drought disasters in southwestern Ordos Plateaus in Qing Dynasty. J Arid Land Res Environ 28:132–137 (Chinese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyXingtai UniversityXingtaiChina
  2. 2.The State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary GeologyInstitute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina
  3. 3.School of Human Settlements and Civil EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

Personalised recommendations