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A tree ring-based winter temperature reconstruction for the southeastern Tibetan Plateau since 1340 CE

  • Ru Huang
  • Haifeng ZhuEmail author
  • Eryuan Liang
  • Bo Liu
  • Jiangfeng Shi
  • Ruibo Zhang
  • Yujiang Yuan
  • Jussi Grießinger
Article

Abstract

Climatic change is exhibiting significant effects on the ecosystem of the Tibetan Plateau (TP), a climate-sensitive area. In particularly, winter frost, freezing events and snow avalanche frequently causing severe effects on ecosystem and social economy, however, few long-term winter temperature records or reconstructions hinder a better understanding on variations in winter temperature in the vast area of the TP. In this paper, we present a minimum winter (November–February) temperature reconstruction for the past 668 years based on a tree-ring network (12 new tree-ring chronologies) on the southeastern TP. The reconstruction exhibits decadal to inter-decadal temperature variability, with cold periods occurring in 1423–1508, 1592–1651, 1729–1768, 1798–1847, 1892–1927, and 1958–1981, and warm periods in 1340–1422, 1509–1570, 1652–1728, 1769–1797, 1848–1891, 1928–1957, and 1982–2007. As suggested by the comparisons with existing winter temperature series and spatial correlations with Climatic Research Unit gridded data, our reconstruction is reliable and indicative, and it can represent large-scale winter temperature variability on the southeastern TP. Furthermore, it shows an overall agreement with winter temperature from the northeastern TP on decadal to inter-decadal timescales. It also shows the possible effects of volcanic eruption and reducing solar activity on the winter temperature variability for the past six centuries on the southeastern TP.

Keywords

Dendroclimatology Southeastern Tibetan Plateau Winter temperature Solar activity Volcanic eruption 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41571201, 41771240, 41661144040) and CAS “West Light Foundation” Program, and the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDA20050101). Data of tree-ring width chronologies and winter temperature reconstruction in the present study are available by contacting Dr. Haifeng Zhu (zhuhf@itpcas.ac.cn). The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

382_2019_4695_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1337 KB)

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Alpine Ecology, Institute of Tibetan Plateau ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.College of Urban and Environmental SciencesNorthwest UniversityXi’anChina
  5. 5.School of Geographic and Oceanographic SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  6. 6.Institute of Desert and MeteorologyChina Meteorological AdministrationUrumqiChina
  7. 7.Institute of GeographyFriedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany

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