Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 109, Issue 1–2, pp 233–243 | Cite as

Ensemble empirical mode decomposition for tree-ring climate reconstructions

  • Feng Shi
  • Bao Yang
  • L. von Gunten
  • Chun Qin
  • Zhangyong Wang
Original Paper


A novel data adaptive method named ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) was used to reconstruct past temperature and precipitation variability in two 2,328- and 1,837-year tree-ring chronologies from the Dulan region, northeastern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. Our results show that EEMD can be used to extract low-frequency signals from the Dulan tree-ring data. The extracted low-frequency temperature trends in the two chronologies correlate significantly with Northern Hemisphere temperatures over the past two millennia. In addition, the newly reconstructed precipitation data have a higher standard deviation than that of data reconstructed with the conventional ordinary least squares and variance matching methods and yield the best amplitude match to the instrumental data. This study shows that EEMD is a powerful tool for extracting the full spectrum of climate information in tree-ring chronologies.


Tibetan Plateau Ordinary Little Square Empirical Mode Decomposition Calibration Period Instrumental Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank two anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful and constructive comments. This paper also benefited from revisions by the editor Hartmut Graßl. The study was jointly funded by CAS Strategic Priority Research Program Grant (No. XDA05080801), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) 100 Talents Project (29082762), and NSFC (Grant Nos. 41071130 and 40871091). Feng Shi was supported by West Light Program for Talent Cultivation of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Bao Yang gratefully acknowledges the support of K.C. Wong Education Foundation. Hong Kong. LvG was supported by Swiss NSF (PBBEP2-126056).

Supplementary material

704_2011_576_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (48 kb)
Fig. S1 Comparison between the low-frequency (IMFs 8-10) signal of the Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstructions and the two Dulan chronologies. All series were decomposed using the EEMD approach. (PDF 48 kb)
704_2011_576_MOESM2_ESM.xls (13.7 mb)
Table S1 Results of the EEMD method applied to two tree-ring chronologies and to temperature and precipitation records from Dulan (XLS 14018 kb)
704_2011_576_MOESM3_ESM.doc (46 kb)
Table S2 The quasi-period of each IMF in the meteorological temperature and precipitation series and of the two tree-ring series Z03 and S04 (DOC 46 kb)
704_2011_576_MOESM4_ESM.doc (57 kb)
Table S3 Correlation analysis of the precipitation and temperature data with the two tree-ring chronologies Z03 and S04 in five time–frequency domains (DOC 57 kb)
704_2011_576_MOESM5_ESM.doc (46 kb)
Table S4 Statistical validation of the reconstructions, skill assessments, and uncertainty estimations (DOC 46 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Feng Shi
    • 1
  • Bao Yang
    • 1
  • L. von Gunten
    • 2
  • Chun Qin
    • 1
  • Zhangyong Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Institute of Geography and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change ResearchUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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