Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 113, Issue 1–2, pp 259–269 | Cite as

Reconstruction of integrated temperature series of the past 2,000 years on the Tibetan plateau with 10-year intervals

  • Hou Guangliang
  • E Chongyi
  • Liu Xiangjun
  • Zeng Fangming
Original Paper


Using 1,981 pieces of temperature records extracted from a selection of tree rings, ice cores, sediments, and other materials with high-resolution historical temperature proxy data, a temperature series of the past 2,000 years on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) with 10-year intervals was reconstructed by the method of single sample correction—multi-sample average integration equations. This series shows that the warm periods mainly appeared before 235 A.D., 775–1275 A.D. and 1845–2000 A.D., while the cold periods occurred 245–765 A.D., 1045–1145 A.D., and 1285–1835 A.D. The Little Ice Age left clear evidence on the TP and its coldest period was between 1635 and 1675 A.D. The Medieval Warm Period on the TP was not as warm as that in the late twentieth century. During the nineteenth century, overall temperature tends to be warmer with a clear rising trend, and in the late twentieth century new highs broke the record of the past 2,000 years. Power spectrum analysis shows that temperature on the TP changes consistently and evidently in a 150-year cycle. This integrated series also shows clear correlations with sunspot activity and solar radiation, as high sunspot activities generally led to warmer periods, and vice versa. Solar activities and intense radiation of recent years are naturally conducive to the global warming since the nineteenth century. The combination of greenhouse gases and natural fluctuations in climate has been the main culprit behind the global warming in the twentieth century.



This work was supported by the China NSF (grant 41161018 and 41201014).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hou Guangliang
    • 1
  • E Chongyi
    • 1
  • Liu Xiangjun
    • 2
  • Zeng Fangming
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Environment and Resource, MOE, School of Life and Geographic ScienceQinghai Normal UniversityXiningChina
  2. 2.Qinghai Institute of Salt LakesChinese Academy of SciencesXiningChina

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