Climatic Change

, Volume 80, Issue 3–4, pp 369–377 | Cite as

Tree rings and climate for the last 680 years in Wulan area of northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Original Article


A 680-year ring-width chronology of Sabina przewalskii Kom. was developed for Wulan area of northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. Response function and correlation analyses showed that spring precipitation (May–June) is the critical limiting factor for tree-ring growth, and temperature in prior November may also play a role in affecting tree-ring growth. Excessive spring precipitation occurred during AD 1380s–1390s, 1410s–1420s, 1520s–1560s and 1938 to present. Dry springs occurred during AD 1430s–1510s, 1640s–1730s and 1780s–1890s most of which generally coincided with cold intervals of the Little Ice Age (LIA) on the plateau, suggesting that the LIA climate on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau might be characterized by three episodes of dry spring and cold autumn. The relatively driest spring and probably coldest autumn occurred in AD 1710s–1720s, 1787–1797, 1815–1824, 1869–1879 and 1891–1895. The extreme drought in AD 1787–1797 might result from little monsoon precipitation due to the failure of Asian monsoon in this period. The tree-ring data produced in this study contribute to the spatial expansion of proxy climate records for the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouP.R. China
  2. 2.Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue445, boulevard de l’UniversitéQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Laboratory of Quantitative Vegetation Ecology,Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP.R. China

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