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Regional-scale winter-spring temperature variability and chilling damage dynamics over the past two centuries in southeastern China

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Abstract

Winter-spring cold extreme is a kind of serious natural disaster for southeastern China. As such events are recorded in discrete documents, long and continuous records are required to understand their characteristics and driving forces. Here we report a regional-scale winter-spring (January–April) temperature reconstruction based on a tree-ring network of pine trees (Pinus massoniana) from five sampling sites over a large spatial scale (25–29°N, 111–115°E) in southeastern China. The regional tree-ring chronology explains 48.6% of the instrumental temperature variance during the period 1957–2008. The reconstruction shows six relatively warm intervals (i.e., ~1849–1855, ~1871–1888, ~1909–1920, ~1939–1944, ~1958–1968, 1997–2007) and five cold intervals (i.e., ~1860–1870, ~1893–1908, ~1925–1934, ~1945–1957, ~1982–1996) during 1849–2008. The last decade and the 1930s were the warmest and coldest decades, respectively, in the past 160 years. The composite analysis of 500-hPa geopotential height fields reveals that distinctly different circulation patterns occurred in the instrumental and pre-instrumental periods. The winter-spring cold extremes in southeastern China are associated with Ural-High ridge pattern for the instrumental period (1957–2008), whereas the cold extremes in pre-instrumental period (1871–1956) are associated with North circulation pattern.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation Projects No. 40631002 and No. 40890051. We are grateful to Dr. Zhu HF and Dr. Shi JF for making their original reconstructions available. Climate data from the meteorological stations were obtained from the National Meteorological Information Center of China Meteorological Administration.

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Correspondence to Qi-Bin Zhang.

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Duan, J., Zhang, QB., Lv, L. et al. Regional-scale winter-spring temperature variability and chilling damage dynamics over the past two centuries in southeastern China. Clim Dyn 39, 919–928 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-011-1232-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-011-1232-9

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