Climate Dynamics

, Volume 48, Issue 3–4, pp 867–879 | Cite as

Tree-ring-width-based PDSI reconstruction for central Inner Mongolia, China over the past 333 years

  • Yu LiuEmail author
  • Xinjia Zhang
  • Huiming Song
  • Qiufang Cai
  • Qiang Li
  • Boyang Zhao
  • Han Liu
  • Ruochen Mei


A tree-ring-width chronology was developed from Pinus tabulaeformis aged up to 333 years from central Inner Mongolia, China. The chronology was significantly correlated with the local Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI). We therefore reconstructed the first PDSI reconstruction from March to June based on the local tree ring data from 1680 to 2012 AD. The reconstruction explained 40.7 % of the variance (39.7 % after adjusted the degrees of freedom) of the actual PDSI during the calibration period (1951–2012 AD). The reconstructed PDSI series captured the severe drought event of the late 1920s, which occurred extensively in northern China. Running variance analyses indicated that the variability of drought increased sharply after 1960, indicating more drought years, which may imply anthropogenic related global warming effects in the region. In the entire reconstruction, there were five dry periods: 1730–1814 AD, 1849–1869 AD, 1886–1942 AD (including severe drought in late 1920s), 1963–1978 AD and 2004–2007 AD; and five wet periods: 1685–1729 AD, 1815–1848 AD, 1870–1885 AD, 1943–1962 AD and 1979–2003 AD. Conditions turned dry after 2003 AD, and the PDSI from March to June (PDSI36) captured many interannual extreme drought events since then, such as 2005–2008 AD. The reconstruction is comparable to other tree-ring-width-based PDSI series from the neighboring regions, indicating that our reconstruction has good regional representativeness. Significant relationships were found between our PDSI reconstruction and the solar radiation cycle and the sun spot cycle, North Atlantic Oscillation, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, as well as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Power spectral analyses detected 147.0-, 128.2-, 46.5-, 6.5-, 6.3-, 2.6-, 2.2- and 2.0-year quasi-cycles in the reconstructed series.


Central Inner Mongolia, China Tree-ring width PDSI Reconstruction Periodicity Large scale comparison 



We thank Baoyin Shen, Junyan Sun, Ying Lei, Changfeng Sun, Yongyong Ma for their help. This research was supported by grants from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KZZD-EW-04-01), National Nature Science Foundation of China (41401060) and National Basic Research Program (2013CB955903).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu Liu
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Xinjia Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Huiming Song
    • 1
    • 3
  • Qiufang Cai
    • 1
  • Qiang Li
    • 1
  • Boyang Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Han Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ruochen Mei
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Joint Center for Global Change Studies (JCGCS)Beijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Science and Technology, School of Human Settlements and Civil EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

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