Skip to main content

Tree-ring-based temperature reconstruction since 1766 ce in the eastern Tianshan Mountains, arid Central Asia

Abstract

Knowledge of past climatic variability in the eastern Tianshan Mountains of arid Central Asia is still limited due to the lack of long-term instrumental data. In this study, we develop a March–August mean temperature reconstruction since 1766 ce based on annual tree-ring widths of Schrenk spruce (Picea schrenkiana Fisch. et Mey.). The reconstruction accounts for 51.8% of the temperature variation during the calibration period (1957–2017). Over the last two and a half centuries, the region has experienced six warm periods, namely 1766–1792, 1803–1827, 1878–1886, 1904–1916, 1926–1935, and 1982–2015. The reconstruction also indicates the occurrence of two significant cold periods, 1821–1857 and 1931–1980. Over the past 252 years, the climate in this region has shifted between warm-dry and cold-wet periods. However, a strong warm-wet trend since the 1980s is evident. There is a strong positive correlation between the tree-ring temperature reconstruction and the North Atlantic Oscillation, as well as a close relationship with strong volcanic eruptions in the mid-high latitudes.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11

References

  • Adams JB, Mann ME, Ammann C (2003) Proxy evidence for an El Niño-like response to volcanic forcing. Nature 426(6964):274–278

    Google Scholar 

  • Brauning A, Mantwill B (2004) Summer temperature and summer monsoon history on the Tibetan plateau during the last 400 years recorded by tree rings. Geophys Res Lett 31(24)

  • Briffa KR, Jones PD, Schweingruber FH (1992) Tree-ring density reconstructions of summer temperature patterns across Western North America since 1600. J Clim 5(7):735–754

    Google Scholar 

  • Briffa KR, Jones PD, Schweingruber FH, Osborn TJ (1998) Influence of volcanic eruptions on northern hemisphere summer temperature over the past 600 years. Nature 393(6684):450–455

    Google Scholar 

  • Briffa KR, Osborn TJ, Schweingruber FH, Harris L, Jones PD, Shiyatov SG, Vaganov EA (2001) Low-frequency temperature variations from a northern tree ring density network. J Geophys Res 106(D3):2929–2941. https://doi.org/10.1029/2000JD900617

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cai QF, Liu Y, Tian H (2013) A dendroclimatic reconstruction of May–June mean temperature variation in the Heng Mounatins, north China, since 1767 AD. Quat Int 3–10

  • Chen F, Yuan YJ, Wei WS, Wang L, Yu SL, Zhang RB, Fan ZA, Shang HM, Zhang TW, Li Y (2012) Tree ring density-based summer temperature reconstruction for Zajsan Lake area, East Kazakhstan. Int J Climatol 32(7):1089–1097

    Google Scholar 

  • Chen F, Yuan YJ, Chen FH, Wei WS, Yu SL, Chen XJ, Fan ZA, Zhang RB, Zhang TW, Shang HM, Qin L (2013) A 426-year drought history for western tian shan, central asia, inferred from tree rings and linkages to the north atlantic and indo-west pacific oceans. The Holocene 23(8):1095–1104

  • Chen F, Yuan YJ, Wei WS, Yu SL, Zhang TW, Shang HM, Zhang RB, Qin L, Fan Z (2015) Tree-ring recorded hydroclimatic change in Tienshan mountains during the past 500 years. Quat Int 358:35–41

  • Chen YN, Li WH, Deng HJ, Fang GH, Li Z (2016a) Changes in Central Asia’s water tower: past, present and future. Sci Rep 6(1)

  • Chen F, Yu SL, He Q, Zhang RB, Kobuliev ZV, Mamadjonov YM (2016b) Comparison of drought signals in tree-ring width records of juniper trees from central and West Asia during the last four centuries. Arab J Geosci 9(4)

  • Chen F, Shang HM, Yuan YJ (2016c) Dry/wet variations in the eastern Tien Shan (China) since AD 1725 based on Schrenk spruce (Picea schrenkiana Fisch. et Mey) tree rings. Dendrochronologia 110–116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dendro.2016.07.003

  • Chen F, Yuan YJ, Wei WS, Yu SL, Shang HM, Zhang TW, Zhang RB, Wang HQ (2017) Air temperature from may through august in northern xinjiang reconstructed from multi-site tree-ring density. J Glaciol Geocryol (in Chinese, with English abstract)

  • Chen F, Yuan YJ, Yu SL, Chen FH (2019) A 391-year summer temperature reconstruction of the Tien Shan, reveals far-reaching summer temperature signals over the midlatitude Eurasian continent. J Geophys Res Atmos 124(22):11850–11862

  • Chenoweth M (2001) Two major volcanic cooling episodes derived from global marine air temperature, AD 1807-1827. Geophys Res Lett 28(15):2963–2966

    Google Scholar 

  • Cook ER, Kairiukstis LA (1990) Methods of dendrochronology || some historical background on dendrochronology. Springer, Netherlands

    Google Scholar 

  • Cook ER, Krusic PJ (2007) Program ARSTAN: a tree-ring standardization program based on detrending and autoregressive time series modeling, with interactive graphics. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Cook ER, D’Arrigo R, Mann ME (2002) A well-verified, multiproxy reconstruction of the Winter North Atlantic Oscillation Index since a.d. 1400*. J Clim 15(13):1754–1764

    Google Scholar 

  • D’Arrigo R, Jacoby GC (1999) Northern North American tree-ring evidence for regional temperature changes after major volcanic events. Clim Chang 41(1):1–15

    Google Scholar 

  • D’Arrigo R, Mashig E, Frank D, Wilson R, Jacoby GC (2005) Temperature variability over the past millennium inferred from northwestern Alaska tree rings. Clim Dyn 24(2):227–236. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-004-0502-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • D’Arrigo R, Wilson R, Anchukaitis KJ (2013) Volcanic cooling signal in tree ring temperature records for the past millennium. J Geophys Res 118(16):9000–9010

    Google Scholar 

  • Dai AG, Trenberth KE, Qian T (2004) A global data set of Palmer Drought Severity Index for 1870–2002: relationship with soil moisture and effects of surface warming. J Hydrometeorol 5:1117–1130

  • Esper J, Schneider L, Krusic PJ, Luterbacher J, Buntgen U, Timonen M, Sirocko F, Zorita E (2013) European summer temperature response to annually dated volcanic eruptions over the past nine centuries. Bull Volcanol 75(7)

  • Fritts HC (1976) Tree rings and climate || Dendrochronology and Dendroclimatology. 1–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-268450-0.50006-9

  • Fu CB, Zeng ZM (2005) Correlations between North Atlantic oscillation index in winter and eastern China flood/drought index in summer in the last 530 years. Sci Bull 50(21):2505–2516

    Google Scholar 

  • Gray WM (1998) The Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation as a driver for multi-decadal variations in EL Nino intensity and frequency. In: Proceedings of the twenty-third annual climate diagnostics and predication workshop, 54–57

  • Hao XM, Li C, Li WH, Zhao RF (2011) Response of climate and hydrology change to North Atlantic oscillation and arctic oscillation in the west of northern Xinjiang during the last fifty years. J Desert Res (in Chinese, with English abstract)

  • Holder R, Mosteller F, Tukey JW (1979) Data analysis and regression. Appl Stat 28(2):177–178

    Google Scholar 

  • Holmes RL (1983) Computer-assisted quality control in tree-ring dating and measurement. Tree-Ring Bull

  • Houghton JT (2004) Climate change in 1994: radiative forcing of climate change and an evaluation of the IPCC is92 emission scenarios. Cell Immunol 6(1):59–65

    Google Scholar 

  • Huang R, Zhu HF, Liang EY, Asad F, Grieinger J (2019) A tree-ring-based summer (June-July) minimum temperature reconstruction for the western kunlun mountains since ad 1681. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 138(1–2):673–682. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-019-02849-1

  • Hughes MK, Schweingruber FH, Cartwright D, Kelly PM (1984) July-August temperature at Edinburgh between 1721 and 1975 from tree-ring density and width data. Nature 308(5957):341–344

    Google Scholar 

  • Hurrell JW (1995) Decadal trends in the North Atlantic Oscillation: regional temperatures and precipitation. Science 269(5224):676–679. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.269.5224.676

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hurrell JW (1996) Influence of variations in extratropical wintertime teleconnections on northern hemisphere temperature. Geophys Res Lett 23(6):665–668

    Google Scholar 

  • Hurrell JW, Loon HV (1997) Decadal variations in climate associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation. Clim Chang 36(3):301–326

    Google Scholar 

  • IPCC (2013) In: Stocker, TF, Qin, DH, Plattner, G-K, Tignor, M, Allen, SK., Boschung, J, Nauels, A, Xia, Y, Bex, V, Midgley, PM (Eds.), Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA

  • Jia PQ (2001) Study on the effects of volcanic eruption and solar activity on climate in China in recent 50 years. Plateau Meteorol

  • Jiang SX, Yuan YJ, Wei WS, Shang HM, Zhang TW, Zhang RB, Qin L (2016) Early summer temperature history in the Altay Mountains recorded by tree rings during 1579–2009. J Desert Res 36(4):1126–1132 (in Chinese, with English abstract)

    Google Scholar 

  • Jiao L, Jiang Y, Wang MC, Kang XY, Zhang WT, Zhang LG, Zhao SD (2016) Responses to climate change in radial growth of Picea schrenkiana along elevations of the eastern Tianshan Mountains, Northwest China. Dendrochronologia 40:117–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dendro.2016.09.002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Joel M (1987) Cross-validation in statistical climate forecast models. J Appl Meteorol 26(11):1589–1600

    Google Scholar 

  • Jones PD, Jonsson T, Wheeler D (1997) Extension to the North Atlantic oscillation using early instrumental pressure observations from Gibraltar and south-west Iceland. Int J Climatol 17(13):1433–1450

    Google Scholar 

  • Liang EY, Eckstein D, Shao XM (2009) Seasonal cambial activity of relict chinese pine at the northern limit of its natural distribution in North China-exploratory results. IAWA J 30(4):371–378

    Google Scholar 

  • Liu Y (2006) Precipitation variation in the northeastern Tibetan plateau recorded by the tree rings since 850 ad and its relevance to the northern hemisphere temperature. Sci China 4(49):408–420

    Google Scholar 

  • Liu Y, An ZS, Linderholm HW, Chen DL, Song HM, Cai QF, Sun JY, Tian H (2009) Annual temperatures during the last 2485 years in the mid-eastern Tibetan Plateau inferred from tree rings. Sci China Ser D Earth Sci 52(3):348–359

    Google Scholar 

  • Liu J, Wang B, Cane MA, Yim SY, Lee JY (2013) Divergent global precipitation changes induced by natural versus anthropogenic forcing. Nature 493(7434):656–659

    Google Scholar 

  • Man W, Zhou TJ, Jungclaus JH (2014) Effects of large volcanic eruptions on global summer climate and East Asian monsoon changes during the last millennium: analysis of MPI-ESM simulations. J Clim 27(19):7394–7409

    Google Scholar 

  • Matsikaris A, Widmann M, Jungclaus JH (2016) Assimilating continental mean temperatures to reconstruct the climate of the Late Pre-industrial Period. Clim Dyn 46(11):3547–3566

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller GH, Geirsdottir A, Zhong Y, Larsen DJ, Ottobliesner BL, Holland MM, Thordarson T (2012) Abrupt onset of the Little Ice Age triggered by volcanism and sustained by sea-ice/ocean feedbacks. Geophys Res Lett 39(2):1–5. https://doi.org/10.1029/2011GL050168

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ning L, Liu J, Wang Z, Bradley RS (2018) Different influences on the tropical Pacific SST gradient from natural and anthropogenic forcing. Int J Climatol 38(4):2015–2028

    Google Scholar 

  • Rayner NA, Parker DE, Horton EB, Folland CK, Alexander LV, Rowell DP, Kaplan A (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res 108

  • Robertson AW, Mechoso CR, Kim Y (2000) The influence of Atlantic Sea surface temperature anomalies on the North Atlantic Oscillation. J Clim 13(1):122–138

    Google Scholar 

  • Robock A (2000) Volcanic eruptions and climate. Rev Geophys 38(2):191–219

    Google Scholar 

  • Robock A, Mao JP (1992) Winter warming from large volcanic eruptions. Geophys Res Lett 19(24):2405–2408

    Google Scholar 

  • Rodwell MJ, Rowell DP, Folland CK (1999) Oceanic forcing of the wintertime North Atlantic oscillation and European climate. Nature 398(6725):320–323

    Google Scholar 

  • Schmidt A, Ostro B, Carslaw KS, Wilson M, Thordarson T, Mann GW, Simmons AJ (2011) Excess mortality in Europe following a future Laki-style Icelandic eruption. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108(38):15710–15715

    Google Scholar 

  • Schoennagel T, Veblen TT, Romme WH, Sibold JS, Cook ER (2005) ENSO and PDO variability affect drought-induced fire occurrence in rocky mountain subalpine forests. Ecol Appl 15(6):2000–2014

    Google Scholar 

  • Schweingruber FH, Fritts HC, Braker OU, Drew LG, Schar E (1978) The X-ray technique as applied to dendroclimatology. Tree-Ring Bull

  • Seddon AWR, Macias-Fauria M, Long PR, Benz D, Willis KJ (2016) Sensitivity of global terrestrial ecosystems to climate variability. Nature (advance online publication) 7593:229

    Google Scholar 

  • Seim A, Tulyaganov T, Omurova G, Nikolyai L, Linderholm HW (2015) Dendroclimatological potential of three juniper species from the Turkestan range, northwestern Pamir-Alay Mountains, Uzbekistan. Trees 39(3):1–16

    Google Scholar 

  • Shang HM, Wei WS, Yuan YJ, Yu SL, Chen X, Zhang TW, Liu XH (2010) The 150-year precipitation change recorded by tree ring in the central Tianshan Mountains. Arid Zone Res 27(3):443–449 (in Chinese, with English abstract)

    Google Scholar 

  • Shang HM, Wei WS, Yuan YJ, Yu SL, Zhang TW, Zhang RB (2011) Early summer temperature history in northeastern Kazakhstan during the last 310 years recorded by tree rings. J Mt Sci 29:402–408 (in Chinese, with English abstract)

    Google Scholar 

  • Shi F, Yang B, Feng J, Li JP, Yang FM, Guo ZT (2015) Reconstruction of the Northern Hemisphere annual temperature change over the common era derived from tree rings. Quat Sci 35(5):1051–1063 (in Chinese, with English abstract)

    Google Scholar 

  • Splechtna BE, Dobrys J, Klinka K (2000) Tree-ring characteristics of subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.) in relation to elevation and climatic fluctuations. Ann For Sci 57:89–100

    Google Scholar 

  • Steinman BA, Mann ME, Miller SK (2015) Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations and Northern Hemisphere temperatures. Science 347(6225):988–991

    Google Scholar 

  • Trouet V, Oldenborgh GJ (2013) Research tools knmi climate explorer: a web-based research tool for high-resolution paleoclimatology. Tree-Ring Res 69(1):3–13. https://doi.org/10.3959/1536-1098-69.1.3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Trouet V, Esper J, Graham NE, Baker A, Scourse JD, Frank D (2009) Persistent positive North Atlantic Oscillation mode dominated the Medieval climate anomaly. Science 324(5923):78–80

    Google Scholar 

  • Wigley TML, Jones PD, Briffa KR (1987) Cross-dating methods in dendrochronology. J Archaeol Sci 14(1):51–64. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0305-4403(87)80005-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Xin XG, Yu RC, Zhou TJ, Wang B (2006) Drought in late spring of South China in recent decades. J Clim 19(13):3197–3206

    Google Scholar 

  • Yuan YJ, Shao XM, Li JF, Li XJ, Tang FL (2002) Discussion of precipitation information in Xiagansate tree-ring chronology and 326 year precipitation reconstruction. Acta Ecol Sin 22(12):2048–2053 (in Chinese, with English abstract)

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang QB, Cheng GD, Yao TD, Kang XC, Huang JG (2003) A 2,326-year tree-ring record of climate variability on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Geophys Res Lett 30

  • Zhang TW, Yuan YJ, Chen XJ, Fan ZA, Yu SL, Chen F, Shang HM, Zhang RB, Qin L (2015) Tree-ring-width based precipitation for the Mulei region in the East Tianshan Mountains. Quat Sci 35(5):1121–1133 (in Chinese, with English abstract)

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang RB, Yuan YJ, Wei WS, Gou XH, He Q, Shang HM, Zhang TW, Chen F, Bakytbek E, Yu SL, Qin L, Fan ZA (2016a) Tree-ring-based moisture variability in western Tianshan Mountains since A.D. 1882 and its possible driving mechanism. Agric For Meteorol 218-219:267–276. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2015.12.067

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang RB, Yuan YJ, Gou XH, Zhang TW, Zou C, Ji CR, Fan ZJ, Qin L, Shang HM, Li X (2016b) Intra-annual radial growth of Schrenk spruce (Picea schrenkiana Fisch. et Mey) and its response to climate on the northern slopes of the Tianshan Mountains. Dendrochronologia 36–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dendro.2016.06.002

  • Zhang RB, Zhang TW, Kelgenbayev N, He Q, Maisupova B, Mambetov BT, Chen F, Dosmanbetov D, Shang HM, Yu SL, Yuan YJ (2017a) A 189-year tree-ring record of drought for the Dzungarian Alatau, arid Central Asia. J Asian Earth Sci 148:305–314. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2017.05.003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang RB, Shang HM, Yu SL, He Q, Yuan YJ, Bolatov K, Mambetov BT (2017b) Tree-ring-based precipitation reconstruction in southern Kazakhstan, reveals drought variability since A.D. 1770. Int J Climatol 37(2):741–750

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang RB, Wei WS, Shang HM, Yu SL, Gou XH, Qin L, Boatov K, Mambetov BT (2019) A tree ring-based record of annual mass balance changes for the TS. Tuyuksuyskiy Glacier and its linkages to climate change in the Tianshan Mountains. Quat Sci Rev 10–21

  • Zhang RB, Qin L, Shang HM, Yu SL, Gou XH, Mambetov BT, Bolatov K, Zhang WJ, Ainur U, Bolatova A (2020) Climatic change in southern Kazakhstan since 1850 C.E. inferred from tree rings. Int J Biometeorol 64(5):841–851

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhu HF, Shao XM, Yin ZY, Xu P, Xu Y, Tian H (2011) August temperature variability in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau since AD 1385 inferred from tree rings. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 305(1):84–92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2011.02.017

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Feng Chen, Mingqi Li, Tongwen Zhang, Shulong Yu, Huaming Shang, and Shengxia Jiang for helps.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China Projects (41975110, 41805130), Key Laboratory Opening Foundation of Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region (2019D04002) and Tianshan Cedar Project of Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region (2019XS12).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Li Qin or Xinjian Li.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Peng, Z., Qin, L., Li, X. et al. Tree-ring-based temperature reconstruction since 1766 ce in the eastern Tianshan Mountains, arid Central Asia. Theor Appl Climatol 142, 687–699 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-020-03326-w

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-020-03326-w

Keywords

  • Tree rings
  • Schrenk spruce (Picea schrenkiana Fisch. et Mey)
  • Temperature reconstruction
  • Eastern Tianshan Mountains
  • Arid Central Asia