Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Deciphering climate response variation along the Western Ghats of India archived in teak ring width

Theoretical and Applied Climatology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Latent heat released during orographic precipitation over the Western Ghat (WG) Mountain drives the Indian Summer Monsoon. Instrumental data record a considerable spatiotemporal variation of rainfall amount along the mountain. Although Indian teak (Tectona grandis LF) samples from WG have been used earlier for reconstructing past monsoon rainfall, the effect of rainfall variation on the annual ring growth pattern along the mountain has not been extensively studied yet. To address this issue, tree-ring width data series from three locations—Dahanu (1763 -1985), Nagerhole (1703–2016), and Tekkedy (1785–2003) are presented in this study. The locations are situated along WG from north to south. Monthly mean rainfall data obtained from the nearest observatories show a decreasing (increasing) rainfall amount from north to south during summer monsoon (pre and post-monsoon) . We obtain a significant positive correlation between ring width indices and monsoon rainfall and a negative correlation with summer (especially May) temperature suggesting a contrasting response of summer temperature and monsoon rain on teak growth. The correlation between rainfall and ring width varies from southern to northern WG (both in significance level and the number of months with significant correlation). While the southernmost location exhibits positive (significant) correlations for both pre and summer monsoon months, the correlations are found for only two summer monsoonal months in the northernmost location. This spatial correlation trend reflects the variation of the pre-monsoon to monsoon rainfall ratio observed in our study locations. This observation is further substantiated by soil moisture-ring width relationship. Furthermore, our study shows that ring width indices respond to a variation of western equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature and vapor pressure deficit. Our study, therefore, suggests that the Indian teak samples can be used for understanding regional and seasonal scale rainfall/soil moisture variation along the WG and teleconnection studies.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

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

Code Availability

The codes for tree ring data analyses are available at the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research website, The University of Arizona: https://ltrr.arizona.edu/research/software. For other plots, open-source software Ferret (https://ferret.pmel.noaa.gov/Ferret/downloads) and a licensed version of Microsoft Office are used.

Data availability

The ring width data are available upon reasonable request to the corresponding author. Observed rainfall and temperature data are available from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), and soil moisture data can be obtained from the website https://esa-soilmoisture-cci.org/.

References

  • Ananthakrishnan R, Soman MK (1988) The onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala: 1901--1980. J Climatol 8(3):283–296

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Arora M, Goel NK, Singh P (2005) Evaluation of temperature trends over India / Evaluation de tendances de température en Inde. Hydrological Sciences Journal 50(1):93. https://doi.org/10.1623/hysj.50.1.81.56330

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Borgaonkar HP, Sikder AB, Ram S, Pant GB (2010) El Niño and related monsoon drought signals in 523-year-long ring-width records of teak (Tectona grandis LF) trees from south India. Paleogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 285(1–2):74–84

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buckley BM, Palakit K, Duangsathaporn K, Sanguantham P, Prasomsin P (2007) Decadal scale droughts over northwestern Thailand over the past 448 years: links to the tropical Pacific and the Indian Ocean sectors. Clim Dyn 29(1):63–71

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Champion SH, Seth SK (1968) A revised survey of the forest types of India. Publisher-Manager of Publications, Delhi

    Google Scholar 

  • Chaturvedi RK, Raghubanshi AS, Singh JS (2013) Growth of tree seedlings in a tropical dry forest in relation to soil moisture and leaf traits. J Plant Ecol 6(2):158–170

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chowdhury KA, others (1940) The formation of growth rings in Indian trees. Part III. A study of the effect of locality. Indian Forest Records (Utilization) 2:59–75

    Google Scholar 

  • Cook ER, Kairiukstis LA (1990) Methods of dendrochronology: applications in the environmental sciences. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, p 394

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • D’Arrigo R, Palmer J, Ummenhofer CC, Kyaw NN, Krusic P (2011) Three centuries of Myanmar monsoon climate variability inferred from teak tree rings. Geophysical Research Letters 38:L24705. https://doi.org/10.1029/2011GL049927

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Das PK, Chakraborty A, Seshasai MVR (2014) Spatial analysis of temporal trend of rainfall and rainy days during the Indian Summer Monsoon season using daily gridded (0.5$\times$ 0.5) rainfall data for the period of 1971--2005. Meteorol Appl 21(3):481–493

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dorigo W, Wagner W, Albergel C, Albrecht F, Balsamo G, Brocca L et al (2017) ESA CCI Soil Moisture for improved Earth system understanding: state-of-the-art and future directions. Remote Sens Environ 203:185–215

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fritts H (2012) Tree rings and climate. Elsevier

    Google Scholar 

  • Gadgil S, Gadgil S (2006) The Indian Monsoon, GDP and Agriculture. Economic and Political Weekly 41(47):4887–4895. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4418949

  • Gruber A, Scanlon T, van der Schalie R, Wagner W, Dorigo W (2019) Evolution of the ESA CCI Soil Moisture climate data records and their underlying merging methodology. Earth System Science Data 11(2):717–739

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guhathakurta P, Rajeevan M (2008) Trends in the rainfall pattern over India. Int J Climatol 28(11):1453–1469

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Halder S, Parekh A, Chowdary JS, Gnanaseelan C (2022) Dynamical and moist thermodynamical processes associated with Western Ghats rainfall decadal variability. Npj Climate and Atmospheric Science 5(1):8. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-022-00232-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris I, Osborn TJ, Jones P, Lister D (2020) Version 4 of the CRU TS monthly high-resolution gridded multivariate climate dataset. Scientific Data 7(1):1–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holmes RL (1983) Computer-assisted quality control in tree-ring dating and measurement. Tree-Ring Bulletin 43:69–78

    Google Scholar 

  • Holmes RL (1992) Program ARSTAN (Version B-1992). Laboratory of Tree-ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson USA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kothawale DR, Munot AA, Kumar KK (2010) Surface air temperature variability over India during 1901--2007, and its association with ENSO. Clim Res 42(2):89–104

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Krishna Kumar K, Rupa Kumar K, Ashrit RG, Deshpande NR, Hansen JW (2004) Climate impacts on Indian agriculture. Int J Climatol 24(11):1375–1393

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Krishnakumar KN, Rao GP, Gopakumar CS (2009) Rainfall trends in twentieth century over Kerala. India Atmos Environ 43(11):1940–1944

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Krishnan R, Sabin TP, Ayantika DC, Kitoh A, Sugi M, Murakami H et al (2013) Will the South Asian monsoon overturning circulation stabilize any further? Clim Dyn 40(1–2):187–211

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Managave S, Sreeman S, Bhattacharyya A, Ramesh R (2011) Intra-annual variations of teak cellulose δ18O in Kerala, India: implications to the reconstruction of past summer and winter monsoon rains. Clim Dyn 37:555–567. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-010-0917-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Muangsong C, Cai B, Pumijumnong N, Hu C, Lei G (2016) Intra-seasonal variability of teak tree-ring cellulose $δ$18O from northwestern Thailand: a potential proxy of Thailand summer monsoon rainfall. The Holocene 26(9):1397–1405

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mudbhatkal A, Amai M (2018) Regional climate trends and topographic influence over the Western Ghat catchments of India. Int J Climatol 38(5):2265–2279

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mujumdar M, Goswami MM, Morrison R, Evans JG, Ganeshi N, Sabade SS et al (2021) A study of field-scale soil moisture variability using the COsmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing System (COSMOS) at IITM Pune site. J Hydrol 597:126102

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pandey D, Brown C (2000) Teak: a global overview. Unasylva. 201(51):3–13

    Google Scholar 

  • Pangaluru K, Velicogna I, Mohajerani Y, Ciracì E, Charakola S, Basha G, Rao SVB (2019) Soil moisture variability in India: relationship of land surface–atmosphere fields using maximum covariance analysis. Remote Sens 11(3):335

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pai DS, Sridhar L, Rajeevan M, Sreejith OP, Satbhai NS, Mukhopadyay B (2014) Development of a new high spatial resolution (0.25° × 0.25°) long period (1901-2010) daily gridded rainfall data set over India and its comparison with existing data sets over the region, MAUSAM 65(1):1–18. https://doi.org/10.54302/mausam.v65i1.851

  • Parthasarathy B, Munot AA, Kothawale DR (1994) All-India monthly and seasonal rainfall series: 1871--1993. Theor Appl Climatol 49(4):217–224

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pascal JP, Ramesh BR, Franceschi DD (2004) Wet evergreen forest types of the southern Western Ghats. India Trop Ecol 45(2):281–292

    Google Scholar 

  • Patwardhan SK, Asnani GC (2000) Meso-scale distribution of summer monsoon rainfall near the Western Ghats (India). Int J Climatol 20(5):575–581

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pumijumnong N (2013) Dendrochronology in Southeast Asia. Trees 27(2):343–358

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Prakash S, Sathiyamoorthy V, Mahesh C, Gairola RM (2013) Is summer monsoon rainfall over the west coast of India decreasing? Atmos Sci Lett 14(3):160–163

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Priya PB, Bhat KM (1997) Wood anatomical changes in juvenile teak due to insect defoliation. IAWA J 18(3):311–317

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rajendran K, Kitoh A, Srinivasan J, Mizuta R, Krishnan R (2012) Monsoon circulation interaction with Western Ghats orography under changing climate: projection by a 20-km mesh AGCM. Theor Appl Climatol 110(4):555–571. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-012-0690-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rajsekhar D, Mishra AK, Singh VP (2013) Regionalization of drought characteristics using an entropy approach. J Hydrol Eng 18(7):870–887

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ram S, Borgaonkar HP, Sikder AB (2008) Tree-ring analysis of teak (Tectona grandis LF) in central India and its relationship with rainfall and moisture index. J Earth Syst Sci 117(5):637

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ram S, Borgaonkar HP, Sikder AB (2010) Varying strength of the relationship between tree-rings and summer month moisture index (April--September) over Central India: a case study. Quat Int 212(1):70–75

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ram S, Borgaonkar HP, Sikder AB (2011) Growth and climate relationship in teak trees from Conolly’s plot. South India Curr Sci 100(5):630–633

    Google Scholar 

  • Räsänen TA, Lindgren V, Guillaume JHA, Buckley BM, Kummu M (2016) On the spatial and temporal variability of ENSO precipitation and drought teleconnection in mainland Southeast Asia. Clim Past 12(9):1889–1905

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Revadekar JV, Varikoden H, Murumkar PK, Ahmed SA (2018) Latitudinal variation in summer monsoon rainfall over Western Ghat of India and its association with global sea surface temperatures. Sci Total Environ 613:88–97

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sanjay J, Revadekar JV, Ramarao MVS, Borgaonkar H, Sengupta S, Kothawale DR et al (2020) Temperature changes in India. Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region: A Report of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). Government of India, pp 21–45

    Google Scholar 

  • Sebastian DE, Ganguly S, Krishnaswamy J, Duffy K, Nemani R, Ghosh S (2019) Multi-scale association between vegetation growth and climate in India: a wavelet analysis approach. Remote Sens 11(22):2703

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sengupta S, Borgaonkar H, Joy RM, Ram S (2018) Monsoon climate response in Indian teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) along a transect from coast to inland. Theor Appl Climatol 134(3–4). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-017-2334-z

  • Shah SK, Bhattacharyya A, Chaudhary V (2007) Reconstruction of June-September precipitation based on tree-ring data of teak (Tectona grandis L.) from Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh, India. Dendrochronologia 25(1):57–64

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sinha SK, Vijendra Rao R, Deepak MS (2017) Influence of climate on the total vessel lumen area in annual rings of teak (Tectona grandis Lf) from Western Ghats of Central Karnataka. India Trop Ecol 58(1):167–175

    Google Scholar 

  • Soman MK, Kumar Krishna K, Singh N (1988) Decreasing trend in the rainfall of Kerala. Curr Sci 97(1):7–12

    Google Scholar 

  • Stokes MA (1996) An introduction to tree-ring dating. University of Arizona Press

    Google Scholar 

  • Surendran U, Sandeep O, Joseph EJ (2016) The impacts of magnetic treatment of irrigation water on plant, water and soil characteristics. Agric Water Manag 178:21–29

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thomas J, Abe G (2013) Spatio temporal soil moisture variability in two micro watersheds: a study from Western Ghats Kerala, India. Int J Earth Sci Eng 6:1195–1202

    Google Scholar 

  • Upadhyay KK, Shah SK, Roy A, Tripathi SK (2021) Dendroclimatology of teak indicates prevailing climatic conditions of tropical moist forests in India. Ecol Indic 129:107888

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Varikoden H, Revadekar JV, Kuttippurath J, Babu CA (2019) Contrasting trends in southwest monsoon rainfall over the Western Ghats region of India. Clim Dyn 52(7–8). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-018-4397-7

  • Venegas-González A, Chagas MP, Júnior CRA, Alvares CA, Roig FA, Tomazello Filho M (2016) Sensitivity of tree ring growth to local and large-scale climate variability in a region of Southeastern Brazil. Theor Appl Climatol 123(1–2):233–245

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Venkatesh B, Jose MK (2007) Identification of homogeneous rainfall regimes in parts of Western Ghats region of Karnataka. J Earth Syst Sci 116:321–329

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Venkatesh B, Lakshman N, Purandara BK, Reddy VB (2011) Analysis of observed soil moisture patterns under different land covers in Western Ghats. India J Hydrol 397(3-4):281–294

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang B, Ding Q, Joseph PV (2009) Objective definition of the Indian summer monsoon onset. J Clim 22(12):3303–3316

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wells N, Goddard S, Hayes MJ (2004) A self-calibrating Palmer drought severity index. J Clim 17(12):2335–2351

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhou B, Zheng H, Yang W, Taylor D, Lu Y, Wei G, Li L, Wang H (2012) Climate and vegetation variations since the LGM recorded by biomarkers from a sediment core in the northern South China Sea. J Quat Sci 27(9):948–955

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zaw Z, Fan Z-X, Bräuning A, Xu C-X, Liu W-J, Gaire NP, Panthi S (2020) Drought reconstruction over the past two centuries in southern Myanmar using teak tree-rings: Linkages to the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Geophys Res Lett 47(10):e2020GL087627

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zaw Z, Fan ZX, Bräuning A, Liu W, Gaire NP, Than KZ, Panthi S (2021) Monsoon precipitation variations in Myanmar since AD 1770: linkage to tropical ocean-atmospheric circulations. Clim Dyn 56:3337–3352

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The Director of IITM, Dr. R. Krishnan, is acknowledged for his constant encouragement. We sincerely acknowledge the forest departments of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala for their cooperation and help in fieldwork and India Meteorological Department, Pune, for providing the meteorological data. Mr. Omkar Karekar and Ms. Bhgyashree assisted in sample processing and chronology preparation. The Palaeo-Constraints on Monsoon Evolution and Dynamics (PACMEDY) project of Belmont Forum supported the fieldwork in Karnataka. The Indian Space Research Organization-Geosphere Biosphere Program (ISRO-GBP) supported other field trips. We sincerely thank Dr. Christian Bernhofer and two anonymous reviewers for their critical and thoughtful comments and suggestions. 

Funding

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune (IITM), is fully funded by the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, India. The fieldwork in Karnataka work was supported by the Palaeo-Constraints on Monsoon Evolution and Dynamics (PACMEDY) project of Belmont Forum. The Indian Space Research Organization-Geosphere Biosphere Program (ISRO-GBP) (Project no. 9/1(5)/2000 II) supported other field trips. The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune (IITM) is fully supported by the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, India.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

SS and HB: conceptualization, fieldwork, data analyses, manuscript writing. AD and AG: fieldwork, sample processing, data analysis, and manuscript correction.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Saikat Sengupta.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

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

Key message

Teak ring width-rainfall correlations along the Western Ghat Mountain, studied for the first time, show that ring widths respond to the variation of the pre-monsoon: monsoon rainfall ratio along the mountain.

Supplementary information

ESM 1

(DOCX 3327 kb)

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sengupta, S., Borgaonkar, H., Datye, A. et al. Deciphering climate response variation along the Western Ghats of India archived in teak ring width. Theor Appl Climatol 154, 847–861 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-023-04590-2

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-023-04590-2

Keywords

Navigation