500-yr. precipitation variability in Southern Taihang Mountains, China, and its linkages to ENSO and PDO

Abstract

An annually resolved and absolutely dated ring-width chronology spanning 657 yrs. is constructed with Whitebark pine (Pinus bungeana Zucc.) samples from the southern Taihang Mountains, Eastern China. On the basis of a significant correlation between the tree-ring width index and observed instrumental data, precipitation in current May is reconstructed for the region since AD 1510, with predictor variables accounting for 37.9 % of the variance in precipitation data. In agreement with other drought reconstructions, notable dry spells occur in the 1630s–1650s, 1680s–1700s, and 1770s–1800s, whereas wet periods prevail in the 1530s–1570s, 1840s–1870s, and 1950s-present. Wavelet analysis reveals clear 2–8, 20–40, and 80–130 yrs cycles at the 95 % confidence level for the reconstructed series over the past 500 yrs, suggesting possible linkages with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Correlation analysis between the tree-ring series, ENSO, and PDO index further demonstrates that precipitation is negatively correlated with PDO and ENSO in the long term.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China ‘973’ (No. 2012CB956201), the Basic Research Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology (No. 2011FY120300), and the National Science Foundation of China (No. 41001058), LCS Open Funds for Young Scholars (2015). Particular thanks are due to three anonymous reviewers for their critical and valuable comments on the early manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yong Zhang.

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This article is part of a Special Issue on “Decadal Scale Drought in Arid Regions” edited by Zong-Liang Yang and Zhuguo Ma.

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Zhang, Y., Tian, Q., Guillet, S. et al. 500-yr. precipitation variability in Southern Taihang Mountains, China, and its linkages to ENSO and PDO. Climatic Change 144, 419–432 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-016-1695-0

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Keywords

  • Pacific Decadal Oscillation
  • East Asian Winter Monsoon
  • Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index
  • Express Population Signal
  • Precipitation Reconstruction