Tree-ring reconstruction of seasonal mean minimum temperature at Mt. Yaoshan, China, since 1873 and its relevance to 20th-century warming
Y. Liu1,2, Y. Zhang1,3, H. Song1,3, Y. Ma1,3, Q. Cai1, and Y. Wang1,2,31The State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710075, China 2School of Human Settlement and Civil Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China 3The University of the Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100049, China
Received: 26 Dec 2013 – Accepted for review: 25 Feb 2014 – Discussion started: 06 Mar 2014
Abstract. It is very important to comprehend the climate variations in the vast regions of Central Plains of China. Current knowledge about climate changes of the past few hundred years in this region is primarily based on historical documents, and lack of evidences from the natural archives. However, these documents had somewhat artificially effects caused by the recorders, and not sufficient to fully understand natural climatic changes. In this paper, based on a significant correlation between the tree-ring width of Chinese Pine and observed instrumental data in the Mt. Yaoshan, China, we formulated a transfer function to reconstruct the mean minimum temperature (MMinT) from the previous December to the current June (Tmin_DJ) for the period 1873–2011. The reconstruction explained 39.8% of the instrumental variance during the calibration period of 1958–2011. High Tmin_DJ intervals with values greater than the 139 year average occurred in 1932–1965 and 1976–2006. The intervals 1878–1894 and 1906–1931 experienced a Tmin_DJ lower than the 139 year average. The ten highest Tmin_DJ years occurred after the 1950s, especially after 1996. A distinct upward trend in the Tmin_DJ series beginning in the 1910s was apparent, and the highest value occurred around 2000. The 20th-century warming signal was captured well by the Yaoshan Tmin_DJ temperature reconstruction, indicating that the temperature rise in the sensitive Central Plains of China region reflected the global temperature change. The Tmin_DJ reconstruction also matched several other temperature series in China with similar warm-cold patterns. The distinct spatial correlation between both observed and reconstructed series and CRU TS3.10 grid data indicates that our results may represent Tmin_DJ changes on a larger scale. The spatial correlation with sea surface temperature (SST) indicated that observed and reconstructed Tmin_DJ temperatures in the Mt. Yaoshan are closely linked to the West Pacific, Indian and North Atlantic Oceans as well as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
Liu, Y., Zhang, Y., Song, H., Ma, Y., Cai, Q., and Wang, Y.: Tree-ring reconstruction of seasonal mean minimum temperature at Mt. Yaoshan, China, since 1873 and its relevance to 20th-century warming, Clim. Past Discuss., 10, 859-894, doi:10.5194/cpd-10-859-2014, 2014.