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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-141
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-141
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 Oct 2018

Research article | 29 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Warm-season hydroclimate variability in Central China since 1866 AD and its relations with the East Asian Summer Monsoon: evidence from tree-ring earlywood width

Yesi Zhao1,2, Jiangfeng Shi1,3, Shiyuan Shi1, Xiaoqi Ma1, Weijie Zhang1, Bowen Wang1, Xuguang Sun4, Huayu Lu1, and Achim Bräuning2 Yesi Zhao et al.
  • 1School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • 2Institute of Geography, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen 91058, Germany
  • 3Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721, USA
  • 4School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China

Abstract. Historical hydroclimate records derived from tree-ring parameters are scarce in the core region of East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) in China, limiting our understanding of the inter-decadal hydroclimate variability of this region and its possible connections with the EASM. In this study, standard chronologies of total tree-ring width (TRW), earlywood width (EWW), and latewood width (LWW) were created using tree-ring samples of Pinus tabulaeformis in the eastern Qinling Mountains, Central China. The strongest growth-climate relationship was found between EWW and May–July self-calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index (MJJ scPDSI). Therefore, a linear regression model, which explained 50.3% of the variance in MJJ scPDSI (1951–2005), was developed to estimate the past MJJ scPDSI variations using EWW. The time series of MJJ scPDSI was extended back to the year 1866, and validated by independent hydroclimate series from nearby regions. Before the mid-1950s, the variations of MJJ scPDSI were in-phase with those of EASM intensity on decadal and longer timescales, suggesting that wet conditions would occur in the eastern Qinling Mountains when EASM was strengthened. Since the mid-1950s, however, the relationship has been out-of-phase. This phase change may be associated with an intensified dipole pattern of EASM precipitation.

Yesi Zhao et al.
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Short summary
Variations of May–July self-calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index (scPDSI) for Central China were reconstructed back to 1866 AD using a tree-ring earlywood width chronology of Pinus tabulaeformis. On decadal and longer timescales, the response of scPDSI to East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) intensity has shifted from in-phase to out-of-phase relationship after the mid-1950s, which might be associated with the intensified dipole pattern of EASM precipitation.
Variations of May–July self-calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index (scPDSI) for Central China...
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