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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 14 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 14 Aug 2019

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

A 424-year tree-ring based PDSI reconstruction of Cedrus deodara D. Don from Chitral HinduKush Range of Pakistan: linkages to the ocean oscillations

Sarir Ahmad1,2, Liangjun Zhu1,2, Sumaira Yasmeen1,2, Yuandong Zhang3, Zongshan Li4, Sami Ullah5, and Xiaochun Wang1,2 Sarir Ahmad et al.
  • 1Center for Ecological Research, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Management-Ministry of Education, School of Forestry, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Environment, State Forestry Administration, Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 5Department of Forestry, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Sheringal, Dir Upper, Pakistan

Abstract. Currently, the rate of global warming has led to persistent drought patterns. It is considered to be the preliminary reason affecting socio-economic development under the background of dynamic forecasting of water supply and forest ecosystems in West Asia. However, long-term climate records in the semi-arid Chitral mountains of northern Pakistan are seriously lacking. Therefore, we developed a new tree-ring width chronology of Cedrus deodara spanning the period of 1537–2017. We reconstructed the March-August Palmer Drought Sensitivity Index (PDSI) for the past 424 years back to A.D. 1593. Our reconstruction was featured with nine dry and eight wet periods 1593–1598, 1602–1608, 1631–1645, 1647–1660, 1756–1765, 1785–1800, 1870–1878, 1917–1923, 1981–1995, and 1663–1675, 1687–1708, 1771–1773, 1806–1814, 1844–1852, 1932–1935, 1965–1969 and 1996–2003, respectively. This reconstruction is consistent with other dendroclimatic reconstructions in west Asia, confirming its reliability. The analysis of the Multi-Taper Method and wavelet analysis revealed drought variability at periodicities of 2.1–2.4, 3.3, 6, 16.8, and 34–38 years. The drought patterns could be linked to the broad-scale atmospheric-oceanic variability such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) and solar activity. In terms of current climate conditions, our findings have important implications for developing drought-resistant policies in communities on the fringes of Hindu Kush mountain Ranges in northern Pakistan.

Sarir Ahmad et al.
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Sarir Ahmad et al.
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