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Covarying Hydroclimate Patterns between Monsoonal Asia and North America over the Past 600 Years

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  • 1 Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland, and Key Laboratory of Humid Subtropical Eco-geographical Process (Ministry of Education), College of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, China
  • 2 Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 3 Department of Geography, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • 4 Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
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Abstract

Proxy data with large spatial coverage spanning to the preindustrial era not only provide invaluable material to investigate hydroclimate changes in different regions but also enable studies on temporal changes in the teleconnections between these regions. Applying the singular value decomposition (SVD) method to tree-ring-based field reconstructions of the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) over monsoonal Asia (MA) and North America (NA) from 1404 to 2005, the dominant covarying pattern between the two regions is identified. This pattern is represented by the teleconnection between the dipole pattern of southern–northern latitudinal MA and the dipole of southwest NA (SWNA)–northwest NA (NWNA), which accounts for 59.6% of the total covariance. It is dominated by an antiphase low MA and SWNA teleconnection, driven by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and is most significant at an interannual time scale. This teleconnection is strengthened (weakened) in periods of increased (decreased) solar forcing and high (low) temperature, which is associated with intensified (weakened) ENSO variability. Additional forcing by SST anomalies in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans appears to be important too.

Corresponding author address: Keyan Fang, Department of Geosciences and Geography, P.O. Box 64, 00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. E-mail: kujanfan@gmail.com

Abstract

Proxy data with large spatial coverage spanning to the preindustrial era not only provide invaluable material to investigate hydroclimate changes in different regions but also enable studies on temporal changes in the teleconnections between these regions. Applying the singular value decomposition (SVD) method to tree-ring-based field reconstructions of the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) over monsoonal Asia (MA) and North America (NA) from 1404 to 2005, the dominant covarying pattern between the two regions is identified. This pattern is represented by the teleconnection between the dipole pattern of southern–northern latitudinal MA and the dipole of southwest NA (SWNA)–northwest NA (NWNA), which accounts for 59.6% of the total covariance. It is dominated by an antiphase low MA and SWNA teleconnection, driven by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and is most significant at an interannual time scale. This teleconnection is strengthened (weakened) in periods of increased (decreased) solar forcing and high (low) temperature, which is associated with intensified (weakened) ENSO variability. Additional forcing by SST anomalies in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans appears to be important too.

Corresponding author address: Keyan Fang, Department of Geosciences and Geography, P.O. Box 64, 00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. E-mail: kujanfan@gmail.com
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