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Keyan Fang, Xiaohua Gou, Fahu Chen, Edward Cook, Jinbao Li, Brendan Buckley, and Rosanne D’Arrigo

Abstract

A preliminary study of a point-by-point spatial precipitation reconstruction for northwestern (NW) China is explored, based on a tree-ring network of 132 chronologies. Precipitation variations during the past ~200–400 yr (the common reconstruction period is from 1802 to 1990) are reconstructed for 26 stations in NW China from a nationwide 160-station dataset. The authors introduce a “search spatial correlation contour” method to locate candidate tree-ring predictors for the reconstruction data of a given climate station. Calibration and verification results indicate that most precipitation reconstruction models are acceptable, except for a few reconstructions (stations Hetian, Hami, Jiuquan, and Wuwei) with degraded quality. Additionally, the authors compare four spatial precipitation factors in the instrumental records and reconstructions derived from a rotated principal component analysis (RPCA). The northern and southern Xinjiang factors from the instrumental and reconstructed data agree well with each other. However, differences in spatial patterns between the instrumentation and reconstruction data are also found for the other two factors, which probably result from the relatively poor quality of a few stations. Major drought events documented in previous studies—for example, from the 1920s through the 1930s for the eastern part of NW China—are reconstructed in this study.

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Keyan Fang, Xiaohua Gou, Fahu Chen, Edward Cook, Jinbao Li, Brendan Buckley, and Rosanne D’Arrigo
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