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Keyan Fang, Deliang Chen, Jinbao Li, and Heikki Seppä

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.

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