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Spatial drought reconstructions for central High Asia based on tree rings

Fang, Keyan, Davi, Nicole, Gou, Xiaohua, Chen, Fahu, Cook, Edward, Li, Jinbao, D'Arrigo, Rosanne
Climate dynamics 2010 v.35 no.6 pp. 941-951
drought, growth rings, regression analysis, Asia
Spatial reconstructions of drought for central High Asia based on a tree-ring network are presented. Drought patterns for central High Asia are classified into western and eastern modes of variability. Tree-ring based reconstructions of the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) are presented for both the western central High Asia drought mode (1587-2005), and for the eastern central High Asia mode (1660-2005). Both reconstructions, generated using a principal component regression method, show an increased variability in recent decades. The wettest epoch for both reconstructions occurred from the 1940s to the 1950s. The most extreme reconstructed drought for western central High Asia was from the 1640s to the 1650s, coinciding with the collapse of the Chinese Ming Dynasty. The eastern central High Asia reconstruction has shown a distinct tendency towards drier conditions since the 1980s. Our spatial reconstructions agree well with previous reconstructions that fall within each mode, while there is no significant correlation between the two spatial reconstructions.