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Regional difference of the start time of the recent warming in Eastern China: prompted by a 165-year temperature record deduced from tree rings in the Dabie Mountains

Cai, Qiufang, Liu, Yu, Duan, Bingchuang, Sun, Changfeng
Climate dynamics 2018 v.50 no.5-6 pp. 2157-2168
Pinus taiwanensis, carbon sequestration, dendroclimatology, forests, global warming, growth rings, mountains, subtropics, temperature, variance, China
Tree-ring studies from tropical to subtropical regions are rarer than that from extratropical regions, which greatly limit our understanding of some critical climate change issues. Based on the tree-ring-width chronology of samples collected from the Dabie Mountains, we reconstructed the April–June mean temperature for this region with an explained variance of 46.8%. Five cold (1861–1869, 1889–1899, 1913–1920, 1936–1942 and 1952–1990) and three warm (1870–1888, 1922–1934 and 2000–2005) periods were identified in the reconstruction. The reconstruction not only agreed well with the instrumental records in and around the study area, but also showed good resemblance to previous temperature reconstructions from nearby regions, indicating its spatial and temporal representativeness of the temperature variation in the central part of eastern China. Although no secular warming trend was found, the warming trend since 1970 was unambiguous in the Dabie Mountains (0.064 °C/year). Further temperature comparison indicated that the start time of the recent warming in eastern China was regional different. It delayed gradually from north to south, starting at least around 1940 AD in the north part, around 1970 AD in the central part and around 1980s in the south part. This work enriches the high-resolution temperature reconstructions in eastern China. We expect that climate warming in the future would promote the radial growth of alpine Pinus taiwanensis in the subtropical areas of China, therefore promote the carbon capture and carbon storage in the Pinus taiwanensis forest. It also helps to clarify the regional characteristic of recent warming in eastern China.