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Warm-season temperature reconstruction from high-elevation juniper tree rings over the past millennium in the Pamir region

Opała-Owczarek, Magdalena
Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology 2019 v.532 pp. 109248
altitude, climate, climate change, cold, dendroclimatology, growth rings, mountains, paleoclimatology, summer, temperature, variance, warm season, Central Asia, China
Despite the great interest in the study of climate change in Central Asia, there are still research gaps; the spatial distribution of the natural proxy data is uneven, and our knowledge of past climate variability is incomplete. Recently many investigations have focused mainly on the region of the Tibetan Plateau and Tian Shan Mountains. Dendroclimatological field research in the western and central parts of the Pamir-Alay Mountains was conducted in the summer of 2015, within glacial cirques at elevations above 3000 m. On the basis of 49 juniper samples with northern exposures, warm season (May–September) Tmin values were reconstructed from 1301 to 2015 a.d. The reconstruction explains 53.6% of the actual temperature variance during the period 1941–1990. On the basis of the newly-developed paleoclimatological record, the time and duration of the MWP, TP, and LIA was established for the Pamir region. Close agreement between other temperature-related proxy records suggest that the reconstruction is highly reliable and captures the regional cold/warm periods of Central Asia. Therefore, the results of this study can contribute to understanding historical temperature changes in the Pamir region and its surroundings.