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Evaluating the performance of five twentieth-century reanalysis datasets in reproducing the severe drought in northern China during the 1920s-1930s

Luo, Meng, Feng, Jinming, Xu, Zhongfeng, Wang, Yongli, Dan, Li
Theoretical and applied climatology 2019 v.137 no.1-2 pp. 187-199
El Nino, data collection, dendrochronology, drought, China, Yellow River
Drought is the major natural disaster that affects northern China and has regional distinctions in duration, strength, and spatial range. Using five sets of twentieth-century reanalysis data, we investigated a decadal-scale extreme drought recorded in historical documents and tree-ring chronologies during late 1920s to early 1930s. The results indicated that the characteristics of drought were different in North China and the middle reach of the Yellow River. Drought in North China showed an interannual variation coinciding strongly with El Niño. For the middle reach of the Yellow River, a persistently dry period lasting from 1922 to 1932 was found, while the driest years were 1928 and 1929.The dataset ERA-20C had better performance than other reanalysis datasets in both regions. The drought that happened in North China during these years may have been primarily determined by ENSO. The joint impact of PDO and AMO may have been responsible for the decadal dry anomaly in the middle reach of the Yellow River.