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Hydroclimate Variations in Central and Monsoonal Asia over the Past 700 Years

Fang, Keyan; Chen, Fahu; Sen, Asok K.; Davi, Nicole K.; Huang, Wen; Li, Jinbao; Seppa, Heikki

Hydroclimate variations since 1300 in central and monsoonal Asia and their interplay on interannual and interdecadal timescales are investigated using the tree-ring based Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) reconstructions. Both the interannual and interdecadal variations in both regions are closely to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). On interannual timescale, the most robust correlations are observed between PDO and hydroclimate in central Asia. Interannual hydroclimate variations in central Asia are more significant during the warm periods with high solar irradiance, which is likely due to the enhanced variability of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, the high-frequency component of PDO, during the warm periods. We observe that the periods with significant interdecadal hydroclimate changes in central Asia often correspond to periods without significant interdecadal variability in monsoonal Asia, particularly before the 19th century. The PDO-hydroclimate relationships appear to be bridged by the atmospheric circulation between central North Pacific Ocean and Tibetan Plateau, a key area of PDO. While, in some periods the atmospheric circulation between central North Pacific Ocean and monsoonal Asia may lead to significant interdecadal hydroclimate variations in monsoonal Asia.

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Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
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September 27, 2015
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