Millennium tree-ring reconstruction of drought variability in the eastern Qilian Mountains, northwest China

Gou, Xiaohua; Deng, Yang; Gao, Linlin; Chen, Fahu; Cook, Edward R.; Yang, Meixue; Zhang, Fen

Knowledge of natural long-term drought variability is essential for water resource management and planning, especially in arid and sub-arid regions of the world. In the eastern Qilian Mountains of China, long-term drought variability based on high-resolution proxy records such as tree-ring data are still scarce to date. Here we present a new tree-ring chronology from the eastern Qilian Mountains which provides a valuable 1,002-year record (1009–2010 CE) of drought variability. The new reconstruction of June–July 5-month scale standardized precipitation and evapotranspiration index is the first millennium tree-ring estimate of past climate developed in the eastern Qilian Mountains. The record shows that this region has experienced several persistent droughts and pluvials over the past millennium, with significantly drier climate during the fifteenth century and dramatic wetting since the nineteenth century. The low frequency generally agrees with other nearby studies based on both tree-ring data and other proxy data.

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Also Published In

Climate Dynamics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Tree Ring Lab
Published Here
September 29, 2015