Synchronous multi-decadal climate variability of the whole Pacific areas revealed in tree rings since 1567

Fang, Keyan; Cook, Edward R.; Guo, Zhengtang; Chen, Deliang; Ou, Tinghai; Zhao, Yan

Oceanic and atmospheric patterns play a crucial role in modulating climate variability from interannual to multi-decadal timescales by causing large-scale co-varying climate changes. The brevity of the existing instrumental records hinders the ability to recognize climate patterns before the industrial era, which can be alleviated using proxies. Unfortunately, proxy based reconstructions of oceanic and atmospheric modes of the past millennia often have modest agreements with each other before the instrumental period, raising questions about the robustness of the reconstructions. To ensure the stability of climate signals in proxy data through time, we first identified tree-ring datasets from distant regions containing coherent variations in Asia and North America, and then interpreted their climate information. We found that the multi-decadal covarying climate patterns of the middle and high latitudinal regions around the northern Pacific Ocean agreed quite well with the climate reconstructions of the tropical and southern Pacific areas. This indicates a synchronous variability at the multi-decadal timescale of the past 430 years for the entire Pacific Ocean. This pattern is closely linked to the dominant mode of the Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) after removing the warming trend. This Pacific multi-decadal SST variability resembles the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation.

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Also Published In

Environmental Research Letters

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Tree Ring Lab
Published Here
October 22, 2018