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CR 47:207-218 (2011)  -  DOI:

Summer mean temperature variation from 1710–2005 inferred from tree-ring data of the Baimang Snow Mountains, northwestern Yunnan, China

ZongShan Li1,2, Chun Ming Shi1,3, Yongbo Liu1, Jinlong Zhang1, Qibing Zhang1,*, Keping Ma1

1State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, PR China
2State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, PR China
3Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, UMR 1572, IPSL/CEA/CNRS/UVSQ,7 Bat 701, L’Orme des Merisiers, CEA Saclay, 91 191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex, France

ABSTRACT: The tree-ring chronologies of Abies georgei Orr were developed for 3 sites at different elevations: the southern (2750 m), middle (3050 m), and northern (3400 m) parts of the Baimang Snow Mountains in northwestern Yunnan Province, China. The climate-growth response analysis indicated that trees at different elevations respond differently to environmental changes. The radial growth of trees found at the middle and high elevation sites was determined by temperature variables (mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures), particularly during the summer season (June to August), while moisture availability (precipitation and relative humidity) during spring (in March) was the crucial climate factor for tree growth at the low elevation site. The linear climate-growth model derived from the composite chronology of the 2 high elevation sites was verified with independent data from 1958 to 2005, and accounted for 33.4% of the mean temperature variation during summer (June to August). Based on this model, summer minimum temperature variations were reconstructed for the past 296 yr. The reconstruction revealed that cool climates mainly occurred in 1732–1743, 1758–1780, 1791–1824, 1836–1847, 1853–1862, 1908–1929, 1964–1976, and 1979–1993, while warm climates prevailed in 1718–1731, 1744–1756, 1781–1790, 1825–1835, 1883–1907, 1930–1963, and 1995 to present. Spectral analysis of the reconstruction using the multi-taper method (MTM) indicated the existence of some multidecadal (about 70 yr) and bidecadal (about 20 yr) cycles, which might correspond to the related cycles of solar activity, and significant peaks at about 2 to 8 yr, in agreement with the spectral mode of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-type variability.

KEY WORDS: Summer temperature · Climate reconstruction · Tree-ring · Northwestern Yunnan

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Cite this article as: Li Z, Shi CM, Liu Y, Zhang J, Zhang Q, Ma K (2011) Summer mean temperature variation from 1710–2005 inferred from tree-ring data of the Baimang Snow Mountains, northwestern Yunnan, China. Clim Res 47:207-218.

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