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

Journal article
Authors Keyan Fang
Edward Cook
Zhengtang Guo
Deliang Chen
Tinghai Ou
Yan Zhao
Published in Environmental Research Letters
Volume 13
Issue 2
ISSN 1748-9326
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Language en
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Climate Research


Oceanic and atmospheric patterns play a crucial role on 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 by 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 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 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 (IPO).

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