Hydrological variations in central China over the past millennium and their links to the tropical Pacific and North Atlantic oceans

Duan, Fucai; Zhang, Zhenqiu; Wang, Yi; Chen, Jianshun; Liao, Zebo; Chen, Shitao; Shao, Qingfeng; Zhao, Kan

Variations of precipitation, also called the Meiyu rain, in the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) domain during the last millennium could help enlighten the hydrological response to future global warming. Here we present a precisely dated and highly resolved stalagmite inline-formulaδ18O record from the Yongxing Cave, central China. Our new record, combined with a previously published one from the same cave, indicates that the Meiyu rain has changed dramatically in association with the global temperature change. In particular, our record shows that the Meiyu rain was weakened during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) but intensified during the Little Ice Age (LIA). During the Current Warm Period (CWP), our record indicates a similar weakening of the Meiyu rain. Furthermore, during the MCA and CWP, our records show that the atmospheric precipitation is similarly wet in northern China and similarly dry in central China, but relatively wet during the CWP in southern China. This spatial discrepancy indicates a complicated localized response of the regional precipitation to the anthropogenic forcing. The weakened (intensified) Meiyu rain during the MCA (LIA) matches well with the warm (cold) phases of Northern Hemisphere surface air temperature. This Meiyu rain pattern also corresponds well to the climatic conditions over the tropical Indo-Pacific warm pool. On the other hand, our record shows a strong association with the North Atlantic climate as well. The reduced (increased) Meiyu rain correlates well with positive (negative) phases of the North Atlantic Oscillation. In addition, our record links well to the strong (weak) Atlantic meridional overturning circulation during the MCA (LIA) period. All abovementioned localized correspondences and remote teleconnections on decadal to centennial timescales indicate that the Meiyu rain was coupled closely with oceanic processes in the tropical Pacific and North Atlantic oceans during the MCA and LIA.

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Duan, Fucai / Zhang, Zhenqiu / Wang, Yi / et al: Hydrological variations in central China over the past millennium and their links to the tropical Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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