Tree ring gives clues to climate change. By developing 595-year tree ring-width chronology from Larix speciosa near the timberlines of the Gaoligong Mountains, southeastern Tibetan Plateau, Prof. Cao Kunfang and his research team of XTBG made research advances.
The researchers developed tree ring-width chronologies from two sites of Larix speciosa in the Gaoligong Mountains, southeastern Tibetan Plateau. Correlation analyses indicate that larch trees growing near the timberlines are sensitive to temperature variations during growth season. Therefore, they reconstructed mean May–August temperature for the study region, reflecting inter-annual to multi-decadal scale temperature variability back to A.D. 1585.Cold conditions prevailed during the periods 1600s, 1620 − 30, 1640 − 50s, 1700s, 1730 − 40s,1760s, 1810–20s, 1850s, 1900–10s and 1955–70. Warm episodes occurred during 1610s, 1660–1680s, 1710–20s, 1750s, 1780–90s, 1820–40, 1920–50 and 1980–present.
Their study first demonstrates the potential of using larch tree-ring data to reconstruct temperature variability at high elevations in the southern Tibetan Plateau.
The research entitled “Tree ring recorded May-August temperature variations since A.D. 1585 in the Gaoligong Mountains, southeastern Tibetan Plateau” has been published online in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 296 (2010): 94-102, doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.06.017.