Advertisement

Climate Dynamics

, Volume 45, Issue 5–6, pp 1367–1380 | Cite as

Unprecedented recent warming rate and temperature variability over the east Tibetan Plateau inferred from Alpine treeline dendrochronology

  • Chunming Shi
  • Valérie Masson-Delmotte
  • Valérie Daux
  • Zongshan Li
  • Matthieu Carré
  • John C. MooreEmail author
Article

Abstract

Despite instrumental records showing recent large temperature rises on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), only a few tree-ring temperature reconstructions do capture this warming trend. Here, we sampled 260 trees from seven Alpine treeline locations across the southeast TP. Standardized tree-ring width chronologies of Abies squamata and Sabina squamat were produced following Regional Curve Standardization detrending. The leading principal component of these records is well correlated with the regional summer (JJA) minimum temperature (MinT) (R2 = 0.47, P < 0.001, 1953–2009). Hence we produce a regional summer MinT reconstruction spanning the last 212 years. This reconstruction reveals a long-term persistent warming trend, starting in the 1820s, at a rate of 0.45 ± 0.09 °C/century (1820–2009). This trend is also detected since the 1820s in the Asian summer MinT reconstruction produced by the PAGES 2K project, with a very close warming rate (0.43 ± 0.08 °C/century, 1820–1989). Our record also displays an enhanced multi-decadal variability since the mid-twentieth century. The 1990s–2000s are the warmest of our whole record, due to the superposition of the gradual warming trend and decadal variability during this interval. The strongest decadal cooling occurs during the 1950s and the largest warming trend during the 1970s. The magnitude of warming from 1973 to 2003 was larger than the total warming trend from 1820s to 2009. Extreme events are also more frequent since 1950. The pattern of multi-decadal variability has similarities with the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation, suggesting common causality. CMIP5 historical simulations fail to capture both the magnitude and timing of this multi-decadal variability. The ensemble CMIP5 average produces a steady warming trend starting in the 1970s, which only accounts for about 60 % of the observed warming trend during this period. We conclude that TP summer temperature could reflect a climate response to increased greenhouse gas concentrations, however modulated by multi-decadal variations common with the Atlantic sector.

Keywords

Tibetan Plateau Warming Trend Couple Model Intercomparison Project Phase Temperature Reconstruction Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Forestry Department of Sichuan Province, Forestry Administrations of Ganzi Zhou and all counties we sampled for the great helps in field work. The field work was supported by the grant from State Key Laboratory on Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, code: 270403GK. We thank Prof. Ruijie LU and Qijing LIU for providing Lintab® system. We are grateful for the generous help of Duoying JI, Qian MA, Yong LIANG and Jiangzheng WU in terms of data processing and fieldwork assistance. KNMI climate explorer has largely facilitated the processing of CRU and CMIP5 data.

Supplementary material

382_2014_2386_MOESM1_ESM.docx (269 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 269 kb)

References

  1. Bindoff NL, Stott PA, AchutaRao KM, Allen MR, Gillett N, Gutzler D, Hansingo K, Hegerl G, Hu Y, Jain S, Mokhov II, Overland J, Perlwitz J, Sebbari R, Zhang X (2013) Detection and attribution of climate change: from global to regional. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner GK, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  2. Biondi F, Waikul K (2004) DENDROCLIM2002: a C++ program for statistical calibration of climate signals in tree-ring chronologies. Comput Geosci UK 30:303–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Briffa KR, Melvin TM (2011) A closer look at regional curve standardization of tree-ring records: justification of the need, a warning of some pitfalls, and suggested improvements in its application. In: Hughes MK, Swetnam TW, Diaz HF (eds) Dendroclimatology. Progress and prospects. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Briffa KR, Jones PD, Bartholin TS, Eckstein D, Schweingruber FH, Karlen W, Zetterberg P, Eronen M (1992) Fennoscandian summers from AD 500: temperature changes on short and long timescales. Clim Dyn 7:111–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Briffa KR, Schweingruber FH, Jones PD, Osborn TJ, Shiyatov SG, Vaganov EA (1998) Reduced sensitivity of recent tree-growth to temperature at high northern latitudes. Nature 391:678–682CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Briffa KR, Osborn TJ, Schweingruber FH, Harris IC, Jones PD, Shiyatov SG, Vaganov EA (2001) Low-frequency temperature variations from a northern tree ring density network. J Geophys Res 106:2929–2941CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Briffa KR, Osborn TJ, Schweingruber FH (2004) Large-scale temperature inferences from tree rings: a review. Global Planet Change 40:11–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cao JX, Chen Z, Shang H, Lin B (2012) Tree-ring based average June-July temperature reconstruction for Siguniang Mountains of West Sichuan Plateau, China. J Food Agric Environ 10:1341–1345Google Scholar
  9. Chen B, Chao WC, Liu X (2003) Enhanced climatic warming in the Tibetan Plateau due to doubling CO2: a model study. Clim Dyn 20:401–413Google Scholar
  10. Collins M, Knutti R, Arblaster J, Dufresne JL, Fichefet T, Friedlingstein P, Gao X, Gutowski WJ, Johns T, Krinner G, Shongwe M, Tebaldi C, Weaver AJ, Wehner M (2013) Long-term climate change: projections, commitments and irreversibility. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner GK, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  11. Cook ER, Briffa KR, Meko DM, Graybill DA, Funkhouser G (1995) The segment length curse in long tree-ring chronology development for paleoclimatic studies. Holocene 5:229–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cook ER, Anchukaitis KJ, Buckley BM, D'Arrigo RD, Jacoby GC, Wright WE (2010) Asian monsoon failure and megadrought during the last millennium. Science 328:486–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cook ER, Krusic PJ, Anchukaitis KJ, Buckley BM, Nakatsuka T, Sano M (2013) Tree-ring reconstructed summer temperature anomalies for temperate East Asia since 800 CE. Clim Dyn 41:2957–2972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. D’Arrigo R, Wilson R, Jacoby G (2006) On the long-term context for late twentieth century warming. J Geophys Res 111:D03103. doi: 10.1029/2005JD006352 Google Scholar
  15. Duan JP, Zhang QB, Lv LX, Zhang C (2012) Regional-scale winter-spring temperature variability and chilling damage dynamics over the past two centuries in southeastern China. Clim Dyn 39:919–928CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Esper J, Cook ER, Schweingruber FH (2002) Low-frequency signals in long tree-ring chronologies for reconstructing past temperature variability. Science 295:2250–2253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Esper J, Cook ER, Krusic PJ, Peters K, Schweingruber FH (2003) Tests of the RCS method for preserving low-frequency variability in long tree-ring chronologies. Tree Ring Res 59:81–98Google Scholar
  18. Fajardo A, Piper FI, Hoch G (2013) Similar variation in carbon storage between deciduous and evergreen treeline species across elevational gradients. Ann Bot Lond 112:623–631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fan ZX, Brauning A, Cao KF (2008) Tree-ring based drought reconstruction in the central Hengduan Mountains region (China) since AD 1655. Int J Climatol 28:1879–1887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gao LL, Gou XH, Deng Y, Liu WH, Yang MX, Zhao ZQ (2013) Climate-growth analysis of Qilian juniper across an altitudinal gradient in the central Qilian Mountains, northwest China. Trees Struct Funct 27:379–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. He MH, Yang B, Datsenko NM (2013) A six hundred-year annual minimum temperature history for the central Tibetan Plateau derived from tree-ring width series. Clim Dyn. doi: 10.1007/s00382-013-1882-x Google Scholar
  22. Hegerl G, Luterbacher J, Gonzalez-Rouco F, Tett S, Crowley T, Xoplaki E (2011) Influence of human and natural forcing on European seasonal temperatures. Nat Geosci 4:99–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hoch G, Korner C (2003) The carbon charging of pines at the climatic treeline: a global comparison. Oecologia 135:10–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hoch G, Popp M, Korner C (2002) Altitudinal increase of mobile carbon pools in Pinus cembra suggests sink limitation of growth at the Swiss treeline. Oikos 98:361–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Holmes R (1983) Computer assisted quality control in tree-ring dating and measurement. Tree-Ring Bull 44:69–75Google Scholar
  26. Jobbagy EG, Jackson RB (2000) Global controls of forest line elevation in the northern and southern hemispheres. Global Ecol Biogeogr 9:253–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kang SC, Xu YW, You QL, Flugel WA, Pepin N, Yao TD (2010) Review of climate and cryospheric change in the Tibetan Plateau. Environ Res lett 5:015101. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/5/1/015101 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Knapp PA, Soule PT, Grissino-Mayer HD (2001) Detecting potential regional effects of increased atmospheric CO2 on growth rates of western juniper. Global Change Biol 7:903–917CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Knutson TR, Zeng FR, Wittenberg AT (2013) Multimodel assessment of regional surface temperature trends: CMIP3 and CMIP5 twentieth-century simulations. J Clim 26:8709–8743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Korner C (1998) A re-assessment of high elevation treeline positions and their explanation. Oecologia 115:445–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Korner C (2003) Carbon limitation in trees. J Ecol 91:4–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Li ZS, Liu G, Zhang Q, Hu C, Luo S (2011) Tree ring-based summer temperature reconstruction over the Past 200 Years in Miyaluo of Western Sichuan China. Quat Sci (in Chinese with English abstract). doi: 10.3969/j.issn.10017410.2011.0
  33. Li XX, Liang EY, Gricar J, Prislan P, Rossi S, Cufar K (2013) Age dependence of xylogenesis and its climatic sensitivity in Smith fir on the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau. Tree Physiol 33:48–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Liang EY, Shao XM, Qin NS (2008) Tree-ring based summer temperature reconstruction for the source region of the Yangtze River on the Tibetan Plateau. Global Planet Change 61:313–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Liang EY, Shao XM, Xu Y (2009) Tree-ring evidence of recent abnormal warming on the southeast Tibetan Plateau. Theor Appl Climatol 98:9–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Liang EY, Wang YF, Eckstein D, Luo TX (2011) Little change in the fir tree-line position on the southeastern Tibetan Plateau after 200 years of warming. New Phytol 190:760–769CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Liu XD, Chen BD (2000) Climatic warming in the Tibetan Plateau during recent decades. Int J Climatol 20:1729–1742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ljungqvist FC, Krusic PJ, Brattstrom G, Sundqvist HS (2012) Northern Hemisphere temperature patterns in the last 12 centuries. Clim Past 8:227–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lv LX, Zhang QB (2013) Tree-ring based summer minimum temperature reconstruction for the southern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. Clim Res 56:91–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Makinen H, Nojd P, Kahle HP, Neumann U, Tveite B, Mielikainen K, Rohle H, Spiecker H (2002) Radial growth variation of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) across latitudinal and altitudinal gradients in central and northern Europe. For Ecol Manag 171:243–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Manabe S, Broccoli AJ (1990) Mountains and arid climates of middle latitudes. Science 247:192–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Masson-Delmotte V, Schulz M, Abe-Ouchi A, Beer J, Ganopolski A, González Rouco JF, Jansen E, Lambeck K, Luterbacher J, Naish T, Osborn T, Otto-Bliesner B, Quinn T, Ramesh R, Rojas M, Shao X, Timmermann A (2013) Information from paleoclimate archives. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner GK, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  43. Melvin TM, Briffa KR (2014) CRUST: software for the implementation of Regional Chronology Standardisation: Part 1. Signal-Free RCS. Dendrochronologia 32:7–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Norby RJ et al (2005) Forest response to elevated CO2 is conserved across a broad range of productivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102:18052–18056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Oerlemans J (2005) Extracting a climate signal from 169 glacier records. Science 308:675–677CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. PAGES 2k Consortium (2013) Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia. Nat Geosci 6:339–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Piao SL, Ciais P, Huang Y, Shen ZH, Peng SS, Li JS, Zhou LP, Liu HY, Ma YC, Ding YH, Friedlingstein P, Liu CZ, Tan K, Yu YQ, Zhang TY, Fang JY (2010) The impacts of climate change on water resources and agriculture in China. Nature 467:43–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Qin J, Yang K, Liang SL, Guo XF (2009) The altitudinal dependence of recent rapid warming over the Tibetan Plateau. Clim Change 97:321–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rossi S, Deslauriers A, Anfodillo T, Carraro V (2007) Evidence of threshold temperatures for xylogenesis in conifers at high altitudes. Oecologia 152:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rossi S, Deslauriers A, Anfodillo T, Carrer M (2008a) Age-dependent xylogenesis in timberline conifers. New Phytol 177:199–208Google Scholar
  51. Rossi S, Deslauriers A, Gricar J, Seo JW, Rathgeber C, Anfodillo T, Morin H, Levanic T, Oven P, Jalkanen R (2008b) Critical temperatures for xylogenesis in conifers of cold climates. Global Ecol Biogeogr 17:696–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Salzer MW, Hughes MK, Bunn AG, Kipfmueller KF (2009) Recent unprecedented tree-ring growth in bristlecone pine at the highest elevations and possible causes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:20348–20353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Saxe H, Ellsworth DS, Heath J (1998) Tree and forest functioning in an enriched CO2 atmosphere. New Phytol 139:395–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Shi CM, Masson-Delmotte V, Daux V, Li ZS, Zhang QB (2010) An unstable tree-growth response to climate in two 500 year chronologies, North Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Dendrochronologia 28:225–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sun JQ, Wang HJ, Yuan W (2008) Decadal variations of the relationship between the summer North Atlantic Oscillation and middle East Asian air temperature. J Geophys Res 113:D15107. doi: 10.1029/2007JD009626 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sutton RT, Dong BW (2012) Atlantic Ocean influence on a shift in European climate in the 1990s. Nat Geosci 5:788–792CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sutton RT, Hodson D (2005) Atlantic Ocean forcing of North American and European summer climate. Science 309:115–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Swidrak I, Gruber A, Kofler W, Oberhuber W (2011) Effects of environmental conditions on onset of xylem growth in Pinus sylvestris under drought. Tree Physiol 31:483–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Thebault A, Clement JC, Ibanez S, Roy J, Geremia RA, Perez CA, Buttler A, Estienne Y, Lavorel S (2014) Nitrogen limitation and microbial diversity at the treeline. Oikos 123:729–740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Thompson LG, Yao T, Davis ME, Henderson KA, MosleyThompson E, Lin PN, Beer J, Synal HA, ColeDai J, Bolzan JF (1997) Tropical climate instability: the last glacial cycle from a Qinghai-Tibetan ice core. Science 276:1821–1825CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Thompson LG, Mosley-Thompson E, Brecher H, Davis M, Leon B, Les D, Lin PN, Mashiotta T, Mountain K (2006) Abrupt tropical climate change: past and present. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:10536–10543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. van Oldenborgh GJ, Te Raa LA, Dijkstra HA, Philip SY (2009) Frequency- or amplitude-dependent effects of the Atlantic meridional overturning on the tropical Pacific Ocean. Ocean Sci 5:293–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wang B, Linho (2002) Rainy season of the Asian-Pacific summer monsoon. J Climate 15:386–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wang B, Bao Q, Hoskins B, Wu GX, Liu YM (2008) Tibetan plateau warming and precipitation changes in East Asia. Geophys Res Lett 35:L14702. doi: 10.1029/2008GL034330 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wang XC, Brown PM, Zhang YN, Song LP (2011) Imprint of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation on tree-ring widths in Northeastern Asia since 1568. PLoS ONE 6:e22740. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022740 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wang JL, Yang B, Ljungqvist FC, Zhao Y (2013a) The relationship between the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and temperature variability in China during the last millennium. J Quat Sci 28:653–658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wang JL, Yang B, Qin C, Kang SY, He MY, Wang ZY (2013b) Tree-ring inferred annual mean temperature variations on the southeastern Tibetan Plateau during the last millennium and their relationships with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. Clim Dyn. doi: 10.1007/s00382-013-1802-0 Google Scholar
  68. Wang X, Siegert F, Zhou AG, Franke J (2013c) Glacier and glacial lake changes and their relationship in the context of climate change, Central Tibetan Plateau 1972–2010. Global Planet Change 111:246–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wei YQ, Fang YP (2013) Spatio-temporal characteristics of global warming in the Tibetan Plateau during the last 50 years based on a generalised temperature zone—elevation model. PLoS ONE 8:e60044. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060044 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wilmking M, Juday GP, Barber VA, Zald H (2004) Recent climate warming forces contrasting growth responses of white spruce at treeline in Alaska through temperature thresholds. Global Change Biol 10:1724–1736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Yadav RR, Braeuning A, Singh J (2011) Tree ring inferred summer temperature variations over the last millennium in western Himalaya, India. Clim Dynam 36:1545–1554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Yang B, Kang XC, Liu JJ, Brauning A, Qin C (2010a) Annual temperature history in Southwest Tibet during the last 400 years recorded by tree rings. Int J Climatol 30:962–971Google Scholar
  73. Yang B, Kang XC, Brauning A, Liu J, Qin C, Liu JJ (2010b) A 622-year regional temperature history of southeast Tibet derived from tree rings. Holocene 20:181–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Yang K, Wu H, Qin J, Lin CG, Tang WJ, Chen YY (2014) Recent climate changes over the Tibetan Plateau and their impacts on energy and water cycle: a review. Global Planet Change 112:79–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Yao TD, Wang YQ, Liu SY, Pu JC, Shen YP, Lu AX (2004) Recent glacial retreat in High Asia in China and its impact on water resource in Northwest China. Sci China Ser D 47:1065–1075CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Yao TD, Thompson L, Yang W, Yu WS, Gao Y, Guo XJ, Yang XX, Duan KQ, Zhao HB, Xu BQ, Pu JC, Lu AX, Xiang Y, Kattel DB, Joswiak D (2012) Different glacier status with atmospheric circulations in Tibetan Plateau and surroundings. Nat Clim Change 2:663–667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Yao TD, Masson-Delmotte V, Gao J, Yu WS, Yang XX, Risi C, Sturm C, Werner M, Zhao HB, He Y, Ren W, Tian LD, Shi CM, Hou SG (2013) A review of climatic controls on delta O-18 in precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau: observations and simulations. Rev Geophys 51. doi: 10.1002/rog.20023
  78. Zhang YX, Wilmking M (2010) Divergent growth responses and increasing temperature limitation of Qinghai spruce growth along an elevation gradient at the northeast Tibet Plateau. For Ecol Manag 260:1076–1082CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Zhu HF, Zheng YH, Shao XM, Liu XH, Xu Y, Liang EY (2008) Millennial temperature reconstruction based on tree-ring widths of Qilian juniper from Wulan, Qinghai Province, China. Chin Sci Bull 53:3914–3920CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunming Shi
    • 1
    • 5
  • Valérie Masson-Delmotte
    • 2
  • Valérie Daux
    • 2
    • 6
  • Zongshan Li
    • 3
  • Matthieu Carré
    • 4
  • John C. Moore
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, College of Global Change and Earth System ScienceBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, UMR CEA-CNRS-UVSQ 8212Institut Pierre Simon LaplaceGif-sur-YvetteFrance
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.UM2-CNRS-IRD, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de MontpellierUniversité Montpellier 2MontpellierFrance
  5. 5.Arctic CentreUniversity of LaplandRovaniemiFinland
  6. 6.Université de Versailles - Saint QuentinVersaillesFrance

Personalised recommendations