Early summer precipitation in the lower Yangtze River basin for AD 1845–2011 based on tree-ring cellulose oxygen isotopes

  • Chenxi Xu
  • Jiangfeng Shi
  • Yesi Zhao
  • Takeshi Nakatsuka
  • Masaki Sano
  • Shiyuan Shi
  • Zhengtang Guo


Precipitation from June to August is generally used to reflect the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) variability. However, the principal modes of the EASM rainfall are different between May–June (MJ) and July–August due to the seasonal march of East Asian subtropical front. Therefore, it is necessary to study them separately. In this study, we reconstruct a 167-year MJ precipitation time series using tree-ring cellulose δ18O that explains 46.9% of the variance in the lower Yangtze River basin, Southeast China, that extends the meteorological data back more than 100 years and makes the precipitation study at decadal scales possible. The decades with 5 or more anomalously dry or wet years are the 1880s, 1890s, and 1910s, and the 1980s and 2000s have only one anomalous year per decade. MJ precipitation shows a significantly negative relationship with absolute Niño 3.4 sea surface temperature, especially during the developing phases of El Niño-Southern Oscillation, indicating that there is less rainfall during El Niño events. However, the relationship is not uniform throughout the period. Further analyses show that it is stronger when the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is in its positive phases.


Tree-ring cellulose oxygen isotope Pinus taiwanensis May–June precipitation Lower Yangtze River basin, China El Niño-Southern Oscillation Pacific Decadal Oscillation 



The project was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant no. 2016YFA0600500), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Pioneer Hundred Talents Program, National Natural Science Foundation of China (41671193, 41672179, 41630529, 41430531 and 41690114), and a research grant from the Research Institute of Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan, grant-in-aid for Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellows (23242047 and 23-10262). We thank Drs. H. Y. Lu, X. G. Sun, and the anonymous reviewers whose suggestions were helpful in the improvement of the quality of this paper. The tree ring cellulose oxygen isotope data in this paper are available from the authors upon request ( or

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 24 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and GeophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.CAS Center for Excellence in Life and PaleoenvironmentBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Geographic and Oceanographic SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate ChangeNanjingChina
  5. 5.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKyotoJapan
  6. 6.Faculty of Human SciencesWaseda UniversityTokorozawaJapan
  7. 7.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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