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Unlocking the climatic secrets of northern China thanks to the rings of ancient trees


Newswise — Growing public concern about global warming, due to its significant impacts on society, ecosystems and the environment, highlights the importance of understanding long-term climate conditions in different regions. While limited observational records limit our overall understanding of climate change, tree ring data is proving to be a critical indicator, providing high-resolution, precisely dated information on climate dynamics over the past millennium.

By analyzing 45 cores, the researchers established a timeline that reflects the temperatures of the region’s warm season, from May to August. Their methodology significantly advances previous efforts by integrating latewood density and BI data, filling a critical gap in our climate understanding. This approach allowed them to construct a detailed record of temperatures and reveal periods of climate fluctuations that closely match historical climate patterns. The study not only demonstrates the effectiveness of BI as an indicator of historical climate analysis, but also opens new avenues for reconstructing past climates of other regions. By correlating BI data with recorded temperature variations, the researchers were able to trace temperature trends back to 1760 CE, providing a much-needed long-term perspective on climate change in northern China. This research demonstrates the potential of dendroclimatology to contribute to our understanding of global climate dynamics.

Professor Chen Feng, the corresponding author of the study, highlighted the importance of this research. “This method not only improves our ability to decipher past climate variations, but also strengthens our ability to predict future climate trends, allowing us to avoid catastrophic environmental impacts to some extent,” he said .

This study provides valuable data for understanding the dynamics of climate change in northern China, revealing seven high temperature periods and three low temperature periods over the past 261 years. It demonstrates the potential of BI as a cost-effective and replicable method of climate reconstruction, which is crucial for regional climate prediction and environmental planning.


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Funding information

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 32061123008

About Journal of Geographic Sciences

Journal of Geographic Sciences is an international, multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that focuses on the relationships between humans and nature. It publishes articles on physical geography, natural resources, environmental sciences, geographic information, remote sensing and cartography. The manuscripts come from different parts of the world.


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