Accelerated recent warming and temperature variability over the past eight centuries in the central Asian Altai from blue intensity in tree rings

Nicole Davi*, M. P. Rao, R. Wilson, L. Andreu-Hayles, R. Oelkers, R. D'Arrigo, B. Nachin, B. Buckley, N. Pederson, C. Leland, B. Suran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Warming in Central Asia has been accelerating over the past three decades and is expected to intensify through the end of this century. Here, we develop a summer temperature reconstruction for western Mongolia spanning eight centuries (1269–2004 C.E.) using delta blue intensity measurements from annual rings of Siberian larch. A significant cooling response is observed in the year following major volcanic events and up to five years post-eruption. Observed summer temperatures since the 1990s are the warmest over the past eight centuries, an observation that is also well captured in Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) climate model simulations. Projections for summer temperature relative to observations suggest further warming of between ∼3°C and 6°C by the end of the century (2075–2099 cf. 1950–2004) under the representative concentration pathways 4.5 and 8.5 (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) emission scenarios. We conclude that projected future warming lies beyond the range of natural climate variability for the past millennium as estimated by our reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GL092933
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume48
Issue number16
Early online date16 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Central Asia
  • Delta blue intensity
  • Dendrochronology
  • Mongolia
  • Paleoclimate
  • Tree rings

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