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Extension of Drought Records for Central Asia Using Tree Rings: West-Central Mongolia

Satellite image of Mongolia. NASA MODIS Photo.
Satellite image of Mongolia. Selenge River drains into Lake Baikal, Russia, the large lake in the upper portion of the image. NASA MODIS Photo.
Extension of Drought Records for Central Asia Using Tree Rings: West-Central Mongolia
Journal of Climate
Vol. 19, pp. 288-299, 15 January 2006.

N.K. Davi1, G.C. Jacoby1,2, A.E. Curtis1, and N. Baatarbileg1,2

1 Tree-Ring Laboratory, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York
2 Department of Forestry, National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Central Asian drought has had drastic impacts on vast regions over recent years. Longer records and insight into temporal drought patterns could aid greatly in anticipating extreme events and agrarian planning. Mongolia is representative of the central Asian region, and tree-ring resources are used herein to extend the climate record and test for solar influence and/or Pacific Ocean teleconnections. Absolutely dated tree-ring-width chronologies from five sampling sites in west-central Mongolia were used in precipitation models and an individual model was made using the longest of the five tree-ring records (1340-2002). The tree-ring sites are in or near the Selenge River basin, the largest river in Mongolia and a major input into Lake Baikal in Siberia. Regression models resulted in a reconstruction of streamflow that extends from 1637 to 1997 and explains 49% of the flow variation. Spectral analysis indicated significant variation in the frequencies common to Pacific Ocean variations [Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) and ENSO] and also some quasi-solar and lunar-nodal periodicities similar to previous Mongolian hydrometeorological reconstructions in eastern Mongolia based on tree rings.
Download data from the WDC Paleo archive:
Selenge River Streamflow Reconstruction.

To read or view the full study, please visit the Allen Press website.
It was published in Journal of Climate, Vol. 19, pp. 288-299, 15 January 2006.
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