Temperature signals in tree-ring oxygen isotope series from the northern slope of the Himalaya - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Earth and Planetary Science Letters Year : 2019

Temperature signals in tree-ring oxygen isotope series from the northern slope of the Himalaya

Ru Huang
  • Function : Author
Haifeng Zhu
  • Function : Author
Eryuan Liang
  • Function : Author
Jussi Grießinger
  • Function : Author
Jakob Wernicke
  • Function : Author
Wusheng Yu
  • Function : Author
Philipp Hochreuther
  • Function : Author
Yijian Zeng
  • Function : Author
Astrid Fremme
  • Function : Author
Harald Sodemann
  • Function : Author
Achim Bräuning
  • Function : Author


Oxygen isotope ratios (δ18O) are the most commonly used parameters recorded in paleoclimate archives since they link different natural archives via the water cycle. Tree-ring δ18O (δ18OTR) has been widely used for hydroclimate reconstructions in the Himalaya. However, few of them record temperature signals, which are dominant in Himalaya ice-core δ18O. We hypothesize that the "precipitation amount effect" due to the South Asian Summer Monsoon (SASM) may overprint temperature signals in δ18OTR series. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether temperature signals could be found in the δ18OTR in locations where the influence of SASM is weak. We developed a 105-yr δ18OTR chronology from the northern slope of the western Himalaya which greatly blocks the SASM. Our δ18OTR clearly shows stronger correlations with temperature (dominant winter and weak summer) than summer precipitation signals. It also agrees well with summer soil moisture δ18O simulated by the global isotope model LMDZ4 (r = 0.72, 1979-2010). In LMDZ4, low winter temperature was found to increase winter snowfall and subsequent snow melt, and thus to increase the contribution of winter snowfall to soil moisture in summer at the expense of summer precipitation. Since winter snowfall is more depleted than summer precipitation, this leads to lower summer soil moisture δ18O. The temperature signals found in our δ18OTR series are consistent with those found in the Dasuopu ice-core δ18O. This implies that δ18OTR series from the southwest Tibetan Plateau (TP), with a weak monsoon, hold great potential to capture temperature signals. Climate interpretations of δ18O proxies in the Himalaya largely depend on the influence of seasonal water from the dominant atmosphere circulation systems of the westerlies or monsoon. The δ18O proxies from the monsoon-affected region have a higher potential for the reconstruction of boreal summer hydroclimate, whereas δ18O proxies from westerly-affected sites have a higher potential for temperature reconstructions.

Dates and versions

insu-03727031 , version 1 (19-07-2022)



Ru Huang, Haifeng Zhu, Eryuan Liang, Jussi Grießinger, Jakob Wernicke, et al.. Temperature signals in tree-ring oxygen isotope series from the northern slope of the Himalaya. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2019, 506, pp.455-465. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2018.11.002⟩. ⟨insu-03727031⟩
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