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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 28 Feb 2019

Research article | 28 Feb 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).

A climatological interpretation of precipitation-based δ18O across Siberia and Central Asia

Tao Wang1,2, Ting-Yong LI1,2, Jian Zhang1,2, Yao Wu1,2, Chao-Jun Chen1,2, Ran Huang1,2, Jun-Yun Li1,2, and Si-Ya Xiao1,2 Tao Wang et al.
  • 1Chongqing Key Laboratory of Karst Environment, School of Geographical Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
  • 2Field Scientific Observation & Research Base of Karst Eco-environments at Nanchuan in Chongqing, Ministry of Nature Resources of China, Chongqing 408435, China

Abstract. Siberia and Central Asia are located at mid- to high latitudes and encompass a large landlocked area of the Eurasian continent containing vast tracts of permafrost (seasonal permafrost and permafrost), which is extremely sensitive to global climate change. However, previous research has scarcely investigated the changes in the paleoclimate in this region. Similarly, the temporal and spatial distributions of the stable isotopic composition (δ18OP) of precipitation and its corresponding influencing factors remain largely unknown. Therefore, we used data from 15 Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP) stations to investigate the relationships between δ18OP and the local temperature and precipitation considering changes in atmospheric circulation. Analyses conducted on the monthly, seasonal and annual timescales led to three main conclusions. (1) At the monthly timescale, the variations in δ18OP exhibited a significant positive correlation with the monthly mean temperature (p < 0.01). The δ18OP excursion was positive in summer as the temperature increased and negative in winter as the temperature decreased. Note that the δ18OP values were also affected by the monthly precipitation, Eurasian zonal circulation index (EZCI), and water vapor source (e.g., polar air masses and local evaporative water vapor). (2) At the annual scale, the weighted average value of the precipitation-based δ18O (δ18OW) exhibited a temperature effect over 60° N–70° N. However, δ18OW may have been dominated by multiple factors from 40° N to 60° N (e.g., the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and water vapor source changes). (3) At the annual timescale, the variability of the path of the westerly caused by changes in the NAO explained the variations in both δ18OP and δ18OW. Based on the limited observational data in this region, we found that δ18OP is correlated with the local temperature at the monthly and seasonal timescales. However, at the annual timescale, in addition to the temperature effect, δ18OP reflects the variability of the water vapor source that is dominated by the EZCI and NAO. Therefore, it is possible to reconstruct the histories of past atmospheric circulations and water vapor sources in this region via geologic δ18O proxies, e.g., speleothems records.

Tao Wang et al.
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Tao Wang et al.
Tao Wang et al.
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Short summary
Permafrost in Eurasian continent is extremely sensitive to global climate change. We used the data of 15 stations from the Global Network of Isotope in Precipitation (GNIP) and proposed that the δ18OP was correlated with local temperature on the monthly and seasonal timescales. However, on the annual timescale, except for temperature effect, δ18OP also reflects the change of water vapor source dominated by Eurasian Zonal Circulation (EZC) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).
Permafrost in Eurasian continent is extremely sensitive to global climate change. We used the...