Complex network of synchronous climate events in East Asian tree-ring data

Xijin Wang, Fenghua Xie, Zhongshi Zhang, Stefan Liess, Keyan Fang, Chenxi Xu, Feng Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


With high temporal resolution and accurate age control, tree-ring width is a good proxy for recording past climate variations from interannual to centennial time scales. The complex network method, widely used in analyses of modern meteorological observations, is an effective method to demonstrate synchronizations within climate events, thus revealing potential climate teleconnections. In this study, we tested to use the complex network in analyzing extremes recorded in time serials of tree-ring width in East Asia during the past 600 years. Our study indicates that this method is a valuable approach to reveal synchronizations in climate-sensitive tree-ring width records, though the ability of this method is dependent on the quality of the tree-ring data. Furthermore, our study shows stronger synchronizations in extremes of tree-ring width records during the CE 1850–1950 period in the Modern Warm Period than the CE 1450–1650 period in the Little Ice Age. A remarkable shift in synchronization types within the south part and the inland East Asia sites appears during the year CE 1850–1950. These changes in synchronizations suggest potential reorganizations in climate teleconnections, which is worthy being addressed in further studies with detrending and statistical significance testing methods involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number54
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2018YFA0605602), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41888101), and the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDB26000000). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We appreciate the comments from anonymous reviewers and editors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature.


  • Complex network
  • East Asia
  • Little Ice Age
  • Modern Warm Period
  • Tree-ring width


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