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Drought reconstruction over the past two centuries in southern Myanmar using teak tree‐rings: linkages to the Pacific and Indian Oceans

First Author: Zaw Z

To develop a high‐resolution paleoclimate proxy record facilitating adaptation measures on drought impacts, we constructed a regional composite tree‐ring chronology of teak (Tectona grandis) by combining three local site chronologies from southern Myanmar. Our regional tree‐ring record is strongly correlated with the November–April self‐calibrated Palmer drought severity index (scPDSI) and enabled us to reconstruct drought variability for the period 1802–2016. The reconstruction explained 46.5% of the actual scPDSI variance. Over the past two centuries, we detected one extreme (1812) and six severe drought years (1810, 1811, 1816, 1852, 1887, and 1980). Dry periods coincided with six major famines that occurred in India. Spatial correlation analyses revealed that drought occurrence is linked to broader‐scale atmospheric circulations of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, especially during the positive phase of the El Ni?o‐Southern Oscillation. Our reconstruction provides a useful historical perspective for assessing adaptation measures intent on mitigating future drought impacts in Myanmar.

Contact the author: Fan ZX
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PubYear: Apr 2020
Volume: online
Publication Name: Geophysical Research Letters
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