Title

Paleoprecipitation Reconstruction in the Indus and Ganges Basins by Inverse Modeling of Tree-Ring-Based PDSI

Authors

Authors

R. Davtalab; D. B. Wang; T. J. Zhu;C. Ringler

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

J. Hydrometeorol.

Keywords

DROUGHT SEVERITY INDEX; PAST MILLENNIUM; MONSOON FAILURE; EL-NINO; TEMPERATURE; VARIABILITY; ENSO; MEGADROUGHTS; OSCILLATION; HIMALAYAS; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences

Abstract

The South Asian monsoon is critically important for agricultural production in the region that includes the vast, fertile Indus and Ganges basins. However, the behavior of the South Asian monsoon is not well understood because of its complex nature, and existing instrumental climate records are insufficient for investigating the risks of the low-frequency but high-impact megadroughts that have historically occurred. This paper develops an inverse Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) model to retrieve paleoprecipitation for the region during the time period of 1300-1899, using available data of the water-holding capacity of soil, temperature, and reconstructed PDSI based on the tree-ring analysis of Cook et al.. Temperature data are reconstructed by a regression analysis utilizing an existing temperature reconstruction in an adjacent region and the Pacific decadal oscillation. Based on the retrieved paleoprecipitation, several megadroughts are identified during the reconstruction period. The drought frequency in the Indus basin is higher than that in the Ganges basin. The intensity, frequency, and spatial extent of severe droughts increased from 1300-1899 to 1900-2010. As a signal of climate change, increasing intensity and frequency of severe drought in the Indus and Ganges River basins needs adaptation strategies and drought preparedness measures to secure the food production in this area.

Journal Title

Journal of Hydrometeorology

Volume

16

Issue/Number

3

Publication Date

1-1-2015

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

1372

Last Page

1386

WOS Identifier

WOS:000355126500024

ISSN

1525-755X

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