Publication Details

Li, J., Yan, H., Dodson, J., Xu, Q., Sun, A., Cheng, B., Li, C., Ni, J., Zhang, X. & Lu, F. (2018). Regional-Scale Precipitation Anomalies in Northern China During the Holocene and Possible Impact on Prehistoric Demographic Changes. Geophysical Research Letters, 45 (22), 12477-12486.


Sensitive changes in precipitation influence the stability of semiarid ecosystem, rain-fed agriculture, and densely populated society in northern monsoonal China (NC). However, shortage of regional-scale quantitative syntheses imposes restrictions on investigating long-term relationships among precipitation dynamics, possible climatic forces, and prehistoric demographic fluctuations. Herein, we contribute a regionally compiled anomaly record for Holocene annual mean precipitation (PANN) relative to its modern-day values in NC. The Holocene PANN variations in NC may be essentially determined by changing thermal gradients of continental land-ocean and west-east equatorial Pacific, profoundly affecting strength and location of West Pacific Subtropical High that may principally modulate intensity of East Asian summer monsoon and resultant rainfall in NC. Importantly, variation partitioning analysis quantitatively demonstrates that the overall changes of precipitation (43.3%) may play a more important role than temperature (3.2%) and their shared effects (0.8%) in independently accounting for long-term variation of regional-scale Holocene population fluctuations in NC.



Link to publisher version (DOI)