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Climate of the Past

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Long-term climatic records are scarce in the northeast Asia for understanding the behavior of the East Asian Winter Monsoon. Here we describe a 250-year February–April temperature reconstruction (TCBM) based on tree-ring widths of Korean Pines from the Changbai Mountain area, Northeast China. The reconstruction can account for 45.7% of the temperature variance in the instrumental period (1953 to 2001). Four cold periods including 1784–1815, 1827–1851, 1878–1889 and 1911–1945, and two warm periods of 1750–1783 and 1855–1877 were identified before the instrumental period. Four shifts were also detected at 1781, 1857, 1878 and 1989. Good agreements between TCBM and other temperature records of East Asia suggest that the reconstruction is of good reliability and captures the regional cold/warm periods of East Asia. Moreover, TCBM shows negative correlations with the instrumental or proxy-based EAWM intensity records. The known weakening of the EAWM in the late 1980s is in agreement with the shift at 1989 in TCBM. These comparisons suggest that the February–April temperature reconstruction may be a good indicator of the EAWM intensity.