Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-627
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-627
21 Mar 2024
 | 21 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Climate of the Past (CP).

Reconstruction of drought and long-rain chronologies since the 17th century in Central Japan using intra-annual tree-ring oxygen isotope ratios and documentary records

Hiroto Iizuka, Kenjiro Sho, Zhen Li, Masaki Sano, Yoshikazu Kato, and Takeshi Nakatsuka

Abstract. Oxygen isotope ratios (δ18O) of tree-ring cellulose and historical documentary records are widely used to explore the hydroclimatic conditions of the past. In this study, we attempted to reconstruct chronologies of local climate disasters spanning four centuries in Central Japan using these proxy data. For tree-ring δ18O measurements, we prepared cellulose samples from a long-living cedar tree with continuously broad ring widths. To enhance the temporal resolution, we divided each annual ring into several (mainly six) segments. Analysis of correlations with observed relative humidity and precipitation data revealed that the intra-ring δ18O variations of the sample tree reflected the hydroclimatic conditions from April to July in each year. Subsequently, we chronologically listed the occurrence of eight types of disasters in the 17th to 19th centuries in the area adjacent to the sample tree according to 20 titles of “Town/City history,” compilation of historical documentary records from the local municipality. By comparison with the intra-ring δ18O data, we found that most of the major droughts and long rains recorded in the historical documents occurred in the Baiu rainy season (typically June–July) or pre-Baiu season that correspond to the growing season of the sample tree. Based on analysis of intra-ring δ18O variation for documentary-based drought and long-rain years, we set thresholds of intra-ring δ18O values to identify and extract drought and long-rain years. Drought and long-rain chronologies obtained by applying these thresholds were temporally continuous, complementing those based on documentary records. They depicted the relationships between the frequency of these climate disasters and the occurrence of major famines and the long-term tendency of length and magnitude of the Baiu rainy season in historical times.

Hiroto Iizuka, Kenjiro Sho, Zhen Li, Masaki Sano, Yoshikazu Kato, and Takeshi Nakatsuka

Status: open (until 16 May 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-627', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 Apr 2024 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-627', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Apr 2024 reply
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-627', Anonymous Referee #3, 14 Apr 2024 reply
Hiroto Iizuka, Kenjiro Sho, Zhen Li, Masaki Sano, Yoshikazu Kato, and Takeshi Nakatsuka
Hiroto Iizuka, Kenjiro Sho, Zhen Li, Masaki Sano, Yoshikazu Kato, and Takeshi Nakatsuka

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Short summary
In general, it is not easy to examine unseasonable weather years that have affected human history using a single proxy. In this study, we propose a new method to quantitatively extract drought/long rainfall events over the past 400 years by integrating tree-ring cellulose oxygen isotope ratios and historical documentary records. The results can be utilized to investigate the relationship between climate and long human history.