Temperature changes derived from phenological and natural evidence in South Central China from 1850 to 2008
Abstract. Annual temperature anomalies in South Central China from 1850 to 2008 are reconstructed by synthesizing three types of proxies: spring phenodates of plants recorded in historical personal diaries and observations, snowfall days extracted from historical archives and observed at meteorological stations, and five tree-ring width chronologies. Instrumental observation data and the leave-one-out method are used for calibration and validation. The results show that the temperature series in South Central China exhibits interannual and decadal fluctuations since 1850. The first three cold decades were the 1860s, 1890s, and 1950s, while 1893 was very likely the coldest year. Except for the three warm decades that occurred around 1850, 1870, and 1960, along with the 1920s to the 1940s, the recent warm decades of the 1990s and 2000s represent unprecedented warming since 1850.