Canadian Forest Service Publications

Synoptic-scale atmospheric circulation and boreal Canada summer drought variability of the past three centuries. 2006. Girardin, M.-P.; Tardif, J.C.; Flannigan, M.D.; Bergeron, Y. J. Climate 19: 1922-1947.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26316

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Five independent multicentury reconstructions of the July Canadian Drought Code and one reconstruction of the mean July–August temperature were developed using a network of 120 well-replicated tree-ring chronologies covering the area of the eastern Boreal Plains to the eastern Boreal Shield of Canada. The reconstructions were performed using 54 time-varying reconstruction submodels that explained up to 50% of the regional drought variance during the period of 1919–84. Spatial correlation fields on the six reconstructions revealed that the meridional component of the climate system from central to eastern Canada increased since the mid–nineteenth century. The most obvious change was observed in the decadal scale of variability. Using 500-hPa geopotential height and wind composites, this zonal to meridional transition was interpreted as a response to an amplification of long waves flowing over the eastern North Pacific into boreal Canada, from approximately 1851 to 1940. Composites with NOAA Extended Reconstructed SSTs indicated a coupling between the meridional component and tropical and North Pacific SST for a period covering at least the past 150 yr, supporting previous findings of a summertime global ocean–atmosphere–land surface coupling. This change in the global atmospheric circulation could be a key element toward understanding the observed temporal changes in the Canadian boreal forest fire regimes over the past 150 yr.