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Keywords:

  • Myanmar;
  • tree rings;
  • Pacific Decadal Oscillation;
  • Asian monsoon;
  • dendroclimatology

ABSTRACT

We show evidence for the influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on Myanmar's monsoonal hydroclimate using both instrumental and 20th century reanalysis data, and a tree-ring width chronology from Myanmar's central Dry Zone. The ‘regime shifts’ identified in the instrumental PDO for the past century are clearly evident in the Myanmar teak. The teak record and PDO index correlate most significantly and positively during December–May, at r = 0.41 (0.002, n = 109). We generated composite climate anomalies for southern Asia and adjacent ocean areas during negative and positive PDO phases and above/below average teak growth for the May–September wet monsoon season. They show that negative (positive) PDO phases correspond to dry (wet) conditions, due to reduced (enhanced) moisture flux into central Myanmar. Multitaper Method (MTM) and Singular Spectrum Analysis (SSA) spectral analyses reveal considerable multidecadal variability over the past several centuries of the teak chronology, consistent with the PDO.