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Historical Climate Reconstruction in Taijiang Inland Sea in Taiwan by Tree Ring Stable Oxygen Isotopes

Authors: Ying-Shuo Chang*, National Cheng Kung University, I-Ching Chen, National Cheng Kung University
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Landscape, Asia
Keywords: Climate Reconstruction, Tree Ring Stable Oxygen Isotope, Chamaecyparis formosensis, History in Taiwan, Taijiang Inland Sea
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Taijiang Inland Sea had been a principal historical region of Taiwan since the occupation of the Dutch East India Company. Due to the capacity of transporting goods among countries in East Asia, it had been a prosperous place that the first capital located. The estimated area of it was about 350 km2, accounting for 16% of the city where it was located, but it was fully turned into land. Ancient archives showed that the extensive Taijiang Inland Sea turned into land after a severe rainfall in July 1823. However, the lack of instrumental climate data made the climate variability during degradation of the Taijiang Inland Sea unclear. Consequently, we aimed to reconstruct the climate for the past 400 years by tree ring stable oxygen isotope and further incorporated complied qualitative weather records. We hypothesized the severe rainfall in 1823 was not an extreme event in the long-term climate variability, but the consequences of nature-human interaction. This study provided a 462-year (1553-2015) summer precipitation reconstruction based on 6 stable oxygen isotope series of Chamaecyparis formosensis from Alishan. Our reconstruction showed the precipitation in 1823 was not extremely high, but there was much precipitation during degradation. Our interdisciplinary result suggested the degradation of the Taijiang Inland Sea was not merely because of the 1823 rainfall event, but the combination of climate, geography condition and the human activities.

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