The first contact between the State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology at the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IEECAS), Xian, China and the Regional Climate Group, Department of Earth Sciences (DES) at University of Gothenburg, Sweden occurred in 2001 when Prof. Deliang Chen was invited by Prof. Zhisheng An to attend an international conference in China. Prof. Chen visited Prof. An’s institute in Xian and possible cooperation’s were discussed. In a further advancement of these plans, Prof. Weijian Zhou visited Gothenburg in 2003.
In 2005, on a visit to Prof. Yu Liu (IEECAS) Xian by Prof. Chen and Associate Prof. Hans Linderholm (DES), an agreement on a cooperative project “China-Sweden comparative study on Paleoclimatic variations reconstructed from tree rings and historical records for the last 400 yr” was made This resulted in a joint field work in the Qinling Mountains in 2006, as well as several publications. In 2007, Prof. Liu and Huiming Song worked at DES as visiting scientists, and an important outcome of this visit was an agreement to establish a joint centre on tree-ring research. Finally, , the Sino-Swedish Centre for Tree-Ring Research (SISTRR) was inaugurated in October 2008 during a ceremony at IEECAS.
From an academic aspect, it was agreed that teleconnections between High Asia and Northern Europe are of importance for regional and hemispheric scale climate evolution and variability. Significant efforts should be made to increase our understanding of such features back in time using high-resolution climate proxies, e.g. tree rings. Consequently, SISTRR rests on mutual scientific questions and the firm collaboration regarding tree-ring research that has evolved over the last years. The study areas of this collaboration have included both Northern Europe and China. The tree-ring laboratories at the collaborating institutes are leading in their respective regions.
Centre vision and goals
With the existing competence, infrastructures, and instruments, as well as the strong willingness to collaborate the Centre will be able in the position to play a key role in the development of tree-ring researches in China and Sweden. It is expected that the Centre will act as a base for cooperation between China and Sweden within the field of tree-ring research in the future. It is our vision that the Centre will become one of the most active research groups in the world on tree-ring research within next 5 years. The specific goals we set up include To produce high quality tree-ring related data for scientific community To contribute to the development of climate science, especially further the understanding of past climate variability through joint research efforts To achieve top-class science by utilizing the Centre’s competence in both paleoclimatology and climate modelling. To publish collaborative papers in high-profile scientific journals. These goals are achieved by joint research projects, field works, workshops, staff exchanges and student training.