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A top priority in climate research is obtaining broad-extent and long-term data to support analyses of historical patterns and trends, and for model development and evaluation. Along with directly measured climate data from the present and recent past, it is important to obtain estimates of long past climate variations spanning multiple centuries and millennia. These longer time perspectives are needed for assessing the unusualness of recent climate changes, as well as for providing insight on the range, variation and overall dynamics of the climate system over time spans exceeding available records from instruments, such as rain gauges and thermometers.
Tree rings have become increasingly valuable in providing this long-term information because extensive data networks have been developed in temperate and boreal zones of the Earth, and quantitative methods for analyzing these data have advanced. Tree rings are among the most useful paleoclimate information sources available because they provide a high degree of chronological accuracy, high replication, and extensive spatial coverage spanning recent centuries. With the expansion and extension of tree-ring data and analytical capacity new climatic insights from tree rings are being used in a variety of applications, including for interpretation of past changes in ecosystems and human societies.
This volume presents an overview of the current state of dendroclimatology, its contributions over the last 30 years, and its future potential. The material included is useful not only to those who generate tree-ring records of past climate-dendroclimatologists, but also to users of their results-climatologists, hydrologists, ecologists and archeologists.
Part I Introductory Section
1 High-Resolution Paleoclimatology Raymond S. Bradley 3
2 Dendroclimatology in High-Resolution Paleoclimatology Malcolm K. Hughes 17
Part II Scientific Bases of Dendroclimatology
3 How Well Understood Are the Processes that Create Dendroclimatic Records? A Mechanistic Model of the Climatic Control on Conifer Tree-Ring Growth Dynamics Eugene A. Vaganov Kevin J. Anchukaitis Michael N. Evans 37
4 Uncertainty, Emergence, and Statistics in Dendrochronology Edward R. Cook Neil Pederson 77
5 A Closer Look at Regional Curve Standardization of Tree-Ring Records: Justification of the Need, a Warning of Some Pitfalls, and Suggested Improvements in Its Application Keith R. Briffa Thomas M. Melvin 113
6 Stable Isotopes in Dendroclimatology: Moving Beyond 'Potential' Mary Gagen Danny McCarroll Neil J. Loader Iain Robertson 147
Part III Reconstruction of Climate Patterns and Values Relative to Today's Climate
7 Dendroclimatology from Regional to Continental Scales: Understanding Regional Processes to Reconstruct Large-Scale Climatic Variations Across the Western Americas Ricardo Villalba Brian H. Luckman Jose Boninsegna Rosanne D. D'Arrigo Antonio Lara Jose Villanueva-Diaz Mariano Masiokas Jaime Argollo Claudia Soliz Carlos LeQuesne David W. Stahle Fidel Roig Juan Carlos Aravena Malcolm K. Hughes Gregory Wiles Gordon Jacoby Peter Hartsough Robert J.S. Wilson Emma Watson Edward R. Cook Julian Cerano-Paredes Matthew Therrell Malcolm Cleaveland Mariano S. Morales Nicholas E. Graham Jorge Moya Jeanette Pacajes Guillermina Massacchesi Franco Biondi Rocio Urrutia Guillermo Martinez Pastur 175
Part IV Applications of Dendroclimatology
8 Application of Streamflow Reconstruction to Water Resources Management David M. Meko Connie A. Woodhouse 231
9 Climatic Inferences from Dendroecological Reconstructions Thomas W. Swetnam Peter M. Brown 263
10 North American Tree Rings, Climatic Extremes, and Social Disasters David W. Stahle Jeffrey S. Dean 297
Part V Overview
11 Tree Rings and Climate: Sharpening the Focus Malcolm K. Hughes Henry F. Diaz Thomas W. Swetnam 331