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Daniel L. Druckenbrod, Michael E. Mann, David W. Stahle, Malcolm K. Cleaveland, Matthew D. Therrell, and Herman H. Shugart

This study presents two independent reconstructions of precipitation from James Madison's Montpelier plantation at the end of the eighteenth century. The first is transcribed directly from meteorological diaries recorded by the Madison family for 17 years and reflects the scientific interests of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. In his most active period as a scientist, Madison assisted Jefferson by observing the climate and fauna in Virginia to counter the contemporary scientific view that the humid, cold climate of the New World decreased the size and number of its species. The second reconstruction is generated using tree rings from a forest in the Montpelier plantation and connects Madison's era to the modern instrumental precipitation record. These trees provide a significant reconstruction of both early summer and prior fall precipitation. Comparison of the dendroclimatic and diary reconstructions suggests a delay in the seasonality of precipitation from Madison's era to the mid-twentieth century. Furthermore, the dendroclimatic reconstructions of early summer and prior fall precipitation appear to track this shift in seasonality.

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Pavel Ya. Groisman, Elizabeth A. Clark, Vladimir M. Kattsov, Dennis P. Lettenmaier, Irina N. Sokolik, Vladimir B. Aizen, Oliver Cartus, Jiquan Chen, Susan Conard, John Katzenberger, Olga Krankina, Jaakko Kukkonen, Toshinobu Machida, Shamil Maksyutov, Dennis Ojima, Jiaguo Qi, Vladimir E. Romanovsky, Maurizio Santoro, Christiane C. Schmullius, Alexander I. Shiklomanov, Kou Shimoyama, Herman H. Shugart, Jacquelyn K. Shuman, Mikhail A. Sofiev, Anatoly I. Sukhinin, Charles Vörösmarty, Donald Walker, and Eric F. Wood

Northern Eurasia, the largest landmass in the northern extratropics, accounts for ~20% of the global land area. However, little is known about how the biogeochemical cycles, energy and water cycles, and human activities specific to this carbon-rich, cold region interact with global climate. A major concern is that changes in the distribution of land-based life, as well as its interactions with the environment, may lead to a self-reinforcing cycle of accelerated regional and global warming. With this as its motivation, the Northern Eurasian Earth Science Partnership Initiative (NEESPI) was formed in 2004 to better understand and quantify feedbacks between northern Eurasian and global climates. The first group of NEESPI projects has mostly focused on assembling regional databases, organizing improved environmental monitoring of the region, and studying individual environmental processes. That was a starting point to addressing emerging challenges in the region related to rapidly and simultaneously changing climate, environmental, and societal systems. More recently, the NEESPI research focus has been moving toward integrative studies, including the development of modeling capabilities to project the future state of climate, environment, and societies in the NEESPI domain. This effort will require a high level of integration of observation programs, process studies, and modeling across disciplines.

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