Multivariate Techniques for Specifying Tree-Growth and Climate Relationships and for Reconstructing Anomalies in Paleoclimate

Harold C. Fritts
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Terence J. Blasing
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Bruce P. Hayden
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John E. Kutzbach
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Abstract

Ring widths from trees on certain sites reflect climatic variation. Therefore, long time series derived from replicated and precisely dated ring-width chronologies may be utilized to extend climatic records into prehistoric times. Multivariate analyses of tree-ring chronologies from western North America are used to derive response functions from which one can ascertain what climatic information each ring-width chronology contains. In addition, multivariate analyses are utilized to calibrate a large number of ring-width chronologies of diverse response functions and from widely dispersed sites with a large number of regional climatic variables. A series of transfer functions is derived which allows estimates of anomalous climatic variation from tree-ring records. Reconstructions of anomalous variations in atmospheric circulation for portions of the Northern Hemisphere back to 1700 A.D. are obtained by applying the transfer functions to tree-ring data for time periods when ring data are available but climatic data are not.

Abstract

Ring widths from trees on certain sites reflect climatic variation. Therefore, long time series derived from replicated and precisely dated ring-width chronologies may be utilized to extend climatic records into prehistoric times. Multivariate analyses of tree-ring chronologies from western North America are used to derive response functions from which one can ascertain what climatic information each ring-width chronology contains. In addition, multivariate analyses are utilized to calibrate a large number of ring-width chronologies of diverse response functions and from widely dispersed sites with a large number of regional climatic variables. A series of transfer functions is derived which allows estimates of anomalous climatic variation from tree-ring records. Reconstructions of anomalous variations in atmospheric circulation for portions of the Northern Hemisphere back to 1700 A.D. are obtained by applying the transfer functions to tree-ring data for time periods when ring data are available but climatic data are not.

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