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Dendroclimatic Studies: Tree Growth and Climate Change in Northern Forests

ISBN: 978-1-118-84872-2
88 pages
May 2014, American Geophysical Union
Dendroclimatic Studies: Tree Growth and Climate Change in Northern Forests (1118848721) cover image


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.

Dendroclimatic Studies at the North American Tree Line presents an overview of the current state of dendroclimatology, its contributions over the past few decades, and its future potential. The material included is not 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.

In summary, this book:

  • Sheds light on recent and future climate trends by assessing long term past climatic variations from tree rings
  • Is a timely coverage of a crucial topic in climate science portraying recent warming trends which are of serious concern today
  • Features well-reputed scientists highlighting new advanced methodologies to reconstruct past climate change
  • Models the tree growth environmental response
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Table of Contents

Preface  v

Acknowledgments  vii

1. Introduction 1

1.1. Overview 1

1.2. Basic Tree-Ring Principles 1

1.3. Polar Amplification of Global Warming and Impacts on Forests 3

1.4. “Northern Archive” Synthesis 6

2. Tree-Ring Investigations at Northern Latitudes 7

2.1. Initial Studies 7

2.2. Site Selection 8

2.3. Tree-Ring Parameters and Processing: Ring Width and Maximum Latewood Density 9

3. Selected Local to Regional TRL-LDEO Northern Tree-Ring Studies 13

4. The Broader Context of Northern Dendroclimatic Studies 19

4.1. North America 19

4.2. Eurasia 21

4.3. Tree-Ring Chronology Networks 21

5. Temperature Reconstructions for the Northern Hemisphere 23

5.1. Initial Attempts 23

5.2. Evolution of NH Temperature Reconstructions 25

5.3. Reconstructed NH Temperature Trends 31

5.4. Standardization of NH Tree-Ring Temperature Reconstructions 33

6. Tree Growth Issues in the Anthropogenic Era: CO2 Fertilization and the “Divergence Problem” 37

6.1. CO2 Fertilization 37

6.2. The Divergence Problem 38

7. Conclusions and Future Challenges 43

Glossary 51

References 57

Core TRL-LDEO Publications on Northern Forests 67

Index 75

Color plate section is located between pages 36 and 37. 

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Author Information

Rosanne D’Arrigo, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, USA

Nicole Davi, William Paterson University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, USA

Gordon Jacoby, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, USA

Rob Wilson, University of St. Andrews, UK and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, USA

Greg Wiles, The College of Wooster and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, USA

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“I enjoyed the short format, and would support the production of further AGU OPUS themed syntheses, but would respectfully suggest that the programme reviews the format to permit a wider scope for general themes and greater detail for more specialist topics.”  (The Holocene, 1 February 2015)

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