About this book
Addresses the question: what has been learned, using tree rings, about natural climate variability and its environmental and social impacts? This book reviews and synthesizes the results of the last 30 years, and identifies the needs and opportunities for future work. It provides an authoritative evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of dendroclimatic approaches to reconstructing past climate.
Chapter 1: High-resolution Paleoclimatology ? R. BradleyWhat is high-resolution paleoclimatology? What are its major achievements? What opportunities and challenges does it now face? What should dendroclimatology?s role be in this?Chapter 2: Dendroclimatology in high-resolution Paleoclimatology ? M. K. Hughes, H. F. Diaz and Th. W. SwetnamAn overview of the development of dendroclimatology and an introduction to the questions posed in this book. Scientific bases of dendroclimatology Chapter 3: How well understood are the processes that create tree-ring records? ? G. Vaganov Starting at the most basic level of the environmental control of tree-ring formation, do we have the necessary biological and ecophysiological understanding of this to support inferences about climate variability from tree rings? What are the weak points of this understanding and how might they be strengthened?Chapter 4: The state of the art of quantitative methods in dendroclimatology ? E. CookHow sound are the quantitative techniques commonly used in dendroclimatology, in chronology building, identification and reconstruction of climate variables and the checking of these reconstructions? Are they appropriate to the material being analyzed and to the climatological problems being addressed? How might they be improved?Chapter 5: Detecting low-frequency change using tree rings ? K. BriffaWhat limits the ability of tree-ring records to faithfully record climate variability at low frequencies (multi-centennial to millennial)? How might those limitations be overcome, if at all? What are the advantages and limitations of older and more novel approaches? What are the implications of these limitations? Reconstruction of climate patterns and values relative to today's climateChapter 6: Dendroclimatology at regional and continental scales ? R. Villalba What have been the major contributions of dendroclimatology to climatology so far? In what regions and for which climate problems is exciting progress now being made? What next?Chapter 7: Dendroclimatology at hemispheric and global scales ? M. K. Hughes and M. MannWhat are the achievements of dendroclimatology as applied at hemispheric and global scales ? climate patterns, circulation indices and large-scale means? What are the limitations of this approach? How might they be overcome? How might dendroclimatology contribute to the study of central pressing problems such as "How big is climate sensitivity?? How has the last century, and especially recent decades, compared with earlier centuries? How faithful a representation of variability in recent centuries does the 20th century instrumental record give? Particular attention will be given to: a) identifying the most robust findings; and b) the most serious limitations.Chapter 8: Dendroclimatology, dendrohydrology and water resources management ? C. Woodhouse and D. MekoHow may dendroclimatology contribute to the study of water resources? How may it be used to inform modern public and decision-maker expectations of climate variability? Chapter 9: Dendroclimatology and the ecosystem impacts of climate ? Th. W. SwetnamHow has dendroclimatology contributed to disturbance ecology? What is the significance of the recent changes in tree-growth-climate relationships observed in some regions, not only for dendroclimatology, but also for the understanding of the impacts of climate variability and change on ecosystems?Chapter 10: Dendroclimatology and the understanding of the interactions between climate variability and ancient human societies ? D. Stahle and J. DeanHow has dendroclimatology contributed to understanding of the relationships between climate variability and societies in ancient times? Chapter 11: Tree rings and climate- sharpening the focus ? M. K. Hughes, H. F. Diaz and Th. W. SwetnamWhat has been learned, using tree rings, about natural climate variability and its environmental and social impacts? What are the most significant strengths and weaknesses of dendroclimatology and the needs of, and opportunities for, future work.
Malcolm K. Hughes: Regents' Professor of Dendrochronology and Director Emeritus, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona is a paleoclimatologist specializing in the use of tree rings and other annual records to reconstruct and understand the past behavior of the climate system on geographic scales from local to global, and from time scales ranging from years to millennia. He has carried out research in Europe, North America, Russia, China, India and the Eastern Mediterranean region. Professor Hughes is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and Chair-Elect of the Section on Geology and Geography of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Thomas W. Swetnam, Professor of Dendrochronology and Director of Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, is a forest ecologist and dendrochronologist specializing in the study of forest fires, insect outbreaks, and forest demography and the climatic and human causes of variations in forest ecosystems; graduate training in forestry, watershed management, and dendrochronology at the University of Arizona; has carried out extensive research in western North America, and in areas of South America and Siberia, Russia. Henry F. Diaz is a research climatologist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He is a recognized expert on the El Nino phenomenon, modern and paleo-climate changes, climate impacts, and other topics, and has published dozens of scientific journal articles on various topics related to the subject of climatic variations. He has edited several books, on topics such as El Nino, Climate Change and Water Resources, Climate Change in Mountains, and Climate Extremes and Society. He retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2007 after a distinguished 33 years career in the federal civil service. Dr Diaz is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.