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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Jul 12;363(1501):2271-84.

Trends in recent temperature and radial tree growth spanning 2000 years across northwest Eurasia.

Author information

  • 1Climatic Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK. k.briffa@uea.ac.uk

Abstract

This paper describes variability in trends of annual tree growth at several locations in the high latitudes of Eurasia, providing a wide regional comparison over a 2000-year period. The study focuses on the nature of local and widespread tree-growth responses to recent warming seen in instrumental observations, available in northern regions for periods ranging from decades to a century. Instrumental temperature data demonstrate differences in seasonal scale of Eurasian warming and the complexity and spatial diversity of tree-growing-season trends in recent decades. A set of long tree-ring chronologies provides empirical evidence of association between inter-annual tree growth and local, primarily summer, temperature variability at each location. These data show no evidence of a recent breakdown in this association as has been found at other high-latitude Northern Hemisphere locations. Using Kendall's concordance, we quantify the time-dependent relationship between growth trends of the long chronologies as a group. This provides strong evidence that the extent of recent widespread warming across northwest Eurasia, with respect to 100- to 200-year trends, is unprecedented in the last 2000 years. An equivalent analysis of simulated temperatures using the HadCM3 model fails to show a similar increase in concordance expected as a consequence of anthropogenic forcing.

PMID:
18048299
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2606779
Free PMC Article

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