In response to the post
we have been alerted to an interesting paper on tree ring proxy data (h/t to Erik W!).
The paper is
García-Suárez et al, 2009: Climate signal in tree-ring chronologies in a temperate climate: A multi-species approach. Dendrochronologia 27 (2009)183–198
and the abstract reads
“Tree-rings can provide continuous yearly paleoclimatic records for regions or periods of time with no instrumental climate data. However, different species respond to different climate parameters with, for example, some sensitive to moisture and others to temperature. Here, we describe four common species growing in Northern Ireland and their suitability for climate reconstruction.
Our results suggest that beech and ash are the most sensitive to climate, with tree-ring widths more strongly influenced by precipitation and soil moisture in early summer than by temperature or sunshine. Oak is also sensitive to summer rainfall, whereas Scots pine is sensitive to maximum temperature and the soil temperature.
We find that the moisture-related parameters, rainfall and the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), and to a lesser extent, maximum and mean temperatures, can be reconstructed. Reconstructions of climate parameters with tree-rings as proxies may be relatively stable for some seasons such as May–July. We find that combinations of species are more successful in reconstructing climate than single species.”
The conclusion has the text
“When reconstructing past climate from tree-rings (e.g. the amplitude of the Little Ice Age or Medieval Warm Period), it is important to appreciate that these reconstructions are conservative as they only contain a part of the true climate signal.”