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Instrumental records demonstrate a rapid warming at regional to global scales as well as large changes in the Earth’s water cycle during the past 50- 100 years. But what causes these trends and are they unusual?
Tree-ring data offer one of the few opportunities to reconstruct variations in the Earth’s climate at annual-resolution, and thereby place recent instrumental records in the context of climate system variability prior to the industrial era. Such long-term records are crucial to test climate models’ abilities to hindcast changes over the past millennium and thus improve predictions for the next centuries.
WSL researchers specialize in the collection, production and analysis of tree-ring width, maximum latewood density, and stable isotopes measurements to quantify past climate change across the globe.
Neukom R, Gergis J, Karoly D, Phipps
S, Wanner H, Curran M, Elbert J, Gonzalez-Rouco F, Linsley B, Moy A, Mundo I,
Raible C, Steig E, van Ommen T, Vance T, Villalba R, Zinke J, Frank D (2014) Inter-hemispheric
temperature variability over the last millennium. Nature Climate Change. doi:10.1038/nclimate2174
Esper J, Frank DC, Timonen M, Zorita E, Wilson RJS, Luterbacher J, Holzkämper S, Nievergelt D, Verstege A, Büntgen U (2012) Millennial-Length Temperature Reconstructions Adjusted for Orbital Forcing. Nature Climate Change. doi:10.1038/nclimate1589.
Treydte K, Schleser GH, Helle G, Frank DC, Winiger M , Haug GH, Esper J (2006) The 20th-century was the wettest period in Northern Pakistan over the past millennium. Nature. 440, 1179-1182. doi:10.1038/nature04743