North Atlantic oscillation signatures in Western Iberian tree-rings



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Roig, Fidel A. and Barriopedro Cepero, David and García Herrera, Ricardo and Patón Dominguez, Daniel and Monge, Susana (2009) North Atlantic oscillation signatures in Western Iberian tree-rings. Geografiska Annaler Series A-Physical Geography, 91A (2). pp. 141-157. ISSN 0435-3676

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Exactly dated ring-width chronologies derived from Pyrenean oak and sweet chestnut trees growing in northern Extremadura, Spain, were evaluated for their potential as proxies for regional precipitation and North Atlantic Oscillation variability. The relationships among tree-rings, instrumental climatic records, and three versions of the NAO index were computed for different time subperiods over the last century. The results indicate that tree-ring records reflect, with variable intensity, both short-term and long-term variations in climate. Multiple correlation and regression analysis revealed that summer precipitation appeared to be the major factor affecting tree growth at inter-annual timescales. Moreover, since fluctuations in accumulated variability in annual rainfall over southwest Iberia are controlled by winter precipitation, the accumulated rainfall (August of the year n-1 to July of year n) and winter NAO indices are also strongly correlated with tree-ring records at interdecadal timescales. This relationship appears to be especially strong during the second half of the 20th century, which is consistent with an increase of the NAO signal in the annual precipitation during the later part of the century. These results indicate that tree-rings from western Iberia are potential proxies of the NAO variability, useful to be included in palaeoclimatic model studies.

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© The authors 2009. Journal compilation © 2009 Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography. We appreciate the support from Ricardo Trigo and the Instituto Nacional de Meteorología of Spain who provided the rainfall data from the Lisbon and Hervás meteorological stations, respectively. The authors would like to thank Agustín García who kindly assisted with the fieldwork, and Rafael Bottero and Judy Boshowen for technical assistance.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Southern Spain; Winter temperatures; Climate-change; Time-series; Reconstructions; Variability, Europe; Precipitation; Greenland; Index
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
Sciences > Physics > Atmospheric physics
ID Code:24493
Deposited On:12 Mar 2014 10:28
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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