Climate Dynamics

, Volume 21, Issue 7–8, pp 699–706

Temperature-sensitive Tien Shan tree ring chronologies show multi-centennial growth trends

  • J. Esper
  • S. G. Shiyatov
  • V. S. Mazepa
  • R. J. S. Wilson
  • D. A. Graybill
  • G. Funkhouser


Two millennia-length juniper ring width chronologies, processed to preserve multi-centennial growth trends, are presented for the Alai Range of the western Tien Shan in Kirghizia. The chronologies average the information from seven near-timberline sampling sites, and likely reflect summer temperature variation. For comparison, chronologies are also built using standard dendrochronological techniques. We briefly discuss some qualities of these “inter-decadal” records, and show the low frequency components removed by the standardization process include a long-term negative trend in the first half of the last millennium and a long-term positive trend since about AD 1800. The multi-centennial scale Alai Range chronologies, where these trends are retained, are both systematically biased (but in an opposite sense) in their low frequency domains. Nevertheless, they represent the best constraints and estimates of long-term summer temperature variation, and reflect the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age, and a period of warming since about the middle of the nineteenth century.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Esper
    • 1
  • S. G. Shiyatov
    • 2
  • V. S. Mazepa
    • 2
  • R. J. S. Wilson
    • 3
  • D. A. Graybill
    • 4
  • G. Funkhouser
    • 4
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Division of Russian Academy of Sciences, 8 Marta Street 202, 620144 Ekaterinburg, Russia
  3. 3.School of GeoSciences, Grant Institute, Edinburgh University, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JW, UK
  4. 4.Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA

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