Climate Dynamics

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 953–963 | Cite as

Multi-century variability in the Pacific North American circulation pattern reconstructed from tree rings

  • Valerie Trouet
  • Alan H. Taylor


We here present a reconstruction (1725–1999) of the winter Pacific North American (PNA) pattern based on three winter climate sensitive tree ring records from the western USA. Positive PNA phases in our record are associated with warm phases of ENSO and PDO and the reorganization of the PNA pattern towards a positive mode is strongest when ENSO and PDO are in phase. Regime shifts in our PNA record correspond to climatic shifts in other proxies of Pacific climate variability, including two well-documented shifts in the instrumental period (1976 and 1923). The correspondence breaks down in the early 19th century, when our record shows a prolonged period of positive PNA, with a peak in 1800–1820. This period corresponds to a period of low solar activity (Dalton Minimum), suggesting a ‘positive PNA like’ response to decreased solar irradiance. The distinct 30-year periodicity that dominates the PNA reconstruction in the 18th century and again from 1875 onwards is disrupted during this period.


Pacific North American PNA PDO ENSO Reconstruction Tree ring 



This research was supported by a cooperative agreement with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station (04-JV-11272162-407) from funds provided by the USDI/USDA Interagency Joint Fire Sciences Program and a George S. Deike Research Grant. We thank Jan Esper, David Frank, Bernd Haupt, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swiss Federal Research Institute WSLBirmensdorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Earth and Environmental Systems InstituteThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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