Dendroclimatological spring rainfall reconstruction for an inner Alpine dry valley
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Estimates of spring precipitation for the inner Alpine dry valley of the upper Inn (Tyrol, Austria) are made back to A.D. 1724 using a ring width chronology of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) as predictor. A highly significant agreement in year-to-year ring width changes exists between several chronologies along the dry valley. The dendroclimatic model used for climate reconstruction is a simple linear transfer function that estimates April–June precipitation from current tree-ring width. All verification statistics commonly used in dendroclimatological research are significant ( p < 0.01) and indicate that the reconstructed time series provides valuable information on past spring precipitation variability. Reconstructed spring rainfall deficiencies and surpluses ≥ 20% compared to the long-term mean in 1819, 1832, 1834, 1865, 1885, and in 1780, 1782, 1821, 1853, 1910, respectively, are also documented by local historical records. Furthermore, a comparison is made with an independent climate reconstruction based on historical weather indices valid for the northern side of the Swiss Alps. A fairly good agreement is found between both spring rainfall reconstructions at low frequency intervals during 1755–1862 and 1919–1981. This preliminary study shows that tree-rings can be used to reconstruct spring rainfall variability for inner Alpine dry valleys.
KeywordsRing Width Tyrol Climate Reconstruction Spring Precipitation Significant Agreement
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