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Title: Climatic reconstruction of the last 1000 years from bristlecone pine tree rings at Blanco, White Mountains, California, USA
Author: Bale, Roderick Jon
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2008
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As the first decade of the 21st century draws to a close, a key issue facing humanity is that of climate change. Understanding past climate should improve future predictions and climate models. Stable isotope ratios from tree rings may be free from some of the problems associated with tree ring width studies. This research creates a millennial (AD1005-2005) annually resolved δ¹³C based temperature and precipitation reconstruction from bristlecone pine trees growing at an elevation of c.3000m at Blanco in the White Mountains of south central California. Samples were cross dated, cut into annual increments and extracted to α-cellulose. Following this measurements of δ¹³C were made. The δ¹³C results were corrected for increasing atmospheric δ¹²C concentration due to fossil fuel combustion (δ¹³Ccor), and for increasing CO₂ over the last 150 years (δ¹³Cpin). Summer temperature and precipitation are demonstrated to influence δ¹³C ratios. Annual δ¹³C fluctuations correlate strongly with summer precipitation, while lower frequency variations appear to follow changes in summer temperature. The mid 12th, late 16th, late 17th and early 18th century appear to have been warmer, or drier than the 20th century. The late llth/early 12th, early 15th, early 17th and late 19th centuries appear to have witnessed wetter or colder periods than the 20th century. The data compares favourably with previous climate reconstructions from the Western United States.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available