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The influence of decision-making in tree ring-based climate reconstructions.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Allen, Kathy 
Anchukaitis, Kevin J  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8509-8080
Arseneault, Dominique  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3419-2480
Boucher, Étienne 

Abstract

Tree-ring chronologies underpin the majority of annually-resolved reconstructions of Common Era climate. However, they are derived using different datasets and techniques, the ramifications of which have hitherto been little explored. Here, we report the results of a double-blind experiment that yielded 15 Northern Hemisphere summer temperature reconstructions from a common network of regional tree-ring width datasets. Taken together as an ensemble, the Common Era reconstruction mean correlates with instrumental temperatures from 1794-2016 CE at 0.79 (p < 0.001), reveals summer cooling in the years following large volcanic eruptions, and exhibits strong warming since the 1980s. Differing in their mean, variance, amplitude, sensitivity, and persistence, the ensemble members demonstrate the influence of subjectivity in the reconstruction process. We therefore recommend the routine use of ensemble reconstruction approaches to provide a more consensual picture of past climate variability.

Description

Keywords

37 Earth Sciences, 3705 Geology, 13 Climate Action

Journal Title

Nat Commun

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2041-1723
2041-1723

Volume Title

12

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC