A 250-year annual precipitation reconstruction and drought assessment for Cyprus from Pinus brutia Ten. tree-rings

Carol Griggs, Charlotte Pearson, Sturt W. Manning, Brita Lorentzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Precipitation around Cyprus, a relatively small island, is generally consistent in year-to-year variation in all dimensions except amplitude, with the higher elevations in the west generally receiving more precipitation. An annual record of precipitation was found in tree-rings of the predominant pine species, Pinus brutia Ten., which grows from the lower foothills up to 1400m in altitude across the island. Tree-ring chronologies from four sites in west-central Cyprus are used here to reconstruct the annual September to August precipitation and a drought record for AD 1830-2006, with the drought reconstruction extending back to 1756. A minimum of 40% of the variance in annual precipitation and drought occurrence is explained by the variance in the tree-ring widths in all cases. Our drought assessment indicates that, on average, annual droughts occur once every 5years and sustained droughts, 2-6years in length, have occurred in small clusters of time, from 1806-1824, 1915-1934 and 1986-2000, when the winter North Atlantic Oscillation was in a predominantly positive phase. These results suggest that a sustained drought period has a mean return time probability of one in 70-100years. This study provides the first long-term annual precipitation reconstruction and drought assessment at low to mid-elevations for Cyprus and will aid in future plans for drought mitigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2702-2714
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Volume34
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 30 2014

Keywords

  • Annual precipitation reconstruction
  • Cyprus
  • Dendroclimatology
  • Drought record
  • North atlantic oscillation
  • Pinus brutia (Ten.)
  • Troodos massif

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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