Six centuries of May–July precipitation in Cyprus from tree rings

Ramzi Touchan, Andreas K. Christou, David M. Meko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A May–July precipitation nested reconstruction for the period AD 1415–2010 was developed from multi-century tree-ring records of Pinus nigra, Pinus brutia, and Cedrus brevifolia for Cyprus. Calibration and verification statistics for the period 1917–2010 show a good level of skill, and split-sample validation over 1917–2010 supports temporal stability of the tree-ring signal for precipitation. Smoothed annual time series of reconstructed precipitation and a tally of drought events in a moving time window indicate that the calibration period is not representative of the full range of drought variability. While convective precipitation in the warm season may be driven strongly by local factors, composite maps of geopotential height anomaly for dry years and wet years support large-scale atmospheric-flow influence related to height anomalies over the broader region of northeast Africa and the eastern Mediterranean. Emerging positive trend in reconstruction residuals may be an early sign of exacerbation of drought stress on trees by recent warming in May–July. Future warming expected from increases in greenhouse gases poses a threat to forest resources in Cyprus and elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3281-3292
Number of pages12
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume43
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Drought
  • Geopotential height
  • Mediterranean region
  • Nested reconstruction
  • Tree rings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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