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Tree-ring data show history, pattern to droughts (Reconstruction of the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI))

ScienceDaily (February 17, 2013)

Tree-ring data show history, pattern to droughts (Reconstruction of the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI))

ScienceDaily (February 17, 2013)

Researchers used more than 1,400 climate-sensitive tree-ring chronologies from multiple tree species across North America to reconstruct the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI), a widely used soil moisture index.

Dendrochronologists have shown that tree-ring data produce a remarkably accurate history of droughts and other climate changes. Combined with reliable drought indices and historical descriptions of climate conditions, dendrochronology — the technique of dating events and environmental change by relying on characteristic patterns of tree-ring growth — can provide a climate perspective on important events such as large-scale human migration and even the rise and fall of entire civilizations.

The tree-ring reconstructions of the Palmer index indicated that the Great Pueblo Drought, which occurred from 1276 to 1297 and may have contributed to the abandonment of the northern Colorado Plateau by the ancient Pueblo, affected a larger geographic area than originally thought. The findings indicated that this drought covered the entire southwestern United States and included drought in both the winter and early growing season.

Story Source

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

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