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A South American Perspective on Dendroclimatology
Presented by Dr. Ricardo VILLALBA on 15 May 2013 from 08:00 to 08:20
Type: Invited Talk
Track: Science and decision making
South America is the only landmass in the Southern Hemisphere that extends from the tropics through the mid-latitude Westerlies to the subantarctic domains at ~55˚S. Stretching N-S over a 65° latitudinal transect, dendrochronological records in South American offer unique opportunities to study the interlinked low- and high-latitude processes influencing climate in the Southern Hemisphere and their teleconnections with other regions in the world, particularly the North American continent. The proven potential for long tree-ring records in South America also allows extended analysis of these teleconnections well beyond the short period provided by instrumental data sets. In this presentation we review the state-of-the-art of dendroclimatology across South America with emphasis on the expansion and strengthening of previous chronology networks; the development of new tropical-subtropical tree-ring records for dendroclimatology; the reconstructions of local to sub continental-scale variations in climate and hydrology; the use of South American tree-ring records to reconstruct past variations in the large-scale circulation indices such as ENSO, PDO and SAM; and the contribution of tree rings to the first continental- scale multi-proxy reconstructions of temperature and precipitation across southern South America for the last ca. 400 years. The limitations imposed by the large variations in quality and uneven distribution of the available tree-ring records are also discussed, noting that many South American tree-ring series remain poorly exploited and contain great potential for future dendroclimatic research.