The Taymir Peninsula of northern Siberia (see map)is home to the world's northernmost trees. These trees, growing at the latitudinal treeline are sensitive to temperatures and provide valuable data on environmental and climatic processes along the Arctic. By looking at chronologies of annual ring-width and density variations, we are using these trees to reconstruct temperatures over the past centuries, or even millenia. These temperature records provide a long term perspective on climate variability and are important for understanding the climate system. These records are also important for addressing issues and providing context to answer questions on anthopogenic global warming and human impact on the environment.
Some of our major objectives are:
1. To develop long chronologies of tree growth from living trees and extend these records by incorporating dead trees that have remained preserved in the cold arctic air, by being buried in permafrost or alluvial deposits, or submerged in lakes and rivers.
2. To obtain records from many different sites to learn more about differences in tree response at these sites. Also, by looking at different species we hope to learn about different 'seasonal windows' of tree response.
3. To investigate the shift in the way trees have been responding to temperature that has been observed within the 30 years.