Variations in both width and density of annual rings from a network of tree chronologies were used to develop high-resolution proxies to extend the climate record in the Wrangell Mountain region of Alaska. We developed a warm-season (July-September) temperature reconstruction that spans A.D. 1593-1992 based on the first eigenvector from principal component analysis of six maximum latewood density (MXD) chronologies. The climate/tree-growth model accounts for 51% of the temperature variance from 1958 to 1992 and shows cold in the late 1600s-early 1700s followed by a warmer period, cooling in the late 1700s-early 1800s, and warming in the 20th century. The 20th century is the warmest of the past four centuries. Several severely cold warm-seasons coincide with major volcanic eruptions. The first eigenvector from a ring-width (RW) network, based on nine chronologies from the Wrangell Mountain region (A.D. 1550-1970), is correlated positively with both reconstructed and recorded Northern Hemisphere temperatures. RW shows a temporal history similar to that of MXD by increased growth (warmer) and decreased growth (cooler) intervals and trends. After around 1970 the RW series show a decrease in growth, while station data show continued warming, which may be related to increasing moisture stress or other factors. Both the temperature history based on MXD and the growth trends from the RW series are consistent with well-dated glacier fluctuations in the Wrangell Mountains and some of the temperature variations also correspond to variations in solar activity. (C) 2003 University of Washington. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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