A tree-ring width chronology of larch (Larix kurilensis Mayr) has been developed from along the Bystraya River near Esso in the interior valley of the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. The chronology, which covers from 1670 to 1992, explains 38% of the variance in May-June temperatures for the Esso meteorological station. This ring-width series is used to develop the first dendroclimatic reconstruction for Kamchatka. We caution that the Esso station record, the closest to the tree-ring site, is only 42 years in length, making model verification difficult. Periods of above-average temperatures are inferred for ca. 1750, 1800, and over the last few decades; colder than average conditions are inferred for 1710-1720, 1760-1770's and 1860-1880s. The ring-width chronology cross-dates with other larch tree-ring data for Kamchatka and, during certain intervals, with a larch ring-width record from eastern Siberia. Comparison of the two records suggests that the insertion of a missing ring for the year 1816 in the eastern Siberian series is not justified. A birch (Betula ermanii Cham.) chronology from a coastal site near Petropavlovsk-Kamchastskiy correlates with July-August temperatures. Both the larch and more widespread birch species show promise for further dendroclimatic studies in Kamchatka.
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