Climatic Change in Tasmania Inferred from a 1089-Year Tree-Ring Chronology of Huon Pine

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Science  13 Sep 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5025, pp. 1266-1268
DOI: 10.1126/science.253.5025.1266


A climatically sensitive huon pine tree-ring chronology from western Tasmania allows inferences about Austral summer temperature change since A.D. 900. Since 1965, huon pine growth has been unusually rapid for trees that are in many cases over 700 years old. This growth increase correlates well with recent anomalous warming in Tasmania on the basis of instrumental records and supports claims that a climatic change, perhaps influenced by greenhouse gases, is in progress. Although this temperature increase exceeds any that are inferred to have occurred during the past 1089 years at this location, it has not yet clearly emerged from the natural background variability of climate in this part of the Southern Hemisphere.