A 3620-Year Temperature Record from Fitzroya cupressoides Tree Rings in Southern South America

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Science  21 May 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5111, pp. 1104-1106
DOI: 10.1126/science.260.5111.1104


A tree-ring width chronology of alerce trees (Fitzroya cupressoides) from southern Chile was used to produce an annually resolved 3622-year reconstruction of departures from mean summer temperatures (December to March) for southern South America. The longest interval with above-average temperatures was from 80 B.C. to A.D. 160. Long intervals with below-average temperatures were recorded from A.D. 300 to 470 and from A.D. 1490 to 1700. Neither this proxy temperature record nor instrumental data for southern South America for latitudes between 35° and 44°S provide evidence of a warming trend during the last decades of this century that could be related to anthropogenic causes. The data also indicate that alerce is the second longest living tree after the bristlecone pine (Pinus Iongaeva).