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Recent increases in Tasmanian Huon pine ring widths from a subalpine stand: natural climate variabiliry, CO2 fertilisation, or greenhouse warming?

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Cook, ER, Francey, RJ, Buckley, BM and D'Arrigo, RD 1996 , 'Recent increases in Tasmanian Huon pine ring widths from a subalpine stand: natural climate variabiliry, CO2 fertilisation, or greenhouse warming?' , Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, vol. 130, no. 2 , pp. 65-72 .

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Abstract

Tasmanian subalpine Huon pines from the extreme high-altitude limit of the species distribution provide a summer temperature
reconstruction extending back beyond 800 Be. Compared to low elevation Huon pine sites, the subalpine ring-widths exhibit a
straightforward direct response to current growth-season temperatures and indicate anomalous warming of 0.33 ± O.06°C from 1967-
91. This warming is consistent with Tasmanian instrumental records and with hemispheric and global records.
The possibility that the trees are responding directly to CO2 fertilisation is explored, using a high-precision record of CO2 , obtained
from air in Antarctic ice and firn, plus direct measurements of air from Cape Grim. The temperature forcing appears capable of explaining
the ring-width variations in the alpine trees over the full range of observed periods, whereas CO2 fertilisation would require a more complex
interaction and is not supported by other arguments.
Two millennia-long tree-ring reconstructions of summer temperatures from South America do not exhibit the recent warming, nor
other features found in the Tasmanian record on decadal to century time-scales. In fact, the South American chronologies bear little
resemblance to each other, but do, however, reflect their own regional instrumental records. The Mt Read ring-width chronology, and
the instrumental temperature series used for its calibration, also co-vary with climate influences of a distinctly regional character, yet still
replicate many of the features reported as hemispheric and global temperatures over the last century.
Spectral analysis of the Mt Read tree-ring data over the full 2792 years suggests that at least part of the recent warming in the instrumental
records could be a consequence of "natural forcing" of the record, complicating an interpretation in terms of a greenhouse-forced warming.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Cook, ER and Francey, RJ and Buckley, BM and D'Arrigo, RD
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, RST, Van Diemens Land, natural history, science, ecology, taxonomy, botany, zoology, geology, geography, papers & proceedings, Australia, UTAS Library
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
ISSN: 0080-4703
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
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Copyright Royal Society of Tasmania

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