Regional and local climate responses in a Central American tree-ring chronology network

Authors: Talia Anderson*, University of Arizona, Kevin Anchukaitis, University of Arizona, Kiyomi Morino, University of Arizona, Diego Pons, Colorado State University, Dan Griffin, University of Minnesota, Caroline Leland, Columbia University, Edwin Castellanos, Sustainable Economic Observatory, Universidad del Valle, Guatemala, Matthew Taylor, University of Denver
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Earth Science
Keywords: climate, drought, paleoclimate, forests, tree rings, Guatemala, Honduras, Central America
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 30
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Central America is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to anticipated precipitation declines as a consequence of anthropogenic climate change. Sparse and often conflicting observational data, high spatial heterogeneity in rainfall, natural variability, and a lack of high-resolution paleoclimate proxies limit our knowledge of past climate extremes and our ability to detect and attribute recent trends in the region. Here we explore regional-scale and local-scale signals of precipitation variability within a network of tree-ring chronologies developed over the last several years in Guatemala and Honduras. Regional-scale signals provide records of interannual to decadal-scale variability from the Highlands of Guatemala to western Honduras and represent synchronous large-scale climate influences across the region. We evaluate the influences of elevation, aspect, local climate departures, and disturbance in order to explain the site-specific differences in ring-width variability. We explore the potential for the network to provide sufficient information for a spatial reconstruction to assess large-scale links to ocean-atmosphere variability beyond the instrumental record. Ultimately, this network provides a more comprehensive understanding of regional hydroclimate variability and broad-scale ocean-atmosphere influences in Central America.

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