Publications

A multi-century perspective of variability in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation: new insights from tree rings and corals

Citation

Gedalof, Z.M., Mantua, N.J., Peterson, D.L. 2002. A multi-century perspective of variability in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation: new insights from tree rings and corals. Geophysical Research Letters 29(24):2204. doi:10.1029/ 2002GL015824.


Abstract

Annual growth increments from trees and coral heads provide an opportunity to develop proxy records of climatic variability that extend back in time well beyond the earliest instrumental records, and in regions where records have not been kept. Here we combine five published proxy records of North Pacific climatic variability in order to identify the extent to which these records provide a coherent picture of Pacific Basin climatic variability.

This composite chronology is well correlated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index, and provides a better record of PDO variability than any of the constituent chronologies back to 1840. A comparison of these records suggests that the PDO may not have been an important organizing structure in the North Pacific climate system over much of the 19th century, possibly indicating changes in the spatial pattern of sealevel pressure and consequent surface climate patterns of variability over the Americas.