We developed a 378-year tree-ring-width chronology based on 110 core samples from 55 individual trees of Larix gmelinii (Rupr.) Rupr. growing in a wide open forest close to the tree line in the Kronotsky National Park. Reflecting strong climatic control over tree growth not only within the study area but also more extensively over central Kamchatka, our chronology was well correlated with those from other larch sites. Response analysis with 10-day mean temperature revealed that the ring width was primarily controlled by the temperature of early summer, i.e., of late May through late June (40 days). While the regression models for a formal reconstruction failed to pass stringent verification tests commonly used in dendroclimatology, the relationship between tree growth and climate was statistically significant and credible. We therefore used our chronology as a proxy of early summer temperature. The chronology shows a cool period from the 1660s until the 1680s, followed by gradual warming until ca. 1800, then by a slight cooling trend extending to ca. 1910, and a warming trend continuing up to the present, with decadal fluctuations throughout the chronology. The warming trend found in our chronology over the twentieth century is generally consistent with the ones commonly appearing in higher latitudes.
- Climate change
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