Over the past three years, I (Chris) in collaboration with Dr. Kipfmueller have been developing spatially dense lower- and upper-forest border tree-ring networks across central Idaho and southwestern Montana, USA. The purpose of this network construction is to evaluate parallel changes in regional temperature and precipitation over roughly the last millennium. The main objective is to determine how 20th – early 21st century regional climate variability compares with the previous six-nine centuries.
This kind of objective requires that long tree-ring chronologies be constructed from very old living trees with segment lengths containing many centuries worth of rings. More importantly, sample replication during the earliest parts of each record is vital to insure that tree-growth interpretations are not contingent on a limited number of samples with very different between-tree biological growth trends. The surest way to reduce this potential noise is to collect lots of tree-ring samples across space and through time.
This American Alpine Club (www.americanalpineclub.org) grant will fund in part, additional alpine tree-ring collections during the upcoming field-season.