INTERPRETATION of proxy records of past environmental conditions derived from dated geological or biological materials is of great importance for the extension of the climatic record1,2. Precisely dated, replicated tree-ring series have been particularly useful as they provide records (usually ring-widths) dated to the individual year, for hundreds or thousands of years. Each such series, or chronology, is derived from a particular known location. Thus a network of such chronologies may be developed for a particular region and used as a proxy record of spatial and temporal climatic variations. This has been achieved in North America by Fritts et al.3,4, using principally chronologies from semi-arid areas or from near altitudinal or polar tree-lines. We report evidence here that tree-ring chronologies from sites in the British Isles will provide suitable proxy records for the reconstruction of historical temporal and spatial variation of climate.
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