Preliminary reconstructions of spring precipitation in Southwestern Turkey from tree-ring width

Ramzi Touchan, Gregg M. Garfin, David M. Meko, Gary Funkhouser, Nesat Erkan, Malcolm K. Hughes, Brian S. Wallin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Two reconstructions of spring (May-June) precipitation have been developed for southwestern Turkey. The first reconstruction (1776-1998) was developed from principal components of nine chronologies of Cedrus libani, Juniperus excelsa, Pinus brutia, and Pinus nigra. The second reconstruction (1339-1998) was derived from principal components of three J. excelsa chronologies. Calibration and verification statistics of both reconstructions indicate reasonably accurate reconstruction of spring precipitation for southwestern Turkey, and show clear evidence of multi-year to decadal variations in spring precipitation. The longest period of reconstructed spring drought, defined as consecutive years with less than 80% of normal May-June precipitation, was 4 years (1476-79). Only one drought event of this duration has occurred during the last six centuries. Monte Carlo analysis indicates a less than 33% probability that southwestern Turkey has experienced spring drought longer than 5 years in the past 660 years. Apart from the 1476-79 extended dry period, spring droughts of 3 years in length have only occurred from 1700 to the present. The longest reconstructed wet period, defined as consecutive years with more than 120% of normal May-June precipitation, was 4 years (1532-35). The absence of extended spring drought during the 16th and 17th centuries and the occurrence of extended wet spring periods during these centuries suggest a possible regime shift in climate. Preliminary analysis of links between large-scale climatic variation and these climate reconstructions shows that there is a relationship between extremes in spring precipitation and anomalous atmospheric circulation in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-171
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2003


  • Dendrochronology
  • Dendroclimatic reconstruction
  • Drought
  • NAO
  • Synoptic climatology analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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