Tree-ring reconstructed dry season rainfall in Guatemala

Kevin J. Anchukaitis, Matthew J. Taylor, Caroline Leland, Diego Pons, Javier Martin-Fernandez, Edwin Castellanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Drought in Guatemala has negative consequences for agriculture and potable water supplies, particularly in regions of the country with highly seasonal rainfall. General circulation models suggest that a decrease in both winter and summer rainfall over Central America is likely and imminent as a consequence of anthropogenic influences on the climate system. However, precipitation observations over the last several decades are equivocal. Here, we use an Abies guatemalensis tree-ring chronology from the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes to estimate January through March rainfall since the late seventeenth century. Our reconstruction shows that recent winter–spring rainfall from the region is not yet exceptional in the context of the last several centuries, has a significant yet variable decadal component, is associated with large-scale modes of ocean–atmosphere variability, and reveals evidence of past multiyear droughts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1537-1546
Number of pages10
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • CentralAmerica
  • Dendrochronology
  • Drought
  • El Nino Southern Oscillation
  • Guatemala
  • Precipitation
  • Tree-ring
  • Tropics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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