Tree Ring reconstruction of precipitation in Crimea

in cooperation with N.Davi, R.D'Arrigo, G.Jacoby, and A.Curtis

The first verifiable reconstruction of spring (April-July) precipitation is presented for Crimea, Ukraine. It is derived from Crimean pine (Pinus hamata D.Sosn) ring-width data spanning A.D. 1620-2002. The reconstruction accounts for 37% of the variance in observed precipitation over 1896-1988. Most droughts recorded in Crimean historical documents in the 17th-19th centuries coincide with below-average reconstructed precipitation in the concurrent or following year. An 11-year filtered version of the reconstruction correlates with an annually-laminated sediment thickness record from Saki Lake (4188 years long), once the lake record is shifted backward by 15 years. The offset may be explained by anthropogenic changes at the lake at the end of the 19th century. The significant relationship between the lake sediments and reconstruction suggests that the lake record is also a moisture indicator. If so, the wettest period of the past 1500 years (~ AD1050-1250) broadly coincides with the “Medieval Warm Period” in Crimea.

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