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Climate Explorer ( www.climexp.knmi.nl) is a web-based application for climatic research that is managed by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and contains a comprehensive collection of climatic data sets and analysis tools. One of its fields of application is high-resolution paleoclimatology. We show how Climate Explorer can be used to explore and download available instrumental climate data and derived time series, to examine the climatic signal in uploaded high-resolution paleoclimate time series, and to investigate the temporal and spatial characteristics of climate reconstructions. We further demonstrate the value of Climate Explorer for high-resolution paleoclimate research using a dendroclimatic data set from the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
Twenty cross-sectional grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) samples were used to explore the utility of using dendrochronological techniques to verify and reliably estimate vine age, and to determine the level of annual growth variability among vines for potential viticultural adoption. The annual xylem-growth rings from the study-site samples were easily discernable, and cross-sectional growth patterns were significantly associated among the samples. Samples from the site also revealed distinct pointer years, indicating a homogeneous environmental growth response. The impetus for the adoption of dendrochronological-based vineyard measurements is to increase the understanding of the relationships between climate and environmental variability on vine growth, and the associated effects on crop yields, to ultimately improve vineyard management methods and yields, and therefore enhance profitability.
The International Tree-Ring Data Bank (ITRDB) provides public access to over 3000 tree-ring data sets collected over the past century, yet 809 of these sites have end dates between AD 1950 and 1980. These data cannot be calibrated with at least the past 30–40 years of instrumental data when used in climate reconstructions. We developed new tree-ring data sets at five sites in Maine, USA, to update earlier collections. Four of the five collections were successfully updated, with environmental changes at the fifth site limiting our success. Our results highlight the limits to tree longevity in a dynamic world and the need to increase and formalize efforts toward updating chronologies. We initiate a discussion to set forth explicit guidelines that help create consistent efforts to updating chronologies and provide a guide to beginning dendrochronologists who are particularly well suited to contribute to this area of work. The research was carried out through an introductory dendrochronology course taught at the University of Wisconsin—Platteville and offers a model to help direct the increasing availability of human resources to the rapidly growing field of dendrochronology.