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Tree-ring reconstructed dry season rainfall in Guatemala

Anchukaitis, Kevin J., Taylor, Matthew J., Leland, Caroline, Pons, Diego, Martin-Fernandez, Javier, Castellanos, Edwin
Climate dynamics 2015 v.45 no.5-6 pp. 1537-1546
Abies guatemalensis, General Circulation Models, anthropogenic activities, climate, drinking water, drought, dry season, growth rings, rain, summer, water supply, winter, Guatemala
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.