A comparison of drought information in early North American colonial documentary records and a high-resolution tree-ring-based reconstruction

White, Sam

Historical documentary records contain valuable information on climate, weather, and their societal impacts during the pre-instrumental period, but it may be difficult to assess the objectivity and reliability of this information, particularly where the documentary record is incomplete or the reliability of the information it contains is uncertain. This article presents a comprehensive review of information relating to drought found in original written records concerning all early European expeditions (1510–1610 CE) into the present-day US and Canada, and compares this information with maps and time series of drought generated from the tree-ring-based North American Drought Atlas (NADA). The two sources mostly agree in the timing and location of droughts. This correspondence suggests that much of the information in these early colonial historical records is probably objective and reliable, and that tree-ring-based drought atlases can provide information relevant to local and regional human historical events, at least in locations where their reconstruction skill is particularly high. This review of drought information from written sources and tree-ring-based reconstructions also highlights the extraordinary challenges faced by early European explorers and colonists in North America due to climatic variability in an already unfamiliar and challenging environment.

Zitieren

Zitierform:

White, Sam: A comparison of drought information in early North American colonial documentary records and a high-resolution tree-ring-based reconstruction. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

Rechte

Rechteinhaber: Sam White

Nutzung und Vervielfältigung:

Export