Do tree ring chronologies have missing rings that distort volcanic cooling signal?: Tree ring records not distorted by missing rings



Tree ring records are often used as a proxy for past climate. Trees form a new growth ring each year, and ring widths are related to temperature and other conditions at cold sites. Some recent studies have noted that tree ring width chronologies and resulting climate reconstructions do not appear to show the widespread cooling in the past millennium that would be expected following large volcanic eruptions. One hypothesis suggests that regional cooling after a volcanic eruption could be so severe that many trees do not form a ring at all, which leads researchers to misdate the tree ring chronology.