Rob John Sinclair Wilson

Rob John Sinclair Wilson
University of St Andrews · Department of Earth Sciences

PhD

About

158
Publications
46,958
Reads
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9,328
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2017 - February 2019
University of St Andrews
Position
  • Lecturer
June 2017 - February 2019
University of St Andrews
Position
  • Lecturer
January 2014 - April 2017
University of St Andrews
Position
  • Reader and Admissions Officer

Publications

Publications (158)
Article
Full-text available
Although variations in building activity are a useful indicator of societal well-being and demographic development, historical datasets for larger regions and longer periods are still rare. Here, we present 54,045 annually precise dendrochronological felling dates from historical construction timber from across most of Europe between 1250 and 1699...
Article
Full-text available
We evaluate a range of blue intensity (BI) tree-ring parameters in eight conifer species (12 sites) from Tasmania and New Zealand for their dendroclimatic potential, and as surrogate wood anatomical proxies. Using a dataset of ca. 10–15 trees per site, we measured earlywood maximum blue intensity (EWB), latewood minimum blue intensity (LWB), and th...
Article
Regional reconstructions of air temperature over the past millennium provide critical context for ongoing climate change, but they are temporally limited in the recent period or absent for many parts of the world. We demonstrate the use of latewood blue intensity (LWB) to reconstruct current-year growing (warm) season maximum temperatures (Tmax) in...
Article
Full-text available
Warming in Central Asia has been accelerating over the past three decades and is expected to intensify through the end of this century. Here, we develop a summer temperature reconstruction for western Mongolia spanning eight centuries (1269–2004 C.E.) using delta blue intensity measurements from annual rings of Siberian larch. A significant cooling...
Article
Full-text available
The “1809 eruption” is one of the most recent unidentified volcanic eruptions with a global climate impact. Even though the eruption ranks as the third largest since 1500 with a sulfur emission strength estimated to be 2 times that of the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo, not much is known of it from historic sources. Based on a compilation of instrumenta...
Article
Full-text available
Tree-ring chronologies underpin the majority of annually-resolved reconstructions of Common Era climate. However, they are derived using different datasets and techniques, the ramifications of which have hitherto been little explored. Here, we report the results of a double-blind experiment that yielded 15 Northern Hemisphere summer temperature rec...
Article
Blue Intensity (BI) is coming of age in dendrochronology, although some methodological challenges are still left to be solved. In the last 20 years, 59 papers have been published focussing mainly on climatological based studies, although BI has also been shown to be useful both for historical dating and dendroecological studies. This short paper br...
Preprint
Full-text available
We evaluate a range of blue intensity (BI) tree-ring parameters in eight conifer species (12 sites) from Tasmania and New Zealand for their dendroclimatic potential, and as surrogate wood anatomical proxies. Using a dataset of ca. 10–15 trees per site, we measured earlywood maximum blue reflectance intensity (EWB), latewood minimum blue reflectance...
Article
We use theNorthern Hemisphere Tree-RingNetwork Development (NTREND) tree-ring database to examine the effects of using a small, highly-sensitive proxy network for paleotemperature data assimilation over the last millennium. We first evaluate our methods using pseudo-proxy experiments. These indicate that spatial assimilations using this network are...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Forests are changing around the world due to stress from climate change. We examined multiple forest sites in the Shoshone National Forest, which is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, during North American Dendroecological Fieldweek events in 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019. During these events, we sampled over a thousand trees from 14 sites to...
Article
Emissions from traffic over the past few decades have become a significant source of air pollution. Among the pollutants emitted are nitrogen oxides (NOx), exposure to which can be detrimental to public health. Recent studies have shown that nitrogen (N) stable isotope ratios in tree-rings and foliage express a fingerprint of their major N source,...
Preprint
Full-text available
The 1809 eruption is one of the most recent unidentified volcanic eruptions with a global climate impact. Even though the eruption ranks as the 3rd largest since 1500 with an eruption magnitude estimated to be two times that of the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo, not much is known of it from historic sources. Based on a compilation of instrumental and r...
Article
We explore the potential of the delta Blue Intensity (DBI) parameter as a proxy of past summer temperatures using a well replicated (85 trees) chronology of Pinus uncinata from upper treeline in the Spanish Pyrenees. Principal component analysis, correlation response function analysis and Superposed Epoch Analysis show definitively that the DBI dat...
Article
Full-text available
X‐ray microdensitometry on annually resolved tree‐ring samples has gained an exceptional position in last‐millennium paleoclimatology through the maximum latewood density (MXD) parameter, but also increasingly through other density parameters. For 50 years, X‐ray based measurement techniques have been the de facto standard. However, studies report...
Article
Full-text available
Hydroclimate extremes in North America, Europe, and the Mediterranean are linked to ocean and atmospheric circulation anomalies in the Atlantic, but the limited length of the instrumental record prevents complete identification and characterization of these patterns of covariability especially at decadal to centennial timescales. Here we analyze th...
Article
Recent work has linked historical crises, both regional and local, with palaeoclimatic estimates of global and hemispheric climate change. Such studies tend to underemphasize the spatiotemporal and socioeconomical disparity of human suffering and adaptive capacity as well as the complexities of past climate change. We focus herein on the effects in...
Article
Quantifying past climate variation and attributing its causes improves our understanding of the natural variability of the climate system. Tree-ring-based proxies have provided skillful and highly resolved reconstructions of temperature and hydroclimate of the last millennium. However, like all proxies, they are subject to uncertainties arising fro...
Article
This is the first study to generate and analyze the climate signal in blue intensity (BI) tree-ring chronologies from Alaska yellow-cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis (D. Don) Oerst. ex D.P. Little). The latewood BI chronology shows a much stronger temperature sensitivity than ring width and can thus provide information on past climate. The well-repl...
Article
Full-text available
In north-western North America, the so-called divergence problem (DP) is expressed in tree ring width (RW) as an unstable temperature signal in recent decades. Maximum latewood density (MXD), from the same region, shows minimal evidence of DP. While MXD is a superior proxy for summer temperatures, there are very few long MXD records from North Amer...
Article
Full-text available
Extratropical volcanic eruptions are commonly thought to be less effective at driving large-scale surface cooling than tropical eruptions. However, recent minor extratropical eruptions have produced a measurable climate impact, and proxy records suggest that the most extreme Northern Hemisphere cold period of the Common Era was initiated by an extr...
Article
Full-text available
The original version of this Article contained an error in the Data Availability section, which incorrectly read ‘All data will be freely available via https://www.ams.ethz.ch/research.html.’ The correct version states ‘http://www.ams.ethz.ch/research/published-data.html’ in place of ‘https://www.ams.ethz.ch/research.html’. This has been corrected...
Article
Full-text available
Though tree-ring chronologies are annually resolved, their dating has never been independently validated at the global scale. Moreover, it is unknown if atmospheric radiocarbon enrichment events of cosmogenic origin leave spatiotemporally consistent fingerprints. Here we measure the 14C content in 484 individual tree rings formed in the periods 770...
Article
The response of forest growth to climate variability varies along environmental gradients. A growth increase and decrease with warming is usually observed in cold-humid and warm-dry regions, respectively. However, it remains poorly known where the sign of these temperature effects switches. Here we introduce a newly developed European tree-ring net...
Article
Full-text available
Accurately capturing medium- to low-frequency trends in tree-ring data is vital to assessing climatic response and developing robust reconstructions of past climate. Non-climatic disturbance can affect growth trends in tree-ring-width (RW) series and bias climate information obtained from such records. It is important to develop suitable strategies...
Article
Over the past two decades, the dendroclimate community has produced various annually resolved, warm season temperature reconstructions for the extratropical Northern Hemisphere. Here we compare these tree-ring based reconstructions back to 831 CE and present a set of basic metrics to provide guidance for non-specialists on their interpretation and...
Article
Full-text available
We developed Blue Intensity (BI) measurements from the crossdated ring sequences of Fokienia hodginsii (of the family Cupressaceae) from central Vietnam. BI has been utilized primarily as an indirect proxy measurement of latewood (LW) density of conifers (i.e., LWBI) from high latitude, temperature-limited boreal forests. As such, BI closely approx...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents a summer temperature reconstruction using Scots pine tree-ring chronologies for Scotland allowing the placement of current regional temperature changes in a longer-term context. ‘Living-tree’ chronologies were extended using ‘subfossil’ samples extracted from nearshore lake sediments resulting in a composite chronology >800 year...
Article
Full-text available
Ring-width (RW) records from the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) have yielded a valuable long-term perspective for North Pacific changes on decadal to longer timescales in prior studies but contain a broad winter to late summer seasonal climate response. Similar to the highly climate-sensitive maximum latewood density (MXD) proxy, the blue intensity (BI) para...
Article
Full-text available
Climate in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) reflects large-scale ocean-atmosphere variability of the North Pacific climate system. Ring-width (RW) records from the GOA have yielded a valuable long-term perspective for North Pacific changes on decadal to longer time scales in prior studies, but express a broad winter to late summer seasonal response. Simila...
Article
Climate field reconstructions from networks of tree-ring proxy data can be used to characterize regional-scale climate changes, reveal spatial anomaly patterns associated with atmospheric circulation changes, radiative forcing, and large-scale modes of ocean-atmosphere variability, and provide spatiotemporal targets for climate model comparison and...
Article
Full-text available
Dendroarchaeology almost exclusively uses ring-width (RW) data for dating historical structures and artefacts. Such data can be used to date tree-ring sequences when regional climate dominates RW variability. However, the signal in RW data can be obscured due to site specific ecological influences (natural and anthropogenic) that impact crossdating...
Article
The SCOT2K project has extended native pine tree-ring chronology coverage for Scotland to enable reconstruction of past climate and for cultural heritage dating benefits. Using living trees from multiple locations in the Highlands and sub-fossil material from lochs, a network of five regional chronologies has been produced. The project has develope...
Article
Full-text available
A detailed understanding of past temporal patterns and spatial expression of temperature variations is important to place recent anthropogenic climate change into a longer term context. In order to fill the current gap in our understanding of northwest European temperature variability, point-by-point principal component regression was used to recon...
Article
Large-scale millennial length Northern Hemisphere (NH) temperature reconstructions have been pro- gressively improved over the last 20 years as new datasets have been developed. This paper, and its companion (Part II, Anchukaitis et al. in prep), details the latest tree-ring (TR) based NH land air temperature reconstruction from a temporal and spat...
Article
Full-text available
Nonclimatic disturbance events are an integral element in the history of forests. Although the identification of the occurrence and duration of such events may help to understand environmental history and landscape change, from a dendroclimatic perspective, disturbance can obscure the climate signal in tree rings. However, existing detrending metho...
Article
Full-text available
Climate model projections suggest widespread drying in the Mediterranean Basin and wetting in Fennoscandia in the coming decades largely as a consequence of greenhouse gas forcing of climate. To place these and other “Old World” climate projections into historical perspective based on more complete estimates of natural hydroclimatic variability, we...
Article
Annually resolved and millennium‐long reconstructions of large‐scale temperature variability are primarily composed of tree ring width (TRW) chronologies. Changes in ring width, however, have recently been shown to bias the ratio between low‐ and high‐frequency signals. To overcome limitations in capturing the full spectrum of past temperature vari...
Article
While paleoclimatic studies have extended our understanding of North Pacific climate variability, these have been almost exclusively based on proxies from western North America. We present a tree-ring reconstruction of June to September coastal air temperatures for Nemuro, northeastern Japan for the past four centuries. It explains 36% of the varia...
Article
Full-text available
The South Asian summer monsoon (SASM) is a major atmospheric synoptic climate system affecting nearly a quarter of the human population. Climate proxy data derived from tree rings, ice cores, speleothems, and other sources can all contribute to an understanding of SASM variability prior to instrumental period. Here, we develop an optimal informatio...
Article
Full-text available
Maximum latewood density (MXD) is a strong proxy of summer temperatures. Despite this, there is a paucity of long MXD chronologies in the Northern Hemisphere, which limits large-scale tree-ring-based reconstructions of past temperature which are dominated by ring-width (RW) data – a weaker temperature proxy at inter-annual time-scales. This paucity...
Book
Full-text available
A top priority in climate research is obtaining broad-extent and long-term data to support analyses of historical patterns and trends, and for model development and evaluation. Along with directly measured climate data from the present and recent past, it is important to obtain estimates of long past climate variations spanning multiple centuries a...
Article
Full-text available
Key points: Water shifts due to climatic fluctuations between floodplain storage reservoirsAnthropogenic changes to hydrology directly impact water available to treesEcohydrologic approaches to integration of hydrology afford new possibilities.
Article
A 1200-year-long tree-ring width record from living and subfossil mountain hemlock wood is used to reconstruct February through August temperatures for the Gulf of Alaska, providing a record of past climate variability for the Northeast Pacific sector that captures interannual to centennial timescales. The moderate elevation at the tree-ring sites...
Article
Full-text available
Radial growth of boreal tree species is only rarely studied in riparian habitats. Here we investigated chronologies of earlywood, latewood, and annual ring widths and blue intensity (BI; a surrogate to latewood density) from riparian lake shore and upland forest interior pines (Pinus sylvestris L.) growing in boreal forest in eastern Finland. Ripar...
Article
Full-text available
To maximise the potential of the tree-ring isotopic signal for palaeoclimate research it is essential to understand and characterise the natural variability between individual trees. This study explores the nature of inter-tree isotopic variability and evaluates the implications for developing robust palaeoclimate reconstructions. We confirm levels...
Article
rings are an important proxy for understanding the timing and environmental consequences of volcanic eruptions as they are precisely dated at annual resolution and, particularly in tree line regions of the world, sensitive to cold extremes that can result from climatically significant volcanic episodes. Volcanic signals have been detected in ring w...
Article
Full-text available
We undertake the first comprehensive effort to integrate North Atlantic marine climate records for the last millennium, highlighting some key components common within this system at a range of temporal and spatial scales. In such an approach, careful consideration needs to be given to the complexities inherent to the marine system. Composites there...
Article
Growth responses of riparian trees to changes in water availability are poorly understood, thereby limiting understanding of regional drought implications in river corridors. We used dendrochronological methods to develop growth series and analysed oxygen isotopic ratios (d 18 O) in a-cellulose from individual tree rings for two co-occurring ripari...