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Paleo Slide Set: Tree Rings: Ancient Chronicles of Environmental Change
Precipitation reconstruction for western New Mexico from Grissino-Mayer, 1996.
Variations in precipitation for the last 2,000 years can been seen in the tree-ring reconstruction of annual rainfall for western New Mexico. This reconstruction, from ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, dates back to AD 136 and shows how extremes in precipitation in the 20th century compare to those of the past. The graph in this figure shows the well-known drought of the 1950s, but it also shows droughts of much greater magnitude and length in the late 1500s, around 750, and between 425 and 500.

Photo Credits:
Graphic modified from Grissino-Mayer, 1996, by Connie Woodhouse
NOAA Paleoclimatology Program
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Last Modified: 12 October 2001

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