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Is Blue Intensity Ready to Replace Maximum Latewood Density as a Strong Temperature Proxy? a Tree-ring Case Study on Scots Pine from Northern Sweden : Volume 9, Issue 5 (10/09/2013)

By Björklund, J. A.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003981502
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 35
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Is Blue Intensity Ready to Replace Maximum Latewood Density as a Strong Temperature Proxy? a Tree-ring Case Study on Scots Pine from Northern Sweden : Volume 9, Issue 5 (10/09/2013)  
Author: Björklund, J. A.
Volume: Vol. 9, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Climate, Past
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Seftigen, K., Esper, J., Gunnarson, B. E., Linderholm, H. W., & Björklund, J. A. (2013). Is Blue Intensity Ready to Replace Maximum Latewood Density as a Strong Temperature Proxy? a Tree-ring Case Study on Scots Pine from Northern Sweden : Volume 9, Issue 5 (10/09/2013). Retrieved from

Description: Regional Climate Group, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. At high latitudes, where low temperatures mainly limit tree-growth, measurements of wood density (e.g. Maximum Latewood Density, MXD) using the X-Ray methodology provide a temperature proxy that is superior to that of TRW. Density measurements are however costly and time consuming and have lead to experimentation with optical flatbed scanners to produce Maximum Blue Intensity (BImax). BImax is an excellent proxy for density on annual scale but very limited in skill on centennial scale. Discolouration between samples is limiting BImax where specific brightnesses can have different densities. To overcome this, the new un-exploited parameter Δ blue intensity (ΔBI) was constructed by using the brightness in the earlywood (BIEW) as background, (BImax − BIEW = ΔBI). This parameter was tested on X-Ray material (MXD − earlywood density = ΔMXD) and showed great potential both as a quality control and as a booster of climate signals. Unfortunately since the relationship between grey scale and density is not linear, and between-sample brightness can differ tremendously for similar densities, ΔBI cannot fully match ΔMXD in skill as climate proxy on centennial scale. For ΔBI to stand alone, the range of brightness/density offset must be reduced. Further studies are needed to evaluate this possibility, and solutions might include heavier sample treatment (reflux with chemicals) or image-data treatment (digitally manipulating base-line levels of brightness).

Is blue intensity ready to replace maximum latewood density as a strong temperature proxy? A tree-ring case study on Scots pine from northern Sweden

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