TALES
     IN
          the story of Prairie drought
TIMBER    written in tree rings
stationarity
A stationary time series is free of trends, shifts
or periodicity, and has statistical parameters that
remain...
STATIONARIT Y
Christopher Milly, Julio Betancourt, Malin Falkenmark, Robert
Hirsch, Zbigniew Kundzewicz, Dennis Lettenmaier, Ronald Stou...
100
years of stream and lake gauging
resource allocation
worst-case scenarios
photograph courtesy Manitoba Hydro
risk
climate change
        variability
40000                                                                                     600


           total energy   ...
40000                                                                                           600


           total ene...
58%




      Percentage of Canada’s power supply


          19%
                     12%
                               ...
100
years of stream and lake gauging
enough?
regional differences
South Saskatchewan River at Saskatoon



relative change
in summer flow




Schindler and Donahue, 2006, PNAS
Annual discharge since 1924


+ 58%
                                         NO TREND
         + 52%




                 ...
uncertain futures
relative change in runoff
                                       at mid-century


Milly et al., 2005, Nature
alternative?
paleoclimatology
 the study of the Earth’s climate prior to the
 period of instrumental measurements
R ECO R D S F RO M ANCIEN T TR EES
Photograph by Andy Frassetto
Tree-ring display at elementary school




Photograph courtesy Tom Swetnam
ARIZ
       ONA
A. E. Douglass
University of Arizona
“
The trees composing the forest rejoice
and lament with its successes and failures
and carry year by year something of it...
Same environmental forcings




                            Similar
                    growth patterns
Same environmental forcings




                            Similar
                    growth patterns
Photograph by Howard Arnott
Global network of tree-ring records




                             44
755 m3/s

847 m3/s

809 m3/s

770 m3/s

823 m3/s

787 m3/s

901 m3/s
     3
CLIMATE




    direct




             HYDROLOGY
CLIMATE




          direct       direct




PROXIES                         HYDROLOGY
CLIMATE




          direct                  direct




PROXIES                                    HYDROLOGY
            ...
Photo: Tom Harlan
Photo: Peter Kelly
Photo: Greg Pederson
60
Martin-Philippe Girardin
            Canadian Forest Service


                                                         Gr...
2,860
   trees
889,862
    tree rings
Prairie tree-ring network
climate change
        variability
How   bad can Prairie
      drought get?
755 m3/s

847 m3/s

809 m3/s

770 m3/s

823 m3/s

787 m3/s

901 m3/s
     3
“ This
  must
   be
 voodoo. ”
Anonymous water
    manager
How  good      are
drought records from
     tree rings?
geography matters
10                               southern Alberta                            3

                                          ...
10                               southern Alberta                               3

                                       ...
northwestern Ontario                                    3
       6
                                                       ...
seasonality
Photo: New York Times




 79
80
81
“
Trees are not thermometers
       or raingauges.
    KEITH BRIFFA AND COLLEAGUES
755 m3/s

847 m3/s

809 m3/s

770 m3/s

823 m3/s

787 m3/s

901 m3/s
     3
Very wet
  Wet
Average

  Dry
Very dry
t per fect
“   Pa
    bu
      leo d
       t can
            ata a
             be a
                 re no
             ...
How  bad   can
 drought get?
100
years of stream and lake gauging
‘Now’ ‘Then’
(AD 1900 - present)   (AD 1500 - 1900)
geography matters
base map courtesy Lake of the Woods Control Board
1783
How  bad   can
 drought get?
1910
How  bad   can
 drought get?
more persistent
more severe
1860s
1842 to 1876
Above average       Below average
1842 to 1876
Above average       Below average
1842 to 1876
Above average       Below average
101
1720s
58 oN



         56 oN
                                                 1718 - 1722
        54 oN



   52 oN



 50 oN

...
“
Trees are not thermometers
       or raingauges.
    KEITH BRIFFA AND COLLEAGUES
1                     1936-1940



              0.8


              0.6
Probability
              0.4


              0.2...
1                          1936-1940



              0.8


              0.6
Probability
                          27 per...
1                           1936-1940



              0.8


              0.6
Probability
              0.4
             ...
‘Now’ ‘Then’
(AD 1900 - present)   (AD 1500 - 1900)
LE SS ONS L E A RNED
PUBLICATIONS


  1   WINNIPEG RIVER STREAMFLOW
      St. George, S. 2007. Streamflow in the Winnipeg River basin, Canada: t...
WORLD
D ATA C E N T E R f o r
PA L E O C L I M AT O L O G Y
does the past
 really matter?
100
years of stream and lake gauging
3
main
applications
climate change

YOU CAN TOUCH
BENCHMARKS
  for recent events and trends
starting points for
‘paleo’ scenarios
                      118
Alberta Environment
                                               Agriculture Canada
Alberta Parks
                      ...
USER PRIORITIES
USER PRIORITIES




MAKE PALEO-DATA MORE ACCESSIBLE
USER PRIORITIES

 MAKE PALEO-DATA MORE ACCESSIBLE




     HOLD TECHNICAL WORKSHOPS
USER PRIORITIES

 MAKE PALEO-DATA MORE ACCESSIBLE

 HOLD TECHNICAL WORKSHOPS




     TEST PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS
USER PRIORITIES

 MAKE PALEO-DATA MORE ACCESSIBLE

 HOLD TECHNICAL WORKSHOPS

 TEST PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS




KEEP SCIENTIS...
VIC BAKER
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
“ HAPPEN AGAIN
Common sense holds that what has really happened


CAN

                             VIC BAKER
            ...
Photo: Monceau




web.mac.com/scottstgeorge
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings
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Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings

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Presentation to the Manitoba chapter of the Canadian Water Resources Association, November 27, 2008

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Tales in timber - the story of Prairie drought written in tree rings

  1. 1. TALES IN the story of Prairie drought TIMBER written in tree rings
  2. 2. stationarity A stationary time series is free of trends, shifts or periodicity, and has statistical parameters that remain constant through time.
  3. 3. STATIONARIT Y
  4. 4. Christopher Milly, Julio Betancourt, Malin Falkenmark, Robert Hirsch, Zbigniew Kundzewicz, Dennis Lettenmaier, Ronald Stouffer Stationarity is dead: whither water management? Science 319, 573-574, 2008
  5. 5. 100 years of stream and lake gauging
  6. 6. resource allocation
  7. 7. worst-case scenarios
  8. 8. photograph courtesy Manitoba Hydro
  9. 9. risk
  10. 10. climate change variability
  11. 11. 40000 600 total energy 400 (000 000 kWh) 30000 200 20000 0 -200 10000 -400 0 -600 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 Source: Annual reports of the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board
  12. 12. 40000 600 total energy 400 (000 000 kWh) 30000 200 20000 0 -200 10000 net income -400 ($M CDN) 0 -600 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 Source: Annual reports of the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board
  13. 13. 58% Percentage of Canada’s power supply 19% 12% 6% 3% 2% Source: Canadian Electricity Association
  14. 14. 100 years of stream and lake gauging
  15. 15. enough?
  16. 16. regional differences
  17. 17. South Saskatchewan River at Saskatoon relative change in summer flow Schindler and Donahue, 2006, PNAS
  18. 18. Annual discharge since 1924 + 58% NO TREND + 52% + 46% NO TREND NO TREND NO TREND NO TREND
  19. 19. uncertain futures
  20. 20. relative change in runoff at mid-century Milly et al., 2005, Nature
  21. 21. alternative?
  22. 22. paleoclimatology the study of the Earth’s climate prior to the period of instrumental measurements
  23. 23. R ECO R D S F RO M ANCIEN T TR EES
  24. 24. Photograph by Andy Frassetto
  25. 25. Tree-ring display at elementary school Photograph courtesy Tom Swetnam
  26. 26. ARIZ ONA
  27. 27. A. E. Douglass University of Arizona
  28. 28. “ The trees composing the forest rejoice and lament with its successes and failures and carry year by year something of its story in their annual rings. A.E. DOUGLASS
  29. 29. Same environmental forcings Similar growth patterns
  30. 30. Same environmental forcings Similar growth patterns
  31. 31. Photograph by Howard Arnott
  32. 32. Global network of tree-ring records 44
  33. 33. 755 m3/s 847 m3/s 809 m3/s 770 m3/s 823 m3/s 787 m3/s 901 m3/s 3
  34. 34. CLIMATE direct HYDROLOGY
  35. 35. CLIMATE direct direct PROXIES HYDROLOGY
  36. 36. CLIMATE direct direct PROXIES HYDROLOGY indirect
  37. 37. Photo: Tom Harlan
  38. 38. Photo: Peter Kelly
  39. 39. Photo: Greg Pederson
  40. 40. 60
  41. 41. Martin-Philippe Girardin Canadian Forest Service Greg Pederson United States Geological Survey Glen MacDonald David Sauchyn Emma Watson UCLA University of Regina Environment Canada Erik Nielsen Jacques Tardif Manitoba Geological Survey University of Winnipeg
  42. 42. 2,860 trees
  43. 43. 889,862 tree rings
  44. 44. Prairie tree-ring network
  45. 45. climate change variability
  46. 46. How bad can Prairie drought get?
  47. 47. 755 m3/s 847 m3/s 809 m3/s 770 m3/s 823 m3/s 787 m3/s 901 m3/s 3
  48. 48. “ This must be voodoo. ” Anonymous water manager
  49. 49. How good are drought records from tree rings?
  50. 50. geography matters
  51. 51. 10 southern Alberta 3 2 5 1 Ringwidth PDSI 0 0 -1 -5 -2 -3 -10 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 St. George et al., (accepted), Journal of Climate Year (A.D.)
  52. 52. 10 southern Alberta 3 2 5 1 Ringwidth PDSI 0 0 -1 -5 r = 0.62 -2 -3 -10 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 St. George et al., (accepted), Journal of Climate Year (A.D.)
  53. 53. northwestern Ontario 3 6 2 4 1 Ringwidth 2 PDSI 0 0 -2 -1 -4 r = 0.40 -2 -6 -3 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 St. George et al., (accepted), Journal of Climate Year (A.D.) 76
  54. 54. seasonality
  55. 55. Photo: New York Times 79
  56. 56. 80
  57. 57. 81
  58. 58. “ Trees are not thermometers or raingauges. KEITH BRIFFA AND COLLEAGUES
  59. 59. 755 m3/s 847 m3/s 809 m3/s 770 m3/s 823 m3/s 787 m3/s 901 m3/s 3
  60. 60. Very wet Wet Average Dry Very dry
  61. 61. t per fect “ Pa bu leo d t can ata a be a re no n imp rovem ent. ” Ben Harding nvironm ental AMEC E
  62. 62. How bad can drought get?
  63. 63. 100 years of stream and lake gauging
  64. 64. ‘Now’ ‘Then’ (AD 1900 - present) (AD 1500 - 1900)
  65. 65. geography matters
  66. 66. base map courtesy Lake of the Woods Control Board
  67. 67. 1783
  68. 68. How bad can drought get?
  69. 69. 1910
  70. 70. How bad can drought get?
  71. 71. more persistent more severe
  72. 72. 1860s
  73. 73. 1842 to 1876 Above average Below average
  74. 74. 1842 to 1876 Above average Below average
  75. 75. 1842 to 1876 Above average Below average
  76. 76. 101
  77. 77. 1720s
  78. 78. 58 oN 56 oN 1718 - 1722 54 oN 52 oN 50 oN 48 oN oW 90 114 oW o o oW 96 108 W 102 W Ringwidth anomaly −2 -2 −1 0 0 1 2 +2 (deviations)
  79. 79. “ Trees are not thermometers or raingauges. KEITH BRIFFA AND COLLEAGUES
  80. 80. 1 1936-1940 0.8 0.6 Probability 0.4 0.2 0 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 PDSI
  81. 81. 1 1936-1940 0.8 0.6 Probability 27 percent 0.4 below -5 PDSI 0.2 0 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 PDSI
  82. 82. 1 1936-1940 0.8 0.6 Probability 0.4 9 percent 0.2 below -6 PDSI 0 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 PDSI
  83. 83. ‘Now’ ‘Then’ (AD 1900 - present) (AD 1500 - 1900)
  84. 84. LE SS ONS L E A RNED
  85. 85. PUBLICATIONS 1 WINNIPEG RIVER STREAMFLOW St. George, S. 2007. Streamflow in the Winnipeg River basin, Canada: trends, extremes and climate linkages. Journal of Hydrology 332, 396-411. 2 TREE-RING RECORDS FROM NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO St. George, S., Meko, D.M. and Evans, M.E. 2008. Regional tree growth and inferred summer climate in the Winnipeg River basin, Canada since AD 1783. Quaternary Research 70, 158-172. 3 PRAIRIE DROUGHTS SINCE AD 1500 St. George, S., Meko, D.M., Girardin, M.P., Nielsen, E., Pederson, G., Sauchyn, D.J., Tardif, J. and Watson, E. (accepted). The tree-ring record of summer drought in the Canadian Prairies. Journal of Climate.
  86. 86. WORLD D ATA C E N T E R f o r PA L E O C L I M AT O L O G Y
  87. 87. does the past really matter?
  88. 88. 100 years of stream and lake gauging
  89. 89. 3 main applications
  90. 90. climate change YOU CAN TOUCH
  91. 91. BENCHMARKS for recent events and trends
  92. 92. starting points for ‘paleo’ scenarios 118
  93. 93. Alberta Environment Agriculture Canada Alberta Parks AMEC City of Calgary DIAND Ducks Unlimited Environment Canada EPCOR Water Services Golder Associates Government of Yukon Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd. Landscape Irrigation Solutions Ltd. Manitoba Hydro Manitoba Water Stewardship Natural Resources Canada North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance Parks Canada Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Agency R. Halliday & Associates Sahtu Renewable Resources Board Saskatchewan Agriculture Saskatchewan Water Authority Siksika Nation Sustainability Resources Inc. University of Calgary University of Saskachewan
  94. 94. USER PRIORITIES
  95. 95. USER PRIORITIES MAKE PALEO-DATA MORE ACCESSIBLE
  96. 96. USER PRIORITIES MAKE PALEO-DATA MORE ACCESSIBLE HOLD TECHNICAL WORKSHOPS
  97. 97. USER PRIORITIES MAKE PALEO-DATA MORE ACCESSIBLE HOLD TECHNICAL WORKSHOPS TEST PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS
  98. 98. USER PRIORITIES MAKE PALEO-DATA MORE ACCESSIBLE HOLD TECHNICAL WORKSHOPS TEST PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS KEEP SCIENTISTS AND USERS TALKING
  99. 99. VIC BAKER UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
  100. 100. “ HAPPEN AGAIN Common sense holds that what has really happened CAN VIC BAKER UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
  101. 101. Photo: Monceau web.mac.com/scottstgeorge

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