Annual Growth Bands in Hymenaea courbaril Page: 4 of 15
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The intimate coupling of the tropical surface ocean and the overlying atmospheric
boundary layer implicitly links variations in atmospheric characteristics to the underlying
sea surface temperature (SST) field and local heating. Warm ocean waters provide latent
and sensible heat to the atmosphere, which localizes convection and drives surface
convergent winds. Convection exports moisture, which eventually precipitates out
providing a freshwater source to the surface and a warming and drying of the atmosphere.
The Amazon basin, southeast Africa, and Indonesia and the western tropical Pacific play
important roles in the localization of deep atmospheric convective activity. The tropics
as a whole are a major exporter of latent and sensible heat to both hemispheres. On
interannual (e. g. El Nino-Southern Oscillation, Atlantic dipole) and longer-timescales,
the export of sensible and latent heat out of the convective regions is linked to global
climate through atmospheric teleconnections. Thus, variations in tropical ocean-
atmosphere interactions have the capability to orchestrate worldwide climate variability
over a range of timescales.
Instrumental records of key environmental variables such as temperature and
precipitation are necessary to understand climate patterns and variability. In general,
such observations from the tropics do not exist prior to the late 19h century, and existing
records contain large special and temporal gaps and are sparsely distributed. An
important source of annual temperature and precipitation data comes from the regular
annual growth rings of wood formed by trees. Tree growth rings occur in response to
periodic seasonal changes in the environment (eg Jacoby, 1989). Although expansive
and diverse in numbers and ecology, a vast majority of tropical trees do not produce
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Westbrook, J A; Guilderson, T P & Colinvaux, P A. Annual Growth Bands in Hymenaea courbaril, article, February 9, 2004; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888046/m1/4/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.