Oxygen isotopes in tree rings are a good proxy for Amazon precipitation and El Niño-Southern Oscillation variability

We present a unique proxy for the reconstruction of variation in precipitation over the Amazon: oxygen isotope ratios in annual rings in tropical cedar (Cedrela odorata). A century-long record from northern Bolivia shows that tree rings preserve the signal of oxygen isotopes in precipitation during the wet season, with weaker influences of temperature and vapor pressure. Tree ring δ18O correlates strongly with δ18O in precipitation from distant stations in the center and west of the basin, and with Andean ice core δ18O showing that the signal is coherent over large areas.

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