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Yearly and Decadal Moisture Extremes of Northeastern Utah, USA
Gray, S.T., Jackson, S.T. and Betancourt, J.L.  2004.  Tree-ring based reconstructions of interannual to decadal scale precipitation variability for northeastern Utah since 1226 A.D.  Journal of the American Water Resources Association 40: 947-960.

What was done
In the words of the authors, "samples from 107 piņon pines (Pinus edulis) at four sites were used to develop a proxy record of annual (June to June) precipitation spanning the 1226 to 2001 AD interval for the Uinta Basin Watershed of northeastern Utah."

What was learned
Gray et al. report that "single-year dry events before the instrumental period tended to be more severe than those after 1900," and that decadal-scale dry events were longer and more severe prior to 1900 as well.  In particular, they find that "dry events in the late 13th, 16th, and 18th Centuries surpass the magnitude and duration of droughts seen in the Uinta Basin after 1900."

At the other end of the spectrum, they report that the 20th century contained two of the strongest wet intervals (1938-1952 and 1965-1987), although these two periods were only the seventh and second most intense wet regimes, respectively, of the entire record.

What it means
In light of these findings, it would appear that in conjunction with 20th-century global warming, precipitation extremes (both high and low) within the Uinta Basin of northeastern Utah have become more attenuated as opposed to more amplified, in contradiction of the climate-alarmist claim that both droughts and floods will become more frequent, long-lasting and severe in a warming world.

Reviewed 29 December 2004