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Kristina Seftigen


Department of Earth
Visiting address
Guldhedsgatan 5a
41320 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 460
40530 Göteborg

About Kristina Seftigen

Research interests

I am an Associate Senior Lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Gothenburg, and vice-director of the Gothenburg University Laboratory of Dendrochronology (GULD). My research interests are centered on dendrochronology (tree-ring research). In short, I use the tree-ring proxy archive to characterize short- to long-term variability in moisture and temperature during the last ~2,000 years, at local, regional and hemispheric scales. While the tree-ring archive is the core of my work, my research interests also include other proxy records, and how these relate to General Circulation Models.

I am particularly interested in past hydroclimatic changes in Scandinavia. By applying new methods and incorporating other tree-ring parameters than the commonly used tree-ring width proxy, I aim to refine our knowledge of past hydroclimate changes in Scandinavia – a region traditionally overlooked in tree-ring studies of past droughts because of the cool and rather humid climate regime.

Ongoing projects

I am the PI of two ongoing projects:

  • “Bridging paleoclimate records and climate model simulations with a novel model/proxy comparison framework” (duration 2020-2022, funded by FORMAS). This project combines tree-ring anatomy, proxy system modelling, and the last-millennium PMIP4/CMIP6 model simulations to better characterize the northern hemisphere temperature evolution over the last ~1,000 years. Specifically, we 1) produce and analyze multiple, millennium-long, dendroanatomical time series at strategically selected sites across the Northern Hemisphere; 2) develop and adapt a proxy system modelling (PSM) framework that is employed to sharpen climate-signal interpretation of the novel proxy parameters, to quantify uncertainties with traditional statistical calibration approaches and retrodict inter-annual to long-term temperature variability of the last millennium; 3) compare and integrate proxy data and model simulations to jointly address uncertainties in both and generate critical insights into the dynamics of the climate system that each would be unable to provide separately. Project partners include the Dendrosciences group at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL (project page here), the Tree-Ring Laboratory University of St Andrews, and the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences.

  • “Are droughts part of the new normal for Sweden - integrating proxy data and model simulations for insight into past and future hydroclimate” (duration 2020-2023, funded by Vetenskapsrådet). The devastating drought recently affecting Scandinavia highlighted again the heavy impact of a variable climate on environment and human welfare, and the challenge to build a resilience in a future of climate change and increasing demographic pressure. Within this alerting context of extreme weather events perturbing the historically established climate fluctuation, the principal research objectives of the current project are to achieve a better understanding of region-specific hydroclimate dynamics at inter-annual to century scales against a background of equally significant longer-term climate variability; and how mechanisms of natural climate variability interact with anthropogenic climate forcing. One of the contributions of the project will be a novel > 1,000 year-long hydroclimate tree-ring dataset from Sweden that will not only provide a highly-sought after real-world constraint to the last-millennium GCM simulations, but will be the first real backbone for the late-Holocene high-resolution hydroclimatology in Sweden, by providing a significant long-term perspective for a region where absolutely dated and annually-resolved long time series (1,000 years or more) of paleo-hydroclimatology are currently non-existent. Importantly, extending the proxy series to cover the MCA period will provide us with a unique test-bed for investigating the present-day climate dynamics and mid-latitude climate ecosystem interactions, as MCA represents the closest analogue to modern warming and thus defines a crucial baseline by which modern post-industrial climate trends can be compared.

I am also closely involved in the project XELLCLIM - Benchmarking xylem cell anatomy for tree-ring based climate reconstructions (link, led by Dr. Georg von Arx and funded by Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF (duration 2019 – 2021).