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Were medieval warm-season temperatures in Jamtland, central Scandinavian Mountains, lower than previously estimated?

Journal article
Authors Hans W. Linderholm
B. E. Gunnarson
Published in Dendrochronologia
Volume 57
Issue October
ISSN 1125-7865
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dendro.2019.12...
Keywords Jamtland, Central Scandinavian Mountains, Scots pine, Tree-ring data, MXD, Medieval climate, 20th, regional curve standardization, north-atlantic oscillation, central, sweden, forest-fires, tree, density, variability, pine, reconstructions, record, Forestry, Physical Geography
Subject categories History, Climate Research

Abstract

Today few high-quality tree-ring based temperature reconstructions extending over the past millennium exist, and those have, in general, low replication in their early parts. Here we present a new and updated maximum latewood density (MXD) chronology extending over the last 1200 years, built from local Scots pine wood sources (living trees, drywood preserved the ground, and subfossil wood extracted from lakes) all collected within 20 km in the Scandinavian Mountains in Jamtland. The MXD data was used to reconstruct April-September mean temperatures, where 60% of the variance in observed temperatures could be explained. The reconstruction exhibited distinct multidecadal variability, with the coldest periods centred on ca. 900, 1450, 1600 and 1900 CE, and the warmest periods on ca. 1160, 1250, 1500, 1660 CE. The last part of the 20th - early part of 21st century was the warmest period throughout the whole record, and the reconstruction suggests that, on average, the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA, 950-1250 CE) was only slightly warmer than the Little Ice Age (LIA, 1450-1900 CE). In fact, compared to earlier reconstructions from the region, the new reconstruction suggested lower MCA warm-season temperatures. However, despite sufficient replication during that period, high inhomogeneity among the MXD series makes this period slightly uncertain. The unique drywood on which the chronology was built, displayed a distinct regeneration pattern, where changes in Scots pine establishment was interpreted as responses to changes in forest fire activity and climate throughout the past millennium.

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