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How similar are annual and summer temperature variability in central Sweden?

Journal article
Authors Peng Zhang
Deliang Chen
Hans W. Linderholm
Qiong Zhang
Published in Advances in Climate Change Research
Volume 6
Pages 159-170
ISSN 1674-9278
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 159-170
Language en
Keywords Annual temperature; Summer temperature; Central Sweden; Climate model simulation; Scale-dependent similarity
Subject categories Climate Research, Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


Tree-ring based temperature reconstructions have successfully inferred the past inter-annual to millennium scales summer temperature variability. A clear relationship between annual and summer temperatures can provide insights into the variability of past annual mean temperature from the reconstructed summer temperature. However, how similar are summer and annual temperatures is to a large extent still unknown. This study aims at investigating the relationship between annual and summer temperatures at different timescales in central Sweden during the last millennium. The temperature variability in central Sweden can represent large parts of Scandinavia which has been a key region for dendroclimatological research. The observed annual and summer temperatures during 1901e2005 were firstly decomposed into different frequency bands using ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) method, and then the scale-dependent relationship was quantified using Pearson correlation coefficients. The relationship between the observed annual and summer temperatures determined by the instrumental data was subsequently used to evaluate 7 climate models. The model with the best performance was used to infer the relationship for the last millennium. The results show that the relationship between the observed annual and summer temperatures becomes stronger as the timescale increases, except for the 4e16 years timescales at which it does not show any relationship. The summer temperature variability at short timescales (2e4 years) shows much higher variance than the annual variability, while the annual temperature variability at long timescales (>32 years) has a much higher variance than the summer one. During the last millennium, the simulated summer temperature also shows higher variance at the short timescales (2e4 years) and lower variance at the long timescales (>1024 years) than those of the annual temperature. The relationship between the two temperatures is generally close at the long timescales, and weak at the short timescales. Overall the summer temperature variability cannot well reflect the annual mean temperature variability for the study region during both the 20th century and the last millennium. Furthermore, all the climate models examined overestimate the annual mean temperature variance at the 2e4 years timescales, which indicates that the overestimate could be one of reasons why the volcanic eruption induced cooling is larger in climate models than in proxy data.

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