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Last millennium northern hemisphere summer temperatures from tree rings: Part I: The long term context

Journal article
Authors Rob Wilson
Kevin Anchukaitis
Keith R. Briffa
Ulf Büntgen
Edward Cook
Rosanne D'Arrigo
Nicole Davi
Jan Esper
Dave Frank
Björn Gunnarson
Gabi Hegerl
Samuli Helama
Stefan Klesse
Paul J. Krusic
Hans W. Linderholm
Vladimir Myglan
Timothy J. Osborn
Miloš Rydval
Lea Schneider
Andrew Schurer
Greg Wiles
Peng Zhang
Eduardo Zorita
Published in Quaternary Science Reviews
Volume 134
Pages 1-18
ISSN 0277-3791
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 1-18
Language en
Keywords CMIP5 models, Last millennium, Northern hemisphere, Reconstruction, Summer temperatures, Tree-rings
Subject categories Climate Research


Large-scale millennial length Northern Hemisphere (NH) temperature reconstructions have been progressively improved over the last 20 years as new datasets have been developed. This paper, and its companion (Part II, Anchukaitis et al. in prep), details the latest tree-ring (TR) based NH land air temperature reconstruction from a temporal and spatial perspective. This work is the first product of a consortium called N-TREND (Northern Hemisphere Tree-Ring Network Development) which brings together dendroclimatologists to identify a collective strategy for improving large-scale summer temperature reconstructions. The new reconstruction, N-TREND2015, utilises 54 records, a significant expansion compared with previous TR studies, and yields an improved reconstruction with stronger statistical calibration metrics. N-TREND2015 is relatively insensitive to the compositing method and spatial weighting used and validation metrics indicate that the new record portrays reasonable coherence with large scale summer temperatures and is robust at all time-scales from 918 to 2004 where at least 3 TR records exist from each major continental mass. N-TREND2015 indicates a longer and warmer medieval period (~900-1170) than portrayed by previous TR NH reconstructions and by the CMIP5 model ensemble, but with better overall agreement between records for the last 600 years. Future dendroclimatic projects should focus on developing new long records from data-sparse regions such as North America and eastern Eurasia as well as ensuring the measurement of parameters related to latewood density to complement ring-width records which can improve local based calibration substantially.

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