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Central Scandinavian winter precipitation variability during the past five centuries interpreted from Pinus sylvestris tree rings

Journal article
Authors Hans W. Linderholm
Deliang Chen
Published in Boreas
Volume 34
Pages 43-52
Publication year 2005
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 43-52
Language en
Keywords Winter precipitation reconstruction, Scandinavia, tree rings
Subject categories Climate Research


Using Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) tree-ring data, winter (September–April) precipitation variability in west central Scandinavia was reconstructed for the past five centuries. The main growth-limiting factor for pine growing in the studied area is summer temperature, but there is an additional influence of precipitation. Using principal components analysis on three tree-ring-width chronologies, a time series was yielded that contained information on winter precipitation (Pw). Using tree rings, only a small part (20%) of the interannual Pw variability could be explained. However, better agreement between the modelled and measured Pw data on semidecadal time scales (45% variance explained) suggests that tree-ring data from the west-central part of Scandinavia contain useful information on those time scales. The driest winters, disregarding the absolute beginning of the record, were found at the beginning of the 18th century; the last half of the 20th century seems to be the wettest, at least for the past 400 years. Since our precipitation reconstruction agrees fairly well with previously published precipitation proxies, it is suggested that tree rings may add useful information to future multi-proxy reconstructions.

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