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Summer temperature variability in central Scandinavia during the last 3600 years

Journal article
Authors Hans W. Linderholm
Björn E. Gunnarson
Published in Geografiska Annaler Series a-Physical Geography
Volume 87A
Issue 1
Pages 231-241
ISSN 0435-3676
Publication year 2005
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 231-241
Language en
Links <Go to ISI>://000230002700016
Keywords scots pine growth, tree-ring record, climatic influence, central sweden, sylvestris l., millennium, mountains, norway, dendrochronology, reconstruction
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences

Abstract

A Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) treering width chronology from Jamtland, in the central Scandinavian Mountains, built from living and sub-fossil wood, covering the period 1632 BC to AD 2002, with a minor gap during AD 887-907, is presented. This is the first multi-millennial tree-ring chronology from the central parts of Fennoscandia. Pine growth in this tree line environment is mainly limited by summer temperatures, and hence the record can be viewed as a temperature proxy. Using the regional curve standardization (RCS) technique, pine-growth variability on short and long time scales was retained and subsequently summer (June-August) temperatures were reconstructed yielding information on temperature variability during the last 3600 years. Several periods with anomalously warm or cold summers were found: 450-550 BC (warm), AD 300-400 (cold), AD 900-1000 (the Medieval Warm Period, warm) and AD 1550-1900 (Little Ice Age, cold). The coldest period was encountered in the fourth century AD and the warmest period 450 to 550 BC. However, the magnitude of these anomalies is uncertain since the replication of trees in the Jamtland record is low during those periods. The twentieth century warming does not stand out as an anomalous feature in the last 3600 years. Two multi-millennial tree-ring chronologies from Swedish and Finnish Lapland, which have previously been used as summer temperature proxies, agree well with the Jamtland record, indicating that the latter is a good proxy of local, but also regional, summer temperature variability.

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