Spatial reconstruction of summer temperatures in Central Europe for the last 500 years using annually resolved proxy records: problems and opportunities

Rob Wilson, D Frank, J Topham, K Nicolussi, J Esper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most palaeoclimate studies in Central Europe, utilizing annually resolved proxies such as tree-ring and documentary sources to reconstruct past temperatures, have focused mainly upon single sites or regional studies. The combined information of published summer temperature reconstructions from the Alpine region show a generally coherent picture of cool conditions for the periods c. 1450-1475, 1575-1610, 1660-1710, 1800-1850 and 1875-1925. These reconstructed cool periods can be partly explained by external forcing (e.g. low solar activity and volcanic events). However, these reconstructions, in their present form, cannot be used to comparatively assess spatial summer temperature variability through the region due to methodological differences in their development and the fact that many of them were not originally developed to emphasize spatial patterns. We propose that a network of tree-ring chronologies which have been processed in a consistent way would allow the robust reconstruction of spatial summer temperature variability for high elevations in Central Europe. Unfortunately, most living tree-ring chronologies only go back into the 18th century - so restricting the length of reconstruction. As a possible solution, we introduce a historical database of ring-width series, measured from string instruments, that could be used to extend high elevation spruce chronologies in Central Europe back for at least 500 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-497
Number of pages8
JournalBoreas
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005

Keywords

  • TIME-SERIES
  • CLIMATE
  • VARIABILITY
  • ALPS

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