European climate of the past 500 years: new challenges for historical climatology
2010 (English)In: Climatic Change, ISSN 0165-0009, E-ISSN 1573-1480, Vol. 101, no 1-2, 7-40 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Temperature reconstructions from Europe for the past 500 years basedon documentary and instrumental data are analysed. First, the basic documentarydata sources, including information about climate and weather-related extremes, aredescribed. Then, the standard palaeoclimatological reconstruction method adoptedhere is discussed with a particular application to temperature reconstructions fromdocumentary-based proxy data. The focus is on two new reconstructions; January–April mean temperatures for Stockholm (1502–2008), based on a combination ofdata for the sailing season in the Stockholm harbour and instrumental temperaturemeasurements, and monthly Central European temperature (CEuT) series (1500–2007) based on documentary-derived temperature indices of the Czech Republic,Germany and Switzerland combined with instrumental records from the samecountries. The two series, both of which are individually discussed in greater detail in subsequent papers in this special edition, are here compared and analysed usingrunning correlations and wavelet analysis. While the Stockholm series shows apronounced low-frequency component, the CEuT series indicates much weaker lowfrequencyvariations. Both series are analysed with respect to three different longperiodreconstructions of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and are comparedwith other European temperature reconstructions based on tree-rings, wine-harvestdata and various climate multiproxies. Correlation coefficients between individualproxy-based series show weaker correlations compared to the instrumental data.There are also indications of temporally varying temperature cross-correlationsbetween different areas of Europe. The two temperature reconstructions have alsobeen compared to geographically corresponding temperature output from simulationswith global and regional climate models for the past few centuries. The findingsare twofold: on the one hand, the analysis reinforces the hypothesis that the indexdatabased CEuT reconstruction may not appropriately reflect the centennial scalevariations. On the other hand, it is possible that climate models may underestimateregional decadal variability. By way of a conclusion, the results are discussed froma broader point of view and attention is drawn to some new challenges for futureinvestigations in the historical climatology in Europe.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Netherlands: Springer , 2010. Vol. 101, no 1-2, 7-40 p.
Research subject Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-40476DOI: 10.1007/s10584-009-9783-zISI: 000278401200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-40476DiVA: diva2:324120
ProjectsEU project Millennium