Articles | Volume 11, issue 6
Research article
05 Jun 2015
Research article |  | 05 Jun 2015

New insights into the reconstructed temperature in Portugal over the last 400 years

J. A. Santos, M. F. Carneiro, A. Correia, M. J. Alcoforado, E. Zorita, and J. J. Gómez-Navarro

Abstract. The consistency of an existing reconstructed annual (December–November) temperature series for the Lisbon region (Portugal) from 1600 onwards, based on a European-wide reconstruction, with (1) five local borehole temperature–depth profiles; (2) synthetic temperature–depth profiles, generated from both reconstructed temperatures and two regional paleoclimate simulations in Portugal; (3) instrumental data sources over the twentieth century; and (4) temperature indices from documentary sources during the late Maunder Minimum (1675–1715) is assessed. The low-frequency variability in the reconstructed temperature in Portugal is not entirely consistent with local borehole temperature–depth profiles and with the simulated response of temperature in two regional paleoclimate simulations driven by reconstructions of various climate forcings. Therefore, the existing reconstructed series is calibrated by adjusting its low-frequency variability to the simulations (first-stage adjustment). The annual reconstructed series is then calibrated in its location and scale parameters, using the instrumental series and a linear regression between them (second-stage adjustment). This calibrated series shows clear footprints of the Maunder and Dalton minima, commonly related to changes in solar activity and explosive volcanic eruptions, and a strong recent-past warming, commonly related to human-driven forcing. Lastly, it is also in overall agreement with annual temperature indices over the late Maunder Minimum in Portugal. The series resulting from this post-reconstruction adjustment can be of foremost relevance to improve the current understanding of the driving mechanisms of climate variability in Portugal.