Articles | Volume 12, issue 6
Research article
03 Jun 2016
Research article |  | 03 Jun 2016

1200 years of warm-season temperature variability in central Scandinavia inferred from tree-ring density

Peng Zhang, Hans W. Linderholm, Björn E. Gunnarson, Jesper Björklund, and Deliang Chen

Abstract. Despite the emergence of new high-resolution temperature reconstructions around the world, only a few cover the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA). Here we present C-Scan, a new Scots pine tree-ring density-based reconstruction of warm-season (April–September) temperatures for central Scandinavia back to 850 CE, extending the previous reconstruction by 250 years. C-Scan is based on samples collected in a confined mountain region, adjusted for their differences in altitude and local environment, and standardised using the new RSFi algorithm to preserve low-frequency signals. In C-Scan, the warm peak of MCA occurs ca. 1000–1100 CE, and the Little Ice Age (LIA) between 1550 and 1900 CE. Moreover, during the last millennium the coldest decades are found around 1600 CE, and the warmest 10 and 30 years occur in the most recent century. By comparing C-Scan with other millennium-long temperature reconstructions from Fennoscandia, regional differences in multi-decadal temperature variability, especially during the warm period of the last millennium are revealed. Although these differences could be due to methodological reasons, they may indicate asynchronous warming patterns across Fennoscandia. Further investigation of these regional differences and the reasons and mechanisms behind them are needed.

Short summary
We present C-Scan, a new Scots pine tree-ring density based reconstruction of warm-season (April-September) temperatures for central Scandinavia back to 850 CE, extending the previous reconstruction by 250 years. Our reconstruction indicates that the warm-season warmth during a relatively-warm period of last millennium is not so pronounced in central Scandinavia, which adds further detail to our knowledge about the spatial pattern of surface air temperature on the regional scale.