Articles | Volume 13, issue 1
Research article
04 Jan 2017
Research article |  | 04 Jan 2017

Spring temperature variability over Turkey since 1800 CE reconstructed from a broad network of tree-ring data

Nesibe Köse, H. Tuncay Güner, Grant L. Harley, and Joel Guiot

Abstract. The meteorological observational period in Turkey, which starts ca. 1930 CE, is too short for understanding long-term climatic variability. Tree rings have been used intensively as proxy records to understand summer precipitation history of the region, primarily because they have a dominant precipitation signal. Yet, the historical context of temperature variability is unclear. Here, we used higher-order principle components of a network of 23 tree-ring chronologies to provide a high-resolution spring (March–April) temperature reconstruction over Turkey during the period 1800–2002. The reconstruction model accounted for 67 % (Adj. R2 =  0.64, p < 0.0001) of the instrumental temperature variance over the full calibration period (1930–2002). The reconstruction is punctuated by a temperature increase during the 20th century; yet extreme cold and warm events during the 19th century seem to eclipse conditions during the 20th century. We found significant correlations between our March–April spring temperature reconstruction and existing gridded spring temperature reconstructions for Europe over Turkey and southeastern Europe. Moreover, the precipitation signal obtained from the tree-ring network (first principle component) showed highly significant correlations with gridded summer drought index reconstruction over Turkey and Mediterranean countries. Our results showed that, beside the dominant precipitation signal, a temperature signal can be extracted from tree-ring series and they can be useful proxies in reconstructing past temperature variability.