Ground surface temperature reconstruction for the last 500 years obtained from permafrost temperatures observed in the SHARE STELVIO Borehole, Italian Alps
Abstract. Here we present the results of the inversion of a multi-annual temperature profile (2013, 2014, 2015) of the deepest borehole (235 m) in the mountain permafrost of the world located close to Stelvio Pass in the Central Italian Alps. The SHARE STELVIO Borehole (SSB) has been monitored since 2010 with 13 thermistors placed at different depths between 20 and 235 m. The negligible porosity of the rock (dolostone, < 5 %) allows us to assume the latent heat effects are also negligible. The inversion model proposed here is based on the Tikhonov regularization applied to a discretized heat equation, accompanied by a novel regularizing penalty operator. The general pattern of ground surface temperatures (GSTs) reconstructed from SSB for the last 500 years is similar to the mean annual air temperature (MAAT) reconstructions for the European Alps. The main difference with respect to MAAT reconstructions relates to post Little Ice Age (LIA) events. Between 1940 and 1989, SSB data indicate a cooling of ca. 1 °C. Subsequently, a rapid and abrupt GST warming (more than 0.8 °C per decade) was recorded between 1990 and 2011. This warming is of the same magnitude as the increase in MAAT between 1990 and 2000 recorded in central Europe and roughly doubling the increase in MAAT in the Alps.