, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 43-56
Date: 01 Oct 2008

Quantitative summer-temperature reconstructions for the last 2000 years based on pollen-stratigraphical data from northern Fennoscandia

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Abstract

Quantitative reconstructions of mean July temperatures (T jul) based on new and previously published pollen-stratigraphical data covering the last 2000 years from 11 lakes in northern Fennoscandia and the Kola Peninsula are presented. T jul values are based on a previously published pollen-climate transfer function for the region with a root-mean-square error of prediction (RMSEP) of 0.99°C. The most obvious trend in the inferred temperatures from all sites is the general decrease in T jul during the last 2000 years. Pollen-inferred T jul values on average 0.18 ± 0.56°C (n = 91) higher than present (where “present” refers to the last three decades based on pollen-inferred T jul in core-top samples) are indicated between 0 and 1100 AD (2000–850 cal year BP), and temperatures −0.2 ± 0.47°C (n = 78) below present are inferred between 1100 and 1900 AD (850–50 cal year BP). No consistent temperature peak is observed during the ‘Medieval Warm Period’, ca. 900–1200 AD (1100–750 cal year BP), but the cooler period between 1100 and 1900 AD (850–50 cal year BP) corresponds in general with the ‘Little Ice Age’ (LIA). Consistently with independent stable isotopic data, the composite pollen-based record suggests that the coldest periods of the LIA date to 1500–1600 AD (450–350 cal year BP) and 1800–1850 AD (150–100 cal year BP). An abrupt warming occurred at about 1900 AD and the twentieth century is the warmest century since about 1000 AD (950 cal year BP).