Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 95, Issue 1–2, pp 9–26 | Cite as

Winter precipitation trends for two selected European regions over the last 500 years and their possible dynamical background

  • C. MattiEmail author
  • A. Pauling
  • M. Küttel
  • H. Wanner


We analyse winter (DJF) precipitation over the last 500 years on trends using a spatially and temporally highly resolved gridded multi-proxy reconstruction over European land areas. The trends are detected applying trend matrices, and the significance is assessed with the Mann–Kendall-trend test. Results are presented for southwestern Norway and southern Spain/northern Morocco, two regions that show high reconstruction skill over the entire period. The absolute trend values found in the second part of the 20th century are unprecedented over the last 500 years in both regions. During the period 1715–1765, the precipitation trends were most pronounced in southwestern Norway as well as southern Spain/northern Morocco, with first a distinct negative trend followed by a positive countertrend of similar strength. Relating the precipitation time series to variations of the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI) and the solar irradiance using running correlations revealed a couple of instationarities. Nevertheless, it appears that the NAO is responsible in both regions for most of the significant winter precipitation trends during the earlier centuries as well as during recent decades. Some of the significant winter precipitation trends over southwestern Norway and southern Spain/northern Morocco might be related to changes in the solar irradiance.


Solar Irradiance Winter Precipitation North Atlantic Oscillation Index Precipitation Variability Precipitation Trend 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of GeographyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss)ZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.NCCR Climate, Oeschger Centre for Climate Change ResearchUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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