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Last-millennium summer-temperature variations in western Europe based on proxy data

Abstract : We present a method of multiproxy reconstruction of the climate of Europe during the last millennium. The proxies used comprise long tree-ring width series, grape harvest dates, Greenland ice oxygen isotope series and temperature indices based on historical documents. The proxies are calibrated using gridded April to September mean temperatures for western Europe, i.e., between 10 degrees W and 20 degrees E and between 35 degrees N and 55 degrees N. They are calibrated also using the long instrumental summer temperature series of the Marseilles observatory of Longchamp, which begins in the mid-eighteenth century The method is a combination of an analogue technique, which is able to deal with missing data, an artificial neural network technique for an optimal non-linear Calibration and a bootstrap technique for calculating error bars on the reconstruction. About 70% of the temperature variance is reconstructed. The amplitude of the past temperature variations is particularly well reconstructed, which is important when considering whether the recent temperature trend is or is not within the natural variability. It appears that the temperature of the last decade of the twentieth century was reached only 14 times during the last millennium. The reconstruction is discussed with respect to other multiproxy and borehole temperature reconstructions. We conclude that a reconstruction such ours, with a specific regional focus (as opposed to the larger Northern Hemisphere) is more reliable and is in better agreement with borehole results, even allowing for the fact that only a part of the long-term variance is reconstructed. `Little Ice Age' (C. AD 1560-1930) summers were 0.2 +/- 0.5 degrees C cooler than the 1961 -1990 period. Borehole temperatures indicate a cooling of 0.4 degrees C which falls in the 95% confidence interval of our reconstructions.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01457698
Contributor : Joel Guiot <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 6, 2017 - 3:20:25 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:47:02 AM

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Joel Guiot, A Nicault, C Rathgeber, Jl Edouard, F Guibal, et al.. Last-millennium summer-temperature variations in western Europe based on proxy data. The holocene, London: Sage, 2005, 15 (4), pp.489-500. ⟨10.1191/0959683605hl81rp⟩. ⟨hal-01457698⟩

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