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A 500-year record of summer near-ground solar radiation from tree-ring stable carbon isotopes

G. H. F Young, D McCarroll, N. J Loader, A. J Kirchhefer, Danny McCarroll, Neil Loader Orcid Logo, Giles Young

The Holocene, Volume: 20, Issue: 3, Pages: 315 - 324

Swansea University Authors: Danny McCarroll, Neil Loader Orcid Logo, Giles Young

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Abstract

Tree-ring stable carbon isotope ratios (d(13)C) in environments of low moisture stress are likely to be controlled primarily by photosynthetic rate. Therefore, sunshine, rather than temperature, represents the more direct controlling factor. Temperature reconstructions based on tree-ring d(13)C resu...

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Published in: The Holocene
ISSN: 0959-6836
Published: 2010
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa1010
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spelling 2015-09-30T10:13:40.0490641 v2 1010 2012-02-23 A 500-year record of summer near-ground solar radiation from tree-ring stable carbon isotopes 6d181d926aaac8932c2bfa8d0e7f6960 Danny McCarroll Danny McCarroll true false 8267a62100791965d08df6a7842676e6 0000-0002-6841-1813 Neil Loader Neil Loader true false e0c807e6b9b663f1c297feecd2f54c3a Giles Young Giles Young true false 2012-02-23 FGSEN Tree-ring stable carbon isotope ratios (d(13)C) in environments of low moisture stress are likely to be controlled primarily by photosynthetic rate. Therefore, sunshine, rather than temperature, represents the more direct controlling factor. Temperature reconstructions based on tree-ring d(13)C results thus rest on the assumption that temperature and sunshine are strongly coupled. This assumption is tested using a d(13)C series from pine trees in NW Norway, where there are long (>100 yr) records of both summer temperature and cloud cover. It is demonstrated that when summer temperature and d(13)C diverge, summer temperature and cloud cover also diverge, and that cloud cover/sunshine may provide a stronger and more consistent parameter with which to calibrate tree-ring d(13)C series in this area. When a 500-year reconstruction of summer cloudiness is compared with a published reconstruction of summer temperatures in northern Sweden based on tree-ring maximum densities, the two time-series are largely parallel, with high levels of annual-decadal coherence. We identify, however, three distinct periods of lower frequency divergence: two (AD 1600-1650 and ad 1900-1927) when we propose summers were cool but sunny and one during the first half of the sixteenth century when summers were warm but cloudy. These episodes where temperature and sunshine decouple may represent large-scale changes in circulation as recorded in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index. Strongly negative values of the summer AO index, as occurred during the early twentieth century, are associated with persistent high pressure over northern Norway and Fennoscandia, bringing cool summers with clear skies. Long reconstructions of cloudiness (near-ground radiation), based on tree-ring d(13)C series from suitable sites, would be extremely valuable for testing General Circulation Models (GCMs), because the generation of cloud is a strong control on temperature evolution, but remains a major source of uncertainty. Journal Article The Holocene 20 3 315 324 0959-6836 31 12 2010 2010-12-31 10.1177/0959683609351902 COLLEGE NANME Science and Engineering - Faculty COLLEGE CODE FGSEN Swansea University 2015-09-30T10:13:40.0490641 2012-02-23T17:01:49.0000000 College of Science Geography G. H. F Young 1 D McCarroll 2 N. J Loader 3 A. J Kirchhefer 4 Danny McCarroll 5 Neil Loader 0000-0002-6841-1813 6 Giles Young 7
title A 500-year record of summer near-ground solar radiation from tree-ring stable carbon isotopes
spellingShingle A 500-year record of summer near-ground solar radiation from tree-ring stable carbon isotopes
Danny McCarroll
Neil Loader
Giles Young
title_short A 500-year record of summer near-ground solar radiation from tree-ring stable carbon isotopes
title_full A 500-year record of summer near-ground solar radiation from tree-ring stable carbon isotopes
title_fullStr A 500-year record of summer near-ground solar radiation from tree-ring stable carbon isotopes
title_full_unstemmed A 500-year record of summer near-ground solar radiation from tree-ring stable carbon isotopes
title_sort A 500-year record of summer near-ground solar radiation from tree-ring stable carbon isotopes
author_id_str_mv 6d181d926aaac8932c2bfa8d0e7f6960
8267a62100791965d08df6a7842676e6
e0c807e6b9b663f1c297feecd2f54c3a
author_id_fullname_str_mv 6d181d926aaac8932c2bfa8d0e7f6960_***_Danny McCarroll
8267a62100791965d08df6a7842676e6_***_Neil Loader
e0c807e6b9b663f1c297feecd2f54c3a_***_Giles Young
author Danny McCarroll
Neil Loader
Giles Young
author2 G. H. F Young
D McCarroll
N. J Loader
A. J Kirchhefer
Danny McCarroll
Neil Loader
Giles Young
format Journal article
container_title The Holocene
container_volume 20
container_issue 3
container_start_page 315
publishDate 2010
institution Swansea University
issn 0959-6836
doi_str_mv 10.1177/0959683609351902
college_str College of Science
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hierarchy_top_id collegeofscience
hierarchy_top_title College of Science
hierarchy_parent_id collegeofscience
hierarchy_parent_title College of Science
department_str Geography{{{_:::_}}}College of Science{{{_:::_}}}Geography
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description Tree-ring stable carbon isotope ratios (d(13)C) in environments of low moisture stress are likely to be controlled primarily by photosynthetic rate. Therefore, sunshine, rather than temperature, represents the more direct controlling factor. Temperature reconstructions based on tree-ring d(13)C results thus rest on the assumption that temperature and sunshine are strongly coupled. This assumption is tested using a d(13)C series from pine trees in NW Norway, where there are long (>100 yr) records of both summer temperature and cloud cover. It is demonstrated that when summer temperature and d(13)C diverge, summer temperature and cloud cover also diverge, and that cloud cover/sunshine may provide a stronger and more consistent parameter with which to calibrate tree-ring d(13)C series in this area. When a 500-year reconstruction of summer cloudiness is compared with a published reconstruction of summer temperatures in northern Sweden based on tree-ring maximum densities, the two time-series are largely parallel, with high levels of annual-decadal coherence. We identify, however, three distinct periods of lower frequency divergence: two (AD 1600-1650 and ad 1900-1927) when we propose summers were cool but sunny and one during the first half of the sixteenth century when summers were warm but cloudy. These episodes where temperature and sunshine decouple may represent large-scale changes in circulation as recorded in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index. Strongly negative values of the summer AO index, as occurred during the early twentieth century, are associated with persistent high pressure over northern Norway and Fennoscandia, bringing cool summers with clear skies. Long reconstructions of cloudiness (near-ground radiation), based on tree-ring d(13)C series from suitable sites, would be extremely valuable for testing General Circulation Models (GCMs), because the generation of cloud is a strong control on temperature evolution, but remains a major source of uncertainty.
published_date 2010-12-31T03:12:11Z
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