A 1500-year reconstruction of annual mean temperature for temperate North America on decadal-to-multidecadal time scales

Valerie M Trouet, H. F. Diaz, E. R. Wahl, A. E. Viau, R. Graham, N. Graham, E. R. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present two reconstructions of annual average temperature over temperate North America: a tree-ring based reconstruction at decadal resolution (1200-1980 CE) and a pollen-based reconstruction at 30 year resolution that extends back to 480 CE. We maximized reconstruction length by using long but low-resolution pollen records and applied a three-tier calibration scheme for this purpose. The tree-ring-based reconstruction was calibrated against instrumental annual average temperatures on annual and decadal scale, it was then reduced to a lower resolution, and was used as a calibration target for the pollen-based reconstruction. Before the late-19th to the early-21st century, there are three prominent low-frequency periods in our extended reconstruction starting at 480 CE, notably the Dark Ages cool period (about 500-700 CE) and Little Ice Age (about 1200-1900 CE), and the warmer medieval climate anomaly (MCA; about 750-1100 CE). The 9th and the 11th century are the warmest centuries and they constitute the core of the MCA in our reconstruction, a period characterized by centennial-scale aridity in the North American West. These two warm peaks are slightly warmer than the baseline period (1904-1980), but nevertheless much cooler than temperate North American temperatures during the early-21st century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024008
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Fingerprint

North America
Pollen
timescale
Calibration
Temperature
temperature
Ice
Climate
pollen
twenty first century
tree ring
calibration
Little Ice Age
Medieval
aridity
anomaly
climate

Keywords

  • Little Ice Age
  • medieval climate anomaly
  • North America
  • pollen
  • temperature
  • tree ring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

A 1500-year reconstruction of annual mean temperature for temperate North America on decadal-to-multidecadal time scales. / Trouet, Valerie M; Diaz, H. F.; Wahl, E. R.; Viau, A. E.; Graham, R.; Graham, N.; Cook, E. R.

In: Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 8, No. 2, 024008, 2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Trouet, Valerie M ; Diaz, H. F. ; Wahl, E. R. ; Viau, A. E. ; Graham, R. ; Graham, N. ; Cook, E. R. / A 1500-year reconstruction of annual mean temperature for temperate North America on decadal-to-multidecadal time scales. In: Environmental Research Letters. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 2.
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