Yearly maps of summer temperatures in western Europe from A.D.1750 to 1975 and western North America from 1600 to 1982

F. H. Schweingruber, K. R. Briffa, P. D. Jones

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The primary purpose of this publication is to make available two series of historical maps showing 'summer' (April-September mean) temperatures over western Europe from A.D. 1750 and western North America from A.D. 1600. These maps have been reconstructed using networks of temperature-sensitive tree-ring chronologies as part of a continuing collaboration between the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (FSL) at Birmensdorf, Switzerland and the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K. The maps were reconstructed using relatively long maximum latewood density chronologies selected from the extensive networks of tree-ring data produced at the FSL. The reconstructions were produced using a spatial regression technique developed at CRU. The basis for the reconstructions are wood samples from various conifers growing at cool-moist sites close to the alpine or boreal timberlines. This material was analysed by x-ray densitometry and the resulting maximum latewood density chronologies were calibrated against meteorological data over a 100-year calibration period. These results emphasize the value of dendroclimatological research which can provide continentalscale reconstructions of past climate which represent a potential resource for climatologists, biologists, and historians with an interest in the spatial variability of summer temperatures over the middle to high latitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-71
Number of pages67
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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