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Late-Quaternary summer temperature changes in the northern-European tree-line region

  • Heikki Seppä (a1), Glen M. MacDonald (a2), H. John B. Birks (a3) (a4), Bruce R. Gervais (a5) and Jeffrey A. Snyder (a6)...

We present two new quantitative July mean temperature (Tjul) reconstructions from the Arctic tree-line region in the Kola Peninsula in north-western Russia. The reconstructions are based on fossil pollen records and cover the Younger Dryas stadial and the Holocene. The inferred temperatures are less reliable during the Younger Dryas because of the poorer fit between the fossil pollen samples and the modern samples in the calibration set than during the Holocene. The results suggest that the Younger Dryas Tjulin the region was 8.0–10.0°C, being 2.0–3.0°C lower than at present. The Holocene summer temperature maximum dates to 7500–6500 cal yr BP, with Tjulabout 1.5°C higher than at present. These new records contribute to our understanding of summer temperature changes along the northern-European tree-line region. The Holocene trends are consistent in most of the independent records from the Fennoscandian–Kola tree-line region, with the beginning of the Holocene thermal maximum no sooner than at about 8000 cal yr BP. In the few existing temperature-related records farther east in the Russian Arctic tree line, the period of highest summer temperature begins already at about 10,000 cal yr BP. This difference may reflect the strong influence of the Atlantic coastal current on the atmospheric circulation pattern and the thermal behaviour of the tree-line region on the Atlantic seaboard, and the more direct influence of the summer solar insolation on summer temperature in the region east of the Kola Peninsula.

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*Corresponding author. Fax: +358 9 19150826.E-mail address: (H. Seppä).
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