The first quantitative warm period temperature reconstruction in the caucasus mountains derived from tree-ring data

E. Dolgova, O. Solomina
Doklady Academii Nauk (in press, in Russian)
Here we present the first temperature reconstruction of vegetation period (March-September) in the Caucasus Mountains derived from tree-ring data. The material (Pinus sylvestris (L.) was collected from upper-tree limit (2200-2400 m a.s.l.) in the Teberda river valley. Optical density measurements of resin-extracted samples were obtained by using flat-bed scanner and commercially available software. Final maximum density (MXD) chronology covers the period AD1759-2005 and includes 43 tree-ring series. The EPS (> 0.85) indicates that the chronology is reliable and can be used for the reconstruction from AD1800. The nearest meteorological station Severny Kluhor is located at the altitude of 2042 m a.s.l. and represents climatic conditions close to the tree-line. The MXD chronology indices show a positive correlation (r=0.8; p<0.05) with March-September mean temperature. The calibration model explains 63% of variance in the instrumental climate records (1956-2005). According to our reconstruction the coolest summer in the Caucasus occurred in the year AD1817 (2-years lag response to Tambora eruption). The reconstructed temperature correlates with the Piatigorsk met.station records (1891-1997) which is located at the altitude of 500 m a.s.l., more than 200 km away from our site. This correlation means that the reconstruction verifies well for a century long period and is valid to assess not only the local but also the regional warm period temperature variations.
Mean March-September temperature of “Severny Kluhor” met station and indices of MXD pine chronology with the coefficient of correlation.
Reconstructed March-September temperature anomalies for the period of AD1800-2005 based on tree-ring data.

← back