Stable isotopes in tree ring cellulose and climatic change

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LIPP, J. ; TRIMBORN, P. ; FRITZ, P. ; MOSER, H. ; BECKER, B. ; FRENZEL, B. (2011)

Relationships between the stable isotope contents (δ2H, δ13C) in dendrochronologically dated tree rings of firs (Abies alba, Black Forest) and air temperature, relative humidity, as well as precipitation rate were investigated for the period 1959 to 1980. Only the late wood of each ring was used, since isotope data from early wood, grown during spring, does not unambiguously reflect the climate of the respective growth season. The δ13C-values, but not the δ2H-values show significant correlations with temperature, humidity, and precipitation. Based on this observation, δ13C-values were used to construct a paleoclimatic record for the past millenium. This required correction for anthropogenic 13C-inputs since about 1850. The reconstructed temperatures are largely in agreement with presently-accepted variations in the recent past, whereby a “climatic optimum” appears during the Early Middle Ages with August temperatures about 0.5 °C higher than today.DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0889.1991.t01-2-00005.x
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