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Signs of reversal of Arctic cooling in some areas
Date:7/29/2010

This release is available in German.

Moscow/Stuttgart/ Halle(Saale). Parts of the Arctic have cooled clearly over the past century, but temperatures have been rising steeply since 1990 also there. This is the finding of a summer temperature reconstruction for the past 400 years produced on the base of tree rings from regions beyond the Arctic Circle. German and Russian researchers analysed tree growth using ring width of pine from Russia's Kola Peninsula and compared their findings with similar studies from other parts of the Arctic. For the past 400 years since AD 1600, the reconstructed summer temperature on Kola in the months of July and August has varied between 10.4C (1709) and 14.7C (1957), with a mean of 12.2C. Afterwards, after a cooling phase, a ongoing warming can be observed from 1990 onwards. Researchers from the Institute of Geography in Moscow, Hohenheim University and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) report in journal Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research: "The data indicate that solar activity may have been one of the major driving factors of summer temperatures, but this has been overlaid by other factors since 1990".

The researchers used for this study wood samples from a total of 69 Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) from the Khibiny Mountains on the Kola Peninsula, situated between the Arctic Circle and the ocean port of Murmansk, not far from the Finnish border. The investigated region is a transition zone between Scandinavia, which is strongly affected by the gulf stream resp. North Atlantic Current, and the continental regions Eurasia. This makes the region particularly interesting for climatological studies.

Kola has a cold-temperate climate with long, moderately cold winters and cool, humid summers. In this part of the Arctic, the mean temperature fluctuates between -12C in January and +13C i
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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1635
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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