A 560 yr summer temperature reconstruction for the Western Mediterranean basin based on stable carbon isotopes from Pinus nigra ssp. laricio (Corsica/France)
1GeoZentrum Nordbayern, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
2Institute of Geography, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
3Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics, Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant Sciences, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany
4Eidgenössisches Nuklearsicherheitsinspektorat ENSI, Switzerland
Abstract. The Mediterranean is considered as an area which will be affected strongly by current climate change. However, temperature records for the past centuries which can contribute to a better understanding of future climate changes are still sparse for this region. We established a network of multi-century stable carbon isotope chronologies on Corsica to study long-term climate variation in the Western Mediterranean Basin. The chronologies show strong correlations with summer temperature and precipitation as well as summer cloud coverage. A summer temperature reconstruction (AD 1448–2008) reveals that the Little Ice Age was characterized by low, but not extremely low temperatures on Corsica. Relatively warm temperatures during the Maunder minimum may indicate a decoupling from climate cooling registered in northern latitudes. A comparison of the summer temperature reconstruction with a summer cloud coverage reconstruction indicates warm summers with reduced cloudiness during the periods AD 1480–1520 and 1950–2008 and cool and cloudy summers during AD 1580–1620 and 1820–1890. The distinct features of the reconstruction underline the uniqueness of the Corsican climate and highlight the necessity of a better temporal and spatial resolution of climate reconstructions for a more robust estimation of current climate change on a local scale.