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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-143
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-143
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Nov 2018

Research article | 06 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Two millennia of Main region (southern Germany) hydroclimate variability

Alexander Land1, Sabine Remmele1,2, Jutta Hofmann3, Daniel Reichle1, Margaret Eppli1, Christian Zang4, Allan Buras5, Sebastian Hein2, and Reiner Zimmermann1 Alexander Land et al.
  • 1University of Hohenheim, Institute of Botany (210a), Garbenstraße 30, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2University of Applied Forest Sciences, Schadenweilerhof, 72108 Rottenburg am Neckar, Germany
  • 3Jahrringlabor Hofmann, Waldhäuser Str. 12, 72622 Nürtingen, Germany
  • 4Technical University of Munich, Land Surface-Atmosphere Interactions, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, 85354 Freising, Germany
  • 5Technical University of Munich, Ecoclimatology, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, 85354 Freising, Germany

Abstract. A reconstruction of hydroclimate with an annual or sub-annual resolution covering the entire Holocene for a geographically limited region would significantly improve our knowledge of past climate dynamics, but has not been developed so far. With the use of an extensive collection of oak total ring-width series (Quercus robur and Quercus petraea) from living trees, historic timbers and subfossil alluvial wood deposits from the Main River region in southern Germany, a regional, 2,000-year long, seasonally-resolved hydroclimate reconstruction for the Main region has been developed. Climate-growth response analysis has been performed with daily climate records from AD 1900 onwards. An innovative analysis method for testing the stability of the developed transfer function (bootstrapped transfer function stability test, BTFS) as well as a classical calibration/verification approach have been implemented to study climate-growth model performance. Living oak trees from the Main River region show a significant sensitivity to precipitation sum from February 26 to July 06 (spring to mid-summer) during the full (r = 0.49, p < 0.01, N = 116) and split (r = 0.58, p < 0.01, N = 58) calibration periods. BTFS confirmed the stability of the developed transfer function. The developed precipitation reconstruction reveals high variability on a high- to mid-frequency scale during the past two millennia. Very dry spring to mid-summer seasons lasting multiple years appeared in the decades AD 500/510s, 940s, 1170s, 1390s and 1160s. At the end of the AD 330s, a persistent multi-year drought with drastically reduced rainfall (w.r.t. 1901–2000) could be identified, which was the driest decade over the past 2,000 years in this region. In the AD 550s, 1050s, 1310s and 1480s, multi-year periods with high rainfall hit the Main region. In the spring to mid-summer of AD 338, precipitation was reduced by 38 % and in AD 357 it increased by 39 %. The presented hydroclimate reconstruction and its comparison to other records reveal interesting insights into the hydroclimate dynamics of the geographically limited area over the Common Era, as well as revealing noticeable temporal differences.

Alexander Land et al.
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Alexander Land et al.
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Short summary
With the use of precipitation sensitive oak ring-width series from the Main River region (southern Germany) a 2,000-year long hydroclimate reconstruction has been developed. The ring-width series are sensitive to the sum of rainfall from February 26 to July 06. This region suffered from severe, long-lasting droughts in the past two millennia (e.g. AD 500/510s, 940s, 1170s, 1390s and 1160s). In the AD 550s, 1050s, 1310s and 1480s, multi-year periods with high rainfall hit the region.
With the use of precipitation sensitive oak ring-width series from the Main River region...
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