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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-2018-70
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-70
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 27 Jun 2018

Research article | 27 Jun 2018

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

Heterogeneous response of Siberian tree-ring and stable isotope proxies to the largest Common Era volcanic eruptions

Olga V. Churakova1,2, Marina V. Fonti2, Matthias Saurer3,4, Sébastien Guillet1, Christophe Corona5, Patrick Fonti3, Vladimir S. Myglan6, Alexander V. Kirdyanov2,7,8, Oksana V. Naumova6, Dmitriy V. Ovchinnikov7, Alexander Shashkin2,7, Irina Panyushkina9, Ulf Büntgen3,8, Malcolm K. Hughes9, Eugene A. Vaganov2,7,10, Rolf T. W. Siegwolf3,4, and Markus Stoffel1,11,12 Olga V. Churakova et al.
  • 1Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Ecology and Geography, Siberian Federal University RU-660049 Krasnoyarsk, Svobodniy pr 79/10, Russia
  • 3Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
  • 4Paul Scherrer Institute, CH-5232 Villigen-PSI, Switzerland
  • 5Université Blaise Pascal, Geolab, UMR 6042 CNRS, 4 rue Ledru, F-63057 Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • 6Institute of Humanities, Siberian Federal University RU-660049 Krasnoyarsk, Svobodniy pr 82, Russia
  • 7Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS, Federal Research Center “Krasnoyarsk Science Center SB RAS” RU-660036 Krasnoyarsk, Akademgorodok 50, bld. 28, Russia
  • 8Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Downing Place, Cambridge CB2 3EN
  • 9Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, 1215 E. Lowell St., Tucson, 85721, USA
  • 10Siberian Federal University, Rectorate, RU-660049 Krasnoyarsk, Svobodniy pr 79/10, Russia
  • 11dendrolab.ch, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Geneva, 13 rue des Maraîchers, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland
  • 12Department F.A. Forel for Aquatic and Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, 66 Boulevard Carl-Vogt, CH-1205

Abstract. Stratospheric volcanic eruptions have far-reaching impacts on global climate and society. Tree rings can provide valuable climatic information on these impacts across different spatial and temporal scales. Here we explore the suitability of tree-ring width (TRW), maximum latewood density (MXD), cell wall thickness (CWT), and δ13C and δ18O in tree-ring cellulose for the detection of climatic changes in northeastern Yakutia (YAK), eastern Taimyr (TAY) and Russian Altai (ALT) sites caused by six largest Common Era stratospheric volcanic eruptions (535, 540, 1257, 1640, 1815 and 1991).

Our findings suggest that TRW, MXD, and CWT show strong summer air temperature anomalies in 536, 541–542, 1258–1259 at all study sites. However, they do not reveal distinct and coherent fingerprints after other eruptions. Based on δ13C data, 536 was extremely humid in YAK and TAY, whereas 541 and 542 were humid years in TAY and ALT. In contrast, the 1257 eruption of Samalas likely triggered a sequence of at least two dry summers across all three Siberian sites.

No further extreme hydro-climatic anomalies occurred at Siberian sites in the aftermath of the 1991 eruption. Summer sunshine duration decreased significantly in 536, 541–542, 1258–1259 in YAK, and 536 in ALT. Conversely, 1991 was very sunny in YAK. Since climatic responses to large volcanic eruptions are different, and thus affect ecosystem functioning and productivity differently in space and time, a combined assessment of multiple tree-ring parameters is needed to provide a more complete picture of past climate dynamics, which in turns appears fundamental to validate global climate models.

Olga V. Churakova et al.
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Olga V. Churakova et al.
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Short summary
We present a unique dataset of multiple tree-ring and stable isotope parameters, representing temperature sensitive Siberian ecotones to assess climatic impacts after the six largest stratospheric volcanic eruptions: CE 535, 540, 1257, 1640, 1815 and 1991. Besides the well-documented effects of temperature derived from tree-ring width and latewood density, stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in tree-ring cellulose provide information about moisture and sunshine duration changes after the events.
We present a unique dataset of multiple tree-ring and stable isotope parameters, representing...
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