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Assessment of combined glacier and tree-ring studies to constrain latitudinal climate forcing of Scandinavian glacier mass balances

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Assessing climate change and its effects on the cryosphere is important, and individual proxies are commonly used for such assessments. We have investigated the possibility of combining glacier mass balance and tree-ring data to better understand regional climate variability in Scandinavia. There are substantial differences between climate information in mass-balance and tree-ring data. Summer balance (bS) is strongly related to summer temperature, while winter balance (bW) is less readily interpreted in terms of a climate signal. Tree rings are good summer temperature proxies, but due to the complexity of tree growth factors (e.g. the effect of the previous winter's climate) tree-ring records do not exclusively represent summer temperatures. Combining bS and tree-ring records will not likely yield additional summer climate information. The relationship of mass balance with the Arctic Oscillation is stronger than with the North Atlantic Oscillation, especially for northernmost Sweden, whereas no such correlations were found for tree-ring data. The agreement between bN records from both maritime south-central Norway and continental northernmost Sweden and tree-ring data from Jämtland, in a maritime/continental climate transition zone, suggests possibilities to combine mass-balance and tree-ring data to provide information about climate over the entire year on interannual timescales.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2005

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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