Stable isotopes in cave ice suggest summer temperatures in east-central Europe are linked to Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation variability

Bădăluţă, Carmen-Andreea; Perșoiu, Aurel; Ionita, Monica; Piotrowska, Natalia

The climate of east-central Europe (ECE) is the result of a combination of influences originating in the wider North Atlantic realm, the Mediterranean Sea, and the western Asian and Siberian regions. Previous studies have shown that the complex interplay between the large-scale atmospheric patterns across the region results in strongly dissimilar summer and winter conditions on timescales ranging from decades to millennia. To put these into a wider context, long-term climate reconstructions are required, but, largely due to historical reasons, these are lacking in ECE. We address these issues by presenting a high-resolution, radiocarbon-dated record of summer temperature variations during the last millennium in ECE, based on stable isotope analysis of a 4.84 m long ice core extracted from Focul Viu Ice Cave (Western Carpathians, Romania). Comparisons with both instrumental and proxy-based data indicate that the stable isotope composition of cave ice records the changes in summer air temperature and has a similar temporal evolution to that of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation on decadal to multidecadal timescales, suggesting that changes in the North Atlantic are transferred, likely via atmospheric processes towards the wider Northern Hemisphere. On centennial timescales, the data show little summer temperature differences between the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA) in eastern Europe. These findings are contrary to those that show a marked contrast between the two periods in terms of both winter and annual air temperatures, suggesting that cooling during the LIA was primarily the result of wintertime climatic changes.

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Bădăluţă, Carmen-Andreea / Perșoiu, Aurel / Ionita, Monica / et al: Stable isotopes in cave ice suggest summer temperatures in east-central Europe are linked to Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation variability. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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