A 7400-year tree-ring chronology in northern Swedish Lapland: natural climatic variability expressed on annual to millennial timescales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Tree-ring widths from 880 living, dry dead, and subfossil northern Swedish pines (Pinus sylvestris L.) have been assembled into a continuous and precisely dated chronology (the Tornetrask chronology) covering the period 5407 BC to AD 1997. Biological trends in the data were removed with autoregressive standardization (ARS) to emphasize year-to-year variability, and with regional curve standardization (RCS) to emphasize variability on timescales from decades to centuries. The strong association with summer mean temperature (June-August) has enabled the production of a temperature reconstruction for the last 7400 years, providing information on natural summer-temperature variability on timescales from years to centuries. Numerous cold episodes, comparable in severity and duration to the severe summers of the seventeenth century, are shown throughout the last seven millennia. Particularly severe conditions suggested between 600 and 1 BC correspond to a known period of glacier expansion, The relatively warm conditions of the late twentieth century do not exceed those reconstructed for several earlier time intervals, although replication is relatively poor and confidence in the reconstructions is correspondingly reduced in the pre-Christian period, particularly around 3000, 1600 and 330 BC. Despite the use of the RCS approach in chronology construction, the 7400-year chronology does not express the full range of millennial-timescale temperature change in northern Sweden.


  • H Grudd
  • KR Briffa
  • W Karlen
  • Thomas S. Bartholin
  • PD Jones
  • B Kromer
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology


  • Pinus, summer temperature, climate, dendroclimatology, tree rings, sylvestris, northern Scandinavia, Holocene
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-665
JournalThe Holocene
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch