The Lake Silvaplana papers

Intrigued by the slightest of hints of rare mønsters in the Lake Żabińskie chironomid data, I decided to re-read all the papers on the chironomid stratigraphy from the varved Lake Silvaplana, Switzerland, by the same author. These papers, which reconstruct July air temperature, cover different time periods and use different reconstruction methods: here is a brief synopsis.

Journal of Paleolimnology 2009

Time period: 1850–2001 CE
Resolution: Near annual
Reconstruction method: Calibration-in-space

Key point: Good correlation of reconstruction with instrumental record (r = 0.65)

Data archived: Reconstruction

Holocene 2009

Time period: 1580–2001 CE
Resolution: Near annual
Reconstruction method: Calibration-in-space

Key point: Correlation of reconstruction with estimates of summer temperature from early instrumental and documentary data, and proxy data.

Data archived: Reconstruction and fossil data

Quaternary Science Reviews 2010a

Time period: 1032–2001 CE
Resolution: 1–20 years
Reconstruction method: Calibration-in-space

Key points: Last part of the Medieval Climate Anomaly was 1°C warmer than 1961–1990 CE. The Little Ice Age was colder by up to −1.2°C and separated into three phases. This pattern agrees with other records of the past millennium. Inferred July temperatures between ca 1900 and 2001 AD were warmer than the climate reference period (1961–1990) by 1°C, in agreement with the instrumental data.

Data archived: Smoothed reconstruction

Quaternary Science Reviews 2010b

Time period: 1177–2001 CE
Resolution: annual
Reconstruction method: Compilation of existing chironomid and new biogenic silica proxy records.

Key point: record suggests that the current decade [2000–2010 CE] is slightly warmer than the warmest decade in the previous 800 years.

Data archived: Reconstruction

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 2011

Time period: 1032–2001 CE
Resolution: 1 — ~20 years
Reconstruction method: Calibration-in-time

Key point: Inconclusive whether calibration-in-space or calibration-in-time gives better estimates.

Data archived: ?

Journal of Quaternary Science 2011

Time period: 570 BCE to 120 CE
Resolution: Annual
Reconstruction method: Calibration-in-space, combined with biogenic silica

Key points: Inter-annual to decadal temperature variability was strongly enhanced in the warm the Iron Age–Roman Period compared to the last millennium

Data archived: ?

Next steps

The most promising papers for a closer read are JoPL2009, Holocene2009, QSR2010a, PPP2011 as all present new chironomid data, they overlap in time and the reconstructions are archived for the first three. If the anticipation is too much to bare, go ahead and download the data.

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About richard telford

Ecologist with interests in quantitative methods and palaeoenvironments
This entry was posted in Peer reviewed literature and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Lake Silvaplana papers

  1. Pingback: Reconstruction number 5 | Musings on Quantitative Palaeoecology

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