July Temperatures in Europe from Pollen Data, 6000 Years Before Present

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Science  05 Aug 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4866, pp. 687-690
DOI: 10.1126/science.241.4866.687


Mean July temperatures across Europe 6000 years before present were reconstructed from palynological data by the transfer function method. Reconstructed summer temperatures were warmer than those at present over most of Europe with the greatest heating, more than 2°C, in the midcontinent and the far north. This pattern is explained by high summer insolation and a weak zonal insolation gradient 6000 years before present and the effective heating of the landmass relative to ocean and coastal areas. A strong land-sea pressure gradient may in turn have increased westerly air flow into southern Europe, which is consistent with cooler reconstructed summer temperatures in the Mediterranean region, and reduced the environmental lapse rate in the central European mountains.

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