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Keywords:

  • cryophenology;
  • Haparanda;
  • ice;
  • palaeoclimate;
  • Tornionjoki;
  • Tornio river

Abstract

A reconstruction of spring (April–May) temperature for northern Fennoscandia developed from the Tornionjoki (Tornio river) long cryophenological record of ice break-up dates, back to AD 1693, is presented. The record is strongly climatically sensitive and explains 67% of the variance in the instrumental data over the last 150 years. The record exhibits a stepped decrease in the duration of the river's ice cover by 14 days, equivalent to an increase in April–May mean temperature of approximately 2.5°C over the last three centuries. The relationship between the date of ice break-up, and accumulated daily mean temperatures (>0°C) is investigated. Uncertainty in the observation of ice break-up is also considered in addition to the potential of this time series for regional climate model validation. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.