Extending Greenland temperature records into the late eighteenth century



[1] At present, continuous instrumental temperature records for Greenland reach back to the late nineteenth century at a few sites. Combining early observational records from locations along the south and west coasts, it has been possible to extend the overall record back to the year 1784. The new extended Greenland temperature record is 9% incomplete. There are, however, sufficient new data (an additional 74 complete winters and 52 complete summers) to provide a valuable indication of late eighteenth century and nineteenth century seasonal trends. Comparison of the previously published records with additional observational series digitized from Danish Meteorological Institute Yearbooks has also revealed inhomogeneities in some of the existing twentieth century temperature records. These problems have been eliminated in the new extended Greenland temperature record. A long homogeneous west Greenland instrumental temperature record is of great value for the interpretation of the growing number of Greenland ice core records. A first comparison of the new record with highly resolved Greenland ice core data is presented. Correlations between west Greenland winter temperatures and the ice core winter season proxy are found to be r = 0.67 and r = 0.60 for the periods 1785–1872 and 1873–1970, respectively.