Assessing non-linearity in European temperature-sensitive tree-ring data
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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We test the application of parametric, non-parametric, and semi-parametric calibration models for reconstructing summer (June–August) temperature from a set of tree-ring width and density data on the same dendro samples from 40 sites across Europe. By comparing the performance of the three calibration models on pairs” of tree-ring width (TRW) and maximum density (MXD) or maximum blue intensity (MXBI), we test whether a non-linear temperature response is more prevalent in TRW or MXD (MXBI) data, and whether it is associated with the temperature sensitivity and/or autocorrelation structure of the dendro parameters. We note that MXD (MXBI) data have a significantly stronger temperature response than TRW data as well as a lower autocorrelation that is more similar to that of the instrumental temperature data, whereas TRW exhibits a redder” variability continuum. This study shows that the use of non-parametric calibration models is more suitable for TRW data, while parametric calibration is sufficient for both MXD and MXBI data – that is, we show that TRW is by far the more non-linear proxy.