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Changes in the size of glaciers, in the altitude of the alpine tree-limit, and variation in the width of tree-rings during the Holocene clearly indicate that the average Scandinavian summer temperature has fluctuated. During warm periods it has been about 2°C warmer than at present; during cold periods it has been almost as cold as it was during the coldest decades of the previous centuries. Superimposed on these long-term variations, which have lasted from 100 to 200 years, are short fluctuations in temperature. The Scandinavian chronology, which is based on glacier and alpine tree-limit fluctuations as well as on dendrochronology, is well correlated with the changes in climate, which studies of ice cores from central Greenland have revealed. It is therefore believed that the Scandinavian climate chronology depicts conditions typical of a large area. The Scandinavian record is compared with data concerning solar irradiation variations estimated as 14 C anomalies obtained from tree-rings. A correlation between major changes in climate and variations in solar irradiation points to a solar forcing of the climate. This means that there is no evidence of a human influence on climate so far.
Ambio © 1998 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences