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Quantitative estimates of temperature and precipitation changes over the last millennium from pollen and lake-level data at Lake Joux, Swiss Jura Mountains

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Michel Magny*
CNRS-UMR 6249, Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement, UFR des Sciences et Techniques, 16 route de Gray, 25 030 Besançon, France
Odile Peyron
CNRS-UMR 6249, Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement, UFR des Sciences et Techniques, 16 route de Gray, 25 030 Besançon, France
Emilie Gauthier
CNRS-UMR 6249, Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement, UFR des Sciences et Techniques, 16 route de Gray, 25 030 Besançon, France
Boris Vannière
CNRS-UMR 6249, Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement, UFR des Sciences et Techniques, 16 route de Gray, 25 030 Besançon, France
Laurent Millet
CNRS-UMR 6249, Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement, UFR des Sciences et Techniques, 16 route de Gray, 25 030 Besançon, France
Bruno Vermot-Desroches
Météo-France, 36 Avenue de l'Observatoire, 25030 Besançon, France
Corresponding author. Fax: +33 3 81 66 65 68. E-mail address:


This paper presents quantitative climate estimates for the last millennium, using a multi-proxy approach with pollen and lake-level data from Lake Joux (Swiss Jura Mountains). The climate reconstruction, based on the Modern Analogue Technique, indicates warmer and drier conditions during the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). MWP was preceded by a short-lived cold humid event around AD 1060, and followed by a rapid return around AD 1400 to cooler and wetter conditions which generally characterize the Little Ice Age (LIA). Around AD 1450 (solar Spörer minimum), the LIA attained a temperature minimum and a summer precipitation maximum. The solar Maunder minimum around AD 1690 corresponded at Joux to rather mild temperatures but maximal annual precipitation. These results generally agree with other records from neighbouring Alpine regions. However, there are differences in the timing of the LIA temperature minimum depending on the proxy and/or the method used for the reconstruction. As a working hypothesis, the hydrological signal associated with the MWP and LIA oscillations at Lake Joux may have been mainly driven by a shift around AD 1400 from positive to negative NAO modes in response to variations in solar irradiance possibly coupled with changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

Research Article
University of Washington

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Quantitative estimates of temperature and precipitation changes over the last millennium from pollen and lake-level data at Lake Joux, Swiss Jura Mountains
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