Norwegian fjord sediments reveal NAO related winter temperature and precipitation changes of the past 2800 years
The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is the leading mode of atmospheric circulation variability in the North Atlantic region. Associated shifts of storm tracks, precipitation and temperature patterns affect energy supply and demand, fisheries and agricultural, as well as marine and terrestrial ecological dynamics. Long-term NAO records are crucial to better understand its response to climate forcing factors, and assess predictability and shifts associated with ongoing climate change. A recent study of instrumental time series revealed NAO as main factor for a strong relation between winter temperature, precipitation and river discharge in central Norway over the past 50 years. Here we compare geochemical measurements with instrumental data and show that primary productivity recorded in central Norwegian fjord sediments is sensitive to NAO variability. This observation is used to calibrate paleoproductivity changes to a 500-year reconstruction of winter NAO (Luterbacher et al., 2001). Conditioned on a stationary relation between our climate proxy and the NAO we establish a first high resolution NAO proxy record (NAOTFJ) from marine sediments covering the past 2800 years. The NAOTFJ shows distinct co-variability with climate changes over Greenland, solar activity and Northern Hemisphere glacier dynamics as well as climatically associated paleo-demographic trends. The here presented climate record shows that fjord sediments provide crucial information for an improved understanding of the linkages between atmospheric circulation, solar and oceanic forcing factors.