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Long-term summer sunshine/moisture stress reconstruction from tree-ring widths from Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Abstract:

We present the first summer sunshine reconstruction from tree-ring data for the western part of the Balkan Peninsula. Summer sunshine is tightly connected with moisture stress in trees, because the moisture stress and therefore the width of annual tree-rings is under the influence of the direct and interactive effects of sunshine duration (temperature, precipitation, cloud cover and evapotranspiration). The reconstruction is based on a calibrated z-scored mean chronology, calculated from tree-ring width measurements from 7 representative black pine (Pinus nigra Arnold) sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). A combined regression and scaling approach was used for the reconstruction of the summer sunshine. We found a significant negative correlation (r = 0.54, p < 0.0001) with mean June–July sunshine hours from Osijek meteorological station (Croatia). The developed model was used for reconstruction of summer sunshine for the time period 1660–2010. We identified extreme summer events and compared them to available documentary historical sources of drought, volcanic eruptions and other reconstructions from the broader region. All extreme summers with low sunshine hours (1712, 1810, 1815, 1843, 1899 and 1966) are connected with volcanic eruptions.

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