At the global scale, reconstructions of cool season temperature over past centuries are relatively rare. Here we present 277-year reconstructions of cool season (July–October) temperatures for southern Australia based on three different data sets: a spatial field reconstruction based on highly resolved temperature data from the Australian Water Availability Product data; reconstructions for the four southeast Australian states based on the Berkeley Earth mean temperature data for each state; and reconstructions for individual stations in southeastern Australia from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s Australian Climate Observations Reference Network–Surface Air Temperature data. Our reconstructions typically capture 25–50% of the variation over the late twentieth Century calibration period and are strongest for the southern state of Tasmania and the southeastern part of mainland Australia. All three use Tasmanian tree-rings sensitive to cool season temperatures and display similar variability. In the context of our reconstructions, the persistent warming in the observed record since ~ 1950 is unprecedented. While the low frequency variability of winter temperatures is generally in step with that in summer (December–February) temperatures, high frequency variability is not, illustrating the need for seasonal reconstructions to help improve understanding of variability in inter-seasonal dynamics and the historical importance of this on the environment. The reconstructions covary with changes in the Southern Annular Mode and may be useful for future reconstructions of this phenomenon.
- Cool season temperature reconstruction
- Tree rings
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science