EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

North Atlantic Jet position induces latitudinal decouplings in forest productivity in Europe

Isabel Dorado-Liñán1, Valerie Trouet2, and the European Beech Tree-ring Network*
Isabel Dorado-Liñán and Valerie Trouet and the European Beech Tree-ring Network
  • 1Forest Genetics and Ecophysiology Group,Technical University of Madrid, Spain (
  • 2Laboratory of Tree-ring Research. University of Arizona. USA (
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

Dynamically-driven extreme weather events have large ecological, social and economic consequences including large tree-growth reductions and forest mortality. These events are likely to become globally more frequent and intense in the near future with increased anthropogenic forcing and associated changes in couple atmosphere-ocean circulation. The European continent is under the control of different atmospheric circulation patterns leading to geographical climatic gradients caused by their eventual position and strength, being the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the East Atlantic Pattern (EA) the main modes of North Atlantic climate variability (Barnston and Levezey 1987; Folland et al. 2009). Both, NAO and EA reflect jet stream changes as a consequence of variations in the eddy forcing, being the North Atlantic Jet (NAJ) the pattern connecting the large-scale atmospheric variability over the North Atlantic basin (Woollings, Hannachi, and Hoskins 2010). Thus, the identification and characterization of the links between forest productivity and the precursors of large-scale dynamics inducing extreme events may boost our capacity of assessing their predictability and enhancing forecasting skills.
Here, we scale forest response to climate to higher atmospheric levels by establishing the connection between extreme positive and negative anomalies in productivity of European forests to the latitudinal position of the NAJ. For that, we use a network of 344 European beech tree-ring chronologies extending from the Iberian Peninsula to the Carpathians and from Greece to northern UK.
Our results show a geographical gradient on tree growth across Europe explained either by the asymmetric forest response to homogeneous summer climate over Europe or to a distinct summer climate dipole leading to diverging climatic conditions in northeaster and southwestern Europe. In both cases, the continental-scale European-beech growth patterns are linked to the NAJ latitudinal position and its determinant influence on summer climate over Europe. The projected increase in the frequency of northward migrations of the NAJ for the next century may enhance the differences in forest productivity across Europe by inducing subcontinental-wide beech forest growth reduction.

Barnston, Anthony Gaston, and Robert E. Levezey. 1987. "Classification, seasonality and persistence of low-frequency atmospheric circulation patterns" Mon. Weather Rev. 115: 1083-1126.
Folland, Chris K, Jeff Knight, Hans W Linderholm, David Fereday, Sarah Ineson, and James W Hurrell. 2009. “The Summer North Atlantic Oscillation: Past, Present, and Future.” Journal of Climate 22 (5): 1082–1103.
Woollings, Tim, Abdel Hannachi, and Brian Hoskins. 2010. “Variability of the North Atlantic Eddy-Driven Jet Stream.” Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 136 (649): 856–68.


European Beech Tree-ring Network:

Giovanna Battipaglia, Vojach Cada, Jesus Julio Camarero, Liam Cavin, Hugues Claessens, Igor Drobyshev , Balazs Garamszegi , Michael Grabner, Andrew Hacket Pain, Claudia Hartl, Andrea Hevia, Pavel Janda, Alistair Jump, Marko Kazimirovic, Srdan Keren, Juergen Kreyling, Alexander Land, Nicolas Latte, Tom Levanic, Ernst van der Maaten, Marieke van der Maaten-Theunissen, Annette Menzel, Martin Mikolas, Renzo Motta, Lena Muffler, Paola Nola, M. Payanatov, Any Mary Petritan, Ion Catalin Petritan, Ionel Popa, Catalin Roibu, M. Rydval, Raul Sanchez Salguero, Tobias Scharnweber, Branko Staji, Miroslav Svoboda, Willy Tegel, Marius Theodosiu, Elvin Toromani, Volodymyr Trotsiuk, Daniel Turcu, Robert Weigel, Martin Wilmking, Christian Zang, Tzvetan Zlatanov.

How to cite: Dorado-Liñán, I. and Trouet, V. and the European Beech Tree-ring Network: North Atlantic Jet position induces latitudinal decouplings in forest productivity in Europe, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19951,, 2020