EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Response of Siberian trees to climatic changes over the past 1500 years

Olga Churakova (Sidorova)1, Marina Fonti1, Rolf Siegwolf2, Tatyana Trushkina3, Eugene Vaganov4,5, and Matthias Saurer2
Olga Churakova (Sidorova) et al.
  • 1Siberian Federal University, Institute of Ecology and Geography, Laboratory of Ecosystems Biogeochemistry, Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation (
  • 2Forest Dynamics, Ecosystem Ecology, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903, Birmensdorf, Switzerland
  • 3Reshetnev Siberian State University of Science and Technology, Krasnoyarsky Rabochy Av, Krasnoyarsk, Russia 660037
  • 4Siberian Federal University, Rectorate, Svobodny pr. 79, Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation, 660041
  • 5V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS, Federal Research Center “Krasnoyarsk Science Center SB RAS”, 50/28 Akademgorodok, 660036, Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation

We use an interdisciplinary approach combining stable isotopes in tree rings, pollen data, ice cores from temperature-limited environment in the Siberian north and developed a comprehensive description of the climatic changes over the past 1500 years. We found that the Climatic Optimum Period was warmer and drier compared to the Medieval one, but rather similar to the recent period. Our results indicate that the Medieval Warm period in the Taimyr Peninsula started earlier and was wetter compared to the northeastern part of Siberia (northeastern Yakutia). Summer precipitation reconstruction obtained from carbon isotopes in tree-ring cellulose from Taimyr Peninsula significantly correlated with the pollen data of the Lama Lake (Andreev et al. 2004) and oxygen isotopes of the ice core from Severnaya Zemlya (Opel et al. 2013) recording wetter climate conditions during the Medieval Warm period compared to the northeastern part of Siberia. Common large-scale climate variability was confirmed by significant relationship between oxygen isotope data in tree-ring cellulose from the Taimyr Peninsula and northeastern Yakutia, and oxygen isotope ice core data from Severnaya Zemlja during the Medieval Warm period and the recent one. Finally, we showed that the recent warming on the Taimyr Peninsula is not unprecedented in the Siberian north. Similar climate conditions were recorded by stable isotopes in tree rings, pollen, and ice core data 6000 years ago. On the northeastern part of Siberia newly developed a 1500-year summer vapor pressure deficit (VPD) reconstruction showed, that VPD increased recently, but does not yet exceed the maximum values reconstructed during the Medieval Warm period. The most humid conditions in the northeastern part of Siberia were recorded in the Early Medieval period and during the Little Ice Age. However, the increasing VPD under elevated air temperature in the last decades affects the hydrological regime of these sensitive ecosystems by greater evapotranspiration rates. Further VPD increase will significantly affect Siberian forests most likely leading to drought even under additional access of thawed permafrost water.

This work was supported by the FP7-PEOPLE-IIF-2008 - Marie Curie Action: "International Incoming Fellowships" 235122 and "Reintegration Fellowships" 909122 “Climatic and environmental changes in the Eurasian Subarctic inferred from tree-ring and stable isotope chronologies for the past and recent periods” and the Government of Krasnoyarsk Kray and Russian Foundation for Basic Research and Krasnoyarsk Foundation 20-44-240001 “Adaptation of conifer forests on the north of the Krasnoyarsk region (Taimyr Peninsula) to climatic changes after extreme events over the past 1500 years“ awarded to Olga V. Churakova (Sidorova).

How to cite: Churakova (Sidorova), O., Fonti, M., Siegwolf, R., Trushkina, T., Vaganov, E., and Saurer, M.: Response of Siberian trees to climatic changes over the past 1500 years, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8995,, 2021.


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