EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Tree-ring oxygen isotope patterns from Siberian and Canadian subarctic to test usability of local versus gridded climate data

Olga V. Churakova (Sidorova)1, Mikhail S. Zharkov1, Marina V. Fonti1, Tatyana V. Trushkina2, Valentin V. Barinov1, Anna V. Taynik1, Trevor J. Porter3, Alexander V. Kirdyanov1, Alberto Arzac1, and Matthias Saurer4
Olga V. Churakova (Sidorova) et al.
  • 1Siberian Federal University, Institute of Ecology and Geography, Laboratory of Ecosystems Biogeochemistry, Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation (
  • 2Reshetnev Siberian State University of Science and Technology, 660037 Krasnoyarsk, Russia
  • 3Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada
  • 4Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland

Rapid temperature and vapor pressure deficit (VPD) increase along with precipitation decrease over the past decades lead to massive wildfires and permafrost degradation in boreal forests. Conifer trees growing in subarctic regions are highly sensitive to these climatic changes due to their location at the high latitudes, where air temperature is the limiting factor, but also water relations have a strong impact on tree growth.

In this study, we aimed (i) to assess the usability of local vs. gridded climate data; (ii) to reveal how conifer trees capture temperature and moisture signals based on the local weather station data vs. gridded data from the two Siberian sites in northeastern Yakutia and eastern Taimyr, and one site from northwestern Canada in Mackenzie Delta; (iii) to perform trend analysis of climatic data and δ18O in tree-ring cellulose; and (iv) to carry out spatial correlation analysis of oxygen isotope patterns and determine the distribution of climatic signal over broad geographical scales in the Siberian and Canadian subarctic.

Comparative analysis of the local and gridded climatic data (air temperature, precipitation and VPD) for the three study sites showed that mainly temperatures are highly correlated between each other. Subarctic trees grow in a temperature-limited environment; therefore, the large spatial coherence of temperature signals is not surprising. Conversely, insignificant correlations between local and gridded for precipitation and rather low correlations for VPD is attributed to the more heterogeneous nature of moisture variables at larger spatial scales. Therefore, analyzing moisture changes in the subarctic using local weather station data is advantageous compared to gridded data.

Trend analysis of the climate data showed that drastic changes in climate variability occurred from the 1980s in the investigated subarctic regions and were even more pronounced from 2000 to 2021. Recent warming and development of drought conditions were stronger in the Canadian subarctic than the Siberian subarctic sites. Drastic precipitation changes, temperature and VPD increase mainly occurred during winter, spring and autumn in the studied subarctic regions. New updated stable isotope chronologies from remote subarctic regions allowed us to accurately reconstruct moisture changes using precipitation and VPD data from the local weather stations while reconstructing air temperature using gridded data.

This research was funded by the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) grant number 21-17-00006.

How to cite: Churakova (Sidorova), O. V., Zharkov, M. S., Fonti, M. V., Trushkina, T. V., Barinov, V. V., Taynik, A. V., Porter, T. J., Kirdyanov, A. V., Arzac, A., and Saurer, M.: Tree-ring oxygen isotope patterns from Siberian and Canadian subarctic to test usability of local versus gridded climate data, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8756,, 2022.


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