Huldén, Lena, 2001. Terra 113, 171-8. Oak barrels and the medieval warm period in Satakunta [Finland] (Finnish) .

The English abstract states:

Historical sources regarding taxation suggest that there were large oak stands in medieval Satakunta in southwestern Finland. Oak stands about 150 km north of the current oak zone imply a warm period with 1-2 degrees centigrade higher temperature than today, lasting for hundreds of years. The establishment of the customary rent to the Crown has been dated in Satakunta to the period 1250-1300. It consisted of several different parcels, including oak barrels. By examining in which parts of Satakunta taxes were paid inoak barrels, it is possible to determine where oak grew during the periods 1250-1300 and 1540-1560. The peasants exploited oak stands as long as possible, but intensified land use and colder climate probably led to a rapid decline or vanishing of the oak in Satakunta as early as the end of the 16th century

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3 Comments

  1. John A.
    Posted Feb 23, 2005 at 5:42 AM | Permalink

    Let me guess. The Finnish farmers had an organized oak planting in the previous century….

  2. Jean S
    Posted Feb 23, 2005 at 6:17 AM | Permalink

    There was a very interesitng PhD thesis defended in Finland last summer, you can download it (in English)
    from:

    http://ethesis.helsinki.fi/julkaisut/mat/geolo/vk/helama/

    I especially liked the comment on p. 31:
    “Based on the present results (I,
    III) it could be concluded that the warmness around the 1930s were amongst the highest during the past millennium but because of cold periods after that as well as in the beginning of the 20th century the century as a whole was not that warm. Towards the end of the past century (reconstruction in Paper I ends in the beginning of the 1990s) summertime temperatures do not seem to be rising (as with
    the observational records from the study region) unlike some of the hemispheric
    average series (Mann et al. 1998; Jones & Moberg 2003), implying the presence of spatial non-homogeneities in temperature climate.”

    I.e. since the “consensus” says the north is warming, and your study shows the opposite,
    it must be because of the regional differencies and Finland must be an exception…

  3. TCO
    Posted Sep 5, 2005 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    An interesting double check: what is the rate of pioneering of oak? How long would it take forests to move 150km and is this reasonable to reconcile with a 300 year warm period?

One Trackback

  1. By Medieval Treeline in Finland « Climate Audit on Oct 28, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    [...] with the more northerly distribution of oak in medieval Finland reported in Hulden [2001] discussed here and adds to the growing inventory of articles both demonstrating higher medieval treelines and [...]

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