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Centennial-Scale Temperature Change in Last Millennium Simulations and Proxy-Based Reconstructions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
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Number of Authors: 82019 (English)In: Journal of Climate, ISSN 0894-8755, E-ISSN 1520-0442, Vol. 32, no 9, p. 2441-2482Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Systematic comparisons of proxy-based reconstructions and climate model simulations of past millennium temperature variability offer insights into climate sensitivity and feedback mechanisms, besides allowing model evaluation independently from the period covered by instrumental data. Such simulation-reconstruction comparisons can help to distinguish more skillful models from less skillful ones, which may subsequently help to develop more reliable future projections. This study evaluates the low-frequency simulation-reconstruction agreement within the past millennium through assessing the amplitude of temperature change between the Medieval Climate Anomaly (here, 950-1250 CE) and the Little Ice Age (here, 1450-1850 CE) in PMIP3 model simulations compared to proxy-based local and continental-scale reconstructions. The simulations consistently show a smaller temperature change than the reconstructions for most regions in the Northern Hemisphere, but not in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as a partly different spatial pattern. A cost function analysis assesses how well the various simulations agree with reconstructions. Disregarding spatial correlation, significant differences are seen in the agreement with the local temperature reconstructions between groups of models, but insignificant differences are noted when compared to continental-scale reconstructions. This result points toward a limited possibility to rank models by means of their low-frequency temperature variability alone. The systematically lower amplitude of simulated versus reconstructed temperature change indicates either too-small simulated internal variability or that the analyzed models lack some critical forcing or have missing or too-weak feedback mechanisms. We hypothesize that too-cold initial ocean conditions in the models-in combination with too-weak internal variability and slow feedbacks over longer time scales-could account for much of the simulation-reconstruction disagreement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 32, no 9, p. 2441-2482
Keywords [en]
Paleoclimate, Surface temperature, Ranking methods, Climate models, Model comparison
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168313DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0525.1ISI: 000464467700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-168313DiVA, id: diva2:1318113
Available from: 2019-05-26 Created: 2019-05-26 Last updated: 2019-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Charpentier Ljungqvist, FredrikZhang, QiongBrattström, GudrunKrusic, Paul J.Li, QiangMoberg, Anders
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Department of HistoryDepartment of Physical GeographyDepartment of Mathematics
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