Integrating palaeoclimate time series with rich metadata for uncertainty modelling: strategy and documentation of the PalMod 130k marine palaeoclimate data synthesis

Jonkers, Lukas; Cartapanis, Olivier; Langner, Michael; McKay, Nick; Mulitza, Stefan; Strack, Anne; Kucera, Michal (2020). Integrating palaeoclimate time series with rich metadata for uncertainty modelling: strategy and documentation of the PalMod 130k marine palaeoclimate data synthesis. Earth System Science Data, 12(2), pp. 1053-1081. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/essd-12-1053-2020

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Palaeoclimate data hold the unique promise of providing a long-term perspective on climate change and as such can serve as an important benchmark for climate models. However, palaeoclimate data have generally been archived with insufficient standardisation and metadata to allow for transparent and consistent uncertainty assessment in an automated way. Thanks to improved computation capacity, transient palaeoclimate simulations are now possible, calling for data products containing multi-parameter time series rather than information on a single parameter for a single time slice. Efforts are underway to simulate a complete glacial–interglacial cy- cle using general circulation models (, last access: 6 May 2020), and to confront these simulations with palaeoclimate data, we have compiled a multi-parameter marine palaeoclimate data synthe- sis that contains time series spanning 0 to 130 000 years ago. We present the first version of the data product that focuses exclusively on time series for which a robust chronology based on benthic foraminifera δ18O and radiocarbon dating is available. The product contains 896 time series of eight palaeoclimate parameters from 143 individual sites, each associated with rich metadata, age–depth model ensembles, and information to refine and update the chronologies. This version contains 205 time series of benthic foraminifera δ18O; 169 of benthic foraminifera δ13C; 131 of seawater temperature; 174 and 119 of planktonic foraminifera δ18O and δ13C; and 44, 38 and 16 of carbonate, organic carbon and biogenic silica content, respectively. The data product is available in three formats (R, LiPD and netCDF) facilitating use across different software and operating systems and can be downloaded at (Jonkers et al., 2019). This data descriptor presents our data synthesis strategy and describes the contents and format of the data product in detail. It ends with a set of recommendations for data archiving.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Cartapanis, Olivier


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Copernicus Publications




Samuel Jaccard

Date Deposited:

27 May 2020 12:27

Last Modified:

27 May 2020 12:27

Publisher DOI:





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