Large-scale temperature response to external forcing in simulations and reconstructions of the last millennium

Fernández-Donado, J. F.; Raible, Christoph; Ammann, C. M.; Barriopedro, D.; Garcia-Bustamante, E.; Jungclaus, J. H.; Lorenz, S. J.; Luterbacher, Jürg; Phipps, S. J.; Servonnat, J.; Swingedouw, D.; Tett, S. F. B.; Wagner, S.; Yiou, P.; Zorita, E. (2013). Large-scale temperature response to external forcing in simulations and reconstructions of the last millennium. Climate of the past, 9(1), pp. 393-421. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/cp-9-393-2013

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Understanding natural climate variability and its driving factors is crucial to assessing future climate change. Therefore, comparing proxy-based climate reconstructions with forcing factors as well as comparing these with paleoclimate model simulations is key to gaining insights into the relative roles of internal versus forced variability. A review of the state of modelling of the climate of the last millennium prior to the CMIP5–PMIP3 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5–Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project Phase 3) coordinated effort is presented and compared to the available temperature reconstructions. Simulations and reconstructions broadly agree on reproducing the major temperature changes and suggest an overall linear response to external forcing on multidecadal or longer timescales. Internal variability is found to have an important influence at hemispheric and global scales. The spatial distribution of simulated temperature changes during the transition from the Medieval Climate Anomaly to the Little Ice Age disagrees with that found in the reconstructions. Thus, either internal variability is a possible major player in shaping temperature changes through the millennium or the model simulations have problems realistically representing the response pattern to external forcing. A last millennium transient climate response (LMTCR) is defined to provide a quantitative framework for analysing the consistency between simulated and reconstructed climate. Beyond an overall agreement between simulated and reconstructed LMTCR ranges, this analysis is able to single out specific discrepancies between some reconstructions and the ensemble of simulations. The disagreement is found in the cases where the reconstructions show reduced covariability with external forcings or when they present high rates of temperature change.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Raible, Christoph and Luterbacher, Jürg

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
900 History > 910 Geography & travel
500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

1814-9324

Publisher:

Copernicus Publications

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

08 Aug 2014 08:33

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2016 01:50

Publisher DOI:

10.5194/cp-9-393-2013

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.47713

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/47713

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