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A multi-model assessment of last interglacial temperatures

Citation

Lunt, DJ and Abe-Ouchi, A and Bakker, P and Berger, A and Braconnot, P and Charbit, S and Fischer, N and Herold, N and Jungclaus, JH and Khon, VC and Krebs-Kanzow, U and Langebroek, PM and Lohmann, G and Nisancioglu, KH and Otto-Bliesner, N and Park, W and Pfeiffer, M and Phipps, SJ and Prange, M and Rachmayani, R and Renssen, H and Rosenbloom, N and Schneider, B and Stone, EJ and Takahashi, K and Wei, W and Yin, Q and Zhang, ZS, A multi-model assessment of last interglacial temperatures, Climate of the Past, 9 pp. 699-717. ISSN 1814-9324 (2013) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2013 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode

DOI: doi:10.5194/cp-9-699-2013

Abstract

The last interglaciation (130 to 116 ka) is a time period with a strong astronomically induced seasonal forcing of insolation compared to the present. Proxy records indicate a significantly different climate to that of the modern, in particular Arctic summer warming and higher eustatic sea level. Because the forcings are relatively well constrained, it provides an opportunity to test numerical models which are used for future climate prediction. In this paper we compile a set of climate model simulations of the early last interglaciation (130 to 125 ka), encompassing a range of model complexities. We compare the simulations to each other and to a recently published compilation of last interglacial temperature estimates.We show that the annual mean response of the models is rather small, with no clear signal in many regions. However, the seasonal response is more robust, and there is significant agreement amongst models as to the regions of warming vs cooling. However, the quantitative agreement of the model simulations with data is poor, with the models in general underestimating the magnitude of response seen in the proxies. Taking possible seasonal biases in the proxies into account improves the agreement, but only marginally. However, a lack of uncertainty estimates in the data does not allow us to draw firm conclusions. Instead, this paper points to several ways in which both modelling and data could be improved, to allow a more robust model–data comparison.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate models, palaeoclimate, last Interglacial
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
Research Field:Palaeoclimatology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Climate and Climate Change
Objective Field:Climate Change Models
Author:Phipps, SJ (Dr Steven Phipps)
ID Code:104719
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:67
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-11-18
Last Modified:2017-10-30
Downloads:90 View Download Statistics

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