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



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Fernández Donado, Laura and Barriopedro Cepero, David and González Rouco, J. Fidel and García Bustamante, E. and Raible, C. C. and Ammann, C. M. and Lorenz, S. J. and Jungclaus, J. H. and Luterbacher, J. and Phipps, S. J. and Servonnat, J. and Swingedouw, D. and Tett, S. F. B. and Wagner, S. and Yiou, P. and 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. ISSN 1814-9324

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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 paleo-climate 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.

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© Author(s) 2013. LFD was funded by a FPU grant: AP2009-4061. LFD and JFGR acknowledge project grants UCM-921407, CGL2008-06558-C02-02/CLI, CGL2011-29672-C02-02, 200800050083542 and 200800050084028. CCR acknowledges SNF-FUPSOL. DB acknowledges projects CGL2008-05968-C02-01 and ENAC-PTDC/AAC-CLI/103567/2008. JL acknowledges EU/FP7-ACQWA-NO212250, DFG-PRIME1,2, LU1608/1-1/AOBJ:568460 and LU1608/2-1/AOBJ:575150. JS, DS and PY acknowledge the ANR ESCARSEL grant.

Uncontrolled Keywords:NH Mean Temperature, Low-Frequency Variability, Climate System Model, Solar Irradiance Variations, Northern-Hemisphere Temperatures, General-Circulation Model, Past 2 Millennia, Land-Use Change, Transient Simulations, El Niño
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
Sciences > Physics > Atmospheric physics
ID Code:24775
Deposited On:25 Mar 2014 08:45
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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