Agreement between reconstructed and modeled boreal precipitation of the Last Interglacial

Paolo Scussolini, Pepijn Bakker, Chuncheng Guo, Christian Stepanek, Qiong Zhang, Pascale Braconnot, Jian Cao, Maria-Vittoria Guarino, Dim Coumou, Matthias Prange, Philip J. Ward, Hans Renssen, Masa Kageyama, Bette Otto-Bliesner, Jeroen C. J. H. Aerts

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The last extended time period when climate may have been warmer than today was during the Last Interglacial (LIG; ca. 129 to 120 thousand years ago). However, a global view of LIG precipitation is lacking. Here, seven new LIG climate models are compared to the first global database of proxies for LIG precipitation. In this way, models are assessed in their ability to capture important hydroclimatic processes during a different climate. The models can reproduce the proxy-based positive precipitation anomalies from the preindustrial period over much of the boreal continents. Over the Southern Hemisphere, proxy-model agreement is partial. In models, LIG boreal monsoons have 42% wider area than in the preindustrial and produce 55% more precipitation and 50% more extreme precipitation. Austral monsoons are weaker. The mechanisms behind these changes are consistent with stronger summer radiative forcing over boreal high latitudes and with the associated higher temperatures during the LIG.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaax7047
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalScience advances
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2019


FundersFunder number
National Science Foundation610055, 1852977


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