Last Interglacial model-data mismatch of thermal maximum temperatures partially explained

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The timing of the last interglacial (LIG) thermal maximum across the globe remains to be precisely assessed. Because of difficulties in establishing a common temporal framework between records from different palaeoclimatic archives retrieved from various places around the globe, it has not yet been possible to reconstruct spatio-temporal variations in the occurrence of the maximum warmth across the globe. Instead, snapshot reconstructions of warmest LIG conditions have been presented, which have an underlying assumption that maximum warmth occurred synchronously everywhere. Although known to be an oversimplification, the impact of this assumption on temperature estimates has yet to be assessed. We use the LIG temperature evolutions simulated by nine different climate models to investigate whether the assumption of synchronicity results in a sizeable overestimation of the LIG thermal maximum. We find that for annual temperatures, the overestimation is small, strongly model-dependent (global mean 0.4 ± 0.3 °C) and cannot explain the recently published 0.67 °C difference between simulated and reconstructed annual mean temperatures during the LIG thermal maximum. However, if one takes into consideration that temperature proxies are possibly biased towards summer, the overestimation of the LIG thermal maximum based on warmest month temperatures is non-negligible with a global mean of 1.1 ± 0.4 °C. © Author(s) 2014.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1633-1644
JournalClimate of the Past
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Last Interglacial
Hypsithermal
temperature
climate modeling
temporal variation
summer

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@article{b31a4466e68948b8aef417aa618b078d,
title = "Last Interglacial model-data mismatch of thermal maximum temperatures partially explained",
abstract = "The timing of the last interglacial (LIG) thermal maximum across the globe remains to be precisely assessed. Because of difficulties in establishing a common temporal framework between records from different palaeoclimatic archives retrieved from various places around the globe, it has not yet been possible to reconstruct spatio-temporal variations in the occurrence of the maximum warmth across the globe. Instead, snapshot reconstructions of warmest LIG conditions have been presented, which have an underlying assumption that maximum warmth occurred synchronously everywhere. Although known to be an oversimplification, the impact of this assumption on temperature estimates has yet to be assessed. We use the LIG temperature evolutions simulated by nine different climate models to investigate whether the assumption of synchronicity results in a sizeable overestimation of the LIG thermal maximum. We find that for annual temperatures, the overestimation is small, strongly model-dependent (global mean 0.4 ± 0.3 °C) and cannot explain the recently published 0.67 °C difference between simulated and reconstructed annual mean temperatures during the LIG thermal maximum. However, if one takes into consideration that temperature proxies are possibly biased towards summer, the overestimation of the LIG thermal maximum based on warmest month temperatures is non-negligible with a global mean of 1.1 ± 0.4 °C. {\circledC} Author(s) 2014.",
author = "P. Bakker and H. Renssen",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.5194/cp-10-1633-2014",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
pages = "1633--1644",
journal = "Climate of the Past",
issn = "1814-9324",
publisher = "European Geosciences Union",

}

Last Interglacial model-data mismatch of thermal maximum temperatures partially explained. / Bakker, P.; Renssen, H.

In: Climate of the Past, Vol. 10, 2014, p. 1633-1644.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

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AU - Bakker, P.

AU - Renssen, H.

PY - 2014

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N2 - The timing of the last interglacial (LIG) thermal maximum across the globe remains to be precisely assessed. Because of difficulties in establishing a common temporal framework between records from different palaeoclimatic archives retrieved from various places around the globe, it has not yet been possible to reconstruct spatio-temporal variations in the occurrence of the maximum warmth across the globe. Instead, snapshot reconstructions of warmest LIG conditions have been presented, which have an underlying assumption that maximum warmth occurred synchronously everywhere. Although known to be an oversimplification, the impact of this assumption on temperature estimates has yet to be assessed. We use the LIG temperature evolutions simulated by nine different climate models to investigate whether the assumption of synchronicity results in a sizeable overestimation of the LIG thermal maximum. We find that for annual temperatures, the overestimation is small, strongly model-dependent (global mean 0.4 ± 0.3 °C) and cannot explain the recently published 0.67 °C difference between simulated and reconstructed annual mean temperatures during the LIG thermal maximum. However, if one takes into consideration that temperature proxies are possibly biased towards summer, the overestimation of the LIG thermal maximum based on warmest month temperatures is non-negligible with a global mean of 1.1 ± 0.4 °C. © Author(s) 2014.

AB - The timing of the last interglacial (LIG) thermal maximum across the globe remains to be precisely assessed. Because of difficulties in establishing a common temporal framework between records from different palaeoclimatic archives retrieved from various places around the globe, it has not yet been possible to reconstruct spatio-temporal variations in the occurrence of the maximum warmth across the globe. Instead, snapshot reconstructions of warmest LIG conditions have been presented, which have an underlying assumption that maximum warmth occurred synchronously everywhere. Although known to be an oversimplification, the impact of this assumption on temperature estimates has yet to be assessed. We use the LIG temperature evolutions simulated by nine different climate models to investigate whether the assumption of synchronicity results in a sizeable overestimation of the LIG thermal maximum. We find that for annual temperatures, the overestimation is small, strongly model-dependent (global mean 0.4 ± 0.3 °C) and cannot explain the recently published 0.67 °C difference between simulated and reconstructed annual mean temperatures during the LIG thermal maximum. However, if one takes into consideration that temperature proxies are possibly biased towards summer, the overestimation of the LIG thermal maximum based on warmest month temperatures is non-negligible with a global mean of 1.1 ± 0.4 °C. © Author(s) 2014.

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