An integrated proxy and simulation data initiative for the Holocene and the last deglaciation


Comparing climate proxy and simulation data is fraught with challenges: age and calibration uncertainties in climate proxies, missing or incomplete processes and uncertain boundary conditions for climate models, and differences between gridded and site data are just a few examples. For the climate of the Common Era, multiple initiatives have already addressed these issues (e.g. the PAGES 2k Network regional working groups). On transient timescales beyond the late Holocene, there have been only a few integrated activities. Comparisons on these longer time scales involve large-scale changes in climate states without an equivalent during the Holocene. As such, they require methods that address both the amplitude and timing of background climate changes and account for additional processes. For example, comprehensive Earth System Models need to include changes in ice sheets and related ocean circulation changes during deglaciation. Likewise, proxy data for this period, such as lake or marine sediments, are generally less well replicated than their late Holocene counterparts (e.g. tree rings and historical documents), resulting in more uncertain climate signals (Laepple et al. 2017).
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