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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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We present the first record of dust input into an eastern European bog over the past 10 800 years. We find significant changes in past dust deposition, with large inputs related to both natural and human influences. We show evidence that Saharan desertification has had a significant impact on dust deposition in eastern Europe for the past 6100 years.

Jack Longman, Daniel Veres, Vasile Ersek, Ulrich Salzmann, Katalin Hubay, Marc Bormann, Volker Wennrich, and Frank Schäbitz

Understanding the boron isotopic composition of seawater (δ11Bsw) is key to calculating absolute estimates of CO2 using the boron isotope pH proxy. Here we use the boron isotope gradient, along with an estimate of pH gradient, between the surface and deep ocean to show that the δ11Bsw varies by ~ 2 ‰ over the past 23 million years. This new record has implications for both δ11B-CO2 records and understanding changes in the ocean isotope composition of a number of ions through time.

Rosanna Greenop, Mathis P. Hain, Sindia M. Sosdian, Kevin I. C. Oliver, Philip Goodwin, Thomas B. Chalk, Caroline H. Lear, Paul A. Wilson, and Gavin L. Foster

We simulate the climate, ice sheet, and sea-level evolution during the Last Interglacial (~130 to 115 kyr BP), the most recent warm period in Earth’s history. Our Earth system model includes components representing the atmosphere, the ocean and sea ice, the terrestrial biosphere, and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Our simulation is in good agreement with available data reconstructions and gives important insights into the dominant mechanisms that caused ice sheet changes in the past.

Heiko Goelzer, Philippe Huybrechts, Marie-France Loutre, and Thierry Fichefet

Within the framework of the PAGES NAm2k project, we estimated regional trends in the ground surface temperature change for the past 500 years in North America. The mean North American ground surface temperature history suggests a warming of 1.8°C between preindustrial times and 2000. A regional analysis of mean temperature changes over the last 5 centuries shows that all regions experienced warming, but this warming displays large spatial variability and is more marked in high-latitude regions.

Fernando Jaume-Santero, Carolyne Pickler, Hugo Beltrami, and Jean-Claude Mareschal

Throughout the last millennium, several cold periods occurred which affected humanity. Here, we investigate an exceptionally cold decade during the 15th century. The cold conditions challenged the food production and led to increasing food prices and a famine in parts of Europe. In contrast to periods such as the "Year Without Summer" after the eruption of Tambora, these extreme climatic conditions seem to have occurred by chance and in relation to the internal variability of the climate system.

Chantal Camenisch, Kathrin M. Keller, Melanie Salvisberg, Benjamin Amann, Martin Bauch, Sandro Blumer, Rudolf Brázdil, Stefan Brönnimann, Ulf Büntgen, Bruce M. S. Campbell, Laura Fernández-Donado, Dominik Fleitmann, Rüdiger Glaser, Fidel González-Rouco, Martin Grosjean, Richard C. Hoffmann, Heli Huhtamaa, Fortunat Joos, Andrea Kiss, Oldřich Kotyza, Flavio Lehner, Jürg Luterbacher, Nicolas Maughan, Raphael Neukom, Theresa Novy, Kathleen Pribyl, Christoph C. Raible, Dirk Riemann, Maximilian Schuh, Philip Slavin, Johannes P. Werner, and Oliver Wetter

This paper focuses on early Holocene rapid climate changes in the Mediterranean zone, which are under-represented in continental archives, and on their impact on prehistoric societies from the eastern to central Mediterranean (central Anatolia, Cyprus, NE and NW Greece). Our study demonstrates the reality of hydrogeomorphological responses to early Holocene RCCs in valleys and alluvial fans and lake-marsh systems. We finally question their socio-economic and geographical adaptation capacities.

J.-F. Berger, L. Lespez, C. Kuzucuoğlu, A. Glais, F. Hourani, A. Barra, and J. Guilaine

Past intervals in Earth history provide unique windows into conditions much different than those observed today. We investigated the paleoenvironments of a past warm interval (~3 million years ago). Our reconstruction includes data sets for surface temperature, vegetation, soils, lakes, ice sheets, topography, and bathymetry. These data are being used along with global climate models to expand our understanding of the climate system and to help us prepare for future changes.

H. Dowsett, A. Dolan, D. Rowley, R. Moucha, A. M. Forte, J. X. Mitrovica, M. Pound, U. Salzmann, M. Robinson, M. Chandler, K. Foley, and A. Haywood

We use an isotope-equipped GCM and develop original theoretical expression for the precipitation composition to assess δ18O of paleo-precipitation changes with the Tibetan Plateau uplift. We show that δ18O of precipitation is very sensitive to climate changes related to the growth of mountains, notably changes in relative humidity and precipitation amount. Topography is shown to be not an exclusive controlling factor δ18O in precipitation that have crucial consequences for paleoelevation studies.

S. Botsyun, P. Sepulchre, C. Risi, and Y. Donnadieu

This study presents an average of seven Late Pleistocene sea level records, which improves the signal-to-noise ratio for estimates of sea level change during glacial cycles of the past 800 000 years.

R. M. Spratt and L. E. Lisiecki

We demonstrate for the first time the direct link between dust accumulation in marine sediment cores and Saharan land surface by simulating the mid-Holocene and pre-industrial dust cycle as a function of Saharan land surface cover and atmosphere-ocean conditions using the coupled atmosphere-aerosol model ECHAM6-HAM2.1. Mid-Holocene surface characteristics, including vegetation cover and lake surface area, are derived from proxy data and simulations.

S. Egerer, M. Claussen, C. Reick, and T. Stanelle

Integrating discharge data of the River Ammer back to 1926 and a 5500-year flood layer record from an annually laminated sediment core of the downstream Ammersee allowed investigating changes in the frequency of major floods in Central Europe on interannual to multi-centennial timescales. Significant correlations between flood frequency variations in both archives and changes in the activity of the Sun suggest a solar influence on the frequency of these hydrometeorological extremes.

M. Czymzik, R. Muscheler, and A. Brauer

A comparison of model simulations and reconstructions at the continental scale over the past millennium indicates that models are in relatively good agreement with temperature reconstructions for Northern Hemisphere regions, particularly in the Arctic. This is likely due to the relatively large amplitude of the externally forced response across northern and high-latitudes regions. Conversely, models disagree strongly with the reconstructions in the Southern Hemisphere.

PAGES 2k–PMIP3 group

Fluid inclusions inside stalagmites retain information on the cave temperature at the time they formed and thus can be used to reconstruct the continental climate of the past. A method for extracting this information based on a thermodynamic model and size measurements of femtosecond-laser-induced vapour bubbles is presented. Applying our method to stalagmites taken from the Milandre cave in the Swiss Jura Mountains demonstrate that palaeotemperatures can be determined with an accuracy of ±1°C.

F. Spadin, D. Marti, R. Hidalgo-Staub, J. Rička, D. Fleitmann, and M. Frenz

We propose an innovative framework to organize paleodust records, formalized in a publicly accessible database, and discuss the emerging properties of the global dust cycle during the Holocene by integrating our analysis with simulations performed with the Community Earth System Model. We show how the size distribution of dust is intrinsically related to the dust mass accumulation rates and that only considering a consistent size range allows for a consistent analysis of the global dust cycle.

S. Albani, N. M. Mahowald, G. Winckler, R. F. Anderson, L. I. Bradtmiller, B. Delmonte, R. François, M. Goman, N. G. Heavens, P. P. Hesse, S. A. Hovan, S. G. Kang, K. E. Kohfeld, H. Lu, V. Maggi, J. A. Mason, P. A. Mayewski, D. McGee, X. Miao, B. L. Otto-Bliesner, A. T. Perry, A. Pourmand, H. M. Roberts, N. Rosenbloom, T. Stevens, and J. Sun

Climate and ice sheet models are often used to predict the nature of ice sheets in Earth history. It is important to understand whether such predictions are consistent among different models, especially in warm periods of relevance to the future. We use input from 15 different climate models to run one ice sheet model and compare the predictions over Greenland. We find that there are large differences between the predicted ice sheets for the warm Pliocene (c. 3 million years ago).

A. M. Dolan, S. J. Hunter, D. J. Hill, A. M. Haywood, S. J. Koenig, B. L. Otto-Bliesner, A. Abe-Ouchi, F. Bragg, W.-L. Chan, M. A. Chandler, C. Contoux, A. Jost, Y. Kamae, G. Lohmann, D. J. Lunt, G. Ramstein, N. A. Rosenbloom, L. Sohl, C. Stepanek, H. Ueda, Q. Yan, and Z. Zhang

All regional monsoons belong to a cohesive global monsoon circulation system, albeit thateach regional subsystem has its own indigenous features. A comprehensive review of global monsoon variability reveals that regional monsoons can vary coherently across a range of timescales, from interannual up to orbital and tectonic. Study of monsoon variability from both global and regional perspectives is imperative and advantageous for integrated understanding of the modern and paleo-monsoon dynamics.

P. X. Wang, B. Wang, H. Cheng, J. Fasullo, Z. T. Guo, T. Kiefer, and Z. Y. Liu

Here, we provide the first estimate of the impact of the development of the Laurentide ice sheet on the estimates of energy and temperature reconstructions from measurements of terrestrial borehole temperatures in North America. Results indicate that site-specific heat content estimates over North America can differ by as much as 50%, if the energy contribution of the last glacial cycle in those areas of North America that experienced glaciation is not taken into account when estimating recent subsurface energy changes from borehole temperature data.

H. Beltrami, G. S. Matharoo, L. Tarasov, V. Rath, and J. E. Smerdon

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