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Publication . Article . Other literature type . Preprint . 2019

Evaluating model outputs using integrated global speleothem records of climate change since the last glacial

Comas-Bru, Laia; Harrison, Sandy P.; Werner, Martin; Rehfeld, Kira; Scroxton, Nick; Veiga-Pires, Cristina; Ahmad, Syed Masood; +81 Authors
Open Access
Published: 09 Aug 2019
Publisher: Copernicus

Although quantitative isotope data from speleothems has been used to evaluate isotope-enabled model simulations, currently no consensus exists regarding the most appropriate methodology through which to achieve this. A number of modelling groups will be running isotope-enabled palaeoclimate simulations in the framework of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6, so it is timely to evaluate different approaches to using the speleothem data for data-model comparisons. Here, we illustrate this using 456 globally distributed speleothem delta O-18 records from an updated version of the Speleothem Isotopes Synthesis and Analysis (SISAL) database and palaeoclimate simulations generated using the ECHAM5-wiso isotope-enabled atmospheric circulation model. We show that the SISAL records reproduce the first-order spatial patterns of isotopic variability in the modern day, strongly supporting the application of this dataset for evaluating model-derived isotope variability into the past. However, the discontinuous nature of many speleothem records complicates the process of procuring large numbers of records if data-model comparisons are made using the traditional approach of comparing anomalies between a control period and a given palaeoclimate experiment. To circumvent this issue, we illustrate techniques through which the absolute isotope values during any time period could be used for model evaluation. Specifically, we show that speleothem isotope records allow an assessment of a model's ability to simulate spatial isotopic trends. Our analyses provide a protocol for using speleothem isotope data for model evaluation, including screening the observations to take into account the impact of speleothem mineralogy on delta O-18 values, the optimum period for the modern observational baseline and the selection of an appropriate time window for creating means of the isotope data for palaeo-time-slices. European Geosciences Union - W2017/413; Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG); European Association of Geochemistry (Early Career Ambassadors program 2017); Quaternary Research Association UK; Navarino Environmental Observatory, Stockholm University; University College Dublin, Savillex (UK) - SF1428; Ibn Zohr University, Morocco; University of Reading; European Research Council - 694481; Natural Environment Research Council (JPI-Belmont project "PAleao-Constraints on Monsoon Evolution and Dynamics (PACMEDY)"); Geological Survey Ireland - 2017-SC-056; Royal Irish Academy; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft - RE3994/2-1; Past Global Changes (PAGES) programme; info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion

Subjects by Vocabulary

ACM Computing Classification System: ComputingMilieux_MISCELLANEOUS

Library of Congress Subject Headings: lcsh:Environmental pollution lcsh:TD172-193.5 lcsh:Environmental protection lcsh:TD169-171.8 lcsh:Environmental sciences lcsh:GE1-350

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Time windows Environmental science Climatology Spatial ecology δ18O Glacial period Coupled model intercomparison project Climate change Baseline (configuration management) Speleothem geography.geographical_feature_category geography

Dewey Decimal Classification: ddc:550


F800, Climate Research, Klimatforskning, Stable-isotope variations, Growth frequency variations, General-circulation model, Delta-O-18 water isotope, High-resolution, Oxygen-isotope, Asian Monsoon, Atmospheric circulation, North-Atlantic, PMIP4 contribution, Palaeoclimate, Model testing, Speleothem, [SDU.STU.CL]Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Earth Sciences/Climatology, [SDU.ENVI]Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Continental interfaces, environment, [SDU.OCEAN]Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Ocean, Atmosphere, [SDE.MCG]Environmental Sciences/Global Changes, [SDU.STU.CL] Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Earth Sciences/Climatology, [SDU.ENVI] Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Continental interfaces, environment, [SDU.OCEAN] Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Ocean, Atmosphere, [SDE.MCG] Environmental Sciences/Global Changes, STABLE-ISOTOPE VARIATIONS, GROWTH FREQUENCY VARIATIONS, GENERAL-CIRCULATION MODEL, DELTA-O-18 WATER ISOTOPE, HIGH-RESOLUTION, OXYGEN-ISOTOPE, ASIAN MONSOON, ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION, NORTH-ATLANTIC, PMIP4 CONTRIBUTION, Paleontology, Stratigraphy, Global and Planetary Change, Science & Technology, Physical Sciences, Geosciences, Multidisciplinary, Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences, Geology, Institut für Geowissenschaften

Funded by
EC| GC2.0
Global Change 2.0: Unlocking the past for a clearer future
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 694481
  • Funding stream: H2020 | ERC | ERC-ADG
Validated by funder
FCT| UID/MAR/00350/2013
Centre for Marine and Environmental Research
  • Funder: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P. (FCT)
  • Project Code: UID/MAR/00350/2013
  • Funding stream: 6817 - DCRRNI ID
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