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Modeling the Mid-Holocene Atmospheric Circulation of Europe

Paper Reviewed
Mauri, A., Davis, B.A.S., Collins, P.M. and Kaplan, J.O. 2014. The influence of atmospheric circulation on the mid-Holocene climate of Europe: a data-model comparison. Climate of the Past 10: 1925-1938.

In a paper published in the journal Climate of the Past, Mauri et al. (2014) present a new seasonal (summer and winter) gridded temperature and precipitation reconstruction for mid-Holocene (MH, 6000 years BP) Europe, based on fossil and modern pollen data sets that they describe as "greatly improved in both size and quality compared with previous studies," after which they compare their climate reconstructions with "the latest PMIP3/CMIP5 global climate model (GCM) simulations."

As a result of this comparison, they say they find "little agreement between the reconstructed anomalies and those from 14 GCMs that performed mid-Holocene experiments as part of the PMIP3/CMIP5 project, which show a much greater sensitivity to top-of-the-atmosphere changes in solar radiation." In addition, they report that their data-model comparisons on contemporary timescales indicate that the models also "underestimate the role of atmospheric circulation in recent climate change."

In terms of both the old and the new, therefore, today's climate models would appear to be unable to accurately describe reality in the case of atmospheric circulation over Europe.

Posted 12 March 2015