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Journal Article

Reversals in temperature-precipitation correlations in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics during the Holocene


Dallmeyer,  Anne       
Climate Vegetation Dynamics, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Herzschuh, U., Böhmer, T., Li, C., Cao, X., Hébert, R., Dallmeyer, A., et al. (2022). Reversals in temperature-precipitation correlations in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics during the Holocene. Geophysical Research Letters, 49: e2022GL099730. doi:10.1029/2022GL099730.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-32F0-D
Abstract Future precipitation levels remain uncertain because climate models have struggled to reproduce observed variations in temperature-precipitation correlations. Our analyses of Holocene proxy-based temperature-precipitation correlations and hydrological sensitivities from 2237 Northern Hemisphere extratropical pollen records reveal a significant latitudinal dependence and temporal variations among the early, middle, and late Holocene. These proxy-based variations are largely consistent with patterns obtained from transient climate simulations (TraCE21k). While high latitudes and subtropical monsoon areas show mainly stable positive correlations throughout the Holocene, the mid-latitude pattern is temporally and spatially more variable. In particular, we identified a reversal from positive to negative temperature-precipitation correlations in the eastern North American and European mid-latitudes from the early to mid-Holocene that mainly related to slowed down westerlies and a switch to moisture-limited convection under a warm climate. Our palaeoevidence of past temperature-precipitation correlation shifts identifies those regions where simulating past and future precipitation levels might be particularly challenging.