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Journal Article

Multi-centennial Holocene climate variability in proxy records and transient model simulations


Jungclaus,  Johann H.       
Director’s Research Group OES, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Askjær, T. G., Zhang, Q., Schenk, F., Ljungqvist, F. C., Lu, Z., Brierley, C. M., et al. (2022). Multi-centennial Holocene climate variability in proxy records and transient model simulations. Quaternary Science Reviews, 296. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107801.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-567D-9
Variability on centennial to multi-centennial timescales is mentioned as a feature in reconstructions of the Holocene climate. As more long transient model simulations with complex climate models become available and efforts have been made to compile large proxy databases, there is now a unique opportunity to study multi-centennial variability with greater detail and a large amount of data than earlier. This paper presents a spectral analysis of transient Holocene simulations from 9 models and 120 proxy records to find the common signals related to oscillation periods and geographic dependencies and discuss the implications for the potential driving mechanisms. Multi-centennial variability is significant in most proxy records, with the dominant oscillation periods around 120–130 years and an average of 240 years. Spectra of model-based global mean temperature (GMT) agree well with proxy evidence with significant multi-centennial variability in all simulations with the dominant oscillation periods around 120–150 years. It indicates a comparatively good agreement between model and proxy data. A lack of latitudinal dependencies in terms of oscillation period is found in both the model and proxy data. However, all model simulations have the highest spectral density distributed over the Northern hemisphere high latitudes, which could indicate a particular variability sensitivity or potential driving mechanisms in this region. Five models also have differentiated forcings simulations with various combinations of forcing agents. Significant multi-centennial variability with oscillation periods between 100 and 200 years is found in all forcing scenarios, including those with only orbital forcing. The different forcings induce some variability in the system. Yet, none appear to be the predominant driver based on the spectral analysis. Solar irradiance has long been hypothesized to be a primary driver of multi-centennial variability. However, all the simulations without this forcing have shown significant multi-centennial variability. The results then indicate that internal mechanisms operate on multi-centennial timescales, and the North Atlantic-Arctic is a region of interest for this aspect. © 2022 The Authors