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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cpd-11-2585-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cpd-11-2585-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 30 Jun 2015

Research article | 30 Jun 2015

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Gridded climate data from 5 GCMs of the Last Glacial Maximum downscaled to 30 arc s for Europe

D. R. Schmatz1, J. Luterbacher2, N. E. Zimmermann1, and P. B. Pearman1,3,4 D. R. Schmatz et al.
  • 1Landscape Dynamics, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Geography, Climatology, Climate Dynamics and Climate Change, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany
  • 3Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Ap. 644, 48940 Leioa, Bizkaia, Spain
  • 4IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, 48011 Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain

Abstract. Studies of the impacts of historical, current and future global change require very high-resolution climate data (≤ 1 km) as a basis for modelled responses, meaning that data from digital climate models generally require substantial rescaling. Another shortcoming of available datasets on past climate is that the effects of sea level rise and fall are not considered. Without such information, the study of glacial refugia or early Holocene plant and animal migration are incomplete if not impossible. Sea level at the last glacial maximum (LGM) was approximately 125 m lower, creating substantial additional terrestrial area for which no current baseline data exist. Here, we introduce the development of a novel, gridded climate dataset for LGM that is both very high resolution (1 km) and extends to the LGM sea and land mask. We developed two methods to extend current terrestrial precipitation and temperature data to areas between the current and LGM coastlines. The absolute interpolation error is less than 1 and 0.5 °C for 98.9 and 87.8 %, respectively, of all pixels within two arc degrees of the current coastline. We use the change factor method with these newly assembled baseline data to downscale five global circulation models of LGM climate to a resolution of 1 km for Europe. As additional variables we calculate 19 "bioclimatic" variables, which are often used in climate change impact studies on biological diversity. The new LGM climate maps are well suited for analysing refugia and migration during Holocene warming following the LGM.

D. R. Schmatz et al.
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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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D. R. Schmatz et al.
D. R. Schmatz et al.
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Short summary
Global climate model output for the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is downscaled to a very high resolution using the change factor method. We develop two new methods to extend current baseline climate to the LGM coastline so that the final data cover all terrestrial area at LGM. Results are gridded data for temperature, precipitation and 19 bioclimatic variables which are often used in studies on climate change impact on biological diversity, glacial refugia or migration during Holocene warming.
Global climate model output for the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is downscaled to a very high...
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