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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/cp-2018-145
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-145
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Nov 2018

Research article | 13 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Mid-Holocene climate change over China: model-data discrepancy

Yating Lin1,2,4, Gilles Ramstein2, Haibin Wu1,3,4, Raj Rani2, Pascale Braconnot2, Masa Kageyama2, Qin Li1,3, Yunli Luo5, and Zhengtang Guo1,3,4 Yating Lin et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette 91191, France
  • 3CAS Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing, 100044, China
  • 4University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 5Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China

Abstract. The mid-Holocene period (MH) has long been an ideal target for the validation of Global Circulation Model (GCM) results against proxy reconstructions gathered in global datasets. These studies aimed to test the GCM sensitivity mainly to the seasonal changes induced by the orbital parameters (precession). Despite widespread agreement between model results and data on the MH climate, some important differences still exist. There is no consensus on the continental size of the MH thermal climate response, which makes regional quantitative reconstruction critical to obtain a comprehensive understanding of MH climate patterns. Here, we compare the annual and seasonal outputs from the most recent Paleoclimate Modelling and Coupled Modelling Intercomparison Projects Phase 3 (PMIP3) models with an updated synthesis of temperature reconstruction over China, including, for the first time, a seasonal cycle. Most of the models provide a linear response driven by the seasonal forcing (warmer in summer, cooler in winter), which disagrees with the new seasonal data reconstruction over China. We show that to capture the seasonal pattern reconstructed by data, it is critical to access surface processes. These results pinpoint the crucial importance of including the non-linear process associated with vegetation changes in hydrology and radiative forcing.

Yating Lin et al.
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Short summary
Mid-Holocene has been an excellent target for comparing models and data. This work shows that, over China, all the ocean-atmosphere general circulation models involved in the PMIP3 show a very large discrepancy with pollen data reconstruction when comparing annual and seasonal temperature. It demonstrates that to reconcile model and data and to capture the signature of seasonal thermal response, it is necessary to integrate non-linear processes, particularly those related to vegetation changes.
Mid-Holocene has been an excellent target for comparing models and data. This work shows that,...
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