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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-2019-164
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-164
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 20 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 20 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Greenland temperature and precipitation over the last 20,000 years using data assimilation

Jessica A. Badgeley1, Eric J. Steig1,2, Gregory J. Hakim2, and Tyler J. Fudge1 Jessica A. Badgeley et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington
  • 2Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington

Abstract. Reconstructions of past temperature and precipitation are fundamental to modeling the Greenland Ice Sheet and assessing its sensitivity to climate. Paleoclimate information is sourced from proxy records and climate-model simulations; however, the former are spatially incomplete while the latter are sensitive to model dynamics and boundary conditions. Efforts to combine these sources of information to reconstruct spatial patterns of Greenland climate over glacial-interglacial cycles have been limited by assumptions of fixed spatial patterns and a restricted use of proxy data. We avoid these limitations by using paleoclimate data assimilation to create independent reconstructions of temperature and precipitation for the last 20,000 years. Our method uses information from long ice-core records and extends it to all locations across Greenland using spatial relationships derived from a transient climate-model simulation. Our reconstructions evaluate well against independent ice-core records. In addition, we find that the relationship between precipitation and temperature is frequency dependent and spatially variable, suggesting that thermodynamic scaling methods commonly used in ice-sheet modeling are overly simplistic. Our results demonstrate that paleoclimate data assimilation is a useful tool for reconstructing the spatial and temporal patterns of past climate on timescales relevant to ice sheets.

Jessica A. Badgeley et al.

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Jessica A. Badgeley et al.

Jessica A. Badgeley et al.

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