Monika J. Barcikowska, Sarah B. Kapnick, Frauke Feser (2017): Impact of large-scale circulation changes in the North Atlantic sector on the current and future Mediterranean winter hydroclimate. Climate Dynamics, 2017, doi: 10.1007/s00382-017-3735-5
The Mediterranean region, located in the transition zone between the dry subtropical and wet European mid-latitude climate, is very sensitive to changes in the global mean climate state. Projecting future changes of the Mediterranean hydroclimate under global warming therefore requires dynamic climate models to reproduce the main mechanisms controlling regional hydroclimate with suﬃciently high resolution to realistically simulate climate extremes. To assess future winter precipitation changes in the Mediterranean region we use the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory high-resolution general circulation model for control simulations with pre-industrial greenhouse gas and aerosol concentrations which are compared to future scenario simulations. Here we show that the coupled model is able to reliably simulate the large-scale winter circulation, including the North Atlantic Oscillation and Eastern Atlantic patterns of variability, and its associated impacts on the mean Mediterranean hydroclimate. The model also realistically reproduces the regional features of daily heavy rainfall, which are absent in lower-resolution simulations. A ﬁve-member future projection ensemble, which assumes comparatively high greenhouse gas emissions (RCP8.5) until 2100, indicates a strong winter decline in Mediterranean precipitation for the coming decades. Consistent with dynamical and thermodynamical consequences of a warming atmosphere, derived changes feature a distinct bipolar behavior, i.e. wetting in the north—and drying in the south. Changes are most pronounced over the northwest African coast, where the projected winter precipitation decline reaches 40% of present values. Despite a decrease in mean precipitation, heavy rainfall indices show drastic increases across most of the Mediterranean, except the North African coast, which is under the strong inﬂuence of the cold Canary Current.
Juan José Gómez-Navarro, Eduardo Zorita, Christoph C. Raible, Raphael Neukom (2017): Pseudo-proxy tests of the analogue method to reconstruct spatially resolved global temperature during the Common Era. Clim. Past, 13, 629-648, 2017, doi: 10.5194/cp-13-629-2017
This study addresses the possibility of carrying out spatially resolved global reconstructions of annual mean temperature using a worldwide network of proxy records and a method based on the search of analogues. Several variants of the method are evaluated, and their performance is analysed. As a test bed for the reconstruction, the PAGES 2k proxy database (version 1.9.0) is employed as a predictor, the HadCRUT4 dataset is the set of observations used as the predictand and target, and a set of simulations from the PMIP3 simulations are used as a pool to draw analogues and carry out pseudo-proxy experiments (PPEs). The performance of the variants of the analogue method (AM) is evaluated through a series of PPEs in growing complexity, from a perfect-proxy scenario to a realistic one where the pseudo-proxy records are contaminated with noise (white and red) and missing values, mimicking the limitations of actual proxies. Additionally, the method is tested by reconstructing the real observed HadCRUT4 temperature based on the calibration of real proxies. The reconstructed fields reproduce the observed decadal temperature variability. From all the tests, we can conclude that the analogue pool provided by the PMIP3 ensemble is large enough to reconstruct global annual temperatures during the Common Era. Furthermore, the search of analogues based on a metric that minimises the RMSE in real space outperforms other evaluated metrics, including the search of analogues in the range-reduced space expanded by the leading empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs). These results show how the AM is able to spatially extrapolate the information of a network of local proxy records to produce a homogeneous gap-free climate field reconstruction with valuable information in areas barely covered by proxies and make the AM a suitable tool to produce valuable climate field reconstructions for the Common Era.
Wang, J., Yang, B., Ljungqvist, F.C., Luterbacher, J., Osborn, T.J., Briffa, K.R., Zorita, E. (2017): Internal and external forcing of multidecadal Atlantic climate variability over the past 1,200 years. Nature Geoscience, 2017, doi: 10.1038/ngeo2962
The North Atlantic experiences climate variability on multidecadal scales, which is sometimes referred to as Atlantic multidecadal variability. However, the relative contributions of external forcing such as changes in solar irradiance or volcanic activity and internal dynamics to these variations are unclear. Here we provide evidence for persistent summer Atlantic multidecadal variability from AD 800 to 2010 using a network of annually resolved terrestrial proxy records from the circum-North Atlantic region. We find that large volcanic eruptions and solar irradiance minima induce cool phases of Atlantic multidecadal variability and collectively explain about 30% of the variance in the reconstruction on timescales greater than 30 years. We are then able to isolate the internally generated component of Atlantic multidecadal variability, which we define as the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. We find that the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation is the largest contributor to Atlantic multidecadal variability over the past 1,200 years. We also identify coherence between the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and Northern Hemisphere temperature variations, leading us to conclude that the apparent link between Atlantic multidecadal variability and regional to hemispheric climate does not arise solely from a common response to external drivers, and may instead reflect dynamic processes.