High-resolution palaeoclimatology of the last millennium

A review of current status and future prospects

P. D. Jones, K. R. Briffa, T. J. Osborn, J. M. Lough, T. D. Van Ommen, B. M. Vinther, J. Luterbacher, E. R. Wahl, F. W. Zwiers, Michael Mann, G. A. Schmidt, C. M. Ammann, B. M. Buckley, K. M. Cobb, J. Esper, H. Goosse, N. Graham, E. Jansen, T. Kiefer, C. Kull & 10 others M. Küttel, E. Mosley-Thompson, J. T. Overpeck, N. Riedwyl, M. Schulz, A. W. Tudhope, R. Villalba, H. Wanner, E. Wolff, E. Xoplaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

428 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This review of late-Holocene palaeoclimatology represents the results from a PAGES/CLIVAR Intersection Panel meeting that took place in June 2006. The review is in three parts: the principal high-resolution proxy disciplines (trees, corals, ice cores and documentary evidence), emphasizing current issues in their use for climate reconstruction; the various approaches that have been adopted to combine multiple climate proxy records to provide estimates of past annual-to-decadal timescale Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures and other climate variables, such as large-scale circulation indices; and the forcing histories used in climate model simulations of the past millennium. We discuss the need to develop a framework through which current and new approaches to interpreting these proxy data may be rigorously assessed using pseudo-proxies derived from climate model runs, where the 'answer' is known. The article concludes with a list of recommendations. First, more raw proxy data are required from the diverse disciplines and from more locations, as well as replication, for all proxy sources, of the basic raw measurements to improve absolute dating, and to better distinguish the proxy climate signal from noise. Second, more effort is required to improve the understanding of what individual proxies respond to, supported by more site measurements and process studies. These activities should also be mindful of the correlation structure of instrumental data, indicating which adjacent proxy records ought to be in agreement and which not. Third, large-scale climate reconstructions should be attempted using a wide variety of techniques, emphasizing those for which quantified errors can be estimated at specified timescales. Fourth, a greater use of climate model simulations is needed to guide the choice of reconstruction techniques (the pseudo-proxy concept) and possibly help determine where, given limited resources, future sampling should be concentrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-49
Number of pages47
JournalHolocene
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

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future prospect
climate modeling
climate
proxy climate record
timescale
climate signal
ice core
simulation
coral
Northern Hemisphere
surface temperature
Holocene
sampling
resource
history
palaeoclimatology
Climate
Millennium
Paleoclimatology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Archaeology
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Jones, P. D., Briffa, K. R., Osborn, T. J., Lough, J. M., Van Ommen, T. D., Vinther, B. M., ... Xoplaki, E. (2009). High-resolution palaeoclimatology of the last millennium: A review of current status and future prospects. Holocene, 19(1), 3-49. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683608098952
Jones, P. D. ; Briffa, K. R. ; Osborn, T. J. ; Lough, J. M. ; Van Ommen, T. D. ; Vinther, B. M. ; Luterbacher, J. ; Wahl, E. R. ; Zwiers, F. W. ; Mann, Michael ; Schmidt, G. A. ; Ammann, C. M. ; Buckley, B. M. ; Cobb, K. M. ; Esper, J. ; Goosse, H. ; Graham, N. ; Jansen, E. ; Kiefer, T. ; Kull, C. ; Küttel, M. ; Mosley-Thompson, E. ; Overpeck, J. T. ; Riedwyl, N. ; Schulz, M. ; Tudhope, A. W. ; Villalba, R. ; Wanner, H. ; Wolff, E. ; Xoplaki, E. / High-resolution palaeoclimatology of the last millennium : A review of current status and future prospects. In: Holocene. 2009 ; Vol. 19, No. 1. pp. 3-49.
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Jones, PD, Briffa, KR, Osborn, TJ, Lough, JM, Van Ommen, TD, Vinther, BM, Luterbacher, J, Wahl, ER, Zwiers, FW, Mann, M, Schmidt, GA, Ammann, CM, Buckley, BM, Cobb, KM, Esper, J, Goosse, H, Graham, N, Jansen, E, Kiefer, T, Kull, C, Küttel, M, Mosley-Thompson, E, Overpeck, JT, Riedwyl, N, Schulz, M, Tudhope, AW, Villalba, R, Wanner, H, Wolff, E & Xoplaki, E 2009, 'High-resolution palaeoclimatology of the last millennium: A review of current status and future prospects', Holocene, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 3-49. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683608098952

High-resolution palaeoclimatology of the last millennium : A review of current status and future prospects. / Jones, P. D.; Briffa, K. R.; Osborn, T. J.; Lough, J. M.; Van Ommen, T. D.; Vinther, B. M.; Luterbacher, J.; Wahl, E. R.; Zwiers, F. W.; Mann, Michael; Schmidt, G. A.; Ammann, C. M.; Buckley, B. M.; Cobb, K. M.; Esper, J.; Goosse, H.; Graham, N.; Jansen, E.; Kiefer, T.; Kull, C.; Küttel, M.; Mosley-Thompson, E.; Overpeck, J. T.; Riedwyl, N.; Schulz, M.; Tudhope, A. W.; Villalba, R.; Wanner, H.; Wolff, E.; Xoplaki, E.

In: Holocene, Vol. 19, No. 1, 01.01.2009, p. 3-49.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - High-resolution palaeoclimatology of the last millennium

T2 - A review of current status and future prospects

AU - Jones, P. D.

AU - Briffa, K. R.

AU - Osborn, T. J.

AU - Lough, J. M.

AU - Van Ommen, T. D.

AU - Vinther, B. M.

AU - Luterbacher, J.

AU - Wahl, E. R.

AU - Zwiers, F. W.

AU - Mann, Michael

AU - Schmidt, G. A.

AU - Ammann, C. M.

AU - Buckley, B. M.

AU - Cobb, K. M.

AU - Esper, J.

AU - Goosse, H.

AU - Graham, N.

AU - Jansen, E.

AU - Kiefer, T.

AU - Kull, C.

AU - Küttel, M.

AU - Mosley-Thompson, E.

AU - Overpeck, J. T.

AU - Riedwyl, N.

AU - Schulz, M.

AU - Tudhope, A. W.

AU - Villalba, R.

AU - Wanner, H.

AU - Wolff, E.

AU - Xoplaki, E.

PY - 2009/1/1

Y1 - 2009/1/1

N2 - This review of late-Holocene palaeoclimatology represents the results from a PAGES/CLIVAR Intersection Panel meeting that took place in June 2006. The review is in three parts: the principal high-resolution proxy disciplines (trees, corals, ice cores and documentary evidence), emphasizing current issues in their use for climate reconstruction; the various approaches that have been adopted to combine multiple climate proxy records to provide estimates of past annual-to-decadal timescale Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures and other climate variables, such as large-scale circulation indices; and the forcing histories used in climate model simulations of the past millennium. We discuss the need to develop a framework through which current and new approaches to interpreting these proxy data may be rigorously assessed using pseudo-proxies derived from climate model runs, where the 'answer' is known. The article concludes with a list of recommendations. First, more raw proxy data are required from the diverse disciplines and from more locations, as well as replication, for all proxy sources, of the basic raw measurements to improve absolute dating, and to better distinguish the proxy climate signal from noise. Second, more effort is required to improve the understanding of what individual proxies respond to, supported by more site measurements and process studies. These activities should also be mindful of the correlation structure of instrumental data, indicating which adjacent proxy records ought to be in agreement and which not. Third, large-scale climate reconstructions should be attempted using a wide variety of techniques, emphasizing those for which quantified errors can be estimated at specified timescales. Fourth, a greater use of climate model simulations is needed to guide the choice of reconstruction techniques (the pseudo-proxy concept) and possibly help determine where, given limited resources, future sampling should be concentrated.

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