|I think this version does represent an improvement with respect to the initial submission, and i principle the manuscript is close to a publication stage. This being said, I also think that the authors could have done more to produce a more innovative contribution, but this is to some extent a matter of taste. I do not see anything clearly wrong in this study, but without a more detailed analysis of the model runs, the manuscript is, to large part, a conformation of the results obtained by Mauri et al (2015). I acknowledge that this study contains marine proxies, which Mauri et al did not, but it is difficult to recognizee what these new proxies additionally tell us. Reading the manuscript again, it is clear that the authors use very often the expression ' ..which confirms previous studies...'. This is per se not bad, but perhaps a bit too conservative. In this sense, I was a somewhat disappointed, but I also recognise that conformation studies are also necessary. |
I would, however, suggest to pay attention to three points that would strike the reader. The first point is the abstract. It is too long and some sentences /paragraph are repetitive (particular comment below). I think it should be tightened and shortened, maybe by 1/3 or so. It is written very 'generoulsy' and certainly the sentences can be shortened and the whole abstract written more to the point. The second point, in the introduction, is related to the discussions of previous proxy studies. The introduction sets off by explaining all what is known about the evolution of precipitation in Europe over the Holocene, which reads to be quite a lot (early Holocene, Midholocene, north-south, east-west dipoles), but then, a bit surprisingly, when highlighting the innovations of this study the authors point out that most previous studies are focused on the Midholocene (lines 147). The reader will wonder how we could know so much if most studied are limited to the Mid-Holocene.
Regarding the modelling side, I think that the authors do not do a favour themselves. They present results from a regional simulation backed by the reasoning that a high-resolution model is necessary to better simulate precipitation, but on the other hand also discuss that the results of the regional model cannot deviate much from the driving global model, for instance considering the question of the extension of the African Monsoon in the Mid-Holocene. Again, the reader would wonder why is a regional model necessary in the first place, and why the authors could not look into global coupled simulations.
I understand that the authors are trying to balance the new aspects of their work, and their intention of not going into a detailed analysis of the runs, but the present solution to this balance does not read very well. It can be, however, my own perspective.
Abstract , line 38. Just an example, I think that the paragraph ' in order to test the above mentioned
hypotheses on a Mediterranean-wide scale, and we compare the results with model outputs from
a high-resolution regional climate model. Spatially, we focus on transects across the
Mediterranean basin from north to south and from west to east...' is repetitive. The same has been said before in the abstract-