Articles | Volume 4, issue 4
Clim. Past, 4, 265–280, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-4-265-2008
Clim. Past, 4, 265–280, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-4-265-2008

  13 Nov 2008

13 Nov 2008

Reconstructing glacier-based climates of LGM Europe and Russia – Part 3: Comparison with previous climate reconstructions

R. Allen*,1, M. J. Siegert2, and A. J. Payne1 R. Allen et al.
  • 1School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS, UK
  • 2School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Grant Institute, King's Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3JW, UK
  • *now at: Landmark Information Group, 5–7 Abbey Court, Eagle Way, Sowton, Exeter, EX2 7HY, UK

Abstract. Understanding past climates using GCM models is critical to confidently predicting future climate change. Although previous analysis of GCM simulations have shown them to under calculate European glacial temperature anomalies (the difference between modern and glacial temperatures) such analyses have focused primarily on results from glacial simulations alone. Here we compare glacial maximum GCM results with the palaeoenvironment derived from glacier-climate modelling. The comparison confirms that GCM anomalies are not large enough, and that this is due to modern conditions that are modelled too cold and glacial temperatures that are too warm. The result is that GCM results, if applied to a glacier mass balance model, over predict the extent of glaciers today, and under calculate their extent at the last glacial (as depicted in glacial geological reconstructions). Effects such as seasonality and model parameterisation change the magnitude of the under calculation but still fail to match expected glacial conditions.