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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 16 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 16 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Large-scale features and evaluation of the PMIP4-CMIP6 midHolocene simulations

Chris M. Brierley1, Anni Zhao1, Sandy P. Harrison2, Pascale Braconnot3, Charles J. R. Williams4,5, David J. R. Thornalley1, Xiaoxu Shi6, Jean-Yves Peterschmitt3, Rumi Ohgaito7, Darrell S. Kaufman8, Masa Kageyama3, Julia C. Hargreaves9, Micheal P. Erb8, Julien Emile-Geay10, Roberta D'Agostino11, Deepak Chandan12, Matthieu Carré13,14, Patrick Bartlein15, Weipeng Zheng16, Zhongshi Zhang17, Qiong Zhang18, Hu Yang6, Evgeny M. Volodin19, Robert A. Tomas20, Cody Routson8, W. Richard Peltier12, Bette Otto-Bliesner20, Polina A. Morozova21, Nicholas P. McKay8, Gerrit Lohmann6, Allegra N. Legrande22, Chuncheng Guo17, Jian Cao23, Esther Brady20, James D. Annan9, and Ayako Abe-Ouchi7,24 Chris M. Brierley et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, University College London, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
  • 2Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AB, UK
  • 3Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement-IPSL, Unité Mixte CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, Orme des Merisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 4Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6BB, UK
  • 5School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS, UK
  • 6Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 7Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan
  • 8School of Earth and Sustainability, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
  • 9Blue Skies Research Ltd, The Old Chapel, Albert Hill, Settle, BD24 9HE, UK
  • 10Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • 11Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 12Department of Physics, University of Toronto, 60 St George Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S1A7, Canada
  • 13LOCEAN Laboratory, Sorbonne Universités (UPMC, Univ Paris 06) – CNRS-IRD-MNHN, Paris, France
  • 14CIDIS-LID-Facultad de Ciencias y Filosofía – Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
  • 15Department of Geography, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
  • 16LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 17NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Bjerknes Center for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
  • 18Department of Physical Geography and Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, 10691, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 19Marchuk Institute of Numerical Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Gubkina 8, Moscow, 119333, Russia
  • 20Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO 80305, USA
  • 21Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Staromonetny L. 29, Moscow, 110917, Russia
  • 22NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, USA
  • 23School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology Nanjing, 210044, China
  • 24Atmospheric and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan

Abstract. The mid-Holocene (6000 years ago) is a standard experiment for the evaluation of the simulated response of global climate models using paleoclimate reconstructions. The latest mid-Holocene simulations are a contribution by the Palaeoclimate Model Intercomparison Project (PMIP4) to the current phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). Here we provide an initial analysis and evaluation of the results of the experiment for the mid-Holocene. We show that state-of-the-art models produce climate changes that are broadly consistent with theory and observations, including increased summer warming of the northern hemisphere and associated shifts in tropical rainfall. Many features of the PMIP4-CMIP6 simulations were present in the previous generation (PMIP3-CMIP5) of simulations. The PMIP4-CMIP6 ensemble for the mid-Holocene has a global mean temperature change of −0.3 K, which is −0.2 K cooler that the PMIP3-CMIP5 simulations predominantly as a result of the prescription of realistic greenhouse gas concentrations in PMIP4-CMIP6. Neither this difference nor the improvement in model complexity and resolution seems to improve the realism of the simulations. Biases in the magnitude and the sign of regional responses identified in PMIP3-CMIP5, such as the amplification of the northern African monsoon, precipitation changes over Europe and simulated aridity in mid-Eurasia, are still present in the PMIP4-CMIP6 simulations. Despite these issues, PMIP4-CMIP6 and the mid-Holocene provide an opportunity both for quantitative evaluation and derivation of emergent constraints on climate sensitivity and feedback strength.

Chris M. Brierley et al.

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Chris M. Brierley et al.

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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This paper provides an initial exploration and comparison to climate reconstructions of the new climate model simulations of the mid-Holocene (6000 years ago). These use state-of-the-art models developed for CMIP6 and apply the same experimental set-up. The models capture several key aspects of the climate, but there are some persistent issues remain.
This paper provides an initial exploration and comparison to climate reconstructions of the new...