28 Apr 2023
 | 28 Apr 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Model and proxy evidence for coordinated changes in the hydroclimate of distant regions over the Last Millennium

Pedro José Roldán-Gómez, Jesús Fidel González-Rouco, Jason E. Smerdon, and Félix García-Pereira

Abstract. The Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA; ca. 950–1250 CE) and the Little Ice Age (LIA; ca. 1450–1850 CE) periods, generally characterised by respectively higher and lower temperatures in many regions, have also been associated with drier and wetter conditions in areas around the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the Asian Monsoon region, and in areas impacted by large-scale climatic modes like the Northern and Southern Annular Modes (NAM and SAM, respectively). To analyse coordinated changes in large-scale hydroclimate patterns, and whether similar changes also extend to other periods of the Last Millennium (LM) outside the MCA and the LIA, reconstruction-based products have been analysed, including the collection of tree-ring based Drought Atlases (DA), the Paleo Hydrodynamics Data Assimilation product (PHYDA) and the Last Millennium Reanalysis (LMR). These analyses have shown coherent changes in the hydroclimate of tropical and extratropical regions, such as northern and central South America, East Africa, western North America, Western Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific, during the MCA, the LIA and other periods of the LM. Comparisons with model simulations from the Community Earth System Model – Last Millennium Ensemble (CESM-LME) and phases 5 and 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5 and CMIP6) show that both external forcing and internal variability contributed to these changes, with the contribution of internal variability being particularly important in the Indo-Pacific basin and that of external forcing in the Atlantic basin. These results may help to identify not only those areas showing coordinated changes, but also those regions where model simulations are able to successfully reproduce the evolution of hydroclimate during the LM.

Pedro José Roldán-Gómez et al.

Status: open (until 23 Jun 2023)

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  • CC1: 'Comment on cp-2023-21', Matthew Kirby, 02 May 2023 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2023-21', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 May 2023 reply

Pedro José Roldán-Gómez et al.

Pedro José Roldán-Gómez et al.


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Short summary
Analyses of reconstructed data suggest that the precipitation and availability of water has evolved in a similar way during the Last Millennium in different regions of the world, including areas of North America, Europe, the Middle East, Southern Asia, northern South America, East Africa and the Indo-Pacific. To confirm this link between distant regions and to understand the reasons behind it, the information from different reconstructed and simulated products has been compiled and analysed.