12 Mar 2024
 | 12 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

A global analysis of reconstructed land climate changes during Dansgaard-Oeschger events

Mengmeng Liu, Iain Colin Prentice, and Sandy P. Harrison

Abstract. Dansgaard–Oeschger (D–O) warming events are comparable in magnitude and rate to the anticipated 21st century warming. As such, they provide a good target for evaluation of the ability of state-of-the-art climate models to simulate rapid climate changes. Despite the wealth of qualitative information about climate changes during the D-O events, there has been no attempt to date to make quantitative reconstructions globally. Here we provide reconstructions of seasonal temperature changes and changes in plant-available moisture across multiple D-O events during Marine Isotope Stage 3 based on available pollen records across the globe. These reconstructions show that the largest changes in temperature occurred in northern extratropics, especially Europe and Eurasia. The change in winter temperature was not significantly different from the change in summer temperature, and thus there is no evidence that the D-O events were characterised by a change in seasonality. Although broadscale features of the temperature changes were consistent across the eight D-O events examined, the spatial patterns of temperature changes vary between events. Globally, changes in moisture were positively correlated with changes in temperature, but the strength and the sign of this relationship vary regionally. These reconstructions can be used to evaluate the spatial patterns of changes in temperature and moisture in the transient simulations of the D-O events planned as part of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project.

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Mengmeng Liu, Iain Colin Prentice, and Sandy P. Harrison

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2024-12', Maria Fernanda Sanchez Goñi, 27 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on cp-2024-12', Anonymous Referee #2, 23 Apr 2024
Mengmeng Liu, Iain Colin Prentice, and Sandy P. Harrison

Model code and software

DO climate reconstruction paper data and codes Mengmeng Liu

Mengmeng Liu, Iain Colin Prentice, and Sandy P. Harrison


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Short summary
Dansgaard-Oeschger events were large and rapid warming events that occurred multiple times during the last ice age. We show that changes in the northern extratropics and the southern extratropics were anti-phased, with warming over most of the north and cooling in the south. The reconstructions do not provide evidence for a change in seasonality in temperature. However, they do indicate that warming was generally accompanied by wetter conditions and cooling by drier conditions.