Palaeovariability: Data-Model Comparisons

12.03 - 14.03.2014
London, UK
Contact person:
Chris Brierley, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Workshop report: 
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A 3-day workshop focussed on comparing variability in palaeoclimate model simulations with that seen in proxy observations


Climate models used for future projections have been developed using comparisons with observations of the climate state during the Anthropocene. Testing the validity of these models requires independent observations – one valuable source of which is past climate states. Substantial progress has been made by the Palaeoclimate Model Intercomparison Project (PMIP) towards this goal. However, so far this has been predominantly concerned with comparing modelled climatologies to the (proxy) observations.

The recent hiatus in global mean temperature increases has brought into stark focus the important role of climate variability (and its potential underestimation by models). A climate model’s inability to capture interannual variability can be a critical driver of model development. An example of this is the substantial effort expended in improving the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) simulations between the last and upcoming IPCC assessment reports. This development can be compromised by the relatively short observed records - especially for longer period modes of variability. 

This workshop was spurred by the PAGES-supported meeting on “Tropical Climate variability with a focus on last Millennium, mid-Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum” held in France in September 2011. That meeting made it clear that sufficient interest and data existed to permit preliminary attempts at data-model comparison of climate variability, at least for ENSO.

This workshop is intended to foster rigorous data-model comparisons of palaeovariability by first recognising it as an active field of research, secondly by building a community and thirdly by proposing a best-practice for such comparisons.

More information

Chris Brierly - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.