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Considerable Model–Data Mismatch in Temperature over China during the Mid-Holocene: Results of PMIP Simulations

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  • 1 Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, and Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment Research for Temperate East Asia, and Climate Change Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 2 International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 3 Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, and Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 4 Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Abstract

Using the experiments undertaken by 36 climate models participating in the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), this study examines annual and seasonal surface temperatures over China during the mid-Holocene. Compared to the present or preindustrial climate, 35 out of the 36 PMIP models reproduced colder-than-baseline annual temperature, with an average cooling of 0.4 K, during that period. Seasonal temperature change followed closely the change in incoming solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere over China during the mid-Holocene. Temperature was reduced (elevated) in boreal winter and spring (summer) in all of the PMIP models, with an average of 1.4 K (1.0 K) at the national scale. Colder (warmer)-than-baseline temperatures were derived from 14 of the 16 atmosphere-only (18 of the 20 coupled) models during the mid-Holocene boreal autumn. Interactive ocean was found to lead to a warming effect on annual (0.3 K), boreal winter (0.5 K), and boreal autumn (0.7 K) temperatures, with reference to the atmosphere-only models. Interactive vegetation had little impact in terms of six pairs of coupled models with and without vegetation effects. The above results are in stark contrast to warmer-than-present annual and winter climate conditions as derived from multiproxy data for the mid-Holocene. Coupled models generally perform better than atmosphere-only models.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Dabang Jiang, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 9804, Beijing 100029, China. E-mail: jiangdb@mail.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

Using the experiments undertaken by 36 climate models participating in the Paleoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), this study examines annual and seasonal surface temperatures over China during the mid-Holocene. Compared to the present or preindustrial climate, 35 out of the 36 PMIP models reproduced colder-than-baseline annual temperature, with an average cooling of 0.4 K, during that period. Seasonal temperature change followed closely the change in incoming solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere over China during the mid-Holocene. Temperature was reduced (elevated) in boreal winter and spring (summer) in all of the PMIP models, with an average of 1.4 K (1.0 K) at the national scale. Colder (warmer)-than-baseline temperatures were derived from 14 of the 16 atmosphere-only (18 of the 20 coupled) models during the mid-Holocene boreal autumn. Interactive ocean was found to lead to a warming effect on annual (0.3 K), boreal winter (0.5 K), and boreal autumn (0.7 K) temperatures, with reference to the atmosphere-only models. Interactive vegetation had little impact in terms of six pairs of coupled models with and without vegetation effects. The above results are in stark contrast to warmer-than-present annual and winter climate conditions as derived from multiproxy data for the mid-Holocene. Coupled models generally perform better than atmosphere-only models.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Dabang Jiang, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 9804, Beijing 100029, China. E-mail: jiangdb@mail.iap.ac.cn
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