Local Regions Associated With Interdecadal Global Temperature Variability in the Last Millennium Reanalysis and CMIP5 Models

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Despite the importance of interdecadal climate variability, we have a limited understanding of which geographic regions are associated with global temperature variability at these timescales. The instrumental record tends to be too short to develop sample statistics to study interdecadal climate variability, and Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5) climate models tend to disagree about which locations most strongly influence global mean interdecadal temperature variability. Here we use a new paleoclimate data assimilation product, the Last Millennium Reanalysis (LMR), to examine where local variability is associated with global mean temperature variability at interdecadal timescales. The LMR framework uses an ensemble Kalman filter data assimilation approach to combine the latest paleoclimate data and state-of-the-art model data to generate annually resolved field reconstructions of surface temperature, which allow us to explore the timing and dynamics of preinstrumental climate variability in new ways. The LMR consistently shows that the middle- to high-latitude north Pacific and the high-latitude North Atlantic tend to lead global temperature variability on interdecadal timescales. These findings have important implications for understanding the dynamics of low-frequency climate variability in the preindustrial era.






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Parsons, LA, and GJ Hakim (2019). Local Regions Associated With Interdecadal Global Temperature Variability in the Last Millennium Reanalysis and CMIP5 Models. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124(17-18). pp. 9905–9917. 10.1029/2019JD030426 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/26195.

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Luke Parsons


Luke Parsons is a climate researcher and lecturer. He teaches about climate change and climate impacts and studies climate dynamics, drought, and climate change + deforestation + emissions impacts on the environment, human health, well-being, and the economy. In addition to his work as a researcher, Luke is also a Wilderness First Responder and former NOLS instructor who enjoys backpacking, climbing, and taking panoramic landscape photographs.

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