Changes in the Mediterranean climate during the Holocene: insights from global and regional climate modelling
Brayshaw, D. J., Rambeau, C. M. C. and Smith, S. J. (2011) Changes in the Mediterranean climate during the Holocene: insights from global and regional climate modelling. Holocene, 21 (1). pp. 15-31. ISSN 0959-6836
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1177/0959683610377528
Palaeoproxy records alone are seldom sufficient to provide a full assessment of regional palaeoclimates. To better understand the possible changes in the Mediterranean climate during the Holocene, a series of palaeoclimate integrations for periods spanning the last 12 000 years have been performed and their results diagnosed. These simulations use the HadSM3 global climate model, which is then dynamically downscaled to approximately 50 km using a consistent regional climate model (HadRM3). Changes in the model’s seasonal-mean surface air temperatures and precipitation are discussed at both global and regional scales, along with the physical mechanisms underlying the changes. It is shown that the global model reproduces many of the large-scale features of the mid-Holocene climate (consistent with previous studies) and that the results suggest that many areas within the Mediterranean region were wetter during winter with a stronger seasonal cycle of surface air temperatures during the early Holocene. This precipitation signal in the regional model is strongest in the in the northeast Mediterranean (near Turkey), consistent with low-level wind patterns and earlier palaeosyntheses. It is, however, suggested that further work is required to fully understand the changes in the winter circulation patterns over the Mediterranean region.