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Development and testing of scenarios for implementing Holocene LULC in earth system model experiments

Harrison, S. P., Gaillard, M. J., Stocker, B. D., Vander Linden, M., Klein Goldewijk, K., Boles, O., Braconnot, P., Dawson, A., Fluet-Chouinard, E., Kaplan, J. O., Kastner, T., Pausata, F. S. R., Robinson, E., Whitehouse, N. J., Madella, M. and Morrison, K. D. (2020) Development and testing of scenarios for implementing Holocene LULC in earth system model experiments. Geoscientific Model Development Discussions, 13 (2). pp. 805-824. ISSN 1991-962X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/gmd-13-805-2020


Anthropogenic changes in land use and land cover (LULC) during the pre-industrial Holocene could have affected regional and global climate. Current LULC scenarios are based on relatively simple assumptions and highly uncertain estimates of population changes through time. Archaeological and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions have the potential to refine these assumptions and estimates. The Past Global Changes (PAGES) LandCover6k initiative is working towards improved reconstructions of LULC globally. In this paper, we document the types of archaeological data that are being collated and how they will be used to improve LULC reconstructions. Given the large methodological uncertainties involved, we propose methods to evaluate the revised scenarios by using independent pollen-based reconstructions of land cover and of climate. A further test involves carbon-cycle simulations to determine whether the LULC reconstructions are consistent with constraints provided by ice-core records of CO2 evolution and modern-day LULC. Finally, we outline a protocol for using the improved LULC reconstructions in palaeoclimate simulations within the framework of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project in order to quantify the magnitude of anthropogenic impacts on climate through time and ultimately to improve the realism of Holocene climate simulations.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:85244
Publisher:European Geosciences Union


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