Late Pliocene lakes and soils: a data-model comparison for the analysis of climate feedbacks in a warmer world

Matthew Pound, Julia Tindall, Steven Pickering, Alan Haywood, Harry Dowsett, Ulrich Salzmann

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Abstract

Based on a synthesis of geological data we have reconstructed the global distribution of Late Pliocene soils and lakes which are then used as boundary conditions in a series of model experiments using the Hadley Centre General Circulation Model (HadCM3) and the BIOME4 mechanistic vegetation model. By combining our novel soil and lake reconstructions with a fully coupled climate model we are able to explore the feedbacks of soils and lakes on the climate of the Late Pliocene. Our experiments reveal regionally confined changes of local climate and vegetation in response to the new boundary conditions. The addition of Late Pliocene soils has the largest influence on surface air temperatures, with notable increases in Australia, southern North Africa and Asia. The inclusion of Late Pliocene lakes generates a significant increase in precipitation in central Africa, as well as seasonal increases in the Northern Hemisphere. When combined, the feedbacks on climate from Late Pliocene lakes and soils improve the data to model fit in western North America and southern North Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3175-3207
JournalClimate of the Past Discussions
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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