Climatic Change

, Volume 79, Issue 1–2, pp 9–29

Climate Variability-Observations, Reconstructions, and Model Simulations for the Atlantic-European and Alpine Region from 1500-2100 AD

  • Christoph C. Raible
  • Carlo Casty
  • Jürg Luterbacher
  • Andreas Pauling
  • Jan Esper
  • David C. Frank
  • Ulf Büntgen
  • Andreas C. Roesch
  • Peter Tschuck
  • Martin Wild
  • Pier-Luigi Vidale
  • Christoph Schär
  • Heinz Wanner


A detailed analysis is undertaken of the Atlantic-European climate using data from 500-year-long proxy-based climate reconstructions, a long climate simulation with perpetual 1990 forcing, as well as two global and one regional climate change scenarios. The observed and simulated interannual variability and teleconnectivity are compared and interpreted in order to improve the understanding of natural climate variability on interannual to decadal time scales for the late Holocene. The focus is set on the Atlantic-European and Alpine regions during the winter and summer seasons, using temperature, precipitation, and 500 hPa geopotential height fields. The climate reconstruction shows pronounced interdecadal variations that appear to “lock” the atmospheric circulation in quasi-steady long-term patterns over multi-decadal periods controlling at least part of the temperature and precipitation variability. Different circulation patterns are persistent over several decades for the period 1500 to 1900. The 500-year-long simulation with perpetual 1990 forcing shows some substantial differences, with a more unsteady teleconnectivity behaviour. Two global scenario simulations indicate a transition towards more stable teleconnectivity for the next 100 years. Time series of reconstructed and simulated temperature and precipitation over the Alpine region show comparatively small changes in interannual variability within the time frame considered, with the exception of the summer season, where a substantial increase in interannual variability is simulated by regional climate models.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph C. Raible
    • 1
  • Carlo Casty
    • 2
  • Jürg Luterbacher
    • 2
  • Andreas Pauling
    • 2
  • Jan Esper
    • 3
  • David C. Frank
    • 3
  • Ulf Büntgen
    • 3
  • Andreas C. Roesch
    • 4
  • Peter Tschuck
    • 4
  • Martin Wild
    • 4
  • Pier-Luigi Vidale
    • 4
  • Christoph Schär
    • 4
  • Heinz Wanner
    • 2
  1. 1.Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics InstituteUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of GeographyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Swiss Federal Research Institute WSLBirmensdorfSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science ETHZürichSwitzerland

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