The History of Climate Dynamics in the Late Quaternary
Climate variability, defined as changes in integral properties of the atmosphere, is only one small realization of the workings of the much larger earth system. Parts of the other components (ice, ocean, continents) have much slower response times (decadal to millennia). True understanding of climate dynamics and prediction of future changes will come only with an understanding of the workings of the earth system as a whole, and over both the past and present time scales. Such understanding requires, as a first step, identification of the patterns of climate change on those time scales, and their relationships to known forcing. As a second step, models must be developed to simulate the evolution of the climate system on these same time scales. Within the last few decades, a significant number of long time series have become available that describe paleoclimate variability with resolution better than about 1000 years. Global general circulation models lag however, in that they have yet to be successfully integrated for more than a few hundred years.
KeywordsLast Glacial Maximum North Atlantic Oscillation Benthic Foraminifera Thermohaline Circulation North Atlantic Deep Water
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