Himalaya: Modern and Past Climates
October 2010 until July 2014
127.200 € funded by DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft:
Jürgen Kurths
PIK number / OEH

This proposal constitutes an interdisciplinary, multiproxy and multiarchive approach to unravel the characteristics of modern- and palaeo-monsoons during the Holocene on societally relevant time scales (seasonal to decadal), with special emphasis on extreme hydro-meteorological events (floods and droughts). At the core of this investigation are climatically sensitive regions of the Himalaya, eastern, and central India with the aim to quantify and characterise palaeoclimate variability within the framework of large-scale climate processes [e.g. El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), tropical mid-latitude interactions]. In addition, the duration and the impacts of abrupt climate change will be analysed. Palaeoclimate simulations of different duration and on selected time slices will be carried out using the generated data with a focus on episodes of extreme climate conditions. Ultimately, it is planned to assess changes in the frequency of such phenomena with respect to their magnitude in a global warming scenario. Recent reports of an increase in the frequency of of extreme climate events and their devastating socioeconomic impact highlight the importance of this project for health, food supply, infrastructure, and land-use planning against the background of global warming and an increasingly globalised world. The disciplines involved are earth sciences, biology, meteorology, physics and mathematics.

Analyse der Dynamik von Paläo- und modernen Klimadaten unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Datierungsfehlern zur Untersuchung von Klimaüberrgängen und Beziehungen zwischen Telekonnektionen und regionalem Klima

We propose to study multi-proxy data series of climate in order to detect complex interrelations and causal connections by using modern techniques of nonlinear data analysis. Moreover, the model simulation results will be verified with the multi proxy data generated in the research group. In a close collaboration between the expertise from complex systems and nonlinear data analysis [Transdisciplinary Concepts and Methods, PIK] and palaeoclimate archives [Institute of Geosciences at UP; GFZ Potsdam] and modelling [Meteorological Institute of Free University Berlin], we will 1. develop a technique for considering dating uncertainties as uncertainties of states and for quantifying the reliability of the analysis over the time scale (e.g., by providing a test for significance); IP7: Meteorological and palaeo-data analyses 208 2. analyse the dynamics and similarities of palaeo and modern climate data (IP1, IP3, IP4, IP5, IP6) in order to detect climate transitions and interrelations between teleconnections and regional climate on different time scales; 3. evaluate the simulation results (IP8) with the observed situation (pollen, isotope records; input from IP1, IP3, IP6) by analysis of characteristic time scales, transitions and recurrent episodes, and 4. adapt and further develop proposed techniques (especially recurrence quantification) for the application to highly multivariate data sets, including the development of a significance test for the recurrence quantification and inclusion of the uncertainties due to the dating errors.