The water cycle is fundamental for life on Earth, but difficult to reconstruct directly for the past without detailed instrumental records. Assessing future regional hydrological changes requires a good understanding of different components of the water cycle in a landscape (e.g. glaciers, lakes, rivers, peatlands, vegetation) and how they have developed in the past.
However, hydrological dynamics are more challenging to reconstruct than temperatures due to their high spatial variability, signal buffering, nonlinearities and uncertainties in the response of available paleoclimate archives and proxies. Furthermore, not all hydrological responses are climatically-driven. A specific archive or hydrological proxy could indicate hydrological shifts also when vegetation changes successively or when humans alter drainage systems or land cover.
To assess the state-of-the-art and the limits of knowledge on paleohydrological reconstructions, we welcome integrative contributions that address the past response of hydrological systems to local, regional and global environmental change and that discuss uncertainties and knowledge gaps in paleohydrological reconstructions, including, but not limited to:
• hydro-proxy development
• integrative syntheses of hydro-proxy information from several sites
• multi-archive and/or multi-(hydro-)proxy approaches from a single site
• statistical approaches to assess uncertainties in hydrological proxy responses
• regional to global paleohydrological modelling
• dependencies of hydrological variables: a) with other climate variables in the past (e.g. covariation of temperature and precipitation) and/or b) with non-climatic factors (e.g. land cover change, human impact)
Any paleoclimatic approach that studies (parts of) the terrestrial water cycle in the widest sense (lake and peatland water budgets, water isotopes, hydroclimate from tree rings, past fire regimes, land cover and precipitation modelling etc.) can be presented in the session. We also invite scientists working in modern experimental/observational projects that might be an important reference to calibrate/interpret palaeohydrological records.
Sandy Harrison and Rene Orth are contributing as invited speakers.