EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

·         Pattern and time-scale dependencies of temperature-precipitation correlations in the Northern Hemisphere extra-tropics 

Ulrike Herzschuh1,2,3, Thomas Böhmer1, Xianyong Cao1,4, Raphael Herbert1, Anne Dallmeyer5, Richard Telford6, and Stefan Kruse1
Ulrike Herzschuh et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute, Research Unit Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany (
  • 2Institute of Environmental Sciences and Geography, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • 4Key Laboratory of Alpine Ecology (LAE), CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China
  • 5Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstrasse 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • 6Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Postboks 7803, N-5020, Bergen, Norway

Future precipitation levels under a warming climate remain uncertain because current climate models have largely failed to reproduce observed variations in temperature-precipitation correlations. Our analyses of Holocene proxy-based temperature-precipitation correlations from 1647 Northern Hemisphere extratropical pollen records reveal a significant latitudinal dependence, temporal variations between the early, middle, and late Holocene, and differences between short and long timescales. These proxy-based variations are largely consistent with patterns obtained from transient climate simulations for the Holocene. Temperature-precipitation correlations increase from short to long time-scales. While high latitudes and subtropical monsoon areas show mainly stable positive correlations throughout the Holocene, the mid-latitude pattern is temporally and spatially more variable. In particular, we identified a reversal to negative temperature-precipitation correlations in the eastern North American and European mid-latitudes during the mid-Holocene that mainly related to slowed down westerlies and a switch to moisture-limited convection under a warm climate. We conclude that the effect of climate change on land areas is more complex than the commonly assumed “wetter climate in a warmer world”. Future predictions need to consider that warming related precipitation change is time-scale dependent.

How to cite: Herzschuh, U., Böhmer, T., Cao, X., Herbert, R., Dallmeyer, A., Telford, R., and Kruse, S.: ·         Pattern and time-scale dependencies of temperature-precipitation correlations in the Northern Hemisphere extra-tropics , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15935,, 2021.

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