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

Long-term Surface Temperature (LoST) Database as a Complement for Transient and Control Preindustrial Simulations

Francisco José Cuesta-Valero1,2, Almudena García-García1,2,3, Hugo Beltrami2, Eduardo Zorita4, and Fernando Jaume Santero5
Francisco José Cuesta-Valero et al.
  • 1Environmental Sciences Program, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada
  • 2Climate & Atmospheric Sciences Institute, Department of Earth Sciences, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS, Canada
  • 3Department of Remote Sensing, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), 04318 Leipzig, Germany
  • 4Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Germany
  • 5Departamento de Física de la Tierra y Astrofísica, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain
Estimates of climate sensitivity from Atmosphere-Ocean Coupled General Circulation Model (GCM) simulations present a large spread despite the continued improvements in climate modeling since the 1970s. This variability is partially caused by the dependence of several long-term feedback mechanisms on the reference climate state. However, it is difficult to provide a reference to assess the climatology of preindustrial control simulations as there are no long-term preindustrial observations.
In the ground, recent changes in ground surface temperature are observed at shallow depths as perturbations to the quasi-steady state geothermal regime. However, if undisturbed by recent surface temperature changes, the deep ground temperatures vary linearly as a function of depth, and the extrapolation of this linear behavior to the surface can be interpreted as the past long-term surface temperature climatology.
We assemble a new gridded database of past long-term ground surface temperatures (LoST database) obtained from 514 borehole temperature profiles measured across North America, and we explore its use as a potential reference for the evaluation of GCM preindustrial control simulations and past millennium simulations. All temperature profiles are truncated at 300 m depth, allowing to estimate the ground surface climatology for the period 1300-1700 of the common era. We compare the LoST database with observations from the CRU database, as well as with five past millennium simulations and five preindustrial control simulations from the third phase of the Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP3) and the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) archives. Our results suggest that LoST temperatures could be employed as a reference to narrow down the spread of surface temperature climatologies on GCM preindustrial control and past millennium simulations.

How to cite: Cuesta-Valero, F. J., García-García, A., Beltrami, H., Zorita, E., and Jaume Santero, F.: Long-term Surface Temperature (LoST) Database as a Complement for Transient and Control Preindustrial Simulations, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16519,, 2021.


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