Interglacial diversity | Virtual PICO
Convener: Pepijn Bakker | Co-conveners: Steve Barker, Qiuzhen Yin, Sarah ShackletonECSECS

Reconstructing the climates of past interglacials could improve our understanding and projections of future climate change. Notable examples of past interglacial variability include high sea levels during MIS11c, peak CO2 and CH4 levels during MIS9e and high temperatures over Antarctica during MIS5e. Interestingly, it appears that there is not a single interglacial in the last 800,000 years that experienced the warmest temperatures, the highest sea levels and the most elevated greenhouse-gas concentrations. Moreover, there are substantial differences between interglacials in ocean circulation, sea ice, vegetation, carbon cycle and regional climate. Indeed, when comparing various past interglacials, the variability between them is striking; hence the term interglacial diversity (Tzedakis et al., Nature, 2009). If we want to understand interglacial climate change, we need to understand what causes such diversity.

We therefore invite submissions that explore the characteristics of interglacial diversity. Moreover, we seek to understand the potential drivers of interglacial diversity, for instance insolation changes, the impact of the preceding deglaciation or modes of variability internal to the Earth system. We are particularly interested in new proxy records, compilations of existing data from a range of archives and new theoretical concepts or model experiments that can help to explain the observations. This session will bring together proxy-based, theoretical and/or modelling studies and targets the broader Earth system including changes in climate, ice sheets and the carbon cycle.