The warm Pliocene: Bridging the geological data and modelling communities
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Palaeocloud for the Pliocene

Tamara Fletcher, Julia Tindall, and Alan Haywood
Tamara Fletcher et al.
  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK (t.l.fletcher@leeds.ac.uk)

Cloud has profound impacts on climate, thus accurate cloud simulation is critical for accurate climate modelling. As the greatest source of uncertainty in such models, cloud drives discrepancies in the prediction of future climate. Cloud simulations are validated against recent observations; however, these records do not capture the climate space we are entering this century, limiting our ability to test model accuracy under near future conditions.

The best analogue for the 21st Century climate trajectory comes from the Pliocene. Reconstructions of Pliocene cloud regimes would provide critical validation data for climate model performance with respect to cloud. However, despite the wealth ways to reconstruct other climate variables, no method has been developed for reconstructing cloud in the distant past.

The aim of my current work is to develop proxies capable of reconstructing past cloud, with the ultimate goal of establishing a global cloud database for the Pliocene. I will be presenting preliminary results that demonstrate the relationship between vegetation and large-scale patterns in cloud – a first step to a novel terrestrial cloud proxy.

How to cite: Fletcher, T., Tindall, J., and Haywood, A.: Palaeocloud for the Pliocene, The warm Pliocene: Bridging the geological data and modelling communities, Leeds, United Kingdom, 23–26 Aug 2022, GC10-Pliocene-59, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-gc10-pliocene-59, 2022.