By Andy May

In the last post (see here) we introduced a new Holocene temperature reconstruction for Antarctica using some of the Marcott, et al. (2013) proxies. In this post, we will present two more reconstructions, one for the Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes (60°S to 30°S) and another for the tropics (30°S to 30°N). The next post will present the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes (30°N to 60°N) and the Arctic (60°N to the North Pole). As we did for the Antarctic, we will examine each proxy and reject any that have an average time step greater than 130 years or if it does not cover at least part of the Little Ice Age (LIA) and the Holocene Climatic Optimum (HCO). We are looking for coverage from 9000 BP to 500 BP or very close to these values. Only simple statistical techniques that are easy to explain will be used.

Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes

Our reconstruction for this region is shown in figure 1. The R code and the input and output datasets for the Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes can be downloaded here.

Figure 1

This reconstruction has a more defined HCO than we saw in the Antarctic and it is placed between 8000 BP and 5000 BP. The HCO occurs at different times in different places as discussed by Renssen, et al. (2012). Following this, the temperature generally drops to a low in the LIA. In this reconstruction, we see two LIA lows, one at 1690 AD and one at 1550 AD. The Medieval Warm Period (peak 1030 AD) and the Roman Warm Period (peak 90 BC) are very distinct in this reconstruction. The Minoan Warm Period (peak 1890 BC) can also be seen.

There are only four proxies in this reconstruction, three in New Zealand and one off the coast of Chile. The locations are shown in figure 2.

Figure 2

Two of the proxies have been combined into one record, the three proxies used are plotted in figure 3.

Figure 3

Three proxies were rejected due to large sample intervals, TN057-17 (Nielsen, et al., 2004) was rejected because it was very anomalous. See the plot in figure 4.

Figure 4

TN057-17 is a sea surface temperature proxy located in the Southern Ocean, right on the Antarctic Polar Front (APF), see Figure 5. The APF has a very abrupt sea surface temperature change. It is the southern limit of synchrony with the Northern Hemisphere climate system. This location, currently, has sea ice cover about two weeks per year (Nielsen, et al., 2004) but the time of ice cover has changed a lot during the Holocene and this has probably had a dramatic effect on the proxy. The maximum sea ice cover was 4300 BP, which is also the time of the lowest TN057-17 temperature.

Figure 5, source (Nielsen, et al., 2004)

Sea ice presence (SIP) at the TN057-17 location is shown in figure 6.

Figure 6, Sea ice presence (SIP) at TN057-17 (Source: Nielsen, et al., 2004)

There is a risk that the TN057-17 proxy has been affected by local conditions that are only vaguely connected to climate change and for this reason the proxy was rejected.

The Chilean GeoB 3313-1 proxy (Lamy et al., 2002) only went back to 7000 BP and for this reason would be rejected on its own. But, the New Zealand proxy MD97-2121 (Pahnke and Sachs, et al., 2006) has nearly the same latitude and is continuous from 12464 BP to 3316 BP. So, these two proxies were merged by adjusting them to the mean of the overlapping interval 6900 BP to 4000 BP. See figure 7.

Figure 7

The logic in combining these two proxies is it gives us one more proxy in a region that has few available and, at least part of this composite is outside the New Zealand area. The most recent portion of MD97-2121 (4000 BP to 3300 BP) was not used in the composite as it looked suspicious. Pahnke and Sacks (2006) report that the MD97-2121 core top (the most recent sediments in the core) may be problematic due to lack of recent sediments at the cored location. In any case, a 3000-year-old core top, presumably close to the sea floor, has probably been churned quite a bit and should…