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The PAGES/CLIVAR Intersection -- Workshop Summary

The instrumental and satellite record of climate variability is too short and spatially incomplete to reveal the full range of seasonal to centennial-scale climate variability, or to provide empirical examples of how the climate system responds to large changes in climate forcing. This recent record is also a complex reflection of both natural and anthropogenic forcing (e.g., trace gas and aerosol). The paleoclimatic record from varied proxy sources, on the other hand, provides the much wider range of realizations needed to describe and understand the full range of natural climate system behavior.

The need for an improved paleoclimate perspective is highlighted in the recently produced Science Plan of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) Programme, as are the merits of joining forces with the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) Past Global Changes (PAGES) Core Project to meet the paleoclimatic needs of CLIVAR.To determine the extent of intersection between CLIVAR and PAGES, and to begin a productive interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists belonging to these two separate research communities, a joint IGBP-WCRP workshop was held.

This workshop brought together members of both the CLIVAR and PAGES communities, and defined specific foci where paleoclimatic research would feed directly into a better understanding of climate variability and predictability. These proposed foci cut across the traditional seasonal-interannual and decadal-centennial time-scales of CLIVAR GOALS (Global Ocean Atmosphere Land System), CLIVAR DEC-CEN (Decade- to Century-scale climate variability) and CLIVAR-ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change), and center on the

  1. dynamics of low-latitude climate change,
  2. global ocean thermohaline variability,
  3. regional- to global-scale hydrologic variability,
  4. dynamics of abrupt climatic change,
  5. climate model evaluation and improvement, and
  6. climate change detection.
Specific research activities were identified for each of these foci and emphasize closer interaction between CLIVAR and PAGES scientists. A new interdisciplinary PAGES-CLIVAR Working Group is being formed jointly by the IGBP and WCRP to develop specific implementation plans building on the recommendations in this report. The net result will be a program that taps the extensive research network established by IGBP PAGES to provide unprecedented international cooperation in assembling and using the paleoclimatic data needed to improve our understanding of climate variability and predictability.


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