Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Climate changes in Europe during the last two climatic cycles with emphasis on temperate post optimum evolution and entering into glaciation

The European climate has been reconstructed from continental pollen sequences backed up by other proxy data (lake levels, insects, macrorests etc) at selected climatic episodes during the last two cycles. General circulation model (GCM) simulations of climates and derived distribution of biomes for these episodes have been compared with the reconstruction. The climatic impact of vegetation and vegetation changes have been analysed due to an interactive coupling of GCM reconstruction sand biome models. Methodological progress resulted in the reinforcement of inventory and compilation of paleodata (pollen and lake levels mainly) due to the European Pollen Database, the development of two constraint analogue techniques in paleoclimate reconstructions from pollen and other proxy data, the comparative use of several GCM and biomes models and the improvement of the land-surface SECHIBA model.

The main results are the following: filing of pollen counts, carbon-14 dates, bibliographical references and other environmental data relating to more than 500 sites in Europe and Former Soviet Union, the analysis of new data from Velay, Eastern Europe, Romania and Laghi di Montichio, detailed reconstruction of climate parameter for 6000 y before present (BP) using two independent methods, reconstruction of modern vegetation from pollen data as an evidence of the ability of continental paleoclimatology to reconstruct the past, simulation of climate and biome on the basis of several models showing the complexity of hydric parameters in comparison with thermic parameters for several episodes and lastly demonstration of the significant role of continental vegetation in the general climate system. Several of these results include indications regarding desirable lines of research for the future : world-wide initiative laying the foundation of a real participation of northern and eastern European countries, complementation of long sea-sequences by continental models including the most complete parameterization (vegetation included) and finally approaches analysing synergies between vegetation and sea-ice feedbacks.


Armand PONS, (Emeritus professor)
Tél.: +33-4-91288527
Fax: +33-4-91288668