The Mediterranean region is known for its high seasonal contrast in temperature and rainfall, subject to extreme hydroclimatic events (e.g. droughts and pluvials). In most Mediterranean regions, water resources are scarce and observational data and climate models suggest a transition to an even more arid climate is underway. Uncertainties in future climate change projections over the Mediterranean region still remain, however, thus demanding an understanding of the natural range of climate variability prior to the era of significant anthropogenic interference in the climate system. The ITHACA's goal is to advance the understanding of paleoclimate over the Mediterranean basin to the point where it can inform policy and decision-making about the risks of climate change from a paleo perspective and place future projections within a broad historical context. This project will investigate the characteristics (frequency, intensity, extent, seasonality) and causes of hydroclimate extremes (droughts and pluvials) during the Common Era (CE, the last two thousand years) over the Mediterranean region by developing a state-of-the-art paleo data assimilation product, which will effectively combine high-resolution paleo proxy-data time series with the physical constraints of an atmosphere-ocean climate model simulation. Finally, by using this new product the project will address the attribution of anthropogenic activities to current changes in hydroclimatic extremes and will provide guidance for process-based risk assessment tools.
Fields of science
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