New insights into European climate variations and extremes back to Roman times; dynamics, processes and future perspectives
Europe has experienced a pronounced summer warming of more than 1°C over the past decades, accompanied by an increase of severe and devastating heat waves, most notably in 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2015. Palaeoclimatic information that cover the last two millennia provide fundamental means for the characterization of natural decadal to centennial time-scale changes and putting the recent anthropogenic warming in the long-term perspective. Here we present recent advancement in our physical and dynamical understanding of European summer temperature variations, trends and extremes back to Roman times. We compare our reconstructions with an ensemble of millennium-length climate model experiments and diagnose the potential role of internal variability, volcanic eruptions and solar variations in shaping European summer temperature response across time and space.
The final part of the talk presents future perspectives in palaeo climate research, opportunities for detection and attribution exercises studying the influence of radiative forcing on the North Atlantic-European climate system and the context for coupled natural-human systems response to climate variations and extremes.