The PalMod project aims for a better understanding of how slow feedbacks in the Earth system operate. Using the new insights into Earth system dynamics, PalMod will additionally make projections of the future climate over the next few millennia.
Using the last glacial cycle as example, PalMod will identify and constrain interactions between climate change, ice-sheet response (sea-level), and biogeochemical cycling, all of which ultimately determine the Earth system sensitivity.
The last glacial cycle is ideally suited to test ESMs with respect to their response to forcing (e.g., change in orbital parameters) and their capability to capture the statistics of climate variability on timescales up to multi-millennial.
PalMod is a project envisioned to run over 10 years with shorter funding cycles: four year for the first phase, and three years for the second and third phase. The second phase started 2019 and will end in 2022.
During PalMod Phase II, the development of the comprehensive fully coupled ESMs started during the Phase I will be completed and will be used for transient simulations of the full last glacial cycle planned for PalMod Phase III. This will in include the coupling of the physical system with the biogeochemical system and the parameterization of key processes such as ice shelf-ocean interactions or weathering.
The target is to conduct multi-millennial transient integrations of the comprehensive ESMs for three climate periods: the glacial inception, Marine Isotope Stage 3 and deglaciation. The ESMs will contain interactive Northern Hemisphere and Antarctic ice sheets. Simulations will be tested with respect to changes in mean climate and statistics of climate variability. A compilation of homogenized paleo-climatological and paleo-vegetation data for the last 130,000 years will be performed and used for model verification. This will be complemented by high-resolution water isotope/proxy forward modelling.