CVAS 3rd workshop: Spatio-temporal structure of forced and unforced variability across the Holocene: from proxies to process

24.01 - 25.01.2019  
Seattle, USA
Contact person:
Cristian Proistosescu, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Climate Variability Across Scales (CVAS) working group will hold its third workshop, titled "Spatio-temporal structure of forced and unforced variability across the Holocene: from proxies to process" from 24-25 January 2019 in Seattle, USA.


University of Washington, Seattle


Participation numbers will be limited from 30-50 people, due to venue and funding constraints. All scientists are welcome to apply.


Understanding the structure of natural variability is necessary to identify anthropogenically forced climatic changes. At the same time, the scaling structure of variability also contains information about the underlying dynamics of the climate system. Given the short nature of the observational record relative to the timescales of many crucial processes, any approach necessitates the use of palaeoclimate data. The Holocene presents the most promising interval, due to its similarity to modern climate, although it also comes with the need to disentangle forced and internal variability.

The first two CVAS workshops (here and here) resulted in several scientific insights upon which we will build and expand:
- Distinct scaling regimes at different spatial locations may be used to disentangle forced and internal variability.
- Identifying scaling regimes is complicated due to proxies imprinting their own scaling and being spatially and temporally sparse.
- Finally, the last workshop highlighted the need to build physical and statistical models that can better bridge the divide between theory and observations.

In this third workshop, these questions will be addressed through a hierarchical approach. The effort and the expertise of the invited speakers will be compartmentalized into three different sessions.


The goal of the workshop is to address the scaling structure of forced and unforced variability across the Holocene, by bringing together theory, models, proxies. The workshop will be divided by theme into three working groups:

1. Theory and models: What physical mechanisms give rise to the spatial and temporal scaling of variability? How can do we encode the physics into frameworks such as covariance functions or process spectra that can be inferred from the data? We draw on palaeoclimate modeling, nonlinear geophysics, and theoretical climate dynamics.

2. Proxies: How do proxies capture and alter the scaling structure of climate variability? We will rely on on proxy-forward modeling, and techniques for reconstructing temperature and forcing.

3. Bridging observations and models: How do we use the proxies to constrain the physics? We will draw on techniques such as palaeoclimate reanalysis, Bayesian inference, and spectral estimates, with the ultimate goal of constraining physical models of varying complexity from the proxy record.


The meeting will be comprised of plenary talks highlighting both recent advances and outstanding issues in the different areas (above), followed by focused panel discussions which aim to develop specific plans and ideas on how to move forward. The meeting will conclude with a plenary panel discussion where the conclusions of individual sessions are shared.


The preliminary list of speakers includes:

Greg Hakim, University of Washington
David Battisti, University of Washington
Casey Saenger, University of Washington
Peter Huybers, Harvard University
Thomas Laepple, AWI, Potsdam
Shaun Lovejoy, McGill University
Gerrit Lohman, AWI, Bremen

Financial support

The application deadline for financial support to attend the meeting is 1 December 2018.

All details:

Financial support is available on a rolling basis and is primarily available for early-career scientists and scientists from under-represented countries.

Abstracts and registration

The abstract submission deadline is 7 December 2018.

All details:

Further information

Updates will also be posted on the workshop website:

Queries can be sent to meeting organizer Cristian Proistosescu: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.