CLImatic MOdes of VARiability (CLIMOVAR) over the Holocene: model-data synergies to improve future projections

25.09 - 27.09.2019  
Barcelona, Spain
Contact person:
Armand Hernández, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Workshop report: 
> Access

The PAGES-supported meeting "CLImatic MOdes of VARiability (CLIMOVAR) over the Holocene: model-data synergies to improve future projections" will be held from 25-27 September 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.


CosmoCaixa, Science Museum, Barcelona.


The meeting is planned to be open and widely promoted within the local and international communities for 25-30 participants. There will be a strong focus on approximately 50% of attendees being early-career researchers.


A large proportion of the spatial structure of climate variability follows recurrent patterns, often referred to as modes of climate variability (e.g. NAO, AMV, ENSO, PDO). These modes draw regional climates on different spatio-temporal scales, and determine important societal impacts. Understanding the evolution of these modes and teleconnections at global scale during the current interglacial period, the Holocene, is crucial to:

(i) attribute observed climate changes to internal variability (e.g. ocean, atmosphere, sea ice) versus external forcing factors (e.g. solar and volcanic activity) and
(ii) evaluate the ability of different climate models to reproduce them robustly. Identifying the most reliable models is indeed key to narrow down uncertainty in future near-term fluctuations in climate and associated hazards.


The main objective of the workshop will be to assess the state-of-the-art of the main climate modes of variability, using both natural archives and models to discuss new strategies for future research specifically tailored to overcome their limitations and our current knowledge gaps. We will put particular emphasis on the role of climate modes in Holocene abrupt climatic oscillations already reported, such as 0.7k (Little Ice Age), 2.8k, 4.2k, 5.3k, 8.2k, 9.3k, 10.2k and 11.3k events (Rasmussen et al. 2007, Quat. Sci. Rev.; Wanner et al. 2011, Quat. Sci. Rev.) in order to shed light onto next climate oscillations.

More specific objectives are:

(1) To produce a compilation of existing well-dated and highly-resolved Holocene palaeoclimate records from different types of archives (i.e. PAGES2k; SISAL; ITRDB; MARPA) and to evaluate with climate models and long observational datasets their potential to provide a signal of long-term evolution of modes of climate variability.

(2) To identify and discuss limitations of CMIP6/PMIP4 models to reproduce the climate modes accurately (Kageyama et al. 2018, Geosci. Model Dev.).

(3) To propose systematic proxy-based reconstructions of key climate modes (e.g. Ortega et al. 2015, Nature) by using a wide range of statistical methods (including random forest, neural networks and Bayesian models) and pseudo-proxy approaches applied to climate reanalysis and model simulations (Lehner et al. 2012, Quat. Sci. Rev.). This will help to investigate their regional fingerprints and stationarity.

(4) To explore the opportunities for submitting a CLIMOVAR PAGES WG in the near future.

The workshop meets PAGES’ priorities with respect to the societal challenges and adaptation strategies imposed by future climate change (SDG13 and SDG14). Climate modes significantly affect energy production, food security and key ecosystem services like global terrestrial CO2 uptake and water availability (Jerez et al. 2013, J. Appl. Meteorol. Climatol.; Bastos et al. 2016, Nat. Commun.). The workshop also links to several PAGES Working Groups (i.e. PAGES 2k and related projects, SISAL, DAPS, DICE, VICS, CVAS, and CRIAS).


Keynote presentations will be delivered via podcast in advance, maximising workshop time for interaction and discussion.


Exploration of synergies between proxy data-based palaeoclimatologists, palaeoclimate modellers and statisticians that will allow a better evaluation of prevailing atmospheric/oceanic circulation modes during the Holocene on interannual-to-centennial timescales.

The workshop is organised under three main topics:

1. Current PAGES initiatives and proxy-based databases for potential synthesis products
2. Current PAGES initiatives and statistical/modelling approaches
3. Internal versus external variability relevant to projections

Financial support

PAGES has provided funding for the attendance of several early-career researchers and scientists from less-favored countries. Details on how to apply for funding will be made available as soon as possible.


Complete and submit your "Expression of interest" by 30 April 2019:

Further information

Contact meeting organizer Armand Hernández: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Post-meeting material

A video, titled "Climate Change: the FAQs", was officially released during the meeting. While not a CLIMOVAR product, it was created by a group of eight scientists to answer the most common questions asked by young students about climate change. Access it on YouTube here.

 Access the accompanying press release in Spanish (215 KB, pdf).