University of Arizona Research Team Develops UW-Based Climate Mapping Model to Study Global Warming | Discoveries


A recently published research paper uses a computer data processing method to assess temperature changes over the past 24,000 years and provides evidence to show the irregularly high temperatures that are causing the current global warming crisis. The method, called the Last Ice Maximum Reanalysis (LGMR), is a global climate model simulation that uses samples from ice cores, marine sediments, and other natural sources from around the world to estimate past global temperatures.

The LGMR was developed from a research team at UW climate change study, which uses a database and climate models to create temperature reconstructions over the past thousands of years. The University of Arizona research team improved the tool using a spatiotemporal approach, which maps global temperatures across the globe based on different time periods.

Matt Osman, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Arizona and lead author of the study, helped develop the LGMR.

“What we are proposing … is the first resolute climate reconstruction on a global scale since the last Ice Age,” Osman said. “About 24,000 years ago.”

About 11,500 years ago, the Earth’s climate system entered the Holocene interglacial period. Interglacial periods are 10,000-year phases of the Earth’s fluctuating climate system that lead to naturally high global temperatures.

According to Osman, temperatures today vary abnormally from past interglacial periods.

“The increase we’re seeing today is so much outside of what we might consider a normal temperature range for these glacial-interglacial time scales,” Osman said.

Osman is working on other publications to further study past climate systems. A work in progress will use the LGMR to examine changes in Earth’s atmospheric circulation caused by ice caps moving from North America and Europe, according to Osman.

Osman plans to investigate possible climate changes that caused the demise of the Nordic Greenlandic Vikings during the 15e century. Modern theories assume that the extinction of the group occurred due to increasingly colder climates during this period – a theory Osman intends to explore further.

“I am using a compilation of sediment recordings, as well as ice core recordings from Greenland to really address this issue…. [Was] Is there a climatic influence on the collapse of this society? Osman said.

Examining past climate systems will help us understand how our climate system will evolve in the future, according to Osman. The large-scale temperature variability of the current climate system demonstrates the severity of greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activities. Osman said his research team was devising ways to use LGMR methods in future research to further examine the current climate dilemma.

“To understand the future, we really have to go way back in time,” Osman said. “Further and further into the past, you are actually starting to move towards climate systems where we had, in particular, greenhouse gases near current concentrations.”

Contact reporter Kytlan Morgan at [email protected]. Twitter: @ k_morgan013

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