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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-125
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-125
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model experiment description paper 23 Jul 2019

Submitted as: model experiment description paper | 23 Jul 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

Development and testing of scenarios for implementing Holocene LULC in Earth System Model Experiments

Sandy P. Harrison1, Marie-José Gaillard2, Benjamin D. Stocker3,4, Marc Vander Linden5, Kees Klein Goldewijk6,7, Oliver Boles8, Pascale Braconnot9, Andria Dawson10, Etienne Fluet-Chouinard11, Jed O. Kaplan12,13, Thomas Kastner14, Francesco S. R. Pausata15, Erick Robinson16, Nicki J. Whitehouse17, Marco Madella18,19,20, and Kathleen D. Morrison8 Sandy P. Harrison et al.
  • 1Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 2Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden
  • 3Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
  • 4Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
  • 5Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 6PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague, the Netherlands
  • 7Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
  • 8University Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
  • 9Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 10Department of General Education, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada
  • 11Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University, California, USA
  • 12Department of Earth Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 13Institute of Geography, University of Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany
  • 14Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • 15Centre ESCER, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Quebec in Montreal, Montreal, Canada
  • 16Department of Anthropology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA
  • 17School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
  • 18Department of Humanities (CaSEs), University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
  • 19ICREA Passeig Lluís Companys 23 08010 Barcelona, Spain
  • 20School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract. Anthropogenic changes in land use and land cover (LULC) during the pre-industrial Holocene could have affected regional and global climate. Current LULC scenarios are based on relatively simple assumptions and highly uncertain estimates of population changes through time. Archaeological and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions have the potential to refine these assumptions and estimates. The Past Global Changes (PAGES) LandCover6k initiative is working towards improved reconstructions of LULC globally. In this paper, we document the types of archaeological data that are being collated and how they will be used to improve LULC reconstructions. Given the large methodological uncertainties involved, we propose methods to evaluate the revised scenarios by using independent pollen-based reconstructions of land cover and of climate. A further test involves carbon-cycle simulations to determine whether the LULC reconstructions are consistent with constraints provided by ice-core records of CO2 evolution and modern-day LULC. Finally, we outline a protocol for using the improved LULC reconstructions in palaeoclimate simulations within the framework of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project in order to quantify the magnitude of anthropogenic impacts on climate through time and ultimately to improve the realism of Holocene climate simulations.

Sandy P. Harrison et al.
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Short summary
The Past Global Changes LandCover6k initiative will use archaeological records to refine scenarios of land use and land cover change through the Holocene to reduce the uncertainties about the impacts of human-induced changes before widespread industrialisation. Here, we describe how archaeological data is used to map land use change and how the maps can be evaluated using independent palaeoenvironmental data. We propose simulations to test land use/land cover change impacts on past climates.
The Past Global Changes LandCover6k initiative will use archaeological records to refine...
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