It is well known that climate conditions affect human living conditions. Prominent examples are water availability or heat spells like in the European summer in 2003. The project addresses the question how climate may have changed in the past 6000 years and thus affected living conditions. As an example, in the last millennia, changes in orbital parameters such as the shape of the elliptical path of the earth around the sun were a source of climate change. However, due to the sparseness of regional reconstructions of climatic variables such as temperature and precipitation, climate models are a useful tool for analyzing possible changes.
In the project, state-of-the-art climate models are employed to simulate climate for the period from 6000 years ago until the present. Orbital parameters, greenhouse gases and solar activity are viewed as external forces. Simulations are carried out with low-resolution coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation models and high-resolution atmosphere models. Simulations are analyzed focusing on changes in living conditions, for example droughts or potential agriculture in the Mediterranean region.
Results are pre-interpreted, statistically analyzed and prepared to address questions from the members of research groups A-I and A-II.