Long-term evolution of tropical climate during the Plio-Pleistocene
University College London
The Pliocene, with its ~400 ppm of CO2, is the most recent example of a stabilised greenhouse climate. Yet is it relevant as an analogue for our coming climate? Using model simulations, I’ll explore how we’d expect the observed tectonic changes during the Plio-Pleistocene to impact the climate state. I’ll compare these simulations to the reconstructed long-term temperature evolution, with a focus on the state of the tropics. There are some persistent discrepancies, especially relating to climate transitions. I’ll discuss what changes in Earth system processes and feedbacks might be needed to better fit the reconstructions. This will raise some further research topics, and I will prioritise them by considering the inherent timescales of the Earth System components.