Speleothems; Holocene; Late Pleistocene; Switzerland; Turkey; Oman; Yemen; India; Precipitation; Temperature; Environment; Stalagmites; Vegetation
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Near-instrumental proxy records of precipitation and temperature play a key role for benchmarking climate models that are also used for climate predictions. As high-quality climate proxy records are required for a meaningful data-model comparison, there is now an increasing demand for well-dated, highly-resolved and continuous terrestrial time series of temperature and precipitation. To date, tree rings and lakes sediments represent the most frequently used terrestrial climate records. However, both archives have weaknesses, such that tree ring records are short and seasonally biased and lake records often lack dating accuracy and temporal resolution. It is thus evident that other potential sources for paleoclimate information must be explored in order to fill methodological and also spatial and temporal gaps of paleoclimate records. Such records can be potentially delivered from speleothems (stalagmites, stalactites, flowstones). However, research on speleothems is still in its infancy, particularly if compared to other climate archives, such as trees or lake sediments. Thus the full potential of speleothems for delivering near-instrumental records of precipitation and temperature is still not fully explored yet. To further establish speleothems as a key-climate archive and to provide true multi-proxy records of climatic and environmental changes during the Holocene and Pleistocene, we request funds for coordinated research on speleothems from Switzerland, Turkey, Oman/Yemen and India.