Back to overview

Holocene global mean surface temperature, a multi-method reconstruction approach

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Kaufman Darrell, McKay Nicholas, Routson Cody, Erb Michael, Dätwyler Christoph, Sommer Philipp S., Heiri Oliver, Davis Basil,
Project HORNET Holocene Climate Reconstruction for the Northern Hemisphere Extra-tropics
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Scientific Data
Volume (Issue) 7(1)
Page(s) 201 - 201
Title of proceedings Scientific Data
DOI 10.1038/s41597-020-0530-7

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Abstract An extensive new multi-proxy database of paleo-temperature time series (Temperature 12k) enables a more robust analysis of global mean surface temperature (GMST) and associated uncertainties than was previously available. We applied five different statistical methods to reconstruct the GMST of the past 12,000 years (Holocene). Each method used different approaches to averaging the globally distributed time series and to characterizing various sources of uncertainty, including proxy temperature, chronology and methodological choices. The results were aggregated to generate a multi-method ensemble of plausible GMST and latitudinal-zone temperature reconstructions with a realistic range of uncertainties. The warmest 200-year-long interval took place around 6500 years ago when GMST was 0.7 °C (0.3, 1.8) warmer than the 19 th Century (median, 5 th , 95 th percentiles). Following the Holocene global thermal maximum, GMST cooled at an average rate −0.08 °C per 1000 years (−0.24, −0.05). The multi-method ensembles and the code used to generate them highlight the utility of the Temperature 12k database, and they are now available for future use by studies aimed at understanding Holocene evolution of the Earth system.