Paleoceanography & Paleoclimatology: PRYSM v2.0: A Proxy System Model for Lacustrine Archives

Title: PRYSM v2.0: A Proxy System Model for Lacustrine Archives

Abstract: Reconstructions of temperature and hydrology from lake sedimentary archives have made fundamental contributions to our understanding of past, present, and future climate and help evaluate general circulation models (GCMs). However, because paleoclimate observations are an indirect (proxy) constraint on climatic variables, confounding effects of proxy processes complicate interpretations of these archives. To circumvent these uncertainties inherent to paleoclimate data‐model comparison, proxy system models (PSM) provide transfer functions between climate variables and the proxy. We here present a new PSM for lacustrine sedimentary archives. The model simulates lake energy and water balance, sensors including leaf wax δD and carbonate δ18O, bioturbation, and compaction of sediment to lend insight toward how these processes affect and potentially obfuscate the original climate signal. The final product integrates existing and new models to yield a comprehensive, modular, adaptable, and publicly available PSM for lake systems. Highlighting applications of the PSM, we forward model lake variables with GCM simulations of the last glacial maximum and the modern. The simulations are evaluated with a focus on sensitivity of lake surface temperature and mixing to climate forcing, using Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi as case studies. The PSM highlights the importance of mixing on interpretations of air temperature reconstructions from lake archives, and demonstrates how changes in mixing depth alone may induce non‐stationarity between in‐situ lake and air temperatures. By placing GCM output in the same reference frame as lake paleoclimate archives, we aim to improve inference of past changes in terrestrial temperatures and water cycling.


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