Focus 1 - Climate Forcings

This focus fostered activities that aimed to produce improved, extended, and consistent time series of climate forcing parameters, both natural and anthropogenic, including solar insolation and irradiance intensity, volcanic activity, land cover, sea ice, and greenhouse gas and aerosol concentrations. Furthermore, Focus 1 aimed to quantitatively understand the causes and impacts of variations in climate forcings. ... more

Focus 2 - Regional Climate Dynamics

This focus sought to achieve a better understanding of past regional climatic and environmental dynamics through comparison of reconstructions and model simulations. Activities contributed towards a global coverage of high-resolution, well-dated paleoclimatic data, reconstructions of past climate-state parameters (e.g. temperature, precipitation, atmospheric pressure fields), a better understanding of past modes of climate variability and their teleconnections, and of rapid and extreme climate events at the regional scale.

This focus hosted activities that promoted data-model comparisons, and collaborated closely with Cross-Cutting Theme 2 on proxy development and calibration. The timescales covered by this focus encompassed the last 130 kyr, in particular the time streams of the last glacial-interglacial cycle, the Holocene, and the last 2 kyr. ... more

Focus 3 - Global Earth-System Dynamics

This focus looked at interactions between components of the Earth System (atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere) and the links between regional- and global-scale changes. It hosted activities to synthesize records at a global scale, acting as a counterpart to the regional studies of Focus 2 and to the forcings addressed in Focus 1. Working groups addressed global-scale Earth System changes and their underlying processes, including their response to changes in forcings, internal feedbacks and teleconnections. ... more

Focus 4 - Human-Climate-Ecosystem Interactions

This focus addressed the long-term interactions among past climate conditions, ecological processes and human activities. Emphasis was placed on comparing regional-scale reconstructions of environmental and climatic processes using natural archives, documentary and instrumental data, with evidence of past human activity obtained from historical, paleoecological and archaeological records.

This focus also promoted regional integration of records and dynamic modeling to: (1) understand better the nature of climate-human-ecosystem interactions; (2) quantify the roles of different natural and anthropogenic drivers in forcing environmental change; (3) examine the feedbacks between anthropogenic activity and the natural system and; (4) provide integrated datasets for model development and data-model comparisons. ... more