Focus 2 - Regional Climate Dynamics

Structure of Focus 2, showing the Themes (pink boxes) and Working Groups (grey text), and overlap with external programs (white boxes).

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 ka, in particular the time streams of the last glacial-interglacial cycle, the Holocene, and the last 2 ka.

Overarching questions

How have regional climate and the Earth’s natural environment changed in the past?

What are the main patterns and modes of climate variability on sub-decadal to orbital timescales?

How do climate variability and extreme events relate to the mean state of the climate system?


Focus 2 was structured into four themes: Last Glacial Cycle, Holocene, Last 2 Millennia, Reconstruction Methods. Three of the themes were differentiated by their distinct temporal scope and associated temporal resolution. The fourth theme was methodological in nature.

Working Groups

The 2k Network
> Africa2k (African climate of the last 2 millennia)
> Antarctica 2k (Antarctic climate of the last 2 millennia)
> Arctic2k (Arctic climate of the last 2 millennia)
> Asia2k (Asian climate of the last 2 millennia)
> Aus2k (Australasian climate of the last 2 millennia)
> Euro-Med 2k (European and Mediterranean climate of the last 2 millennia)
> LOTRED-SA (Long-Term Climate Reconstruction and Dynamics of South America)
> NAmerica2k (North American climate of the last 2 millennia)
> Ocean2k (Marine climate variations of the last 2 millennia)

> CLIVAR/PAGES Intersection (former working group)
> SynTraCE-21 (Synthesis of Transient Climate Evolution of the last 21-kyr - former working group)