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Data Descriptor: A global multiproxy database for temperature reconstructions of the Common Era

Journal article
Authors J. Emile-Geay
N. P. McKay
D. S. Kaufman
L. von Gunten
J. G. Wang
K. J. Anchukaitis
N. J. Abram
J. A. Addison
M. A. J. Curran
M. N. Evans
B. J. Henley
Z. X. Hao
B. Martrat
H. V. McGregor
R. Neukom
G. T. Pederson
B. Stenni
K. Thirumalai
J. P. Werner
C. X. Xu
D. V. Divine
B. C. Dixon
J. Gergis
I. A. Mundo
T. Nakatsuka
S. J. Phipps
C. C. Routson
E. J. Steig
J. E. Tierney
J. J. Tyler
K. J. Allen
N. A. N. Bertler
J. Bjorklund
B. M. Chase
M. T. Chen
E. Cook
R. de Jong
K. L. DeLong
D. A. Dixon
A. A. Ekaykin
V. Ersek
H. L. Filipsson
P. Francus
M. B. Freund
M. Frezzotti
N. P. Gaire
K. Gajewski
Q. S. Ge
H. Goosse
A. Gornostaeva
M. Grosjean
K. Horiuchi
Anne Hormes
K. Husum
E. Isaksson
S. Kandasamy
K. Kawamura
K. H. Kilbourne
N. Koc
G. Leduc
Hans Linderholm
A. M. Lorrey
V. Mikhalenko
P. G. Mortyn
H. Motoyama
A. D. Moy
R. Mulvaney
P. M. Munz
D. J. Nash
H. Oerter
T. Opel
A. J. Orsi
D. V. Ovchinnikov
T. J. Porter
H. A. Roop
C. Saenger
M. Sano
D. Sauchyn
K. M. Saunders
M. S. Seidenkrantz
M. Severi
X. M. Shao
M. A. Sicre
M. Sigl
K. Sinclair
S. St George
J. M. St Jacques
M. Thamban
U. K. Thapa
E. R. Thomas
C. Turney
R. Uemura
A. E. Viau
D. O. Vladimirova
E. R. Wahl
J. W. C. White
Z. C. Yu
J. Zinke
Published in Scientific Data
Volume 4
ISSN 2052-4463
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Language English
Links doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2017.88
Keywords sea-surface temperature, north-atlantic oscillation, pacific warm pool, tree-ring width, high-resolution paleoclimatology, tropical climate, variability, oxygen-isotope record, ice-core records, past 3 centuries, summer temperature, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


Reproducible climate reconstructions of the Common Era (1 CE to present) are key to placing industrial-era warming into the context of natural climatic variability. Here we present a community-sourced database of temperature-sensitive proxy records from the PAGES2k initiative. The database gathers 692 records from 648 locations, including all continental regions and major ocean basins. The records are from trees, ice, sediment, corals, speleothems, documentary evidence, and other archives. They range in length from 50 to 2000 years, with a median of 547 years, while temporal resolution ranges from biweekly to centennial. Nearly half of the proxy time series are significantly correlated with HadCRUT4.2 surface temperature over the period 1850-2014. Global temperature composites show a remarkable degree of coherence between high-and low-resolution archives, with broadly similar patterns across archive types, terrestrial versus marine locations, and screening criteria. The database is suited to investigations of global and regional temperature variability over the Common Era, and is shared in the Linked Paleo Data (LiPD) format, including serializations in Matlab, R and Python. Since the pioneering work of D'Arrigo and Jacoby1-3, as well as Mann et al. 4,5, temperature reconstructions of the Common Era have become a key component of climate assessments6-9. Such reconstructions depend strongly on the composition of the underlying network of climate proxies10, and it is therefore critical for the climate community to have access to a community-vetted, quality-controlled database of temperature-sensitive records stored in a self-describing format. The Past Global Changes (PAGES) 2k consortium, a self-organized, international group of experts, recently assembled such a database, and used it to reconstruct surface temperature over continental-scale regions11 (hereafter, ` PAGES2k-2013'). This data descriptor presents version 2.0.0 of the PAGES2k proxy temperature database (Data Citation 1). It augments the PAGES2k-2013 collection of terrestrial records with marine records assembled by the Ocean2k working group at centennial12 and annual13 time scales. In addition to these previously published data compilations, this version includes substantially more records, extensive new metadata, and validation. Furthermore, the selection criteria for records included in this version are applied more uniformly and transparently across regions, resulting in a more cohesive data product. This data descriptor describes the contents of the database, the criteria for inclusion, and quantifies the relation of each record with instrumental temperature. In addition, the paleotemperature time series are summarized as composites to highlight the most salient decadal-to centennial-scale behaviour of the dataset and check mutual consistency between paleoclimate archives. We provide extensive Matlab code to probe the database-processing, filtering and aggregating it in various ways to investigate temperature variability over the Common Era. The unique approach to data stewardship and code-sharing employed here is designed to enable an unprecedented scale of investigation of the temperature history of the Common Era, by the scientific community and citizen-scientists alike.

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