This study compares temperature, precipitation, and other climate variables from six widely used climate reanalysis products to inform ice-core climate proxy record calibration in the Altiplano region of the central Andes. The reanalyzes are the European Reanalysis version 5 (ERA5), European Reanalysis Interim, Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA2), Japanese 55-year Reanalysis, Climate Forecast System Reanalysis and version 2 extension, and NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis version 1. These data products are validated against observations from automatic weather stations on the Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru (5,650 m a.s.l) and Chacaltaya, Bolivia (5,238 m a.s.l), in addition to lower sites ranging in elevation 2,500–4,900 m a.s.l. Our results suggest that ERA5 provides the most robust overall depiction of temperature and precipitation across the study domain, and the data set is particularly useful for its back-extension to 1950. However, MERRA2 produces lower precipitation error scores owing to a gaged-based bias correction. An examination of ERA5 vertical atmospheric profiles for a latitudinal transect over Quelccaya shows considerable variability, including across major El Niño events, suggesting the need for caution when interpreting isotopic signatures in ice cores.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation grants AGS‐1600018 (Mayewski and Birkel), AGS‐1566450 (Seimon and Perry), and AGS‐1347179 (Perry). High‐performance computing support from Cheyenne (doi: https://doi.org/10.5065/D6RX99HX ) is provided by NCAR's Computational and Information Systems Laboratory, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
© 2022 The Authors. Earth and Space Science published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Geophysical Union.
- Andean Altiplano
- Central Andes