Comparison of Siberian paleovegetation to current and future vegetation under climate change
Climate Research (CR)
To see if the Holocene optimum (4600 to 6000 yr before present) is an analogue for predicted future climate, a comparison was made between Sibenan paleovegetation for this Late Atlantic Period and predicted Siberian vegetation under climate change. S~berian paleovegetation is also compared to a current landscape map of Siberia. The Siberian Vegetation Model was used to estimate Siberian vegetation under climate change scenarios resulting from CO2 doubling. Both visual and statistical analysis
... tistical analysis of the maps indicate that the warm period known as the Holocene optimum does not provide a good analogy to predicted future warming. Although the predicted rise in temperature with future warming is similar to the Holocene optimum, the predicted precipitation is much less, resulting in much more temperate forest-steppe vegetation than the forest vegetation found in the past. Comparison of past and present vegetation revealed that most vegetation zones have not changed greatly in size or location, although species composition is quite different. Dark-needled species were widespread In the Northern and Middle T a~g a in the Holocene opt~mum, while light-needled species now dominate these zones. Temperate broad-leaved species were a component in the Subtalga In the mid-Holocene, whereas today they have disappeared. Tundra has greatly expanded since the Holocene optimum. These changes indicate that the current climatic regime is cooler and more severe than 4600 to 6000 yr ago.