PAGES 2k Network town hall survey information

The PAGES 2k Network held a town hall meeting on 25 February 2021. The aim of the meeting was to seek initial feedback from the community on future directions for the network, once Phase 3 comes to an end on 31 December 2021. Building on the outcomes of the town hall, we would now like to survey the wider community on the priorities for the next 5-10 years.

The participants discussed the following two questions:

1. What are the top 3 challenges in 2k* science that the PAGES community should address over the next 5-10 years? (*extending the time period could be one of your answers!)
2. How can PAGES 2k help to facilitate science? What are the community’s biggest needs or biggest obstacles to addressing those challenges?

Below is a brief summary of those discussions. We would also like to assess your interest in participating and/or coordinating a project. Scientists at all academic levels and from diverse geographic regions are encouraged to get involved!

Take our survey here.

Question 1

1. Extending the time period

Suggested extensions included the past 4k, 6k, 8k, 10k and 12k. Proposals were also made to focus on policy-relevant human timescales, the first millennium CE (i.e. 1-1000 CE) and the Holocene Thermal Maximum.

2. Data synthesis

The collection and curation of data emerged as a key challenge. There is a need to gather records from new regions, particularly regions that are currently data sparse. However, the highest priority is to ensure that the data is digitised, converted to a standardised format and made FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable).

3. Data-model integration

PAGES 2k should continue to bridge the gap between the data and modelling communities. The data community can provide critical data for model validation, while the modelling community can provide process understanding. Both communities need to work together on understanding the reasons for data-model disagreement.

4. Proxy system model development

The development of proxy system models is critical to bridging the gap between data and models. This requires a sustained effort to understand proxy systems, and to build and calibrate models for each proxy system.

5. Regional climate processes

There is a need to explore climate variability and change on the regional scale, including exploring the heterogeneity between changes in different regions. Future efforts should study regions that have not previously been studied by PAGES 2k, as well as studying regional climate processes across a range of spatial scales.

6. Large-scale phenomena and modes of variability

PAGES 2k should study past changes in large-scale climate phenomena (such as the monsoons) and modes of variability (such as ENSO). Such explorations should explore teleconnections and should be conducted across a range of timescales, including studying modes of low-frequency variability.

7. Temporal processes and uncertainty

Dating uncertainty and age control was identified as a key challenge. There is also scope to study temporal processes across the full range of timescales from seasonal to millennial, including examining leads/lags and low-frequency trends and variability.

8. Hydroclimate

Previous phases of PAGES 2k have focused primarily or exclusively on reconstructing changes in temperature. A future phase should focus on reconstructing and understanding changes in hydroclimate.

9. Ecosystems

There is a need to study climate impacts on ecosystems. This should include reconstructing and modelling past changes in ecosystems, as well as understanding the links between biology and physics.

10. Policy-relevant science

PAGES 2k should seek to work more closely with policymakers, including links to Future Earth and other global sustainability networks. Policy-relevant science should study past changes on human timescales and use the past 2,000 years (or longer periods) to develop metrics and baselines for climate change assessment.

Question 2

1. Data curation

Data curation emerged as the key area where the community wanted help from PAGES 2k. Possible areas for assistance included data archival, data rescue, curation and updating of old datasets, training, ensuring that data is appropriately credited, and advocacy for best practices in data management.

2. Fostering collaboration

Another key challenge that emerged was finding collaborators for specific projects. PAGES 2k should bring people together and foster interdisciplinarity by helping its scientists to meet each other: this includes bringing the proxy and modelling communities together, as well as bringing together experts in different proxy systems. One possible contribution by the network would be to organise scientific “matchmaking” or “speed dating”.

3. Virtual collaboration platforms

PAGES 2k can make it easier for its scientists to collaborate by providing virtual platforms to help them to meet, interact and share data.

4. Workshops and meetings

PAGES 2k can facilitate projects by providing financial and administrative support for workshops and meetings, including topical science meetings.

5. Training and education

An ongoing role for PAGES 2k will be to support the community by organising training and education, particularly for early-career researchers.