Further researchers at Bern were then able to show that the climate conditions in the Apennines are representative for a large part of the northern Mediterranean region. They also demonstrated the plausibility of the new temperature reconstruction in terms of the results of the models. «It is only discussions between researchers from differing disciplines which enabled new hypotheses to be developed and examined in detail», explains Oliver Heiri, before highlighting that «the Oeschger Centre is predestined for this kind of collaboration.»
The new findings on the past climate of the Mediterranean area do not mean, however, that pollen-based reconstructions should be questioned in general. Oliver Heiri emphasizes that the method remains useful in other geographical regions, and especially for other periods. «Our work clearly shows the importance of developing new methods for climate research though.» The Paleoecologist explains that this enables existing knowledge to be examined and new research questions to be formulated.
Stéphanie Samartin, Oliver Heiri, Fortunat Joos, Hans Renssen, Jörg Franke, Stefan Brönnimann and Willy Tinner: Warm Mediterranean mid-Holocene summers inferred from fossil midge assemblages, Nature Geoscience, 06.02.2017, doi: 10.1038/NGEO2891