Funding through the Emmy Noether programme of the German Research foundation is gratefully acknowledged.


#1 Global patterns of declining temperature variability from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene (link)
#2 Comparison of correlation analysis techniques for irregularly sampled time series (link)
#3 Warmer and wetter or warmer and dryer? Observed versus simulated covariability of Holocene temperature and rainfall in Asia (link)
#4 Assessing performance and seasonal bias of pollen-based climate reconstructions in a perfect model world (link)
#5 Testing the detectability of spatio-temporal climate transitions from paleoclimate networks with the START model (link)
#6 Similarity estimators for irregular and age-uncertain time series (link)
#7 Late Holocene Asian summer monsoon dynamics from small but complex networks of paleoclimate data (link)
#8 Networks from flows - from dynamics to topology (link)
#9 On the influence of spatial sampling on climate networks (link)
#10 Characterizing the evolution of climate networks (link)


Dr. Kira Rehfeld E-Mail
Elisa Ziegler (BSc)
Benjamin Schmiedel (student)

Palaeoclimate dynamics and variability

State and Timescale-dependency of Climate Variability from the last Glacial to present day (STACY)

The group explores and quantifies changes of climate variability in the past, the role (global) mean temperature plays in them, and assesses how well climate models can reflect them. We focus predominantly on the time period from the last Glacial period to the present day (the last 130,000 years). and to assess how well climate model simulations can capture them. In our work we combine statistical analysis of climate proxy and model data, the modeling of palaeoclimate proxy archive signal formation and climate modeling (from the very simple to full complexity), to improve the understanding of climate variability changes in a warming world.


  1. How does climate variability depend on the general Earth system state, and global mean temperature?
  2. How is variability on short timescales (in other words: weather) linked to variability on long timescales (up to Glacial-Interglacial timescales)?
  3. How does the Earth system's sensitivity to disturbances (for example volcanic eruptions, or massive ice melt) change under mean-state changes?


Dr. Kira Rehfeld
Universität Heidelberg
Institut für Umweltphysik
Im Neuenheimer Feld 229 (4th floor, room 403)
69120 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 6221 54 6353
Email: kira.rehfeld ( at )




Please contact us if you are interested in our work. There are currently opportunities at the Master, PhD and Postdoc level.

PhD position: Statistical analysis of speleothem data (pdf)
Postdoc position: Inverse modeling of palaeoclimate archives (pdf)
MSc thesis: Statistical analysis of polar ice core data (for more information - email)
responsible: E-Mail