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) E-Mail
Benjamin Schmiedel (student)
Carla Roesch (BSc) E-Mail

Palaeoclimate dynamics and variability

State and timescale-dependency of climate variability from the last Glacial to present day

The central aim of the group is to explore and quantify changes of climate variability in the past, the role (global) mean temperature played them, and to assess how well climate models can reflect them. We focus predominantly on the time period from the last Glacial period to the present day (~130,000 years ago to today). In our work we combine the statistical analysis of climate proxy and model data, the modeling of palaeoclimate proxy archive signal formation and climate models (from the very simple to intermediate complexity), to improve scientific 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 Bachelor, Master and PhD level.

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