Proxy-based indicators of past climate change show that current global climate models systematically underestimate Holocene-epoch climate variability on centennial to multi-millennial timescales, with the mismatch increasing for longer periods. Proposed explanations for the discrepancy include ocean–atmosphere coupling that is too weak in models, insufficient energy cascades from smaller to larger spatial and temporal scales, or that global climate models do not consider slow climate feedbacks related to the carbon cycle or interactions between ice sheets and climate.