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Medieval Warm Period

Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age

The purpose of this page is to find the facts about whether the Medieval Warm Period really was as warm as today, and whether it was really global; and similarly, whether the Little Ice Age was a global phenomenon or not. These are important issues because they are relevant to the question, to what extent are long-term natural cycles responsible for today's warming?

Each line of the following table represents the work of a team of scientists, who went to a specific location and investigated the temperature at that location during the Medieval Warm Period using a specific proxy for the temperature. The table shows the temperature relative to the 1961-1990 world average.

Place Proxy Temp MWP Temp Little Ice Age Reference
Sargasso Sea sea floor sediments + 1 degree - 1 degree doi : 10.1126/science.274.5292.1503
Antarctica ice core sediments ? ? "Unstable Climate Oscillations during the Late Holocene in the Eastern Bransfield Basin, Antarctic Peninsula". Quaternary Research 58 (3): 234245(12)

The Wikipedia article on the Medieval Warm Period says that this last article finds it cooler in Antarctica during the Medieval Warm Period. But that's not what the abstract says. I will soon look up the original article.