Global signatures and dynamical origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly.


Journal Article

Global temperatures are known to have varied over the past 1500 years, but the spatial patterns have remained poorly defined. We used a global climate proxy network to reconstruct surface temperature patterns over this interval. The Medieval period is found to display warmth that matches or exceeds that of the past decade in some regions, but which falls well below recent levels globally. This period is marked by a tendency for La Niña-like conditions in the tropical Pacific. The coldest temperatures of the Little Ice Age are observed over the interval 1400 to 1700 C.E., with greatest cooling over the extratropical Northern Hemisphere continents. The patterns of temperature change imply dynamical responses of climate to natural radiative forcing changes involving El Niño and the North Atlantic Oscillation-Arctic Oscillation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mann, ME; Zhang, Z; Rutherford, S; Bradley, RS; Hughes, MK; Shindell, D; Ammann, C; Faluvegi, G; Ni, F

Published Date

  • November 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 326 / 5957

Start / End Page

  • 1256 - 1260

PubMed ID

  • 19965474

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19965474

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1177303


  • eng