Climate History Network

A network of interdisciplinary scholars studying past climate change

New Analysis of Southern Hemisphere Temperature Reconstructions Confirms Global Little Ice Age

nclimate2174-f3In this week’s Nature Climate Change, Raphael Neukom et al. present a new analysis of Southern Hemisphere average temperatures for the past millennium, based on a much larger set of high-resolution climate proxies, including tree rings, marine sediments, lake sediments, ice cores, corals, and documentary evidence.  The main finding is that the difference between average annual temperatures in the two hemispheres has been greater than usually supposed, and that difference has fluctuated a great deal over recent centuries.  In particular, it appears the Southern Hemisphere has been considerably less sensitive to effects of major eruptions (volcanic forcing).  There was nothing like the 11th-12th century AD “Medieval Warm” in the Southern Hemisphere, but there are indications of warm anomalies in the 13th century just as parts of the Northern Hemisphere were experiencing cold anomalies.  Nevertheless, the peak of the Little Ice Age from the late 16th to late 17th centuries shows up clearly in both hemispheres — the only major globally synchronous temperature anomaly in the record until warming in the late 20th century.


About Sam White

Assistant Professor of History at the Ohio State University

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This entry was posted on April 25, 2014 by in Publications.
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