Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia

Moinuddin Ahmed, Kevin J. Anchukaitis, Asfawossen Asrat, Hemant P. Borgaonkar, Martina Braida, Brendan M. Buckley, Ulf Büntgen, Brian M. Chase, Duncan A. Christie, Edward R. Cook, Mark A.J. Curran, Henry F. Diaz, Jan Esper, Ze Xin Fan, Narayan P. Gaire, Quansheng Ge, Joëlle Gergis, J. Fidel González-Rouco, Hugues Goosse, Stefan W. GrabNicholas Graham, Rochelle Graham, Martin Grosjean, Sami T. Hanhijärvi, Darrell S. Kaufman, Thorsten Kiefer, Katsuhiko Kimura, Atte A. Korhola, Paul J. Krusic, Antonio Lara, Anne Marie Lézine, Fredrik C. Ljungqvist, Andrew M. Lorrey, Jürg Luterbacher, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Danny McCarroll, Joseph R. McConnell, Nicholas P. McKay, Mariano S. Morales, Andrew D. Moy, Robert Mulvaney, Ignacio A. Mundo, Takeshi Nakatsuka, David J. Nash, Raphael Neukom, Sharon E. Nicholson, Hans Oerter, Jonathan G. Palmer, Steven J. Phipps, Maria R. Prieto, Andres Rivera, Masaki Sano, Mirko Severi, Timothy M. Shanahan, Xuemei Shao, Feng Shi, Michael Sigl, Jason E. Smerdon, Olga N. Solomina, Eric J. Steig, Barbara Stenni, Meloth Thamban, Valerie Trouet, Chris S.M. Turney, Mohammed Umer, Tas van Ommen, Dirk Verschuren, Andre E. Viau, Ricardo Villalba, Bo M. Vinther, Lucien Von Gunten, Sebastian Wagner, Eugene R. Wahl, Heinz Wanner, Johannes P. Werner, James W.C. White, Koh Yasue, Eduardo Zorita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

621 Scopus citations

Abstract

Past global climate changes had strong regional expression. To elucidate their spatio-temporal pattern, we reconstructed past temperatures for seven continental-scale regions during the past one to two millennia. The most coherent feature in nearly all of the regional temperature reconstructions is a long-term cooling trend, which ended late in the nineteenth century. At multi-decadal to centennial scales, temperature variability shows distinctly different regional patterns, with more similarity within each hemisphere than between them. There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, but all reconstructions show generally cold conditions between ad 1580 and 1880, punctuated in some regions by warm decades during the eighteenth century. The transition to these colder conditions occurred earlier in the Arctic, Europe and Asia than in North America or the Southern Hemisphere regions. Recent warming reversed the long-term cooling; during the period ad 1971-2000, the area-weighted average reconstructed temperature was higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Ahmed, M., Anchukaitis, K. J., Asrat, A., Borgaonkar, H. P., Braida, M., Buckley, B. M., Büntgen, U., Chase, B. M., Christie, D. A., Cook, E. R., Curran, M. A. J., Diaz, H. F., Esper, J., Fan, Z. X., Gaire, N. P., Ge, Q., Gergis, J., González-Rouco, J. F., Goosse, H., ... Zorita, E. (2013). Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia. Nature Geoscience, 6(5), 339-346. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1797