Global signatures and dynamical origins of the little ice age and medieval climate anomaly

Michael E. Mann, Zhihua Zhang, Scott Rutherford, Raymond S. Bradley, Malcolm K. Hughes, Drew Shindell, Caspar Ammann, Greg Faluvegi, Fenbiao Ni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1153 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 CE., 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1256-1260
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume326
Issue number5957
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 27 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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    Mann, M. E., Zhang, Z., Rutherford, S., Bradley, R. S., Hughes, M. K., Shindell, D., Ammann, C., Faluvegi, G., & Ni, F. (2009). Global signatures and dynamical origins of the little ice age and medieval climate anomaly. Science, 326(5957), 1256-1260. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1177303