Recent warming reverses long-term arctic cooling

Darrell S. Kaufman, David P. Schneider, Nicholas P. McKay, Caspar M. Ammann, Raymond S. Bradley, Keith R. Briffa, Gifford H. Miller, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Jonathan T. Overpeck, Bo M. Vinther, M. Abbott, Y. Axford, B. Bird, H. J.B. Birks, A. E. Bjune, J. Briner, T. Cook, M. Chipman, P. Francus, K. GajewskiÁ Geirsddttir, F. S. Hu, B. Kutchko, S. Lamoureux, M. Loso, G. MacDonald, M. Peros, D. Porinchu, C. Schiff, H. Seppä, E. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

475 Scopus citations


The temperature history of the first millennium CE. is sparsely documented, especially in the Arctic. We present a synthesis of decadally resolved proxy temperature records from poleward of 6O°N covering the past 2000 years, which indicates that a pervasive cooling in progress 2000 years ago continued through the Middle Ages and into the Little Ice Age. A 2000-year transient climate simulation with the Community Climate System Model shows the same temperature sensitivity to changes in insolation as does our proxy reconstruction, supporting the inference that this long-term trend was caused by the steady orbitally driven reduction in summer insolation. The cooling trend was reversed during the 20th century, with four of the five warmest decades of our 2000-year-long reconstruction occurring between 1950 and 2000.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1236-1239
Number of pages4
Issue number5945
StatePublished - Sep 14 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Kaufman, D. S., Schneider, D. P., McKay, N. P., Ammann, C. M., Bradley, R. S., Briffa, K. R., Miller, G. H., Otto-Bliesner, B. L., Overpeck, J. T., Vinther, B. M., Abbott, M., Axford, Y., Bird, B., Birks, H. J. B., Bjune, A. E., Briner, J., Cook, T., Chipman, M., Francus, P., ... Thomas, E. (2009). Recent warming reverses long-term arctic cooling. Science, 325(5945), 1236-1239.