– New paper shows Medieval Warm Period was global in scope (What’s Up With That, Oct 31,2013):
Andrew Revkin writes:
Michael Mann can’t be happy about this work.
Here’s a chat with two authors of an important new Science paper examining 10,000 years of layered fossil plankton in the western Pacific Ocean. The paper finds that several significant past climate ups and downs — including the medieval warm period and little ice age — were global in scope, challenging some previous conclusions that these were fairly limited Northern Hemisphere phenomena.
(video follows, an interview with authors)
The study finds that the rise in ocean temperatures in recent decades is far faster than anything seen earlier in the Holocene, the period since the end of the last ice age. But the researchers say that this rise is from a relatively cool baseline. Between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago, at depths between 500 and 1,000 meters, the Pacific Ocean was 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than today. (text from the video description)
The paper is here:
Pacific Ocean Heat Content During the Past 10,000 Years
Yair Rosenthal, Braddock K. Linsley, Delia W. Oppo
Observed increases in ocean heat content (OHC) and temperature are robust indicators of global warming during the past several decades. We used high-resolution proxy records from sediment cores to extend these observations in the Pacific 10,000 years beyond the instrumental record. We show that water masses linked to North Pacific and Antarctic intermediate waters were warmer by 2.1 ± 0.4°C and 1.5 ± 0.4°C, respectively, during the middle Holocene Thermal Maximum than over the past century. Both water masses were ~0.9°C warmer during the Medieval Warm period than during the Little Ice Age and ~0.65° warmer than in recent decades. Although documented changes in global surface temperatures during the Holocene and Common era are relatively small, the concomitant changes in OHC are large.