CR 23:89-110 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/cr023089

Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years

Willie Soon1,2,*, Sallie Baliunas1,2

1Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS 16, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
2Mount Wilson Observatory, Mount Wilson, California 91023, USA

ABSTRACT: The 1000 yr climatic and environmental history of the Earth contained in various proxy records is reviewed. As indicators, the proxies duly represent local climate. Because each is of a different nature, the results from the proxy indicators cannot be combined into a hemispheric or global quantitative composite. However, considered as an ensemble of individual expert opinions, the assemblage of local representations of climate establishes both the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period as climatic anomalies with worldwide imprints, extending earlier results by Bryson et al. (1963), Lamb (1965), and numerous intervening research efforts. Furthermore, the individual proxies can be used to address the question of whether the 20th century is the warmest of the 2nd millennium locally. Across the world, many records reveal that the 20th century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium.

KEY WORDS: Paleoclimate proxies · Climate change · Environmental change · Little Ice Age · Medieval Warm Period

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Cite this article as: Soon W, Baliunas S (2003) Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years. Clim Res 23:89-110

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