Medieval Warm Period (MWP, Medieval Climate Optimum)

MWP General Facts:
  • Medieval Warm Period (MWP) also known as Medieval Climate Optimum.
  • Time of warm climate in the North Atlantic region.
  • The period lasted from about ~ AD 800–1300.
  • This was then followed the Little Ice Age in the North Atlantic region.
  • The phenomenon was most clearly documented in Europe.
IPCC Report (2001):
"…current evidence does not support globally synchronous periods of anomalous cold or warmth over this time frame, and the conventional terms of 'Little Ice Age' and 'Medieval Warm Period' appear to have limited utility in describing trends in hemispheric or global mean temperature changes in past centuries".
Medieval Warm Period Research Evidence:
  • Global temperature records (ice cores, lake deposits, tree rings) have been examined.
  • Globally, the Earth may have been slightly cooler (by 0.03 degrees Celsius) during the 'Medieval Warm Period' compared with the early-20th & mid-20th century.[1]
  • No good evidence for a similar effect of medieval warming in the Southern hemisphere.


[1] - Raymond S. Bradley, Malcolm K. Hughes, Henry F. Diaz (2003). "Climate in Medieval Time". Science 302 (5644): 404–405.

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