Europe basked in unusually warm weather in medieval times, but why has been open to debate. Now the natural climate mechanism that caused the mild spell seems to have been pinpointed.Read it in New Scientist...
The finding is significant today because, according to Valerie Trouet at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research in Birmensdorf, the mechanism that caused the warm spell in Europe – and meant wine could be produced in England as it is now – cannot explain current warming. It means the medieval warm period was mainly a regional phenomenon caused by altered heat distribution rather than a global phenomenon.
The finding scuppers one of the favourite arguments of climate-change deniers. If Europe had temperature increases before we started emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases, their argument goes, then maybe the current global warming isn't caused by humans, either.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Explaining away the medieval warming period