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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
Change in Earth's average global temperature over the past 1000 years showing that during the Medieval Warm Period (950-1100A.D.) temperatures were likely similar to the first part of the 20th century, climate cooled during the Little Ice Age (1350-1850), and has warmed dramatically in recent decades.
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Courtesy of NOAA

The Medieval Warm Period

The Medieval Warm Period was a time of warm climate in Europe. The warmest part of the Medieval Warm Period was from about 950 until 1100 A.D. The warm climate overlaps with a time of high solar activity called the Medieval Maximum. The Medieval Warm Period occurred before the Little Ice Age (1350-1850), a time of particularly cool temperatures in Europe and other places around the world.

The graph at the left shows how average global temperatures changed over the past 1000 years. During the Medieval Warm Period the temperatures were warm, probably as warm as they were 80 to 100 years ago. Then temperatures cooled during the Little Ice Age. Temperatures have gotten much warmer in the past few decades.

Last modified November 14, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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