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.
Click on image for full size
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.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
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.
You might also be interested in:
From about 1250 to 1850 temperatures were a bit colder than usual in most parts of the world. This time is called the Little Ice Age. During the Little Ice Age, the average temperature of the planet was...more
Leaders from the countries of the world are heading to Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009 to decide how the world will deal with climate change. They will make decisions about how to send less greenhouse...more
How do you know to pack your bathing suit and sunhat for a trip to a tropical island or pack warm sweaters and coats for a trip to Alaska? If you know a little about regional climates, then you know what...more
Only a tiny amount of the gases in Earth’s atmosphere are greenhouse gases. But they have a huge effect on climate. There are several different types of greenhouse gases, but they all have something in...more
Some satellites study Earth from space. Some of them study our atmosphere and weather. Some take pictures of clouds. Others use special instruments to make measurements of temperature, humidity, or the...more
To figure out what the Earth might be like in the future, scientists need to know how Earth reacts to changes. Models help scientists to better understand how the Earth works and how it will react to climate...more
Have you ever taken your temperature to see if you are getting sick? Scientists have been taking the Earth's temperature and have found that it is getting warmer. During the past 100 years, the Earth's...more