1971-2000 was probably the warmest 30-year period on land in the past 1,400 years, reports a Progress Article published online this week in Nature Geoscience.
A group of over 70 authors - known as the PAGES 2k Network - compiled around 500 records of terrestrial temperature variations over the past two millennia, looking at regional and global trends. Unlike many other reconstructions, the authors found that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age appeared only in the regional reconstructions, and were not seen in global average temperatures. The global compilation does reveal a long-term cooling trend from the start of the records until the late nineteenth century. They note that globally, the period from 1971-2000 was the warmest in the reconstruction, although some regions may have experienced warmer periods during the past 2,000 years.