Article | Published:

Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries

Nature volume 392, pages 779787 (23 April 1998) | Download Citation

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  • A Corrigendum to this article was published on 01 July 2004

Abstract

Spatially resolved global reconstructions of annual surface temperature patterns over the past six centuries are based on the multivariate calibration of widely distributed high-resolution proxy climate indicators. Time-dependent correlations of the reconstructions with time-series records representing changes in greenhouse-gas concentrations, solar irradiance, and volcanic aerosols suggest that each of these factors has contributed to the climate variability of the past 400 years, with greenhouse gases emerging as the dominant forcing during the twentieth century. Northern Hemisphere mean annual temperatures for three of the past eight years are warmer than any other year since (at least) ad 1400.

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Acknowledgements

This work benefited from discussions with M. Cane, E. Cook, M. Evans, A. Kaplan and collaborators at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. We acknowledge discussions with K. Briffa, T.Crowley, P. Jones, S. Manabe, R. Saravanan and K. Trenberth, as well as the comments of G. Hegerl. We thank R.D'Arrigo, D. Fisher, G. Jacoby, J. Lean, A. Robock, D. Stahle, C. Stockton, E. Vaganov, R. Villalba and the numerous contributors to the International Tree-Ring Data Bank and other palaeoclimate researchers who have made their data available to us for use in this study; we also thank F. Keimig, M. Munro, R. Holmes and C. Aramann for their technical assistance. This work was supported by the NSF and the US Department of Energy. M.E.M. acknowledges support through the Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Fellowship program of the Department of Energy. This work is a contribution to the NSF- and NOAA-sponsored Analysis of Rapid and Recent Climatic Change (ARRCC) project.

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  1. Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts , Amherst, Massachusetts 01003-5820, USA

    • Michael E. Mann
    •  & Raymond S. Bradley
  2. †Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 , USA

    • Malcolm K. Hughes

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Correspondence to Michael E. Mann.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/33859

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