New Paper: NE China's MWP Warmest in last 1000 years

Erlongwan maar lake.
A new study published in Quaternary ResearchVolume 78, Issue 1, July 2012, Pages 24–34 (link)  Luo Wang et al

A 1000-yr record of environmental change in NE China indicated by diatom assemblages from maar lake Erlongwan  

suggests that AD 1150 and 1200 was the warmest over the past 1000 yrs


Past environmental changes based on diatom relative abundances have been inferred from the maar Lake Erlongwan in northeast China. The limnology of Lake Erlongwan is affected by the strongly seasonal regional climate. The composition of diatom assemblages, in turn, responds to changes in the seasonal duration of ice cover in winter, water-column turnover in spring and autumn, and thermal stratification in summer. Statistical analysis of the sedimentary diatom assemblages reveals three significant stratigraphic zones over the past 1000 yr. The highest abundance of the planktonic species Discostella species occurs between AD 1050 and 1400 and suggests an annual ice-free period of long duration and well-developed summer stratification of the water column. This planktonic diatom peak between ca. AD 1150 and 1200 suggests that this period was the warmest over the past 1000 yr. The interval between AD 1400 and 1800 is marked by a decline in planktonic diatoms and suggests shorter duration of the ice-free season, weaker water stratification and possibly generally cold conditions. After AD 1800 relative abundances of planktonic diatoms, including Puncticulata praetermissa and Asterionella formosa, increase again, which indicates lengthening of the duration of the annual ice-free period and a stronger overturn of the water column. All these data imply that the pattern of the seasons is different between the MWP and the 20th century.

What was learned
The ten researchers report that "three intervals were identified by their diatom assemblages and correspond within dating uncertainties to the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the 20th century warming trend." During the MWP, they further indicate that "the duration of the summer was longer while the spring and autumn were shorter than the 20th century." And they unequivocally declare that "the period between ca. AD 1150 and 1200 was the warmest interval of the past 1000 years."

What it means
In view of the fact that, prior to the time of their study, there was no record of mean annual temperatures from NE China covering the past 1000 years with the same resolution as their diatom record, Wang et al.'s work demonstrates - for yet another part of the planet (see our Medieval Warm Period Project) - that late-20th-century warmth, even with the help of an extra 100 ppm of CO2, was less than that of the MWP, which makes it extremely difficult to believe that earth's current level of warmth largely owes its existence to anthropogenic CO2 emissions, as the world's climate alarmists continue to claim it does.