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Evidence Of A Warmer Holocene In The Andes

March 2, 2015
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood  


h/t Ben Vorlich




It is no secret that the Andes were warmer up to around 5000 years ago than now. Lamb and others have concluded that temperatures were maybe 2C higher then.


There is also evidence from ice cores that the MWP was at least as warm as the late 20thC.





One of the strands of evidence is the discovery of plant remains, discovered as glaciers there recede, which are carbon dated to 5000 years ago. The paper quoted above makes the interesting comment that:

we found evidence of at least five taxa characteristic of wetlands, which occur primarily at lower elevations in the region today.


This would indicate that the climate then was significantly warmer than today.

  1. lapogus permalink
    March 2, 2015 4:34 pm

    Here are some other links / papers of interest you may not have seen –

    MWP – Iceland molluscs Patterson March 2010 paper based on chemical analysis of O18 isotope ratios in Icelandic mollusc shells clearly showed the RWP, MWP, LIA etc. –

    MWP, RWP, Minoan, Holocene optima from GISP –

    MWP – tree ring paleoclimate study paper – California was 3.2C warmer than today in the MWP. Reference: Millar, C.I., King, J.C., Westfall, R.D., Alden, H.A. and Delany, D.L. 2006. Late Holocene forest dynamics, volcanism, and climate change at Whitewing Mountain and San Joaquin Ridge, Mono County, Sierra Nevada, CA, USA. Quaternary Research 66: 273-287. –

    MWP warmer in Georgia, Caucasian monastery high altitude kept cattle well above present arable limit. Climatic optima in the mountains of Georgia during Middle Age: results of palynological investigation of Navenakhari settlement and Betlemi monastery –

    MWP Scandinavian Scots pines tree rings study – Dendroclimatology Improving a tree-ring reconstruction from west-central Scandinavia: 900 years of warm-season temperatures. Björn E. Gunnarson, Hans W. Linderholm and Anders Moberg – warmer/just as warm 900 years ago – abstract and pdf –

    MWP – Canadian Rockies – Summer temperatures in the Canadian Rockies during the last millennium: a revised record. B. H. Luckman and R. J. S. Wilson – abstract and pdf – “The reconstruction shows warm intervals, comparable to twentieth century values, for the first half of the eleventh century, the late 1300s and early 1400s. The bulk of the record, however, is below the 1901–1980 normals, with prolonged cool periods from 1200 to 1350 and from 1450 to the late 19th century. The most extreme cool period is observed to be in the 1690s. These reconstructed cool periods compare well with known regional records of glacier advances between 1150 and the 1300s, possibly in the early 1500s, early 1700s and 1800s. Evidence is also presented of the influence of solar activity and volcanic events on summer temperature in the Canadian Rockies over the last 1,000 years.” –

    MWP warmer 1000 years ago – Saragasso Sea:

    MWP just as warm 1000 years ago, Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, Nature 2009:

    MWP and Minoan warmer –

    MWP South America, a 2,300-year-long annually resolved record of the South American summer monsoon from the Peruvian Andes (which also suggests MWP and LIA were extant in Southern Hemisphere):

    MWP also existed in Chile:

    MWP – en Patagonia:

    MWP Greenland – Viking settlements –

    MWP – Ellesmere Ice sheet, Ward Island Ice sheet map – driftwood,

    MWP CO2science database of MWP warmer & MWP global studies –

    “We have to get rid of the MWP” – Dr David Deming’s statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works on December 6, 2006 –

  2. AndyG55 permalink
    March 3, 2015 1:54 am

    “that the MWP was at least as warm as the late 20th C.”

    Each consecutive warm period has be less warm than the previous.

    Same with this “current slightly warm period” (CSWP), slightly cooler than the MWP.

    Unfortunately the CWMP looks as though it will be rather shorter than previous periods as well. 😦

    The world needs the warm to continue, and with it, a continued increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.

    • AndyG55 permalink
      March 3, 2015 1:55 am

      typo fix….

      Unfortunately the CSWP looks as though it will be rather shorter than previous periods as well.

  3. Peter Carabot permalink
    March 3, 2015 3:46 am

    Very Amusing: “…we found evidence of at least five taxa characteristic of wetlands, which occur primarily at lower elevations in the region today.”
    Either it was warmer or the Andes have grown by a couple of hundred meters.

  4. March 3, 2015 8:17 pm

    Very interesting about the extinct spruce–apparently burned out by humans–every last tree–along with any species that might have depended on them. (But maybe llamas chew on the seedlings.) And people still insist that humans could not have wiped out the Pleistocene megafauna! –AGF

    • March 3, 2015 10:44 pm

      Major oops–they concluded the spruce was contamination.

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