This provides “ever more real-world evidence for the fact that there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about the Earth’s current level of warmth,” says meteorologist Anthony Watts.
After studying tree-ring chronologies of maximum latewood density stretching from 17 BC to the present, an international team of researchers found “a long-term cooling trend of -0.30°C per 1,000 years over the Common Era in northern Europe” (see figure below).
The team, from the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Sweden and Switzerland, also note that “conditions during Medieval and Roman times were probably warmer than in the late 20th century,” when the previously-rising post-Little Ice Age mean global air temperature hit a ceiling of sorts above which it has yet to penetrate.
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