A new international study, co-authored by Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies researcher Dr Steven Phipps, shows a long-term cooling trend in the global climate until the 19th century, followed by a sharp warming trend.
The research was compiled into the most comprehensive record yet of how the climate has changed since 1 AD. It was developed by an international group of scientists and published in the international journal Scientific Data.
“This is the most comprehensive database of climate records spanning the past 2,000 years that has ever been generated,” Dr Phipps said.
“It will provide new insights into natural climate variability, as well as giving us a critically-important baseline against which to compare recent climate change.”
Dr Phipps said current knowledge of global temperatures before routine weather measurements relied on “so-called ‘proxy’ data” – biological and geological sources that provide indirect information on past temperatures.
“This is a wonderful example of scientific collaboration and will provide an amazing resource for climate scientists,” Dr Phipps said.
“The database represents years of hard work by 98 researchers from 22 different countries. This database is fully open and is available for anyone to download and use.
“Over the coming years, it will be a vital tool for climate reconstructions and climate modelling, and will form the basis of plenty of amazing new science.”