The Medieval Warm Period – a global phenomenon, unprecedented warming, or unprecedented data manipulation?

Guest post from Von Rudolf Kipp

Originally in German here, with some portions translated to English using the Google translator below.

[update–translation provided by poster EWCZ ~ ctm]

Google translator is largely imperfect, but to read the Google translation in English go here.

If anyone wishes to do a personal translation for the entire article, please leave a note in comments and I will replace it. Of great interest is the global graphic below, which shows that the MWP is a worldwide event, not just limited to portions of the Northern Hemisphere.

mann_hockeystick Stempel “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell, 1984

We live in an age of superlatives. When you turn on the TV nowadays, you get offered the choice of best films, the greatest hits or the dumbest opening lines of all time. And even with a detergent it is long ago not sufficient when it  washes whiter than white.  Again, the constant sale appeal to the consumer can be maintained only if the product is billed as “The best thing ever.”

Naturally, also the reporting on climate change must follow this trend. Therefore the upcoming conference in Copenhagen is optionally about  the salvation of mankind, of whole ecosystems, or for those who like it even more bombastic, the salvation of the planet. To achieve this, we continue to learn, enormous changes in our economic and financial system are needed. Production companies and countries should put on bureaucratic manacles to control their CO2 emissions. Best with the help of worldwide dedicated government-like organizations.

What is the purpose of all this? You suspect or know it already. We are experiencing a warming, which has not existed in the history of mankind, or even in the history of the earth. And as a result we will experience the greatest disasters of all time. Honestly!

Globe 1250x765 mit Graphen und Linien JPEG

Click for an interactive graphic that will expand each graph on mouseover

Medieval Warm Period thesis contradicts the unprecedented warming

However, one must mention that, already the first half of the statement, that about the unprecedented warming, elicits significant question marks in many climate scientists and even at many historians. Wasn’t there something like the medieval warm period? And in the opinion of many scientists, wasn’t it warmer during this period than today?

The idea of a medieval warm period  was formulated for the first time in 1965 by the English climatologist Hubert H. Lamb [1].  Lamb, who founded the UK Climate Research Unit (CRU) in 1971, saw the peak of the warming period from 1000 to 1300, i.e. in the High Middle Ages. He estimated that temperatures then were 1-2 ° C above the normal period of  1931-1960. In the high North, it was even up to 4 degrees warmer. The regular voyages of the Vikings between Iceland and Greenland were rarely hindered by ice, and many burial places of the Vikings in Greenland still lie in the permafrost.

Glaciers were smaller than today

Also the global retreat of glaciers that occurred in the period between about 900 to 1300 [2] speaks for the existence of the Medieval Warm Period. An interesting detail is that many glaciers pulling back since 1850 reveal plant remnants from the Middle Ages, which is a clear proof that the extent of the glaciers at that time was lower than today [3].

Furthermore, historical traditions show evidence of unusual warmth at this time. Years around 1180 brought the warmest winter decade ever known. In January 1186/87, the trees were in bloom near Strasbourg. And even earlier you come across a longer heat phase, roughly between 1021 and 1040. The summer of 1130 was so dry that you could wade through the river Rhine. In 1135, the Danube flow was so low that people could cross it on foot. This fact has been exploited to create foundation stones for the bridge in  Regensburg this year [4].

Clear evidence of the warm phase of the Middle Ages can also be found in the limits of crop cultivation. The treeline in the Alps climbed to 2000 meters, higher than current levels are [5]. Winery was possible in Germany at the Rhine and Mosel up to 200 meters above the present limits, in Pomerania, East Prussia, England and southern Scotland, and in southern Norway, therefore, much farther north than is the case today [6]. On the basis of pollen record there is evidence that during the Middle Ages, right up to Trondheim in Norway, wheat was grown and until nearly the 70th parallel/latitude barley was cultivated[4]. In many parts of the UK arable land reached heights that were never reached again later.

Also in Asia historical sources report that the margin of cultivation of citrus fruits was never as far north as in  the 13th century. Accordingly, it must have been warmer at the time about 1 ° C than today [7].

Archeology and history confirm interglacial

Insects can also be used as historical markers for climate. The cold sensitive beetle Heterogaster urticae was detected during the Roman Optimum and during the Norman High Middle Age in York. Despite the warming of the 20th century, this beetle is found today only in sunny locations in the south of England [8].

During the medieval climate optimum, the population of Europe reached hitherto unknown highs. Many cities were founded at this very time with high-altitude valleys, high pastures and cultivated areas, which were at the beginning of the Little Ice Age again largely abandoned [9].

The Middle Ages was the era of high culture of the Vikings. In this period their expansion occurred into present-day Russia and the settlement of Iceland, Greenland and parts of Canada and Newfoundland. In Greenland even cereals were grown about this time.. With the end of the Medieval Warm Period the heyday of the Vikings ended. The settlements in Greenland had to be abandoned as well as in the home country of Norway, during this time, many northern communities located at higher altitudes [10]. The history of the Vikings also corresponds very well to the temperature reconstructions from Greenland, which were carried out using ice cores. According to the reconstructions, Greenland was  at the time of the Vikings at least one degree warmer than in the modern warming period [11].

Climate scientists want to eliminate contradictions

Until about the mid-90s of last century the Medieval Warm Period was for climate researchers an undisputed fact. Therefore in  the first progress report of the IPCC from 1990 on page 202, there was the graphics 7c [12], in which the Medieval Warm Period was portrayed as clearly warmer than the present. However, the existence of this warm period became quickly a thorn in the side for the scientists responsible. When in 12th century without human influence the climate has been even warmer than at the height of industrialization, why should the current warming have non-natural causes?

Thus, the Medieval Warm Period was soon declared an odious affair. Meanwhile, an e-mail is legendary, which was sent to a U.S. climate researcher David Deming [13] in 1995. This scientist  published an article in the prestigious journal Science in which he had presented research on climate change in North America based on cores [14].

With this publication, he was immediately known among climate researchers, and some of them obviously thought that he was toeing their line [13, 15]:

“With the publication of the article in Science, I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I would be one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. So one of them dropped his guard. An important person working in the field of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email with the words: ‘We must get rid of the Medieval Warm Period’. ”

Meanwhile, the climate machinery for the eradication of the Medieval Warm Period has already started. In 1995, the English climatologist Keith Briffa published in the journal Nature a study with sensational results. According to his studies of tree rings in the Siberian Polar-Ural, there had never been a Medieval Warm Period and the 20th century, suddenly appeared as the warmest of the last 1000 years [16]. The real breakthrough was the thesis of 20th Century experience as the warmest of the millennium, but not until three years later, and that with the release of Michael Mann’s infamous Hockeystick [17, 18].

Warm period is extinguished

In this diagram that became the icon of human-induced global warming in the 3rd IPCC Assessment Report, the Medieval Warm Period has now been completely eradicated. However, this curve was quickly under attack, mainly because the Canadian mathematician Steven McIntyre had serious doubts about the correctness of the representation and those pursued with the meticulousness of an auditor [19]. McIntyre showed not only that Mann had used an algorithm that resulted in 90 percent of the cases to a hockey stick, but found also serious errors in the selection of the data and the location of places, as well as the use of incorrect data [20].

Of course, the Mann’s gang could not let these allegations unanswered. In response, was founded, a name intended to suggest the truth, but somehow reminiscent of the Real Ghostbusters, a poorly made copy of the genuine, which in contrast to the original only pretends to be the right thing. This webpage was henceforth used for accusations and slanders against the non-“believers” [21]. It took also increasingly care not to call McIntyre, in the meantime identified as the main enemy, by his name.

Following the publication of Michel Mann’s hockey stick and the criticism, whole series of further studies was published to demonstrate that the results of Mann’s actually represented the real temperatures over the last 1000 years. The highpoint of the debate was the forced disclosure of the raw data from tree ring studies long held under lock and key, which served as one of the principal witnesses for the correctness of the thesis of the unusually warm 20th century. It turned out that clearly the data were selected intently to get the desired result [22].

Conflicting data

Regardless of the debate over the proper or improper use of proxy data like tree rings to determine the temperature history, mainstream climate researchers, however, are still struggling with a whole series of problems. What was with all the archaeological data, the records of weather events in church records and historical facts, which clearly documented that in the Middle Ages, there was an unusually warm period? Quite simply, the attempts to refute these arguments were made based on claims that all these phenomena indeed existed, but only as geographically limited events [23]. If the Middle Ages was warmer somewhere than today, then maybe it was only in England, the Alps, Greenland or North America. Globally, however, as shown in the many hockey stick charts, it has been colder than at the end of the 20th century.

If one, however, provides an overview of the literature on the subject of Medieval Warm Period, which has been published in recent years, there will be a completely different picture. There are now quite a number of studies from around the world, showing all one thing. And indeed, that the High Middle Ages were warmer than today. An excellent overview can be found on the website CO2 Science, which has set up a whole section for studies of this kind [24]. There are now  765 different scientists from 453 research institutes listed that have worked on the medieval warm period. A small portion of these studies is shown in the figure below [Click 25] (by the graph, you get a larger image where you can select individual work).

This survey shows one thing quite clearly. At the time of the Middle Ages, that is, from 1000 to 1300 it was almost everywhere in the world warmer than today. There have been periods of warming, that exceeded 0.6 degree Celsius rise in temperature in the 20th century and totally without the man-made increased emissions of the supposed “climate killer” of CO2. The statements, that there has not been any Medieval Warm Period, or it was merely a localized phenomenon, can safely be regarded as untenable.

It is therefore not surprising that there are influences on the climate, which can by far exceed the CO2 as a driver of climate variability. This hypothesis is massively supported by the observations made during the last 10 years. Finally, we have been experiencing no increase since 2002, the temperatures have dropped slightly [26]. And that even though the emissions of CO2 from fossil fuels in exactly the same period increased to previously unmatched dimensions.

Google translation in English of the full article is here.

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I am a warmist. All of us warmists should mount a two part scientific expedition to explore historical proof that global warming is happening.The facts we will discover will prove our religion to be the one true belief.
First we need to discover where the ark landed after the great flood. More floods are proof/effect of warming. The ark needs to be found, put through a battery of scientific tests, and find out whether that flood was a normal flood or maybe the start of a worrying trend.
Second, we need to find the iceberg that sunk the titanic. Apparantly, with warming goes more icebergs… So if we can scrutinise the titanic iceberg we may find the right answers. Though if found it may have criminal charges of multiple homicide brought against it and the csi teams may interrupt our data collection.


Geomagnetic data are available since 1590. Geomagnetic cumulative graph representing three critical areas that may affect flow of the Arctic Ocean currents, shows sudden deep coinciding with the Little Ice age, and from then steady rise up to present day
with additional graph (with more detail for the 1900-2010 period

Henry chance

How inconvenient. The warm period can be removed with tweeking the fortran code.

For those who have trouble with the image size, here is a low-res (1024×768) version:


Here’s a thought. Perhaps we have just begun to enter the “MWP”. After all “Medieval” is a fairly subjective term that in the future may refer to our time period. 😉 All depends on one’s point of reference, does it not?

This page looks at the leaked CRU emails in terms of the Medieval Warm Period:

many thanks for posting this here. I can provide the translation, I will post it on my blog and leave you a note when it’s ready.
All the best from Germany,


It’s amazing that all of this data is coming out within a couple of weeks of the leak. Why such the free flow of data now and where was this info for the past decade?

Calvin Ball

I can’t do a translation, but the grammar of the heading is wrong; it should read: The Medieval Warm Period – a global phenonmenon, unprecedented warming, or unprecedented data manipulation?
[Fixed, thanx. ~dbs, mod.]


I wonder what Gavin at Real Climate will have to say about this?
Ha! Here’s a little bit of harmonic convergence – turns out RealClimate is *not* an independent blog after all. They are a front for Fenton Communications, a PR firm which was responsble for the Alar scare.
And here we thought they were actually an independent and honest blog!!!


Most excellent!!!
This does a good job presenting the evidence in a graphical way that curious and literate person can get a precis of the science.
CO2 Science has a good database of the literature, but the graphic here is great.

Antonio San

Martha Stewart went to jail for much less than that…

Not trying to high jack this post, but I completed a reasonable analysis of some of the CRU data graphs and, in my opinion, they show there as been little to no significant warming.
Wish I had real data instead of eyeballing PDF charts. Comments welcomed at my site.

Fred Oliver

Peter (12:59:09) :
Sorry Pete, I had that cube in my last vodka 3 years ago and still have a titanic headache!


>>wws (13:28:05) :
>>I wonder what Gavin at Real Climate will have to say about this?
>>Ha! Here’s a little bit of harmonic convergence – turns out RealClimate is *not* an independent blog after all. They are a front for Fenton Communications, a PR firm which was responsble for the Alar scare.
You’re getting warmer (pun intended).
Fenton’s list of clients is a who’s who of far left organizations including the UN (for which they have done climate alarmism), OSI (Soros), Tides (more Soros), WWF, Sierra Club and on and on and on. All of these organizations have a very big dog in the man made climate change argument.
It’s pretty easy to reach a consensus when all your clients are signing from the same playbook.


A striking graph. The public and journalist don’t know such information exist. One question is, how many people in the scientific community would be shocked by this graph. Discussing the short comings of the Hockey Stick is difficult. But discussing why the IPCC and Al Gore put so much weight on it starts to become obvious. It puts RealClimate in perspective as well.
Also if someone created an interactive website with just this info it would be visited by millions of people. I could imagine clicking through and getting links to all the research papers, teams of scientist etc. A picture says a thousand words.
Honest to God.. I just figured out while I was writing this that you could actually drag your mouse over and enlarge the graph. I’m betting 10 million hits for that page in a week. Somebody let us know.


Well that’s it! The science is settled! Actually, I am amazed at the divergences in temperature peaks for data being plotted – from whatever proxies – even from sites in close geographical proximity. At least they all show warmer periods in the years A.D. 800-1350 than Gavin et al will admit. It would be interesting to see some of the graphs from proximate regions superimposed – although this would involve reversing the position of the x-axis in some cases.


Grrr phenomenON. PhenomenA is the plural.
“from Greek phainomenon appearing, present participle of phainesthai to appear.” (Chambers)


t’s amazing that all of this data is coming out within a couple of weeks of the leak.

There exist a lot of data and grphosc f.e. fom Mangini, researching stalagmites.
He had very bad “notes” from our all “friend” Rahmstorf who didn’t accept Mangini’s opinion.
For the datas look here:
Medieval Warm Period Project
and here
dated spelothems archives of the paleoenvironment “DAPHNE”

sorry for “typoes”


Q: What’s the different between AGW and Young Earth Creationism?
A: Young Earth Creationism looks back at least 4,000 years more than AGW.
Until Climategate I was someone who was unfamiliar the details, but in general I supported Cap and Trade/Copenhagen as I trusted that the science was being conducted both honestly as well as competently. Now that all this has come out, I’m rather appalled. The specific thing that shifted me over was the RC explanation of “hide the decline” (a portion of it was posted on DKos) – their answer excusing what had been done actually sounded like a violation of the scientific method and that caused me to dig into it more and more.
Among the things that have gotten me the most is how AGW talks about geological matters, but yet deals in matters of years/decades/centuries and usually at most goes back 2000 years and then using that to make big pronouncements about the future of the whole planet. I can’t really take the AGW theories seriously unless and until they deal in geologic time with long term trends, not piddly 2000 year data looking for decade-long trends as that isn’t remotely statistically significant in geologic time. I hear AGW claims of statistical significance, but it relates to what I consider the short term period. If there is something serious going on that is going to result in another mass extinction (in this case the mass extinction would be us), it should be statistically significant and unusual when looked at from geologic time. It just blows me away that YEC deal in a larger timeframe than AGW and the YECs are supposed to be the nutters while the scientists are supposed to be the rational ones, yet AGW makes YEC look more sane by comparison.


Oh, regarding Soros. I remember one of the first things said in response to the leak was that the leak didn’t show any connection with Soros – it was one of the first excuses made. Now we see that RC was the outside astoturfer, so there was no reason for CRU et al to have that connection…actually by having RC supposedly being neutral and objective all the better for them to be ones getting paid the astroturfing cash.

wws (13:28:05) :

I wonder what Gavin at Real Climate will have to say about this?

Exactly the same, what they said about the Loehle paper.

…published in…a journal notable only for its rather dubious track record of publishing contrarian musings…based on a network of 18 records that are purportedly local temperature proxies

What you learn quite quickly when discussing with AGW believers is, that hundreds of local measurements from all over the globe will always be local. To show global warming on the other hand, some North American Bristlecone Pines or even one single tree in Siberia is more than sufficient to represent the global temperature .(here)

Leon Brozyna

@Eddie (13:23:30) :
It’s amazing that all of this data is coming out within a couple of weeks of the leak. Why such the free flow of data now and where was this info for the past decade?
It’s been in the crock pot, slowly cooking.

Is there any “global stalagmite” out there ?




Dave – good to hear your story and insight. I at times have been taken in by organized media and government pushes for one issue or another. But the pattern for me is becoming pretty clear of nearly universal corruption in all fields, especially when it comes to control of society.
When I first started trying to track down IPCC deception it was on this MWP issue, and I realized my own government gleefully bought in to the deception, printing the hockey stick on one of their environmental sites. An original graph presented at IPCC did include the MWP, but thankfully Mann came along and ‘corrected’ it for them.

Roger Knights

Regarding the hockey stick, here’s Monckton’s long paper describing the shenanigans behind protecting it from criticism and “verifying” it, followed (pages 16-29) by summaries of 21 published papers that provide evidence of warming during the MWP. (Ten papers deal with Europe and the North Atlantic, eleven scientific papers address the period elsewhere on the planet.) Each summary occupies about half a page and contains a graph that illustrates key data points.

Calvin Ball

This is kind of a subtle point, but while the MWP contradicts “unprecedented warming”, the big reason why that’s so important is that it contradicts “tipping points” and “runaway greenhouse”. Surprisingly, a lot of people are convinced that it’s already too late, and we’re all doomed to become another Venus. That’s why they fought so hard to disappear the MWP.

I think this is an astoundingly good piece of work. Thank you. Yes
“a picture is worth 1000 words”.
This is one item that, with a few others of like calibre, someone here could collect into an agreed “gallery” to refer newcomers, doubters, confuseds to, to just soak up, enjoy, and learn from the diamonds that are coming off our beleaguered skeptic presses. We have the education for the future IMHO! There are classics appearing at present, like this one, and others, that could easily get drowned in the low “signal to noise ratio” arising from ClimateGate.
Having said which, I think A J Strata (13:31:03) has the makings of another key thread here soon – perhaps?


The one thing I feel certain of is there is no 100/0 or 0/100 answer here between AGW vs NV. I suspect, without being able to prove it yet, that about 25 years from now we’ll have a much better handle on the matter and it will prove to be that C02 is causing warming. . . at about 25-50% of the low-end of the IPCC projections. That, in effect, they’ve attributed both a large degree of natural variation and heating impact caused by decrease of man-made global dimming (due both to efforts to clean up the environment started in industrialized nations in the seventies, plus the collapse of eastern europe in the late 80s) to C02. Which doesn’t mean C02 didn’t cause any of it –just not nearly as much as they think.
I suspect we’re in for a 30 year cooling trend and comparing the bottom of this period to the bottom of the 1940-1975 cooling will give us a much better idea of where we really stand. Except even then, I suspect, that the global dimming of 1940-75 caused by a world war and then industrial air pollution will still keep that period somewhat lower artificially.
Having said that, there is no question in my mind that “attacking” the MWP is the largest strategic error the Warmists have made. . . .for the simple reason that there are a lot more amateur historians than amateur scientists in the world, and that one thing did more to damage their ability to get by with “appeals to authority” in more minds than any thing else they could have done. If they were diddling what we did understand, there was no reason to feel confident that they weren’t diddling what we didn’t understand. . .


More good work. There is far too much anecdotal evidence that the MWP existed as a global phenomenon for the CRU to deny these charts to be wrong.
The CAGW hypothesis is dead, and not before time. Climategate seems to be catalysing a flood of real climate data.

Britannic no-see-um

Dave (14:11:56)
It is no coincidence that the two traditional disciplines with closest familiarity and perspective on the natural processes affecting past and present Earth surface cyclicity of climate, geology and meteorology, are also the disciplines dominated by sceptics.

Arthur Glass

Beispiellose Erwärmung oder beispiellose Datenmanipulation?
Somehow that sounds like the title of a musical piece by Arnold Schoenberg.


The real reason the MWP matters for them is because they can’t bloody prove anything yet by direct experimentation and observation. They are reduced to trying to do it by algebra.
A: Natural Variation
C: Warming trend
A+B = C
Assume A (Natural Variation) is low is the only way they have to prove that B is (AGW) is high.
Well, algebra is a lovely invention for solving for variables. . . but only when you have all the variables, and can actually prove the value of some of them to solve for the ones you don’t have.
They neither have all the variables, nor can prove the values of the ones they do know about, so algebra is worthless in this situation.
Having said that, a monster MWP does not prove that the warming of the last thirty years is actually due wholly or even mostly to natural variation. It just proves *it might be*. What if those scientists who were worried about a new ice age in the late 70s were right. . . except that they forgot to allow for AGW warming? Maybe we’d be in a new Little Ice Age right now without C02-induced AGW, and the IPCC has wildly underestimated AGW.
I don’t believe that to be true. .. but I do believe that attempts at algebraic solutions to this problem are nearly worthless. We simply don’t have enough data to feel even remotely confident that we’ve identified all the variables in the first place, nor assigned reasonable values to any of the ones we do know about.

The pic is a fabulous collection of data – all the different methods used provide vaildation – there is no denying it.

@ Britannic no-see-um
As climate is about 30 year historic weather statistics, so who knows weather better than meteorlogists ?
And earth history is in best hands of geologists.
Weather is a question of sun, humidity and the balance of HP & LP and ozean streams.
Here in germany, most universities teach climatology as part of geography, where it’s well placed.


Mann has a new paper in Science looking at this.
Abstract here
The supporting data has free access. Tells a different story.


but I do believe that attempts at algebraic solutions to this problem are nearly worthless

Can you imagine, that well known Schellnhuber told in a German tv interview about the “linear connection” of CO2 increase and temp. increase ?
And, the same day, in an other broacast on an other station, also well known Latif had long time to explain, what a complex climate is and that there are no and never linearities ?


HR (15:34:15) :

Mann continues to use proxy data “upside down” in that paper. He inverts the data so that what the proxy shows as cooling, he shows as warming and vice versa.


“He inverts the data so that what the proxy shows as cooling, he shows as warming and vice versa.”
It’s worse than just using the data upside down. The original interpretation of the data he’s inverting is “This data is contaminated.”

Bill DiPuccio

“The idea of a medieval warm period in 1965 formulated by the English climatologist Hubert H. Lamb for the first time.”
Perhaps the formal concept of a medieva warm period came to fruition at this time. But I have a 1957 (first edition) of “Weather” by Zim (Golden Guide) which cites warming from 600 AD – 700 AD, and 1000 AD-1200 AD as evidence against a long-term, overall global warming trend. One of the supporting planks for this claim is the settlements in Greenland which were abandoned around 1400 AD due to cooling. Later editions of this book said the warming had ceased and a cooling trend had set in.
The book ends with this sage analysis: “The only comclusion to be drawn about our climate is that we do not know whether it is changing drastically. Geologically we may be at the end of the Ice Age, or we may just be having a breathing spell of a few centuries before the next advance of the glaciers.”


Thanks Roger for that link!
Geo, I appreciate your analysis, and I’ll add mine FWIW. I’ve looked at everything the warmists have brought up as possible cause for climate concern. But over time every point every tidbit of their ‘science’ I have found to be lacking, so the CRU leaks never surprised me. One of the most important things I have found is the discussion / assertion that Hans Schreuder, retired chemist, brings to light in his EPA address. That being that, hey hold on a second, you have to to have all parts of a science resting on a solid foundation, and climate science, the new conglomeration of various sub sciences, may just have a problem with one of it’s key theories (the Greenhouse Effect). I think he’s right, it makes a lot of sense to me. If anyone really wants to get technical about micro climate changes, they have to start delving in to the even more restricted science of Chemtrailing. An at times admitted practice, that probably does create very temporary and localized greenhouse effects. The patents are there for weather modification, the City of Calgary even pays an aerial spraying service each year to keep the rain away from the city at certain times of the year.
But stepping back from that, this issue should always have been a geological issue, not a fear monger/ Malthusian one. It was never about reducing pollution, it was about reducing high functioning populations. This pattern we are seeing of Government / Media / Science all being intertwined in corrupt practices is repeated in many other fields like Healthcare, Education, Food and Resource control. With the same cabal of elites controlling it with their think tanks and round tables.

John Barrett

Well all this Medieval stuff is very dubious. I read an excellent book a few years ago by a chap called Herbert Illig who made a very good case that the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries never actually happened.
His premise was that Charlemagne was actually an invention of later centuries in order to project some kind of Golden Age when Europe was united under one emperor. His main thrust was that there were no contemporary documents of the time of Charlemagne ( circa 800 AD ) and that manuscripts that purport to be of that period are in fact 13th Century forgeries. Buildings that also are supposed to be of that period ( Aachen Cathedral, Regensburg Bridge and various others ) could not have been constructed in the timeframe and were again built later ( the Dark Age Europeans had lost the technology of the Romans from Rome and Byzantium to produce such structures ).
I quite like Illig’s thesis, but he has rather over-egged the pudding. I can well believe that much of what we believe about the period 700-1000 was invented by later generations, to “fill the gaps”. However I can’t quite get my head around the time-travel Dr Who/Marty McFly paradoxes caused by losing 2 or 3 centuries in the past.
Anyway the point of this rambling post is that where the distant(ish) past is concerned, nothing is certain. We only know what we have been told; archaeology gives us bones ( often literally) upon which we have to put flesh. I think the MWP existed ( in Britain at least ) because we can see the results of its end ( the Great Famine of 1315/16 and the Black Death wiping out a weakened population ) and the fact that a fat, rich England was the target of invasions by the Normans and Vikings and developed an insatiable demand for Gascon wine.
What the Warmists are trying to do is to square Dr Illig’s circle. If the MWP never happened, why should we believe that the 9th and 10th centuries ever existed at all ?


I loved this line:
“Thus, the Medieval Warm Period was soon declared an odious affair.”


Just catching up on comments and I wanted to point out that HR and H.R. are different posters.
And now we return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

>>Here’s a thought. Perhaps we have just begun to
>>enter the “MWP”. After all “Medieval” is a fairly subjective
>>term that in the future may refer to our time period. 😉
Well, after centuries of civilisation in Europe, we now have female genital mutilation and murder of daughters for having the wrong boyfriends as standard practice.
Back to the Medieval period? You bet….
Are we warmer? Greenland is not green….


Unprecedented data manipulation. Gets my vote.
Right up there with “what in the heck were you doing with original observations from around the world?”.
What is wrong with the following picture:
“Hello, Vatican ?? . Ah yes, this is the RRU (religion research unit).
Yes, we are sending our boys down to pick up the Shroud of Turin.
It’ll be in good hands, and I assure you this has been cleared at the
hightest levels.”
20 years later.
“Hello, Pope Benedict??, uh… well… we um.. lost I mean misplaced the Shroud…


I have been reading all articles about “Climategate” especially those that attempt to play down its importance, like ” it does not disprove the existence of Global Warming”, or “this is just how scientist talk” etc. The amazing thing is the tremendous and almost unanimous push back they receive in the “comments” section. i am beginning to believe that we may be at, or very close to the moment when the little child in the fable cried out: “The Emperor has no clothes!”. Using modern verbiage we may be very near to, or at the actual “Tipping Point”.