P.D. Jones, K.R. Briffa, T.P. Barnett, S.F.B. TettComplete Scientific Reference
Summary:An international team of scientists has used temperature-sensitive paleoclimatic data from 17 sites around the world to generate thousand-year long records of temperature for both the northern and southern hemispheres. An important aspect of this study is that multiple "proxy" sources of temperature information were used (tree-rings, ice-cores, corals and historical documents) to create records.
This "multi-proxy" approach allowed the research team to make sure their results are not biased by any one proxy source. However, the number of proxy records used to generate the hemispheric temperature records decreases with time (for example, in the northern hemisphere, there are ten records that go back to the 18th century, but only four that go back before 1400 AD). Consequently, results prior to about 600 years ago should be considered with more caution than temperature reconstructions after that time.
The Jones et al. temperature reconstructions agree with all of the other state-of-the-art temperature reconstructions published in the last couple of years: the 20th century is the warmest of at least the last 600 years.
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