High Resolution Climate Studies

In a recent article in the journal Science, Overpeck et al. (1997) analyzed the temperature trends in 30 sites around the arctic over the last 400 years.  Their study found significant warming over the period, with much of it concentrated in the 20th century.  While some of this warming is attributed to natural variability of the arctic climate system, they concluded that some of the warming might have been anthropogenically induced.

The PALE Paleoenvironmental Atlas visualizes the warming trend by presenting an animation of the five year averages of the temperature records at the sites used by Overpeck et al.  Viewing the data in a spatial context highlights the regional variability of the Arctic while at the same time illustrating a global scale response to climate change.

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For more details about their methods and results, see their paper in the journal Science and the summary of the article on the NOAA Paleoclimatology web site.