What is it?
Our Medieval Warm Period Project is an ongoing effort to document the magnitude and spatial and temporal distributions of a significant period of warmth that occurred approximately one thousand years ago. Its purpose is to ultimately determine if the Medieval Warm Period (1) was or was not global in extent, (2) was less warm than, equally as warm as, or even warmer than the Current Warm Period, and (3) was longer or shorter than the Current Warm Period has been to date.
Why is it?
The project's reason for being derives from the claim of many scientists -- and essentially all of the world's radical environmentalists -- that earth's near-surface air temperature over the last few decades was higher than it has been during any similar period of the past millennium or more. This claim is of utmost importance to these climate alarmists; for it allows them to further claim there is something unnatural about recent and possibly ongoing warming, which allows them to claim that the warming has its origins in anthropogenic CO2 emissions, which allows them to claim that if humanity will abandon the burning of fossil fuels, we can slow and ultimately stop the warming of the modern era and thereby save the planet's fragile ecosystems from being destroyed by catastrophic climate changes that they claim will otherwise drive a goodly percentage of earth's plants and animals to extinction. Since these are serious contentions, we feel that their underlying basis must be rigorously tested with real-world data.
How is the project conducted?
As we discover new peer-reviewed scientific journal articles pertaining to the Medieval Warm Period, we briefly describe their most pertinent findings in the Study Descriptions and Results section of the project. The locations of all such studies are then plotted on a map of the globe, and the intervals of time they associate with the Medieval Warm Period are incorporated into a graph of the frequency distribution of all such time intervals, which is located just beneath the map in the project's Interactive Map and Time Domain Plot feature. In extremely rare cases where only a single year is specified for the MWP, we assign it a 100-year timespan centered on the year reported by the study's authors. For studies that allow the determination of an actual temperature difference between the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Current Warm Period (CWP), this number is incorporated into the frequency distribution of all such differentials in the project's MWP-CWP Quantitative Temperature Differentials section. For studies that allow only a qualitative determination of the temperature difference between the MWP and CWP to be made, results are presented in the project's MWP-CWP Qualitative Temperature Differentials section. Last of all, the names of all scientists and research institutions associated with the MWP Project studies we cite are included in our List of Scientists Whose Work We Cite and List of Research Institutions Associated With the Work We Cite.
When will the project end?
We believe there are enough pertinent studies already published, in the pipeline to be published, currently in progress and yet to be conceived to enable us to continue to add to the project on a weekly basis for an indefinite period of time.
How can you help?
You can help by alerting us to new (and old) research papers documenting the Medieval Warm Period that have not yet been posted on our website. When doing so, please send us a copy of the paper either by email (preferably in pdf format) or by post. Our contact information can be found here.
Interactive Map and Time Domain Plot
To view this feature, your computer must be configured to run applets that use Java technology. To download and install free Java software, we recommend Sun Microsystems' Java Runtime Environment, which is available at www.java.com. Instructions on how to operate the map's features are located under the map. Scroll down after clicking on the link above to view them.