2,500 years of wild climate change in southern Europe: It was warmer in Roman Times than now

By Jo Nova

Nothing at all about the modern era stands out as unusual

Thanks to David Whitehouse at NetZeroWatch who has found a remarkable paper: Pyrenean caves reveal a warmer past

The new study on stalagmites in caves of the Pyrenees shows that modern climate change is nothing compared to normal fluctuations in the last 2,500 years, when it was at times much hotter, colder, and more volatile. Rapid shifts between temperatures were common.

The researchers looked at 8 stalagmites in 4 caves and local lake levels, but they also compared their results with other European temperature proxies and reconstructions and the pattern is consistent across the region. The Roman Warm Period was much hotter than today, and for hundreds of years as well, even though coal plants were rare. Apparently, there was a reason Romans were dressed in togas.

The Dark Ages were very cold, especially around 520 – 550AD — which may be related to what the researchers call a “cataclysmic” volcanic eruption that took place in Iceland in 536AD. It was followed by two other massive volcanic eruptions in 540 and 547AD. This effect is apparently visible in European tree rings which showed “an unprecedented, long-lasting […]