Was the 20th Century Climate Unusual? Exploring the Lessons and Limits of Climate History

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Date(s) - 5/16/200312:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Dr. Willie Soon discussed the findings of a new Marshall Institute report, Lessons and Limits of Climate History: Was the 20th Century Climate Unusual?, which shows that the temperature record of the late 20th century was not remarkable relative to that of the past 1,000 years.

The report, authored by the Marshall Institute’s Senior Scientists Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, challenges frequently made claims that the 20th century was warmer than any other in the millennium, that the 1990s were the warmest decade of the millennium, and that 1998 was the warmest year in the past 1,000 years.

After reviewing more than 200 climate studies, the report concludes that the temperature record for the past 1,000 years is far too incomplete and uncertain to support such definitive conclusions about the 20th century, any decade in it, and especially any given year — the 20th century is neither the warmest century nor the century with the most extreme weather of the past 1,000 years.

Dr. Soon, a research physicist, is also a Senior Scientist at the Marshall Institute.


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