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On the coherence of natural climate cycles of the past 1ka in multiple proxies from central Europe, the Arctic and east Asia.
  • Michael Asten,
  • Kuan-Hui Elaine Lin,
  • Carl Otto Weiss
Michael Asten
Monash University, Melbourne Australia

Corresponding Author:michael.asten.monash@gmail.com

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Kuan-Hui Elaine Lin
National Taiwan Normal University
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Carl Otto Weiss
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We find evidence for multi-centennial climate cycles within the ages commonly described as the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age. We compare six proxy temperature records and find evidence for synchronicity of ~200-year cycles in the northern hemisphere. The first two data sets are (1) a reconstruction from an ice core in the Colle Gnifetti (CG) glacier on the Swiss-Italian border (Bohleber et al 2018), and (2) length records of the Great Aletsch glacier (GAG), Switzerland (Holzhauser, 2009). A third is a proxy (3) by Cabedo-Sanz et al (2016) using the biomarker IP25 in sea sediments north of Iceland, which serves as a proxy for drift ice and hence arguably for Arctic ice areal coverage. Further temperature proxies for (4) all-China (Ge et al, 2017), (5) north China and (6) central China (Wang et al, 2018) provide a distribution of coverage over the non-tropical northern hemisphere. These six regional temperature proxy data sets are also compared with the G7 global temperature reconstruction (Ludecke and Weiss, 2017). Prominent minima in temperature proxy data occur circa 1350CE (all 6 proxies), 1480-1520CE (4 proxies), 1650-1700CE (all 6 proxies) and 1800-1860CE (all 6 proxies). The last three of these are also visible in the G7 global temperature reconstruction. Over the period 1550-1949 CE the Pearson correlation coefficients for the IP25 (Arctic ice) data with the GAG and the all-China temperature proxy are 0.69 and 0.70 respectively; these high correlations in data sets from opposite sides of the globe suggest a global cause rather than regional internal variability. Since 1600CE we note that IP25 (Arctic ice) and the CG temperature proxy lag the glacier record by 17 and 10 years respectively; that lag is counterintuitive and may reflect precipitation variations in the Alps preceding the temperature drop, or it may be attributable to uncertainties in age dating between the data sets. Power spectral analysis shows the dominant centennial periods in the data sets are centered at 180, 240 and 500 which (within dating uncertainties) may relate to the ~160 year Jose cycle, the 208-year de Vries cycle and possible 350 and 500 year cycles previously recognized in solar activity via study of terrestrial cosmogenic isotopes. The consistency between the spectral maxima of temperature proxies studied here and spectral maxima of cosmogenic isotopes, supports the hypothesis of some association of these cycles with an “astronomical clock”, although the mechanism of possible forcing remains a subject for further study.