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Climate change, new database of temperatures of the last 2000 years

From now scientists can consult a comprehensive and up-to-date database on climate change over the last 2000 years. An international team of 98 researchers from 22 countries has released the result of their three years research on evidence on climate change history from natural archives including tree rings, corals, glacier ice, and marine and lake sediments.

The dataset shows a long-term cooling trend until the 19 th century, followed by a sharp increase in average temperatures.

The research, included in the PAGES 2K project, was published today in the journal Scientific Data. The dataset released online is accessible as ‘open data’ allowing the scientific community and anyone who would be interested to download and use it. Several research groups are already analysing the results of PAGES 2K to study temperature patterns on regional and global levels, taking into consideration uncertainty. Meteorological records prior to direct measurements are indeed based on indirect biological and geological sources from many natural archives such as glaciers and sediments.

“Expanding our knowledge on how and why climate has changed in the past helps us to better grasp how it could change in the future due to both anthropogenic and natural factors”, says Barbara Stenni, geochemist and paleoclimatologist at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice who collaborated with the PAGES 2K project as coordinator of the Antartica2k research group.