Articles | Volume 13, issue 3
Clim. Past, 13, 267–301, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-267-2017
Clim. Past, 13, 267–301, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-267-2017

Research article 29 Mar 2017

Research article | 29 Mar 2017

Was the Little Ice Age more or less El Niño-like than the Medieval Climate Anomaly? Evidence from hydrological and temperature proxy data

Lilo M. K. Henke et al.

Data sets

CMIP5 Project Data Earth System Grid-Center for Enabling Technologies (ESG-CET) https://esgf-node.llnl.gov

Proxy data, figshare L. M. K. Henke, F. H. Lambert, and D. J. Charman https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.4787575.v1

Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/paleoclimatology-data/datasets) M. E. Mann, Z. Zhang, M. K. Hughes, R. S. Bradley, S. K. Miller, S. Rutherford, and F. Ni https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0805721105

NOAA-CIRES Twentieth Century Reanalysis (V2c): Monthly Mean Single Level (Analyses and Forecasts) NOAA/ESRL/OAR-PSD https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.20thC_ReanV2c.monolevel.mm.html

Tropical sea surface temperatures for the past four centuries reconstructed from coral archives (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/paleoclimatology-data/datasets) J. E. Tierney, N. J. Abram, K. J. Anchukaitis, M. N. Evans, C. Giry, K. H. Kilbourne, C. P. Saenger, H. C. Wu, and J. Zinke https://doi.org/10.1002/2014PA002717

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Short summary
To understand future ENSO behaviour we must look at the past, but temperature and rainfall proxies (e.g. tree rings, sediment cores) appear to show different responses. We tested this by making separate multi-proxy ENSO reconstructions for precipitation and temperature and found no evidence of a disagreement between ENSO-driven changes in precipitation and temperature. While this supports our physical understanding of ENSO, the lack of good proxy data must be addressed to further explore this.