, Volume 26, Issue 2-3, pp 289-297

Evidence for the existence of the medieval warm period in China

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Abstract

The collected documentary records of the cultivation of citrus trees andBoehmeria nivea (a perennial herb) have been used to produce distribution maps of these plants for the eighth, twelfth and thirteenth centuries A.D. The northern boundary of citrus andBoehmeria nivea cultivation in the thirteenth century lay to the north of the modern distribution. During the last 1000 years, the thirteenth-century boundary was the northernmost. This indicates that this was the warmest time in that period. On the basis of knowledge of the climatic conditions required for planting these species, it can be estimated that the annual mean temperature in south Henan Province in the thirteenth century was 0.9–1.0°C higher than at present. A new set of data for the latest snowfall date in Hangzhou from A.D. 1131 to 1264 indicates that this cannot be considered a cold period, as previously believed.