Recent temperature trends in long tree-ring and coral proxy temperature histories are evaluated and compared in an effort to objectively determine how anomalous twentieth century temperature changes have been. These histories mostly reflect regional variations in summer warmth from the tree rings and annual warmth from the corals. In the Northern Hemisphere, the North American tree-ring temperature histories and those from the north Polar Urals. covering the past 1000 or more years, indicate that the twentieth century has been anomalously warm relative to the past. In contrast, the tree-ring history from northern Fennoscandia indicates that summer temperatures during the 'Medieval Warm Period' were probably warmer on average than those than during this century. In the Southern Hemisphere, the tree-ring temperature histories from South America show no indication:of recent warming, which is in accordance with local instrumental records. In contrast, the tree-ring records from Tasmania and New Zealand indicate that the twentieth century has been unusually warm particularly since 1960. The coral temperature histories from the Galapagos Islands and the Great Barrier Reef are in broad agreement with the tree-ring temperature histories in those sectors, with the former showing recent cooling and the latter showing recent warming;that may be unprecedented. Overall, the region;il temperature histories evaluated here broadly support the larger-scale evidence for anomalous twentieth century warming based on instrumental records. However, this warming cannot be confirmed as an unprecedented event in all regions.
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