The Medieval Climate Anomaly in the Iberian Peninsula reconstructed from marine and lake records

Ana Moreno, Ana Pérez, Jaime Frigola, Vanesa Nieto-Moreno, Marta Rodrigo-Gámiz, Belén Martrat, Penélope González-Sampériz, Mario Morellón, Celia Martín-Puertas, Juan Pablo Corella, Ánchel Belmonte, Carlos Sancho, Isabel Cacho, Gemma Herrera, Miquel Canals, Joan O. Grimalt, Francisco Jiménez-Espejo, Francisca Martínez-Ruiz, Teresa Vegas-Vilarrúbia, Blas L. Valero-Garcés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

209 Scopus citations


Selected multi-proxy and accurately dated marine and terrestrial records covering the past 2000 years in the Iberian Peninsula (IP) facilitated a comprehensive regional paleoclimate reconstruction for the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA: 900-1300 AD). The sequences enabled an integrated approach to land-sea comparisons and, despite local differences and some minor chronological inconsistencies, presented clear evidence that the MCA was a dry period in the Mediterranean IP. It was a period characterized by decreased lake levels, more xerophytic and heliophytic vegetation, a low frequency of floods, major Saharan eolian fluxes, and less fluvial input to marine basins. In contrast, reconstruction based on sequences from the Atlantic Ocean side of the peninsula indicated increased humidity. The data highlight the unique characteristics of the MCA relative to earlier (the Dark Ages, DA: ca 500-900 years AD) and subsequent (the Little Ice Age, LIA: 1300-1850 years AD) colder periods. The reconstruction supports the hypothesis of Trouet et al. (2009), that a persistent positive mode of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) dominated the MCA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-32
Number of pages17
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
StatePublished - Jun 8 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was largely derived from the CALIBRE (CGL2006-13327-C04), HIDROPAST (CGL2010-16376), GLOBALKARST (CGL2009-08415), DINAMO (CGL2009-07992), HOLONED (CGL2009-07603) and GRACCIE-CONSOLIDER (CSD2007-00067) projects, provided by the Spanish Inter-Ministry Commission of Science and Technology (CICYT). A. Moreno acknowledges postdoctoral funding from the Ramón y Cajal program. We are very grateful to Susana Lebreiro, Teresa Rodrigues, Vania Stefanova, Neil Roberts and Matthew Jones for their data and discussion suggestions. Miguel Sevilla is acknowledged for his assistance with Fig. 1 .

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Lacustrine sediments
  • Marine cores
  • Medieval Climate Anomaly
  • North Atlantic Oscillation

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • ESP


Dive into the research topics of 'The Medieval Climate Anomaly in the Iberian Peninsula reconstructed from marine and lake records'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this