[Illustrations, footnotes and references available in PDF version]
Between the 10th and 14th centuries AD, earth's average global temperature may have been warmer than it is today, according to the analyses of Lamb (1977, 1984, 1988) and Grove (1988). The existence of this Medieval Warm Period was initially deduced from historical weather records and proxy climate data from England and Northern Europe. Interestingly, the warmer conditions associated with this interval of time are also known to have had a largely beneficial impact on earth's plant and animal life. In fact, the environmental conditions of this time period have been determined to have been so favorable that it was often referred to as the Little Climatic Optimum (Imbrie and Imbrie, 1979; Dean, 1994; Petersen, 1994; Serre-Bachet, 1994; Villalba, 1994)
At the end of the day, then, it would indeed appear that the peak warmth of the global Medieval Warm Period clearly exceeded that of the global Current Warm Period.
Additional support for this conclusion can be found in the other reviews and summaries we have written on this topic, found under the many subheadings of the Medieval Warm Period in our website's Subject Index.