From Andy May at Watts Up With That, a fascinating chart that plots estimated global mean temperatures along with historical events over the last 4,000 years. Most of the time line is based on ice cores, while the most recent temperatures are from the HadCRUT (probably inflated) database. There are explanation and commentary at the link, but for now, the chart.
The article discusses in detail the science used to come up with these temperatures from archaeological and documentary data. It’s quite fascinating and can be read here.
The article’s conclusion is equally fascinating:
The last part of Behringer’s book is a good summary of the climate change debate in 2007. We have to admire the way he presents both sides of the debate in a “just the facts” manner. The following quote is from the penultimate page of the book:
“…cooling has always resulted in major social upheavals, whereas warming has sometimes led to a blossoming of culture. If we can learn anything from the history of culture, it is that, even if humans were ‘children of the Ice Age’, civilization was a product of climatic warming.”
“The future is hard to foresee. Serious scientists should refrain from slipping into the role of Nostradamus. Computer simulations cannot be better than the premises that guided the input of data: they show what is expected to happen, not the actual future. The history of the sciences is also a history of false theories and wrong predictions.”
Not much to add to that.