I was alerted to this paper by Geoffrey Gold in the special issue of the Chinese Science Bulletin 2011, 56 Num.28-29 Online 2011-09-15 Climate Change over the Past Millennium in China. The paper is
Liu Y, Cai Q F, Song H M, et al., 2011: Amplitudes, rates, periodicities and causes of temperature variations in the past 2485 years and future trends over the central-eastern Tibetan Plateau. Chinese Sci Bull, 2011, 56: 29862994, doi: 10.1007/s11434-011-4713-7.
This study has quite an interesting finding in terms of the paleo-record. Their use of cycles to predict coming years and to explain the long-term behavior of the climate are, in my view, quite speculative, but the interpretation of their proxy data will add to the discussion of this metric.
The abstract reads [highlight added]
Amplitudes, rates, periodicities, causes and future trends of temperature variations based on tree rings for the past 2485 years on the central-eastern Tibetan Plateau were analyzed. The results showed that extreme climatic events on the Plateau, such as the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and 20th Century Warming appeared synchronously with those in other places worldwide. The largest amplitude and rate of temperature change occurred during the Eastern Jin Event (343–425 AD), and not in the late 20th century. There were significant cycles of 1324 a, 800 a, 199 a, 110 a and 2–3 a in the 2485-year temperature series. The 1324 a, 800 a, 199 a and 110 a cycles are associated with solar activity, which greatly affects the Earth surface temperature. The long-term trends (>1000 a) of temperature were controlled by the millennium-scale cycle, and amplitudes were dominated by multi-century cycles. Moreover, cold intervals corresponded to sunspot minimums. The prediction indicated that the temperature will decrease in the future until to 2068 AD and then increase again.