Trying to understand this question, posted to me by a lecturer at University:

"The Medieval Climatic Anomaly was distinctive in terms of the prevailing climates and forcing mechanisms operating at the regional scale."
Critically evaluate this comment using case-studies to support your answer

Is this statement saying that the MCA was caused only by the prevailing climate and mechanisms operating on a regional scale?
If so what is an example of a regional scale forcing mechanism?

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    $\begingroup$ Is this still of interest ? If so, pls. tell us which "medieval climate anomaly" is meant. The high medival warm phase or the late medieval/renaissance times cold, aka "little ice age", or something else from late Roman/early medieval times ? $\endgroup$ – user18411 Dec 7 '19 at 20:12

Distinctive in this case means, does not match well with the first abut is explained by the later. This is not the greatest sentence format, but distinct means stands out from. Generally when you refer to something as distinct with respect to X, then it means X is the odd part about it or it stands out from X. In this cased becasue they are talking about a predictive model and the thing being predicted, then it means it is odd because it does not fit the predictions of the prevailing climate model. BUT it is also distinct becasue it is better explained by local factors, for a given value of "local", which is not normally the case for an event so large. It also might be a reference to more recent research showing the anomaly is likely not global. Combining these two slightly different usages is not great sentence composition but is grammatically correct.

In this particular case the regional forcing mechanism is believed to be a large volcano erupting.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not sure if this is about the little ice age. This might be what is also called the climatic optimum, a relative warm phase during and maybe partly enabling the high medieval, growth of cities, Viking settlements on Greenland, etc. The volcano hypothesis might not fit here. OP should have made clear what they understand under that MCA thing ... $\endgroup$ – user20217 May 14 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ @a_donda it can be anything the OP has not returned in a year so i guess we will never know. $\endgroup$ – trond hansen May 15 at 6:38

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