back to article Medieval warming was global – new science contradicts IPCC

More peer-reviewed science contradicting the "scientific consensus" was announced yesterday, as a new study shows that the well-documented warm period which took place in medieval times was not limited to Europe, or the northern hemisphere: it reached all the way to Antarctica. The research involved the development of a new …

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  1. Pypes
    Facepalm

    "The crystals are only stable under cold conditions and actually melt at room temperature"

    So it isn't ice-9 then?

  2. Tim Parker

    'The oft-mentioned "scientific consensus", based in large part on the work of famous climate-alarmist scientists Michael Mann and Phil Jones'

    No it's not. Idiot.

    1. dotdavid
      Thumb Up

      Mr Parker - I just had to comment as I thought you might like to know that you calling Lewis an idiot has entirely convinced me of the superior merits of your argument! Please accept a well-deserved upvote from me.

      1. Tim Parker

        "Mr Parker - I just had to comment as I thought you might like to know that you calling Lewis an idiot has entirely convinced me of the superior merits of your argument"

        Yeah, hardly a considered argument - i'm afraid I just sort of lost patience.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
          Boffin

          It's easy to lose patience

          When the article starts with such obviously biased piffle as a sentence containing the words 'warming-alarmist "scientific consensus"', as if those basing conclusions on sound science are 'alarmist' and the scientific consensus requires quotes to suggest it is not.

          What the new science actually shows is that there was localised warming in both europe and antarctica. What it DOESN'T show is anything global. The evidence for the medeival 'warm period' is absent in other places, such as North America, South America, Asia, Australia, etc. etc. You knwo, that little area we like to call 'most of the planet'.

          1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

            Re: It's easy to lose patience

            That kinda suggests its worth looking at some of the other places that apparently did not warm again.

            Two localised warnings might be coincidence if 3 or 4 emerge....

          2. itzman

            Re: It's easy to lose patience

            I think you will find that is not correct.

            There is considerable controversy about geologically recent timescale warming: there are no reliable proxies. We know about Europe because we have contemporary records. There were none of those in the USA or China.

            And without the actual records there is precious little evidence apart from that..tree rings? don't make me laugh.

          3. Tomato42 Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: It's easy to lose patience

            Tree rings and ice cores are not precise nor proven proxies of temperature.

            Unlike North America or Asia we have actual records for the temperatures in those times.

            Just because "everybody" is calling it a scientific consensus doesn't mean it's actually a consensus. The warming part of ACGW was conclusively proven only yesteryear for temperatures in range of 1-3°C, in line with what we did saw in medieval warm period. Go check your facts again, Register isn't at fault here for being sceptic about the whole global warming debate.

            1. Charles Manning

              Even temperature is a crap proxy of warming

              Heat and temperature are not the same thing.

              Start with large lump of ice floating in a bucket of cold water. Temperature approx 0 degrees.

              Heat the bastard with a propane torch until 50% of the ice has melted (ie you've added a shitload of heat (aka warmed it)): temperature still approx 0 degrees.

              Temperature means nothing.

              Go look in the FOIA leak and you won't find mention of heat in the models - just temperature. Any model that is based on temperature, and not heat, is just broken bollocks - tweaked to fit an agenda.

          4. Voland's right hand Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: It's easy to lose patience

            So how does that fit with:

            1. Same period - increased rainfall in southern USA allowing for the existence of the Pueblo Indians civilisation.

            2. Same period - draught in Mexico and Yukatan peninsula and the downfall of the Mayan civilsations.

            3. Same period - multiple incidents of freezing of the mediteranean sea and black sea against a backrdop of hot summers and higher annual temperature average in Europe

            4. Same period

            If you take any model for _GLOBAL_ warming and look into the details you will see Europe with a more continental climate - cold winters and hot summers, wet Texas and Arisona, dry Mexico and so on. Just take the b*** f*** model and read the result before you spout rubbish please. Even the model produced by the "Not another old university in Cambridge" shows exactly that.

            So in fact the evidence from Antarctica fits into a puzzle with a thousand other pieces already in place - from archaeological evidence from Viking and Pueblo settlements through historical records and down to pollen and tree ring records. I for one am not surprised with it and it _FITS_ the cross-disciplinary (historicans, archeoogists, geologists and climatologists) consensus about the climate in the last 2000 years. The only _NEW_ thing here is that it is from the Southern hemisphere. Before that the records were mostly from the northern (not just Europe - all of it).

        2. Alex 14
          Thumb Up

          No doubt

          That's a reasonable reaction from reading another terrible article on climate change from a site that specialises in terrible articles on climate change. It reminded me why I almost never come here anymore. Luckily, it turns out there are other websites that enjoy a more intimate relationship with facts.

          Downvote me if you like, I won't see them :)

  3. A 28
    FAIL

    Seriously

    So there is no global warming caused my humans and everything is just fine? Really?? I mean come on...I know The Reg uses the term tin foil hatter to describe tech lunies, I think it needs to introduce a new one - petrol hatter, or maybe just plain old 'idiot' would do

    1. Ian Stephenson Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Seriously

      No.

      Of course we have had an impact on global warming, it's a sealed system and everything effects everything else.

      What this shows is that temperatures have been far higher (and lower) in the past before we started burning fossil fuels on a large scale.

      Also that the "MWP doesn't exist" crowd did cherry pick the data to hide their "inconveient truth".

      I'm not a denier, I am a climate cynic.

      I would be interested to know who financed this research. I will lay bets it was not "big oil" but a government and I will also lay bets that this is the last we hear of it as it does not suppor t more taxes!

      1. jsam
        Unhappy

        What sealed system would that be?

        Sealed system? I've not been out in days, but has the sun stopped shining altogether? Oh dear.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: What sealed system would that be?

          If you treat the planet as as 'black box' sealed system with specified inputs and outputs, those inputs and outputs have to balance. There's pesky things called the laws of thermodynamics and the conservation of energy which kinda demand that. If the input (the sun) stays constant*, then the output (infrared radiation of heat) has to stay constant and has to balance it, or the planet gets hotter, until the ouptut does balance the input. (loss of heat through radiation being proportional to the temperature). Increasing the amount of gases in the atmosphere which absorb infrared radiation at the wavelengths they are emitted leads to heating of the atmosphere, as less of that heat energy escapes the 'sealed system'. That is what the poster was referring to, and to deliberately mis-represent it does your argument no favours.

          *It is actually rising, as the hydrogen gets burned up and heavier elements serve as fuel instead, but over a MUCH longer timescale than we'll ever be around for

          1. petecamp

            Re: Constant Solar output by Loyal Commenter

            Our sun's output is anything but constant. Please view the latest research from NASA:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEFQHDSYP1I

            yes, the most recent CME pumped enough energy into our upper atmosphere to power every home in New York for TWO YEARS! They also state that the CO2 acts as a thermostat!

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: Constant Solar output by Loyal Commenter

              The solar output is pretty much constant, in the same way that the climate in any part of the world is 'constant'*. It is cyclical - the planet has seasons, the solar output has a roughly 13 year cycle. The mean output, which is what is important, stays the same, except over very long timescales (i.e. those to do with stellar eveolution), where, as I stated, it is rising.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation

              *barring global warming of course

              1. BoldMan

                Re: Constant Solar output by Loyal Commenter

                > It is cyclical - the planet has seasons, the solar output has a roughly 13 year cycle

                err wrong, the sun has an 11 year cycle, a 22 year cycle and there is a proposition that it has an 87 year cycle, a 210 year cycle as well as longer period cycles.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation (yes I know its Wackypedia but it has the best precis I could find)

                1. Bob. Hitchen
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: Constant Solar output by Loyal Commenter

                  Yes and probably a whole heap more cycles during it's passage round the galaxy.

              2. h4rm0ny

                Re: Constant Solar output by Loyal Commenter

                Solar output is not "pretty much" constant. Yes it goes in cycle's of around 11 to 13 years, but you're incorrect to think that these cycles are always around the same baseline. Look up the Modern Maximum: the period of increasing solar activity that began in 1900. You shouldn't speak with such certainty and correct people, because you're actually wrong.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously

      i dont think there is doubt as to us having an effect on the climate, what is questionable is to what extent we do and how far that goes. after all, if we set off 2,000 nukes it would quite likely have an effect, so it is within our capability to effect it. we also dont know how the earth will adapt, if its adapting already and what would happen to the climate were humans not even here.

      So all in all, we dont know for sure an awful lot really and what we do know isnt very consistant.

      And calling people idiots is somewhat insulting and ironic given that you are on the opersite side of that same coin, People say man made global warming does happen, people say man made global warming doesnt happen, neither camp knows for sure and calling one group or another a bunch of idiots just highlights your own blinkered views on the matter.

      Fact is this, lets not needlessly pollute the planet, lets not spend billions on trying to change something that might not need to change and ultimately costs us all a lot a lot, some of us so much that we cant afford to live!

      No, lets instead spend billions working out what the hell is going on, and developing better sustainable energy systems like nuclear investment. If this carbon tax business went straight in to investment then that would be ok, but its not is it, companies are making a MINT out of this CO2 business much the same they did with the whole Y2K bug. Do you honestly think anyone is doing anything without any benifit to them selves?

      all im saying is, lets be open minded about this, the real bad guys are those profiteering from it all, none of them can be trusted to say anything objectionable at all!

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Seriously

        Just thought you'd like to know that the yanks have already exploded over 1,000 nukes. Globally, over 2,000 nukes have been exploded (US src = MIT (http://web.mit.edu/stgs/nuclearweapons.html), global figure source = wiki, but I seem to recall a cool video that did the rounds a while back illustrating all these explosions on a world map, you can see it here http://realityme.net/2010/07/05/53-years-of-nuclear-bombs/)

        1. g e
          FAIL

          Re: Seriously

          I think the implied context there was...

          AT THE SAME TIME

          rather than over 50 years or whatever

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Seriously

            it's not just the nukes, it's that used in "warfare" they set fire to cities which burn ...

            See e.g.

            Nuclear winter is a real and present danger,

            lan Robock

            Nature, Vol. 473, No. 7347. (19 May 2011), pp. 275-276, doi:10.1038/473275a

          2. Keep Refrigerated
            Mushroom

            Re: Seriously

            But isn't the implied context of AGW that it's happening 'over 50 years or whatever' rather than all in one go?

            Are we saying that the impact of a nuclear bomb going off pales in comparison to amount of damage that people are doing in general for the specific time period that the explosion took place in?

            Genuine question. Has the effect ever been measured globally? Is it possible to measure?

          3. JetSetJim Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: Seriously

            I disagree, the famous hockey stick graph has the uptick starting at around the year 1900 or thereabouts - we're not releasing all the CO2 at once, after all.

      2. A 28
        Headmaster

        Re: Seriously

        "what is questionable is to what extent we do and how far that goes"

        Well it depends what error bound you're happy dealing with: Is there some element in the order of 10-20% not due to us - there's an argument there, Are we mainly responsible for climate change? That's clear.

        Let's face it mankind has form on altering the atmosphere on a global scale, remember CFCs? The effect of (mostly) westerners using CFCs as the coolant gas for refrigeration caused the ozone layer to deplete drastically and only drastic action (the replacement of CFC with other substitutes) prevented disaster. With the emission of carbon it's not just the west but the whole world - but yeah who knows, could just be coincidence.

        1. Robinson
          Stop

          Re: Seriously

          I do remember CFCs, yes. But I also know that relatively recent research showed that the ozone hole was caused by cosmic rays, not CFCs leaking out of your fridge, and is entirely natural in origin.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Seriously

            So should we bring back CFCs then?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Seriously

              i dunno about that CFC research, cant say i have heard it, but my original point was that yes, we shouldnt use such things needlessly. its like saying, well, oil is natural and will degrade so lets jump it in the sea for the sake of it.

              nope, im saying we should cut back what we are doing yes, dont pollute needlessly if we dont have too, but rather than try reverse something that we dont understand or infact even know how much is down to us, we should use the money spent to work out whats going on, and research more practicle energy sources.

            2. itzman

              Re: Seriously

              Probably not.

          2. A 28
            Headmaster

            Re: Seriously

            "relatively recent research showed that the ozone hole was caused by cosmic rays"

            ah ha, just for poops and giggle please provide a link to that research.

          3. jsam
            Unhappy

            Re: Seriously

            No citation to substantiate your assertion? Oh dear.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

          4. jsam
            Meh

            Re: Seriously

            CFCs were indeed the prime cause. F Sherwood Roland received a Nobel for his work. He only died a couple of weeks back. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1995/press.html

            Assertions without citations, particularly those citing "cosmic rays" aren't serious.

          5. Bill Neal
            Alert

            Re: Seriously

            CFC's were phased out & replaced by HCFC's, which still deplete ozone (just not near as much). Now we are phasing those out for HFC's which have no reaction with ozone, but they are greenhouse gasses. All of these are heavier than air, which begs the question: how do they effect the upper atmosphere? BTW CFC's are much more efficient refrigerants, which would save electricity and material consumption if they were used again in modern equipment.

          6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

            Re: Seriously

            "I do remember CFCs, yes. But I also know that relatively recent research showed that the ozone hole was caused by cosmic rays, not CFCs leaking out of your fridge, and is entirely natural in origin."

            That's an astonishing claim.

            So list some references.

          7. elderlybloke
            Flame

            Re: Seriously

            Hello Robinson,I remember CFCs very clearly. I spent a lot of money investing in a CNG fuel system for my car when the Government of NZ told us that this was necessary as petrol emissions were destroying the Ozone layer.

            However they lost interest in this problem and over a period of not many years, the availability of CNG reduced and then the last Service Station in town told me that their compressor had failed and it was not economic for them to renew it.

            Global Warming is the latest thing to alarm us, and I notice that it is a wonderful device for gauging a vast amount of money as Carbon Tax to save us from the current imminent doom

            I do no longer believe anything that Governments say , and that includes Global Warming.

            Hell will freeze over before I believe in the alarmist statements that Politicians spout.

            1. JC_
              Thumb Down

              @elderlyblock

              "Hello Robinson,I remember CFCs very clearly. I spent a lot of money investing in a CNG fuel system for my car when the Government of NZ told us that this was necessary as petrol emissions were destroying the Ozone layer."

              What utter bollocks! People who got CNG tanks installed in their cars did it because it was - at the time - cheaper than petrol. I worked in a petrol station and the punters who filled up with CNG were doing it for no other reason than saving money.

              "I do no longer believe anything that Governments say , and that includes Global Warming.

              Hell will freeze over before I believe in the alarmist statements that Politicians spout."

              It's not just (some) politicians saying this, it's nearly every climate scientist in the world. But hey, it must make you feel good to sound so cynical...

        2. itzman

          Re: Seriously

          IIRC the ozone holes are back with a vengeance, and nothing to do with human activity.

          Mind you I do agree- as some wag put it 'the deserts of Mesopotamia and the Sahara are the result of 10,000 years of organic farming'

      3. jsam
        Meh

        Re: Seriously

        "For sure" is too high a hurdle. Most everything in physical science is a theory waiting to be disproved, not proved. Newtonian gravitation is still a theory - adn Einstein upset it. AGW has been remarkably accurate for over 30 years. Time to deal with it.

        1. BoldMan

          Re: Seriously

          AGW has been remarkably accurate for over 30 years.

          Are you serious? Have their models EVER accurately matched the historical record let alone accurately forecast future trends that came true? Please include your citations to prove this assertion.

          1. Andrew Alan McKenzie

            Re: Seriously

            Yes - remarkably well.

            Citation:

            http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/02/2011-updates-to-model-data-comparisons/

            1. Robinson
              WTF?

              Re: Seriously

              This is just wrong. Models are essentially curve fitting against historical temperature. Every time they update the model with new temperatures, they make it "look" like their prediction was correct in the past. But if you look at their forecasts from 10 years ago, you'll see just how utterly wrong they are!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Seriously

          "AGW has been remarkably accurate for over 30 years"

          Really? 30 years ago they were using the same climate data to say that the earth was cooling and that we were entering another ice age. I don't call 100% reversal "remarkably accurate".

          1. Denarius
            FAIL

            Re: Seriously

            Are you too young to remember the newspapers in 1970s screaming that by mid 1980s we would be out of petroleum, metals,food, water and land ? So middle roman empire. First time this prediction was made was circa 240 AD. In 1980spredictions were by end of century temperatures would have polar caps melting and flooding cities and by 2020 there would be 2 meters of sea rise ?

            In 1990s lots of expert apocalyptic pronouncements about how we would be dangerously hot by 2010 and massive hunger and population migration was coming real soon now.

            In 2009 in Oz, a government expert on climate change stated that Oz would never see big rain events again. Get used to drought. Six months later, big floods, followed by 2 years of more floods. Last week another government quango stating Oz will have droughts again.

            This in a country where an unofficial anthem has the line " droughts and flooding rains".

            So far the track record of climate change prediction has been zero on specifics and unproven on generalisations. Yes the temperature trend may be upwards. Has been since last Ice Age, with blips caused by Maunder minimums, massive volcanic eruptions and a couple of small comet impacts. Humans might be adding to warming in an unknown degree. But until there is a model that can be falsified and tested, it seems reasonable to deal with things that can be measured, like running out of easily extracted fuels causing energy costs to rise.

            More efficiency in industrial processes and use of resources would have most peoples support, so long as it is done on a commercial basis instead of funding floggers of ineffective expensive panaceas like windmills.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Seriously

          "AGW has been remarkably accurate for over 30 years" ... total nonsense. But, more importantly, MOST!=ALMOST. Again, MOST!=ALMOST. Different letters, different sounds, different words, different meanings.

      4. Johan Bastiaansen
        Devil

        Re: Seriously

        Ah yes, the rational approach. Let's call that plan F.

        I suggest a virgin sacrifice.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously

      Any one stupid enough to think that the solution to the issue wont be technological doesn't have much to say, the idea that the world community will reduce its output of green house gasses is mere fancy, unless something like fusion power comes into play but then only if the BRIC nations have access to that power.

      No, carbon trees/storage technologies are required and will be the only solution to the warming issue. 3 billion new people are waking up to the wonders of the industrial world and you'd be bat shit crazy to think they'll opt for short life spans and living in caves as an alternative.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seriously

        That is why the IPCC and it's Malthusian masters want to get rid of them.

        1. phuzz Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Seriously

          When conspiracy theories start cropping up ("the koch brothers are trying to brainwash america!!11!" "The ipcc is trying to divert all research funding to it's self!!!11!") I'm always reminded of Hanlon's razor:

          "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

          ie, it's more likely that people are just making mistakes, rather than making a concerted attempt to hoodwink the public or whatever.

          1. JC_
            Thumb Down

            @phuzz

            It's not a conspiracy theory to point out that the owners of Koch Industries - refiners and distributors of petroleum products - have a huge self-interest in denying AGW and that that's exactly what they're doing.

            You think these guys are just "making mistakes"? Jesus wept...

            1. fishman

              Re: @phuzz

              There are plenty of industries that make *alot* of money over selling equipment and technology for reducing carbon footprint, etc. I'm skeptical of both sides because both have huge sums of money involved.

            2. Turtle

              Re: @phuzz

              I read your post and I'm going to fix it for you!

              "It's not a conspiracy theory to point out that the Climate Unit of East Anglia University have, as shown by a huge number of emails, been systematically engaged in gaming the peer review process, refusing to adhere to scientific procedures and principles, hidden their data and refused to release it "so that it would not be misintrepreted", considered attempting to stifle criticism of their work by starting libel actions against journals that published work critical of their research....".

              You think guys like Phil Jones and Keith Briffa are just "making mistakes"? Jesus wept..."

            3. h4rm0ny

              Re: @phuzz

              The Koch brothers funded some of the best recent research which showed that global average temperatures *had* risen since the start of the 20th century (and the research they funded was a lot better science than the CRU / Phil Jones' dubious and unreproducable work). So you're incorrect to use them as an example of "denying" as the science they've funded has been used as the basis for some AGW theories.

    4. DaWolf

      Re: Seriously

      Lewis (and Orlowski) are so completely biased on this it's untrue. It just comes dripping through anything they write on the subject, they are completely incapable of an objective argument.

      Unfortunately this also means they are bad journalists. A shame.

    5. Yamal Dodgy Data
      Devil

      Re: Seriously

      That's not how you ad hominem .. didn't you read the grauniad style guide ?

      Didn't you read organised trolling manual ?

      ( regular readers if you don't believe it -> http://www.campaigncc.org/node/384 )

      here let me help you...

      "....

      - We must dismiss the research carried out by Professor Lu - he’s a geochemist, not a paleontologist, so what would he know about Climate Change?

      - Is he being funded by Big Oil - we should check?

      - He might also be a smoker - we should find out.

      - And chances are he was one day in a US airport around the same time that Lord Monckton was preparing to book flights to Australia from London.

      - Plus his name has an L and an I in the spelling, just like Clive Palmer’s name.

      Yes, the pieces are starting to fit - he’s a climate holocaust denier, albeit a sneaky one who covers his tracks carefully. ... "

      now desist from dissing Lewis Page and Andrew Orlowski and sod off back to the grauniad.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A useful result

    There are two fundamental questions : "Are global temperatures rising?" and "If so, why?"

    I understand the AGW position to be that 'yes temperatures are rising and it's our doing'.

    This result doesn't fatally undermine the AGW position and doesn't hand victory to the opposing camp.

    All it says is that the global warming and cooling have occurred in the last 1000 years or so for reasons that we don't fully understand.

    The correct next step is to establish why these periods occurred and to apply that knowledge to the current situation. From that we should be able to say with reasonable certainty why the current warming is occurring.

    If we can't or won't do that, then the whole debate is just so much politics.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: A useful result

      I think you are one the right track, but there is a list of fundamental questions, each connected to the previous:

      1) Is the climate changing ?

      2) Is it man made ? [*]

      3) What will the effects be ?

      and

      4) What can we do ?

      My beef with the AGW brigade, is their answer to question 4 seems to end up with the average joe having to pay a lot more money to everyone, which isn't actually fixing anything. An example is the pathetic provision in the UK of any meaningful public transport ... why is it easier - and cheaper - for me to fly to Glasgow than take a train ? And more importantly, why is it that will not change in the foreseeable future ? Yet I pay more for my electricity, so some chump with a shiny solar panel can rake it in ?

      So my point is, that questions (3) and (4) are more important than (2). Because whatever the answer to (2), (3) and (4) won't go away. It's alittle akin to the fire brigade turning up at a fire, but before they deploy hoses and water, they spend 30 minutes trying to work out if it's arson, or accident.

      1. Ru

        "questions (3) and (4) are more important than (2)"

        Well... sorta. It depends whether (2) is "what can we do to stop climate change" or whether it is "what can we do to protect ourselves from the results of climate change".

        Man-made problems can conceivably be solved by stopping whatever it is that we are doing. Natural climate fluctuation could perhaps be solved by planetary scale engineering projects (terraforming Earth!) but that's clearly far beyond our abilities.

        Protecting ourselves from the results is a sensible issue to focus on regardless of the cause.

      2. phuzz Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: A useful result

        I thought the answer to [4] was: not a whole fuck of a lot.

      3. Audrey S. Thackeray

        Re: A useful result

        JimmyPage is not just a great guitarist

        2) Is it man made ? is only relevant in that it is likely to be answered by 4) What can we do ?

        If there's something happening that we don't want to happen and can prevent from happening it really doesn't matter if we made it happen in the first place.

    2. Mikel

      One more question

      "Is it a bad thing?"

      One should not assume that change is bad. That requires proof.

  5. jubtastic1

    El Reg Scepticism

    I believe this is an age thing, where the older you get the more you recognise the pattern of "we're all going to die unless we spend billions on x" as a repeating meme that in retrospect, just seems to fuck over the common man whilst making obscenely rich folk considerably richer.

    Of course this doesnt preclude that Human activity really is causing global warming, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and should be met with a healthy amount of sceptisism, If the current climate models are based on the assumption that prior warming was local to Europe yet the facts show this wasn't the case, that strikes me as newsworthy whatever your bias.

    1. JC_

      Re: El Reg Scepticism

      "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and should be met with a healthy amount of sceptisism"

      I'd agree with that. Claims that nothing unusual is going on and we don't need to do anything about it and everything will just work out fine should be treated with extreme skepticism.

      There's pretty much a scientific consensus about AGW. On the other 'side', you'll find charming people like the Koch brothers and an assortment of contrarians. Who's more believable?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: El Reg Scepticism

        Claims that "Something unusual is going on and it's definitely our fault" are the ones that should have been treated with said "extreme skepticism."

        There are two claims here - "It's unusual" and "It's our fault" - leading to a third of "we can change it"

        The unusual one is tough to answer as we don't really know the speed of the major climate changes in the past, but let's accept that the current change is much faster than the changes shown in deep time.

        However the current rate of change looks like that recorded during the medieval warming period, an event that wouldn't show up in deep time records as it was over too fast.

        Previously the MWP was assumed to be a local event - now it appears that it was in fact global.

        So our current climate change may not be "unusual" and may even be self-correcting - if it's the same kind of thing that happened then.

        The claim that "It's our fault" is then based on the assumption that it's unusual and a few cherry-picked climate models using cherry-picked data that don't even predict the previous decade given the inputs we know, let alone the MWP.

        Basically, those models are wrong, and are known to be wrong because they don't match known history.

        It's not surprising, because climate is really hard to predict and to make it even worse, direct evidence of climate only exists for the very, very recent past.

        Unfortunately politicians and pressure groups have grabbed these bandwagons and the science was left behind years ago - in both directions.

        Possibly the worst part is that if it is not caused by us, then our spending of vast resources trying to prevent it is wasting the resources we'll need to deal with it while at the same time littering our environment with all kinds of pollutants in the name of "CO2 reductions".

        This makes me sad :(

        1. JC_

          @AC

          Given the overwhelming consensus supporting the theory of AGW and the catastrophe it presents, the burden of proof for the hypothesis that "it doesn't matter and everything will be fine if we keep doing what we're doing" is on the deniers.

          David Mitchell sums this up rather well.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC

            "Given the overwhelming consensus supporting the theory of AGW and the catastrophe it presents, the burden of proof for the hypothesis that "it doesn't matter and everything will be fine if we keep doing what we're doing" is on the deniers."

            In the middle ages the vast majority of people believed with all their hearts that the world was flat and you could fall off the edge if you travelled far enough. Later, when we learned to understand the science properly we learned the world was round, but at the time they believed it as ardently as the alarmists believe in mmgw today and as ardently as the deniers do not.

            As with many other things, the majority of people flock like sheep around some cause or other the majority of them know bugger all about, but hey, if everyone else believes it and there is a consensus, they must be right hey?

            The burden on EITHER side is to provide conclusive or substantive EVIDENCE of their case. Life is not the X factor, something is not right or wrong just because the most people vote for it, and you can't decide huge issues affecting people all round the world by a head count.

            1. JC_

              @Tarquin ftlb

              In the middle ages the vast majority of people believed with all their hearts that the world was flat and you could fall off the edge if you travelled far enough. Later, when we learned to understand the science properly

              It's not about the "vast majority of people" but what the vast majority of climate scientists believe.

              Life is not the X factor, something is not right or wrong just because the most people vote for it, and you can't decide huge issues affecting people all round the world by a head count.

              These aren't just 'people' who are agreeing, they're climate scientists, FFS.

              The burden on EITHER side is to provide conclusive or substantive EVIDENCE of their case.

              There aren't two equal sides to this. AGW is supported by every recognised relevant scientific authority. The 'denialists' have no such credibility. There are two 'sides' in the same way that the theory of evolution is opposed by the intelligent design side. Or the theory of gravity opposed by those who believe in intelligent falling...

              1. Tom 13

                @JC_: You're problem here is that science has NEVER, EVER

                depended upon "recognized authority" and has instead relied upon PUBLISHED, REVIEWABLE THEORIES and DATA. The AWG warmmongers have never provided latter and incessantly demand that we recognize the former. If we depended upon "recognized authority" for science we'd all still be calculating epicycles for the planets in an Earth-centered universe.

                1. JC_

                  @Tom 13

                  You're problem here is that science has NEVER, EVER depended upon "recognized authority" and has instead relied upon PUBLISHED, REVIEWABLE THEORIES and DATA. The AWG warmmongers have never provided latter and incessantly demand that we recognize the former.

                  Is this deliberate misinterpretation? I said: "AGW is supported by every recognised relevant scientific authority". These are the scientific institutions and the scientists who are climate science professionals, the people who publish and review.

                  Re-read the post, you've gone off on quite a shouty tangent.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Tarquin ftlb

                "There aren't two equal sides to this. AGW is supported by every recognised relevant scientific authority. The 'denialists' have no such credibility. There are two 'sides' in the same way that the theory of evolution is opposed by the intelligent design side. Or the theory of gravity opposed by those who believe in intelligent falling..."

                I didn't say they were equal, although your comparison with religion is interesting because religion and mmgw have a commonality of fundamentalist fervour. We are right, everyone who doesn't agree with us is a "denier".

                I am open minded unlike either side. My point is that we start at the status quo. If either side wants to suggest a deviation from what we are doing, (in either case) it is up to them to make the scientfically supportable case for it. Just because someone is a climate scientist doesn't make them automatically right. Scientists are often wrong, it is how science works. Postulate a theory and try and find the evidence to support or disprove it.

                I accept the climate is changing, I find the case that we are a significant cause, as yet unproven, and no amount of shouting and crowd sourcing will change that. With some of the alarmist "evidence" having been discredited, it makes it harder to take them seriously when they next claim to have evidence.

                1. JC_

                  Re: @Tarquin ftlb

                  Claiming to still be "open minded" in the face of a mountain of evidence and overwhelming scientific consensus isn't a virtue, it's weaseling out.

                  Either you accept the evidence, or you state your case for what you believe is the alternative. Any fervour you're picking up on is just irritation at seeing the same old tricks of mis-interpretation and wilful ignorance that get played in the 'debate' over evolution.

                  I'll repeat myself: every single scientific organisation of stature accepts the theory of AGW. Every single one.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @Tarquin ftlb

                    Equally, rejecting any evidence that doesn't fit your case is weaselling out. It is lazy thinking.

                    In my younger years, we spent time at school being taught that the evidence (which all of the same scientific organisations accepted at the time) showed we would be in a mini ice age before long because of the long period of global cooling. The fear and concern was as real then as it is now over warming. Maybe I am getting long in the tooth, but it just feels like we oscillate between fear of global cooling and global warming.

                    Maybe humans just need to be afraid of something bigger than they are, or can't accept that that some things are bigger than we are.

                    1. JC_

                      Re: @Tarquin ftlb

                      Tarquin, you're arguing like a homeopath. Cherry-picking a study here and there and giving it outsize importance while ignoring the overwhelming majority of studies isn't keeping an open-mind, it's foolishness. "Evidence that doesn't fit the case" is welcome, but don't make the leap that it invalidates the case.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: @Tarquin ftlb

                        No, I am defending the point of view that just because a large number of people, however respected, believe something passionately, and bang on about it it doesn't mean they are right.

                        The debate is so polarised that "alarmists" have to put anyone who doesn't agree with them into the "denier" box and "deniers" have to put everyone who doesn't agree with them into the "alarmist" box. This is part of the problem.

                        I have only said I am not convinced of the argument, and have not tried to assert that mmgw does not exist, but you seem determined to put me in a "denier" box, and if it makes it easier for you, then put me there.

                        I remain unconvinced either way, so let's just agree to differ.

                        1. JC_

                          Re: @Tarquin ftlb

                          Tarquin, you're not in the "denier box", you're in the "weasel box" :) You say that you aren't convinced by the already overwhelming evidence, but can't give a reason for this.

                          The "large number of people" you refer to are the scientists who have the knowledge and have done the research. If their work can't convince you, then there's no hope of any rational way of getting there.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: @Tarquin ftlb

                            Sorry, but if you fail to convince me, that is your failure, not mine. Have a good weekend. :-)

                    2. Burb

                      Re: @Tarquin ftlb

                      "Equally, rejecting any evidence that doesn't fit your case is weaselling out. It is lazy thinking."

                      So what is your evidence then?

                      "In my younger years, we spent time at school being taught that the evidence (which all of the same scientific organisations accepted at the time) showed we would be in a mini ice age before long..."

                      This is another of those spurious claims that keeps being brought up. It's not true. There were a couple of papers in the 70s that postulated that we were about to enter a new ice age. This in turn was picked up by the press in their usual hysterical fashion, which is what most people remember. But it was never mainstream scientific opinion. If you know otherwise let's have the evidence; otherwise can we *please* drop this one?

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: @Tarquin ftlb

                        Actually, we covered it in Geology in my sixth form years, so it IS true. It was taught. There are enough dodgy claims around without trying to rewrite history too.

                        1. Burb

                          @ AC 26/3 08:14

                          "Actually, we covered it in Geology in my sixth form years, so it IS true. It was taught. There are enough dodgy claims around without trying to rewrite history too."

                          You might have been taught that some scientists thought that we headed for global cooling. If you think you were taught that this was the prevailing scientific opinion at the time, either you are misremembering, or you were taught incorrectly, or this was a very long time ago. I'm not sure what the science was saying before about the mid-60's but the claims that people make these days that "they were all predicting cooling a few years ago" tend to be referring to the 1970s. As I said, there were some scientists then who thought cooling to be more likely but they were very much in the minority. It was the press that made it into a bigger story.

                  2. Sean Timarco Baggaley

                    @Tarquin ftlb and @JC_

                    "In the middle ages the vast majority of people believed with all their hearts that the world was flat and you could fall off the edge if you travelled far enough."

                    No they didn't. Seriously. This myth was bruited about during the 1800s and has long since been discredited: the ancient Greeks already knew the Earth wasn't flat. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that anyone in the Middle Ages believed the Earth was flat. The evidence that it isn't is easy to find: just go stand on the coastline and look out to sea. See those ships rising over the horizon as they approach port? That. See how the cliffs and mountains of your home port drop slowly below the horizon as you head out to sea? Again, that.

                    That there are people in this thread arguing on both sides who appear to have fallen for this myth hook, line and sinker makes me suspect the quality and level of debate here.

                    Even so, I don't understand this fixation on "the scientific consensus". It's a blatant Appeal to Authority. Unfortunately, this "authority" has variously supported Pholgiston, Aether, Miasma and other equally discredited theories—London's Victorian sewage system was constructed because of a firm belief in the Miasma theory. It was successful despite its original design intentions, not because of them. And it took the better part of a generation for "the scientific consensus" (for which, read "the scientific establishment") to accept Plate Tectonics.

                    Granted, the establishment isn't always wrong, but it's clearly not always right either. And, when they are wrong, they can clearly be spectacularly wrong on a staggering scale, so what the establishment happens to believe at any one point in time is an utter irrelevance. They are no more an indicator of truth than my brother's pet cat.

                    Finally, a scientist doesn't simply accept the status quo as dictated from on high. A scientist works to disprove a hypothesis. Only by doing so will we chip away the unwanted lies to reveal nature's truths. When large groups of powerful vested interests in the status quo insist on supporting one hypothesis over another, that process becomes much, much harder as funding becomes more difficult to find.

                    This is wrong. It is not how science is supposed to work and is why I take a very cynical view of the "Anthropogenic Climate Change" camp's politics and media exposure. The science in this field is clearly being deliberately skewed in favour of supporting a preferred political stance. And that is unacceptable. It is bad science.

                    There is no way in hell that Climate Science can be considered old enough and mature enough to be able to have such a consensus in place already. We have barely a century's worth of solid, reliable temperature readings (and even that's a stretch), whereas the Earth's climate has an age measured in millions of years. Our evidence for global temperatures beyond the 1800s is fragmentary at best. Most of it is conjecture at best. We can measure tree rings, we can measure ice cores, we can look at core samples taken from various geographical locations, but these are just the equivalent of archaeological test pits: we're only getting a tiny, tiny glimpse of the full picture at each site. We have no idea of the full context of each sample.

                    (This is a problem which plagues archeologists too. Anyone who's ever watched a few seasons of "Time Team" soon realises that there's an awful lot of guesswork and conjecture going on. The evidence often throws up surprises that can completely change the context of a site.)

                    Anyway, the point is that I'm just not satisfied that the science is there yet. This article points out some context-changing evidence. Granted, it might just be that the MWP only affected northern Europe and a few other unusually specific sites, but this new evidence suggests that it may well have been a global event. (Yes, there are some qualifiers in the original paper, but note my points above about the stifling effects of an "establishment" view. There are political repercussions involved here too.)

                  3. Bob. Hitchen
                    Holmes

                    Re: @Tarquin ftlb

                    So why haven't sea levels changed much? I think I'd notice if they were metres higher. The weather is similar to that experienced throughout my life and I'm now retired. Oh and pollution is a lot smaller than it was in the fifties and sixties except the output from cars particularily in cities.

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. jsam

          Re: El Reg Scepticism

          You're jesting, right. Pull up Hansen's 1998 predictions, add the error bars and stand back and admire his prescience - damn good. Sadly. The models work exceptionally well.

      2. Tom Reg
        Facepalm

        Re: El Reg Scepticism

        There may or may not be AGW, but Germany and Denmark have proved that the most expensive systems ever deployed do absolutely nothing to abate CO2.

        So other than nuclear and conservation, we really have no tools available. Nuclear is unpopular with voters, and conservation is unpopular with big companies.

        It makes sense at this point to take a decade break from wind and solar subsidies, and see what the science and economics say. The earth has not warmed for over 10 years at this point.

        1. JC_

          @Tom Reg

          other than nuclear and conservation, we really have no tools available. Nuclear is unpopular with voters, and conservation is unpopular with big companies.

          Really? Replacing coal with natural gas does nothing to reduce CO2 emissions?

        2. Munix

          Re: El Reg Scepticism

          Clearly the hottest decade != "the earth has not warmed for over 10 years at this point"

          What the !!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: El Reg Scepticism

      @jubtastic1: "I believe this is an age thing, where the older you get the more you recognise the pattern of "we're all going to die unless we spend billions on x" as a repeating meme"

      Agreed - that same pattern repeats in many ways. A good example is guidance for a healthy diet - "don't eat this or you'll die a horrible death" and, "eat this or else!!". Problem is, the advice constantly changes, reverses, and contradicts. You begin to realise that, although there may be some underlying truth, most of the 'information' promulgated by the media is sensationalism. News is primarily entertainment - if you want facts, you have to work much harder to find them.

    3. JP19

      Re: El Reg Scepticism

      You don't have to be old to understand people are driven by fear.

      No one listens to bringers of glad tidings, everyone listens to prophets of doom.

      No one gets praise, respect or funding for sitting around saying there is no problem. There plenty of praise, respect, funding and even Nobel prizes for people running round saving the planet (regardless of there actually being anything to save it from).

      You only need to look at religion to see how people will believe any old crap without a shred of evidence as long as enough other people believe it.

      This huge imbalance is justification for huge scepticism.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't feed the troll

    "In other words, global warming has already occurred in historical, pre-industrial times, and then gone away again"

    Uh yeah, that's evident from tree data.

    It doesn't change the fact that we're currently going through a period of global warming.

    I suppose we could all sit back on our arses like Lewis and wait to see if it goes away again but, for the sake of my kids, I'd rather we carried on researching it and, hopefully, start preparing for it.

    1. Mike Richards

      Re: Don't feed the troll

      If people read the paper (and it'd be interesting to know if Lewis did), the authors are much more hesitant about their results than this article makes out. They use the words 'tentative' and 'suggests' as well as being clear that they cannot precisely age all of the crystals.

      It's a shame that Zunli Lu et al's work is being sensationalised by people who don't have a background in the subject to sharpen their own axes.

      1. Alex 14

        Re: Don't feed the troll

        "If people read the paper (and it'd be interesting to know if Lewis did)..."

        More interesting to know if he understood it before committing finger to keyboard.

  7. Andy 97
    Mushroom

    Business as usual.

    Nice research grants for scientists funded by oil companies and "well meaning" ecologists.

    The whole thing is a massive gravy train IMHO.

    Humanity will change to deal with whatever is the reality, I'd be more worried about population growth in the short term.

    1. That Steve Guy

      Re: Business as usual.

      This goes both ways you know, all scientists are funded by vested interests on both sides. Oil companies and others may fund the sceptic camp but thats only logical given they stand to lose so much.

      Of course the "renewable energy" industry and the governmental quangoes like the IPCC are funding the Pro camp because anything found negative will upset their own gravy train as well.

      After all if global warming is disproven what use is the IPCC for? They'd be shut down andlooking for new jobs, and the renewables sector would lose the subidies that keeps it afloat because their business is so uneconomical.

      Business as usual, every scientist needs funding and those who provide it to both sides are certainly not impartial.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Business as usual.

        From the Guardian: "26/07/2011 · Oil giant BP said it had benefited from higher oil prices as it reported quarterly profits of $5.3bn (£3.2bn)."

        Compare to the UK's EPSRC total yearly budget of ~0.8bn (for all physical and engineering sciences). Look at http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/plans/deliveryplan/Pages/next.aspx, and marvel how climate science takes up such a big fraction of that (haha) . And as an exercise, can you even find the climate science spending at all?

        I think we might be able to tell who has the biggest gravy train, and which funds based on commercial interest, and which on the basis of peer review.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          epsrc?

          Yikes, should have quoted NERC funding (total income 430m) not EPSRC

          http://www.nerc.ac.uk/about/work/budget/

          apols.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            NERC

            marvel at the enormous sums of money ...

            http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/themes/tap/

    2. JC_
      Thumb Down

      Re: Business as usual.

      Humanity will change to deal with whatever is the reality"

      Holy shit, that's self-centred. AGW doesn't stand for Anthropocentric Global Warming; there's a lot more to the planet than people.

      1. John Sager

        Re: Business as usual.

        Actually, he's right. This is all about climate change effects on human society, whatever the cause. If we weren't here, the earth would carry on as normal, just like all the other (and much more extreme) climate variations in the past. That is, species die out and other species develop to replace them.

    3. g e
      Meh

      Re: Business as usual.

      Yup, wherever there's a lot of money to be made take the 'facts' presented with a pinch of salt. There's a correlation between self-serving bullshit and revenue/chance of revenue in everything.

      Even you, dear reader, will massage information on your CV using (doubtless) accurate wording which you've changed to create the impression you want in your client's/employer's head.

      The difference is you stand to make a few thousand from your employer so the lies are smaller than if you stand to make a few million. If I thought I stood to get a few million based on what I wrote in a paper you can be damned sure I'll write what I think will make me more likely to get it.

      If anyone thinks the IPCC and its chums don't have an agenda they're deluded.

  8. NomNomNom

    The paper doesn't say the medieval warm period was global. The only people who have made that intepretation and bought this paper into focus are skeptics on skeptic blogs. So has Lewis based this story from reading a skeptic blog, but hasn't told us that?

    "The IPCC consensus is that the medieval warming – and the "Little Ice Age" which followed it – only happened in Europe and maybe some other northern areas."

    That's wrong. See here for an example of the temperature distribution for the medieval warm period that Mann produced:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/medieval-warm-period-intermediate.htm

    The largest warm area is in the North Atlantic and Europe is warm too (here even white is warm - as it's same as 1960-1990 temperature), but there are also hotspots all over the globe, including some regions as warm as today. But the point is that overall the globe is not warmer than today.

    The medieval warm period was coined from looking at local- european temperatures. Some people made the mistake of assuming that regional warmth would happen everywhere else, ie the rest of the world. Climate skeptics are still pushing that idea.

    This common skeptic argument isn't even logical:

    "If it was worldwide in extent that would strongly suggest that global warming may just be something that happens from time to time, not something caused by miniscule concentrations of CO2 (the atmosphere is 0.04 per cent CO2 right now; this figure might climb to 0.07 per cent in the medium term)"

    Aside from the illogical appeal to small numbers = small effect, the suggestion that if a warm period exists in the past it strongly suggests the current warming is natural is utter dribble. We aren't just restricted to pattern matching we can look at other things like physics, greenhouse gases - greenhouse effect, solar trends over time, etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Looking at other things like Physics

      Ok, I'll bite. If we start to look at other things, "like Physics" as you suggest everything gets rather interesting. Firstly, the largest greenhouse gases by multiple orders of magnitude are nothing to do with CO2. Water vapour is the biggest by far. Water vapour has vast greenhouse effects and changes significantly for many reasons. On the other extreme though, too much water vapour in the air and it starts to condense to form clouds. Clouds have a significant cooling effect. Every one of the models I've studied (I'm a statistical modeller by profession) really hacks the boundary effect between clouds and water vapour. Tweak that boundary effect only slightly and you swing wildly from positive feedback to negative feedback. Unstable models don't really tell you things.

      I'm not going to persuade you on a message forum on the Internet (no great surprise there), but in 10+ years time when the consensus has swung the other way, I am going to have some fun saying "I told you so" to quite a few people.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Looking at other things like Physics

        "Firstly, the largest greenhouse gases by multiple orders of magnitude are nothing to do with CO2. Water vapour is the biggest by far."

        It's a common misconception that water vapour is orders of magnitude more significant a greenhouse gas than CO2. Figures often floated are "99%" or "95%" of the greenhouse effect due to water vapor. But try as I might I've never found an actual source for such figures. It seems to me the figure is based on a naive comparison of the total mass of water vapor in the atmosphere compared to other greenhouse gases.

        On the other-hand actual calculations that take into account the physics of the gases find that water vapor contributes 50% of the greenhouse effect:

        "We find that water vapor is the dominant substance — responsible for about 50% of the absorption, with clouds responsible for about 25% — and CO2 responsible for 20% of the effect."

        http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_05/

        "On the other extreme though, too much water vapour in the air and it starts to condense to form clouds."

        But if the air is warmer (due to global warming) then the air can hold more water vapor before that happens. Water vapor is a substantial greenhouse gas, so having more of it in the atmosphere causes even more warming.

        More CO2 -> Warmer atmosphere -> More water vapor -> More warming.

        That is before we even hit the issue of clouds.

        The cloud part is uncertain:

        water vapor -> more clouds ?

        water vapor -> less clouds ?

        more clouds -> cooling ?

        more clouds -> warming ?

        But the uncertainty cuts both ways.

      2. jsam
        Meh

        Re: Looking at other things like Physics

        There are stronger greenhouse gases: methane and water vapour to name but too. The one that is increasing is CO2. It will lead to the other two increasing. Methane will increase as the permfrost melts. Water vapour will increase due to a warming atmosphere. Positive feedback is not a positive development.

        As for consensus, you don know that AGW wasn't accepted 30 years ago. Revell's 1955 paper was about the first to join up the greenhouse effect of CO" with calculating the order of magnitude change. So, when the consensus is even deeper in ten years, will you still be the contrarian, raling against your nurse, banging your stick on the floor and telling us how the horseless carriage is still a mistake despite its popularity?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Looking at other things like Physics

        @AC - "Clouds have a significant cooling effect"

        It's waaay more complex than that, a lot of work is being carried out in this area at the moment at PHd and postdoc level and is being used to feed back into the climate models.

  9. Dave 126 Silver badge
    Meh

    Rate of change?

    The article gives the time period of this medieval warming, but not the amount the temperature rose by. So how can the rate of warming then be compared to what has been observed over the last century?

    With out this, isn't the article a bit premature in using biased terms?

  10. Steve Graham
    FAIL

    Nobody has yet pointed out that Lewis is arguing that the greenhouse effect doesn't even exist because the amounts of carbon dioxide are "miniscule". That's real science, that is.

    1. Chris Miller

      And don't forget that the proper orthography is 'minuscule'. The fact that miniscule now appears in some dictionaries doesn't make it correct.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the greenhouse effect is bogus

      The GreenHouse effect is bogus and has been disproved several times in the past 100 years

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the greenhouse effect is bogus

        @AC 11:16 - You don't even know what the greenhouse effect is, do you?

        It's pretty basic, well understood physics. It's certainly not bogus and hasn't been disproved. Here is the first link I have to hand, I know it's wikipedia, but I have a job to do so can't spend all day debunking guff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

        If you are going to make comments like the one you did, you need to cite sources.

      2. jsam
        Meh

        Re: the greenhouse effect is bogus

        Ah, the greenhouse effect is basic physics, known for over a hundred years. AGW's been known for over 50. Mythbusters have a good video on CO2 causing warming; any secondary school can show it. The penny dropping moment was from the 1950s - scientists had long known CO2's effects - it was the magnitude that shocked them. See http://aip.org/history/climate/Revelle.htm.

  11. James 51 Silver badge

    Just because it's peer reviewed doesn't mean it's right

    Even assuming that humanity isn't responisble for changing weather patterns that doesn't change the fact we need to live with them and adapt to new circumstances. So even if Lewis is right (the spiteful and self-righteous tone of the article makes me question his impartiality) that is not an excuse to do nothing. Though it seems to me that the ever rising price of oil is going to force people to change long before the green lobby can convince them to do the same.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: the rising price of oil

      In much of the world, oil costs what the local taxman decides it ought to cost. Each step forward in extraction technologies and (by comparison to the tax, modest) step upwards in price brings yet more raw material into economic viability.

      We are probably 100 years away from the price of the raw material being the barrier to its use. When you consider the changes in society and technology that have happened within the last 100 years, it becomes entirely plausible that we will *never* run out of oil.

  12. TheOtherHobbes

    Mendacious and wrong, as usual

    The warming periods were short-lived and can't be compared to present conditions.

    See e.g. this:

    "A frequent conclusion based on study of individual records from the so-called Medieval Warm Period (1000-1300 A.D.) is that the present warmth of the 20 th century is not unusual and therefore cannot be taken as an indication of forced climate change from greenhouse gas emissions. This conclusion is not supported by published composites of Northern Hemisphere climate change, but the conclusions of such syntheses are often either ignored or challenged. In this paper, we revisit the controversy by incorporating additional time series not used in earlier hemispheric compilations. Another difference is that the present reconstruction uses records that are only 900–1000 years long, thereby, avoiding the potential problem of uncertainties introduced by using different numbers of records at different times. Despite clear evidence for Medieval warmth greater than present in some individual records, the new hemispheric composite supports the principal conclusion of earlier hemispheric reconstructions and, furthermore, indicates that maximum Medieval warmth was restricted to two-three 20–30 year intervals, with composite values during these times being only comparable to the mid-20 th century warm time interval. Failure to substantiate hemispheric warmth greater than the present consistently occurs in composites because there are significant offsets in timing of warmth in different regions; ignoring these offsets can lead to serious errors concerning inferences about the magnitude of Medieval warmth and its relevance to interpretation of late 20 th century warming."

    Original here:

    http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1579/0044-7447-29.1.51

    Basically there's no way you can draw a useful comparison between the medieval warmings and what's happening today.

    Not if you want to be true to the research, anyway.

    Note that 'and therefore this has happened before' is Page's conclusion, and *isn't supported or implied by the author of the research he's quoting.*

  13. Andrew Alan McKenzie

    One crystal!

    This is how science works - lots of small bits of evidence (for the period in question and the antarctic measurement made on one ice crystal!) gradually clearing away layers of uncertainty - but it doesn't 'contradict the IPCC - the IPCC report basically said that there was a need for more evidence to be sure how Southern Hemisphere temperatures evolved over the last millenia. So research gets funded that shines a small light on this.

    Unfortunately for naysayers, one line of thought is that if the MWP was warmer than we think, climate sensitivity iwould be greater than we think, so our releases of CO2 will have more effect, and we should be more alarmed, not less!

  14. Blarkon

    Well the Reg has in the deep past published articles linking Autism to Vaccination - so this isn't too far out of it's contrarian "we know better than everyone else" editorial policies.

  15. david 63

    Here's my position for what it is worth...

    ...climate changes. It changes a bit by the actions of us humans. How much is up for grabs but I'm going with .3 degree C per century.

    Then I look at dire predictions from the 1980's and compare them to observable effects. There are undoubted gaps. I'm looking at the Maldives whose government claims they are sinking while investing in coastal developments. I'm looking at snow near Madrid in March. I'm looking at glaciers which refuse to melt fast enough.

    Then I think of past extinction events. Mainly caused by cold periods. Then I think of the periods where things were burgeoning, mainly warm times.

    Then I think of subsidised 'green' schemes that fail to deliver. PV, windmills, wavepower. Then I remember I am paying for the failures.

    Then I look at climategate and fakegate. And I think how much power the catastrophe lobby have over policymaking and wonder why. I then remember reading Henny Penny to my kids and understand that we are programmed to believe the worst. Even if it kills off all our friends. And turns out not to happen. That quadrant of the precautionary principle for No Threat/Do Something doesn't look appealing to me.

    I look to scientists and commentators who are willing to argue a case. And I mean argue. Not on the basis of 'the science is settled.' Not on the basis of 'the models say.' And I see the folks that want to engage are much like me. Interested in clarity.

    And then I think about the energy poor world that making a change demands. And I think what if I'm wrong and there is warming and it will cause drastic population reduction. And I wonder whether a self-inflicted return pre-industrial living is worse than a natural (believe it or not man is part of nature and not outside it) decline which will correct itself over time. Perhaps not. Perhaps the time of the cockroaches is approaching.

    I choose to live a low impact life. For 6 months of the year I live without electricity in a tent. Using an earth closet. Scavenging for firewood. Doing forestry. That's a choice. I don't seek to impose it.

    So I am pleased to call myself a skeptic. My skepticism is about the nature of the catastrophe or, indeed whether there actually is one.

    There is no doubt that I will get downvotes, I usually do. If you are hovering over that button, do tell me why. Demonstrate it is not just a zealous faith in the science.

    Long post thank you for reading this far.

    1. Andrew Alan McKenzie

      Re: Here's my position for what it is worth...

      OK -a downvote based simply enough on your first paragraph - the number might be up for grabs, but .3 degrees/century is based on what? Not observations, not models, not theory , 'intuition' maybe?

      Just because something makes us uncomfortable, and we don't want to change our habits, doesn't mean it isn't happening. Doctors tell me red meat is bad for me, and eating it will shorten life expectancy. I don't like that message because I like eating steak. but that doesn't mean the doctor's are wrong, It means I am weak willed and think about short term gain (mmmm - steak!) rather than the long term (dying from bowel cancer). That makers me a typical human, but says absolutely zilch about the scientific facts of diet/life expectancy.

      1. david 63

        @AAK

        Sorry serves me right for relying on an old man's memory ;) I've been looking for the Lindzen numbers that don't rely on feedback. I can't find them right now. But let's say the human contribution is 1K per century. My argument stands.

        And I'm not uncomfortable with a warmer planet so have no reason to understate the numbers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's my position for what it is worth...

      So, you "look to scientists and commentators who are willing to argue a case"

      As far as the science goes, are you likely to understand the technical arguments? OK, so you (or some other putative reasonably-technical-but nonscientist-reader) might follow a handwaving version of the science that seems plausible, but that's not the science (however much a "commentator" might want you to believe it).

      Let me give an example of a simple scientific controversy, in that it only involves Maxwell's equations (no complicated and poorly characterized feedbacks here!)

      Perfect imaging without negative refraction (Ulf Leonhardt), http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/11/9/093040/ (free to view)

      Follow the argument in the comment reply sequence:

      http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/12/5/058001

      http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/12/5/058002

      http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/13/2/028001

      http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/13/2/028002

      Got an opinion now? If you look at the cited-by link in the original article page, you'll see other papers which comment, with replies (some of which will be available).

      There ya go. A nice, clean, simple science argument for you. Not one of those messy climate ones. Do let us know how you get on, eh?

      1. david 63

        @AC 11:40

        Interesting articles but they only cause me to reflect that the science is rarely 'settled.' There are refinements and new understandings as we understand things better.

        A question: how many life changing political decisions are made on the basis of 'Perfect imaging without negative refraction?' And if one of the contributors is right or wrong are they going to make me sit in the dark waiting for the wind to blow?

        I don't seek to eliminate debate. I don't believe the science is settled. That attitude would have the earth as flat and the sun going round it. And the night sky a blanket with pinholes in it.

        Not anonymous because I will stand by my opinions...

        1. Some Beggar
          FAIL

          Re: @AC 11:40

          Oh. Good. Grief. Not the "herp derp flat earth" argument. Please.

          What we currently describe as "science" only really dates back about three hundred years to the renaissance and Enlightenment. We've known the earth isn't flat since at least the fourth century BCE.

          This is just about the laziest version of the argument from doubt.

          Science if fluid by its very nature. But that means that when one lacks the specific technical background to make an educated choice, one should accept an argument from authority from the people who do have the technical background. The expert concensus on climate change is pretty clear. Calling it into question because of some daft 'flat earth' argument isn't healthy scepticism, it is pure hubris.

          1. david 63

            @Some Beggar

            Shall we apply that to sun going round the earth? A few stand-out scientists said it wasn't true. The consensus said it was...and turned it into a religious debate. Remind you of anything?

            I stand with the unbelievers.

            1. Some Beggar
              FAIL

              Re: @Some Beggar

              You're restating the same utterly bogus argument with a different example. Copernicus was not arguing with a consensus of scientists, he was arguing with the Catholic church.

              You can make as many excuses for your hubris as you like. Or you can do a bit of self examination and ask yourself why you think you know better than the vast majority of experts. Your choice.

              1. david 63

                @Some Beggar

                Hubris? To state my observations and opinions?

                Do you not think the church had it's tame scientists to provide their arguments. And the cardinals were probably some of the best educated people of their day.

                I often think we are dealing with faith - on both sides of the argument.

                And when you get to faith there is no argument. Agreeing to differ is the only way.

                1. Some Beggar

                  Re: @Some Beggar

                  It's hubris to think you know better than the vast majority of relevant experts.

                  I'm not sure how to phrase that in simpler terms.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @david 63 (12:28)

          So: "A question: how many life changing political decisions are made on the basis of 'Perfect imaging without negative refraction?' "

          Why are you avoiding my point? By doing so, you give the impression that you can't even cope with a simple, well defined scientific dispute[*]. So why is it you think you know anything useful about climate science? Let alone about how settled the AGW debate is or not [+].

          [*] but feel free to prove me wrong. Maybe by discussing this "perfect drain" thing used by Leonhardt; but pick another feature if you like.

          [+] Again, feel free to correct me: perhaps you might provide a summary of the important climate-based scientific articles you've read?

          1. david 63

            Re: @ac 15:03

            I'm not sure what your point is. You posted links to a legitimate scientific debate and challenging. I said it illustrated that scientific debate is good and settled science can change due to the debate.

            I spent a while giving you my reasoning. Go back to the original post and tell me where my observations were awry. Red herrings involving optics will be ignored.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Affected Europe "and" Antartica or "from" Europe to Antartica

    Since I'm an idel bugger and can't be bothered to read the paper, perhaps someone can explain the difference.

    Medieval warming period - from historical records

    Antarctic warming period at same time - deduced from measurement of samples

    That suggests that medieval europe and medieval antarctica were both warm.

    It doesn't seem to indicate to me that South America or central Africa, or Asia were warmer than usual at the same time.

  17. Martin
    FAIL

    Is this a news article or an op-ed?

    Look, we know that Lewis Page only ever covers news which supports his anti AGW agenda. But with comments like "famous climate-alarmist scientists", he is going way beyond what is really justifiable.

    It's actually a good thing for everyone that someone has done some research and discovered that things are not quite as we first thought. It's called science. We can never be sure we're absolutely right. But it's just another datum. As someone above said, it doesn't mean that global warming isn't happening.

    Honestly, the last time I saw so much one-sided reporting on a science issue, it was the Discovery Institute trying to deny evolution.

    1. g e

      Re: Is this a news article or an op-ed?

      So the IPCC stuff is all peer-reviewed then (by non-IPCC people, natch)?

      Just checking, seriously, I don't know if it is or not.

      'Alarmist' would be somewhat unjustified if it is indeed all peer-reviewed work. Not if not.

    2. Sapient Fridge

      Re: Is this a news article or an op-ed?

      The Register gets its "science" from WUWT, this was published yesterday:

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/22/more-evidence-the-medieval-warm-period-was-global/

      which explains the bias.

  18. g e
    Trollface

    On a tangent

    I wonder if there's a correlation between fanbois/fandroids and warmologists/sceptics

    And if there is, which demographics would have the highest overlap...

    Joke or Troll... hmm troll then I can pre-empt the inevitable...

  19. Sapient Fridge
    FAIL

    More head in the sand science reporting from The Register

    Antartica is not the globe, and several proxies show cooling areas during the MWP which you carefully ignore. You need to look at the global picture:

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/MannetalScience09.pdf

    You are basically cherry picking which proxies you report on, and ignoring the ones which contradict you. It's called confirmation bias.

    But even if it were warmer in the MWP it wouldn't help the AGW denier case because there would have been a natural reason for that warmth. In fact it is known that solar input was high and volcanic aerosols low at that time, which would explain some warming.

    Your problem is that those influences are not happening now. The sun's input has been stable (or declining slightly) since the 1970's but the global temperature has risen dramatically. Why? Where is the energy to melt 4.3 trillion tonnes of ice in the last 8 years coming from?

    The global temperature doesn't change without cause you know.

  20. Scott Broukell

    <insert title>

    Our world is a pretty big place and conditions for tiny peeps crawling around on it, at the interface with the surface and the ever so thin atmosphere where marvelous chaotic gaseous fluid systems create the ebb and flow of our climate with interference from external sources of heat, light and other emissions, are going to be dramatic at times, but probably reasonably stable in the main. If they weren't stable for the majority of the time, once the atmosphere became largely composed of methane, nitrogen and some oxygen etc we probably wouldn't be here would we ?

    Although we can appreciate data sets taken from ice cores and tree rings, I doubt we will ever be able to accurately model what the climate was like hundreds or thousands of years ago because such data sets represent only a limited slice of the whole picture. It appears hard enough for us to determine if tomorrow will bring cloud, drizzle or heavy rain to any given area smaller than say Wales.

    I've read studies that purport to show humans altered the climate / atmosphere when we began adopting an agricultural, more settled, life-style in the neolithic period. And we know about the potential material just one large volcanic eruption can put into the atmosphere. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that our more recent, industrial, emissions have played some part in effecting that same immense chaotic system.

    I am more concerned about the health of the worlds oceans, which, of course, play a major part in driving the atmospheric machinery. But not so much the effect they have in that system, more the effect that increased acidity therein will have on our food chain! The oceans continue to absorb vast amounts of pollutants (man-made or other), which we blissfully ignore at our peril. We could probably adapt sufficiently to survive another ice-age or, alternatively, the desertification of most of Europe, but if the oceans become lifeless foul-stenching mega-sewers, we would find that adaptation, and hence our survival, far, far harder to achieve.

    Come what may, something will have to give when / if things get tougher down here on the surface, it will inevitably have it's largest effect on the weakest and those least able to adapt. I am a great adherent of a self-managed human population, by which I mean individuals taking the responsibility to keep the human population at sustainable levels, because in the greater scheme of things, it brings benefits to the whole population - that's us, all of us, together.

    I suggest that through our ingenuity, technology and by taking responsibility for both population and waste / recycling etc we could do a whole lot more to not only mitigate our industrial emissions, but put ourselves in a better position to react, adapt, change and possibly survive whatever might be heading our way in terms of climate change or oceanic catastrophe.

    Currently, however, this would prove to be a difficult fit with our self-imposed model of global finance, consumerism and the severe dichotomy twixt the "must haves" and the "need to have" parts of our developed and under developed world population. What drives the present global financial system must have these two poles in order for the "current" of money to flow around the system and generate the energy of financial gain.

    It has always amazed me just how humans managed to survive periods of glaciation in the past - tiny hand fulls of mesolithic peeps trekking thousands of miles to pastures new, or clinging on to life at the edges - truly awesome given their rudimentary technology. One can only imagine that their understanding of and sense of the natural world around them was far more finely tuned than is ours now - despite our wonderous technology. Of course these people also traded artifacts and goods and knowledge, but probably largely for reasons of sheer survival, rather than pure individual greed. (that quite possibly started a bit later).

    - just saying.

  21. Tom 7 Silver badge

    And the Medeival Ice age was probably man made.

    It was likely caused when we took some very unpleasant diseases to the Americas and wiped out the tree cutting down population there, thus allowing massive carbon capture.

    1. Scott Broukell

      Re: And the Medeival Ice age was probably man made.

      I think you will find that with a managed, sustainable local population, which in turn, manages and replenishes fast-growing woodland stocks both for construction use and heating and cooking etc, that it is in fact a more humanly / environmentally friendly activity than importing diseased invaders to rape, pillage and plunder those and other resources for the sake of greed and individual wealth.

      The islands of the UK were once festooned with huge tracts of lush forests and woodland until the local population took it upon themselves to start building vast amounts of timber-framed houses and, more pertinently, ships with which to sail across the seas and .......

      1. aelfheld

        Re: And the Medeival Ice age was probably man made.

        Huge tracts of land: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3YiPC91QUk

    2. aelfheld

      Re: And the Medeival Ice age was probably man made.

      Do you even have any idea what time frame is designated 'medieval'?

  22. Mephistro Silver badge

    Poor logic

    AGW deniers seem to be making several huge logic leaps here. I would summarize them as follows:

    - Climate scientists were wrong when claiming that the Medieval Warm Period was local to Europe only.: I have been reading discussions about this for ages, and -contrary to what the article implies- there has never been a clear consensus on the subject, due to scarcity of data. A 60% of climate scientists believing 'X' and a 40% believing '!X' is not a clear consensus, by most definitions.

    - As Climate scientists were wrong regarding this MWP, they must be also wrong regarding AGW: Scientists can always be wrong. We're discussing Science here, not Religion. But if most of the data seems to support the hypothesis of AGW we should probably stick with it until more data proves or disproves AGW. Similarly, If the scientific consensus says that drinking 1.5 litres of Vodka has a 50% chance of killing you, you probably shouldn't do it, unless you get very clear evidence that this consensus is wrong.

    - This study is an important breakthrough, as it proves that GW can be caused by factors other than human activity: We already knew that. The Earth has been going through warm periods and glaciations for several hundred millions of years at least, and this well known fact doesn't by itself invalidate AGW. Volcanoes, Sun cycles and other -non anthropogenic- factors can cause warm and cold periods.

    -As AGW can't be proved without a shadow of doubt, we shouldn't preemptively act to prevent it:'Erring on the side of caution' is the usually best approach when addressing something as potentially catastrophic and destructive as GW. In the best case, if AGW is wrong, the data used to debunk it would be useful for forecasting future climate changes and improving climate models, so we can predict -or even prevent- other warming/cooling episodes. "Hope for the best and prepare for the worst" is always a sound advice for issues like this.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Poor logic

      You contradict yourself on the very first line. The AGW warmmongers are precisely the people who for the last 20 years have been claiming the science is settled and we skeptics need to stuff a sock in it.

      On the second line you misrepresent our claim. Our claim isn't that they were wrong, it's that if they lied about item #1 in order to advance a specific non-scientific agenda, you can't trust any of the rest of their statements either.

      On line 3 you again seek to misdirect. I've checked on a few papers and they ALL start with an assumption I KNOW to be wrong: Solar activity does not constitute the major component of warming on Earth. Run the thought experiment where you turn off the sun and see how warm the CO2 keeps it.

      Line 4 is pure BS. You expend scarce resource only in proportion to the combine damage*risk danger factor when compared to cose. When there are serious questions about both damage and risk, and the cost is 10 orders of magnitude higher than either, it goes to the bottom of the pile. I present as an objective example the danger that near-Earth object of sufficient size to cause a Tanguskan event. We know such objects exist and they have a far more immediate and serious affect than the change the warmmongers pound their drums about. Yet no one is seriously expending money on identifying such objects, let alone work out a reasonable plan to mitigate their impact.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Poor logic (@ Tom 13)

        "The AGW warmmongers are precisely the people who for the last 20 years have been claiming the science is settled and we skeptics need to stuff a sock in it"

        I don't doubt that there exists a % of AGW supporters who are claiming that 'the science is settled'. Misinformed individuals abound at both sides of this discussion, and their existence proves zilch regarding this AGW controversy.

        "Our claim... ...is that if they lied about item #1 in order to advance a specific non-scientific agenda"

        Please re-read my comment. What I'm saying is that the consensus that the article claims that existed before -i.e. that the Medieval warm period was only local to Europe- didn't in fact exist, so the implication that 'THEY' were lying to us is disingenuous at best.

        "I've checked on a few papers and they ALL start with an assumption I KNOW to be wrong: Solar activity does not constitute the major component of warming on Earth. Run the thought experiment where you turn off the sun and see how warm the CO2 keeps it."

        Misdirection, indeed, but it's all yours. Plus a big smoking straw dog. No scientist in his sane mind would ever say that the Sun is not what keeps the Earth warm. Please read what you wrote and tell me who is trying to misdirect whom.

        "You expend scarce resource only in proportion to the combine damage*risk danger factor when compared to cose"

        WTF??? Please rewrite that into something understandable.

        "When there are serious questions about both damage and risk, and the cost is 10 orders of magnitude higher than either..."

        Genius. So the cost of measures against AGW is 10 orders of magnitude bigger than the cost of possible consequences of AGW? You got that from one of the many papers you read on the subject, didn't you? Yep, bullshit, indeed.

        " I present as an objective example the danger that near-Earth object of sufficient size to cause a Tanguskan event"

        The Tunguskan event killed at most a few dozen people. If it had happened in a densely populated area the death toll would have been at most a few millions. A big tragedy, but life would have continued in the rest of the world almost as usual. AGW would damage our agriculture, destroy coastal areas -where most of mankind resides-, disrupt transportation, cause famines and wars... .

        It goes without saying that a really huge space rock could exterminate us, but on the other hand we don't have yet the technology that would allow us to destroy/deflect/whatever one of these big rocks.

        "Yet no one is seriously expending money on identifying such objects"

        FYI: Yes, they are. There are several projects that are compiling a catalog of such objects and their trajectories.

      2. Burb

        Re: Poor logic

        "I've checked on a few papers and they ALL start with an assumption I KNOW to be wrong: Solar activity does not constitute the major component of warming on Earth. Run the thought experiment where you turn off the sun and see how warm the CO2 keeps it."

        Mephisto has already called you out on this one but I am genuinely intrigued about what on earth you are on about here. What exactly do you think is claimed about CO2?

    2. aelfheld

      Re: Poor logic

      Climate scientists were wrong when claiming that the Medieval Warm Period was local to Europe only.

      'Climate scientists' have done everything possible to deny and obscure the Medieval Warm Period.

      As Climate scientists were wrong regarding this MWP, they must be also wrong regarding AGW

      'Climate scientists' haven't been 'wrong' - they've bloody well lied. And most of the data most of the data doesn't the hypothesis of AGW

      This study is an important breakthrough, as it proves that GW can be caused by factors other than human activity

      Not to listen to the 'climate scientists.

      As AGW can't be proved without a shadow of doubt, we shouldn't preemptively act to prevent it

      Why is it massively disrupting civilisation around the world is 'erring on the side of caution', but being reluctant to do so is 'poor logic'?

      Your arguments are unconvincing because they are fundamentally unsound.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Poor logic

        "'Climate scientists' have done everything possible to deny and obscure the Medieval Warm Period."

        Yeah! It was economists who discovered MWP, not climate scientists.

        "'Climate scientists' haven't been 'wrong' - they've bloody well lied "

        So, when there is a controversy between scientists with no clear consensus, and new data is gathered, supporting one or another side of the argument, your explanation is that scientists were lying. Yep. Good logic. Congrats.

        "Why is it massively disrupting civilisation around the world is 'erring on the side of caution', but being reluctant to do so is 'poor logic'?"

        Massively disrupting civilization????

        - Taxing contaminating industries. The worst effect would probably be a price rise for manufactured goods, so your electronic gizmos would cost a 20% more (Yep, I just made up that number). The up side would be an economic incentive for industries to contaminate less and spend less energy, which is good no matter if AGW is real or not.

        - Promoting public transport, i.e. by designing cities and residential areas with public transport in mind. Consequences: A better use of energy, less contamination and less road accidents. What's not to like?

        - Giving incentives for reforestation, possibly allowing contaminating industries to reduce their pollution taxes creating woodlands to act as carbon sinks.

        - Promoting a sensible use of forest's resources, in such a way that such resources become true renewable resources. This would probably rise the price of printing paper and furniture.

        - Fighting planned obsolescence, as it causes a huge loss of resources.

        - Promoting recycling in an intelligent way, so the users and companies involved get incentives to recycle their products. This would also rise the price of manufactured goods, so instead of changing our flat panel TVs every 4 years we'd be stuck with the same TV for 6 years. The horror!

        - Promoting research on better insulation, more durable materials, eco-friendly materials, more efficient machines and alternative energy sources.

        -...

        So, doing all this would 'massively disrupt civilization?

        Yes. My ass.

  23. kyza
    Unhappy

    I don't know...

    why I even bother to read articles on CC with the name 'Lewis Page' attached to them - some kind of weird masochism.

  24. hamcheeseandonion
    Pint

    Enough already!!

    Good grief!

    With remarkably few exceptions, you lot are a right load of gasbags. Worrying about something you can't control is futile. So is burying your head in the sand. It's effing Friday, it's lunchtime. Go to the pub FFS, and stop all this pointless chatter.

    I for one welcome my alcoholic overlords.

  25. Some Beggar
    FAIL

    Complete straw man.

    The current consensus is that the medieval warm period was scattered across the globe but that the warming was not global.

    This new data proposes a new local data point where that medieval warm period might have occurred.

    To interpret that as "new science contradicts IPCC" is either dishonest or illiterate.

  26. Xenobyte
    Alert

    So... what does it mean?

    It's actually quite simple:

    Global warming has happened before without human influence, both before 'civilization' (end of the ice ages) and during (the new data). This means that there exists a reason (or several reasons) for this to occur that isn't human-related.

    It does not mean that human activity cannot cause global warming.

    It does mean that if we believe we currently observe signs of global warming, there's at least one more still unknown cause for it. It may be irrelevant today or it may be entirely false if the both the signs of past global warming as well as the current signs are false positives and the global climate didn't change - not then, not now.

    Some say that it doesn't hurt to be on the safe side and that we shouldn't take any risks when it comes to the global climate. That's all fine and good and if these people chose to live like that, fine. It's their life and they can live it how they chose.

    The problems come when they turn it into a religion (more like a cult) and enforce their beliefs on others, especially policy-makers. This is wrong on several levels, both the cult aspects (brainwashing, name calling, peer pressure etc.) and the fact that policy is based on more or less guesswork. Add to that, the 'fixes' include massive expenditures, a significant drop in the options for transport and energy, and our way of life. And it's still based on guesswork. It's actually a lot like the Holy Inquisition: Convert and pay taxes to The Church - or else!

    Yes, it is possible that humans cause global warming. We're just far from being able to justify that, let alone prove it. Even proof of the fact that global warming is happening doesn't change anything because we simply don't know why. There is a unknown cause out there, and as long as we don't know what and understand its part in the big picture, we cannot say that "humans caused everything". The unknown cause may explain everything on it's own, be partially to blame or have no influence at all today. We just don't know.

  27. Fred M

    Acid Rain

    I'm just amazed that the Acid Rain hasn't killed us off already.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    I'm glad idiots like the author of this article aren't in charge of things...

    Oh wait a minute...

    1. Captain Save-a-ho
      Terminator

      Re: I'm glad idiots like the author of this article aren't in charge of things...

      Actually, things are much worse off than that. Believe it or not, Lewis would be an upgrade over our current fucktard overlords on both sides of the pond.

  29. P. Lee
    Meh

    Some people are under the impression that the science matters

    It doesn't.

    Those with the most power and money will get what they want, just as they always do.

    That may be:

    - Governments - who want to raise taxes and pay-off those who funded political campaigns and who want people to be afraid so that they don't cause trouble

    - Big business - oil companies, and anyone large enough to benefit from the various carbon trading schemes

    Academics will sell their research to the highest bidder... or more subtly, research which backs the high-bidders will be well publicised.

    If GW was not created by humans, would it stop the maldives from sinking, deserts expanding or coastal areas from flooding? If it is created by humans, do you think we are really going to consume less, barter tomatoes for potatoes with the neighbours and do without the car, iphone 5, 6 and 7? If we did, the world economy and infrastructure would collapse back into the stone-age just as fatally as from any natural catastrophe.

    The real argument is over who the winners and losers will be with regard to this issue, and who can be manipulated by those in power.

  30. scatter

    Spot the difference:

    Scientist says: “We showed that the Northern European climate events influenced climate conditions in Antarctica,”

    Lewis says: "Medieval warming WAS global – new science contradicts IPCC"

    Lame.

    1. scatter

      Re: Spot the difference:

      Indeed the researchers have released the following statement

      <<"It is unfortunate that my research, "An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula," recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, has been misrepresented by a number of media outlets.

      Several of these media articles assert that our study claims the entire Earth heated up during medieval times without human CO2 emissions. We clearly state in our paper that we studied one site at the Antarctic Peninsula. The results should not be extrapolated to make assumptions about climate conditions across the entire globe. Other statements, such as the study "throws doubt on orthodoxies around global warming," completely misrepresent our conclusions. Our study does not question the well-established anthropogenic warming trend.">>

      http://asnews.syr.edu/newsevents_2012/releases/ikaite_crystals_climate_STATEMENT.html

  31. JeffyPooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Easy solutions...

    Mirrors to reflect sunlight back into space. Cheap and low-impact to manufacture and install, and then each square meter will reflect about a kilowatt back into spaaaaace.

    Pay the peasants to make charcoal out of bamboo and then toss it down a mine shaft. A billion tonnes of pure carbon removed from the atmosphere each year is easy, and will bring work to the poor.

    Fix the pollution from shipping (container ships). Low hanging fruit.

    Scrub the CO2 from power plants (making it pure CO2) and pipe it - and the waste heat - into greenhouses.

    Stop focusing *just* on automobiles and airplanes. It's stupid. How about buildings, ships, cows and making concrete?

    1. Some Beggar

      Re: Easy solutions...

      If only people were already addressing these things.

      Oh wait ... they are.

  32. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
    Holmes

    Cui Bono?

    The systematic downvoters perhaps?

    1. Yamal Dodgy Data
      Devil

      Re: Cui Bono?

      Nah its the Grauniad readers .. the Reg is under siege from community outreach jobsworths, gender identity academics and other assorted wankers in the civil service.

      The lunatics at the Graun have actually organised themselves into a troll brigade.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/search/comments?q=orlowski

      They never got over Andrew Orlowski driving a stake into their carbon cult beliefs.

      Here you go eco-loons .. one more time, the article that woke up the apathetic majority

      as an added bonus it's guaranteed to make any watermelon explode.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/30/crugate_analysis/

  33. IHateWearingATie
    Trollface

    C'mon people...

    ... Three pages of comments and not one commenting on the pic used to illustrate it?

    Maaaaaarrrrrriiiiiooon, why don't you, carry on......

    I loved that prog when I was young. Tony Robinson as the sherriff of Nottingham - genius

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: C'mon people...

      Err... That would be Monty Python.

  34. Ross 7

    Dear Lord - get over the "oh 0.04 is a small number innit?" idea

    "If it was worldwide in extent that would strongly suggest that global warming may just be something that happens from time to time, not something caused by miniscule concentrations of CO2 (the atmosphere is 0.04 per cent CO2 right now; this figure might climb to 0.07 per cent in the medium term)."

    "Miniscule concentrations" don't mean small amounts - you really seem to struggle with this concept. The earths atmosphere had a mean mass of 5.1441 x 10^18 kg in the early '90s *. 0.04% of that (i.e. the mass of the CO2) is 2.0576 x 10^15 kg (or about 2 trillion metric tonnes).

    Whilst 0.04% and 0.07% are both small ratios, an extra ~1.75 trillion tonnes extra is a pretty large quantity. So, in your next headline, instead of quoting 0.04% use the 2 trillion tonnes figure - doesn't have the effect you want though does it?...

    Add in the fact that the extra CO2 created by our activity won't necessarily be spread uniformly throughout the atmosphere and you can see how increased CO2 could affect climate in specific regions (the mean across the planet may be 0.07%, however the problem with using a mean is that not every point is at it. 1,1,1,97 gives a mean of 25 for example). Notably increased greenhouse effects at a particular geographic location will knock on to adjoining areas (the added heat will change water content and pressure of the air changing convection currents etc).

    You can harp on about how tiny a number 0.04 or 0.07 is, but you seem to lack any concept of what that equates to in real terms, or what a mean is and more importantly what it isn't.

    ---

    * http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1994/94JD02043.shtml

    1. Burb

      Re: Dear Lord - get over the "oh 0.04 is a small number innit?" idea

      @Ross 7

      This one about relative concentrations cropped up in another of Mr Page's recent stories. You make some good points. One thing I would add is that the greenhouse effect of CO2 is caused by the specific property it has of absorbing and re-radiating infra red radiation of certain wavelengths. Most of the gases in the atmosphere are transparent to this effect, so from the point of view of the effect, they might as well not be there and their relative concentration is not relevant. What matters is the absolute amount of CO2 which, as you point out, is large!

      The thing is the ".04% is nothing" argument is superficially compelling whereas the reality is a slightly subtle point that a lot of people don't seem to be able to get their head around.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IPCC proposes they rule the world?

    I saw a warmist-alarmist blog the other day that said we need a world government to save us from a 70ft rise in sea level!

    I suspect IPCC had some ideas about who would be the best uber-leader!

    Looks like they'll have to think again. Oh. and their science approach and ethics really smell of fish!

  36. Nerdo

    confirmation bias

    Perhaps this research is accurate, or not, I wouldn't know. However, it is painfully obvious the torch that theReg is holding for AGW denial. They publish article after article which ignores overwhelming concensus, casting skeptical interpretations on anything which favors AGW. But any paper which is contrary to AGW is touted as proof that the rest is a pack of lies.

    1. Captain Save-a-ho
      Facepalm

      Re: confirmation bias

      Nerdo, you're right. Hopefully, El Reg will see the error in its ways and stop being a news/entertainment site and get back to its honest, scientific origins. How silly that El Reg can't less filled with confirmation bias like MSNBC, CNN, or Fox News.

      /sarcasm

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am just trying to add all of the information and there are points that is being kept out of the loop.

    Yes Earth is warming, but there is proof that Jupiter and Mars are also warming and quite possible the rest of the planets as well..

    So the question is, if the other planets are warming, why would not the same cause be causing our planet to warm?

    The biggest gas that cause global warming, is not CO2, that is the smallest percentage, h20 is the leading global warming gas, 95% is water vapor, 4.72% is ocean cause and .28% is human contributions. The logic does not add up to man made global warming.

    1. Some Beggar
      Headmaster

      @Anonymous Coward

      http://www.firstschoolyears.com/science/index.htm

      Hope this helps.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      "So the question is, if the other planets are warming, why would not the same cause be causing our planet to warm?"

      The atmosphere, easy, do you have another questions?

    3. Sapient Fridge

      Other planets are not warming, and H2O s a feedback not a forcing

      The other planets are not warming:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-other-planets-solar-system.htm

      and water vapour is a feedback, not a forcing, because the amount of water vapour the atmosphere holds is directly linked to the temperature. As soon as the atmosphere cools the water vapour condenses out again, but CO2 stays put.

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/water-vapor-greenhouse-gas.htm

      Water vapour is part of the feedback caused by CO2, and has to be taken into account when calculating the temperature rise from added CO2. Higher CO2 causes warming, which causes evaporation, which gives more water vapour, so more warming etc.

      See here for answers to further AGW denier myths and misinformation:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

  38. strum Silver badge
    FAIL

    What a shameful piece of tosh this is.

    Having spent years dismissing acres of solid work, which doesn't happen to suit the denialist Reg, suddenly one tiny morsel of evidence disproves it all. What a fraud!

  39. Cacattack
    Megaphone

    It's interesting that...

    ,,, the Register seems so set against AGW, and yet the comments here seem rather skewed toward supporting AGW. What is it about the Register's readers that so many of them seem to be able to both think for themselves AND do a rather appropriate analysis of what they read? Does The Register deserve this audience? :-)

  40. bexley
    Thumb Down

    Balance?

    Is there any chance of some more balanced articles on these matters, Lewis clearly holds a controversial opinion, one that most believe to be abhorrent.

    How about letting another writer tackle the work to provide some balance.

    That is unless the house view is that humans have nothing to do with the changing environment and that the staggering abuse of natural resources and pollution is somehow justified?

    1. Captain Save-a-ho
      Facepalm

      Re: Balance?

      Here's some alarmist website where you can probably find such drivel:

      http://www.ipcc.ch

      http://www.msnbc.com

      http://www.cnn.com

      Has a news site or newspaper ever been completely fair and unbiased? If you think so, I know of a bridge for sale.

  41. bexley

    and another thing

    I think the ad model for this website is pay per view, as in, when the ad is loaded on a page, the reg get paid.

    So the more people that load this page of rubbish the more money the reg get in ad revenue.

    Perhaps that has something to do with such blatantly provocative tabloid stories

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: and another thing

      Also the multiple postings of the same story?

      Such and such is going to happen

      Such and such is happening

      Such and such has happened...

  42. Eddie Edwards
    Facepalm

    Welcome back to the dark ages

    "If it was worldwide in extent that would strongly suggest that global warming may just be something that happens from time to time, not something caused by miniscule concentrations of CO2 (the atmosphere is 0.04 per cent CO2 right now; this figure might climb to 0.07 per cent in the medium term)."

    Reminds me of all the arsenic poisoning cases that were thrown out when the jury heard that new peer-reviewed evidence strongly suggested that death was just something that happens from time to time, not something caused by miniscule concentrations of arsenic.

    Because, obviously, the fact that things happen from time to time means that you can rule out any and all causal models.

    Welcome back to the dark ages.

  43. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    So how *many* samples are needed to get *acceptance* of some evidence?

    Only IIRC the business with the CRU required *one* set of tree rings to be enough to hang the proof on the hockey puck curve

    And would evidence that the *whole* of at least one polar ice cap be enough to demonstrate that such a warm period *probably* covered the rest of the globe?

    Or just the polar ice cap the samples were taken from? And if so would that be sufficient to change GCM models to the point they would need revision

    After all it's only one polar *icecap*.

    Where do you draw the line?

    Thumbs up for propelling us further toward the truth (although I'm not sure what that will be).

    1. Sapient Fridge

      Re: So how *many* samples are needed to get *acceptance* of some evidence?

      The hockey stick shape shows up whichever proxy you choose, not just tree rings:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/broken-hockey-stick.htm

      You have fallen for the AGW denier propaganda.

  44. aelfheld

    Surprise, surprise, surprise

    Old science contradicts the IPCC too.

    Their track record is good though - they've been more thoroughly and consistently wrong than anyone else in at least a century.

    They've been using computer models that, fed validated historical climate data, can not produce results even tangentially related to actual current conditions.

    Any honest seeker after the truth would take that as an indication that their model has serious flaws and requires correction.

    In the case of the IPCC, the CRU, Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Tim Flannery, et al, they've instead attempted to brand those not buying into their doom-mongering as 'deniers', 'Luddites', &c, &c.

    Global warming Anthropogenic global warming Man-made climate change would be the phlogiston theory of the 21st Century if it had more foundation.

  45. Al Jones

    Is Ikaite the only proxy for historic temperatures in the Artic?

    If not, what do the other proxies show for this time period?

    1. itzman
      Angel

      Re: Is Ikaite the only proxy for historic temperatures in the Artic?

      I think the presence or absence of suntan lotion inf fossilized penguin shit is very significant

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Is Ikaite the only proxy for historic temperatures in the Artic?

        "I think the presence or absence of suntan lotion inf fossilized penguin shit is very significant"

        Not helpful

        But quite amusing.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    I'm right... the great convenient excuse continues...

    ... your wrong.

    I will never agree with you, despite any evidence you can present.

    I will dispute that evidence with some of my own.

    << Both sides of the once interesting, but now tawdry and pathetic, great global warming debate.

    In the interim, the real immediate loser regardless of whether the climate is warming or not, is nature itself.

    Global Warming, in effect, is a Convenient Excuse to forget the destruction of natural habitats and eco-systems, something which was heavily focussed on in the 1970's, for good reason.

    Whilst people play political games with climate change, the destruction of our eco-systems continues unabated, but nobody is interested in listening folks.

    Yep, it's the Convenient Excuse...

    1. Captain Save-a-ho
      Facepalm

      Re: I'm right... the great convenient excuse continues...

      You're right, there's no plausible excuse why you're reading these forums and not out doing your duty to the rest of us! Off with you now!

  47. 0_Flybert_0

    I've never seen "science" with so much fudge factor as climate "science"

    is CO2, 9% of the green house gas effect, or is it 23% ? .. well , it's the range climate scientists use .. sorry not accurate enough for me to make conclusions from computer modeling

    is water vapor 30% or 70% of the effect ? .. would seem that would be important to pin down .. and in any event, water vapor effect is definitely larger than CO2 effect, yet we can do ZERO about the increase in water vapor , and might not want to, because long term, the increase in water vapor means an overall increase in rain and snowfall, that will eventually cool the planet, cool the ocean, which will absorb more CO2 in time, and the planet will go into the next great ice age, as it has every 100,000 years or so for about 2 million years

    I do think the current warming is man made, but it's because we reduced real pollution, free hydrocarbons and sulfur aerosols dramatically from 1980 on, cleaned the air dramatically, letting more sunlight in .. this may be reversing due to increased pollution from China and India, however, per the global warming goes on forever camp, you can't draw long term conclusions from any 15 year period, despite their long term conclusions and projections being based on an 18 year period from 1980 to 1998 .. you get a different trend from 1993 to 2011 for instance, and there is little or no credence given those 18 years in their long term predictions

    the sea has risen some 320 ft in the last 12,000 years, all part of a a natural cycle, and geological history shows clearly that we are near the end of the current natural warm period of the last 8000 years .. the blessed warmth, that has allowed humans to progress so dramatically, will be gone .. and unless we progress to the point where most of the world's population has fuel for warmth, an excess of food production well below the 40th parallel , we'll see billions die .. this could happen even with a mini-ice age .. 10s of millions could easily die from a couple of very harsh pair of winters right now

    the tipping point I think we've reached .. is that the warmth increases moisture / water vapor in the air .. that eventually results in more cooling rain and sun reflective snowpack at high latitudes, while the tropic oceans, which will take 100s of years to cool, keep pumping moisture into the air feeding a return to a major ice age

    1. NomNomNom

      "I've never seen "science" with so much fudge factor as climate "science"

      is CO2, 9% of the green house gas effect, or is it 23% ? .. well , it's the range climate scientists use .. sorry not accurate enough for me to make conclusions from computer modeling"

      Doesn't help you don't know what you are talking about.

      9% is the reduction in the effect when CO2 is removed.

      23% is the effect left when everything but CO2 is removed.

      Ie they are supposed to be the same thing so you are wrong to treat the range 9-23% as wide uncertainty.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Boffin

        Those numbers do not make sense.

        "9% is the reduction in the effect when CO2 is removed.

        23% is the effect left when everything but CO2 is removed."

        These numbers make no sense.

        9% reduction in the effect ->91% of the effect *remains*

        so 77% (100-23) is the *reduction* when *everything* else but CO2 is removed.

        Should those numbers not be a mirror image of each other? is 14% (91-77) some kind of error bar? Does CO2 multiply the effect of other pollutants (by about 1.18x)?

  48. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Boffin

    Should be easy enough to confirm worldwide medieval warming period

    Besides Greenland and Western/Northern Europe, and now Antarctica, it should be easy enough to confirm or not confirm that the Medieval Warming Period happened. I'd think that there are plenty glaciers with snowpacks going back 1000 years in the Andes, Urals, Himalayas, Rockies, Alaska and Siberia that you would be able to get ice cores from these and determine if the Medieval Warming Period happened (or not) in those locations.

    As for Global Warming, I think its dangerous to meddle with the composition of Earth's atmosphere to the extent we are. However, I am also skeptical of mankind's ability to produce massive amounts of renewable energy that would be needed to retire fossil fuels. The best bet in my mind would be nuclear, but we need to figure out what do with the waste.

  49. itzman
    Happy

    Professor Wol solves climate change mystery

    http://www.clarewind.org.uk/events-1.php?event=39

    enjoy...

  50. Richard Cartledge

    The climate has always been changing, so it is obvious this was going to be a safe gravy train to ride.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/22mar_saber/

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/22mar_saber/

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    to be hontest

    im not really sure why we are all worried about AGW just now, the more imminent threat is stavation as the world population increases beyond the point of sustainability (within todays means) and Energy availability is ever decreasing or underdeveloped.

    One things for sure, more people will starve to death a lot sooner that people dieing because of AGW but we dont hear much about that now do we, i wonder why that is...

  53. pealla

    And back and forth it goes... What I would like to see is peer reviewed researched on the number of opinions that were reconsidered due to viewing an online forum.

  54. dervheid

    Well,

    That's a turn up for the 'book' then...

    Who'd have thought that vested interests might have got it wrong...

    To repeat from my norms;

    "planet warms up,

    planet cools down,

    planet warms up,

    planet cools down,

    planet warms up,

    planet cools down..."

    Fucking deal with it!

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bit of a difference in comparisons... they are talking about a warming period over centuries.. whats going on now is occuring over decades.

  56. Mikel
    Boffin

    Oh my

    El Reg hits both sides of this issue, but I'm thinking denial gets more hits.

    Being based in the UK, I'm sure they wouldn't mind some warmer winters.

    For myself I like to question assumptions. The assumption I would question is "is warming a bad thing?" I like warm. Warm is good. Cold is bad.

    1. Martin G. Helmer
      WTF?

      Re: Oh my

      "Is warming a bad thing?

      Ok. I'l bite on that.

      According to "alarmist scientific consensus"; YES, It is.

      A pretty good summary, comparing pros and cons of warming can be found here.

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-positives-negatives-intermediate.htm

      But of course, that whole web site is just political propaganda from the alarmists, right?

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Oh my

      "For myself I like to question assumptions. The assumption I would question is "is warming a bad thing?" I like warm. Warm is good. Cold is bad."

      As always it's a matter of degree.

      1 neat statistic I found. The melting of *all* ice sheets (Poles & Iceland IIRC) would raise the sea level by 65m

      But how many people check the *altitude* of their home above sea level?

  57. MadChemist

    gees... lots of controversy here, Lewis

    it´s probably been pointed out before - had to skip a few comments - but assuming the science underpinning the antarctic evidence for the global nature of the warming phenomenon 1000 years ago is sound: this tell us a) nothing about what caused it then, b) nothing about what is causing the warming now, nor in fact c) if the causes are related or even identical.

    Clearly we need to learn more about the atmosphere and how it behaves. One thing is certain though: in ages gone by, before the coal and oil of today was laid down, there is evidence that our planet was much warmer than it is today. Go figure.

  58. bert_fe

    So let me get this correct. One proxy temperature measurement has confirmed the Medieval Warming Period. This confirms that we are not to blame for the many other proxy measurements that measure past temperatures but they are absolutely correct!

    Why then is the real Global temperature increasing as compared to all the proxy measurements that you now place so much faith in?

    From what I have read here, most of you have been conned by the denier industry. So many of you show an absolute level of idiocy when it comes to rational thought and knowledge of science. The hand waving ignorance is palpable. I feel very sorry for you all. Bert

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @John Smith 19

    It's *elevation*, not altitude

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: @John Smith 19

      Hmm. I tend to use an altimeter to measure altitude.

      I've never heard of an elevometer, but it's not my specialty.

  60. clv101
    FAIL

    Response from the paper's author

    Zunli Lu:

    “It is unfortunate that my research, “An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula,” recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, has been misrepresented by a number of media outlets.

    Several of these media articles assert that our study claims the entire Earth heated up during medieval times without human CO2 emissions. We clearly state in our paper that we studied one site at the Antarctic Peninsula. The results should not be extrapolated to make assumptions about climate conditions across the entire globe. Other statements, such as the study “throws doubt on orthodoxies around global warming,” completely misrepresent our conclusions. Our study does not question the well-established anthropogenic warming trend.

  61. Sapient Fridge

    So, does The Register do corrections?

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=1381

    Zunli Lu:

    “It is unfortunate that my research, “An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula,” recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, has been misrepresented by a number of media outlets.

    Several of these media articles assert that our study claims the entire Earth heated up during medieval times without human CO2 emissions. We clearly state in our paper that we studied one site at the Antarctic Peninsula. The results should not be extrapolated to make assumptions about climate conditions across the entire globe. Other statements, such as the study “throws doubt on orthodoxies around global warming,” completely misrepresent our conclusions. Our study does not question the well-established anthropogenic warming trend.”

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