back to article Study: Climate was hotter in Roman, medieval times than now

Americans sweltering in the recent record-breaking heatwave may not believe it - but it seems that our ancestors suffered through much hotter summers in times gone by, several of them within the last 2,000 years. Reconstruction of past climate. Credit: Insititute of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz Phew, what a …

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  1. AndrueC Silver badge
    Meh

    The Romans had quite extensive vineyards around York so we've 'always' known it was a bit warmer back then.

    1. That Steve Guy

      Yes and the alarmists always point to the victorian "ice faires" as an example of how much the climate has warmed, they never know what to say when I mention those Roman the vineyards up North.

      1. Oolons
        FAIL

        So climate deniers say the thousands of weather stations around the world were misreading the increase in global temperature and it does not exists. Then a group funded by climate sceptics and led by a physicist prove that the temperature is going up as the weather stations were saying.... So given the difficulty of measuring global temperature when we have thousands of stations we are supposed to believe this is accurate data? From Roman or Medieval times when they didn't even know the American continent even existed. Historical anecdote indicates it was probably warmer in this part of the world during the Summer months during the Roman and Medieval periods - almost certainly - although vineyards are not that good an indicator given there is a Sheffield vineyard that produces thousands of bottles right now. But extrapolating to the whole World! Even if some Antarctic data also fits your theory that is a massive jump in extrapolation to rival even the most wildly inaccurate climate model.

        I don't understand the polarisation in the climate space since it obviously wrecks peoples critical abilities. I suppose the media benefit as they sell more papers or get more clicks - maybe that is the real conspiracy here :-)

        1. Oolons
          Mushroom

          Did Lewis read the same paper?

          Thanks to the link below I got to read the actual paper - the standard of reporting on this issue is atrocious. The paper looked at tree data from a small area of Scandinavia. Also pointing out that they have experienced a lot less warming in recent years than other northern areas.... Hmm do you think that may be true 1000's of years ago - it could have been warmer or cooler than the global average we don't know. So for CLIMATE in Lewis's article read WEATHER, i.e. Local effects for which it is extremely inaccurate to extrapolate to the world. Glad my knee jerk feeling that this was a daft extrapolation has been verified by the paper.

          1. Graham Wilson
            Happy

            @Oolons -- Re: Did Lewis read the same paper? - - Does it really matter?

            Does it really matter? Lewis is feeding snappy piranhas and they're biting on cue.

            ;-)

          2. jsam

            Re: Did Lewis read the same paper?

            It's odd how he took the same line as the Faily Wail. The Register must be at least as good as the worst science reporting in the UK. Congratulations, Lewsi. And they said it couldn't be done - you keep proving them wrong.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Holmes

          @Ooloons

          "So climate deniers say the thousands of weather stations around the world were misreading the increase in global temperature and it does not exists. Then a group funded by climate sceptics and led by a physicist prove that the temperature is going up as the weather stations were saying.... So given the difficulty of measuring global temperature when we have thousands of stations we are supposed to believe this is accurate data? From Roman or Medieval times when they didn't even know the American continent even existed."

          OK, so historic data is totally untrustworthy, unless it supports your thesis? Then again, I should have said "religion", because you've started off carping about "climate deniers", which rather gives way your lack of critical scientific thinking.

          1. Oolons
            Holmes

            Re: @Ooloons

            Cool @Ledswinger is a denier of climate deniers. I didn't know anyone had theorised they were a figment of our imagination... Maybe some let the twat-o-tron loose and it deed polled itself to Lewis Page :-O

            Oh and BTW all historical data is untrustworthy and you use your critical faculties to decide how untrustworthy -hence the 1000's of weather stations vs a few bits of rotten wood in Finland. I'm not saying either are perfect just if I had to bet on it I'd not punt more than a couple of quid on it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Terminator

              Re: @Ooloons

              "Cool @Ledswinger is a denier of climate deniers."

              Oh, boo fuckin hoo, I've been called a "denier". Even worse than being called a racist, the previous ultimate insult from the PC brigade, who now seem to have evolved into the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming ...oops, Anthropogenic Global Climate Change.

              1. Oolons
                Facepalm

                Re: @Ooloons

                @ledswinger - learn to read - I called you a 'denier of climate deniers' not a 'climate denier' you are in a league of stupidity beyond the norm :-)

            2. peter_dtm
              FAIL

              Re: @Ooloons @ Posted Tuesday 10th July 2012 13:26 GMT

              a lot more trees than the single tree in Yamal that underpins the shoddy hockey stick

              A complete series of dendrochronology ignored except for one single tree in Yamal

              If that level of work is acceptable for the science deniers (CAGW team) then it is perfectly valid for CAGW deniers to use the same tools to give another theory - or is dendrochronology reserved for use by CAGW advocates and their single Man high priest ?

              Hoist by his own tree rings ....

              1. jsam

                Re: @Ooloons @ Posted Tuesday 10th July 2012 13:26 GMT

                Only deniers (yes, you) deploy the C, for catastrophic, in CAGW. You went for the balanced view and came out unbalanced. Well done.

        3. John 104

          Follow the Dollars (or Pounds as it were)

          The polarizm is all about the dollar. If huge sums of money weren't involved, this would not be the issue it is. However, people have made careers out of thiis topic. Business have made billion dollar decisions based on this topic and the FUD and warm fuzzies that it produces. It isn't going away, unfortunately, because there is just too much at stake.

        4. system11
          Childcatcher

          "I don't understand the polarisation in the climate space since it obviously wrecks peoples critical abilities"

          Hard to take that seriously from someone who opens with 'climate deniers'. Until population expansion is addressed nearly everything you do is delaying the inevitable. I'm of the opinion that wasting resources doesn't make any logical sense and that's why I recycle/use energy savers/etc, but I don't truly believe that what I'm doing will have any real long term benefit in the context of our planets future.

          The elephant is still in the room, I can see that it's easier to vilify 'climate deniers' though.

        5. Chris Parsons
          Headmaster

          The only non-scientific evidence I can offer is from my Latin A-level. The Roman soldiers would complain all the time about how cold, wet and miserable it was being in Britannia.

      2. smudge Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        vineyards and ice fairs

        The Roman vineyards all through England were the first thing I thought of when I read that article.

        And the medieval London Bridge played a key role in making the ice fairs possible. It had many narrow arches, and thus many thick supports in mid-stream, which slowed the river down considerably, making it much more likely to freeze.

        I knew this anyway :) but it was mentioned in a recent, excellent BBC TV programme on London's bridges.

        1. Robert E A Harvey

          Re: vineyards and ice fairs

          A few years ago I was in Slovakia, in temperatures of -20C with snow on the ground. They said it was a normal winter.

          They have vinyards on the south-facing slopes, and make jolly nice wine. So the presence of Roman Vinyards says very little about the average temperature.

          It may tell us something about average summer rainfall, though, grapes being very susceptible to mildew.

        2. Stuart21551

          Re: vineyards and ice fairs

          " It had many narrow arches, and thus many thick supports in mid-stream, which slowed the river down considerably, making it much more likely to freeze."

          BS. Many narrow arches & thick supports mid stream SPEED UP the river.

          To slow down the river you have to REDUCE the volume or INCREASE the channel cross section.

          1. Andrew James

            Re: vineyards and ice fairs

            "BS. Many narrow arches & thick supports mid stream SPEED UP the river.

            To slow down the river you have to REDUCE the volume or INCREASE the channel cross section."

            Surely many narrow arches and thick supports will create what is essentially a dam. The water that is allowed through will flow faster through the arches, but the water that cannot get through will create a higher water level that is very slow moving for some distance up stream until you get quite close to the actual arches where the bottle neck is.

            Think sand timer. Grains of sand at the opening fall through rapidly. Grains of sand everywhere else moving very slowly. If it were water, those slow moving would freeze at the surface and underneath would continue to flow.

          2. elderlybloke
            Pint

            Re: vineyards and ice fairs

            Stuart21551,

            Maybe someone with access to a good computer and who is competent in Fluid Mecanics could do some simulations.

            The information would settle the argument about the freezing of the river.

            It was a long time ago that I did anything in that field. When it was called Hydraulics.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        As for "ice fairs" on the Thames ... there was a TV program I saw recently which, I think, was talking about the Victorian's constructing their sewage system in London an how thas a side effect of this was the building of the embankments along each side of the Thames in Central London. Presenter commented how that it was sometimes dificult to imagine how that before this the Thames was almost twice as wide as it is now ... and then added that narrowing it meant the flow rate was much higher which meant that it no longer was able to get frozen over as it had done before this time. So absence of "ice fairs" is probably more a sign of Victorian river engineering than global warming!

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @that steve guy

        "Yes and the alarmists always point to the victorian "ice faires" as an example of how much the climate has warmed, they never know what to say when I mention those Roman the vineyards up North."

        Do they then walk away saying something like 'forkwhat hasn't got a clue what he's talking about'?

        Grapes are being grown today in Vermont.

        Does that 'prove' that Vermont's climate is as warm as York in Roman times, or that Roman York was as cold as Vermont's winter?

        1. That Steve Guy

          Re: @that steve guy

          We get a lot of talk over here that the recent growth of the British wine industry "is a direct result of our warming climate", it comes up a lot even in the media.

          If you are saying it doesn't need to be that warm to grow them, then why do we get fed this argument?

      6. Tads

        Of course it was warmer in the past ..

        ... we're cooling down to an ice age. That by definition means it was warmer in the past, and makes the warming we're currently seeing all the more incredible. What hasn't happened in living memory is anything like the CO2 concentrations we see now - CO2 concentrations are higher than any time Man roamed the earth. Ocean acidification caused by CO2 also new during our tenure as as big a threat as warming alone.

      7. FrancisKing

        "Yes and the alarmists always point to the victorian "ice faires" as an example of how much the climate has warmed, they never know what to say when I mention those Roman the vineyards up North."

        The restoration era had the Thames freezing in cold weather. Part of that was due to the London Bridge of the time, which restricted the flow of water downstream.

      8. Potemkine Silver badge

        A possible answer

        Nowadays there are wine producers in Norway, google for "Côte de Rodeløkka”... it's a little bit northern to the Orkney Islands. So, following your logic, this should be a clear indicator that today's climate is warmer than in roman time, shouldn't it?

      9. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Esper - Another Arrogant Boffin Malcontent

        "His research has been part of the Hockey stick controversy with his temperature reconstructions, that have been cited as being evidence for both sides of the controversy."

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      In Roman times, Egypt was a major producer of wheat. Now it is a desert, so we've always known it was a bit colder back then.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: jonathanb

        "In Roman times, Egypt was a major producer of wheat. Now it is a desert, so we've always known it was a bit colder back then." Wheat farming in the Nile delta was largely based then as now on the path of the Nile itself, but that path has shifted many miles. The old Nile used to pass within several hundred yards of the pyramids at Giza and right in front of the paws of the Sphynx. And anyone that has been out to see the laser show at Giza will confirm that it gets damn cold at night, more than cold enough for wheat!

      2. nematoad Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Where in Egypt, exactly?

        "In Roman times, Egypt was a major producer of wheat. Now it is a desert, so we've always known it was a bit colder back then."

        I don't know which part of Egypt you are referring to but when I was in Upper Egypt a few months ago the place was far from being a desert, with lots of sugar cane etc. being grown and harvested. That's the river valley south of Cairo by the way. Lower Egypt especially the Delta is still extremely fertile and produces a huge amount of produce.

        It may have been a bit WETTER back then, but that hasn't much to do with the change in temperature.

        Oh, as to it being colder back then as you state; I'm glad I wasn't about then as when I was there in February it was freezing, the coldest winter for over thirty years I was told.

      3. Zippy the Pinhead
        FAIL

        This was the result of irrigation.. not heat.

      4. Muncher23

        I always thought that it was a lack of rain that made a desert not the temp. Antartica is the world's most desert place so by your logic since Egypt is now a desert it must be a lot colder.

    3. Kwac
      FAIL

      Did you hear this from a man in a pub?

      Often known as 'gintellectuals' .

      "Whether they actually planted vineyards in England is less certain although there is recent archaeological evidence to suggest that they did attempt commercial vine-growing in the Northamptonshire area."

      THE WINELANDS OF BRITAIN: PAST, PRESENT & PROSPECTIVE by Richard Selley.

      http://www.winelandsofbritain.co.uk/book.htm

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Did you hear this from a man in a pub?

        Maybe there was a Roman equivalent of the Ground Nut Scandal... big investments in a project doomed to failure because the plant couldn't grow in the local conditions?

        This is a better crop for the area.

    4. westlake
      Pint

      It seems fair to ask.

      >>The Romans had quite extensive vineyards around York so we've 'always' known it was a bit warmer back then.<<

      It is by no means impossible to have a successful vineyard and produce quality table grapes and wines in a cool or cold climate.

      Here you'll find an overview of US states, including Alaska:

      <a href="http://www.vineyardsandwineries.com/ " a>Vineyards and Wineries</a>

      So the question then becomes "What varieties were grown in Roman York and how they were managed?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: It seems fair to ask.

        "....It is by no means impossible to have a successful vineyard and produce quality table grapes and wines in a cool or cold climate....." Hmmm, I'm assuming you've never been to York! One of the things that can kill grape production is too much rain, which York has in spades. The Romans brought their Med varieties of grapes from Spain, France and Italy to the UK, and they flourished in many areas (one clue is the large number of wine-related street names in the older parts of London), but cannot be successfully grown in the UK today. In the UK today we use special hardy strains of grapevine completely different to the old Roman types.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge
          Devil

          wine, shwine

          Whether vineyards were thriving in Britain is a red herring. It's a LOCAL phenomenon. Ditto this tree ring study is limited to one area of Scandinavia, and is thus not applicable globally.

          On the other hand, a huge chunk of 'hockey-stick' data is also coming from similair tree-ring studies that are very local in scope, and as this study mentions, some of those tree-ring studies showing a warming trend are done using tiny samples. Clearly more work is needed to clarify the longer-term trends, however the warming in the last 100-150 years (since accurate instruments have been available) and particularly in the last 40-50 years (since extremely accurate GLOBAL satellite measurements are available) is undeniable.

          Part of this warming (probably more than half) is down to human-induced CO2 increases. But even allowing for this, the increasing CO2 output will only account for less than 1 degree warming. Global armageddon scenarios only exist when taking into account feedback processes that are put into models, but are really poorly understood in reality.

          One degree warming over 100 years is no big deal, CO2 is a red herring compared to the more important issue which is security of energy supply. THAT is why we should be relying less and less on fossil fuels and more and more on nuclear + renewables.

          1. PatientOne

            Re: wine, shwine

            @James Micallef

            Going to call you on something: "Part of this warming (probably more than half) is down to human-induced CO2 increases"

            It is *theorized* that this is the case: It is not proven.

            There is another theory that doesn't get a lot of air time: That the Clean Air Act is partly responsible. (the following is a rough - and simplified - gist of the theory):

            For 200+ years, we had heavy pollution over many major areas of Europe which caused artificial cooling at ground level. This has been studied and reported by French scientists a few years back. Now, we have something called the Gulf stream that helps warm us, too (we should share the same climate as Hudson Bay as we're at the same latitude, apparently, but we don't). Only if we're artificially cooling the land, that gulf stream is going to loose more heat on the way past than it should do. This would result in less ice melt at the pole, and a colder return stream (lower volume of water returned = slower flow of return = water is in a colder climate for longer = more heat loss before return). This results in a cooler planet (cold return = cooling of the equator).

            Take away the pollution and the area around Northern Europe starts to warm. Ground level temperatures rise, the Gulf Stream isn't cooled as much, the polar ice starts to melt faster and the equator warms up, too.

            Now we don't know how long it will take for everything to regain balance. We don't know exactly how much heating/cooling was taking place other than some ground temperature measurements from before and after the clean air act. We don't know how other factors come into the changes we see. What we do know is that we've had an impact on the environment, and on the climate, and we continue to have an impact. But that does not mean that CO2 is the biggie: It's quite possible it is insignificant compared to other things we've done. Like deforestation, land clearances, forced crop production, irrigation, canal systems and artificial lakes. Each and every one of these things has an impact. We just don't know how much. Tally it all up and yes, we've changed the climate, but by what degree we don't know.

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: wine, shwine

              "It is *theorized* that this is the case: It is not proven."

              He didn't say it was. He said "Part of this warming (probably more than half) is down to human-induced CO2 increases"

        2. Rob
          Boffin

          Re: It seems fair to ask.

          We've also got to take into account the large vineyard diseases (aphids) which wiped out a large population of grapes in Europe (more so France) in the 1800's. When Europe got hit with the disease we ended up importing a few strains from the US that were resistant to the aphids, due to this grafting process I doubt the strain of grape used by the Romans exists anywhere now.

    5. Graham Wilson
      Happy

      @AndrueC - Extent of Roman Empire and Vineyards.

      Way back when I was learning about Roman history in school, I was taught the Romans didn't extend their empire further north than points where vineyards could be sustained. It's why there's little Roman activity past the latitude that Roman outposts such as Trier is on (about 50°N), and Trier was used as the quintessential example. (York, being a few degrees further North, presumably could support grapes because of the gulf stream.)

      Not surprisingly, that's pretty much the limit for vineyards today--but you'll only get wishy-washy whites and not glorious Cabernet and Shiraz at latitudes around 50°N (before I'm shot--apologies to the Moselle and Rheingau, I believe Schloss Johannisberg does make a passable trockenbeerenauslese). ;-)

      ...But on the flimsy evidence available, whether it'd be easier for Schloss Johannisberg to make a better trockenbeerenauslese in Roman times than now, seems moot. Same for wines from York I'd reckon.

    6. P. Lee Silver badge

      I'm not sure we care too much about the actual temperature or climate.

      What people worry about is how disruptive it would be to have the Thames burst its banks on a regular basis, leading to increased insurance claims. Our commercial desire for a static environment is what is at stake. In previous eras we would have just moved a bit further from the river. Now we have billions of GBP wrapped up in the river/sea level not rising and flooding.

      Rather like the fact that we are hooked on house-price increases, we are hooked on property ownership which is difficult to move.

      1. Rex Alfie Lee
        FAIL

        Britain's biggest issues...

        I think that the Brits biggest woes with temperature increase are the storms that will ensue, hurricanes that create a deluge between the UK & Europe. The current thought is that flooding throughout the low-lying Southern areas including London will produce havoc not to forget other quite vulnerable places within that funnel-shaped area. The funnelling is the problem, pushing a large mass of sea into an increasingly smaller space. Depending on the size of the storm it could be devastating. Anyway, not my problem in Australia...

    7. Spotthelemon

      There are currently vineyards in fife, Scottish (grape) wine is planned to be on the shelves in 2014. Yorkshire has been producing wine for a few years. Sweden & Denmark also have vineyards & have been producing wine. In 2001 Denamrk produced 20 hectolitres, last year 546 hectolitres. (hectolitre = 100 litres)

  2. csmac3144

    I can't hear you! (fingers in ears) La la la la la la la...

  3. RPF

    Hea(r)t-warming

    See title.

    Funny how the eco-mentalists like to discount the heating effects of the fusion of millions of tons of hydrogen every second......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hea(r)t-warming

      do you even know what the greenhouse effect is?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. The Axe

        Solar Activity

        Yep, climate scientists who believe in AGW do not take into account solar activity. They ignore solar cycles and sunspots and put everything down to the tiny amount of extra CO2 in the atmosphere put out by man.

        1. Tim Parker

          Re: Solar Activity

          Re: Hea(r)t-warming

          Posted Tuesday 10th July 2012 12:20 GMT Carl Zetie

          "Of all the dumb things that denialists say, this is by far the dumbest. Are you seriously suggesting that CLIMATE scientists don't take into account variations in solar activity? Seriously, that's your position?"

          Posted Tuesday 10th July 2012 13:18 GMT The Axe

          "Yep, climate scientists who believe in AGW do not take into account solar activity. They ignore solar cycles and sunspots and put everything down to the tiny amount of extra CO2 in the atmosphere put out by man."

          Ooooo hold on passing that award to RPF, I think we may have a tie !

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Solar Activity

          @The Axe -NOT AGAIN, please. You bring up the level of CO2 every time there is a climate article like the zombee argument it is and it's thoroughly killed every time. Do you not get tired of being utterly wrong? Go and look up the Greenhouse Effect, and understand it.

          Also, Climate scientists do not ignore solar activity, research has been and is currently being carried out into it.

          Just stating things that you think, without evidence or scientific backing isn't helpful, constructive or useful for discussions into anything.

          1. Mr Temporary Handle
            FAIL

            Re: Solar Activity

            "Also, Climate scientists do not ignore solar activity, research has been and is currently being carried out into it."

            Phil Jones' lot certainly didn't ignore it, but I'm not sure 'research' is the correct word for what they were doing.

            The problem is with both sides having now been caught falsifying their 'research' it's almost impossible to tell who's lying.

            That's not likely to change anytime soon with so many so-called 'climate scientists' desperately scrabbling to get their nose in the trough.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @temporary handle

              "Phil Jones' lot certainly didn't ignore it, but I'm not sure 'research' is the correct word for what they were doing.

              The problem is with both sides having now been caught falsifying their 'research' it's almost impossible to tell who's lying."

              Thanks to the attempts to discredit "Phil Jones' lot" we now know that they weren't lying.

              The 3 inquiries into "Phil Jones' lot" activities found no evidence of what they wre accused of. They were criticised for ignoring hundreds (thousands?) of requests for information under the FOA, because they came from a small number of IPs and were interfering with their research.

              1. Mr Temporary Handle

                Re: @temporary handle

                Sorry Dear Boy...

                Company policy forbids me to feed trolls, quantum physicists, climate change 'enthusiasts' or other religious lunatics.

                BTW: It's MR Temporary Handle.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @temporary handle

                I can see why you'd want to be anonymous for that comment. Anyone who mistakes three buckets of whitewash for any sort of inquiry needs their head read. That whole inquiry schtick was all about protecting the establishment, so they used establishment figures to obfuscate matters and give the flat-earth warmenista trolls something to crow about.

                Try (for a change) a little independent research of your own and stop just believing what you're told. Try finding out what actual questions were asked and of who (and by who) during any one of the "inquiries", and you might be surprised to find out what wasn't asked; like the key points at issue were never addressed. Just an example, when asked to review a representative sample of work, that sample was in fact selected by Jones and the University (and avoided all of the controversial papers), then the Royal Society was subsequently contacted and asked to act as if they had in fact selected the papers. This is clearly documented in exchanges made public by FOI requests, and shows the thoroughly dishonest, indeed fraudulent, nature of these so called inquiries.

                The "climategate" emails speak well enough for themselves, dishonesty is rife in the field, and you're being led up the garden path by refusing to look at what is before your eyes.

            2. Tads

              Re: Solar Activity

              That's crap, AGW scientists have never been caught falsifying research to my knowledge. If you mean the poorly named Climategate, all the data was proved correct and the scientists exonerated. http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2010/0707/Climate-scientists-exonerated-in-climategate-but-public-trust-damaged

              1. Mr Temporary Handle
                FAIL

                Re: Solar Activity

                A pro-AGW organ reporting on a pro-AGW inquiry into pro-AGW climate researchers...

                As I said above, climate change 'enthusiasts' or other religious lunatics.

              2. Sigfried
                FAIL

                Re: Solar Activity

                Tads, Mann et al 1998 & 1999, , plus especially Mann et al 2008. The 2008 paper claims to show that the "hockey stick" results are real and that they can hold even when no tree ring data is included. This paper and the reporting on it are still extant. In fact if you remove the lake sediment data that was (a) used upside down to its correct orientation and (b) used inappropriately as the authors knew because of human interference with the site in modern times, then the remaining non-dendro data most definitely does NOT give a "hockey stick" shape.

                Only by selectively removing either the lake sediments OR (but not both !) the Strip-Bark bristlecone pine tree-ring records (there are better sampled and more modern records from the same area, but they don't get used because they don't have the artificial mechanically induced sharp uptick in the 20th C) can one obtain a "stick". Two uses of fraudulent data in one paper, almost entirely unknown in any field other than climate science. And the author not only "gets away with it" but is in fact promoted as a leader in the field.

                Inappropriate selection of data is a major problem in climate science. It is in fact well known but almost completely unaddressed. If you are "allowed" to only select the data available that supports your position and can without adequate justification simply ignore data that would undermine your conclusions without addressing the differences, one could prove almost any hypothesis.

                Just imagine if I could treat 1000 patients with a specific drug, then select only the 100 who responded favourably (ignoring the 700 who had no response and the 200 who had a negative response) and report ONLY on those responses, then make the claim that my drug was highly efficacious. That's the sort of data selection "tricks" regularly used and excused in Climate "Science".

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Solar Activity

                  Sigfried - very good, but with what do you back up your assertions, what is your knowledge of the subject?

                  How are you qualified to judge the data?

          2. peter_dtm
            Childcatcher

            Re: Solar Activity @ ac @ Posted Tuesday 10th July 2012 13:38 GMT

            oh no sir the research is not by climate scientists or the WWF or Greenpeace - just some astrophysicists in CERN; and the IPCC ignored their research and results - and still have not introduced corrections to their appalling Global Climate Models to take the research into account. According to the IPCC bible; since solar (visible light) variance is less than 3% it is irrelevant.

            Just ignoring the basic tenants of what the IPCC claim (and the likes of Pen State Ubi and UEA) state as being the only allowed truth; does not help either. The IPCC and the CAGW crowd base their whole shody a-science on the 'fact' that CO2 is the most important parameter in their CGM (climate models) and the sun is ignored; just like they 'assume' with no proof or experimental work to back them up that clouds are a positive feedback.

            1. gzuckier

              Re: Solar Activity @ ac @ Posted Tuesday 10th July 2012 13:38 GMT

              So you're going to stick to that story, eh?

              "The estimated direct radiative forcing due to changes in the solar output since 1750 is +0.12 [+0.06 to +0.3] W m–2, " - IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007, Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis, TS.2.4 Radiative Forcing Due to Solar Activity and Volcanic Eruptions

            2. NomNomNom

              Re: Solar Activity @ ac @ Posted Tuesday 10th July 2012 13:38 GMT

              "just some astrophysicists in CERN; and the IPCC ignored their research and results"

              No they didn't. GCRs are mentioned in the last IPCC report. You fools have no idea do you, you haven't read the IPCC reports, you just make up what the IPCC reports contain to fit your conspiracy theories.

              "just like they 'assume' with no proof or experimental work to back them up that clouds are a positive feedback."

              another lie. This isn't assumed. Read the friggin report sunshine.

        3. reedbarnes

          Re: Solar Activity

          Seriously the solar activity thing? Scientists have always taken solar activity into account. Sunspots (running on 11 year cycles) They also take into account the cycles of the earths rotation, precession, as well as axial tilt cumulating in a 90000 year cycle which we UNDERSTAND and have for hundreds of years. Solar activity is typically fairly constant. Sunspots don't follow the trend anymore. Besides, haven't you ever noticed by all climate graphs in opposition to climate change seem to STOP before 1900...

      2. peter_dtm
        Childcatcher

        Re: Hea(r)t-warming @ Carl Zetie @ Posted Tuesday 10th July 2012 12:20 GMT

        yes that is exactly the position of the IPCC

        They say that CO2 is the most important factor in Greenhouse warming and that any effects caused by solar variations are irrelevant

        Go read all their reports that are based only on the output of poor models that do not have ANY variance of insolation

        1. Tim Parker

          Re: Hea(r)t-warming @ Carl Zetie @ Posted Tuesday 10th July 2012 12:20 GMT

          from peter_dtm

          "yes that is exactly the position of the IPCC

          They say that CO2 is the most important factor in Greenhouse warming and that any effects caused by solar

          variations are irrelevant"

          Saying some things have more effect than others is not the same as saying they are the only things considered, e.g. from The Axe

          "Yep, climate scientists who believe in AGW do not take into account solar activity. They ignore solar cycles and sunspots and put everything down to the tiny amount of extra CO2 in the atmosphere put out by man."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A government should never be able to raise taxes and look good, but that's exactly what climate fraud has enabled governments worldwide to do, so no wonder they spend vast sums of money to help maintain the pretence. As from next month, then, can we cut the punitive car tax rates I have to pay for my relatively modest petrol car, and switch the burden to where it really needs to be - the particulate-producing asthma-aggravating (and likely cancer-causing) diesels?

    1. Big_Ted
      WTF?

      David Cameron.......Were not very popular, what can we do to get better poll returns ?

      George Osbourne.....I know lets raise taxes for everyone and say its for carbon usage, that will really get everyone voting for us.....

      Boy is your post bad.......

  5. Big_Ted
    FAIL

    3 simple points

    On the graph the last 500 years seem to have been above the trend for almost the whole time

    As we know greenhouse gasses have increased a lot over the last couple of hundred years and the trend can't just be drwn as a straight kine.

    Lastly here we go again, where is the detail ? How many scientists is a large team ? half a dozen ? how many trees tested, how large an area was the sample from ? And why arn't these scientists alarmist when they seem to be saying were heading for another little ice age or worst with their temperature droping graph.....

    1. Paul 185
      Thumb Down

      Re: 3 simple points

      http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1589.html

      The link's right there, if you want to read the writers opinion, read the text, if you want research data, RTFA!

    2. gzuckier

      Re: 3 simple points

      That graph seems to be evidence FOR sudden rapid warming in the past century or so.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paper says:

    "These findings, together with the missing orbital signature in published dendrochronological records, *suggest* that large-scale near-surface air-temperature reconstructions9, 10, 11, 12, 13 relying on tree-ring data *may* underestimate pre-instrumental temperatures including warmth during Medieval and Roman times."

    Lewis says:

    "CLIMATE WAS HOTTER IN ROMAN, MEDIEVAL TIMES THAN NOW: STUDY"

  7. Alan Denman

    So what does it mean?

    So it once warmed naturally whilst today' we have CO2 to keep the heat in and probably create a runaway train.

    Not bothered because belief is where it is all at?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That graph

    That graph was atrocious - it didn't even have labeled axis, you'd fail GCSE maths with something like that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That graph

      But in GCSE science you'd probably get marks for saying any unusual increase in recent years was probably an "out lier" and that that result probably out to be discounted to get a reliable analysis!

    2. DutchP

      Re: That graph

      My thoughts exactly, I knew this reminded me of something...

      http://www.xkcd.com/833/

      There, obligatory xkcd reference covered as well.

      1. Bill Neal
        Joke

        Re: That graph

        I like this graph instead: http://www.xkcd.com/1007/

    3. The Axe

      Re: That graph

      The real graph is here - http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/fig_tab/nclimate1589_F2.html

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stuff Lewis Page and his idiotic agenda

    Really, Lewis? "alarmist scientists"? Editorialize much?

    Seriously, if you can't report on this topic of (literally) vital importance objectively and seriously, just go back to being wrong about defense policy. At least that's less annoying.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
      FAIL

      Re: Stuff Lewis Page and his idiotic agenda

      @Anonymouse Coward (12:23 GMT):

      Really AC? "Climate Deniers"? Hypocrites, much?

      Being skeptical about the extent and relevance of the "Anthropogenic" component of "Anthropogenic Climate Change" does NOT imply denial of the existence of the process of climate change itself. Yet screeching "Climate Change Deniers!" and "Denialists!" at anyone and everyone who disagrees, regardless of the details and nuances of their arguments, is very much a keystone of the Alarmists' approach.

      Either it's wrong for ALL sides of the debate to use stupid ad-hominem insults like that, or it isn't.

      Which is it?

      1. Invidious Aardvark
        FAIL

        Re: Stuff Lewis Page and his idiotic agenda

        I'm not sure you read the OP's post correctly - I can't see any reference to "Climate Deniers" or anything of that sort.

        The name calling in the comments is (sadly) to be expected; people generally apply labels to groups in any debate and, if that group is opposed to your views, that label is sometimes derogatory. Journalists should, by and large, report the facts and avoid the appearance of bias. That's all OP is asking for.

    2. pklausner
      Facepalm

      Re: Stuff Lewis Page and his idiotic agenda

      And the depressing thing is: he seems to believe that he is strictly fact oriented. Yeah.

      Way more plausible dissection of the paper here:

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/07/tree-rings-and-climate-some-recent-developments/

  10. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Stop

    So it still boils down to "we don't really know yet", which is what many people have been saying for years.

    Of course we do still need to make an effort to safegaurd supplies of finite resources like oil and coal, which have other uses than simply burning them for heat. Would it be too much to ask that governments* try some joined-up energy thinking, instead of isolated knee-jerk reactions on CO2 or whatever the evil-of-the-week is today?

    *and supposely competent government advisors, like the IET, IEEE, etc.

    1. g e
      Facepalm

      The alarmist scientists know

      Cos they have 'Scientist' in their job title so they must be right and anyone expressing a less than cultist line on Anthropogenic Climate Change is a heretic.

      Take the financial controls/motivations out of the equation and see what 'science' comes out of it then.

      That graph/chart has a wave in it that's clear to even the mostly doggedly myopic Anthropogenic advocate and it's peaking around nowish again.

      Unless of course scientists are really High Priests in this field and so these (heretic) scientists aren't as competent as the pro-anthropogenic scientists (who have The Faith, of course). In which case the Flying Spaghetti Monster may as well be invoked too (bless His noodly appendages).

      Or perhaps Lewis drew the graph, too, who knows?

      1. Captain Save-a-ho
        Trollface

        Re: The alarmist scientists know

        "Take the financial controls/motivations out of the equation and see what 'science' comes out of it then."

        Regardless of which side you choose on the AGW debate, this statement represents the real crux of the insanity of the debate. Ultimately, both sets of blood-suckers are in this for money, plain and simple. I doubt any significant fuss would be made if there wasn't a way to extract large sums of filthy lucre out of the masses.

        I'll be off back under my bridge now.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The alarmist scientists know

          This is just ridiculous. Let's look at the two side of the debate:

          1. Scientists, mainly employed by universities, whose job it is to research the climate. Lot's of haggling about the details. but no real disagreement about the overall recent trend and its significance for policy.

          2. Lord Monkton, professional nut, a well funded lobbying effort from Big Oil designed to cast the minimum level of doubt in the public's mind needed to establish a 'debate', and journalists like Lewis Page who are too dim to see the big picture.

          If Lewis Page really thinks scientists might have it fundamentally wrong on this very important issue, he should go back to Uni and develop a mastery of the scientific concepts and better understanding of the process.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The alarmist scientists know

        "take the financial controls/motivations out of the equation and see what 'science' comes out of it then."

        Weird statement - one side of the argument IS based purely on the science, the other IS financial motivations.

        As this topic is still being debated (long after the real debate was over) it's a sad demonstration of how powerful money is - look at all the PR the deniers have bought.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: The alarmist scientists know

          AC 15:23

          I'm afraid that's completely wrong. How are the scientists being funded? Funding for "Climate Science"-related areas is extremely high compared to other areas, and one common 'trick' is to imply that your research has a "green" agenda. That funding wouldn't be so high without the 'threat' of AGW.

          On top of that, there is a massive "green" industry that is completely and utterly reliant on Government handouts, and thus has a life-or-death reliance on AGW. Namely that if governmental policy changes to take away those , they will go bankrupt.

          On the other side, there are industries that rely on the general populace burning large amounts of fossil fuels.

          In essence, the debate is beyond the point of no return. Nobody really wants to know the truth any more, everyone just wants their viewpoint confirmed and jumps straight onto anything that can be bent to fit.

          Personally? It's fairly clear that consuming less raw materials (including fossil fuels) where possible for a given output is a good idea.

          However most of the current low-CO2 policies are stupid, because they are pushing things that consume more raw materials towards the exclusive goal of reducing CO2 output, regardless of all side effects - to the economy and the environment.

          And that pains me, because not only does it look like I'm going to leave a shithole to my kids, I'm seeing that shithole develop in the name of being "Green".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The alarmist scientists know

            @Richard 12 - You are dead wrong about funding levels for climate scientists (and scientists in general) the pay for a new postdoc researcher is piss poor, well below average income. I know several.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Re: The alarmist scientists know

              Postdoc researcher pay has always been piss poor and well below average income, and probably always will be as there are far more people than posts.

              The difference the funding level makes is whether or not said postdoc position exists.

              You cannot blame anyone for wanting their position to continue to exist, or be surprised at project leads wanting to have as many postdoc researchers as they can get their hands on.

    2. The BigYin

      The problem is that when we do know, it'll all be a bit late.

      I'm not 100% sure on the whole anthropogenic climate change thing, but it is one BUGGER of a gamble to take and I'll do my bit to reduce, reuse and recycle.

      Anything less is idiocy (and short-term gain over long-term success is also idiocy - ask the banks. Oh wait, we bailed them out and paid their bonuses. Shame we can't do that with a planet, eh? The Laws of Thermodynamics aren't open to bribery.)

      1. EvilGav 1
        Childcatcher

        But that, right there, is the problem.

        I take your open point that we don't know definitively the situation, but the assertion on not knowing is that the end result will be catastrophe doesn't stand up, which is the problem.

        The theory (i'll not be so biased as to use "claim" or any other loaded word) goes that we're not far from hitting a feedback loop that will be inescapable in destroying the human friendly climate we currently enjoy, some have even gone so far as to posit we'd end up with a Mars like world afterwards.

        I agree wholheartedly that we have climate change, I've just not been persuaded that humans have had any significant impact on it (again, note, i'm not saying we have had no impact, just no significant impact).

      2. CD001

        short-term gain over long-term success is also idiocy

        Hmmm - I'm only going to live in the short term (as far as global climate pattern shifts are concerned)... I can't think of a single reason as to why I should care about the long-term consequences, sorry.

        Stuff lives, dies, evolves, goes extinct, whatever... on one rock, in one solar system, on one of the arms of one of many billions of spiral galaxies kicking about.

        Total perspective vortex, yeah, been there ;)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: short-term gain over long-term success is also idiocy

          @CD001 - So you don't give a shit about the people you leave behind after you, they may as well go extinct? Nice, you're a really great human being, real Nobel prize quality.

    3. Ilgaz

      The issue starts there

      If you issue new taxes and try to ban things while allowing solar crooks wonder around trying to convince people their backwards technology is better while it costs 100x more...

      Average villager may even think that they will have to pay carbon tax because their cow farts releasing gasses. Heard about it? Yes they believe that and they are the majority which politicians care.

      Who to blame? When you ask about the environmental impact of hydro thermal energy or (God forbid!) giant solar farms, they accuse you even while you choose not to drive.

  11. apr400
    FAIL

    So if you look in the actual paper you see that the cooling trend lasted until about 100 years ago, and that the temperature now is around about the same as at the beginning of the data set. At the same time we are less than half way through the period of cooling related to the insolation changes that the paper is discussing (MIlankovitch cycle). So basically what the paper is saying is that we should be getting cooler as our orbit shifts on its ~ 25 thousand year cycle, but for some reason in the last 100 years we have managed to cancel out all of the cooling effect for the last 2000 years.

    Oops once again El Reg scores a climate sceptic own goal.

    1. Sam Liddicott

      own goal?

      Maybe, but not as bad as the climate fakers own goal.

      If they hadn't hidden the facts that we are on a long cooler (and were warmer in the past) they might have had some better climate models and made the hockey stick look more interesting. A sudden reversal in cooling is more interesting that a warming with "we weren't really warm before" when everyone knows we were.

      Not to mention that nobody can believe a word they write on account of the previous lies, hiding of data and faulty models which were never backed up by reality.

      AGW may be real, but it's fans have no credibility because their end justified their means.

      If they are right and they lose it will be because of their strategy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: own goal?

        "Maybe, but not as bad as the climate fakers own goal...

        Not to mention that nobody can believe a word they write on account of the previous lies, hiding of data and faulty models which were never backed up by reality."

        I hate to break this, but climate scientist are not a conglomerate. They work for different places, with different funding, different goals. One set of people fiddling results is no more indicative of wide-spread cheating than a single Argentinian hand-balling in a goal is indicative of every footballer in the world using the same tactic repeatedly.

        You're tarring with one brush. Wilful perception bias? What you should be doing is saying 'OK, those guys were douches, we'll ignore there data and not allow it to taint my perceptions'.

    2. Bob. Hitchen

      Actually it looks cyclic and nobody can really get excited about the fine margins indicated over 2000 years. Try changing your thermostat by piffling amounts and see if you really notice the difference. Then ask your granny if she minds dying because she can't afford heat at all.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn I am late

    I was going to say 'before you climate change wankers start...' but you already did.

    I said this before and its still valid; the earth is approx 4.5BILLION years old and for approx 4.5BILLION years it has been undergoing some form of climate change so we can take it that climate change is the normal state of affairs. Recently a bunch of hairless monkeys decided that climate change is a new thing and they based this on approx 200 YEARS of data - should never ever have crawled out of the trees.

    1. The BigYin

      Re: Damn I am late

      If we can keep it in the "Goldilocks" zone for us for another, oh....200 years say, then we can have colonised a few outposts and the planet can get back to doing whatever it wants.

      If it shits on us too quickly - we're boned.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "If it shits on us too quickly - we're boned."

        Now there's a mixed metaphor that I don't wish to contemplate further...

  13. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Why?

    Does the red trend line stop around 1900 just as recorded temperatures take a sharp upturn?

    1. multipharious

      Re: Why?

      because humans are recording temperatures and we have no idea what type of methodology some of the people making the logs used? Rounding up or down. Looking at it up close or just looking over and trusting the old peepers. There was no standardization. Isolated individuals doing the best they could. Not exactly a dream data set.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why?

        Living in Florida, I have often wondered about the news saying the high for the day will be/is/was up to 10 degrees (F) different than what all the other thermometers display to me (home, car, bank signs). Guess which entry is saved in records.

        1. Kwac
          Facepalm

          Re: Why?

          I wonder why 'they' haven't thought of that?

          Perhaps they should go out and use uncalibrated thermometers from differnt lcalities for each recording, instead of measuring the temperature at one site using professional equipment.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why?

            @Kwac - Don't forget different people reading them as well... You can get about 2C difference on the same thermometer, with different people reading it...

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Why?

          There can be several reasons for the difference. Localized temperatures can vary depending on the thermometer's position, orientation, etc. Most thermometers used by the weather services are located at specific locations (airports and other airfields are common sites) with specific conditions so as to reduce variations. For example, if your thermometer was on an east-facing window, chances are it'll be hotter early in the day (when the sun's pouring down on it) than in the afternoon (when it's more likely to be in shade).

          Also, local highs tend to occur around late afternoon, when the sun's had the most time to "bake" your area. After that, ground and water heat radiation tends to outpace the input from the sun and the temperature starts dropping.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    ^^ What Phil said... but what matters more is ...

    ... "We just don't know"

    Yep, our activities on the planet are raising CO2 levels and there is a warming trend.

    However, there are *many* other factors at work in what is a maddeningly chaotic global weather system.

    The fact that it's hard to predict the weather a week, two weeks, a month in advance speaks volumes for trying to predict the impact we are having on the climate.

    In reality, a significant natural volcanic event - lets say, Yellowstone - could impact the climate far more profoundly than our CO2 emissions.

    I truly wish we would put this damn climate debate on the back-burner, as it's simply turned into a political football with vested interests on each side hurling insults at each other.

    We know the science - and we know most reputable scientists are careful about making rash predictions. Unfortunately, the media will take a "this may happen" and embellish it to "OMG, this is going to happen!"

    Then we get 'scientists' swayed by politics - and probably fame - putting stakes in the ground and spouting prediction as fact.

    What's so much more important that climate change debate is that old chestnut we all seem to have conveniently forgotten about - the destruction of natural habits, of bio-diversity.

    It matters not one whit whether the climate gets warmer due to CO2 emissions if we've gone and destroyed all the earth's natural habitats.

    I'd take a bit of warming and some unpredictable weather any day of the year, so long as the rivers are clean, the forests are intact, the ocean is unpolluted and biodiversity remains.

    1. breakfast

      Climate versus weather forecasting

      Imagine you put a pot of water on a hotplate of your cooker and switch on the heat.

      You can predict that the water will boil. Can you predict where each bubble will appear during the boiling process?

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Trollface

        "You can predict that the water will boil. "

        You can? That will depend on the size and shape of the pan and the kitchen, the amount of heat from the stove, and the initial temperature and quantity of water. It might evaporate before boiling, it might reach equilibrium, it might even cool down. You need a lot more information about the initial conditions before making any sort of predictions...

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: "You can predict that the water will boil. "

          There's also the rare possibility of it not boiling at all but superheating instead. A smooth-enough pot made of materials that do not dissolve in water at around 100 degrees C combined with distilled water with no contaminants provides no way for steam to nucleate. Result: no boiling...though I wouldn't recommend dropping anything into that water. Superheated water is very unstable.

        2. pklausner
          Facepalm

          Re: "You can predict that the water will boil. "

          So the denialists approach to boiling water on a stove is this:

          Don't even try. Way too complicated. Way too chaotic. "It might even cool down."

          Did I get this right?

          1. peter_dtm
            Childcatcher

            Re: "You can predict that the water will boil. " @pklausner

            no

            re stated

            SINCE we can not even model such a SIMPLE system as a pot of water on a hot stove; what makes you even start to think that we can model the infinitely more complex global climate ?

            And they IGNORE the sea - which holds magnitudes more energy (not to mention 50 times per volume more CO2)

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: "Did I get this right?"

            No.

            To summarize. Don't make life-changing knee-jerk decisions based on wild assumptions from a model where you clearly don't have enough information to get even close to the real world.

            Needn't stop you from taking a coherent, reasoned course of action to safeguard scarce resources while improving the model, of course. Going "chicken little" won't help, and may make things worse in the long term. Unfortunately politicians and media pundits (an increasingly blurred distinction) get more instant publicity from being Chicken Little than from being calm and rational (my inability to immediately think of a suitable character name for the calm person is telling. Br'er Terrapin, perhaps?).

      2. Bill Neal
        Joke

        Re: Climate versus weather forecasting

        In many cases the power/fuel needed is not reliable, making the event even more chaotic. Perhaps the only answer is that the water is & is not going to boil.

    2. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: ^^ What Phil said... but what matters more is ...

      "However, there are *many* other factors at work in what is a maddeningly chaotic global weather system."

      This. A thousand times this.

      The state of the temperature of planet is something that is the result of a large number of variables and systems interacting with each other. No wonder it's taking a little time to figure out how it's going to change in the future.

      Still. Nothing wrong with gathering more data and coming up with a contingency plan just in case the planet is reduced to an arid rock.

      1. Kwac
        FAIL

        Re: ^^ What Phil said... but what matters more is ...

        ""However, there are *many* other factors at work in what is a maddeningly chaotic global weather system."

        This. A thousand times this."

        "We cannot say with certaintiy that the present weather conditions are a result of global climate change but it is consistent with our models" was the response of a climatologist questioned the other day.

        But we all now that it's a group of rogue climatologists that are conning most of their colleagues in different spheres of science (there's and odd psychologist or geologist working for oil companies that stands up for the truth) and national governments.

        Don't we?

    3. reedbarnes

      Re: ^^ What Phil said... but what matters more is ...

      What you say is true, but you need to understand it isn't just that simple. Climate change doesn't only affect our way of life, it causes CLIMATE change globally. This means overall loss in biodiversity through habitat loss and habitat expansions. Polar bears will go extinct, most Arctic species will.

      The warming, on a slow rate, can be adapted to. Species can evolve to additional heat, but not at the current rate we are warming things up... You also need to remember, there can be feedback loops we have to worry about. Yes, there may be some for cooling trends, but it seems as if the warming feedback loops are exceptionally stronger. Methane release from permafrost would rapidly accelerate warming trends. Loss of global albedo as a result of milder winters, and reduced Arctic sea ice, would accelerate warming trends.

      It isn't just the warming you need to consider. Remember that thermal expansion can affect the water levels greater than the uprise of continents due to loss of glaciers. The glaciers currently don't impact the continents level to the amount continental glaciers do.

      With the CO2 increase there is also acidification of oceans, which is something to worry about. Even a pH change of 1could kill most life in the ocean. The oceans absorb the majority of CO2 in the atmosphere, but that causes carbonic acid production, and then acidification. Worrying about warming is something to worry about. Venus has been suggested to look similar to earth a few billion years ago... That is climate change run amuc

  15. The BigYin

    Is there climate warming? Dunno.

    Is the human impact greater than whatever nature (i.e. non-human) itself is up to? Dunno.

    Is dumping raw sewerage into the sea, sending toxic waste to be recycled by children in Africa, dumping vast quantities of plastic into the sea, slash and burn on a grand scale, killing off numerous species or any number of others things we get up to in anyway logical or sustainable? Feck no. Something has gotta give and considering that despite all our prowess, we are still smaller than a planet, it's probably going to be us. You can't eat money, y'know. It's only worth the value we grant it and we grant it w-a-y too much value.

  16. brain_flakes
    Facepalm

    > According to the scientists' new paper, published in hefty climate journal Nature Climate Change, the cooling effect of orbital shifting on the climate has been up to four times as powerful as anthropogenic (human-caused) warming pressures

    This is the thing, we're currently experience a short warming snap despite an overall cooling trend, and the only variable that accounts for this is atmospheric CO2. Models say we should be currently getting cooler, not warmer, if not for an increase in CO2 levels.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not simply a matter of if the planet is warm or cold, there are so many factors.

    The climate and weather systems of the planet are complex, you can't just say that being warm isn't a bad thing or that being cooler is good either.

    There's a big agenda from businesses to destroy climate change science as it is incompatible with making shed loads of cash at the cost of destroying the plant.

  18. hugo tyson
    Coat

    Regression-to-mean denialists

    There, you can use that to refer to Acolytes of Climate Change.

    As we just had the whole month's rain in the 5 days during a drought....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah Lewis...

    If it is the case that actually the climate has often been warmer without any significant CO2 emissions having taken place - suggesting that CO2 emissions simply aren't that important - the case for huge efforts to cut those emissions largely disappears.

    If A can happen without B, then B being able to cause A is unimportant? What a masterpiece of a fallacy: « Hey, you could still get a cancer without smoking, so it doesn't matter whether you smoke or not! »

    Ah Lewis, there's definitely no end to the entertainment you give us.

  20. TonyHoyle

    Before I even clicked this I guessed it would be a Lewis Page article

    It's a bit predictable.

    So it was warmer in the past.. it was also colder too. This doesn't really add much to the argument. As a data point it's interesting (warm climate then didn't cause mass extinction, so why should it this time?) but doesn't say anything about what's happening *now* is (a) man made, or (b) significant... which is what the argument is actually about.

  21. Seanie Ryan
    Alien

    Climate BOLLOX

    i have been saying this for years. Climate change is utter crap. Its the Planet being; (shock) A PLANET

    Read This: http://climateaudit.org/2005/11/18/archaeological-finds-in-retreating-swiss-glacier/

    So there was no glacier there thousands of years ago. Now that its melting, the nutjobs say that its because of global warming, conveniently ignoring that it wasnt there to begin with, then it came and now its gone again. See the pattern? A "CYCLE"

    Climate Change should be classed as a nutjob Religious Cult at this stage. Belief based on no facts and make up / change history to suit what propaganda you want to push, but ignore logic...

    1. Kwac
      FAIL

      Re: Climate BOLLOX

      This is the tactic of global change deniers.

      NOT ONE PAPER has been published in a peer-reviewed journal that states that AGCC is not taking place.

      In 2001 Science magazine commented that there is only very rarely the scientific concensus on any subject as there was on GCC then.

      The deniers have used the same tactics as the tobacco companies - we can't discredit the data, so we discredit who/what we can and try to obscue the facts.

      Why bother about what happened 2000 years ago? There's no comparison with what is happening now.

      1. Nev Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Climate BOLLOX

        "Why bother about what happened 2000 years ago? There's no comparison with what is happening now."

        Oh dear.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Climate BOLLOX

        "The deniers have used the same tactics as the tobacco companies - we can't discredit the data, so we discredit who/what we can and try to obscue the facts."

        Not just tobacco companies but creationists, 9/11 truthers, holocaust deniers etc. They all employ cherry picking, pseudoscience, quote mining, conspiracy theories and assorted other non-evidence as a form of denialism.

        For reasons completely unknown the Register is involved in this too and it's manifested in virtually every single piece it puts out on the topic. Cherry pick some paper regardless of its relevance or quality, distort its conclusions beyond what the authors said and pretend climate change isn't happening.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Re: Climate BOLLOX

          I think that what DrXym is saying is that in his ideal there would be no dissent, no freedom to question or even want to put ideas to empirical test. In short, a World free of science. All hail Emperor DrXym, Saviour of Mankind!

          Don't hold your breath, Xymmerbrain.

          1. Oolons
            WTF?

            Re: Climate BOLLOX

            @Matt Bryant -- so science for you is picking a small detail from a scientific paper and twisting it to make an unfounded hypothesis sound credible? DrXym was criticising methods used by some pretty dodgy groups who indulge in pseudo-science and religion... And you stand up for them? It is somehow non-scientific to criticise them and their use of those methods?

            I'm not sure there are words to explain how stupid that is... But if there were you probably wouldn't understand anyway.

            1. peter_dtm
              Childcatcher

              Re: Climate BOLLOX @Oolons

              except

              why do the CAGW people refuse to release the data ?

              WHy is the hockey stick graph substantial based on ONE cheery picked bristle cone pine from Yamal instead of the whole dendrochronological series available.

              Ask about the tropospheric Hotspot which is predicted by ALL the climate models - but can not be measured ? Where is it ?(but don't bother asking on a CAGW site; they will 'moderate' the question; how a-scientific is that ?) Since the models all predict it as a necessary result of CO2 based warming; and since empirical science can't measure any such hotspot; wouldn't a SCIENTIST deduce that the models are at best flawed; if not catastrophically wrecked ?

              We all know even Phil Jones admits there is no statistically significant current warming AND he DOES NOT know why - lets see CO2 still increasing almost linearly; no predictions regarding MEASURED warming; or sea level rise have been found; to me that sounds like a falsified theory.

              Theorise; predict; measure - compare measurements to predictions ; amend theory - and repeat and repeat and repeat ... note Model outputs do NOT count as measurements

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Climate BOLLOX @Oolons

                Want the data? Go to the NASA web site. Also the Met office web site. There are a very few proprietary datasets which aren't available, the vast majority are.

                What the CRU guys did, was refuse to process the information, package it and send it to people who were sending thousands of requests for their data all formatted slightly differently. They did have a job to do and that job wasn't responding to FOI requests to the detriment of their research.

                Again, though, this is a zombee argument, you point out it's not the case and it gets parroted back to you by the same people again and again.

          2. DrXym Silver badge

            Re: Climate BOLLOX

            "I think that what DrXym is saying is that in his ideal there would be no dissent, no freedom to question or even want to put ideas to empirical test. In short, a World free of science. All hail Emperor DrXym, Saviour of Mankind!"

            I should have included strawmen in my list to anticipate your ridiculous response.

          3. Local Group
            Unhappy

            Re: Climate BOLLOX

            @ Matt Bryant "I think that what DrXym is saying is that in his ideal there would be no dissent, no freedom to question or even want to put ideas to empirical test."

            What a whiner. It sounds exactly like Matt Bryant's ideal world to me. The one he holds the copyright on..

            Now he's sore about DrXym's fair use of it.

      3. Seanie Ryan
        Go

        Re: Climate BOLLOX

        @kwac

        "NOT ONE PAPER has been published in a peer-reviewed journal that states that AGCC is not taking place."

        Not one paper has been published in a peer-reviewed journal that states that the under-pants gnomes are not stealing all our underpants at night

        So we must believe that it is happening.

  22. Youngdog

    Be a climate-denier or tree-hugger..

    ...why don't we all just get together, hold hands and say it together - we have ufck-all clue how this climate thing works

  23. Andy-Klockweiss

    Roman Vineyards

    Quote: "The Romans had quite extensive vineyards around York so we've 'always' known it was a bit warmer back then."

    It's called COLD CLIMATE VITICULTURE and still practised today in UK vineyards, nothing to do with whether it was warmer then. It just means you grow grapes up on wires to keep them off the cold ground. So that's an irrelevance.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Roman Vineyards

      Even Canada has a wine industry. So called "ice wine", as it's name suggests is harvested in winter when temperatures are subzero and the grapes are actually frozen on the vine.

  24. Steve Evans

    Axis!

    A graph without an axis is utterly meaningless!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Axis!

      Particularly when quite a bit of information from the source graph has been removed.

  25. reedbarnes

    Seriously still?

    "and a long-term cooling trend (dashed red curve; linear regression fit to the reconstruction over the 138 BC–AD 1900 period)."

    Did any of you even seem to figure out that the trend line stops once we get the most up to date data?? Can you ever wonder why that is.... Also, this graph also shows the highest temperatures are still in the newest part of the century. The trend line does not follow past 1900, because that is where the trend ENDS. The data also shows that the highest temperature was not during the Roman times, but now (figure 2.b in the paper).

    The graph showed an overall cooling trend which we are now, no longer following. The climate does work in cycles, but we put a big middle finger up and said, not any more.

  26. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Devil

    Oh wouldn't it be ironic!

    Just imagine the irony if CO2 actually played a beneficial role in keeping the global climate relatively stable through some feedback mechanism, and we only found out too late!

    1. Lord Voldemortgage

      Re: Oh wouldn't it be ironic!

      Of course it would be relatively straightforward to release a large amount of CO2 quickly if it was found that reducing / slowing the rate of increase of our output was having a negative effect.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tell that to the melting ice caps.....

    Sceptics on global warming who suggest there has been no impact of the SIX BILLION people on the planet, where the last 100 years has shown massive industrialisation hitherto unseen in the time scales of Man's existence on Earth, are fucking morons.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tell that to the melting ice caps.....

      Which ice caps? Some in the north may be melting but some in antarctica are growing.

      Climate has always changed wildly and unpredictably long before Humans arrived on the scene, do you think we can measure our impact in such a chaotic system?

      I agree with the other posters, its too complex for us to wrap our monkey brains around and too political to get any truth out of.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Tell that to the melting ice caps.....

        There's only one ice cap in antarctica. The antarctic ice cap...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    It's the water, Bubba!

    Water vapor is a much better 'greenhouse' gas than carbon dioxide. There is roughly three times as much sufrace area of the wold covered by water as there is land. Our planet is misnamed Earth. It should be named Sea. Water has an enormous capacity for the absorption of heat. Take care of the water and we'll be taking care of the entire planet.

  29. Filippo

    not just CO2

    I'm so tired of the environment debate being dominated by the CO2 issue. There are plenty of other good, well known, urgent, undeniable reasons to get rid of coal-fired stations and petrol engines as quickly as possible - why is everyone fixating on something poorly understood that may or may not cause trouble in a hundred years' time? If the media invested half as much time talking about how many people get killed every year by coal and petrol, we'd have electric cars powered by nuke plants by now.

    1. Spoonsinger
      Happy

      Re: not just CO2

      Actually there was a luvely post on this very website which did quite a good stab at pointing out the H20 was actually to blame. (Can't find it, but it did make me chuckle).

  30. Ilgaz

    Trillions of dollars at stake

    Climate change or not is the trillion dollar question besides huge impact on politics.

    Can't trust to both sides, it doesn't make anyone paranoid, it is just knowing real life and academics.

    There are no "green angels" nor "evil oil barons", not black or white you know.

  31. Nanners
    Facepalm

    High-larious

    The raging debate in the U.S. this morning is a story that it's been the hottest couple of years on record.

  32. argon

    Summertime highs make a poor measure of anthropogenic global warming

    Were the warming caused by increased solar output, it would make sense to focus on this data, but what we are dealing with today is an insulating effect on the atmosphere. In this case, you need to integrate all the data throughout the year at varying latitudes. If anything, models predict a greater relative warming when the solar radiation is at its minimum (at night, in the winter, at high latitudes, etc.) When you insulate your house, it is at the break of dawn when you are most likely to notice the temperature hadn't plummeted so much overnight. In the current context, a mild winter across North America led to very little snow cover and dry soil. This is resulting in a record-breaking wildfire season. Though one cannot attribute any single year's events to global warming, this type of climate behaviour is consistent with model predictions.

  33. SMFSubtlety
    Paris Hilton

    ice faries

    Is anyone else reading ice faires as ice fairies?

    1. Lord Voldemortgage

      Re: ice faries

      Every time.

  34. Tads

    More misrepresentation for dummies

    Scientists have never said it wasn't warmer in the past when there was less CO2 than now. There were other reasons for that warming. None of those reasons exist now, and the CO2 does. I'm sure people lacking critical thinking skills will fall for this new Lewis attempt at misleading the public but most will go yawn - he's at it again.

  35. Dave 32
    Thumb Up

    Culture and Temperature

    So, is there a rise in culture with temperature? Do people struggle in colder times, only to arise into great empires during warmer trends? Might make for some interesting research.

    Dave

    1. Lord Voldemortgage

      Re: Culture and Temperature

      I'd guess that great empires depend significantly on efficiency in agriculture so that it is possible to feed many more people than it takes to produce the food giving spare manpower for fighting and thinking so it may well be easier to grow to the necessary size in warmer (within sane bounds) climes.

    2. gzuckier

      Re: Culture and Temperature

      That sure explains why the Congolese Empire conquered Belgium.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boring

    Isn't this a tech site?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. AJames
    Unhappy

    Frightening chart if accurate

    If accurate, the chart shows that we have been in an era of declining temperature due to long-term natural climate cycles, which we have now managed to brake and reverse with just the beginning of our man-made atmospheric changes. The implications are frightening if the natural climate cycle turns around and begins to reinforce our man-made efforts at warming.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Frightening chart if accurate

      That's one interpretation. Another is that the natural trend is reversing itself, as it has many times in the past.

      I'm not advocating one or the other, just pointing out that there are multiple possibilities.

  38. EvilPixieMan
    Flame

    The author's (and many CD's) faulty logic can be summed up as follows...

    "If it is the case that actually the climate has often been warmer without any significant CO2 emissions having taken place - suggesting that CO2 emissions simply aren't that important - the case for huge efforts to cut those emissions largely disappears."

    -OR-

    If there was a fire without petrol involved - suggesting that petrol isn't an important contributor to fire - that case to avoid playing with petrol near a fire largely disappears.

    After you, sir...

  39. Katie Saucey

    Has anyone said this yet...

    FFS here we go again! I believe a compilation of Reg articles and comments would make a great book for the shitter. Hell if some pics of muhammed in a dress were thrown in, everyone + dog could feel equally offended.

  40. pklausner
    Unhappy

    knee jerk reactions?

    It's called politics. Tell the voters what they want to hear.

    But besides Sunday speeches: what actual, real steps with real cost attached which actually hurt have been taken to reduce fossil fuel burning? Seriously?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Yet another Lewis article about Climate Change

    Skip article, go straight to source

    (although if I ever see Energy and Environment as a reference, I'll seriously question whether it's worth hanging around here at all)

  42. Shannon Jacobs
    Thumb Down

    Mindless crap alert

    I wasn't absolutely certain from the title, had to check the byline.

    Mindless crap warning.

    No need to read farther.

    Hey, constructive suggestion time. The headings should include the authors and a direct thumbs-down link. It would save time.

  43. Local Group
    Devil

    Where to file this article?

    'Planting vineyards for blotto and money" or "Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos?"

  44. Jim Birch
    Facepalm

    If the earth was at any time warmer than now then global warming is ok. If you've ever had a broken leg before then having your legs broken is ok.

    etc.

    easy.

  45. Hubert Thrunge Jr.
    Mushroom

    Here are the FACTS

    Simple. We get taxed more because of it. Whatever it is. Whether or not we need it.

    So are the ice core samples taken at Vostok false then? (showing temperature cycles over many many millennia?)

    Just wait until Jellystone National Park erupts in the 'states. Then we shall have winter. Any time now (in Earth terms that's anytime in the next 3000 years).

    I blame the dinosaurs myself, driving around in their nissans and buicks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here are the FACTS

      Humanity as a coherent civilisation wasn't around for those events in the past. The question is not 'has the climate been different before', but 'could our civilisation survive it'?

      Sure: It *might* be hogwash that mankind's rampant and really blatantly obvious use of resources and way of life is at fault, but that's a big risk you're taking. It's basically "I gamble the future of civilisation as I know it against having to pay 10% more for stuff and being a little bit careful"

      Now I personally would not want to take that bet. It's not like I'm even one of the people with kids who I might be screwing over: I just don't really want to be one of those people that future generations look back on and call a totally selfish consumerist asshat.

    2. Pete Rowley

      Re: Here are the FACTS

      Yellowstone is not 'due'. There's a reasonable chance there will be a large eruption in the next 300,000 years, but the errorbars on that are large (we only have 2 datapoints to try and infer any kind of pattern from - assuming there is a pattern. As a volcanologist I can tell you there isn't necessarily a pattern).

      Seriously getting tediously sick to death of the crap climate reporting on El Reg. Even a cursory reading of the article in question points out that it is a single geographic area being looked at, and the authors themselves acknowledge that local ground-level temperatures have no direct relation to global climate. Grow up, or at least have the good grace to read the article and assess its actual implications. These blanket naysaying is pathetic, and frankly pushes the Reg into the same corner as flat-Earthers and young-Earth creationists who simply hang on to misinterpreted or fringe results which happen to agree with their own faith-based world view.

  46. gzuckier

    Well, gee, nothing spells doom to a theory that hypothesizes that global average temperature has entered a new phase over the past century or less and has abruptly begun rising half a degree per decade or so, than a graph of "summer temperatures" which claims "the climate was often hotter than today", with no units on the temperature scale, on which the aforementioned last 100 years covers less than 7 mm and shows a distinct upwards streak, and on which the peak temperature a few years ago is seen to be higher than anything on the graph all the way back to a couple hundred BC, medieval warm period included.

    I'll look up the original study later, but if this graph is the best argument you can provide, the you apparently don't understand the issues under discussion, no matter what the study says.

  47. Potemkine Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    local != global

    Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that the study is related to northern Scandinavia and not the entire world. It's misleading and deceptive.

    And about roman wines, I doubt anyone would like to drink them today, they were bitter and were more like vinegar.

  48. Nick 26
    Pint

    Vineyards in York (-ish)

    Just to add another post about the irrelevancy of the Romans having vineyards in York, a vineyard is currently operating just down the road in Leeds:

    http://www.englishwineproducers.com/leventhorpe.htm

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

  50. Bob J.
    FAIL

    So what? It was warmer last week in Tucson than it is today.

    Hooray for the Roman oenologists in Ancient Britain. Surely their wine was up to current English standards, which is why it goes unmentioned so often in Roman annals.

    In Tucson, where I live, consistent 42º C temperatures are here an now, and incompatible with local eco-climes. Species and humans are dying left and right.

    Let's get on with the present.

    Please, fewer idiotic articles for idiot climate-deniers.

  51. cortland
    Paris Hilton

    So why was Arabia so Felix then?

    That'd be what we now call Yemen. Online Brittanica says

    "The Greeks and Romans chose the name because of the area’s pleasant climate and reputed riches in agricultural products and in spices."

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/31586/Arabia-Felix

    Paris because she's hot too.

    1. Psyx
      FAIL

      Re: So why was Arabia so Felix then?

      Because it was being compared to the Arabian desert in name, for a start (which was 'Arabia the desert' as opposed to 'happy Arabia'. It's paradise compared to -say- Saudi's 'empty quarter', or indeed pretty much all of Saudi and the rest of the Arabian peninsular.

      "The Greeks and Romans chose the name because of the area’s pleasant climate and reputed riches in agricultural products and in spices."

      Yes. It still has those. Since when is Yeman a dry and blasted wasteland? They grow a butt-ton of stuff still.

  52. DirkThomas
    Thumb Down

    el Reg as Ostrich

    You are clearly trying to be clever, bury your head in the sand, think you know it all... and actually, very redneck

    Try to explain to your average UK punter why he can now look forward to interminable wet summers as the Jet Stream hang around too far south http://bit.ly/S2tcRW

    Your continual campaign to discredit climate change research is now bordering on the bounds of gutter press. Subscription cancelation imminent.

  53. aidenlambert

    Rubbish Journalism

    The mere use of the phrase "alarmist scientists" to describe a scientific viewpoint completely undermines any notion of objectivity in this piece. Apart from that the article itself is a trite comment ion the weather in a small specific region of the world a few thousand years ago. It has nothing to do with climate.

    I'll remember to take note of the Register's propensity to politicise discussions in the future.

  54. JRBobDobbs

    polar ice

    I guess there was none in Roman times then?

  55. James Pickett

    Probably just as significant as grapes in York in Roman times was the presence of, er, Romans. That they regarded Britain as habitable suggests it was a tad warmer and drier than today.

    1. JaimieV

      What have the Romans done for us?

      They didn't regard it as habitable - they hated the cold wet place and had to design new dresses for their legionaries to wear to keep their knees warm. They couldn't wait to Romanise the locals and hand control back over to them - letting them get back to Rome where it's nice. Check out any of many "Romans in Britain" histories.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Except they didn't really. It was a shithole then, too.

      And don't confuse a climate where you can grow grapes with a climate suitable for making wine palatable by our own standards.

      Humans will swill down anything which gets them drunk in dire straits. I hardly think that York ever created anything that was better than their version of Diamond White.

  56. Steve Martins
    Boffin

    positive feedback

    I have to wonder how many climatologists who talk of positive feedback have studied control theory and s-domain mathematics? Just because you can see a logical arguement against a few simplistic parameters doesn't make it a sound hypothesis. Feedback control systems have a habit of becoming very complex very quickly with only a few influencing factors. I'm not saying I disagree, I would just like to see the formally peer reviewed mathematics that supports these claims, and exactly how many assumptions are made for each contributing parameter. When we can successfully predict the motion of a double pendulum (http://www.chaoticpendulums.com/chaos-theory-a9.html) which only has two moving parts I will start to believe that the scientists *know* what the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere will be.

    In any case I support the reduction of consumption of finite and polluting resources regardless of the AGW arguement.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: positive feedback

      Feedbacks in climate are describing things which are influenced by temperature and in turn influence temperature. One of the simplest feedbacks in climate (because we can visualize it) is ice albedo feedback: As the earth warms snow and ice cover decrease which makes the earth darker and it absorbs more sunlight, which causes further warming.

      Water vapor feedback is another: warmer earth -> warmer atmosphere, which holds more water vapor, which is a greenhouse gas that causes additional warming.

      Both these feedbacks are quite certain to be positive and will amplify any direct warming whatever it's source.

      It isn't true as skeptics claim that such amplification of the warming from rising CO2 is completely uncertain. The sign of cloud feedback is uncertain, but water vapor and ice albedo feedbacks are definitely strongly positive. As such rather than being a case of "it could be either way" as skeptics try to claim by lumping all feedbacks together, actually for amplification to be wrong cloud feedback has to be substantially negative. It it's just slightly negative, let alone slightly positive or substantially positive, then climate will indeed amplify any warming.

      And really the history of the climate with it's large swings screams the existence of amplification.

      1. Steve Martins

        Re: positive feedback

        I can completely understand and see the validity of amplification within certain constrained limits and individual systems as you describe. I would expect this amplification to continue to a point, however that is a long way from a scenario of uncontrolled runaway positive feedback as eventually each localised amplified system will start to bear influence, or be influenced by another part of the overall system. This is where it becomes extremely difficult to predict. Historic large swings is consistent with different parts of a complex system becoming dominant, and then receding.

        I think the AGW debate is very important and necessary, I have no idea who is right as I don't have enough information, however humans are notoriously bad at being objective and quickly become dogmatic in their points of view regardless of new information. Its good that we enjoy stirring it up to try and get to the truth.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: positive feedback

        "Water vapor feedback is another: warmer earth -> warmer atmosphere, which holds more water vapor, which is a greenhouse gas that causes additional warming."

        Thing is, water vapor can makes BOTH positive AND negative feedback. Sure, water vapor is a greenhouse gas, but more water vapor in the atmosphere tends to increase cloud cover. Clouds REFLECT light and heat back into space and thus have a cooling effect.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: positive feedback

          clouds also emit heat downwards, a warming effect.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: positive feedback

            But the negative feedback of sunlight reflection and refraction tends to exceed the positive feedback of absorption and radiation. Thus why cloudy days are statistically cooler than sunny ones. Would increased global temperatures result in more sunlight-reflecting clouds? As of present, it's just a hypothesis but one that can be used to blunt the alarmists.

  57. Fading Silver badge
    Stop

    Tree-mometers

    Dendrochronolgy is not a good proxy for temperature. I didn't agree with it for Mann's hockey stick (especially the pick and chose method he employed) and I don't agree with it here. Though it is amusing to see the CAGW underpants gnomes rubbishing this study without a hint of irony........

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Tree-mometers

      We are not rubbishing the study. Just it's interpretation.

      Summer temperatures in one location. It's not even a hemispheric reconstruction. The particular location chosen also exhibits much less warming in the past 50 years than other areas in the northern hemisphere.

      Even so the warming since 1900 in the graph bucks the longterm cooling trend

      1. Fading Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Tree-mometers

        The hocky stick was only a northern hemispheric reconstruction (the recent paper trying to prove a similar shape in the southern hemisphere had to be withdrawn) - and relied heavily on a single tree in a single location (much worse than this study) if all the tree data was used by Mann there would not have been a hocky stick. Current trend since the little upkick of 1998 is also fairly flat. Complaining that it is only summer temperatures is a little disingenuous - what trees have winter and summer growing seasons? So whilst I'll agree this is a poor study for determining a global temperature record it is better then the hocky stick.

        1. NomNomNom
          Unhappy

          Re: Tree-mometers

          There have been many reconstructions of the northern hemisphere and globe that don't support the conclusion that the medieval warm period was warmer than present that rely on many proxies and not a single tree in a single location.

          "So whilst I'll agree this is a poor study for determining a global temperature record it is better then the hocky stick"

          I don't see how it can tell us anything about global temperature if it's in a single location. If it did represent global temperature then something is wrong because it doesn't show the warming of the past 50 years.

          1. NomNomNom

            Re: Tree-mometers

            no idea why there is an unhappy face icon on my post, must have clicked the icon by accident or maybe i am really sad

  58. sisk Silver badge

    Explain one thing to me

    Why is it that the people who throw hissy fits over the use of the term 'climate deniers' because of its supposed inaccuracy are perfectly ok with the term 'climate alarmist' and vice versa? If you find one of the terms offensive enough to ask others not to use it (or, in many cases, demand angrily that it not be used) shouldn't you have the courtesy to not use the other?

    I just don't get how certain issues can reduce so many adults into name-calling adolescents.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Explain one thing to me

      Because, sisk, they started it, and whilst ‘they started it’ is the argument of the playground, man is fallible, and after being subject to abuse for so long (and regularly appalling abuse on this website), it can only be expected that some anticipate the inevitable insults by getting shots in early.

      Incidentally, sisk, your use of the terms ‘hissy fit’ and ‘demand angrily’ is known as ‘prejudicial language’ and is offensive. Would you care to set an example by reconsidering your language, or continue dismissing your opponents as ‘adolescents’?

      It doesn’t matter what the topic is—climate, crime and punishment, economics, healthcare, defence, etc.—in any argument with a liberal, unless one is in complete and absolute agreement with the liberal worldview, then one can expect the insults to flow thick and fast. It is rare to meet a liberal who concedes that those of us more or less on the political ‘right’ also wish to live in a nice, pollution- and crime-free world, where people earn decent wages, have access to necessary healthcare, etc. and that we only disagree on the *methods* of attaining this. Liberals usually prefer to demonise their opponents from the start, and one cannot usefully engage in constructive debate with such people.

  59. David H.Robinson

    There are a great many who talk rubbish and believe rubbish that they have been fed without any attempt to verify the main facts.

    How many of you out there that get so heated on one way or the other have actually tested any of the evidence on which they so rely?

    I have taken Co2 tests in my garden over the last ten or eleven years ( I have been involved with Co2 analysis for nearer 40 years) and find that the Co2 remains stubbornly around the 311 ppm rather than the nearly 400ppm claimed by some 'scientists'. The larger figure comes from the NASA site on the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii and reflects the local increase of volcanic activity over the last thirty or so years.

    Before you start jeering and criticising go get equipment and test it for yourself. The equipment used in nuclear submarines deals with this area and is not that expensive. So, put up or shut up.

    Dave.

    1. jerwin

      Wait, wait.. There's no variation from season to season? It's just a steady 311 ppm? Are you sure that your equipment is sensitive enough to detect a change from 300-400 ppm?

      Consider this paper

      http://www.pnas.org/content/104/48/18925.ful An atmospheric perspective on North American carbon dioxide exchange: CarbonTracker and in particular . the supplemental information. You'll see that the seasonal variation can be as much as ten to fifteen ppm, depending on the site's latitude.

    2. NomNomNom

      David H.Robinson: "There are a great many who talk rubbish and believe rubbish that they have been fed without any attempt to verify the main facts."

      Yeah, like you.

      "he larger figure comes from the NASA site on the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii and reflects the local increase of volcanic activity over the last thirty or so years."

      It's not a NASA site, and it's on Mauna Loa, not Mauna Kea. Aside from that there's the dozens of other CO2 measuring sites that record CO2 at around 390ppm too. So I would say your theory about the CO2 rise at Mauna *Loa* is rather wrong, in fact it reveals you just completely BSed about an increase in volcanic activity there as an attempt to explain the measured rise in CO2.

    3. Stuart21551

      Perhaps, David, you could reconcile your measurements with the following.

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html

      Or is the needle stuck?

  60. James Pickett

    "The larger figure comes from the NASA site"

    It's the magic acronym that does it. Some of them are real rocket scientists and are therefore infallible. The fact that they chose to measure global CO2 on the slopes of an active volcano is completely irrelevant!

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stranger than fiction

    Prob'ly

    ... the rate of change is more rapid than experienced previously,

    certainly the environmental effects of human activity have begun

    to manifest themselves in a manner that is impossible to ignore

    and which we are unable to quantify.

    We are, after all, in a warm spell during period of prolonged ice, and

    the most disastrous effects for the planets biology will come from

    our poisoning the oceans and lands with the likes of carbonic acid, plutonium

    and nano-pesticides, and not from a few hot summers. Unfortunately

    the same cannot be said about specific species.

    Fubar (anonymous 'cuz I dig the mask)

  62. Harvardyard

    Harvardyard

    Of course the climate was hotter. It would have had to be to induce any normally intelligent Roman to come exploring or warfaring in the god forsaken English climate.

  63. dogphlap
    Linux

    The trend line is to the year 1900 !

    The trend line goes to 1900 (the title of the article misstates by using the word "now").

    Although the industrial revolution was well under way by then it was mostly limited to northern Europe and Nth America at that time, the world population was much smaller, coal fired power stations and auto-mobiles were very few. I find it very believable that the trend line showing 0.3 degree cooling between 138BC and 1900AD (CE) over a 2000 year period should represent reality. This is a small cooling over time and shows what would have continued to have happened if it where not for the enormous quantity of CO2 that has entered the atmosphere since the industrial revolution really took off (pick your own date, 1840 - 1930). Temperature records post 1900 are good (and getting better). The warming trend since (for the last century) has been 0.6 degrees. So the climate has changed from a cooling of 0.3 degrees centigrade over a 2000 year period to a warming of 0.6 degrees centigrade over a hundred year period. How climate change deniers can claim this paper supports the view that the climate is not warming (and if it is it is, it is not due to humans) I cannot fathom.

    Best regards to all.

  64. Dominic Sweetman

    CO2 levels are 60% higher than in the late 18thC, and are still rising fast. There's a very simple mechanism which causes it to raise global temperature. Climate is far more complicated than we can understand: perhaps there is some not-yet-known feedback mechanism which means we won't get much warmer. But given the least worst science available, most likely it will make it quite a lot warmer rather fast, which is likely to be difficult for our grandchildren. If we had another planet or two for us to move to if it turns out badly, that might be a reasonable chance to take.

    But we haven't got another planet.

    We know how to stop adding CO2. It wouldn't even cost that much. We won't do it. That's amazingly stupid, and we don't like admitting to stupidity, so we grasp at straws. Or scandinavian tree-rings, of course.

  65. Spotthelemon

    misrepresentation

    Lewis is getting more & more desperate

    Actually the relevance of this article (if it's correct) is that Climate change is worse than previously thought. There was a view held by many that the underlying temperature trend was level, this paper says the underlying trend has been one of slight cooling meaning that the recent rise in temperature is actually greater than previously thought since mean temperature would have cooled slightly rather than remained level. The paper shows an increase in temperature in recent times which completely bucks the trend of the past 2000 years. If (& its a big if) this paper proves correct then it potentially destroys many sceptic arguments which rely on recent warming being part of a long term warming trend or natural cycles.

  66. Lockwood

    IPCC

    We keep hearing what the IPCC have to say about this.

    What does ACPO have to say on the subject?

  67. Albasaor
    FAIL

    Leap of Logic

    The author states: "If it is the case that actually the climate has often been warmer without any significant CO2 emissions having taken place - suggesting that CO2 emissions simply aren't that important - the case for huge efforts to cut those emissions largely disappears.". Wow, this is a complete logic failure. It's like saying 'people were obese in the past without Macdonalds, therefore Macdonalds cannot cause obesity'.

    There are other sources of warming, so you can have warming with low CO2. The converse is probably true to in certain situations. But to make the statement that was made in the article is mind-blowingly illogical and unscientific.

  68. blem wit
    Thumb Up

    Got a read on Mark Levin show

    Lewis, kudos for having your article read in full in the 07/10 Mark Levin show!

  69. ChaosFreak
    FAIL

    It's the Ocean Acidification, stupid

    I'm amazed at the stupidity of people who say "Look, CO2 doesn't cause warming so CO2 is no problem!"

    This completely ignores the problem of ocean acidification. It is indisputable that more CO2 in the atmosphere causes more CO2 to be dissolved in the ocean. It is also indisputable that this decreases the pH of the ocean. It is also very likely that rapid acidifaction of the ocean will lead to mass extinctions of species that can't adapt fast enough, especially organisms that have calcium exoskeletons that literally dissolve below a certain pH.

    Whatever you think of the link with warming, you have to worry about ocean acidification. A world without seafood as an abundant protein source is a starving world.

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