This newest tree ring study completely refutes Mann’s bogus hockey stick. That question is now forever resolved. There were warm and cold periods – with plenty of extremes. But that’s nothing new for many of us.
Der Spiegel reports on a new study put out by Science where scientists gathered data from a large set of tree rings from the Alps and used them to reconstruct 2500 years of climate in fine detail. The scientists were able to reconstruct past climate with unprecedented precision and found some significant results.
The press here is acting like these results are new. But to skeptics, it only confirms what they’ve been saying all along.
It turns out that Hannibal indeed most likely did cross the Alps with elephants way back in the year 218 BC, at a time when Europe was in a warm optimum. The study shows that weather and climate events triggered human and cultural shifts and events like wars, famine, disease – or prosperity and growth, depending on whether it was warm or cold.
Der Spiegel writes:
From 9000 pieces of wood from old post and beam homes and trees, scientists Ulf Büntgen of the Swiss WSL Environmental Research Institute and Jan Esper of the University of Mainz read off the climate story – a unique global historical archive was created.”
Der Spiegel presents the most important results, which I myself think are not a surprise. The bulk of the Der Spiegel piece focuses on the hunger and misery precipitated by the climatic cold periods throughout the 2500-year period. One really gets a sense of how temperatures in Europe by no means followed the hockey stick shape proposed by Mann, and went from cold to warm, and vice versa. Numerous other proxies show the same applies globally.
Disease, war, famine and societal collapse in cool, raw times
2500 years ago Europe was gripped by a cold period and temperatures were 2°C below today’s levels. Wars raged and societies collapsed. In the 4th century AD, after the Roman Warm Period, the climate again went downhill. It got cold and dry in central and southern Europe. The Huns invaded, and the Roman Empire collapsed. The temperature continued to drop through the 6th, 7th and 8thcenturies – and with catastrophic consequences. Der Spiegel writes:
In the famine year of 784, one third of Europe’s population died. ‘It was a cool summer’, says Büntgen’s sober diagnosis, looking at the data. ‘With the worsening climate, not only did harvests in Europe go bad, but livestock also shriveled away’, reports historian Berninger.”
These cool times continued into the 10th century. Crops continued to fail, famine, unrest, war, disease and misery spread – all because of the cold climate.
Finally, by the 11th century, the climate turned the corner and warm times started up again (all naturally, without man-made CO2). Europe prospered again, cathedrals were built and society advanced until the 14th century.
In the early 14th century, climate-related hunger and famine began to spread again. From 1346 to 1352, half of Europe’s population was killed off by the Black Plague. As the temperature dropped, starvation and misery continued, all blamed on witches, who were burned. Sound familiar?
Europe had plunged into madness. The 30-year war raged across Germany from 1618 to 1648. At this point Europe was in the middle of the Little Ice Age. Der Spiegel writes:
In 1709 the weather in Europe rendered one of the worst natural catastrophes Europe: In the grisly cold of 1709, rivers in Portugal froze, palm trees were buried in snow. All over Europe rivers had frozen fish, livestock froze in the stables.”
Prosperity and the emergence of empires in warm periods
Heydays, the Roman Empire and the German Empire coincided with warm times. For example, by 300 BC, the climate again got warmer, and with rains. It got so warm in fact, that the Alps became passable. The Roman Empire emerged – all helped along by the climate. Harvests were bountiful, and England had vineyards and made wine. The MWP was similarly warm, read above. There’s ample evidence showing that the Roman Period and the MWP were warmer than today.
Weather extremes were greater in the past than today
Büntgen and Esper’s ring studies also show that rainfall amounts in Central Europe fluctuated much more year-to-year in ancient times and in the Dark Ages than in recent times, and also weather extremes were greater. In the year 1135, very little rain fell and the Danube River almost dried up. Regensburg used the opportunity to build its landmrk Steinernen bridge. The historical records also show a number of great floods, storms and periods of drought during Europe’s history.
That was climate and it was all natural. It was not caused by witches and bad behaviour. This study clearly shows that warm times are good, cold times are bad, and that the past had more extremes than today. Not only is it more nails for the hockey stick’s coffin, but also nails for the AGW theory.