Giant Of Geology/Glaciology Christian Schlüchter Refutes CO2…Feature Interview Throws Climate Science Into Disarray

SchluechterChristian

Update: Read here.

This post is about an interview by the online Swiss Der Bund here with Swiss geology giant Christian Schlüchter titled: “Our society is fundamentally dishonest“. In it he criticizes climate science for its extreme tunnel vision and political contamination.

Geologist Sebastain Lüning sent me an e-mail where he writes: “This is probably the best interview from a geologist on climate change that I have read for a long while. My highest respect for Prof. Schlüchter.” Fritz Vahrenholt calls it “impressive”.

Hat-tip: Bernd Felsche and Wolfgang Neumann at Facebook.
Photo credit (Christian Schlüchter): University of Bern

His discovery of 4000-year old chunks of wood at the edge of glaciers in Switzerland in the 1990s unintentionally thrust the distinguished geologist into the lion’s den of climate science. Today the retired professor and author of more than 250 papers speaks up in an interview.

Almost glacier-free Alps 2000 years ago

Early in the interview Schlüchter reminds us that during Roman times in the Alps “the forest line was much higher than it is today; there were hardly any glaciers. Nowhere in the detailed travel accounts from Roman times are glaciers mentioned.” He criticizes today’s climate scientists for focusing on a time period that is “indeed much too short“.

In the interview, Schlüchter recounts how he in the 1990s found a large chunk of wood near the leading edge of a glacier. The chunk of wood, he describes, looked as if it had been dragged across a cheese shredder. It was clear to Schlüchter that the specimen had to be very old. Indeed laboratory analysis revealed that it was 4000 years old. Next they found multiple wood fragments with the same age, all serving to fill in a major piece of the paleo-puzzle. His conclusion: Today where one finds the Lower Aare-Glacier in the Bernese Alps, it used to be “a wide landscape with a wildly flowing river“. It was warmer back then.

Until the 1990s, scientists thought that the Alps glaciers had been more or less consistently intact and only began retreating after the end of the Little Ice Age. Schlüchter’s findings showed that glacial retreats of the past also had been profound.

This threw climate science into chaos and it remains unreconciled today.

Ice-free 5800 of the last 10,000 years

But not all scientists were thrilled or fascinated by Schlüchter’s impressive discoveries. He quickly found himself the target of scorn. Swiss climate scientist Heinz Wanner was reluctant to concede Schlüchter’s findings. Schlüchter tells Der Bund:

I wasn’t supposed to find that chunk of wood because I didn’t belong to the close-knit circle of Holocene and climate researchers. My findings thus caught many experts off guard: Now an ‘amateur’ had found something that the Holocene and climate experts should have found.”

Schlüchter tells of other works, which also have proven to be a thorn to mainstream climate science, involving the Rhone glacier. His studies and analyses of oxygen isotopes unequivocally reveal that indeed “the rock surface had been ice-free 5800 of the last 10,000 years“.

Distinct solar imprint on climate

What’s more worrisome, Schlüchter’s findings show that cold periods can strike very rapidly. Near the edge of Mont Miné Glacier his team found huge tree trunks and discovered that they all had died in just a single year. The scientists were stunned.

The year of death could be determined to be exactly 8195 years before present. The oxygen isotopes in the Greenland ice show there was a marked cooling around 8200.”

That finding, Schlüchter states, confirmed that the sun is the main driver in climate change.

Today’s “rapid” changes are nothing new

In the interview he casts doubt on the UN projection that the Alps will be almost glacier-free by 2100, reminding us that “the system is extremely dynamic and doesn’t function linearly” and that “extreme, sudden changes have clearly been seen in the past“. History’s record is unequivocal on this.

Schlüchter also doesn’t view today’s climate warming as anything unusual, and poses a number of unanswered questions:

Why did the glaciers retreat in the middle of the 19th century, although the large CO2 increase in the atmosphere came later? Why did the earth ‘tip’ in such a short time into a warming phase? Why did glaciers again advance in 1880s, 1920s and 1980s? […] Sooner or later climate science will have to answer the question why the retreat of the glacier at the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850 was so rapid.”

On science: “Our society is fundamentally dishonest”

CO2 fails to answer many open questions. Already we get the sense that hockey stick climate claims are turning out to be rather sorrowful and unimaginative wives’ tales. He summarizes on the refusal to acknowledge the reality of our past: “Our society in fundamentally dishonest“.

“Helping hands for politicians”

In the Der Bund interview Schlüchter describes a meeting in England that turned him off completely. The meeting, to which he was “accidentally” invited, was led by “someone of the East Anglia Climate Center who had come under fire in the wake of the ‘Climategate’ e-mails“:

The leader of the meeting spoke like some kind of Father. He was seated at a table in front of the those gathered and he took messages. He commented on them either benevolently or dismissively. Lastly it was about tips on research funding proposals and where to submit them best. For me it was impressive to see how the leader of the meeting collected and selected information. For me it also gets down to the credibility of science. […] Today many natural scientists are helping hands of politicians, and no longer scientists who occupy themselves with new knowledge and data. And that worries me.”

Schlüchter adds that the reputation of science among young researchers is becoming more damaged the more it surrenders to politics. He indirectly blasts IPCC chief scientist Thomas Stocker:

Inventing the devil was one of man’s greatest inventions ever achieved. You can make a lot of money when you paint him on the wall.”

Northern hemisphere still gripped in ice age mode

Schlüchter also says that the northern hemisphere is still in the ice age mode and that the glaciers during the Roman times were at least 300 to 500 meters higher than today. “The mean temperature was one and half degree Celsius above that of 2005. The current development is nothing new in terms of the earth’s history.”

At the end of the interview Schlüchter says that solar activity is what is sitting at the end of the lever of change, with tectonics and volcanoes chiming in.

=================================
Christian Schlüchter is Professor emeritus for Quaternary Geology and Paleoclimatology at the University of Bern in Switzerland. He has authored/co-authored over 250 papers.

 

50 responses to “Giant Of Geology/Glaciology Christian Schlüchter Refutes CO2…Feature Interview Throws Climate Science Into Disarray”

  1. Kevin R. Lohse

    “This threw climate science into chaos and remains today reconciled.” should that read, “unreconciled”?

    “reputation of science among young researchers is becoming more damaged the more it surrenders to science.” Should that read ” the more it surrenders to politics”?

    Good interview though.

  2. Frederick Colbourne

    This is consistent with the findings of Hubert Lamb over 40 years ago.

  3. DirkH

    “I wasn’t supposed to find that chunk of wood because I didn’t belong to the close-knit circle of Holocene and climate researchers. My findings thus caught many experts off guard: Now an ‘amateur’ had found something that the Holocene and climate experts should have found.”

    The question is, would the “experts” have found it at all – or rather make it disappear. Theories on which careers have been built must be protected at all costs.

    1. Kevin Marshall

      Dirk,

      Is the term “climate expert” the wrong one? An “expert” is somebody with some demonstrable level of expertise. This can be on a practical level, such as a plumber with some years experience, or at a more professional level such as a surveyor. In terms of climate (or other empirical sciences) this should be an understanding from theory and evidence over and above the simple extrapolation from short-term observed trends. In terms of Alpine glaciers it would seem the “experts” lack “expertise”.

      1. DirkH

        Semantics. I’m talking about all those government funded one trick pony scientists who get invited over an over again to an annual cycle of conferences because the organizers know, that’s an uncontroversial guy, we know what he’ll say, the same as last year, will be good fun. We see the same pattern of stonewalling in climate science, in nutrition and in history. Oh, you can throw in Keynesian economics / MMT (mainstream economists work with equilibrium models instead of complex models – and don’t even have money or banks in their models).

  4. Swiss geology father throws spanner in AGW works | Tallbloke's Talkshop

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  5. Kurt in Switzerland

    I have personally seen multiple wood fragments (as well as logs twice the length of a human being) near the riverbed beneath the location of the tongue of the Tschierva Glacier (near Pontresina in the Engadine Valley, SE Switzerland) – recently uncovered due to melting / receding of the glacier ice. This is an area 100+ m above the existing tree line, where today only rubble is found. This is powerful evidence of a higher tree line during early- to mid-Holocene.

    Schlüchter’s input has been featured in several publications in past years, but the MSM doesn’t seem to have considered his message important enough to spread it to a broader audience.

    An inconvenient truth, perhaps?

    Kurt in Switzerland

    1. yonason

      “…the MSM doesn’t seem to have considered his message important enough to spread it to a broader audience.” – Kurt in Switzerland

      Or, perhaps, they consider it TOO important to allow it to become accessible to a broader audience? The truth is dangerous, after all – at least dangerous to liars.

  6. Lance Wallace

    Having trouble reconciling these two comments:

    “Schlüchter reminds us that during Roman times in the Alps “the forest line was much higher than it is today; there were hardly any glaciers. Nowhere in the detailed travel accounts from Roman times are glaciers mentioned.”

    “Schlüchter also says… that the glaciers during the Roman times were at least 300 to 500 meters higher than today. “

    1. Duster

      There’s no contradiction. One passage refers to *Roman accounts* while the other simply assesses the existing data like dead trees well above modern timber lines. I have never seen any mention of glaciers or ice fields in Roman era material I’ve read either. There is wide spread evidence, both hemispheric and global for periods warmer than the present throughout the Holocene.

  7. R. Strobel

    Assetions are nice but can we see peer reviewed data? I don’t think that this interview has thrown climate science into disarray. Beware the hyperbole of pseudo-religious fundalmentalism.

    1. DirkH

      “Assetions are nice but can we see peer reviewed data?”

      Gotta make sure mankind only ever gets to see filtered data…

  8. edmh

    Is this a sign of the ending of the Holocene, if so our grand children should be sincerely afraid.

    That outcome is certainly more likely than any warming catastrophe.

    According to sums based in IPCC data, the frightening + 2 degC is entirely unattainable and were to be reached it would be entirely to the benefit of mankind and the planets biosphere, see Richard Tol.

  9. edmh

    Look at the current productive state of the Canadian prairies after last winter; some areas are still freezing.

    This matters to world food production and prices

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  11. Loodt Pretorius

    Oh Pierre, you know that the Roman warming was only local, up one valley, and not widespread across Swiss Alps. Just check the IPCC reports for guidance and confirmation my son, and your faith will soon be restored.

    1. yonason

      And if that doesn’t work, there are other methods of persuasion?

  12. Niklaus Ammann

    Good to hear from Christian Schlüchter (once he was my student – and a brilliant one). My thesis work from 1972 gave lots of proof for mountain forests in the Grimsel (Unteraar- and Oberaar-Glacier) with a rich forest flora:

    Ammann, K. (1979), Der Oberaargletscher im 18., 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Zeitschrift für Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie,, XII, 2, pp. 253-291, http://www.botanischergarten.ch/Oberaar/Ammann-Oberaar-History-1979.pdf

    Ammann, K. (1979), Gletschernahe Vegetation der Oberaar, einst und jetzt, Rinteln, 20.-23. März 1978, Germany, Werden und Vergehen von Pflanzengesellschaften, ed. O. u. T. Wilmans, R., pp. 227-251, http://www.botanischergarten.ch/Oberaar/Ammann-Oberaar-Vegetation-1979.pdf AND http://www.ask-force.org/web/Oberaar/Oberaar-P2-Pollen-Ammann-1972-1.pdf AND http://www.ask-force.org/web/Oberaar/Oberaar-Veg-Karte-1972.PDF

    see also my piece of fossil wood (discovered 1972) with comment

    http://www.ask-force.org/web/Oberaar/Wood-Fragment-Larch-C14-B254-4600+-80-Years-Unteraar-Found-KA-1972.jpg

  13. John F. Hultquist

    I don’t see that dead trees confirm a “distinct solar imprint.” Cold yes. But that doesn’t automatically imply solar. I have trees that have lost their primary leaves with a frost in the spring. Then they have grown new leaves and survived. I was told that if they also lose that set they will die, or if they lose leaves 2 years in a row they will die. But that variety, Walnut, is not native here. Our sweet Cherries often lose the fruit but have never lost their leaves. Native trees have not suffered these setbacks. Still, a couple of years with cold during leaf-out could kill a large area of trees.

    I’m not saying there isn’t a solar impact – just that dead trees are not enough to confirm such. If it is solar there should be world-wide or nearly so effects. Are there?

    1. DirkH

      John, this is in line with Bond Events / Dansgard-Oeschger-Events – we still don’t know what causes those but we know that they have happened.

      Ironically Rahmstorff has written about them in 2003. Confirming large scale natural fluctuations of unknown origin.
      http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/Publications/Journals/rahmstorf_grl_2003.pdf

  14. Graeme No.3

    Archeologists are well aware that the Alpine passes have opened and shut many times during the Holocene. It would seem that some climatologists aren’t open to ideas/evidence that don’t support their theory.

    1. M E Wood

      In 1965 when I graduated in Prehistoric Archaeology with a year of Geomorphology ( including basic climate studies) we knew about Alpine passes being open from time to time in Prehistoric and Classical times. When was this knowledge lost in the climate communities?
      I would like to read more about the piece of larch wood. What its are dimensions and is it naturally that shape and so flat on the superior surface? Has a piece been cut off for dating or was it so rectangular when found? Does larch fragment like that?

  15. GrantB

    Pierre, any idea who the East Anglia Climate Centre father figure was?

  16. Manfred

    Hockey team member Wanner wrote this remarkable climategate email

    http://di2.nu/foia/foia2011/mail/1104.txt

    1. GrantB

      Manfred – another Climategate email that I was unaware of. Un.be.lie.va.ble. I’m a physicist (PhD) OK retired, but is this what science has come to?

      Send this to Mark Steyn if his team isn’t already aware of it. Please.

      1. Manfred

        You may do that, if you like … ?

  17. David

    Interesting…I read an article that said scientist think they found the oldest human on the North Amer. Cont….She was found in an underwater cave off of Mexico. The report says she fell in the cave…along with other animals and dies. 10,000 yrs the Glaciers began melting thus made it an underwater cave. I quess Climate Change is real.

  18. David

    http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2014/05/stunning-discovery-one-of-oldest-human-skeletons-in-north-america.html

    Glaciers melted 10,000 yrs to make the once dry cave turn into an underwater cave.

    1. Duster

      The oldest human remains in North Americal are from the San Joaquin Valley in California. One sample of human cranial bone was dated along to very nearly 16,000 BP and two others to between 11,000 and 12,000 BP. The latter two are so close in ag that they are likely from the same individual. The dating was accomplished using Uranium-Thorium dataing and was thus not subject to the “rubbery” qualities of C-14 dating methods. The bone unfortunately came from a private collection and thus has not been treated as legitimate by most American archaeologists, if thet have even heard of the dates. However, megafauna fossils from the same locality have been dated using U-Th and are found to match the dates on human bone very well, that is they all date to the late Pleistocene and are consistent examples of Rancho La Brean fauna.

  19. David

    I must admit…this is not quite the article I read tho similar.. the other article I read mentioned the Glaciers..i reread this and this does not.

  20. handjive

    Updated on Tues. April 29, at 10:59 a.m. ET.

    An elaborate array of linear stone lanes and V-shaped structures has been discovered on an underwater ridge in Lake Huron, marking what is thought to be the most complex set of ancient hunting structures ever found beneath the Great Lakes, according to a new report.

    Researchers based at the University of Michigan think the roughly 9,000-year-old-structure helped natives corral caribou herds migrating across what was then an exposed land-corridor — the so-called Alpena-Amberley Ridge — connecting northeast Michigan to southern Ontario.

    The area is now covered by 120 feet (347 meters) of water, but at the time, was exposed due to dry conditions of the last ice age.

    http://www.livescience.com/45191-lake-huron-hunting-site-discovered.html
    https://www.google.com.au/#q=ancient+lake+huron

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  27. johann wundersamer

    problem with:

    “Schlüchter also says… that the
    glaciers during the Roman
    times were at least 300 to 500
    meters higher than today. “

    – abstract of interview says:

    not the glaciers /thickness/

    but

    “Schlüchter also says… that the
    glaciers /lowest edges/ during the Roman
    times were at least 300 to 500
    meters higher /positioned/ than today. “

    brg Hans