New Esper Study Confirms Warm Periods Lead To Prosperity, Cold Periods To Death And Misery – Climate Extremes Were Greater In the Past

2500 years of tree rings.

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

Witches were burned for bad weather. (Photo source:

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.

89 responses to “New Esper Study Confirms Warm Periods Lead To Prosperity, Cold Periods To Death And Misery – Climate Extremes Were Greater In the Past”

  1. Dana

    “Not only is it more nails for the hockey stick’s coffin, but also nails for the AGW theory.”

    WTF? It’s nails in neither! The ‘hockey stick’ just shows the temperature, it doesn’t say anything about whether or not people prospered.

    The AGW theory says that temperatures several degrees hotter than the past 2,500 years are dangerous. If you really think humans will prosper in hotter climates, go live in a desert.

    Man, you guys can spin anything.

    1. DirkH

      “The ‘hockey stick’ just shows the temperature”

      You still believe that? You might be the last one…

      1. tolo4zero

        If you really think humans will prosper in colder climates, go live in the Antarctic

        Man, you guys can spin anything.

        1. Dana

          Strawman alert. Nobody said any such thing.

          1. Stan B

            “If you really think humans will prosper in hotter climates, go live in a desert.” – Dana

            Uhm….so YOUR strawman is not the same as HIS strawman?


          2. Dana

            Look up the definition of the term please. Pierre’s argument is ‘warmer is better’. It’s right there in the title.

            Nobody said colder is better. That’s a straw man.

    2. Rui


      I don’t believe you nor your folks anymore.


    3. Karmakaze

      They’re also lying about what the study actually says. This from the abstract:

      ” Here, we present tree ring–based reconstructions of Central European summer precipitation and temperature variability over the past 2500 years. Recent warming is unprecedented, but modern hydroclimatic variations may have at times been exceeded in magnitude and duration. Wet and warm summers occurred during periods of Roman and medieval prosperity. Increased climate variability from ~AD 250 to 600 coincided with the demise of the Western Roman Empire and the turmoil of the Migration Period. Historical circumstances may challenge recent political and fiscal reluctance to mitigate projected climate change.”

      Funny how the actual study says the complete opposite of what these liars say. The study is being used to show how climate change can devastate civilisations.. but these guys are trying to use it to say climate change isn’t happening!

      1. DirkH

        Read the Spiegel article. Even google translator should be good enough for you.

        1. Dana

          Yes, let’s read the media spin instead of the study itself. Capital idea!

  2. Mindert Eiting

    I think this kind of study adds a new dimension to our history, often described from the standpoint of elites, dominating our archival sources. Regarding the hockey stick: time heals. Just read in Wikipedia about Piltdown Man. The story is entertaining from the first to the last line.

  3. Asim

    This was an interesting piece of writing, I find its always important to look at the topic holistically and see how our ancestors survived and continued their existance. I’d have thought that a warmer climate would have made it obvious that there will be benefits to it, and vice-versa with a colder climate (leading to difficulties and hardship). Why is it that there are so many ex-pats of brits moving to a WARMER climate such as spain or australia? For a better standard of life?

    I hardly see a desert in the making if scotland or the UK were to experiance a warmer climate. Which as history has shown has clearly reached a warmer climate than just now (medievel times) which simply couldn’t be attributed to AGW unless they secretly had SUV’s in their barns; but again I’m sure ill be corrected how it was infact the livestock that caused the warming.

    What I find most telling during a discussion like this is the need for extremeties to be thrown round by supporters of AGW, so a warmer climate is automatically a desert scenario whereas history clearly states that a warmer climate can be attributed to a more progressive and well off society in Europe.

  4. Joe Prins

    Perhaps “Dana” can point out to me the MWP as well as the LIA in Mann’s work,
    which is supposed to be a Northern Hemisphere climate reconstruction. Since Europe is (still) part of the Northern Hemisphere, and since Yamal is not very far from Europe, one can reasonably deduce that Mann’s work should at least have equivelant reults to the last 1000 years of the Esper study. Perhaps not surprising, Mann does not even come close. Therefore that makes Mann work toast.

    1. Dana

      See my response above.

    2. Rob Honeycutt

      Joe Prins… Perhaps you’ve not looked at Mann’s more recent temperature reconstructions.

    3. Rob Honeycutt

      Joe… See Mann 2008 and you’ll see both the MWP and the LIA.

      1. Karmakaze

        Don’t bother arguing with these guys, they are liars. The study says the complete opposite of what these guys are saying, and they even linked to it!

        Why? Because the people this article was written for are too stupid to bother checking the sources, and thus are also too stupid to be convinced by any reasonable argument.

        They read the headline and a paragraph or two, see it agrees with their beliefs and that’s all. They don’t care whether its true or not, they only care about having their misconceptions reinforced.

        Basically you’d have more luck convincing a lion it was a vegetarian than convincing these people they are wrong.

        After all, the abstract linked to in the article says:

        ” Here, we present tree ring–based reconstructions of Central European summer precipitation and temperature variability over the past 2500 years. Recent warming is unprecedented, but modern hydroclimatic variations may have at times been exceeded in magnitude and duration. ”

        This study shows the exact same thing every other reconstruction shows, that there is such a thing as natural climate variability, which no one ever denied, that in the past there were even warm periods or cold periods, but that modern warming is unprecedented in its pace and scale.

        So this study CONFIRMS Mann!

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Karmakaze… FYI, it doesn’t help to sell your logic to call people liars. It’s better to simply present your position and let the broader audience come to their own conclusions.

  5. Louis Hissink

    When the Greenlanders can start farming the regions the Vikings used to farm, and warming continues after that, then there might be a problem. But right now Greenland remains frozen and not yet back to the MWP times.

    And while this study is for Central Europe, it receives supporting evidence from the other side of the world in Korean annals of the Choson dynasty that documented the climatic grief in that region during the LIA.

    Whatever initiated the LIA was global in character, not local, and in the South Pacific Ted Bryant’s work on the tsunami deposits littering the eastern shoreline of Australia points to an external cause of the LIA.

    Except we do not really underestand what caused the LIA, let alone the previous colder periods, except that they happened and were periods of environmental catastrophes for the biosphere.

    It’s worth pointing out that most of the mass species extinctions occurred with ice ages, not warming periods that preceded those ice ages. We still do not know why those geological ice ages occurred.

    1. Mindert Eiting

      But this year the sun came up two days too early in Greenland. See

      This may be caused by huge amounts of melting ice. The journalists do not know that the same event occurred in 1597 at Nova Zembla. It is now explained as a fata morgana phenomenon. Nice example of how confirmation bias works.

    2. Dana

      First of all, they can. Vikings only ‘farmed’ (which was mostly raising livestock) on the Greenland coast. That area could be equally ‘farmed’ today.

      Secondly, even if that weren’t the case, Greenland is a very small part of the planet.

      Thirdly, we do have good ideas as to the causes of the LIA.

      And fourth, we know that ice ages are triggered by orbital (Milankovitch) cycles.

  6. Alex Cull

    Very good article. I think that what the Hockey Stick study has tended to encourage is the idea that the global climate was somehow stable, with little variation for hundreds of years, and then it suddenly entered a new and unprecedented unstable phase with the HS graph’s recent uptick.

    History has always contradicted this simple notion, and I find it encouraging that new tree-ring studies are now supporting a more nuanced picture.

    1. DirkH

      It kinda pulls back dendrochronology from the Mannian scientific abbyss.

  7. DirkH

    Very interesting. The BBC has a piece about this study up:

    The interesting thing is, while Der Spiegel makes no fuzz about the fact that cold years brought death, watch the Beeb spin it:
    “They found that periods of warm, wet summers coincided with prosperity, while political turmoil occurred during times of climate instability.”

    Avoiding the word “cold”.

    “But in unfavourable conditions, such as drought, the rings grow in much tighter formation.”

    No mention of “cold”.

    And so on and so on. They seem to be afraid of establishing the connection cold=bad, warm=good.

  8. NikFromNYC

    Actual thermometer instead of tree ring records also roundly refute greenhouse hypersensitivity claims by showing utterly no upswing in a mild warming trend in the modern era. I plotted the longest continuous records I could find here:

    History isn’t a Hockey Stick unless both northern Europe and North America magically escaped being effected by less developed regions where the thermometer had not yet become a common item. Nobody on the alarmist side has cared to debate instead of just ignore my little chart. At first they did, when I had only Central England plotted, so I added the rest of them to show that linear warming was not just a local situation.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      NikFromNYC… Your little diagram hardly constitutes a comprehensive global reconstruction of temperature. Maybe people are ignoring your “little chart” because it is of little significance.

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  10. R. de Haan

    14. Januar 2011 at 19:55 | Permalink | Reply
    “Not only is it more nails for the hockey stick’s coffin, but also nails for the AGW theory.”

    WTF? It’s nails in neither! The ‘hockey stick’ just shows the temperature, it doesn’t say anything about whether or not people prospered.

    The AGW theory says that temperatures several degrees hotter than the past 2,500 years are dangerous. If you really think humans will prosper in hotter climates, go live in a desert.

    Man, you guys can spin anything.

    No Dana, the Hockey Stick is made to eliminate the Medieval Warmth Period when it was much warmer than today.

    We have a much, much warmer past behind us and during this period humanity thrived.

    Interestingly during these warmer times, the Sahara was green.
    This means temperatures don’t determine if a region becomes a desert or not but precipitation.

    You can read about our past at this site.

    There is no spin or intention for spin from our point of view.
    We only want the science right.
    The AGW theory is complete BS (Bad Science).

  11. R. de Haan

    15. Januar 2011 at 17:51 | Permalink | Reply
    Look, if you ‘skeptics’ want to be taking seriously, you have to stop accusing every scientist whose results you don’t like of fraud. You need to actually take the time to learn what happened in these (manufactured) controversies.

    We don’t.
    We discuss and counter (falsify) opposing arguments except when we are dealing with Fraud. In the case of Michal Mann’s work we have found that his work is fabrication (a fraud), nothing more, nothing less.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      You guys REALLY have to get over the “fraud” think. It really undermines your own position.

      1. Dana

        No question about it. I won’t even argue with people engaging in baseless accusations of fraud. It’s a clear sign that they’re just garden variety closed-minded conspiracy theorists. You might as well be arguing that the moon landing was faked.

        When people can’t make valid scientific arguments, that’s when they start resorting to these sorts of baseless attacks. Note that R. de Haan and cohorts aren’t even willing to acknowledge that every single peer-reviewed reconstruction has the same general ‘hockey stick’ shape, or that Mann et al. 2008 addressed all the criticisms of Mann et al. 1999 and still had a similar shape (but slightly more prominent LIA and MWP).

        It’s much easier to scream ‘fraud!’ than to make a coherent argument.

  12. DirkH

    Re Mann and time series data: a post to behold – Which of these is not upside down?

    1. DirkH

      Oops, it’s more fun when you start at the top of the page.

      1. Rob Honeycutt

        Funny thing about that WUWT chart is, the chart is not a product of Mann 2008. It is the a citation in Mann 2008 containing 16 different temperature reconstructions.

        1. DirkH

          Anyhow. Mann used Tiljander the wrong way up and defended it, saying it’s bizarre to accuse him of wrongdoing.
          “To which Mann replied:

          The claim that ‘‘upside down’ data were used is bizarre. Multivariate regression methods are insensitive to the sign of predictors. Screening, when used, employed one-sided tests only when a definite sign could be a priori reasoned on physical grounds. Potential nonclimatic influences on the Tiljander and other proxies were discussed in the SI, which showed that none of our central conclusions relied on their use.

  13. R. de Haan

    “Not only is it more nails for the hockey stick’s coffin, but also nails for the AGW theory”.

    Why do we need to nail something that is nailed a thousand times already.
    We must stick to the sound science and leave the frauds behind us.

    We need to concentrate on the real drivers of Earth’s climate.
    Our oceans, our volcano’s and our sun.

    And we’re doing fine.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      R. de Haan….

      Those are already well understood and have low levels of uncertainty.

      Oceans = Merely move heat energy around the climate system.

      Volcanoes = Short term aerosol cooling.

      Sun = About 0.5 W/mˆ2

      Volcanoes are well accounted for in the models. Oceans are still early in our capacity to effectively track. Sun has a predictable 11 year cycle that we little of in the temperature data. Sun, as well, would produce stratospheric warming. We see stratospheric cooling.

      1. Ed Caryl

        The TSI variation is more tha twice your 0.5 W/m^2 number.

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Ed… I think you’re eyeballing it and inadvertently adding in peaks. If you smooth the data you’re going to be back around 0.5 W/mˆ2.

          Try Fröhlich & Lean (2004).

          The secondary point you can take from this information, though, is that there is a clear 11 year cycle. We do NOT see a clear 11 year cycle in the global temperature record. Why? Because the radiative forcing of GHG’s is far and away greater than the variation in TSI. CO2 alone is 1.6 W/mˆ2. The other well mixed GHG’s add another 1.0 W/mˆ2. Add to that the fast feedback responses from atmospheric WV and you can see why we see very little temperature response from TSI.

          TSI is definitely a component of the system! It’s just a small control knob relative to GHG’s.

      2. Ed Caryl
        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Ed… Sorry, but both of those links confirm everything I’m saying.

          1. Ed Caryl

            They confirm everything you are saying is wrong.
            Read them. Chart the data in the long term article.

          2. Rob Honeycutt

            Ed… I’ve been to these sites numerous times in the past. I’ve already read them. These sites do not refute anything I’m saying.

            Here’s a site that explains it all pretty well. It’s blog and not a peer reviewed paper, but it’s written by a physicist and it’s well cited.


            The point being, you can’t just eyeball the charts and get a sense of the relative radiative forcing for TSI. It’s more complicated than that. That’s why we rely on top level physicists to interpret the data and put it into to context.

            My 0.5W/mˆ2 do not come from just looking at the charts. They come from papers interpreting the data.

          3. Ed Caryl

            But you are confusing TSI with solar radiative forcing. They are not the same thing.
            Now that we have that figured out, perhaps we can move to the solar ultraviolet variation and cosmic ray variation due to changing solar magnetic fields.

  14. Rob Honeycutt

    There is one very important aspect of the temperature reconstructions of the past 1000 or so years (with the LIA and MWP) that most of you seem to miss.

    The extent of warming and cooling of the past 1000 years is used to help calculate climate sensitivity. We should ALL hope that Mann’s original hockey stick is more accurate because it would suggest very low climate sensitivity (on the scale that Lindzen suggests). The warmer we find the MWP to be, and the colder we find the LIA to be, both suggest that climate sensitivity is HIGHER, likely exceeding IPCC best estimates.

    It’s all a case of “be careful what you ask for.”

    1. DirkH

      No matter what WE ask for; Mann is wrong, that much is clear – we can’t do a thing about it now, Rob.

      Your conclusion is wrong, BTW: whatever Mann’s errors mean for how somebody tunes his GCM has NO bearing on reality. It only has consequences for the level of wrongness in the climate science of the last 30 years, and i would not be surprised to find an astonishingly high level of wrongness there.

      Found the McIntyre post about decentered PCA.

      1. Rob Honeycutt

        Sorry but Mann is not wrong. He has advanced a new area of science that you find politically inconvenient and thus want to suppress.

      2. Rob Honeycutt

        My conclusion is also not wrong. It is a fact of how climate sensitivity is calculated. (See Dr Alley’s comments before the congressional subcommittee, or read the relevant sections in the IPCC AR4.)

      3. DirkH

        Sorry, Mann himself of course is only responsible for the errors of the last 12 years. But there were others before him; so, all in all, i think the last 3 decades are lost for that branch of science.

    2. Ed Caryl

      Rob, you are mixing climate sensitivity to solar output and climate sensitivity to CO2. The LIA and the MWP were driven by the sun, as CO2 is thought to have been constant during all the period up to the the 20th century. Again, see:
      What happened during those periods have nothing to do with calculations of CO2 sensitivity.

      1. Dana

        Ed, maybe I’m missing something, but I’m not sure what your point is. The Sun was a major driver of the LIA and MWP, but nobody disputes that.

        However, the climate’s sensitivity to different forcings (solar, GHG, orbital, etc) does not vary significantly. It is not more sensitive to a solar forcing than a co2 forcing.

        If the climate is highly sensitive to solar forcing, it is highly sensitive to GHG forcing as well.

  15. R. de Haan

    15. Januar 2011 at 17:51
    “Nobody denies that the MWP and LIA happened, especially in Europe. There is evidence that they can be seen in other parts of the globe, but at different levels and different times. Few climate scientists will dispute that today we are at least as hot as the peak of the MWP, and probably hotter.”

    Complete and utter Bull Shit

    We come from a period when Greenland was covered with forests
    and there were NO GLACIERS in Norway.
    It simply was much warmer than today. PERIOD

    There is extensive scientific evidence for these claims that have been written down in numerous scientific reports.

    But being a convinced warmist troll you probably have put on your blinders skidding around the reports that undermine your case.

    Please do as I did, take your time and start reading the original scientific studies instead of the processed crap produced by scientific activists.

    Really, the level of BS you dare to write here is embarrassing.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Taunting also serves to undermine your position.

      1. DirkH

        But the link is very interesting. Now Rob and Dana can go “but it was only local”, and then we can go “Baliunas and Soon”…

    2. Rob Honeycutt

      R. de Haan… From the same Scientific American article:

      “Willerslev says. ‘Importantly, it does not mean that we should not be worried about future global warming as the sea level rise of five to six meters during the last interglacial must have come from somewhere.'”

      You also said, “We come from a period when Greenland was covered with forests…”

      I’m not sure what you are getting at here. Greenland was covered in forests maybe 50 million years ago. Remember, GISP2 and GRIP (ice cores) resent 800k of temperature record. That means there has been ice there continuously for at least 800k years.

    3. Dana

      R. de Haan, geez, I don’t even know how to talk to you.

      I’ll just state the obvious. We’re talking about the last 2,000 years here. Your link discusses the state of Greenland 400,000 to 800,000 years ago.

      You make these ridiculous errors and then you insult me. I’m sorry but it’s just pathetic.

  16. R. de Haan

    This is what nails the warmists:

    The same pundits who were active during those days are now pushing the opposite doctrine. How stupid do you have to be to believe that the same people who got it wrong thirty years ago will get it right today?

    1. Dana

      Ah yes, that pre-eminent climate science journal, Newsweek.

      Oh, by the way, from 1965 to 1979, 60% of climate science study predictions were of warming, vs. just 10% predicting cooling. But don’t let reality get in the way of a good myth!

  17. R. de Haan

    Rob Honeycutt
    15. Januar 2011 at 18:50 | Permalink | Reply
    “Taunting also serves to undermine your position”.

    Don’t make me laugh.
    There is nothing that I can do to embarrass the AGW better than those who push the scam themselves.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      R. de Haan… Again with the elementary school playground tactics? Have an adult conversation! Present some data, science, empirical evidence. There are skeptics out there who actually do this. You should follow their lead rather that making utterly pointless accusations.

  18. rlwieneke

    Democrats and Liberals are trying to stop Global Warming with carbon regulations, thus stopping prosperity and throwing the world into and ice age. They should all be rounded up, given trials and [-snip].

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      rlwieneke…. Whoa there cowboy!! Holster them thar pistols of yours. Just because we disagree in our positions doesn’t mean any side should be “rounded up.” That’s the kind of rhetoric that leads to anarchy.

      Learn a little thing called “civil discourse.”

  19. Alex Costa

    Please, read the original Science paper. It mentions very large hydrological variations but it is clear in confirming that the current warming is unprecedent!

    1. Jefferson Oldman

      OK…but for many that’s not even the debate. The main point of contention is whether or not the warming is natural or anthropogenic. Freeman Dyson even suggests that the warming could be very good for the planet with regard to long-term climate changes…keeping in mind that weather is just…well, the weather. I’m wary of anyone who sells “doom and gloom”. Think of it this way: if everything bad can be attributed to AGW then you can create a crisis that can be used to forward an agenda. Since there are very little dramatic observational side-effects to date that were originally predicted (i.e. no more snow, arctic ice gone, massive and more numerous hurricanes, Florida coastlines washed away), people thus conclude that climate science is far better at observation than it is at prediction. And they are correct. So in order to fulfil the need for a crisis they attach any and all weather related events and attribute them to global warming.

      1. Dana

        “for many…The main point of contention is whether or not the warming is natural or anthropogenic.”

        That’s precisely the problem – your main point of contention is not a point of contention at all. Virtually no climate scientists dispute that the recent global warming is primarily anthropogenic. What ‘skeptic’ scientists like Lindzen and Spencer and Christy dispute is that future warming will be dangerous.

        Unfortunately, these “many” haven’t taken the time to learn enough basic climate science and examine enough evidence to understand that they’re arguing a point which has already been settled.

        1. Jefferson Oldman

          Settled? Nothing in science is settled…ever. The only thing that IS settled is that man indeed contributes. Thus AGW is real. But to what degree? This IS a major point of contention. The results of a warming climate being either good or bad is a side bar debate that time itself will settle. The crystal ball is broken and never worked in the first place.

          1. Rob Honeycutt

            Nothing is ever settled in science? Really? Actually, quite a lot in science is settled. There are almost always better ways to understand the world around us, yes. But to say nothing is ever settled is to ignore vast amounts that we do understand very clearly.

            There are a great many facts in science that are very settled. The effects of gravity… and such. There are settled facts related to climate science as well… like the radiative properties of CO2.

            Like Dana says, most of climate science IS actually settled and agreed to by both sides of the debate. (Many honestly don’t understand this.) You can go and look a the IPCC reports and see exactly what the skeptics like Lindzen and Spencer are arguing.


            Look at the chart linked above. The skeptics are agreeing to EVERYTHING on this chart. But each element has a level of uncertainty assigned to it. Note the uncertainty related to cloud effect. THIS is where Lindzen and Spencer are making their arguments. They say climate sensitivity is low due to cloud responses.

            Those guys know that the data presented in the IPCC reports are accurate. They are just arguing low sensitivity.

          2. Jefferson Oldman

            @Rob Honeycutt
            “Effects of gravity”…rather slippery of you. Sure, if you fall off your rocker you will bump your @ss. The effects of gravity are understood and accepted. Their cause is not fully understood.

            So let’s take a closer look at Carbon Dioxide…from Lindzen’s perspective (link below).
            “Observed reality vs. erroneous
            computer predictions: Scatter-plots
            of net flux of outgoing long-wave
            radiation, as measured by the
            satellites of the Earth Radiation
            Budget Experiment over a 15-year
            period (upper left panel) and as
            predicted by 11 of the computer
            models relied upon by the UN (all
            other panels), against anomalies in
            global mean sea surface temperature
            over the period.
            The mismatch between reality and
            prediction is entirely clear. It is this
            astonishing graph that provides the
            final evidence that the UN has
            absurdly exaggerated the effect not
            only of CO2 but of all greenhouse
            gases on global mean surface
            What it means: If the atmospheric
            CO2 concentration doubles, global
            temperature will rise not by the 6 F
            imagined by the UN’s climate
            panel, but by a harmless 1 F.”
            Source: Lindzen & Choi (2009).


          3. Rob Honeycutt

            Jefferson Oldman… You obviously do not even understand what I’m talking about when I say “the radiative properties of CO2.”

            The quote you take from Lindzen is, again, talking about climate sensitivity. And, ironically, from that very paper Lindzen and Choi make a claim that doubling CO2 would only cause a 1C rise in temperature when we have already seen 0.7C for a mere increase of 35% in the level of CO2.

          4. Jefferson Oldman
          5. Dana

            Jefferson, you just contradicted yourself. Your first link states (correctly) that there is a logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature. Your third link claims that there is no relationship between the two. You say “only one thing here is obvious” and then reference two contradictory arguments. I have no idea what the ‘one thing’ you refer to is supposed to be.

            By the way, I addressed the logarithmic relationship and why it won’t prevent global warming from accelerating here:

          6. DirkH

            Oh. You’re claiming warming faster than linear. Hm. I guess your prediction is for “some time in the future”; in which case, you still have a (diminishing) chance of it turning true.

            But it looks farther off each day.

  20. tom

    [full disclosure :I’m A skeptic ]

    This statement is false on the face of it. “The scientists were able to reconstruct past climate with unprecedented precision ”

    It’s the same reason I view the hockey stick with sketpicism.

    Reconstruction by proxy is always a guess.

  21. Meme Mine

    I just love you alarmist amateur arm chair climatologists and climate cowards scaring my kids. Too funny.

  22. Steve Meikle

    I knew all this without recourse to tree ring studies wherein scientists who are too arrogant to actually read some history which contains things like eye witness accounts go and do some arcane ritual then come up with either what is common sense, or sometimes what is utter nonsense.

    But no, scientists in their arrogance have to appeal to some arcane form of divination (that is what it amounts to) that only they have access to and then figure it out for themselves

    At least this study came up with some knowledge common to those who bother to read history, but why did these scientists not cut to the chase and read some history FIRST?

    It is the arrogant myopia of scientists which is the best argument of all for this proposition regarding university study courses: DON’T AXE THE HUMANITIES.

    Understand my point. As an avid reader of history, concerning the thesis of the article, I ALREADY KNEW THIS. It was my knowledge of history that stopped me from being taken in by either the Da Vinci Code or by AGW, and believe me AGW is nonsense on par with the Da Vinci Code

  23. Andyj

    In my long years in the electro-optical industry and knowing the absorption rates over gases and quantities of each. I can assure you all this AGW theory is precisely what it was. The wattage absorbed and scattered is no more or less than the 11yr solar variation and has effectively reached its absorption limit.

    Lets take this a little further with the heating of the air. All theorists stated the greatest heating would occur in the troposphere within the tropics. 5 out of 6 tests deny this. The 6th test was model based and a tiny figure at that.

    Now if this +0.5C actually existed, the high altitude heated air would need to hit the ground. With adiabatic pressures, the temperature variance would indeed double. Yet once again, no higher temperature anomalies are noted in high pressure zones.

    When this theoretical 1C of warm air hits the Earths surface it has a long way to go to heat an average 3.5 miles of ocean. Has the ocean warmed? not at all! It’s like warming your cold coffee by breathing on it. So this theoretical warm air and cold ocean would give rise to horrendous weather changes. Going off weather statistics; not happening.

    Arctic ice volume is relatively small compared to the Size of Antarctica. Hat-tip to the warmists when cornered, it IS partly due to the Milankovitch effect but far more so through geo-climatic reasons. Antarctica shows a very slight rise in ice volumes and extent over the years. This is in balance with the apparently greater losses in the ice floes of the North.

    Solar absorption is far greater over the poles due to passing through more atmosphere. However, as above. Irrelevant.

    Now the AGW killer.
    Venus. It’s surface temperature is almost 500C. The gas pressure (mostly CO2) is 93 atmospheres. A child can calculate what the temperature would be if pressure was lost to one atmosphere. Venus would be a very cold place.
    Lets go one further, fly in a balloon over Venus to a height of around 55Km. Where the gas is one atmosphere. It’s room temperature! On a planet at 0.7AU, the Suns disk is twice the area of what the Earth has.

    This brings me to Hansen. A “climatologist”. Made his name with Venus, yet when empirical data came in his work fell in tatters. his attention turned to Earth. Everything that comes in as fact, once again, falls apart. This man receives a wage around $1M/yr! Not bad for an utter failure that manipulates data. HADCRuT4 is adjusting old temperatures down (again).

    If my work was such a fail; I’d of simply been sacked!

    p.s. Tree ring data has too many variabilities for growth.

    1. Ed Caryl

      Best summary I’ve seen! Thank you.

  24. mikef2

    Gosh…have had great fun reading ‘Danas’ comments, a couple of years on. In case peeps do not know, he is from the website Skepticle Science which is truely awful in its advocacy. No one takes these guys seriously anymore, not even mainstream climate guys.

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