More Relotius Journalism: Der Spiegel And Potsdam Institute Leave Readers In The Pre-Industrial Climate Dark

The missing context: Climate change in the Mediterranean region

By the

(German text translated/edited by P. Gosselin)

On October 11, 2019, Spiegel Online once again shined brilliantly parroting climate alarm. The German weekly news magazine could certainly now use their former science editor, Axel Bojanowski, who looked at climate science objectively.

The topic this time was climate change in the Mediterranean region.

With reference to a study by the MedECC network (pdf here), it is claimed that the Mediterranean region is warming up faster than other regions. Oh my. But not a word about the fact that the AMO ocean cycle has been a major driver of warming here for the last three decades. We have recently shown the graph here in the blog. As AMO’s cycle starts to go down, the Mediterranean will warm less in the coming decades, and may cool. Spiegel Online will certainly suppress this headline headline.

Interestingly, the AMO gets no mention in the MedECC report, although its authors also included ocean cycle specialists (Tsimplis, Xoplaki). They probably preferred to keep their mouths shut because the lead author is Wolfgang Cramer from the PIK climate alarm hatchery.

Preindustrial climate past concealed

It is also noticeable that the new Mediterranean climate report – like many of its related reports – does not begin its reporting until 1850. The eventful climate history before that time goes unmentioned. Please recall how the history of mankind in the Mediterranean region played a very special role during the last thousands of years: Egyptians, Greeks, Romans. The associated climate history, however, is concealed by Cramer. The latter is not only active at the PIK, but also at the IPCC.

This perhaps explains the desire to leave readers in the pre-industrial climate dark.

Ocean cycles play major role

Fortunately, there’s another way. In September 2019, a research group led by Sebastian Lüning published a summary study on the Medieval Warm Period in the Mediterranean region. Most of the Mediterranean was warm at that time. However, the scientists also found regions where it became colder during the Middle Ages. The corresponding warm-cold patterns corresponded to well-known ocean cycle patterns, namely those of the NAO, the North Atlantic Oscillation.

Overall, however, the AMO also seems to have played a major role in the climatic changes of recent centuries. Here is the abstract of the study published in the journal Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology:

The Medieval Climate Anomaly in the Mediterranean region

The Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) is a pre‐industrial phase of pronounced natural climate variability with a core period from 1000 to 1200 CE. The paper presents a synthesis that integrates palaeotemperature records from the Greater Mediterranean Region encompassing the past 1500 years based on multiproxy data from 79 published land and marine sites. MCA warming dominated the Western Mediterranean (Iberia, NW Africa) as well as the northern land areas of the Central and Eastern Mediterranean region. MCA cooling prevailed in the Canary Current Upwelling System, southern Levant and some sea areas of the Central and Eastern Mediterranean. Previous palaeoreconstructions suggest persistent positive Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO+) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO+) conditions during the MCA, whilst the LIA was dominated by an AMO‐ and NAO‐ regime. During the past 150 years, AMO+ conditions are typically associated with warming episodes in the Mediterranean area. A similar relationship appears to have also been established during the MCA as the majority of all Mediterranean land sites experienced warm climate conditions. In contrast, the NAO typically leads to a characteristic west‐east temperature dipole pattern in the basin, as documented for the last decades. During NAO+ conditions the Western Mediterranean is generally warm (and dry), whilst large parts of the Central and Eastern Mediterranean are cold. Similar trends seem to have been developed during the MCA when the NAO+ regime led to consistent warming in the Western Mediterranean, whilst a significant number of sites with MCA cooling existed in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean.

And here’s the summary in plain language:

Mediterranean climate has been warming significantly over the past 100 years with anthropogenic climate change having become a key issue. In order to better understand modern climatic change, developments need to be placed into a longer‐term pre‐industrial context to compare with times when human CO2 emissions did not yet play a major role for climate. This paper integrates data on Medieval temperature trends from 79 published Mediterranean land and marine sites. Our synthesis shows that the Western Mediterranean (Iberia, Northwest Africa) as well as the northern land areas of the Central and Eastern Mediterranean region have experienced a warm phase 1000‐1200 CE, corresponding to the so‐called ‘Medieval Climate Anomaly’. Contemporaneous cooling occurred in other parts of the Greater Mediterranean region, namely in the southern Levant, some sea areas of the Central and Eastern Mediterranean and the Canary Current Upwelling System. The regional differences in Medieval Mediterranean temperature trends show a pattern, that partly resembles modern multidecadal temperature variability in the area. The main drivers of these patterns appear to be Atlantic ocean cycles (AMO, NAO) which episodically shift between positive and negative phases and lead to characteristic temperature effects in the region.

11 responses to “More Relotius Journalism: Der Spiegel And Potsdam Institute Leave Readers In The Pre-Industrial Climate Dark”

  1. John F. Hultquist

    Claas Relotius, a reporter, went to Fergus Falls, Minn. And just made things up. As he did elsewhere, also.

    for those in the USA

    1. Yonason

      He’s also a thief.

      And those clowns want us to feel guilty about something that we didn’t cause, cannot affect and isn’t a problem.

  2. tom0mason

    This from ‘Nature’ says much the same about Western Mediterranean over the last 1000 years, with strong linkages to North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and solar cycles.

    “Multi-decadal to centennial hydro-climate variability and linkage to solar forcing in the Western Mediterranean during the last 1000 years”

    Redfit spectral analysis of our δ18O composite record shows strong centennial-scale periodicities at 199–174 years and 107–100 years, significant at the 95% confidence level. The 199–174 year periodicities in the spectral analysis are close to the Vries-Suess solar cycle23. Similar high power periodicities around 200 years were also reported in a speleothem record in Southwestern Morocco8. These results suggest that δ18O variability responds to solar forcing through NAO as suggested above. High power 200-year periodicities were also recorded in the CaCO3 record from Lake Sidi Ali in northern Morocco

  3. tom0mason

    Also of note is —
    From ‘Two millennia of climate variability in the Central Mediterranean’ ( )
    by C. Taricco1, M. Ghil2,3, S. Alessio1, and G. Vivaldo1
    1Dipartimento di Fisica Generale dell’Universit`a, and Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario-INAF, Torino, Italy
    2Geosciences Department & Laboratoire de M´et´eorologie Dynamique (CNRS and IPSL), Ecole Normale Sup´erieure, Paris, France.
    3Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences & Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California,
    Los Angeles, CA, USA

    This experimental work addresses the need for high-resolution, long and homogeneous climatic time series that facilitate the study of climate variability over time scales of decades to millennia. We present a high-resolution record of foraminiferal δ18O from a Central-Mediterranean sediment core that covers the last two millennia. The record was analyzed using advanced spectral methods and shows highly significant oscillatory components with periods of roughly 600, 350, 200, 125 and 11 years. Over the last millennium, our data show several features related to known climatic periods, such as the Medieval Optimum, the Little Ice Age and a recent steep variation since the beginning of the Industrial Era. During the preceding millennium, the δ18O series also reveals a surprising maximum at about 0 AD, suggesting low temperatures at that time. This feature contradicts widely held ideas about the Roman Classical Period; it is, therefore, discussed at some length, by reviewing the somewhat contradictory evidence about this period.
    We compare the δ18O record with an alkenone-derived sea surface temperature time series, obtained from cores extracted in the same Central-Mediterranean area (Gallipoli Terrace, Ionian Sea), as well as with Italian and other European temperature reconstructions over the last centuries. Based on this comparison, we show that the long-term trend and the 200-y oscillation in the records are temperature driven and have a dominant role in describing temperature variations over the last two millennia.

  4. drumphish

    ‘Researchers to spend a year trapped in Arctic ice’

    Here it is, the year 2019, and scientists are spending a year on the Arctic ice. An Arctic that was supposed to be ice-free in 2014 or some other year in the recent past, but alas, the Arctic still has ice covering it.

    Guess all of the experts were wrong. Strains their credibility, but there they are, trapped in an ice floe in the Arctic for a year, an ice floe that was supposed to be not there a few years ago. Hard to be humble.

    Hydrology, the study of water and the closed system that it is, is probably the least understood and yet most studied science.

    The scientists trapped in the Arctic should fly to the Mediterranean and study the water there. Make it two years, float the Polarstern from Sicily to Tripoli, have some fun. Make it a trip to remember. No sense sitting in the dark all winter long up there in the middle of an ice floe that was supposed to be gone according to the predictions that didn’t come true. Dining on bugs and worms for a year will get old. A UN recommendation, eat bugs. Eat some crow while you are at it.

    Kind of a problem, is it not, when the prediction is wrong.

    If a twenty mile diameter wide comet would strike the planet and it is all ice, you’ll increase the amount of water the world’s oceans can hold. A comet of ice will smash into the surface of the earth in a second, it will be going too fast to burn up in the atmosphere, too cold to totally vaporize, if it would strike an ocean, it would hit the bottom of the Atlantic or Pacific with a big splash. Tsunamis would occur everywhere. Life as you know it will be over. Comet Climate Change will be noticed.

    Actually, I am worried that in another ten thousand years there will be more accumulation of the ice sheet on Antarctica reducing the fresh water available in all ecosystems worldwide. A cooling globe will inhibit evaporation and less rainfall and snowfall will threaten lakes, streams, rivers, ponds, of adequate water to sustain entire ecosystems.

    Antarctica, however, will continue to accumulate more ice and snow. In other words, Antarctica’s capability of continuing to hoard precipitation, lol, will usher in climate change disturbing all climates, except for Antarctica’s.

    Making predictions is fun.

    Probably am all wet, to use an appropriate slang.

    Tapping icebergs for fresh water might become a necessity. You’ll be forced to mine ice from Antarctica.

    Nuclear-powered ships hauling icebergs could become a reality. Fill the hulls with melted iceberg water, melted icebergs from Antarctica will become a commodity, albeit, not by choice.

    You’ll want the icebergs from Antarctica, they’ll have less debris and probably zero boulders. Greenland icebergs will have debris, rocks, boulders, gravel. Antarctic icebergs will be the icebergs of choice.

    1. Yonason

      There is already a perfectly good use to which water from icebergs is being put.

  5. Lasse

    It is hard to get a good temperature record for long time.
    Better use a proxi-sealevel!

    Trend is up and nearing the same level as 1945.
    Periodic as You all know!

    Potsdam is a relict from DDR?

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