(click to enlarge)
BETTER THAN TREE RINGS
During a heat wave it is often therapeutic to think about the Vikings sailing up around Greenland, a thousand years ago. The idea of open boats bobbing about in blue waters amidst white icebergs is downright refreshing, as temperatures approach ninety.
In reality exposure to such water would likely prove deadly, due to the eventual hypothermia that would set in, if one were constantly splashed by ice water on a longboat’s open deck. The conclusion is therefore reached that the waves the Vikings traversed weren’t ice water, and actually the water was warmer.
The idea it was warmer back then is supported by other evidence, including the fact the Viking’s farms in Greenland could grow enough fodder during the short summers to feed cattle during the long winters, which is no longer possible. Also during a hot day like today it is good to think of a cold beer, and the Viking were able to grow barley for their beer in Greenland, where it is no longer possible.
The fact it was warmer a thousand years ago causes problems for those who like to say current Global Warming is “unprecedented.” The warming of a thousand years ago, called “The Medieval Warm Period,” (MWP,) is therefore often diminished or dismissed, in order to increase the sense of urgency, which motivates certain political agendas.
This urgency has often troubled me, for I feel a political agenda should be backed up by truth, and that when an agenda is backed up by falsehood trouble is sure to come of it. It is like engineering a bridge. If your measurements are not correct the structure will be poorly engineered and will fall down. Truth is vital, whether you are engineering a bridge or a national policy.
In any case, because some felt it was urgent to create a sense of urgency, the MWP needed to be erased, and the way it was done was by using the rings of ancient trees to create a “proxy” that showed what the temperatures were a thousand years ago, so that they could be compared to what they are today, and it could be demonstrated they were actually not warmer. This culminated in the famous “hockey stick” graph of Michael Mann, which was used with great effect by Al Gore in his movie “An Inconvinient Truth,” and has been used with great effect by the politicians of various nations and the United Nations to create a sense of urgency that allows them to seize powers ordinary reserved for times of war. In a sense Global Warming is used to declare a sort of Marshal Law.
Of course, if there is no Global Warming then there is no reason to seize power, and in fact the seizure of power starts to look suspicious. That was one of the reasons I started to examine Michael Mann’s tree-ring proxies, (with a great deal of help from others who were also interested.) There were other reasons. The proxies that made up Mann’s hockey stick simply countered too much other evidence, such as the Greenland Viking’s barley and beer that I mentioned above. After all, what is a proxy, but evidence?
The ordinary rebuttal I got was that it was only Greenland that warmed during the MWP, and then later that it was only Greenland and Europe, and later only Greenland and Europe and most of China. As all the other evidence kept mounting, it seemed we should look more carefully at Mann’s tree rings, however he became quite coy about sharing his evidence. The Freedom Of Information law had to be dusted off, which is not ordinarily the case in the case of scientific research, unless it is “Top Secret,” and some sort of political, military nonsense is involved.
Eventually enough data was released to see that the tree ring study was overly dependant on just a few trees. Also trees do not merely grow more because it is warmer. The temperature can be cooler, and yet they will grow more if they get more water, or the cooler days add up to a longer growing season, or if they receive more nourishment. Even an increase of atmospheric CO2 can increase the growth, with temperatures cooler.
A better indicator than tree rings was needed to make a guess at the temperature, and one very good indicator is the tree line on the slopes of mountains. As the climate warms, the trees can grow further up the slopes, and then as the climate cools, they retreat further down the slopes.
The above graph shows what I have suspected all along. Trees grew further up the mountains, back when the Vikings roamed the seas in the MWP. Then they retreated down the slopes during the Little Ice Age. Now they have started creeping up the slopes again, but not to the heights they once grew, back in the MWP.
(The full article can be read at http://climateaudit.org/2013/07/07/treeline-changes-and-altitude-inhomogeneity/ )
At this point the “hockey stick” has been debunked so many times and in so many ways that it is high time to stick it in some museum, alongside the Piltdown Skull. It is also high time to confront the politicians using “Global Warming” as a reason to invoke a sort of Marshal Law, and to quietly but firmly tell them there is no reason for such a seizure of power.