2 C degrees up vs 1/2 C down

We are harangued about the horrors and EVIL that will befall us if the world warms even 1/2 degree C. We are told that at 2 C it is the end of life as we know it. The world will end in a drowned plague ridden state. Is there any way to check this? Some way to ask: “What would the world be like if it was a little colder, or a lot warmer?”

Well, I think there is. We’ve seen this 11,000 year temperature chart before. It is for Greenland, so not exactly representative of Europe, but it does live in the area and the weather of Europe does come from the same general areas. The other chart here zooms in on the last 1000 years. It’s hard to read in the long duration chart. We’re interested in about 1320 AD. On the long chart it is barely a wiggle. Looks like about 1/2 C colder. So lets look at this 1000 year chart to get a better idea.

1000 year Temperature Reconstruction

1000 year Temperature Reconstruction

Longer period image, original Image, and explanations of individual lines

You can see that in about 1320 AD most of the lines are near the same position with only one turquoise colored tree ring series a bit out of agreement. We are now, if the numbers are to be believed, about 0.4+ warmer than the zero line, while then they were about -0.2 cooler. Call it from 1/2 to 2/3 of a degree of C colder.

The (now somewhat discredited) Warmers are absolutely sure they want that 0.4 C to be removed, and one can only presume they would like an added 0.2 C of safety net too. In theory, that time just before the L.I.A. is an ideal time. It is just a touch cooler than the 1200s, and they seem to think cooler is better, so lets use it. (Personally, I don’t see any way at all we could managed the temperature to within a 2/10 range in either case). But lets assume we get headed down to Nirvana. What does the world look like then? We’ll see shortly.

One the other end, lets pick a big hot spot from the past. A time of horrors when pretty much everyone says it was warmer. The Holocene Optimum. Right around that 8.2 kyr event. Nice big spike up in temperatures just before it. Must have been a load of “climate chaos” then. I make it a bit over 2 C higher than now on this graph between about 8,000 and 9,000 BP (about 7,000 to 8,000 in Carbon Years – this matters as a map down below is in Cyr BP). It is clearly a whole lot more ‘warm’ than that little dip at 700 BP / 1300 AD.

11,000 years of temperatures

11,000 years of temperatures

Original and larger images, or click this one for a modestly larger image

What happened in 1300 AD?


(Winter) Severe winter (London/South). A severe winter over much of western Europe. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb): taking these two last entries together suggests a high frequency of blocked / anticyclonic episodes.

1309/10 London Bridge arches damaged by ice during a severe winter. Thames frozen. A possible frost-fair on the Thames in London; which implies a persistent length of sub-zero temperatures at some time this winter (inferred by the statement in some chronicles that ‘sport’ was held on the river). Usual stories about people walking across the Thames. According to contemporary reports ” dancing took place around a fire built on the ice and a hare was coursed (chased) on the frozen waterway “.

Several famines occurred during these years (weather assumed to have been responsible, with all three years noted by various historians as ‘very wet’ … it’s a moot point though as to whether all three were really wet, or just the effects of one or two carrying over). Brazell says that the famine of 1316 was probably the last really severe one in England, and historians have estimated that over this period, roughly half-a-million people died of causes related to famine, which represented approximately 10% of the population. [ The wet year credited to 1315 may be the origin of the St. Swithin legend. ]
The ‘Black Death’ (Bubonic plague) that ravaged the country 1348 onwards may have some linkage to these precursor conditions – though it is a long time afterwards. Certainly though, in the mid-1300’s, mortality was high due to famine, disease etc.
It is suggested that it was an increase in climatic variability, rather than the absolute temperature & rainfall regimes that caused the problems. There is some suggestion of an increase in extreme events (including wind-storms), however defined. Some evidence that as well as excessively damp conditions, temperatures were depressed.

1338/39 Hard frost started in December and lasted for 12 weeks. (London/South). Also, from the ‘Annals of Dublin’ (http://www.chaptersofdublin.com) .. “So great a frost was this year (AD 1338) from the 2d of December to the 10th of February, that the river Liffey was frozen over so hard as to bear dancing, running, playing foot-ball, and making fires to broil herrings on. The depth of the snow that fell during this frost, is almost incredible; yet it is agreed, that such a season was never before known in Ireland”.

January 1362 ” St. Mary’s Wind “: A severe gale / storm (at least as powerful as that of October 1987) from between south and west commenced on the 15th (23rd new-style) January 1362 and lasted for about a week – affecting large areas of southern Britain. A large number of buildings were blown down or damaged, including St. Pancras Church, the church of Austin Friars in London, Norwich cathedral and the (original) Abbey Gateway in St. Albans. Damage also to shipping. The “exceptionally ‘severe gale’ caused great destruction – buildings, towers, trees, wind-mills etc., all ‘thrown down’ according to contemporary chronicles. Noted by English, Scottish & Irish sources.
The “Great Drowning” (‘Grote Mandrenke’) causing widespread / severe damage across SE Britain – also along the East Coast, and as 60 Danish ‘parishes’ are noted as having been ‘swallowed up’ by the sea, with several thousands dead there, it suggests a rapidly-deepening low moving swiftly across southern Britain and the southern North Sea with a high storm-surge event.
(Might have been a sequence of events I would have thought, with perhaps the main-event on the 15th). This storm is regarded as the severest on record for the area, with the exception of that in November 1703 & possibly October 1987.

(Winter) A cold winter in western Europe / implied parts of Britain. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb) 1
(Winter) A cold winter in western Europe / implied parts of Britain. (Easton, in CHMW/Lamb)

Now I’ve cherry picked this list a bit. There were a couple of years listed with ‘warm summer’ and such, but I wanted to show that this whole century had a lot of very cold events. Also, we are interested in what happens in the cold times, not the hotter ones. so looking at the impact of the ‘little bit colder’ on the cold events informs what we wish to learn.

Hmmm, not liking the looks of that 1316 Famine. Perhaps a bit more on it would be of use:


The Great Famine- The beginning of the 14th Century is marked by one of
the great disasters of human history. The rain started in 1315, and
continued particularly in the summers for 7 years. Like the 6th century
famines, this event changes everything. Unlike the 6th century famine, we
have much better records this time around. The history of this famine relies
on combining studies of skeletons, tree-ring-growth, and analyses of
infrastructure with accounts in chronicles and records of taxes, rents, and
the admission of new burghers to town institutions. Much of this information
is conveyed in numbers: dates, grain yields, weather data, prices.
Decrease in the food supply was not limited to a drop in grain production,
but extended to epidemics in herds and flocks and an acute drop in the
supply of salt needed to cure meats and fish that might have supplemented
the reduced supply of grain. Wars diverted resources to military needs that
might otherwise have been used to feed the hungry. A century of benign
weather had lulled individuals and communities into a state of unreadiness
for such an extended drop in production. Seven years of rainy summers
and cold winters brought one disaster on top of another.
Foremost, of
course, was low productivity in grain crops. Already in the late thirteenth
century, yields in the colder parts of northern Europe and on “marginal”
lands were as low as 2:1 (2 bushels for each bushel sown) and probably
nowhere higher than about 7:1.

OK, a couple of things. 1316 is just about a 1/2 Bond Event (or one Smith Event ;-) interval prior to ‘now’. If my thesis hat there is a 700 ish year sub-cycle has any validity, we ought to be seeing similar patterns as things roll forward.

I see one similarity already. “A Century of benign weather”. Isn’t that pretty much what we’ve had? We left the Little Ice Age in the mid to late 1800’s and it’s been pretty nice ever since. Very warm in the 1920’s to 1940’s. Spectacularly benign in the 1980’s and 1990’s. We certainly have been “lulled” a lot, and global food storage is approximately 6 months if we are lucky (in many places it is near zero).

So the ‘lead in’ to this event is looking similar. We’ve been a bit warmer, per the graph, so may have it somewhat better as a lead in, but the result has been the same. And when it got cold and started to rain with attendant crop failures? Oh, a famine. In this case one that had several years of crop failures.

You can read the rest of the story at the link. Wars. Black Death. Cannibalism. (Not a whole lot, just a little ;-) And that is when they were starting with a whole lot more “preparedness” in their kits:

Medieval people were accustomed to the vagaries of weather and
resultant poor harvests. No town or manor was without some
infrastructure for storing excess grain from bountiful harvests in
anticipation of the occasional bad one. But, there is strong evidence that
the thirteenth century had been an extended period of balmy weather and
relative plenty. Barns and drying ovens were too few and too small to
store grain to last through more than one bad harvest. Indeed, Europe
weathered the crisis of 1315 relatively well. It was the continued bad
harvests of 1316 and 1317 which brought widespread death and disaster.

So about that Biblical command to store a few years of food?…

Was this just a British thing?


1314 – 1317 AD Great European Famine – The worst famine to strike Europe occurred between 1314-1317. It was widespread, affecting all of Northern Europe. Eyewitness accounts tell of the poor and hungry resorting to eating cats and dogs.

Well… looks like it was rather wide spread.

Warmer Then?

We don’t have any history from 9000 years ago. So just a couple of maps will need to do. We keep hearing how any warming at all is just going to cause Africa to dry up and blow away. Rampant famine is just around the corner. It can bring no good, only a horrid end of humanity. So what was Africa like when it was a couple of degrees C warmer?

Africa 8000 to 7000 years ago

Africa 8000 to 7000 years ago

Original Image from this site

Golly. Grassland and savanna as far as the eye can see, even covering Saudi Arabia… There would be an explosion of life and more grain growing area than can be imagined. Almost like a garden of Eden…

How does that site describe it?

8,000-7,000 14C y.a. (about 9,000-8,000 ‘real’ years ago). Forest extent in central and western Africa seems to have been at about its maximum around this time. For example the Oyo site in the east-central Sahara had it moistest climates and greatest vegetation cover between 9,000 and 6,000 14C y.a. (Ritchie 1994). (See main QEN review for 8,000 14C y.a. timeslice). Due to the much greater rainfall, Lake Chad (in the southern Sahara) was greatly expanded in area during all or most of this phase, and surrounded by extensive inter-dune wetlands.

It is almost beyond doubt that there was an expanded area of the central and west African rainforest areas at this time. Schwartz (1991) has found soil isotope evidence that areas now covered by savanna in central Africa were forest at this time, and a forest expansion south of the Equator is supported by the pollen evidence of Elenga et al. (1993), which shows that the present forest-savanna mosaics were more heavily forested. The generally northward movement of monsoon rains into the Sahara region can be expected to have resulted in a northward expansion of rainforest as well, and this does appear to be the case from the pollen record (Lézine & Vernaud-Grazzini 1994). A conjectural boundary for the rainforest zone is drawn here.

Forest and woodland areas in the rift valley region of east Africa also seem to have been more extensive around this time (Vincens 1991, Maitima 1993).

A severe arid phase (correlated in many places around the world) seems to have affected North Africa around 7,500 14C y.a. (Alley et al. 1997, Gasse & van Campo 1994), perhaps lasting for a century or two. There was a reduction in Nile flooding, in NW Sudan lake levels, and at sites in the western Sahara, the Sahel and sub-equatorial Africa (Gasse & Van Campo 1984, Lario et al. 1997).

We can even see that arid cold phase at 7,500 C14 BP (or about that 8.2 ky event). Gee, a cold event bringing drought and causing problems…

How about Europe?

Europe about 8000 BP

Europe about 8000 BP

Original image and discussion of Europe over many time periods

7,000-5,000 14C y.a. Warmer-than-present climates allowed forest to spread further north. There are various sources of evidence for warmer summer and winter temperatures across northern Europe during the mid-Holocene (e.g. Vork & Thomsen 1996); these include pollen evidence of plants extending further north, and aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. The diverse data have been been summarized into climate map reconstructions, indicating about a 1 deg.C warming in mean July temperature at 50 degrees North, a 2 degrees warming above 60 degrees North, and 3-4 degree warming above about 65 degrees North (Klimanov et al. 1992). A winter warming of about 2 degrees is suggested for most of north-west Europe (Klimanov & Velichko 1992). The available indicators do not all agree on the same time slices or intervals for maximum warming, but in general it seems that the period between 7,000 and 4,000 14C years ago includes the warmest part of the Holocene in most areas.

Lake level evidence (Harrison et al. 1996) suggests that the mid-Holocene climate may have been somewhat moister than present across the northern Mediterranean region, but slightly drier in northern Europe.

A severe cold and dry event, lasting perhaps a couple of centuries, shows up in the Greenland ice cores around 7,500 14C y.a. (8,200 cal. y.a.) and has been correlated with cold and aridity (but with moister conditions in NW Europe; see below) in many parts of the world (Alley et al. 1997). The temperature lowering in the north Atlantic seems to have been about half-way as severe as that associated with the Younger Dryas. It is possible that this cooling event would have extended across Europe, and a rapid cooling (and onset of wetter peat-forming conditions) has indeed been noted by Anderson (1996) for NW Scotland at about 7,400 14C y.a.
During the 7,000-5,000 14C y.a. time interval, agriculture spread to most parts of Europe. By around 7,000 14C y.a., occasional burning of the forests by humans may have caused an increase in the fire-resistant cork oak (Quercus suber) in the Sierra Nevada of southern Spain (Rackham, in press). Cereal and olive pollen also begin to appear soon afterwards, suggesting sporadic cultivation.

By about 5,000 14C y.a., spreading peat growth was beginning to affect the forest areas of NW Britain, perhaps due to ongoing leaching of soil nurients, with occasional forest clearance for agriculture accelerating soil leaching and allowing the beginning of peat buildup.

Well, we can again calibrate off that 8.2 Kyr event. It looks like we continue to have “warm is good” with more life, more trees, more growing.

China did OK too:


Eurasia during the early Holocene – 9,000 14C ya

8,000-7,000 14C y.a. By 8,000 14C y.a., forests in most areas of northern Eurasia were at least as thickly wooded as they naturally would be today. Conditions remained considerably warmer and moister than at present, with much greater vegetation cover in desert regions, northward extension of warm temperate forest belts in China and Japan (Winkler & Wang 1993, Petit-Maire & Gua 1996). There was probably greater forest extent in south Asia due to a stronger summer monsoon in India (suggested by both land-based and oceanic indicators of monsoon strength in the region; e.g. Cullen 1981, Zonneveld et al. 1987) and in Indo-China (e.g. Bishop & Godley 1994). Evidence from this time interval is discussed in detail on the main QEN review.

Eurasia during the early-to-mid Holocene – 8,000-7,000 14C ya

6,000-5,000 14C y.a. Plant fossil and sedimentological evidence suggests that conditions remained moister and warmer than at present, with forest vegetation exceeding its present limits in most parts of Eurasia (Winkler & Wang 1993). Lake level evidence from widely scattered areas across Eurasia (western Siberia, Mongolia, Yakutia and China) also suggests moister than present conditions at this time (Harrison et al. 1996). Petit-Maire & Gua (1996) suggest that the paleosol record in north-west China indicates a relatively arid phase 6,500-5,500 14C years ago, though with a return to peak Holocene humid conditions 5,500-3,800 14C y.a. .

Evidence from this time interval is discussed in detail on the QEN web page.

Klimanov (1992) has reconstructed February temperatures for the interval 6,000-5,50 14C y.a., based upon a range of biological and geomorphological indicators. He suggests that all of Siberia had winters at least 1 deg.C milder, with central Siberia being 2-3 deg.C milder. August temperatures from central Siberia northwards are also suggested as having been at least 1 degree higher, with a warming of 2-4 degrees along much of the northern coast of Siberia (Klimanov et al. 1992).

Oddly, they have poorer maps and less information for North America. Possibly as the ice sheet is thought to have hung around longer, slowly melting. The best I can get is this map from about 5000 BP. Not quite as warm as we’d like, but OK.

North America 5000 C14 yrs BP

North America 5000 C14 yrs BP

Even the deserts of Nevada and Arizona are marked as ‘semi-desert’… Lots of forest, savanna, and grassland too.

The Wrap-Up

It looks to me like we’ve got a pretty clear A / B case here.

Much colder, things go to hell pronto. People die. Starvation happens.

Much warmer, we get a bit more warm rains, lush growth, vastly more food growing areas.

I’m just not seeing the problem here. Global Warming? Bring it on! PLEASE!!

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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26 Responses to 2 C degrees up vs 1/2 C down

  1. In the Wikipedia article on solar variance, there was a chart of reconstructed sunspots going back 11,000 years or so based on a beryllium isotope study.

    I noted that while the last half-century was described as the “Modern Maximum,” it was actually left off of that chart. So, as an experiment, I copied the chart, added recent sunspot data, and wrote a post about the result here:

    Adding “instrumental” (observed counts) to data is always tricky, but I wanted to see a fairer picture showing the solar maximum that was being described.

    What brought this to mind now was your 8.2ky event — as that was the time called “the previous solar maximum” before. So I went to the Wikipedia article and took a look: There is a chart there, but the data looks entirely different. And the 8.2ky event is now different in appearance, and erased from the captions in some places. But not all: in Solar Variance, the caption still says: “Reconstruction of solar activity over 11,400 years. Period of equally high activity over 8,000 years ago marked.”

    Curiously, they changed the chart (and swapped left-for-right), erased the history of the change, but left in the old caption in one spot.

    I’ve not tried to compare the data points yet.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  2. George says:

    One thing: in equatorial regions (the regions between the tropics) changes in global temperature will most likely manifest as changes in precipitation. That is because solar insolation doesn’t really change much near the equator and the sun is the greatest influence on climate in the center of a continent. The oceans tend to impact the location of major rivers of air which DO influence storm tracks across continents so the major change that Africa would see would be changes in rainfall due to changes in the location of the Intertropical convergence zone (roughly the border of the Hadley cell with the temperate cell in the summer hemisphere).

    During glacial periods equatorial rain forest dies and is replaced by savannah. Two bands of forest (though not rain forest) North and South of the equator replace it in areas that had previously been grassland. During the Holocene climate optimum the ITCZ would have tracked dead across the Sahara. It now tracks South of the Sahara, just south of the Sahel. The Sahel is right on the hairy edge of the ITCZ and is why its weather is so fickle. It will have rainy DECADES and dry DECADES generally coinciding with the 60 year cycle.

    So equatorial regions see global climate change as changes in rainfall. Polar regions see it a temperature change. Greenland and Northern Europe, for example, will greatly reflect changes in North Atlantic ocean circulation. Most of the evidence we have of Pleistocene climate change in Northern Europe is under the North Sea and Irish Sea. It would be interesting, though, to get a core sample there as it should show direct evidence of cycles of inundation as the climate cycled from land to sea and back to land again. Fossil pollen should show the sort of plants growing during previous interglacials and interstadials. A series of core samples in a line on a slope should give an idea of sea level change during interstadials even during a glacial period.

    I wish I was 20 again. I would love to do a research project along that line.

    Note that there are plenty of such surveys in Africa in old lake beds that show these rainfall changes.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @Keith DeHavelle:

    Nice catch on the Wiki Wonka activity… It does look like some of the Politically Correct Data Langoliers are still working at it (or never reverted the prior crap done to articles there).

    I left a comment at your site, but it is worth repeating here, that the chart with added recent sunspots, to which you linked at wiki, that had been added to the article then replaced with a poorer one: is now a 404 link.

    Don’t know if it was a benign change of naming convention or something more nefarious, but it does LOOK like ‘leave no evidence behind’… maybe searching the media archive would turn it up buried somewhere.

    I also noticed a one line link of sunspot minima that I’m going to stick here to preserve:

    A list of historical Grand minima of solar activity [31] includes also Grand minima ca. 690 AD, 360 BC, 770 BC, 1390 BC, 2860 BC, 3340 BC, 3500 BC, 3630 BC, 3940 BC, 4230 BC, 4330 BC, 5260 BC, 5460 BC, 5620 BC, 5710 BC, 5990 BC, 6220 BC, 6400 BC, 7040 BC, 7310 BC, 7520 BC, 8220 BC, 9170 BC.

    That 6220 BC would be about 8230 BP or just about on top of the 8.2 kyr event… Wonder if they got a ‘double whammy’ of grand minimum with some other events as well (volcano, whatever)…

    Other matches with the chart above have a dip at 7200 BP / 5260 BC, 5500 BP / 3340-3500 BC, 4800 BP / 2860 BC, 1300 BP / 690 AD as a first blush rough eyeball of the big dips. Hmmm…. 5 hits out of 23 data points. A bit high, but not an identity. Deserves more digging…

    It looks like perhaps a ‘necessary but not sufficient’ condition. Would be interesting to match the depths of the various ‘minima’ not just the presence..

    Oh, I also noticed the wiki on solar variance goes to great effort to show a divergence of recent “sunspots vs temp match” in the instrumental record and claim that as evidence for CO2 warming. I’d call it evidence for thermometer buggery myself…. That, and the significant increase in cold and snow the globe is getting in this “warm low sunspot wikifantasy”…

    Wonder what sunspots were like during the glacial…

  4. The basic thrust of Wikipedia’s argument on global warming (essentially William Connolley’s argument) is that the high solar activity of the Modern Maximum cannot possibly be responsible for high temperatures because each new sunspot cycle was not higher than the one before. As if the Earth had no long-term heat storage.

    They consistently show the last three cycles — but ignore how much higher these were than the one before.

    I think the Milankovitch cycles have been shown to be “not quite enough” — and it’s always tricky to hunt around on different parts of the Earth to find latitudes where the cycles line up with the glaciation for a while. Especially since the glaciation pattern is not as clean as that cycle length.

    I’d be unsurprised to find evidence of 100ky cyclical activity in the Sun itself. So far, the beryllium record goes back only to a time after the last big melt.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  5. George says:

    I have discovered another interesting relationship between global temperatures, ocean circulation, and tropical storms.

    In this graphic of ACE (accumulated cyclone energy) for the Atlantic you will notice something interesting:

    If you compare it to this:


    You will notice that Atlantic ACE tends to lag global average temperature by about 10 years but generally follows the trend. This may be due to changes not appearing in the same places at the same time. A change in global temperatures may be more dramatic initially in the higher latitude regions before being felt in the tropical regions.

    But if this pattern also holds true (as it has for two warming cooling cycles that can be correlated with HadCRUT3, we can then infer what a third warming cycle looked like prior to the 1910-1940 warming or the “early 20th century warming” as I call it. We can see from the ACE graph a period of increase from 1855 to about 1895. Also notice that the peak in ACE comes at the trend change from rising to falling. So that 1895 (the late 19th century warming) sees a peak in ACE and then begins a decline. We see another peak in 1950 (end of early 20th century warming) then a decline and a peak in 2005 (end of late 20th century warming).

    Also notice that the late 19th century warming appears to be about the same in magnitude and duration as the other two warming periods. Again another indication of a strong 60 year cycle. And finally, notice the trends in the increase in peaks over time and the increase in minima (red and green, respectively).

    This would add yet more validation on a growing pile of validating data that there was nothing peculiar about the late 20th century warming and that is a similar variation to what was seen in the late 19th century and early 20th century and part of a general period of warming out of the LIA.

    One thing that might trigger this cycle of change is ocean circulation patterns. Or rather the influence of tropical storms on that ocean circulation.

    It hasn’t exactly snapped into focus yet but I see three things working together here and they lag each other. Ocean circulation seems to lag storm energy which seems to lag temperature change. I also make note of Vukcevic’s 11 year lag of global temperature change to NAO (I think that is what it was, NAO, I can’t locate it right now). NAO would have a significant impact on North Atlantic ocean circulation. (here is a link to what he calls his North Atlantic Precursor

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NVa.htm )

    ahhh here we go, found it

    Click to access NorthAtlanticOscillations-I.pdf

    I believe he is on to something but the whole picture hasn’t quite snapped into place yet. The “flash” has yet to snap.

    But we can say that there was likely a period of late 19th century warming that was very similar in both duration and amplitude to the early 20th and late 20th century warming.

  6. George says:

    NAO peaks. roughly 10 years later temperatures peak. roughly 10 years after that ACE peaks. 10 years after that NAO is at a minimum, 10 years after that temperatures are at a minimum, 10 years after that ACE is at a minimum.

    Roughly speaking.

  7. George says:

    Another thing I notice is that at some periods tropical temperatures are out of phase with the Norther polar temperatures and sometimes they are in phase. This might be a matter of which pole dominates tropical temperatures … south or north pole.

  8. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @ Keith De Havelle;
    Temperature change is not the cause of more or less glaciation. Snow fall amounts is. The ebb and flow of a glacier is determined by how heavy the amount of snow accumulates in the snow fields of the upper basins that feed the glacier. Colder conditions just mean less snow from the dryer cold air. Warmer conditions will cause wetter snow, more ice, greater flows, not less. Only a large change that results in less snow and heavy rain will wash the snow out of the cirque basins above the treeline.

  9. George says:

    One thing I HAVE noticed is that North Pole (Greenland) temperatures are EXTREMELY volatile and move a lot more than temperatures in the tropics or even the rest of the Northern hemisphere. So Greenland temperatures might not be a good analog. I wish we had a “Greenland” in the Pacific.

  10. George says:

    And according to the satellite data, temperatures in the tropics tend to track much better with Antarctic temperatures than with Arctic temperatures. Interesting thing is that North America tracked well with Antarctic temperatures right up to 1998 when it went anti-phase. That was the year of the mother of all el nino events. Global temperatures seem to have “stuck high” after that event.

    Now what does an el nino do? The trades off South America stop or reverse. This stops the upwelling along the South American West coast. Which shuts down a portion of the ocean circulation.

    I know there is constant measurement done of the deep current through the Drake Passage but I can’t seem to locate any. I would be interested in the years bracketing 1998 to see what the anomaly might have been for early 1998, if any.

  11. kuhnkat says:


    Don’t know if you are aware of the Accumulation Theory of Climate Warming by David Stockwell over at Niche Modeling. It shows that you actually don’t NEED an increasing solar intensity to have increasing warming, just a level which gives a net increase.



    It is a solid rebuttal of the Alarmists who claim the sun couldn’t do it. The fact that it would appear we HAD increasing insoltaion pretty well makes it done.

  12. Pete says:

    @ George,
    Maybe this helps with the “Flash”:
    The late professor Marcel Leroux ,(1938-2008 – Professeur émérite de climatologie à l’Université Jean-Moulin – Lyon, France)observed weather & climate for 30 + years. He wrote a book about the mechanics of weather:“Dynamic Analysis of Weather and Climate” . The second English edition was completed in May 2008 and published in 2010, two years after his death: http://www.springer.com/earth+sciences+and+geography/meteorology+%26+climatology/book/978-3-642-04679-7
    Already in 1993 he had published a paper about the basic theory : http://ddata.over-blog.com/xxxyyy/2/32/25/79/Leroux-Global-and-Planetary-Change-1993.pdf

  13. @Kuhnkat,

    I was not, but it seems to make logical sense.


    You’re in California as well I see. And your other moniker reminds me of a certain decision by Jubal Harshaw, one that ultimately did not end well but was an amusing, ah, switch of legal theory.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  14. I’m a little concerned about fitting theories to the notion that the temperature in 1998 globally was “much” higher than it was in 1934. I think that evidence will ultimately show that the two periods were similar in global temperature, just as they were (despite tinkering) in the continental US where our records were the best.

    The Soviet effect and other curiosities loom large in the global record.

    If we learn, next year, that 1998 was not as warm as 1934 globally, it would ding any predictive ability based on the prior data. (And should, in fact.)

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  15. George says:

    We have no good references for global temperatures before 1979 when satellite measurements began. I trust surface measurements only for the local area where the measurement was taken. There are too many microclimate and anthropogenic local land use issues. Surface station records are nothing more than a “noise collection” as far as I am concerned.

    One thing I will note is that the Channel 5 AQUA data (14,000 feet) are currently the coldest ever recorded in the satellite era. The previous record was in 2008 and we are currently colder than that globally. So I am expecting to see a dramatic drop in the December and January global surface temperatures. We already saw a decent November drop in RSS, but UAH isn’t out yet.

  16. George says:

    And remember, in order for there to be a greenhouse effect, we must warm the atmosphere which re-radiates heat back to the surface. We certainly are not seeing a warming of the atmosphere. The surface must be heating from below ;)

  17. On the Drake Passage:

    This page has a nice descriptive overview, then the next page has some charts and data links. They note that NOAA’s AOML Drfting Buoy Data Assembly ran from 1978 to mid 2003, covering the period in question, but the charts on the page won’t help the issue you’re pursuing much. Lots of data to grind.

    The seasonal data in the charts is averaged across all years.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  18. E.M.Smith says:


    Good stuff!

    Don’t know if it helps, but there was a presentation when I was in Chicago that said it took about 18 years for mid pacific warmth (or cold) to migrate from the equator up to the Bering Straight (and, one presumes, impact the arctic and arctic ice). I’ve also postulated that circumpolar winds modulate the mid Pacific via the Drake Passage constriction. More wind, more water, less fits through Drake Passage, more runs up the Chilean coast as cold water and out into the mid pacific…

    So, IMHO, wind drives the ocean, PDO, ENSO, El Nino / La Nina; and eventually the arctic ice cover, via that linkage and with those lags.

    Now if solar changes modulate wind via UV / atmospheric thickness… and if tidal cycles (like that 1800 year one) change how much depth is in Drake Passage…

    Add that to your general mechanism and I suspect you can ‘close the loop’.

    As markets have suddenly “become interesting” I’m diving back into them for a while, so this idea will need someone else to move it down the field (HINT HINT!)

    Oh, and when I was wandering through regional temperature series, I saw some evidence for a N.H. / S.H. oscillator in the Antarctic data. It’s just too sparse to be sure. I could easily see the “warming” be based on a cold N.H. going to a warm one (when we have almost only N.H. data in the start) while the S.H. went cold (but doesn’t show up as the data were sparse). That we have almost no data from the critical south pacific and south atlantic that drive that circumpolar current is a major problem.

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    True for small glaciers, for glacials writ large not so much… On a planetary scale we always have enough warm wet air in the topical oceans. When the poles get cold enough and the air circulates that way, we get glacials. Once the ice sheet is thick enough, it makes it’s own cold ( i.e. 12,000 ft is cold…)


    Oh, neat! (Yet more to read…)

    @Keith DeHavelle:

    I’m pretty darned sure 1934 was a little warmer than 1998. Why? Well, there was that ‘dust bowl’ thing, where we have drought in Texas now, but no dust bowl. Also my Dad told me stories about 1934 (that I dimly remember… but the conclusion was very strong – It was darned hot to a degree never seen before… and it has NOT been that hotter since he died…)

    Also, individual station data show warmer. (Though 1934 was one of those years where N.H. was high while some of the few S.H. stations that existed when lower… Antarctica and Patagonia? something like that… so there could be a hemispheric oscillator that was hidden in the missing coverage of the ‘below 30S’ part of the planet and oceans… )

  19. We’ve discussed before the drop from 1940 to 1975 that was called “a 2.74°F drop in global temperature” that has been shaved off by 90% or so. It would be interesting to see how the original estimates were derived.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  20. George says:

    That 2.74 drop might have been regional. At best it was a 0.2C drop. The total change since about 1850 to now has been about 0.8C. Yep, that’s it. 0.8C — not even a full degree C. 1850 was about 0.4 degrees below the HadCRUT3 mean, today it is about 0.4 degrees above the HadCRUT3 mean.

    0.8 degrees in 160 years or about a half a degree per century of warming. Or better put, 4 degrees if it continued unchanged for the next 900 years, which it won’t.

    Lets recap, shall we?

    In order for there to be “global warming” due to greenhouse gases the atmosphere must warm and re-radiate heat back to the surface. We currently see the coldest atmosphere since 1979.

    Sea levels for most of 2011 were below the highest reached in 2004. Sea level rise slowed greatly in 2004-ish and may now be reversing.

    Ocean heat content, after rising in almost linear fashion till 2004 has suddenly flat-lined. Ocean heat is not increasing in the top 700 meters of the ocean.

  21. “That 2.74 drop might have been regional.”

    Perhaps. But it was identified at the time as “a 2.74°F drop in global average temperature” or “Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F.”

    Here’s one of the articles:


    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    Older temperature series show a large drop. Only after running the data through the New Improved GISTEMP and NCDC “QA” and adjustment processes do the temperatures flatten.

    I remember seeing an article / posting that detailed this nicely, complete with images of the ’80s or so era articles with original published graphs in it, but after an ‘all nighter’ I don’t remember who’s site… Someone from europe who had english as a second language… in… Norway? Holland? Something like that… I did a posting on his stuff and linked to it and I’m sure tomorrow I’ll remember his name ;-)

    At any rate, in any discussion of the trend “back then”, you simply can not depend on the data or charts published in the last 15+ years. What WAS clearly a large trend in the published data THEN, has been erased from what is supposedly the same data NOW.

    Wait, it was Frank Lansner

    OK, searching on his name… Here, read this article:


    Then you can argue over which of the ‘pasts’ you would like to use ;-0

  23. Pingback: 2 C degrees up vs 1/2 C down (A Chiefio post) | The GOLDEN RULE

  24. George says:

    More pieces fall into place

    Click to access 1112.3256.pdf

  25. E.M.Smith says:


    Nice paper… very nice… So we have a one solar cycle lag for temperature impact and we’re in the middle of a MAJOR downturn in solar cycle… That means that while this winter is cold, the winter of 2021 is likely to be brutal.

    Well, I already figure that, but didn’t have as good a reason for it. ( I was mostly looking at the ocean heat flux lags and that it took up to 18 years for the cold equatorial shift in the Pacific to make it to Alaska).

    With this in hand, it becomes much easier to predict the future (and with that, make some money and plan for AwShits). It also helps me get a little less worked up at the AGW money suck that is in the emails… knowing that they are TOAST for the next decade on any warming… and headed straight into a wall of cold and loss of reputation..

    I’m only 1/2 way through the paper now… Nice break from the other stuff ;-)

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