S. America MWP

With a h/t to George, this is a very important little report:


South American MWP Reconstruction

South American MWP Reconstruction

Original in the article.

In particular, notice how steep the drop is from warm to cold about 1400 AD. About 50 years as I eyeball it. Long slow rises, but rapid crashes. A Sawtooth with the ‘cut to cold’ being very fast.

Adding in that this pretty much shows the present “warming” is entirely an artifact of a baseline in the Little Ice Age and that the Medieval Warm Period was global and it’s a pretty damning set of evidence for The Team to deal with. (Expect sudden character attacks on the authors, difficulty in future publishing, editors of journals getting blackmail type threats, and general derision. Oh, and no free tickets to the Global Warming Buffet wherever they have it next now that Rio, Berlin, Geneva, Koyoto, Buenos Aries, Bonn, The Hague, Bonn (again), Marrakesh, New Delhi, Milan, Buenos Aires (again), Montreal, Nairobi, Bali, Poznań, Copenhagen, Cancún, Durban are out of the way… at least if the ClimateGate One and Two email are any guide.)

Why can’t these folks just meet in, say, Detroit or maybe Nome each winter?… How many poor could be fed on their feasts and how much carbon are these folks squandering Jet Setting around the world?

I wish this chart had gone back just a little further so we could have seen the length of the prior ramp up from its prior low point. While we could generalize from the Dark Ages at somewhere around a 540 AD entry and a 600 ish AD bottom, but that would be a guess. There could be an offset between the hemispheres.

Don’t like that “dip” in about 1150 AD where it’s ‘3 counts to out’ and how that matches up with our “dip” in 1850 with our “3 counts out” of the recent three peaks. Yes, it’s “just wiggle matching”… but it is inside a clear context… This all matters since if it’s an 800 year cycle ( 600 to 1400 AD ) we’ve got a long ways to go. 1400+800 = 2200 AD.

IF it’s a 700 year Smith Event cycle (half Bond Event) we have significantly less. 1400+700= 2100 AD. If it’s driven by solar trefoil patterns, then we’re toast starting in about 2020. A bit more context would have been nice… (Yet Another “Dig Here!” prior cold period in S.South America… 540 AD? 400 AD? 600 AD?)

For now, though, it is enough just to see the Medieval WARM Period shown to be global, and warmer than today.

The international research team — composed of scientists from Argentina, Chile, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States — write that their summer temperature reconstruction suggests that “a warm period extended in SSA from 900 (or even earlier) to the mid-fourteenth century,” which they describe as being temporally located “towards the end of the Medieval Climate Anomaly as concluded from Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstructions.” And as can be seen from the figure below, the warmest decade of this Medieval Warm Period was calculated by them to be AD 1079-1088, which as best as can be determined from their graph is about 0.17°C warmer than the peak warmth of the Current Warm Period.

Subscribe to feed


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...
This entry was posted in AGW Climate Perspective, AGW Science and Background and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to S. America MWP

  1. George says:

    The whole paper is here:

    Click to access Neukom_et_al_2010.pdf

    I’ll haven’t read it yet.

  2. George says:

    Looking in the figures in the paper, the first thing that jumps out at you is the instability of climate over the past 1000 years. This displays exactly the opposite of what Mann et al. attempted to show in the MBH “hockey stick” paper. I have to wonder how this paper got through “team” peer review.

  3. Pascvaks says:

    T’would seem to be more of Jupiter than the Sun in the short term wiggles. Hath anyone done a study of Jupiter’s impact on short term wiggles? (SarcOff)

    The problem with science today is that you need a committee of PhD’s in everything from sub-atomic physics to basket weaving and 44 endowments from the National Science Foundation to get anything done. It also helps to have a Godfather or twenty familiar with Beltway Banditry, Chicago Politics, Union Labor Law and Backscratching, and Hawaiian Luau Poi Etiguette;-)

  4. Jason Calley says:

    Notice how the 1400 AD plunge to cold coincides with the fall of the various local kingdoms and the rise of the Inca to power. One of the noted characteristics of the Inca Empire was its system of governmental food storage and distribution. I wonder if the cold turn drove the small kingdoms to famine, at which point surrender to the Inca and adoption of their food distribution systems began to look like a good choice.

    Sort of mirroring how the “Fall of Rome” was welcomed by many parts of the Roman Empire because the “barbarians” had a better (i.e. less onerous) system of taxation and regulation.

  5. adolfogiurfa says:

    E.M: For you that you can read spanish:

    Click to access salinas_bebedero.pdf

    and its Google translation:

    Click to access translate

  6. R Shearer says:

    How about the next IPCC be held in Ft McMurray, up close and personal to the oil sands? Not much evidence of warming there these days.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. Shearer:

    Oooh, that sounds nice… maybe they can learn to appreciate the warm to a ‘flare’ of marginal gas too ;-)


    I usually find myself gravitating to the Spanish original. I sometimes use Google Translate to get a large block translated ( if I’m lazy or if I’ve been working on/in some other language so that Spanish is a bit buried at the time – it can be tiring to repeatedly swap / load / unload various languages) but inevitably find myself reading it thinking “That doesn’t sound right…” then going to the original and saying “They DID get it wrong, it ought to be FOO”…

    After a few of those you get reluctant to just trust the machine translation…

    Besides, I like Spanish and it was “my first second language”… so I’m fond of chances to wake it up again ;-)

    First learned “Venga Aqui!” meant “Get the hell out of my Roses!” at about age 4 when “Mama Celerina” (spelling? Never saw it written…) was shouting at Miguel (her son) and me when we strayed… ;-)

    Spent untold hours watching “Mexican TV” at his house too… and he grew up drinking tea with his pinky out and with a taste for scones thanks to time at my home…

    Both of us speaking Spanglish as often as not ;-) So sometimes I mix the two languages just a bit… (What is the English for: Rodeo (and Rodeo Drive), lasso, tequila, taco, burrito, carne asada, chipotle, jalapeno, El Camino Real (a local highway), Sierra Nevada (local mountains), chayote, burro, churro, fiesta de quince años, (or just ‘fiesta’ for that matter…) and so many more.

    At times I’m still not sure where one language ends and the other picks up… eh compadre?

    At any rate, I’ll hit the Spanish link and check it against the google version in a bit.

    @Jason Calley:

    Part of why I’m not too worried about a “new world order” is that the inevitable cold to come is going to end it, pronto. ( Is ‘pronto’ English, or not? …)

    IFF the UN manages to take control of economic things, it will find itself “in charge” just in time for all hell to break loose and then it will take blame. Shortly after that their will be a collapse back to regional function.

    OTOH, I’d rather avoid all that…

    But yes, one of my favorite pastimes is to match up history with the cycles of temperature swings. It is startling how often the end of one empire and the start of new ones comes right on top of a ‘cold plunge’…


    I think The Team has been busy dealing with some, er, “email issues” and was likely not able to, um, “participate via email” in the, oh, “review process” ;-)

    Oh Boy, more reading…


    Well, yes, but some of us just keep on anyway…

  8. Matt says:

    “——-the present “warming” is entirely an ARTIFACT of a baseline in the Little Ice Age—–”

    The correct word is ARTIFICE

  9. George, had you noticed that Phil Jones of UEA and the “team” is one of the authors? I do not think that it is possible of average world temperatures. As someone wrote (more or less) – you could measure the height of all children below 10yrs of age and all adults over 21yrs and get an average height which has no significance to the two populations. You could then measure the height progress (over say 50 yrs) of the child population which would be increasing but at a declining rate. If you did the same for the adult population the change could well be negative.
    An average of a -50C temperature in the antarctic and a 50C in the Sahara has no relevence to anything.
    The authors including Phil Jones are just justifying wasted research dollars and attempting to maintain their jobs.

  10. H.R. says:

    @R Shearer (22:38:14) :

    “How about the next IPCC be held in Ft McMurray, up close and personal to the oil sands? Not much evidence of warming there these days.”

    Good suggestion but my vote has always been for Tehran (not to put a damper on a great party or anything).

  11. George says:

    I had not noticed that Jones was one of the authors. The interesting thing is that it might signal a migration away from Mannian “flat” climate and the notion that the MWP and LIA were strictly local events.

  12. cementafriend said @ (01:54:34) :

    “George, had you noticed that Phil Jones of UEA and the “team” is one of the authors?”

    Roseanne D’Arrigo’s a member of the team also. Perhaps they were the peer reviewers :-)

  13. wayne says:

    A bit OT but check out this paper poster:
    http://www.wcrp-climate.org/conference2011/posters/C7/C7_Nikolov_M15A.pdf for a longer view from a completely new angle on the Earth’s temperatures. You should find it unique. I especially perked up when I read they were starting to align all planetary atmosphere’s temperatures under one simple theory.

  14. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M: “Mama Celerina” (spelling? Never saw it written…)
    It´s “Mama Celerina” (Mom Celerina).
    You know…
    “Once upon a time…there was a beautiful Mexican mariposita (little butterfly), once, flying, suddenly cayó (fell down) and dijo (said): Ay, carijo (pronounced:khariho)…I forgot to open my alitas (little wings)!

  15. George says:


    Looks like someone has discovered convection and has noticed the:

    “given an atmosphere of infinite thickness” issue.

  16. E.M.Smith says:


    PITA to read (had to suck it into GIMP to blow up the pixels enough to read it) but yup, they’ve got it right. Preserves the Ideal Gas Law and accounts for all the known facts; puts convection back into the picture. Pretty much what I’ve been saying, though with much more formulaic precision. Really like the way they generalize to various planets and cross check (match to reality, gotta love it ;-) Just wish I’d take the “ignore the day” posting et. al. and run them out to that logical conclusion (instead of leaving them at the “I got it” intuitive level… one of failings of “The Gift”… I tend to stop once I see where the answer is located instead of paving the whole road… these guys built a 4 lane freeway… )

    They need to allow for mass variation with water vapor changes and more importantly, the way air Volume changes with UV level (that is causing the present cool cycle – but fits their formula just fine…) and then the last wrinkles in the temp history will be explained too.

    Nice, very nice.

    (Maybe I’ll see if I can make a posting out of the text such that it can be read more easily…. anyone else want that?)

    @George & Cementafriend:

    I think it more of a ‘blind squirrel’ effect ;-)

    (“Even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time.”)


    I’ve complained about the ‘unaveragable’ nature of temperatures for some time. Mostly just gets rocks thrown at me. ( Take a pot of water at 20 C and a pot at 0 C and mix. Is the result water at 10 C ? Depends …. on relative mass and was that 0 C frozen or not…)


    Tehran? Ooooh, like it! No booze at that meeting ;-)

    And have ALL catering done by Taco Bell, but vegetarian options only…

  17. Judy F. says:


    caution, earthy ag humor

    A few years ago I attended a ranching seminar. Part of the discussion was on economics, which included averages and benchmarks in the industry. One iconic Montana rancher, clad in blue jeans, plaid shirt and dusty Stetson, with a toothpick hanging out of his mouth, said about averages: “The average bovine has two tits and one testicle, but I sure wouldn’t want a herd of them”. I thought it rather summed up averages nicely.

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    @Judy F.

    Coming from Farm Country I grew up with that kind of clarity about things, like averages, that folks like to use a lot but usually didn’t do much good… I wouldn’t want a herd of them either …. I’ve had people toss rocks at me for my complaint about “over averaging” things. Somehow the idea that “averages are used to hide things” offended them. Yet that is exactly why we use averages. To hide some details we want out of the way to see the other bits more clearly. The trick is not averaging the unaveragable, as the rancher so aptly illuminates…

    So a 50 day moving average of prices for a stock ticker hides the daily manipulations and lets you see the trend. An average of Dow Chemical, Gold price, 20 year T Bond, and the price of cotton may be some odd duck portfolio, but it contains no useful information any more… everything useful now hidden by over averaging. “Climate Science” as practiced today is just such a queer duck with a bovine average physiology… IMHO…

  19. Pascvaks says:

    Another graph showing a Northern Hemisphere perspective –

    Eyeball approximation between the two would tend to support the argument that the Southern Hemisphere was the firstest with the mostest and seemed to drive the World Climate into the freezer?

  20. George says:

    Averages can be a horrible thing in some circumstances. For example, in California they use averages for water allocations and for drought definition. They should be using the MEDIAN and not the MEAN. This is because our rainfall can vary dramatically so “average” has no real meaning. A couple of years of tremendous rainfall can push the “average” so high that if you assume an “average” amount of rain in a year, you might fall short 7 out of 10 years. This is why we end up with so many years of “below average” rainfall. In that case they should be using the median. That gives you a 50-50 chance of having surplus water after your allocations are made. It gives you are more realistic expectation. Setting expectations at “average” results in below the expected rainfall most of the time.

  21. Pingback: Open Talk Tuesday « Musings from the Chiefio

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    Nice point… Folks forget there are several kinds of statistical ‘middle’…


    Some digging around looks to connect it to S.H. volcanoes. Not enough for a posting yet, but that’s what looks to be the big driver. I think we need a much clearer idea what the volcanic history of the S. Hemisphere has been…

    That we’ve had a couple clearing their throats in S. America and that the Indonesian Arch likes a quasi periodic belch does not give me warm fuzzy feelings…


    Typo on the Mama… it was the spelling of Celerina that I’d never seen…

    She was about 4 foot 6 inches and could take a 6 foot son who was in the Navy and make him cower with one bark… You didn’t mess with Mama Celerina… made great salsa verde… and enchiladas and canned peaches and tacos and sopa and … Was married to a guy about 20 years older than her with a BIG white moustache. Reputedly he had ridden with Pancho Villa “in the day”. He was big enough and about the right age. Had the character for it too… Had come over the border to work on the railroad before anyone cared about “papers”. Was retired on pension when I first met him… but still made you wonder where his gun was, even sitting in the rocking chair on the porch ;-) Oddly, never knew his name. It was just Sr. Enriquez….

    When the ‘trucke verde’ would be in the neighborhood, all the ‘cousins’ would head out the back door and Sr. Enriquez, Miguel, and I would not. Everyone knew he had no papers, and He would just say “we didn’t do papers then” ( in Spanish I think…) and nobody cared. I think he’d show them his Southern Pacific Retirees card or some such. First time I ever realized “I was different” was when the INS Green Truck showed up and I started to head out with ‘the cousins’… and was pointedly told I had no reason.

    Sometimes wonder what the agents thought about this gringo kid… then again, it was only a few times anyway. I tell folks I’m dead set against illegal immigration and they want to paint me as a radical red neck. They don’t get it that I want my friends to come in the FRONT door, not the back… It is the illegality that is oppressive, not the immigration…

    Nice poem, btw…

    I’m getting this urge for a double margarita and some carnitas ;-)

    I think I need to spend some time on a road trip in South America…

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    Some interesting bits on 1400 AD or so volcanic events:


    Kelut is an active stratovolcano on the east side of the island of Java. The Chinese recorded five eruptions of Kelut in the 14th century. Kelut has erupted 15 times in the last 200 years. The deadliest eruption of Kelut occurred in 1919 killing more than 5000 people from mudflows. The most recent eruption, in 1990, was explosive and produced a large cloud and heavy tephra fall.

    I have to think it was pretty big if the Chinese noticed it in the 13 hundreds…


    has an interesting comment on the 540 AD dark ages:

    Ice core, analysis combined with tree ring data has shown that a severe volcanic eruption, possibly in south America, of somewhat larger magnitude than the 1815 Tambora eruption most likely caused the 536 dust veil. This catastrophic event can be regarded as the trigger that ended the classical world and the beginning of the Middle Ages. It blotted the sun out for many months and resulted directly and indirectly, in climate chaos, famine, migration, war and massive political change on all continents. The question is if this was a one off event in the past two thousand years. Historical events of the 14th century suggest that this is not the case.

    Written records from the 14th century provide accounts of severe weather in the period from 1314 to 1317, which led in turn to crop failure and famine. This episode of failed harvests and its consequences is known as “The Great Famine”. Notwithstanding these ecological calamities, the population of northern Europe was at an all time high by the second quarter of the 14th century. However, the arrival of the Black Death, in Europe in 1347 pushed the European population into a century-long demographic decline and caused long-term changes in economy and society.

    Until recently it is believed that the Black Death was riding on the back of expanding trade between Europe and Asia in the 13th and 14th centuries. This would have brought populations into contact that had been isolated before and were vulnerable to new disease. But new research has suggested that the causes of the Black Death are more complicated and might be related to volcanism and the resulting atmospheric upheavals.

    First of all there is a parallel with the 536 event: the outbreak of a plague epidemic. With the knowledge of this volcanic event there is the possibility that something similar happened during the 14th century. In recent research, medievalist Bruce Campbell of Queens University in Belfast, compared the chronologies of prices, wages, grain harvests and the corresponding chronologies of growing conditions and climactic variations, taking into consideration dendrochronology, the Greenland and Antarctic ice cores and episodes of the Black Death. Campbell comes to the startling and tentative conclusion that both the Great Famine and the Black Death might be related to a series of large volcanic eruptions that caused climate chaos, followed by famine and disease. The mechanisms between climatic disturbance and the disease are not understood at present but the evidence is tentative because of the coincidence of volcanic events, climate disruption, famine and disease.

    So, not liking the sound of that whole 50% dying thing at all…

    Then there is this one in Iceland that’s kicking up it’s heels, but don’t worry, it was ONLY a 25 km fissure the last time it erupted… in the 14th century…


    If a eruption starts in Krísuvík volcano it is going to one of Hawaii type eruption, unless it is under water then it is going to be explosive for as long there is water getting into the crater. Last time there was a eruption in this area a 25 km long eruption fissure did form.

    What bothers me, frankly, in trying to find a 14th century causal volcano is just how MANY there are. I note in passing that we’re now about 700 ish years past that time, or about 1/2 Bond Event (one Smith Event cycle…)


    Caldera Round Trip

    Cruising along the caldera will be a unique and unforgettable experience. Thousands of lava and pumice stone layers are a result of hundreds of eruptions. This what makes the island so unique. The Volcano, the newborn island from the 14th century was a result of a few eruptions, the lava flew from down under created the two Volcanic islets, Palea and Nea Kameni. At the small bay of the Hot Springs you can have a mud bath in the hot waters that warm up to 35 Celsius during the summer months. Here the strong smell of the sulfur together with the hot water reminds us that the Volcano is still alive!!


    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Immense plumes of ash and smoke billow from the Popocatepetl volcano within view of millions of people. It rumbles often and occasionally hurls out bursts of glowing rock.

    But more than four years after the volcano began a new cycle of eruptions, scientists and officials are ever so cautiously growing less nervous — not that anyone takes an explosive, 5,452-meter (17,925-foot) mountain for granted.
    Popocatepetl is capable of immense eruptions — the last occurred about 800 years ago. It covers the ruins of two earlier volcanos on the same site. Far more common, however, have been bursts of smoke, steam and ash recorded periodically since the 14th century.

    And the list goes on….

    It just looks like globally the earth got cranky in a volcanic kind of way…

    I note in passing that we’ve had recent increases in volcanic activity after a somewhat abnormal slow period of several decades… (I first started wanting to see a volcano in about 1960 and then noticed that things were slow compared to prior times…)

  24. p.g.sharrow says:

    There is more dust in the air! Growth of alfalfa in Surprise Valley in northeast California has decreased about 20% since the mid 1970s. At 4500ft elevation a little change in growing conditions makes a large difference. 1960 to 1980 was the best period for production of alfalfa hay in this area. Sun light intensity at ground level has changed and daily growth slowed. pg

  25. E.M.Smith says:


    Golly! 20% is A LOT! Direct impact on feed and animals available… (Hay is a lot more important than most folks realize…)

    Hmmmm…. National Hay Index? Hay Growers Association numbers? There’s gotta be a number out there…

  26. Pascvaks says:

    A thought – “What you find, and when you find it, depends on where and when you look.”

    N. America
    Oceania (Oz-ia/Kiwi-ania)
    S. America

    I may be out to lunch.
    Heck, I haven’t even had my third cup of tea yet.
    But it seems there’s a rather significant, little continent that hasn’t been getting too much attention in the Global Climate Record melee. Maybe I’m guilty of not wearing my hearing aid as much as I should and I just haven’t seen all the fantastic historic termperature record shows on the last 2000 years for poor old Africia.

    Well, off for another cup…

  27. Pascvaks says:

    (Slurp! Ahhhhhh…)
    Just a link to some USDA Hay stats for ’94-’11 –

    Hay as a “Thermometer” is complicated, lots of variables, but it’s better than air temperature.

  28. p.g.sharrow says:

    @ Pascvaks; Good link. Even worse the I thought over the last 5 years.
    Tons per acre is the important figure. I have been out of the business for the last 15 years. Our production went from over 5 tons per acre of alfalfa in 1972 to 3.5 tones in 1985. This in a marginal growing area due to elevation. I should also add permanent snow fields that had disappeared by the end of the 1960s had reappeared by the end of the 1980s. pg

Comments are closed.