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Nature: Global Temperatures Are a Falling Trend

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the romney-declares-drill-baby-drill dept.

Earth 786

New submitter sosume writes "An article in Nature shows that temperatures in Roman times were actually higher than current temperatures. A team lead by Dr. Esper of the University of Mainz has researched tree rings and concluded that over the past 2,000 years, the forcing is up to four times as large as the 1.6W/m^2 net anthropogenic forcing since 1750 using evidence based on maximum latewood density data from northern Scandinavia, indicating that this cooling trend was stronger (0.31C per 1,000 years, ±0.03C) than previously reported, and demonstrated that this signature is missing in published tree-ring proxy records."

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[gets popcorn] (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616113)

this should be good!

Re:[gets popcorn] (5, Funny)

Red Storm (4772) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616293)

this should be good!

You might need to heat up the butter as it looks like it may cool and solidify before eating...

You betcha! (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616445)

Once they eliminate all of the other, non-tree-based lines of evidence, this should finally bust the myth of Northern Scandinavian Warming wide open!

Headline should say... (5, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616123)

"Global Temperatures Were a Falling Trend."

The long term graphs in TFA show a long term decline, but they all still kick up sharply at the end when we get to the industrial age.

Re:Headline should say... (5, Informative)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616207)

All the article says is that forcings related to orbital mechanics may have been larger on a millenium time scale than estimated before. Even that is speculation - the core of the paper is presenting a improved method for evaluating tree ring proxies. The paper, however, does not call into doubt that the industrial age has added a significant greenhouse gas forcing, which gets bigger as we continue to add CO2 and methane.

Re:Headline should say... (4, Informative)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616215)

There are several instances where the kick up sharply throughout the last 2000 years.

Re:Headline should say... (4, Interesting)

composer777 (175489) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616555)

The problem is that this isn't relevant to the social issue of global warming, and many "skeptics" will claim that it is relevant. Even if the change in temperature ends up being a blip on the radar in geological time, it only takes a few years of drought to decimate food stores and cause a world-wide pandemic. THIS is the issue that should be relevant to us these days, and I'm afraid that all these newly minted arm-chair scientists (more accurately described as big business apologists) are going to ensure that we delay action until it is too late.

Another thing I should say is that we have a very reliable model for showing that increased CO2 can cause warming on a small scale. "skeptics" claim that the burden of proof is on those who say it will happen on a large scale, despite evidence that it IS happening on a large scale. This has never been the way science works. The burden of proof is on "skeptics" to explain why a reproducible, verifiable model on a small scale won't work on a large scale. They have no evidence, and are quite dishonestly trying to shift the burden of proof back on the scientists, knowing full well that on a large scale it will take a much longer time to acquire the kind of evidence they are seeking.

An analogy would be if we said that since Pluto's orbit is 248 years, then we've probably only recorded it orbiting the sun a few times (arguably less than that if we only count modern record-keeping), and so therefore we haven't collected enough data to determine that orbital mechanics apply to Pluto. After all, maybe the 7th observed cycle around the sun it will veer off into space, violating all of our current models. This type of reasoning is nonsense. Science always seeks to apply the simplest, most general theory to all systems. Science only creates a new theory if it absolutely has to. The burden of proof would be on the orbital mechanics "skeptics" to show why it would behave differently on a large scale, not on those who can show without a doubt that it happens on a small scale, and have shown that all measurable results indicate it is happening on a large scale. The idea that we should start with two separate models, one for large scale and another for the small scale, is precisely the opposite of what science seeks to do, and is a severe mis-representation of science.

Re:Headline should say... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616637)

No, the burden of proof is always on the person making the affirmative statement. It's usually very difficult to prove a negative. However, in many cases we're willing to accept a theory that makes sense and fits all the observed data.

Re:Headline should say... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616261)

Nothing in the TFA even comes close to disproving the "hockey stick" graphs of climate and warming trends.

AGW is affecting us, no matter how deep our heads go in the sand. It is just how much -- if we cook too much life in the sea that produces 70-95% of our oxygen, then we will end up with a nice global extinction event.

Re:Headline should say... (4, Informative)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616395)

I don't know which graph you are looking at, but the one in TFA shows several instances of abrupt rises in temps, or, hockey sticks if you want...at least six.

Re:Headline should say... (5, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616587)

Indeed, RealClimate notes [realclimate.org] that if you remove dendrochronology records from Mann et al (2008), you actually get a lesser pre-industrial cooling trend [realclimate.org] . Of the dozens of independent lines of evidence, tree rings have long been one of the *least* suggestive of disproportionately high GHG forcing versus other forcings, so it's always funny to see them called out as though the case for global warming rests on them. ;) (The reason that they're often called out is because they're *really tricky* to use well; so many things affect tree growth that have to be accounted for, and the factors vary greatly from location to location)

Re:Headline should say... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616649)

The "hockey stick" graphs were never proven in the first place. Taking a dimensionless tree ring history and scaling and gluing it to a thermometer record based on a brief period of co-movement, and then ignoring a subsequent period of strong deviation by handwavingly saying that "something must have caused" tree rings to stop being affected by temperature, was always terrible and rotten science.

To provide specific details, this refers to the famous "Hockey Stick" chart. The statement from the Climategate emails about "hiding the decline", as referenced here: http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/26/the-deleted-portion-of-the-briffa-reconstruction/ ... refers specifically to ignoring the subsequent period of deviation between tree ring records and thermometer records, after just in the years prior taking that relationship as extremely strong and using it to give scale and units to the tree ring records.

To illustrate the problem:

- Let's say you want to assess how much food people ate during the medieval times.
- The only long term record you have is an overview of how many apples were harvested from a sample of orchards for 1000 years.
- And your short term record going back 100 years is however much more detailed, and shows how much food people have eaten recently
- It turns out that for a period of 50 years it looks like there was a strong degree of co-movement between these measures.
- So you basically overlay these and scale the orchard record until it co-moves with the food record, letting you estimate food consumption 1000 years ago.
- Oh wait, for the subsequent period of 50 years, it turns out that measured food consumption has actually wildly diverged from orchard records and there is no relationship detectable.
- This should indicate that the previous 50 year period you have used to scale orchard records was simply a statistical fluke.
- But you ignore this and conspire with your friends to "hide" these later 50 years, pretending that the relationship between food data and orchard output is actually very strong.

Re:Headline should say... (4, Interesting)

demachina (71715) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616661)

I'm pretty sure more CO2 in the atmosphere is very beneficial to plant life and will help it flourish in forests and agriculture, not sure about in the ocean(i.e. plankton) since disolved CO2 in water leads to acidity issues. It is possible mother nature could counterbalance increasing CO2 levels by putting CO2 consuming organisms in to overdrive.

Ocean physics, chemistry and biology is so complex I seriously doubt there is any one who can claim they have a accurate holistic understanding, could model changes in it with any accuracy or make any reliable predictions about what it will do.

The one issue I have with the global warming chicken littles is that there is no inherent reason that recent CO2 levels or temperatures are some kind gold standard that must be maintained at all costs. Our planet has been all over the map on both temperatures and atmospheric chemistry, whose to say that some of those other levels weren't actually better overall.

On the other hand the rate at which are changing the atmosphere's composition thanks to industrail scales, and the rate at which we could change global temperatures and sea levels may prove to be very problematic to a lot of species including our own, especially since, as a species we are very fond of building large amounts of infrastructure on the coasts.

We could have a runaway climatic catastrophe, we could muddle along, or mother nature could eventually counterbalance our mistakes. Absolutely no one knows, anyone who claims to know with certainty is not being particularly truthful, anyone who claims to have an accurate computer model of our climate is really being untruthful.

It is safe to say burning fossil fuels at our current rate probably isn't a particularly great idea. It obviously does pose a greenhouse gas risk, no one knows how much, and equally important we are going to eventually run out of them so we really should be working hard to find alternatives. Pretty much the last thing the U.S. government should be doing is subsidizing fossil fuels with things like huge tax breaks for oil companies but good luck getting rid of those.

On the other hand taxing fossil fuels in to the ground to force the switch to alternatives isn't exactly a great idea either. It hammers your economy and it really hammers lower income people who spend a lot of their income on energy.

Re:Headline should say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616271)

"A large team of scientists making a comprehensive study of data from tree rings say that in fact global temperatures have been on a falling trend for the past 2,000 years and they have often been noticeably higher than they are today - despite the absence of any significant amounts of human-released carbon dioxide in the atmosphere back then."

Re:Headline should say... (5, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616311)

The headline is rather misleading, it's as the author of the article is trying to debunk global warming. Which isn't the case; he is merely talking about possible errors in a common way to estimate temperatures. From the article:

These findings, together with the missing orbital signature in published dendrochronological records, suggest that large-scale near-surface air-temperature reconstructions9, 10, 11, 12, 13 relying on tree-ring data may underestimate pre-instrumental temperatures including warmth during Medieval and Roman times.

In other words: estimates of temperature in medieval/Roman times based on tree ring data may well be too low.

Re:Headline should say... (5, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616657)

In other words: estimates of temperature in medieval/Roman times based on tree ring data may well be too low.

Global Warming Alarmists will point to this and say we have reversed a cooling trend that has lasted at least 2000 years.

Global Warming Denialists will use this to show that it's been warming in the past and previous data that shows global warming is now suspect.

I think this new data shows that we don't have a clue what we are talking about when it comes to the climate. I believe the best we can do is take measurements and say what it's like RIGHT NOW. Judging the past is inaccurate. In the future, we'll look back on today and say, "those guys didn't know what they were talking about!" I agree with our future selves.

Re:Headline should say... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616373)

they all still kick up sharply at the end when we get to the industrial age.

The dashed trendline is close enough to an X-axis that it fools the (my) eye on the chart. I took a square piece of paper to the screen (yeah, yeah, high tech...) and the peak on the right that's recently passed is almost exactly at the level of the trendline all the way on the right side.

To get to the Roman maximum, we have to go up again as much as from the trendline to the recent peak, on top of the recent peak.

Re:Headline should say... (2)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616441)

If you look at the graph there were similar peaks like the recent one.
Basically what you are doing is saying "it's warm today, thus global warming" what the chart is saying is that historically it's been warmer and relative spikes in average temperature are not uncommon.
You still only focus on the very end of the graph, the rest of the graph will show you it is not abnormal.

Re:Headline should say... (4, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616389)

No matter what the headline says.

Most importantly, humanity survived higher temperatures in the past.

Re:Headline should say... (3, Interesting)

Jhon (241832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616523)

"Most importantly, humanity survived higher temperatures in the past."

But there were much less of us and the available food to human ratio was at least POTENTIALLY better for humans during the Roman period... Not much we can do for 2 or 3 billion people of crops burn or flood.

BTW, I'm a skeptic on AGW...

Re:Headline should say... (-1, Troll)

blackbear (587044) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616421)

Tree hugger luddites sing same old tune; Losing my religion.

(Don't mod it if you don't understand it.)

Re:Headline should say... (3, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616477)

They also kick up in roman times... a lot higher... and in the middle ages...

You know what? This might be hard to believe... but I don't think we're very good at predicting the weather...

All that aside... pollution is bad for many other reasons that don't involve global warming. So maybe you need to stop beating a dead horse and focus on something a little more tangible like "we're going to run out of oil rather soon" or "That shit causes cancer"

Congrats Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616491)

I expect that sort of deceptive or poorly written headline from Fox News.

Re:Headline should say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616567)

There are multiple instances when the temperature makes a sharp move up. What you're essentially saying is, "all the other instances were natural but this latest one is definitely man made". You're just seeing what you want to see.

Furthermore, output of CO2 has accelerated with the industrialisation of China and India, but despite the greater CO2 output the temperature has been declining in the last few decades. If the temperature increase is man made why has it stopped when CO2 output has accelerated?

Re:Headline should say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616659)

Furthermore,

"We found that previous estimates of historical temperatures during the Roman era and the Middle Ages were too low,"

What does it make them believe their estimate (as an estimate) is more accurate? Anyways, I guess it makes sense then that people end up going further north to Scandinavia and UK once in a lifetime!! Something should have made them.

This is NOT what the government is saying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616133)

Clearly whoever did this study is a racist.

Re:This is NOT what the government is saying (1, Troll)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616253)


Clearly whoever did this study is a racist.

close, it's 'Nazis'. They call them 'warming deniers' and try to draw inferences to 'holocaust deniers' who are typically neonazis.

It doesn't even fit in to a neat logical fallacy category since those generally deal with strategies above the playground level. Fine, racist nazis, then.

Re:This is NOT what the government is saying (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616529)

That makes no sense. Why would neo-Nazis deny the Holocaust? Surely they would see it as a singularly inspirational event?

Re:This is NOT what the government is saying (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616669)

Yes before there were holocaust deniers, we had another word for denial. Linguists are still searching for the lost ancestor of denial, so that finally a person may be a denier of anything without being associated with nazis. People born before WW2 have all mysteriously lost their memory of the word and it has never appeared in print, so there is little hope.

Re:This is NOT what the government is saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616691)

No, that's only in your mind. Foolish people who deny the obvious are always called deniers. Evolution deniers are the obvious example at the moment.

ARG (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616139)

Look, Tree Ring data as a proxy for temperature is complete bullshit. It's very, very, VERY loosely correlated. It was bullshit when Global Warming Alarmists used it, and it's still bullshit when Global Warming... well I guess 'denialists' isn't quite right, but... moderatives?

Anyway, point being, tree ring data as a proxy for temperature is effectively worthless.

Re:ARG (2)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616325)

That's a bold claim. It's easy to dismiss data, but you should at least have a reason beyond "I don't like it". Come on.

Re:ARG (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616591)

Since you're too lazy to google "tree ring data proxy temperature" or some variation thereof...

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/30/yamal-treering-proxy-temperature-reconstructions-dont-match-local-thermometer-records/ [wattsupwiththat.com]
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/comments-on-the-tree-ring-proxy-and-thermometer-surface-temperature-trend-data/ [wordpress.com]

Basically, tree ring width is sensitive to a LOT of factors, and generally, temperature doesn't affect them nearly as much as these other factors. Using tree rings as a proxy data is analogous to using a car's radiator temperature to determine its speed. It certainly affects it, but the signal is pretty low and the noise is rather high...

Re:ARG (0)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616681)

I just want you to justify your points. I don't need citations. I hate bald claims. That's it. It's too easy to just say something is true and move on without moving towards any sort of shared understanding.

Re:ARG (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616683)

Maybe it is, but I had heard that the Romans were able to grow grapes on their northern border in the north of England (around Hadrian's wall). It's not an area noted for its vineyards today.

An inconvent truth (2)

cowdung (702933) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616145)

Inconvenient.. it means we can feel good about ourselves and continue polluting.

Re:An inconvent truth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616225)

We can stop calling CO2 "pollution" now.

Re:An inconvent truth (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616317)

I guess you've never heard of ocean acidification [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:An inconvent truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616371)

Still doesn't make CO2 into "pollution".

Re:An inconvent truth (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616499)

It does, to an extent. Pollution is changing the physical and chemical makeup of an ecosystem by introducing artificial byproducts. Carbon (in all forms) is nominally a trace element in the atmosphere. It exists, but introducing more of it does affect the biochemistry of living things, as well as other, more physical effects, like heat trapping. There is an extent to which it is pollution. It's not an immediately toxic one like chlorine or ammonia is, but since you're arguing for the case of strictly defining "pollution" to exclude co2, you're going to have to provide said strict definition.

can climatologists finally admit.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616163)

...that we really have no idea how the atmosphere works and that predicting future temperature increases hundreds of years in advance is just glorified-weather-forcasting????

Re:can climatologists finally admit.... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616343)

We do know that CO2 increases do have an effect on the earth's temperature. This isn't even controversial.

I think I understand what you are saying though, that perhaps when predicting hundreds of years into the future, natural effects might be larger than other considerations.

Cool. (1, Troll)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616191)

snark- Now I can continue raping the planet and dumping all kinds of crap into the atmosphere and not worry about that global warming nonsense. And the corn failure in the USA - no biggie. And the retreating glaciers? whatevs. /snark

Re:Cool. (2)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616265)

Where "crap" equals "plain old non-toxic non-polluting CO2".

Re:Cool. (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616447)

That's probably a just a little too apologetic. We are dumping too much of it for the environment to handle, especially considering how we're simultaneously destroying the trees that are supposed to be scrubbing it from the atmosphere. In addition to the greenhouse effect, CO2 dissolves in our oceans and increases the acidity leading to erosion of coral reefs, which will cascade in secondary and tertiary effects in undermining a crucial ecosystem, not to mention our own foodsource. So...non-polluting is definitely just not true, regardless of temperature. Not to mention all the other pollutants we're dumping from our car exhaust, coal burning, industrial waste, ad nauseum (pun intended). We're conducting a massive chemical experiment on our atmosphere and environment, and no one knows how it'll all shake out, but saying our meddling is "non-polluting" is unconscionably naive.

Re:Cool. (1)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616301)

You mean real pollution instead of hyped BS? Might be the best thing for everyone.

Re:Cool. (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616481)

snark-
Now I can continue raping the planet and dumping all kinds of crap into the atmosphere and not worry about that global warming nonsense. And the corn failure in the USA - no biggie. And the retreating glaciers? whatevs. /snark

It always makes me chuckle that folks who wish to 'save the planet' all seem to think that if you are not with them you are totally opposite of them. I do believe in conservation for utilization and not just burning through resources knowing that there is a limited supply. I do believe that so-called clean energy (show me a battery, and I'll show you all kinds of unfriendly toxins) has a place in society, but not for the masses. Don't hate me for my large truck. It does serve a purpose. It has mobility. Ask any electric car user how that worked out for them when the power was out on the east coast for a week.

Re:Cool. (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616647)

And ask anyone old enough to remember the oil shortages and gas lines of the 1970's how that may work out for you one day.

What a Surprise (5, Interesting)

maweki (999634) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616209)

Yeah, you can ask anybody who studied antique history. We all know that the romans grew wine in England. How do people think they managed to do that? Of course it was warmer back then than nowadays.
And then in the 1750's we had a very cold period where we can deduce from paintings that the East Sea was often frozen shut in the winter.


Is this really news to anybody?

El Reg anti-AGW propaganda again (2, Informative)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616223)

Temperatures were lower than in Roman and medieval times, and falling... until the recent warming kicked in.
This is yet another hockey stick. I can't see how the Register is turning it into anti-AGW propaganda. Read the Nature article, not the Register.

Re:El Reg anti-AGW propaganda again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616417)

See MR Lewis Page article

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/10/global_warming_undermined_by_study_of_climate_change/

Re:El Reg anti-AGW propaganda again (4, Informative)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616473)

Looking at the graph you can see at least 6 instances of abrupt temperature increases and at least 5 times temps exceeded the trend.

In that context, our recent increases are not unique. If you want to pin the recent increases on Man, then you need to explain how the past increases came to be and why the current increases are not driven by the same forces.

Re:El Reg anti-AGW propaganda again (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616527)

Or wait another 20 years until those maxima are also clearly surpassed, and then we're back at square one.

Re:El Reg anti-AGW propaganda again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616531)

Temperatures were lower than in Roman and medieval times, and falling... until the recent warming kicked in.
This is yet another hockey stick. I can't see how the Register is turning it into anti-AGW propaganda. Read the Nature article, not the Register.

How is this another hockey stick? The well-known hockey stick graph shows slowly CLIMBING temperatures (the handle) that suddenly accelerate upward (the blade). This hockey stick is slowly FALLING temperatures. That's a really, really long trend. Obviously earth has been warming for a while, but the 2,000-year trend is still a decline. That's not a hockey stick (unless the trend suddenly accelerates into an ice age).

Re:El Reg anti-AGW propaganda again (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616535)

Can you provide evidence of continuing bias by the register? It's not exactly without a journalistic reputation, so a demonstrated trend of that sort might be meaningful to them if exposed.

This will mean nothing... (-1, Flamebait)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616235)

No amount of logic will ever stop the climate evangelists. If there ever were legitimate concerns with the amount of C02 humans create it has been lost in the creation of the Green Religion where no one longer cares about facts or science. There is too much money to be made by hyping global warming and that gravy train will not be allowed to end.
Now I will let everyone tell me how X amount of scientists agree and Y amount of scientists that disagree don't count because they are not the right kind of scientists. This is all part of the game. Only climate evangelists are qualified to prove or disprove global warming........ *sigh*

Re:This will mean nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616291)

Did you even read the paper?

Read the paper (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616397)

  1. The paper does not dispute that the climate is changing as a result of human pollution.
  2. The paper calls into question previous methods of evaluating historical data, and asserts that orbital changes have had a greater effect on the Earth's climate over the past 2000 years than CO2 emissions have had over the past 200 years (note that the timescales different by a factor of ten).
  3. There is still a nice big spike coinciding with the industrial era.

Do not pick and choose words or results from scientific papers. The scientists who published this paper are part of the X who agree that CO2 emissions are warming the planet.

Re:This will mean nothing... (3, Interesting)

docmordin (2654319) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616453)

There are plenty of legitimate concerns over the increase in CO2 levels. In fact, just doing a quick search, it's easy to see that CO2 is affecting the pH of the ocean:

K. Caldeira and M. E. Wickett, "Anthropogenic carbon and ocean pH", Nature 425:365, 2003
K. Caldeira and M. E. Wickett, "Ocean model predictions of chemistry changes from carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere and ocean", J. Geophys. Res. 110:C09S04, 2005
J. C. Orr, et al., "Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the 21st century and its impact on calcifying organisms", Nature 437: 681-686, 2005
C. L. Sabine, et al., "The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2", Science 305:367-371, 2004
H. O. Portner, "Climate change affects marine fishes through the oxygen limitation of thermal tolerance", Science 315:95-97, 2007
H. O. Portner, "Climate change and temperature dependent biogeography: Oxygen limitation and thermal tolerance in animals", Naturwissenschaften 88:137-146, 2001
R. A. Feely, et al., "Impact of anthropogenic CO2 on the CaCO3 system in oceans", Science 305:362-366, 2004

which, in turn, has a number of devastating consequences for marine life, among other things:

Y. Shirayama and H. Thorton, "Effect of increased atmospheric CO2 on shallow water marine benthos", J. Geophys. Res. 110: C09S08, 2005
S. Widdicombe and H. R. Needham, "Impact of CO2-induced seawater acidification on the burrowing activity of Nereis virens and sediment nutrient flux", Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 341: 111-122, 2007
H. L. Wood, et al., "Ocean acidification may increase calcification rates, but at a cost", Proc. Royal. Soc. B-Biol. Sci. 275: 1767-1773, 2008
M. D. Iglesias-Rodriguez, et al., "Phytoplankton calcification in a high-CO2 world", Science 320: 336-340, 2008
S. Collins and G. Bell, "Phenotypic consequences of 1000 generations of selection at elevated CO2 in green alga", Nature 431: 566-569, 2004
M. A. Gutowska, et al., "Growth and calcification in the cephalopod Sepia officinalis under elevated sewater pCO2", Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 737: 303-309, 2008
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Re:This will mean nothing... (2)

bp+m_i_k_e (901456) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616457)

Yeah, everyone knows that God was smart enough to create the Earth with a feature to counteract the effect of a few billion people burning stuff all day long.

Re:This will mean nothing... (2)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616597)

He did. It's called extinction.

Re:This will mean nothing... (1)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616607)

I'm not saying it's a good idea, but you will never convince me that paying a carbon tax somehow makes my ice cream melt slower. Stop trying to demean people and stop trying to take their money and maybe they will listen. Climate Evangelists don't want people to listen, they want them to obey.

Article is flamebait (-1, Redundant)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616237)

It also conveniently ignores that temperatures and emissions have risen sharply since the Industrial Revolution.

Re:Article is flamebait (3, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616379)

That wasn't the point of the paper. You interpret it as flamebait because you believe that it presents an argument against AGW. It does no such thing, but you have revealed your own bias.

Re:Article is flamebait (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616551)

He was talking about the article, not the paper. There's a difference.

Re:Article is flamebait (2)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616699)

There is a difference, in that they are different, but the article doesn't say anything about this study disproving AGW, only that it disproves the assertion that it is now hotter than it has ever been in the last X,000+ years.

Re:Article is flamebait (1, Funny)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616403)

Apparently reading is hard, it includes temperatures since the industrial revolution. The data, is in the paper. Did you read the paper? And oddly, they seem to mirror the MEP. Well isn't that odd, and yet there's still a downward trend. over the period. Couldn't be that we still don't have a full understanding of everything. Now jokingly, this must have been all those early humans driving cars, and pumping out electronics 2000 years ago. This is just a delayed reaction.

Just another flawed correlation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616241)

If you counted rings in a cross-section of Kim Kardashian's butt - then I'd believe that

Water/rainfall not temperature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616243)

How much sunlight/cloudcover was there during the Roman era? How much rainfall? Those things would impact how a tree grows more than temperature.

Anyways, this is just another scam to prevent people from doing anything about the current levels of pollution which are way too high. What will the expenditure of time and money on this project do to improve air quality today?

And it's not like whole cities can be moved because the environment around them has changed due to fires, droughts, sea level rising, coral reef destruction, or brown clouds of pollution. Only the rich people can get out and move to cooler places, so they aren't really interested in things as long as their lifestyle isn't impacted.

Re:Water/rainfall not temperature (3, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616393)

So, you want to throw out data that doesn't fit your model?

Perhaps you should link up with the Creationist institute?

Re:Water/rainfall not temperature (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616589)

I'm sure you can offer consultations in that matter. After all you throw out hundreds of other proxies, ignore the actual gist of the paper and are known to outright lie out of your shill's arse when it comes to this topic. Feeling particularly hypocritical even for your levels today?

mod Do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616247)

'*BSD SUX0RS'. THIS is perhaps Slashdot's counterpart, Satan'Hs Dick And Raymond in his practical purposes, be a lot slower

Gee, a single new study disproves global warming! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616257)

I'm not saying they're wrong, but before we declare that global warming is all a leftist conspiracy, let's let some other experts comment on their findings. Remember those neutrinos that went faster than the speed of light?

duh (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616263)

Everyone has heard about the fall of the Roman Empire due to carbon credits. Where do you think Atlantis came from? Those polluting chariots.

(PS> I really hate the word 'carbon' used to refer to CO2. Carbon is somewhat different.......).

Re:duh (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616633)

Well, atmospheric carbon takes only a few forms. Carbon monoxide is a deadly pollutant and already highly regulated. Carbonates, which form carbonic acid when in clouds, are already regulated in acid rain regulation. Methane is a 23x more powerful motivator of global warming than CO2 is actually targeted(in theory) as one of the easiest to deal with greenhouse gasses. And removing those only leaves the extraordinarily esoteric kinds of carbon gases that aren't really worth worrying about and CO2.

I'm honestly not sure what your point was.

Someone shoot the editors. (4, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616267)

Grats, slashdot for the misleading title. It is not like it was unknown that there has been a cooling trend on a 1000-year timescale. It may have been stronger than previously thought. This paper estimates it at -0.32 K/ka - Mann 2008 had it at -2.something K/ka. It was to be expected that the denialist would latch onto some cherry picked sentences - business as usual.

Re:Someone shoot the editors. (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616333)

Erratum: Mann 2008 had it at -0.2-something K/ka, of course.

Summary Is Woefully Incorrect (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616279)

A team lead by dr Esper of the University of Mainz has researched tree rings and concluded that over the past 2,000 years

That's odd, according to the image from the paper [nature.com] the trend in question is from 138 BC–AD 1900. Of course, after reading the Guardian article, it's clear that the only papers in Nature worth this "reporter's" time are those that confirm his professional opinion on the state of global temperatures. Tell me, why exactly didn't they construct a trend from 138 BC–AD 2012? Was that 1900-2012 range more difficult to acquire for some hilarious reason? I mean, the data is in the graph right there.

You can select special time ranges, you can select windows and you can look at millions of years of data and say that temperatures right now are no big deal. But when you start to look at the rate of change (even in the paper's graph linked above) and you notice recently we're starting to approach rates that are increasingly less frequent in the historical record, I think it's okay to start to talk about what could be causing it. I mean now we're talking about the last two thousand years and yeah, that's an acceptable window but if we never swing back down below to average it out, at what point are you going to admit that the theory of C02 affecting global average temperatures has some weight to it? Trust me, if we increase by 2 degrees Celsius, you can increase this window back five millennium and say "Hey, they used to have temperatures warmer than we do now." It's entirely possible to endlessly play this game by moving the goal posts. But I don't think the Earth is going to be able to adapt as well as humans do to rapid change. I guess the only thing that can convince people is time and repercussions that actually inconvenience humans.

Re:Summary Is Woefully Incorrect (2)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616433)

Maybe this paper has nothing to do with AGW? Or are you saying AGW is nothing but goalseeking, and any data point that lessons the potential impact, or lessens the fear of a global apocalypse is thus unwelcome?

This world needs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616281)

... more Pirates!

Global warming wasn't an issue then.

Read the paper (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616285)

They in no way deny that human activity has affected the climate, they simply assert that changes in the Earth's orbit have caused more significant changes.

Re:Read the paper roxy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616489)

If global temperatures are going up because of normal or man made reasons, things will most certainly change in the future (and not for the better). Yes, emissions need to be reduced and other measures taken. But as long as below-sea-level cities and sea-level cities continue to be built and supported by tax dollars don't expect the warnings to be taken seriously. Who has their head in the sand (government) if they did not evacuate the New Orleans area after Katrina, and are spending big money to rebuild it. No permanent habitation should have been allowed in the flooded area. All predictions say that sea-levels will rise in the future.

Science and Grammar (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616299)

The beautiful thing about science is its tendency to correct itself. The same cannot be said of Slashdot submitters' grammar.

Cool. (-1, Redundant)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616303)

snark -
Now I can drive around all day and continue raping the planet and dumping all kinds of toxic crap in the atmosphere and not worry about that global warming nonsense any more. Now about the corn failure in the USA? No biggie. And the melting glaciers? Whatevs. And the drowning polar bears? Who cares. Fuckin' dirty old bears. All I want is to watch TV and drink myself into a stupour every night and cruise three blocks down to the 7/11 in my Humvee to get another six of beer and a pack of smokes. /snark

Re:Cool. (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616349)

ignore this one - I don't know how this got posted - it's the longer version I edited down and then posted, but somehow this got posted? Later? Weird.

some will read this news and their logic will be: (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616307)

"if you were standing in the forest, you could be hit by a falling tree. therefore, because we cut down this tree and killed that guy standing over there, we're not responsible, because getting killed by falling trees happens naturally"

Misleading language (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616329)

Global warming is a misleading term, global climate change is a more accurate.

I don't know if anyone else noticed... (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616351)

I took that temperature graph and converted it to an audio file and it played "turn me on, dead man"...

STOP IT (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616425)

Another in a long list of inflammatory and inaccurate articles from secondary sources.

Like yesterday's baloney about Obama's executive order.

The first thing you should learn as a thinking adult is to read the primary source. In this case the Nature article.

Terrific! (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616431)

That graph is a typical double bottom - hitting resistance twice - and now trend's up - who knows how high it will go.
Burning carbs accumulated in ? Billion of years in 1 1/2 centuries are great fundamentals to get to unknown heights - only boiling point is the limit. Let's go for it!

If you get in the market now, you can make it for good!

Re:Terrific! (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616483)

Falling trend? The OP has no clue from technical analysis.

But why? (1)

jasonlfunk (1410035) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616443)

Assuming that the data is actually accurate, the question that interests me is why was it higher? Does it disprove Global Warming? Probably not because of the fact that it doesn't mention the upturn since the industrial revolution. But if humans spewing CO2 wasn't the reason temperatures were high in the time of the romans, what was the reason and why do we think that it isn't the cause now?

Telling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616485)

Look how sensitive the clergy is when their religion is challenged.

Misleading (4, Informative)

PeterP (149736) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616497)

Real Climate has a much more interesting take on the paper:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/07/tree-rings-and-climate-some-recent-developments/ [realclimate.org]

Finding the weak points in various temperature proxies and using that knowledge to improve the overall accuracy of the temperature record is a good thing, and a normal part of the scientific process. Sensationalist reporting of the type The Register engages in just serves to inflame the debate without adding anything useful to the discussion.

Time for a new doom scenario! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616509)

Honestly; its something of all times and ages. Last century the nuclear tests performed by the US and Sovjets caused a great deal of concern. And don't laugh but a lot of phenomena were actually explained as "probably being caused by nuclear testing". You can look it up if you want to; just make sure to pick up material dating from the 80's and 90's instead of recent material covering previous phenomena.

The tests are over and surprise; surprise; things shifted to global warming. Sometimes the /exact same/ phenomena which used to be caused by "nuclear tests" were now (after careful research of course) caused by global warming.

Here's a prediction: between now and ten years we'll have a new international doom scenario which is the explanation for many nasty side-effects such as temperature changes and such. Heavy investments are required to investigate and taxes will need to be raised so that the government can do something about it.

And eventually we'll move onto the next doom scenario.

Die heretic! (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616539)

You are not spewing the dogmatically correct litany of facts.

Does "Then" really matter? (1)

R3d Jack (1107235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616585)

I don't really care about the average temperature or the height of the seas, as long as they stay the same. What I do care about is sudden, definite climate changes occurring around the world. Modern humans have concentrated themselves in a number of relatively small areas, based on the (unconscious) assumption that those areas are and will remain habitable. If an area, say California, suddenly becomes arid, the regional impact would be enormous. And if that happens to a number of regions around the world, given that there are too many of us as it is, the consequences could be dire.

BUT BUT BUT!!!!! (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616593)

IT was hot this summer! GLOBAL WARMING!!!!

Yes global warming is real, but most of the nimrods are running around claiming that the Heat wave was proof of it. I got so sick of trying to explain it that I started saying, "yes, and it's going to go up another 4 degrees every month, you had better start selling your Florida property before others find out! Minnesota is the new florida buy land near fargo!

Does anyone even read primary articles? (5, Informative)

PHCOSci (1771552) | more than 2 years ago | (#40616695)

This retarded press release was written by someone that can't even GRASP the science, or purpose, of the published paper. Please, for the love of god, stop posting science topics on /. based on what some ingrate with a word processor posts up to some off-beat web periodical with a political agenda. The "graph" given by the press release article doesn't even appear in the paper and is missing a lot of annotations and descriptions necessary to properly evaluate the data. Important things. Like a Y-axis. And the method used to develop the data- surprise, most of it's modeled/reconstructed. Which is FINE if you grasp what they were trying to do with this publication.

And before I jump into the paper can we clearly define what journal an article is published in? Saying "Nature" is misleading. It's "Nature: Climate Change". Not similar, at all.

The paper is a methods paper. It's outlining a very interesting way to get at fine-resolution temperature fluctuations on a not-so-far-back time scale. Additionally, the moving average rise in temperature isn't suggesting it was HOTTER back then than now (as this submission and the press release indicate) but that instead our ESTIMATES of how hot it was are off.. SLIGHTLY. How far off? Here, let me copy primary literature for you. I hear that's good journalistic practice.

"...These findings together with the trends revealed in long-term CGCM runs suggest that large-scale summer temperatures were some tenths of a degree Celsius warmer during Roman times than previously thought. It has been demonstrated4 that prominent, but shorter term climatic episodes, including the Medieval Warm Period and subsequent Little Ice Age, were influenced by solar output and (grouped) volcanic activity changes, and that the extent of warmth during medieval times varies considerably in space. Regression-based calculations over only the past millennium (including the twentieth century) are thus problematic as they effectively provide estimates of these forcings that typically act on shorter timescales. Accurate estimation of orbitally forced temperature signals in high-resolution proxy records therefore requires time series that extend beyond the Medieval Warm Period and preferably reach the past 2,000 years or longer6. Further uncertainty on estimating the effect of missing orbital signatures on hemispheric reconstructions is related to the spatial patterns of JJA orbital forcing and associated CGCM temperature trends. First, the simulated temperature trends, indicating substantial weakening of insolation signals towards the tropics, can at present be assessed in only two CGCMs (refs 7, 8). More long-term runs with GCMs to validate these hemispheric patterns are required. Whereas the large-scale patterns of temperature trends seem rather similar among the CGCMs, the magnitude of orbitally forced trends varies considerably among the simulations. Additional uncertainty stems from the weight of tree-ring data and varying seasonality of reconstructed temperatures in the large-scale compilations. Although some of the reconstructions are solely composed of tree-ring data, others include a multitude of proxies (including precipitation-sensitive time series) and may even include non-summer temperature signals. Some of these issues are difficult to tackle, as the weighting of individual proxies in several large-scale reconstructions is poorly quantified. The results presented here, however, indicate that a thorough assessment of the impact of potentially omitted orbital signatures is required as most large-scale temperature reconstructions include long-term tree-ring data from high-latitude environments. Further well-replicated MXD-based reconstructions are needed to better constrain the orbital forcing of millennial scale temperature trends and estimate the consequences to the ongoing evaluation of recent warming in a long-term context."

I wish I could just copy past the whole article into peoples brains and make them understand the difference between science and sensationalism.

Cue the religious AGWers spew vitriol and deny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40616707)

in 3.. 2...

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