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20th Century Warmest In 1200 Years

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the spicy-meatball dept.

608

gcranston writes "Research from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K. shows that the 20th century was the warmest for the northern hemisphere since approximately 800AD. Historical climate data were calculated from weather 'proxies' such as tree rings, ice cores, and seashells from Europe, Asia, and North America, and attempted to address the shortcomings of earlier studies. The findings support the argument for global warming as a result of human interference rather than natural climate change."

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Don't call it "global Warming" (5, Funny)

mpitcavage (655718) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689763)

It's "Global Climate Change",

Interesting... (3, Insightful)

Seoulstriker (748895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689778)

If this is the warmest in so many years, then back then it was hotter that what we have now.

Re:Interesting... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689853)

There are people who seem certain that man isn't causing global warming and that we're just in a warm part of a cycle.

The problem is with this attitude is that

a) it's not very probable we happen to be in the warm part of a cycle (it would be like winning a lottery 1 in a few hundred chance).

b) The 1980's climate models for global warming with the increase in C02 that we artificially added agrees with this trend.

I would agree with global warming happening because of increased CO2, but the answer is NOT in reducing the world's energy consumption. We need to switch to nuclear, and the cost of oil needs to drop so poorer countries can boost their quality of life by able to build infrastructure.

Re:Interesting... (1)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 8 years ago | (#14690006)

an interesting thought on a)

Perhaps the fact that is a bit warmer is actually the reason we are doing as well...you could argue the odds, and say that we shouldn't even exist because of all the conditions that had to arise etc...but here we are, because it *did* happen this way.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689871)

"If this is the warmest in so many years..."

How is it that Roman on the imperial ages went on a short sheet and that was enough? Have you been in Rome lately?

Re:Don't call it "global Warming" (2, Funny)

BigCheese (47608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689781)

So it's GCC?

Re:Don't call it "global Warming" (2, Funny)

rs79 (71822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689805)

"Research from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K."

And of course it's still 55F in most living rooms in East Anglia in Norwich, U.K.

Re:Don't call it "global Warming" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689829)

So the last time when were this warm was 1200 years ago. Was global warming responsible for that as well - bahhhh! Chicken Little Idiots.

Global warming is a myth because we say it is. (4, Funny)

Jim in Buffalo (939861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689765)

The findings of this study are hopelessly flawed in that they conflict with the principle that only the scientific positions of the campaign contributors to the ruling party in the United States are in any way valid. Please take your actual science with its actual testing and actual methods of deduction elsewhere, as we've got Italian sports cars, mansions, and private jets to buy.

Re:Global warming is a myth because we say it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689783)

What the hell are you babbling about?

Re:Global warming is a myth because we say it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689830)

"Score:2, Troll"

Well played, sir!

Re:Global warming is a myth because we say it is. (1)

zardo (829127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689860)

You've interpreted this as proof of something with a political message. What I like about this report is that it isn't politicized at all. It's stating the facts, not going to extreme left positions and saying humans are causing the earth to heat up.

Re:Global warming is a myth because we say it is. (5, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689945)

You said:

It's stating the facts, not going to extreme left positions and saying humans are causing the earth to heat up.


The article said:

The researchers think their work bolsters the case that global warming due to human activity has created a change in climate unlike anything seen in more than a millennium.


What the fuck?

-Peter

Re:Global warming is a myth because we say it is. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689918)

Let me know when you have some of this "actual science" for me to blindly and foolishly reject. So far, it's been a lot of fudged data poured into computer models which don't stand up to simple validation QA.

You can't even tell me what the temperature was in my home town of Minneapolis on this day in 1830, and you expect me to believe that you've charted the whole northern hemisphere back to 800 AD?

I call shenanigans.

Re:Global warming is a myth because we say it is. (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689964)

You still live in Minneapolis? We just had one of the coolest summers in "recorded history" (which, as you point out, wasn't that long). It was great.

If only it felt like it (0, Offtopic)

Sierpinski (266120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689771)

It's pretty damn cold where I am right now, I can't say I'm too concerned about global warming at the moment. More like not getting frostbite for my 12-minute walk from my car to work.

I for one welcome our new global-warming overlords!

Re:If only it felt like it (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689814)

Let us know your feelings when your house is below 3 feet of water.

Re:If only it felt like it (2, Interesting)

orzetto (545509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689869)

Let me welcome you to Trondheim, Norway. In the second half of this January we had abnormally high temperatures, as high as +5C, in a period when -20 is not uncommon. It is actually a few years since the last time I was exposed to -20. It is not uncommon either that brief buffs of heat from the Gulf stream blow some + degrees around here even in January, but I never saw it lasting two weeks in a row-normally it's more like a day or two. This time all the snow in the city melted.

Re:If only it felt like it (4, Insightful)

OwnedByTwoCats (124103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689910)

And, in a few years, when melting arctic and Greenland ice has disrupted the Atlantic Conveyor, northern europe, including Great Britain and Scandanavia, will be much, much colder.

Re:If only it felt like it (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689941)

The entire month of January was a joke in Montreal. We usually get about 20+ days at -20 Celsius, not this year. We had torrential rain, about 6 Celsius above average temperatures for this time of the year. Last summer was also the hottest in the century. I could get used to weak winters like this!

George Bush says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689985)

You're welcome.

Re:If only it felt like it (4, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 8 years ago | (#14690002)

The warming of the globe as a whole will cause some locations to actually cool down, as air and water currents re-route.

This does not change the fact that the globe as a whole is warming.

(And frankly it is irrelevent whether humans are to blame or not. It is warming, which is going to cause climate change. Are we ready for it? If not, we may want to try to stop it (or at least slow it down).

I doubt we are.)

I live in Michigan (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689773)

and all I can say is "MMMMMMMM, toasty!"

What part of Michigan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689976)

It was 17 degrees F yesterday morning in the tri-cities area. Global warming my ass.

Datage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689775)

Well, I don't know... 1997 was pretty hot in the year 846.

Ingrate! (3, Funny)

blackcat77 (857269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689776)

It's the Bush Administration's gift to the world -- lower heating bills and summer vacations all year round!

Re:Ingrate! (0, Flamebait)

Horatio_Hellpop (926706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689885)

Come again? I was unaware that the current administration has been in office for THE ENTIRE 20th CENTURY.

Asshat.

Re:Ingrate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689989)

don't you know? everything was perfect before Bush II. Blacks had jobs and lived in the good part of New Orleans. Global Warming wasn't happening. It was o.k. to burn oil. etc...

Re:Ingrate! (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689903)

If I could MOD you up I would! Funniest thing I read all day ...

The sad thing is, many Americans probably share a similar viewpoint ... that the current Administration caused Global Warming ...

I'd be willing to guess (although I won't be around long enough to find out) that we're just in some sort of cycle ... it's warm now ... but in a few hundred thousand years or so we'll be back to another ice age again!

Re:Ingrate! (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689952)

Lower Heating Bills now, but that also means higher cooling bills when it's 100 degrees outside.

What would scientists think? (2, Funny)

doombob (717921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689777)

Not all scientists agree that the 20th century is the warmest period in recent history

Would they still think this in lieu of the following recently uncovered data?

Global Warming vs. Ice Age [googlefight.com]
Global Warming vs. Global Cooling [googlefight.com]
Global Warming is true vs. Global Warming is false [googlefight.com]

Re:What would scientists think? (2, Informative)

milesbparty (527555) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689948)

Would they still think this in lieu of the following recently uncovered data?

I think you mean in light of the following...

"In lieu" means instead of.

Food for thought (5, Informative)

MyNymWasTaken (879908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689787)

There has been a 19.4% increase in the mean annual concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere from 1959 to 2004.

During the 1959-2002 period, the total CO2 emissions equaled ~220 gigatons; ~14% of the atmospheric CO2 in 1959.

In 2002, Humanity pumped 7 gigatons (6975 megatons) of CO2 into the atmosphere. That is almost 4 times the emissions from 50 years ago (1952: 1795 megatons), and is more than was released from 1751-1886 (136 years: 6732 megatons).

There is a close correlation between Antarctic temperature and atmospheric concentrations of CO2. The extension of the Vostok [antarctic ice core] CO2 record shows the present-day levels of CO2 are unprecedented during the past 420 thousand years.

Cites:
Atmospheric carbon dioxide record from Mauna Loa [ornl.gov] [ornl.gov]
Global CO2 Emissions [ornl.gov] [ornl.gov]
Historical carbon dioxide record from the Vostok ice core [ornl.gov] [ornl.gov]
Earth's atmosphere [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org]

Re:Food for thought (1, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689825)

Yet, in spite of all this, the climate is still cooler than it was in 800 AD.

Get out there and drive more SUV's people, we've got a Mini Ice Age to fend off here!!!

Re:Food for thought (5, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689897)

"From 1986 to 2000 central Antartic valleys cooled .7 C per decade with serious ecosystem damage from cold"

'Antartic climate cooling and terrestrial ecosystem response' Nature 415: 517-20

----

"Both satellite data and ground stations show slight cooling over the last 20 years."

'Variability and trends in ANtartic surface temperates from in situ and satellite infared measurements' Journal of CLimate, 13: 1674-96

----

"Side-looking radar measurements show West Antartic ice is increasing at 26.8 gigatons/yr. Reversing the melting trend of the last 6000 years"

'Positive mass balance of the Ross Ice Streams, West Antarticia' Science 295: 476-80

----

"During the last four interglacials, going back 420,000 years, the Earth was warmer than it is today."

'CLimate and atmospheric history of hte past 420,000 years from the Vostok Ice Core, Antartica' Nature 399: 429-36

----

"Less Antartic ice has melted today than occured furing the last interglacial"

'Radiocarbon constrains on ice sheet advance and retreat in the Weddell Sea, Antartica' Geology 27: 179-82

----

The Sahara has shrunk since 1980

'Africans go back to the land as plants reclaim the desert' New Scientist 175, 21 September 2002.

----

On the other hand sea level *is* rising, as it has been for the last 6000 years since the satart of the Holocene, about 10-20 cm every 100 years.

http://www.csr.utexas.edu/gmsl/main.html [utexas.edu]

----

Hell I could throw in stats and references about the decreases in tropical storm activity, but I think I've made my point enough.

Re:Food for thought (1)

Pyromage (19360) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689987)

I don't want to sound like I'm saying global warming isn't happening, but I think it's fair to add some more data into the mix:

While CO2 emissions have increased in the last 50 years, what about much earlier? For instance, are we now putting out more CO2 than in the 1700s and 1800s? I don't know, I'm asking. Now, we have more cars and coal-fired power plants. Then, we were burning wood and coal and such in our houses for heat.

It is also plausable that emissions from then are effecting us now.

I think global warming is happening, and I think human behavior has an effect, but I think it's an incomplete picture to look only at the last 50 years.

Obvious reason (-1, Offtopic)

Skiron (735617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689788)

Its all the big fat 'Murricans farting.

Ice cores (0)

Sierpinski (266120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689796)

...from weather 'proxies' such as tree rings, ice cores, and seashells...

I'm no ice core expert, but I always figured ice cores came in 3 different varieties... Cold, Damn cold, and F'in cold.

Maybe I need to watch The Day After Tomorrow again.

This is slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689893)

Cold, Damn cold, and F'in cold.

You can say Fuck on Slashdot - We'll I just did anyway.

Re:Ice cores (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14690000)

Maybe I need to watch The Day After Tomorrow again.

Bad Movie Physics Review of Day After Tomorrow [intuitor.com]

And I quote...

There are at least two logical ways to dramatize global warming effects: 1) Assume an extremely fast change, say in decades. Show the effects of global warming on several generations of characters -- The Godfather with polluters rather than criminals. 2) Assume a more reasonable rate of change, say thousands of years. Jump forward a few millennia and depict the aftermath -- a futuristic Mad Max with snowmobiles. The Day After Tomorrow does neither but then it's not about global warming effects. It's about special effects.

The near submersion of the Statue of Liberty is possibly the most notable special effect and illustrates our point. Using the 305 ft (93 m) tall (including the pedestal) 2 statue as a reference, we estimate the maximum "wind induced storm surge" height to be about 240 ft (72.8 m). This is about 215 ft (65.2 m) higher than the unusually high storm surge during hurricane Camille (1969) caused by maximum wind speeds near 200 miles per hour (322 km/hr) 3. A 240 foot (72.8 m) high storm surge would be virtually impossible without help from a catastrophic event like an asteroid strike or nearly instantaneous melting of Antarctic ice.

Not only does Antarctica hold about 90% of all ice on Earth but the ice rests on a land mass. Water produced by melting will raise ocean levels. By contrast, North Pole ice is floating. Melting it would have little effect on ocean levels although it might be disastrous for Santa Claus.

The storm surge in the movie eventually recedes but not to its previous level. Again, using the Statue of Liberty as a reference, and allowing for about 20 ft (6.07 m) of snow, the water level had to remain over 150 ft (45.5 m) higher than normal. To raise ocean levels by 150 ft (45.5 m), about 75% of Antarctica's ice would have to melt4. We estimate this would take about 2.6 years 5, 6, assuming that all solar energy available to Earth went entirely into melting Antarctica's ice and that the ice was already warmed up to 0 C. Obviously, this is only a fraction of the time required for melting.

On the other hand, maybe we're supposed to believe that the 150 ft (45.5 m) deep water did not recede because it was frozen all the way to the bottom in a few hours. After all, the movie showed no flooding in Washington DC even though it's located in a coastal area. According to the movie the storm system over New York pulled extremely cold air from the upper troposphere down to ground level where it had a temperature of -151 (-102 C) F, over 20 F (11 C) colder than the coldest climatic temperature ever recorded on Earth7.

Click on the link I posted before the quote... Lots more of interesting tidbits about why this movie would never happen in real life.

Psuedo-Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689797)

There is no way they could know what the weather was like 1200 years ago. The methods described in the summary are inaccurate at best. Nothing to see here, please move along.

More junk science (2, Informative)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689800)

"The findings support the argument for global warming as a result of human interference rather than natural climate change."

This is like taking a one gallon sample of the stagnant pond and concluding that the only life on Earth is single celled organisms. The Earth is how old? What is the percentage of time of information available. And, how much of the surface was tested? Less than half.

I have had about all of the junk science I can stand. We need some real sceintist making real conclusions.

OK lets stop before it starts (2, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689802)

Historical climate data were calculated from weather 'proxies' such as tree rings, ice cores, and seashells from Europe, Asia, and North America, and attempted to address the shortcomings of earlier studies.

And we all know how accurate and exact historical measurements are.

Argument from incredulity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689954)

THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY: Here's our record of the climate history of the Earth. It represents the sum of the study of the atmosphere of the last 200 years; it's drawn from many entirely different systems of measurement, founded in many different fields of science. We judge the tempurature of any one period through "proxies"-- items which date from the period we wish to measure, and in some way record a record of the state of the atmosphere then. Proxies might include data drawn from chemistry, if say we're looking at ancient air trapped in ice cores, or drawn from biology, if say we're looking at the rings of very old trees, or if we're lucky we can draw in organic chemistry and look at the exact chemicals embedded in old dead things. The proxies become less reliable the further back in time we look, and each method has a degree of uncertainty; but the amount of possible error is known for each proxy method, and we are able to reduce the chance of distortions and error by correlating data from many different methods of measurement. If enough different methods of measuring historical temperatures all produce the same result in the aggregate, then in order for that result to be wrong-- in other words, in order for them ALL of the proxy methods to consistently and simultaneously reach the same wrong answer-- then there would have to be fundamental misunderstandings in virtually every friend of science, and by fantastic coincidence those misunderstandings would have to all skew temperature proxy data at the exact same rate.

SOME GUY ON SLASHDOT: Pfft. "Historical measurements". We all know how accurate those are.

Guess which argument impresses slashdot libertarians? Becuase I can see the second one is the one getting the +1, insightful mods.

Who needs facts, models or an understanding of the universe when you have the almighty "Pfft" on your side?

Humans caused global warming then too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689811)

the warmest for the northern hemisphere since approximately 800AD

... when the last industrial expansion happened.

No.. It doesn't show this... geeze... (1, Insightful)

bagboy (630125) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689812)

From the article, "The researchers think their work bolsters the case that global warming due to human activity has created a change in climate unlike anything seen in more than a millennium". Notice - they "think their work bolsters the case" for global warming. There is no "proof". It is theory or speculation. Can we please submit accurately?

disingenuous much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689862)

Read the submission. They're using research and making an argument. You're the one accusing them of stating they're providing proof.

I'd tell you to knock it off and go take up reading comprehension classes, but you might honestly be practicing for a career as a political press secretary, and I wouldn't want to get in the way of your career dreams...

Re:No.. It doesn't show this... geeze... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689887)

What's inaccurate in the submission?

From the submission: "The findings support the argument for global warming as a result of human interference rather than natural climate change."

As opposed to: "The researchers think their work bolsters the case that global warming due to human activity has created a change in climate unlike anything seen in more than a millennium"."

When I type Define::bolster [google.com] into google, the first word in the first definition is "Support".

Seems pretty accurate to me, although the use of the word "interference" in the summary is more pejorative than "activity" from the article.

Re:No.. It doesn't show this... geeze... (1)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689935)

Global warming is about as solid as the basis on which greenhouses work. All it relies on is the absorption spectrum of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) and on blackbody radiation. Both are extremely well tested parts of science, up there with gravity and relativity.

The honest debate is about how feedback mechanisms will function and how much sypathetic CO2 emissions will be caused by nature reacting to the warming. Once the CO2 is in the air, there is no doubt that it will heat the planet.

In other news, Christians think (synonym for believe) that there exists a god. They think that the 7 sacrements bolster their case for their being a god. Now that's a much lower threshold of 'proof' than the attacks made at climatologists.

Re:No.. It doesn't show this... geeze... (4, Informative)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689993)

Global warming is about as solid as the basis on which greenhouses work. All it relies on is the absorption spectrum of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) and on blackbody radiation. Both are extremely well tested parts of science, up there with gravity and relativity.

No, it's not. Modeling climate change is far more complicated and difficult than a simpleminded approach like that. For one, it's difficult to predict the effects of aerosol and cloud formation, both of which reflect/scatter light and reduce the total incident solar energy. It's also necessary to model the CO2 harvesting charactersitics of oceans, and glacial movement as well.

I'm not saying global warming *doesn't* exist, or that it's anthropogenic, but real climatologists will tell you that saying CO2 + IR absorption = warming doesn't cut it.

Cue the misunderstandings (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689816)

Let's take a pool on exactly how many posts this story will receive from partisans claiming that because the earth has been this warm in the past (the 800s) through natural causes, the earth either is not unusually warm now, or if it is warm now it must be because of natural causes--

not realizing that (1) the thing that makes manmade global climate change distinguishable from natural global climate fluctuations is not how warm the earth has become, but how quickly and consistently the earth has warmed since the industrial revolution;

and (2) the problem with manmade global climate change is not how warm the earth is now, but how warm it will become if this consistent, quick rise continues...

What's your guess? 10? 40? 100?

When exactly did mankind invent the thermometer? (1)

thx1138_az (163286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689818)

Me thinks it must have been around 1200 years ago.

...yeah, the politics of science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689827)

while we are at it, let's use other measures from the 1800's, like phrenology, to measure intelligence.

And please Note, not only do some not agree... they make no mention of the Southern Hemispere... because it does not support the presupposition

Re:...yeah, the politics of science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689913)

I'm an environmentalist wacko fanatic and since I'm not smart enough to intelligently argue my case, I'd like to point out that you don't need to capitalize "Note" or "Southern Hemisphere". What did you go to the George W Bush shool of grammer :-) Note: I'm usIng sArcastIsm to iLlustraTe a PoinT.

Re:...yeah, the politics of science (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689977)

Did you take the article to mean that they are trying to measure climate using 9th century tools? Or are you just being obtuse on purpose?

Thanks God. (1)

jageryager (189071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689836)

We are finally comiing out of this 1200 year cold spell. I'm looking foward to a milder climate.. California and Lousiana were too big anyhow. I think people in really cold and really dry place deserve some better weather for a change.

But it's a dry heat. (1)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689837)

Cus, you know, in 800 a.d. we were generating a whole lotta greenhouse gasses too.

I'm not gonna say it isn't happening, but it calls to mind a quite from last year's Dr Who:

"You spent soo much time worrying that you never considerd you'd survive."

I'm fully sure a little heat won't kill us off. Make us grumpy? Yeah, change our diet? yup. Dead? nah.

Re:But it's a dry heat. (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689878)

I don't care what you're saying, I won't stop looking over my shoulder. Global Warming has a big nerf bat and she's not afraid to use it.

Re:But it's a dry heat. (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689999)

I know you're joking, but there are other things that can cause greenhouse gasses besides what we're doing. I think if enough volcanos erupted, it could have a big impact on CO2.

Now, if it is true that the earth warms as CO2 levels rise (which can shut down the Atlantic converyer, etc) and we are causing them to rise as quickly as some think we are, I think that we should reduce the emissions.

People that say 'well the earth was warming x years ago, so its just a cycle' are ignoring that there are other things in nature that could cause CO2 to rise..

What happened in 800 AD? (2, Insightful)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689840)

"Research from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K. shows that the 20th century was the warmest for the northern hemisphere since approximately 800AD. ... The findings support the argument for global warming as a result of human interference rather than natural climate change"

Help me out here. If it was warmer in 800 AD, what 'human interferance' caused the global warming in the 9th century?

Re:What happened in 800 AD? (5, Funny)

syrinx (106469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689881)

Help me out here. If it was warmer in 800 AD, what 'human interferance' caused the global warming in the 9th century?

Vikings in SUVs, duh.

Re:What happened in 800 AD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689895)

It has been posited by publically funded research that systematic farming contributes to CO2 emissions. Earth's climate was very cyclical until about 8,000 years ago (about when systematic farming started); the average temperature has been climbing ever since.

Re:What happened in 800 AD? (1)

GeekWade (623925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689932)

SUCs Large 7-9 passenger ox carts with many more oxen than really required. Massive flatulence and usually only a single passenger... ;)

-Wade

Re:What happened in 800 AD? (5, Interesting)

MrFlibbs (945469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689950)

The article doesn't say what happened in the 8th century, just that tree rings don't reliably go back any farther. They must be using only specific species of trees, though, because there there are several species of living trees that are much, much older. Do their rings not reflect temperature, too?

The article contains almost no technical data, but it does say there have been been conflicting results:

"In 2003, a team led by researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced that it believed the 20th century wasn't the warmest, nor the one with the most extreme weather of the past 1,000 years.

"But this research has been criticized for its selection of the indicators used to estimate historic temperatures, among other problems."

The article doesn't say what indicators the Harvard-Smithsonian group used, just that they think their indicators are better.

Re:What happened in 800 AD? (1)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689975)

Wow! What a well thougth out and articulate response. What are you doing on /.?

I can't help wondering (1)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689846)

What were the human industries in 800AD that contributed to global warming then?

Re:I can't help wondering (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689968)

What were the human industries in 800AD that contributed to global warming then?

Easy. Catholic fundies burning witches. A lot of them.

Snapshot (3, Insightful)

AnonymousJackass (849899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689851)

The findings support the argument for global warming as a result of human interference rather than natural climate change.
No they don't. What about the Little Ice-Age? [wikipedia.org] That was a major gloabl climate change that was certainly not induced by man.
Fact is, we're looking at a ~2000 year snapshot of an incredibly comlex system that's a few billion years old.
I'm not saying that there isn't claimte change -- of course there is. I'm also not saying that man doesn't affect it -- of course we do. But what I'm saying is that we don't know how we are affecting it. Maybe the "Little Ice-Age" ended because of man. Perhaps we saved ourselves from freezing to death by creating a cozy CO2 blanket?
My 2c...

Re:Snapshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689965)

we don't know how we are affecting it.

And we probably never will. I'm sure the extra 1+ billion people that has come to this world in the last many years has an effect too. We create heat and pollution ourselves. Has that ever been considered? probably could had happened too to the dino's. They over populated. Maybe it is mother earths defense system :)

Right on (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14690013)

We're looking at a ~2000 year snapshot of an incredibly complex system that's a few billion years old and that our immediate livelihood and wellbeing depend on. And we keep pushing it like it has never been pushed before - all the while claiming that because we don't understand the system, it's ok to continue current behavior. How is that smart?

How old? (1, Insightful)

Palshife (60519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689852)

In other news, the Earth celebrated its 4,572,366,124th birthday yesterday. When approached for comment, the Earth joked, "Hey, you think I'm old you should go as the Sun HER age. Just do it from a distance, know what I'm sayin'?"

Our sample is too small.

that's not too bad... (1)

keithhackworth (902524) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689854)

This past centry was warmer than the past 12 centries. If you scale it down, that's like saying "yesterday was the warmest it's been in 12 days!". That's not so bad....

Show me where it's warmer than it's been in, say 12,000 years (or 120 centries), then we may have something...

I wonder what caused the "global warming of 800"?

Keith

Re:that's not too bad... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689958)

Actually, if you work out the orders of magnitude (Earth being 4.5 billion years old), it is closer to saying:
"It is warmer now than it was an hour ago."

Using 1200 years to judge a 4.5 billion year old system is like using an hour to judge a century (roughly).

and this tells us what exactly? (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689867)

First I seriously doubt they can truly measure the "spikes" many centuries ago as accurately as we can now. Just as we could not count the true number of hurricanes and tropical storms a mere 50 years ago. Yeah its warming, but then what explains the "Medieval Warm Period"? I want to know. If they can explain that then perhaps they can see a correlation with today or point out why today is different.

Yet they will only use that older "warm period" as a reference and never explain it. The explanation will be cast aside as "meaningless to the context of the discussion" which is bunk because there is no discussion; its ideaology. For too many the Global Warming issue is taking on aspects of a religion. You either believe or your branded as a heretic, and heaven forbid those doing the branding have someone with money or in the press on their side. Your view will always be out of context if presented as all.

After reading the article I am more curious as to why a warming trend was so pronounced that we can easily identify its range way back when. If we knew the whys of it occuring back then it might give us insight into what is happening today.

Great! (1)

jferris (908786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689875)

That will give me so much comfort while I am digging out from the foot or more of snow that is forecast this weekend!

Heartless bastards!

Ice Core Reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689880)

It seems to me that ice cores cannot be a reliable measure, as they would have to be taken only at a location where one knows for sure has not been above freezing for any amount of time. If rapid climate change (warming, specifically) occurred then years of "data" could melt from the top layers, effectively erasing any record of record warmth.

Also, once again, here's a study that disputes the Medieval Warm Period, something that is historically indisputable (with colonies in Greenland and the like).

I find this a great article disproving global warm (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689882)

Okay, so it's the warmest century in the northern hemisphere since 800A.D.

( I mean, this is an improvement. I mean, people claiming a lack of science and rationality on the opposing viewpoint while looking at only 200 yrs of data seemed a bit moronic IMHO. So now, we've expanded our range of evidence to finally have some shred of evidence which might insinuate that we are warmer than the last 1,000 yrs.

Okay, but what about prior to that? 4,000 yrs, 10,000yrs, 120,000 yrs?

How do we compare?

I mean, any study that looks at lest than 10,000 years seems pretty unscientific and damnably stupid to me. As I recall, many of the ice age cycles are in excess of such a length of time.

Okay, and I am still left wondering about the recent announcement of the polar ice caps melting ON MARS!!!!!! Which would insinuate that the global warming is in fact a solar based occurrence. All that said, i still think we need to clean up our act, reduce pollution, and stop de-forestation. However, crap science should not be the justification for doing so.

Hey, want to know the future?

1) PAST: Scientists predict global ice age
2) PRESENT: Scientists predict global warming

After that fails what will be next? Well here it is...

3) FUTURE: Scientists predict instability of weather, saying temperatures will cycle rapidly from warming to cooling periods over periods of 2-3 to 200-300 yrs. Weather will be unstable alternating between an increase of storms followed by years of tranquility.

Yes you've heard it first. I expect such to become the new motif around 2020-2025. w(o)(o)t you heard it here on Slashdot first!

- The Saj

Re:I find this a great article disproving global w (2, Funny)

Toxick (535481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689981)

3) FUTURE: Scientists predict instability of weather, saying temperatures will cycle rapidly from warming to cooling periods over periods of 2-3 to 200-300 yrs.

Well, I know that for at least the past 35 years (and perhaps even longer) these temperature cycles you describe occur - and very rapidly.

I've noticed this pattern where a period of global warming occurs over the course of several months, culminating in a period of almost overwhelming heat. This is followed by a rapid and drastic reduction in global temperature to the point where actual ICE falls from the sky!

I assume that this "mini-ice-age" occurs as a direct result of the previous global warming.

After the earth has managed to balance out and recouperate from mankind's abuse, it begins to thaw and warm up - but almost immediately the rapid global warming begins, and the cycle starts all over!

And this happens EVERY SINGLE YEAR!

Good. (1)

I'm Spartacus! (238085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689894)

If we have helped offset an Ice Age, human-caused global warming is a GOOD thing. A new ice age would result in the elimination of most of the food-producing climatic regions on this planet. Most of humanity would die off because it couldn't feed itself. In short, we'd be lucky to survive as a species.

I'll gladly take a few more hurricanes and slightly higher sea levels than the virtual extinction of homo sapiens.

You're All Gonna Fry!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689901)

Meanwhile, I'm freezing my ass off in the northern hemisphere.

Maybe I should move to Antarctica. I keep hearing that it's melting.

It just ain't natural (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689911)

I wonder why it is that we humans are not considered part of the natural environment on this planet. If a hundred billion cows pump methane into the atmosphere, that's normal, but if we pump an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it's not. Maybe if it came out of our butt, instead of our car's butt ....

Re:It just ain't natural (1)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14690009)

Cows are far more numerous than they otherwise would be if we didn't domesticate them. As such, we are responsible for their flatulance (at least the domesticated ones, which are like 99.99% of all cows).

So why.... (1)

guibaby (192136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689923)

was it so warm 1200 years ago?

La-La-La not listening !!! (1)

antv (1425) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689924)

But what about a global coincidence theory [satirewire.com] ?
Or, it might be the fault of the sun - we didn't have sun 100 years ago, right ?
Hey, Michael Crichton himself says this global warming thing is not real - I guess you hippie pinko lesbian communist godless gay-marrying terrorists would claim that global warming is real while Jurassic Park isn't ?
And think of all the horrors that would happen if we cut down fuel consumption for nothing: our children would have to breathe this totally clean and transparent air, won't have to go to war for oil, won't have crazy gas prices.
I'm telling you, I'm not going to believe into this "global warming" thing unless you can explain me how it's all Clinton's fault.

So... (1)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689926)

What kind of chariots were they driving around in 800AD that warmed things up so much?

Re:So... (1)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689966)

You got it conversed. The warmest temp is in 2005CE, not 800CE.

The only logical explanation (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689927)

What if our idolatry has finally angered the FSM, and due to our overabundance of salty H2O, He's trying to raise the temperature so that He can make perfect al-dente noodles out of us!!????

We must all try to eat more spaghetty!

Re:The only logical explanation (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689996)

Your religious lunacy has blinded you to the real problem here.

Which is a lack of pirates.

Exactly How Much Warmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689928)

So, out of the last twelve centuries, this is the warmest. Fine. How much warmer? Is it more of a "feels warmer" measure or do the have an actual number? I am curious as the article makes no mention of this.....

Burning too much oil! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689944)

If that is the cause now, as some claim, then it must have been the cause then.

Now watch some wag claim that then it was due to too much wood burning by those inconsiderate Europeans.

So why was it so damn warm 1200 years ago? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689951)

Well?

'scuse me? (0, Troll)

MadMorf (118601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689972)

Research from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K. shows that the 20th century was the warmest for the northern hemisphere since approximately 800AD. (stuff deleted for brevity) The findings support the argument for global warming as a result of human interference rather than natural climate change.

Huh?

It's the warmest year since approximately 800AD and it's definitely because of Human efforts?

Then why was it warmer BEFORE 800AD?

Where there MORE people then? Did they put MORE CARBON in the atmosphere back then?

So you're saying it used to be warmer.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14689973)

1300 years ago? Wonder what kind of fossil fuels they were burning in the dark ages. Seriously, I know all those knights rode around on horses putting out a lot of methane, but the fact that it was warmer in the 700s seems to indicate that the fluctuation is due to natural cycles rather than anything we're doing differently now.

Silly (1)

XMilkProject (935232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689983)

People get so excited/concerned when they hear things like 'warmest in 1200 years'. I suppose if your a bible-thumper that seems like a long time, since the earth has only been around for a few thousand years.

For the rest of us, 1200 years is less than a fraction of a percent of the age of our planet. Hence the warmest in 1200 years shouldn't lead anyone to believe it's abnormally warm at all.

Maybe when I hear "The warmest in 500 million years" I'll likely say to myself, "Damn, that's not good."

Global warming/cooling whatever (1)

OYAHHH (322809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689984)

Don't be deceived. The advocates of global warming could very well be wrong. See this article which cites a Stanford climatologist who advocated in the mid-70s that the world was cooling:

http://www.discover.com/issues/feb-06/rd/global-co oling/ [discover.com]

Perhaps the most enlighted part of this short article appears in the last paragraph:

"Science is a self-correcting institution," Schneider says. "The data change, so of course you change your position. Otherwise, you would be dishonest."

You refuted your own argument one sentence before (1)

llZENll (545605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689991)

"Research from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K. shows that the 20th century was the warmest for the northern hemisphere since approximately 800AD" ... "global warming as a result of human interference rather than natural climate change"

Since it was the same temperature in 800AD doesn't that mean it could be natural? Personally I highly doubt it is a coincidence, but scientifically this statement proves nothing.

One thing is for sure, nothing will change until people are forced to do so, and that involves people dying, having no power for a very long time, etc. This is already going on in isolated places, but I'm talking about on a huge scale in the USA, which is a very long time from now.

Counteract with some eruptions (1)

us7892 (655683) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689994)

All we need to do is counteract the alleged global warming by triggering a few volcanic eruptions. If we can get a few big eruptions to occur, much like the "cataclysmic eruption of Tambora Volcano in Indonesia, the most powerful eruption in recorded history", http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Glossary/VolcWeather/des cription_volcanoes_and_weather.html [usgs.gov]

"Global cooling often has been linked with major volcanic eruptions. The year 1816 often has been referred to as "the year without a summer"."

Since we evidently have the ability to warm the Earth on a global scale, we should certainly be able to use science to trigger a few volcanic eruptions. We could cool the Earth right back down again, and start over

Brilliant! Brilliant!

Can you say "non sequitur?" (1)

hscoggin (877832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14689995)

How, precisely, does this "support the argument for global warming as a result of human interference rather than natural climate change?" If it was as warm or warmer in 800 A.D, then it would seem that we've previously achieved current conditions without "human interference." Unless, of course, you believe that something man was doing 1200 years ago was somehow "interfering" significantly with the environment.
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