Monbiot v Monckton Round Two

As a workaround to the server configuration issue, I have moved the last 45 comments from the original Monbiot v Monckton thread so that the conversation can continue. This will mean that the numbering will refer to what it was in the orginal and not what it is here, but c’est la vie

203 Comments

  1. Rod
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    I’ll give up on Lee’s anecdotes for a while – whilst noting that Real Climate has now got around to a convoluted discussion on the Vinther et al paper, see:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/11/strawmen-on-greenland/

  2. Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    Lee, there is evidence from the scientific literature that Greenland has been warmer in the MWP than today.

    To give one example: from this one:

    Results from Poul Norlund’s excavation at Herjolfsnes’ churchyard, which uncovered plant roots in shrouds covered by a layer of permafrost, indicated that the land, at the time of these Norse burials, had been subject to fluctuating temperatures.

    As no plants will grow roots in permafrost, this simply means that the (summer) thawed layer over the permafrost during the MWP was (much) deeper than today.

    Further, even in recent times, current summer temperatures in Greenland still are lower than in the period 1930-1945. See the graph of all Greenland stations here. The same is true for the retreat of the largest Greenland glacier in Ilulisat

  3. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    Her is that paragraph in full:

    “The UN, echoed by Stern, says the graph isn’t important. It is. Scores of scientific papers show that the medieval warm period was real, global and up to 3C warmer than now. Then, there were no glaciers in the tropical Andes: today they’re there. There were Viking farms in Greenland: now they’re under permafrost. There was little ice at the North Pole: a Chinese naval squadron sailed right round the Arctic in 1421 and found none.”

    One at at time –

    Andes glaciers – records for Huascaran go back over 8,000 years. Sajama ice goes back over 20k years. Quelcayya ice goes back 1500 years.

    Norse farm artifacts may be under permafrost – this statement is sneakily literally true. but presnt day farms operate at the same places. His implication that thsi statment shows that conditions then were different is simply false.

    Chinese naval squadron found no arctic ice – guffaw.

    Monckton was engaging in fantasy and/or deception.

  4. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    Ferdiand, one more time – because I’ve been here before.

    Soils build over time. A shallow grave in the melt layer on top of permafrost, may easily have been buried over time by soil formation and be in the frozen layer now. Without analysis of soil formation rates and past melt horizons, that observation simply does not tell us anything.

    Second,I’m not disputing that it may have been a bit warmer (or cooler) in the MWP. I think the evidence is that it was comparable, possibly one way or the other – but it certainly was not 3C warmer, based on simple observations of the ag practice difficulties those colonists had.

    Finally, when farmers say they can grow in ways they couldnt just years ago, and attribute it to temp, I’ll buy that it is warmer. Why this doesnt show in some temp records I dont know – but earlier summer warming and later cooling, with the absolute temps of warm and cold periods unchanged, is ALSO warming, as one possibility.

  5. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    Norse farm artifacts under permafrost = “sneakily true”?
    In contrast to the hockey stick reconstructions = “sneakily false”?

  6. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

    bender – you’re changing the topic.

    Are you trying to argue that Monckton wasn’t (falsely) implying that farming isn’t possible on Greenland today?

  7. Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    Farming in Southern Greenland is possible, but very difficult even with modern technology and modern varieties of crops which were unavailable to the Vikings.

    Besides which, Viking artefacts being recovered from receding glaciers tells us something important about the position of those glaciers 1000 years ago.

  8. jae
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    Lee: here is an interesting anecdote about Greenland during the MWP:

    Lamb (1995) describes a passage from Landnàƒ⠭abàƒⲫ, a book written in Iceland in the year 1125, that catalogs the settlement of Iceland. It was recorded that Thorkel Farserk, a cousin of Erik the Red who founded the colony, having no boat at hand, swam out across a fiord to fetch a sheep from the island of Hvalsey. The distance was over two miles. Lamb (1995) cites a medical endurance expert who established 10oC (50oF) as the coolest possible water temperature for a very strong man to survive swimming that distance. Given that the normal water temperature at present for that fiord in August is 6oF, the story suggests a much warmer climate than present. Lamb (1995) and Tkachuck (1983) both refer to old Norse burial depths being much greater in the past than today which suggests the permafrost was deeper (warmer climate) than at present. Bryson (1977) refers to ship reports that mention Blaserk and Hvitserk. These are Norwegian words meaning “black shirt” and “white shirt,” respectively, that were used as a navigational reference for Greenland. Blaserk and Hvitserk referred to the same mountain but Blaserk was not mentioned after the early 1300’s. Bryson (1977) concluded that during the MWP the mountain was not snow-covered so would be “darker,” while during the post-MWP cooling, the mountain was “white” due to snow cover.

  9. jae
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    OOps, meant Iceland.

  10. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    bender – you’re changing the topic.

    I don’t deny that. I’m trying to steer you away from breaking a blog rule. Because you seem to be suggesting that Mockton was intentionally trying to be deceptive. I don’t want to get in an argument over someone’s motives.

    I want to hear solid evidence from you, who in #173 cites the number of hay crops in Greenland as a temperature proxy, that the number crops harvestable today is higher than during the MWP. In northern Canada they can grow 1-2 crops of hay now, as compared to last century. But it has nothing to do with temperature rise, and everything to do with technology and farm practices. In 1815 it was so cold nobody could grow anything.

  11. SB
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    I’ve had a quick look for any further academic study to support this description of a Viking farm that was frozen, but have not been successful. Does anyone have any better resources?

    http://www.expressnews.ualberta.ca/article.cfm?id=776

    http://www.collectionscanada.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/ftp04/mq22551.pdf

    Is the farmable area of Greenland now as extensive as it was in the MWP? (Controlling for different farming techniques.) The fact that the area has increased recently does not imply that it is the same size as for the Vikings, and I haven’t seen any maps allowing a comparison to be made. Permafrost coverage might be the same size, but simply have moved. Section 2.7.2 of the second link discusses climate issues, although I’m sceptical they can be as sure as they appear.

  12. jae
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    Even the sardines show a warm MWP.

  13. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    bender, in 173, I make two points.

    First, I ridicule Monckton’s implication that Greenland farming is impossible due to permafrost (note – I use the word implication deliberately) and that this (untrue) implication supports his claim of up to 3C hotter in the MWP.

    Second, I respond to arguments that there is no recent Greenland warming, by showing changes in RECENT farming practices that demonstrate that it is RECENTLY getting warmer. I was responding to rod’s point in the previous post about lack of warming since the 40s in Greenland.

    I did not argue that this was a proxy for comparing recent with Norse era temperatures. In fact, elsewhere I have directly said that ag practices are poor temp proxies. But the more recent information is from farmers saying that what they can do now in recent years is different compared to earlier yeaers itn their own lives, because it is warmer.

  14. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

    JohnA – farming for the Norse settlers was very difficult, too. They werent crop farmers – they did have what amount to kitchen gardens and a very few of the most favorably situated farms could grow crops. They were grass-hay-livestock farmers, and not able to make a farming living with that, and therefore dependent on seal hunts to supplement their food economy.

    Ive asked before for citations to those norse farm artifacts appearing from under glaciers – anyone?

  15. jae
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    Here’s some more evidence (treelines) of a very warm MWP in the Artic zones. There’s even a little sun worshiping on the side.

  16. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    Please don’t feed the trolls.

  17. Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

    Lee, another link, this time about sea surface temperatures on the Icelandic Shelf (between Iceland and Greenland). The temperature during the MWP was some 2 degr.C higher during the MWP than current. From Eiràƒ⬫ssom ea.

    Here we compare alkenone paleo-thermometry over the last 2000 years with other proxies, with the alkenone proxy mean resolution of 4 years. The overall record exhibits a decreasing trend from c. 9 C down to 7 C. The AD 980-1340 interval is characterized by warmer SSTs (averaging 9 C) coinciding with the MWP.

    This local temperature proxy shows a good correlation with the temperature trend over the whole North Atlantic.

    About the possibility of farming: even today’s farming is poor and restricted to the Southern tip (at least in 2000, when I was there last time). Some sheep farms which are more or less sustainable (thanks to the import of oil products to drive tractors and diesel aggregates and heating… All things they hadn’t in the MWP!). More to the North (and up to the capital Nuuk), farms hardly survive on southside slopes with mixed farming (sheep and reindeer). I wonder if not without continuous import of supplies and energy, the current population would survive anyway (maybe except the Inuit which still may remember some to their ancient lifestyle)…

  18. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

    Sadlov

    I would respond in kind, but I believe that would be a violation of site rules.

  19. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    Farmers are reporting that they have been able to go from 1 to 2 hay crops a year, and grow previously unviable crops. That is direct evidence that things have recently gotten warmer, or that the growing season is longer. Either way, it is direct evidence of addtinal Greenalnd heat over the growing season. ie, it is getting warmer..

    …perhaps someone should also explain why this is such a bad thing- husband points this out over my shoulder here. LOL

  20. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    Englebeen – Norse farming was also severely limited in spacial distribution. Winter livestock survival came from packing them into soil-insulated barns, often in the same spaces where the people lived, for 8 months or so of the year – this takes the place of heating with oil products. They did NOT survive on the products of their farming – hunting of marine mammals was an essential contributor to the r food economy,and they were dependent on it. There was always a mix of favorably situated farms and less favorable farms (such as you describe now) with the less favorable sometimes not getting their breeding stock throughte winter, and depending on favorable farms for replenishment.

    I don’t see how any of this demonstrates relative temperatures – other than that farming was possible and marginal then, and is possible but marginal now. However, present day farming clearly does contradict Monckton;s argument – which is my point.

  21. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    rocks,

    Tell your husband that this is not a bad thing. You might also tell him that no one I know of is claiming that effects of AGW are going to uniformly harmful – he seems to have missed that.

    “LOL”

  22. jae
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    Lee: Here is a timeline, with references, which includes historical accounts of farms being destroyed by glaciers during the LIA. Now, if the glaciers did bury farms, it is certainly possible that artifacts could be found when the glaciers receded (though most would be carried away, I presume).

  23. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    jae, that chronology says nothing about Greenland farms and glaciers. The claim has been made that there are Norse farm artifacts appearing from under receding Greenland glaciers. I’m interested, but I haven’t yet seen a citation.

    BTW, the treeline paper you referenced appears not to have bene published, only mentions in apssign anything about MWP treelines and includes no such data, but does mention evidence for an advancing treeline due to northern warming – in 1995.

  24. MarkR
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    By the year 1300 more than 3,000 colonists lived on 300 farms scattered along the west coast of Greenland (Schaefer, 1997.) However, even as early as 1197, the climate had turned much less favorable and drift ice was beginning to appear along the vital trade routes (Lamb, 1995.) Cool weather caused poor harvests in an already fragile climate. Because of the poor harvests there was less food for the livestock which resulted in a decreased meat supply. These conditions made it even more vital that trade continued with Iceland and the rest of Europe.

    Due to an increase in drift ice along Greenland’s east coast, the sailing route had to be changed. Ships had to head farther south and then turn back to reach the settlements along the southwest coast. The longer distance and increased threat of ice caused fewer ships to visit Greenland (Bryson, 1977.) Ivar Bardsson, a Norwegian priest who lived in Greenland from 1341 to 1364, wrote: “From Snefelsness in Iceland, to Greenland, the shortest way: two days and three nights. Sailing due west. In…the sea there are reefs called Gunbiernershier. That was the old route, but now the ice is come from the north, so close to the reefs that none can sail by the old route without risking his life.” (Ladurie, 1971.) In 1492, the Pope complained that no bishop had been able to visit Greenland for 80 years on account of the ice (Calder, 1974.) It is most likely that his Greenland congregation was already dead or had moved on by that time. Hermann (1954) notes that during the mid-1300’s many Greenlanders had moved on to Markland (presently Newfoundland) in search of a more suitable environment, mainly due to a cooler climate and over-use of their natural resources.

    The graves and ruins in Greenland show that the people did make an attempt at civilized living until the end but the cold and lack of proper nourishment took a heavy toll (Bryson, 1977.) The early Greenland Vikings stood 5’7″ or taller but by about 1400, Lamb (1966) states that the average Greenlander was probably less than five feet tall. After World War I, Denmark sent a commission to Greenland which found the remains of the early settlements. In their last years, the Greenland Vikings were severely crippled, dwarflike, twisted, and diseased (Hermann, 1954.)

    Link

    The very warm climate during the MWP allowed this great migration to flourish. Drift ice posed the greatest hazard to sailors but reports of drift ice in old records do not appear until the thirteenth century (Bryson, 1977.)

    Link

  25. Geordie
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    Lee, I am a Canadian who teaches in Hong Kong and I check all the major sites like realclimate/climateaudite etc. everyday. Global warming is a really hot topic here now that Ali G’s “convienient truth” is playing, documentaries are seen almost nightly on tv and commercials air selling an AGW brazilian cd. Monckton speculates in his write ups, so does every journalist thats what media does, it is what you have to expect.
    Anyway, on a humourous note the evening news here recently reported that teachers are causing global warming because they use too much paper. Also, a think tank here decided that recently shoddy products coming from the industrial area along a river were going to continue to decline because of AGW. My point is anybody can make ridiculous claims and I don’t think Moncktons claims are ridiculous just somewhat speculative. So many of the issues are not provable either way, but nobody really wants to stick to pure facts because it just isn’t good media to state levels of CO2 and temp. records etc. Many people I know who don’t follow the facts think that water has already risen far to much and that the ice caps are almost gone because that is the impression the news gives. Monctons article got people thinking for themselves which is what it was supposed to do and hopefully they will find their own version of the facts like everybody else does.

  26. JP
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    Here is a reference on farming in Greenland. “Sheep farming and agriculture employ about 100 families in lush South Greenland.” The county in the state of Montana in the USA where I live has a lot more farming families than that. If Greenland’s farming community expands to 110 families are we going to start hearing about an agricultural boom in Greenland?

  27. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    203 –
    South Greenland produces some 20,000 lambs annually. Adn thiks in an economy not dependent on farming.

    http://www.greenland-guide.gl/reg-south.htm

    The Greenland Norse colonies had about 3000 people maximum, in a food economy nearly completely based on livestock and hunt. 20,000 lambs would go a long, long way to feeding 3,000 people for a year.

    Adn again, Monckton implied that farming was not possible on Greenland now, in his attempt to defend a claim that the MWP was up to 3C warmer than today. This is simply false.

  28. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    also JP, note that MarkR’s cite mentions a max of about 300 farms for the Norse colony.

  29. Geordie
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    Don’t appologize Lee I agree with you I don’t think what he did was 100% right but I don’t think it was 100% wrong either. It is just a strike in the battle between two clearly divided sides. I like this site because it tries to be impartial and stick to the facts, which seem to be limited. I just feel that so many outrageous claims have been made supporting AGW it can only be expected to get a backlash. What I mean by thought provoking is despite what people say that skeptics and alarmists get equal air time you rarely here a skeptic stand up and say wait I need more proof.

  30. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    There is also this:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2005JD006494.shtml

    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 111, D07110, doi:10.1029/2005JD006494, 2006

    Svalbard summer melting, continentality, and sea ice extent from the Lomonosovfonna ice core

    Aslak Grinsted, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
    Department of Geophysics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

    John C. Moore, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland

    Veijo Pohjola, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

    TàƒÆ’à‚⴮u Martma,
    Institute of Geology, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia

    Elisabeth Isaksson, Norwegian Polar Institute, TromsàƒÆ’à‚ⶬ Norway

    Abstract

    We develop a continentality proxy (1600–1930) based on amplitudes of the annual signal in oxygen isotopes in an ice core. We show via modeling that by using 5 and 15 year average amplitudes the effects of diffusion and varying layer thickness can be minimized, such that amplitudes then reflect real seasonal changes in àƒÅ½à‚ⲱ8O under the influence of melt. A model of chemical fractionation in ice based on differing elution rates for pairs of ions is developed as a proxy for summer melt (1130–1990). The best pairs are sodium with magnesium and potassium with chloride. The continentality and melt proxies are validated against twentieth-century instrumental records and longer historical climate proxies. In addition to summer temperature, the melt proxy also appears to reflect sea ice extent, likely as a result of sodium chloride fractionation in the oceanic sea ice margin source area that is dependent on winter temperatures. We show that the climate history they depict is consistent with what we see from isotopic paleothermometry. Continentality was greatest during the Little Ice Age but decreased around 1870, 20–30 years before the rise in temperatures indicated by the àƒÅ½à‚ⲱ8O profile. The degree of summer melt was significantly larger during the period 1130–1300 than in the 1990s.

    Received 13 July 2005; accepted 18 January 2006; published 14 April 2006.

    Keywords: melting; continentality; sea ice extent.

    Index Terms: 0724 Cryosphere: Ice cores (4932); 0740 Cryosphere: Snowmelt; 0750 Cryosphere: Sea ice (4540); 1863 Hydrology: Snow and ice (0736, 0738, 0776, 1827); 9315 Geographic Location: Arctic region (0718, 4207).

    Emphasis: “The degree of summer melt was significantly larger during the period 1130–1300 than in the 1990s.”
    The Vinland Map shows an open Arctic Ocean north of Greenland, where nowadays it is icebound year round. It indicates that Greenland was warmer then than now.

  31. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    Here’s one publication. I’m not saying it’s ‘world-class’ by any stretch, but it’s a start:

    http://www.erudit.org/revue/etudinuit/2002/v26/n2/007652ar.pdf

  32. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 9:37 PM | Permalink

    Here’s the book reviewed in #209:

    http://www.dpc.dk/sw7696.asp

  33. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    And here’s the 142 p. source document:

    http://www.dpc.dk/graphics/Design/Danish/Videnscenter/DPC_publikationer/Techn%20Reports/DPC%20TR%209.pdf

  34. JP
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

    Lee, are you saying that the land was back in the 1300’s was supporting 6 times as many people even though they did not have the benifit’s of modern society and it was colder then?

  35. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

    JP –
    Current population of Greenland is over 56,000. Max population of the norse was about 3,000. I’m not sure what point you are trying to make.

  36. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    20 times as many people. Must be 20 times as warm.

  37. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    re: #205

    Adn again, Monckton implied that farming was not possible on Greenland now

    Again, Lee, you make wrong implications. Monckton wasn’t saying that farming is now impossible. He was saying that there were areas that were farmed in the MWP which can’t yet be farmed today. I have no opinion as to whether he’s wrong or right, but you do need to do better in understanding what he was saying.

  38. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    Look at that modern landscape pictured in #211. That’s hardly “farm country”. 56,000 people and 20,000 lambs with today’s technology does not impress me as much as 3,000 people and what must have been more than several thousand head of grazing cattle a thousand years ago.

  39. MarkR
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 11:11 PM | Permalink

    #213 Current population of UK around 60 million, population c1300 2.25 million.

    Do the maths, a comparable growth in Greenland pop would = 80,000 now, but they have only 56,000

    In 1300 Greenland was relatively more heavily populated than it is now.
    pop

  40. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    bender, read about cattle and the norse farms – you’re wrong. Cattle wer marginal, adn the tineiest in known agricultural societies, and restricted to only the msot favorablyu situated and wealthiest farms. Goats and sheep predominated – and marine mammal meat outweighted them except for the most favorable period.

    Look for modern pictures of the norse ruins – I’ve posted some here at CA in the past – a large percentage of them are sitting in the midst of grassland, almost all of them. Monckton chose to use the work permafrost to describe them – he said “There were Viking farms in Greenland: now they’re under permafrost.” He did not say – agriculture is less productive today” or “there are sites of some Norse farms that are not now farmable.” He was painting an image that is simply flat-out false. Monckton made a claim that doesn’t stand up, embedded amongst two others – that there were no glaciers in the Andes during the MWP, despite continuous ice records saying otherwise, and that there was no arctic ice and that we know this because the chinese sailed through there and didn’t see any.

    I am frankly astounded that anyone is defending this tripe – or perhaps not.. If someone on the AGW side made similar kins of claims, you would all be engaged in derisive laughter about it.

  41. MarkR
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 12:50 AM | Permalink

    “GUS is beautifully preserved because, once it was buried, it was frozen,” explained University of Alberta anthropologist Dr. Charles Schweger. “Things that are perishable and normally disappear are found at GUS.”

    Schweger recalls vividly the day the team uncovered GUS. Smells frozen in permafrost for 500 years exploded into the air. “It stunk to high heavens,” said Schweger. “There was no question about this being a farm.”

    Sheets of ice sliding down the mountain toward GUS may have pushed sand over the eastern coast of Greenland, burying the Viking settlements. The sand slide was probably a major catastrophic event, comparable to an earthquake.

    Greenland Farm

  42. 2br02b
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 1:38 AM | Permalink

    The AGW farce grows. According to the BBC,

    The rise in humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide has accelerated sharply, according to a new analysis.

    The Global Carbon Project says that emissions were rising by less than 1% annually up to the year 2000, but are now rising at 2.5% per year.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6189600.stm

    Since the world’s average temperature has fallen pretty steadily since 1998, does that not mean that the evidence would now support the proposition that “More CO2 = More Global Cooling” and if so, what are our politicians doing to encourage this trend?

  43. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

    Re: the Greenland Debate

    Perhaps Monckton got his words (right or wrong) regarding Greenland from this article in the New York Times:

    “Story of Viking Colonies’ Icy “Pompeii’ Unfolds From Ancient Greenland Farm”
    May 8,2001 [registration required, so if you join you can access]

    Text: from the article [bold text added by me]

    Called “The Farm Beneath the Sand,” this site lay buried under glacial sands for six centuries. Today, it is called the Viking Pompeii in the Scandinavian press.

    “The site lay buried under , glacial sands for six centuries.” caption under picture.

    “At the Viking site near here, artifacts were locked in permafrost and buried under several feet of sand. Many organic artifacts, like antlers, bones, skins and wood, did not decompose. All farm animals appeared to have been evacuated, with the exception of a stray goat, which took refuge in a barn. Six centuries later, its mummified remains were under the collapsed thatch twig roof.”

    “At the farm site, there is no indication that conflict with natives, now called the Thule people, precipitated the Norse departure. Virtually all Thule artifacts discovered at the farm were at the most recent layer of human occupation, indicating that migrating native hunters used the structure as a caribou hunting camp after the Europeans left.

    What does seem to have contributed to the abandonment of the Western Settlements, archaeologists said, is climate change. The onset of a “little ice age” made living halfway up Greenland’s coast untenable in the mid-1300’s, argues Dr. Charles Schweger, an archaeology professor at the University of Alberta, who has studied soils around the Farm Beneath the Sand.
    Dr. Schweger said the Norse were no match for cooling temperatures, which caused a glacier several miles up a valley to expand. As this glacier grew, it also released more water every summer into the valley, causing turbidity in drinking water and raging floods that blanketed meadows with sand and gravel. Today the edge of Greenland’s ice cap is only six miles from the old farm site. But in the mid-14th century, it probably was far closer.
    The farm’s evolving architecture also reflected the effect of cooling temperatures, Dr. Berglund said. Initially, a cluster of earthen walled buildings, the farm evolved over the centuries into one large building, with several small rooms, all under one roof. This “centralized farm” maximized body heat of humans and animals. Noting that the main building seemed to be constantly undergoing changes, Dr. Berglund estimated that a total of 40 rooms were configured at the site over nearly four centuries of occupation.

    Ground into the mud were remains of wild animals, their bones cracked open to yield the marrow. Studies of skeletons at a regional churchyard indicate that the Norse diet grew increasingly dependent on marine life, largely seals and fish, as it became increasingly difficult to maintain cows and sheep.

    In another reflection of how climate change and degradation of meadows eroded the Norses’ pastoral economy, yarn found in the weaving room indicates that the weavers stretched their wool supply by mixing sheep wool with fur from caribou, polar bears, foxes and wolves.”

  44. Boris
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    Yep, I knew it wouldn’t die.

    Greenland’s climate is about the same today as it was in the MWP. Monckton’s statement is misleading, implying that all Viking farms are locked under permafrost today. If you want to be an apologist for this misleading statement, by all means do so, but your credibility follows you. His claim about a 3oC warmer MWP (I notice no one here defending this claim) is not borne out by the evidence.

    The fixation on Greenland has another problem. G-land’s climate is dependent on the Northern Atlantic Oscilation, which makes it a very poor proxy for global trends. It’s interesting how the models seem to confirm this and show very tepid warming for Greenland at best.

  45. MarkR
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    #45 Did Monckton say all Viking farms were under permafrost.

    At least one has been found that was permafrosted. See above.

    There is little debate about the reality of the Little Ice Age (LIA) — in spite of its absence in the HS. The major contention has been — and still is — about whether the Medieval Warm Period (MWP, around 1100 AD) was cooler than the 20th century, as claimed by MBH. Although the IPCC makes much of this claim, it really sheds little light about whether the 20th-century warming is natural or manmade. {Ftnt 1}

    I think the issue is easily settled. As pointed out by Henry Pollack, boreholes are the only data that involve actual temperature measurements without the need of calibration. The results of Dahl-Jensen from GRIP and Dye-3 ice boreholes [Science 1999] clearly show the MWP to be much warmer than today’s temperatures.

    This finding is confirmed by Kurt Cuffey’s Oxygen-18 data from GISP-2, referred to by Richard Alley.

    Link

  46. Lee
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    No, Mark. One farm was found that had been buried under sand, which HAD BEEN frozen – and is now, today, thawed out and washed away down the river.

    ie, it is not now a farm buried under permafrost – and it is irrelevant to Monckton’s claim. Well, except that given that it thawed and washed away, perhaps as a counterexample..

    Get real.

  47. bender
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    Re #45
    1. There’s that word again: “locked”. Not to be found in the original article. [See how the meme spreads?]
    2. Monckton did not say “all” farms were under permafrost. His choice of words was, admittedly, ambiguous. But you chose to interpret his words in a certain way. I did not read them that way. Fact is: if even one ancient farm is located in what is now permafrost that would be enough to make you suspect it might be warmer then than now. More farms under permafrost would be that much more convincing.

  48. MarkR
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    “Smells frozen in permafrost for 500 years exploded into the air.” #42
    Lee, what part of permafrost permafrost permafrost permafrost don’t you understand?

  49. bender
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:00 PM | Permalink

    I think Lee is asking for a credible citation in the primary literature – which I agree would be a good thing. Unfortunately, this may be the kind of anecdotal observation that has a hard time percolating into the primary literature. Does anyone have a list of Schweger’s publications?

  50. bender
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    Re #47 Imploring CA readers to “get real” when they are already trying to be real is troll behavior. Feeding time is over.

  51. Lee
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    right, bender.

    “under permafrost” was not intended by Monckton to say that the norse farms are unfarmable today. It did not mean “below a frozen layer” and that doesn’t imply any locking away of their farmable capacity. Right.

    Dude, the man said the norse farms are “under permafrost to this day”. They arent. He was wrong. Deal with it.

    From his PDF:

    “Eric the Red had named Greenland “Greenland” to encourage Danish settlers, because in his time south-western Greenland was indeed green. It was ice-free, and was extensively cultivated until c.1425 AD, when the farms were suddenly overrun by permafrost. The Viking agricultural settlements remain under permafrost to this day — a powerful indication that the Middle Ages were warmer than the present…”

    Nor were the farms “suddenly overrun by permafrost.” Nor was SW Greenland “ice free.” Nor was it “extensively cultivated” – the viable farms were in a very limited few areas.

    Monckton wasnt just wrong – he was raving. As he was in his ‘no glaciers in the andes’ comment, and his ‘ice free arctic’ comment.

  52. Lee
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

    Mark, what part of “under permafrost to this day do you not understand.

    Using your logic, I could prove that you are a child today, because there is good evidence taht you were a child in the past.

  53. Earle Williams
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    Re Boris #45

    Regarding Monckton’s assertion that temperatures in the MWP were “up to 3C warmer than present”:

    Martinez-Cortizas, A., Pontevedra-Pombal, X., Garcia-Rodeja, E., Novoa-Muñoz, J.C. and Shotyk, W. 1999. Mercury in a Spanish peat bog: Archive of climate change and atmospheric metal deposition. Science 284: 939-942.
    MWP over 3C warmer than present

    Andersson, C., Risebrobakken, B., Jansen, E. and Dahl, S.O. 2003. Late Holocene surface ocean conditions of the Norwegian Sea (Voring Plateau). Paleoceanography 18: 10.1029/2001PA000654

    MWP between AD 1200 and 1500 and was as much as 3.3°C warmer than the Current Warm Period

    Seppa, H. and Birks, H.J.B. 2002. Holocene climate reconstructions from the Fennoscandian tree-line area based on pollen data from Toskaljavri. Quaternary Research 57: 191-199.
    MWP between AD 600 and 1000 and was 0.8°C warmer than the CWP

    Holmgren, K., Tyson, P.D., Moberg, A. and Svanered, O. 2001. A preliminary 3000-year regional temperature reconstruction for South Africa. South African Journal of Science 97: 49-51.
    Peak warmth of the Medieval Warm Period was as much as 2.5°C warmer than CWP

    Yeah, I’ll defend that statement.

    Ciao,
    Earle

  54. bender
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

    Lee, your language is devolving to adolescent, so I’m going to have to stop corresponding with you. You say:

    Dude, the man said the norse farms are “under permafrost to this day”. They arent. He was wrong. Deal with it.

    Can you provide some substantive evidence that there are no other ancient farms in currently permafrosted areas? If there was one found already, maybe there were more? Isn’t that what anthropologists there have been calling for – more research into this question?

    “Dude”, I’m totally prepared to “deal with” facts. I’m not prepared for your unsubstantiated claims and distortions of proven facts.

  55. MarkR
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    #53 Lee. You mean that only farms in permafrost today count, but not ones that were discovered yesterday, or in 1991? Would farms discovered tomorrow count? Do you have a particular time zone in mind? Can we synchronise watches on this?

    Do you accept that the GUS farm was in permafrost till 1991?

  56. Lee
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    “The Viking agricultural settlements remain under permafrost to this day ”

    bender and everyone else – Monckton did not say – “there might be a viking settlement somewhere, for which there is no proffered evidence, that is under permafrost.”

    He said “The Viking agricultural settlements” The. An inclusive “the”. If someone says “the members of your family” that statement include all members of your family. It is distinct from “members of your family” which would only include some.

    What he did not say:
    Not “some viking settlements.”
    Not “a potential uncited viking settlement in some obscure corner of SW Greenland””
    Not “A viking farm that got covered with sand and thawed out and washed away years ago.”

    I am astounded that intelligent people are defending this statement in the face of the available evidence.

  57. jae
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    Lee: you are definitely a TROLL. You are not here to learn, just to “impress” the newcomers who don’t know the history of this site. I wonder if you have been assigned “duty” by the Hockey Team. I will not reply to you again.

  58. Lee
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

    Mark, in 1991, 15 years ago (which by definition is not “to this day”) the sands covering that farm had thawed enough that the farm was eroding out of the sands.
    Which is why it was discovered.

    So no, in 1991, that farm was NOT under permafrost. It certainly was at some time previous to that – and that previous time is also not “to this day.”

  59. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    Regarding the moving of comments to a new thread, it would help if people gave links rather than numbers to clarify the post they are referring to. The URL for each comment in a thread is under the large number to the right of the comment. Copy that link, and use the “link” button to insert it into your comment.

    w.

  60. Lee
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    jae,

    Thank you.

  61. Boris
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

    48: Well, now we’re into word parsing, huh? What exactly is wrong with “locked”? Please give me a list of verbs to express the quality of being buried in permafrost. Is “embedded” okay? “encased”? “permafrozen”?

    No, Monckton did not say “all” in so much as he did not use the word “all.” I don’t see how anyone could read “The Viking agricultural settlements” as anything but all inclusive.

    Example:
    Me: “The Beatles albums are on sale at Hungry Joe’s Record Shack.”
    My friend returns and says: “Only Rubber Soul was on sale.”
    Me: “That’s what I said.”
    My friend: “—“

  62. MarkR
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

    The anthroplogist says:

    “GUS is beautifully preserved because, once it was buried, it was frozen,” explained University of Alberta anthropologist Dr. Charles Schweger.

    Lee says:

    So no, in 1991, that farm was NOT under permafrost.

  63. Boris
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    63:

    Okay, so it was buried, and THEN frozen. Well, this runs counter to Monckton’s claim that the farms were “suddenly overun by permafrost.”

    Does Dr. Schweger say the farm was frozen when he found it? Does he mention all the other settlements that Monckton claims were frozen?

    Good stuff.

  64. MarkR
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    #64 Boris Do you accept that this particular farm was frozen for a period of about 500 years, and only recently emerged from the frost?

  65. Lee
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    Mark, we are SAYING that this farm was frozen for centuries, and “recently” emerged from under the frozen sand. Can’t you read?

    It was preserved by being frozen – it emerged and was discovered when it thawed and the sand eroded, it was then excavated, and then it was lost to the river.

    It is not a farm “under permafrost” until “the present day.” It doesn’t even exist in the present day – it washed away down the river. It wasn’t under permafrost when it emerged 15 years ago – it was thawed or thawing at the time, which is why it uncovered. And strangely enough, none of this is what Monckton described in his absurd claim about Greenland.

  66. Mr. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 11:47 PM | Permalink

    Lee, you miss the point. The entire concept of time in this discussion is dealing in small scale geologic time. Your arguments of verbage is silly.

  67. Lee
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

    mr rocks,

    Is it true that, ” The viking agricultural settlements remain under permafrost to this day?”

    Yes or no.

    This isn’t an issue of geological time, small or large scale. It is a matter of Monckton making an untrue statement (embedded among two others that are just as ludicrously false) in attempted support of his point.

  68. Mr. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

    Lee,

    Quit playing word games. Moctons statements in geologic time are true. The fact that the data point has been destroyed is not relevent. To ask if the data point exists today does not matter. The data was collected, timed, dated, and analyzed.

    In my field we do duplicate samples, and even those do not come out exactly the same as the target sample. You look really silly.

  69. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:29 AM | Permalink

    mr rocks,

    uhhhh. what?

    A statement making a claim verifiably false today about the state now of S Greenland compared to a specific time in the geologically recent past, si true in geologic time?

    Yes, the individual events in the history of that farm are true and don’t disappear. They are also not relevant to the present (nonexistent) state of that farm. At the last moments of that farm’s history, and for some time before that, it was not under permafrost – it was under melted or melting sand, and then it was excavated, and then it was washed away.

    It wasnt under permafrost 15 year ago, and it is not under permafrost now that it is gone. It was under permafrost at some time before that, but that is irrelevant – Monckton’s claim was not about the past state of farms during previous colder conditions or in “geologic time”, but about the present state of farms under current conditions today. That nonexistent farm is not evidence for Monckton’s absurd claim that “The Viking agricultural settlements are under permafrost to this day” both because it was not under permafrost in the last years of its existence, and because it doesn’t exist today and so cant be sampled today and cant speak to conditions today.

  70. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 3:12 AM | Permalink

    Lee:

    Could we agree on the following?

    1) There was a farm in Greenland, that

    2) Was abandoned and covered with permafrost, and that

    3) Thawed out in recent times, and thus

    4) We can assume that Greenland in earlier times was as warm or warmer than present times.

    Can we agree on that?

    w.

  71. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

    Yes please besides my information to follow, let’s have an answer for #71

    In any event, here’s a picture and text that debunks Lee’s claims in #70 “It wasnt under permafrost 15 year ago, and it is not under permafrost now” unless he thinks the Smithsonian and Archaeology publications online are full of crap? :

    Picture Caption:
    Farm Beneath the Sand
    After three years of excavation, the Farm Beneath the Sand site began to take shape as rooms and passageways were revealed. It became clear that the front of the farm (to the right) had been eroded by the river; fortunately the river sands that covered the site had sealed it from the air and caused permafrost to preserve everything.

    http://tinyurl.com/yhhy7t

    Text: Recently archeologists have excavated a remarkably well preserved farm, called the Farm Under the Sand (Danish for Gard Under Sandet), ,which had been deep frozen since the time it was last occupied. Located in the Western Settlement, which was the first to be abandoned according to historic accounts, this excavation shed light on the fate of that more northerly community. The farm complex had been carefully cleared of belongings, indicating that it was not attacked nor abandoned hastily. But the discovery of a goat found underneath a collapsed wall reveals that animals had been left behind, much as described in Ivar Bardarson’s report.

    http://www.mnh.si.edu/vikings/voyage/subset/greenland/archeo.html

    From Archaeology Magazine online:
    Archaeologists Jette Arneborg of the Danish National Museum, Joel Berglund of the Greenland National Museum, and Claus Andreasen of Greenland University could not have guessed what would be revealed when they excavated the ruins of the five-room, stone-and-turf house in the early 1990s.

    As the archaeologists dug through the permafrost and removed the windblown glacial sand that filled the rooms, they found fragments of looms and cloth. Scattered about were other household belongings, including an iron knife, whetstones, soapstone vessels, and a double-edged comb. Whoever lived here departed so hurriedly that they left behind iron and caribou antler arrows, weapons needed for survival in this harsh country, medieval Europe’s farthest frontier. What drove the occupants away? Where did they go?

    http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/greenland/

  72. Boris
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

    71:

    I prefer:

    1. There was a farm in Greenland.
    2. It was covered by sand.
    3. It froze.
    4. It thawed in recent times.
    5. Therefore we can assume that Greenland in earlier times was as warm or warmer than recent times.

    But we don’t know exactly when recent times is in this discussion, unless someone has some evidence about when this farm began thawing?

    But back to Monckton, his claim is undeniably false. It’s not really even close.

  73. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    If you really want to blow your mind, read the comments in this topic here:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=655

    “On this day”, Lee is arguing that there is permafrost, and that plants can grow in it-therefore the name Greenland originated not from a land that was a warm place where plants grow and called “Green” but because plants can grow in permafrost so it was a cold place and called “Green”.

    I’m sorry, but anyone who declares that it must have been warmer then because it is named “Greenland” has pretty much forfeited any expectation of being taken seriously. Arguing that it had to be warmer because a shroud excavated from permafrost has roots in it, ain’t much better.

    So, roots were buried (maining a hole was dug) and that proves that it wasnt permafrost there because there were roots so stuff must have been growing? Or was it cut roots on the edge of the hole?

    Either way, ti isnt evidence, taken alone like this. Yes soil gets built up over time, and can get built pretty quickly. Permafrost is basically frozen peat; stuff grows on top in summer, freezes and gets pacekd down in winter,and new growth emerges in summer. Annual growth in the peat layers can be substantial (look at hoses pictures I posted); it doesnt take much of a fractin of an inch per year over 400 years to put the surface deep enough to become part of the permafrost layer. Doing an analysis based essentially on how deep the stuff is, and ignoring the process of soil accumulation as if it doesnt ocur, is scientifically groundless.

  74. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

    There is also this paper that indicates a MWP in Greenland.

    Title:
    A tentative record of the last 1,000 years of Greenland temperature from occluded air in the GISP2 ice core
    Authors:
    Kobashi, T.; Severinghaus, J. P.; Barnola, J.; Kawamura, K.; Beaudette, R.
    Affiliation:
    AA(Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 United States ; tkobashi@uscd.edu), AB(Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 United States ; jseveringhaus@ucsd.edu), AC(Laboratoire de Glaciologie et G”…⠯physique de l’Environnement, CNRS, Saint-Martin d’H”…⠲es, F-38402 France ; barnola@lgge.obs.ujf-grenoble.fr), AD(Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 United States ; kkawamura@ucsd.edu), AE(Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 United States ; rbeaudette@ucsd.edu)
    Publication:
    American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2005, abstract #PP52A-0663
    Publication Date:
    12/2005
    Origin:
    AGU
    AGU Keywords:
    1616 Climate variability (1635, 3305, 3309, 4215, 4513), 1630 Impacts of global change (1225), 1650 Solar variability (7537), 4918 Cosmogenic isotopes (1150), 4932 Ice cores (0724)
    Abstract Copyright:
    (c) 2005: American Geophysical Union
    Bibliographic Code:
    2005AGUFMPP52A0663K

    Abstract
    Ice borehole temperature inversion has been used to reconstruct Greenland surface temperature during the last millennium (Dahl-Jensen et al, Science, 1998). However, this technique does not preserve high frequencies because of diffusion of heat in the ice. Here, we present a tentative reconstruction of the past 1,000 years of central Greenland temperature using nitrogen and argon isotopes from occluded air in the GISP2 ice core. This technique preserves decadal-to-centennial-scale temperature variations and complements the borehole technique. Nitrogen and argon isotopes in the porous snow layer (~80m) experience two isotopic fractionations by gravitation and temperature gradients (DeltaT) between the top and bottom of the snow layer. The simultaneous analysis of argon and nitrogen isotopes allows us to separate these two effects, and obtain a history of DeltaT in the layer. To a first approximation, DeltaT change on decadal to centennial time scales is a surface temperature history because the heat conductivity of snow is much smaller than that of ice, and the heat capacity of the ice sheet is quite large. The preliminary DeltaT history (20-year interval) shows a Medieval Warm Period in the 11th to 12th centuries and the Little Ice Age in the 15th to 19th centuries. Furthermore, the record shows a clear similarity with the Be-10 record (a proxy for solar activity) with Wolf, Sporer, Maunder, and Dalton minima clearly seen in the cold periods. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that solar activity influenced Greenland temperature during the past 1000 years.

    From http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2005AGUFMPP52A0663K

  75. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    Then from 1998, we have:

    “The new study, published in the October 9 issue of Science, reveals how much warmer and colder these previous climate changes were. Temperatures during the Little Ice Age (1420 to 1890 AD) were found to be 2 F colder than present in central Greenland. In contrast, temperatures were 2 F warmer than present during the Medieval Warm Period, 1,000 years ago when the Vikings established settlements in Greenland, and 5000 years ago were 4.5 F warmer. The last ice age, about 22,000 years ago, was found to be extremely cold with temperatures dipping to 41 F below current values.”

    Based on “Past temperatures directly from the Greenland Ice Sheet” by D. Dahl-Jensen, K. Mosegaard, N. Gundestrup, G.D. Clow, J. Johnsen, A.W. Hansen, and N. Balling in the October 9, 1998 issue of Science.

    From http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981012075513.htm

  76. Boris
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    Hoyt,
    Is anyone arguing there wasn’t a MWP in Greenland?

    We’re arguing that Monckton’s claims are false, and they are. He claims “The Viking settlements” are under permafrost “to this day.” This is false. His claim about farms being “suddenly overrun by permafrost” is not supported by the farm in question, which was buried under sand and then frozen.

    As to Southern Greenland’s position as an indicator of global climate, I believe the North Atlantic Oscillation makes it less than ideal. Models predict a tepid warming for Greenland–at least the southern part under discussion here.

  77. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    There is ample evidence of a MWP in Greenland and I have cited 3 papers showing that to be true.

    Monckton cited other evidence for the MWP period in Greenland. Somewhere on the web there is a study that shows that the burials in Greenland occurred when the temperature was 2 to 4 C warmer than now based upon the roots growing in the burial sites. These burials are now encased in permafrost. I expect Monckton came across this reference and simplified it to 3 C warmer.

    Lee seems to believe that if Monckton was wrong in one detail, then it proves there was no MWP in Greenland.

  78. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    Re #62
    We’ve been forced to parse words because of Lee’s insistence on phrasing the debate in terms of what Monckton said or didn’t say. Whereas I am more interested in the broader issue of “farmability” as a temperature proxy. Lee started off with a good question: what primary literature exists bearing on this question. Rather than argue about words, why not explore this literature?

  79. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    Douglas Hoyt, and everyone else:

    Dammit, would y’all once and for all get this through your thick skulls!!!??!!!

    I’m tired of having to repeat it.

    I am not denying that there was a MWP or LIA. There was a period of warmth that we call the MWP. The MWP existed. I have been repeatedly referring to the MWP throughout this discussion. I have repeatedly referred to the period of warming that allowed the vikings to colonize Greenland. I have repeatedly pointed out that the underpinning of this discussion is the argument over relative temperatures between now and the MWP – which of course means that there was an MWP.

    Yet I am being repeatedly accused, by several people, of denying an MWP. I don’t get it – is the ideological mindset defining your opponents so strong that you cant read the plain English where I refer to the MWP as the warm period in which the vikings settled Greenland, and believe that I mean that there was an MWP that was a warm period in which the vikings settled greenland?

  80. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    It is perhaps worth noting, as I did myself just yesterday, that Erik the Red’s colonization efforts in AD 985 are smack at the end of that warming trend from AD 910-990 identified by Cook et al. (2004). This was a 2.2°C increase over 80 years with very little interannual variation. This warming trend was possibly unprecedented, even by today’s standard.

  81. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    bender,

    I have clearly stated, directly to you, at least twice, that I don’t think farmability is a good proxy for temperature.

    Existence of permafrost might be a reasonable proxy for whether the site is above or below a threshold temperature.

    Monckton made the claim that “The Viking agricultural settlements” are under permafrost “to this day”, and therefore clearly colder “to this day” than during the MWP. I am simply disputing (actually ridiculing) that egregiously false statement, on a number of grounds – and am stunned at the number of apparently bright people who are defending it.

  82. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    Re #78 Lee seems to believe that if Monckton is wrong in one or two details, then Monckton has no credibility whatsoever.
    Re #80 You’re tired of repeating yourself; we’re tired of reading your repetitive comments. I have an idea …

  83. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    I don’t think farmability is a good proxy for temperature

    Glad to hear your opinion. Now, as to the facts …

  84. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    74 – rocks,

    your garbled falsehoods about what I said there are so bad, I wont even attempt to respond directly to you –

    others, please just read what I actually wrote. BTW, I have learned more since that day – drop the parts about peat as being too restrictive, and substitute general soil formation, and you get my current understanding – which I actually argued yesterday or the day before as well. Unless one explicitly deals with soil formation above that site, and past melt horizons at that site, that shroud-root data is essentially meaningless as a temperature proxy.

  85. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    RE: #80 – In any case, you are an absolutely disruptive individual. Your copious serial posting derails every thread you go on. Is that your mission? (purely rhetorical question …. )

  86. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    Permafrost: I voted for before I didn’t vote for it.

  87. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    gee, Sadlov. I respond to challenges, and post relevant information and argument and dispute what I see as false statements, on topic to a thread that was posted by one of the principals of this site. How disruptive of me.

    BTW, your insinuation is awfully close to a violation of site rules – just saying.

  88. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    Lee is headed toward another AGW double-standard:
    “Farm productivity is a good proxy for temperature if it suggests 20th c. warming was unprecedented (e.g. Chuine et al., grape harvest dates in France), but not if it suggests 10th c. warming was unprecedented (e.g. acreage of permafrost vs. pasture in Greenland).”

  89. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    ok – I’m on my way out of here.

    It has been most informative to see people who seem to be accepted here as thoughtful reasonable people, exemplars of this site’s dedication to truth and logic, working hard to defend clearly false statements and attributing to me arguments I haven’t made and motivations I don’t have.

    Enjoy, y’all.

  90. Boris
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    83: I imagine if someone wasn’t biased, the errors would have an equal chance of going either way. Monckton’s errors all favor his point of view. If your employer keeps making mistakes on your paycheck, would you not become suspicious given the errors always favored your employer?

    Monckton is being hailed around here as correct when he makes false statements about Greenland, flase statements about Hansen’s testimony, false statements about Andean glaciers. How many false statements does Monckton get, just so I know?

  91. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    RE: #91 – You lie. Monckton has already been recognized here as a fallable, non scientist, who has made interesting points, but who is likely not entirely correct.

  92. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    I’m not here to defend Monckton. I am here to share thoughts and data on the issue of farmability as a temperature proxy.

  93. MarkR
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    #91 Lets talk about false statements Boris.

    1 Warmest for a thousand years.
    2 No MWP
    3 No LIA
    4 CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas
    5 More Hurricanes than ever before
    6 The ice sheets are melting as never before
    7 Bristlecones are good proxies for temperature
    8 “Feedbacks” are accelerating the accelerating global warming
    9 Sea levels are rising at an unprecedented rate
    10 A Viking Farm under permafrost isn’t good evidence that it was a lot warmer when the farm was operative
    11 Mann et al know all about statistics

    (ed that’s enough for now)

  94. MarkR
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    Oh and before I forget
    12 Real Climate doesn’t censor posts (credit to Eli Rabat? Real Climate propagandist extraordinaire)

  95. Boris
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    Mr. Sadlov,

    Please do not call me a liar. This is juvenile and leads to no good end.

    Let’s look at how CA has approached Monckton:

    “Gore Gored: Monckton Replies” and “Christopher Monckton: Apocalypse Cancelled”

    This is an ouutright endorsement of Monckton’s views. Nowhere in the posts do I see anything about Monckton promoting false statements (or is “slips of the keyboard” a euphemism for false statements now?). In addition, we have been arguing a false claim by Monckton. No one has said “You know, you’re right, Monckton was wrong about that.” No, they debate the word “locked” and dredge up irrelevant points to the issue at hand.

  96. Boris
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    MarkR,

    Do you always chnage the subject when you are losing an argument?

  97. MarkR
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    #96 Gore is/was very wrong (to borrow Manns phrase), and the Warmers Apocalypse is being cancelled. Moncktons general thrust of argument is more correct than any of the Warmers efforts. No one has a monopoly of truth, but Monckton stands out as more truthful than many.

  98. MarkR
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    97 I don’t think I’m losing any argument. But talking of changong the subjest, how do you see the Hockey Stick now?

  99. Jeff Norman
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    Could someone tell me where I could find this Viking Greenland farm on google maps or google Earth?

    I was wondering about the fact that the farm was washed away by a river. Is it possible that the farm was revealled because the farm was being washed away. What I mean was that a river bed was eroded by the river, exposing the river bank which exposed more soil surface area to sun light. This heated the soil which in turn melted more perma frost which allowed more soil to be eroded away.

    If so then it is possible that current temperatures are not as high as when the settlement was originally founded.

    I would also like to point out that the Vikings did not settle in Greenland anticipating that one day the area would be good for farming. It had to have been acceptible for farming when they first arrived. How long the area had been good for farming is not knowable. We only know that it was acceptible for farming using 10th century farming technology when the Vikings first arrived and remained so for something like 300 years.

    If this farm, discovered in 1991, was a harbinger of a warmer climate that made the area acceptible for farming with 10th century again then it has only been so for 15 years.

    However the new CRU report extending the temperature record for southern Greenland suggests the area was warmer earlierin the 20th century.

    Perhaps the erosion mechanism described above is why the farm saw the light of day again.

  100. Earle Williams
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    Boris,

    I don’t share Monckton’s faith in the Chinese navigators, but I do agree with his view on the Greenland climate. He did generalize when referring to the settlement that was buried in frozen sand. Semantics aside, what was once a farm was recently buried in permafrost. Your wanting to put words into Monckton’s mouth that he did not write, such as “suddenly overun with permafrost” does not negate this fact, nor does it establish anything other than you wish to prove to all observers that you think Monckton is wrong on all counts.

    Now please respond to YOUR earlier comment regarding Monckton’s observation that the MWP was up to 3C warmer than present. I have provided four references demonstrating measurements of a MWP that was warmer than present, in one case 3.3C warmer. Is Monckton wrong on that one? We don’t need to quibble over semantics here, whether or not the MWP was suddenly overun by a heat wave. Do you still claim Monckton was wrong in this staement, and if so on what basis?

    Kind regards,
    Earle

  101. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    Jeff, here’s the Smithsonian site with a map:

    http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/greenland/

  102. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

    And Jeff, I forgot to say, I think the settlement we are talking about is in a place/town called “Nipaatsoq”

  103. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    Good gosh Jeff, sorry, that’s the Archaelogy site link I mean.

    You know if you really read the related articles there are many other factors the anthropologists consider from the unearthed artifacts to show climate change [to cold] made the Vikings abandon these settlements. They look at how the building designs evolved, the clothing, the food, etc and how they were trying to adapt to it. I don’t understand why the “warmers’ who want to alarm us about the horrors of abrupt climate change, don’t embrace these findings as a poster child for abrupt climate change. It has to be hot for it to be bad?

  104. MarkR
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    #100 Hers one with a good picture. If you know Danish it might say the location.

    http://www.unipress.dk/docs/managed/9788772889344/9788772889344_excerpt.PDF

  105. Boris
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Earle,

    I’m not putting words into Monckton’s mouth. Hee makes this claim in the pdf. He generalized and exaggerated. His claim is 100% undeniably false.

    Monckton claims:

    “Scores of scientific papers show that the medieval warm period was real, global and up to 3C warmer than now.”

    You’ve shown me two that go up to 3oC. You need 38 more for Monckton’s claim to be correct. Good luck on that. It’s more exggeration, as there are plenty of studies that show the MWP was only slightly warmer. He’s cherrypicking the most extreme example. Do you condone this behavior? More exaggeration.

    BTW, don’t misrepresent what I’ve said. I’m sure Viking farms were under permafrost at soome point. But they aren’t now.

  106. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    here is the direct “overrun” and “under permafrost” quote from the PDF- it has been posted here several times already:

    “”Eric the Red had named Greenland “Greenland” to encourage Danish settlers, because in his time south-western Greenland was indeed green. It was ice-free, and was extensively cultivated until c.1425 AD, when the farms were suddenly overrun by permafrost. The Viking agricultural settlements remain under permafrost to this day — a powerful indication that the Middle Ages were warmer than the present…””

  107. Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

    Re #102,

    Welikerocks, thanks for the link. Now I know where the excavations are positioned (a little knowledge of Norwegian did help!): East of the capital Nuuk, in the Amaralla fjord, in ancient times called Vesterbygden.

    This is quite interesting. Having been there a few years ago (see here), the possibility of farming in that area today is very limited, and only mixed farming (sheep/reindeer) at the south slopes of the mountains is possible. Other crops besides hay: forget it.

    So it is quite remarkable that such a large farm is discovered in that area, which points to a much milder climate in the Viking period. Today the whole area is still so cold that bodies are not buried at all (because of the permafrost), but simply laid on the ground and covered with stones. Thus that one has found this only one farm in the area, is probably a question of good luck, that the farm was (partly) uncovered by the river… I begin to be confident that more farms still are covered with permafrost in that area…

    Recently, a study was finished to establish the connection between marine environment (especially ocean currents) and human settlements in West-Greenland in the same area (Amaralik fjord). For that purpose they used sediment foraminafera, which gives a good indication of climate over long periods. As far as I know, they didn’t publish (surface water) temperature data derived from the sediment O18 levels, but I will ask it one of the researchers.

  108. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    re: #106 Boris,

    You need 38 more for Monckton’s claim to be correct.

    Go to co2science.org

    Click on the MWP project there and you’ll be able to find 83 articles by my count. Now can we go on to something interesting?

  109. Boris
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    Dave,

    Sorry, I don’t trust that source. I can’t get past the “temperature record of the week” where they cherry pick somewhere that has cooled as evidence that global temps aren’t rising. I assume similar cherry picking occurs in the “medeval warm period record of the week.”

    But apparently some people don’t mind that kind of deception if they agree with the main conclusion. Monckton becomes a good example here.

  110. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    Boris I didn’t ask you if you liked that site. You asked for papers which show a MWP up to 3 degrees warmer than now. They have the citations for the papers. Go get the papers and if you don’t think they show a MWP then go ahead and show us why. If you can do that for more than 2-3 out of 83 then we might be convinced that there aren’t the scores of papers which Monckton claimed.

    As for the cherry picking of the Temperatures of the week, sure they’re cherry picked, but they’ve been cherry-picking cities, towns and rural areas for years now. At some point you should at least be able to admit that a fair percentage of all stations don’t show GW.

  111. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    #106
    Ferdinand, thank you for sharing your pictures of Greenland. They are awesome!
    Brrrrr. I like the iceberg pictures the best and the one of your daughter next to the ice wall. Wow. What a great trip to go on! Santa must be getting busy up there now eh? ;)
    Cheers!

  112. Jeff Norman
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

    welikerocks & Ferdinand,

    “Brrrrr.” I gathered that from Google Earth as well.

  113. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    Boris is another AGW alarmist troll. Same deal with Lee. Funny how they have shown up now that we have some substantial threads going …. trying to disrupt and dilute the threads.

  114. Boris
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    “At some point you should at least be able to admit that a fair percentage of all stations don’t show GW.”

    And what does that have to do with anything? It’s irrelevant and misleading (especially since they cherrypick 1930-2000 as their time scale), hence I don’t trust the site. They do it so the average person will say, “boy the earth isn’t warming at all!” It’s not far from a bald faced lie.

    Nor do I have time to go through and read all the papers–or even two or three. I see that they mislead, so I throw out the whole bushel of cherries, impeahced testimony and all that.

    But I did go anyway, and looked at a graph that only showed 3 studies that claimed the MWP is up to 3oC warmer. So that still leaves 37, or if they are unique, 35.

  115. Boris
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    No, Steve Sadlov. I’m pointing out false statements. In my experience, people call someone a troll and liar when they have nothing to add to the argument. Hence your posts.

  116. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    #115

    No Boris, you don’t get to judge, jury & executor. Give us the paper, why it doesn’t show what the Idsos claim it does and then we’ll analyze.

    And just what graph was that you looked at? It’s not very difficult, you know, to include a link so people can check what you claim.

  117. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    Boris:
    How much of the 20th century warming trend do you think is attributable to human-caused greenhouse effects? (As a proportion, [0,1]) (A range acceptable in case you are uncertain. Lee, for example, has suggested [0.4,1.0].)

    Everyone:
    How much warmer were peak MWP temperatures than late 20th c. temperatures? (Negatives accepted, of course.) As with CO2 sensitivity, 95% confidence interval is acceptable.

  118. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    re 109 – Dardinger.

    Funny, when I go to the MWP project pages, I see a total of 15 total sites with claimed “Level 1″ quantitative data for MWP temperatures. Interestingly none off those are from Greenland (or Antarctica, for that matter).

    I’ve checked a few of those – the one’s I’ve looked at each had one paper “described.” That is far short of 83.

    I have previously followed information from CO2 science, and am familiar with their tendency to select isolated facts and present them out of context – so I don’t trust even that these apparent 15 papers do in fact support “MWP temps up to 3C higher.”

    And in fact, jsut as oen example, one of them says: “Results of the MXD RCS chronology revealed warm intervals “comparable to twentieth century values” during the MWP (~ AD 950-1200). In contrast, from the authors’ Figure 4, we calculate the peak warmth of the MWP in the RW STD chronology to be about 0.20°C above that of the CWP”.
    That is, even when the Idsos substitute their own ‘graph gazing’ for the conclusions of the authors, they get a whole 0.2C higher in the MWP.

    Could you be substantially more specific about those 83 articles that you claim support MWP temperatures up to 3C higher than today?

  119. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    This, for example is the graph that goes with teh cited text above, that the Idsos say shows warmer MWP temperatures – from one of the papers that Dardinger seems to be citing here.

  120. jae
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, I don’t trust that source. I can’t get past the “temperature record of the week” where they cherry pick somewhere that has cooled as evidence that global temps aren’t rising. I assume similar cherry picking occurs in the “medeval warm period record of the week.”

    This is the typical attitude of AGW-extremists regarding the CO2science.org site. The problem is that I have not seen one of them try to substantiate their “assumptions” or claims of bias. Does anyone know if RC has “analyzed” the site?

  121. BKC
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    Dave,

    I believe the graph Boris is referring to is here. From the graph, there are 3 studies that show MWP temps 3°C or more higher than the current warm period. However, I think Boris is interpreting Monckton’s claim incorrectly – that there are scores of papers showing the MWP was at least 3°C higher than today.

    I believe a better interpretation (it was poorly worded) would be – There are scores of papers that show the medieval warm period was real and global, and at least one of the papers showed a MWP 3°C higher than the present.

    From the two bar graphs linked on this page, there are about 33 studies that indicate a warmer MWP than the present. Not quite scores (40?), but I think enough to support his point.

  122. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    re 122 – those graphs conspicuously don’t tell us which papers go with each datum. I’ve already shown that one alleged quantitative ‘positive’ paper is not – and it’s the first one I looked at.

  123. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    Re: 110, Boris

    I assume similar cherry picking occurs in the “medeval warm period record of the week.”

    Climate science has quite a bit of cherry picking. I am quite confident that Phil Jones refuses to release his instrument data because he has been cherry picking weather stations to give the abrupt temperature increase in his reports. We know that there has been proxy cherry picking. The authors have admitted chosing particular proxies over others because they had a better “signal.” We will never know the true extent of the cherry picking unless some of the journals require data archiving prior to publication.

    It appears to me that you prefer cherry pie cooked by some folks over cherry pie cooked by others. Frankly, I would like to dispense with the pie and see the data.

  124. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    re: #122

    Right. I remember that graph. But of course that’s just papers which put a number to the temperature compared to today. Their level 2 papers also show that the MPW was warmer than the present but don’t put a number to it. And of course, Monckton may well have had other papers in mind as well. For that matter, since the Idsos are posting a new paper every week, I’m sure they have a number of papers in the can already ready to post.

  125. Nicholas
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    I think the Idsos are just trying to “fight fire with fire”. I don’t think they necessarily agree with the idea of cherry picking, but realize that if some people are going to do it in order to emphasize their personal opinions, then in the interest of impartiality the general public will get a more neutral impression if someone cherry picks dissenting papers to counter-balance them.

    The fact that a lot of papers disagree means there’s a lot of uncertainty. Uncertainty is anathema to those who wish to declare that the “debate is over” and that there is a “broad consensus”.

    Personally I’m interested in seeing all the evidence and deciding for myself which is the most compelling. Since I don’t have time to read all the papers, I have to trust the experts on this blog, since they seem more honest than most. Almost all main-stream reporting doesn’t pass the “smell test” on climate issues.

  126. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    Nicholas, the Idsos misrepresent a lot of what those papers say. That isnt cherry picking, that is dishonesty. And dishonesty does not equal uncertainty.

  127. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    Cherry picking (in the sense of data snooping) isn’t dishonest? To the extent that it biases an analysis, yes it is.

    That’s why Tukey invented the HSD (honest significant difference) test: because people who a posteriori troll through data looking for significant differences need to be subjected to a higher standard of evidence in order to get the same error rate as those who work “honestly” from an a priori hypothesis test.

  128. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

    Re: 118 survey & 125 putting a number to it.

    Can the MWP temps in your survey Bender just be the same as now? That’s my vote. I can’t deal in these minute fractions on the Hockey Stick et al graphs, just seems to strange to try and fidget with them and make commanding statements about “whose is bigger” by fractions of temp I think in epochs-its rubbed off on me by the geologist in the house.

    You know something, I’m with Nicholas and Brooks here #124 and 126-and what they said.

    Note to AGW’s: if you say “don’t read that!” most people are going to read it.
    And most people if they are reading this site, are not going to take your word on things, nor anybody else’s they are going to make up their own minds. If they can’t do that-make up their own minds- read everything available what good are they to you in this discussion or personally? Huh? Who are you talking to anyway when you spout this stuff exactly and why?

    Paul Dennis is commenting with some great thoughts, and he’s working on all these very things -understanding our planet. He’s trying to lift the conversation up to another level. I wish some people would take note of that also.

  129. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    re 127,128 – let me clarify. “Actively” dishonest. In at least some cases, they flat out misrepresent what the data is and what the paper concludes. There’s a stronger word for that, but I fear using it would violate site rules.

  130. Boris
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

    130:

    Sadlov said I “lie” so it seems that’s an okay term to use. Anyone disagree?

    129:

    I never told anyone not to read CO2science. I said I don’t trust it. I have very good reason not to trust it. If you trust it despite the obviously misleading “temperature of the week,” that’s your business.

    And the “They did so I’m going to do it!” excuse did not work in kindergarten, and it does not work now.

  131. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

    re: #127

    Nicholas, the Idsos misrepresent a lot of what those papers say.

    Then you should have no problem citing an example that we can all look at (i.e. where we don’t have to pay to read it) and decide for ourselves. The only examples I’ve seen in the past were where someone quoted an author to say he’d been distorted. But that’s not proof. Often authors feel they have to defend the AGW “concensus” even if their work doesn’t.

  132. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    Everyone:
    How much warmer were peak MWP temperatures than late 20th c. temperatures? (Negatives accepted, of course.) As with CO2 sensitivity, 95% confidence interval is acceptable.

    Based on the recent discussions at this blog alone, I would judge the answer is we simply do not have sufficiently accurate means and methodologies together at present to make even ball park estimates. I would guess that by putting together variously cherry picked sets of proxies and making lots of assumptions about how validly these proxies can be averaged to give a measure of global temperatures, we can come up with a wide range of plus and negative temperature anomalies for the MWP to the late twentieth century. These ranges of anomalies only point to the high degree of uncertainty involved in these estimates and the distinct possibility that these proxies are based on what may well be non-starter assumptions.

    If one had convinced oneself that most of the recent rise in temperature was caused primarily by man, I think that proxies that underestimated variations in past temperatures might be more readily accepted without detailed analysis than would be the case for more skeptical observers.

  133. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    Re #130
    What is your endless fascination with semantics? Data snooping leads to biased inferences. Doing so willfully with intent to deceive is dishonest. I don’t understand the distinction you’re trying to make in #127. I don’t see it.

    Whereas I can explain quite well the “fight fire with fire” analogy: the hockey team used data snooping to generate a biased result to influence global policy, and in response to that skeptics have chosen to highlight the questionable ethics there by making their own equally provocative claims. Do you not see the wit in this approach?

  134. Loki on the run
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    Then you should have no problem citing an example that we can all look at (i.e. where we don’t have to pay to read it) and decide for ourselves.

    I have access to most journals via a college library … I am willing to look papers up.

  135. Nicholas
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    I am a big fan of the Idso’s original research. I read the paper Douglas Hoyt provided and was very impressed with the simplicity and clarity of their research.

    I don’t know how good a job they do of summarizing other peoples’ papers but I feel as scientists in this field, they are highly credible.

    Compare the thought and care they put into their work, vs. the Hockey Team, it’s night vs. day.

  136. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    134 –

    bender – Dishonest “data snooping” isn’t proven here, but I agree that unsupported post-hoc data selection leads to improper conclusions even if not intentional, and is dishonest if intentional.

    Misrperesetning waht a paper cocnludes, or waht a graph shows as heere, si hard to see as anything other than dishonest.

  137. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

    Eye for an eye. Data-snooping ‘warmers’ CAUSED data-snooping ‘coolers’. Do you not see the causal link?

  138. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

    Dardinger-

    I just posted a graph that shows nearly the entirety of the MWP as substantially colder than current temperatures, with two short periods comparable to current temps, for which the Idsos eyeball one point on the graph to dispute the authors ‘comparable temperatures’ and make a claim that the paper shows that the MWP was 0.2C warmer than present temperatures.

    If that isn’t an illustration of active dishonesty, I don’t know what is.

  139. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 8:48 PM | Permalink

    bender, I don’t give a damn about causality here. I give a damn that the Idsos are engaging in active intellectual dishonesty, and people (including you) are defending it.

  140. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

    Lee, where are the confidence intervals on those curves? You claim to accept that the science is uncertain, but you do not recognize what that implies for the MWP confidence intervals. When you consider that high level of uncertainty, then it is entirely possible that the MWP was much warmer than today. Verbally, you accept the uncertainty. But when it comes to graphics, you ignore it.

  141. bender
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    I’m done for the night. Please behave yourself as best you can.
    By the way, I’m pleased to see your spelling and proofreading has improved. Really.

  142. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    Bender, if you include the confidence intervals taht should be there, then the Idsos claim taht the graph shows that the MWP was warmer is even LESS permissible.

    Yes, it is possible that the MWP, at least in some parts of the world, was warmer than today. I haven’t said otherwise. In fact, I suspect that European temps in the warmest parts of MWP were equivalent to a bit warmer than today, and that the settled parts of Greenland may have been perhaps 1oC or even a bit more warmer than today. Especially since the models seem to indicate that SW Greenland is among the slowest parts of the world to respond to AGW.

    What I HAVE said is that the laughably false “evidence” Monckton offered in claiming that the MWP was necessarily warmer, is not such evidence. And now that this graph that the Idsos say is evidence that it was warmer, is nothing of the sort, and that in fact the Idsos claim is hard to interpret as anything other than intentional distortion.

    I am not making unsupported claims that Greenalnd in the MWP was colder than it is today – I have been very careful not to say that. I **am** disputing these particular sets of ludicrous “evidence” that Monckton and the Idsos are claiming support that the MWP was necessarily warmer than today, and I am calling them on their blatant intellectual dishonesty.

  143. MarkR
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

    #143 The ludicrous claim is by Mann et al and subsequent that current temperatures are unprecedented in the last 1000 years.

    Until you accept that the Hockey Stick graph in all it’s forms are wrong, you have no credibility.

  144. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    Mark, would you engage at least three neurons simultaneously, read what I just wrote in that last post, and then try again? And while you’re at it, stop presuming that you know what I think?

  145. MarkR
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

    Please do tell. What about the Hockey Stick. Don’t be shy.

  146. Lee
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    Mark, you have still not answered my question from the other day (yes or no, mark. yes or no), you repeatedly display an insulting refusal to stay on topic when pressed, you engage in repeated lame attempts at taunting, you continually presume to tell me and some others here what we think, I’ve answered precisely your question here at CA many times, unlike several people here who manage to challenge y knowledge and analyses I have no reason to give a damn what you think, and at this point I could care less if *you* ever know what I think about ‘the hockey stick.’

  147. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

    re: #139

    I just posted a graph

    Where?

  148. James Lane
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

    I am not making unsupported claims that Greenalnd in the MWP was colder than it is today – I have been very careful not to say that.

    So you think that Greenland in the MWP was as warm or warmer than it is today? I think the historical and archaelogical evidence that it was somewhat warmer is pretty good. I’m not quite sure why the issue is in such dispute, except as a vehicle to attack Monkton.

  149. Loki on the run
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    Re: 148

    re: #139

    I just posted a graph

    Where?

    It’s actually up there at: Comment 120.

  150. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    Here’s what the NAS panel said:

    Greenland had a pronounced period of warmth around A.D. 1000, a cool period from 1600 through 1900, and a modest 20th century warming…. In Greenland, the 20th century warmth is not higher than that during medieval times (11th century).

  151. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

    Ah well, Lee.

    Hate to break the news to you, but there was an interview up today with Bjorn Lomborg on TCS. In it he says he’s got a new book coming out next year on global warming. If you’ve gotten over spewing on Lord Mockton and the Idsos, you will have to start all over again.

  152. Paul Dennis
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 1:03 AM | Permalink

    re #139

    Lee, your description of the graph you posted is:

    “I just posted a graph that shows nearly the entirety of the MWP as substantially colder than current temperatures, with two short periods comparable to current temps, for which the Idsos eyeball one point on the graph to dispute the authors “comparable temperatures’ and make a claim that the paper shows that the MWP was 0.2C warmer than present temperatures.”

    First, it looks that the horizontal line dividing ‘warmer’ from ‘cooler’ is based on some period of 20th century mean. If we make it the long term ‘millenial’ mean then the graph will look very different and the MWP will look very similar to the CWP.

    Indeed, we don’t even need to do this. A look at the graph could well invite the response that in the context of the past 1000 years there is nothing extraordinary about the present warm period.

    I think that is a fairer comparison, than the one you are making which starts from the premise that the CWP is an extraordinary warming event compared to previous ones.

  153. MarkR
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    #120 I see about 100 years of much colder weather starting very soon.

  154. Boris
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    153:

    You miss the point. The point is CO2science misrepresents this study.

    149:

    So you think that Greenland in the MWP was as warm or warmer than it is today? I think the historical and archaelogical evidence that it was somewhat warmer is pretty good. I’m not quite sure why the issue is in such dispute, except as a vehicle to attack Monkton.

    The issue that Greenland was around the same temperature as today–perhaps a bit warmer–is not in dispute.

    But Monckton has made several unsupported claims that people here keep defending. He claims:

    1. “The viking settlements” are under permafrost “to this day.” This is undeniably false and misleading, and leaves the impression that the difference in Greenland between the middle ages and today is quite large.
    2. He claims the farms were “suddenly overrun by permafrost” but in the one example we have the farm was buried in sand and then frozen.
    3. He claims there are “scores” of studies that show the MWP is up to 3oC warmer than today. We have found from 3 to 5 studies that show this. No mention is made of studies that show the MWP as slightly cooler than the warming today.

    This doesn’t even cover the mysterious disappearing Andean glaciers, his misrepresentation of Hansen’s testimony, his comparison of a global temperature graph with one showing European temps, the change of scale in said graphs, etc etc etc.

  155. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    “The viking settlements” are under permafrost “to this day.” This is undeniably false

    No it is not. And I posted a picture of the site with the permafrost and several reliable sources which also say that the viking site has been frozen since it was abandoned. How you keep closing your eyes to these examples of the facts is beyond reason.

    He claims the farms were “suddenly overrun by permafrost

    Where does he say that?

    No mention is made of studies that show the MWP as slightly cooler than the warming today.

    Show us one.

  156. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    And while you are at it Boris, tell us why the National Academy of Science is wrong as well and why you need more papers to show the same.

    Quote: Greenland had a pronounced period of warmth around A.D. 1000, a cool period from 1600 through 1900, and a modest 20th century warming…. In Greenland, the 20th century warmth is not higher than that during medieval times (11th century).

  157. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

    Ok on this statement:

    Then, there were no glaciers in the tropical Andes

    I’ve been looking for information…

    “Late Quaternary deglacial history of the Mérida Andes, Venezuela”
    link: http://tinyurl.com/y5hln5
    And there’s a paper called “Polissar et al” that I think concluded that the Venezuelan glaciers did not exist in the MWP?? but it’s one of those you have to buy or be member to read.

  158. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    re: #120, 139, etc. Lee,

    the Idsos eyeball one point on the graph to dispute the authors “comparable temperatures’ and make a claim that the paper shows that the MWP was 0.2C warmer than present temperatures.

    The graph you show is two graphs stacked. In the top one present temperatures are comparable to the present. In the bottom one the MWP is .2 deg C higher than present temperatures. What’s your problem with what the Idsos said? Do bear in mind that we can’t assume that the present warm period is going to continue for very long. If they don’t then the present high temperatures will just be a blip in history. And further, I’m of the opinion that there are one or two tenths of higher temperature than legitimate in the present surface record by Jones et. al. because of failure to properly allow for UHI effects. If that’s the case, I’m not sure what it’d do to the various multi-proxy reconstructions, but I don’t think it’d change individual proxies such as that shown in this paper.

  159. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    RE: #121 – In Ernest Callenbach’s book “Ecotopia emerging” one of the so called protaganists recalls a childhood hike in the Sierra Nevada with her father. The father, looking out from the Pacific Crest, eastward exclaims something to the effect of “desert crazies! They are all desert crazies!” – the attempt by Callenbach to contrast a Europhile Ecomarxist coastal culture and the normal American one to the East being the point of the exercise. Why have I mentioned this? The Idsos are Arizonans. Many in the NE US and West Coast coastal strip stereotype those living in the Southern US and interior West in a manner not unlike Callenbach’s protagonists’ father. Indeed, “desert crazies” – rednecks, bigots, fascists, rapers of the the earth, denialists, etc, etc, etc. I cannot escape sociology here. It must be looked at. These social schisms directly impact the AGW debate. At the end of the day, Europhile / post modernist Western Rousseauian intellectuals cannot abide by having “Arizona desert crazies” countering their own world view. That’s why they hate the Idsos.

  160. beng
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    RE 118:

    Everyone:
    How much warmer were peak MWP temperatures than late 20th c. temperatures? (Negatives accepted, of course.) As with CO2 sensitivity, 95% confidence interval is acceptable.

    Treelines were almost universally higher (altitude and latitude) during the MWP than now. There’s also emirical evidence that at least some of the tropical/subtropical glaciers (that seem to have net melting now) were much reduced or even not present during the MWP. Time lags of course come into play, mostly w/the glaciers (treelines move pretty quickly, especially on flat terrain like the N Amer & Siberian boreal treelines).

    I’ve seen alot of studies that suggest ~1 deg C warmer globally during the MWP, so that would be my best guess. So 1 +/- .5 C warmer.

  161. Lee
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    re 153 – Paul,
    I’m not looking at the dividing line, I’m looking at the trace. The data shows, as I pointed out the authors said, that 20th century temps are comparable – I didn’t even point out that the majority of the MWP in that graphic is cooler than 20th century temps, dividing line or no, or that the “comparable” claim of the authors is to the very few warmest peaks in the MWP. IOW, I never claimed that this graphic shows that current temps are extraordinary – I simply pointed out that the Idsos are misrepresenting what that data says. As is their wont, they are very careful in their wording so that what they say is true as long as context is ignored. Their “peak warmth” claim (ignoring whether that difference of 0.2C is significant), in context, is that for a very short time, a “MWP” that was overall colder than teh 20th century in this data got slightly warmer. That is NOT a warmer MWP, it is cherry-picking a single 20 year period to represent the entire MWP, and it is scientifically absurd.

    re 159 – Dardinger,

    “The graph you show is two graphs stacked.” – well, duh!

    Are you defining the MWP as two 20 year blips in the early 1000s, and another 2 such blips around 1400? Do you get to throw away the remaining several centuries of the MWP when analyzing this graph? It appears that you think you can – that you think you can cherry-pick two short periods of warmth out of a centuries-long record of colder temperatures, and base your analysis of the entire centuries-long period on them. And that so did the Idsos. And this is either extraordinary scientific incompetence, or dishonest.

    There is one peak, of very short duration, with unreported confidence intervals, that is a bit higher than the peaks in modern temps, in one of the two analyses. During those short 20-year blips, the temps were comparable to 20th century temps, according to this analysis. But the majority of the MWP period on that graph shows sustained colder than 20th century temps.

    Rocks, that farm is not “The Viking agricultural settlements.” It was (past tense) one farm, of many such farms scattered across SW Greenland, that all together constituted “The Viking agricultural settlements.” Monckton did not say “some farms”. He did not even use the ambiguous unspecific “farms”. He said “The Viking agricultural settlements,” using an inclusive construction that implies teh totality of “The viking agricutural settlements.” He also saaid “to this day.” That farm is not there today, so it can not be evidence of whether any farm, much less “The Viking agricultural settlements,” are under permafrost “to this day.”

    I have to say that this topic is being instructive. it is clearly illuminating who here is making at least some effort toward honest examination and dispute on the topic (hi, bender), and who can be ignored as being ideologically wedded to positions that wont accept contradictory evidence.

  162. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    Disclosure: I am a “defector” from the AGW alarmist “cause.”

  163. Lee
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    Well, of course, Sadlov. How could anyone not realize that the reason we think the Idsos misrepresent data, is that they live in Arizona. Clearly that fact blinds us, such that we lose all critical faculty and let our hatred drive everything we say.

    You are engaging in a particularly despicable form of trolling, Sadlov, aimed at seemingly politely worded but vile mischaracterizations of your opponents. Knock it off.

  164. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    Re: 162
    no no, in #3 you say this is the problem and you quote:

    Her is that paragraph in full:

    “The UN, echoed by Stern, says the graph isn’t important. It is. Scores of scientific papers show that the medieval warm period was real, global and up to 3C warmer than now. Then, there were no glaciers in the tropical Andes: today they’re there. There were Viking farms in Greenland: now they’re under permafrost. There was little ice at the North Pole: a Chinese naval squadron sailed right round the Arctic in 1421 and found none.”

    One at at time –

    Andes glaciers – records for Huascaran go back over 8,000 years. Sajama ice goes back over 20k years. Quelcayya ice goes back 1500 years.

    Norse farm artifacts may be under permafrost – this statement is sneakily literally true. but presnt day farms operate at the same places. His implication that thsi statment shows that conditions then were different is simply false.

    Chinese naval squadron found no arctic ice – guffaw.

    Monckton was engaging in fantasy and/or deception.

    Now you say it has be “Rocks, that farm is not “The Viking agricultural settlements.”
    Can you EVER be satisfied? Or do we have to surrender to the fantasy you’ve got going on?

  165. Boris
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    No it is not. And I posted a picture of the site with the permafrost and several reliable sources which also say that the viking site has been frozen since it was abandoned. How you keep closing your eyes to these examples of the facts is beyond reason.

    So “the Viking settlements” refers to one place? Is that your argument? Closed eyes indeed. You conveniently forget all of the settlements not under permafrost.

  166. Paul Dennis
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    re #162

    Lee the quote you provided in your posting immediately prior to the graphic is:

    “Results of the MXD RCS chronology revealed warm intervals “comparable to twentieth century values” during the MWP (~ AD 950-1200). In contrast, from the authors’ Figure 4, we calculate the peak warmth of the MWP in the RW STD chronology to be about 0.20°C above that of the CWP”.

    I think the key words here are ‘intervals’ and ‘peak warmth’.

    Neither of these imply that the whole of the MWP was warmer than the CWP. In this respect I don’t think the Idso’s are misprepresenting the data.

    I guess you, like me, are getting fed up with the endless debate about semantics, parsing etc. There is a substantial scientific discussion to be had and unfortunately it is becoming eliminated in the noise, tenor of comments etc. from all sides.

    By the way thankyou for the references. I’ve had a look at a couple of them, but need time to take them in completely. As is the case with much of climate science at the moment we’re having to make some substantial assumptions regarding forcing and heat content. I’m not decrying the papwers, just making an observation.

  167. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    Boris and Lee,

    the problem is that you refuse to concede that by his example of the Viking settlements he is stressing the fact that climate change happened to these people and they could not continue as they began. They settled when it was warm and thrived. And, abandoned and perished when it got cold.

    His point is, and listen carefully, the Earth gets warm all be itself and people take advantage of it, just like politicians and the eco-groovies are doing right now, and they can be very very wrong and it can get really really bad, and people can suffer. I don’t believe for one minute you’ve ever considered this in your diatribe to condem this commentary or nickpick mine or any other person’s opinion have you? You just want to prove something doesn’t support the fad of GW, which btw I do not even believe is happening.

    I’d like to see one of you prove that the Earth will not get cold if it feels like it because human influence is so darn powerful.

  168. Lee
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    Rocks, I’ll point out that Monckton’s expanded words in his PDF have been brought into evidence hee. Beyond that, I’m not quite sure what you are trying to say.
    BTW, thanks for repeating his other absurdities about the glaciers and the chinese squadron. Hint – those don’t help your argument.

    How many clearly incorrect and absurd things does Monckton have to say in that article, before anyone questions Monckton’s veracity and ability?

  169. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    re: #162

    Are you defining the MWP as two 20 year blips in the early 1000s, and another 2 such blips around 1400?

    Are you defining the modern warm period as the 30 years from 1975 to 2005? 150 years ago we were much colder and who knows what we will be 150 years from now? You’re trying to compare a peak temperature period to some century long periods of the MWP. I won’t claim that’s dishonest on your part, just foolish.

  170. Lee
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    re 1676 – Paul.

    Yes,the Idsos were careful to be literally correct – I’ve said that. They are good at that. They were also deeply misleading about what that data says overall about the entirety of the MWP – and they are good at that, too, which is why I don’t trust their site.

    BTW, as I mentioned, those references were the result of a quick search, offered in part to show the kinds of things that are out there in the literature. If you are wanting to do a fairly comprehensive look at this issue, you would probably want to use them as a starting point to approach the literate – I don’t intend them as anything near a definitive listing.

  171. Lee
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    dardinger-
    Yes, I am saying that the period of 20th century warming in that data is comparable in temperature and somewhat longer in duration to the two very short periods of warming in the MWP – which is essentialy what the authors say.

    The Idsos cherry-pick and extend to say that peak temperatures in the MWP were warmer than peak 20th century – their argument, not mine, comparing two peaks, not even periods – without considering any confidence intervals that might be in play, and without consideration that most of the MWP in that data was colder than today.

    BTW, that data also shows a MWP and a LIA that are not really distinguishable from each other.

    The immediate question y’all are disputing, as you well know, is whether our present warming trend is heading into new territory. That means, by definition, that we must compare what is happening in this current period of warming to those past periods. We are warmer now than most of the 20th century (all of it except 1998, actually). Of course this data does not tell us what will happen 150 years from now – there is a lot of other data and analysis that seem to giving as a picture of that.

    We are warmer now than most of the 20th century. In this data, cited by the Idsos as evidence fo a warmer MWP than present, the 20th century was comparable to peak MWP. You do the math.

  172. bender
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    Lee, you must admit: in order to have an apples-to-apples comparison, the time-scales of integration over the MWP vs CWP need to be the same?

  173. Lee
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    bender – that depends on the question being asked. If the question is ‘are current point temperatures now, during our period of warming now, anamolously warm,’ then one compares current temperatures to past point temperatures. But that isn’t what the Idsos did – they compared 20th century temp peaks (which are not current – we are undergoing warming right now) to past temp peaks, ignored potential confidence interval issues, and declared that peak MWP temps were warmer than the 20th century. Perhaps the most egregiously misleading thing they did, was to call that short spike in the midst of colder temperatures “the MWP.”

    If one is asking if the MWP was warmer than modern temperature,s then one shoudl comapre comparable periods – and I at least arrive at the conclusion looking at that graphic, as the authors stated, that 20th century temps are comparable to those two short peaks in the MWP, and possibly of somewhat longer duration. But that if you compare 20th century temps to comparable periods through most of the MWP, the MWP was substantially colder.

    Of the question is whether next year is going to continue to be hotter, that data in and of itself has no answer, no matter how you analyze it.

  174. jae
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    There’s a much better graph of showing the MWP, which was accepted by the IPPC, here. The article also does a good job summarizing many studies of the MWP, LIA. It even includes the hokey stick, without bashing it. Looks pretty fair and impartial to me.

  175. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    Re: #172

    Yes,the Idsos were careful to be literally correct – I’ve said that. They are good at that. They were also deeply misleading about what that data says overall about the entirety of the MWP – and they are good at that, too, which is why I don’t trust their site.

    The Idsos cherry-pick and extend to say that peak temperatures in the MWP were warmer than peak 20th century – their argument, not mine, comparing two peaks, not even periods – without considering any confidence intervals that might be in play, and without consideration that most of the MWP in that data was colder than today.

    Perhaps, this is a start, Lee, for your understanding of the skeptics view of Mann et al. I find your observations here can just as readily be applied, in a general way, to what has been published and commented by Mann and his reconstructionists allies.

  176. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    re: #174

    Lee, You are assuming its useful to compare current instrumental temperatures with past proxy temperatures. It’d be better to compare present proxy temperatures with past proxy temperatures. That’s where there’s some ambiguity on the data in the two graphs from the Idso’s site comes in. One shows a present rise and one shows a present fall. Do you get to cherry pick according to your desires? Now it could be that the second graph is affected by water stress, but if so then why not in the past peak periods as well? And this would also reduce the utility of using tree rings at all as temperature proxies; something which has been much discussed here.

    You admit “Yes,the Idsos were careful to be literally correct” but still want to excoriate them for cherry-picking and the like, but of course you never do the same for the Team. And they’re not even literally — and usually not figuratively — correct.

    I think I’ll declare victory and move on.

  177. Boris
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    His point is, and listen carefully, the Earth gets warm all be itself and people take advantage of it, just like politicians and the eco-groovies are doing right now, and they can be very very wrong and it can get really really bad, and people can suffer.

    That is not what he is saying.

    He is saying that the viking agricultural settlements are now under permafrost and this shows that it was substantially warmer than now.

    He is wrong on that and many other accounts. His article is misleading. All of the errors occur in his favor. He cannot be trusted, though LCimate Audit sees him as some sort of hero.

    I think I’ll declare victory and move on.

    Sorry, I can’t let you. The “temperature of the week” is misleading and cherry picked. That alone ruins their credibility, so while I’d love to analyze the papers, I already have a good idea of the kind of cherrytwisting that goes on at that site.

    Other posters here agree that the Idsos are misleading, hence the “fight fire with fire” posts AKA “Mommy, Jenny bit me so I bit her back!” defense.

  178. Lee
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    oh, good ** almighty on a popsickle stick!!!!!!!!

    One more frickin’ time – I DO NOT CURRENTLY ACCEPT THE VALIDITY OF THE DENDRO RECONSTRUCTIONS FOR MORE THAN A FEW CENTURIES INTO THE PAST. And I have said nothing in this debate in support of that.

    Can I get any more clear than this? Do I have to repeat it another few dozen times? Perhaps I need to preface this to every post I make?

    I am watching that debate, and waiting for it to settle out in the literature, before I give the dendro reconstructions weight (or finally discard them) in my thinking about AGW and past temperatures. We are not here arguing whether the dendro reconstructions are valid.

    Dardinger, I’ve said this directly to you in the past, I think more than once.

    We are arguing whether the “evidence” Monckton cites, and now whether the cherry-picked bits of data the Idsos cite, are good evidence for a clearly warmer MWP. They are not – Monckton was absurdly wrong on the facts, and the Idsos repeatedly misuse data. This does not mean the MWP might not have been warmer (or cooler) than today – this means that the arguments used by Monckton, and the cherry picking by the Idsos (both of which y’all are so vigorously defending) do not support that conclusion.

    I am not using the data from that graph to support any climate position, and I have been careful not to do so – I think making global climate arguments from single spatially isolated data set from an inherently noisy (at best) methodology would be absurd. What I am disputing in this immediate argument, is the misleading use to which the Idsos put that data set, deriving conclusions form it which require egregious cherry picking. And more broadly, I am disputing whether that set of ‘data’ the Idsos cite is any support for Monckton.

  179. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Can I get any more clear than this? Do I have to repeat it another few dozen times? Perhaps I need to preface this to every post I make?

    I am watching that debate, and waiting for it to settle out in the literature, before I give the dendro reconstructions weight (or finally discard them) in my thinking about AGW and past temperatures. We are not here arguing whether the dendro reconstructions are valid.

    Lee, if that outburst was directed to my post, I would ask that you consider the point I was making and that is that one finds too often in climatologists’ writings and comments rather vague conclusions that can be misleading and particularly so when regurgitated in the main stream press. Cherry picking is also an art form with a number of climatologists who evidently shamelessly and perhaps ignorantly use it without even noting some caveats. My point was obviously more general than a comment on the validity of temperature proxy reconstructions, be they limited to tree rings or more a more comprehensive array of proxies.

  180. Nicholas
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    Boris : I’m sorry but your logic is jaw-droppingly wrong.

    The Idsos can post whatever damn temperature they want on their web page and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. They never claimed to represent all locations equally. They never claimed they are picking them with no bias. Unlike, say, the Hockey Team, who claim to have picked proxies impartially that are geographically distributed, but emphatically have not. What’s more, co2science is a web site and not a scientific paper. They’re free to put their opinions up there if they like.

    “Fighting fire with fire” does not mean they are doing anything immoral, even if the other side is. It just means they’re willing to use the same tricks to raise awareness. From your post I am now convinced you have no interest in the truth, only playing juvenile games. I wouldn’t bother to reply if you hadn’t made an ad hom attack on me.

  181. Lee
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    Hoo boy –
    “The Idsos can post whatever damn temperature they want on their web page and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.”
    -correct – the web is ideally suuited to polemics.

    “They never claimed to represent all locations equally. They never claimed they are picking them with no bias.”
    -Correct. They select and present deeply biased material, and that means they are not credible sources of information to support scientific discussion. Thanks for admitting this.

    Unlike, say, the Hockey Team, who claim to have picked proxies impartially that are geographically distributed, but emphatically have not.
    -The “hockey team” does not maintain the Idsos website, and ‘they’ are irrelevant to whether the Idsos are a credible source of scientific information.

    What’s more, co2science is a web site and not a scientific paper.
    -Correct.

    They’re free to put their opinions up there if they like.
    -Also correct. Vive le free expression. And thanks again for admitting that CO2science is a compendium of the Idsos opinion. Opinion is not credible scientific information.

  182. bender
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    Lee, which of their summaries do you find to be a distortion? You keep saying their summaries are biased, but you haven’t given one shred of evidence. Here’s your opportunity. Can you list, say, a half-dozen of the worst offenders? If you can’t, then I think you should take your strong opinions and accusations elsewhere.

    Apologies, Steve M, if discussion of CO2 science website is too far OT.

  183. Lee
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    bender, I have been discussing such an example for much of the latter half of this thread.

    You yourself posted on that topic earlier in this thread:
    “Data-snooping “warmers’ CAUSED data-snooping “coolers’. Do you not see the causal link?”

  184. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    re 179:

    I didn’t know, see you post so much that nobody can read everything you write. Fine to see that you agree to the Wegman conclusions.

    Furthermore do you agree that viking farms are still under permafrost? I remember reading something about the smell of thawing cattle droppings, coming out of the permafrost.

  185. bender
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    Re #184
    May I remind you of what you said in #127:

    the Idsos misrepresent a lot of what those papers say.

    So, I’ll have a half-dozen misrepresentational summaries, please. Hold the malarky.

  186. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    The “hockey team” does not maintain the Idsos website, and “they’ are irrelevant to whether the Idsos are a credible source of scientific information.

    From reading both, I get the idea that the Hockey Team and many of their supporters advocate for AGW while the Idsos and their supporters advocate against AGW. That’s life in the big city and probably means you will not see much evidence, if any, supporting AGW from the Idsos and much evidence, if any, from the Hockey Team supporting arguments against AGW — much like an adversarial court case in the US. The proof in the pudding comes from the evidence that both sides present and that is what we can most efficiently talk about. Unfortunately, for this skeptic much of the current evidence is circumstantial and indirect from both sides, while I want and need evidence, based on the apparent high stakes involved, of a more direct nature or at least some realistic measure of the uncertainties in the evidence.

  187. Steve Bloom
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    Here’s some current research results showing that temps in the North Atlantic region were cooler during the LIA due to a reduced Gulf Stream flow that in turn likely resulted from a southward shift in the ITCZ. While they need to be confirmed with a similar assessment of the return flow, these results add support to the idea that the LIA may have been largely a regional phenomenon centered on the North Atlantic. Interestingly, results also show that the flow during the last fifty years has exceeded that of the MWP.

    Re #183: bender, the thing that makes co2science smell bad is the appearance of carefully analyzing research combined with failing to provide links to the abstracts of the analyzed papers The couple of times I’ve gone to the considerable trouble of looking up the abstracts I’ve found substantial distortions. My conclusion is that this is precisely why the links aren’t provided.

  188. David Smith
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    RE #188 Steve B, if you come acroos a free copy of this article, please post. I’d like to read the details. Thanks.

  189. Lee
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    sigh…

    Hans, a single solitary viking farm apparently began melting/appearing out of frozen sand 15 years ago in 1991, was excavated, and then was washed away by a river.

    Monckton made the inclusive claim that “The Viking agricultural settlements are under permafrost to this day.” That one farm never did constitute “The Viking agricultural settlements,” and it does not even exist “to this day,” much less is it under permafrost “to this day.”

    And that part of Greenland is currently the site of a thriving grazing/hay-based agricultural economy, similar in kind to the farming the vikings did, so the implication of his statement, that farming is impossible because of the cold, is false as well.

  190. bender
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    #188 Do you keep a log of these “substantial distortions”? Can you point me to a dozen or so? I mean, you don’t expect anyone to accept an allegation like that without some substantial backing, do you? How long could it take to list a dozen, or even two dozen if, as Lee suggests, the proportion of biased summaries is high? Half an hour?

  191. John M
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    #188 and 189

    Already the beginnings of a good discussion on this on the Road Map thread.

  192. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    #190 Lee,
    Do you even read articles like the one about the excavation I provided?
    There were 400 buildings un-covered under that permafrost and archaeologists guess that the population may have risen to a peak of about 5,000. Why did they disappear if it was so easy to survive as you say? Are you now disputing the hypothosis made by the anthropologists that they abandanded the area because of the climate change?

  193. Boris
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    Nicholas,

    I’m not talking logos. I’m talking ethos. You can be an apolosist for misleading information (yoiu apparently call this using “tricks.” How quaint!) all you want, after all, you never said you wouldn’t.

    You say I made an ad hom attack on you. Where? Where is this phantom attack?

  194. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    Boris, I am still waiting for a paper you’ve read that shows the MWP cooler then now…

  195. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    “abandanded” did I type that? sheesh, you know what I mean.

  196. bender
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    The “temperature of the week” is misleading and cherry picked. That alone ruins their credibility.

    Boris interprets this as “misleading”. I interpret it as coy and humorous. To me, that enhances their credibility. While also suggesting that Boris is humorless.

    The Idsos are not “fighting fire with fire”; they are pointing out the ridiculousness of climatological cherry-picking by putting themselves out there as a target. Do you really think the Idsos are so witless as to not understand what cherry-picking is? As Lee would say “get real, dude”.

  197. Loki on the run
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    Cosmic rays and Earth’s climate would seem to make all the wanking on about rising CO2 emissions just so peurile, realy.

  198. bender
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Loki, Boris:
    Re #118 How much of the 20th century warming trend do you think is attributable to human-caused greenhouse effects? (A range acceptable in case you are uncertain.)

  199. Loki on the run
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    Getting closer to the cosmic connection to climate says:

    Interestingly, during the 20th Century, the Sun’s magnetic field which shields Earth from cosmic rays more than doubled, thereby reducing the average influx of cosmic rays. The resulting reduction in cloudiness, especially of low-altitude clouds, may be a significant factor in the global warming Earth has undergone during the last century. However, until now, there has been no experimental evidence of how the causal mechanism linking cosmic rays and cloud formation may work.

  200. Boris
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    Boris interprets this as “misleading”. I interpret it as coy and humorous. To me, that enhances their credibility. While also suggesting that Boris is humorless.

    The Idsos are not “fighting fire with fire”; they are pointing out the ridiculousness of climatological cherry-picking by putting themselves out there as a target. Do you really think the Idsos are so witless as to not understand what cherry-picking is? As Lee would say “get real, dude”.

    Beyond how being coy and humorous could actually enhance one’s scientific credibility, who do you think the Idso’s target audience is? It’s not scientists.

    From their website:

    Please help us correct this situation by telling your friends about CO2 Science and encouraging them to visit our website to learn the scientific facts of the matter.

    So they show the “temperature record of the week” to persuade those who are not very careful in their research that the Earth is not warming. In a way, it’s like having a “Long-lived smoker of the week” on Phillip-Morris’ site.

    In addition, the TRotW page says:

    To bolster our claim that “There Has Been Little Net Global Warming Over the Past 70 Years,” each week we highlight the temperature record of one of the 1221 U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) stations from 1930-2000.

    So they are quite clearly engaging in argumentation and cherry picking the support for their claim. I see no indication of a joke here. It’s presented as straight up information. As to being humorless, I do sort of laugh at them, but it’s mostly an incredulous chuckle.

    Do you really think the Idsos are so witless as to not understand what cherry-picking is?

    Heck, no! That’s why I don’t trust them. They know exactly what they are doing, and it ain’t comedy.

  201. Steve Bloom
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

    Re #193: “400 buildings un-covered under that permafrost”? I don’t recall seeing that anywhere. Where was the link? “Why did they disappear if it was so easy to survive as you say? Are you now disputing the hypothosis made by the anthropologists that they abandanded the area because of the climate change?” I had read that a collapse in the price of walrus ivory may have had a lot more to do with it.

  202. Lee
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:57 PM | Permalink

    re 193 – rocks,

    Quite frankly I pay very little attention to any ‘facts’ you proffer any more. This is one reason why.

    That article you posted starts with a short description of the farm under the sands. The money quote: “they excavated the ruins of the five-room, stone-and-turf house in the early 1990s.”

    One house, five rooms, rocks. One farm. A prosperous farm, apparently. 5 rooms is substantial by Greenland Viking standards, and other analyses of the farm shows that it was productive and well maintained up until it was covered. But one farm, one house, nonetheless.

    Further down, when discussing the entire Greenland colonies, they say:
    “The Greenlanders prospered. From the number of farms in both colonies, whose 400 or so stone ruins still dot the landscape, archaeologists guess that the population may have risen to a peak of about 5,000.”

    The entire Norse Greenland colonies, all the farms together, at both major sites, the entire inhabited area, had 400 buildings. That entire culture, both colonies together, at max may have had 5000 people – many other estimates are closer to 3000 at max. Not at that one farm, rocks, but the entire kit and kaboodle, the complete colony, the whole shooting match, the entire thing, had 400 buildings and maybe 5000 people.

    And please note the part about how those ruins “dot the landscape,” rocks. Most of those buildings aren’t ‘under’ anything, permafrost or otherwise. They are right out on the surface, or only partially buried from soil formation and movement. The pictures in that article show several of the ruins, rocks, sitting right on the surface, among green grassland. I would recommend you go back to that article and look at them, and then think for a moment about how a set of stone ruins on the surface in green pasture could be considered to be “under permafrost” and evidence that it is unfarmable.

    That one farm, of ONE building, was covered by sand, and then frozen in. That farm was about 1/400 of the buildings in Greenland. It is NOT representative of the ruins on Greenland.

    Now, I usually back off and try to be gentle with you, rocks. But if you are going to attempt to ridicule me for getting facts wrong from an article you posted, and imply that I am arguing without doing my homework, would you at least make some attempt to check whether I got the facts wrong, and that you have at least some hint of a clue of what that article actually says and shows?

  203. Roger Bell
    Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 7:10 PM | Permalink

    Re 188
    Steve Bloom,
    What on earth do you mean about “failing to supply links to the abstracts of the analyzed papers”? There certainly are links to the individual papers.
    I would have thought that writing computer programs which always produce a hockey stick, even from random data, was much more worthy of criticism.
    Roger Bell

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