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Actic temperatures over the past 1500 years. The blue line is Grudd's latest data; the dashed grey is his earlier work from 2002.
New research reveals the Arctic Circle cooling over the longterm

Researcher Håkan Grudd used tree proxy data to reconstruct the temperature record of Torneträsk, deep inside the Arctic Circle. Sampling was done on Scots pines, which have grown in the region for millenia, allowing for reconstruction of a continuous record.

Grudd, of Stockholm University's Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, compared both tree ring width and maximum density, to construct the most accurate data yet seen for the region.  He found a sharp warming trend since the year 1900. However, over the entire period, several such warming events were seen with temperatures in at least four periods (AD 750, 1000, 1400, and 1750) all equally warm or warmer than at present.

Most surprising of all, he noted, when taken as a whole temperatures in the Arctic have actually declined 0.3 degrees over the past 1,000 years.  As Grudd himself says, temperatures at present are "not especially warm."

The full temperature record also reveals why the last 100 years has appeared unusual -- the year 1900 was actually the coldest of the entire period.

According to Grudd, the Torneträsk data aligns well with ice core isotope records from Greenland, demonstrating these climate changes were widespread throughout the Arctic region.

Grudd's results contradict his earlier reconstructions of Arctic temperatures, which demonstrated significantly cooler temperatures prior to 1900. The difference, he claims, is due to more accurate scanning of samples, along with a better understanding of how tree ring widths and density respond to temperature changes.

Text of the full paper can be found here. The work is forthcoming in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Dynamics.

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more proof
By ttowntom on 2/15/2008 1:20:50 PM , Rating: 4
The full temperature record also reveals why the last 100 years has appeared unusual -- the year 1900 was actually the coldest of the entire period
It appears more and more that the 'global warming' in the last century was just the planet returning to a more normal temperature.

RE: more proof
By Ringold on 2/15/2008 3:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
Here's an interesting perspective for fellow Americans; we've merely returned to the temperatures that George Washington experienced in 1776!

At least, what George Washington would've experienced I guess if he were leading Alaska to independence.. Close enough.

RE: more proof
By MadMaster on 2/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: more proof
By masher2 (blog) on 2/16/2008 10:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
> "Since then, the temperatures at the poles haven't changed at all."

Oops -- among other mistakes, you've gotten the wrong pole. EPICA and Vostok samples are from Antarctica, not the Arctic. Also, you've misinterpreted the graph due to scale compression, but we'll skip that for now.

By the way, if you want to look at temperature charts, here's a better one, which illustrates not only the wide differences between various temperature reconstruction methods, but also clearly demonstrates the present day is not that unusual:

RE: more proof
By MadMaster on 2/17/2008 4:23:39 PM , Rating: 1
Ah but you didn't look at all the links. Recent warming is off the charts. (way more than .4 degrees C warming)

Look at it again.

RE: more proof
By masher2 (blog) on 2/17/2008 4:33:34 PM , Rating: 3
You went from "temperatures at the poles haven't changed at all" to "warming is off the charts" in just two posts. It rather makes it hard to debate you when your viewpoint changes so rapidly.

Temperatures are always changing, at the poles or otherwise. In the near term, the Arctic is warming; the Antarctic cooling. Nothing terribly alarming in that scenario, and certainly nothing that proves an anthropogenic cause.

RE: more proof
By MadMaster on 2/17/2008 5:31:51 PM , Rating: 1
You're finally catching on...Arctic is warming off the charts. Antarctic hasn't changed much.

Of course, what is happening at Antarctica is exactly what the scientists have predicted, for the last 30 years.

Nothing terribly alarming in that scenario, and certainly nothing that proves an anthropogenic cause.

And you're still living under a rock...

RE: more proof
By masher2 (blog) on 2/17/2008 6:18:00 PM , Rating: 4
> "Arctic is warming off the charts"

True only if your chart stretches back to 1900. Over the past few thousand years, Arctic temperatures are actually below normal.

> "what is happening at Antarctica is exactly what the scientists have predicted, for the last 30 years."

Only someone very young, or with a very poor memory could say such. All GC model predicts warming at *both* poles to be significantly higher than elsewhere in the world. Every one of them.

Everything from the IPCC's first report in 1990 to Al Gore's "Earth in the Balance" book has predicted the Antarctic to melt. Popular news stories in the 1990s were filled with quotes from scientists saying it was *already* warming drastically and melting at a dangerous pace.

Those predictions were wrong. The Antarctic did experience a brief period of warming, then reversed directions and began cooling again...something that AGW cannot explain.

RE: more proof
By MadMaster on 2/17/2008 6:33:50 PM , Rating: 1
Look at the link again.

RE: more proof
By Silence Dogood on 2/22/2008 10:07:55 PM , Rating: 1
What say you to this, sir?

Or would you rather, like most liberals, character-assassinate instead of discrediting the data?

BTW - Those links show what is called RAW, or real data, which is something that AGW's tend to lack.

The argument is far from over. Period. Unless, of course, you are a fascist? Then you might have the thought-police intervene and stop the debate.

Ignored by the rest of the media
By onelittleindian on 2/15/2008 12:45:55 PM , Rating: 5
The only thing colder than the Arctic now is the temperature it'll be in hell before CNN reports news like this.

By TheDoc9 on 2/15/2008 3:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
lol, certainly can't cast doubt on green champion Al Gore and his well deserved prize.

RE: Ignored by the rest of the media
By guy007 on 2/15/08, Rating: 0
RE: Ignored by the rest of the media
By James Holden on 2/16/2008 11:13:38 AM , Rating: 2
Why should he? I can't turn the TV on without seeing stuff about Global Warming, even if it has no basis in reality.

Masher's stuff is scientifically backed and well researched. It doesn't matter what side he reports when he reports the facts.

DT brought on a guy specifically to counter Masher's posts from the GW camp, and after about 2 months he ran out of arguments that made sense.

Maybe, just maybe, Michael is right? I know he brought a lot more research to this topic than you ever did.

RE: Ignored by the rest of the media
By MadMaster on 2/16/2008 7:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
Bad research...

Tree rings are effected by many things, not just temperature.

Some good old global warming explanations...

Lots of citations here to real research...

Remember, mashers arguments 'sound' good. He's a professional arguer (OMG it sounds like such a cruddy job). Truthfully, I still haven't seen a factual argument against global warming. Scientists are just not that good at debate. They are good at objectivity though... something masher does not posses.

RE: Ignored by the rest of the media
By floofer on 2/16/2008 9:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure why people assume scientists are objective. Often, they are tools for a company's profit margin. They have bosses and receive paychecks. They also have families and bills that are dependant on pleasing their bosses and receiving their paychecks. These are people, not computers. They do not have carte blanche to research/explore anything they want. They do what they are told. Prove there is global warming? Can do, boss. Disprove global warming? Not a problem, boss. While their research is rarely set out in such blatant objectives, saying that scientists are good at objectivity is not necessarily true.

Research is "created" (and that is really the best way to describe it) because a company or educational facility or government has an agenda. Scientists are but one tool to make it happen.

RE: Ignored by the rest of the media
By MadMaster on 2/17/2008 4:19:34 PM , Rating: 1
Something called the peer review process...

Many things you take for granted wouldn't have happened without the process (electronics, modern medicine, etc.)

Btw, bring me a peer reviewed article that directly "disproves" global warming (recently, within the last year).

RE: Ignored by the rest of the media
By drebo on 2/22/2008 3:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
Bring ME one that "proves" global warming.

Oh wait...

RE: Ignored by the rest of the media
By guy007 on 2/27/2008 3:54:35 AM , Rating: 1
on the money!

Cute Picture
By bldckstark on 2/15/2008 12:28:12 PM , Rating: 2
Nice picture of the polar bear with the Coke bottle. Every time I see this I wonder where the bears keep their soda to keep it from freezing in those temperatures. Forget chapped lips too, since those bottles needed bottle openers I always picture them walking funny from storing and opening all those Cokes.

RE: Cute Picture
By Misty Dingos on 2/15/2008 1:25:02 PM , Rating: 5
It should be pointed out that Polar Bears are now suffering from an epidemic of obesity. Obesity brought on by the HF Corn Syrup Industrial Complex or the HCSIC. A coalition of purveyors of HFCS laced foods. Polar Bears are now being addicted to this substance (high fructose corn syrup) and are dying at an alarming rate because they lack access to the high quality veterinarian care and facilities.

A source I have in the new eco-nut group Greenviolence (not to be associated with the pansies at Greenpeace) calls for the immediate end of the use of HFCS in food products for Polar Bears. If the demands are not met, all GV will go on a diet of beans, raisins, and stewed cabbage (washed down with cheap beer) and then march on the capitols of the world farting in unison until their demands are met.

RE: Cute Picture
By Ringold on 2/15/2008 3:31:12 PM , Rating: 2
We better submit to their demands now before they up the ante and demand universal health care for all polar bears!

RE: Cute Picture
By fictisiousname on 2/16/2008 1:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't help that the Bears are floor potatoes ;-)

Why is this at DT
By Tupolev22m on 2/17/2008 6:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
Would someone please remind me the relevance that Michael Asher's crusade against the potential farce of global warming to a tech news site? I mean, there are certainly articles he has written which have some sort of relevance, but this does not appear to be one of them.

RE: Why is this at DT
By porkpie on 2/17/2008 7:21:03 PM , Rating: 2
GW has a lot more relevance to a science/tech site than a review of the latest Guitar Hero game.

RE: Why is this at DT
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/18/2008 9:42:59 AM , Rating: 2
a science and tech news site?

There, fixed that for you.

Shaky Scientific basis...
By MadMaster on 2/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/15/2008 8:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
> "moisture does have a large effect on rings, which is ignored in this paper."

Oops -- you didn't read carefully enough. From the paper:
This involves calculating principle components (PC) of monthly temperature and is established [that] MXD and TRW have a positive correlation to local summer temperature and that there is no significant correlation to precipitation.

> "Regardless, even if this data does show a cooling effect, it is localized"

You misunderstand. As stated above, local temperatures are warming over the short term, but cooling over the long term. This pattern is well established globally by many other research papers, which clearly demonstrate the Medieval Climate Optimum was as warm or warmer than the present day.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By MadMaster on 2/15/2008 8:53:43 PM , Rating: 2
Define short term and long term.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/15/2008 9:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
They're defined in the article: 100 and 1,500 years respectively.

Actually, over the *very* short term (the last couple of years), the planet is cooling again, though quite obviously its too soon to tell how significant such a short trend may be.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By MadMaster on 2/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By billybob24 on 2/16/2008 7:42:13 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, madmaster you got owned. Not surprising though, people who believe in global warming dont have even a reasonable grasp of science.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By MadMaster on 2/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By Farfignewton on 2/16/2008 8:23:24 PM , Rating: 5
Very objective. You do know what objective means right?

Hello, Kettle? This is Pot, calling. I was just wondering if you were still black?

Of course we all know that evidence that does not support global warming is bad. That is the definition of objective.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By Ringold on 2/16/2008 8:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
With the ambiguity in some of the research that is still being produced, and the inaccuracy in some of the data used in past research, the objective position would be "we don't know enough." At least, not enough to propose and begin enacting policies that would cost untold tens or even hundreds of trillions (depending on how extreme one goes) in order to fight this supposed threat. When these things are debated it's not a sterile debate over.. I don't know, what % of Pluto's thin atmosphere is composed of one gas or another. The results of these debates are being picked up by a corrupt political class that then turns around and tries to placate masses energized by a "cool" "green" movement with policy.

Remember, wealthy nations will likely continue to be so. However, roughly 800 million suffer chronic hunger, with roughly 6 million children dieing as a result of it, and as China, South and East Asia has proven, capitalism is the quickest, most effective tool to get them up, out, and rapidly towards a Western standard of living. However, when the developed world slows its growth, shrinks its population or even voluntarily spurs demand destruction.. that makes the process somewhere between difficult and impossible. Fighting global warming could be worth some degree of expense (studies to date suggest a fraction of what Gore suggests would be optimal and create a net benefit), but morality suggests we've got to be certain. None of this "wait a minute, look at all this other data!" business.

Of course, I'm the only one here that brings up the human side of this, but oh well. I know the GreenPeace equation: Polar Bears > Humans.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By MadMaster on 2/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/17/2008 4:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
> "That's also the reason why I doubt the above paper will get published in a peer review journal"

Oops -- as the article says, the paper *is* being published in a peer-reviewed journal -- Climate Dynamics. From Wiki's entry on the journal:
Climate Dynamics was ranked second by total citations among the 25 most respected journals in the field of climate change.

> "ice is still melting at alarming rates at the north pole..."

What's alarming about ice melting at the North Pole? Unlike Antarctic ice (which appears to be increasing), the north pole doesn't affect sea levels at all.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By MadMaster on 2/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/17/2008 6:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
> "Is it in the journal? No"

It's been accepted for publication, which means it's in the journal, and has already passed the peer-review process.

As for it "contradicting" GW, it's not intended to. It merely points out that Arctic temperatures are not unusually high.

If you want a peer-reviewed paper that contradicts GW, my past columns have contained dozens of such. Here's a newer one, which I haven't addressed in any story:

From the paper:
“The observed pattern of warming, comparing surface and atmospheric temperature trends, does not show the characteristic fingerprint associated with greenhouse warming. The inescapable conclusion is that the human contribution is not significant and that observed increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases make only a negligible contribution to climate warming.”

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By MadMaster on 2/17/2008 7:20:43 PM , Rating: 1
I got to give it to you, that was a nice attempt. You must be pulling out the big guns here...

Here's an explanation of that paper...

Now you gave me one paper, I'll give you a few sources.

This is a good website that is mainly written for a lay audience...

Try again?

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By Ringold on 2/18/2008 11:24:33 AM , Rating: 2
Economic analysis determins if the changes you suppose are happening are important enough to care about. Otherwise, it's all academic, and not worth all the public hoopla.

Of course though, go ahead and fearmonger about melting ice without the corresponding analysis that looks at what that melting ice means for humanity. Skirt around it all you want, liberals never do want to face economics. It's too straightforward and hard to spin for 'em.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By MadMaster on 2/19/2008 1:58:27 AM , Rating: 2
Typical "oh we lost the argument so we'll change the subject to economics."

At least you imply that you made it to the first step (global warming is happening). Now we can try and figure out what the economics of the issue is. An example of what global warming can do to the economy is Katrina. A lot of our society depends on climatic conditions that don't change drastically. Every pound of greenhouse gases brings us a little closer to drastic changes.

I hope you know what global sea level rise means too, and the increasing trends that have accompanied it.

The truth is, the price of oil, natural gas, and coal (granted, there is A LOT of coal in the USA) are all in a upward trend and will eventually run out. We're going to have to find alternatives sooner or later. How about starting just a little bit sooner?

A huge nuclear enrichment facility is being built in New Mexico...

And this is bad for the economy?? How about developing new solar technology's that are cheaper than coal? How about developing battery electric vehicles that are cheaper to drive, produce, and maintain than gasoline vehicles? Bad for the economy?

Building clean power plants is a job that cannot be exported to China... I still don't see how doing something is SOOO 'catastrophic' for our economy. Maybe you guys are just lazy...

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By Ringold on 2/18/2008 12:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
That's a whole set issues that you are extremely oversimplifying.

Decided to come back and address that.

Actually, I did not "extremly oversimplify" the matter. The vicious cycle of poverty is perfectly happy to continue on in a Mathlusian stable state off in to perpetuity until something breaks it. The best way to do that has proven time and again is foreign direct investment coupled with government oversight of free market capitalism; money funneled in to education, infrastructure and typically support for a national champion industry, coupled with free-market policy reforms if they weren't already in place. Infrastructure spending is a nice "extra"; god knows India has done okay without it.

FDI comes in, sets up factories/call centers/etc, low end jobs that are heavy in labor requirements and low in skill requirements. They bring in expat managers to get things running smoothly, and the jobs directly created spawns further jobs throughout the local economy. Management and technical experience is accumulated by locals, allowing them to soon set up their own competitive companies. As labor skills go up and more, better capital equipment is brought in, wages can explode upwards while keeping labor unit costs low and adding higher value added products (not just clothes, but other manufactured goods, etc). Not a believer? China. Taiwan. Malaysia. Rwanda. India. Even Japan, and even America back in the day. We started with agriculture, our original free market system allowed productivity gains, which lead us to constantly advance up the value chain.

Ah, but if the developed world is slowing itself down by making energy scarce and expensive, raising taxes and spend billions annually subsidizing "clean" energy technology, whole percentage points off our long term rate of growth can and would be sliced off. Lower growth domestically, and the higher unemployment that tends to come with it, would cause even China (which isn't likely to throttle itself) to slow its growth down a bit -- however they appear to be able to sustain 8-10% growth completely aside from their net foreign factor. Lower amounts of money can afford to be sent by corporations to these developing countries in the form of FDI. Lower FDI, slower process for the 840 million in chronic hunger to be brought out of their 14th century style lives, slower process for getting their birth rate out of the stratosphere. If Africa and China flaunted global warming related emission caps, and we respond with a trade war, then FDI could stop entirely and large swaths of people just lifted from poverty could get thrown right back in.

Trade conflicts is, btw, how it'd likely go. Otherwise.. well, simple. If China has a wide-open economy, and America and Europe throttle themselves.. well, that could potentially be fairly horrible. It wouldn't be competitive to make virtually anything domestically.

There you go. The inflated not very simplified bit. I could've gone in to detail about the local governments responsibilities, but that's beyond the scope here. Transitional economies need vibrant export markets; there is no other easy way. Feel free to come up with your own novel economic model, but since you argue better than you implement logic, I suspect you'll either come back with a one liner or run like a girl and not post at all. You could admit you're in over your head and heavy anti-GW spending would in fact leave millions in poverty longer than they would otherwise, but cold day in hell.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By werepossum on 2/18/2008 7:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, you're arguing with a Gorebot. No future in that, it's like mud wrestling a pig.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By MadMaster on 2/19/08, Rating: 0
By Silence Dogood on 2/22/2008 10:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
Technically, we wouldn't possibly resemble that, for the most part, as geographically we aren't similar to the most heavily populated cities in China...

I know it's not quite the credible source that wikipedia is, but lets have a look at some RAW data, as opposed to models...
It clearly shows that the Northern Hemisphere has endured a global cooling period...darn, I wonder if this data would have affected Al Gore's chances of getting the Nobel Prize?

Look, sir, it seems like most people want to (and do) live more like conservationists, God knows I do, but to so arrogantly say that "the argument is over...we caused GW...we can reverse GW through our own efforts" and that the gov't will be the vehicle to bring about that change. Sorry, I'm not buying it, and anyone who does is selling something. There are just too many variables, globally, that affect climate to wear blinders and say that it can only be the AGW hypothesis. I don't need you, and certainly not the gov't robbing me of my personal liberties based on a hypothesis. No thanks! If you are comfortable living under gov't regulations, then you should probably move to Cuba, Venezuela, or China (et al). America was not designed for that type of governance...anyone who thinks that we'll all be sheep about AGW, guess again.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By Silence Dogood on 2/22/2008 10:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
BTW - That Beijing .gif is absolute crap! And that's acceptable on wikipedia?

You probably would have been better off using a picture of Mexico City from flickr instead...then again, we wouldn't want to pick on Mexico! That just isn't trendy.

RE: Shaky Scientific basis...
By buster1 on 2/27/2008 12:45:50 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a NASA graph depicting solar activity over the past 400 years. Note the high levels of sunspot activity over the past 60 years. Also note the almost non-existent levels of solar activity between about 1650 and 1710. This period is known as the "Little Ice Age":

Yearly Averaged Sunspot Numbers for past 400 years:

From BBC News - 2004:

A new analysis shows that the Sun is more active now than it has been at anytime in the previous 1,000 years.

Scientists based at the Institute for Astronomy in Zurich used ice cores from Greenland to construct a picture of our star's activity in the past. They say that over the last century the number of sunspots rose at the same time that the Earth's climate became steadily warmer.

From NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory's "Not So Frequently Asked Questions" section:

Q-Does the number of sunspots have any effect on the climate here on Earth?

A-Sunspots are slightly cooler areas on the surface of the Sun, due to the intense magnetic fields, so they radiate a little less energy than the surroundings. However, there are usually nearby areas associated with the sunspots that are a little hotter (called falculae), and they more than compensate. The result is that there is a little bit more radiation coming from the Sun when it has more sunspots, but the effect is so small that it has very little impact on the weather and climate on Earth.

However, there are more important indirect effects: sunspots are associated with what we call "active regions", with large magnetic structures containing very hot material (being held in place by the magnetism). This causes more ultraviolet (or UV) radiation (the rays that give you a suntan or sunburn), and extreme ultraviolet radiation (EUV). These types of radiation have an impact on the chemistry of the upper atmosphere (e.g. producing ozone). Since some of these products act as greenhouse gases, the number of sunspots (through association with active regions) may influence the climate in this way.

Many active regions produce giant outflows of material that are called Coronal Mass Ejections.

These ejections drag with them some of the more intense magnetic fields that are found in the active regions. The magnetic fields act as a shield for high-energy particles coming from various sources in our galaxy (outside the solar system). These "cosmic rays" (CRs) cause ionization of molecules in the atmosphere, and thereby can cause clouds to form (because the ionized molecules or dust particle can act as "seeds" for drop formation).

If clouds are formed very high in the atmosphere, the net result is a heating of the Earth - it acts as a "blanket" that keeps warmth in.

If clouds are formed lower down in the atmosphere, they reflect sunlight better than they keep heat inside, so the net result is cooling.

Which processes are dominant is still a matter of research.

[note: the idea is that increased solar activity keeps away galactic cosmic rays from Earth's atmosphere. GCRs are believed to contribute to the formation of low-level cumulus clouds. These thick low-lying cumulus clouds BLOCK sunlight and act to COOL the planet. So when solar activity is highest, LESS GCRs get through to form the sunlight-blocking clouds, more direct sunlight reaches the Earth's surface AND the planet warms...naturally.-LC]

From The American Geophysical Union (AGU):

"'A systematic change in global cloud cover will change the atmospheric heating profile,'...'In other words, the cosmic ray-induced global cloud changes could be the long-sought mechanism connecting solar and climate variability.' ..."

Dr Svensmark has written a plain-language book on the same theme, jointly with the British science writer Nigel Calder. Entitled The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change, it is published in the UK this week by Icon Books:

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