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800,000 years of Siberian temperature history. Left is colder temperatures, right is warmer. Note the recent warming spike near the top of the graph.
Siberian warming predates the industrial era; does the trend apply to the entire world?

Siberia's Lake Baikal is the world's deepest lake.  By water volume, its also the largest freshwater lake, containing more water than all five of the North America's Great Lakes combined.  Fed by over 300 rivers, Baikal is a barometer for the entire Siberian region.

Due to the lake's depth (over a mile deep in many places), it contains the northern hemisphere's most pristine, uninterrupted sedimentary record, allowing highly accurate reconstructions of past temperatures.  Baikal's great distance from the moderating effects of any ocean also makes it an ideal site for detecting global warming.

Researcher Anson Mackay, of the Environmental Change Research Centre, University College, London, has done just that -- reconstructed the climate history of Lake Baikal over the past 800,000 years.  The result is the most accurate high-resolution temperature record of Siberia ever constructed.  And it contains several surprises.

The record clearly demonstrates the region has often been considerably warmer than it is at present.  More stunning is the most recent data, which shows Siberia first began warming around 250 years ago -- long before the industrial revolution, and its resultant greenhouse gas emissions.

Mackay concludes, "[Changes] started as early as c. 1750 AD, with a shift from taxa that bloom during autumn overturn to assemblages that exhibit net growth in spring (after ice break-up) ...Warming in the Lake Baikal region commenced before rapid increases in greenhouse gases, and at least initially, is therefore a response to other forcing factors such as insolation changes."  

Siberia is, of course, not the entire world.  However, the global warming signal is, even today, strongest there.  Also, Mackay's paper is not the only research to demonstrate the current warming trend predates the industrial era -- for instance, Bräuning's research in Turkey, Hallert in Canada, or Vollweiler, et al, in Austria/Germany.



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Good article, one question
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/8/2007 12:04:31 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Siberia is, of course, not the entire world.


Very good point, Michael, hopefully people will read this and not misinterpret.

I liked the article a lot.

One question I had is that you said the warming began 250 years ago, but in the graph it looks like it started going up at approximately a half notch from present time. Since each notch is 1/5 of 1000 years (200 yr.), wouldn't the graph indicate that warming picked up 100 yr. ago?

Also, one thing I never have understood is why people think anthropogenic warming has to be tied with the 1900s. Coal powered steam engines were widespread by the end of 1700s. Millions of cows, which produce more methane yearly than a car, were domesticated and raised worldwide. All of this was occuring long before the modern oil industry infrastructure of the 19th century. It seems to me that if warming is anthropogenic, it would likely have first picked up around 175-200 yrs. ago with the industrial revolution and expansion of cattle farming.

If this is true then it would correspond roughly to the periods of time involved. Another possibility is that the warming is partly anthropogenic and partly based on natural cycles like those shown in the graph based on factors such as solar radiation and sea dynamics.

Interesting article. On a side note I always thought Lake Baikal was a cool landmark, being the deepest inland body of water in the world. It'd be cool to go in a sub or something down there.




RE: Good article, one question
By grenableu on 10/8/2007 12:11:20 PM , Rating: 3
Those ticks are 20,000 years each, not 200 years. And coal-powered steam engines weren't "widespead" in the 1700s. Every such engine combined would burn maybe 1% of what one single coal power plant does today.


RE: Good article, one question
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/8/2007 12:33:20 PM , Rating: 1
Good, the graph makes sense now. I'm still confused about where the number 250 came from, though.

If each tick is 20,000 years and warming started half a tick ago, how come the article doesn't read, warming started 10,000 years ago? It looks like thats when the increase really started. If it started picking up 250 years ago, the scale of the graph is too small to show it.

Also, you are incorrect about steam engines. They were operation since the start of the 1700s.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_engine

In 1775 the Watt's steam engine was released, bringing fairly reliable steam power.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt_steam_engine

By today's standards steam power back then might have been considered crude, but I am sure that the combined coal consumption for that and other purposes is far higher than 1% of a single coal plant today. I agree it is miniscule compared to modern levels, but it was still there.

And the cattle industry was very widespread at the time and was rapidly expanding with the American frontier. Thats a much larger anthropogenic source of atmospheric carbon in the 1700s than steam engines, obviously.


RE: Good article, one question
By TomZ on 10/8/2007 12:46:28 PM , Rating: 2
Jason, why do you argue a point that, by your own view is moot? Clearly human CO2 emissions are orders of magnitude higher today than they were 100 or 200 years ago.


RE: Good article, one question
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/8/07, Rating: -1
RE: Good article, one question
By porkpie on 10/8/2007 2:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
its kind a moot point to waste much energy debating this, because as the author said, the study only pertains to part of Siberia.
Did you miss all the other studies that pertain to other parts of the world? I really don't think Siberia is heating up all by itself.


RE: Good article, one question
By LogicallyGenius on 10/9/07, Rating: 0
By onelittleindian on 10/9/2007 9:36:38 AM , Rating: 2
Vast deforestation in 1750? You got your timelines wrong bud. There was a little bit in parts of Europe, but the rest of the world was pretty much the same as it was.


RE: Good article, one question
By Rovemelt on 10/9/2007 12:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
It's a moot point because the author admits that the disconnect between the warming starting in the 1700's is due to changes in solar insolation, not the idea that this warming was initiated by CO2 emissions in the 1700's. Mackay fully recognizes the effect of human-induced climate change and has given AGW implicit support in many of his publications.

From the link Masher provides:

quote:
Warming in the Lake Baikal region commenced before rapid increases in greenhouse gases, and at least initially, is therefore a response to other forcing factors such as insolation changes during this period of the most recent millennial cycle (e.g. Beer et al., 1996).


RE: Good article, one question
By onelittleindian on 10/9/2007 12:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
Your statement makes no sense at all. Mackay specifically says the warming is not due to human CO2 emissions. And your idea that he's given "implicit support" to AGW is wrong as well. Mackay recognizes that the climate is changing, and will continue to change in an unpredictable manner. That doesn't mean humans are the root cause, nor does he suggest it does.


RE: Good article, one question
By Rovemelt on 10/9/2007 1:18:34 PM , Rating: 1
Right, Mackay says that the temperature change starting in the early 1700's isn't due to CO2 emissions but a local change in insolation. I'm not arguing that point. But his paper does implicitly support current AGW models showing a more recent rise in temperatures due to human activity. His references to IPCC data and other publications show that. Mackay provides implicit support for current AGW theory as he's published papers trying to predict what will happen as the planet warms due to AGW:

Assessing the vulnerability of endemic diatom
species in Lake Baikal to predicted future climate change:
a multivariate approach, Global Change Biology 12 (2006), pp. 2297–2315.

I think publishing a paper on the effect of AGW on a lake is implicit support of AGW, don't you think so?

quote:
Mackay recognizes that the climate is changing, and will continue to change in an unpredictable manner.


If he believed it was unpredictable, why would he use future climate predictions in his publications?

Take some time to read the actual publication and you'll see that this publication does not challenge the current AGW theory.


RE: Good article, one question
By onelittleindian on 10/9/2007 1:38:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Right, Mackay says that the temperature change starting in the early 1700's isn't due to CO2 emissions but a local change in insolation. I'm not arguing that point
Heh, you can't even repeat that point without distorting it. He doesn't say its a "local" change in insolation. I understand how badly you want to minimize this research, but come on now. Do you really think we won't notice underhanded moves like that?

quote:
think publishing a paper on the effect of AGW on a lake is implicit support of AGW
But its not a paper on the effects of AGW. Its a paper on the potential future effects of GW. (Without the "A")

Anyway, your entire point is moot. When Mackay co-authored that earlier paper, he hadn't yet done THIS research which shows GW began long before the industrial age. So why do you think he should have been "challenging" AGW back then?


RE: Good article, one question
By Rovemelt on 10/9/2007 2:15:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But its not a paper on the effects of AGW. Its a paper on the potential future effects of GW. (Without the "A")


Wow, I can see that you really don't want to read the link masher provides.

The entire point is not moot. You're totally mis-interpreting what this author has published.

The last line in the link Masher provides REFERENCES Mackay's 2006 paper.

Again, from Masher's link:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleUR...

quote:
These changes are similar to those predicted by future climate variability (Mackay et al., 2006) and it is now important therefore that refined models are developed to take account of interactions between localized eutrophication and climate change impacts on the lake's ecosystem.


Can you see that "(Mackay et al., 2006)" reference in the document? That means the author is tying the relevance of this publication to his past publication. This one in fact:

Mackay et al., 2006 A.W. Mackay, D.B. Ryves, D.W. Morley, D.J. Jewson and P. Rioual, Assessing the vulnerability of endemic diatom species in Lake Baikal to predicted future climate change: a multivariate approach, Global Change Biology 12 (2006), pp. 2297–2315

Now, from that publication, let's look at the abstract which you can look up online for free. Since that's too much of an effort for you, I'll do it for you.

quote:
Diatoms in Lake Baikal exhibit significant spatial variation, related to prevailing climate,
lake morphology and fluvial input into the lake. Here we have assessed the threats to
endemic planktonic diatom species (through the development of empirical models),
which form a major component of primary production within the lake. Multivariate
techniques employed include redundancy analysis (RDA) and Huisman–Olff–Fresco
(HOF) models. Our analyses suggest that eight environmental variables were significant
in explaining diatom distribution across the lake, and in order of importance these are
snow thickness on the ice, water depth, duration of days with white ice, suspended
matter in the lake, days of total ice duration, temperature of the water surface in July,
concentration of zooplankton and suspended organic matter. Impacts on dominant
phytoplankton diatom species are highlighted using t-value biplots. Predictions of
future climate change on Lake Baikal are likely to result in shorter periods of ice cover,
decreased snow cover across the lake in spring, increased fluvial input into the lake, and
an increase in the intensification of surface water stratification during summer months.
All these factors are likely to impact negatively on the slow-growing, cold-water
endemics such as Aulacoseira baicalensis and Cyclotella minuta, which currently
dominate diatom assemblages. Instead, taxa that are only intermittently abundant, at
present, in offshore areas (e.g. Stephanodiscus meyerii) are likely to become more
frequent. However, given the climatic gradient across the lake, the timing and extent
of changes in community structure are likely to vary. Moreover, palaeolimnological
records show that Lake Baikal diatom assemblages have been dynamic throughout the
Holocene, with both endemic and cosmopolitan species exhibiting periods of dominance.
Effects of climate change on the entire lake ecosystem may yet be profound as the
structure of the pelagic food web may change from one based on endemic diatom taxa
to one dominated by nondiatom picoplankton, and as limnological functioning (e.g.
stratification and mixing) affects deepwater oxygen availability, nutrient cycling and
trophic linkages.


Looks like implicit support of AGW, doesn't it?


RE: Good article, one question
By onelittleindian on 10/9/2007 2:53:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Looks like implicit support of AGW, doesn't it?
Sorry, not in the least. Nowhere does it say anything about anthropogenic warming, or even imply "future changes" are a response to it. You're stretching hard, and I think even you realize this.


RE: Good article, one question
By Rovemelt on 10/9/2007 3:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand what the word "implicit" means. It means implied, though not directly expressed. Mackay indirectly supports AGW in the publication masher links and in his previous publications by building research based on AGW. There is no doubt about this; you're simply confused.


RE: Good article, one question
By adam00 on 10/9/2007 4:14:30 PM , Rating: 1
I don't think onelittleindian is confused in any way.

I also think that you are more than a little arrogant Rovemelt. Yes... we all know the definition of implicit... we actually didn't need your help.

@ onelittleindian and everybody else, let me define what Rovemelt means by "implicit." What he means is that if you read the prior article with a preconceived faith in AGW as the Real Truth, and accepted Al Gore as your one true savior, then you can obviously see the surreptitious connection to AGW in the prior article. Cause that's what scientists do, they imply their findings. duh. If only we were all as enlightened as Rovemelt.


RE: Good article, one question
By Rovemelt on 10/9/2007 5:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, you made me laugh!

Al Gore IS Jesus, but with less hair!


RE: Good article, one question
By Proteusza on 10/10/2007 8:06:31 AM , Rating: 2
have you studied science at a tertiary level?

In writing a thesis, you are supposed to use technical english. This means, among other things, no ambiguity. Thus, we should not be having this debate. If the author(s) thought their findings supported anthropogenic global warming, they would have said so, directly and without the possibility of being misunderstood.

Because we are having this discussion, we can conclude one of several possibilities:

1. The scientists were incompetent, and didnt know that they had the explicitly state the implications of their research.
2. They didnt state it, because they didnt mean it, making this into a storm in a teacup.

I'm MUCH more inclined to accept option number 2.


RE: Good article, one question
By Griffinhart on 10/9/2007 1:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
While the steam engine was around, it wasn't quite as widespread as all that. It wasn't until 1810 or so that the first Steam powered locomotive was developed and in use. Primary power for industry up until the industrial revolution was still water power.

It wasn't until after world war two that man made CO2 levels began to rise significantly. CO2 levels from 1800 to 1850 were pretty constant. around 1850 it started to increase but after 1950 things really took off. The amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere in the past 50 years is 650% greater than the CO2 added in the previous 150.

That's why the focus on CO2 is from the past 60 years.


RE: Good article, one question
By masher2 (blog) on 10/8/2007 1:10:19 PM , Rating: 4
> "Also, you are incorrect about steam engines. They were operation since the start of the 1700s."

According to the estimates I could find, there were roughly 600 Newcomen steam engines in production in 1775, and some 1,600 Newcomen/Watt engines by 1800. There were some other types in operation as well, but the total number of these appears to be a tiny handful.

The engines power output varied between 20-80 hp. Let's assume an average of 60 hp (45 kW). Multiply by 1600 engines in existence that gives us a total power output of 75 MW for all steam power in existence by 1800. Newcomen engines were less than 10% efficient, however and ones with the Watt condenser were around 15% (your average coal plant today is in the 40% range). Assuming an optimistic 75% duty cycle, those steam engines combined would use roughly the same amount as a single 180 MW coal plant (circa 1800) or a single 70 MW coal plant (circa 1775).

For comparison, most coal power plants today are in the 1000-4000MW range. The largest such plants burn more than 40,000 tons of coal every day. (more than 30 billion pounds per year).

So the OP's estimate was somewhat off, but correct within an order of magnitude. Circa 1775, all coal-driven steam engines combined used around 3% of what a single average coal plant does today.


RE: Good article, one question
By iFX on 10/8/2007 3:47:15 PM , Rating: 2
And chances are people were already burning more coal than that world wide in their homes.


RE: Good article, one question
By lewisc on 10/8/2007 4:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
While this is certainly an interesting item, I also would like some clarification on where the figure of 250 years came from, on the basis of that graph.

When measuring in increments of 20,000 years, how much use is this for analysing post-industrialisation temperature increases? Surely the timescale is too wide.


RE: Good article, one question
By Ringold on 10/8/2007 4:06:37 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
And the cattle industry was very widespread at the time and was rapidly expanding with the American frontier.


Meanwhile, Buffalo at this time stretched across the open praires in the West, as they had for millenia, before being annihilated in the 19th century. Lets call that one, at least, an even trade off? :)

I don't know much about the engines, but do know the transcontinental railroad and subsequent explosion in mileage under track didn't take place until the 1800s.

As an aside, bison burgers are pretty good, and this random buffalo meat propaganda site says it even fights cancer! Wohoo!

http://www.buybuffalomeat.com/facts.htm


By InformedConsumer on 10/8/2007 1:18:10 PM , Rating: 4
I enjoy your articles, Mr. Mick, as much as I enjoy Mr. Asher's, but let's have a little realism here. Those points are truly nonsensical. To begin with, the world population in 1700 was less than 10% of today's population with a minuscule level of industrialization. The pollution from the burning of coal that you postulate would not even begin to become an issue until the mid 1800's, 100 years after the data shows an upturn in the warming trend. You also fail to take into account the millions of Bison that were polluting without human intervention, well before the American cattle industry had any effect on methane production.


RE: Good article, one question
By tcsenter on 10/8/2007 1:32:33 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
All of this was occuring long before the modern oil industry infrastructure of the 19th century. It seems to me that if warming is anthropogenic, it would likely have first picked up around 175-200 yrs. ago with the industrial revolution and expansion of cattle farming.
Which would, if true, be one of the most significant blows to current anthropogenic global warming orthodoxy which says we can change the course of things without radical consequences to economies or standards of living.

How far back into the past would 6+ billion persons have to be forced in order to 'turn back' global greenhouse production/emission to not more than levels produced prior to [circa] 1700 by some 100 million people, most of whom lived hand-to-mouth or in the bush?

If it is true that anthropogenic global warming started 200 years ago, its back to the stone age for us all - literally - if we are to have any distant glimmer of hope to do a damned thing about it.

I will ignore for a moment the question of whether or not it would even be possible for six BILLION persons to ever populate the earth without having an adverse affect on the environment or climate, if even we went back to living in dung huts, urinating on each other for parasite control, and wiping our bungs with...err...not wiping our bungs.

You know what? There was never any guarantee with this humanity thing. I'm good with humanity ending its run catastrophically in a few hundred years, rather than having to start my own dingleberry collection. I'll give up my car, even my computer, but I ain't giving up toilet paper and a periodical bung wash!

Yep, 130K years of Homo sapiens sapiens was a pretty good run. We gave 'em hell, didn't we? Farewell, humanity. We hardly knew ye! {raising my mug}

"Should old acquaintance be forgot..."


RE: Good article, one question
By porkpie on 10/8/2007 2:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could just relax and realize a wee bit of warming isn't any risk to any of us.


RE: Good article, one question
By fk49 on 10/8/2007 4:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
The Native Americans all seemed to get along with nature fine, living off the land, taking only what they needed. Blame the settlers.

If you think that creating a human population that doesn't harm the environment is the pinnacle of society, then the tribes of North America were probably the most advanced civilization ever seen. Yeah, I said it.


RE: Good article, one question
By TomZ on 10/8/2007 5:23:29 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, clearly it's England's fault, since they effectively forced us to leave and start a new nation. Not to mention all that global exploration...


RE: Good article, one question
By TomZ on 10/8/2007 5:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I must have clicked on the wrong post - please disregard the above. I'll try again.


RE: Good article, one question
By wrekd on 10/9/2007 8:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
Native Americans (clovis people) very likely killed off the Mastodons.


RE: Good article, one question
By Rovemelt on 10/9/2007 11:47:46 AM , Rating: 2
Another question:

Why does Masher's interpretation seem to conflict with the author's viewpoint?

Here is the title and abstract from another publication from the very same author:

quote:
Assessing the vulnerability of endemic diatom species in Lake Baikal to predicted future climate change: a multivariate approach

ANSON W. MACKAY, D. B. RYVES, D. W. MORLEY, D. H. JEWSON and P. RIOUAL

Diatoms in Lake Baikal exhibit significant spatial variation, related to prevailing climate, lake morphology and fluvial input into the lake. Here we have assessed the threats to endemic planktonic diatom species (through the development of empirical models), which form a major component of primary production within the lake. Multivariate techniques employed include redundancy analysis (RDA) and Huisman–Olff–Fresco (HOF) models. Our analyses suggest that eight environmental variables were significant in explaining diatom distribution across the lake, and in order of importance these are snow thickness on the ice, water depth, duration of days with white ice, suspended matter in the lake, days of total ice duration, temperature of the water surface in July, concentration of zooplankton and suspended organic matter. Impacts on dominant phytoplankton diatom species are highlighted using t-value biplots. Predictions of future climate change on Lake Baikal are likely to result in shorter periods of ice cover, decreased snow cover across the lake in spring, increased fluvial input into the lake, and an increase in the intensification of surface water stratification during summer months. All these factors are likely to impact negatively on the slow-growing, cold-water endemics such as Aulacoseira baicalensis and Cyclotella minuta, which currently dominate diatom assemblages. Instead, taxa that are only intermittently abundant, at present, in offshore areas (e.g. Stephanodiscus meyerii) are likely to become more frequent. However, given the climatic gradient across the lake, the timing and extent of changes in community structure are likely to vary. Moreover, palaeolimnological records show that Lake Baikal diatom assemblages have been dynamic throughout the Holocene, with both endemic and cosmopolitan species exhibiting periods of dominance. Effects of climate change on the entire lake ecosystem may yet be profound as the structure of the pelagic food web may change from one based on endemic diatom taxa to one dominated by nondiatom picoplankton, and as limnological functioning (e.g. stratification and mixing) affects deepwater oxygen availability, nutrient cycling and trophic linkages.



And the first paragraph from this publication:

quote:
Introduction

The magnitude and impact of future climate variability
on freshwater ecosystems is uncertain and this is especially
the case in central Asia, where there is a paucity of
studies compared with, for example, European and
North American regions (e.g. Schindler, 2001; Elliott
et al., 2005). Gaining more knowledge becomes imperative
because in recent decades wintertime warming in
central Asia has been greater than any other region of
the world and this trend is expected to continue, with
winter temperatures in central Asia predicted to
increase by between 2 and 5 1C over the next 50 years
(IPCC, 2001).


The author's other publications seem to clearly understand the impact of recent climate change and it's link to human activity.


RE: Good article, one question
By clovell on 10/9/2007 12:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
That's sort of a red herring. The author is just explaining how the anticipated climate change will affect that particular ecosystem - some species will recede while other proliferate as the climate warms. Which makes sense, since we're on the upswing of a warming peroid according to his data / model.

The warming figures he uses in his introduction are from the IPCC, not his own data / model. It'd be interesting to have a look at that source and to see the author's other articles, but it doesn't seem that the author makes any claims in this paper supporting AGW.


RE: Good article, one question
By Rovemelt on 10/9/2007 12:37:29 PM , Rating: 2
You're correct in that Mackay doesn't do his own climate modeling, but there's no doubt that his published work is built on the assumption of human-induced climate change.

From the last paragraph of the paper I cite above:

quote:
Overall, we
predict that by 2100, a decline in ice duration, decreased
snow cover on the lake, increased fluvial input and
increased stratification of the upper waters during
summer months will result in an increase in endemic
and cosmopolitan diatoms which at present dominate
shallow-water, offshore regions. However, these increases
will occur at the expense of slow-growing,
cold-water pelagic endemics. Ongoing monitoring of
phytoplankton communities across the lake will provide
strong evidence to test our predictions from surface
sediment diatom assemblages and quantitative
data on population change. If our predictions are correct,
such programmes will act as vital early warning
indicators of ecological change in Lake Baikal, and their
continuation needs to be supported by the international
scientific community.


The author gives implicit support of AGW in this paper, and in the paper Masher links to for this blog entry.


RE: Good article, one question
By onelittleindian on 10/9/2007 12:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
Learn to read. The author gives implicit support for climate change in general in his earlier paper. In no way, shape, or form does he link it to human causes.


RE: Good article, one question
By Rovemelt on 10/9/2007 12:59:22 PM , Rating: 3
There's no need to get nasty onelittleindian; go ahead and read Mackay's other work which implicitly supports AGW theory. Masher was trying to link global warming and Mackay's research in this blog entry. Masher seems to have a different interpretation of this data than the author he cites.

Why do you think the author references the IPCC and other studies that support current AGW theory? It's because he trusts in the current AGW theory. If he didn't, he wouldn't cite reference after reference that supports AGW and his own data.


RE: Good article, one question
By onelittleindian on 10/9/2007 1:09:42 PM , Rating: 1
Lol, this has to be the most cockeyed interpretation I've ever read. The author coauthored an earlier paper which, briefly, in passing, mentions an IPCC temperature estimate in the paper's introduction, merely as a lead-in to demonstrating why THEIR research is important...and you believe that means he then (and more importantly, still today) adamantly believes in AGW? This is too rich for words.

Masher's interpretation is correct. Siberian warming (at least) started long before humans began creating large amounts of greenhouse gases, and has nothing whatsoever to do with mankind. Mackay says that about as plain as can be. Take off the blinders man.


RE: Good article, one question
By Rovemelt on 10/9/2007 1:41:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Siberian warming (at least) started long before humans began creating large amounts of greenhouse gases, and has nothing whatsoever to do with mankind. Mackay says that about as plain as can be.


I'm not arguing about past warming trends and understand that there are other natural cycles to temperature change in Siberia. You, me, Mackay, Masher all understand that the publication focuses on previous biosilicate deposits in a lake in Siberia. AGW theory is about how the future temperatures and weather will be altered by relatively recent human activity. Mackay supports in his publication that the recent warming due to AGW is independent of the trend found in the lake in Siberia. How do you interpret the following statement in the publication that Masher links?

quote:
In recent decades, wintertime warming in central Asia has been greater than any other region of the world, and this trend is expected to continue; winter temperatures are predicted to increase by between 2 and 5 °C over the next 50 years (IPCC, 2001). These changes are linked to declining intensity of the Siberian High, and general circulation model (GCM) predictions of future climate change suggest as greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations increase, the intensity of the SH will continue to decrease until at least 2100 AD (e.g. Gillett et al., 2003). The global significance of this warming is important both in terms of accelerating permafrost reduction (resulting in increased methane release from thaw lakes (Walter et al., 2006)) and declining snow cover extent, which have wide-reaching implications for albedo feedback mechanisms and monsoon intensity and for concentrations of methane in the atmosphere.


That's from the link Masher provides above. I, as I expect most people would, interpret that as implicit support of AGW.


RE: Good article, one question
By Procurion on 10/10/2007 9:58:54 AM , Rating: 1
Are you reading English, Rovemelt? What is it about the word implicit that you are in love with? There is NOTHING in the paragraph that even implies AGW. The only target I can even come close to identifying are the words "greenhouse gases". Is that your point? If so, go back to biology class and take it again. Greenhouse gases are not new, nor are they necessarily a "result".

In warm ages past, increases in greenhouse gases have been documented well before man ever walked the planet. They are necessary when the atmosphere is warm-a state required by physics due to the starting composition of the atmosphere. The atmosphere is just as obligated to follow the rules of conservation of energy as anything else. Your love for the word implicit and lack of knowledge about what greenhouse gases ARE means you've watched Gore's movie one too many times. There is absolutely nothing in that paragraph that even approaches "implicit" support for AGW.


RE: Good article, one question
By porkpie on 10/9/2007 1:31:23 PM , Rating: 1
You have to remember Rovemelt gets paid very well to make global-warming supporters look bad. He's very good at his job, so give him a break.


By svenkesd on 10/8/2007 12:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
We are currently in an interglacial warm period, of course the warming started before the industrial revolution and it will continue until the glaciers advance again.




By initialised on 10/9/2007 5:00:20 AM , Rating: 3
I heard it started around 12000 years ago when the Northern European Ice Shelf receeded. Since then there have been short term peaks and troughs. At times Scotland enjoyed a near Mediteranean climate, at other times winters in London were cold enough to freeze the Thames (around 1700). Northern Europe has been warming since then.

Humans often can't help but anthropomorphise things. Years ago we created gods in our idealised image to explain extrodinary events that we didn't have the tools to understand. Now we are more empirical and sophisticated so we use the bits that fit to develop eco-morality which no longer needs a basis in fact as it becomes more of a faith.


By adam00 on 10/9/2007 4:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Humans often can't help but anthropomorphise things. Years ago we created gods in our idealised image to explain extrodinary events that we didn't have the tools to understand. Now we are more empirical and sophisticated so we use the bits that fit to develop eco-morality which no longer needs a basis in fact as it becomes more of a faith.


Best comment yet. I posted above where I compared AGW to a faith with Al Gore as the savior before I read this. Excellent post.

It is somewhat scary how AGW disciples cling to their beliefs and will twist any data to fit the story they want to tell.

I'm happy to see that there are other people out there that use their own brains and common sense - i live in NYC - sometimes I start to wonder if there is any common sense left. :) thanks.


By Hawkido on 10/10/2007 5:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
<sarcasm> What does AGW stand for? Al Gore's Warning?</sarcasm>


By FITCamaro on 10/10/2007 1:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
But it makes for much more exciting 10 o'clock news to say that we're destroying the world one gallon of gas at a time.


All for naught?
By Misty Dingos on 10/8/07, Rating: 0
RE: All for naught?
By CrazyBernie on 10/8/2007 3:21:49 PM , Rating: 4
Dude, you totally didn't end the sarcasm rant correctly... it's <sarcasm></sarcasm>... now everyone's going to take you seriously.


RE: All for naught?
By TomZ on 10/8/2007 3:58:27 PM , Rating: 2
<sarcasm>Yes, we all need to learn proper Comment XML</sarcasm>


RE: All for naught?
By Misty Dingos on 10/8/2007 4:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the info. I really need it. It is Monday and well I am feeling seriously sarcastic.

Seriously it would be nice if we could color our sarcastic posts green. A vile nasty shade of green. An evil vile nasty cruel shade of green.


RE: All for naught?
By GeorgeOrwell on 10/9/2007 7:25:15 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe color "sarcastic" posts the color of coal? Because we all know coal is completely non-toxic, even suitable to eat for breakfast as Coal Flakes.

Fact is, the entire universe has been getting warmer since the Big Bang. What we experience on Earth is nothing more than some warm eddies from the giant thermal turbine that we call the Milky Way galaxy. Burning coal is to be one with the intelligent design of Universal Warming. Every dark as coal sarcastic post brings us closer to the destiny that was written when tbe Big Bang went Bang.

So go ahead, shake your sarcastic booty.


RE: All for naught?
By werepossum on 10/9/2007 10:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seriously it would be nice if we could color our sarcastic posts green. A vile nasty shade of green. An evil vile nasty cruel shade of green.


I propose we call this color "Hillary Green".


Blame Canada!
By borowki on 10/8/2007 3:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
It can't be a coincidence that the warming trend started just as Canada was settled by Europeans.




RE: Blame Canada!
By Ringold on 10/8/2007 4:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
I interpreted it as being off by just a few years, what with margins of error; global warming actually started in 1776, and therefore..

Global warming is all America's fault.

If we'd just stayed loyal crown subjects, darn it, it'd of all been okay, but we went and angered the FSM.


RE: Blame Canada!
By TomZ on 10/8/2007 5:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, clearly it's England's fault, since they effectively forced us to leave and start a new nation. Not to mention all that global exploration...


RE: Blame Canada!
By Misty Dingos on 10/9/2007 10:59:14 AM , Rating: 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgolfier_brothers

You have the year wrong, 1783 not 1776. It was the Mongolfier brothers! They started global warming with their hot air ballon! It all fits. The needed lots of hot air to make their ballon work. And worst of all these flying contraptions are affronts to the FSM. He is thus punishing us with global warming.


RE: Blame Canada!
By KernD on 10/10/2007 12:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
So your saying it's when the British took over new-france, because the french where here much earlier, Quebec city is celebrating it's 400 birthday next year. So I have to agree with a later post of it's the british or americans that angered the FSM. The world must stop speaking english so that the mighty FSM may forgive us.


Based on the graph
By Bioniccrackmonk on 10/8/2007 11:35:41 AM , Rating: 2
It seems the earth warms and cools in 100 thousand year cycles that seem to peak and valley around the same temps they were past.




RE: Based on the graph
By grenableu on 10/8/2007 11:41:13 AM , Rating: 2
There's a lot of cycles of varying lengths. And of course none of them have anything to do with us humans.


RE: Based on the graph
By on 10/8/2007 1:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
I cant believe this crap. Theres a special place in HELL for all you DENIERS!


RE: Based on the graph
By Spivonious on 10/8/2007 2:46:18 PM , Rating: 2
Plus we're not even halfway to the last warmest spike 100,000 years ago.


Time travel
By therealnickdanger on 10/8/2007 11:35:27 AM , Rating: 5
Clearly at some point in the future, we will decide to send our industrial waste back in time in order to start global warming. Researchers agree.




Sensationalism anyone?
By jkl on 10/10/2007 3:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For example, one of the coldest periods during the last 1000 years (and indeed the whole Holocene) is the Maunder Minimum (1645 AD–1715 AD), coincident with reduced sunspot activity and total solar irradiance.


Perhaps Masher is bit sensationalistic with that headline? The research does not say, "Global warming started 250 years ago." It states that the Lake Baikal region was warming 250 ya, but that it also was at record lows prior to the warming.

I am just wondering why Masher didn't include the graph adjacent to the above one, which actually displays summer maximum temperature, not the mass of diatoms. Of course, Masher is wrong in his description of the graph, but how would any on you know that unless you have full access to the journal? Had he used any other graph, his statements would be obviously flawed.




RE: Sensationalism anyone?
By onelittleindian on 10/10/2007 4:56:48 PM , Rating: 2
Since Mackay himself says warming started 250 years ago, I seriously doubt his own graph contradicts him. So your post sounds like just another FUD attempt by a global warming zealot.


heretics!
By johnsonx on 10/8/2007 12:29:24 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Also, Mackay's paper is not the only research to demonstrate the current warming trend predates the industrial era (for instance, Bräuning's research in Turkey, Hallert in Canada, or Vollweiler, et al, in Austria/Germany).


Looks like a list of heretics to me. Burn them! BURN THEM! At least cut off their funding!




Interesting
By geddarkstorm on 10/8/2007 2:12:08 PM , Rating: 3
This is a fascinating article. I'd love to read more on their methods. From their data graph, at least, it appears we were actually in a slightly longer and colder period than usual between temperature spikes over the last 800,000 years, and are just now coming out of it. If this data is indicative of a periodic trend we are now entering, then things are going to get a lot warmer yet.




From the publication
By Rovemelt on 10/9/2007 11:14:37 AM , Rating: 3
Thanks for posting this interesting article, Masher!

From the article:

quote:
3.4.2. Centennial cooling events in the early–late Holocene

Paleoclimate studies in the Northern Hemisphere demonstrate that after GS-1, the early to mid-Holocene was a period of warmer climate than the present day, while cooling began to occur in the last 4000–3000 years BP, and that these changes are synchronous with orbital changes and received solar insolation. Centennial cooling events associated with millennial-scale cycles have been identified (e.g. Bond et al., 1997), and are increasingly being found in archive sequences from around the world (e.g. [Campbell et al., 1998], [deMenocal et al., 2000], [Heiri et al., 2004], [Mayewski et al., 2004] and [Nesje et al., 2005]). These cooling events during the early to mid-Holocene have been associated with pulses of freshwater discharge from the Laurentide ice sheet slowing North Atlantic THC (Teller et al., 2002), although changes in solar insolation have also been implicated (Bond et al., 2001). The existence of these cycles and events is having great resonance in current debates on global warming, hence, high priority needs to be given to understanding their causes and impacts from archives around the world.


From what I've read in that article, there seems to be a pretty complicated connection between climate change and diatom productivity.

quote:
There is still debate as to the actual causes of cold episodes during the 16th–18th centuries (associated with the ‘LIA’). This is especially true in relation to the relative roles of volcanic forcing ([Free and Robock, 1999] and [Crowley, 2000]), solar forcing ([Shindell et al., 2001] and [Muscheler et al., 2007]), changes in thermohaline circulation ([Broecker, 2000] and [Lund et al., 2006]) and its place as part of the most recent millennial-scale cycle (Campbell et al., 1998). For example, one of the coldest periods during the last 1000 years (and indeed the whole Holocene) is the Maunder Minimum (1645 AD–1715 AD), coincident with reduced sunspot activity and total solar irradiance. Mid- to high-latitude continental regions such as Lake Baikal, experience much lower temperatures than sites at similar latitude near to the North Atlantic (Bradley, 2003). Thus while global temperatures were on average only slightly lower during the 17th and 18th centuries, cooling over continental regions is estimated to be up to 5 times as great (Shindell et al., 2001). It is reasonable therefore to put forward the hypothesis that this cooling had a significant biological impact on the aquatic ecosystem of Lake Baikal.


This publication does not conflict with the present theory of human-caused global climate change:

quote:
In recent decades, the impacts of global warming are increasingly being identified in lakes around the world, especially in remote regions such as the arctic ([Douglas et al., 1994] and [Smol et al., 2005]). In this respect Lake Baikal is no exception ([Livingstone, 1999], [Magnuson et al., 2000], [Shimaraev et al., 2002] and [Todd and Mackay, 2003]). However, records of recent global warming need to be contextualised especially with respect to the extent and intensity of climate variability over the last 1000 years. Diatom census data and reconstructions of snow accumulation suggest that changes in the influence of the Siberian High in the Lake Baikal region started as early as c. 1750 AD, with a shift from taxa that bloom during autumn overturn to assemblages that exhibit net growth in spring after ice break-up (Mackay et al., 2005) (Fig. 10). The data here mirror instrumental climate records from Fennoscandia for example, which also show over the last 250 years positive temperature trends (e.g. Jones, 2001) and increasing early summer Siberian temperature reconstructions (Naurzbaev and Vaganov, 2000). Warming in the Lake Baikal region commenced before rapid increases in greenhouse gases, and at least initially, is therefore a response to other forcing factors such as insolation changes during this period of the most recent millennial cycle (e.g. Beer et al., 1996).


It seems like the author believes that other forcing factors are responsible for the disconnect between our most recent warming events and the data which suggests the warming started in the 1700's.




Crude oil anyone?
By dflynchimp on 10/9/2007 9:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
the only possible good thing that comes out of this is that if Siberia thaws, we'll get access to all the oil deposits sitting under that currently frozen land...

course, on the down side, it *is* global warming...




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