A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sunday, May 20, 2012

LMAO Climatology

Timothy Birdnow

In the tsunami of ridiculous advocacy masquerading as science here is one of the more ridiculous; a new paper claims that Australia is about as warm as it was in the 13th century, this being used as "proof" that the Earth is undergoing global warming!

Here is the abstract:

Joëlle Gergis et al.


This study presents the first multi-proxy warm season (September-February) temperature reconstruction for the combined land and oceanic region of Australasia (0°S-50°S, 110°E-180°E). We perform a 3000-member ensemble Principal Component Reconstruction (PCR) using 27 temperature proxies from the region. The proxy network explained 69% of the inter-annual variance in the HadCRUT3v SONDJF spatial mean temperature over the 1921-1990 calibration period. Applying eight stringent reconstruction ‘reliability’ metrics identified post A.D. 1430 as the highest quality section of the reconstruction, but also revealed a skilful reconstruction is possible over the full A.D. 1000-2001 period.

The average reconstructed temperature anomaly in Australasia during A.D. 1238-1267, the warmest 30-year pre-instrumental period, is 0.09°C (±0.19°C) below 1961-1990 levels. Following peak pre-industrial warmth, a cooling trend culminates in a temperature anomaly of 0.44°C (±0.18°C) below 1961-1990 levels between A.D. 1830-1859. A preliminary assessment of the roles of solar, volcanic, and anthropogenic forcings and natural ocean-atmosphere variability is performed using CSIRO Mk3L model simulations and independent palaeoclimate records. Solar and volcanic forcing does not have a marked influence on reconstructed Australasian temperature variations, which appear to be masked by internal variability.

In 94.5% of the 3000-member reconstruction ensemble, there are no other warm periods in the past 1,000 years that match or exceed post-1950 warming observed in Australasia. The unusual 20th century warming cannot be explained by natural variability alone, suggesting a strong influence of anthropogenic forcing in the Australasian region

End abstract.

That last is a gut-buster! They use but a thousand years, which makes perfect sense given the last warm period ended 800 years ago, so the next warm period is, well, warmer than the interval between warm periods. Imagine that!  And they offer no explanation for why the last warm period was warm. I suppose it was from all those torches used in Medieval Europe, or the heretics they burned at the stake.

Also, please note the confidence they place in proxy reconstructions of temperatures back in the year 1000; they can confidently state that it is warmer now in Australia by 0.09*C.  The Australian aborigines kept excellent temperature records back then, no doubt, and make reconstructing the exact temperature to one hundreth of 1* a snap! This when there is confusion today using satellites and direct measurements of the planet's surface. Amazing how capable these reconstructions are!

I also like the line "In 94.5% of the 3000-member reconstruction ensemble, there are no other warm periods in the past 1,000 years that match or exceed post-1950 warming observed in Australasia."  So, 6.5% DO exceed this thousand year record, and yet they can confidently say the temperature data is clear on a 0.09% difference!  Marvelous.

That these researchers would publish this is amazing, and that a journal would pass it through peer review is frightening. Where are the standards?

This is much like saying we are in a drought because it didn't rain today and it did yesterday. On a geological scale a thousand years is nothing.

But it is everything when you are trying to prove a political point.

Hat tip: Tom Nelson

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by