Claims that man-made pollution is causing “unprecedented” global warming have been seriously undermined by accumulating research which shows that the Earth was warmer during the Middle Ages.
From the outset of the global warming debate in the late 1980s, global warming activists have said that temperatures are rising higher and faster than ever before, leading some scientists to conclude that greenhouse gases from cars and power stations are causing these “record-breaking” global temperatures (The Anthropogenic Hypothesis–AGW). Mind you, there is not now nor has there ever been any empirical evidence to make this cause and affect claim.
Scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia declared that the 1990s had been hotter than any other period for 1,000 years. They even claimed that 1998 was the hottest year in over 1000 years. Both claims are bogus. This is the very same East Anglia that had their emails hacked revealing a concerted effort by climate scientists to fudge the data and hide the evidence of tampering. But that is old news.
The human caused global warming advocates are still keep parroting the line about current “unprecedented” warming. Whenever mention is made about the Medieval Warm Period, these individuals are quick to respond that that event was just a local one (northern Europe) and so cannot be used in discussions about current global warming trends. It is almost as though they are following a written script. It doesn’t even matter that this claim is outdated and now firmly discredited. The Medieval Warm Period was both global and warmer than today (1-5).
The preposterous claims were really put to rest several years ago by what was the most comprehensive study yet of global temperature over the past 1,000 years (6). A review of more than 240 scientific studies showed that today’s temperatures are neither the warmest over the past millennium, nor are they producing the most extreme weather – in stark contrast to the claims of the Medieval Warm Period deniers. That review, carried out by a team from Harvard University, examined the findings of studies that included so-called “temperature proxies” such as tree rings, ice cores, and historical accounts.
The findings prove that the world experienced a Medieval Warm Period between the ninth and 14th centuries with global temperatures higher even than today. That’s right, for at least a couple of hundred years during the middle ages the earth was warmer than today and it got warmer rather quickly too. Sea levels rose, there was massive global melting of ice, salinity in the northern oceans plummeted from the melting ice–and the planet survived quite nicely. Even the polar bears made it through, no problem. In fact, for the most part, civilization thrived during this period. There was a profitable grape (and wine) industry in England; the Vikings were establishing colonies in Greenland and Iceland; and bountiful harvest throughout the world made food abundant and cheap.
The new research also confirms claims that a Little Ice Age set in around 1300, during which the world cooled dramatically. Since 1900, the world has begun to warm up again – but it has a way to go to reach the balmy temperatures of the Middle Ages.
The timing of the end of the Little Ice Age, which followed the Medieval Warm Period, is especially significant. It is one of the dirty little secrets that the global warming activists wish would stay secret. You see, most of the graphs they use to illustrate a warming Earth start at a time when the Earth was coming out of this Little Ice Age, thereby exaggerating the significance of today’s temperature rise. This is just pure deception.
According to the researchers, the evidence confirms suspicions that today’s “unprecedented” temperatures are simply the result of examining temperature change over too short a period of time. Dr Philip Stott, the professor emeritus of bio-geography at the University of London, says: “What has been forgotten in all the discussion about global warming is a proper sense of history.” (7)
According to Prof Stott, the evidence also undermines doom-laden predictions about the effect of higher global temperatures. “During the Medieval Warm Period, the world was warmer even than today, and history shows that it was a wonderful period of plenty for everyone.”
In contrast, said Stott, severe famines and economic collapse followed the onset of the Little Ice Age around 1300. He said: “When the temperature started to drop, harvests failed and England’s vine industry died. It makes one wonder why there is so much fear of warmth.”
It doesn’t even matter what was the cause of the Medieval Warm Period. Most researchers say it was due to a slight increase in solar activity. Duh, now there is a shocker. Imagine that, the very source of all heat on the Earth implicated in climate. What is important is that even if the global warming crowd is correct about a current trend in warming, the doomsday predictions they tag to the trend are unwarranted because now we have data documenting an extended period as warm (or warmer) as today and instead of calamity, it ushered in an era of widespread prosperity. Furthermore, the evidence suggests there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about the current level of earth’s warmth, which further suggests that 20th-century global warming had nothing to do with the concomitant historical increase in the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration.
Make sure to scroll down to the graphs I have included at the bottom of this essay.
- Ljungqvist, Frederick Charpentier, 2010. A New Reconstruction of Temperature Variability in the Extra-Tropical Northern Hemisphere During the Last Two Millenia, Physical Geography Volume 92, No. 3.
- Stenni, B. et al. 2010. The Deuterium Excess Records of EPICA Dome C and Dronning Maud Land Ice Cores (East Antarctica), Quaternary Science Reviews, 29: 146-159.
- Larocque-Tobler, I. et al. 2010. Thousand Years of Climate Change Reconstructed from Chironomid Subfossils Preserved in Varved Lake Silvaplana, Engadine, Switzerland. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 1940-1949.
- McKay, J. L. et al. 2010. Holocene fluctuations in Arctic sea-ice cover: dinocyst-based reconstructions for the eastern Chukchi Sea. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 45: 1377-1397
- Hong, B. et al. 2009. Temperature evolution for the O-18 record of Hani peat, Northeast China, in
the last 14000 years. Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences 52: 952-964.
- Loehle, C. et al. 2007. A 2000-year global temperature reconstruction based on non-tree ring proxies. Energy and the Environment 18: 1049-1058.
- The Daily Telegraph, Jan. 30, 2010.
HERE ARE A FEW RELEVANT GRAPHS TO MULL OVER