Saturday 23rd of October 2021

and now to the weather...


In 1965 Hubert Horace Lamb published his study on "The early medieval warm epoch and its sequel", based on "data from the realms of botany, historical document research and meteorology". His view was that "Evidence has been accumulating in many fields of investigation pointing to a notably warm climate in many parts of the world, that lasted a few centuries around A.D. 1000–1200, and was followed by a decline of temperature levels till between 1500 and 1700 the coldest phase since the last ice age occurred."


The paper included a series of diagrams of temperatures in central England over the period, simplified in a 1982 version adjusted to account for "probable under-reporting of mild winters in Medieval times" and "certain botanical considerations" including historical records of vineyards in southern and eastern England. This version was featured in the IPCC First Assessment Report of 1990, figure 7.1c on p. 202, as a "Schematic diagram of global temperature variations for the last thousand years.”



In 1976, the Britannica Year Book published “The Earth Changing Climate” by the said Hubert Horace Lamb. One of the interesting diagram published there was about the last 65 million years of climate record. Although many scientific graphs agree with the general trends of these past times, there are some variations in the details. One of the main problems is the comparison points. Lamb told us in 1976:


Latest computations of the increase of man’s output of carbon dioxide, including the distribution between atmosphere and oceans and the effect upon radiation exchanges in the atmosphere, indicate that doubling it would be expected to raise the overall average temperature prevailing at the surface of the Earth by about 1.9˚ C.


Now, we know that there was a warm period around A.D. 1000–1200, and we already have mentioned the Danish “vikings” landing and colonising Greenland — until the cold came back by 1500 and they abandoned their settlements.


What caused these changes in the trend of climate then? Possible causes of the Medieval Warm Period include increased solar activity, decreased volcanic activity, and changes in ocean circulation. The Medieval Warm Period was followed by a cooler period in the North Atlantic and elsewhere, which is termed the Little Ice Age… In regard to CO2, there was nothing outside the norm between the maximum 300 ppm for warm periods and 180 ppm for ice ages, during these events, also peppered by a few volcanic eruptions such as that of 1258 (1257). These volcanic disruptions didn’t disrupt the trends for long. According to reconstruction, high temperatures—similar to those observed in the twentieth century before 1990 — occurred around AD 1000 to 1100. and minimum temperatures that are about 0.7 K below the average of 1961–90 occurred around AD 1600.


So how do we compare the present situation with the warm period of 1000/1200? or any other periods?


In some strange way, we’re still deciphering a lot of data, some contradictory and some convergent. 




One of the most often cited arguments of those skeptical of global warming is that the Medieval Warm Period (800-1400 AD) was as warm as or warmer than today. Using this as proof to say that we cannot be causing current warming is a faulty notion based upon rhetoric rather than science. So what are the holes in this line of thinking?


Firstly, evidence suggests that the Medieval Warm Period may have been warmer than today in many parts of the globe such as in the North Atlantic. This warming thereby allowed Vikings to travel further north than had been previously possible because of reductions in sea ice and land ice in the Arctic. However, evidence also suggests that some places were very much cooler than today including the tropical pacific. All in all, when the warm places are averaged out with the cool places, it becomes clear that the overall warmth was likely similar to early to mid 20th century warming.


Since that early century warming, temperatures have risen well-beyond those achieved during the Medieval Warm Period across most of the globe.  The National Academy of Sciences Report on Climate Reconstructions in 2006 found it plausible that current temperatures are hotter than during the Medieval Warm Period.  Further evidence obtained since 2006 suggests that even in the Northern Hemisphere where the Medieval Warm Period was the most visible, temperatures are now beyond those experienced during Medieval times  (Figure 1).  This was also confirmed by a major paper from 78 scientists representing 60 scientific institutions around the world in 2013.


Secondly, the Medieval Warm Period has known causes which explain both the scale of the warmth and the pattern. It has now become clear to scientists that the Medieval Warm Period occurred during a time which had higher than average solar radiation and less volcanic activity (both resulting in warming). New evidence is also suggesting that changes in ocean circulation patterns played a very important role in bringing warmer seawater into the North Atlantic. This explains much of the extraordinary warmth in that region. These causes of warming contrast significantly with today's warming, which we know cannot be caused by the same mechanisms.


Overall, our conclusions are:


a) Globally temperatures are warmer than they have been during the last 2,000 years, and


b) the causes of Medieval warming are not the same as those causing late 20th century warming.




First things first:


The solar activity has been somewhat below average during “our” present warming so far.


Volcanic activities have been average in modern times — say from the Mt St Helen eruption to the Mount Pinatubo, plus the Islandic Volcanoes, we have not had a shortage of eruptions that could cool the climate... 


Changes in sea currents are difficult to assess during past climate changes. Presently the trend in the Atlantic is a slowing of the Gulf Stream, which for all intents and purposes would bring cold weather to the UK and Europe. 


So “our” warming is not due to any of these factors which would actually mitigate our warming, including the slow/fast melting of the ice, absorbing heat energy away from the atmospheric mix.


The Milankovitch cycles are on par with a cooling of the planet towards an ice age within the next 100,000 years. A long time between drinks, but overall considering the “natural” settings we should be going towards cool. We are going towards WARM at a rate of knots


So, we need to seriously look at the gaseous mix of the atmosphere, the so-called greenhouse gases, WHICH WE NEED, otherwise the planet would be uninhabitable. The main two warming gases are water vapour and CO2. Other warming gases include methane and NOx's  Oxygen is a cooling gas and Nitrogen is considered neutral. 


I know some people, like Scott Morrison, who believe that god is punishing us (not him because he's not a sinner) for behaving badly. Floods only go through the houses of sinners. Fire only destroy the villages of sinners (greenies included)… And this is why Scott Morrison isn’t holding a hose, mate. You have to repent first… Idiot.


A flood or a fire or a tornado or a cyclone demolishing your house isn’t a causal event. It is a resultant event. The underlying causes are those that change the heat in the atmosphere. These inductions are the increase of warming gases — of the greenhouse kind.


Water vapour in the atmosphere changes little overall between climatic conditions, despite an erratic behaviour. What changes most is CO2 concentration which is nearly double during warm period to the concentration during ice ages. Presently, we — human industrial, transport and farming activitieshave added the same difference above the natural maximum for warm period.


This could place us in line with climate pasts, say at a position between now and the Eocene and Oligocene, when global temperatures were up to 30 degrees Celsius on average. Welcome to cooking on toast.


Let’s say (16 + 30) : 2 = 23. That is to say that, at the present rate of change, within a couple of centuries, the earth temperature will be 7 degrees Celsius above present average — AND CLIMBING. 


Meanwhile until this stabilises, this would NOT be like during the Eocene with average temp everywhere and no ice — and beaut weather all around. There is likely to be major severe storms, due to the gradients of temperature between hot spots and cooler areas. Areas with lush vegetations would likely become desert-like. 


This is what happened during the Medieval Warm period (which was cooler than now). Some populated regions became barren of crops while others became crop-able, leading to strange human behaviour from “human sacrifice” to “conquests” of other people’s lands. We only manage crop in desert areas by bringing in water from diverting rivers, and pumping from artesian basins. Eventually this shan't suffice.


We need to prepare for the shit to hit the fan soon. The science of the IPCC is correct.


And the crunch? 2032, according to Gus the Elder…





Picture at top: Britannica Year Book 1976...

promises promises...

Despite all the promises to take action, the world is still on course to heat up to dangerous levels.

That's the latest blunt assessment of the United Nations. 

Its experts have studied the climate plans of more than 100 countries and concluded that we're heading in the wrong direction. 

Scientists recently confirmed that to avoid the worst impacts of hotter conditions, global carbon emissions needed to be cut by 45% by 2030. 

But this new analysis shows that those emissions are set to rise by 16% during this period.

That could eventually lead to a temperature rise of 2.7C (4.9F) above pre-industrial times - far above the limits set by the international community.


How do world leaders stop climate change?

Climate report is 'code red for humanity'

"The 16% increase is a huge cause for concern," according to Patricia Espinosa, the UN's chief climate negotiator. 

"It is in sharp contrast with the calls by science for rapid, sustained and large-scale emission reductions to prevent the most severe climate consequences and suffering, especially of the most vulnerable, throughout the world.”


It's a stark warning about the scale of the challenge faced at the COP26 climate conference, scheduled to take place in Glasgow in just over six weeks' time.

The central aim of the giant event is to keep alive hopes of limiting the rise in global temperatures by persuading nations to cut their emissions. 

Under the rules of the Paris Agreement on climate change, countries are meant to update their carbon reduction plans every five years.

But the UN says that of 191 countries taking part in the agreement, only 113 have so far come up with improved pledges. 


Alok Sharma, the British minister who will chair the COP26 conference, said nations that had ambitious climate plans were "already bending the curve of emissions downwards". 

"But without action from all countries, especially the biggest economies, these efforts risk being in vain." 

A study by Climate Action Tracker found that of the G20 group of leading industrial nations, only a handful including the UK and the US have strengthened their targets to cut emissions. 

In another analysis, the World Resources Institute and Climate Analytics highlight how China, India, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - together responsible for 33% of greenhouse gases - have yet to submit updated plans. 


It says that Australia and Indonesia have the same carbon reduction targets they did back in 2015 - while the Paris Agreement is meant to involve a "ratchet mechanism" of progressively deeper cuts. 

And the study finds that Brazil, Mexico and Russia all expect their emissions to grow rather than to shrink. 


For the poorest countries - most vulnerable to rising sea levels and new extremes of heat and drought - seeing a rapid fall in the gases heating the planet is a priority. 

Sonam P Wangdi, chair of the Least Developed Countries group, said: "G20 countries must take the lead in quickly cutting emissions to mitigate climate change. 

"These are the countries with the greatest capacity and responsibility, and it's well past time they step up and treat this crisis like a crisis."

There are hopes that China may revise its climate plans ahead of the Glasgow conference.

As the world's largest emitter, it has previously said it aims to peak its emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

An announcement soon of more ambitious targets would give the talks a significant boost but there are no clues about when - or even whether - that might happen.


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