compare to this:
I had mentioned this new dendro paper to Steve McIntyre, who wrote a short note about it while pointing out that:
A news release on a new tree ring study here (h/t Anthony Watts) reported a reconstruction maxing out in the mid-20th century, with the characteristic late 20th century divergence problem. Their results contrast with CRU’s notorious Yamal chronology:
Following the summer temperature reconstruction on the Kola Peninsula, the researchers compared their results with similar tree-ring studies from Swedish Lapland and from the Yamal and Taimyr Peninsulas in Russian Siberia, which had been published in Holocene in 2002. The reconstructed summer temperatures of the last four centuries from Lapland and the Kola and Taimyr Peninsulas are similar in that all three data series display a temperature peak in the middle of the twentieth century, followed by a cooling of one or two degrees. Only the data series from the Yamal Peninsula differed, reaching its peak later, around 1990. What stands out in the data from the Kola Peninsula is that the highest temperatures were found in the period around 1935 and 1955, and that by 1990 the curve had fallen to the 1870 level, which corresponds to the start of the Industrial Age. Since 1990, however, temperatures have increased again evidently.
Although the reconstruction declined since mid-20th century, the sub-headline reads: “New data indicate rapid temperature rise in the coldest region of mainland Europe”.
I had hoped Steve would do a more in depth look at it, but Pierre Gosselin has already taken a crack at it with this essay, which is worth repeating here.
From Pierre Gosselin’s No Tricks Zone:
Last week I wrote about a Russian-German temperature reconstruction from 1600 to 2000 derived from tree rings from the Kola Peninsula in northwest Russia . The paper appeared in the journal Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, Vol. 41, No. 4, 2009, pp. 460–468, by Kononov, Friedrich and Boettger.
In response, German media outlets all hollered “RAPIDLY RISING ARCTIC TEMPERATURES!”, focussing solely on one statement that temperatures have been rising since 1990.
It’s a classic example of how a scientific study comes up with Result A, but the public ends up understanding Result Z, all thanks to sloppy and incompetent communication that exists between the two.
The press release here provides the following Kola temperature reconstruction graph for summertime temperatures:
Here it’s plain to see that the temperature reconstruction shows that Arctic temperatures in the Kola Peninsula have been rising since about 1670. This corresponds exceptionally well with Loehle’s 2007 reconstruction using 18 non-tree-ring proxies for the last 2000 years shown as follows:
Both graphics show the Little Ice Age from 1650 to 1750, at which point a warming event ensues. Then it was generally flat from 1750 to about 1920, and then followed by another rise that took place until 1950. Then Kola tree-ring proxies show a cooling up to 1990. Since 1990 warming has occurred again, but it’s a warming that is completely within the natural range of variation.
The Kola reconstruction (1) agreed with an earlier reconstruction (2) done in the area, see map below. What’s more, the Kola reconstruction (1) was compared with tree-ring reconstructions from other Arctic regions: Swedish Lapland (3), Yamal (4), and Taimyr (5).
The result of the comparison:
The reconstructed summer temperatures of the last four centuries from Lapland and the Kola and Taimyr Peninsulas are similar in that all three data series display a temperature peak in the middle of the twentieth century, followed by a cooling of one or two degrees.
Only the Yamal reconstruction differed completely, resembling the shape of a hockey stick with the blade beginning at 1900. The hockey stick is becoming an artefact of activism.
Except for the Yamal reconstruction, all tree-ring and non-tree ring reconstructions appear to agree, and so indicate no correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration.
So what could be driving temperatures then? The authors compared the tree-ring based reconstructions with historical records of sunspots (Lean et al, 1995; Lean, 2000), and say:
We found that over the whole investigated period fluctuations of summer air temperature reconstructed for the Khibiny Mountains in the central part of the Kola Peninsula have a good consistency (r >0.50) with changes of solar radiation (Fig. 10), especially for the low-frequency signal.
In the paper’s conclusion we read:
The broad similarity between this temperature construction and solar radiation indicates that solar activity is an important driver of centennial to multi-decadal trends in summer temperatures of the Kola Peninsula.
So why did all media reports holler “RAPID TEMPERATURE INCREASE IN THE ARCTIC”. Call it complete communication incompetence by the media players between science and the public.
The Kola reconstructions show no link to atmospheric CO2 concentrations. It all started with a solid scientific paper, and but then was distorted (purposely?) by a vague press release that culminated in alarmist media headlines.
Let’s call that press release incompetence-gate.