The Durban ramp-up begins – now the Earth only warms by hemispheres, and not simultaneously – until now

From Lund University, a new way to blame modern man.  Look for more nuttiness like this as the Durban climate conference approaches. Read the conclusion of the paper below, which is a long winded treatise of speculation.

New study shows no simultaneous warming of northern and southern hemispheres as a result of climate change for 20 000 years

21 October 2011

A common argument against global warming is that the climate has always varied. Temperatures rise sometimes and this is perfectly natural is the usual line.

However, Svante Björck, a climate researcher at Lund University in Sweden, has now shown that global warming, i.e. simultaneous warming events in the northern and southern hemispheres, have not occurred in the past 20 000 years, which is as far back as it is possible to analyse with sufficient precision to compare with modern developments. Svante Björck’s study thus goes 14 000 years further back in time than previous studies have done. “What is happening today is unique from a historical geological perspective”, he says

Svante Björck has gone through the global climate archives, which are presented in a large number of research publications, and looked for evidence that any of the climate events that have occurred since the end of the last Ice Age 20 000 years ago could have generated similar effects on both the northern and southern hemispheres simultaneously. It has not, however, been possible to verify this. Instead, he has found that when, for example, the temperature rises in one hemisphere, it falls or remains unchanged in the other.

“My study shows that, apart from the larger-scale developments, such as the general change into warm periods and ice ages, climate change has previously only produced similar effects on local or regional level”, says Svante Björck.

As an example, let us take the last clear climate change, which took place between the years 1600 and 1900 and which many know as the Little Ice Age. Europe experienced some of its coldest centuries. While the extreme cold had serious consequences for agriculture, state economies and transport in the north, there is no evidence of corresponding simultaneous temperature changes and effects in the southern hemisphere. The climate archives, in the form of core samples taken from marine and lake sediments and glacier ice, serve as a record of how temperature, precipitation and concentration of atmospheric gases and particles have varied over the course of history, and are full of similar examples.

Instead it is during ‘calmer’ climatic periods, when the climate system is influenced by external processes, that the researchers can see that the climate signals in the archives show similar trends in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

“This could be, for example, at the time of a meteorite crash, when an asteroid hits the earth or after a violent volcanic eruption when ash is spread across the globe. In these cases we can see similar effects around the world simultaneously”, says Svante Björck.

Professor Björck draws parallels to today’s situation. The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are currently changing very rapidly. At the same time, global warming is occurring.

“As long as we don’t find any evidence for earlier climate changes leading to similar simultaneous effects on a global scale, we must see today’s global warming as an exception caused by human influence on the earth’s carbon cycle”, says Svante Björck, continuing: “this is a good example of how geological knowledge can be used to understand our world. It offers perspectives on how the earth functions without our direct influence and thus how and to what extent human activity affects the system.”

Svante Björck’s results were published this summer in the scientific journal Climate Research.

For more information, please contact Professor Svante Björck, Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Lund University, tel.: +46 46 222 7882, mobile: +46 703 352494, email: Svante.Bjorck@geol.lu.se

– Ulrika Jönsson Belyazid

===============================================================

Current global warming appears anomalous in relation to the climate of the last 20000 years

Svante Björck*

Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Division of Geology, Quaternary Sciences, Lund University, Sölveg. 12,

223 62 Lund, Sweden

ABSTRACT: To distinguish between natural and anthropogenic forcing, the supposedly ongoing global warming needs to be put in a longer, geological perspective. When the last ca. 20000 yr of climate development is reviewed, including the climatically dramatic period when the Last Ice Age ended, the Last Termination, it appears that the last centuries of globally rising temperatures should be regarded as an anomaly. Other, often synchronous climate events are not expressed in a globally consistent way, but rather are the expression of the complexities of the climate system. Due to the often poor precision in the dating of older proxy records, such a statement will obviously be met with some opposition. However, as long as no globally consistent climate event prior to today’s global warming has been clearly documented, and considering that climate trends during the last millennia in different parts of the world have, in the last century or so, changed direction into a globally warming trend, we ought to regard the ongoing changes as anomalies, triggered by anthropogenically forced alterations of the carbon cycle in the general global environment.

Fig. 1. A unique Holocene record from an overgrown lake, 2nd Pond, on Nightingale Island in the South Atlantic (37° S, 12°W), situated in the Tristan da Cunha island group between Cape Town and Montevideo. Shown are the lithology, pollen and geochemistry records from the 2nd Pond basin, including Principal Components 1 and 2 (PC1, PC2; after Ljung & Björck 2007). Peaks of the C/N ratio and magnetic susceptibility (Susc; 10–6 SI units) record imply increased input of terrestrial organic and mineral matter, respectively, indicating periods of increased precipitation, while the C/S ratios imply varying input of aerosols and/or sea spray. Also note that high PC1 values are interpreted as increased precipitation, i.e. increased in-wash of pollen from more distant growing trees. Horizontal shaded stripes mark periods with increased precipitation. This record is compared with the Fe intensity (XRF counts s–1) record in a marine core off Chile (Lamy et al. 2001), indicating higher or lower precipitation in central Chile, and a stacked record of hematite-stained grains, interpreted as ice rafted debris (IRD; amount of hematite-stained grains, expressed as percentage of lithic grains in the 63–150 μm size range), in marine cores in the North Atlantic (Bond et al. 2001), implying more or less sea-ice and icebergs

6. CONCLUSIONS

I find it fair to conclude that in the perspective of 10 to 20 millennia, the ongoing global warming seems to be an anomaly. Owing to often incomplete chronologies

of the proxy based paleo-archives, especially in relation to the last 150 yr of daily to annual instrumental records, it may, however, be difficult to find clearcut evidence for such a statement. One might also ask the question: What is the likelihood of seeing a global

warming in our proxy records of comparable magnitude to the present warming, and arising only due to natural variations? A statistically reliable answer is of

course difficult to give, but with the gradually in -creased focus on high-resolution records, I would be surprised if it would not have been found in many of

our records.

Then again, as geologists we could try to put the ongoing warming into a thought experiment. Firstly, if we use the 8.2 kyr cooling event in the NH (Alley et al.

1997, Hammarlund et al. 2005), which lasted less than 100 yr, as a Holocene analogue of a partly enigmatic climate event, we cannot say for certain what triggered it. How can we try to better understand the underlying processes behind it? Perhaps by climate modeling?

In fact, modeling of available data on early Holo cene cooling events (Renssen et al. 2007) shows that this event was most likely triggered by freshwater outbursts that severely disturbed the thermohaline circulation and meridional heat advection to the north. This

fits well with the geological observations that a large North American glacial lake was drained out into the North Atlantic at that time, i.e. a normal procedure: testing models with data and vice versa. Secondly, if we found a short geologic warming event during, for example, the Holocene, and were able to analyze proxies from that period which disclosed that, for example, aerosols and solar activity had been rather high and that GHGs were >30% higher than during the preceding period, what conclusions would we have drawn? With data in a quantifiable form, modeling attempts would certainly have been carried out to find out the most likely hypothetic mechanisms be hind the warming. After critical analyses of the data and repeated model runs, I think it is likely that geologists and/or geoscientists would find that the high atmospheric GHGs would be the main candidate for the warming, but perhaps with a reservation concerning the effects from increased solar forcing. The type of procedures described above is what the IPCC modelers have performed, by testing dif ferent climate scenarios, such as ones with or without in creased

GHGs, etc.

To summarize, as long as there is no positive and clear evidence for distinct, globally synchronous climate events (since the LGM) with consistent climate signals, we should consider the ongoing global warming as an anomalous climate event, possibly with a global forcing mechanism—increasing atmospheric content of GHGs—altering the energy budget of the Earth. The basis behind and consequences of such a standpoint can obviously be discussed, but the effects of our giant ‘climate experiment’ are undoubtedly difficult to estimate and evaluate since we have no past analogues to a situation with abruptly rising GHGs more than 10 000 yr into an interglacial period. We should therefore be cautious about how and to what degree we contaminate our environment and both directly and indirectly influence natural climate pro – cesses: the dangers of crossing climate thresholds in a greenhouse world have been pointed out by many scientists (e.g. Stocker 1999, Alley et al. 2003, Keller et al. 2008).

Full text in pdf format 

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48 thoughts on “The Durban ramp-up begins – now the Earth only warms by hemispheres, and not simultaneously – until now

  1. “To summarize, as long as there is no positive and clear evidence for distinct, globally synchronous climate events (since the LGM) with consistent climate signals, we should ”
    And once again, switching the Null hypothesis – like proving to your wife you DIDN’T cheat her.

  2. DirkH says:
    October 21, 2011 at 8:50 am
    You are so right. Very tedious, but thankfully, with enough face-palms produced on their part to give some levity to the situation.

  3. This would seem to contradict the recent studies which show that the medieval warm period was simultaneous in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Does the author give any basis or explanation for this contradiction?

  4. Dear Dr. Watts:
    I very much enjoy your analyses. Please keep up the terrific work.
    The phrase “I find it fair to conclude” in Bjorck’s conclusion above reminds of a similar statement that appears in Darrell Huff’s book “How To Lie With Statistics” (1954; reissued 1993). There, in the footnote on page 102, Mr. Huff explains that the following phrase is useful when you want to say something without really saying anything, thereby ensuring that all readers are equally pleased: “There may be something to what you say.” I’d say that phrase also applies in rebuttal to Bjorck’s piece above, which strikes me as pretty much advancing a nothing burger.
    By the way, doesn’t the still-not-peer-reviewed BEST work conclude that one-third of the weather stations show cooling, not warming? It seems that Bjorck’s musings are in disagreement.
    Kipp Coddington

  5. Let’s see!
    Proxy records show differences in SH and NH reactions to climate change.
    So we have to assume these proxy records are an accurate record of the Earths temperature.
    Ok, in the famous ‘Hide the Decline’ affair, these ‘accurate’ proxy records show a declining temperature in the NH, from 1960 onwards, in contrast to the SH..
    Voila! There is no problem after all!
    Ohh, that is of course assuming we that are content that these proxies were an accurate temperature record, which the ‘Team’ decided they were not after all and needed replacing with actual thermometers. So its either, the proxies are good in which case there is no problem or they are not good in which case this whole study is crap!
    Alan

  6. “This could be, for example, at the time of a meteorite crash, when an asteroid hits the earth or after a violent volcanic eruption when ash is spread across the globe. In these cases we can see similar effects around the world simultaneously”, says Svante Björck.
    ===============================================================
    …so, CO2 is not well mixed after all…………../snark

  7. So, apart from the little ice age, the medieval warm period, the Roman warm period, the Minoan warm period, the holocene optimum and the younger Dryas – there is absolutely no evidence of temperatures in both hemispheres changing together.

  8. MMMM The authors might want to look more closely at what was happening in Siam back then IIRC even national Geographic picked up on it in an article on Ankor Wat 🙂

  9. “As long as we don’t find any evidence for earlier climate changes leading to similar simultaneous effects on a global scale, we must see today’s global warming as an exception caused by human influence on the earth’s carbon cycle”, says Svante Björck
    That’s re-telling of Phil Jones saying that he can’t think of anything else that would have the effect, so it must be CO2. I don’t know that I can call it intellectually bankrupt, but I sure as hell can call it unscientific, blinkered and intentionally misleading.

  10. Unholy cumbersome claptrap, Batman. Gliding in for a landing on a carpet of uncertainty. Well, at least Durban is in the SH.

  11. Only back 20k? There are plenty of good studies on the Eemian Interglacial. It would make greater sense to compare an Interglacial to an Interglacial rather than an Ice Age to an Interglacial. Björck’s conclusions are based on comparing apples to mushrooms. I believe he got it wrong, just as a previous Swedish climate wonk (also named Svante) did more than a hundred years ago.

  12. I am fairly certain I read 3 studies recently that concluded the Southern Hemisphere experienced the Little Ice Age much as the Northern. In fact one concluded that the Peruvian glaciers expanded greatly.

  13. Q:
    Björck, show me thøse tree prøxies; they åre not the såme tree prøxies the Climåtegåte perpetråtörs used, åre they?…
    A;
    Prøxies!!! I dön’t got nö prøxies! I don’t gøt tö show no steenkin’ prøxies!

  14. I don’t care if the hemispheres do the square dance, CO2 still does not drive climate and cannot cause the climate swings he is describing. He still subscribes to the hidden need to find a major role for CO2 while ignoring the other much larger climate influences.
    Traffic on National Road increases as the Sun comes up and decreases when the Sun goes down, and does so day after day. So, cars make the Sun come up and go down. We can control our daylight by programming when people go to work. Who needs day light savings when you have traffic control?

  15. Should not Dr Bjorck have noted and refuted contrary research showing the events such as the RWP, MWP and LIA occurred simultaneously in both hemispheres?

  16. “However, as long as no globally consistent climate event prior to today’s global warming has been clearly documented, and considering that climate trends during the last millennia in different parts of the world have, in the last century or so, changed direction into a globally warming trend, we ought to regard the ongoing changes as anomalies, triggered by anthropogenically forced alterations of the carbon cycle in the general global environment”.
    This preposterous statement is of course disproved by reality. Leroux’s work on tropical Africa shows the narrowing of the meteorological equator during cold periods such as the recent glaciation -and the reverse during warm periods- that can only occur through the cooling of both hemispheres. EOM.

  17. which is as far back as it is possible to analyse with sufficient precision
    Oh! I forgot to mention: There is a world of difference between precision and accuracy.

  18. During the LIA, cultures around the world experienced widespread heating degree day crop failures.The years 1300 to 1400 saw collapse of the Anasazi and Cahokia and mass famine across Europe, Asia, Japan, and China. Even worse ones occurred in the 1600s all around the world.

  19. The one climate metric we can measure with real precision in the satellite age is sea ice extent.
    SH sea ice shows an increasing trend which has accelerated over the last several years. This is damming evidence that whatever is causing climate change, it isn’t well mixed GHGs.
    This paper appears to be an attempt to explain that problem away.

  20. I guess this is progress of sorts. Now they’re just trying to “get rid of” the LIA in one hemisphere, not both.

  21. You to love the idea that data from a wide variety of sources spread over a planet wide scale is not good enough proof ,but a hand full of trees from one area is perfectly fine as evidenced of ‘global doom’ OK they were magic tree but even so its remarkable how little data proves their case and how much data can exist but its till means nothing , if it disprove their case.

  22. I clicked on the headline hoping to find an article of interest. Unfortunately my taurocoprolytic filter cut in and all I got was a blank page.
    Hmmm.

  23. Funny how I read the Earth’s eco-loon science department. I wonder why that is? Or maybe we should believe, by word and no proof only, that old Swedish King’s scientists who claimed Atlantis was located in Sweden as well.

  24. We have been told that the warming of the last century is “unprecedented”. Which is why of course it MUST be AGW. Correct me if I am wrong, but he is saying there probably have been similar warmings. “What is the likelihood of seeing a global warming in our proxy records of comparable magnitude to the present warming, and arising only due to natural variations? …with the gradually in -creased focus on high-resolution records, I would be surprised if it would not have been found in many of our records.”
    So, he then does a thought experiment where he surmises that IF they had found quantifiable data, that was different between a warming period and a preceding period (note he gives an example but we are left to surmise any data that is different would do) “what conclusions would we have drawn?” Ooh! Ooh! let me answer!! Your a climate scientist so of course since modern man was not present it must have been natural variation. Did I get it right? Yep. “I think it is likely that geologists and/or geoscientists would find that the high atmospheric GHGs would be the main candidate for the warming”
    So, he assumes that it would be found that these periods would most likely have a natural variation. Using a “thought experiment” he discredits any and all warming current to similar warming. Then he concludes it must be man made because we can’t prove it isn’t fallacy. As pointed out by others.
    To sum it up, our data is not at a high enough resolution to accurately compare it to the current warming period, but it does not matter because even it was we would have concluded that the warming was from something other the CO2. And, since we can’t show a comparable warming to the current we must conclude that we need to ensure we quit creating greenhouse gases just in case possibly it is causing the warming.

  25. TomRude (October 21, 2011 at 11:21 am) wrote:
    “Leroux’s work on tropical Africa shows the narrowing of the meteorological equator during cold periods such as the recent glaciation -and the reverse during warm periods- that can only occur through the cooling of both hemispheres.”
    On shorter timescales (multidecadal) it’s the north-south & west-east asymmetry of ocean-continent contrast that aliases via statistical leverage from the hard-constrained solar-shifting spatitotemporal framework.
    For example, what happened during the period WWI to WWII: asymmetric braking. Like a car with the brake calipers out of adjustment. Hit those brakes while traveling over a patch of ice. The car spins around.

  26. According to the database of NASA GISS (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/), the temperature increase during 1970-2010 (for which period human CO2 emission is blamed by the IPCC) is 0.2-0.3 degC for “Southern Latitudes” and about 1.0 degC for “Northern Latitudes.” This difference is much larger than that for 1900-1950. If the conclusion of Björck is employed, the temperature increase for the recent decades is natural instead of anthropogenic.

  27. If co2 levels have varied in the past, and global temperature has stayed constant (according to the expert “there is no positive and clear evidence for distinct, globally synchronous climate event “), does that mean that global temperature are independent of co2 levels?

  28. After growing up in South Africa in the 70s, in the veld, which back then was ‘typical’ dry savannah terrain, I moved to Greece in 1987 and lived there for 10 years. I have gone back to visit South Africa, in fact, even the same area where I grew up and did not recognize it because of all the LUSH greenery. The hot December Summer which I so well remembered was now full of rain and we couldn’t even swim.
    We have spent the last years travelling and living in different countries, but still visit Athens each Summer which has gotten unbearable. It is so hot that by 11 am you have to go indoors. In fact Greece and all of Southern Europe is beginning to resemble the semi arid region I grew up in which was defined as ‘semi desert’ back then.
    And in the past few years I have been getting emails from friends in Southern Africa showing major flooding in the Okavango Delta, snow on peoples houses in South Africa in certain areas.
    You always hear in the news that deserts are taking over some areas but it seems in others, the opposite is happening.
    My question is this, and it may be a stupid one,
    Do deserts move ???
    Is it possible that the Sahara, for example, is moving northwards ?? And hence the arid conditions in Southern Europe ???

  29. MM I have lived intermittently in Southern Africa since the 50’s – the variation in the Highveld vegetation is related to El Nino/La Nina not climate change. Several summers of continuous rain ruined my adolescent social life, other summers you could only water the garden with cans for two hours, two days of the week because of drought. You also missed the snowy winters of the 60s. At present the Sahel has greened so the Sahara has shrunk, in the 80s the Sahara was spreading southwards, 4000 years ago it was savannah with lakes containing crocodiles and hippos. Climate changes.

  30. Comparing the thermal storage capacity of the two hemispheres is of no value regarding the affects to our planet from CO^2. The thermal storage ability of the three mighty oceans in the southern Hemisphere is only partly offset by Antarctica, and the lower thermal storage ability of the excess of land mass in the Northern Hemisphere is not assisted by the Ice of Greenland, arctic sea ice and the long duration of winter ice on land in high latitudes and altitudes. Even so, I would have expected the Southern Hemisphere to be warmer than the north, despite the much larger population and subsequent thermal activities including extra CO^2 injected into the Northern Hemisphere atmosphere.
    Due to the present state of our scientific knowledge; to so emphatically declare that CO^2 has caused the slight increase in warming is an indication of the political desire to bolster badly depleted worldwide financial circumstances.
    Science should take notice of the internal thermal activity taking place on a comet that is accelerating unhindered towards the sun. In that regard the grouping together of the Great Planets during the last two decades would have perturbed the Earth’s orbit causing presently unrecognised consequences. The geyser type activity on the frozen surface of some Great Planet moons appears to be a gravitational thermal effect similar to the moon Io.

  31. “As long as we don’t find any evidence for earlier climate changes leading to similar simultaneous effects on a global scale, we must see today’s global warming as an exception caused by human influence on the earth’s carbon cycle”, says Svante Björck! Guess what, we won’t!!!!
    Why do I think he wasn’t really looking very hard? As others here have noted in comments, it’s rather remenicent of Monty Python’s Life of Brian, “All right, apart from the viaduct, sanitation, health, law & order, education, irrigation, wine, the roads, public baths, what have the Romans ever done for us!!! Why not, it’s just as valid as this study, & more amusing!

  32. @ Paul, the study is “New study shows no simultaneous warming of northern and southern hemispheres as a result of climate change for 20 000 years”. Hence the relevance of the reference to Leroux’s work…

  33. As some of us commenters keep saying! Temperature is irrelevant!
    I will happily stick my hand in an oven at 200°C, even enjoy the waft of warm air emanating from the top of it.
    However, don’t expect me to jump into a bath of water at 63°C anytime soon!

  34. @LJHills Thank you so much for taking time to answer !!!! So basically I caught South Africa during the drought periods ? I know I was born during a drought because on the night I was born it rained and the local people in the area came to our house to visit me and they all called me ‘Mapula’ which means bringer of the rain. I, too, remember the severe 80s drought where we had to take the bathwater to school in a bottle to water the gardens there.
    The good old days – no-one knew about the ozone – we swam and played in the sun all day, at night we were burnt to cinders and our parents had to ‘Fridge’ us !!!
    Very interesting about the Sahara – thank you so much for the info!!!! As you can tell I am by no means a ‘professional’ in the field, however I am fascinated by the topic.

  35. Active censoring sucks,
    so it is true you folks are a bunch of manipulative liars,
    more interested in political statement than any interest whatsoever in honest learning.

  36. can’t tell you if I keep getting deleted!

    REPLY:
    I suggest everyone rush right over to the website of this anonymous coward and see what he has to say, and take the discussion there. I have no idea what you are bloviating about nor to do care. But if you want people to pay attention to you and discuss things please do it on your own blog. Happy to provide the link so you can have a conversation with people who might take you seriously.
    http://citizenschallenge.blogspot.com
    – Anthony

  37. If this paper made it thru pal…. er peer review, it clearly demonstrates that climate science is in extremely poor shape. This study is laughable as any one who has seriously been looking at earth’s climate history must be flabbergasted.

  38. Let’s recap: Three sediment cores (Tristan de Cuna, offshore Chile, and somewhere in the North Atlantic) were compared. No carbon dating was done to establish a time horizon for comparison. Precipitation in Tristan de Cuna was interpreted from pollen counts, while in Chile it was interpreted from iron concentrations in offshore mud (Fe fluctuations in X-ray fluorescence). Meanwhile in the North Atlantic, the amount of glacial ice (ice bergs) was interpreted from the ratio of iron oxide (hematite) coated grains to other rock particles. The squiggly lines from the pollen counts, iron concentrations, and rusty sand were then arbitrarily matched up and interpreted to prove there’s been no significant climate change for the past 20,000 years.
    How can anyone still not be convinced?

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