Paleo study: Past global warming similar to today's

climate-past

Global temperature reconstruction over the past 420,000 years derived from δ18O anomalies in air trapped in ice strata at Vostok station, Antarctica. To render the anomalies global, the values of the reconstructed anomalies (y axis) have been divided by the customary factor 2 to allow for polar amplification. Diagram based on Petit et al. (1999). Note that all four previous interglacial warm periods, at intervals of 80,000-125,000 years, were at least as warm as the current warm period. Data source: Petit et al. (1999). (not part of the Utah press release, provided for reference)

From the University of Utah

Size, duration were like modern climate shift, but in two pulses

Sediment cores that were drilled from Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin and then sectioned for study are shown at a repository at the University of Bremen, Germany.

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 15, 2014 – The rate at which carbon emissions warmed Earth’s climate almost 56 million years ago resembles modern, human-caused global warming much more than previously believed, but involved two pulses of carbon to the atmosphere, University of Utah researchers and their colleagues found.

The findings mean the so-called Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM, can provide clues to the future of modern climate change. The good news: Earth and most species survived. The bad news: It took millennia to recover from the episode, when temperatures rose by 5 to 8 degrees Celsius (9 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit).

“There is a positive note in that the world persisted, it did not go down in flames, it has a way of self-correcting and righting itself,” says University of Utah geochemist Gabe Bowen, lead author of the study published today in the journal Nature Geoscience. “However, in this event it took almost 200,000 years before things got back to normal.”

Bowen and colleagues report that carbonate or limestone nodules in Wyoming sediment cores show the global warming episode 55.5 million to 55.3 million years ago involved the average annual release of a minimum of 0.9 petagrams (1.98 trillion pounds) of carbon to the atmosphere, and probably much more over shorter periods.

That is “within an order of magnitude of, and may have approached, the 9.5 petagrams [20.9 trillion pounds] per year associated with modern anthropogenic carbon emissions,” the researchers wrote. Since 1900, human burning of fossil fuels emitted an average of 3 petagrams per year – even closer to the rate 55.5 million years ago.

Each pulse of carbon emissions lasted no more than 1,500 years. Previous conflicting evidence indicated the carbon release lasted anywhere from less than a year to tens of thousands of years. The new research shows atmospheric carbon levels returned to normal within a few thousand years after the first pulse, probably as carbon dissolved in the ocean. It took up to 200,000 years for conditions to normalize after the second pulse.

The new study also ruled as unlikely some theorized causes of the warming episode, including an asteroid impact, slow melting of permafrost, burning of organic-rich soil or drying out of a major seaway. Instead, the findings suggest, in terms of timing, that more likely causes included melting of seafloor methane ices known as clathrates, or volcanism heating organic-rich rocks and releasing methane.

“The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum has stood out as a striking, but contested, example of how 21st-century-style atmospheric carbon dioxide buildup can affect climate, environments and ecosystems worldwide,” says Bowen, an associate professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah.

“This new study tightens the link,” he adds. “Carbon release back then looked a lot like human fossil-fuel emissions today, so we might learn a lot about the future from changes in climate, plants, and animal communities 55.5 million years ago.”

Bowen cautioned, however, that global climate already was much warmer than today’s when the Paleocene-Eocene warming began, and there were no icecaps, “so this played out on a different playing field than what we have today.”

Sudy co-author Scott Wing, a paleobiologist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, adds: “This study gives us the best idea yet of how quickly this vast amount of carbon was released at the beginning of the global warming event we call the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum. The answer is just a few thousands of years or less. That’s important because it means the ancient event happened at a rate more like human-caused global warming than we ever realized.”

IMAGE: This image shows University of Utah geochemist Gabe Bowen working on Wyoming sediment cores at a lab in Germany for a study that showed today’s global warming is more similar…

Click here for more information.

Bowen and Wing conducted the study with University of Utah geology and geophysics master’s graduate Bianca Maibauer and technician Amy Steimke; Mary Kraus of University of Colorado, Boulder; Ursula Rohl and Thomas Westerhold of the University of Bremen, Germany; Philip Gingerich of the University of Michigan; and William Clyde of the University of New Hampshire. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the German Research Foundation.

Effects of the Paleocene-Eocene Warming

Bowen says previous research has shown that during the Paleocene-Eocene warm period, there was “enhanced storminess in some areas, increased aridity in other places. We see continent-scale migration of animals and plants, ranges are shifting. We see only a little bit of extinction – some groups of deep-sea foraminifera, one-cell organisms that go extinct at the start of this event. Not much else went extinct.”

“We see the first wave of modern mammals showing up,” including ancestral primates and hoofed animals,” he adds. Oceans became more acidic, as they are now.

“We look through time recorded in those rocks, and this warming event stands out, and everything happens together,” Bowen says. “We can look back in Earth’s history and say this is how this world works, and it’s totally consistent with the expectation that carbon dioxide change today will be associated with these other sorts of change.”

The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum also points to the possibility of runaway climate change enhanced by feedbacks. “The fact we have two releases may suggest that second one was driven by the first,” perhaps, for example, if the first warming raised sea temperatures enough to melt massive amounts of frozen methane, Bowen says.

Drilling into Earth’s Past

The new study is part of a major drilling project to understand the 56-milion-year-old warming episode, which Bowen says first was discovered in 1991. The researchers drilled long, core-shaped sediment samples from two boreholes at Polecat Bench in northern Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin, east of Cody and just north of Powell.

“This site has been excavated for well over 100 years by paleontologists studying fossil mammals,” Bowen says. “It documents that transition from the early mammals we see after the extinction of the dinosaurs to Eocene mammals, which are in groups that are familiar today. There is a great stratigraphic sequence of more than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) of rocks, from 65 million years ago to 52 million years ago.”

The Paleocene-Eocene warming is recorded in the banded, flood-deposit tan and rusted red rock and soil layers of the Willwood formation, specifically within round, gray to brown-gray carbonate nodules in those rocks. They are 2 inches to 0.1 inches diameter.

By measuring carbon isotope ratios in the nodules, the researchers found that during each 1,500-year carbon release, the ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 in the atmosphere declined, indicating two large releases of carbon dioxide or methane, both greenhouse gases from plant material. The decline was three parts per thousand for the first pulse, and 5.7 parts per thousand for the second.

Previous evidence from seafloor sediments elsewhere is consistent with two Paleocene-Eocene carbon pulses, which “means we don’t think this is something is unique to northern Wyoming,” Bowen says. “We think it reflects a global signal.”

What Caused the Prehistoric Warming?

The double-barreled carbon release at the Paleocene-Eocene time boundary pretty much rules out an asteroid or comet impact because such a catastrophe would have been “too quick” to explain the 1,500-year duration of each carbon pulse, Bowen says.

IMAGE: A rainbow appears over National Science Foundation-funded drilling site in Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin. In a study led by University of Utah geochemist Gabe Bowen, sediment cores drilled at the site…

Click here for more information.

Another theory: oxidation of organic matter – as permafrost thawed, as peaty soils burned or as a seaway dried up – may have caused the Paleocene-Eocene warming. But that would have taken tens of thousands of years, far slower than what the study found, he adds. Volcanoes releasing carbon gases also would have been too slow.

Bowen says the two relatively rapid carbon releases (about 1,500 years each) are more consistent with warming oceans or an undersea landslide triggering the melting of frozen methane on the seafloor and large emissions to the atmosphere, where it became carbon dioxide within decades. Another possibility is a massive intrusion of molten rock that heated overlying organic-rich rocks and released a lot of methane, he says.

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245 thoughts on “Paleo study: Past global warming similar to today's

    • It has more relevance than has been stated. The study says “it took almost 200,000 years before things got back to normal“. Now look at the graph, and tell me where “normal” is.

      • The issue is not normal for the planet in its past, but normal to our experience as a species and a civilization. If rapid cooling were the issue, the concern from our side of the fence would be the same just in the opposite direction, and burn baby would likely be the solution.

      • That graph of the last 400 Kyr has zero to do with the climate of the Paleogene-Eocene. The continents were in wildly different locations. Antarctica was not anywhere near the south pole. India had not yet slammed into Asia. There was a tiny Atlantic Ocean compared to the Pleistocene.
        The climate of Paleogene-Eocene was driven by factors we can’t even begin to guess at, including any GHG effects. The methane clathrate release (just a hypothesis) may have been the effect, not the cause of the PETM. The timing has big error-uncertainty bars that far back.
        The sun’s surface temperature has been gradually increasing over the millions of years, and will continue to do so. In less than 200 Myr, the Earth may become too hot on the surface for the biosphere and life as we know it. Homo sapien will not exist at that time though. No species exists in the fossil record more than a few million years. Whatever we become in 200 Myr, it will not be recognizable to us today. No more recognizable than a T-rex of the Cretaceous would see itself in a bird of today.

    • Presumably this study is intended to remove the Inconvenient Truth that previous studies have shown that CO2 levels rise after temperatures do, with a lag of around 700 years ?
      How very convenient at a time when global temperatures are not rising …….

  1. This is good info but the authors seem to be hung up on the idea that CO2 caused the warming. The graph presented above is based on Vostok ice core data. Possibly the authors are unaware of the abstract which accompanies that data. It says:
    Abstract:
    Air trapped in bubbles in polar ice cores constitutes an archive for the reconstruction of the global carbon cycle and the relation between greenhouse gases and climate in the past. High-resolution records from Antarctic ice cores show that carbon dioxide concentrations increased by 80 to 100 parts per million by volume 600 +/- 400 years after the warming of the last three deglaciations. Despite strongly decreasing temperatures, high carbon dioxide concentrations can be sustained for thousands of years during glaciations; the size of this phase lag is probably connected to the duration of the preceding warm period, which controls the change in land ice coverage and the buildup of the terrestrial biosphere.
    Source http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/vostokco2.html
    In other words the temperature changes first and the CO2 changes later. Therefore CO2 cannot be the cause of the warming.

      • David Socrates links to what seems to be a legitimate study showing temperature lags CO2. However, the paper is paywalled. Is anybody familiar enough with the work to comment on it?

      • it both leads and lags. (CO2 and temperature) The lag was actually predicted by Hansen before it was found in the record.

        Mr. Layman here.
        Then would it be fair to say then that CO2 and temperature’s link is much less than Hansen “et al” would have us believe?
        And if Hansen predicted it then why all the “Coal Trains of Death” rhetoric?

      • The role and relative importance of CO2 in producing these climate changes remains unclear, however, in part because the ice-core deuterium record reflects local rather than global temperature. Here we construct a record of global surface temperature from 80 proxy records and show that temperature is correlated with and generally lags CO2 during the last (that is, the most recent) deglaciation. Differences between the respective temperature changes of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere parallel variations in the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation recorded in marine sediments. These observations, together with transient global climate model simulations, support the conclusion that an antiphased hemispheric temperature response to ocean circulation changes superimposed on globally in-phase warming driven by increasing CO2 concentrations is an explanation for much of the temperature change at the end of the most recent ice age.
        Bad try, socrates, no cigar !

      • dbstealey,

        The thing is, there are plenty of observations showing that ∆CO2 follows ∆T, but none showing that CO2 causes ∆T.

        Correction, none that you are willing to accept.

      • D. Socrates links to something that says:
        …”suggests”… And: “…global climate model simulations, support the conclusion…”
        And so on.
        In other words, that link is nothing but speculation, conjectures, opinions and assertions, all based on computer models.
        ===================
        Brandon says:
        Correction, none that you are willing to accept.
        We agree then. I do not accept your home-made fabrications unless they are backed up by a chart made by a credible database such as WoodForTrees’. Post one of their charts showing conclusibvely that ∆CO2 is the cause of ∆T, as I have repeatedly asked you, and you will begin to convince me.
        As Prof Feynman said, you are the easiest person to fool. You can invent any old chart, and you may even believe that it reflects reality. But without neutral corroboration I am simply not willing to accept an invention like that. I think you’re fooling yourself.
        ++++++++++++++++++++
        Willis, I’m convinced you have it right, because there are no posted objections that pass the smell test.

      • Gunga Din,

        Then would it be fair to say then that CO2 and temperature’s link is much less than Hansen “et al” would have us believe?

        I’ll pretend for a moment to hold an agnostic position on the question. Please explain to me why that is the only logically possible conclusion.

      • dbstealey,

        As Prof Feynman said, you are the easiest person to fool.

        This is the reason peer-review exists. Your near constant rejection of expert opinion as delivered by peer-reviewed literature is the exact reason you don’t understand what Feynman’s actual message to you really is — don’t listen only to yourself.

      • “it both leads and lags.”
        I suggest that at a practical level, atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.
        In the modern data record, the rate of change dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with temperature and CO2 lags temperature by about 9 months.
        For verification, please see my 2008 paper at
        http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/
        CO2 also lags temperature by abut 800 years in the ice core record on a longer time scale.
        Therefore, CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales. CO2 does not drive temperature; temperature (among other factors) drives CO2.
        Best to all, Allan
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/02/introducing-the-wuwt-co2-reference-page/#comment-1703549
        dbstealey says on August 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm
        Hello db:
        Thank you for your post and your graph of atmospheric CO2 lagging “global” temperature T by about 800 years over a time scale of several hundred thousand years of recent Earth history.
        As you know, CO2 also lags T in the modern data record by about 9 months, on a shorter time cycle.
        It appears that CO2 lags T at all measured time scales. This still allows for other significant drivers of atmospheric CO2, such as fossil fuel combustion, land-use changes such as deforestation, ocean outgassing, etc.
        There is reluctance of most parties on both sides of the “mainstream” climate debate to discuss the “CO2 lags T” issue. The mainstream climate debate is essentially an argument about the magnitude of equilibrium climate sensitivity or ECS: Warmists say ECS>= 3C or more, which is nonsense; Skeptics say ECS,<= 1C, which is more reasonable but still questionable, in my opinion.
        I suspect this general reluctance to discuss “CO2 lags T” is a fear of being ridiculed or marginalized. However I suggest it is at the very core of the “catastrophic humanmade global warming” (CAGW) issue.
        For example, the concept of ECS must ASSUME that CO2 drives T, but does ECS really exist is any physical sense?
        What are the alternatives:
        A) Maybe ECS does not exist at all in physical reality, and we should be discussing the sensitivity of atmospheric CO2 to temperature (let’s call it ECO2S).
        B) Maybe ECS co-exists along with ECO2S in physical reality:
        B1) In this scenario can we conclude that ECO2S exceeds ECS since that is the only signal we can detect in the modern data record; or
        B2) Is it possible that ECS exceeds ECO2S but exists on a fuzzy longer time scale that is difficult to detect in the modern data record?
        C) Maybe, as was strongly suggested in 2008, ECO2S is a “spurious correlation”. I suggest this notion is no longer considered valid and the correlation is real and significant.
        Comments anyone? [ADDENDUM: MY VOTE IS FOR SOMEWHERE BETWEEN A AND B1]
        Regards to all, Allan

      • I further suggest that if climate science was on the right track, the majority of scientists would not be discussing catastrophic manmade global warming. Instead, they would be discussing how and when to deliberately CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING to prevent the next ice age.
        Look at the posted graph above, good people:
        “It’s frozen turtles, all the way down…”
        One hint:
        Climate is insufficiently sensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2 for that to be a viable solution…

      • @Brandon:
        Peer review exists for lots of reasons, some of them very self-serving.
        Have you ever read The Hockey Stick Illusion, or the Climategate I, II and III emails? Especially the first email dump. It completely falsifies the notion that climate peer review is anything other than climate pal review.
        You also are ignoring my first paragraph. You can’t find any independent [peer reviewed, shall we say?] empirical measurements quantifying the fraction of AGW, out of total warming?
        Didn’t think so.
        =========================
        Allan MacRae says:
        …CO2 lags T at all measured time scales. This still allows for other significant drivers of atmospheric CO2, such as fossil fuel combustion, land-use changes such as deforestation, ocean outgassing, etc.
        That is exactly my position, and what I’ve been saying all along. I do accept the conclusions of more knowledgeable folks like Prof. R. Lindzen and Anthony Watts regarding radiative physics. I think there must be some minuscule AGW effect. But it is surely nothing to be concerned about, and in fact it is probably a net benefit.
        There is reluctance of most parties on both sides of the “mainstream” climate debate to discuss the “CO2 lags T” issue.
        I agree, and I have been diligently doing my part to bring that question to a head by constantly pointing out that there are no empirical, testable measurements of AGW, showing the percentage of global warming putatively attributable to human activity.
        Every physical process can be measured. The exception is, if the measured quantity is below the background noise level. I think that is the case with AGW. It is so tiny that is is unmeasurable. The proof? There are no measurements of AGW. None at all — while there are plenty of measurements showing that global T causes changing CO2 levels on all time scales, from months, out to more than a million years.
        The fact that there are no measurements of AGW is astonishing, since AGW has been assumed to exist for more than thirty years [and really, since Arrhenius]. All the thousands of studies, and the expensive GCM runs, and the immense tax monies being spent ignore the fact that there are no measurements! Talk about the naked emperor…

      • dbstealey,

        Peer review exists for lots of reasons, some of them very self-serving.

        List a few of them.

        Have you ever read The Hockey Stick Illusion, or the Climategate I, II and III emails? Especially the first email dump. It completely falsifies the notion that climate peer review is anything other than climate pal review.

        I’ve read the leaked emails extensively. I’ve not read the book.

        You also are ignoring my first paragraph.

        Indeed. Based on prior discussions with you, I don’t believe it’s a question you’re asking in good faith. It’s my opinion that you ask it in such simplistic form because you know it hasn’t been answered by literature in kind.

      • Mike McMillan,
        I was going to mention Marcott, but I thought that would be piling on. Marcott has been so thoroughly discredited that lots of folks reject anything with his name appended. To find out why, anyone can just do a search here or at Climate Audit for ‘Marcott’.
        Next, @Gates, who says:
        “List a few…” […of the reasons the climate peer review process is misused.]
        Brother, if you don’t know, don’t come to me asking to be taught. That would take days at least. Climate peer review is thoroughly corrupt, to the point that people have been fired for the ‘crime’ of presenting both sides. You couldn’t be much more despicable than that, could you?
        Next, if you have in fact ‘extensively’ read through the Climategate emails as you say, then either your confirmation bias is in high gear, or you have multiple blind spots. Climategate was a mortal wound in the alarmists’ case, because the public got to see what a bunch of reprehensible charlatans control the process. There have not been any major changes in the process since then, either, so we can reasonably assume that the shenanigans are still ongoing. My question to you is: why would you still put any credence in climate peer review? It is completely broken.
        Finally, you’re just being a slippery eel by saying you know what’s in my mind, and for that reason you won’t answer questions. The fact is, you’re cornered, and any answers will just dig your hole deeper.
        One of the hallmarks of the alarmist crowd is their refusal to answer questions, or discuss the links posted by skeptics. It seems that skeptics are always explaining, answering questions, and posting most of the links. The reason probably has something to do with the fact that alarmists never debate climate skeptics any more. I suppose I can’t blame them for that, given their abysmal debate record.

      • Will all the folks saying that ∆CO2 follows ∆T. explain why in the past 15/16/17 years, ∆T = zero and ∆CO2 is 30-34 ppm?

      • db says [excerpt, with my comments in CAPS for clarity]:
        “… I think there must be some minuscule AGW effect. But it is surely nothing to be concerned about, and in fact it is probably a net benefit.” I SUGGEST THAT THIS IS MY CASE B1 ABOVE.
        “Every physical process can be measured. The exception is, if the measured quantity is below the background noise level. I think that is the case with AGW. It is so tiny that it is unmeasurable.” AGREE – IF ECS EXISTS AT ALL, IT IS PROBABLY LESS THAN ABOUT 0.2C
        “The proof? There are no measurements of AGW. None at all — while there are plenty of measurements showing that global T causes changing CO2 levels on all time scales, from months, out to more than a million years.” AYE, THERE’S THE RUB.
        “The fact that there are no measurements of AGW is astonishing, since AGW has been assumed to exist for more than thirty years [and really, since Arrhenius]. All the thousands of studies, and the expensive GCM runs, and the immense tax monies being spent ignore the fact that there are no measurements! Talk about the naked emperor…”
        AGREE – IN THE TERM “CAGW”, I SUGGEST THAT THE “C” STANDS FOR “CHURCH of” 🙂
        [end of excerpt]

      • David Socrates asks on December 16, 2014 at 7:57 am
        “Will all the folks saying that ∆CO2 follows ∆T ([temperature]. explain why in the past 15/16/17 years, ∆T = zero and ∆CO2 is 30-34 ppm?”
        Already answered in my posts on this page David:
        “I suggest that at a practical level, atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.
        In the modern data record, the rate of change dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with temperature and CO2 lags temperature by about 9 months.
        For verification, please see my 2008 paper at
        http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/
        CO2 also lags temperature by about 800 years in the ice core record on a longer time scale.
        Therefore, CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales. CO2 does not drive temperature; temperature (among other factors) drives CO2.
        ….
        It appears that CO2 lags T at all measured time scales. This still allows for other significant drivers of atmospheric CO2, such as fossil fuel combustion, land-use changes such as deforestation, ocean outgassing, etc.”
        *************
        The details of this issue have been ably argued on wattsup and other sites between Ferdinand Engelbeen and Richard S Courtney – one can search under “mass balance argument”.
        The issue is one of magnitudes – how can we fully explain the current rise in atmospheric CO2 – your “∆CO2 is 30-34 ppm” – when the ∆CO2 magnitudes observed in both the modern data record and the ice core record in response to ∆T are allegedly too small to solely account for this 30-34 ppm CO2 – some parties allege that other drivers of this ∆CO2 such as fossil fuel combustion must also exist (and they may be right or wrong).
        Many pages have been written and it is an interesting argument, which is of great scientific importance. However, for policy discussions I suggest all we really need to know is that global temperature T is clearly insensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and the IPCC / alarmists’ fear of catastrophic humanmade global warming is without scientific merit, and is highly counterproductive, wasteful and foolish.
        As we clearly stated in our 2002 icecap.us paper cited above:
        “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
        Furthermore, increased atmospheric CO2 from whatever cause is clearly beneficial to humanity and the environment. Earth’s atmosphere is clearly CO2 deficient and continues to decline over geological time. In fact, atmospheric CO2 at this time is too low, dangerously low for the longer term survival of carbon-based life on Earth.
        More Ice Ages, which are inevitable unless geo-engineering can prevent them, will cause atmospheric CO2 concentrations on Earth to decline to the point where photosynthesis slows and ultimately ceases. This would devastate the descendants of most current life on Earth, which is carbon-based and to which, I suggest, we have a significant moral obligation.
        Atmospheric and dissolved oceanic CO2 is the feedstock for all carbon-based life on Earth. More CO2 is better. Within reasonable limits, a lot more CO2 is a lot better.
        As a devoted fan of carbon-based life on Earth, I feel it is my duty to advocate on our behalf. To be clear, I am not prejudiced against non-carbon-based life forms, but I really do not know any of them well enough to form an opinion. They could be very nice. 🙂
        Best, Allan

    • David and BCBill, the paper you link to/ inquire about is Shakun’s statistical mash up (literally) of ocean sediment core proxies. Complete bollocks. One of several attempts to get rid of the clear ice core CO2 lag over temperature simply explained by Henry’s law and LeChatellier’s principle in physical chemistry. The mangled statistical details from behind paywall are exposed in essay Cause and Effect in Blowing Smoke.
      As confirmation of his pseudoscience warmunist intent, Shakun is also second author of the Marcott hockey stick paper constituting clear academic misconduct. See essay A High Stick Foul.
      Both contemporary graduates of OSU, itself a co-conspirator of the PMEL ocean acidification oyster con. See essay Shell Games.

      • One more paper by Nir Shaviv, The Spiral Structure of the Milky Way, Cosmic Rays, and Ice Age Epochs on Earth file:///C:/Users/Sysop/Downloads/0209252.pdf
        Though I am just eyeballing the graphics from these papers, it seems to me there is more than a possibility that the cosmo-climatological theory could account for the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum.
        Too early to be certain but readers should be prepared for astrophysics changing climatology in the next 50 years as much as plate tectonics changed geology 50 years ago.

      • Hello Frederick,
        I like Nir Shaviv’s work and that of Jan Veizer.
        You cited Shaviv’s 2002 paper – here is a 2003 sequel:
        Nir J. Shaviv and Ján Veizer, Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate? GSA Today July 2003*
        http://cfa.atmos.washington.edu/2003Q4/211/articles_optional/CelestialDriver.pdf
        Regards, Allan
        * Turning and turning in the widening gyre
        The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
        Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
        Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…
        *************************
        Post Script:
        I published the following article in E&E in early 2005, in defence of Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, Nir Shaviv and Ján Veizer.
        Regards to all, Allan
        Drive-by shootings in Kyotoville
        The global warming debate heats up
        Energy & Environment 2005
        Allan M.R. MacRae
        Full article at
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/28/the-team-trying-to-get-direct-action-on-soon-and-baliunas-at-harvard/#comment-811913
        [Excerpt]
        But such bullying is not unique, as other researchers who challenged the scientific basis of Kyoto have learned.
        Of particular sensitivity to the pro-Kyoto gang is the “hockey stick” temperature curve of 1000 to 2000 AD, as proposed by Michael Mann of University of Virginia and co-authors in Nature.
        Mann’s hockey stick indicates that temperatures fell only slightly from 1000 to 1900 AD, after which temperatures increased sharply as a result of humanmade increases in atmospheric CO2. Mann concluded: “Our results suggest that the latter 20th century is anomalous in the context of at least the past millennium. The 1990s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, at moderately high levels of confidence.”
        Mann’s conclusion is the cornerstone of the scientific case supporting Kyoto. However, Mann is incorrect.
        Mann eliminated from the climate record both the Medieval Warm Period, a period from about 900 to 1500 AD when global temperatures were generally warmer than today, and also the Little Ice Age from about 1500 to 1800 AD, when temperatures were colder. Mann’s conclusion contradicted hundreds of previous studies on this subject, but was adopted without question by Kyoto advocates.
        In the April 2003 issue of Energy and Environment, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and co-authors wrote a review of over 250 research papers that concluded that the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were true climatic anomalies with world-wide imprints – contradicting Mann’s hockey stick and undermining the basis of Kyoto. Soon et al were then attacked in EOS, the journal of the American Geophysical Union.
        In the July 2003 issue of GSA Today, University of Ottawa geology professor Jan Veizer and Israeli astrophysicist Nir Shaviv concluded that temperatures over the past 500 million years correlate with changes in cosmic ray intensity as Earth moves in and out of the spiral arms of the Milky Way. The geologic record showed no correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperatures, even though prehistoric CO2 levels were often many times today’s levels. Veizer and Shaviv also received “special attention” from EOS.
        In both cases, the attacks were unprofessional – first, these critiques should have been launched in the journals that published the original papers, not in EOS. Also, the victims of these attacks were not given advanced notice, nor were they were given the opportunity to respond in the same issue. In both cases the victims had to wait months for their rebuttals to be published, while the specious attacks were circulated by the pro-Kyoto camp.
        *************

    • I wonder how these guys would react if I was their boss, & said I would give them a pay rise of $600 per month, +/- $400 a month!

  2. They must have had massive coal-fired power stations 150,000 / 225,000 / 300,000 years ago! Thank goodness we now have a system of financing “scientific” studies, even if the conclusions they draw are completely illogical as any school student would know!

  3. ” it took almost 200,000 years before things got back to normal.”
    How do you define “normal”? Wouldn’t that be the most likely state? (i.e. the green oval below). Brrr.
    http://i60.tinypic.com/34z156g.png
    Also, the current thermal maximum depicted above looks “blunted” compared to past maxima? Hmm, what’s different about “today” compared to those ancient times? Could it be that human activity, contrary to popular belief, is actually preventing the temps from going even higher? (All those nasty aerosols that humans continuously spew.)
    Using Conan-Doyle inferencing (like the CAGW believers do), we conclude the above hypothesis must be true. “What else could it be”?

    • Normal? Obviously there is no “normal” in that specific sense as the green circled area indicates, unless one defines it as constantly varying, which is what it does. The degree of variation has reduced over the past 3mm years or so, but vary it does.

      • The x-axis covers over 375,000 years of time. The total elapsed time outside the green oval accounts for less than 100,000 of those years.
        So, pick a time on the x-axis. Any time. Most likely (i.e. > 70% of the time) you will pick a time in the green oval.
        Yes, there is a lot of variance in the green oval. But it’s consistently (“normally”) cold most of the time there.
        Such a notion of ‘normal’ seems well-defined to me.

      • Johanus
        If one wishes to define “normal” with huge variations and be happy with it, so be it. Growing seasons change dramatically, however, as does life in general under such varying conditions. But then many are more concerned with their beach homes and the supposed ocean encroachment on their beach. Whatever floats your boat. For my way of thinking there is no normal climate and it is, and has always been, changing and predictions made by the models have proven inaccurate and of little use.

      • Anybody found those “normal” automobiles, skyscrapers, and nuclear reactors from the ‘old days’ yet?

      • > “Whatever floats your boat. “
        I think you’re missing my point, which was: although it is possible to define “normal” temperatures mathematically (i.e. most likely), (I think we agree) these colder temperatures probably won’t seem “normal” to humans.

      • The press release says, “The bad news: It took millennia to recover from the episode, when temperatures rose by 5 to 8 degrees Celsius (9 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit).” My bold. Their “normal,” which the pscientists call the return to temperatures 5C° to 8C° lower than current temperatures, would mean another ice age. And they consider the current “high” temperatures bad news? Facepalm.

      • Equally, it not abnormal to have periodic spikes as highlighted by the 4 yellow and the 1 blue circle.
        It is normal to have a spike, then wavy cooling, followed by a spike then wavy cooling followed by spike etc.
        There seems nothing unprecedented in the plot.

      • richard verney,

        Equally, it not abnormal to have periodic spikes as highlighted by the 4 yellow and the 1 blue circle.

        Clearly. One would think with all the paleo data being gathered and analyzed that somone might have an inkling of the mechanisms, plural, causing those spikes.

        It is normal to have a spike, then wavy cooling, followed by a spike then wavy cooling followed by spike etc.

        Left to its own devices, the planet does seem to like warming at a faster rate than it wants to cool. Almost as if it has its own natural insulators, plural.

    • One of the peculiarities of the entire climate discussion/debacle is that there is no time scale at which a “normal” can be defined which pertains over all time spans. There is no evidence of any ‘governor’ for instance over long time spans. And the longest spans for which data is available, the general trends for both atmospheric carbon and temperature are downward, though during the “snow-ball” earth episode, the planet was likely even colder than at present. That however is from a period for which we have very little evidence against which we can estimate climate. Atmospheric chemistry was different and life was as well. I find the use of the Vostok graph strange given that they discuss the Paloecene episode, especially since the Vostok ice core spans a time period whose nearest climatic analog dates literally to before dinosaurs existed more than 200-million years ago.

      • Indeed there is evidence of a governor over long time spans. Note the cyclical warming and cooling in very similar frequency and amplitude. It looks like an ECG you get at the doctor’s office! Convert the temperature scale to Kelvin and look at its governance. It oscillates about 2% or so either side of the average Kelvin temperature. I would guess that the ‘average’ is solar direct heating with no feedbacks.

    • Well they claim that if we give away individual/national Democracy and freedom to an undemocratic and unelected socialist UN global government this will stop further climate change?

      • I think probably not, but it has nothing to do with “socialism” and everything to do with economics. I believe we will set our collective efforts to mitigation when it becomes the more presently economically advantageous thing to do.

    • The blunting as you call it happened long before there was much in the way of human influence (12,000 bp). The holocene is a puzzle in both its shallower peak and it’s plateaued duration. I wondered whether the previous interglacials were indeed as “pointy” as graphs show or if there is some unrecognized effect causing the plateau of warmth we now have.

      • Christopher Hanley,

        If that comment was directed at me, I didn’t mention the “effects of CO2 on temperature”.
        I did mention “the assumed overwhelming influence of human CO2 emissions” on the post 1950 climate — you’re conflating them.

        It was directed at you.
        This being a discussion of CO2 reducing the rate of energy loss from the system, and thence on climate, surely you can understand my honest mistake. Please accept my apology.
        Perhaps you could explain how temperature and climate are a conflation? I’ll grant climate is not only temperature, but still, temperature is part of climate.

        And where are the “tautologies” in my comment? For pity’s sake look it up.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_%28rhetoric%29
        In rhetoric, a tautology (from Greek το αυτο, “the same” and λόγος, “word/idea”) is a logical argument constructed in such a way, generally by repeating the same concept or assertion using different phrasing or terminology, that the proposition as stated is logically irrefutable, while obscuring the lack of evidence or valid reasoning supporting the stated conclusion. (A rhetorical tautology should not be confused with a tautology in propositional logic.)
        The repetition is “no evidence”. The redundancy is “teleological and quasi-religious”. Pretty thin I admit, but teleologies and tautologies are so similar-sounding and so often accompanied by each other I couldn’t resist.

      • Dire Wolf,

        I wondered whether the previous interglacials were indeed as “pointy” as graphs show or if there is some unrecognized effect causing the plateau of warmth we now have.

        It isn’t cut and dried as I understand it, but the shallower peak and longer plateau are because of where we are in the various wobbles of the Milankovic cycles.
        The pointy peaks likely are real as shown because of how the ice “smears” things together. It’s got to be retarded difficult to get that sorted, I’m amazed every time I look at those data how much sense they make.

    • The idea that there is a ‘normal’ climate and since ~1950 the climate has been ‘abnormal’ due to the assumed overwhelming influence of human CO2 emissions (for which there is absolutely no evidence) is teleological and quasi-religious; although they won’t admit it, it’s largely what’s behind the hysteria.

      • There is a normal climate, the one you’re used to. Until you understand that simple concept, the abundant, but complex, evidence for the non-assumed but observed effects of CO2 on temperature past and present will likely defy your understanding as well. You err mistaking your own ignorance and tautologies for others.

      • Brandon
        Then everything is normal.
        i doubt that anyone alive on planet Earth considers that they have been able to detect climate change on your definition; some years hot, some years mild, some years cold, some years wet, some years dry, some years with no or little snow, some years with snow or a lot of snow. Seen it all before. There has been no climate change in my life time, and that is why no single country has changed its Koppen (etc) climate classification these pasrt 150 years.
        if there has been any warming, i have been unable to detect that on the skin of my body.

      • Richard,
        Count me as someone who has not been able to detect the change by the skin of my body. In addition to the intra-annual variations you speak of, I have lived in many different regions of the US with very different climates. Even if I’d been the same place my entire life, I wouldn’t be able to detect it using my natural senses. Our bodies are notoriously unreliable scientific instruments, and our minds prone to mistaking personal anecdote for systemically representative observation.
        Most countries of any significant size have multiple climate regions which can be classified by the Koppen criteria, which have been changing over time: http://hanschen.org/koppen/

      • “… evidence for the non-assumed but observed effects of CO2 on temperature past and present …” (Brandon Gates).
        ====================
        If that comment was directed at me, I didn’t mention the “effects of CO2 on temperature”.
        I did mention “the assumed overwhelming influence of human CO2 emissions” on the post 1950 climate — you’re conflating them.
        And where are the “tautologies” in my comment? For pity’s sake look it up.

      • “Perhaps you could explain how temperature and climate are a conflation?” Brandon Gates 7:57 pm
        ====================================================
        What’s there to explain? Self-evidently the “effects of CO2 on temperature’’ is not the same thing as the assumed overwhelming influence of human CO2 emissions on the post-1950 climate.
        Human CO2 emissions are blamed for heatwaves, blizzards, tornados, hurricanes, polar vortexes, droughts, Antarctic sea ice boom, coral bleaching, forest fires, snowfall in Bagdad, tsunamis ……
        Why am I telling you? You probably have have a much longer list.

      • B. Gates says:
        …evidence for the non-assumed but observed effects of CO2 on temperature…
        There is no such evidence. If you believe there is, then you don’t know the definition of scientific evidence.
        Produce your “observed effects” of CO2, by quantifying AGW in a testable measurement.
        I’ll wait…

      • Christopher Hanley,

        Self-evidently the “effects of CO2 on temperature’’ is not the same thing as the assumed overwhelming influence of human CO2 emissions on the post-1950 climate.

        Well it wasn’t self-evident to me, I can’t read minds and sometimes I misinterpret just like everyone. Is not climate a function of a number of things including temperature?
        Regardless, I get it I misunderstood your original meaning and that “overwhelming influence” was shorthand for weather disasters, etc.

        Why am I telling you? You probably have have a much longer list.

        Not really, and I talk about those things with contrarians very rarely except to say that I think those effects are plausible but far from certain since that’s how they’re typically presented in literature. I don’t subscribe to how those things are usually covered in popular press, which is sensationalistic by nature on pretty much any topic … global warming being no exception.

      • I detected climate change, mostly because at one time my job included setting climate parameters for engineers (I didn’t do the climatology, but I had to review it and approve the numbers). When we looked at regional data trends spanning decades we could see changes. Sometimes I had suggestions to extrapolate trends, but the usual approach was to lump the data and use the 100 year return event. But we definitely saw trends in wind speed, ice thickness, precipitation, and so on.

    • Johanus December 15, 2014 at 9:34 am
      Could it be that human activity, contrary to popular belief, is actually preventing the temps from going even higher?
      ___________________________________
      I think you mean:
      “Could it be that human activity is preventing the temperatures from plummeting back into another Ice Age?”
      Ralph

      • No, he meant what he said and in this case he is correct. Some human-emitted aerosols reflect incoming sunlight that would otherwise be absorbed by the system. Others “dim” the stratosphere and prevent some solar energy from reaching the surface. This somewhat offsets the effects of increased radiative forcings due to rising levels of GHG concentration. NASA GISS provides nicely summarized quantified estimates of these offsetting factors here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/

    • Yep. There is no “now”. “Now” is simply the word we use to describe the boundary between past and future. Similarly, in a non-stable system, there is no “normal”. Depending on the scale you are using, “normal” can be the current moment, or based on the graphic, “normal” is the entire range from +2C to -5.5C compared to the current temp. By any examination of the scale, our current temperature is the most transitory and the least “normal”.

    • As Joel correctly pointed out in the first thread comment, the Vostok figure (up to 400k year before present) has absolutely nothing to do with the article which has to do with events from over 50 million years earlier. One wonders if the author of the post bungled spectacularly or if he is trolling to see how much BS the denizens will accept without question.

    • Instead of turtles, it’s hockeysticks all the way down….(sorry)…
      When there’s a grant or a paycheck at the other end, there’s not the slightest hint of honesty or integrity with these so-called scientists and their main-scream-media syncophants.
      Just saw a “photo of the day” shot with “delegates” to the “climate convention” in Peru sleeping on beanbags (wonder how much CO² was let out there). Not sure if they were sleeping from tiredness or boredom….all that pencil-shifting must be tiring, or?

    • “Normal” is wherever you set the goal post. As a geologist it has always struck me that growth and diversity of species has always happened at these higher temps, with loss of both as it got cooler. We are too cold for optimum and much too low in CO2 presently

    • For starters, the world 0.4 million years ago (graph above) and 55 million years ago (paper) are pretty different from Ordovician (450 million years ago).
      The Sun was considerably colder at Ordovician era, for example. But I don’t think ‘they’ explain this, because that was not the subject of this research.

      • Hugh, those excuses really don’t hold water since it was warm before and after the Ordovician period.

      • Hugh, please provide the factual infomation regarding “The Sun was considerably colder at Ordovician era”.

        Astronomists do claim that the Sun’s radiation increases with time. To quote you the exact numbers I should take my text book on astronomy, but you can probably google it up.

  4. start with a lie and wrap it up in truths….”The rate at which carbon emissions warmed Earth’s climate almost 56 million years ago resembles modern, human-caused global warming ” the last part of this sentence being the lie…..

    • Or just pointing to the wrong cause.
      When a continent breaks apart, as Greenland and Northwest Europe did 55 million years ago, it is sometimes accompanied by a massive outburst of volcanic activity due to a ‘hot spot’ in the mantle that lies beneath the 55 mile thick outer skin of the earth. When the North Atlantic broke open, it produced 1–2 million cubic miles (5–10 million cubic kilometres) of molten rock which extended across 300,000 square miles (one million square kilometres).
      http://www.science20.com/news_releases/maps_of_molten_lava_under_the_atlantic_show_spots_8_miles_thick
      So which do you think would have the most effect – A few CO2 molecules or 7 million KM^3 of 1500 degree rock spread under 300,000 miles of water (see any steam rising – H2O the other GHG).
      So Dr. Bowen think that may have “causes included melting of seafloor methane ices”?

  5. So just how does Prof. Bowen define ‘normal’? From the graphs I have seen in peer reviewed papers the climate has never been stable and at least ever the past million years or so the temperature has been on the cold side more than the warm side.

      • “What is normal?” Perhaps i can extrapolate on that question with an analogy.
        That is like asking “What is the normal price of the S & P Index”
        There is no good answer. Pick a number, pick a timeframe then justify your answer by whatever murky logic you please.
        Normal is exactly where it is right now.

      • Just ask anyone who says ‘the Earth has a fever’ what temperature it should be. I know when I have a fever because we all know what temperature the human body should generally be. But the Earth? Who knows?

      • As Canadian singer Bruce Cockburn wold have it, “The trouble with normal is it always gets worse”…

  6. Total nonsense. Modern climate, complete with ice ages didn’t begin until about 2mya.
    Garbage science all based on the lie that “carbon” drives climate.

  7. It would be interesting to read the actual paper, and not a summery filtered by a warmist journalist type, that apparently cannot help but add a CAGW slant to it.

  8. Wow, the current warming trend looks exactly like all the previous warming trends! Well, except humans caused the current trend. And humans didn’t cause the previous trends because humans weren’t around. But now we’re around, so we must be the cause! The debate is over. /sarc off

    • Patrick, sorry to be pedantic, but just for the record, we were around during the last Ice Age. It’s debatable that ‘we’ were around for the one before that. There is conflicting evidence for what we would call ‘people like us’, but generally accepted that we have been here up to 200,000 years ago. Some experts will argue that it’s more like 100,000 years though. Even so, that still puts us on Earth during the last freeze. We managed to survive it because we had discovered fire by then.

      • Yes, but again, they wouldn’t be ‘us’. Anatomically, ‘we’ have only been here up to 200,000 years. I had to do a study on this a couple of years ago, and it’s very difficult to get people to stop saying ‘humans’ when they mean an animal like us – the sub-species. ‘Humans’ can be as old as 8 million years, but we wouldn’t say, from their appearance, that they were human at all, much more ape. It’s one of those subjects that scientists have managed to make a real hash of.

      • “We managed to survive it because we had discovered fire by then.”
        And the massive amounts of CO2 from those cave fires caused the end of the Ice Age. So humans were responsible for that warming trend. The question is what caused the previous warming trends. Dinosaur farts, maybe?

  9. “Since 1900, human burning of fossil fuels emitted an average of 3 petagrams per year – even closer to the rate 55.5 million years ago”
    I realize that these studies can tell us things about the earth’s past and there are scientific methods to obtain useful information about the distant past.
    However, very frequently, that information is abused and misleading, suggesting accuracy in measures of quantify, quality and time that are completely unrealistic with regards to events or environments that were present 55.5 million years ago.
    This has been going on for so long, that’s it’s just accepted, especially since the evidence to challenge statements/facts from 55.5 million years ago, is also wild speculation too.

    • It’s what psychologists call “magical thinking”. Considered “normal” for 5 year olds and climate scientists.

  10. The Antarctic ice sheets only started forming towards the end of the paleogene period and after the whole of the Eocene. The climate is now completely different with entirely different patterns. Comparing the modern era is ridiculous as it can have no bearing on present variations.
    I too am puzzled about the opening graphic as it represents none of the period being discussed. Can someone explain its relevance

  11. I’m confused. From what I read, they surmise the warming was precipitated by a release of methane. Am I missing something? The C02 increase must have followed, then, right?

  12. There is no point talking about 0.9 billion tons (0.9 petagrams) of Carbon released each year since natural processes are releasing 232 billion tons per year and absorbing 236 billion tons per year. 0.9 is a rounding error.
    Now they could have talked about CO2 ppm in the atmosphere instead but the paywalled version of the paper does not show this.
    I note they are using Pedogenic Carbonates or fossil soils or Paleosols in this research. This methodology should have been discontinued by climate science long ago because it produces random results and even estimates of 0 ppm CO2 occasionally which is impossible of course.
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2316.html

    • Now they could have talked about CO2 ppm in the atmosphere instead

      Lets assume this was meant to be said, but sadly press releases often miss that kind of detail. So ‘increase in atmosphere’ becomes a ‘release’, which is of course not the same thing.
      Paywalls, how lovely they are.

    • I just want to reinforce for everyone that the methodology used in this paper is simply completely unreliable.
      The first time it was used to calculate CO2 in the ancient climate, Ekart 1999, this is a sample of some of the estimates that resulted:
      Age (Mya) —> CO2 ppm
      3 Mya —> 1,170 ppm (yes, a ridiculously high level for the time which was between 250 and 400)
      13 —> -220 (yes a minus, as if; why did they even continue on after getting a negative)
      55 —> -60 (yes, during the infamous PETM it produced -60)
      55 —> -20 (another minus?)
      55 —> 1070 (now we are getting a big range for the same time)
      65 —> -90 (finally some consistency, lots of negative CO2 values, an impossible result)
      343 —> 2060 (pretty high for the period when the Carboniferous drawdown in CO2 was occuring).
      etc. just a bunch of random numbers with no consistency to other methods and periods we are more confident about CO2 levels. There are several papers pointing out the problems with this method and the values even vary throughout the season. So if something happened in Spring that caused a soil layer to be buried, it would produce a completely different number than if the soil was buried in the Winter or Fall. Dry periods produce different numbers than wet periods. The values vary by latitude and proximity to the ocean. There is no formula that can be relied on. The list goes on and on.
      So why does climate science keep using this Carbonate methodology? Because they get to cherry-pick out of random number generators and create headlines and cause further mayhem and protect their phony baloney jobs. There should be consequences for this. Something happened in the PETM and there is no reason to fake up results.

      • Thanks for this info, Bill.
        When I saw that the proxy was paleosoil concretions I felt doubtful, and now we see that the authors are trying to hoodwink us. Remember this Bowen from the U of Utah.

  13. I have to ask. What was causing all that carbon to be released back then in the first place. Beyond the “clown comments” about having massive coal-burning powerplants back then (nope)– what exactly COULD do it? Could there be some other mechanism involved in climate change– perhaps one that scientists, in their fixation on CO2, refuse to look at?

    • I have not read the paper. Large releases of green house gases could potentially come from the sea floor or volcanic activity. Around that time we had Greenland slitting off from Europe followed by Australia splitting from Antartica. While it would seem likely that both the sea floor and volcanic activity could have contributed to greenhouse gases around this time, we should not discount the potentially large shift in ocean currents that would have resulted as well.

    • Oh for goodness sake, enough with the straw men. Of course there are other mechanisms involved in climate change. All climate scientists acknowledge that. But what do you think might be the impact of increasing the CO2 content of the atmosphere by 40% instantaneously (or as near as makes no difference on a geological timecale?). Nothing at all?

      • There is no straw man argument here. There are many possibilities with a lot of unknowns that no amount of hand waving and critisizing will make less important to understanding these events. To answer your rehtorical question directly and honestly, I don’t know.

      • “Oh for goodness sake, enough with the strawmen”… As far as I can see, your argument about the effect of a a sudden 40% CO2 increase is akin to arguing about the increased fuel cost to a large vehicle on a cross- country journey, while carrying 400 micrograms of cargo vs only 280 micrograms.
        The whole CAGW position is built on nothing but strawman arguments and every other klnd of logical fallacy.

      • “what do you think might be the impact of increasing the CO2 content of the atmosphere by 40% instantaneously”

        You tell me first what the effect of reducing the CO2 content of the atmosphere by 40% instantaneously is.

      • Alan Robertson,

        The whole CAGW position is built on nothing but strawman arguments and every other klnd of logical fallacy.

        Why would someone build a strawman of their own argument? How does that even work?

      • That 40% increase was our old friend R Gates’ favorite line. The response is still the same though, 40% increase of very little is still very little.
        Was 2.85 molecules of CO2 per 10,000 molecules of air
        Now 4.0 molecules of CO2 per 10,000 molecules of air

      • Brandon Gates
        December 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm
        Alan Robertson,
        The whole CAGW position is built on nothing but strawman arguments and every other klnd of logical fallacy.
        Why would someone build a strawman of their own argument? How does that even work?
        __________________
        You just built a strawman. Fine demo…

      • Tom in Florida,

        Was 2.85 molecules of CO2 per 10,000 molecules of air
        Now 4.0 molecules of CO2 per 10,000 molecules of air

        Why anyone would expect symmetric diatomic molecules like O2 and N2 to be radiatively active at IR frequencies truly boggles the mind.

      • Brandon Gates
        December 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm
        “Why anyone would expect symmetric diatomic molecules like O2 and N2 to be radiatively active at IR frequencies truly boggles the mind.”
        ————————————————————————————————————————–
        Why anyone would not understand a simple relationship example truly boggles the mind. But then perhaps you have no other response so you must deflect the example into a completely different subject.

      • Tom in Florida,

        Why anyone would not understand a simple relationship example truly boggles the mind.

        Exactly.

        But then perhaps you have no other response so you must deflect the example into a completely different subject.

        We’re talking about atmospheric radiative effects in the atmosphere at IR frequencies, right? Seems to me that discussing the non-IR active molecules in the atmosphere is the deflection.

      • Brandon Gates December 15, 2014 at 11:39 pm
        “We’re talking about atmospheric radiative effects in the atmosphere at IR frequencies, right? Seems to me that discussing the non-IR active molecules in the atmosphere is the deflection.”
        Again it’s a simple comparison to show how small your 40% increase really is. Now take into consideration that the 1-2 additional molecules of CO2 per 10,000 molecules of air may be at already saturated IR frequencies reducing any additional radiative effects to the insignificant.
        This is about your BS 40% increase statement.

      • Tom in Florida,
        Let’s try it this way. Every N2 and O2 molecule that gets heated up by contact with the ground has to shed that heat somehow. At normal atmospheric temperatures it can’t do that effectively via radiative transfer, so it can only do it sensibly by bumping into something cooler. The vacuum of space does not count, not much to bump into. Leaving the system entirely does happen, but we’d be out of atmosphere pretty quickly if that were the main method. Not much water vapor makes it past the mid troposphere. Running out of options ….
        Be it ever so humble, those 4 per 10k CO2 molecules do an awful lot of cooling in the stratosphere.

  14. “However, in this event it took almost 200,000 years before things got back to normal.”
    ……the global warming episode 55.5 million to 55.3 million years ago involved the average annual release of a minimum of 0.9 petagrams (1.98 trillion pounds) of carbon to the atmosphere, and probably much more over shorter periods.

    Psst. They just don’t want to mention that some plants and animals thrived.
    >>>
    Letter To Nature – 13 July 2009
    “Carbon dioxide forcing alone insufficient to explain Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum warming”
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n8/abs/ngeo578.html

    links
    Abstract
    Carlos Jaramillo et. al – Science – 12 November 2010
    Effects of Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary on Neotropical Vegetation
    Temperatures in tropical regions are estimated to have increased by 3° to 5°C, compared with Late Paleocene values, during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 56.3 million years ago) event. We investigated the tropical forest response to this rapid warming by evaluating the palynological record of three stratigraphic sections in eastern Colombia and western Venezuela. We observed a rapid and distinct increase in plant diversity and origination rates, with a set of new taxa, mostly angiosperms, added to the existing stock of low-diversity Paleocene flora. There is no evidence for enhanced aridity in the northern Neotropics. The tropical rainforest was able to persist under elevated temperatures and high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, in contrast to speculations that tropical ecosystems were severely compromised by heat stress.
    doi: 10.1126/science.1193833
    —————-
    Abstract
    Carlos Jaramillo & Andrés Cárdenas – Annual Reviews – May 2013
    Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
    Global Warming and Neotropical Rainforests: A Historical Perspective
    There is concern over the future of the tropical rainforest (TRF) in the face of global warming. Will TRFs collapse? The fossil record can inform us about that. Our compilation of 5,998 empirical estimates of temperature over the past 120 Ma indicates that tropics have warmed as much as 7°C during both the mid-Cretaceous and the Paleogene. We analyzed the paleobotanical record of South America during the Paleogene and found that the TRF did not expand toward temperate latitudes during global warm events, even though temperatures were appropriate for doing so, suggesting that solar insolation can be a constraint on the distribution of the tropical biome. Rather, a novel biome, adapted to temperate latitudes with warm winters, developed south of the tropical zone. The TRF did not collapse during past warmings; on the contrary, its diversity increased. The increase in temperature seems to be a major driver in promoting diversity.
    doi: 10.1146/annurev-earth-042711-105403
    —————-
    Abstract
    PNAS – David R. Vieites – 2007
    Rapid diversification and dispersal during periods of global warming by plethodontid salamanders
    …Salamanders underwent rapid episodes of diversification and dispersal that coincided with major global warming events during the late Cretaceous and again during the Paleocene–Eocene thermal optimum. The major clades of plethodontids were established during these episodes, contemporaneously with similar phenomena in angiosperms, arthropods, birds, and mammals. Periods of global warming may have promoted diversification and both inter- and transcontinental dispersal in northern hemisphere salamanders…
    —————-
    Abstract
    ZHAO Yu-long et al – Advances in Earth Science – 2007
    The impacts of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM)event on earth surface cycles and its trigger mechanism
    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) event is an abrupt climate change event that occurred at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. The event led to a sudden reversal in ocean overturning along with an abrupt rise in sea surface salinity (SSSs) and atmospheric humidity. An unusual proliferation of biodiversity and productivity during the PETM is indicative of massive fertility increasing in both oceanic and terrestrial ecosystems. Global warming enabled the dispersal of low-latitude populations into mid-and high-latitude. Biological evolution also exhibited a dramatic pulse of change, including the first appearance of many important groups of ” modern” mammals (such as primates, artiodactyls, and perissodactyls) and the mass extinction of benlhic foraminifera…..
    22(4) 341-349 DOI: ISSN: 1001-8166 CN: 62-1091/P
    —————-
    Abstract
    Systematics and Biodiversity – Volume 8, Issue 1, 2010
    Kathy J. Willis et al
    4 °C and beyond: what did this mean for biodiversity in the past?
    How do the predicted climatic changes (IPCC, 2007) for the next century compare in magnitude and rate to those that Earth has previously encountered? Are there comparable intervals of rapid rates of temperature change, sea-level rise and levels of atmospheric CO2 that can be used as analogues to assess possible biotic responses to future change? Or are we stepping into the great unknown? This perspective article focuses on intervals in time in the fossil record when atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased up to 1200 ppmv, temperatures in mid- to high-latitudes increased by greater than 4 °C within 60 years, and sea levels rose by up to 3 m higher than present. For these intervals in time, case studies of past biotic responses are presented to demonstrate the scale and impact of the magnitude and rate of such climate changes on biodiversity. We argue that although the underlying mechanisms responsible for these past changes in climate were very different (i.e. natural processes rather than anthropogenic), the rates and magnitude of climate change are similar to those predicted for the future and therefore potentially relevant to understanding future biotic response. What emerges from these past records is evidence for rapid community turnover, migrations, development of novel ecosystems and thresholds from one stable ecosystem state to another, but there is very little evidence for broad-scale extinctions due to a warming world. Based on this evidence from the fossil record, we make four recommendations for future climate-change integrated conservation strategies.
    DOI: 10.1080/14772000903495833

  15. Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    This is news only in the sense that we haven’t heard it from the alarmists and the mainstream media.
    “What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.”

  16. Bowen cautioned, however, that global climate already was much warmer than today’s when the Paleocene-Eocene warming began, and there were no icecaps, “so this played out on a different playing field than what we have today.”

    It was only a little bit warmer than today. Today Greenland surface mass balance is up over the past 2 years. The Arctic death spiral has ground to a halt and it’s bloody freezing. Antarctic sea ice is at record extent. Now what did we have back in the PETM? CROCODILE!

    Warm arctic continents during the Palaeocene–Eocene thermal maximum
    Crocodile remains ≥14 °C a Markwick (1998)….
    a Minimum mean annual air temperature required for the presence of crocodiles.
    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/46685202_Warm_Arctic_continents_during_the_Palaeocene_-_Eocene_thermal_maximum/file/60b7d51efbcb935097.pdf

    • Yes, crocodiles were near the North Pole around 55 million years ago. Average temperatures not far from the North Pole were about 74 degrees F:
      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-north-pole-once-was-tropical/
      BUT: from other articles, CO2 was also about 2,000 ppm (vs. about 400 today), and as the article says, the world was far warmer at the time before the twin releases of CO2. Yes, CO2 does warm the climate, but other things do as well, especially when you go back 56 million years ago. The issue isn’t whether CO2 warms the climate, but rather, how much and with what effects, in today’s world (not that before the PETM)? That is what we should be discussing, instead of blasting each other with epithets.

    • Sorry, Jimbo. You complained that I had not explained myself properly, in the previous post, but those graphs are the equivalent of a graphical offering from Vukcevic !!
      Ralph

  17. There is lots of good news in this article.
    First, very few extinctions (a second post for the other good news). We are being told that we will get massive extinctions if we go past, depending on who is saying it, 500 or 600 ppm of CO2. Yet in the world discussed in this article, CO2 was around 2,000 to 3,000 ppm, and the world was far hotter than today (no ice in the Arctic, before the twin releases of CO2). So one thing we can learn from this article is that life can be very resilient. Next time somebody at a cocktail party tells you about all the creatures that will go extinct because of global warming, as them why so few went extinct at the PETM, when the Arctic was 74 degrees F, and when atmospheric CO2 was 2,000 to 3,000 ppm:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-north-pole-once-was-tropical/
    You can also ask why so few sea creatures (with the exception of some that lived very deep) went extinct (according to this article), when ocean pH (the ocean acidity issue) must have been extremely low, given the concern people have today when CO2 is just 400 ppm.

    • Probably tropical ocean temperatures were like they are today. Willis has shown from Ceres data, I believe, that SSTs don’t get hotter than 31C – clearly because of the evaporative and convection characteristics of the oceans. I think all the fuss about arctic amplification is ridiculous. Polar amplification IS all the earth can do once the tropics have reached 31C – added heat is circulated away toward the poles in the water and the air.

      • Willis was mistaken, whilst evaporation plays a part, it does not cap ocean temperature at 30degC
        The physics of evaporation is a universal law extending all over the planet, and not just between the tropics.
        If evaposration capped water temperature at 30degC, then we would not see any seas that have a temperature in excess of 30 deg C. However, the Red Sea frequently has temperaturs in the 33 to 35 degC range, areas of the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Mexico have temperatures in the region of 33 to 34 degC, areas of the South China Sea and the coast off say South West Aftrica (Ghana) frequently record asea temperatures of around 33degC.
        The reason why the equitorial and tropical oceans do not, in general, exceed 30deg C is due to currents; namely the currents that sweep away the warm equitorial/tropical seas in a poleward direction before these seas can reach a temperature higher than 30 degC.
        Where these currents do not exist, we see temperatures of 34degC or even higher, so evaporation is not the crucial cap (although undoubtedly it plays a role).

      • Further to my last comment. Since we do not know how the currents worked in the past, we do not know whether the eqitorial/tropical seas were warmer than today, but I have read articles suggesting that the seas were warmer. Personally, I take all proxy evidence with a pinch of salt. The error bands are always large so really it is guesswork, or the scientist’s hunch, and little more than that..

  18. They do seem to infer that CO2 was solitary in causing the optimal periods. perhaps that is to please the conventional viewpoint and secure future grants. Looks like another assumption of cause and effect (post hoc, ergo propter hoc).
    Also, can anybody more informed tell me how an asteroid impact would have caused warming? I would think the opposite would be true (nuclear winter).

  19. “That’s important because it means the ancient event happened at a rate more like human-caused global warming than we ever realized.””
    = = = = = = =
    More funding is urgently needed here. Well, we need – of course – to establish, once and for all, what the “rate of human-caused global warming” is – And maybe even that “human-caused global warming” exists at all. – Oh drat! Back to the start of the old circle — — – – -.

  20. The second bit of good news can be found in this quote from the article above: “…the global warming episode 55.5 million to 55.3 million years ago involved the average annual release of a minimum of 0.9 petagrams (1.98 trillion pounds) of carbon to the atmosphere…”
    This seems to imply that for a period of 200,000 years, the average annual release of CO2 was at least a petagram a year (rounding 0.9 up to 1.0). That would then be a minimum of 200,000 pentagrams total.
    Another quote from the article, just after the first quote, says: “That is “within an order of magnitude of, and may have approached, the 9.5 petagrams [20.9 trillion pounds] per year associated with modern anthropogenic carbon emissions,” the researchers wrote. Since 1900, human burning of fossil fuels emitted an average of 3 petagrams per year – even closer to the rate 55.5 million years ago.”
    Let’s accept that humans have emitted 3 petagrams per for 110 years, and will emit 10 petagrams per year for another 300 years, average on average, as CO2 emissions continue to grow for some decades, then gradually decline as solar cells and such become economical. That would be 330 plus 3,000 pentagrams. Let’s round up and call it 3,500 pentagrams. That is about 1/57th of what was released just before the PETM.
    Contrary to some who read WUWT, I accept that CO2 warms the climate (but don’t accept the IPCC model results of the rate of warming), and I accept that sea levels will rise more than they would without CO2 emissions. So there will be harm, just as there will be benefits (greater crop production with more CO2 plant food, more tolerance to drought with higher CO2, more farmland to plant in a warmer world).
    What I get from this article, IF the math above accurately reflects the findings of the authors, is that our CO2 emissions will be a thimbleful compared to the PETM, AND that creatures the world over seem to have survived far higher temps and far more CO2 and far more ocean acidity quite well. And we won’t come within miles of the temp increases seen back then.

    • “Contrary to some who read WUWT, I accept that CO2 warms the climate …”.
      ============================
      Hmm, my guess is the vast majority accept CO2 is a so called greenhouse gas though.

  21. I’m always amazed at how confident scientists sound making definitive statements about global conditions over a million years ago based on a core sample taken at one tiny little spot on the globe.

    • Amazing- like determining the global temperature with a bunch of differently calibrated thermometers, only put in places convenient to be read, by many different people at every location over the years.

  22. There has been an enormous amount of speculation about posited large releases of of methane hydrates
    in the late Precambrian, the P/T boundary, Cenomanian-Turonian 90 million years ago, the C/T boundary and several at the P/E boundary.
    Massive releases of methane into the atmosphere could raise the atmospheric temperature quickly as the
    climate experts state that CH4 is 25-30 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.
    The ~8C rise in temperature was dramatic.
    For methane hydrates to have a massive release requires a mechanism to remove them from their “zone
    of stability”. This requires a rapid rise in temperature or a massive shock or vibration.
    Small changes allow small releases until once again stability is reached.
    I have looked for mechanisms which could accomplish this, and space impacts would be my first choice,
    as indications that the one at the C/T boundary did release hydrates, along with doing for the dinosaurs.
    The 55 million years ago period has some evidence of that potential impact. Kimber pipes (such as the Canadian one of that age), I believe, require an enormous input of mechanical energy. There is also some Iridium dated to that period.
    Another candidate would be the collision of the India subcontinent with Asia 55 million years ago
    and the raising of the Himalayan range could supply the subsequent shocks, which with increased water temperature could cause subsequent releases of hydrates from their zone of stability.
    Drilling of the Blake Plateau by Leg 164 found the Blake Ridge hydrates to be 55 million years old.
    The fact that the core showed the hydrates to be of an age means to me (my hypothesis) that enough
    overburden was freed so as to allow a large upward migration of methane to once again form hydrates
    so as to have the same date within the blunt resolution of the dating process.

  23. Seems like an interesting study, and may be correct, but there are two reasons to be cautious. As the authors say, this prehistoric release of carbon started from a warmer base than our current climate, and it occurred in two bursts lasting on the order of 1500 years. What are the chances that humans will be able to emit carbon from fossil fuels at the current rate for another 1500 years? Close to zero.
    While it’s always informative to learn more about how the system works it’s unlikely that this study offers a strong analogy with the present.

  24. The warming was driven by changes in the Earth orbit, tilt, and precession. Nothing to do with CO2. About 800 years later, the warmth drove CO2 out of the ocean in accordance with known gas laws.
    The idea that CO2 caused this warming is simply ‘magical thinking’. Look at the regularity of the peaks. That’s orbital mechanics, not random CO2 changes.
    Such broken thinking from so many Ph.D.s Piled Higher and Deeper does seem to be correct these days…

    • Also see my comment further down regarding the fact that back then, it wasn’t the same planet with the oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns.

    • I totally agree. AND, the number of highly educated people that believe that it is only the human induced CO2 from fossil fuels that is causing all the [non-existent] global warming.
      How much is that again?
      Amount of CO2 in the atmosphere = 0.04% which = 0.0004 of the atmosphere.
      Man-made CO2 is 3% of that which = 0.0004×0.03 = 0.000012.
      Burning fossil fuels is about 50% of that.
      Therefore: The amount of man-made CO2 from burning fossil fuels is about 0.000006 of the atmosphere.
      That must be some powerful “polluting” gas.
      I agree with markstoval. How could any one believe this nonsense?

      • Brandon
        No he did not.
        Spencer merely pointed out that there were data issues on which Miskolsczi based his study.
        However, this is so of every data set used in climate science. It is data issues that are the prime reason why no one has yet been able to put forward any evidence that withstands ordinary scientific levels of scrutiny showing that CO2 drives temperature. There is no first order correlation between CO2 and temperature in any data set, and many data sets significantly vary with one another.
        All we can say is that the signal to CO2 induced warming is less than our ability to measure it using our best measurement devices. That may suggest that the signal, if any, to CO2 induced warming is very small (if any at all), but then again, the margin of error with most data sets is probaly plus/minus 1degC (and with some more than that) so based upon the lousy data that we have available no one can yet rule out the possibility that CO2 may cause some warming.
        It is a great pity that we have permitted the data sets to become so horribly bastardised that for the main part we are merely reviewing manmade adjustments thereto.

      • richard verney,

        No he did not. Spencer merely pointed out that there were data issues on which Miskolsczi based his study.

        No he did not only do that. Spencer also merely pointed out that Miskolczi apparently lacks more than the average amount of common sense:
        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/08/comments-on-miskolczi%E2%80%99s-2010-controversial-greenhouse-theory/
        Different amounts of IR being absorbed and re-emitted by greenhouse gases at different altitudes in the atmosphere are fundamental to the explanation of Earth’s natural greenhouse effect. But Miskolczi claims that there is no net exchange of infrared radiation between different layers of the atmosphere, or between the atmosphere and surface of the Earth.
        If this were true, then (as far as I can tell) there is no way for IR radiation to affect the temperature of anything. I know of no one else who believes this, and it seems to fly in the face of common sense.
        But then, understanding the greenhouse effect requires more than an average amount of common sense, anyway.

        He does caveat away some of his stronger rebuttals, pre-apologizing if he misunderstood something. But on the whole he roundly rejected Miskolsczi’s interpretation of Kirchoff — “This appears to fly in the face of people’s real world experiences.”
        Elsewhere, Spencer agrees with Miskolczi on some things, even approvingly so, but he rejects so many core premises as to qualify as a pretty thorough debunking. YMMV.

      • Brandon Gates December 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm
        These guys forget that even Roy Spencer ripped Miskolsczi to shreds.

        No he didn’t. He singled out a part of the paper that is either misworded, or just plain wrong, and critiqued that. But if you read the entire paper, the balance of it ALSO refutes that statement. So I personally lean toward miswording of some sort. Bottom line though is that if you take that section out and look at the rest of the paper, it shows that based on the data, sensitivity to CO2 is low, and there is no evidence of plausible high positive feedbacks, and potentially evidence of negative ones. That’s exactly what we’re seeing in the real world. Sure, he might be right for the wrong reasons, but that’s what we are seeing, and his explanation as to how he comes to that conclusion (the oddly worded section excepted) is worth a read.
        http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/E&E_21_4_2010_08-miskolczi.pdf

      • @B. Gates:
        You are two-faced. Your holier-than-thou defense of climate peer review is sacrosanct — until it isn’t.
        Dr Miskolczi is a peeer reviewed author. His paper on IR has never been falsified. The petty sniping you refer to as your rationale means nothing.
        What matters is the real world. Planet Earth is decisively debunking your CAGW belief system. All your incessant, pointless arguments ignore the fact that the planet itself is proving that your beliefs are nonsense. But you never give up — and this is why:

        I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth, if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.
        ~Leo Tolstoy

        You picked a position based on scant knowledge, and now you constantly look for factoids to support your false conclusions. You are no skeptic; skeptics change their minds when the facts change. But you? You cherry-pick confirmation of your beliefs, instead of accepting the fact that every last alarming prediction has turned out to be flat wrong. When someone is 100.0% wrong in every prediction they make, you know what that means? It means your initial premise was wrong: CO2 is not a problem. At all.
        More CO2 is a net benefit to the biosphere. And although one doesn’t have anything measurable to do with the other, a warmer world is also a net benefit. The stupid arm-waving over the possibility of a 2º rise in temperature is nothing but modern day Chicken Little scaremongering.
        That is you and your ilk. You have been consistently wrong all along. But you still argue incessantly, because Leo Tolstoy had your number: it’s due to your stupid ego, not because of science. The ‘carbon’ scare has colonized your mind. You can’t even see that. But we do.

      • davidmhoffer,

        No he didn’t. He singled out a part of the paper that is either misworded, or just plain wrong, and critiqued that. But if you read the entire paper, the balance of it ALSO refutes that statement.

        I’ve read three papers by Miskolsczi in their entirety, several times. I read the 2010 paper again along side Spencer’s rebuttal of it. I didn’t find any misrepresentations. If you have, I’d be happy to discuss one or several specific examples you think Spencer got wrong or glossed over.

        Bottom line though is that if you take that section out and look at the rest of the paper, it shows that based on the data, sensitivity to CO2 is low, and there is no evidence of plausible high positive feedbacks, and potentially evidence of negative ones. That’s exactly what we’re seeing in the real world.

        What other real world observations corroborate Miskolsczi’s conclusions and redeems the rest of his paper from the poor sections you’re unusually willing to give a free pass?

      • dbstealey,

        You are two-faced. Your holier-than-thou defense of climate peer review is sacrosanct — until it isn’t. Dr Miskolczi is a peeer reviewed author.

        By your own argument that “pal review” is self-serving, you should be joining me in drubbing Miskolczi’s conclusions.

        You picked a position based on scant knowledge, and now you constantly look for factoids to support your false conclusions.

        One big reason I read this blog is to have my own assumptions challenged because I know that I’m not immune to confirmation bias. Thanks for the Tolstoy quote. Perhaps next time I show you a chart or link you to some peer reviewed literature I’d like to discuss, you’ll remember that Leo was speaking to both of us, not just me.

      • Brandon Gates;
        If you have, I’d be happy to discuss one or several specific examples you think Spencer got wrong or glossed over.
        If you had read what I wrote, you’d see that I said that Spencer got it right, not wrong.
        You’d also see that I said that the balance of Miskolsczi’s paper is also at odds with the section Spencer focuses on. Miskolsczi’s paper goes one to PROVE that the balance between the slabs is not zero (contrary to the snippet focused upon by you and Spencer), and spends most of its analysis on trying to understand how the balance between the slabs CHANGES based on changes is GHG concentrations rather than claiming they don’t exist. In other words, save that one oddly worded paragraph, the paper is entirely consistent in the treatment of the physics, the data, and the analysis of them. The conclusions, based on data rather than computer models. bear out that sensitivity is low and the system exhibits damping characteristics.
        So read it again, that one section removed, and it makes a lot more sense.

      • davidmhoffer,

        The conclusions, based on data rather than computer models. bear out that sensitivity is low and the system exhibits damping characteristics.

        That didn’t take very long. From the very first sentence in the abstract:
        By the line-by-line method, a computer program is used to analyze Earth atmospheric radiosonde data from hundreds of weather balloon observations. In terms of a quasi-all-sky protocol, fundamental infrared atmospheric radiative flux components are calculated: at the top boundary, the outgoing long wave radiation, the surface transmitted radiation, and the upward atmospheric emittance; at the bottom boundary, the downward atmospheric emittance …
        Modern GCMs’ radiative transfer modules use the same kind of computer codes crammed full of all sorts of observational data including that from radiosondes. Miskolsczi’s main issues are not his fundamental research methods, those parts of his papers are widely accepted, standard practice.
        Having overlooked the absolute beginning of this paper in your rush to trash mainstream atmospheric research it’s really not at all difficult to understand how you’ve missed the flaws pointed out by others far more qualified to comment on it than I.

    • Actually, the Gerlich and Tscheuschner, Claes Johnson, and Miskolczi papers are a good test to evaluate one’s understanding of radiative transfer. If you looked through these papers and did not immediately realize that they were nonsense, then it is very likely that you are simply not up to speed on radiative transfer.

      …..Andy Lacis

      • dbstealey,

        Anything Lacis says should be taken with a boulder of salt…

        This is too rich. I cite Spencer trashing Miskolczi, you rip me a new one. MikeB cites Lacis trashing Miskolczi, you cite Spencer trashing Lacis GISS ModelE. How do you not constantly have a headache?

    • Some advice for would-be sceptics….
      .
      Reading rubbish is not good.
      Quoting rubbish is not good.
      Defending rubbish is not good.
      Not being able to tell what is good from rubbish is not good.
      [That advice is valid for all. More valid, actually, for those claiming “consensus” than for ‘would-be sceptics” actually. .mod]

  25. Well when you have a cyclic phenomenon, the they can both lead and lag at the same time, just the leads, and lags may be different lengths.
    But the graph shows that for most of the time, the climate trend in Temperature is down, with only very brief periods of up.
    The trouble is, when you extract a LINEAR trend, from a data set, that clearly is not linear, then you are forced to accept a trend that is either always upward or always downward. That is the way a linear graph is.
    If the phenomenon is not linear but you choose to represent it by a polynomial, then an odd order polynomial always leads to a one directional trend over the long haul, but if it is an even order polynomial, then you get either a long term bucket, or a long term mountain.
    When Dr Spencer used to publish his third order polynomial fit to the UAH date, just for amusement, I don’t recall him ever implying that their was some theoretical physics basis for assuming a cubic relationship.
    And polynomial expressions are not always the right choice for curve fitting.
    Any polynomial fitting to the experimental near black body radiation spectrum, back in the classics days, would have had researchers going around in circles trying to match the experimental mountain peak that the saw in experiments.
    But today, climatist insist on maintaining the mythology of a logarithmic physical basis for the CO2 / lower tropospheric Temperature connection. I won’t call it a relationship, because there is no such established relationship, either in the experimental data, or in any physical phenomenon.
    Sometimes CO2 and T go in the same direction and sometimes they go in opposite directions, and never for long enough, are they the same, to get statistically significantly close to a logarithmic relationship, or anything different from near linear.
    The “Beer’s Law” model is not even valid for the situation, since the absorbed photons do not stay absorbed and converted to phonons instead.
    And the mathematical analysis commonly referred to as deriving a logarithmic relationship, is an unreal one dimensional model, that clearly does not mimic the three dimensional diffusion of heat or emission of EM radiation.
    There are way too many interacting variables to believe that a simple two variable model of CO2 and Temperature has any chance of imitating reality, let alone being able to state it in a closed form mathematical equation. Even the popular “logarithmic” relationship, morphs into two other quite different mathematical expressions, depending on the values of the variable; and of course, without physical bases for such morphing.
    Any linear “trend” proposed for some time / Temperature data set, is valid only as a “numerology result” that only has validity for the given data set, and has no information regarding any numbers not in that data set.
    If you do enough low pass filtering or running mean filtering of a finite data set, you eventually must arrive at just a single point, somewhere in the interior of the data set, with truncation errors having corrupted every other point, before and after the final result of such machinations.
    Numerology is fun. Any integer divided by nine, will yield …xyz.000000… , or xyz.1111.. through to xyz.88888…. and so forth.
    Or divide by 7 and you will get …xyz…..142857142857….. with the recurring set, starting at any one of the 6 recurring digits, depending on the original integer.
    Well ok just for fun, and so is doing equally arbitrary algorithms on climate data sets, to determine results that contain no more information, than the original raw data set.
    And the mathematicians will continue to dream up new algorithms, that do other meaningless things, but which eventually become a part of “statistical mathematics.”
    The sort of “statistics” that do give useful information are results such as:
    1% of all US taxpayers pay 50% of US income taxes.
    or; 47% of US workers pay no federal income taxes at all.
    But those are no more than statements off fact, and they make NO predictions at all.
    Well neither does any other sort of Stat Maths make predictions.
    The ability to predict the future, gives access to the means for preventing the occurrence of that future event. Ergo, such prediction is inherently impossible; no matter what. (as Dr. William Shockly would have put it.

    • Prediction is possible and is the basis for our often successful attempts at controlling systems. Prediction does not provide us with the ability to prevent the occurrence of events but rather provides us with the ability to influence the outcomes of events. Climatologists have erred by spending 200 million US$ on global warming research without providing us with the ability predict the outcomes of events; in fact, for modern global warming climatology there is no such thing as an event! Despite the huge expenditure of taxpayer money, it is currently impossible to control the climate.
      Despite the current impossibility of doing so governments persist in attempts at controlling the climate. This is not an example of good government!

      • Well Terry, if you want to offer as an example of “prediction”, the fact that some physical systems behave according to some well established theoretical physical model; such as for example, the cavity resonance modes of some exactly specified resonator containing EM radiation, or the exact frequency of some photon emitted as a result of a certain electron transition, in say the atomic spectrum of Cesium, which might be accurate to parts in 10^13 or better, as examples of “prediction” fairly comparable to predicting the noon time Temperature on July 4 2015 outside the front door (closed) of The White House, I would have to call on the joker, to trump your comparison.
        Namely Heisenberg’s assertion that we can’t even determine completely, the present state of any physical system, let alone predict where it will be at some distant future time.
        This is after all, a thread about Earth’s long term climate; and not about when a spark plug will fire in some internal combustion engine.
        G

      • george e. smith,
        In another forum I recently pointed Terry to a list of clearly defined events used to build statistical reports from the output of climate GCMs. His rebuttal was something along the lines of “indices are not events.” In my experience he cannot be dissuaded by even the simplest incontrovertible factual evidence.

    • george e. smith,
      Great comment. The relationship between T and CO2 is presumed to be a given. But looking at the real world, it is nonsense. If there is anything measurable involved, it is that changes in T are the cause of changes in CO2. Because there are no measurements showing that CO2 runs the show.
      The entire premise for climate alarmism is based on the exact opposite belief: that a tiny trace gas is the major control knob of the climate. But despite decades of ‘studies’, and immense piles of tax monies, we do not have one verifiable measurement of AGW.
      It would be hilarious, if these climate clowns weren’t blowing $billions that should be used in productive ways, instead of being completely wasted chasing an impossible will o’ the wisp called AGW.

    • I should point out, that even though the NUMBERS upon which one applies stat maths algorithms, are exact real rational numbers, that does not mean that they exactly represent anything real. Most of the time, they are never numbers that anyone ever actually measured. They are composites of lots of numbers that might have been measured by different persons, in different places, and at different times. So they never represent a “snapshot” of the earth at any point in time.
      It is those raw measurements that have legitimate error bars; but after mastication, they become exact real rational numbers in a data set.
      Even stats like “47% of all US workers pay no Federal income taxes.”, although real facts, they may not be accurate, in that the counts of who does what, and who pays what can have error bars.
      So of course nobody should go to the bank with such statistics; nor include them in their PhD thesis.
      The meaningfulness of any statistical prestidigitation of any climate data, is only to those who defined what it is they are doing.
      Well we do that with virtually every branch of mathematics.
      There is an obscure plane geometry, called “Projective Geometry” which has a set of defining axioms, and some rules for manipulation. Note it is a Plane two dimensional geometry.
      The first three defining axioms are simple in the extreme.
      1/ Two points define a line.
      2/ Two lines define a point.
      3/ There are at least four points.
      That is it. The first theorem in Projective Geometry proves that there are at least seven points. It is not possible to prove that there are any more than seven points.
      In Projective Geometry, a CIRCLE is a special case of a HYPERBOLA.
      In fact all circles are infinite in size, and they all INTERSECT at the same two points, called the “Circular Points at Infinity”. Since they are separate points on the “Line at Infinity”, they are Hyperbolas, NOT ellipses, which do NOT cross the line at infinity.
      Yes you guessed it. PARALLEL lines intersect at points (axiom 2) on the “Line at Infinity” (which is actually over there on the edge of the page).
      I believe that all of the Euclid Plane Geometry Theorems can be proven in Projective Geometry.
      So mathematics is all fictitious, and it does just what we invented it to do, as defined by its axioms.
      I think it was Kurt Godell, who proved a theorem, that every system of mathematics contains legitimate problems (questions), for which there is no proof within that system or discipline. I think it is called the “Principle of Undecideability” or words to that effect.
      So remember that the statistication that is applied to climate data, only does what was intended by the definers of that particular statistical maths algorithm, so you have to be careful, when you try to extrapolate the field of application of the results beyond the data set, that was used in the first place.
      You could find yourself over on the other side of the line at infinity. (up there in the corner, with a Dunce hat on.)

  26. The graph of temperatures over the last 425,000 years, at the head of the article, shows a blunted and extended recent warm period maximum compared to all past maxima? At present we are quite comfortable compared to those ancient ice ages. If this warming is, in fact, caused by our activitu, then we should just keep on doing exactly what we are doing now, for as long as possible in the hope that we can keep the temperatures up. Contrary to popular CAGW belief, the danger is clearly lower temperatures, not higher temperatures. Keep going everyone!

    • Indeed! So let’s burn, burn, burn, burn, burn, burn, burn, burn, burn, burn and so on, according to that excellent and refreshing carbon-liberation hymn by Ellie Goulding 🙂
      BTW: The plants of the Earth are eager proponents of carbon liberation and this music as well! In case you don’t believe this, just ask your little green cactus… 😉

  27. Looks like a system which gets a ‘kick’ every 75,000 or so, and the temperature oscillates to a lower temperature then is ‘kicked’ again.
    The apparent regularity of these ‘kicks’ is surprising and would lead me to conclude some long term external influence such as astronomical…

  28. Here they go again trying to compare the PETM to the climate of today. They might as well be comparing apples to rottweilers.
    I’d like to see how climate models handle the conditions at the poles during the PETM where temperate conditions existed even in the dark of winter.

      • dbstealey,
        Just keep chanting “CO2 lags not leads” and maybe someday I’ll remember all the other factoids I’ve read about. Like increasing Antarctic sea ice extent and thickness, winter cold snaps, CO2 rise since 1996 being 45-50% of the rise from 1850-1996, the last 20 years of flattish surface temperature rise, correlation not necessarily implying causation ….

      • B. Gates says:
        Just keep chanting “CO2 lags not leads”
        All together now, chant along with me…
        CO2 lags not leads
        CO2 lags not leads
        CO2 lags not leads
        Got plenty more, if you’re interested. Lots more. They all show that “CO2 lags not leads”.
        Now let’s see you produce verifiable, testable, peer-reviewed charts, showing conclusively that “CO2 leads, not lags”.
        If you can, you will be the first — and on the short list for a Nobel prize! Plus, you would have some credibility. Win-win!

  29. “The decline was three parts per thousand for the first pulse, and 5.7 parts per thousand for the second.”
    Does this mean that the pulses were (delta) 3000ppm/1500yrs = 2ppm/yr and (delta) 5700ppm/1500yrs = 3.8ppm/yr? That seems to be 50-270% more than our current (delta) 140ppm/100yrs = 1.4ppm/yr?

  30. What caused the PETM?
    Maybe the same thing that caused the temp. spike at the beginning of the Holocene and the beginning of the previous interglacials, as shown in the ice cores (much more pronounced than thePETM)
    We don’t know what caused those spikes but we DO know that it was not CO2.
    This is the sort of study that comes from those who have CO2 on the brain.

  31. The cause behind the data they have been deriving is nothing but speculation. What about variations in total solar output during that same period? Then there is the question of temporal resolution? I can only guess that connecting their work with the AGW conjecture attracts funding.

  32. Looks like a graph of natural variability of the climate system between glacial and interglacial periods over the last 420,000 years to me.
    Sure glad were in an interglacial period currently and not a -4C glacial period!

  33. The sun got hotter, which warmed the Earth and then CO2 was released into the atmosphere? Much more logical than CO2 suddenly sprang out of nowhere into the atmosphere which then made temperatures saur whilst the sun looked on in bewilderment!

  34. General rule of thumb: when the Sun was younger and ditto, planet earth, it was much warmer. Now, not so much.
    Actually, it is getting downright COLD with short spasms of warmth that fade fast to super cold, much colder than before the Sun grew older and the earth began to have ice on both poles all year round.

  35. Is this science by press release?
    The rate at which carbon emissions warmed Earth’s climate almost 56 million years ago
    The opening statement begs the question that CO2 was the cause of the warming, while further down we get
    … the global warming episode 55.5 million to 55.3 million years ago involved the average annual release of a minimum of 0.9 petagrams
    which suggests that the warming caused the CO2. I could go on but this whole thing ignores that a warmer ocean releases CO2 and that the warmth preceded the release. But, the bug climate political deadline is 2015, and we will be bombarded by this carp for another 9 months.

    • Is this science by press release?
      The rate at which carbon emissions warmed Earth’s climate almost 56 million years ago

      The opening statement begs the question that CO2 was the cause of the warming, while further down we get
      … the global warming episode 55.5 million to 55.3 million years ago involved the average annual release of a minimum of 0.9 petagrams

      which suggests that the warming caused the CO2. I could go on but this whole thing ignores that a warmer ocean releases CO2 and that the warmth preceded the release. But, the big climate political deadline is 2015, and we will be bombarded by this carp for another 9 months.

  36. I think they had to say CO2, how much future funding would they receive if they concluded, “Well we have looked at this very closely and we really have little to no certainty as to what drove either the cooling or warming climate cycles of 55 million years ago.”

  37. “The new research shows atmospheric carbon levels returned to normal within a few thousand years after the first pulse,….. ”
    OK, I give up. What are the “normal atmospheric carbon levels” ? Are there more than one carbon level? (Assuming the study was about CO2 and not combined solid particle of carbon in the atmosphere.)

    • Exactly. The whole discussion is about “carbon” in the atmosphere, how do they get away with such flawed language in a scientific paper?
      “The rate at which carbon emissions warmed Earth’s climate almost 56 million years ago resembles modern, human-caused global warming much more than previously believed, but involved two pulses of carbon to the atmosphere”

  38. When the Climate Scientists were telling us there is a new ice age coming in the 1970’s does anyone remember reading the CONSENSUS was to pump more Co2 into the atmosphere to solve the problem ?

    • “[…] does anyone remember reading the CONSENSUS was to pump more Co2 into the atmosphere to solve the problem ?
      I remember the 70’s reasonably well and I can’t say that I recall that. But more taxes, government action, and restrictions on freedom were almost certainly on the table.

    • There were lots of suggestions involving “geo-engineering”, to create an ICE-FREE ARCTIC OCEAN
      From the book “Omega – Murder of the Eco-system and the Suicide of Man” , Paul K Anderson, 1971
      “Controlling the Planet’s Climate”, J. 0. Fletcher (Rand corporation)
      “The largest scale enterprise that has been discussed is that of transforming the Arctic into an ice-free ocean. Three basic approaches have been proposed:
      (a) influencing the surface reflectivity of the ice to cause more absorption of solar heat;
      (b) large-scale modification of Arctic cloud conditions by seeding;
      (c) increasing the inflow of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean
      This is from the discussion at the start of the chapter:
      “Some have suggested that the general warming that took place from 1900 until about 1940 was due to just such an increase in the atmospheric content of C02. Plass, in 1959, estimated that a warming of 0.5° C during the last century could be attributed to this cause, and this is comparable to the warming that actually did occur. It is further estimated that, by the year 2000, a further warming of three times this amount could be caused by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Other estimates have predicted an even greater warming.
      Notwithstanding these arguments, the sharp global cooling of the past decade indicates that other, oppositely directed factors are more influential than the increasing atmospheric content of CO2. For example, Moller (1963) estimates that a 10 per cent change in CO2 can be counter-balanced by a 3 per cent change in water vapour or by a 1 per cent change in mean cloudiness.
      Let it also be noted that the oceans have an enormous capacity to absorb CO2, this varying according to their temperature with colder oceans being able to store more of the gas. Thus, a warming of the oceans could also be a primary cause of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. In summary, it appears that, other factors being constant, the CO2 generated by human activity could bring about important changes of global climate during the next few decades. But other factors, of course, are not constant, and have apparently been more influential than the CO2 increase in affecting the climate of recent years.”

  39. If the Holocene Optimum (I don’t know why its not ‘Maximum’) is hotter than today and it happened 7-8000yrs ago and since then we have been generally cooling, then one must ask what the fuss is all about with CAGW hysteria. If we don’t warm the planet up going forward, that regular heartbeat pattern in the diagram of the ice ages will inexorably take us back to “normal”, a normal I sure wouldn’t be looking forward to. Hansen’s death trains could turn into trains of hope and survival. Oh and the Millennia to recover from the episode have already elapsed from the Optimum. I would say this normal suits just fine.

    • Gary Pearse wrote

      If the Holocene Optimum (I don’t know why its not ‘Maximum’) is hotter than today and it happened 7-8000yrs ago and since then we have been generally cooling, then one must ask what the fuss is all about with CAGW hysteria.

      It’s a money and power grab and corporate welfare and wealth redistribution scheme all rolled into one. The CAGW hysteria is just an attempt to get the masses on board with the program. You have to make believers of the marks. Some of it has worked, but as seen in Lima, it’s not going as smoothly as planned for those on top of the pyramid.
      Meanwhile, some actual climate science happens from time to time, but far too little in proportion to the expenditures.

  40. Ok so far I read that Greenland moved away from Europe, India ran into Asia producing the Himalayas and the predecessor to the Panama Canal was a gigantic channel connecting both parts of the total ocean and there were alligator or crocs at the North Pole yet we are to blame that tiny molecule of exhaust gas for mucking up the climate back then for 200,000 years of disturbance after a couple of 1500 year outgassing events. Unhuh I get it. Must be funding time.

  41. Since no gas at any concentration in the atmosphere can do what they say, this is a yawn. As any possible effects that CO2 can have on climate are already 90–95% expended, per the Lambert-Beer Law, their vastly increased CO2 in the past is simply great news for the plants and then the animals who eat the plants and then the animals that eat the animals. Everybody wins with more more CO2!
    Interesting in other respects but not regarding climate. It beggars credibility to pretend that the supposed warm period was a danger to life on Earth. It’s cold that kills. In terms of how they interpret their data and their conclusions, this paper is rubbish.

  42. There was massive volcanic activity in southeastern Europe during the Palaeocene-Eocene. Could that have been a significant source of carbon dioxide emission during that period?

  43. Great science, when your assumptions exceed your data.
    Evidence presented for their faith driven conjecture?
    The usual high quality data so common in Cli-Sci.AKA, I believe, thus it shall be so.
    CO2 the magic gas.

  44. That temperature graph of the last 420,000 years got me thinking about the inhomogeneous interstellar background and about how carbon abundant it is, it has been said.
    Wondering if the roughly 100,000 year periods are part of the inhomogeneous, interstellar background structures, the sun orbits through and gravitationally focuses gases like C,O, H, He Ne, etc. into our solar system.
    Mars has an abundance of CO2 in its atmosphere also, as seen by the MAVEN spacecraft designed to orbit the Martian atmosphere.
    http://youtu.be/FXhDXFN50Z8?t=10m39s
    Maybe the carbon cycle belongs to an even bigger cycle…….

  45. The illogic of this “article” (jumbled stream of consciousness) is staggering even by CAGW standards. Leaving aside for now the pure fraud.
    So the CO2 release at that time was about 10% of the current anthropogenic one. But it “caused” 5-8 degrees of warming – an order of magnitude more than the fraction of one degree of 20th century warming. And the apocalyptic consequence of this thermogeddon? Big gains in biodiversity including the origination of our own primate group. And the downside? The extinction of a few cooler-adapted deep sea foraminifera (but survival of most foraminifera).
    So the PETM boosted biodiversity and led to the evolution of ourselves the primates snd humans. And in response we demonise the PETM as a pet catastrophe to use in backing up the CAGW nonsense? This all sounds like a teenager in a tantrum shouting at his/her parents “I hate you – I wish you never had me!”

  46. Our warmist friends have rather pathetically appealed to the notorious Shakun paper from the nest of climate fraud in Oregon. Just one of the many layers of fraud in this paper was the smearing out of the interhemispheric bipolar seesawing and the related Younger Dryas episode in order to fabricate a spurious case for CO2 leading warming – against the overwhelming evidence of the ice core records.
    Sediment data shows that Antarctica began warming about 22 kYa, well before the Bolling-Allerod, YD and Holocene inception. Then a large ice sheet collapse in Antarctica triggered opposite things in the two hemispheres. In the NH the BA warming, and reciprocally (remember its the seesaw) the SH cooling called the “Antarctic cold reversal”. However 1000 years layer Antarctic intermediate water – still resulting from the ice sheet collapse – interferes with Atlantic deep circulation with the result of switching off the Atlantic meridional ocean conveyor (AMOC) which directly caused the YD northern hemisphere cooling. Reciprocally in the SH, the Antarctic cold reversal ends and Antarctic warming resumed.
    Shakun, wrapping himself in the security blanket of blissful Oregonesque ignorance of the bipolar seesaw and oceanography in general, mixes about 50 proxy records together, [some] so poor that they scarcely resolve the Holocene from the preceding glacial maximum, let alone the BA and YS episodes. He fraudulently exploits the fact that during the NH-only YD cooling CO2 did not decrease due to simultaneous – and already long established – Antarctic warming. From all this proxy smearing and mixing the rabbit he pulls from his conjurer hat is an illusion of a CO2 increase during the YD preceding the Holocene inception (recall that Antarctic warming began 22 kYa). It’s all in a days work for the Oregon illusionists.

  47. Understanding the events around the PETM is a noble academic and intellectual enterprise. It may have some merit in understand how climates can rapidly change, in a general way. But to try and equate the climate changes of the PETM, and the poorly resolved timing of the methane release with anything of the last 3 Myr is beyond ludicrous.

  48. Could somebody explain the apparent contradiction in these temperature reconstructions? In Patrick Moore’s presentation (and elsewhere) it talks about global average temps being 14.5C now and 14C at the lower boundary and around 21 or 22C at the upper boundary when reconstructed over the last million years (basically we’re cold at present when viewed on that time scale event though between ice ages. In this study, this is described as a warm period with temps being up to 4C colder in previous times. I’m getting a bit confused by these reconstructions. Is it warm or cold now and how are these reconstructions reconciled?

    • Either this question is too simple and is beneath posters’ dignity or too hard they can’t answer it! Either way the numbers don’t make sense to me unless the issue is something to do with the averaging period and granularity of the data used.

  49. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:

    This isn’t the last word, but well worth consideration. Most of all, the science is NOT settled. Climate studies are infants in science. We know nothing more than saying everything happening now in climate and weather has happened many times before.

  50. What is the graph at the top supposed to be? As others have pointed out, it has no relevance to what happened 55 million years ago.
    Where does the “Today’s Temperature” line come from. It is certainly not from Petit et al as we are misdirected to believe? Why is that line, today’s temperature, some degrees below the latest samples from the ice-core? That doesn’t make any sense. Anyone got any explanations?

    • MikeB,

      What is the graph at the top supposed to be? As others have pointed out, it has no relevance to what happened 55 million years ago.

      Eye-candy “for reference only” as in the caption. I don’t get it either, it completely threw me off at first.

      Where does the “Today’s Temperature” line come from. It is certainly not from Petit et al as we are misdirected to believe?

      Good eye. It certainly is Petit 1999/2001: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/vostok/deutnat.txt
      The today’s temperature line is in the right spot, right through the middle of the Holocene, but the vertical axis has been rescaled, I’m guessing to match Shakun 2012 … a trick I’ve used before as well: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1C2T0pQeiaSbnJVLVZiRGJ5UUU
      I don’t know how legit it is to scale Vostok to a more global proxy with a simple regression as I’ve done here, but at the very least one should tell people that’s what they did. Nice pull.

      • I read “today’s temperature’ to mean the temperature now, i.e. in the 21st century., not the median of the Holocene. I think most people would interpret as that or maybe just me.
        Your first link is to the same file I linked to.
        The y-axis scale has been halved because the global temperature swing between glaciations is supposedly less than the polar temperature swing. But I don’t like it either.
        Here’s the real data.
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/Vostok-ice-core-petit.png

      • MikeB,

        I read “today’s temperature’ to mean the temperature now, i.e. in the 21st century., not the median of the Holocene. I think most people would interpret as that or maybe just me.

        It’s not just you, it’s me too. For ice core data it seems the convention is set the zero point to whatever stable isotope ratio is in the topmost layer of ice. From there I take it that it’s up to the user to decide how to line that up with whatever baseline they’re using for “present day”.

        Your first link is to the same file I linked to.

        Indeed, I didn’t see that post until after I sent mine.

        The y-axis scale has been halved because the global temperature swing between glaciations is supposedly less than the polar temperature swing. But I don’t like it either.

        UAH and RSS both show the poles having greater inter-annual and -decadal swings as well as having steeper long term trends than the mid and low latitudes, so it’s not a totally awful assumption in my book. For casual discussion purposes anyway … I’d expect literature to be more rigorous about it. Does make me wonder though about the provenance of some of the graphics I see floating around. One hopes they derive from some paper somewhere, I’ve never actually tracked one down.
        The chart you posted looks exactly like the blue temperature curve in my plot.

  51. ” The good news: Earth and most species survived.”
    That is an understatement to put it mildly. There was actually no extinctions, excepting benthic foraminifera (bottom-living marine micro- organisms). Instead life on Earth flourished and spread during the PETM in a way that has never been repeated. Almost all major extant groups of mammals originated during the PETM (that in includes euprimates, i. e. us). Before the PETM very primitive primates existed only in North America. The PETM made it possible for them to diversify and spread to other continents. Primates in North American subsequently died out when climate became colder but survived elsewhere. So in a very real sense humans only exist thanks to the PETM.

  52. Phlogiston says:
    “He fraudulently exploits the fact that during the NH-only YD cooling CO2 did not decrease due to simultaneous – and already long established – Antarctic warming.”
    Very high-definition and well-dated data from the WAIS Divide that have recently become available show a rather complex and interesting pattern in the CO2 concentrations during the Late Glacial.
    (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v514/n7524/fig_tab/nature13799_F2.html)
    At the abrupt warmings at the beginning of Bölling/Alleröd and the Holocene the CO2 levels change in a consistent but rather strange way. Both times the CO2 record first shows a short sharp decrease, then rise fairly rapidly for a few centuries, and then go flat for a millennium or so. On the other hand, at the inception of the (cold) YD the flat CO2 level during the Alleröd is succeeded by a slow rise that continues during the YD, until the decline/rise/flat couplet described above.
    So, while CO2 generally speaking increases from 18,000 to 11,000 years ago, the temperature and CO2 do not follow a similar pattern. CO2 does not lead temperatures, and often go in opposite directions for century- to millennium-long periods. CH4 levels on the other hand do track temperatures, probably because they are determined by simple temperature-dependent biological production and outgassing. CO2 dynamics are clearly much more complex, probably because of multiple source and sinks with different responses and lag times.
    Recent

  53. Have read the Supplementary Information which is free and the whole thing now looks rather shaky. The “Short Double Pulse model” is based completely on analysis of soil nodule carbonates in two drill cores. It can be very tricky to determine whether deposition is continuous in a core where larger-scale sedimentary structures are invisible, and it doesn’t seem as if they have confirmed the result by studying a comparable outcrop. Floodplain sedimentation can be very complex (particularily so in a rapidly changing climate), and the fact that the “pause” is apparently lithologically distinct from the “Pre Onset Excursion” (POE) and the main “Carbon Isotope Excursion” (CIE) below and above is definitely suspect. If there was actually a several thousand year long “recovery” during the onset of the CIE it is very odd that this has not showed up in any of the many high-definition marine cores from the PETM, where continuous sedimentation is much more assured.

    • Good comment. Once again a funded climate study based on dubious proxies from which are drawn dubious conclusions.
      The PETM is of much interest and this sort of dubious science adds nothing to our understanding.

  54. Am I correct in assuming that this is intended to Over-Write all of the previous research which showed that CO2 levels rose circa 700 years after temperatures ?

  55. Ok … looking at the chart, irrespective of one’s views about the validity of a greenhouse effect or whatever, even a scientific simpleton can see some sort of cycle is at play in the earth’s climate system.
    Heck, even on a much shorter 2000 year time scale, a simpleton can see some sort of cycle is at play – Roman Warm Period … Dark Ages Cold Period … Medieval Warm Period … Little Ice Age …
    What this demonstrates is that the climate has changed again and again without any help from human emissions of CO2, and in fact, nobody looking at the geologic data would even suspect CO2, in general, has ever played a role in changing earth’s climate in the past.
    So why do people place so much faith in climate model predictions that human CO2, responsible for only about 0.12% of the greenhouse effect, is the key driver of climate change?
    Even a simpleton can see this is an outrageous claim.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. I would further this perspective by asking, ‘If CO2 causes such warmth, why does re-glaciation happen each time CO2 is at its peak level in the ice cores?

  56. What is a million times scarier is the graph with this story: repeatedly, for more than a million years, we have had a yo-yo climate which is mainly very cold and with sudden, regular warm periods all of which end totally abruptly, like going off a cliff into the much longer Ice Ages.
    The pitiful amounts of CO2 won’t prevent this event since it appears to be driven by the sun.

    • It’s not the Sun exactly.
      The variations are called Milankovitch cycles and are due to changes in the ecentricity of the in the Earth’s orbit and its axial tilt and precession.
      We are currently in an ice age, have been for about 3 million years, and the warm periods like the one we are experiencing now are called inter-glacials. They repeat about every 100,000 years.
      http://scienceofdoom.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/holmes-1myears.png
      Yes, and its not CO2.that drives this.

  57. With respect to the idea that humans are causing harmful changes to the climate at this very moment, I am waiting for some peer-reviewed papers that propose what the optimum climate is for our biosphere. The first question that would naturally flow would be where is our current climate and trend in relation to this finding.
    Strangely, nobody seems interested in this vital comparison. Not so strangely, the solutions that are frequently demanded in the most urgent voice, all converge on a socialist worldview: statism, bigger government, higher taxes, less personal liberty. That bigger picture tells me all that I need to know about “climate science”.

  58. This study shows the Earth doesn’t fry during warming. And it also shows that all of these “predicted” AGW scenarios are not true. If this was real science they would go on and say “You have nothing to worry about, the world won’t end due to warming” but no, this is about money and (corrupt) politics so that won’t happen, sadly. Every “finding” they get about past climate they twist it to support their CAGW doomsday theories.

  59. 9˚ to 15˚ F temperature increase for 200,000 years, fantastic! That will erase the next two glaciations (guaranteed killers) and give us 200,000 years to develop fusion and other forms of energy so that the future glaciations 3, 4, 5 . . . won’t matter. Good work guys. Now take a well deserved vacation then come back and redirect your efforts to ensure sustaining of the current levels of man made production of CO2 (and/or methane) and the planet will be saved.

  60. Quoted from above:

    ““We see the first wave of modern mammals showing up,” including ancestral primates and hoofed animals,” he adds. Oceans became more acidic, as they are now.”

    You would think these geochemists would be a little more careful in their communications since they must realized the bulk pH of the modern oceans is around 8.10 – 8.15. They also must realize that the massive amounts of solid calcium carbonate deposits exposed to submarine seawater on the continental shelves and the vast basaltic plains of the abyssal oceans will buffer the carbonic acid inputs of rising pCO2 to prevent any wholesale pH “acidification” swings.
    So why do they still hang onto the ocean acidification rhetoric? Needing to keep the research grant money flowing is the only answer I can come up with.

  61. “The bad news: It took millennia to recover from the episode,”
    Bad news? Ummmm… they do realize the end of the current interglacial is going to be an extinction-level event… right?
    Right?

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