Wednesday Wit – Cheers, Gavin!

Josh writes: Here’s an odd thing.

Replying to Tweeter ‘Hot Topic’, who was highlighting this article in the Guardian, Gavin Schmidt said that there are “More than 10x number of English vineyards now than in medieval times.” with a link to a 2006 Real Climate article.

Gavin implies that this comparison trumps the argument about English vineyards being proof that Medieval Warm Period was hotter.

However, one can conclude that those who are using the medieval English vineyards as a ‘counter-proof’ to the idea of present day global warming are just blowing smoke (or possibly drinking too much Californian).

Hang on a sec! Surely you would not compare the two without mentioning the population size –  the number of people buying and drinking the stuff – I mean that would be unscientific, wouldn’t it?

A quick bit of research and doing some sums, admittedly by a cartoonist, gave me approximate ratios of 15 Vineyards per million in medieval times compared to 7.5 Vineyards per million today. That means that if you want to use Vineyards as a proxy for temperature (I wouldn’t) the MWP was twice as hot as it it today!

I think we can conclude that this is simply Vintage Gavin (pronounced Ga-Vin) and we should all be enormously cheered up by the logic of climate science – what they can brew up with numbers is very entertaining.

Vintage_Gavin_scr

Please embibe responsibly. No more that two units of Climate Science per day.

***

P.S. I didnt see it at the time but William Briggs also noted Gavin’s omission.

Cartoons by Josh

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147 thoughts on “Wednesday Wit – Cheers, Gavin!

    • This is right, but only half the story. Most modern grape planting in England is aimed at producing a champagne style wine because this is the best wine to make in a cool climate. The addition of a sugar and yeast syrup before bottling, and more sugar in wine after the plug of residue has been removed, allows the vintner to adjust the wine to compensate for poor summers. This technique was not practised in Europe until Dom perigean (1638-1715) perfected a technique that then became widespread in the 19th century.
      Red wines require hotter summers than white, and the evidence is that this is what the Romans grew in Britain. Significant Roman vineyards have been found have been in Northamptonshire.
      So in summary, we now make more wine because our techniques have improved. To extrapolate that it is now warmer is intellectual incompetent.
      Dale

    • UNFCCC and IPCC IS what we Call Cultural Marxism. And since they have the “liberating tolerance” it means that they, even if they are worng, are still right….?

    • To make a fair comparison you have to take into account the type of plants being grown then and now, plus the great improvements in modern viticulture which includes technology, the knowledge as to how to create a good balanced wine by (say) adding sugar, combining one wine with another, the ability to protect plants from frost, harvesting at the optimum time, greater wealth allowing more time to be spent on the vineyard as a full time venture rather than fitting in with lots of other activities. Also bear in mind that beer was generally a preferred drink in the past and that very good wine was available to the aristocracy from British possessions in France.
      The amount of people wanting to buy wine and able to afford it would, as has been pointed out, also have been much greater today than in our sparsely populated past.
      The Domesday book does however reveal an astonishing number of vineyards bearing in mind the caveats above
      tonyb

      • Also bear in mind that beer was generally a preferred drink in the past and that very good wine was available to the aristocracy from British possessions in France.
        Beer was mainly brewed in monasteries but was generally regarded as an inferior drink, also remember a very popular drink of that time was mead, all the warriors drinking in the ‘mead halls’ a la the poems of Taliesin. Bear in mind that wine had an important role in the christian religion.

      • Phil
        Maybe in 6th century Wales where the Taliesin was written, but more generally in England in the period being dicussed here? I don’t think so
        ‘Nonetheless, mead, once the most common alcoholic drink of England, had lost ground to ales and beers (since the earliest days of improved medieval agriculture) and also to wines (imported from Gascony for the wealthy, from the 12th century onward.’
        http://www.britannica.com/topic/mead
        Mind you, Climate matters can be pedantic enough without discussing the relative claims of beer and mead (or when the MWP was). What I found interesting-and didn’t know before your comment, was that Mead fell totally out of favour in England after the Reformation, as the honey used in its creation was diverted to beeswax candles!
        When’s a good quiz when you need one?
        tonyb

      • Grape wine was the per se “drink of choice” in England, Germany and other northern European countries preceding and during the Medieval Warm Period but the Little Ice Age putt a “ke-bosh” to that habit and forced the aforementioned to become brewers and imbibers of beer and ale.
        And that is exactly why America became a nation of “beer drinkers”. The majority of immigrants into North America during the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries were from Northern European countries and they brought their love of beer and their “beer brewing” skills with them.

      • Maybe in 6th century Wales where the Taliesin was written, but more generally in England in the period being dicussed here? I don’t think so
        The Roman period was being discussed and Taliesin was just after then. Good find about the beeswax Tony!
        Also later having a royal family that ruled important wine growing areas of France certainly boosted the consumption of wine.
        The other point is that southern Britain during the time referred to was not a continuous population. During the Roman period the Romans favored wine but the indigenous Celts favored Ale and Mead (Taliesin). Following the Roman period we have a few hundred years when the Angles and Saxons invasion took place, and as Tacitus tells us their favored drinks were beer and ale. Following the conversion to christianity monasteries started to institute vineyards to produce wine for the Eucharist (other than that wine was very expensive, see Aelfric’s ‘Colloquy’). Bede refers to vines being grown in Britain in the 8th century. Following the Norman invasion in 1066 we have a ruling elite which preferred wine which they brought from their territories in France and this demand led to considerable expansion of vineyards in the Bordeaux region.
        Consequently it’s an oversimplification to ascribe the change in the number of vineyards to climatic changes and to ignore the massive changes in the culture summarized above. It’s worth noting that when the vineyards declined in the 14th century they were replaced by apple orchards, this probably was a response to a change in the climate, as is the recent expansion of vineyards in Britain (even in Wales).

      • Phil
        Other than at the edges I don’t really think we are disagreeing with each other and your final paragraph is especially pertinent. I have seen records (in the Met office archives) of grape vines being grown in Exeter by the Romans. We still have much of our Roman wall but the Celts were always very close by in this part of England.
        Exeter quay is a good place to note the considerable imports of wine from our possessions overseas in medieval times and to try out the modern day examples.
        Tonyb

      • Samuel C. Cogar October 29, 2015 at 5:40 am
        Grape wine was the per se “drink of choice” in England, Germany and other northern European countries preceding and during the Medieval Warm Period but the Little Ice Age putt a “ke-bosh” to that habit and forced the aforementioned to become brewers and imbibers of beer and ale.

        Not according to Tacitus, Bede, Aelfric et al.

    • Worth mention is that New World root stock is used on just about every wine grape today, as it is more resistant to a particular new world bug that almost destroyed European wine grapes. So they litterally are not the same plants as then.
      Also, some new / old world hybrids have been made to increase cold tollerance, along with a lot of work on selection for cold tollerant cultivars of old world stocks (cut over onto the new world rootstocks).
      It really is increadibly stupid to claim that vineyards today show it is warmer. A few million people /years of work have gone into making more cold tollerant wine grapes…

      • E.M, TonyB, Phil JM, Barb and Climatereason,
        Whenever I contemplate the works of Mr Schmidt and The Good Professor Karl and their NASA or NOAA colleagues I find Mead, Ale, Beer and Whisky seems to do wonders for my understanding of their data and conclusions.
        Now let us not speak ill of those not here but suffice to to say that I think they might have that response too!

      • E.M.Smith,
        It seems that I most always learn something new from your postings.

        In the New World the first successful wine-making occurred in the 19th century. Somewhat surprisingly, Ohio was the first region in America to successfully cultivate grapes for wine, but it was soon eclipsed by wine production in California. About this time grape cultivation first began in earnest in Australia. In the Old World, Champagne was establishing itself as a favorite luxury beverage; and fortified wines such as ports and sherries were becoming increasingly popular, especially in Britain. But despite the growing success of the industry, there was also a catastrophe: late in the century, the phylloxera epidemic destroyed many old European vines, a disaster that affected wine-making for decades. The plague was overcome by grafting cuttings of European varietal vines onto disease-resistant American rootstock. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/05/timestopics/topics-winehistory.html?_r=0

        New York State’s wine production began in the 17th century with Dutch and Huguenot plantings in the Hudson Valley region. Commercial production did not begin until the 19th century. New York is home to the first bonded winery in the United States of America, Pleasant Valley Wine Company, located in Hammondsport (Finger Lakes.region). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_wine

  1. Breaking Wow… NOAA refuses to provide Congress with e-mails on study claiming climate pause never happened

      • WOW, considering that all appropriations bill must begin in the House, there is a budget and debt ceiling brouhaha looming, and a new Speaker of the House being elected on the 29th and COP21 starting on the 30th; refusing to honor a Congressional
        Science Committee subpoena seems very foolish and ill-timed! The Warmists must be very desperate, angering the people that control your purse strings is never a good idea.

      • They have provided the data, just not communications between those working on the adjustments. I think we should keep that in mind when talking about this. The data should be enough to rebut their tweaks.

      • Funny:
        Former NOAA employee, Andrew Rosenberg, told Nature that Dr. Karl’s team was merely updating analysis.
        “There’s absolutely no implication that there is malfeasance of any kind,” Dr. Rosenberg told Nature. “You could ask these questions anytime anybody updates an analysis, but you are only picking the ones where you really don’t like the answer.”
        Well, yeah, of course. Welcome to science, Mr. Rosenberg: You are SUPPOSED to share your reasoning and analysis with someone who questions it, doubly so if they’re trying to find something wrong with it. That’s how we sort out truth from falsity, or more prosaically, trustworthy from untrustworthy data and credible from incredible hypotheses.
        What Mr. Rosenberg also misses is that any time a study is released that contradicts previous findings, it deserves close scrutiny. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but if anything, it needs to be more clearly explained than a study that merely replicates previous findings.

      • Tim Huck:
        They only conceded the publicly available data, not the pre-processed or processing data, nor all of the processing steps required.

        “…it (NOAA) has refused to release internal communications, citing the “long-standing practice in the scientific community to protect the confidentiality of deliberative scientific discussions,”…”

        Long standing? What since Mann’s emails at UVA were FOIA?

      • Interesting interpretation. I had government and non-government contracts in Canada that required every bit of information to be turned over to the including e-mails, diary notes, and even records of telephone conversations as they considered them pertinent to the development of the designs and procedures and useful in replicating the work in the future. Similarly, we archived all the same information for our own purposes on our projects for reproducibility in the future. I think that to suggest the information is not pertinent is disingenuous.

  2. Well done Josh – excellent as ever.
    The other aspect of this is where the vineyards are/were located, especially with respect to latitude. The recent vineyard growth has mainly been restricted to the south east of England which, unsurprisingly, has a climate similar to northern France. By contrast, the Romans planted vineyards in England significantly further north which implies (although doesn’t prove), warmer climate in those times.

    • Well, as a counter-point. This was before Pasteurization. If Romans wanted wine, they had to grow the grapes locally or they would end up drinking vinegar. This means that it was worthwhile to grow them in sub-optimal conditions if it was close to the customer. Nowadays, you would be foolish to grow grapes in anything less than optimum conditions since transport is so easy.
      Also, as has been mentioned. These are different vines. Almost all of the old world vines were destroyed by an American fungus during the Industrial Revolution, and they were replanted or crossbred with American varieties that were resistant to the disease, so these are effectively American breed grapes being grown globally now.
      It’s not anywhere near directly comparable.

      • Wine making is means of preserving grape juice so that it can be kept and transported if needed. Amphorae were used primarily for wine transport and the ancient world is littered with cast off amphorae. The practice of transporting wine was well developed in Roman Britain. Pasteurization has nothing to do with transporting wine.

      • There is NO pasteurization being done in the wine industry, specifically in CA. I lived, worked and made wine in the CA wine area for 28 years and NEVER even heard of pasteurizing wine. The LAST thing you ever want to do is HEAT must/wine! There are various methods of killing the “natural” enemy’s of good wine, including chilling, not heating. Further, the Romans were very knowledgeable must controllers and once wine is fully fermented out (alcohol content 10+ %) and kept from direct oxygen contact (for a long period of time) and HEAT, chemical changes occur VERY slowly over a long period of time and it CANNOT become vinegar, even if NOT kept in a stable environment. The Romans knew this very well so they would ferment the grape where grown and then transport the wine wherever locally over land by horse and wagon and by ships all the way back to Rome, the hold temp of ships being relatively stable. The period of time in both cases not being long enough for any damage to occur. And as for Phylloxera blight of the late 1800’s, it only lasted 20 years and while it did destroy about 90% of French vineyards the rest of Europe was greatly spared and while the one could say the grapes there now are different, as the French vines were graphed to American ROOT stock (which did NOT solve all the problems) there was no “crossbreeding” used to solve the Phylloxera issue. AND none of that has anything to do with Climate Change.

      • Bob, Pasteruization was invented for wine in 1864, while the great Chemist was on vacation in Arbois, to prevent wine from souring. Thanks for the technical corrections on the vines as well. Bill, amphora were common, but inland transport, even on well maintained Roman highways was difficult and expensive, Mass transport of wine simple could not be done, especially in the short span of time necessary to keep the wine from spoiling. Imported wines (even if available) were ludicrously expensive. Routine wine drinking had to be done with local stock unless you were the social elite.
        Both of you are missing the point entirely.
        My point is that this doesn’t have anything to do with climate change. Using grape growing as a proxy is a very bad idea because there are significant changes in the vines, farming, and economics since the Roman and Medieval eras.

      • Having been an amateur winemaker, I can assure you that pasteurization has nothing to do with basic winemaking. In fact, introducing a level of pasteurization would basically kill your yeast bacteria and stop fermentation. You do stop fermentation through other means, but pasteurization is at no point a part of the process.

      • >>Amphorae were used primarily for wine transport and
        >>the ancient world is littered with cast off amphorae.
        Indeed, the former comment is nonsense. I think if someone found that their bottle of Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru had been pasteurised, there would be a revolution…!
        Wine was exported and imported all over the Roman Empire, and the resulting pile of amphorae in Rome grew so large it became known as the Monte Testaccio (Mountain of Pottery).
        The Monte Testaccio.
        http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/77797770.jpg

      • >>Ben of Houston
        >>This was before Pasteurization. If Romans wanted wine,
        >>they had to grow the grapes locally or they would end up
        >>drinking vinegar.
        I think this comment is very illustrative, because it is typical of the Green-Liberal lobby. They know absolutely nothing about science, technology or the real world, and yet they confidently pontificate as if they had PhDs in everything. And the equally brain-dead media, who have a ‘F-grade’ in media studies, simply regurgitate the nonsense they spout.
        The result is that the inmates are now running not just the asylum, but Parliament too.
        Part of the problem is that there is no educational requirements for becoming a member of Parliament. The system is a bit like taking Joe Blogs from the street, throwing him or her into a cockpit, and letting them fly passengers across the world. Would we do that, in a technical, safety-critical industry? So why do we do it for parliaments?
        It is about time that all parliamentarians were vetted to ensure they all had a tertiary education or equivalent plus 20 years in industry, passed an entrance examination, and ensure that they were not lawyers (dissembling and deception are key components of the legal profession).
        R

      • benofhouston
        You are operating under several misapprehensions.
        A) Wine is never pasteurized!
        1) Pasteur was requested to help an industrialist identify why their beet juice turned sour while fermenting instead of alcoholic. Lactic acid was produced instead of alcohol, not acetic acid as vinegar contains.
        2) Pasteur identified the bacteria responsible and helped the industrialist reduce the bacteria contagion, not by pasteurization though.
        B) Grapes are grown as far north as they can be raised
        1) Anywhere grapes are grown, wines are produced.
        2) What vineyard is so foolish as to believe that they are too far from buyers?
        2a) – Chilean? California? Canadian? Australian? Austrian? None, really.
        C) Old World Grapes (vitis vinifera) are not crossbred out of existence.
        1) Vitis Vinifera wines utilizing vines that are hundreds of years old are still produced in good quantities. Indeed, many of wine varietal names are dependent on both the specific vitis vinifera vines and terroirs they are grown in (French and Germany legal determinations).
        2) It was found that grafting old world vines onto rootstocks, including new world grapes extended the hardiness of the old world grapes.
        3) “…grape root aphid, phylloxera, and several fungal diseases (powdery mildew, black rot, and downy mildew). It was not until satisfactory phylloxera-resistant rootstocks were identified and modern fungicides developed that even the limited cold hardiness potential of these varieties could be attained in the field. Recently we have found that V. vinifera varieties will not succeed in soils traditionally used to grow American varieties unless the soil pH is raised to about 6.5.
        3a) Indeed, survival and continued bounty of centuries old vineyards is as simple as proper soil PH.
        3b) The apparent susceptibility of Vitis Vinifera vines was primarily based on location. e.g. California planted vitis vinifera vines thrived, New York planted vitis vinifera vines died. Difficult climate conditions impaired wine grape plantings until the funguses, parasites and phylloxera were dealt with.
        American crossbreed vines are not known for high quality wines. Vitis Vinifera old world grapes completely free of American grape DNA are still the vast bulk for major wine suppliers of the world.
        Josh’s ‘Gavin ordinaire’ is spot on. I believe it will age very well.

      • It’s never pasteurized now. It was in the 1800s, when mass movement of wine was enabled by pasteurization that greatly lengthened it’s shelf life. We have better methods of preservation NOW. I’ll confess, it was a bit of a tangent that wasn’t terribly relevant. However.
        If it’s on a non-controversial topic in encyclopedias and taught in high school chemistry I would think that it falls under the branch of common knowledge. Seriously have y’all never read a biography of Louis Pasteur?
        Seriously, y’all are getting way too cooked up in the detail and ignoring the meaning while pontificating on the wrong side of well known facts. This is a nonsensical “is it acidification” fight all over again

      • benofhouston:
        Pasteur is a pillar of science. Yes, I have read Pasteur’s biography.
        I also remember grade school texts that misstated many of the great man’s work and achievements.
        Pasteur identified the pathogens and processes that caused fermentation to go sour (bacterial lactic acid formation) rather than alcoholic.
        Pasteur also developed the process called pasteurization which found success in processing milk. The same process was proposed for beer and Pasteur patented a beer pasteurization machine and process.
        What Pasteur also identified were the pathogens that ‘could’ be sterilized out by pasteurization or could be prevented by other methods.
        Beer for example, the mix is cooked briefly before being introduced to the fermentation tank along with the yeast. There is no ‘pasteurization’ of the fermented liquid after fermentation before bottling.
        Milk was originally pasteurized to stem the spread of tuberculosis. Nowadays milk is primarily pasteurized to prevent brucellosis.
        While pasteurizing wine was proposed as being suitable, cooked wine is very different in taste. Pasteurization never caught on for wine processing as even the lowest temperatures necessary to pasteurize wine unfavorably change wine’s flavors.
        This is not to say that Pasteur did not greatly affect the wine industry. Pasteur’s identification of the pathogens involved and what conditions those pathogens thrived under or failed to thrive.
        Winemakers learned to sterilize their fermentation tanks and equipment and to ensure that the fermentable medium was prime for alcohol yeast fermentation and less suitable for lactic acid fermentation. While natural yeasts are present on the skins of grapes, many vintners help spark the correct ferment by introducing yeast.
        Vintners are spike the grape mash towards alcohol fermentation by introducing anti-microbial SO2. Alcohol fermentation yeast are much more tolerant of SO2 than malolactic bacteria.
        This is not controversial history, if one accepts what people ‘think’ they know when they jot something down. A little light reading quickly enlightens anyone seeking the truths about Pasteur; and it is heartening to note that even wikipedia gets it correct sometimes, e.g.

        “…Pasteur patented the process, to fight the “diseases” of wine, in 1865.[28] The method became known as pasteurization, and was soon applied to beer and milk.[29]…”

        Did you see in there anywhere “saved the wine industry”?
        You are correct that in that you are getting too ‘cooked’ up with the wrong details.

      • We were lucky in Australia, not far from where I live an isolated vineyard was the only one to not get the fungal disease. Many years later their hundred year old vines were the source of restarting the Australian wine industry.

    • Are Hansen, Schmidt and Mann all related to each other in some way? Or does having “that certain look” cause them all to think alike? Has anyone else noticed this resemblance?

      • When I worked for a dental college there was a professor there who taught the fledgling “doctors” how to have a look and demeanor of authority about them. Right down to makeup and hairstyles, speech and mannerisms.

  3. Why should the warmists care about obvious errors when the mainstream news media has effectively agreed to only report their side of the story?

    • Correct PiperPaul, the alarmists only need to come up with a story. They know in advance that it does not have to be true, or even plausible, because they know that the mainstream media will run with it without question.

  4. By comparison with “now” Angle-land was virtually uninhabited circa William the Conqueror.
    If Schmidt actually wrote that then he is a complete buffoon. Maybe he is claiming that every person who owned a thatched roof hut and grew a vegetable garden for sustenance, also grew grapes and therefore qualified it to be a vineyard. I am not going to work too hard to make him make sense. -jeese…what a moron.

    • “Proof” and “percent” are different, but… among the other great puns here, that one was my favorite, and made me laugh out loud.
      “In the United States, alcoholic proof is defined as twice the percentage of ABV.” (Wiki)
      Send a bottle to Gavin.

      • “Proof” in legal terms descends from distillate being “proved” as having as much alchohol as water. It was done by shaking a container of distillate and observing the bubbles. Right around 50% alchohol the behavior of the air bubbles formed by vigorous shaking changes. Water, of course, forms and preserves bubbles well due to surface tension etc. The distillate doesn’t because the alchohol alters those characteristic in the distillate.
        US middle of America country boys learned that early. Saves taxes.

      • John H. Harmon,
        I was under the impression that 100 proof booze was ascertained by whether it would stay ignited if exposed to a flame. 100 proof booze ~ 40% alcohol by volume or 32% by mass. I can’t recall where I got that impression but is that the case? “0” proof would also be zero percent, and like Gavin Schmidt, without verifiable substance.

  5. Gavin needs to take some remedial science courses, or be de-programmed.
    Some great news for Albertans; Tim Flannery has been called in as an environmental consul.
    More assistance for our self-imposed poverty building team.

  6. Chateau La Fit Le Data! Brilliant! Ooh your are naughty, Josh! Yes the Romans had vinyards as far north as Yorkshire. Also, not mentioned, is the relatively new popularity of wine with the general populace since the late 70s early 80s. Before then, wine was for high days & holidays, eg Christmas/Easter, dining out etc. General consumptions was limited to the “working classes” to beer/ale/spirits, etc. The people have become far more knowledgable about wine today than 30 years ago, say, coupled with foreign holidays to France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, etc. Next time, Gavin, do some ruddy homework before you make ridiculous unfounded pronouncements!!!! Doesn’t say much about your methodology, could imply the same approach applies to your climate science????

  7. As stated by Lamb (Lamb H.H., 1966. The changing climate, Methuen, London, 236 pp.), grapevine cultivation was always possibile in the South of England due to the presence of a mild oceanic climate. The real problem is the high number of rainy days (180-200 per year) and the low presence of sunny days in summer that gives rise to very low quality wines.
    By consequence at the end of the Medieval Climatic Optimum the English people decided to abandon grapevine cultivation and to import wines from Bordeaux (France).
    The present expansion of viticulture in UK is primarily the result of the technological progress (e.g. the substantial improvement of the vinemaking technology, the availability of early varieties and the new chemicals against fungal diseases). My conclusion is that the English climate is non suitable for viticulture today, and the same was in the past and probably will be in the future. Furthermore the use of time series of grapevine surface as a proxy of temperatures is simply wrong.

  8. The population of England is about 53 million souls as of 2011. In AD 1000 , the population is estimated to be 1.5 million. Today there are 35X more people.
    http://www.domesdaybook.co.uk/life.html#6
    (The “doomsday” book was called as such because it was a medieval census document that prompted the doom of taxes)

  9. (or possibly drinking too much Californian).

    What an opening. This raises the question of how many vinyards were in California during medieval times. And what, if anything, that means. 🙂

  10. The best is that the matter can be studied further in some interesting libraries, such as, Bibliothèque nationale de France founded in 1368.

  11. I think that one will find a strong correlation between the number of vineyards and the number of wine drinkers in an increasing population.

  12. Oxford English Dictionary
    embibe
    obs. form of imbibe.
    1558 Warde Alexis’ Secr. (1568) 2 b, When it is almost waxen drie, embibe or water it again as before.
    Well I suppose we ARE looking at the mediaeval past!

  13. I just can’t believe anyone would think using the number of English vineyards as a proxy for temperature is a valid argument. I realize some alarmists push the envelope of stupidity to limits never before achieved but this would be too much of a stretch for even them.

    • Samuel C. Cogar October 29, 2015 at 5:40 am
      Grape wine was the per se “drink of choice” in England, Germany and other northern European countries preceding and during the Medieval Warm Period but the Little Ice Age putt a “ke-bosh” to that habit and forced the aforementioned to become brewers and imbibers of beer and ale.

      Not according to Tacitus, Bede, Aelfric et al.

  14. This is so dumb that it is painful to contemplate.
    Is Gavin familiar with the slight demographic and agricultural changes that have occurred in the UK since medieval times. He seems to have neglected to mention any of these less than subtle factors.
    Obviously, the comparison of the growing ranges of different grape varieties grown using different technologies, even potentially under the shelter of local UHI, etc etc. – this is all a matter of comparing apples with oranges.
    BUT, a few moments of research and I have discovered some remarkable information about modern viniculture.
    Please take the time to view this paper on frost protection of grapes in Tazmania.
    “This project, developed as a result of devastating frosts across southern vineyards in the late 1990’s, was
    designed to indicate the need, and possible future directions, for research on two aspects of frost protection causing concern among vignerons. In cooler areas, damage to vines by spring frosts and subsequent losses in yield has become a critical issue determining profitability in production of high quality, cool climate wines. Frost protection options include various types of irrigation, heaters, wind machines and
    some commercial spray on materials promoted as frost protectants. Heaters have become too expensive
    to operate, and irrigation (although of proven effectiveness) places heavy demands on water supplies and
    drainage systems. In many areas, wind machines are preferred in spite of possible noise pollution
    restrictions, but installation guidelines generally do not cover sloping sites”
    As a note of explanation a “wind machine” is a giant reverse wind turbine, as can be seen on page 10.
    It’s a brilliant idea – you put energy in and it turns some giant aerofoil blades.
    And in the process – it warms the planet and generates CO2. Genius, really.
    Should we not be encouraging our governments to subsidize the installation of thousands of such devices on every hilltop.
    Take a look at page 10, I am not kidding about this:
    http://www.gwrdc.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/UT-99-1.pdf

    • Sorry, photo on page 10, as numbered by your pdf reader. Page 9 as numbered in the document itself.
      And apologies for the poor editing which I seem to have copied and pasted into the quote above.

    • Pointman, don’t forget that the by-product of wine making is CO2, I am surprised Gavin doesn’t want to compound our climate change misery by banning wine, that is why he his throwing away the nasty berries!

  15. By and large people in the U.S. were not wine drinkers until they became much more affluent. Grapes were grown for jelly, juice and raisins. Beer was the drink prior to that time and still is.
    Native Americans harvested wild grapes for raisins. Wild grape vines are extremely hardy in parts of the U.S. Wild grape vines will grow right up to the tops of trees and have “ropes” you can swing on. Wild grape jelly is very delicious.
    California also produced a lot of raisins to supply the U.S. Americans use apple vinegar and not wine/grape vinegar.

    • Speaking of raisins, are you’all familiar with the Great American Raisin confiscation? Basically the government (during the Great Depression) wanted to prop up the price of goods by controlling supply. To create raisin scarcity, the government established a Raisin Administrative Committee that manages the supply of raisins. To this day, raisin growers MUST set aside a portion of their annual crop and give it to the government which may then give away, sell on the open market, or send overseas without compensation to the raisin growers.

      • That is interesting. My mother-in-law had a life long revulsion of raisins which apparently had something to do with her and her siblings having nothing to eat other than raisins during a period of her life when they wandered thru California as migrant workers during the depression.

      • That practice was recently deemed unlawful by the SCOTUS. Basically, a farmer said enough was enough, and he refused to turn over the product. It went all the way to the SCOTUS and they ruled that it violated the Takings Clause of the Constitution.
        http://modernfarmer.com/2015/06/raisin-grower-wins-supreme-court-battle/
        It sort of reminded me of the 100 year old Spanish-American war tax. Basically, a tax was added to phone bills (only the wealthy could afford phones back then) to pay for the Spanish-American war back in 1898. We were still paying the tax looooooong after the war ended. That finally got squashed, 100 years late. Once the government gets a hold of an income source, they won’t let go..
        http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/telecom/2006-05-25-phone-tax_x.htm

  16. When I did geography in school, around 1970, it was almost taken for granted that the medieval period was warmer, and as evidence was the number of roads in southern England named Vine Street, or Vine Lane, or similar, when at that time (around 1970) there was virtually no viticulture anywhere in England.

  17. Shouldn’t it be acreage per million, rather than vineyards per million? And what kind of grapes were grown? And how far North? We’ve barely scratched the surface here.

    • There appear to be documents detailing a complaint from Romans on the continent to those in England. The complaint was that the English ones had stopped to import wine from the continentals. The reason was that they were producing the stuff themselves. Al the way up to Hadrians Wall, that’s much farther North than grapes will grow currently.

    • As I said above in response to BCBill, there is NO pasteurization (or homogenization, two different things) being done in the wine industry, specifically in CA. I lived, worked and made wine in the CA wine area for 28 years and NEVER even heard of pasteurizing wine. The LAST thing you ever want to do is HEAT must/wine! There are various methods of killing the “natural” enemy’s of good wine, including chilling, not heating. And NEVER homogenization! That would KILL any wine! Blending yes. but that is NOT homogenization. And here is the post I submitted here back in 2009 the last time this silliness came up;
      Where art thou o’ grape,
      Grape of English vine?
      Thy glory is now,
      And the French dost whine.
      Pleasure me nose,
      With pepper bouquet.
      Whilst to the south,
      They swig tart Tokay.
      Oh yea, oh yea,
      For global warming.
      And ice free lands,
      Of Scottish moor’ng.
      From green of York,
      To white of Dover.
      We’ll plant thy vine,
      Rolling hills over.
      For the French too long,
      Hath claimed false glory.
      The time dost fit,
      To end their story.
      Where art thou o’ grape,
      Grape of English vine?
      To thou I sing,
      And my tongue dost pine.

      • Apologies. I should have put up the sarcasm flag!
        My inference was related to homogenizing temp data, so why not wine making climate data next?

  18. One wonders how they calculated with such accuracy how many vineyards there were in Britain
    Our modern grape varieties have probably been imported from Germany and developed to be frost resistant

    • Even wild North American grapes won’t grow in the shade and require sun for growth. And these wild grape varieties will stand sub-zero temperatures. As far as I know they were not used to make wine. Poor quality for wine.
      Our local vineyards, eastern Great Lakes area, suffered a lot winter kill the past couple of winters but not the wild grape vines.

  19. If the cartoon is meant to represent Ga-Vin.
    Then he must have up set, the made men as he has a finger missing…

  20. The cognitive dissonance that this man suffers should make him throw a fit any day now. Even a stupid person shouldn’t be able to intellectually withstand that much BS.

  21. No logic or Science in climate science.
    Cheers Ga-Vino.
    PS The next time Gavin does an interview on TWee the interviewer will say, “An now direct for the bar at the ‘Jersey’ Casino it’s Ga-Vino Dino.” Then Ga-Vino launches into his favorite bar tune, “How lucky can one guy be … ”
    Ha ha

  22. You need to know the type of grape that is being grown and what type of wine is being produced.
    You pick you terroir according to what grapes are to be grown and what types of wine are going to be produced.
    The temperature differences are very large (~5C), particularly if you are comparing them to temperature differences measured in 1/100th of a degree.

  23. I suppose they won’t be opening any champagne bottles during the Parisfest Jamboree. We must ban sparkling wines, beers, coke, pepsi, any sparkling drink in fact! I had a couple of beers last night after work in my living room after I put the heating on, noticed the temperature go up after a few minutes, wow this CO2 laden drink is pretty powerful stuff! Sarc-off.

  24. Well done. Great fun. Gavin and friends have small minds (I just said as much on Heller’s site – real clear science – on ‘Gavin Announces How Much Sea Level Fraud NASA Plans For The Future’.
    ~~~~~
    However, “twice as hot” ought to have quotes around it.
    Artistic license (literary license) allows you to use this wording, although it is mathematically not proper. [The “Ordinaire” is a good choice.] The “La Fit Le DATA” – I like also. Vin de Table is the least quality designation within French law so this falls below that.
    Now, about the hand with 3 fingers …

  25. The point is not the number of vineyards, but rather how far north are the vineyards.
    There is evidence that they extended as far north as Yorkshire, and in Roman times even as far north as boarders, ie., Northumberland, close to Hadrian’s wall.
    That is not the position today, where vineyards are in the south, predominantly the south east.

    • Also, I seem to recall that Roman wines were sweet. Need high sugar content in the grapes, which requires hot weather. (The actual grape varieties that were grown in Roman times no longer exist, and the ones in commercial use now did not exist then.)

      • You are correct about the sweet wine but there are other traditional ways to get there than natural sugar levels. Grape varieties vary in the quality of the wine they make and sugar levels is only one factor. To boost final sugar the fresh grapes can be dried in the Sun to concentrate the available sugars. This is still done in Jerez Spain for Sherry. In France this traditional method is used for Vin de Paille, so called because the grapes are dried on matts made of straw. Cyprus produces a sweet wine called Commandaria (ΚΟΥΜΑΝΔΑΡΙΑ) that uses similar methods. There are other wines, but you get the idea.
        The other thing the Romans did was to cook down wine in lead lined kettles to make a syrup which would be mixed with water. The lead made the syrup taste sweet, but was not healthy.

      • All good points, but with respect to your comment: “To boost final sugar the fresh grapes can be dried in the Sun to concentrate the available sugars”. one has to bear in mind that in October on the boarders of Scotland, there is today little in the way of warm sunshine, quite unlike the position say in Southern Spain, or France.
        if in Roman times grapes harvested in the boarders were sun dried and sweetened in this manner, it must have been considerably more sunny and less cloudy back in Roman times. that of course may be one component of a warmer Climate but if so, it emphasises how much warmer the Climate was back in those times, and how much more pleasant life would have been.

  26. Please, it’s degrees proof and % alcohol. never % proof. As is customary, the relation between proof and ABV is different on the two sides of the Atlantic, being a factor of 2 in the US and 7/4 in the UK. The test for ‘proof’ spirit was traditionally the naval gunpowder test. Gunpowder won’t ignite if doused in rum that’s been watered down below ‘proof’. Sailors wouldn’t accept a watered down rum ration. Very practical. Unlike climate modelling.

  27. >>>sonfametman
    >>Please, it’s degrees proof and % alcohol. never % proof
    Did you not get the joke, sonfametman? – No Proof.
    And I am presuming that the 70 cl label on the bottle is actually reading 7ºc — ie: the extra warming that the BBC and Met Office were promoting.
    So the bottom of the label reads: 7ºc – 0% Proof.
    Ralph

  28. The point is, where were the vineyards in Roman times? In the North of England where it remains unfavourable for growing grapes; I’ve not checked the numbers but I would guess most, if not all, vineyards are confined to the South. And how does Schmidt account for farming in Greenland?

    • I’ve heard this claim repeated all my life.
      I have made beer and firstly you must boil a large quantity of clean water containing malt.
      BUT – you could simply boil the water without the malt and it would thereby be sterilized and fit for drinking.
      So, the assertion that people in the past made water into beer because the water was unfit for drinking seems to me to be an urban legend. Or just a feeble excuse for the alcoholism of the past.
      Also after boiling the malt, the rough insoluble material must be filtered out.
      If they had the facilities to make the water into beer – then they had the facilities to store, coarsely filter and boil water. Surely?

    • There was also another issue, especially with cider. There was a condition called “Devonshire Colic” (DC)and people used to go to Bath to “recover”. Floating in the mineral rich waters allowed the body to “clean out” toxins via the liver. DC was, in effect, lead poisoning as lead was used to “sweeten” up the cider. Rough cider, is REALLY rough. Lead was not the only “sweetener” Oh no. Dead animals were often used to extract the acid. Glad to say this does not happen anymore.

    • Yep, a brown bear and a polar bear sharing the same eco-system-display-area.
      And then people are surprised when they discover that polar bears and brown bears may interbreed.
      Well, bears will be bears. And a window display can be a lonely place…

      • I like the tree rings that the polar bear is holding up. Is this the infamous section from Yamal?

  29. There were fewer than 5 million people in the UK by 1500, and about 90 million in the whole of Europe, Current UK population is close to 65 million and is one of the fastest growing in Europe, which has expanded in size to over 740 million. Call me crazy, but I think there may be a greater demand than there was 600 years ago, far greater than 10x.
    Greater level of demand (for both local consumption and export), greater requirement for more vineyards. The cooler temps, the greater the likelihood fruit crop will fail, so there is a need for the creation of additional crop to meet increased demand so when crops are bad the business doesn’t go under.
    Australia had no wine industry in the 1400s and they are now the fifth largest exporters of wine globally. Does this mean that temps down under were too cold to grow grapes 600 years ago?
    …derp
    Schmidt has no grasp of what is simple logic. Or a basic understanding of historical research. Or agriculture. Or business. Or even of the climate of the UK.
    “In England, it is only in about 2 years in every 10 that grape production will be really good, 4 years will be average and 4 years poor or terrible – largely due to weather and/or disease exacerbated by weather”
    http://www.english-wine.com/history.html

  30. More important than what was growing in England during the MWP, is what was growing in Greenland during the MWP.
    By the way, does he do this chatting on NASA’s time?

  31. Fourty years ago I was up by Hadrians wall, way up north, went over the remains of a Roman winery and vinyard it was just moorland with stunted shrubs and heather! Oh and 2000 year old terracing! I wonder if there are vines there now? I doubt it!

    • Chris; I live in Newcastle upon Tyne a few miles away from Hadrians Wall. Twenty years ago they were telling me that, by now, I would be able to have a vineyard in my back garden,I can definitely tell you that is not the case. I have to buy my wine, and at £5 a bottle it isn’t cheap, in Spain I pay E1.99 (£1.45, $2).

      • And bottles of wine in Spain can be bought for only €0.85. At that price it is usually cr*p, but I have on occasions bought such bottles for a red wine sauce, or to slow cook chicken in wine, and drank some of the surplus and was pleasantly surprised.

  32. What a ridiculous but unsurprising statement from GS. Surely to goodness no one would buy this argument!

  33. A better measure is cultivated area- don’t know how you’d find that data but I bet they have done a lot of clearing since the Medieval Period so naturally there is more space to produce wine.

  34. Let’s not forget that viticulture has also advanced in quantum leaps and bounds. The scientific advancements include hybrid vines, pest and disease control, new varieties that grow in warmer and cooler climates and yield enhancements. It would be foolhardy to use viticulture as a climate measure.

  35. One of the major changes in viticulture has been the creation of numerous varietal clones. These clones will grow in colder climates than would have been possible centuries ago. This has allowed wine grapes to be grown successfully in many new locations. Consequently, the number of English vineyards has much more to do with advances in viticulture than it does with climate change. This issue was discussed on Real Climate over a decade ago. At that time, I tried to explain to explain the impact of advancements in viticulture to Gavin et al. In order to thank me, Real Climate deleted all my posts.

  36. Hey, perhaps instead of “Ga Vin” this 0% proof wine should be called “Gaga Vin”…
    Rich.

  37. Josh,
    The label is terrific.
    Ordinaire as well as 0 % proof. ROFLMAO
    Boone’s Farm just came to mind.

  38. there are 100% more airports now than there were in Medieval times.
    Clearly, Global Warming causes airports.

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