Significant finding: Study shows why Europe’s climate varied over the past 3000 years

From CARDIFF UNIVERSITY and the “motion from the ocean makes or breaks English vineyards” department.

Ocean floor mud reveals secrets of past European climate
Samples of sediment taken from the ocean floor of the North Atlantic Ocean have given researchers an unprecedented insight into the reasons why Europe’s climate has changed over the past 3000 years.

In this 1677 painting by Abraham Hondius, ‘The Frozen Thames, looking Eastwards towards Old London Bridge’, people are shown enjoying themselves on the ice during a “frost fair”.

From the warmer climates of Roman times when vineyards flourished in England and Wales to the colder conditions that led to crop failure, famine and pandemics in early medieval times, Europe’s climate has varied over the past three millennia.

For the first time, researchers have been able to pinpoint why this occurs, and the answer lies far out at sea in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Scientists from Cardiff University have studied fossil remains of shell-bearing plankton and grains buried in sediments from the North Atlantic to determine what conditions were like in the ocean on timescales of 10-20 years over a 3000-year period.

Writing in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers found that during cold periods, icy-cold waters from the Arctic would flow south into the Labrador Sea in the North Atlantic, altering the ocean circulation patterns and potentially slowing down the currents that transport heat to Europe.

Sediment core location and regional ocean circulation. Red arrows indicate the warm and salty waters originating from the North Atlantic Current (NAC) flowing west as the Irminger Current (IC). Cold and fresh polar waters from the East Greenland Current (EGC) are indicated by the dark blue arrows, the dotted blue arrow indicates the West Greenland Current. The locus of Labrador Sea Water (LSW) formation is indicated by the blue spiral and the white arrows indicate the spreading of LSW through intermediate depths to the Irminger and Iceland Basins and to the lower latitudes. New reconstructions used in this study are shown in black and location of published proxy records presented in Figs. 2 and 3 are colour-coded and labelled in grey. Unlabelled red diamonds show the locations of the deep sea corals from ref. 42. Bathymetric basemap made using ODV (Schlitzer, R., Ocean Data View, https://odv.awi.de, 2015)

“Seawater can hold more heat than the air, so it can act like a large storage heater. As such, the oceans can store and transport vast amounts of heat and are hence key for modulating our climate. Interestingly, we find changes in the circulation and distribution of waters in the North Atlantic which would have impacted the transport of heat to Europe,” explains Dr Paola Moffa-Sanchez, from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences who led the study.

Using the data contained in tiny marine fossil plankton shells and sediment grains, the researchers were able to build a record of past ocean conditions and link this with key historical records where the European climate was known to have been, on average, colder or warmer.

Microfossils from marine sediments Credit: Hannes Grobe/AWI

For example, the researchers were able to link a slowing down of the North Atlantic currents with a notorious cold period, often called the Little Ice Age, which ensconced Europe between 1300 to about 1850. Extensive cold winters were depicted in European paintings at the time, such as the famous ice skaters on the Thames in London.

Similarly, the researchers identified another slowing down of the North Atlantic currents at the same time as an extreme cold period in the 6th century, which led to widespread crop failures and famines worldwide. It is also believed that the consequences of this cold period perhaps contributed to the spreading of the Plague of Justinian — one of the deadliest pandemics in human history that took the lives of an estimated 25 to 50 million people across the world.

“Our study shows the importance of the ocean on our climate and how this has naturally varied in the past when ocean measurements were not available. We’ve been able to link our results to historical records and provide an explanation behind some of the significant effects that the climate has had on the European population,” explains Professor Ian Hall.

Schematic timeline highlighting historic records of climate variability in Europe. Red and blue lines denote the time-span for the evidence for warm and cold periods, respectively. Ages are in years BP (black) and years CE/BCE (grey). This information has been extracted from several publications indicated by the superscript in the annotations: 1. ref. 68 and references herein; 2. ref. 69; 3. ref. 70 and references herein; 4. ref. 71 ; 5. ref. 72; 6. ref. 73; 7. ref. 74 The cold and warm periods established through the glacier advances and retreats used as a framework for the study of these centennial events49 are found within the axis of the timeline and highlighted by the vertical grey bars (consistent with Figs. 2 and 3). The marine paleoceanographic reconstructions for the LSW and Subpolar Gyre (SPG) presented in Fig. 3 are represented in blue and pink horizontal bars indicating time intervals below and above average values of the records for the last 3000 years for weaker and stronger LSW/SPG, respectively. For more information on the agreement with terrestrial proxy records and historical events see Supplementary Fig. 4

“Recently, because of our human influenced warmer climate, the Atlantic is receiving more freshwater from melting Arctic ice, which is in turn affecting the movement of the waters in the North Atlantic. Future changes in ocean circulation are likely to be felt within the pattern of climate change in Europe.”

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The paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-01884-8 (open access)

North Atlantic variability and its links to European climate over the last 3000 years

Abstract

The subpolar North Atlantic is a key location for the Earth’s climate system. In the Labrador Sea, intense winter air–sea heat exchange drives the formation of deep waters and the surface circulation of warm waters around the subpolar gyre. This process therefore has the ability to modulate the oceanic northward heat transport. Recent studies reveal decadal variability in the formation of Labrador Sea Water. Yet, crucially, its longer-term history and links with European climate remain limited. Here we present new decadally resolved marine proxy reconstructions, which suggest weakened Labrador Sea Water formation and gyre strength with similar timing to the centennial cold periods recorded in terrestrial climate archives and historical records over the last 3000 years. These new data support that subpolar North Atlantic circulation changes, likely forced by increased southward flow of Arctic waters, contributed to modulating the climate of Europe with important societal impacts as revealed in European history.

Data availability

The data sets generated during the current study are available through the NOAA climate data centre (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/study/22790) and available from the corresponding author.

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161 thoughts on “Significant finding: Study shows why Europe’s climate varied over the past 3000 years

    • Did I read that correctly?
      Did they just indicate that the Little Ice Age actually did occur?
      Did they indicate the Roman Climate Optimum AND Medieval Warm Period had a climate similar to today?
      At least they are finally realizing and stating “Cold Kills” by the millions.
      Unfortunately they didn’t state the obvious…Warmth brings times of Plenty

      • Maybe now they will claim a time displacement trip occurred by Exxon officials and they really did it.

      • The LIA has never been in doubt.. except for skeptics who claim the temperature record is corrupt.
        the science has always been clear. There was an LIA. the question has always been

        WAS IT GLOBAL

        same with the MWP

        Now, the same skeptics who think that 40000 temperature stations is not enough to determine the global temperture, and the same skeptics who think you can interpolate over large spaces..
        these skeptics Also think that a few scattered proxies in the LIA and MWP are enough.
        they see no problem extraoplating from “cold in europe” to cold in the rest of the unsampled world.

        40000 thermometers are not enough
        but a few proxies that tell you a story you like? Thats some skeptic fools gold

      • Oh, really, Mr Mosher? MBH98 was never published? If the Hockey Stick did not do away with the LIA, what the bloody hell did it do?

      • Steve
        Read the abstract – first sentence:
        The subpolar North Atlantic is a key location for the Earth’s climate system.
        So yes likely global

        curious that warming is always global, cooling always local.

      • Please Steve, do some up to date research on MWP. There are more citations than you can list during a 49er game, which must seem like an eternity for their suffering fans. Every year more studies come out covering new locations. But nice try anyway.

      • If they said the medieval warm period had a climate similar to today’s they are wrong. Until I can grow grapes in Greenland we are still too cold.

      • “There was an LIA. the question has always been……WAS IT GLOBAL
        ……same with the MWP”

        Isn’t it odd that the same temperture change back then….is debated as being “global”….
        ….when the same or smaller temperature change now is known to be global

      • Mr Mosher appears to be just another Merchant Of Doubt, casting doubt on Cold being Global using “40,000” themometers (that only existed for the last what 60 years or so) prior to that, How many??
        The farther back in time you go, the fewer and farther apart the stations become, hardly sufficient to produce a true Global Record of the needed spacial resolution. Surely you’ve seen Anthony’s Surface Station Project post a while back showing just how inaccurate the records of many of those 40,000 stations are.

      • (that only existed for the last what 60 years or so)

        Oh, it’s worse than that, that’s for all of human history, in 1940 there were 115 stations globally (NCDC US Air Force dataset, which matched CRU surface dataset) that collected >359 days of data each, 1952 for the first 1,000, hovers around 1,200-1,300 till 71 and 72, where it was under 500, after 72, count went up to 3,000+, slowly doubling by about 2008, and up to about 7,000/year.
        Except the vast majority are in the Northern Hemisphere, minus the North polar region, which took till 2009 to get more than 100 stations north of 62.5 North Latitude. 2013, had 22 station north of 62.5 that collected more than 359 samples per day.
        The entire Southern Hemisphere -62.5 crossed 200 in 2001 for the first time, and averages 82 stations/year.

      • Regarding Mosher’s doubt about globalness for both LIA and MWP:

        The data from 6,000 boreholes scattered around the globe demonstrates that the MWP trend was global. The Greenland Temperature study (gisp2) shows, among other things, that Greenland was warmer than it is now. The receding Mendenhall Glacier recently exposed 1,000 year old shattered forest, still in its original position. NO trees have grown at that latitude anywhere near that site since then. There are hundreds o MWP peer-reviewed studies, (cataloged by co2science.org) a subset of which directly address temperature estimates. The MWP studies are also accessible by region. Pick a half dozen (say) regions not near Alaska, Greenland, or Europe. Select one temperature study from each. You will notice that each investigated site has a temperature as high, or higher than current temperature. The aggregation of these sites reinforces the 6,000 borehole data.

        This may not refute the current alarmist belief, that human activity is the principal cause, but it does remove credibility from every alarmist who claimed that the MWP was not global. It also points out that there is no credible evidence supporting the IPCC claim.

      • Steven Mosher .
        You can write but you cannot think. Your a product of the Ministry of Truth ideology. The same ministry that declare 2+2 = 5 and any doubters were arrested for sedition! Steven your problem is a common one in the climate industry, you have 2 left eyes and 1/2 a brain!!!

      • @Steven Mosher,

        its not that there are ‘40,000 temeperature stations’ but rather whether were they intended to be used to accurately quantify a meaningful global temperature and its trend behaviour, were they sited properly to avoid future UHI and similar effects which, over time, progressively corrupt their data as far as that purpose is concerned, were they designed and installed to an acceptable specification and finally, if they were not so quality assessed can their data actually be ‘post processed’ to remove, properly and proportionately any local influences that might distort the total record.?

        Noting that a large city or even a carpark close by can create UHI effects of say 5˚ vs a global trend estimated to be in the order of 1˚ over the past century then such quality issues are absolutely fundamental to the accuracy of whatever result said ‘40,000 temperature stations’ produce and thus its credibility. The balloon/satellite record and those of qualty assured sub sets of surface temperature stations objectively suggest that the ‘40,000’ taken as a whole are producing a corrupted result. The data fiddling of the surface record in recent years to, lo and behold, reveal a greater uptrend to counter the ‘pause’ evidence strikes me to be in similar vein to Michael Mann’s hockey stick swipe at the Mediaevel Warming, i.e. deliberately intended to remove an inconvenient truth.

        There is nothing wrong with properly disproving a scientific theory using rigorous science and maths and good data. 40,000 records of significantly poor quality or even corrupted records, post processed using dodgy methods does not make that grade and when falsely presented as doing so simply adds the dimension of ‘credibility of the witness’ into the mix. Once credibility is lost it matters little what is said. Reverting to terms of abuse like ‘deniers’ with its deliberate Holocaust innuendo just digs a deeper cess pit.

        Human intelligence is based on pattern recognition and false patterns from false, corrupted or incomplete data or information are a constant risk to the accuracy of the models we create in order to try and understand the world and the universe. Shamans and all sorts or ratbag opportunists have been around forever confecting false narratives out of chance or limited observations and launching themselves into positions of power and influence. Christianity found its segue into the Roman Imperial state pretty much that way by the interpretation of a natural phenomonen as a sign from a deity and used as a gee up for an army of superstitious soldiers outnumbered 2:1. They prevailed that day and the rest is literally history.

        Its not exactly rocket science pal but it is a very, very old story. The real issue is what if it CAGW is all just a sad misinterpretation of some dodgy data or at worst a deliberately confected crock?

        As for a few proxies, isn’t that an almost perfact summation of MBH 98? All you have opointed out is that just about anything from ‘a few proxies’ to ‘40,000 temperature stations’ can be used to fabricate a false narrative if you go about it with suitable cunning or negligence.

      • The real issue is what if it CAGW is all just a sad misinterpretation of some dodgy data or at worst a deliberately confected crock?

        It’s not “what if” , it is a crock.

      • Ms Moffa-Sanchez and Mr Hall, a couple of academics at Cardiff University, are a fairly small group to constitute the.. “they”

      • Mosher,

        it is already long time proven that it was global, and that it showed the same characteristics as today: a more reactive northern hemisphere temperature change then the tropics and southern hemisphere.

        Even more to your big surprise: they found out that the cold episodes were actually not constant cold episodes, but a period with higher volatility of bigger extremes then today.

        So yes it was global

      • Now we know LIA RCO MWP really did happen. But can the northern atlantic really trigger a world event or was a worldwide event triggering the atlantic shifts? So was it the cart or the horse.

      • Mosher writes

        There was an LIA. the question has always been

        WAS IT GLOBAL

        same with the MWP

        Even if it wasn’t global, the implication is that regional changes large enough to make Greenland inhabitable can persist for many decades. Do the models predict that?

    • Read again the last sentence! “Recently, because of our human influenced warmer climate …”
      It’s there!
      B

      • that was the fund acceptance line . i would have been surprised in the extreme if it had not been mentioned.

      • Barry, that’s just a line they have to put in to be click bait for the search engines otherwise the ratings won’t score them and funding dries up. Its similar to the idea of the LPU ( ‘least publishable unit’ ) that also perverts and distorts scientific integrity.

      • Willi Dansgaard did that same research forty years ago. His conclusions were quite significant.
        “Humans did it” was not in his brief.

    • It doesn’t mention SUV’s but the paper does refer to AGW: “Recently, because of our human influenced warmer climate,”; so they did get the essential AGW/CAGW plug into their paper.

      That doesn’t mean they are correct, since there is no evidence that humans have caused the Earth’s climate to warm. Natural variability is a better explanation.

      • Did they get the CAGW plug in? The paper refers to “our human influenced warmer climate”. I have never understood why even sceptics assume that AGW is the same as CAGW. Man can affect, and in the past has affected, climate. At least locally (think of UHI as only one example), if not globally. But to assume that man has only done so through increasing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is already conceding a point to the fanatics.

      • No evidence of human warming except at very local urban scale, drifting though, which lots of “help”, to the meaningless “global average surface temperature”.

        No indication of any CO2 caused warming anywhere.

      • “Did they get the CAGW plug in? The paper refers to “our human influenced warmer climate”. I have never understood why even sceptics assume that AGW is the same as CAGW.”

        This skeptic assumes AGW is the same as CAGW because that’s the way the Alarmists characterize it. They nearly all claim AGW is making things worse on the Earth, thus what they are really claiming is CAGW is “here and now”.

      • “I have never understood why even sceptics assume that AGW is the same as CAGW.”

        If you can find that moronic 10C warming link McClod posted

        or the even more idiotic one by ivan..

        … then you will know where the C in CAGW comes from.

        Both were full on HYSTERIA.

    • But it had to end on a down note. After explaining how they ocean currents slow from influxes of norther, cooler waters and how it’s happened in (at least) two other previous eras (having happened naturally and w/o human assistance, no less), the quote that finishes the article still had to contain the standard, rubber-stamped boobery:

      “Recently, because of our human influenced warmer climate, the Atlantic is receiving more freshwater from melting Arctic ice, which is in turn affecting the movement of the waters in the North Atlantic. Future changes in ocean circulation are likely to be felt within the pattern of climate change in Europe.”

      How does this person rectify the inexplicable inconsistency with his/her own study’s data…that s/he just elucidated upon!?

  1. So this paper accepts there have been warm periods, in Europe, over the past 2,000 years or so that cannot possibly have been caused by AGW. That will go down well.

  2. “Recently, because of our human influenced warmer climate, the Atlantic is receiving more freshwater from melting Arctic ice, which is in turn affecting the movement of the waters in the North Atlantic. Future changes in ocean circulation are likely to be felt within the pattern of climate change in Europe.”
    Despite being an article on natural variability they still got theirAGW dig in

  3. “Recently, because of our human influenced warmer climate, the Atlantic is receiving more freshwater from melting Arctic ice,…not enough to matter, and has swung the other way

    • The thing that caught my eye was that they failed to prove whether the oceans influenced the climate, or the changing climate influenced the oceans.

      • I thought the statement that: “Seawater can hold more heat than the air, so it can act like a large storage heater” was droll.

        The oceans have one thousand times the heat holding capacity of the atmosphere. Most of the solar energy that falls on the earth is absorbed by the oceans. The currents in the oceans are powered by the that energy and shaped by the Coriolis and the shape of the ocean basins. Trace gases in the atmosphere are just that, trace gases, bit players at best.

        The oceans are the dog and the atmosphere is the tail.

      • Bjarne
        Not enough to matter, how much does it take to matter ?.
        A change is a change and has influence.
        It is these subtle changes that drive climate, they are part of the larger picture.

    • I agree the oceans are almost certainly the single largest source of medium term variatoin. (less than ice-age).

      However, in the 1970s we saw both unprecedented amounts of smog – and a massive global cooling scare. From 1970 we had a worldwide clean up the reduction of smog to almost zero in many areas and … a massive rise in global temperature.

      And since we affected the clean up …. not only has there been negligible change in atmospheric pollutants but there’s been negligible change in global temperature.

      Add to that the fact that the warming from 1970-2000 occurred almost exclusively over land and specifically in areas a couple of days downwind from heavily industrialised areas and it’s really a no brainer that we did cause the 1970-2000 warming – but not by introducing CO2 but by removing previous atmospheric coolants in the form of thick clouds.

      … although thick … is probably the word I’d use for climate academics who were so obsessed with CO2 that they appear to never have considered the supposedly “adverse” effect of removing all those pollutants.

      • Those are great points, and helps explain the differential between land and ocean. The timing is also exact. Is there any data as to the radiation reaching earth during the last 70 years? Not temperature, but Lumins reaching death’s surface.

      • “Add to that the fact that the warming from 1970-2000 occurred almost exclusively over land and specifically in areas a couple of days downwind from heavily industrialised areas and it’s really a no brainer that we did cause the 1970-2000 warming – but not by introducing CO2 but by removing previous atmospheric coolants in the form of thick clouds.”

        What caused the warming from 1910 to 1940?

        The 1910-1940 warming was of the same magnitude as the warming from 1980 to the present.

      • I agree with Leonard, the smog clearup affected the US and a few European countries accounting for about 5% of the earth’s surface. At the same time this decrease was more offset by increased sooty emissions from India, China etc.

        In fact I strongly suspect that all “deus ex atmosphera” atmospheric explanations for climate change (CO2, ozone, soot, CFCs, etc etc.) are entirely bogus.

        CO2islife is right – weather is from the atmosphere, climate is from the ocean.

      • @Leonard/Ptolemy2

        Something to consider, during the 20th century most of the weather stations were in the US and Europe with most of those around big cities. Most of the pollution at that time was also being created in these same locations and subsequently cleaned up. I would argue there was an impact but mostly local for both cooling and warming that just by happenstance coincided with a natural cooling/warming cycle. Unfortunately these same stations are over represented in trying to find global temperatures in just trying to get enough samples to use in models.

      • Big cities have also become MUCH bigger with more asphalt all over the place so most of the warming is at night when the asphalt is releasing its heat (like the ocean).

    • CO2 doesn’t have to penetrate the oceans, all it has to do is slow the release of the energy that the sun is putting into the oceans.

      • CO2 doesn’t have to penetrate the oceans, all it has to do is slow the release of the energy that the sun is putting into the oceans.

        So let us assume that infrared is scattered back down at the ocean. It cannot penetrate past the first water molecule which takes up the energy and that may be enough for the molecule to escape from the surface. Evaporation is increased and each molecule takes latent heat with it as it leaves the surface – reducing ocean heat content. The moist air lighter than dry air convects upward and as the lapse rate cooling takes place the water changes state releasing that energy higher in the atmosphere.
        Meanwhile CO2 as a radiative gas is being given energy by collisions with warm N2 and O2 and will occasionally radiate that energy away in random directions cooling the volume of air.
        At 186,000 miles per second any delay by IR photons bouncing up and down in the atmosphere a few times is hundredths of a second. So it is not particularly good at ‘slowing the release’ of energy.

      • There isn’t enough CO2, even at modern concentrations to affect the the oceans. If the oceans are warmer than the air above them they will shed energy by evaporation. The water vapor rises into the stratosphere where it condenses and releases energy above the layers of the atmosphere where the gases can hold or block its radiation into space.

      • True, but the temperature of CO2 is -80 Deg C, and H2O vapor absorbs that IR over the oceans. That is demonstrated by the fact that the CO2 signature isn’t seen until you are up 3k or more, where there is no H2O.

      • Other MarkW

        “CO2 doesn’t have to penetrate the oceans, all it has to do is slow the release of the energy that the sun is putting into the oceans.”

        Please explain the mechanism that accomplishes that?

      • ““CO2 doesn’t have to penetrate the oceans, all it has to do is slow the release of the energy that the sun is putting into the oceans.””

        Which it doesn’t do. Except in fantasy models.

      • The anvil tops of thunderhead are around 12km. According to Willis Eschenbach, they form every day in the tropics and are the principle means by which the Earth’s temperature is modulated.

      • they form every day in the tropics and are the principle means by which the Earth’s temperature is modulated.

        They modulate Tmax, This modulates cooling and Tmin

  4. What this tells is less about the climate in the past (as this is no surprise to me), but more about the academic climate today where it’s no longer taboo to admit the world’s climate has always been changing.

  5. A simpler hypothesis would be that cold water from the Arctic just made the sea colder, giving less heat to the air passing from West to East, making European winters more like those of New York. No need to invoke or imply the slowing down of the Gulf Stream, whose importance to the weather of Europe is often overstated, the main thing that keeps Europe relatively warm in winter is simply the Atlantic Ocean and the fact that the prevailing winds are from the West:

    http://ocp.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/gs/

    • I was thinking along these lines, also. The paper is a very good piece of research – but one question it cannot answer is whether the observed changes in the ocean currents were cause or effect. In other words, did the temperature change because the ocean currents changed, or vice versa?

  6. The theory of changes in ocean currents seems reasonable enough.

    Sediments tell them conditions changed over time. They do not tell them that ocean currents changed. That is a leap. They might have, but sediments don’t tell them that. Changes in currents is but one explanation.

  7. I’ve been telling you all about ocean cycles since 2008.

    “The sun is the primary temperature driver and warms the oceans in which huge quantities of heat are stored and released into the atmosphere over long multi decadal periods of time usually operating via the oscillations in each ocean. Those oscillations sometimes work together and sometimes offset one another until any time lags are worked through. Additionally at different times they can work with or against the primary solar driver. Each oceanic oscillation has a warming and a cooling mode and they regularly switch between them.”

    Quite wrong to suggest that human activity has any significant effect on the oceans.

    The authors are therefore suggesting an indirect effect limited to the North Atlantic via human influence on melting Arctic ice but give no evidence as to why that should be the case now if it wasn’t on the last occasion.

    If they wish to go along that route they need to explain the global evidence for similar climate cycling.

    A correlation with solar activity on a millennial timescale is adequate to explain observations to date.

    • “human influence on melting Arctic ice ”

      NOPE, except maybe a plethora of Russia ice breakers.

      Arctic sea ice levels are above what they were during the MWP..
      only time they have been higher was the short period of the LIA.
      Late 1970’s extent was up there with the LIA
      Arctic sea ice is still anomalously high compared to most of the Holocene.

    • Simple explanation of melting Arctic ice is due to the warm Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) phase, nothing else is required.

  8. So let me guess. Here’s another example of a non-climate scientist (one dependent on CAGW-specific funding) doing a study in her field (Marine Geoscience) that contradicts CAGW. It really is hard to herd cats, isn’t it?

  9. “Recently, because of our human influenced warmer climate, the Atlantic is receiving more freshwater from melting Arctic ice, which is in turn affecting the movement of the waters in the North Atlantic. Future changes in ocean circulation are likely to be felt within the pattern of climate change in Europe.”
    Translation: even if natural variability caused climate change in the past, in the present, even if we would experience the same variability, it is all caused by humans. Nice way to keep in line with AGW alarmist orthodoxy.

  10. ‘For the first time, researchers have been able’

    The “for the first time” flourish denotes popular science, not serious science.

    ‘Recently, because of our human influenced warmer climate’

    Seals the deal. This is not serious science.

  11. Sounded good until this crap, “Recently, because of our human influenced warmer climate, the Atlantic is receiving more freshwater from melting Arctic ice, Guess where the Arctic ice came from… the 6 foot reduction of sea level since the Roman Warm Period. Duh!

    • There’s the rub. As more study of more of the nuances of solar activity done, “It’s the Sun, stupid” will become more and more the recognized reality of the driver of “climate changes.”

  12. Their timeline graph shows centuries-long warm events happening at the same time as centuries-long cold events. How do they explain that?

  13. The warmist collective is finally coming to realise that the earth not only existed before 1850, but that it had a climate that varied over time. That’s a positive development.

    It could be a bit of a fifth column though. I can see this paper morphing into “MWP and LIA were just local variations in Europe and Greenland” That one hasn’t rolled over and given up yet, despite fairly heroic efforts from the skeptic camp, as documented in WUWT, to demonstrate that they were global affairs.

    You can already see that they are preparing the background to the next “yes, but”. It might well be “Local cooling in Europe is due to changes in Atlantic circulation caused by melting ice, caused by global warming, caused by your filthy SUV, and it gives the illusion that there is a pause in warming”. The warmist movement is a many-headed hydra, and every one you cut off causes two more to sprout.

    Golly, I must be having a cynical day today. I hope I’m wrong.

    • I’m afraid you’re pretty much spot on there. A great deal more swordsmanship will be needed to vanquish the beast that is climate fascism.

  14. It’s about time and no attached political tagline on AGW is going to cover up these findings. In fact the political tagline is not even the same issue.

  15. The Atlantic isn’t receiving more any more water from freshwater ice than usual. Arctic snowpack is DOWN and even Greenland can’t keep up the slack. Freshwater from rivers is no longer fresh OR cold.

    Again some moron with a degree has jumped to conclusions over a short wall of contradictory information they didn’t understand.

  16. Sadly, here on Ynys Môn, an island off the North coast of Wales in the North East Atlantic, severe floods are becoming more and more common and damaging. Some lovely old limestone walls have been washed away in the last few days, walls that had stood up to nature since late mediaeval times. Our main road from our town to the Bridges has been washed away with much of it falling down a clay cliff into the sea.
    Whatever is causing the climate to change, here on our small island there is no doubt that distressing floods caused by heavy rain have increased substantially over the last 25 years, causing substantial damage to centuries old infrastructure.

    • Ah Môn Mam Cymru
      Increases in rain in Northern Europe presaged the cooling before the Little Ice Age. Eventually they led to The Great Famine of 1315.

    • Too many sheep.
      Eaten all the grass, right down to the roots – nothing going back into the soil to hold it together.
      Happening everywhere in the (livestock area) west of England.
      Also- see the mess Australia is.
      And Syria/Lebanon – that’s where sheep originally came from =desert.

      United Utilities, the water company in NW England, wanted to put fences around one of their reservoirs in The Lake district because they recognised that over-grazing by sheep was causing the lake to fill with muddy water and silt.

      Of course, The Ramblers put a stop to that idea.

      Goats are worse.

      So yes, humans ARE changing the climate and THAT is (one way of) how they do it.

      • We don’t have that many sheep on Ynys Môn, a fair amount, but not enough to cause erosion.The problem is the amount of rain. When you have 2.5 inches in 12 hours, you get serious floods regardless of the sheep.

      • “When you have 2.5 inches in 12 hours, you get serious floods regardless of the sheep.”
        Well, if you do, you are in deep trouble, like when you build your house in a river bed. Because 2.5 inches in 12 hours is just moderate rain: heavy rain start at 0.30 inches per hour.

  17. But do they solve the problem of what came first, and what caused the first event?

    They talk about changes in the Labrador Sea but what caused those?

    I mean it’s not much of a surprise that when the climate in Europe changed it was due t the thing that plays an important part inf determining the climate in Europe is it?

    • Good laugh for a Monday morning. In fact, as a true believer shouldn’t you be at some kind of cult meeting today?

    • ivankinsman

      Immediately following by:

      “Listen to this story and more features from New York and other magazines:” (my emphasis).

      I can’t believe anyone would be stupid enough to post this fantasy as evidence of anything.

      • “I can’t believe anyone would be stupid enough to post this fantasy as evidence of anything”

        It is ivan.. so yes.. obviously STUPID enough.. always.

  18. The paper is rank heresy in disagreeing with MBH98, the holy writ of the IPCC since 2000. If the Little Ice Age really existed, then the models have to explain it, and the narrative loses the simplicity of the Hockey Stick.
    I can understand the Chinese doing a proxy reconstruction of climate change over the past few thousand years, but they have different funding sources. Perhaps there is something of a return to actual science from the excursion into activist folly.

  19. Ah, but we can’t attribute the PRESENT to natural variation… t’s different now:
    ““Recently, because of our human influenced warmer climate, the Atlantic is receiving more freshwater from melting Arctic ice, which is in turn affecting the movement of the waters in the North Atlantic. Future changes in ocean circulation are likely to be felt within the pattern of climate change in Europe.”

    In brief, “we mustn’t rock the AGW boat if we want the grant money to keep coming in”.
    I

  20. …Samples of sediment taken from the ocean floor of the North Atlantic Ocean have given researchers an unprecedented insight into the reasons why Europe’s climate has changed over the past 3000 years….

    Don’t tell me… they’ve found that periods of heat 3000 years ago correspond with dumped Hummer tyres and ash from coal-fired power stations in the mud layers…?

  21. It is good to see more articles on this. The evidence is already quite solid, as it has been since 2001 when Gerard Bond published his famous series. More data will help refine and give more detail to the picture.

    Last 2000 year climate variability is mostly from solar origin. The oceanic effect Sanchez-Moffat et al., find is secondary. Low solar activity causes predominant North Atlantic Oscillation negative conditions, and those drive a change in zonal wind patterns that alters oceanic current patterns. They are just looking at the last piece of the process that reduces mostly winter temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. The changes affect North America, Europe and North Asia (through the Siberian High), not just the Atlantic. A general cooling of the world follows. LIA was made worse by the coincidence of the lows of several solar cycles and the 1500 year oceanic cycle plus severe volcanic activity at times. An awful coincidence.

    Luckily we are still far away from a return of those negative conditions.

    • For those that believe a return to cold conditions is imminent, just look at the spacing of those periods. We probably have a few centuries of good warm climate ahead.

    • And negative North Atlantic Oscillation conditions drive warm North Atlantic (AMO) phase, like since 1995.

    • Surface winds in the Greenland region shifted around last May. That was one of the primary clues that led me to predict in late May that the Greenland SMB decline would end early, as it did in mid August. The main change was that surface winds from the south were blocked from moving into the North Atlantic as they had been doing for the last 3 years prior. I watch and save daily screenshots.

      The pattern varies a bit, but the net effect is that winds in the North Atlantic are still mainly moving southward. …https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=temp/orthographic=-49.03,71.14,672/loc=-40.160,70.041

      I think that this has something to do with the intent of the above story.

      [“Greenland SMB” = ?? .mod]

      • Interesting. I think shifting wind patterns are very important for climate, but they rarely get mentioned, even less than clouds.

        Thank you for the link. It is almost hypnotic.

  22. ivankinsman

    Immediately following by:

    “Listen to this story and more features from New York and other magazines:” (my emphasis).

    I can’t believe anyone would be stupid enough to post this fantasy as evidence of anything.

  23. “Drivers of ocean variability off SE Greenland

    The comparison of our new SST record with a reconstruction of past changes in total solar irradiance (TSI) (Fig. 3a,b) indicates that episodes of warmer SSTs occurred during periods of low solar activity. It is particularly striking that SST maxima are largely concurrent with the well-known Wolf, Spörer, Maunder and Dalton solar minima of the LIA.”
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-13246-x/figures/2

    • Only in the East North Atlantic and Nordic seas. The solar minimum reduces the contribution of the Subpolar gyre due to the change in wind patterns. The North Atlantic current then has a higher contribution from the Tropical gyre and becomes warmer. The warmer current and colder atmosphere increase winter snow precipitation and glacier advances over Northern Europe. Winters are significantly colder, summers not so much.

  24. Not sure what I’m supposed to do. They didn’t mention the overturn, the thermohaline, the…ummm… Oh! The overturn! That’s it!

    Still not sure what I’m supposed to do, other than perhaps be a tiny bit relieved that these people acknowledged that the Earth’s climate has a high variability and varies all the time at its own discretion.

    Does this mean they are becoming willing to admit that The They have no control over climate change?

    I’m still confused about what I’m supposed to do. Should I head to the grocery store again?

  25. Steven Mosher

    Actually, you can have a 40000 weather stations, all data summarized like I did, and still come up with wrong answer =

    From my limited sample of 54 weather stations balanced to latitude I concluded there is no man made global warming

    there is no room for it in my equation?
    I am supposing you still believe there is man made global warming?
    let me know, just so I am up to date.

  26. “motion from the ocean makes or breaks English vineyards” department.”

    Umm.. where does the article mention anything about Viticulture?

  27. And i have been taught that climate depends more than 50% on CO2, as 97% in climat change says.
    Never too late to learn new things.

  28. What this study suggests.
    That during the LIA the cooling was clearly not confined to europe, but also happening over NE America which lead to a increase in cold air flowing across the Atlantic. Also it suggests that it was a increase in blocking over northern europe rather then Greenland blocking that was leading to the colder winters in europe.

  29. ‘…..an extreme cold period in the 6th century, which led to widespread crop failures and famines worldwide.’

    I blame Justinian, or perhaps it had more to do with a 1470 year climate cycle.

    Uh oh, are we there yet?

  30. Steven Mosher November 27, 2017 at 8:28 am says “Now, the same skeptics who think that 40000 temperature stations is not enough to determine the global temperture…”

    There is no global temperature. Temperature is local; extremely local. Raise a thermometer 1 foot or one meter and you’ll likely get a different temperature measurement.

    Suppose you have 1 gram of water at 0 C, and one liter of water at 30 C.

    What is the average temperature? It’s 15 C (0+30)/2

    Add the 1 gram of water at 0 C to kilogram of water at 30 C; what now is the temperature?

    29.97 C.

    Averaging temperatures is almost meaningless except as an index where the things being measured never change and the method of measurement never changes. Then you get an index that might mean something.

    Still, radiation is dependent upon temperature, not heat. So temperature is important. It’s just not global.

    • Here are some studies worldwide:

      http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

      And here is Mangini:
      http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/presse/ruca/ruca07-3/klima.html

      “All in all, the results of stalagmite research and its comparison with supraregional phenomena show a high variability of the climate in the last 10 000 years with abrupt changes and significant consequences for humans. The causes of these natural climatic fluctuations are still largely unexplained. The fact that many studies show a clear correlation of the climate with the carbon isotope 14C (it is influenced by the solar activity) indicates a solar drive of the climate. However, the mechanism is currently too poorly understood to be included in model calculations. The only certainty is that since 1860, the Earth’s temperature has risen by 0.7 degrees Celsius. And the fact is that burning fossil fuels will result in a further increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. In a hundred years, this value is likely to exceed 650 ppm, which is almost twice the current level (370 ppm). Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and if it increases in the atmosphere, the Earth’s temperature will increase. How the increase in carbon dioxide levels since 1860 has contributed to the current warming is just as uncertain as warming in the future.”

      Rahmstorf answers to Mangini:

      http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/mangini_replik.html

      Although everything is in German, but can be easily translated with a translation program for household use, which would probably go beyond the scope of a post.
      Only so far: Rahmstorf does not attack Manginis work and study, but refers to the general teaching of AGW due to CO2 and the resulting warming in the future. In the context of the past climate variations cheap.
      Mangini has not researched in recent years, he was outgrowed from his research field by the ubiquitous climate police.

  31. “Recently, because of our human influenced warmer climate, the Atlantic is receiving more freshwater from melting Arctic ice, which is in turn affecting the movement of the waters in the North Atlantic. Future changes in ocean circulation are likely to be felt within the pattern of climate change in Europe.”
    I thought the Arctic sea ice has not changed much in the last 10 + years

    Are these folks behind the times?
    Is this human influenced warmer climate proven by science or just that the Arctic sea ice extent was based on 1979 during a period of much greater sea ice when the scientists like Stephen Schneider were talking about stopping the dangerous cooling.
    How quickly history is forgotten (or covered up) when there are government subsidies are at stake.

  32. Okay, so what I’ve learned so far is this:

    1 – the sun’s output in a solar minimum does not drop below a specific level, but the length of the solar minimum may vary from weeks to centuries.

    2 – What may turn the far North and far South into ice boxes will bring rain, fertile crop land revival, and make ski resorts even wealthier, while flooding can be prevented by replanting trees that were cut down to provide pasturage. (I already knew that last bit.)

    3 – There’s a previously unknown deep cold water current discovered a few years ago off the coast of Iceland, which may have something to do with the Atlantic conveyor.

    4 – Last year, some of those scientists observed that the Atlantic deepwater overturn or conveyor belt was slowing. https://news.mongabay.com/2016/05/scientists-concerned-slowing-atlantic-conveyor-warn-abrupt-climate-change/
    If it is, the Gulf Stream (keeps UK/western Europe sort of warmish) may see heavier winters.

    5 – I should stock up on popcorn, soup fixin’s, ice cream and bird food. Oh, yeah – suet cakes, too, because those little feather flockers love those. That, and woodpecker treats so that the yellow-bellied woodpecker (beautiful feather pattern) and the downy mated pair can get some sustenance, too. I have pictures of them from last year and the previous winters when Spring was late in coming.

    Could someone please let me know if Spring will be late next year? I may not have enough salt to last into April. Wanna see my snow microclimate pictures from April this year? :) I may give them the squash seeds left from Thanksgiving.

    Anthony, I do appreciate all the trouble you go to, to keep us informed.

  33. I suspect that they may have the causation reversed. I suspect that the temperature is the cause of the change in the currents rather than the other way around …

    Regards to all,

    w.

    • A warming or cooling in ocean currents changes salinity, so temperature being the cause and change in current, the effect would be very likely.

      There is no coincidence that every time the planet reaches a peak warmth it cools soon after. Warming of the ocean currents lowers salinity, which in turn slows them causing future cold periods because less energy is being transferred in polar regions. Eventually the currents become colder leading to higher salinity, which in turn quickens them causing a reversal to warm periods.

  34. Herbert Lamb displayed a chart in one of his books which showed the Gulf Stream, during the LIA, veering east sooner than during warm periods such as the MWP.

    “…researchers were able to link a slowing down of the North Atlantic currents with a notorious cold period…”

    I would say the scientists viewed the issue not as a slowing down but as a situation where the North Atlantic waters were cooler due to an influx of colder water farther south into the Atlantic, shunting the warmer Gulf Stream farther south, thus resulting in colder air circulating over Europe precipitating the LIA.

  35. I’d like them to study if the wobbling magnetic poles have any affect on climate and ocean currents. When you take a comb in the winter and fill it with static from your dry hair and run a small stream of water out of the tap and put move the comb close to the water, it pulls the water toward the comb. The magnetic poles wobble back and forth across the poles over the centuries and wonder if this has any affect on weather rotations and ocean currents.

  36. These are from studies of proxies, but proxies are pretty much all we’ve got to look at past climate right?
    There is evidence of the LIA in New Zealand. Here are just a couple of papers.

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-013-1876-8

    There is evidence of a Medieval warm period in New Zealand

    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.568.8271&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    FYI. New Zealand is a country quite a long way from Europe.

    Just like there is other research showing evidence of this from around the world.

    So yeah, probably both events were global.

    This paper seems to be revising the hoary old ‘we are gonna stop the gulf stream’ story.

    I love Richard Lindzen’s take in this ( also involves some embarrassment of Bill Nye)

  37. The paper says COLD periods 700 and 1500 yrs ago affected the Atlantic Current, but then goes on to say our WARM phase will affect it, implying a bad effect. The last paragraph seems to have been tacked on to avoid losing their ‘climate cash’ funding.

  38. “Significant finding: Study shows why Europe’s climate varied over the past 3000 years”

    The study does show connections between oceanic oscillations and climate. But that does not seem to me to answer the question “why”.

    • The “why” is pretty obvious: “oceanic climate” is so named for a reason, oceanic oscillations are bound to impact climate.
      As for the “why” there would be oceanic oscillations, well, that’ the way “dissipative systems” normally behave, just without any external forcing (*). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissipative_system

      (* although forcing can have some impact; for instance, you would experience circadian cycle even without daylight, but daylight keeps it in synchronicity with sun)

  39. I was just happy to see that Steven Mosher ran away as soon as the right-minded real thinkers appeared with their right-minded real thinking instead of his apologist claptrap.

  40. “Scientists from Cardiff University have studied fossil remains of shell-bearing plankton and grains buried in sediments from the North Atlantic to determine what conditions were like in the ocean on timescales of 10-20 years over a 3000-year period.”

    Previous sediments studied in various regions using similar techniques have already been carried out in the North Atlantic over recent decades. For example timescales were in hundreds of years back in the 1990’s and there has been a steady improvement in resolution to only a decade or two nowadays. Lower resolution sediments still led to the same conclusions that this one does. It has been known for decades that huge changes in ocean temperatures were found in the North Atlantic using various similar techniques and led to speculations like the film “The Day After Tomorrow”

    http://users.clas.ufl.edu/eemartin/GLY6075F08/papers/BondetalNature'93.pdf

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