Once again, climate scientists use a single tree to define global change

From Keele University and the “It’s like deja vu all over again”  department with the leader of the “ship of fools” thrown in for comic relief. Long-time WUWT readers surely remember the single “Most influential tree in the world” from the Yamal fiasco, where the “signal” in one tree (YAD06) biased an entire paper with a hockey stick shape, making it worthless. Well, here we are again with another single tree used to define the entire globe. Obviously they’ve learned nothing, then again, it’s Chris Turney.

Loneliest tree in the world marks new age for our planet

An international research team, including Professor Christopher Fogwill from Keele University, has pinpointed a new geological age, the Anthropocene.

When humans first set foot on the moon in 1969, the people of that decade thought the world had changed forever. Little did they know the world had already laid down the precise marker of a far greater global change four years earlier, signalling our planet had entered an entirely new geological epoch, a time period defined by evidence in rock layers, the Anthropocene.

That new epoch began between October and December 1965 according to new research published today in Scientific Reports by members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014, which was co-led by co-author Professor Christopher Fogwill from Keele University.

The researchers were able to mark this profound change so precisely because of a “golden spike” found in the heartwood of a strange and singular tree, a Sitka Spruce found on Campbell Island, a World Heritage site in the middle of the Southern Ocean The spruce is locally referred to as ‘the loneliest tree in the world’ with the next closest tree over 200km away on the Auckland Islands.

The isolated Sitka spruce on the South Ocean’s Campbell Island is considered the “loneliest tree in the world.” Photo by Chris S. M. Turney, et al./Scientific Reports

The radioactive carbon spike was created by the culmination of mostly Northern Hemisphere atmospheric thermonuclear bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s. The signal was fixed in the wood of the Campbell Island Sitka spruce by photosynthesis.

Professor Fogwill, Head of the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment at Keele University, said:

“The impact that humanity’s nuclear weapons testing has had on the Earth’s atmosphere provides a global signal that unambiguously demonstrates that humans have become the major agent of change on the planet. This is an important, yet worrying finding. The global atomic bomb signal, captured in the annual rings of this invasive tree species, represents a line in the sand, after which our collective actions have stamped an indelible mark, which will define this new geological epoch for generations to come.”

Various researchers from around the world have been talking about declaring a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene, indicating the point where human influence on the planet fundamentally changed the natural world. However, for a new epoch to be officially declared there must be a clear and precise “global” signal that can be detected in the geological forming materials of the future. This radiocarbon spike is that signal.

Lead author Professor Chris Turney, from University of New South Wales, said:

“We were incredibly excited to find this signal in the Southern Hemisphere on a remote island, because for the first time it gave us a well defined global signature for a new geological epoch that could be preserved in the geological record. Thousands of years from now this golden spike should still stand as a detectable marker for the transformation of the Earth by humankind.”

In the Northern Hemisphere, the atmospheric radiocarbon peak occurred in 1964 where the signal is preserved in European trees. That same peak took until late 1965 to reach the Southern Hemisphere atmosphere. With that, the signal became global, precise and detectable in the geological record, meaning it fitted the requirements as a marker for a new epoch.

Levels of radiocarbon recorded on Campbell Island peaked in late 1965. Image: Turney et al

The 100-year-old tree itself is an anomaly in the Southern Ocean. It is naturally found along the North American Pacific Coast but it is credited with being planted on Campbell Island by the Governor of New Zealand in 1901. The oceanic climate has had an unusual effect on the spruce. Although it has grown to 10m tall, the tree has never produced cones, suggesting it has remained in a permanently juvenile state.

If traces of nuclear testing were present even on Campbell Island then the bombs must have had a truly global impact. Image: Turney et al.

Co-author Professor Mark Maslin, from University College London, said:

“It seems somehow apt that this extraordinary tree, planted far from its normal habitat by humans has also become a marker for the changes we have made to the planet, it is yet further evidence, if that was needed, that in this new epoch no part of our planet remains untouched by humans.”

The study:

Global Peak in Atmospheric Radiocarbon Provides a Potential Definition for the Onset of the Anthropocene Epoch in 1965


Anthropogenic activity is now recognised as having profoundly and permanently altered the Earth system, suggesting we have entered a human-dominated geological epoch, the ‘Anthropocene’. To formally define the onset of the Anthropocene, a synchronous global signature within geological-forming materials is required. Here we report a series of precisely-dated tree-ring records from Campbell Island (Southern Ocean) that capture peak atmospheric radiocarbon (14C) resulting from Northern Hemisphere-dominated thermonuclear bomb tests during the 1950s and 1960s. The only alien tree on the island, a Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), allows us to seasonally-resolve Southern Hemisphere atmospheric 14C, demonstrating the ‘bomb peak’ in this remote and pristine location occurred in the last-quarter of 1965 (October-December), coincident with the broader changes associated with the post-World War II ‘Great Acceleration’ in industrial capacity and consumption. Our findings provide a precisely-resolved potential Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) or ‘golden spike’, marking the onset of the Anthropocene Epoch.

Open access here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-20970-5



So who says 1965 is the beginning of a new Epoch? There’s no consensus, and they can’t even decide if that’s the name. From Wikipedia’s definition of the Anthropocene:

As of August 2016, neither the International Commission on Stratigraphy nor the International Union of Geological Sciences has yet officially approved the term as a recognized subdivision of geological time,[3][5][6] although the Working Group on the Anthropocene (WGA) voted to formally designate the epoch Anthropocene and presented the recommendation to the International Geological Congress on 29 August 2016.

In January 2015, 26 of the 38 members of the International Anthropocene Working Group published a paper suggesting the Trinity test on 16 July 1945 as the starting point of the proposed new epoch.[20] However, a significant minority supports one of several alternative dates.[20] A March 2015 report suggested either 1610 or 1964 as the beginning of Anthropocene.[21] Other scholars point to the diachronous character of the physical strata of the Anthropocene, arguing that onset and impact are spread out over time, not reducible to a single instant or date of start.[22]

A January 2016 report on the climatic, biological, and geochemical signatures of human activity in sediments and ice cores suggested the era since the mid-20th century should be recognised as a distinct geological epoch from the Holocene.[23]

Turney is just looking to get his name listed as the identifier of the Anthropocene, nothing more. Fortunately, it won’t be decided by him.

The study is nothing but a headline grabber posing as science, just like Chris Turney’s original “Spirit of Mawson” aka “ship of fools” fiasco.

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Sweet Old Bob
February 19, 2018 10:36 am

Humans altered the earth when they started to use fire ……

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
February 19, 2018 11:02 am

Bob, we also altered the Earth, when we cut down forests and dug up grasslands to plant crops, when we dammed and diverted rivers to use the water, when we built cities, roads, extracted coal, minerals by mining, the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, we have even managed in a small way, to change the Moon and most of the planets by either sending men there and/or space probes. These are real world-changing events and have been going on for 1000’s of years. The pathos of a sterile, lonely Spruce is not really inspirational in comparison.
I strongly suggest that this team of people find a darkened room, lie down in it and to listen to two people who have more scientific knowledge than all of them put together. I am of course referring to Laurel & Hardy singing “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine”.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  andrewmharding
February 19, 2018 11:26 am

No matter what humans have done to the planet. It aint going anywhere and it will survive . Listen to George Carlin
The real problem is will humans survive because of pollution. 1 example being that the worlds oceans are now a plastic garbage dump. The Greenies should protest over pollution NOT CO2 which is a fictitious problem.

Reply to  andrewmharding
February 19, 2018 11:28 am

“Humans altered the Earth when we …”
And when we fart. Like cows! Perhaps thr new epoch should be called the Bovinocene?
Or perhaps Bullshitocene?

Dan Davis
Reply to  andrewmharding
February 19, 2018 12:17 pm

For these guys – it’s the EGOcene….

Reply to  andrewmharding
February 19, 2018 12:26 pm

The oceans being polluted by plastic is another of the great eco-myths.

Joel Snider
Reply to  andrewmharding
February 19, 2018 12:49 pm

Yep. Living in an environment affects it.
Ask any beaver.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  andrewmharding
February 19, 2018 1:07 pm

The true explanation of what this nonsense derives from is in the statement about the tree that “it has remained in a permanently juvenile state.”. Apply that to Chris Turney and co and its QED.
Sad, sad, sad little dribbledicks who wannabe recognised as adults.

John M. Ware
Reply to  andrewmharding
February 19, 2018 4:38 pm

Speak to me of the term “sterile.” I am used to thinking of it as meaning “no life,” as a sterile surgical instrument, or the surface of the moon. The spruce tree is not sterile; it has lots of life. What it is also, is “infertile,” not bearing young. If my understanding of the term is faulty, please enlighten me–I’d appreciate it.

Reply to  andrewmharding
February 19, 2018 5:58 pm

…. and it all happened because of the Holocene Warming…. Without that Warming Human society this last 10 000 years, would still be hunter gathering with scattered tribal clan groups, unchanged and unchanging as the last 100 000 years previous.
Warming is Good for Human society and civilization.

Reply to  andrewmharding
February 20, 2018 9:34 am

It’s sterile because the poor thing is alone (assuming it can’t self-fertilize).

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
February 19, 2018 11:21 am

Amen, and I altered it last night beside my roaring fire and my 3 fingers of scotch. FFS what would these alarmist doofuses have us do on this beautiful green Earth? Stare into each others eyes and eat berries and grass all day

Reply to  ricksanchez769
February 19, 2018 12:08 pm

they could follow the example of Jains who already have a philosophy on that.. it’s a rather good one too in that it has dualism as it’s core value so it is acceptable to not be a Jain or follow any particular path.. that is to say there’s no rigid pious tenants to follow, and they’re godless too!
I was thinking of my wife’s grandmother the other day and the classic joke about Jains came up ‘what do Jaina eat?’ everyone falls about laughing … boom tish. Fact was, she ate nothing from the ground for breaking the ground you may take the life of a worm. She wore no shoes to avoid crushing bugs, she swept the path before her with a fine broom when she walked. She ate no meat, no grain (seeds may give life to a plant) – basically she grazed leaves.
that’s putting your money where your mouth is! If greens were genuinely concerned about leaving no footprints then they’ve Jaina as guides ready to go.

old construction worker
Reply to  ricksanchez769
February 19, 2018 6:39 pm

‘leaving no footprints then they’ve Jaina as guides ready to go.’ I know what they can do for if they went to lower earth’s human population, but they won’t do that either. Now that’s putting money where your mouth is.

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
February 19, 2018 11:36 am

Before onset of the Anthropocene being dim-witted was easy, but in this new epoch promoting stupidity can be very profitable, result: exponential rise in competitiveness among the brainless.

Reply to  vukcevic
February 19, 2018 2:56 pm

it’s loot, not profit – othewise, you nailed it.
but some folks still think there’s a debate or that the predatory brainless actually believe anything they say…lol
it’s nature’s way that the prey don’t outsmart the predator very often.

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
February 19, 2018 12:49 pm

Surely there is additional evidence of atmospheric testing somewhere, ice caps maybe?

TC in the OC
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
February 19, 2018 1:13 pm

Ummm…every living organism has altered the earth.

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
February 19, 2018 4:56 pm

So what if you can see a signal from our atmospheric nuclear testing? It had not real or detectable effect on the planet, so what’s the deal? YAWN. These people are really trying to make a big hitng out of a dust mote.

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
February 19, 2018 7:32 pm

Ancient Hebrew texts along with calculations by Bishop Ussher would clearly say the Anthropocene Age began in 4004BC 😉

Reply to  AWG
February 19, 2018 8:04 pm

At 3:46 pm EST

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  AWG
February 20, 2018 3:42 am

Don’t forget the runes! Some might be dated to 4005 BC.

February 19, 2018 10:38 am

It is naturally found along the North American Pacific Coast but it is credited with being planted on Campbell Island by the Governor of New Zealand in 1901.
Invasive species.

Richard of NZ
Reply to  Gary
February 19, 2018 10:43 am

Agreed. It should be cut down to preserve the native ecosystem it its entirety.

Reply to  Richard of NZ
February 19, 2018 11:10 am

And removed and burnt so that it doesn’t become a geological feature.

Shoki Kaneda
Reply to  Richard of NZ
February 19, 2018 11:31 am

But not burnt, as Phillip suggests, because that would generate the pernicious pollutant, CO2. Unless it is pelletized and burnt in EU, then it’s Ok.

Reply to  Richard of NZ
February 19, 2018 12:52 pm

It could be used as the farthest South Christmas Tree, lit up to guide ships of fools.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Gary
February 19, 2018 11:48 am

To his credit, Prof Fogwell does call this an invasive species.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 19, 2018 2:08 pm

A one tree invasion. Where are the greenies who chopped down Dr Axel Mörner’s tree in the Maldives when you need them?

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 20, 2018 3:23 am

Prof Fogwell is an invasive species….

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 20, 2018 3:47 am

Invasive species? It is not. It is exotic. It apparently can’t invade the hectare it sits upon.
For guidance one can look at the rampage South Africa went on to classify what plants one may keep in a garden, on a farm, and free ranging. Not everything exotic is invasive. Clearly this firry little creature is not invading anything.

Reply to  Gary
February 19, 2018 4:59 pm

Pretty much every plant, everywhere, was an invasive species at some time.
Animals too.

Curious George
February 19, 2018 10:42 am

Professor Chris Turney is a gift that just keeps giving. The ship of fools. A “precise” definition of Anthropocene. May I suggest to make the origin absolutely precise by taking the middle of the interval that Professor Turney modestly suggests. We should be grateful to Sitka spruces by supplying us with monthly tree rings.
Anthropocene started Monday, November 15, 1965, at 01:00 UT.

R. Shearer
Reply to  Curious George
February 19, 2018 11:21 am

That ship of fools helped mark the idiotcene.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  R. Shearer
February 19, 2018 11:29 am

and Admiral Al Gore is the Brevit-Admiral in Charge of a naval flotilla’s worth of Ships of Climate Fools.

Reply to  R. Shearer
February 19, 2018 3:16 pm

Or – the Adjustocene??

Reply to  R. Shearer
February 19, 2018 10:01 pm

…just obscene…

Reply to  Curious George
February 19, 2018 11:33 am

Turney is an unpleasant piece of work who will do anything to get himself some publicity. In recent years he has been noisily blaming Lieutenant Edward ‘Teddy’ Evans, second-in-command on Captain Robert Scott’s disastrous Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole in 1911/12 for sabotaging Scott’s journey.
His arguments for this are just smears of a dead man who cannot defend himself designed to get as much attention as possible:

February 19, 2018 10:46 am

I must have missed the ‘radioactive isotope spike inside heart wood’ rule in stratigraphic nomenclature for naming new stratigraphic units and geologic ages. According to this train of sophistry, any major volcano eruption that left an isotope signature throughout global strata would constitute a new geologic age.

Reply to  RWturner
February 19, 2018 10:54 am

The Anthropocene isn’t close to being a formally recognized age with any proper stratigrapher or geologist. This is more political science than true science.
“The proposal of a new formal stratigraphic unit requires a statement of intent to introduce the new unit and the reasons for the action. A new unit must be duly proposed and duly described. This includes:
A clear and complete definition, characterization, and description of the unit so that any subsequent investigator can identify it.
The proposal of the kind, name, and rank of the unit.
The designation of a stratotype (type section) or type locality on which the unit is based and which may be used by interested scientists as a reference.
Publication in a recognized scientific medium.”
How do you have a clear and complete definition of a unit that doesn’t even exist yet? There are very few rocks younger than 10,000 years, let alone rocks as young as the dates proposed. Then how do other investigators recognize something that’s not there, has no type locality, and it’s purported identifying attribute is isotope signatures within things that aren’t rocks at all? I think they should stick to activism and leave the science alone.

Reply to  RWturner
February 19, 2018 11:32 am

Quite so these morons don’t even know the dofference between Geology and Biology.

Reply to  RWturner
February 19, 2018 11:33 am

Quite so these morons don’t even know the difference between Geology and Biology.

Roger Graves
Reply to  RWturner
February 19, 2018 1:19 pm

The anthropocene is obviously defined as the era in which anthracite was first used.

Brian R
Reply to  RWturner
February 19, 2018 8:29 pm

“The Anthropocene” is clearly the era when humanity became mistakenly convinced of its own importance in the world it inhabited.

Reply to  Brian R
February 20, 2018 12:14 am

the Egoscene?

Reply to  RWturner
February 20, 2018 12:51 am

I have already incorporated Anthropocene into my mental history of the world , and in fact gone further than Turney in dividing it into , so far , 2 epochs:
ANGLOCENE: from the start of the Industrial revolution, ca 1700 CE in Britain and its dominions , and then the USA , to 2000 CE.
SINOCENE: From 2000 CE when China began to dominate global emissions , manufacturing and politics generally.

Man Bear Pig
Reply to  RWturner
February 20, 2018 8:13 am

The alarmoscene or shortened version lol-oscene

Reply to  RWturner
February 21, 2018 10:31 am

Roger Graves February 19, 2018 at 1:19 pm
The anthropocene is obviously defined as the era in which anthracite was first used.
And its geologic marker is the missing coal deposits.

Reply to  Anonymoose
February 21, 2018 12:54 pm

Surely its marker is the missing gold deposits around the world that marked the onset of citification? Without surplus wealth human society and industry would never have grown enough to threaten the entire planet.

Ian Magness
Reply to  RWturner
February 19, 2018 10:57 am

Absolutely correct RW – thanks for pointing this out. And don’t forget Hiroshima and similar – a new age every few years, apparently.
This whole episode is so pathetic it’s depressing. Can they not see themselves in the mirror and realise how stupid they look?

Reply to  RWturner
February 19, 2018 11:24 am

Precisely. Pseudoscientists could just as logically cite the thickness of gum under theatre seats or on the sidewalk over much of the earth as the start of some imaginary “Wrigleycene” Age.

February 19, 2018 10:48 am

The name “fogwill” seems appropriate!

Ian Magness
Reply to  eric
February 19, 2018 10:59 am

F***wit is nearer the mark. Christian name – Complete.

Reply to  Ian Magness
February 19, 2018 11:12 am

You would think these “scientists” might find something useful to do with their time and taxpayers’ money.

Gunga Din
February 19, 2018 10:53 am

“One Tree-ring to rule them all”.
I thought Mann had the copyright on that.
Will he sue Turney?

michael hart
Reply to  Gunga Din
February 19, 2018 6:03 pm


February 19, 2018 10:59 am

The anthropocene is, defined in a single word, premature. Gary Larson could have drawn some cavepeople killing a mastodon, with nerds, jerks and an angry crowd with placards insisting that the pleistocene was better because the continental ice was wider.

Rick K
February 19, 2018 11:00 am

The radioactive isotope spike in the tree wouldn’t be there if the tree wasn’t there.
Obviously, this isn’t the Anthropocene… it’s the Sprucecene. Get it right.

February 19, 2018 11:03 am

Can you say “cherry picking” your data?

Reply to  ScienceABC123
February 19, 2018 11:25 am

More like sprucing it up a bit

JRF in Pensacola
February 19, 2018 11:11 am

Read the paper and, as a biologist, I get nervous when people use tree rings to “prove’ anything other than the age of the specimen. Not that useful information can’t come from further analyses on the rings, but implying world-wide effects because of those analyses requires a healthy dose of restraint (and a lot of sampling!). Yamal is a prime example.
However, I will say that the overall methodology used by the authors is acceptable for Campbell Island. They did sample thirty Dracophyllum spp. specimens, compared that data to the lone Sitka Spruce and sampled several peat locations to arrive at their conclusions. But to extrapolate that information to include the whole planet is a reach (to put it mildly). Plus, I get even more nervous when I see the words “potential” and “proxy’ in the same sentence.
So, I applaud anyone who presents an hypothesis, designs an experiment, produces data and presents an analysis but I need to see a lot more before I can agree with the conclusions in this paper. (Considering Yamal, I would be curious to know what the peer reviewers had to say.)

Gunga Din
Reply to  JRF in Pensacola
February 19, 2018 11:48 am

(Considering Yamal, I would be curious to know what the peer reviewers had to say.)

The pal-reviewers were all for it…back then. The non-pal-reviewers tore the hockey stick apart…back then and now.

JRF in Pensacola
Reply to  Gunga Din
February 19, 2018 10:14 pm

Very true! And I wonder, based on that Yamal experience, what the reviewers of this paper had to say. I’m sure many have experienced the peer review process and shook their heads in amazement. Decades ago, I co-wrote a chapter in a monograph on the biology of a large river in the US and peer review of the chapter garnered the most favorable comments about the summary. The editors, however, decided to cut the summary of the chapter because no other chapter had such a summary. So, I suggested add summaries to the end of the other chapters (which is what should have been done). Answer: No. Ok, incorporate the Summary into the Discussion section within the chapter? Answer: No. Go figure.

February 19, 2018 11:14 am

culmination of mostly Northern Hemisphere atmospheric thermonuclear bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s.
Really I suggest the authors find just consider
British nuclear tests at Maralinga occurred between 1956 and 1963 at the Maralinga site, part of the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia and about 800 kilometres north-west of Adel
French nuclear tests in the South Pacific in the 1960s and 1970s were far more toxic than has been previously acknowledged and hit a vast swath of Polynesia with radioactive fallout, according to newly declassified ministry of defence documents which have angered veterans and civilians’ groups.
The Marshall Islands are marking 60 years since the devastating US hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, .
Now I wonder why these far more local tests had no effect but the ones fin the Northern Hemisphere did ?

Reply to  knr
February 19, 2018 12:15 pm

They were all much smaller than the russian test series on Novaya Zemlya in the early sixties, the fallout from those completely dominates the record, hence the mid-sixties peak. You mustn’t believe the PC fairytales.

Reply to  knr
February 19, 2018 7:53 pm

Didn’t fit the theory.

Reply to  knr
February 20, 2018 9:47 pm

Excellent question knr!
Just the Bikini tests alone, before taking into account British and French atomic tests:

“The nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll program was a series of 23 nuclear devices detonated by the United States between 1946 and 1958 at seven test sites on the reef itself, on the sea, in the air and underwater”

All provide the necessary requirements to meet Turney’s fools quest for a global marker.
It has nothing to do with an alleged maximum marker. The claim they seek is a global marker; and that is/was easily provided by nuclear explosions along, North and South of the equator.
Trees around the world will highlight a different maximum point; in that their individual maximums are locally dependent.
Once again, it appears Turney found what he wanted to find, not a clear boundary marker.
It would not be surprising if Turney caused that anomalous Sitka spruce severe damage with his drill. 10m is a small Sitka spruce for 100 years.

Walter Sobchak
February 19, 2018 11:15 am

The One Tree is a fantasy novel. It is not science:

Gunga Din
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 19, 2018 11:50 am

But didn’t Thor save it in one of those Marvel movies?

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Gunga Din
February 19, 2018 5:31 pm

I love the Thor movies, but they arel not science.

Joel O’Bryan
February 19, 2018 11:16 am

Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730±40 years. So within 20 half-lifes the amount of C-14 will be 2^-20 ~ 1E-06, or one one-millionth of current concentrations, far, far below any conceivable ability to recover the bomb signal from the continual background production of cosmogenic-produced C-14.
And that is in 114,600 years, or the time between current glacial cycles due to Malinkovitch orbital cycling.
So by the end of the next glacial cycle, in that interglacial period when life can flourish again, whoever might be here will not be able to detect that C-14 bomb signal. And even if some amazing tech is available to find it, the temporal resolution will be quite low.
As an aside, those future Earthlings be able to find a plutonium signal at various places in the world though from 20th century bomb production. But that is not what this research paper by Turney studies.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 19, 2018 11:52 am

Yes, the “plutonium horizon” in lake deposits in the Chelyabinsk area might be a useful stratotype. Possibly there is a detectable horizon in maritime sediments off the Columbia river mouth from Hanford too.
And the data from the “natural reactor” at Oklo shows that the stable breakdown products from the plutonium stay put in the ground and are detectable even after 1.7 billion years.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 19, 2018 12:03 pm

Joel, as you put it, by this time humanity will either be extinct, or have evolved technology to do precisely what you require. Looking back just 30 years I can see that nobody can predict anything much that far. As for 60 years, forget it – No idea at all.

February 19, 2018 11:39 am

As a matter of fact this ”GSSP” (Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point) is about as unsuitable as it could be.
For example a GSSP is required to be permanently accessible to researchers, large enough for repeated sampling and freely accessible.
A single tree (that will soon be gone) on a distant subantarctic island, which requires a chartered ship to reach and a special permission to even land on the island, much less take samples from it is of course utterly unsuitable.
If for some reason subantarctic trees are so special in this regard (which is odd since a GSSP is supposed to be globally applicable), why not use a rata tree (Metrosideros) from the forest on the Auckland Islands 300 kilometers away, or a southern beech (Nothofagus) from the forests of Tierra del Fuego, which actually grow well south of that Sitka Spruce on Campbell (55 degrees south as against 52.5)? These are part of the natural vegetation, allow multiple sampling and will be available for the foreseeable future.
That Spruce is famous and iconic. Every tourist cruise to Campbell Island (not that there are very many) includes a visit to THE TREE (there is only one), and everybody snaps a photo of it (I’ve got one myself). It easily beats even a visit to the albatross breeding colony, which is actually a lot more interesting but requires a rather strenuous uphill hike. That tree on the other hand is just a few meters from the sea.
And I’m willing to bet that they did not go many meters beyond it. The scrub that is visible on the slopes behind the tree is almost impenetrable.

Gunga Din
Reply to  tty
February 19, 2018 11:56 am

Rising sea levels might destroy the magic tree?
We must all start burning wood pellets instead of coal to keep it safe!
(now where did I put that sarc tag….)

Reply to  Gunga Din
February 19, 2018 12:10 pm

You are right, I didn’t think of that. A sea-level rise of even a few feet will probably kill that tree considering where it is growing.
By the way You can actually see the Magic Tree on Google Maps/Google Earth at 52.554317 South, 169.133381 East.

February 19, 2018 11:39 am

A Sitka Spruce, 117 years old, and only 35 feet tall? Good grief, what a poor example of the species. I have one in my backyard about that age and it is three times as tall and over 6 feet in diameter at the base. I think someone just planted a mutant. Cut the thing down.

Reply to  haverwilde
February 20, 2018 7:45 pm

It’s pining for something – or sprucing, maybe. Probably climate and soil it is genetically designed to expect.

David Hoopman
February 19, 2018 11:41 am

Speaking of remaining in “a permanently juvenile state…”

Reply to  David Hoopman
February 19, 2018 12:02 pm

Summers are very cold and wet on Campbell Island. The tree grows very slowly and doesn’t produce any cones. Average temperature of the warmest month is only 49 F, which is actually slightly below what is usually regarded as the limit for tree vegetation (10 C = 50 F). On Auckland Islands 180 miles to the northwest where there are natural forests MTWM (Mean Temperature Warmest Month) is 52 F.

David Long
February 19, 2018 11:50 am

Geologic periods are defined by changes in the rocks. Trees don’t qualify.

Gunga Din
Reply to  David Long
February 19, 2018 11:59 am

“Climate Science” has been petrified into reaching only one conclusion.

February 19, 2018 11:57 am

I’m not a scientist but even I know that purporting to tell the past temperature record of the earth from a few tree ring samples is just plain goofy.

February 19, 2018 12:00 pm

i like the 1965 date….because that means I lived in two epochs…..1945 doesn’t work for me that way….

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Jamie
February 19, 2018 3:59 pm

Two? You’ve lived in FOUR different eras, the Holocene, the Anthrocene, the Adjustocene, and now, the Russian Collude-O-cene (which will be the longest one, apparently).

John F. Hultquist
February 19, 2018 12:12 pm

Others have commented on the content, so I won’t.
By the time one is bestowed with advanced academic degrees any ability at wordsmithing has been knocked out of said parson.
From Professor Fogwill:
… unambiguously demonstrates;
… a line in the sand;
… stamped an indelible mark;
… for generations to come
Someone send this man a copy of Elements of Style, by Strunk and White.

February 19, 2018 12:16 pm

“This is going to cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show”

Bruce Cobb
February 19, 2018 12:20 pm

I hereby dub the latest epoch “The Ridiculocene”.

Lars P.
February 19, 2018 12:28 pm
Gunga Din
Reply to  Lars P.
February 19, 2018 1:08 pm

How about the “Abuchabullocene”?

February 19, 2018 12:31 pm

I thought you were referring to this famous tree on the Maldives. Can’t seem to find the link to this paper/article – by Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner (sea level data expert):
“A famous tree in the Maldives shows no evidence of having been swept away by rising sea levels, as would be predicted by the global warming swindlers. A group of Australian global-warming advocates came along and pulled the tree down, destroying the evidence that their “theory” was false.”

Reply to  J Philip Peterson
February 19, 2018 12:46 pm

This is the only link I could find, a PDF from June 22, 2007:
“…This tree, which I showed in the documentary, is interesting. This is a prison island, and when people left the island, from the ’50s, it was a marker for them, when they saw this tree alone out there, they said, “Ah, freedom!” They were allowed back. And there have been writings and talks about this. I knew that this tree was in that terrible position already in the 1950s. So the slightest rise and it would have been gone. I used it in my writings and for television. You know what happened? There came an Australian sea-level team, which was for the IPCC and against me. Then the students pulled Courtesy of Nils-Axel Mörner A famous tree in the Maldives shows no evidence of having been swept away by rising sea levels, as would be predicted by the global warming swindlers. A group of Australian global-warming advocates came along and pulled the tree down, destroying the evidence that their “theory” was false. June 22, 2007  Economics EIR 36 down the tree by hand! They destroyed the evidence. What kind of people are those? And we came to launch this film, “Doomsday Called Off,” right after, and the tree was still green. And I heard from the locals that they had seen the people who had pulled it down. So I put it up again, by hand, and made my TV program. I haven’t told anybody else, but this was the story. They call themselves scientists, and they’re destroying evidence! A scientist should always be open for reinterpretation, but you can never destroy evidence.And they were being watched, thinking they were clever….”

Robert B
February 19, 2018 12:44 pm

The fossil record shows a sudden drop in fossils of mega fauna in regions when fossils of modern man turn up. Unfortunately, for political purposes and cheap fame, most happened before the Holocene.

Mickey Reno
February 19, 2018 12:45 pm

Okay, maybe that’s not true the digital versions of “Waterworld” and “The Day After Tomorrow” have been pressed into gold discs and now orbit the outer planets for our far future progeny (or extra-terrestrial aliens) to find and interpret as historical records. But it IS true that the story of Xenu and all the Scientology dogma is written on gold sheets and stored in climate-proof and atomic attack resistant underground bunkers in New Mexico. Imagine future beings finding that after we’re all long gone, and then judging all humanity based on Xenu and the Body Thetans (BTs) freed in nuclear bomb volcanoes and caught in e-ribbons for brainwashing and Dianetics knitting needle abortion engrams! They’ll (rightly) think we here folks are nuts.
Chris Turney, are you going to allow the (real) Scientologists dogma and scriptures to outlive climate Scientology dogma and scripture? Lew papers inscribed on gold discs and buried in deep, geologically stable salt domes is the ticket, dude!

February 19, 2018 12:47 pm

Hmmm… I got my degree from Keele, but that was back in the days when degrees didn’t come by collecting enough cornflake packet tops.
Chris Fogwill’s bio contains this:
“Chris obtained his BSc in Geological Oceanography at the University of Bangor in North Wales in 1995, and then joined the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University as a postgraduate research assistant in the palaeoceanography group. This was followed by a PhD at the University of Edinburgh focused on ice-sheet reconstruction and modelling in Antarctica and Patagonia. After a NERC-funded postdoctoral research position within the School of Geoscience at Edinburgh, Chris took up a position as Senior Lecturer and Director of Programme in Physical Geography at the University of Exeter in 2007. This was followed by the Australian Research Council Future Fellowship in 2012 at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, where he was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship in 2012 based at the Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), the leading hub for climate system modelling in the Southern Hemisphere.
Chris is also an Associate Editor for Antarctic Science and the Nature family journal Scientific Reports; is a member of the Earth’s Past Future Research Network, and leads the PRECISE Network, a consortium of leading Asia-Pacific researchers focused on the projection of future sea-level rise. In joining Keele as Head of School and Chair in Glaciology and Palaeoclimatology, he will develop new capacity for the analysis of ice cores and cosmogenic nuclides within the School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Sciences, as well as drive new directions in climate and ice-sheet modelling with colleagues from both the School of Computer Science and Mathematics and his wider international network.”
You can see the connections there, and why he was chosen to do the work.
There is probably really nothing wrong with his analysis, as far as it goes, its just the extrapolation of the facts that he uncovered that go well beyond reasonable.

Joel Snider
February 19, 2018 12:47 pm

Hive minds are not creative. That’s why they run the same political playbook every cycle. It’s also why Hollywood barely puts out anything but sequels and copycats.

February 19, 2018 1:15 pm

It mustve been disappointing when they found no warming signal in the rings. They certainly will have looked for it. But I guess divergence is spacially diverse.

February 19, 2018 1:20 pm

Why even argue over proxies? The Hockeystick shows rapid and substantial warming over the past 100 years. Instrumental data sets controlled for the Urban Heat Island Effect don’t show that.
The “Faith-Based” Science; CAGW
Followers of the “Faith-Based” Science of Global Warming are worshiping at the altar of a Pagan idol and being deceived by a false prophet. Just recently the now discredited American Association of for the Advancement of Science awarded the Temple of CAGW’s High-Pharisee Michael Mann a distinguished award. The award is blasphemy and an affront to … Continue reading
Climate “Science” on Trial; Cherry Picking Locations to Manufacture Warming
One of the greatest scientific battles today is between which temperature measurements are most accurate. There are ground measurements maintained by NOAA, NASA GISS and the Hadley CRU, and then there are satellite measurements maintained by NASA UHA. Dr. Roy Spencer maintains a nice blog reporting on the satellite measurements. In reality, there are really … Continue reading

John Harmsworth
Reply to  co2islife
February 19, 2018 1:41 pm

There can be no argument over which temperature measurements are least accurate. Treemometers win that one hands down!

February 19, 2018 1:23 pm

Mr. Watts, your blog post does not reflect well on your ability (and perhaps desire) to study materials for their content and meaning. Very superficial analysis.

February 19, 2018 1:23 pm

Mr. Watts, your blog post does not reflect well on your ability (and perhaps desire) to study materials for their content and meaning. Very superficial analysis.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Vicki S. Nikolaidis
February 19, 2018 2:04 pm

Just what all blogs need — another troll.
There is already more things to read than I have time for.
Please Vicki, do not post here again.

Reply to  Vicki S. Nikolaidis
February 19, 2018 5:02 pm

Speaking of superficial analysis, Vicki drops by to show us how it is done.
Since you consider yourself so smart, why don’t you stick around awhile and show where Mr. Watts came up short?
Or have you already flown back to your coven so you can tell your sisters what a good job you did telling us off?

February 19, 2018 1:23 pm

Mr. Watts, your blog post does not reflect well on your ability (and perhaps desire) to study materials for their content and meaning. Very superficial analysis.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
February 20, 2018 2:06 am

multiple postings? that’s was not intended. Let me know when you are ready to talk science! Thanks!

Reply to  Anthony Watts
February 22, 2018 6:26 pm

“Vicki S. Nikolaidis February 20, 2018 at 2:06 am
multiple postings? that’s was not intended. Let me know when you are ready to talk science! Thanks!”

Unintentional or not, it is what occurred; without merit in any of the postings.
Then the door is left open for you to start a dialogue.
Result: No dialogue.
Empty posts, empty claims. all smears and total lack of substance from Vicki.
Meanwhile, commenters have raised a number of technical hurdles:
A) One tree represents local effects; not global.
B) Eras are geologic, not temporary brief plant matter
Anything else is unsurprising hubris.

Reply to  Vicki S. Nikolaidis
February 19, 2018 2:03 pm

@Vicki: You obviously didn’t check out this link which refers to the YAD06 tree to create the hockey stick graph: comment image
BTW: 3 strikes and you’re out!

Reply to  J Philip Peterson
February 19, 2018 2:58 pm

Sorry, I don’t get it, are you actually saying that the whole Mann’s temperature reconstruction for the past 1000 or so years is based on a single tree somewhere in Siberia, approximately, between 1945 and 1980? (that’s the yellow part of the graph you refer to)? Are you joking?

Extreme Hiatus
Reply to  Vicki S. Nikolaidis
February 19, 2018 5:59 pm

“Mr. Watts, your blog post does not reflect well on your ability (and perhaps desire) to study materials for their content and meaning. Very superficial analysis.”
Vicki, your comment does not reflect well on your ability (and perhaps desire) to study materials for their content and meaning. Very superficial comment.

February 19, 2018 1:28 pm

This poor tree is obviously struggling to grow in an inhospitable Climate. It is in need of specialist botanical care and not molestation by Professor Chris Turkey. After his Ship of Fools Epic, it is surprising to see him surfacing again Using trees as thermometers is just plain looney, after all this counter-evidence on the subject.

February 19, 2018 1:31 pm

I was hoping it was a cherry tree, for obvious reasons.

John Harmsworth
February 19, 2018 1:33 pm

Let’s be very clear.
Michael Mann’s “special” tree in no way resulted in his bogus hockey stick. The stick caame about as a result of faulty math and a deliberate effort to hide the truth by sticking two graphs together. It was not science and it was not honest. There is a simple word for it.
It’s actually way past time we asked the many Warmists and apologists who frequent this site a simple question.
Do you believe Mann’s hockey stick paper is fraudulent? It’s a litmus test for scientific and personal integrity.

Extreme Hiatus
Reply to  John Harmsworth
February 19, 2018 5:56 pm

“Do you believe Mann’s hockey stick paper is fraudulent?”
Maybe need to use the word “think” instead of “believe.” That at least implies that some logic or reason is involved while “believe” is almost like “feel” these days.

Nick Werner
February 19, 2018 1:43 pm

For all we know now, the next radioactive bomb spike could usher in the M-A-Destructocene, making the Anthropocene (geologically speaking) extraordinarily brief to be considered an ‘epoch’.

James in Perth
February 19, 2018 1:43 pm

You might not believe this, but I was playing golf on that island and damn if my ball didn’t end up under that tree. Anthropocene? And I say chop it down, it’s obscene to have just one tree out in the middle of nowhere.

Tom in Florida
February 19, 2018 1:47 pm

I never thought that I would see
A world wide graph from a single tree
A tree that grows into the sky
Then used to create a climate lie
(With apologies to Joyce Kilmer)

February 19, 2018 2:21 pm

how hard did they look for a tree that said the opposite ?

Reply to  EternalOptimist
February 19, 2018 2:34 pm

You have to read carefully. What they found was that in about the 1960’s there was a spike in certain radioactive isotopes taken up by the tree. These are not isotopes that occur naturally, so the implication is that they are man-made.
So far, so good.
The next step is a bit of a leap. They attributed this spike to nuclear tests made in the northern hemisphere, and took this to be proof that the fallout from those northern hemisphere tests had spread over the entire globe (at least, partially covering both hemispheres). As a post above points out, nuclear tests were not limited to the northern hemisphere, and there were even tests in Australia – basically this tree’s own back yard. So the assumption about fallout covering the globe isn’t really substantiated by this at all.
The basic science of detecting the isotope uptake in a (somewhat) specific date range seems solid enough.
The next step, making the assumption that this was due to northern hemisphere tests seems a bit half-cocked.
The real leap into absurdity occurs in then assuming that this will show up in any geological record.
It won’t. The half-life of the isotopes will ensure that they are basically undetectable by the time they make it into any rock.
This is the usual “climate science” story – start with some kernel of reasonably solid science and use it to construct castles in the air.

Clyde Spencer
February 19, 2018 2:26 pm

The Holy Marker peaked in 1965 and has been declining since. Because of radioactive decay, it will continue to decline until it is undetectable. Does that mean that the ‘Anthropocene’ is coming to an end?

February 19, 2018 2:29 pm

What I gather from this is that each of these “researchers” (and I use that term loosely) is looking for the “seminal signal”, the “mark the spot” indicator – whatever else you want to call it – that will give them some fleeting bit of fame and possibly fortune, so they focus narrowly on one single thing, failing and/or refusing to recognize that a group of factors is more believable than a single thing.
The result is that I have less and less faith in their lopsided opinions about anything, opinions which are markedly biased toward the results they WANT, as against the REAL results that they get – as in the tree in the Maldives mentioned above.
When you have to fudge the results to make your point, dishonesty is your only product. The more I see of this kind of thing, the less inclined I am to believe anything that any of them (Warmians, CAGWers, etc.) say now because they make it clear that they will counterfeit anything to get what they want. That means they can’t be trusted, period.

Edward Hurst
February 19, 2018 2:38 pm

YAWN….a complete irrelevance to science. A crab does not need to know it is called a crab. The world carries on regardless. These people are just trying to get their names in the history books.

February 19, 2018 2:47 pm

A bit on my time at Keele and the Geology dept.
I knew a few people doing Geology. They were all pretty solid people, with a good science background at the time.
One day, I met a postgrad student, doing his PhD in Geology. I asked him what exactly he was doing.
He told me that he was working on some simulation program, adapting Fortran library packages, taking fluid mechanics equations and slowing them down enormously – basically, working on a program to simulate a rock.
I hope he got his PhD, and I am sure there was a lot more to it than simulating a rock, but I still haven’t quite got over the amusement factor.

Reply to  Philip
February 19, 2018 3:08 pm

Sounds Like he was working for solid answers from a solid foundation

February 19, 2018 3:47 pm

No Anthony, it’s not posing as science, it’s perfectly valid, if minor science, on which the authors have tried to hang too much significance. At best they have found a manmade signal coincident with the early anthropocene, but time will show it is a hundred or two years too late to mark the beginning. It does not directly relate to the defining characteristic of the anthropocene – the radical change of energy equilibrium on our planet – but it is perfectly valid science.
I thought you claimed some scientific credentials?

Extreme Hiatus
Reply to  Jack Davis
February 19, 2018 5:46 pm

“the radical change of energy equilibrium on our planet”
Ha ha ha. Good one. Have you head of the Alarmocene?

Extreme Hiatus
Reply to  Extreme Hiatus
February 19, 2018 5:51 pm

Oops. Should have been “heard” not “head.” The declining radiation is impacting my spelling.

Reply to  Jack Davis
February 20, 2018 12:40 am

Nonsense. Finding something isn’t science. It’s what you do next that is science – explaining it. And they have not explained it, but attempted to hang all sorts of non-scientific meaning on it. And merely making banal assertions isn’t science either. Are you claiming scientific credentials?

February 19, 2018 3:51 pm

Tree is not rock! [already mentioned].
Funny the abstract states “the only alien tree on the island”. WTF!
The guy did not bother to find out “who” planted the tree!
If it is alien, did it really get the C14 from the atmos or did someone else “spike” it! A-Ha!
Planted Evidence Again Soils The Piltdown Man!
Case closed. Book’m Dan-O.
Ha ha

Reply to  JBom
February 19, 2018 3:59 pm

It’s not only “the only alien tree on the island”. It is the only tree on the island. Period.

Reply to  JBom
February 19, 2018 4:47 pm

The tree has been growing in that spot for over a hundred tears
Did you read what you are commenting on?

Extreme Hiatus
Reply to  Jack Davis
February 19, 2018 5:42 pm

“The tree has been growing in that spot for over a hundred tears”
Yes. All those tears. Because it is so lonely.
Back before humans ruined the planet it probably would have wandered around and found some friends. At least that’s what I think I heard that scientists say.

Nick Werner
Reply to  Jack Davis
February 19, 2018 6:43 pm

Here’s something I read that seems worth commenting about. Professor Fogwill, Head of the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment at Keele University describes the solitary Sitka spruce on Campbell Island as “this invasive tree species”.
After a hundred years, for a tree species to be called invasive… wouldn’t there have to be at least TWO on the island by now?
Oh well, it’s not like he’s dean of the university, just head of the department.

Reply to  Nick Werner
February 20, 2018 12:15 am

Gay trees

Reply to  Jack Davis
February 20, 2018 12:35 am

For a plant to be classed as “invasive” it has to be, well, invasive. This tree hasn’t produced a single seedling in a century, so it is about as uninvasive as it is possible to be. There are some alien plant species on Campbell, but none that can really be called invasive. The main invasive species was rats, but they have been successfully eradicated.

February 19, 2018 4:20 pm

The loneliest tree in the world — and a bunch of busybodies come around bothering it and taking core samples. Poor thing.

February 19, 2018 4:22 pm

Sure, why not?
Extrapolation from isolation to the wild.
Inference from limited, circumstantial evidence to global, universal assertions.
The conflation of logical domains is not limited to climate science.

Patrick MJD
February 19, 2018 4:31 pm

Thought the tree was YAD061? Either way a single record applied globally is like averaging anomolies.

February 19, 2018 5:53 pm

As my daughters would say when I took them camping,
“If you’ve seen one tree, then you’ve seen them all.”

February 19, 2018 6:20 pm

stromatolites emitted a precursor 2 CO2

February 19, 2018 6:23 pm

The title is misleading
they didnt use a single tree to DEFINE global CLIMATE change.
read harder why a tree in the SH was needed to meet the criteria of a global change
“We were incredibly excited to find this signal in the Southern Hemisphere on a remote island, because for the first time it gave us a well defined global signature for a new geological epoch that could be preserved in the geological record. Thousands of years from now this golden spike should still stand as a detectable marker for the transformation of the Earth by humankind.”

Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 20, 2018 12:38 am

And of course selecting one of the most inaccessible trees in either hemisphere as stratotype is just normal “climate science” logic.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 20, 2018 12:44 am

You read harder. They just assert their pre-existing conclusions. And then make bizarre claims about the future based on their ore-existing conclusions. All the opposite of science.

Extreme Hiatus
February 19, 2018 6:40 pm

“the Working Group on the Anthropocene (WGA) voted to formally designate the epoch Anthropocene”
Well of course they did. If they didn’t they would be voting against their business model.
The only question is: did any Russians meddle in this vote?

February 19, 2018 7:03 pm

There is something I don’t get why do they need the tree at all the background radiation has been measured by some sites since 1948 and by a global network of sites since 1955 as it forms part of Carbon dating.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-14comment image
So the tree is simply reflecting background radiation because it respires, what would be surprising is if it didn’t.
I don’t get why the research was even needed?

Extreme Hiatus
Reply to  LdB
February 19, 2018 7:46 pm

Well that graph sort of looks like a tree. Maybe that’s where they got the idea for this useless and redundant project and ‘research.’
Hope they enjoyed their vacation on that island and now their ‘tree of fools’ celebrity status.

Reply to  LdB
February 20, 2018 12:41 am

Heritage Expeditions does a very nice cruise around the Subantarctic Islands every summer. I guess they needed some kind of excuse to get the taxpayers to pay for the tickets, they don’t come cheap.

John B
February 19, 2018 7:16 pm

Since the “Anthropocene” starts with man effecting the climate then it is logically the last geological epoch or age. Unless all civilisation falls the Anthropocene will never end.
Think of the money we will save since we won’t have to have anyone researching epochs ever again.

Reply to  John B
February 20, 2018 12:11 am

What about the Post-Rapture Epoch?

February 19, 2018 8:13 pm

How do they know coring a tree like that doesn’t harm it? It provides a ready made entrance for insects.

February 19, 2018 9:18 pm

Another animal and plant molester. Just leave the damn things alone!

February 19, 2018 9:36 pm

“After Present” is already defined as starting in 1950, so why this new definition?

Michael S. Kelly
February 19, 2018 10:34 pm

Instead of Anthropocene, perhaps we can call it “Manncene.” Then the period after the inflection point in the Hockey Stick can be called the Helter Skelter.
Too bad Mann’s name isn’t “Charlie.”

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
February 20, 2018 12:12 am

perhaps his middle name is Ob?

Joel O’Bryan
February 19, 2018 11:05 pm

“the tree has never produced cones, ”
Maybe it’s a male tree?

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 20, 2018 12:09 am

check for cojones !

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 20, 2018 12:47 am

Nope, Sitka spruce is monoecious and non-self-incompatible (or bisexual and incestuous to use better known terms)

February 20, 2018 12:09 am

Perhaps Chris Turney has missed his true calling as a Merchant Banker.
Then again.

February 20, 2018 12:46 am

I’m pretty sure the whole tectonic plate thing us still affecting the Earth more than we are. We might be altering the biome but those subduction zones are eating crust!

Reply to  thammond65@hotmail.com
February 20, 2018 12:55 am

Campbell island is actually continental crust, the southernmost exposed land on the Zealandia plate. By the way the K/Pg-limit is preserved and accessible there. Some years ago real scientists went there to study the effect of the Chicxulub impact at high southern latitudes. It was devastating there too.

Dr. Strangelove
February 20, 2018 3:37 am

Cowcene. More cows than humans by weight. Imagine all the fossilized cow bones millions of years from nowcomment image

February 20, 2018 4:15 am

Christian S. M. Turney is Professor of Ignorance at University of New South Wales

Peta of Newark
February 20, 2018 4:20 am

A case study in dysfunctionality.
1) Just like a small child would do on finding a beetle crossing the side-walk, they’ve found something unusual. =A single tree where there are otherwise none
2) As a child would do, they’ve anthropomorphised it – poor ickkle tree, it must be soooo lonely.
3) As a child would also do, they simply cannot ‘leave it be’ – they simply *have* to bother it =drilling holes into it= same as pulling legs off spiders etc etc
4) After Herculean effort (Carbon dating), they find something unusual and give it an impressive sounding name= The Golden Spike. Its not as if any sentient human could expected it NOT to be there given it location.
5) They come rushing home, all excited, yelling and shouting

Mummy mummy mummy, look what I’ve found. It’s for you Mummy. Isn’t it fantastic. Aren’t we clever. Mummy, please tell me I’m clever Mummy. What should we call it Mummy? Can I give it a name? Mummy please

Mummy smiles, “Yes dear, it’s very nice’ and hands over a Kinder Egg
But these are supposedly grown up, well educated and intelligent adult people.
What Went Wrong

February 20, 2018 4:26 am

Er, I am not at all sure it is the tree that’s in a permanently juvenile state!

Reply to  MartinWW
February 20, 2018 5:07 am

Permanently juvenile forms of conifers do exist, e. g. the ‘Conica’ variety of white spruce which is often seen in gardens. This is however a normal Sitka Spruce (I’ve actually seen it), but it does not produce cones because the climate is unsuitable.

February 20, 2018 6:40 am

Arbitrary nonsense from the Ministry of Self-Importance!

February 20, 2018 6:52 am

Earth’s carbon cycle contains 46,713 Gt (E15 gr) +/- 850 Gt (+/- 1.8%) of stores and reservoirs with a couple hundred fluxes Gt/y (+/- ??) flowing among those reservoirs. Mankind’s gross contribution over 260 years was 555 Gt or 1.2%. (IPCC AR5 Fig 6.1) Mankind’s net contribution, 240 Gt or 0.53%, (dry labbed by IPCC to make the numbers work) to this bubbling, churning caldron of carbon/carbon dioxide is 4 Gt/y +/- 96%!!!!!! (IPCC AR5 Table 6.1)
Seems relatively trivial to me. IPCC et. al. says natural variations can’t explain the increase in CO2. With these tiny percentages and high levels of uncertainty how would anybody even know?
BTW fossil fuel between 1750 and 2011 represented 0.34% of the biospheric carbon cycle, one tenth of the 3.6% uncertainty band.
Besides which all these carbon balance numbers were just pulled out of some PhD’s intern’s left ear.

February 20, 2018 8:59 am

There are a lot of places where there is a one tree forest.

Reply to  Olen
February 20, 2018 2:50 pm

Yep. I remember a case in North Dakota where there is a single tree in the middle of a huge treeless prairie where someone had put up a sign “North Dakota National Forest”.

Reply to  tty
February 21, 2018 10:37 am

The North Dakota State Tree is the windmill pump. The State Bird is the B-52.

February 21, 2018 10:33 am

Doesn’t carbon-14 vanish from the geologic record within a few thousand years? What kind of geologic marker is that?

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