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.

171 thoughts on “Once again, climate scientists use a single tree to define global change

    • 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”.

      • 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.

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

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • …. 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.

    • 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

      • 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.

      • ‘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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

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

  1. 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.

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

      • 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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.

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

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

    • 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?

    • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.)

    • (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.

      • 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.

  7. 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 ?

    • 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.

    • 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.

  8. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  9. 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.

    • UH OH!
      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….)

      • 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.

  10. 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.

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

    • 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.

    • 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).

  11. 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.

  12. 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.”

    • 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….”

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    • 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.

    • 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?

    • Vicki S. Nikolaidis your multiple postings do not reflect well on your ability to read simple instructions on the comment form.
      If you have a meaningful complaint, state it with details. Otherwise it looks just like more of the “I don’t like your opinion” style of baseless complaint.

      • “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.

      • 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?

    • “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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

    • “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.

  21. 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’.

  22. 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.

  23. 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)

    • 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.

  24. 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?

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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?

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

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

    • 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?

  29. 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

      • “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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

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

  31. 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.

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

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

  34. 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.”

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

    • 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.

  35. “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?

  36. 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.
    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?

    • 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.

    • 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.

  37. 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.

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

  39. 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.”

  40. 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!

    • 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.

  41. 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

    • 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.

  42. 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.

    • 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”.

  43. 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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