Carbon dioxide level unprecedented in 15 MY… More evidence it’s not the climate control knob!

Guest “implied face palm” by David Middleton

From The Grauniad (where else?)

Figure 1. Lions and Tigers and Beras! The Grauniad

“Beras” is not a typo… I’m a big fan of the late Yogi Berra, and I will try to fit a Yogi’ism in here somewhere.

Standard Graunad tripe (or is it trope?)…

The amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is approaching a level not seen in 15m years and perhaps never previously experienced by a hominoid, according to the authors of a study.

At pre-lockdown rates of increase, within five years atmospheric CO2 will pass 427 parts per million, which was the probable peak of the mid-Pliocene warming period 3.3m years ago, when temperatures were 3C to 4C hotter and sea levels were 20 metres higher than today.

The Grauniad
Figure 2. Implied face palm.

The Grauniad article links to a very good paper (de la Vega et al., 2020). They compiled a high resolution reconstruction of Mid-Pliocene Piacenzian stage CO2 concentrations.

Figure 3. 300-450 ppm CO2 – Run away! (de la Vega et al., 2020)

If the Earth was 3-4 °C warmer with a much higher sea level 3.3 million years ago, with about the same CO2 concentration, what does this say about the potency of it as a climate control knob?

The last time CO2 levels were this low, Earth was in the deepest ice age of the Phanerozoic Eon, the Pennsylvanian (Late Carboniferous)-Early Permian.

Figure 4. “Anthropocene” CO2 levels are a lot closer to the C3 plant starvation (Ward et al., 2005) range than they are to most of the prior 540 million years. Data from this WUWT post by Bill Illis.

You can see that the atmospheric CO2 levels of the Pennsylvanian Period were comparable to the “Anthropocene” (yes, a fake word – but I use it for sarcastic effect). We can also see that Earth was perhaps even a bit colder then than it is today.

Figure 5. Phanerozoic temperatures (pH-corrected) and carbon dioxide. The Miocene is the first epoch of the Neogene Period (Berner et al, 2001 and Royer et al., 2004) (older is toward the left).

While estimates of Pennsylvanian-Permian CO2 concentrations vary widely, the average level was likely in the 400-450 ppm range. So Earth was at least somewhat colder the a similar CO2 concentration in the Late Paleozoic.

Thanks to Bill Illis, I have this great set of paleoclimate spreadsheets.  One of the paleo temperature data sets was the pH-corrected version of Veizer’s Phanerozoic reconstruction from Royer et al., 2004.  The Royer temperature series was smoothed (spline fit?) to a 10 million year sample interval matching Berner’s GeoCarb III,  thus facilitating cross-plotting.

A cross-plot the pH-corrected Phanerozoic temperatures with CO2 yields a climate sensitivity of 1.28 °C per doubling, very much in line with recent observation-based low sensitivities. More of a treble adjustment, rather than a control knob.

Figure 6. Phanerozoic CO2 vs temperature. Unlabeled x-axis is in millions of years before present.

Royer’s pH corrections were derived from CO2, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the correlation was so good (R² = 0.6701)… But the low climate sensitivity is truly “mind blowing”… /Sarc.

The notion of Phanerozoic Eon climate change being driven by atmospheric carbon dioxide levels was generally scoffed at as recently as the 1970’s.

Suggestion that changing carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere could be a major factor in climate change dates from 1861, when it was proposed by British physicist John Tyndall.

[…]

Unfortunately we cannot estimate accurately changes of past CO2 content of either atmosphere or oceans, nor is there any firm quantitative basis forestimating the the magnitude of drop in carbon dioxide content necessary to trigger glaciation.  Moreover the entire concept of an atmospheric greenhouse effect is controversial, for the rate of ocean-atmosphere equalization is uncertain.

Dott & Batten, 1976

What about 15 million years ago?

There is a school of thought that the warmth of 15 million years ago, the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum (MMCO) was driven by CO2 released from the flood basalt eruptions of the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG).

Figure 7. I feel as if I’ve written this before… Yogi’ism #1. Midwest Capital Advisers

Middle Miocene Volcanism, Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change

According to Kashbohm & Schoene (2018)…

Flood basalts, the largest volcanic events in Earth history, are thought to drive global environmental change because they can emit large volumes of CO2 and SO2 over short geologic time scales. Eruption of the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) has been linked to elevated atmospheric CO2 and global warming during the mid-Miocene climate optimum (MMCO) ~16 million years (Ma) ago. However, a causative relationship between volcanism and warming remains speculative, as the timing and tempo of CRBG eruptions is not well known. We use U-Pb geochronology on zircon-bearing volcanic ash beds intercalated within the basalt stratigraphy to build a high-resolution CRBG eruption record. Our data set shows that more than 95% of the CRBG erupted between 16.7 and 15.9 Ma, twice as fast as previous estimates. By suggesting a recalibration of the geomagnetic polarity time scale, these data indicate that the onset of flood volcanism is nearly contemporaneous with that of the MMCO.

Kashbohm & Schoene (2018)

It does appear that the timing of the vast majority CRBG eruptions can be fairly well tied down to a 700,000 to 900,000 year period coincident with the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum. However, even with the prodigious volume of CO2 associated with flood basalt eruptions, it’s not enough to significantly move the “climate needle”:

A statistic: It is estimated that an erupting basalt lava flow with a volume of 2000 km3 would release approximately 7 billion tonnes of carbon (or 26 billion tonnes of CO2).

This is about the same as the amount currently released by burning of fossil fuels – each year.

Saunders & Reichow

Armstrong McKay et al., 2014 estimated that the main phase of the CRBG eruptions, along with “cryptic degassing” of country rock, etc., emitted 4,090 to 5,670 billion tons of carbon over a 900,000 period. This only works out to 5-6 million tonnes of carbon per year… That’s an order of magnitude less than a rounding error. Our current 10 billion tonnes per year is only equivalent to 3% of the total annual sources in the Earth’s carbon budget. Self et al., 2005 found that CO2 emissions from flood basalt eruptions were insignificant relative to the mass of CO2 in the atmosphere and unlikely to have played a signifcant role in past episodes of “global warming.” Although they did note that the sulfur gas emissions may truly have been unprecedented.

While the impact of volcanic S gas release may be profound, the mass of CO2 directly released by individual flood lava eruptive events is tiny in comparison to the normal mass in the troposphere and stratosphere. The predicted increases in atmospheric concentration are a fraction of the current anthropogenic CO2 released from hydrocarbon burning (~25 Gt per year). Moreover, while the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is currently ~3000 Gt, it was perhaps double this value during the late Cretaceous (i.e. ~6000 Gt). It is therefore unlikely that volcanic CO2 had a direct effect on mechanisms of global warming, supporting earlier findings by Caldeira and Rampino (1990). In addition, there would have been more than sufficient time for the extra mass of CO2 added to equilibrate, given that the lava-forming eruptive events must have been spaced at least hundreds, and probably thousands, of years apart. By contrast, SO2 emissions and the atmospheric burden of sulfate aerosols generated during flood basalt events appear to be unprecedented at any other time in Earth history. Acid rain may also have been widespread. What is less certain is whether affected biota would have had time to recover from the deleterious effects of sulfate aerosol clouds and acid rain, although quiescent intervals lasting millennia appear to offer ample time for the recovery of local biological and environmental systems (Jolley 1997).

Self et al., 2005

This ultimately takes us full-circle back to my Historical Geology textbook…

Unfortunately we cannot estimate accurately changes of past CO2 content of either atmosphere or oceans, nor is there any firm quantitative basis for estimating the the magnitude of drop in carbon dioxide content necessary to trigger glaciation.  Moreover the entire concept of an atmospheric greenhouse effect is controversial, for the rate of ocean-atmosphere equalization is uncertain.

Dott & Batten, 1976

We can’t even be certain that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 during the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum was significantly elevated relative to the extremely low values of the Quaternary Period.

Figure 8. Neogene-Quaternary temperature and carbon dioxide (older is toward the left).

We can see that the range of estimates for MMCO range from 250 to 500 ppm, rendering any efforts to draw conclusions about the CRBG, CO2, MMCO totally pointless. According to Pagani et al, 1999:

There is no evidence for either high pCO2 during the late early Miocene climatic optimum or a sharp pCO2 decreases associated with EAIS growth.

Pagani et al., 1999

Pagani et al., suggest that changes in oceanic circulation driven by plate tectonics (opening of the Drake Passage) and the presence (or lack thereof) of a large polar ice sheet were the primary drivers of Miocene climate change. And this takes us to another of my 1970’s Earth Science textbooks:

FORECASTING THE FUTURE. We can now try to decide if we are now in an interglacial stage, with other glacials to follow, or if the world has finally emerged from the Cenozoic Ice Age. According to the Milankovitch theory, fluctuations of radiation of the type shown in Fig. 16-18 must continue and therefore future glacial stages will continue. According to the theory just described, as long as the North and South Poles retain their present thermally isolated locations, the polar latitudes will be frigid; and as the Arctic Ocean keeps oscillating between ice-free and ice-covered states, glacial-interglacial climates will continue.

Finally, regardless of which theory one subscribes to, as long as we see no fundamental change in the late Cenozoic climate trend, and the presence of ice on Greenland and Antarctica indicates that no change has occurred, we can expect that the fluctuations of the past million years will continue.

Donn, William L. Meteorology. 4th Edition. McGraw-Hill 1975. pp 463-464

Despite having less than 12 years to solve the “climate crisis,” we are still living in an Ice Age, and will be so long as Antarctica remains isolated over the southern polar region, Greenland retains its ice sheet and the northern polar region retains at least seasonal ice cover.

Figure 9. From Zachios et al., 2001 (older is toward the bottom).

The roughly 1.0 °C of warming since the coldest climatic period of the Holocene, the Little Ice Age, hasn’t budged us out of the Quaternary Period temperature “noise level.”

Figure 10. High Latitude SST (°C) From Benthic Foram δ18O (Zachos, et al., 2001) and HadSST3 ( Hadley Centre / UEA CRU via www.woodfortrees.org) plotted at same scale, tied at 1950 AD (older is toward the left).

Another 0.5 to 1.0 ºC between now and the end of the century doesn’t even put us into Eemian climate territory, much less the Miocene or even the Pliocene. We will still be in the Quaternary Period noise level. Bear in mind that the instrumental temperature data are of much higher resolution than the δ18O derived temperatures. As such, the δ18O data reflect the bare minimum of dynamic amplitude range. Actual paleo temperatures would have reflected a far greater range of variability (higher highs and lower lows).

When you come to a fork in the road…


Figure 11. Yogi’ism #2 AZ Quotes

When you come to a fork in the road, take it… unless that fork follows an utterly failed paradigm. While there is ample evidence that atmospheric CO2 levels have some effect on the bulk temperature of the troposphere, the notion that it was a primary driver of climate change was scoffed at as recently as the 1970’s.

This sort of nonsense is… nonsense:

At pre-lockdown rates of increase, within five years atmospheric CO2 will pass 427 parts per million, which was the probable peak of the mid-Pliocene warming period 3.3m years ago, when temperatures were 3C to 4C hotter and sea levels were 20 metres higher than today.

So what? We can take a long walk through deep time and find lots of periods when temperatures and sea levels were much higher with CO2 levels ranging from 250 to 2,500 or more ppm. We don’t find many periods when it was colder than today, with lower sea levels.

Figure 12.  L-R: Relative sea level (Miller et al., 2005), atmospheric CO(Berner & Kothavala, 2001) and temperature anomalies (Royer et al., 2004) since Late Jurassic Period (170 MYA).

If you just go with the observations, you won’t take the wrong fork.

Figure 13. Yogi’ism #3. (Goalcast)

When did CO2 become the control knob?

We can see from my college text books and the geological record that CO2 wasn’t the control knob as recently as 1976. For that matter, the March 1, 1975 cover of Science News magazine was 180 degrees out of phase with today’s narrative.

Figure 14. Science News March 1, 1975

The much-vaunted IPCC tells us that all of the warming since The Ice Age Cometh is due to human activities, primarily COemissions.

Figure 15. Figure TS.23 from IPCC AR4. The lower panel (b) has two curves. The black curve depicts IPCC’s version of observed temperature changes since 1900. The blue curve is what IPCC says how temperatures would have evolved “if humans had not contributed to greenhouses gases in any way at all”, or at least not very much.

As can be seen in TS.23 (b), according to the IPCC, the human contribution to global temperatures was insignificant before The Ice Age Cometh in 1975.

Figure 16. How the Current Fake Climate Crisis Saved Us From… That 70’s Climate Crisis Show

Back to The Grauniad

I was so busy with the geology stuff that I forgot to quote the funniest bit of The Grauniad article…

“A striking result we’ve found is that the warmest part of the Pliocene had between 380 and 420 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere,” one of the co-authors Thomas Chalk, said. “This is similar to today’s value of around 415 parts per million, showing that we are already at levels that in the past were associated with temperature and sea-level significantly higher than today.”

“Currently, our CO2 levels are rising at about 2.5 ppm per year, meaning that by 2025 we will have exceeded anything seen in the last 3.3 million years.”

The authors said the study of the past provided a guide to what is likely to happen in the future as the Earth responds to the buildup of greenhouse gas from the past two centuries of industrial emissions.

“Ice sheets today haven’t had a chance to catch up with CO2 forcing. We are burning through the Pliocene and heading towards a Miocene-like future,” said another of the authors, Gavin Foster, a professor of isotope geochemistry at the University of Southampton. “We now have to go further back in time to find situations that are relevant.”

The Grauniad
Figure 17. Yogi might have said this… But it’s credited to Larry the Cable Guy.

The authors said the study of the past provided a guide to what is likely to happen in the future as the Earth responds to the buildup of greenhouse gas from the past two centuries of industrial emissions.

The problem with today’s academic geology is that, all too often, they get the principle of uniformitarianism bass-ackwards.

The past history of our globe must be explained by what can be seen to be happening now. No powers are to be employed that are not natural to the globe, no action to be admitted except those of which we know the principle.

James Hutton, 1785

“The past history of our globe must be explained by what can be seen to be happening now,” not by model-derived assumptions about what’s happening now. The assumption that CO2 is the primary driver of modern climate change now has polluted interpretations of the past, leading to wildly exaggerated estimates of climate sensitivity and models which have consistently overestimated the predicted warming. I think Yogi had one for this too.

Figure 18. Yogi’ism #4 (First Coast Advisers

But, of course…

Figure 19. Yogi’ism #5 (AZ Quotes)

Five Yogi’ism’s in one post! Unprecedented?

References

Armstrong McKay, David, Toby Tyrrell, Paul A. Wilson, & Gavin Foster. (2014). “Estimating the impact of the cryptic degassing of Large Igneous Provinces: A mid-Miocene case-study”. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 403. 254–262. 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.06.040. Special thanks to David Armstrong McKay for kindly sending me a copy of his paper.

Berner, R.A. and Z. Kothavala, 2001. GEOCARB III: A Revised Model of Atmospheric CO2 over Phanerozoic Time, American Journal of Science, v.301, pp.182-204, February 2001.

de la Vega, E., Chalk, T.B., Wilson, P.A. et al. Atmospheric CO2 during the Mid-Piacenzian Warm Period and the M2 glaciation. Sci Rep 10, 11002 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-67154-8

Donn, William L. Meteorology. 4th Edition. McGraw-Hill 1975. pp 463-464

Dott, Robert H. & Roger L. Batten.  Evolution of the Earth.  McGraw-Hill, Inc.  Second Edition 1976.  p. 441.

Illis, B. 2009. Searching the PaleoClimate Record for Estimated Correlations: Temperature, CO2 and Sea Level. Watts Up With That?

Kasbohm, Jennifer, and Blair Schoene. “Rapid Eruption of the Columbia River Flood Basalt and Correlation with the Mid-Miocene Climate Optimum.” Science Advances, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1 Sept. 2018, advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/9/eaat8223.

Miller, Kenneth & Kominz, Michelle & V Browning, James & Wright, James & Mountain, Gregory & E Katz, Miriam & J Sugarman, Peter & Cramer, Benjamin & Christie-Blick, Nicholas & Pekar, S. (2005). “The Phanerozoic Record of Global Sea-Level Change”. Science (New York, N.Y.). 310. 1293-8. 10.1126/science.1116412.

Pagani, Mark, Michael Arthur & Katherine Freeman. (1999). “Miocene evolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide”. Paleoceanography. 14. 273-292. 10.1029/1999PA900006.

Royer, D. L., R. A. Berner, I. P. Montanez, N. J. Tabor and D. J. Beerling. CO2 as a primary driver of Phanerozoic climate.  GSA Today, Vol. 14, No. 3. (2004), pp. 4-10

Self, Stephen & Thordarson, Thorvaldur & Widdowson, Mike. (2005). “Gas Fluxes from Flood Basalt Eruptions”. Elements. 1. 10.2113/gselements.1.5.283.

Tripati, A.K., C.D. Roberts, and R.A. Eagle. 2009.  “Coupling of CO2 and Ice Sheet Stability Over Major Climate Transitions of the Last 20 Million Years”.  Science, Vol. 326, pp. 1394 1397, 4 December 2009.  DOI: 10.1126/science.1178296

Zachos, J. C., Pagani, M., Sloan, L. C., Thomas, E. & Billups, K. “Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate 65 Ma to present”. Science 292, 686–-693 (2001).

165 thoughts on “Carbon dioxide level unprecedented in 15 MY… More evidence it’s not the climate control knob!

  1. The average CO2 concentration of the present Geological period, the Quaternary, is the lowest in the history of the Earth.
    Somebody should tell the Grauniad.

    • It might have been lower for brief periods during Pennsylvanian glacial maxima… But, yeah, average Quaternary Period CO2 level is the lowest of at least the last 540 million years.

      • Vega et al:

        … at a temporal resolution of 1 sample per 3–6 thousand years (kyrs).

        so the 11B PROXY for CO2 has a resolution which would have one SINGLE data point for the entire period of human civilisation. So should be compared to the mean CO2 of the last 6ka, Not last week at MLO.

        They are comparing that extremely low resolution figure to current annual mean, not decadal mean, centennial means, not millenial means but ANNUAL mean. This is NOT science is it BS and they know it is BS and their peer reviewers know it is BS.

        CO2 appears to lag benthic δ18O by ~10 kyr

        δ18O is temperature proxy, so what they are saying is that CO2 LAGS temperature change by about 10 thousand years.

        control knob ??

        Our findings corroborate the idea that changes in atmospheric CO2 levels played a distinct role in climate variability during the mPWP.

        So even with heavy spin the best they can claim is “corroboration” of a “distinct role”. One which is obviously NOT causation !

    • @ Herbert.
      ——————–
      They know.

      You see all those people throwing bricks, looting Rolex’s, and yelling burn it all down?

      This is the same thing with a different methodology, aimed at a different cadre of the population. Deconstructing civilization.

  2. “Carbon dioxide level unprecedented in 15 MY”

    The issue is not whether the carbon dioxide level is high nor whether it is unprecedented, but whether it can be attenuated by reducing the combustion of fossil fuels. This is the only question. Extraneous arguments, such as the unprecedented argument, are needed only if none exists for the the relevant issue at hand that has to do with the responsiveness of atmospheric composition to fossil fuel emissions.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/06/14/responsiveness-of-atmospheric-co2-to-fossil-fuel-emissions/

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/06/10/a-monte-carlo-simulation-of-the-carbon-cycle/

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/05/31/the-carbon-cycle-measurement-problem/

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/12/14/climateaction/

    • chaamjamal posted: “The issue is not whether the carbon dioxide level is high nor whether it is unprecedented, but whether it can be attenuated by reducing the combustion of fossil fuels.”

      I disagree. The fundamental issue is why anyone should even consider reducing Earth’s current atmospheric CO2 level, or even its rate of increase, when (a) there has been no overwhelming scientific evidence that LAT is related to atmospheric CO2 concentration, (b) Earth at 410 ppm atmospheric CO2 is still relatively close to C3 plant CO2 starvation levels, per second graph in above article, and (c) Earth is significantly “greening” from increasing CO2 levels*, with attendant food production and overall biosphere net benefits.

      To the extent that human CO2 emissions may have made a noticeable increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, “Way to go, human civilization!”

      *Among many scientific reports documenting this objectively, here is one from the journal Nature Climate Change via NASA website that has not yet been retracted or censored (somewhat surprisingly, at least to me): https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth

    • The highest resolution ice cores are very similar to stomata chronologies. But ice cores only go back 800,000 yrs, and the highest resolution ice core only goes back 2,000 yrs. Ice cores are useful paleoclimate tools, but they aren’t the only tools… They just fit the narrative.

        • I agree that they are not a good source of CO2 data. Way too many problems the trapping of gas, the ability to blow away (as in wind) layers and reform new ones so layers are not contiguous markers, and the possibility of chemical reactions or diffusion of CO2 or other gases within high pressure impure ice.

          At best they can supply gross estimates of CO2 concentrations over hundred year periods. At worst they may be completely invalid. Only faith allows one to use ice core data as if it were a simple CO2 measurement.

          • The Law Dome DE08 ice core is an accurate 2,000 yr record of CO2 with a 10-30 yr resolution. Older, deeper ice cores from lower accumulation rate areas of Antarctica have low resolution, on the order of 100’s to over 1,000 yrs

            Greenland ice cores are higher resolution, but affected by melting and impurities.

            Ice cores are very useful paleoclimate tools, but not the end all be all.

          • David Middleton – July 11, 2020 at 2:19 am

            Greenland ice cores are higher resolution, but affected by melting and impurities.

            YUP, the “melting” pretty much makes their study FUBAR, ……. to wit:

            If it is settled Science that:

            1. The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is up to 4,688 feet thick with the lowest level dating back to roughly 9704 BC (11,700 BP). http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~www-glac/papers/pdfs/219.pdf

            2. The accepted start of the warm Holocene Interglacial Period (HIP) began at 11,700 years BP. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

            3. The Late Wisconsin Glacier (LWG) covered much of Long Island with ice up to 3,300 feet thick at 18,000 years BP when it stopped advancing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Island_Sound

            4. Via sea level proxies the LWG started to quickly melt at 21,000 years BP. http://schools-wikipedia.org/images/439/43917.png

            Then would someone please answer my following questions which are:

            1. How thick was the Greenland Ice Sheet at 18,000 years BP?

            2. Did the GIS also start quickly melting at 15,000 years BP …… or did it start quickly melting at 10,000 years BP?

            3. How much of the current GIS is a remnant of the LWG of 18,000 years BP: all, part, or none of it?

            4. If all or part of the current GIS is a remnant of the LWG then does the lowest level actually date much farther back than the settled Science date of 11,704 BP?

            5. If the settled Science date of 11,704 BP for the lowest level of the GIS is correct then is it a scientific fact that the GIS had also completely melted prior to the accepted start of the HIP and has since reformed to its current 4,688 feet thickness?

            6. If the GIS completed melted prior to 11,704 BP then did the earth experience a much more pronounced period of warming prior to the accepted start of the HIP than it is currently experiencing?

          • David, so to CYA all you want to do is cite me a “COPY n’ PASTE” of an article that you published here on in 2018. And therein you stated, to wit:

            A Geological Perspective of the Greenland Ice Sheet

            How does all this compare to the evolution of the GrIS in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene? For this perspective, I relied on Tabone et al., 2017. They devised a model to simulate how the GrIS has evolved over the past 250,000 years.

            David, why did you IGNORE my ….. settled Science claims and questions, to wit:

            1. The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is up to 4,688 feet thick with the lowest level dating back to roughly 9704 BC (11,700 BP). http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~www-glac/papers/pdfs/219.pdf

            2. The accepted start of the warm Holocene Interglacial Period (HIP) began at 11,700 years BP. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

            3. The Late Wisconsin Glacier (LWG) covered much of Long Island with ice up to 3,300 feet thick at 18,000 years BP when it stopped advancing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Island_Sound

            4. Via sea level proxies the LWG started to quickly melt at 21,000 years BP. http://schools-wikipedia.org/images/439/43917.png

            Compared to the above, ……. your cited “claims” are illogical.

          • I don’t have the time or patience to educate morons or feed trolls.

            You don’t like your “chain” being jerked by someone smarter than you in/on the natural science, …… do ya?

            ‘HA’, the fact of the matter is, ….. you have neither the knowledge or experience to explain or defend that which you “copy n’ paste” and comment on…….. in many of you published articles.

            Stick to your learned discipline, ….. otherwise you are just a “freelance” writer seeking notoriety.

          • Brian Stratford – July 10, 2020 at 7:54 pm

            Ice core readings are way out of whack, there are thousands of layers laid down in a year

            David Middleton “Abject nonsense.

            MarkW “Please cite the source of this absurdity.

            David, ….. Mark, ….. is either one of you knowledgeable as to how “snow cover and/or snow drifts” are created during wintertime in northern US, Canada, Europe, Russia, etc.

            Are they not created the same way in Greenland and Antarctica?

            Is Antarctica “snow cover and/or snow drifts” created by just one (1) snowfall or one (1) windy day on just one (1) day during each winter season …….. or ……. are they created by one (1) continuous snowfall and one (1) continuous wind during each winter season?

            Or do ya suppose all said Antarctica “snow cover and/or snow drifts” are created by dozens n’ dozens n’ dozens of different snowfalls …….. and dozens n’ dozens n’ dozens of different “windy” days and nights ….. that is constantly blowing the snowfall from one locale to another during the time the snowfall is occurring, as well as after the snowfall has ceased.

            And don’t be fergettin, a strong wind “next week” can erode the snowfall that occurred last week or 3 weeks ago and create new snow drifts all over the damn place.

            So, tell me, does atmospheric CO2 get “trapped” by the falling snow, …… or get “trapped” by the blowing snow, …… or get “trapped” by the drifting snow, ….. or does the CO2 just naturally hide in the snow that has fallen on the surface in order to keep warm?

            “DUH”, …. dozens n’ dozens n’ dozens of different snowfalls …….. and dozens n’ dozens n’ dozens of different “windy” days and nights …… can surely result in …. “thousands of layers laid down in a year

            Ice Core CO2 studies are “junk science”.

          • This is how air bubbles get trapped in ice sheets:


            Snow drifts, etc are irrelevant to this process.

          • David M, ….. Renee, …… now you can cite all the “pretty” graphics, ….. and all the “ice core” studies that you think or truly believe are ….. actual, factual scientific evidence and/or proof, ……. but you will have to do better than that to convince me it is not “junk science”.

            “DUH”, …… the estimated dates of the ice core CO2 proxies ….. do not agree with …… the factual dates determined for fossilized leaf stomata proxies. The “green growing” biomass was, per se, recording the seasonal atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities.
            Radiocarbon “dating” is far more accurate than “guesstimate” dating.

            A big, big problem, to wit:

            A difficulty in ice core dating is that gases can diffuse through firn, so the ice at a given depth may be substantially older than the gases trapped in it. As a result, there are two chronologies for a given ice core: one for the ice, and one for the trapped gases. To determine the relationship between the two, models have been developed for the depth at which gases are trapped for a given location, but their predictions have not always proved reliable.[39][40] At locations with very low snowfall, such as Vostok, the uncertainty in the difference between ages of ice and gas can be over 1,000 years.[41]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_core

            And an even bigger problem, to wit:

            It was understood in the 1960s (after Keeling reported) that analyzing the air trapped in ice cores would provide useful information on the paleoatmosphere, but it was not until the late 1970s that a reliable extraction method was developed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_core

            Shur nuff, ……. if Charles Keeling had not determined in 1958 what the atmospheric CO2 ppm was, ….. then the ice core researchers would not have had a frigging clue what to be looking for in their ice cores.

            So “YES”, I truly believe all their “ice core CO2 ppm quantities” are “interpolatedly” adjusted to correspond to ….. the factually recorded Mauna Loa CO2 ppm quantities.

  3. 23m29s to the end: heatwave analysis to 2017. (rest of the program is the virus):

    AUDIO: 30m05s: 9 Jul: BBC Science in Action
    And Heatwaves are increasing, particularly in tropical regions, that’s the finding of a new analysis by climate scientist Sarah Perkins–Kirkpatrick.
    Presenter: Roland Pease
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3cszh0k

    3 Jul: Nature Communications: Increasing trends in regional heatwaves
    Authors:
    S. E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
    S. C. Lewis, School of Science, UNSW Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia
    Acknowledgements: S.E.P.-K. is supported by ARC grant number FT170100106
    Additional information:
    Peer review information Nature Communications thanks the anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work. Peer reviewer reports are available.

    Heatwaves have increased in intensity, frequency and duration, with these trends projected to worsen under enhanced global warming…

    This study provides such an assessment. While data availability limits our analysis to begin in 1950, we find that trends in the spatially consistent Berkeley Earth observational dataset match well with common regions between the previously used quasi-global HadGHCND dataset and Berkeley Earth is thus useful in furthering our understanding of global and regional changes in heatwaves…
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16970-7

    • 1950s the beginning of a cooling period. Convenient. U.S more days over 90 then during any other time on record.

    • Here we go again. Start at a temperature low – 1950 to 1975 – and we are supposed to be surprised /alarmed temperatures and heat waves have since gone up? If you ignore the 1920 to 1940s heat waves and record setting temperatures, of course it looks like heat waves are going up compared to the “ice age cometh” period of 1950 to 1975 – yes it is warmer today – dah! And compared to the coldest period in the last 10,000 years – 1550 – 1850 – yes it is warmer today, thank goodness because starvation (due to crop failures) and disease were the regular result of the colder climate then!

      • There has also been a gradual warming starting from around 1850, 100 years before the large increases in CO2 began.
        The early warming could not have been caused by CO2, yet we are told to assume that only CO2 can explain the later warming.\
        Regardless, we still have half a degree or so to go before we get back to the warmth of the Medieval Warm Period and 1 to 3 degrees of warming before we can get back to the temperatures enjoyed during the Holocen Optimum.

        • Markw
          “Regardless, we still have half a degree or so to go before we get back to the warmth of the Medieval Warm Period ”
          Please cite the source of this absurdity. I mean a real reference, not one from a blog.

          • Poor Simon, he just can’t get over how little he knows.
            The blog that I gave you had hundreds of links to papers, but as usual you refused to look at anything that might challenge your religious beliefs.
            BTW, would I have to bring up supporting facts if I made a claim that the sun rises in the east?

          • MarkW.
            Blog that you gave me? I’ve just asked the question.
            Here is what we know Mark. The MWP was warm. Was it warmer than today? Unlikely, but possible. The best info is that it was warm in parts of the world but it was probably not a global event. But there is a lot of uncertainty, so much so that you cant make a statement like you did (half a degree warmer) with any level of confidence. But let’s face it, that has never stopped you before…

          • You sure are never going to learn any thing are you Simon?
            For some one who thinks he knows everything here is a question for you .
            Come back with an answer sim Simon.
            It is a fact that the Vikings farmed in Greenland during the Medieval Warm Period .
            They left at the onset of the Little Ice Age .That is a fact
            No one has farmed there since that is a fact .
            Greenland is in the Northern Hemisphere so don”t come up with that tale that the MWP was not global and only happened in the North .
            This is recorded history and the two previous climate optimums are also history and it there is plenty of evidence that they were warmer than present .
            12000 years ago a large part of the USA and most of Canada was covered by an ice sheet .
            Did rising CO2 melt the ice?
            Rising CO2 levels follow rising temperatures as warming oceans release CO2 .
            Here is the question Simon .
            How much more will the temperature have to rise to allow people to farm in Greenland ?
            The world is still below the temperature of the MWP.
            History tells us these facts but some scientists disregard history as it does not fit their beliefs .

          • Gwan
            “It is a fact that the Vikings farmed in Greenland during the Medieval Warm Period .”
            So what. Greenland is farmed now.

            “They left at the onset of the Little Ice Age .That is a fact”
            Well done them.

            “No one has farmed there since that is a fact .’
            Maybe check that again buddy. See link at bottom.

            “Greenland is in the Northern Hemisphere so don”t come up with that tale that the MWP was not global and only happened in the North .”
            Ummm you got me there. So Greenland is in the North and your point is I can’t say it wasn’t global. Huh?

            “This is recorded history and the two previous climate optimums are also history and it there is plenty of evidence that they were warmer than present .”
            OK let’s see it then. Is that too much to ask?

            12000 years ago a large part of the USA and most of Canada was covered by an ice sheet.
            Did rising CO2 melt the ice?
            Don’t know I wasn’t there

            Rising CO2 levels follow rising temperatures as warming oceans release CO2 .
            Well that is true, but that doesn’t meanCO2 doesn’t cause warming. See it’s a loop thing. Oh never mind.

            Here is the question Simon .
            “How much more will the temperature have to rise to allow people to farm in Greenland ?”
            That’s a trick question right coz they are now….

            “The world is still below the temperature of the MWP.”
            OK soooo let’s see the peer reviewed papers that confirm that. See all the stuff I have read says it’s possible, but not likely which brings us back to Mark saying it was warmer by half a degree. No one can be sure to that level of detail. And speaking of detail, he gave none. Was it warmer in Greenland, Kalamazoo, Timbuktu, or the whole planet? He didn’t actually say, which leads me to believe he is making it again Arnold. (great song)

            “History tells us these facts but some scientists disregard history as it does not fit their beliefs .”
            If you say so soldier…. Here’s some reading for ya…
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Greenland#Agriculture_and_forestry

      • I clearly remember during elementary school in the 1960’s temps hitting 100+ °F …two or three times a year during summer.

        Now 90°F is false cause for blaring “Heat Warning!” in deep red across the Government Weather site run by…
        Wait for it …. “The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.”

        • You are full of it Simon.
          Around 20000 sheep are farmed in Greenland but the farmers have to import fodder to feed their sheep in the long winters as the climate does not allow them to grow enough to conserve.
          Did the Vikings import fodder Simon?
          There is plenty of evidence that the Vikings grew barley to brew beer as they were fond of the amber brew.
          The climate is still far to cold to grow grain crops.
          Farmers are growing vegetables and the majority are grown in hot houses .
          I an sure the Vikings never had hot houses but you Simon might know better .
          The three climate optimums of the last 12000 years were all warmer than present but these are inconvenient facts that the alarmists have worked incessantly to alter as they don’t fit their scary scenario.
          History tells us that it was warmer in the past than now and warmists scientists have been attempting to change history as there are many inconvenient facts that contradict their theory of runaway global warming .
          The Vikings would have had difficulty landing and settling in Greenland if they sailed there today in wooden boats and they would have a very miserable existence trying to stay warm with very little fuel during the long cold winters .
          So what you believe Simon is that Greenland was an outlier and some mysterious climate trick warmed Greenland in the MWP a lot more than America or Europe .
          I know I am wasting my time as you believe everything the warmists tell you .

          • Gwan
            “The three climate optimums of the last 12000 years were all warmer than present …”
            Yawn.. reference please and not one from a climate denier blog?

            “So what you believe Simon is that Greenland was an outlier and some mysterious climate trick warmed Greenland in the MWP a lot more than America or Europe .”

            I believe in lots of things. I believe the Beatles were the finest band ever to walk the earth. I believe to make good pizza you need to make the dough the night before. I believe we know that parts of the world were warm at this time, but the evidence suggests it probably wasn’t as warm as today or as global. But…. it is difficult to be absolutely sure which is why I don’t hang my hat on exact numbers.

    • Come on Clive, everyone knows foresti mating is what happens when back packers go hiking in the forests…..

    • Simon,
      You have outdone your self this time .
      Here is some basic climate science which your minders would never tell you.
      Warmer climate means that more ice melts in Greenland and Antarctica.
      OK Simon .
      More ice melt leads to higher sea levels .
      OK Simon
      Scientists and climatologists worked out long before this global warming scam that sea levels had been higher around the world during the three climate optimums than at present.
      These are facts that sea levels have been higher in the last 12000 years than at present .
      OK Simon
      This is why people know that it was warmer back then .
      There has been a concerted effort to try and erase facts that don’t fit the scary story .
      Less than 20 years ago your guru James Renwick wrote in the New Zealand Herald that the Medieval Warm Period was an inconvenient fact that did not fit with their scare mongering so they( Renwick Salinger Mann Jones Santner and co) set about rewriting and erasing history .
      They stated that the MWP was not a global event .
      That has been debunked as studies in many southern hemisphere countries confirm that the MWP was indeed a global event
      You and thousands of other believers have been duped Simon .

        • Gwan
          Firstly why do you keep responding off thread? Mmm?
          OK I will rest my mind and fall at your feet if you can supply me with an honest quote that James Renwick said that “the Medieval Warm Period was an inconvenient fact that did not fit with their scare mongering ”
          See I call that BS and I have no doubt you will not respond to this.

          • Simon,
            James Renwick wrote an article in the New Zealand Herald around 2000.
            I cannot quote the date or his exact words but he definitely said that the MWP was an inconvenient fact that did not fit with their theory .
            He then stated that “they” would be investigating and looking very hard at the evidence.
            Yes I added “that did not fit with their scare mongering ”
            Of course he would never admit to scare mongering .
            I don’t want you falling at my feet Simon.
            I’m just trying to make you see that you have been duped and that a lot of facts and history are being disregarded because they don’t fit the propaganda.

          • Gwan
            “I cannot quote the date or his exact words but he definitely said that the MWP was an inconvenient fact that did not fit with their theory .”
            Well I will have to take your word on that then, but I follow what JR says and I have never heard him say anything like that.
            Then you admit you added the “scaremongering” bit.
            So you want to convince me that I have been duped by quoting a man who you can’t supply a reference for and then you admit you added words that he never said.
            Mate… you are going to have to do better than that.

  4. David
    I was re-watching a PBS NOVA re-run (one gets desperate when nothing new is being shown) last night, entitled The First 4 Billion Years. As the relative position of Australia with respect to Antarctica and the Equator was shown, the dialog described the changes in vegetation and aridity in Australia. It was a minor epiphany that Plate Tectonics was really driving everything and that changes in tropospheric water-vapor over land, and rising atmospheric CO2 from outgassing from the tropical oceans, have to be the consequences of latitudinal changes in land masses and emergent mountain ranges affecting the wind patterns over the land. Similarly, the major mountain range(s) from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego disrupt wind and ocean currents, causing upwelling with CO2-rich water, and cause leeward adiabatic-heating in the interior of North and South America, resulting in higher interior temperatures than would be experienced if the land did not have the mountain ranges. The mythical “CO2 knob” is really an attempt at explaining the tail wagging the dog.

    • It was a minor epiphany that Plate Tectonics was really driving everything and that changes in tropospheric water-vapor over land, and rising atmospheric CO2 from outgassing from the tropical oceans, have to be the consequences of latitudinal changes in land masses and emergent mountain ranges affecting the wind patterns over the land.

      I always laugh hard when the claim is made that bc of climate change there will be tornados and hurricanes hitting Europe. For the former you have to remove the freaking Alps and for the latter a whole lot of Northern Africa and Southwest Asia and replace it with an ocean!

      Utterly stupid and lack of geography 101 about climate zones.

  5. David, Figure 5 uses the label “Carboniferous” and does not have it broken out into the American common “Mississippian” and “Pennsylvanian” periods – so this might cause some confusion.

    For readers:

    Europe American
    Carboniferous –> Mississippian 359 – 323 Ma
    –> Pennsylvanian 323 – 299 Ma

    (Still reading…)

    • “This ultimately takes us full-circle back to my Historical Geology textbook…” 1976 is too old, pre-Anthropocene. It was all wrong as in my older Paleocology Book. “The Grassy Creek shale may not be Mississippian at all…..classification as Carboniferous or Devonian. ” Hmm. Carbon-iferous.

      Nevertheless, keep up the great lockdown education.

  6. From listening to a geologist video series (Nick Zentner), I finally ‘got’ that there is a significant difference to ‘effusive’ vs ‘explosive’ volcanism…and as a result why one over the other MAY be a very significant driver for the climate.

    IF the effusive side of volcanism isn’t treated significantly enough, then the critics that say volcanism isn’t an important factor, is likely (possibly) lumping all volcanic action into a single group.
    The huge basalt flows in Washington State while significant indeed, need to be added to those of sub oceanic flows, and together, they may well add significantly to the total out-pouring of CO2 and SO2.

    The question is – over geologic time scales, what is the impact of the combined continental and oceanic effusive volcanism?
    It is certain, it must have an impact.
    How much of an impact? Thats the real question.

  7. The case is overwhelming (thank you Mr. Middleton) that CO2 did NOT cause the MMCO. Plate tectonics, the position of the continents relative to the poles, and the separation of North and South America all contributed to a more EQUITABLE climate in the Miocene.

    But what bugs me is the fatuous and gibbering paranoia ripping through the hair-on-fire Marxist Media regarding the DELIGHTFUL and BIO-ABUNDANT climate of the Miocene. Miocene flora and fauna were species rich with 95% of modern species and twice that in total. Deserts were rare, rainfall abundant, and LIFE ABOUNDED.

    After the GARDEN OF EDEN-LIKE MMCO, a series of global cooling events led to mass extinctions as temperatures plunged into the Pleistocene ICE AGE, with continental ice sheets, global droughts, expanding deserts, and extreme frigidity not experienced on Planet Earth since the Permian Epoch.

    Ice is death. Antarctica is a LIFELESS CONTINENT due to the cold. It wasn’t always thus. During the MMCO Antarctica was a grassy tundra ringed by lush forests along the coast. Australia was lush and wet with rivers and lakes, not the arid desert so much of that continent is today. The other continents were better climate-wise too.

    In short, the Miocene climate was fabulous, great, wonderful, really nice, and much, much better than today’s lousy frigid Ice Age bummer climate. It’s not coming back soon, sadly, but if it was, the Miocene climate would be a blessing, not a curse.

  8. “within five years atmospheric CO2 will pass 427 parts per million, which was the probable peak of the mid-Pliocene warming period 3.3m years ago, when temperatures were 3C to 4C hotter and sea levels were 20 metres higher than today.”

    ….. so in 5 years we can expect sea level to rise 20 metres? That’s so dumb.

    • I was going to give you a +10 for the neologism “Marxocene” but found that it was used in a 2015 review of Christian Schwagerl’s fatuous The Anthropocene. Marxocene is a great name for the current political insanity.

  9. More likely it was outgassing of steam from the CRBG that caused the tempersture rise not CO2!!

  10. But you see, man’s CO2 is the dark side of the climate forcing, and as Darth Vader said “Never underestimate the dark side of the forcing”.

  11. David, the pH-corrected temperature of Royer shouldn’t be used, because it is wrong. It disagrees with other Phanerozoic temperature reconstructions based on different techniques.

    Shaviv and Veizer had this to say about Royer’s “correction”:

    “The analysis of Royer et al. (2004) assumes an unrealistically high pH correction. First, it neglects the ice-volume effect, which changes the relation between δ18O and ∆T. Second, this large pH correction implies high temperatures for seawater even during times of extensive glaciations.
    Moreover, the analysis of Royer et al. (2004) consists of boot-strapping, by introducing a correction to ∆T that is an implicit function of RCO2. It is then not surprising that a correlation between ∆T and RCO2 is obtained. This would be the case irrespective of the RCO2 model utilized.
    A proper analysis, which avoids this bootstrapping and considers a more realistic pH correction, shows that the global temperature sensitivity to CO2 is still relatively small.”

    CO2 as a primary driver of Phanerozoic climate: COMMENT

    • Javier,

      Even using Royer’s version, the climate sensitivity is low. While it has issues, Veizer & Shaviv didn’t claim it was wrong

      • I disagree. They say the correction is unrealistically high, which is incompatible with being right, and they say that any RCO2 model applied in that way would give a correlation, so Royer did not use a correct methodology to obtain his reconstruction.

        Besides, Veizer reconstruction, Scotese reconstruction and Frakes reconstruction all agree quite well with Royer’s being the odd one that gives temperatures so high that they are incompatible with glaciations that we know did occur.

        Royer uses his reconstruction to support climate sensitivities of +3-6 °C per doubling of CO2.

        • I should add that Frakes made his Phanerozoic temperature reconstruction from geological evidence, Scotese from equator-to-pole temperature gradients based on multiple data, and Veizer from isotopes from tropical oceans. Their agreement is reasonable and they all show an average temperature for the planet of 25 °C over the Phanerozoic, with extremes oscillating between 10-35 °C. Veizer’s shows a range between 18-38 °C for tropical oceans.

          Royer’s adjustment takes Veizer’s tropical ocean temperature to 46 °C during the Cambrian and 42 °C during the Devonian, and even more unbelievable, to 32 °C during the Andean-Saharan Ice Age of the late Ordovician. We know these are all impossible temperatures.

          When Royer’s results not only disagree with a consilience of evidence by reconstructions based on completely different methodologies from data coming from completely different fields AND when Royer’s results produce what we know is an impossible result, I can understand why climate alarmists would defend his reconstruction as he has taken Vezier’s reconstruction and tuned it to depend on CO2 levels, but I don’t understand why would any independent, unbiased analyst use his reconstruction.

          • Because it yields a low climate sensitivity… And it’s easy ti cross-plot with Berner.

        • My recollection is that they objected to the bootstrapping, but didn’t assert that it was wrong. But, it’s been a long time since I read their response to Royer.

          My point in using it, is to demonstrate that it yields a low climate sensitivity.

    • From Veizer and Shaviv’s rebuttal of Royer:

      Moreover, the analysis of Royer et al. (2004) consists of bootstrapping, by introducing a correction to ∆T that is an implicit function of RCO2. It is then not surprising that a correlation between ∆T and RCO2 is obtained. This would be the case irrespective of the RCO2 model utilized.

      What Royer has done is unbelievable. He pH – corrects the temperature record (sea pH). This pH correction is a function of atmospheric CO2. Of course a temperature record will correlate with CO2 when you’ve just multiplied it by a factor related to CO2! His adjustment and conclusion (CO2 correlates with temperature) is circular and vacuous.

      In a nutshell, Royer adjusts reconstructed temperature by CO2 and then finds that it correlates with CO2. Yes, if you multiply a data series by a factor, it will correlate with that factor!

      Is this really all they have? Royer’s trick to force a correlation with CO2. I had thought that there might be something resembling a serious case, even if flawed. But only this??

  12. I have also done my comparison of paleo levels of CO2 and temperature and it is even worse than you present it. The only conclusion that one can extract is that Dana Royer (the pope of paleo CO2) is a dishonest climate activist posing as a scientist.

    In his chapter 6.11 of the Treatise on Geochemistry (2nd ed.), entitled “Atmospheric CO2 and O2 during the Phanerozoic: tools, patterns and impacts” he says: “There is a strong CO2–temperature coupling during the Cenozoic (Figure 6) (see also Beerling and Royer, 2011)”, and in his 2006 article “CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic” he says: “The late Eocene to present-day is the clearest example in the Phanerozoic of a long-term positive cou- pling between CO2 and temperature (see also Crowley and Berner, 2001; Royer et al., 2004)”.

    So I downloaded his paleo-CO2 database from Beerling & Royer (2011) and compared it to the δ18O data from Zachos et al. (2001), and this is the result from such entertaining activity:

    https://i.imgur.com/2PYV9KW.png

    The red line is the reconstruction of the temperature from the 18O isotope, while the black line is the reconstruction of the CO2 levels. The really surprising thing is that Royer says there is a strong positive coupling. They both go down, but there is not the slightest correlation. In fact, if a straight line is drawn between both curves during the last 50 million years, they show a mirror image of each other. Between 50 and 43 Ma the temperature drops and the CO2 rises. 34 Ma ago Antarctica freezes and the temperature plummets, while CO2 shoots up. Between 34 and 15 Ma (Oligocene and first half of the Miocene) the temperature recovers to pre-Antarctic-freezing levels, but CO2 sinks to levels like current ones (which are very low). In the last 15 million years, temperature sinks due to glaciation and CO2, however, does not change and remains very low.

    I find it incomprehensible that everyone says amen to Dana Royer and nobody calls him on his own data supporting the contrary hypothesis that he defends, that CO2 and temperature do not correlate during the Cenozoic. Dana Royer suffers from a serious case of confirmation bias. The reality is that CO2 and temperature almost never correlate during the planet’s history. They correlate during the Pleistocene glaciations, but as we know they are caused by Earth’s orbital changes, what this correlation indicates is that CO2 follows temperature and not the other way around.

  13. There’s also the small matter of so-called ‘runaway’ warming being flat-out falsified by the Guardians own article.

    If it really was 3-4C warmer the last time CO2 levels were this high, what caused temperatures to drop? Surely the theory demands temperatures would continue to rise in an upward-only death spiral? Instead….less than nothing.

    The temperature drop also surely nails any lingering claims of high climate sensitivity, too. Seriously, how has this absurd theory lasted so long in the face of multiple falsifications?

    • Yep. Our annual contribution is tiny, but we are taking geologically sequestered carbon and moving it into the active (or fast) carbon cycle. There is a cumulative effect.

      • The problem here is that there are no good estimates in how much more and how fast plants will remove by growing faster. Cause that is what they do with more CO2. And they can grow even in areas with less water as the stomata do not have to open as much therefore expanding the green areas on the planet.

        The sequestration rate is just not steady and subject to many variables (de-/forestation, precipitation, agriculture, desertion through erosion, live stock etc.). I doubt anybody has anything near a correct estimate there.

        • Yep. Without a firm quantification of the carbon cycle, we only know we’re adding to it
          We don’t know how much

  14. Since nothing is real anymore, I’d contend we’re living in the Plasticene epoch.

    That is however, open to mis-hearing.

    A very insightful read, nonetheless.

  15. And my favorite: In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. – Yogi Berra

    And while we’re modeling, where’s the model for a flat earth? I’m telling you it’s that 3rd dimension that is causing all the problems.

    • My favorite is “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded”.

      Question for David:
      On the two larger anomaly graphs, what are the base periods for the anomalies?

      • I’d have to look that up. In the case of Zachos, the graph is of δ18O and the temperature conversion is for a relatively ice-free world. So, it isn’t “apples and apples” with the Neogene/Quaternary.

  16. Dr. Middleton:

    Love your posts (all of them!). I’m not understanding the paragraph under Figure 5, second sentence:

    ” So Earth was at least somewhat colder the a similar CO2 concentration in the Late Paleozoic.”

    Hoping it is just a typo; usually I can ‘fill in’ what I think might be missing. In this case, I’m not finding a suitable repair for what I think you were meaning to say.

    We’ve communicated before about our mutual use of Dott & Batten in our respective Hysterical Geology classes (yes, we came up with all kinds of “MAD Magazine” names for our classes; e.g.,

    Historical Geology = Hysterical Geology
    Invertebrate Paleontology = Inevitable Phylogony
    Optical Mineralogy = Optimal Minimalogy )

    And a side-note, my Structural Professor (remember, this was early ’70’s !) did NOT accept continental drift, and railed against in any number of times in our class. There was a very lengthy paper (AAPG, I think?) by Meyerhoff and Meyerhoff, which “proved” that the continents had been fixed in place since the Archean. It was almost 100 pages long; after getting through it, I kind-of felt like Einstein, who, upon hearing that his theories had been refuted by 100 German scientists, quipped, ‘why 100? If I’m wrong, one would have been enough’. M & M could have said all that they said in 100 pages, in just a single page (the abstract was about ten paragraphs … ).

    Great post!!! Keep it up!!!!

    Best Regards,

    Vlad

    • I think this was supposed to be:

      “So Earth was at least somewhat colder with a similar CO2 concentration in the Late Paleozoic than it is today.”

      The 70’s were a great time for studying geology… And the drinking age was 18!

      • David Middleton says :
        The 70’s were a great time for studying geology… And the drinking age was 18 !
        ————————
        And in my Province of Ontario at that time high school went to Grade 13.
        Most of the Grade 13 class turned legal in that year.
        And, an ale house with great cheap lunches was only 900 yards away.

      • Sadly, the drinking age in Utah was 21.

        UU class of ’77.

        • The local geology made up the difference. Our field geology exercises usually consisted of Hartford basin road-cuts… Red beds, basalt/diabase, beer & pizza… Connecticut has
          (or or had) some of the world’s best pizza joints.

  17. There is no record of CO2 driving temperature change in the geological record. It always follows. Ad sometimes its rise is associated with cooling and glaciation, not warming (e.g. during the Ordovician).

    Looking at high resolution reconstructions of the glacial terminations of most recent glacial cycles, it is clear that rising sea level, which follows rising temperatures, is lagged by rising CO2 by up to 4000 years. Lagged means it follows after, not before. So Co2 is following (being caused by) temperature change, not leading it.

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1029/2000GL012571

    Original references:

    Gildor et al. 2001, Geophysical Research Letters 28(12); 2421-2424
    Yokohama YK et al 2000, Nature 406(6797): 713-716.
    Clark PR et al. 1999, Science 286: 1104-1111.

    Turning from glacial termination to glacial inception, the fall of CO2 after the post-Eemian glacial inception lagged by 5000 years behind the glacial inception:

    https://epic.awi.de/id/eprint/34380/
    Schneider, R. , Schmitt, J. , Köhler, P. , Joos, F. and Fischer, H. (2013): A reconstruction of atmospheric carbon dioxide and its stable carbon isotopic composition from the penultimate glacial maximum to the last glacial inception , Climate of the Past, 9 (6), pp. 2507-2523

    So for 5000 years after glaciers started to advance and the earth cooled, CO2 remained high or rose still further.

    Looking further back in time, it was shown by Seth Young and colleagues from Indiana University found that, at the ice age at the end of the Ordovidcian era 444 milion years ago, rising CO2 accompanied glacial inception and the equator-ward spread of glaciers. So as the earth cooled and covered in ice, CO2 increased.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S003101821000115X

    http://www.academia.edu/download/45354431/Did_changes_in_atmospheric_CO2_coincide_20160504-5750-17f7bcu.pdf

    After climate scientists (surviving ones at least) subscribed to the interpretation that CO2 dominantly controls global temperature, the Ordovician glaciation became problematic because it is a deep glaciation that occurred while atmospheric CO2 was high.

    Not only high – detailed geological reconstruction by Seth Young and colleagues from the USA, Canada and Estonia has shown that atmospheric CO2 increased in concentration as the end-Ordovician glaciation spread.

    https://ptolemy2.wordpress.com/2020/07/05/the-ordovician-glaciation-glaciers-spread-while-co2-increased-in-the-atmosphere-a-problem-for-carbon-alarmism/

    So global temperature driven by CO2 is contradicted by almost all palaeo-geological climate data.

    • You are totally correct, Phil. Nowhere in the paleoclimate record evidence is found that CO2 is a main driver of climate. At most it can be said that at certain times like the Columbia River Flood Basalt, that David mentions, formation, a positive correlation can be found between an increase in temperature and an increase in CO2, but those periods are the exception, not the norm.

      The most likely explanation for the lag of about 5000 years in CO2 decrease after glacial inception is in the Schneider et al., 2013 article that you cite. There is a massive die off in the biosphere due to the pronounced cooling and it is probable that all that CO2 from the corpses is released to the atmosphere keeping the levels high for millennia. The same is observed during Antarctica glaciation 38 Ma ago, when an entire continent froze. This has two very important implications that the current climate establishment refuses to acknowledge:

      1. Elevated CO2 levels do nothing to protect from cooling. That’s a shot in the face of the CO2 as climate control hypothesis.

      2. The biosphere plays a very important role in determining atmospheric CO2 levels, particularly when it is expanding or contracting. It is currently expanding fast. Carbon fixation by land plants has increased by 30 % since 1900 (Haverd et al., 2020) and it is accelerating since it is keeping up with our accelerated emissions. We don’t need to decarbonize. If we just stop increasing our emissions atmospheric CO2 levels will first level and then start falling due to biosphere growth until an equilibrium is reached that depends on the level of our emissions.

    • The link to the Young et al., 2010 paper in your comment doesn’t work. The people of Academia have found a way that copied links don’t work. You have to hit the link at the Google Scholar page. If you copy the link and paste it, it doesn’t work.

      And by the way, Seth Young and colleagues are saying the opposite you are saying. They defend that the Ordovician ice age did not take place at elevated CO2 levels, that levels fell prior to the glaciation allowing it to take place and then increased causing its end. So they defend that CO2 levels controlled that ice age.

      The alternative explanation is more likely. The cooling started at elevated CO2 levels but caused them to decrease, as it always happens. Then the glaciation increased CO2 levels due to biosphere die off as it happened during Antarctica cooling. The glaciation ended when whatever caused it allowed its ending.

      • Javier says :
        “The glaciation ended when whatever caused it allowed its ending.”
        ——————
        If you look at the temperature ranges during ice ages you see … not a smooth long trough, but a series of relatively fast plunges, and climbs within the main cold 150Kyr glaciation.

        If you want to change out an attachment on a backhoe you need a sledgehammer to knock out/in the pin(s).

        I think there are extraterrestrial “energy events” (not aliens) that hit our planetary system from inside and out.. Some regular some not. They are the sledgehammers that rapidly change earth’s climate in the major, and minor ways. You can’t look at the ice age swings over the last million years and not see a regularity to them.

        Solar is my #1 suspect for the Ice Age /Interglacial Warm cycle. I’m intrigued by Ben Davidson’s theory of recurring long period solar micro novas. We live in a big universe, and we can see high energy events happening all over it virtually every day. Not much attention is paid to what that means in our neighborhood.

        • As a retired Cat exec, your understanding of how buckets are attached and detached is decades old. The operator hasn’t had to get out of the cab to do this for quite some time.

      • Javier

        Quoting Young et al:

        The observed change in 13C through the Hirnantian Stage in Estonia and Anticosti Island can be interpreted to reflect atmospheric pCO2 levels that were relatively low immediately prior to the d13Ccarb excursion and then increased as ice sheets expanded (Figs. 5 and 6). Ultimately, this period of elevated pCO2 is followed by global deglaciation.

        Yes I know that Young et al stay within the CO2 party line. The word “ultimately” is the key word with a lot hiding behind it. Yes they find that CO2 fell prior to the glaciation – not surprising (more ocean gas solubility). No implication of CO2 control there. But the critical finding is that atmospheric CO2 increases as glaciation spreads. They make a silicate weathering explanation for this which could well be valid – ice cover stopping CO2 mineral draw-down. But no matter how you spin this, this contradicts the notion that CO2 is the all powerful driver of temperature.

        This elevated CO2 persisted for the full duration of the glaciation, until “ultimately“ (authors’ word) temperatures rose and the glaciation ended. It’s funny in a black comedy kind of way that this CO2 elevation that happened during glacial inception is by sleight of hand flourished as the cause of glacial termination several million years later. The end-Ordovician glaciation lasted for several million years (with more and less intense intervals as with all glaciations). We’re asked to believe that high CO2 persisted for all of this multi million year glaciation and then “caused” the end of the glaciation. All of this is hidden behind the word “eventually”.

        Yes authors wanting to stay employed will toe the CO2 line. But there was a mass extinction at the Ordovician-Silurian glaciation. One of the species that perished for ever was the notion that CO2 might dominantly control global temperature.

  18. One has to be pretty gullible to accept the contrivences of CO2 before CO2 in the atmospherewas actually measured. But then, there’s no shortage of such folks.

    • Agree, Hatter!
      Except is wasn’t the bible but the Koran – or was it the Kama Sutra?
      Anyway Hatter, Ash, good to see there be good ol boyz here ready to put them stuffy intillectool types in therr place ! MAGA!!

  19. One would be remiss not to mention Yogi Berra’s sidekick and confidant, Boo-Boo Berra.

  20. checking in with Dr Middleton

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/19/nature-chicom-19-fatality-rate-similar-to-seasonal-flu/

    “The local Dallas County numbers continue to be underwhelming. As of noon Saturday:

    4/19/2020
    Dallas County CHICOM-19
    Population Cases Deaths
    2,637,772 2,324 60 2.6%
    % of population with 0.09% 0.00%
    % with, rounded 0.1% 0.0%
    % without 99.91% 100.0%
    % without, rounded 99.9% 100% ”

    Today

    Population 2,637,772
    cases 31,525
    Deaths 445

    • 31,525 is 1.2% of 2,637,772… Most of the 1.2% have recovered. The other 98.8% of us either haven’t been infected or are asymptomatic. 445 is still 0 0% of 2,637,772.

      • About 700 a day, die in Texas from all causes. About 20,000 a month. (or about 9% of the population).
        This needs to be taken into account, otherwise, you risk falling into Climate Change hyperbole.

      • Dead people are not a “rounding error.” But soon the 445 will rise above your concept of “rounding error.”

        • It really amazes me how long people hang on to the hurt when they get intellectually embarrassed.
          David never said that dead people don’t matter, as you so desperately wish to believe. He was pointing out the absurdity of completely up ending the economy over a risk that was so small that it was below the rounding error.

          • It is really amazing that for all of the posts you have made here, you have never offered anything of value. You are a complete failure as an “attack dog” because none of your attacks matter. Grow up.

          • PS MarkW, the “rounding error” you speak of is calculated on Dallas. In case you haven’t noticed, there are over 310 million other people in this country that do not live in Dallas.

          • Douchepool… Do you have anything relevant to this post? Or just your usual retarded teenage SPAM?

          • Dave, you are using the output of the GEOCARB III model as “data.”

            It isn’t and your entire argument is bull-carp.

          • Middleton, if you need MarkW to stand up to defend you, your position and posts are a lost cause.

      • And now they find the “recovered” have serious neurological problems. This damned virus is not the “flu” no matter what Bannon, and even Trump said.

        Anyway thanks to fantastic medical technology and viral advances, we have a chance. If this thing has long term effects we have a problem.

      • As (Irish) Dr. Ryan of the WHO said “brutal arithmetic”. This kind of “logic” opened the door to something the GI’s had to smash in 1942….

  21. It’s time to throw out the big government paid shills of panic and fear and their alarmist proscriptions to ruin the economies of the world and force the middle classes back into servitude.

  22. Only a warmunista would assume that the only difference between the world of today and the world of 15 million years ago is the level of CO2.

    • Both the temperature and CO2 reconstructions are model-derived. All reconstructions are model-derived. The evidence is in how they relate to one another.

      • That is not entirely true. When they measure the CO2 contained in the frozen bubbles in ice cores, they are doing a direct measurement, it is not a proxy.

        • It’s not a direct measurement of atmospheric gas comcentrations.. A model is required to convert the measurements in the gas bubbles to atmospheric concentrations. A model is also required to date the age of the ice and the age of the trapped gas.

          • Try reading your own link…

            Unfortunately, annual layers become harder to see deeper in the ice core. Other ways of dating ice cores include geochemisty, layers of ash (tephra), electrical conductivity, and using numerical flow models to understand age-depth relationships.

            The top 50 m of the ice core was analysed at 2.5 cm resolution using a continuous melting system. Ice core samples were analysed for stable isotope ratios, major ions and trace elements.

            An age model was extrapolated to the ice core using a firm decompaction model[10].

            The offset between the age of the air and the age of the ice is accounted for with well-understood models of firn densification and gas trapping. The air bubbles are extracted by melting, crushing or grating the ice in a vacuum.

            One is the development of ice core timescales, which are a combination of annual layer counts, absolute dating of volcanic horizons, ice-flow models, and gas chronology matching.

          • Dear David, you seem to ignore one very important thing. The concentration of CO2 is first measured from the bubbles in the ice cores. That measurement is then “adjusted” to account for age, diffusion, etc. So, the BASIS of the measurement is the concentration of CO2. Stick to rocks and leave the ice to experts.

          • The reconstruction, like all reconstructions, is derived from models. Models are just tools, essential scientific tools. Even bulb thermometers rely on models. If you weren’t so fracking retarded, you would realize that I have consistently defended the proper use of models in science.

    • The irony is priceless. I meant to point it out in the post, but was so preoccupied with finding appropriate Yogi Berra quotes, that I forgot.

  23. From the article: “The assumption that CO2 is the primary driver of modern climate change now has polluted interpretations of the past, leading to wildly exaggerated estimates of climate sensitivity and models which have consistently overestimated the predicted warming.”

    That is correct. Alarmists are seeing what they want to see.

  24. “The amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is approaching a level not seen in 15m years”

    Hmm. I saw a plot of CO2 hovering around 400-500 ppm during the Holocene climate optimum. Oh but wait, this data doesn’t agree with CO2 concentrations measured in Antarctic ice cores so it must be wrong.
    https://imgur.com/a/F4PBDMb

    • Stomata data indicate >400 ppm during the Bølling–Allerød interstadial as well… Subject of a future post… Eventually.

  25. Prior to the “Quarternary” Ice Age that we are currently in, Earth had four previously Ice Ages:
    — the “Huronion” that lasted about 300 million years
    — the “Cryogenian” that lasted about 90 million years
    — the “Andean-Saharan” that lasted about 40 million years
    — the “Karoo glaciation” that lasted about 100 million years

    The Quarternary Ice Age began about 2.6 million years ago, so statistics based on historical data say this Ice Age should continue for at least another 37 million years. Within this interval, historical climate statistics also say there will be glacial/interglacial (aka stadial/interstadial) cycles that occur with periods of about 100,000 years.

    Fortunately for humanity today, we are presently in the “Holocene” interglacial interval that began about 12,000 years age. Glacial/interglacial cycles are not symmetric, with the “warm” portion tending on average to be only about a third of the total cycle’s period. So, we can look forward to around another 20,000 years or so of continuing in the Holocene, albeit there can be fine structure perturbations therein such as the Little Ice Age (ca 1300-1850 AD).

    • I think you are overstating the duration of inter-glacial warm periods. At least the parts that “resemble” modern temperature levels that make the temperate areas of the world agriculturally productive. The Little Ice Age caused widespread famines across Europe with a drop of only 0.6 °C in the Northern Hemisphere. The “peaks” in the temperature graphs through the last three previous interglacials look more like an upside down icicle than a mesa. The last of the three the Eemian lasted about 15,000 years, was far warmer than our current one. The previous two were much shorter in duration.

      What you can see clearly in the record is when they end … the drop in temperatures is fast. Precipitously fast.

      • sendergreen, the duration of interglacial warm periods versus cold periods depends entirely on how one wishes to define “warm” versus “cold” over any given cycle.

        For example, https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Glacial_and_interglacial_periods website presents a graph (in turn linked to https://geology.utah.gov/map-pub/survey-notes/glad-you-asked/ice-ages-what-are-they-and-what-causes-them/ ) of the last four full interglacial/glacial cycles (starting with the onset of the warm portion of the cycle) with a demarcation between “interglacial” and “glacial” set arbitrarily at 30 °F. As a result, they caption that graph with the following statement: “Glacials historically last anywhere from 7 to 9 times longer than interglacials.”

        So, on its face, this supports what you say. But that conclusion would be entirely different if the demarcation temperature had been set at, say, 20 °F.

        However, I chose to use a more objective manner, wherein I used the mid-point temperature between maximum hot and minimum cold for each given interglacial/glacial cycle to demarcate “warm” versus “cold”, and then looked at the total time spent above and below that temperature level for each cycle.
        Here is what I got using the same graph as noted in the preceding paragraph:
        — fourth cycle from present one: starts at 425 kYa, ends at 340 kYa . . . 44% of time on warm side
        — third cycle from present one: starts at 340 kYa, ends at 250 kYa . . . 20% of time on warm side
        — second cycle from present one: starts at 250 kYa, ends at 140 kYa . . . 22% of time on warm side
        — last full cycle from present one: starts at 140 kYa, ends at ~15 kYa . . . 22% of time on warm side

        These four previous cycles average to 27% of the time being spent on the warm side of the midpoint of max/min temperatures for each given cycle. I rounded off that 27% to be “about a third” (given the high uncertainty of accuracy of these paleoclimate temperature reconstructions) when I gave my estimate for the average length of the “warm” portion of a typical interglacial/glacial cycle.

        Also, FWIW, the referenced graph shows quite clearly that the drop in temperature when transitioning from interglacial to glacial conditions is nowhere near as “precipitous” (or as consistent) as is the rise in temperature when transitioning from glacial to interglacial conditions.

  26. The reason to single out co2 is simple; control. Name co2 as the cause and by controlling it you get to control every breathing entity on earth and all industries. This will make the control of people by politicians caused by corona virus look like a pimple on an elephant.

    • Nonsense.

      The present or most recent time period is usually presented at the right or the top of a time series. We read from left to right. The progression of time is from left to right.

      Excel defaults to the x-axis increasing to the right. This causes calendar years and “years before present” to plot in opposite directions.

      This is the classic CO2 and temperature plot routinely cited by skeptics.

      This a variation plotted by the skeptic author of this post (me):

      The x-axis of both plots is in “years before present.” In both cases the “years before present” are decreasing to the right.

  27. Given the scattergram of CO2 concentration to temperature, I’d say there is some non-linear relationship with a high standard error. Also — who says that temperature is solely controlled by CO2? No doubt — but I wouldn’t know — many factors determine temperature. If this is so, the conclusion that CO2 is not the temperature control knob is no big deal at all. (I can’t account for the Guardian’s scary article!)

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