(First posted in January of this year , but re-posted because of the amount of traffic it has been getting.)
- “For someone to think that 1998 or 2010, or even 2014 are the warmest years… you have to be smoking something.” ~ RPT [Me]
Here are a few evidences — of the many — that indicate it was much warmer in the past and that 2014 wasn’t even near the warmest year [even assuming this to be true!]. The first piece of evidence to show is a recent article at WUWT dealing with giant clams (Jump to one of my favorites, TREES):
From the Chinese Academy of Sciences:
Two recent papers, one is in Earth-Science Reviews and the other is in Chinese Science Bulletin, have studied key chemical contents in micro-drilled giant clams shells and coral samples to demonstrate that in the South China Sea the warm period of the Middle Ages was warmer than the present.
The scientists examined surveys of the ratio of strontium to calcium content and heavy oxygen isotopes, both are sensitive recorders of sea surface temperatures past and present. The aragonite bicarbonate of the Tridacna gigas clam-shell is so fine-grained that daily growth-lines are exposed by micro-drilling with an exceptionally fine drill-bit, allowing an exceptionally detailed time-series of sea-temperature changes to be compiled – a feat of detection worthy of Sherlock Holmes himself.
By using overlaps between successive generations of giant clams and corals, the three scientists – Hong Yan of the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Yuhong Wang of Fudan University, Shanghai – reconstructed a record of sea-surface temperature changes going back 2500 years.
The Roman and Mediaeval Warm Periods both showed up prominently in the western Pacific and East Asia. Sea surface temperatures varied considerably over the 2500-year period.
Changing patterns of winter and summer temperature variation were also detected, disproving the notion that until the warming of the 20th century there had been little change in global temperatures for at least 1000 years, and confirming that – at least in the South China Sea – there is nothing exceptional about today’s temperatures.
Dr. Yan said: “This new paper adds further material to the substantial body of real-world proxy evidence establishing that today’s global temperature is within natural ranges of past changes.” Dr. Soon added: “The UN’s climate panel should never have trusted the claim that the medieval warm period was mainly a European phenomenon. It was clearly warm in South China Sea too.”
Another example is that in the the 1500’s till the late 1800’s passages that are now iced over allowed for what is termed as the Northwest Passage… Exxon or cars weren’t around then?
Another hint are the Vikings and how they flourished.
Here are some great excerpts from a book[s] on the subject that include Icelandic and Greenlandic Vikings:
- The warm climate during the MWP [Medieval Warming Period] allowed this great migration to flourish. Drift ice posed the greatest hazard to sailors but reports of drift ice in old records do not appear until the thirteenth century (Bryson, 1977.)
- The Norse peoples traveled to Iceland for a variety of reasons including a search for more land and resources to satisfy a growing population and to escape raiders and harsh rulers. One force behind the movement to Iceland in the ninth century was the ruthlessness of Harald Fairhair, a Norwegian King (Bryson, 1977.)
- Vikings travelling to Iceland from Norway during the MWP were probably encouraged by the sight of pastures with sedges and grasses and dwarf woodlands of birch and willow resembling those at home.
- Animal bones and other materials collected from archaeological sites reveal Icelandic Vikings had large farmsteads with dairy cattle (a source of meat), pigs, and sheep and goats (for wool, hair, milk, and meat.) Farmsteads also had ample pastures and fields of barley used for the making of beer and these farms were located near bird cliffs (providing meat, eggs, and eiderdown) and inshore fishing grounds. Fishing was primarily done with hand lines or from small boats that did not venture across the horizon (McGovern and Perdikaris, 2000.)
- The Greenland Vikings lived mostly on dairy produce and meat, primarily from cows. The vegetable diet of Greenlanders included berries, edible grasses, and seaweed, but these were inadequate even during the best harvests. During the MWP, Greenland’s climate was so cold that cattle breeding and dairy farming could only be carried on in the sheltered fiords. The growing season in Greenland even then was very short. Frost typically occurred in August and the fiords froze in October. Before the year 1300, ships regularly sailed from Norway and other European countries to Greenland bringing with them timber, iron, corn, salt, and other needed items. Trade was by barter. Greenlanders offered butter, cheese, wool, and their frieze cloths, which were greatly sough after in Europe, as well as white and blue fox furs, polar bear skins, walrus and narwhal tusks, and walrus skins. In fact, two Greenland items in particular were prized by Europeans: white bears and the white falcon. These items were given as royal gifts. For instance, the King of Norway-Denmark sent a number of Greenland falcons as a gift to the King of Portugal, and received in return the gift of a cargo of wine (Stefansson, 1966.) Because of the shortage of adequate vegetables and cereal grains, and a shortage of timber to make ships, the trade link to Iceland and Europe was vital (Hermann, 1954.)
To support the sun being involved, here is another short video:
Another example of this warming comes from the production of wine and the trading boom and crop and animal growth and productivity during this medieval warming period in the Roman Empire. Vineyards on the Salisbury Plains, and other parts on England that wopuld be impossible today:
And my final example, one I used in a more layman way with high school students at West Ranch High School was the following. I have wanted to get this copied and up for a long time, and I have the time now. But for the tree lovers, the following will be new information to them surely… and note how the 1990 IPCC graph at the top of this post matches the Chinese one below. This much warmer weather/climate (by three[+] degrees) allowed for higher tree lines in the past::
For a great interactive map one should see this link embedded in the below graphic, after the excerpt from WUWT: