Saturday, July 07, 2007


The research paper below puts into practice a much more precise method of measuring atmospheric CO2 retrospectively than is available via ice-cores. The research was done on plant residues in the North Atlantic area and showed repeated fluctuations in CO2 levels -- and that the CO2 levels changed in synchrony with the output of the sun. The paper is rather heavy going for non-scientists but it might help if I note that "cal. yr BP" is fully translatable as "years ago"!

(From Global and Planetary Change 57:247-260, June 2007)

Climate forced atmospheric CO2 variability in the early Holocene: A stomatal frequency reconstruction

By C.A. Jessen et al.


The dynamic climate in the Northern Hemisphere during the early Holocene could be expected to have impacted on the global carbon cycle. Ice core studies however, show little variability in atmospheric CO2. Resolving any possible centennial to decadal CO2 changes is limited by gas diffusion through the firn layer during bubble enclosure. Here we apply the inverse relationship between stomatal index (measured on sub-fossil leaves) and atmospheric CO2 to complement ice core records between 11,230 and 10,330 cal. yr BP. High-resolution sampling and radiocarbon dating of lake sediments from the Faroe Islands reconstruct a distinct CO2 decrease centred on ca. 11,050 cal. yr BP, a consistent and steady decline between ca. 10,900 and 10,600 cal. yr BP and an increased instability after ca. 10,550 cal. yr BP. The earliest decline lasting ca. 150 yr is probably associated with the Preboreal Oscillation, an abrupt climatic cooling affecting much of the Northern Hemisphere a few hundred years after the end of the Younger Dryas. In the absence of known global climatic instability, the decline to ca. 10,600 cal. yr BP is possibly due to expanding vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere. The increasing instability in CO2 after 10,600 cal. yr BP occurs during a period of increasing cooling of surface waters in the North Atlantic and some increased variability in proxy climate indicators in the region. The reconstructed CO2 changes also show a distinct similarity to indicators of changing solar activity. This may suggest that at least the Northern Hemisphere was particularly sensitive to changes in solar activity during this time and that atmospheric CO2 concentrations fluctuated via rapid responses in climate.


...... The relatively new method of stomatal frequency analysis applies the physiological response of certain C3 plants to changing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere (Woodward, 1987). Rapidly accumulating lake sediments, if supplied with sufficient numbers of leaves from the surrounding vegetation, allow the reconstruction of atmospheric CO2 changes on centennial to decadal timescales by applying its inverse relationship to stomatal frequency. This paper presents a stomatal frequency reconstruction of atmospheric CO2 at decadal resolution over the time period 11,230 to 10,330 cal. yr BP, supported by a highly resolved AMS radiocarbon chronology from lake sediments of the Faroe Islands (situated in the North Atlantic between south west Norway and Iceland).

As our atmospheric CO2 estimates should reflect the global net effect of carbon transfers between reservoirs responsive on sub-millennial to decadal timescales, we also discuss possible causes for the changes in reconstructed CO2 in relation to evidence of climate variation and solar activity during the early Holocene.....


...... The CO2(SI) reconstruction through the early Holocene bears a striking similarity to reconstructed solar activity changes. This may suggest a rapid response of climate to minor changes in solar activity during this dynamic period, which in turn impacted the global carbon cycle. This can, to some extent, also be seen in the climatic responses associated with the Maunder Minimum in the mid-17th to early 18th centuries.


The plant data used by Jessen et al in the paper immediately above are not the only plant data which show apparent effects of solar variability in the Northern hemisphere. But if such effects really were effects of the sun, we would expect similar effects worldwide. So are there Southern hemisphere plant data which give similar conclusions to Northern Hemisphere plant data? There are. See below:

(From Earth and Planetary Science Letters 253:439-444, January 2007)

Globally synchronous climate change 2800 years ago: Proxy data from peat in South America

Frank M. Chambers et al.


Initial findings from high-latitude ice-cores implied a relatively unvarying Holocene climate, in contrast to the major climate swings in the preceding late-Pleistocene. However, several climate archives from low latitudes imply a less than equable Holocene climate, as do recent studies on peat bogs in mainland north-west Europe, which indicate an abrupt climate cooling 2800 years ago, with parallels claimed in a range of climate archives elsewhere. A hypothesis that this claimed climate shift was global, and caused by reduced solar activity, has recently been disputed. Until now, no directly comparable data were available from the southern hemisphere to help resolve the dispute. Building on investigations of the vegetation history of an extensive mire in the Valle de Andorra, Tierra del Fuego, we took a further peat core from the bog to generate a high-resolution climate history through the use of determination of peat humification and quantitative leaf-count plant macrofossil analysis. Here, we present the new proxy-climate data from the bog in South America. The data are directly comparable with those in Europe, as they were produced using identical laboratory methods. They show that there was a major climate perturbation at the same time as in northwest European bogs. Its timing, nature and apparent global synchronicity lend support to the notion of solar forcing of past climate change, amplified by oceanic circulation. This finding of a similar response simultaneously in both hemispheres may help validate and improve global climate models. That reduced solar activity might cause a global climatic change suggests that attention be paid also to consideration of any global climate response to increases in solar activity. This has implications for interpreting the relative contribution of climate drivers of recent "global warming".


A few times a year the British media of all stripes goes into a tizzy of panic when one climate scientist or another states that there is a possibility that the North Atlantic ocean circulation, of which the Gulf Stream is a major part, will slow down in coming years or even stop. Whether the scientists statements are measured or inflammatory the media invariably warns that this will plunge Britain and Europe into a new ice age, pictures of the icy shores of Labrador are shown, created film of English Channel ferries making their way through sea ice are broadcast...

The panic is based on a long held belief of the British, other Europeans, Americans and, indeed, much of the world's population that the northward heat transport by the Gulf Stream is the reason why western Europe enjoys a mild climate, much milder than, say, that of eastern North America. This idea was actually originated by an American military man, Matthew Fontaine Maury, in the mid nineteenth century and has stuck since despite the absence of proof. We now know this is a myth, the climatological equivalent of an urban legend.



Brits have miserable weather so it is obviously a relief to have global warming to blame it on. And the recent floods fall into that category, of course. Not so fast, says the article below. Such fluctuations were known and explained (in various ways) long ago

June's rains did not break the monthly rainfall record for England and Wales, despite what many newspapers claimed. But, according to folklore, last Sunday's wet weather carried a dire warning: "If the first of July be rainy weather/ It will rain more or less for four weeks together." Many similar traditions, such as St Swithin's Day on July 15, reveal that people have long recognised how summer weather can settle into long-running patterns.

There is science to this too. Much of our rains are driven over the Atlantic by the jet stream, a river of wind a few miles up in the atmosphere. In the summer, the jet stream often migrates north, taking bad weather away from the UK. But this summer, high pressure to the north has blocked off that route and the jet stream has dug in over Britain. Its sluggish movement has reduced depressions and their weather fronts to a crawl, giving plenty of time for rain to fall.

This is not climate change, though. Will Hand, a forecast researcher at the Met Office, has studied previous extreme rains in Britain. "The depressions that gave such heavy frontal rain recently were typical of 20th-century rainfall extremes," he explained. He cites the Great Borders Flood of August 1948 as an example, when a slow depression flooded the River Tweed, sweeping away 40 bridges and disrupting mainline rail services for two months.



And much cheaper energy production -- where the Greenies allow it

The surging boom in new technology for home entertainment, from CD players and DAB radios to flat-screen televisions, is taking up huge amounts of energy and undermining the fight against climate change, a report claims today. The consumer electronics sector is now only three years away from becoming the biggest single user of domestic electricity in Britain, according to the report - and in 2010 it will overtake lighting, and "white goods" such as fridges and freezers, in home energy use.

By 2020, entertainment and computer technology in the home will account for an extraordinary 45 per cent of all electricity used in UK households, according to the study from the Energy Saving Trust (EST). This is equivalent to the output from 14 power stations, the report says, and undermines the battle to reduce C02 emissions - as well as costing the owners of the gadgetry 5bn a year.

The report, The Ampere Strikes Back, explains why computers and consumer electronics are becoming such a drain on energy supplies. "New, more sophisticated and 'higher spec' versions of electronic gadgets tend to consume more electricity than the products they replace, unlike fridges and washing machines that are usually more efficient as they develop and evolve," the study says. Furthermore, it is much too easy, according to the report, to leave electrical products switched on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with standby functions tending to be used more frequently than the "off" button. "Indeed, some products no longer have a manual 'off' switch, making it impossible for consumers to switch off the gadget, except at a wall socket," it says.

The report points out that new electronic products are also used in ways "undreamt of" just a few years ago. For example, digital television (which can itself be two products: a set-top box and a television set) may be used to listen to digital radio stations. "What used to be a low-energy exercise of listening to the radio is now a highly energy-intensive one," the report says. A typical modern household contains an array of gadgets ranging from television sets, to mobile phones, to computers and MP3 players. The increase in single-person households is also said to be "taking its toll". Young, cash-rich professionals who are quick to buy emerging new technology will see entertainment, computer and information technology taking up a growing proportion of their electricity bill.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


No comments: