New technique shows Roman Warm Period Warmer than Present Day
By Dr. David Whitehouse
A promising new technique to reconstruct past temperatures has been developed by scientists at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada and Durham University, England, using the shells of bivalve mollusks. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science the scientists say that oxygen isotopes in their shells are a good proxy measurement of temperature and may provide the most detailed record yet of global climate change.
Most measures of palaeoclimate, such as those from tree rings, provide data on only average annual temperatures, and then they are affected by many other factors such as the rainfall effect on tree ring width. William Patterson, lead author of the study, says that as mollusks grow the colder the water, the higher the proportion of the heavy oxygen isotope, oxygen-18 in the shells. Because shell growth depends upon seasonal temperature variations it is possible to see much finer changes than tree rings. Because they only live for between 2 – 9 years it has the potential to reveal fine temporal detail for specific periods.
The study used 26 shells obtained from sediment cores taken from an Icelandic inlet. The shells were extracted along their growth axes and the carbonate powder analysed for stable oxygen isotopes using a mass spectrometer.
Although the mollusks record water temperatures, not air temperatures. But the two are closely linked - especially close to the shore, where most people in Iceland lived.
Oxygen isotope values for the two oldest bivalves in the study show a cold spell between 360 BC to 240 BC that has some of the coldest temperatures in the entire series of observations that stretch to about 1660 AD. Following this period it seems that temperatures increased rapidly such that temperatures from 230 BC are significantly higher. In fact a shell from 130 BC recorded the highest temperature in the entire 2,000-year dataset.
Between 230 BC and 40 AD there was a period of exceptional warmth in Iceland that was coincident with the Roman Warm Period in Europe that ran from 200 BC to 400 AD. This Icelandic shell data series suggests that the RWP had higher temperatures that those recorded in modern times.
By 410 AD there had been a return to cooler temperatures presaging the onset of a cold and wetter era called the Dark Ages Cold Period between 400 AD and 600 AD.
The subsequent warming trend in Iceland took place from 600 AD to 760 AD about a century before prolonged warming began in Europe than in the subsequent centuries led to the Medieval Warm Period that was about as warm as the Roman one.
Iceland was initially settled between 865 AD – 930 AD, and it is often assumed this happened when the climate was favorably warm for sea voyages and settlement. The reconstructed temperatures in this study suggest they were high just before Iceland’s initial settlement began but deteriorated shortly afterwards.
The study's findings suggest that details of climate recorded in Icelandic sagas are reasonably accurate.
In the 1000s the Icelandic “Book of Settlements” reports a famine so severe “men ate foxes and ravens” and “the old and helpless were killed and thrown over cliffs.” According to his shells, it was a difficult period with summer water temperatures peaking at only 5-6 degree C, down from as high as 7.5-9.5 degree C only 100 years earlier.
The high time resolution possible because of the short lives of the clams enables intricate changes to be deduced. A warming trend occurred after 1120 AD however by 1320 AD the climate began cooling again recording record lows for the 2,000 year dataset. Such lows are also seen in Greenland ice cores. The cool period was prolonged. Western settlement in Greenland was abandoned by 1360 AD and by 1450 AD settlements in the east were abandoned as well.
Isotope data from shells is clearly a highly promising technique with many advantages over paleoclimatic reconstruction using tree rings. The ability to monitor seasonal climatic extremes will be very valuable not only for climate but also to shed light on the rise and collapse of societies.
Another crucial aspect of climate science that this research could be important for is the statistical extraction of human climatic "fingerprints" from climate models and real-world data. It is commonly said that one of the most important human fingerprints on the climate is the rapidity of the changes seen in global average temperatures seen in the past few decades. This new line of research has the potential to provide fine temporal resolution of past climatic changes possibly demonstrating similar changes to that seen currently which took place without todays putative anthropogenic forcing. It would be fascinating to see this approach used to produce a detailed timeline of the changes of the past two thousand years from many site worldwide, especially for the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods so that they could properly be compared to what is going on today.
Memorandum submitted by Stephen McIntyre (CRU 32) to the Science and Technology Committee, House of Commons, Parliament, UK
1. Reconstructions of temperature over the past 1000 years have been an highly visible part of IPCC presentations to the public. CRU has been extremely influential in IPCC reconstructions through: coauthorship, the use of CRU chronologies, peer review and IPCC participation. To my knowledge, there are no 1000-year reconstructions which are truly "independent" of CRU influence. In my opinion, CRU has manipulated and/or withheld data with an effect on the research record. The manipulation includes (but is not limited to) arbitrary adjustment ("bodging"), cherry picking and deletion of adverse data. The problem is deeply rooted in the sense that some forms of data manipulation and withholding are so embedded that the practitioners and peer reviewers in the specialty seem either to no longer notice or are unoffended by the practices. Specialists have fiercely resisted efforts by outside statisticians questioning these practices - the resistance being evident in the Climategate letters. These letters are rich in detail of individual incidents. My submission today will not comment on these individual incidents (some of which I've commented on already at Climate Audit), but to try to place the incidents into context and show why they matter to the research record. I will not comment in this submission on CRUTEM issues only for space reasons.
2. Together with Ross McKitrick, I have published several peer-reviewed articles on 1000-year reconstructions and reconstructions, made invited presentations to a panel of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, to a subcommittee of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee and a Union Session of the American Geophysical Union and have in-depth personal knowledge of CRU proxy reconstructions. I was a reviewer of the IPCC 2007 Assessment Report. I am the "editor" of a prominent climate blog, www.climateaudit.org, which analyzes proxy reconstructions. I am discussed in many Climategate Letters.
3. Keith Briffa was Lead Author of the IPCC 2007 section on "recent" paleoclimatology, the Climategate Letters showing that he worked closely with Mann associate, Eugene Wahl (not a listed IPCC expert reviewer). Mann was Lead Author of the corresponding IPCC 2001 section, with the Climategate Letters showing that he worked closely with Briffa and Jones.
4. Jones, Briffa and Osborn were on the editorial boards of multiple climate journals and participated actively both in peer review and the assignment of peer reviewers.
5. CRU scientists (and Climategate correspondent Michael Mann) were coauthors of all three reconstructions in the IPCC 2001 report and coauthors of six (of ten) multiproxy reconstructions in the IPCC 2007 report.
6. CRU tree ring proxies (in particular, Tornetrask, Yamal/Polar Urals, Taymir) were used in all ten IPCC 2007 multiproxy reconstructions.
7. One of the underlying problems in trying to use tree ring width/density chronologies for temperature reconstructions is a decline in 20th century values at many sites - Briffa's 1992 density (MXD) chronology for the influential Tornetrask site is shown at left below. The MXD chronology had a very high correlation to temperature, but went down in the 20th century relative to what it was "expected" to do and relative to the ring width (RW) chronology (which had a lower correlation to temperature.) So Briffa "adjusted" the MXD chronology, by a linear increase to the latter values (middle), thereby reducing the medieval-modern differential. This adjustment was described in private as the "Briffa bodge" (Melvin and Briffa 2008).
8. Although there was no scientific basis for such an arbitrary adjustment, peer reviewers of Briffa et al (1992) did not object. "Bodging" then seems to entered into the CRU toolkit to get reconstructions to "look" right, as evidenced by the Climategate documents containing annotations that the method contains "fudge factors" or "very artificial corrections for decline" (e.g. http://di2.nu/foia/harris-tree/briffa_sep98_e.pro)
;****** APPLIES A VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR DECLINE*********
2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
9. Although the bodge was reported in the original article, the bodge was not reported in the numerous multiproxy studies relying on the Tornetrask reconstruction nor in the IPCC reports nor was it considered in calculation of confidence intervals.
Withholding Adverse Data
10. There are many incidents in the Climategate Letters of withholding data. I'll review one incident which, in my opinion, has a direct impact on the research record.
11. Briffa et al. (1995) produced an influential chronology from the Polar Urals site (Figure 2- left), which combated the idea of a widespread Medieval Warm Period, supposedly showing a very cold 11th century in Siberia, with 1032 supposedly being the coldest year of the millennium. Further measurements (Figure 2- right) yielded a chronology in which the 11th century was warmer than the 20th century. Neither CRU nor any other climate scientist ever published this update. The data at right has never been publicly archived and was obtained only through quasi-litigation at Science. (One of the Climategate Letters expresses regret that the data was made available.)
12. The failure to publish this data set has two important adverse results. The inconsistency between different tree ring chronologies is disguised. In addition, the data set was unavailable for third parties interested in producing multiproxy reconstructions.
13. There has been considerable suspicion that CRU cherry-picked the Yamal chronology over the updated Polar Urals chronology or a still unavailable combined chronology attested in Climategate Letter 1146252894.txt.
14. Instead of showing the updated Polar Urals chronology (figure 3-left), Briffa (2000) replaced it without discussion with a chronology from nearby Yamal, one with an extremely pronounced hockey stick shape. This chronology became a mainstay of subsequent multiproxy reconstructions, while the unpublished Polar Urals chronology was ignored. Measurement data for the three Briffa (2000) chronologies - Yamal, Taymir and Tornetrask - was not archived at the international tree ring measurement archive. Briffa resisted requests to archive the measurement data, which was not archived until September 2009 (and then only after Phil Trans B was asked to require its archiving.)
15. Replacement of the Yamal chronology with the Polar Urals chronology alters the ranking of the medieval and modern periods in, for example, the Briffa (2000) composite reconstruction, impacting IPCC assertions in respect to the confidence of their belief in unprecedented modern warmth. As an IPCC reviewer, I requested that this be disclosed. In his capacity as IPCC Lead Author, Briffa refused. In the absence of any explanation of the substitution, there is reason to be concerned about the reasons for using one series rather than the other.
16. The Yamal chronology was very much in the news just before Climategate broke, with questions being asked at Climate Audit about replication and homogeneity, neither of which had been previously addressed in peer reviewed literature.
17. The Climategate Letters (e.g. 878654527.txt) also show evidence that Briffa's concern over non-linear recent growth - a concern that was not disclosed in Briffa (2000).
18. A similar cherry-picking issue arises with the preferential use in multiproxy studies of the Briffa (2000) Tornetrask version in preference to the Grudd (2006) version, which has a medieval period that is relatively "warmer" than the modern period.
19. The above examples show influential CRU site chronologies. However, the number of proxies in a typical IPCC multiproxy reconstruction is sufficiently small that the choice between two versions of a single site chronology can impact the overall reconstruction. For example, Figure 5 compares the published Briffa (2000) reconstruction (left) with a version derived merely by substituting the Polar Urals update for Yamal(right). The medieval-modern differential changes with one seemingly inconsequential change of version.
Figure 5. Briffa (2000) Reconstruction (before fitting to temperature). Left - version from Briffa (2000); right - varying the Tornetrask and Urals versions to newer versions.
The "Trick ... to Hide the Decline"
20. Climate scientists have argued that the term "trick" can denote a clever way "to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field." (Penn State Inquiry). This is incorrect as applied to representations of the Briffa MXD reconstruction.
21. The "trick" arose in the context of pressure on IPCC 2001 authors to present a "nice tidy story" and to avoid a situation where the Briffa reconstruction "diluted the message" (see http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/) . Two different variants of the "trick" appear in contemporary graphics.
22. Figure 6 (left) shows the actual Briffa MXD reconstruction (data available for the first time in the Climategate Letters) and (right) the version in IPCC 2001 Fig 2-21 (digitized on right. The IPCC "trick" was not a "clever" mathematical method - it was merely the deletion of inconvenient data after 1960. Post-1960 values were even deleted in the reconstruction archived version at NOAA.
23. The deletion of post-1960 values of the Briffa MXD reconstruction gave the IPCC (2001) temperature reconstructions a rhetorical appearance of consistency that did not exist in the underlying data (as shown below)
24. A somewhat different "trick" was used in the World Meteorological Organization 1999 report (shown in Figure 8 below). Jones substituted instrumental temperatures for MXD reconstruction values after 1960, resulting in an entirely false rhetorical impression of the efficacy of tree ring reconstructions. Far from this technique being "legitimate", Mann himself at realclimate had stated precisely the opposite about the splicing of temperatures and reconstructions into a single graft:
No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, "grafted the thermometer record onto" any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum.
25. The Climategate Letters obviously contain many dispiriting examples of poor conduct, including the following.
26. Withholding of data from potential critics:
Jones: We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.
Osborn to Science: I don't have any core measurement data and therefore have none to give out!  [Climategate Letters and documents show that CRU had the requested measurement data]
Mann to Osborn: I'm providing these [MBH residuals] for your own personal use, since you're a trusted colleague. So please don't pass this along to others without checking w/ me first. This is the sort of "dirty laundry" one doesn't want to fall into the hands of those who might potentially try to distort things.
27. Use of the peer review process to suppress or delay adverse publications:
If published as is, this paper could really do some damage. It is also an ugly paper to review because it is rather mathematical, with a lot of Box-Jenkins stuff in it. It won't be easy to dismiss out of hand as the math appears to be correct theoretically
Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised
I am really sorry but I have to nag about that review - Confidentially I now need a hard and if required extensive case for rejecting
I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin [Trenberth] and I will keep them out somehow - even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is ! 
28. Soft reviews of submissions by close associates. The Climategate documents provide multiple examples of soft reviews of submissions by colleagues Mann, Schmidt, Santer and Wahl and Ammann. Presumably there are many others. The review of articles in which a reviewer has a personal relationship is a recognized conflict of interest in medical journals. For example, the World Associate of Medical Editors statement says:
a reviewer may have difficulty providing an unbiased review of articles by investigators who have been working colleagues. Similarly, he or she may find it difficult to be unbiased when reviewing the work of competitors
29. The Climategate Letters are replete with examples of unprofessional language, which on occasion rises to defamation:
The important thing is to deny that this has any intellectual credibility whatsoever and, if contacted by any media, to dismiss this for the stunt that it is.
If *others* want to say that their actions represent scientific fraud, intellectual dishonesty, etc. (as I think we all suspect they do), lets let *them* make these charges for us!
some cool statement can be made saying we believe the "prats have really fucked up someway" - and that the premature publication of their paper is reprehensible.
I'm saddened to hear that this bozo is bothering you too, in addition to NCAR, NSF, NAS, IPCC and everyone else. Rest assured that I won't ever respond to McIntyre should he ever contact me, but I will forward you any email he sends related to this. I assume Scott feels the same way..
personally, I don't see why you should make any concessions for this moron.
Mr. Fraudit never goes away does he? How often has he been told that we don't have permission? Ho hum. Oh, I heard that fraudit's Santer et al comment got rejected. That'll brighten your day at least a teensy bit?
I noticed that ClimateFraudit had renewed their interest in you. I was thinking about sending an email of sympathy, but I was busy preparing for a quick trip to Hawaii:
I would immediately delete anything you receive from this fraud.
Hi Andy, The McIntyre and McKitrick paper is pure scientific fraud. 
I've seen this junk already. Look at the co-authors! DeFrietas, Bob Carter: a couple of frauds.
30. One of the most dispiriting aspects of the Climategate Letters is the evidence of CRU's contribution to the poisoned atmosphere of present climate science. In 2003, CRU criticized us for supposedly not attempting to reconcile differences between our methodology and Mann's methodology. In October 2003, Osborn observed:
The single worst thing about the whole M&M saga is not that they did their study, not that they did things wrong (deliberately or by accident), but that neither they nor the journal took the necessary step of investigating whether the difference between their results and yours could be explained simply by some error or set of errors in their use of the data or in their implementation of your method. 
31. Osborn proposed a draft statement, which, had it been accepted by CRU, would probably have prevented much, if not most, of the following controversy:
... we are withholding further comments until we can - by collaboration with M&M if possible - be certain of exactly what changes to data and method were made by M&M, whether these changes can really explain the differences in the results, and eventually which (if any) of these changes can be justified as equally valid (given the various uncertainties that exist) and which are simply errors that invalidate their results.
32. In November 2003, I entered into negotiations with CRU, agreeing to their review of our pending follow-up to our 2003 article, on the condition that CRU agreed to issue a short statement if their review confirmed that we had raised valid concerns:
If you identify any flaws in our document, we will rectify them, and you are at liberty to hold us to public account if we fail to do so....
If you find our document raises valid and meritorious concerns, you will give us a short statement to that effect which we are entitled to publish.
33. In a follow-up email, I re-assured CRU that I did not have the faintest interest in publishing results that were at cross-purposes.
We have entered into discussions about a possible review by UEA/CRU in complete good faith. We do not have the slightest interest in presenting incorrect or defective results or to create debate which is merely at cross-purposes.
34. CRU then refused to carry out the review, choosing to attempt to frustrate us in secret behind the scenes. Jones, as a member of the editorial board of Climatic Change, actively lobbied so that Mann would not be required to disclose source code and supporting data that would have enabled us to reconcile results. Despite his adverse interest, Jones appears (according to a Climategate Letter) to have acted as a reviewer of our 2004 submission to Nature, intervening not to ensure the reconciliation of results proposed by Osborn, but to frustrate any criticism of the Mann reconstruction.
The week that was
In spite of recent revelations, the IPCC express is barreling along. There may be some form of inquiry, but will it be significant? The engineers and conductors are assuring the passengers they will do better next time. Some passengers are leaving, disturbed by issues such as the non-existent melt of the Himalayas, disappearance of the relationship between storm damage and warming, unfounded claims of elimination of fifty percent of rain-based agriculture in Africa and forty percent of the Amazon rainforest.
However the passengers in first class continue to insist that these are minor inconveniences and the main line is solid and clear. They ignore the three great train wrecks ahead – the datasets of NOAA-NCDC, NASA-GISS, and Hadley-CRU.
As stated in the Summary for Policymakers, the claim that it is at least ninety percent probable that humans caused the warming in the last half of the 20th Century is based on several assumptions. One: temperature trends are accurately determined; and two: the natural causes of temperature change are known.
Of course, this methodology requires rigorously maintained measurements of temperature. As discussed in the science editorial below, these datasets are doubtful and before any policy on global warming is adapted, they must be verified. The second requirement of this methodology, complete knowledge of the natural causes of temperature change, will be discussed in next week’s TWTW.
As partially described in the Nature editorial reproduced below and in referenced articles, climate alarmists are claiming they are victims suffering from abuse by skeptics. Certainly ad hominem attacks have no place in science, but many of today’s “victims” had no issue with ad hominem when they were the perpetrators.
This leads to a somewhat amusing incident. On March 3, the web site of Scientific American posted a story on the satellite, Mars Express, fly by of the one of the moons of Mars, Phobos. The story was entitled “Probe flies by ‘alien space station.’” The author claimed that Fred Singer told President Eisenhower that the moon “might be an ancient abandoned spacecraft.” Of course, this was a complete fabrication and to their credit, when informed, the editors took down the posted article with apologizes and a statement it was not done by their staff. However, there was no explanation of who was responsible.
More disturbing news is that the EPA is up to its old tricks of manipulating the court system to expand power at the exclusion of the public, the legislative process, and those most impacted by such expansion of power. According to the AP, EPA announced a legal settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity. The EPA is sued by the friendly special interest group demanding EPA must expand its powers to deal with a perceived, though often spurious harm, and then reaches a settlement which is sanctified by the courts. The EPA will promulgate more regulations, in this instance, considering “ways the states can address rising acidity levels in oceans, which pose a serious threat to shellfish and other marine life.” The claim is that increased atmosphere carbon dioxide is responsible for the rising ocean acidity.
In his book heaven+earth, geologist Ian Plimer points out the science is a sham. The oceans are a base with a pH between 7.9 and 8.2. They have remained that way millions of years even when volcanoes greatly increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere many times beyond what it is today without any change in ocean pH. Even the terminology is scientifically incorrect, since the oceans are alkaline; the issue should be “reducing ocean alkalinity,” not increasing acidity. But reducing alkalinity would not have the same emotional appeal.
Of course, there will be a public hearing process on the rules, but as demonstrated in its endangerment finding, EPA will claim it is required to do so by the courts, and will ignore the science. As long as the courts defer to the EPA for scientific expertise, the public is not safe.
The AP article and a review of the experimental science by Sherwood, Keith, and Craig Idso are referenced below.
On another note, in a past issue TWTW pointed out there no scientific basis for EPA to intensify its regulations on ozone and it is likely that the new regulations will be economically harmful. The public comment period will close on March 22. For further information please see here
Roy Spencer has posted the satellite temperature measurements for February. Due to the El Niño occurring in the Pacific, as with January, February is above the norm. Roy also is applying a new technique to estimate the Urban Heat Island effect. See here.
ClimateGate (CG) and other’Gates’ undermine the credibility of the IPCC and of AGW
By S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
If I were to submit comments to the British House of Commons panel on Climategate, I would focus on the science:
1. We have yet to discover just how Jones et al managed to produce a substantial surface warming [between 1979 and 1997] when satellites showed practically none in the troposphere -- in conflict with all GH models.
2. I suspect that it had to do both with the SELECTION of weather stations and with the applied CORRECTIONS to the trends
3. Further, I had noticed that the Mann analysis of proxy data [Nature 1998] conveniently stops in 1979. When I questioned him on this matter, I got the very unsatisfactory reply that there were no suitable data available -- suggesting to me that he was hiding such information.
4. Accordingly, one needs to procure and analyze post-1980 proxy data to see if they support CRU (and NCDC and GISS) or the MSU satellite results.
SCIENCE EDITORIAL #8-2010 (March 13, 2010)
IPCC Rainforest eco-tastrophe claim confirmed as bunk
Official UN website still shows it as fact, though
More bad news today for the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as another of its extravangant ecopocalypse predictions, sourced from green campaigners, has been confirmed as bunk by scientists.
The UN body came under attack earlier this year for suggesting that 40 per cent of the Amazonian rainforests - dubbed the "lungs of the planet" by some for their ability to turn CO2 into oxygen, and also seen as vital on biodiversity grounds - might disappear imminently. This disaster would be triggered, according to the IPCC's assessment, by a relatively slight drop in rainfall of the sort to be expected in a warming world.
Unfortunately it now appears that just such conditions have already occurred, and in fact the Amazonian jungles were unaffected.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the baseless IPCC projection originated in a study produced in 2000 by hard-green* ecological campaigning group WWF, which was also implicated in the IPCC's equally invalid prediction that the glaciers of the Himalayas will all have melted within a generation from now.
According to the WWF report (pdf), which was not subject to scientific peer review - it was written by a freelance journalist and published by WWF itself - drying-up of forests will lead to runaway wildfires that will destroy the jungle and perhaps the entire planetary ecosystem. The document is full of terrifying phrases such as "the year the world caught fire". It warns of imminent doom caused by drought cycles:
The world faces a positive feedback cycle in which climate change, exacerbated by forest fires and deforestation, increases the frequency of the El Niño phenomenon, which in turn causes more forest burning.
The world faces warmer more violent weather, and more forest fires ... scientists believe the whole Amazon itself is threatened, with the rainforest being replaced by fire-prone vegetation. This has global consequences ...
It was bad enough that the IPCC included this sort of speculative scaremongering in its 2007 Fourth Assessment Report. But now it has been conclusively disproven - so much so that even IPCC members pour scorn on it, though they haven't retracted or amended their original endorsement of it.
NASA-funded scientists analysing the past decades of satellite imagery of the Amazon basin say that in fact the rainforests are remarkably resilient to droughts. Even during the hundred-year-peak dry season of 2005 the jungles were basically unaffected.
"We found no big differences in the greenness level of these forests between drought and non-drought years," says Arindam Samanta of Boston university, lead author of the new study based on NASA's MODIS sat data. "Our results certainly do not indicate such extreme sensitivity to reductions in rainfall," adds Sangram Ganguly of the NASA-affiliated Bay Area Environmental Research Institute, another study author.
Even the IPCC itself now regrets listening to WWF.
"The way that the WWF report calculated this 40 per cent was totally wrong," according to IPCC member Jose Marengo, commenting on the new research.
Which might beg the question of why his colleagues referenced the bogus WWF polemic in their 2007 report on what the world can expect: and why they still publish it today on the web as part of their considered opinion.
Samanta, Ganguly and their colleagues also consider that their results debunk another controversial paper published in 2007, which said that the 2005 drought was actually good for the rainforests, causing them to "green up" due to more sunlight from cloudless skies. These results are "not reproducible", according to the new analysis, which indicates that in fact nothing much changed down on the Amazon during the 2005 dry spell.
Samanta, Ganguly et al's paper, Amazon forests did not green-up during the 2005 drought, is published in Geophysical Research Letters (subscriber link).
*It's WWF's position, for instance, that economic growth is evil and will destroy the planet. We should actually be praying for a prolonged and massive recession with no recovery afterwards.
The organisation started out as a fairly mainstream outfit intended to protect wildlife, but has nowadays widened its remit into protecting the entire planet from unsuitable human activities. The initials WWF no longer stand for anything in particular.
Americans' Global Warming Concerns Continue to Drop
Multiple indicators show less concern, more feelings that global warming is exaggerated
Gallup's annual update on Americans' attitudes toward the environment shows a public that over the last two years has become less worried about the threat of global warming, less convinced that its effects are already happening, and more likely to believe that scientists themselves are uncertain about its occurrence. In response to one key question, 48% of Americans now believe that the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated, up from 41% in 2009 and 31% in 1997, when Gallup first asked the question.
These results are based on the annual Gallup Social Series Environment poll, conducted March 4-7 of this year. The survey results show that the reversal in Americans' concerns about global warming that began last year has continued in 2010 -- in some cases reverting to the levels recorded when Gallup began tracking global warming measures more than a decade ago.
For example, the percentage of Americans who now say reports of global warming are generally exaggerated is by a significant margin the highest such reading in the 13-year history of asking the question. In 1997, 31% said global warming's effects had been exaggerated; last year, 41% said the same, and this year the number is 48%.
Fewer Americans Think Effects of Global Warming Are Occurring: "In a sharp turnaround from what Gallup found as recently as three years ago, Americans are now almost evenly split in their views of the cause of increases in the Earth's temperature over the last century."
Many global warming activists have used film and photos of melting ice caps and glaciers, and the expanding reach of deserts, to drive home their point that global warming is already having alarming effects on the earth. While these efforts may have borne fruit over much of the 2000s, during the last two years, Americans' convictions about global warming's effects have waned.
A majority of Americans still agree that global warming is real, as 53% say the effects of the problem have already begun or will do so in a few years. That percentage is dwindling, however. The average American is now less convinced than at any time since 1997 that global warming's effects have already begun or will begin shortly.
Meanwhile, 35% say that the effects of global warming either will never happen (19%) or will not happen in their lifetimes (16%). The 19% figure is more than double the number who held this view in 1997.
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