T Nation

Hottest in Two Millenia


So do we need more proof? Or will heads still remain in the sand (it is cooler in there, of course).

Study: Earth 'likely' hottest in 2,000 years
Panel: 'Warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years'

Thursday, June 22, 2006; Posted: 2:12 p.m. EDT (18:12 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It has been 2,000 years and possibly much longer since the Earth has run such a fever.

The National Academy of Sciences, reaching that conclusion in a broad review of scientific work requested by Congress, reported Thursday that the "recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia."

A panel of top climate scientists told lawmakers that the Earth is heating up and that "human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming." Their 155-page report said average global surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rose about 1 degree during the 20th century.

This is shown in boreholes, retreating glaciers and other evidence found in nature, said Gerald North, a geosciences professor at Texas A&M University who chaired the academy's panel.

The report was requested in November by the chairman of the House Science Committee, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New York, to address naysayers who question whether global warming is a major threat.

Last year, when the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, launched an investigation of three climate scientists, Boehlert said Barton should try to learn from scientists, not intimidate them.

Boehlert said Thursday the report shows the value of having scientists advise Congress.

"There is nothing in this report that should raise any doubts about the broad scientific consensus on global climate change," he said.

Other new research Thursday showed that global warming produced about half of the extra hurricane-fueled warmth in the North Atlantic in 2005, and natural cycles were a minor factor, according to Kevin Trenberth and Dennis Shea of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a research lab sponsored by the National Science Foundation and universities. Their study is being published by the American Geophysical Union.

The Bush administration has maintained that the threat is not severe enough to warrant new pollution controls that the White House says would have cost 5 million Americans their jobs. (Watch as lawmakers argue saving the planet could ruin our economy-- 2:24)

Climate scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes had concluded the Northern Hemisphere was the warmest it has been in 2,000 years. Their research was known as the "hockey-stick" graphic because it compared the sharp curve of the hockey blade to the recent uptick in temperatures and the stick's long shaft to centuries of previous climate stability.

The National Academy scientists concluded that the Mann-Bradley-Hughes research from the late 1990s was "likely" to be true, said John "Mike" Wallace, an atmospheric sciences professor at the University of Washington and a panel member. The conclusions from the '90s research "are very close to being right" and are supported by even more recent data, Wallace said.

The panel looked at how other scientists reconstructed the Earth's temperatures going back thousands of years, before there was data from modern scientific instruments.

For all but the most recent 150 years, the academy scientists relied on "proxy" evidence from tree rings, corals, glaciers and ice cores, cave deposits, ocean and lake sediments, boreholes and other sources. They also examined indirect records such as paintings of glaciers in the Alps.

Combining that information gave the panel "a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years," the academy said.

Overall, the panel agreed that the warming in the last few decades of the 20th century was unprecedented over the last 1,000 years, though relatively warm conditions persisted around the year 1000, followed by a "Little Ice Age" from about 1500 to 1850.

The scientists said they had less confidence in the evidence of temperatures before 1600. But they considered it reliable enough to conclude there were sharp spikes in carbon dioxide and methane, the two major "greenhouse" gases blamed for trapping heat in the atmosphere, beginning in the 20th century, after remaining fairly level for 12,000 years.

Between 1 A.D. and 1850, volcanic eruptions and solar fluctuations were the main causes of changes in greenhouse gas levels. But those temperature changes "were much less pronounced than the warming due to greenhouse gas" levels by pollution since the mid-19th century, it said.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization chartered by Congress to advise the government of scientific matters.


Which is it? The hottest in 400 years, or 2,000 years?

Drink some more koolaid, chicken little.


See the 400 year old thread.

How the fuck don't they know if it is warmer or not? Either the data is there or not.

BTW the algorithm used to generate the hockey stick allegedly generates a hockey stick curve with randomized data.


Is that outcome based science?


FoxNews said 400. CNN said two thousand in their headline, although both have the same article from the associate press.

So Rainjack, this is all bullshit cooked up by liberals huh? None of it's true? We should continue polluting at a breakneck pace?

Like I said, it's irrational to think that something like the Industrial Revolution did not effect the biosphere.


Irish, I like you. You're a good guy. Please don't post anymore stuff like this. When you do you remind me hspder Gore...


Your friend,



I never said liberals. It is cooked up, unsuppoerted fear mongering by the enviro whacko brigade.

It is irrational to think that humas are responsible for the rise in mean global temps when they are guessing at data points from up to 2k years ago.

Your hockey stick graph has been debunked infinity times, yet you still call me irrational for not wanting to take the guilt trip with you.

Just because you believe does not mean I am irrational for calling it bullshit.




Here's a summary graph -- not much of a hockey stick if you ask me (See page 3)...


To quote Iain Murray:

So what did the NAS find? They found that current temperatures are almost certainly the warmest since 1600. No argument there - they also find convincing evidence for the Little Ice Age, which the hockey stick wrote out of history. They find that temperatures dating back to AD 900 are more difficult to reconstruct and that there may well have been a Medieval Warm Period, but the data there are (sorry, Derb, is) unreliable. So they are less certain that current temperatures are warmer than any time in the last 100 years, although they find this contention "plausible." They have even less certainty that the 1990s were the warmest decade or that 1998 was the warmest year in 1000 years. We just don't know for sure beyond 1600, is what they are saying.

Wouldn't it be funny if all of that C02 since the Industrial Revolution is what kept the "Little Ice Age" from being a real ice age? And of course, those who think the warming trend is caused by increased solar activity predict that the coming decades might actually be cooler...


1) likely- adj. Possessing or displaying the qualities or characteristics that make something probable.

proof- n. The evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true.

Nothing like a little conviction from probability.

2) So, granting you the certainty that comes with 'likely', according to the evidence, 1900 yrs. before the Model T was invented, it was 'likely' as warm or warmer than it is now. And this is 'proof' that mankind is the culprit? More certainty makes it seem more silly.

I can't quite decide how to conclude this so take your pick:

a. Although, there were fewer pirates back then...

b. If JC couldn't wrangle it in what chance do we stand?

c. Option A, we compose and effect an unprecedentedly massive multinational effort to dial industry, economy, and population back in time and 'likely' end up right where we started. Option B, we don't.


I sound like a professor at Stanford or a presidential candidate? Not bad company...better than a bunch of internet conservatives.

I'll continue this on the other thread, being as Hspder's thread is already started.


You'd think since they were so skilled at projecting data in to the past that they'd be better at predicting the weather. How the fuck do they know what the temp was and how do they know what it will be. They are not sure if it's going to rain tommorow. What's the standard deviation on these so called stats.
I smell bullshit. They waste their time reporting very unprovable theories, yet they actually find WMD's in Iraq and it somehow isn't news worthy.
I think it's another media scare tactic to get people to read their slanted opinions and go around like robots repeating the shit. The earth has warmed and cooled many times in it's 4.6 billion year existance. It will warm again and cool again.

Is it man made? Who knows, really. Everybody thinks, nobody knows. Nobody who does not have a political agenda is sure about it.


I thought you worked for a living :slight_smile:


LOL...actually he's not in as good a company as he thinks...


It's all the buildings, asphalt, concrete, etc. It's staid the same in the country, but in the city and other places it's gotten hotter. There is your explanation.

Should we try to keep from polluting as much? Yes.

Why is there such a drought (in Arizona), I don't know ask God.


No, I think what anyone with a brain, who understand just a bit about science, might need to know just exactly what did they use to measure the earth's temperature 2000 years ago and how accurate was it compared to today's measurement techniques?

In everyone's ramblings about this issue no one seems to get the fact that they have not had accurate instruments to measure the earth temperature until recently. So once again everyone jumps on the bandwagon for someone's theory or guess.

Let's use our heads people.