Tree Rings as Temperature Proxies

Filed under Endangered Environmentalism, Global Warming
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The IPCC uses proxy temperature calculations based on studies of tree rings, to provide a long-term record of global temperature changes.  And the resulting graph showed global temperatures declining since 1998.   This was the subject of the now-infamous email about “Hiding the decline” in the proxy picture of temperature global temperature changes.   They substituted selected thermometer-measured temperatures for the proxy-calculated ones from 1980 onward.   After the emails from the East Anglia University’s Climate research Unit were leaked by the hackers, their justification was that the proxy data are invalid after 1980, because of a localised drought that caused a lessening of tree growth, resulting in an artificial decline in the temperature estimates.  And of course, the substituted temperature data showed the temperatures continuing to rise.  What would Penn & Teller make of that explanation?

There’s a big, big problem with it.  Tree growth rates are influenced by temperature, availability of water and the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, among other things.  If comparisons of tree-ring proxy-calculated temperatures and measured temperatures show the former to be unreliable since 1980, does that not throw all tree-ring proxy-calculated temperatures into doubt?  Including the ones that “prove” conclusively that there was no middle-ages warm period?  How do we know how many localised droughts have occurred in the past, let alone when they occurred?  There are historical records of a sharp decline on temperature in medieval times in Europe.  There is also anthropological evidence of a marked shift in the majority of the New Zealand Maori population from the fertile South Island to the North Island, closer to the tropics, at the same time as the recorded drop in temperature in Europe.  Given that the Maori at the time wore grass skirts and did not have shoes or tailored clothing like shirts, jackets and trousers, such a move could well be explained by a drop in temperature.  Is it not possible that tree-ring proxies are inherently unreliable as a temperature record?  A record that the IPCC and all of the noisy chicken-lickens want us to believe shows conclusively that we are causing the Earth’s temperature to rise?

Bloody hell!  We all know, without needing to reference proxy records, that temperatures rose in the twentieth century, that ice-caps declined and glaciers retreated during that time.  That’s bleeding obvious!  It has happened many times before – there have been many warm periods in the history of the earth, always followed by cool periods.  We have not found any evidence that the rise in the twentieth century was caused by man, or by CO2 or methane from our livestock.  There is also no evidence that this is a disaster and that we are headed for a runaway greenhouse effect of Venusian proportions.  At various times in the glacial records, we have found evidence of much higher temperatures than we have today,  and much higher levels of CO2 than at present.  Has anybody actually noticed that the earlier occurrences did not cause runaway greenhouse effects?  Nope- what they did was fuel the carbon cycle until the next downward temperature trend.  (Venus has a runaway greenhouse effect because its solar proximity and period of rotation make it impossible for it to support a carbon cycle.  Click here for more information about Venus.)

Interestingly, glacial records show that the rises in CO2 have always followed global temperature rises, not preceded them.  They certainly do not support the hypothesis that rising CO2 levels cause temperature rise.  But they sure could support the opposite!

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