Roman and Medieval periods warmer than today

Cooling trend?

Another story you won’t see anywhere on the ABC, firmly stuck in its groupthink mode and working itself up into a lather plugging a litany of dire and alarmist statements from a symposium on coral reefs, which has predicted, amongst other things, rises in sea levels of 1.7m by the next century (far exceeding even the “gold standard” IPCC projection).

I wonder if a “coral reef symposium” would get any media interest at all if it didn’t follow the well worn-path of alarmism and links to man-made climate change? Probably not.

And why, I wonder, did the ABC choose not to report on a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change that showed the Roman and Medieval periods were actually warmer than the present, without any help from man-made CO2? Because it doesn’t fit the rusted-on groupthink, maybe?

A new study measuring temperatures over the past two millennia has concluded that in fact the temperatures seen in the last decade are far from being the hottest in history.

A large team of scientists making a comprehensive study of data from tree rings say that in fact global temperatures have been on a falling trend for the past 2,000 years and they have often been noticeably higher than they are today – despite the absence of any significant amounts of human-released carbon dioxide in the atmosphere back then.

“We found that previous estimates of historical temperatures during the Roman era and the Middle Ages were too low,” says Professor-Doktor Jan Esper of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, one of the scientists leading the study. “Such findings are also significant with regard to climate policy.” (source)

They certainly are. But don’t expect such policies to change anytime soon.

Warmist journal New Scientist does its best to prop up the consensus and wheels out Michael “Stick” Mann to rubbish the results:

The finding does not change our understanding of the warming power of carbon dioxide. In fact, it shows that human CO2 emissions have interrupted a long cooling period that would ultimately have delivered the next ice age. [So we’ve stopped an ice age? I would have thought that was probably quite good news…]

Esper says temperature reconstructions will have to be redone because past studies probably underestimated temperatures during the medieval warm period and other warm periods going back to Roman times. The further back in time, the greater the underestimate would be.

But others have doubts. [Michael] Mann argues that Esper’s tree-ring measurements come from high latitudes and reflect only summer temperatures. “The implications of this study are vastly overstated by the authors,” he says. (source)

Because when you’re an activist first and a scientist second, like Mann and the rest of the Hockey Team, your mind is firmly closed to even the possibility of contradictory evidence.

Link to paper here.


  1. On the Reef Symposium, I note with interest that none of the leading academics at JCU who oppose this alarmist creed appear to have attended. Can’t say I blame them.
    There are bubbles coming up from the sea bed around Dobu Island, Trobrians, like out of a glass of Coke, and it is CO2. Saturation level. Reefs and reef fauna are doing ok.
    Reefs all through the shallower waters of the north-east Coral Sea. Results from the Argo Project (monitoring the adjacent deeper waters) indicate that this area regularly shows the highest sea temperature anywhere, sometimes approaching, but never exceeding 30°C.
    Reserving judgement on the new tree-ring study.
    Having sawn up around 15 tonnes of 20+ year old timber in the last 12 months, I have had the opportunity to study some tree rings. Significant increase in ring size from about 2004 onwards. No significant nutrient intervention, insolation pretty much “normal”, flat to slight decline in temperature, very small increase in precipitation over long-term average. I reckon that here at least it has to be availability of CO2.

  2. The change in farming practices in places like North Wales, as the post Roman era climate became cooler and wetter, was well documented by monks a thousand years ago. The climate change lobby has simply chosen to ignore this.

  3. Didn’t trust Briffa’s tree rings. Don’t trust these.

    • DJ Elliott says:

      There are French official documents complaining about smuggled British Wine being imported in the 1200s. That ended with the 500 year Little Ice Age ~ 1300-1800. When the temps get back to the point that the UK can restart vineyards – then we will have recovered from that Ice Age. Hasn’t happened yet…

      Greenland had much more farmland that was not covered in ice when originally settled. Doccumented by forensic studies of the Viking ruins…

      Any competent student of history knows that we are in a recovery period from the Little Ice Age since the early 1800s.

  4. Some have seen this study as an attempt by climate science to re-aquire some legitimacy by returning the RCO and MWP to the record. The problem with that is that CAGW depends almost entirely on the myth of “strongly positive water vapour feedback”. Early in the CAGW hoax it was found that radiative forcing from CO2 alone posed little danger. The totally unphysical concept of positive water vapour feedback was then added to models with no supporting empirical evidence. Mann’s flat hockey stick shaft was not just an attempt to erase past natural variability, but also vital to the myth of positive water vapour feedback. If the recent past was warmer and positive water vapour feedback did not occur, then there is no chance of CAGW occuring.

  5. tony thomas says:

    From my article in Quadrant, June 2012:
    In May 2010 Opposition leader Tony Abbott told some Adelaide primary students that human contribution to climate change was an open question, and that it was warmer in Roman times than today. (Then Australian Academy of Science President Kurt) Lambeck responded officially to the press that Abbott was glib and wrong about Roman temperatures and encouraging students to accept unsubstantiated information. Again, why correct such an ‘error’ but not correct Gore’s errors, or government ministers’ errors? (The science literature can support Abbott’s conjectures).

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