Paper finds the Alps were nearly ice-free 2000 years ago during the Roman Warming Period

Paper finds the Alps were nearly ice-free 2000 years ago during the Roman Warming Period

Google translation + editing, from the German EIKE site and added resources:

That the Alps were largely ice-free 2000 years ago during the Roman Warming Period, demonstrated wood finds in today’s glacial alpine regions by Dr. Christian Schlüchter. Dr. Schlüchter is Professor of Quaternary and Environmental Geology at the University of Bern, and lecturer at ETH Zurich.Dr. Schlüchter investigated high flood deposits of a glacial river in the immediate foreland of the Lower Bernese Oberland and found 30 to 60 centimeters thick pieces of wood and remnants of a moor. Tree remains were associated with a Arvenstamm (alpine conifer) and dated to 4,920 ± 60 years before present. The Moor remains dated to 2,100 ± 50 years before present. The finds are extraordinary, especially since trees and a marsh occur only at locations where no permanent ice is present and the tree line that was significantly higher than today. The previous datings revealed that in the last 10,000 years, slightly more than 50% of the time the glaciers were significantly shorter than today.Prof. Schlüchter: “Between 1900 and 2300 years ago the lower tips of the glaciers lay at least 300 metres higher than today. At the time of the Romans they would hardly have been recognised as glaciers for the simple reason that their lower reaches lay above the Alpine passes that were used at the time and would not have been an obstacle.“ This would also explain why, in the otherwise very detailed accounts, the Roman chronicles contain hardly any mention of glaciers. When Hannibal in 218 BC with his war elephants (in winter!) crossed the Alps and invaded the Roman heartland, the alpine passes were largely ice-free. This was the time of the Roman climate optimum. Fig. 2 left below shows how it looked there after reconstruction at that time. Schlüchter says, “These findings call for a fundamental revision of the prevalent view of a relatively strong coverage of the Alps with glaciers since the ice age. Because for long periods the Alps were greener than they are today.”Martin Funk (5), Professor for Glaciology at the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), looked at Schlüchter’s results. “I see no reason to doubt the results and the conclusions overall, at the most a few details,“ he said.Fig.2 left shows the Susten Pass …

Mother Jones suggests that trace amounts of CO2 are causing “plagues of biblical proportions” to descend upon the American Southwest

Mother Jones suggests that trace amounts of CO2 are causing “plagues of biblical proportions” to descend upon the American Southwest

The Southwest’s Forests May Never Recover From Megafires | Mother JonesGiven these plagues of biblical proportions—fire, heat, drought and insects—the future for the Southwest’s forests looks dim. Whether they will survive at all may depend on what we do—or fail to do—in the next few years on the biggest plague of all: climate change.

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New paper finds tropical forests are producing more flowers, a sign of vitality

New paper finds tropical forests are producing more flowers, a sign of vitality

Temperature increases causing tropical forests to blossom
by Staff Writers Tallahassee FL (SPX) Jul 10, 2013

File image.

A new study led by Florida State University researcher Stephanie Pau shows that tropical forests are producing more flowers in response to only slight increases in temperature. [What about the increase in CO2 that is greening the planet?]

The study examined how changes in temperature, clouds and rainfall affect the number of flowers that tropical forests produce. 

Results showed that clouds mainly have an effect over short-term seasonal growth, but longer-term changes of these forests appear to be due to temperature. While other studies have used long-term flower production data, this is the first study to combine these data with direct estimates of cloud cover based on satellite information.

The results of the study, “Clouds and Temperature Drive Dynamic Changes in Tropical Flower Production,” was published July 7 in the journal Nature Climate Change.

“Tropical forests are commonly thought of as the lungs of the earth and how many flowers they produce is one vital sign of their health,” said Pau, an assistant professor in Florida State’s Department of Geography. “However, there is a point at which forests can get too warm and flower production will decrease. We’re not seeing that yet at the sites we looked at, and whether that happens depends on how much the tropics will continue to warm.”

U.S. Geological Survey Senior Scientist Julio Betancourt, who was not involved in the study, described Pau’s research as “clever.”

“It integrates ground and satellite observations over nearly three decades to tease apart the influence of temperature and cloudiness on local flower production,” Betancourt said. “It confirms other recent findings that, in the tropics, even a modest warming can pack quite a punch.”

Pau led a team of international researchers who studied seasonal and year-to-year flower production in two contrasting tropical forests — a seasonally dry forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, and an “ever-wet” forest in Luquillo, Puerto Rico.

The seasonally dry site, according to Pau, has been producing more flowers at an average rate of 3 percent each year over the last several decades, an increase that appears to be tied to warming temperatures.

“We studied flowers because their growth is a measure of the reproductive health and overall growth of the forests, and because …

‘Climate consensus cracking under weight of evidence’

(No title)

Climate consensus cracking under weight of evidenceBy Larry BellAs the President demonstrated once again during his “climate action plan” address in Georgetown, he is not someone ever to allow facts to stand in the way of ideology and Green lobby cronyism. The familiar take-away line is that even more regulation is essential to bludgeon energy producers and consumers to abandon climate-ravaging fossil fuels in favor of heavily taxpayer-subsidized “alternatives.”Even his staunch allies in all things liberal, the New York Times, appears to have finally recognized that the feverish climate fervor behind these Green grab gambits is overheated. They reported on June 6 that, “The rise in the surface temperature of Earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.” Reporter Justin Gillis went on to admit that the break in temperature increases “highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system,” whereby the lack of warming “is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.”Incidentally, on the same day that the NYT wondered where the warming went, the Washington Post breathlessly reported that “Global emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use rose 1.4 percent to 31.6 gigatons in 2012, setting a record and putting the planet on course for temperature increases well above international climate goals.”They went on to quote the International Energy Agency declaring that “continuing that pace could mean a temperature increase over pre-industrial times of as much as 5.3° C (9° F), which IEA chief economist Faith Birol warned ‘would be a disaster for all countries,’ ”Yup. Climate Really Changes…Has Before…Will Again.Should lack of actual recent observed warming be taken to mean that climate doesn’t change, or that warming won’t occur again? No…hardly. But it does suggest a couple of important things. First, and foremost, it means that theoretical climate models upon which crisis claims are entirely based can’t be trusted. Second, if those models can’t be validated, then claims of consensus attributing an unproven crisis to human CO2 emissions, or to any other cause for that matter, certainly don’t warrant legitimacy either.Isaac Held, a research scientist at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, says “no one has ever expected warming to be continuous, increasing like a straight line.” He’s right about that. As Fred Singer …

New paper finds intense hurricanes in Florida have decreased over past 600 years

New paper finds intense hurricanes in Florida have decreased over past 600 years

A paper published today in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems reconstructs hurricane frequency over the past 2,500 years in NW Florida and finds intense hurricanes were less common over the past 600 years in comparison to the prior 1,100 years.

Related: prior posts on cyclones

New paper predicts a decrease in tropical cyclones in the future

New paper predicts fewer cyclones in North Atlantic & Europe due to climate change

Tropical cyclone wind speed constraints from resultant storm surge deposition: A 2500 year reconstruction of hurricane activity from St. Marks, FLAbstract: Recent work suggests that the patterns of intense (≥ category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale) hurricane strikes over the last few millennia might differ from that of overall hurricane activity during this period. Prior studies typically rely on assigning a threshold storm intensity required to produce a sedimentological overwash signal at a particular coastal site based on historical analogs. Here we improve on this approach by presenting a new inverse-model technique that constrains the most likely wind speeds required to transport the maximum grain size within resultant storm deposits. As a case study the technique is applied to event layers observed in sediments collected from a coastal sinkhole in northwestern Florida. We find that 1) simulated wind speeds for modern deposits are consistent with the intensities for historical hurricanes affecting the site, 2) all deposits throughout the ~2500 year record are capable of being produced by hurricanes, and 3) a period of increased intense hurricane frequency is observed between ~1700 and ~600 yrs BP [before the present] and decreased intense storm frequency is observed from ~2500 to ~1700 and ~600 yrs BP to the present. This is consistent with prior reconstructions from nearby sites. Changes in the frequency of intense hurricane strikes may be related to the degree of penetration of the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico.…