Tim Ball is an uber conspiracy theorist and the author of the first chapter in the greenhouse gas denying book about slaying sky dragons. One might suspect that he pens articles for Anthony Watts so he (Tim) can build up a defense of insanity in his defamation lawsuits. He's quoted Hitler and Osama bin Laden to support his conspiracy nuttery. He thinks that Tom Wigley is angling to be the Leader of the World. He's nuts.
Nevertheless he has a nutter fan club in Anthony Watts and his conspiracy theorising acolytes.
The Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age
Today he's started an article with the following:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2001 Report claimed that neither the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) nor the Little Ice Age (LIA) occurred.I didn't need to check to know that he telling fibs. To save you the trouble let me quote from the 2013 AR5 WG1 report from the IPCC. The medieval warm period is referred to in the IPCC report as the Medieval Climate Anomaly. The report doesn't just mention it 27 times, it states its duration, from 950 to 1250. The Little Ice Age is mentioned 43 times in the document, and its duration is given from 1450 to 1850. Therefore Tim is lying when he claims that the IPCC "claimed that neither the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) nor the Little Ice Age (LIA) occurred". Quelle surprise - not. Lying and deception is pretty well mandatory on denier blogs like WUWT. Below are some of the 70 instances:
From TS.2.2.1 Surface
For average annual Northern Hemisphere temperatures, the period 1983–2012 was very likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 800 years (high confidence) and likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (medium confidence). This is supported by comparison of instrumental temperatures with multiple reconstructions from a variety of proxy data and statistical methods, and is consistent with AR4. Continental-scale surface temperature reconstructions show, with high confidence, multidecadal intervals during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (950 to 1250) that were in some regions as warm as in the mid-20th century and in others as warm as in the late 20th century. With high confidence, these intervals were not as synchronous across seasons and regions as the warming since the mid-20th century. Based on the comparison between reconstructions and simulations, there is high confidence that not only external orbital, solar and volcanic forcing, but also internal variability, contributed substantially to the spatial pattern and timing of surface-temperature changes between the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age (1450 to 1850). . (from TS.2.2.1 Surface)From TS.2.7.1 Atmosphere
During the last millennium, there is high confidence for the occurrence of droughts of greater magnitude and longer duration than observed since 1900 in many regions. There is medium confidence that more megadroughts occurred in monsoon Asia and wetter conditions prevailed in arid Central Asia and the South American monsoon region during the Little Ice Age (1450–1850) compared to the Medieval Climate Anomaly (950–1250).
Maybe what Tim meant to say, and did intimate further down in his article, was that the IPCC reports show that research shows that the medieval climate anomaly wasn't globally synchronous - from Box TS.5: Paleoclimate:
Continental-scale temperature reconstructions show, with high confidence, multi-decadal intervals during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (ca. 950 to 1250) that were in some regions as warm as the mid-20th century and in others as warm as in the late 20th century. With high confidence, these intervals were not as synchronous across seasons and regions as the warming since the mid-20th century.
Or maybe Tim didn't like it that it is probable that there was external forcing, not merely internal variability, that contributed to climate variability of the past 1200 years or so. From Box TS.5: Paleoclimate:
Based on the comparison between reconstructions and simulations, there is high confidence that not only external orbital, solar and volcanic forcing but also internal variability contributed substantially to the spatial pattern and timing of surface temperature changes between the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age (ca. 1450 to 1850). However, there is only very low confidence in quantitative estimates of their relative contributions. It is very unlikely that northern hemisphere temperature variations from 1400 to 1850 can be explained by internal variability alone. There is medium confidence that external forcing contributed to Northern Hemispheric temperature variability from 850 to 1400 and that external forcing contributed to European temperature variations over the last 5 centuries.
You won't be surprised to learn that Tim floated the schematic from the very first IPCC report, published 25 years ago before there were any global temperature reconstructions of recent centuries. He wants his readers to think it was something it's not. He doesn't say what, although this time he bent a bit and only claimed the zero line was of the northern hemisphere, claiming it was "the average temperature of the Northern Hemisphere for the last 1000 years." He's wrong. Some scientists checked its provenance and found that it was only of Central England, and only a schematic. It didn't represent actual observations of any kind:
...the curve used by IPCC (1990) was locally representative (nominally of Central England) and not global, and was referred to at the time with the word ‘schematic’.
As an aside, the word "medieval" only appears three (3) times in that very first IPCC report that Tim likes so much. In the latest AR5 report it appears 45 times.
Pictures and letters don't tell the whole story
What Tim is arguing is that thousands and thousands of observations and measurements from all around the world count for nought, not when compared to a painting of people ice-skating in Venice and a sermon by an English Vicar. They don't rate a cracker when compared to a very cold day in New York and western Europe in 1709. Tim's world is quite tiny. It doesn't include Australia, most of North America, any of South America, none of Asia, nor the middle east. And his world has no oceans.
Here is what scientists have discovered about temperatures of the past 2000 years:
|Fig 3. | Reconstructed (a) Northern Hemisphere and (b) Southern Hemisphere, and (c) global annual temperatures during the last 2000 years. Individual reconstructions (see Appendix 5.A.1 for further information about each one) are shown as indicated in the legends, grouped by colour according to their spatial representation (red: land-only all latitudes; orange: land-only extra-tropical latitudes; light blue: land and sea extra-tropical latitudes; dark blue: land and sea all latitudes) and instrumental temperatures shown in black (HadCRUT4 land and sea, and CRUTEM4 land-only; Morice et al., 2012). All series represent anomalies (°C) from the 1881–1980 mean (horizontal dashed line) and have been smoothed with a filter that reduces variations on timescales less than ~50 years. Source: Figure 5.7 IPCC AR5 WG1|
If you are 80 years old
I won't attempt to list every single lie that Tim told. If you're interested you can do a count yourself. Actually it would be easier to count the facts he told. Tell me if you find one. However there's one more thing Tim wrote that I'll mention. He said:
If you are 80 years old, you have lived through four climate changes; the warming from 1900 to 1940, the cooling from 1940 to 1980, the warming from 1980 to 2000 and the slight cooling from 2000 to the present. There are individual years within each period that had a significant impact. The summer of 1934, the winter of 1936, the winter of 1947 and so on.
Here is an animated chart, showing Tim's periods. Notice the periods that he says were "cooling". I've also added an arrow showing the past 80 years.
|Fig 1. | Global Mean Surface Temperature. Data source: GISS NASA|
|Fig 2. | Global Mean Surface Temperature and PDO. Data sources: GISS NASA and Nate Mantua at NOAA|
Notice that the latest cool phase didn't have very much impact on global surface temperature compared to that of the middle of last century. Given the current high values, it's probable (possible?) the PDO has just shifted to a warm phase, which would mean it will warm again more quickly.
From the WUWT comments
So far at the time of archiving, there's only one, which is not worth the bother.
References and further reading
P.D. Jones, K.R. Briffa, T.J. Osborn, J.M. Lough, T.D. van Ommen, B.M. Vinther, J. Luterbacher, E.R. Wahl, F.W. Zwiers, M.E. Mann, G.A. Schmidt, C.M. Ammann, B.M. Buckley, K.M. Cobb, J. Esper, H. Goosse, N. Graham, E. Jansen, T. Kiefer, C. Kull, M. Küttel, E. Mosley-Thompson, J.T. Overpeck, N. Riedwyl, M. Schulz, A.W. Tudhope, R. Villalba, H. Wanner, E. Wolff and E. Xoplaki. "High-resolution palaeoclimatology of the last millennium: a review of current status and future prospects." The Holocene 19, no. 1 (2009): 3-49. doi: 10.1177/0959683608098952 (pdf here)
From the HotWhopper archives