back to article 10m years ago there was less CO2 - but the Earth was warmer

Scientists are puzzled today by the discovery that millions of years ago levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were lower - and yet, temperatures were higher than today's. The revelations come in a new paper just published by hefty boffinry mag Nature, in which geoscientists probed the temperatures experienced by the …


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  1. Big_Ted

    Here's an idea, if there was no ice then sea levels were a lot higher.

    Therefore a lot of land was covered with shallow seas

    Therefore a much greater surface area would along with a lack of things like the gulf stream which is powered by cold water from the Arctic would leave the water not mixing with the colder stuff at the poles.

    This would surely mean higher surface temperatures......

    To claim the link to carbon is 'decoupled' is just bad science as the article only shows one group of surface dwelling creatures and not anything about how cold or warm the lower levels of the seas were.

    Looks like just another attempt to link to a paper which has more questions than answers as a means of dismissing global warming......

    1. Captain Underpants

      Yeah, it's a genius approach Lewis has adopted, isn't it? Link to a paper that's behind a paywall, misrepresent it and claim that it backs your assertions, wave big stick at all current theories regarding possible links between human industrial activity and temperature fluctuations.

      It's the factual veracity equivalent of that old chestnut about sincerity - facts are the key. Once you can ignore (or misrepresent those) you've got it made...

      1. Steve Crook

        Can't read the paper but...

        The stuff I've read elsewhere says that the paper cannot explain *why* temps were higher than they should have been given the atmospheric CO2 levels. They make the assumption that, in some way, the climate was decoupled from CO2 levels then, but isn't now and that ocean currents were different. Good theories, but at the moment, that's all they are.

        Having been told for decades that CO2 was the *only* significant driver of increased global temperatures, it's still surprising that a paper can suggest that there may have been other mechanisms at work maintaining planetary temperatures.

        The point being that, if CO2 wasn't the be-all and end-all then, it may not be-all and end-all now, and it may be that ocean currents, land use changes, pollution may all be much more significant that currently credited, and the climate sensitivity may be lower than the IPCC have so far accepted.

        Just so it's clear I don't have problem with CO2 being a ghg and a doubling giving a theoretical ~1c rise in temps. It's the feedbacks and other forcings that are key to all of this, and they are what is in dispute.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can't read the paper but...

          "Having been told for decades that CO2 was the *only* significant driver of increased global temperatures"

          You should stop getting your science off the TV and Wikipedia, then. I was taught that CO2 is important, along with Milankovitch cycles, continental configurations (particularly at the poles), volcanic activity, and sea depth distribution. But, hey, that was only 30 years ago so it's probably not got much further than Horizon in terms of Pop Sci.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Can't read the paper but...

            agreed, this whole notion that we know everything to do with climate change is just utter BS.

            we don't know everything, far from it, and there is so much that effects the climate that to even try to suggest that it is as simple as one thing is farcical. But hay, I guess this is where media distributed dumbed down science for the masses and political justification comes in to it.

          2. Steve Crook

            Re: Can't read the paper but...

            @ Robert Long 1

            Perhaps you've been living in a cave for 30 years and missed the IPCC reports that clearly state that the world is warming, that the warming is *mostly* caused by anthropogenic CO2? Some people, Pielke Snr among them have been trying to get acceptance that there are other first order forcings including land use change and particulates, but it's been uphill work.

            Since you mention them:

            Milankovitch cycles, are tens of thousands of years long, and therefore considered to be largely irrelevant in terms of warming seen in the last 150 years?

            Solar TSI is also considered to be more or less constant and therefore Sun has also been dismissed. Svensmark may have more to say though...

            Vulcanism is mentioned, but only as a source of CO2, and I thought that the orthodoxy said that it was also irrelevant because rates of vulcanism are more or less constant over time so the CO2 put into the atmosphere by volcanos can't account for the recent temperature rise.

            Doesn't the orthodoxy say that continental configurations have not changed significantly in the last 150 years and cannot account for recent temp rise.

            TV and Wikipedia? Meh

            1. Tom 13

              Re: missed the IPCC reports

              Given that vulcanism actually isn't constant, that would seem to be a major source of error. Particularly given that most volcanic eruptions dump more CO2 than the combined industrial output of the last 150 years.

              And as an amateur astronomer, I have real problems with that Solar TSI thingie being constant. Particularly since its variance seems to closely correspond to the sorts of variance we see in temperatures over the last 150 years.

              But the biggest problem for me is the claim that when we know we only have real data for 150 years, we somehow know exactly what these x0,000 and x00,000 year cycles are.

              Oh, and don't bother me with IPCC reports that quote activists with no science backgrounds as authoritative scientists.

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      4. TheWeddingPhotographer

        Yea right

        You wave a big stick, and make a lot of noise, but I cant see any evidence within the article of Lewis doing this.

        This is the whole problem when politics meets science - the blinkers come out, and the shouting gets in the way of the science. It is often the people making the most noise that have the most entrenched views.

        In this case, the scientists have stumped up a result that feels unusual or needs more explanation, a reporter has reported this, and even comments that the scientists themselves were surprised.

        What would you have them do.. not do any research, or only publish stuff that conforms to your way of thinking? What would you have Lewis do - only report on findings that match the general consensus, your way of thinking? Or maybe, he writes a report on a paper published by a bunch of real scientists from a good uni with some interesting results?

        1. It wasnt me

          Re: Yea right

          "What would you have Lewis do - only report on findings that match the general consensus, your way of thinking?"

          Unfortunately, that is exactly what a lot of the brainwashed readers here would prefer.

          I genuinely don't understand that vitriol that confronts Lewis' climate articles. He is often accused of pushing an agenda. Wtf? As far as I can work out the guy is an ex RN guy turned journo with an interest in climate and nuclear power. I actually value that he posts articles providing contradictory viewpoints to the mainstream press. It provides balance to the other side of the debate pushed by people with the real agendas - politicians.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Yea right

            I generally prefer my news reporters to offer an unbiased opinion, report the news, and let ME form an opinion. Lewis never does that. There's a massive bias and agenda being pushed in all of his articles. Now, I actually agree with him on some issues, but I still find the way that he churns out propaganda to be nauseating.

            The Reg is nominally an IT publication. Yet at least once a week we get a 'climate change is probably bollocks' article from Lewis. I've never read anything here with an opposing opinion, and IMHO the Reg is really sliding in quality, and destroying its own integrity.

            1. TheWeddingPhotographer

              Re: Yea right

              Then contribute to the debate, write your own articles, get them published. Slating someone who has contributed over 2000 articles over 5 years helps no one.

              1. Psyx

                Re: Yea right

                I would; gladly. However, I'm unsure if...

                a) El Reg accepts random submissions

                b) I am qualified to comment with any authority on the subject of climate change. I would not wish to have anything incorrect in print with my name attached.

            2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

              Re: "I generally prefer my news reporters to offer an unbiased opinion"

              The day you find a reporter like that, please tell me who it is !

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "I generally prefer my news reporters to offer an unbiased opinion"

                There are plenty around. The problem is that they don't get jobs with leading publications, because leading publications tend to push an agenda.

            3. Tom 13

              Re: news reporters to offer an unbiased opinion,

              "Unbiased opinion" not unlike the Warmist hockey stick, is a fairy tale told to children. I prefer authors be upfront about their biases, which Lewis does in spades. He wants full reporting of all the facts, even the ones that are inconvenient to those who want to destroy economies in order to reduce CO2 production by a negligible amount all in the name of saving planet Earth, better known as Gaia.

        2. Tom 13

          Re: Yea right

          While I agree with most of your post, don't acquit Lewis of not having a position which he is vigorously advances, because he does. I just happen to share his opinion that the warmist drivel is bunk and we need to keep shoving the stuff that exposes it as such in their faces until they finally admit they are the real deniers of science. Doing it with a Nature article is just that much sweeter.

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    It's the geology stupid

    A few other trifflingl little events did happen in the Miocene.

    Antarctica separated, Africa and Europe met up, the Indian ocean stopped flowing into the Med the Andes and Rockies formed.

    On the other hand it was before the iPhone - so evidence that iOS causes global cooling and so long as we stay away from Android and buy American we are safe.

  3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Carbon dioxide levels as such is not the problem. As any ful no, carbon dioxide induced by mankind is the evil thing and producing global warming!

    Sorry, just trolling...

  4. Harry

    What's "significantly" lower ?

    If you listen to those who speak either for or against global warming, "significantly" can mean as little as a tenth of a degree, buried under daily fluctuations of more 5 degrees or more and averaged over only exactly as many years as fits their preconceived ideas of whether they are trying to prove temperatures should be rising or falling.

    With science like this, its not surprising that people think most talk about global warming is just a lot of hot air.

    1. Curly4

      Re: What's "significantly" lower ?

      Your last state is correct and it is where global warming started (that is man made global warming). If the hot air stops the earth may return to the freezer again.

  5. Hieronymus Howerd

    When did the Reg become one undereducated, science-oblivious redneck's personal ranty soapbox?

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      And when did El Reg's comment section become the personal rant soapbox for Page-haters? Oh, hang on, I'm gone...

      1. Tom 13
        Thumb Up

        Re: personal rant soapbox for Page-haters?

        About 3 minutes after his first article went up. Because yes, when you know how to hit pretenders hard in the intellectual solar plexus, that's how they react. And yes, Lewis is that good at it. Go Lewis!

    2. Anomynous Coward

      It isn't a solo effort.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Indeed why is a ex-navy employee the editor of a technology website - they are not know for their education, intellect or intelligence, after all.

        1. hplasm


          Their spelling is better than yours...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Intelligent life spotted?

          based on most of the responses, including yours, I'm comfortable that the Navy employs articulate, communicating Homo Sapiens, rather than blubbering irrelevantists

        3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          " they are not know for their education, intellect or intelligence, after all."

          Are they not? I think you'll find that the armed forces have a considerable number of engineers in their ranks. When the shooting starts, you don't want to be sending out for consultants. You want relevant graduates in uniform on the front line.

          I suspect that Lewis' educational background is a match for most of his readership. It probably wouldn't pass muster at a climatologists' conference, but that's not actually the issue here. This paper has got past the referees of Nature and I strongly suspect that they would pass muster.

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: Hieronymus Howerd

      "When did the Reg become one undereducated, science-oblivious redneck's personal ranty soapbox?" I was going to say about the time you posted, but then that would just be insulting to rednecks.

    4. hplasm

      Well your profile says

      you started on Wednesday 16th May 2012 08:40 GMT.

  6. petur

    why decoupled?

    If you have multiple possible causes for warming, if you find that at some point source A wasn't the cause, why rule out it ever caused it? Tssss. Journalists != scientists, that's for sure...

  7. Jeebus


    Paywall, misrepresenting information, outright lying. Register has become a Right wing political blog.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley



      Proof please, or fuck off.

  8. Slartybardfast


    I understand from comments in the past that Lewis is editor these days, but who actually owns El Reg? Who pays the wages and online costs?

    This "IT Blog" really seems to have gone tits up recently.

    1. Jeebus

      Re: ElReg

      I'd also like to know who contributed to the site, or bought outright lately, this is a new happening on El Reg. Orlowski and Page are being paid to shill an agenda, a considerably right of centre agenda and clearly willfully biased.

      There's no presenting the other side, just selective deletion of anything that proves they are both liars and funded shills.

      Who owns this site?

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: selective deletion of anything that proves they are both liars and funded shills

        Of course, you realise that this little hypothesis of yours is by its very design impossible to back up with evidence. Convenient, that.

      2. Mark 65

        Re: ElReg

        @Jeebus:So, if as you state Orlowski and Page are paid shills, what about the rest of the Reg staff and contributors? I would have expected probabilistically that in a group of such size you would expect there to be some people that held differing views, perhaps even vehemently so. That you do not agree with them is neither here nor there.

        I, for one, am glad to see articles demonstrating the alternative side of the climate "debate" as just about every other organisation only puts the politically charged, tax-backed, subsidise my renewables company side of the argument.

        In my opinion, and it is only my opinion, the climate change brigade would get a lot more people on side if they said "we need to build nuclear stations in the short term and plan for the longer term" rather than wanting power bills to triple overnight (pushing the poor into outright energy poverty), subsidies to be paid to support renewable sources that just don't work here (wind, I'm looking at you) and low and behold some of the biggest campaigners are on the board of company XYZ that stands to benefit. Modern society has corrupted itself beyond belief to the point where it is like watching some clichéd TV show.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is like an un-godly mix of The Sun and the Daily Mail nowadays, although I suspect this is what they're going for....

  10. zouave

    One also has to take into consideration global dimming. The more pollutants in the atmosphere, the less solar gain the earth has. Thus the more populated (and assumed most polluted) regions of the world might find that, with the more particles released into the atmosphere, the more sunlight is reflected back into space, in turn cooling said areas. An excellent example of this is the Little Ice Age (1300's-1800's) that followed the period of extreme global warming known, coincidentally, as the Medieval Warming Period.

    An article of interest-

  11. Alan Fitzsimmons

    At least they have some ideas...

    From someone called a boffin but not in this field (thankfully!), the abstract - not behind the paywall - says:

    "We also present new stable isotope measurements from the western equatorial Pacific that, in conjunction with previously published data5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, reveal a long-term trend of thermocline shoaling in the equatorial Pacific since ~13 Myr ago. We propose that a relatively deep global thermocline, reductions in low-latitude gradients in sea surface temperature, and cloud and water vapour feedbacks may help to explain the warmth of the late Miocene. Additional shoaling of the thermocline after 5 Myr ago probably explains the stronger coupling between pco2, sea surface temperatures and climate that is characteristic of the more recent Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs"

    Seriously folks, this is how science works - you observe something unexpected, you come up with ideas to explain it, then test those ideas in the future.

    Just like trying to understand why Venus is so much hotter than it should be...hey, what's all that CO2 doing there?

    Couldn't find a picture of my old physics teacher here, so Prof. McGubbins will have to do.

  12. Johnny Canuck

    It makes me laugh...

    ...when I read the posts calling for Lewis' head. The commentards who do this display such a stunning, blinkered, faith-based belief in their world view that it would make a southern Evangelical Christian blush. I know the climate is changing, I know the climate has always been changing. I SUSPECT that mankind may be contributing somewhat to these changes, but I don't KNOW that for certain, and neither do YOU. The real "climate deniers" are people who absolutely refuse to believe that we may not have all the answers or believe that we should simply stop asking questions. This type of single minded "groupthink" merely demonstrates how utterly close-minded they are.

    1. Slartybardfast

      Re: It makes me laugh...

      You seem to be equating those who question Lewis with those who believe utterly that AGW is taking place. Well that maybe the case for some. However, I cannot make huge generalising statements as you are as I personally don't know anyone who comments on here. I do however think that one person hijacking a IT blog to blindly push their own agenda isn't necessarily a good thing. This occurrence is a quite recent one and one you seem to relish. You are welcome to voice you views on the comments section as am I but I think that tone of the blog has changed recently. All media tends to reflect the views of its editor and it shows maturity when an editor publishes views opposite to their own, or avoids the use of their power to further their own ends. Unfortunately we do not get this here, so it tends to rile the commentators enough SO they GET all SHOUTY.

      There are plenty of sources on the web for this type of posting and vociferous arguments abound on most of them. I personally would rather not see El Reg hijacked one way or another, I like it as an IT Blog, although, sadly, I seem to be in a minority.

      I am not asking for Lewis' head, I do not want him sacked, moved on, rolled over by a steam roller, pushed out of a window or even smacked with a wooden ruler (OK maybe the last one).

      1. tgm

        Re: It makes me laugh...

        @Slartbardfast - I'm with you.

        I used to think Orlowski was bad, but at least he can actually write good articles, even if I don't completely agree with his slant on them.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The Miocene is not a period, it is an epoch ranging from 23.4 Mya to 5.3 Mya, it's divided into six stages (or ages). The Miocene and the Pliocene together form the Neogene period.

    The Miocene is a bit of a bugger climatologically, generally the early part of the epoch sees a cooling as the Antarctic ice sheet established in the Eocene grew and the establishment of the circumpolar current in the Antarctic Ocean, but at the same time the proto-Mediterranean dried out entirely as the Alps rose which caused temperatures across Eurasia to rise. The later Miocene is generally warmer than the present climate.

    Work done in 2011 in Bremerhaven suggests the warming climate in the late Miocene can be put down to changes in vegetation patterns across the world causing a slight darkening of the planet.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm beginning to think Lewis may be investigating something other than climate change per se

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Like perhaps how much he can get away with or how many comments he can troll?

  15. dr2chase

    It takes a long time to heat the oceans

    Was discussing this issue on SlashDot, checked my math, added references. The thermal mass of the oceans is enormous -- ballpark, if you took a quantity of energy equal to one year of 100% of the solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere, and dumped it into the oceans, they would warm up by a little more than 1 degree C. (Takes 1.8 years of 100% to melt icecaps; icecaps dumped into ocean and just melted would cool it by 2 C.)

    We're not at equilibrium, won't be for a long time. You'd think that this was be obvious to technically-inclined journalists.

  16. John A Blackley

    This is an anomaly

    A statistical blip, if you will, It doesn't change the fact that you are responsible for global warming the and only way to reverse it is for you to go back to living in a well-insulated cave,

    Move along.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Who owns El Reg? There is a possibility that you could consult this website: it's really hard to find! You might even have to click a link. How unreasonable.

    On the other hand the domain is registered using an address that Royal Mail says is an invalid postcode, the address quoted above seems to be shared with a solicitor, so maybe it's all a conspiracy by evil right-wingers who object to be told what to think by just another group of people who hold their worldview to be sacrosanct, and if a few 'scientists' * lie or skip evidence that doesn't support their dogma, that's just fine. If a UN-sanctioned "independent" body misrepresents data, that's fine. (Wait, sorry: i forgot, UN bodies like the IPCC are perfect. I'm sure no UN-linked organisation would ever do something so inappropriate, such as offering a role to someone like Robert Mugabe).

    You could always claim and setup a protest site? it's available ....

    * 'scientists' is in quotes because if you don't publish all the data you have, both for and against your position, you aren't a scientist, you're either a politician or a lobbyist. Or possibly both.

    1. Jeebus

      Re: @Slartybardfast

      Hey Andrew, I heard O2 are blocking TPB in morning, get writing an article quick.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Slartybardfast

        that's an idea, thank you for the suggestion!

        You're the same Jeebus that said every Linux user better off dead, right? You're one yourself, obviously and incontrovertibly, so I'll try not to include anything that might upset you, if that's ok with you?

        ["Anyone using Linux is better off dead, and their families too. Assuming they're married, which none of them are."]

        At the risk of upsetting you, it's none of them "is", not "are".

        1. Jeebus

          Re: @Slartybardfast

          It's true, we are. All of us, especially me.

    2. Slartybardfast

      Re: @Slartybardfast

      And thanks for the link, I tried looking at the "about us" links but didn't try the privacy one. You live and learn.

      And you could have just told me where to find it without the passive aggressive stance but then you probably wouldn't have hidden behind an AC

      And I really seem to have gotten under your skin haven't I?

      In the words of Michael Winner "Calm Down Dear"

  18. Mr Young

    Good science no doubt

    but I do believe our technology is in its infancy. If we do actually manage to break the climate sometime soon I'm pretty sure we could fix it ok etc

  19. scarshapedstar
    Thumb Down

    Well, considering that climate scientists have ALWAYS maintained that CO2 is the ONLY factor in the earth's climate, I say case closed.


    1. boustrephon

      Only Factor

      I don't think I have ever heard scientists say that CO2 is the only forcing factor at any time. It is, however well-supported that it is the main forcing factor now.

      As a result, it is clear that this piece is not clearly thought out.

  20. Smelly Socks


    dr page, please stick to analysis of things which go bang. It's far more entertaining and unlike climate change, you actually have expertise in the area.


  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When dinosaurs walked with Man

    The Warmist position is similar to the belief in God - irrational, emotional, and under pressure from scientific scrutiny. Reaction to yet more evidence that sunshine is much more important than CO2 is in the vein of 'According to our religious view, this can't be correct'.

    This is akin to the predictable Christian reaction to finding aliens -

    A It isn't true

    B They are devil's spawn

    C Convert them

    Oh well! PT Barnum got it right - 'Some of the people all of the time!'

    1. boustrephon

      Re: When dinosaurs walked with Man

      Hmm - I don't see how you make that connection. In the US, people complaining about the "warmist" position seems to me to link it with "liberal atheist scientists".

      Incidentally, science was established in a society that believed in God, and religion has been under scrutiny for a while without fading away, so I am not sure that you point is all that clear. Of course, not all religion can be right, even the "scientific religion" that you appear to be complaining about, so some of your criticism of it is likely right.

  22. JeffyPooh

    Dinosaurs invented nuclear-powered space heaters

    Lots of heaters.

  23. Asher Pat

    Facts are secondary for the AGW neo-commies

    Most those who passionately believe are "watermelons" - Green on the outside, but red to the core...

    As someone from another blog aptly commented: for the lefties, facts and empirical proof of their gut feelings is helpfl, but not necessary.

    AGW is a dying theory, none of their "models" was able to predict the recent hiatus in the warming (which in turn began at the end of the Little Ice Age), so they are deceptively screaming "the warmest years ever", etc. But dont confuse them with facts (or they will obsessively edit the truth out from Wikipedia)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg has changed

    It used to be irreverent. Now it's just boring.

    I go to Charlie D.'s semiaccurate much more often now, only checking in to El Reg every now and then to see if P&O are still trying to attract the Americans, which they certainly are...

    I've been reading El Reg 1999-2010 daily (hey, I even linked to it on my pre-blog homepage back in 1999!) and maybe once a week since late 2010. Time to finally toss it from my bookmarks.

    I was going to write a final rejoinder along the lines that rumours have it that both Page & Orlowski's bedside tables have copies of Ayn Rand's_Atlas Shrugged_, but that only one of them has the pages stuck together.

    But then I decided that such a rejoinder would be too tasteless.

  25. Volker Hett

    Any info about methane and others?

    The stuff frozen in the tundra or way down in the oceans?

  26. peter_dtm

    er what about when it was an ice age and there was MORE CO2 ?

    but then the real deniers are those who hide the data (and the decline) and refuse to allow other people to see their data or workings on the grounds that we only want the data to disprove the hypothisis - well of course we do - that's how science (as against post normal science) works. Put your hypothisis; models; data and working up for inspection so it can be tested to destruction.

    Models are not proof of anything. Only models whose predictions come true have any use. How many climate model predictions have come true ? Where is the tropo hotspot that EVERY GCM predicts ? Oops; not there - models falsified; hypothisis needs re-working or binning.

    Climate changes

    Man has some affect on climate - but probably miniscule and un-measurable.

    Sanity check - the AGW hypothisis claims that 1 deg change in temp will destroy life as we know it -- by how much did the temperature change where you live today ?

    (A beer 'cos making beer makes masses of CO2)

    1. boustrephon

      Re: er what about when it was an ice age and there was MORE CO2 ? - I think you will find that the models are actually doing quite well. Higher levels of CO2 are not the issue - it is the rate of increase of CO2 with our current climactic conditions.

      Of course 1 degree on any one day won't do any harm, but if the average temperature rises, then it will affect thermal and chemical equilibria. One of the issues is whether melting sea ice will lead to a feedback. It seems fairly clear that this is so, although, of course, you never really know until it happens.

      You sound a bit like the old supporters of Tobacco - never satisfied with any evidence because it messed with their lifestyle and worldview.

      1. peter_dtm

        Re: er what about when it was an ice age and there was MORE CO2 ?

        No; the models ALL predict a hot spot as a necessary artifact of CO2 driven warming.

        No hot spot.

        Models falsified.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: er what about when it was an ice age and there was MORE CO2 ?

      "Sanity check - the AGW hypothisis claims that 1 deg change in temp will destroy life as we know it -- by how much did the temperature change where you live today ?"

      Feel free to come back and post a more valuable comment once you've grasped the difference between weather and climate.

      I'm thinking we may have to wait a while. Take as long as you like.

      1. peter_dtm

        Re: er what about when it was an ice age and there was MORE CO2 ?

        I may come back when the AGW crowd can explain away - rationaly - where the tropo hot spot is

        Since that question has been being asked for several years; it may be even longer.

        So where IS the tropo hot spot then ?

        Of course I am well aware of the diference between weather and climate - but the climate on a 60 year scale is different again to the climate on a 30 year scale - or 100 year scale - or perhaps more to the point climate change over 1000 years - which is still a minute amount of time compared to an Ice Age or an inter glacial.

        The AGW hypothosis has already been falsified.

        Perhaps we can talk about all the BENEFITS we seem to get when we have warm periods; as against all the misery we experience during cold periods - either on weather scale or climate scale.

  27. Shannon Jacobs

    Credibility, credibility, who's got the credibility? NOT Lewis whaz-his name!

    Might be true. Probably even has a grain of truth somewhere in it.

    Too bad whaz-his-name has blown his credibility account to smithereens.

    Unfortunately, a media source only has two real assets. No, snide contrarianism is NOT one of them. That's just a mood thing and can even be a plus if it comes from an underlying skepticism and willingness to challenge assumptions. I actually like the mood, but that has nothing to do with little Lewis here.

    The two assets are integrity and credibility. Do you speak the truth and does anyone believe anything you say, whether or not it's true. Lewis the crybaby has blown both of them, and by extension and persistence he has progressed to the point where he is destroying the residual value of the Register. Obviously he doesn't have any stake in it's survival, but if someone is paying him for his tripe, he's getting paid too much.

    I used to think the Reg was an interesting and thought-provoking source of information. Now I mostly think of it as little Lew's propaganda puff organ. Less of my interest, less of my time, less of my exposure to ads, less value to everyone.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    People look for doom scenario's

    Its really as simple as that.

    In the 50'er years we had several (public) nuclear tests. Needless to say but in those days a lot of "strange" (better put: unexplained) phenomenons were easily explained as being a result to "the nuclear tests".

    We had an extreme cold winter. I recall it because we could skate right before our house. Yes, it was all due to the "Nuclear tests!" (damn yankees!).

    The summer after that (this is all around 1980) we had an extremely hot period. Crops died, strips next to the roads which used to be green turned to brown. It was HOT. All due to the nuclear experiments!

    I see a pattern here. It doesn't matter what the issue is; the reason is most likely explained by some people as being "the current threat".

    Even if there is hardly a link possible. Lets take.... Global warming. Here in Holland we had the coldest day in the summer EVER since the past 30 years. It was even colder than 1st Christmas day last year (just in case: xmas day was in deep winter, this was during the summer).

    "Global warming" some people say.

    One or two years ago the winter we experienced was colder (commonly speaking minus 15 degrees) than the previous 20 years (IIRC: I can't guarantee that I missed stuff). "Global warming".

    And yes; we also had the hottest summer day (iirc 2 years ago) and needless to say: "Global warming!".

    Only 20 years ago all of the temperature issues were the result of "nuclear tests" and now its all "global warming".

    Am I the only one who sees a pattern into all this? To me it seems as if we're really not so much afar from our ancestors who tried to explain all unfamiliar issues with fairytale stories.

  29. Panimu

    Where is the IT angle?

  30. Dick Pountain
    Thumb Down

    More BS

    !0m years ago there was less bullshit on the planet, because bulls and Lewis Page had yet to be invented.

  31. Lloyd

    What's going on?

    It seems like Lewis is only posting an article a week, he used to post his comic strip daily, how am I supposed to cope with him writing these spoof pseudo-science articles only once a week? I need a good laugh more often than that.

  32. lostinspace

    Oh for God's sake ENOUGH ALREADY. I'm not even an eco warrior and I'm finding all this anti-environmental propaganda is getting really fucking annoying. Get a new drum or go and bang this drum somewhere else. At least most stories have a vague IT related angle but the deluge of unrelated anti-environmental stories has got dull.

  33. Mips

    All this assumes...

    ... that we currently have the same mass of atmosphere that was present 10m years ago. Could this be the issue here?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Warmer ten years ago?

    All data I have seen indicates the earth is warmer now and has been warming up. I have to challange their claim that earth was warmer ten years ago.

    Are they the same scientist that claimed to discover cold fusion or nutrinos going faster then light?

  35. Beelzeebub


    It's just evidence that hell was closer to earth than it is now.

  36. bart

    What, me worry?

    The important thing to take away here is not that the role of CO2 is being questioned with respect to global warming, but rather that it is not alone in this effect and can act in addition to other factors. Just imagine what the Miocene might have been like if it had the additional condition of double the CO2, as we have today.

    Temperature and CO2 create a feedback loop called the greenhouse effect. We're just really lucky that our temperatures are not as high as in the Miocene before we (industrial man) acted to double (and soon beyond) global CO2. The effects would not be linear, and not in a good way.

    Not exactly a good argument for relaxing the need for CO2 restriction.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Relevance to modern climate change?

    During the middle Miocene there was a period of general cooling of the climate. A result of this is that forests appear to have declined whilst grasses diversified and increased. The new grasslands took-up more CO2 than the forests they replaced had done, reducing the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere and resulting in higher O2 levels than previously, so yes, the proportion of CO2 was lower and the proportion of O2 in the atmosphere was higher even though the overall climate was cooler.

    The general cooling of the climate during the Miocene is thought to be a consequence of the southwards tectonic drift of the Antarctic continent towards the South Pole such that it eventually reached a position where it was southerly enough and isolated enough that the Antarctic Circumpolar Current was able to develop. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current, in turn, increased the build up of the Antarctic ice sheet, which itself had started during the preceding Oligocene period when Antarctica was already well on its way southwards.

    This doesn't really seem to be relevant to modern climate change.

  38. Spotthelemon

    didn't quite finish the paper

    apparently he didn't read the whole paper

    The research suggests that in the last five million years, changes in ocean circulation allowed Earth's climate to become more closely coupled to changes in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere.

    & these changes mean the climate of modern times more readily responds to changing carbon dioxide levels.

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