Unprecedented Warming?

I’m Confused

Update: I’ve now added the speliothem data sent to me by Charles earlier in the week.

Guest Post by Charles Duncan

The claim is often made that the rate of temperature change the Earth has experienced over the last 40 years is ‘unprecedented’, and is therefore likely to be man-made.

A quick look at the Vostok[1], EPICA[2] and GISP2[3] ice core records do not appear to support this claim, even within the stable part of the Holocene:

Warming rate Std Dev, °C/ century

Maximum warming rate, °C/century

Start year, AD

End year, AD

Start anomaly (temp), °C

End anomaly (temp), °C

Vostock 1.552 6.23 1789 1810 -0.95 +0.36
EPICA 6.73 28.83 1886 1895 0.345 3.044
GISP2 0.842 3.57 -1310 -1321 (-29.53) (-29.15)

Of course, ice core data is proxy data, and therefore based on assumptions, some of which may not be valid.  However the Met Office’s Central England Record[4], the longest continuous instrumental temperature record (going back to 1659) shows that even within these recent times the current rate of warming is unremarkable:

Can someone explain what data does support this claim?

Update: As promised in comments – added speliothem dat:

China: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/speleothem/china/shihua_tan2003.txt

Europe: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/mangini2005/mangini2005.html

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10 Responses to Unprecedented Warming?

  1. Pascvaks says:

    You’re just NOT going to convince anyone who’s anyone in the True Believer Peanut Gallery of Catistrophic Manmade Global Warming and Never-Been-Hotter Climate Change. But I appreciate your effort, so don’t stop!

  2. tonyb says:


    Nice article-thank you.

    In response to your question, it is the 1772 data that supports their claim-the Met office generally don’t use the full set of CET back to 1659.


    This shows the dramatic 5 year decline which seems to confirm the ‘In search of cooling trends’ article whereby if you strip away the false global average criteria many individual stations are actually cooling.

    I have remarked on the remarkable upturn from 1698 before (seen in your graphs)and Hubert Lamb also wrote about it, but officially it doesn’t exist.

    As far as the Met office are concerned temperatures were equitable and stayed within certain boundaries until Man increased his emissions. When I have asked to see sight of their studies that confirm this equitability they refuse to divulge them.( I suspect it is the Hockey stick)

    Reading this and Lucy’s excellent article leads me to echo Pascvaks comment to ask what would cause warmists*AGW proponents to change their minds (other than a glacier appearing on their doorstep). I understand that both Verity and Lucy are relatively recent converts so perhaps they can suggest what we can do to convince more warmists* AGW proponents. Always accepting that to some its a religion and they wouldn’t accept any proof that conflicted with their beliefs.


    *Altered 01Oct2011 in line with new policy: https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/cleaning-house/ VJ.

  3. Charles Duncan says:

    Thanks to Pascvaks and TonyB for their kind comments.

    I agree with TonyB’s comment that the “unprecedented” claim comes from the Met Office’s use of the shorter record. I find it amazing that apparently intelligent people can consider only the period after the LIA as representative of prior Holocene climate. It’s like plotting monthly temperatures from January to July, extrapolating them and claiming December will be hotter still.

    Incidentally I’ve also been looking at Speleothem data, and this seems to tie in well with ice core records. I’ll ask Verity to post some up when I’ve finished them.

  4. tonyb says:


    That is an extremely good analogy


  5. KevinUK says:


    Same suggestion to you as I made to Lucy. This thread needs to be posted at WUWT so that it gets a much wider audience.

    In answer to TonyB/Pascvaks question, I’m with Pascvaks. It’s highly likely that no matter how much work ‘deniers’ do to show that CAGW is a crock, the true believers in the CAGW religion will never be converted. As TonyB has stated about the only way in which this will ever happen is if we forcefully rehabitate them to Northern Canada so that they can personally witness the glaciers advancing on their new highly energy efficient, renewable energy powered, environmentally sustainable homes.

  6. Juraj V. says:

    This is the rate of warming/cooling calculated between the individual decades from the CET record.

    “Can someone explain what data does support this claim?”
    Alas, only these ones:

  7. Doug Proctor says:

    Along with analyses that show non-random warming adjustments over time and space to the GISTemp records (and others) that equal most of all of the “CA” part of GW, this ice-core data seems “undeniable” and at odds with Gore-Hansen-IPCC-Governmental positions. How is it that for all the work of the last 23 years, such a discrepancy can exist?

    I shouldn’t ask that: I’ve been in industry for longer than 23 years, and I’ve been confounded regularly by business practices that were either non-profit oriented or downright self-destructive. The human public figure is far more invested in his ego and his appearance than in the contradictions between what he knows and what he thinks.

    • Verity Jones says:

      “The human public figure is far more invested in his ego and his appearance than in the contradictions between what he knows and what he thinks.”

      That is a very good statement – worth quoting!

  8. gallopingcamel says:

    The ice cores completely refute the “unprecedented” meme as Charles Duncan demonstrates so clearly. You only need to go back ~500 years to find very sudden warming. Here are some links to extremely hot summers that occurred in the 16th century, when there was a temporary rise in temperatures in the midst of the prolonged cold period that followed the Medieval Warm Period.

    In north America:

    Let’s not forget that it sometimes gets hot in Europe too:

    Consider the years 1538 to 1541 when there were major rivers around Europe that dried up from time to time. There were prolonged droughts over a wide area that ranged from Russia to Italy.

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