Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about our planet's current level of warmth.

CO2 Science review a paper published in Vegetation History and Archaeobotany reviewing the Middle and Late Holocene Period in the upper Don River in Russia.

Novenko, E.Yu., Volkova, E.M., Glasko, M.P. and Zuganova, I.S. 2012. Palaeoecological evidence for the middle and late Holocene vegetation, climate and land use in the upper Don River basin (Russia). Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 21: 337-352. 

The authors write that "during the last 30 years, archaeological and palaeogeographical studies were undertaken in the central area of the East European Plain which includes the upper Don River and its tributary, the Nepryadva River," citing as examples of this work the studies of Folomeev et al. (1990), Khotinsky (1993), Glasko et al. (2000), Gonyanyi et al. (2007) and Novenko et al. (2009) and reporting that these multidisciplinary efforts, as they describe them, "focused initially on the reconstruction of natural landscapes at the time of the Kulikovo battle of 1380 (in which the Russians defeated the Tartar-Mongol forces)."

What was learned
The four Russian researchers report that temperatures during the mid-Atlantic period "were warmer than the present, mainly due to the higher winter temperatures," while noting that mean January temperatures were "about 3-5°C higher than the present climatic conditions." They also state that in the late Atlantic period, "the mean July and the mean annual temperatures rose to about 2°C higher than the present," after which, in the middle and late Subboreal period, they indicate that summer temperatures were "about 1-3°C higher than present values," while noting that that period's "mean annual temperatures could have been 1-2°C higher."

What it means
It seems that the more one studies palaeoclimates in various places around the world, the more one begins to appreciate the fact that there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about our planet's current level of warmth, especially when it is realized that at these earlier times there was much less CO2 in the air than there is nowadays.

Read More at CO2 Science.

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