Inconvenient stumps

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Climate alarmists tell us that the Earth has never been warmer, and that we can tell by looking at tree rings, treelines, and other proxy indicators of climate.

Climate scientists claim the warmth is unprecedented.

We’ve been told it is warming so fast, we have only 12 years left!

Yet nature seems to not be paying attention to such pronouncements, as this discovery shows.

This photo shows a tree stump of White Spruce that was radiocarbon dated at 5000 years old. It was located 100 km north of the current tree line in extreme Northwest Canada.

The area is now frozen tundra, but it was once warm enough to support significant tree growth like this.

If climate was this warm in the past, how did that happen before we started using the fossil fuels that supposedly made our current climate unprecedentedly warm?


Inconvenient stumps

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Climate alarmists tell us that the Earth has never been warmer, and that we can tell by looking at tree rings, treelines, and other proxy indicators of climate.

Climate scientists claim the warmth is unprecedented.

We’ve been told it is warming so fast, we have only 12 years left!

Yet nature seems to not be paying attention to such pronouncements, as this discovery shows.

This photo shows a tree stump of White Spruce that was radiocarbon dated at 5000 years old. It was located 100 km north of the current tree line in extreme Northwest Canada.

The area is now frozen tundra, but it was once warm enough to support significant tree growth like this.

If climate was this warm in the past, how did that happen before we started using the fossil fuels that supposedly made our current climate unprecedentedly warm?

Southwest forest trees will grow much slower in the 21st century

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

From Eurekalert

Public Release: 18-Dec-2018

Even forest trees growing in average conditions may decline in productivity as much as 75 percent

University of Arizona188916_web

A treasure trove of data about tree growth in the US West was found in these boxes, each of which contained 500 to 800 cores from individual forest trees. The cores are from the U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis program. Once measured and analyzed, the annual growth rings in these cores revealed that the growth rate of trees in Southwest forest may decline as much as 75 percent by 2100.Credit John D. Shaw, US Forest Service

Southwest forests may decline in productivity on average as much as 75 percent over the 21st century as climate warms, according to new research published on Dec. 17.

The new estimate is better than previous ones because it is based on a new database of information on the growth of trees under average conditions, according to the research team. Previous estimates were based on a database that included many trees growing in marginal conditions.

The finding is based on a treasure trove of about 20,000 unanalyzed tree cores discovered in a Utah laboratory about a decade ago. The annual growth rings visible in tree cores reflect each year’s climatic conditions.

The new tree-core samples are more representative of the forest as a whole than many of those collected and analyzed earlier, said first author Stefan Klesse, who conducted the analysis while a postdoctoral researcher at the UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.

Senior author Margaret Evans said the spatial representation in the new data set from the U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis program is “unprecedented.” She calls the trees in the new data set that are living under average growing conditions “Joe Schmoe trees.”

“The Joe Schmoe trees will experience a 75 percent reduction in growth and the trees on the edge–according to our analysis–are pretty much doomed,” said Evans, an assistant professor in the UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.

The database previously available to researchers is the International Tree-Ring Data Bank, or ITRDB, which included samples from many trees that were growing under marginal conditions — what Evans characterized as “on the edge.”

When the trees in the ITRDB were initially sampled, which was often decades ago, researchers chose trees living in marginal conditions because those trees were most sensitive to climate variation and thus best suited to reveal how climate varied over the past centuries.

Tree-ring researchers have long known the ITRDB samples might overestimate the effect of climate on average trees, but had no other data to use until now. And, even though the trees in the ITRDB may provide an overestimate of how the average forest tree will respond to the change in climate in the 21st century, that information is still valuable, Evans said.

“Those trees are the canaries in the coal mine — the edge of the forest is where we’re going to see the change first,” she said.

The research paper by Klesse, Evans and their co-authors, “Sampling bias overestimates climate change impacts on forest growth in the southwestern United States” was published in Nature Communications on Dec. 17. A list of co-authors is at the bottom of this release.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Navajo Nation funded the research.

The new collection of Forest Inventory and Analysis tree cores turned up when scientists at the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station in Ogden, Utah, were moving from one building to another. The researchers were surprised to find a bunch of dusty boxes filled with tree cores that had never been analyzed.

The cores had been systematically collected from trees throughout the eight interior states of the U.S. West during the 1980s and 1990s. The cores reflected the growth of individual trees going back to the 1920s and some even earlier.

Co-authors R. Justin DeRose and John Shaw of the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station began the painstaking job of measuring annual growth rings from the approximately 20,000 cores, each from a specific tree. The two scientists enlisted Evans and sent her about 2,000 cores from Arizona trees. Her research team, which included eight UA undergraduates, began cataloging those cores and recording the data from them in 2015.

The researchers wondered what the new tree-ring records might reveal about how climate change would affect the growth of forest trees of the Southwest in the latter half of the 21st century. To figure that out, they focused on records from common pinyon pine, Douglas fir and ponderosa pine from Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.

Klesse, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL in Zurich, compared information from the newly analyzed cores from “Joe Schmoe” trees, plus additional tree-ring growth records from 858 trees in Arizona and New Mexico, with the records in the ITRDB.

For projections of the region’s precipitation and temperature in the 21st century, he used climate projections from one of the most current climate models, CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5).

His analysis revealed that growth of the ordinary forest trees would not be reduced as much under climate change as the trees whose records are included in the ITRDB.

Even so, he said, “As the climate warms, tree growth will decline.”

Evans said, “The trees have to take whatever they get in terms of climate conditions. When the temperatures rise they have to cope with it — or not.”

She and Klesse are expanding their research to include data from 30,000 cores collected from Douglas fir trees spanning the continent from Mexico to Canada.


Other co-authors are Christopher Guiterman of the UA; Ann Lynch of the U.S. Forest Service and the UA; and Christopher O’Connor of the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, Montana.

More CO2 – More Photosynthesis – More Greening

sunshine hours

Someone decided to study plants that have grown for generations near high CO2 springs.

Normally these studies look at FACE experiments and then criticize those experiments because they are only single generation.

Guess what they found.?

In a new meta-analysis, Saban et al. took a different approach and assessed all of the data collected for plant response to high CO2 concentration from plants grown for multiple generations over many decades in naturally high CO2 springs. Such springs are found across the world – with 23 highlighted here- and many have been the focus of studies on the physiological responses of plants to rising CO2, similar to those undertaken in FACE experiment. Comparing these two approaches, plants subjected to higher CO2against plant lineages that have had time to acclimate, has never been done before.

High CO2 springs harbour a vast array of plant types…

View original post 103 more words

Receding Swiss Glaciers Reveal 4000 Year Old Forests – Warmists Try To Suppress Findings


By Paul Homewood

I ran this story in 2014, but it is worth re-posting:

As many sources, including HH Lamb, have pointed out, back in the Bronze Age around 2000BC, the climate in the Alps was much warmer than now.

It is therefore no surprise to find direct evidence of this from geologist Dr. Christian Schlüchter, Professor emeritus at the University of Bern in Switzerland.

Larry Bell at Newsmax has the story:

Dr. Christian Schlüchter’s discovery of 4,000-year-old chunks of wood at the leading edge of a Swiss glacier was clearly not cheered by many members of the global warming doom-and-gloom science orthodoxy.

This finding indicated that the Alps were pretty nearly glacier-free at that time, disproving accepted theories that they only began retreating after the end of the little ice age in the mid-19th century. As he concluded, the region had once been much warmer than today, with…

View original post 804 more words

The most amazing greening on Earth – thanks to increased Carbon Dioxide

From Watts Up With That:

by Patrick J. Michaels

We’ve long been fond of showing the satellite evidence for planetary greening caused by increasing carbon dioxide, particularly the work of Zhu et al.(2016):

Figure 1: Trends in Leaf Area Index around the planet. Note the units are in hundredths (10-2) of meters per square meter. An increase of 25 (Purple, right end of scale) is actually an annual change of .025 square meters per year. Note that the largest greenings are in fact over the South American, African, and Australasian tropical rainforests.

The variable usually shown is the Leaf Area Index (LAI), an interesting measure of vegetation density. A value of 1.00 means that one square meter of the sensed vegetation, if the leaves were spread out, would entirely cover a square meter.

Plants with exceedingly dense vegetation (think of your over-fertilized tomato plants by the end of summer) have LAI values far in excess of 1.0, and some, such as sparse grasslands, may be quite a bit less than 1.0, indicating the presence of a lot of bare ground.

A new paper by Simon Munier, of France’s Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, and several co-authors, segregates satellite-sensed LAI data into different vegetation types, taken over the period 1999-2015. This allows the researchers to quantitatively determine the amount of greening that is taking place over time, depending upon the vegetation type.

A note on LAI: when applied to crop plants, it doesn’t necessarily directly correlate to the yield or productivity of the plant. Think about those over-fertilized tomatoes again. Gardeners often complain that they have huge vegetation masses (i.e. large LAI’s) but few fruit. However, if the vegetation in question is in fact consumed entirely as an agricultural product (think lettuce, for example) the LAI in fact is a direct measure of agricultural productivity.

The most common vegetation type on earth—grassland—is often agricultural in usage. Many are either directly grazed, or, as is the case for the most productive ones, harvested for hay which is then consumed when pasture is no longer growing enough to support cattle or sheep. Rapidly increasing grassland LAI values are therefore a very useful greening of the earth.

Munier’s team divided the satellite data into that sensing broadleaf (deciduous) forests, evergreen forest types, summer and winter crops, and grasslands. Their 17-year time series provides average LAI values as well as temporal trends.

The cool part of the paper is its Figure 8, showing mean and trend values worldwide for the LAI in six vegetation types:

Figure 2:  Average LAI value for the six vegetation types (given quantitatively in the lower left corner of each map) and the trend in LAI per year, on the right. The +/- is the spatial  standard deviation, which is generally large because soil, terrain, and weather difference clearly influence LAI and vegetation health.  Nonetheless, all the trend values are significant at the p-value<.01 These seemingly arcane figures reveal a spectacular greening of the world’s grasslands. See text for details.

The details are in the numbers. The average (1999-2015) grassland LAI is 0.55, meaning its ground cover worldwide averages less than complete. The trend, of 0.0279 square meters per year, is a remarkable 5.0% per year. Over the 17-year period of record, this means that grassland LAI increased by 85%. According to Munier et al., grassland, as the most common vegetation type, covers 31% of the global continental surface measured (Antarctica was not sampled). This is a remarkable greening.

The aforementioned Zhu et al. study performed a factor analysis to determine the causes. According to the paper,

Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models suggest that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend, followed by nitrogen deposition (9%), climate change (8%) and land cover change (LCC) (4%). CO2 fertilization effects explain most of the greening trends in the tropics, whereas climate change resulted in greening of the high latitudes and the Tibetan Plateau.

In other words, 78 [70 + 8] percent of observed planetary greening is caused by carbon dioxide and its effect upon climate.

We have repeatedly demonstrated (within here, for example) that about a half of a degree (C) of observed planetary warming is ascribable to anthropogenerated changes in the atmosphere. The main result appears to be a planet that is becoming so much greener that it is readily apparent from space.

Study – Global Tree cover on the rise – possibly due to CO2/global warming

Global tree canopy cover increased by 2.24 million square kilometers (865,000 square miles) between 1982 and 2016, reports a new study in Nature. These new findings contradict earlier studies that reported a continuing net loss of forest cover.

Researchers using satellite data tracked the changes in various land covers to find that gains in forest area in the temperate, subtropical, and boreal climatic zones are offsetting declines in the tropics. In addition, forest area is expanding even as areas of bare ground and short vegetation are shrinking. Furthermore, forests in montane regions are expanding as climate warming enables trees to grow higher up on mountains.

Tree canopy in Europe, including European Russia, has increased by 35 percent—the greatest gain among all continents. The researchers attribute much of that increase to the “natural afforestation on abandoned agricultural land,” which has been “a common process in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

Full story at Reason Online


The study:

Global land change from 1982 to 2016


Land change is a cause and consequence of global environmental change. Changes in land use and land cover considerably alter the Earth’s energy balance and biogeochemical cycles, which contributes to climate change and—in turn—affects land surface properties and the provision of ecosystem services. However, quantification of global land change is lacking. Here we analyse 35 years’ worth of satellite data and provide a comprehensive record of global land-change dynamics during the period 1982–2016. We show that—contrary to the prevailing view that forest area has declined globally—tree cover has increased by 2.24 million km2 (+7.1% relative to the 1982 level). This overall net gain is the result of a net loss in the tropics being outweighed by a net gain in the extratropics. Global bare ground cover has decreased by 1.16 million km2 (−3.1%), most notably in agricultural regions in Asia. Of all land changes, 60% are associated with direct human activities and 40% with indirect drivers such as climate change. Land-use change exhibits regional dominance, including tropical deforestation and agricultural expansion, temperate reforestation or afforestation, cropland intensification and urbanization. Consistently across all climate domains, montane systems have gained tree cover and many arid and semi-arid ecosystems have lost vegetation cover. The mapped land changes and the driver attributions reflect a human-dominated Earth system. The dataset we developed may be used to improve the modelling of land-use changes, biogeochemical cycles and vegetation–climate interactions to advance our understanding of global environmental change.

Climate Claim: Now Alpine Tree lines May Need Adjustment

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon – a study into why alpine tree lines haven’t kept pace with adjusted global warming measurements has concluded that the trees are being prevented from colonising higher slopes by unspecified soil chemistry issues.

Climate change-induced march of treelines halted by unsuitable soils

New University of Guelph research dispells the myth that climate change is enabling treelines to move farther uphill and northward
Date:July 12, 2018
Source: University of Guelph

Researchers have discovered unsuitable soil at higher altitudes may be halting the advancement of treelines. This finding dispels the commonly held assumption that climate change is enabling trees to move farther uphill and northward. The researchers looked at plant growth at higher altitudes in the Canadian Rockies, grew spruce and fir seedlings at varying elevations and collected soil samples from the same areas to grow spruce seeds in growth chambers.

New research from the University of Guelph is dispelling a commonly held assumption about climate change and its impact on forests in Canada and abroad.

It’s long been thought that climate change is enabling treelines to march farther uphill and northward. But it turns out that climate warming-induced advances may be halted by unsuitable soils.

It is an important finding for resource managers looking to preserve individual species or entire ecosystems.

“There’s a common belief about the impacts of climate change,” said U of G researcher Emma Davis. “It’s actually a more complicated story than people believe.”

Read more:

The abstract of the study;

Limited prospects for future alpine treeline advance in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

Emma L. Davis Ze’ev Gedalof
First published: 01 June 2018

Treeline advance has occurred throughout the twentieth century in mountainous regions around the world; however, local variation and temporal lags in responses to climate warming indicate that the upper limits of some treelines are not necessarily in climatic equilibrium. These observations suggest that factors other than climate are constraining tree establishment beyond existing treelines. Using a seed addition experiment, we tested the effects of seed availability, predation and microsite limitation on the establishment of two subalpine tree species (Picea engelmannii and Abies lasiocarpa) across four treelines in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The effect of vegetation removal on seedling growth was also determined, and microclimate conditions were monitored. Establishment limitations observed in the field were placed in context with the effects of soil properties observed in a parallel experiment. The seed addition experiment revealed reduced establishment with increasing elevation, suggesting that although establishment within the treeline ecotone is at least partially seed limited, other constraints are more important beyond the current treeline. The effects of herbivory and microsite availability significantly reduced seedling establishment but were less influential beyond the treeline. Microclimate monitoring revealed that establishment was negatively related to growing season temperatures and positively related to the duration of winter snow cover, counter to the conventional expectation that establishment is limited by low temperatures. Overall, it appears that seedling establishment beyond treeline is predominantly constrained by a combination of high soil surface temperatures during the growing season, reduced winter snowpack and unfavourable soil properties. Our study supports the assertion that seedling establishment in alpine treeline ecotones is simultaneously limited by various climatic and nonclimatic drivers. Together, these factors may limit future treeline advance in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and should be considered when assessing the potential for treeline advance in alpine systems elsewhere

Read more:

The tree line issue has been a thorn in the side of the climate alarmists since Russian Scientist Rashit Hantemirov tried to explain Arctic Dendrochronology to the Climategate scientists.

According to reconsructions most favorable conditions for tree growth have been marked during 5000-1700 BC. At that time position of tree line was far northward of recent one.

[Unfortunately, region of our research don’t include the whole area where trees grew during the Holocene. We can maintain that before 1700 BC tree line was northward of our research area. We have only 3 dated remnants of trees from Yuribey River sampled by our colleagues (70 km to the north from recent polar tree line) that grew during 4200-4016 and 3330-2986 BC.]

This period is pointed out by low interannual variability of tree growth and high trees abundance discontinued, however, by several short (50-100 years) unfavorable periods, most significant of them dated about 4060-3990 BC. Since about 2800 BC gradual worsening of tree growth condition has begun. Significant shift of the polar tree line to the south have been fixed between 1700 and 1600 BC. At the same time interannual tree growth variability increased appreciably.

During last 3600 years most of reconstructed indices have been varying not so very significant. Tree line has been shifting within 3-5 km
near recent one. Low abundance of trees has been fixed during 1410-1250 BC and 500-350 BC. Relatively high number of trees has been
noted during 750-1450 AD.

There are no evidences of moving polar timberline to the north during last century.

Climategate Email 09079795032.txt (Source Wikileaks)

I can understand dumping a tree straight into poor quality soil is bad for the tree. But history suggests colonisation occurs rapidly in a natural setting when local temperature changes make a location more suitable for plant growth. Excusing the lack of colonisation of higher slopes on a large scale as being due to “unsuitable soil chemistry” seems pretty flimsy.