2,000 Year Old Climate Change

While I was thinking about what topic to write about in this post, I thought, “Wait, everyone is talking about the effects of global warming on the U.S. or on the world as a whole. But who has really talked about the effects of global warming in Europe specifically?” That was my “Eureka!!!!” moment. So I searched for articles and information on global warming in Europe, because my great-great grandparents came from Germany and I wanted to know more about what they may have known (or experienced) about global warming. What I found was very interesting. The article I found mainly showed data about how much global warming has affected Europe over the years and also just how long global warming has possibly been going on over there in Europe.

This study displayed by a Daily Mail UK Online author shows that during the Roman Empire it may have been warmer in northern England than it is today, and that is why the Romans were able to have vineyards there. The study also shows that around 2,000 years ago Britain and the rest of Europe experienced a series of higher temperature summers. German scientists have found that Earth has been on a 2,000 year cooling process, and is just starting to heat up again to cause the global warming that most people most everyone knows about. Lead author Professor Dr. Jan Esper of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz said he thought earlier estimations of historical temperatures were not quite as accurate as you may think:

“We found that previous estimates of historical temperatures during the Roman era and the Middle Ages were too low. This figure we calculated may not seem particularly significant, however it is not negligible when compared to global warming, which up to now has been less than 1 degree C.”

The scientists have used data from tree rings, an age-old indicator of climate change through looking at the width of the rings to find data about this topic. They have found that by looking at these rings they can tell that the earth has been cooling by 0.6 C over the past 2,000 years, which they attributed to the changing of Earth’s orbit, which brought it farther away from the sun.

In doing this study, I think these German scientists have been able to prove the possibility of the idea of global warming being less important than people think it is.  They have looked at the problem from a different angle and found that there is a good chance that the opposite side of this massive debate is more believable and could be more is correct in their data and other information. The information on this study has been well collected from a dependable source, and this just helps to make this side of the argument seem more dependable.


5 responses to “2,000 Year Old Climate Change”

  1. ajaym0017 says :

    I think that it was a really interesting idea. No one has done a post like this. I also think that it is very interesting that due to these studies, global warming might not be as important as people thought it was. The only question that I have is, do you think that the tree ring method is accurate enough to form your opinion with? However, great post forrestm.

  2. austinh0017 says :

    forrestm I really enjoyed reading your post and thought that it was very interesting how the German scientists used the tree ring method to collect data. But also I would like to know if back 2,000 years ago the earth slowly heated up to high temperatures or had a fast increase like we have seen today. Because time is very important right now and if it is part of nature’s cycle to heat up, does it naturally warm up as fast as it has been recently?

  3. maryt0017 says :

    Forrestm this was a really great post! I had no idea that scientists use tree rings to help gather evidence for global warming. However, I wonder what happened to all of the other evidence that global warming is a huge concern. Taking into account all of that information, what is your stand point on global warming?

  4. Mr. Meyer says :

    Interesting science. Tree rings have been used as temperature proxies by climate scientists or a long time now, and it’s cool to follow new research as it unfolds. I wonder, however, why you say this study shows that global warming is less important? The source where I read about this story (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22040-tree-rings-suggest-roman-world-was-warmer-than-thought.html) says quite clearly that this relative warmth 2000 years ago has a very different origin than today’s: “The finding does not change our understanding of the warming power of carbon dioxide. In fact, it shows that human CO2 emissions have interrupted a long cooling period that would ultimately have delivered the next ice age.”

    • Mr. Meyer says :

      And I should mention that the word “ultimately” in the above quote refers to geologic time, as in 10,000 years from now or so. The problem, as explained by Dr. Weilicki on Wednesday, is that current warming is so much faster than what we’ve typically seen in natural climatic variability and can only be explained by greenhouse gas buildup.

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