Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Talking Trees

Trees talk, if only we would listen. The trees I am talking about are trees that used to grow in areas they now don't. I have spent a fair amount of time discussing Holocene denial, an affliction that global warming advocates have. They think that everything that they predict will happen, melting glaciers, melting permafrost and higher seas, is brand new and has never ever happened ever before.

But as we saw in earlier blogs everything happened 5000 years ago. Tonight we will see that the trees tell the same story. The trees are saying that the world was warmer in the past than it is today. The only way to do this properly is let the trees speak.

“However, conifers have not yet recolonized many areas where trees were present during the Medieval Warm period (ca AD 800-1300) or the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM; ca 10 000-3000 years ago).” G. M. MacDonald, K. V. Kremenetski, and D. W. Beilman “Climate change and the northern Russian treeline zone” (in The boreal forest and global change) Philosophical Transactions - Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences (July 2008), 363(1501):2285-2299

That shows that the Medieval Warm period was warmer than this, the automobile age.

“Pollen and macrofossils were analyzed at two sites above today's treeline (or tree limit) in the Swiss Central Alps (Gouille Loere, 2503 m a.s.l., and Lengi Egga, 2557 m a.s.l.) to test two contrasting hypotheses about the natural formation of timberline (the upper limit of closed forest) in the Alps. Our results revealed that Pinus cembra-Larix decidua forests near timberline were rather closed between 9000 and 2500 B.C. (9600-4000 14 C yr BP), when timberline fluctuations occurred within a belt 100-150 m above today's tree limit. The treeline ecocline above timberline was characterized by the mixed occurrence of tree, shrub, dwarf-shrub, and herbaceous species, but it did not encompass more than 100-150 altitudinal meters. The uppermost limit reached by timberline and treeline during the Holocene was ca. 2420 and 2530 m, respectively, i.e., about 120 to 180 m higher than today.” Willy Tinner and Jean-Paul Theurillat Uppermost limit, extent, and fluctuations of the timberline and treeline ecocline in the Swiss Central Alps during the past 11,500 years Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research (May 2003), 35(2):158-169

When trees live higher up the mountain side, it means that the weather used to be warmer up that mountain. The cold is what stops the trees from growing, so the above says that the trees used to live 150m higher and that means it used to be warmer than it is now.

“Most Arctic treelines reached their northernmost positions in the early Holocene and receded to present positions starting at about 5.8 ka.” Serge Payette, Matti Eronen, and J. J. Paul Jasinski The circumboreal tundra-taiga interface; late Pleistocene and Holocene changes (in Dynamics of the tundra-taiga interface, Callaghan,)Ambio (August 2002), 12, Special report 15-22

They went further north, then the cold pushed the trees further south than they used to be.

The early Holocene was probably the warmest period of the present interglacial, as summer climate was influenced by a strong positive insolation anomaly. Picea glauca expanded in major river valleys ca. 9000 yr ago and slightly later at upland sites in the Brooks and Alaska ranges. At some sites a Juniperus subzone, which suggests particularly warm and dry conditions, occurs between ca. 10,000 and 8000 yr B.P. Early mid-Holocene expansions of Alnus (8500-7000 yr B.P.) and Picea mariana (7500-5000 yr B.P.) suggest the subsequent development of moister conditions, which have continued to the present.” Mary E. Edwards and Edward D. Barker Climate and vegetation in northeastern Alaska 18,000 yr B.P.-present (in Pollen and climate)Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (June 1994), 109(2-4):127-135

"Upper timberline was 270 m above its modern limit, suggesting that mean annual and mean July temperatures were 1–2 °C warmer than today.” Patricia L. Fall, “Timberline fluctuations and late Quaternary paleoclimates in the Southern Rocky Mountains, Colorado,” Geological Society of America Bulletin 109: 1306-1320.

"Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris, L.) immigrated to northern Finnish Lapland by 9.5 - 9 ka calBP and spread in favourable climatic conditions to a larger area than that occupied by pine forests today. The time of the maximum extent was between 7 and 4.5 ka calBP. A large number of subfossil pine trunks and stumps have been preserved in small lakes in Lapland in the present treeline area and also beyond it.” Matti Eronen, Samuli Helama, Markus Lindholm, and Mauri Timonen “A 7500-year unbroken Scots pine tree-ring chronology for Finnish Lapland (in XVI INQUA congress; Shaping the Earth; a Quaternary perspective, Anonymous,), Congress of the International Union for Quaternary Research (2003), 16 80

I just ran across a picture showing how far north the trees used to live.

The trees are talking, if only holocene deniers would listen.

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