Has The Earth Been Warming For The Past 10,000 Years?

You may be saying “well, yeah, duh, Holocene, inter-glacial period, of course it has been warming”. But….

(UK Daily Mail) Was the Earth in a period of global warming or cooling before the 20th century?

Attempting to answer this question has thrown up a conundrum for scientists, with some studies showing a warming trend, while others suggesting it cooled until humans intervened.

Now a new study hopes to settle the issue by arguing that data points to the fact that Earth’s climate has been warming over the past 10,000 years – long before human activity is thought to have changed the climate.

It argues that previous research that showed a cooling trend was wrong because it used contradictory ice core data.

The research was undertaken by University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Professor Zhengyu Liu.

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change requested a figure to show global temperature trends over the last 10,000 years, Professor Liu knew that was going to be a problem.

What they were considering was whether there has been an overall cooling or warming trend, versus the shorter term warm and cool periods that have been occurring throughout the Holocene. Here’s the money quote

‘We have been building models and there are now robust contradictions’, he said. ‘Data from observation says global cooling. The physical model says it has to be warming.

One has to wonder why computer models are more important that actual data. More money quotes

‘The question is, “Who is right?”‘ said Professor Liu. ‘Or, maybe none of us is completely right.

‘It could be partly a data problem, since some of the data in last year’s study contradicts itself.

‘It could partly be a model problem because of some missing physical mechanisms.’

Liu admits that there is much more work to be done. Because the science is not settle. Weird. Of course, Liu and the rest of the researchers say none of this invalidates their religious belief that the current warming is the fault of Mankind. Of course. They’re biased.

The press release is here. The study is here.

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7 Responses to “Has The Earth Been Warming For The Past 10,000 Years?”

  1. Jeffery says:


    That’s science for you. Observations by different methods that yield differing results.

    One reason Professor Liu’s models project warming is because of a gradual 20 ppm increase in CO2 over the Holocene (prior to industrialization). How do you feel about that?? A 20 ppm CO2 increase causing a 1 degree C increase, and the Earth’s temp hasn’t equilibrated to that CO2 increase yet! The CO2 has increased another 120 ppm in just the last century!

    So, we have measured data (by proxy, e.g., sediments, tree rings etc) for temperature mapping that tells us one thing and computer models based on GHG levels and insolation telling us something different. The computer models tell the Denier that the Earth is gradually warming but eliminate the MWP and LIA and show that the present day is the warmest of the Holocene. The proxy data show a warmer early Holocene, a MWP and LIA but allow the warmist cult to start their hockey stick blade from a lower number!! Argh!

    Here’s how you solve the Denier conumdrum: Reject the proxy data as unreliable because of biased researchers. Argue that the MWP and LIA are verified from historical reports (vineyards in England and a frozen Thames) and don’t require the proxy record to support them. Argue that the computer model is correct in general (but not because of a tiny increase in a trace gas) but not sensitive enough to detect the MWP and LIA. The current warming trend is just a continuation of Holocene warming caused by a physical process we don’t understand but it’s not CO2!

  2. jl says:

    “But it’s not CO2”. For once, correct, J. “How do you solve the denier conumdrum?” There isn’t one.

  3. Jeffery says:


    You don’t even recognize when you’re being mocked. Also when you improperly attribute a quote to someone you should use the format “… but it’s not CO2”. This enables readers to recognize you have cut out part of the quote, ostensibly without changing the meaning.

  4. Blick says:

    Damn, Jeffery’s sarcasm makes more sense than his normal thoughts. Climate report: Hell freezes over.

  5. Friday morning links

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  6. Sam L. says:

    Of course it’s warming–long term. The state I grew up in was half-glaciated some 15K years ago. I’m reliably informed there were no factories or SUVs then.

  7. Jeffery says:

    Sam L.,

    Do you think the planet randomly warms and cools by several degrees C or do you suspect there are physical causes?

    I’m reliably informed that the last glacial period ended because of cyclic “wobbles” in the Earth’s orbit that changed the distribution of the Sun’s heat on the Earth. The temperature has been pretty stable since that time. Until now.

    Now I’m reliably informed that the Earth is warming quite rapidly, not because of changes in the Sun’s warmth striking Earth, but because the Sun’s warmth is being increasingly trapped by greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, which humans are adding rapidly to the atmosphere.

    And this is primarily from burning coal for electricity and gas and oil for transportation. These are facts, not value judgments.

    Whether we should do anything about it remains a political choice. But please don’t deny the facts because you don’t like the political options.

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