In hammering on about supposedly unprecedented conditions the BBC puts its foot in it, after offering more of those charts where even a 1°C warming has the Earth in a haze from pink to red and at 4°C you apparently get the Maillard reaction where the planet roasts and the Arctic caramelizes, by bellowing: “Concentrations of the warming gas CO2 in the atmosphere are at their highest in 2 million years. The world is now warmer than at any time in the past 125,000 years – and will likely get warmer still over the next decade.” OK then, government-funded media dudes, if CO2 the “warming gas” is at its highest level in 2 million years, why isn’t temperature? Why, indeed, did you cut that series off at 125,000 years? Oh yeah. Because it’s when the Eemian interglacial ended, and the Eemian was warmer than the Holocene despite there being no gas stoves and atmospheric CO2 being at a mere 280 ppm.
The CO2 factoid caused Reuters “Sustainable Switch” to send an email shrieking “Climate time bomb ticking as CO2 hits 2 million year high”, basically plagiarizing UN Alarmist General Antonio Guterres’ shrill:
“Concentrations of carbon dioxide are at their highest in at least 2 million years. The climate time-bomb is ticking.”
Meanwhile in unguarded moments researchers will declare things like that the collapse of the Hittite empire “around 1198-1196 BC” is important because:
“The potential of climate change to substantially alter human history is a pressing concern, but the specific effects of different types of climate change remain unknown. This question can be addressed using palaeoclimatic and archaeological data. For instance, a 300-year, low-frequency shift to drier, cooler climate conditions around 1200 BC is frequently associated with the collapse of several ancient civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East.”
Egad. Are you saying warmer and wetter was better? Heck no. All climate change is bad, and doubly so if humans caused it. (Remember, the great 1970s cooling scare said human use of, of all things, fossil fuels was going to make it colder and drier and we were all going to die.)
National Geographic was also on that story, saying:
“research published today in Nature reveals that climate change may have played a bigger role in the Late Bronze Age collapse than previously thought. By examining the logs from trees buried for almost 3,000 years, an American research team has revealed that the heartlands of the Hittite Empire in central Anatolia suffered a severe drought in 1198, 1197, and 1196 B.C. – right at the start of the Late Bronze Age collapse. The finding strengthens theories that the shift to a drier and colder climate in the eastern Mediterranean upended food production, leading to shortages that exacerbated the cultural and economic problems already roiling the region.”
OK then. If more atmospheric CO2 causes it to get warmer and less causes it to get colder, what was bringing it down back then? Because it sure wasn’t being sucked into the tailpipes of donkey carts. And in fact the NG story doesn’t mention CO2, carbon dioxide, “carbon pollution” or any of that jazz. (It has one mention of carbon, namely that the researchers used “the levels of the isotope carbon-13” in juniper tree cells “which indicates the moisture level of the air when they formed.”) Nor does it dwell in an unseemly fashion on cold being bad for civilization. But it is.
Generally speaking CO2 is a bit player. As regular readers know, we have little patience with the notion that climate alarmism is a “hoax”. But with that said, Steve Milloy is otherwise absolutely right to note that “California 3.8°C warmer than today 14,000 years ago when total atmospheric CO2 was 50% less than today” and ask someone from the carbon-pollution set to give a convincing explanation.
An alert reader also reminds us of the Krakatoa volcanic explosion of 1887, and suggests that if temperatures rebounded in the last part of the 19th century as the dust settled, literally, it would be unreasonable to blame CO2 from the textile mills of Lancastershire. And when Zeke Hausfather claimed that “One of our most stark findings in the recent IPCC report is that humans are the cause of pretty much all observed warming” Judith Curry rightly rebuked him with “You mean apart from the grand solar maximum in the late 20th century, low volcanic activity since mid 19th century, Great Pacific Climate Shift in 1976 and shift to warm phase of the AMO in 1995?” But we rebuke him by asking whether he has observed any warming prior to 1870, and if so what role he thinks humans, or even the natural CO2 played, and why the latter stopped mattering, along with everything else, during the presidency of Harry Truman.