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An 8-Century Tropical Atlantic SST Reconstruction

March 29, 2021

By Paul Homewood



This paper, published in 2007, appeared in my inbox today. It tries to reconstruct sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic back to AD 1200:





This is the key chart. The top bold line shows the reconstructed SSTs:




The MWP and LIA are immediately recognisable. Although the Abstract claims that largest increase in magnitude and fastest rate of SST change occurred in the 20thC, I can see little difference between this and the rise during the 14thC, or indeed the 18thC. Given how cold the LIA was, it is little surprise that warming since has been so rapid.

What this study proves is that variations in SSTs are common, natural events. There is no evidence whatsoever that 20th rise in SSTs was caused by GHGs. In any event, physics tell us that any oceanic warming from GHGs can only be microscopic, given the colossal heat content of the oceans.

And, as we also know, sea temperatures affect land temperatures, and not the other way around. In short, warmer oceans will inevitable lead to warmer land masses. It is the oceans which drive the world’s climate.


The paper then goes on to explore hurricane activity, and its correlation with SSTs.




Figure B, which uses 9-year smoothing, clearly shows that hurricane activity did not increased after 1970, despite SST rising, contrary to theory. The explanation for this may lie in Dr Roy Spencer’s theory that the Atlantic gets hot enough every year to spawn hurricanes. Going over that threshold, however, makes no difference.

  1. T Walker permalink
    March 29, 2021 11:09 am

    Heat Content difference between atmosphere and oceans is often just brushed aside by alarmists, as though the two were interchangeable.

    An interesting thought experiment passed to me years ago as part of my education was to imagine that the atmosphere was raised to 1000 deg. centigrade and then the heat all transferred to the oceans. The oceans would warm by one deg. centigrade.

    It is easy to see why many scientists are sceptical that any transfer of heat to the oceans could be detected in the short-term.

  2. March 29, 2021 11:43 am

    The data in this article presumably reflects the daily mean temperature. Change in the mean can be due to change in the minimum or the maximum alone, or the balance of the two.

    It is worth noting that the instrumental record for inland locations in Australia like Kalgoorlie, Alice Springs and Bourke indicate warmer maxima in the warmest month, February prior to 1930, than in the last thirty years. It is the coolest months and the in-between months that exhibit warming.

    This points towards a change in cloud cover or a change in the origin of the wind reflecting change in surface atmospheric pressure.

    • March 29, 2021 1:21 pm

      I can sort of confirm what you say about inland Australia maximum temperatures, though the summer (Dec-Jan-Feb) maxima in the late-19th/early-20th century were similar to those of today, rather than higher. Rainfall/cloud trend variations across Australia probably “explains” a lot of the differences in temperature variation across different regions.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 30, 2021 9:15 am

      Surely it represents “total” temperature? If the sea is warmed by the atmosphere it’s warmed all the time. Min-max doesn’t always capture that.

  3. Mad Mike permalink
    March 29, 2021 12:32 pm

    Well of this topic but I received this back from a COO of a large cladding company. The company mainly deals with recladding properties at risk such as Grenfell Towers. I was asking for a ball park figure for insulation of houses. Of course he couldn’t give any accuracy but had a stab at costing. It seems he doesn’t think too much of the chances of any insulation making that much difference to heat retention.

    “Thank you for your message and trust you found the article interesting and in answer to your question, in short no.
    The domestic insulation situation is even mor complex than cladding, the number of properties with solid walls which will probably require external solutions is immense albeit low rise.
    At either end of the spectrum Planners will not allow all those Northern Terraces or Cotswold stone properties to be covered in render.
    Internal insulation causes major disruption and problems with vapour and dew points.

    The other issue is that most heat is lost through air changes not just through insulation, reduction in air changes often leads to internal condensation, mould and damp patches.
    If you remember when loft insulation was all the rage – with cold roof voids the gang nail plates on trussed rafters started to rust and fail.

    In short everything has a consequence, often unintended, as for a finger in the air number I would guess 20 – 30 k but please don’t quote me.”

    Are you listening Boris?

    • March 29, 2021 1:34 pm

      Having just had new uPVC windows installed I have discovered their most important by far aspect, an aspect that none of the window construction/fitting companies even mentions in passing. The key to their heat/sound insulation ability is simply the tightness of the fit around the frames that open. Ignore all the guff about noble gases and the design of the plastic/steel surrounds, check the tightness of the fit of the opening frames when they are closed.

  4. NeilC permalink
    March 29, 2021 12:57 pm

    Oh dear, don’t let mann see this, it’s nothing like his hockey stick

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    March 29, 2021 1:44 pm


    Now it becomes clear why Farage and his movements suddenly went ambivalent on climate change/green policies. What a disappointment. Sold out. Hero to zero.

    • Mack permalink
      March 29, 2021 2:15 pm

      To be fair to Farage he’s always been a woodland enthusiast and long advocated more native tree planting whilst at the same time being completely cynical about global warming advocates and ruinous renewables. By joining a carbon offset company that sells indulgences to the climate ‘guilty’, thereby increasing tree planting across the globe, he probably thinks it as win win: more forestation whilst maximising his income fleecing ignorant suckers who think that buying offsets will help change the climate. The downside being that, having moved over to ‘the dark side’, a formerly very vocal and influential skeptic will have been seen to have ‘sold out’ as you suggest. Even the Guardian doesn’t know what to make of this move.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        March 29, 2021 5:32 pm

        Nope, doesn’t wash. He’s making a (no doubt very generous) living out of the climate scam, if he’s worried about trees there’s dozens of other opportunities to make an honest living supporting that aim. At the very least he should be strongly campaigning against climate policy, windmills and solar parks, Drax bio-mass, and the associated destruction of trees.

  6. europeanonion permalink
    March 30, 2021 8:35 am

    I wrote a letter to the Telegraph yesterday asking them to visit Paul’s site to allay fears and to trump the romanticised critiques that abound in the sphere of climate science. Today’s science is swamped by litterateurs and florid language. This piece that Paul has assembled today is a perfect refutation of the contrary and ill-informed press that we are subject to. Don’t expect any correspondence from that paper soon, tragedy sells but hopefulness is for fantasists. Put on the sandwich boards, ‘the end of the world is nigh’. Facts rank as sedition and the woke world of prognostication is at the lectern.

  7. Phoenix44 permalink
    March 30, 2021 9:13 am

    They seriously think they an measure the SST that long ago to that degree of accuracy? They can’t do that for 50 years ago.

    I’m increasingly bored of “science” that uses data that has no grounding in what is actually possible to know and measure.

  8. Mal permalink
    March 30, 2021 10:03 am

    Interestingly visiting the Ionian islands I was surprised at the lack of solar panels on roofs, meanwhile back home a ‘panel’ salesman did his very best to persuade us that filling my NE facing roof with them was the way to go, apparently ‘they are so efficient now’ they will provide cheap/free electricity in the top half of the northern hemisphere! Er no! Better still was the sales chap who thought the compass needle pointed South, mentioning polar reversal was probably wasted, I felt like echoing my namesake in ‘dad’s army’ … we’re doomed!

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