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Antarctica Was Warmer In Middle Ages

April 16, 2021

By Paul Homewood



Another study, published in 2017, adds to our understanding of long term Antarctic temperature trends:




Antarctica went through a 1,900-year cooling trend before warming up a bit in the last century, according to a study showing that the South Pole has been much warmer in the past.

The current warming is not unusual for the South Pole, according to the study led by Italy-based scientist Barbara Stenni, which used ice cores to reconstruct Antarctic temperatures over the past two millennia.

“Our new reconstructions confirm a significant cooling trend from 0 to 1900 CE across all Antarctic regions where records extend back into the 1st millennium, with the exception of the Wilkes Land coast and Weddell Sea coast regions,” Stenni and her colleagues wrote.

The study also found that “the warmest period occurs between 300 and 1000 CE, and the coldest interval occurs from 1200 to 1900 CE,” suggesting that today’s relatively warm Antarctic temperatures are not unprecedented.


Antarctica has confounded climate scientists for decades.The continent’s inhospitable conditions make it hard to collect data from the region, and historical records are hard to come by. Scientists can use ice cores, but new evidence suggests there are problems with relying on such methods.

Either way, Antarctica has shown few signs of global warming, defying climate model predictions that the region would warm as greenhouse gases accumulated in the atmosphere.

That’s not been the case for the entire continent.

A 2016 British Antarctic Survey study found that the Antarctic Peninsula had undergone a cooling trend since the 1990s, due to a confluence of the hole in the ozone layer, sea ice and westerly winds.

The media has breathlessly reported on the “unstoppable disintegration” of Antarctica’s ice sheet, despite the lack of a clear manmade warming signal in the South Pole. Stenni’s study puts the recent warming in context.

“Since 1900 CE, significant warming trends are identified for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the Dronning Maud Land coast and the Antarctic Peninsula regions,” Stenni wrote. “Only for the Antarctic Peninsula is this most recent century-scale trend unusual in the context of natural variability over the last 2000 years.”

However, Stenni admits the “absence of significant continent-scale warming of Antarctica over the last 100 years is in clear contrast with the significant industrial-era warming trends that are evident in reconstructions for all other continents (except Africa) and the tropical oceans.”

This lack of warming “is not in agreement with climate model simulations, which consistently produce a 20th century warming trend over Antarctica in response to greenhouse gas forcing,” Stenni wrote.

  1. Ian Magness permalink
    April 16, 2021 10:36 am

    This lack of warming “is not in agreement with climate model simulations, which consistently produce a 20th century warming trend over Antarctica in response to greenhouse gas forcing,”
    For which infer: the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis based on CO2 that now dominates developed world global political and economic governance is thus irrefutably disproved.Thus, the scientists need to come up with a completely new hypothesis to describe real world climate data.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 16, 2021 4:02 pm

      The implication being its reality that’s at fault!

  2. April 16, 2021 10:56 am

    There doesn’t appear to be any warming down there in the UAH data.

  3. Philip Mulholland permalink
    April 16, 2021 11:14 am

    Obviously the data is wrong.
    It needs to be properly re-educated re-analysed to match the models.

  4. Mack permalink
    April 16, 2021 11:56 am

    O/T More Hairbrain hilarity over on the Beeb’s Science page today with the claim that China can save $1.6 trillion dollars by transitioning out of coal fired power stations because, wait for it, ‘renewables are cheaper than coal’. On which planet would that be?

  5. Gamecock permalink
    April 16, 2021 12:46 pm

    If the temperature goes down where no one lives, is it really cold?

    Precision of Antarctic temperatures became relevant only in the last 50 years in the context of climate phobia. “It’s really cold down there” used to be close enough.

    And I’m not convinced of the accuracy of ‘temperature scaling based on theδ18O–temperature relationship output from an ECHAM5-wiso model simulation nudged to ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalyses from 1979to 2013, and adjusted for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet re-gion to borehole temperature data.’

    18 authors gives the appearance of publicity, not science.

    • Vic Hanby permalink
      April 16, 2021 1:11 pm

      It’s not credible that 18 people contributed to the writing of any paper. That’s what ‘authors’ should do.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 16, 2021 12:53 pm

    UK wind power has been poor for at least a week and for the last 5x24hrs it might as well not have bothered. Will the BBC be headlining that like they did the greenest Easter evah!

  7. Simon Maxwell permalink
    April 16, 2021 1:58 pm

    Why must this study use that damned annoying PC abbreviation ‘CE’ (Common Era) instead of ‘AD’? I presume it’s to prevent offence to non-Christians. Well, I’m an atheist with no religion or beliefs, and I’m not offending by ‘AD’. The use of ‘CE’ offends and annoys me, however. I wish people would stop using it.

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 16, 2021 2:11 pm


    • jaime lopez permalink
      April 16, 2021 10:47 pm

      me too

  8. Cheshire Red permalink
    April 16, 2021 2:31 pm

    Global proxy data shows warming and cooling cycles are completely normal and happen naturally. That’s beyond doubt.

    So, if increased CO2 drives temperatures leading to a so-called ‘runaway warming’ effect, what natural mechanism firstly slows, then stops and finally reverses any such warming trend, before changing it to a cooling trend?

    How can increased CO2 simultaneously lead to cooling, whilst keeping both theories of CO2 driven AGW and CO2 driven ‘runaway warming’ intact?

    I can’t see any natural event that can do that without by definition falsifying the ‘runaway warming’ theory.

    • Mack permalink
      April 16, 2021 6:42 pm


  9. Penda100 permalink
    April 16, 2021 5:37 pm

    Barbara Stenni is a very naughty girl who must sit in the corner and write out 100 times “I must not carry out research that casts doubt on models used to prove AGW and the climate emergency.” Or thousands of climate scientists and researchers will lose their grants and might have to do some proper work for once instead of building models.

  10. Peter S permalink
    April 16, 2021 8:56 pm

    First, I should make clear that I am not referring to the current post, but making a general point.

    Has anyone tried to discover the climatology (or similar) degrees on offer in the UK, the entry requirements required and the details of the courses? I ask for three reasons.

    There must be thousands of papers published every year. Many may be garbage. The BBC and others quote them in headlines as major news items.

    I have had a quick look at UK university courses and found very little information to enlighten me on the quality and qualifications of these scientists.

    If anyone has the time and inclination to do a more thorough study of the subject, then I am sure it would be of interest to the rest of us.

    I realise that chemists, physicists and other traditional scientists participate in the subject but it would still be interesting to understand climate science in terms of its place in current UK academia.

    • April 17, 2021 2:11 pm

      Peter, I think you will find certainly up until now there has been no climate science degree. I find it confusing therefore when told what “climate scientists” think and say. The arena of climate science covers all of the natural sciences and includes things which are not sciences ( for example statistics). I have been told several times that I am not a climate scientist in spite of the fact that the subjects I studied for my BSc and my Masters come solidly under the umbrella of climate science. I think like so much of what is said by many that they only know the buzz words and the dismissal of my qualifications is no more than an attempt to shut down a discussion that they know they cannot possibly hold or win. This appears to be the common ploy of those on the left pushing a range of dubious causes including climate which they use to further their aims.

      • Peter S permalink
        April 17, 2021 7:44 pm

        Thanks for your comment. I thought I spotted a climatology degree that took a year and requires A-Level geography, but I may have been mistaken. I’m sorry I mislaid it because I think that was the highlight of my findings, which rather ties in with what you have just said.

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