I am perpetually flabbergasted at the outright denial of scientific facts by alarmists. When I comment on alarmist blogs and the conversation turns to dendrochronology, I point out the facts that bristlecone pines have a very limited temperature growth range. I’ll include a picture from the Treering Society(pdf). The reason for this is two fold. One, to demonstrate the very narrow range of the growth in terms of temps and time (the right side of the graphic) and then 2) to give the people with biology backgrounds something to mull over what this graphic is actually stating, which I’ll get to after my main point. (and how it relates to the left side)
We see that we have no lower bounds (or upper for that matter) of the regional temps. So, the sensitivity to temps are constrained within this narrow margin of time and temps. Even if all of the other factors going into tree growth were quantified to such an exacting purpose as to be able to pick up on a few 1/10ths of a degree (they are not) the physical limitations of growth means we would see see a flattening in the plotting of temperatures. No extremes could be plotted because the trees are incapable of divining such a signal.
I’ll attempt to illustrate this with a thought experiment. Suppose we took all of the monthly temp readings for the last 20 years and plotted them on a graph…… well, we do this already. I’ll use the RSS data as an example.
We are all very familiar with this graph. We see the extreme swings up and some of the ones down. Now, suppose I, like the tree rings, withdrew the more extreme data plots and substituted them for lower and upper bound values. In this case, I’ll do this with the values of -0.2 to 0.2. We get a graph which appears like this…….
Why are the hockeystick shafts so straight? I can’t figure it out!
Food for thought section:
I could have used many other graphics or other forms of information to convey the temperature growth limitations, but this I thought a bit too delicious not to pass on. Obviously, those aren’t tree rings displayed, they represent the pine needles of a branch of a bristle pine tree. So what, you ask? Well, the needles perform a function necessary for the tree’s growth, specifically, photosynthesis. From the referenced literature….
So, the needles, which are effected by the temps of a particular season are retained for at least ten years and could be up to nearly 6 decades. The needles directly effect tree growth. So temperatures which occurred 20 years prior to the ring being measured directly effects the size of the ring. How valid could a temp reconstruction possibly be given this knowledge?
Why do alarmists simply refuse to accept scientific fact?