Climate in Iraq Was More Extreme in Ancient Times

SODOM & GOMORRAH: Archaeologists and historians have found ancient texts composed between 816 and 1009 AD in Iraq. Researchers published an analysis in Weather of the various writings done by scholars, historians, and diarists who lived during the Islamic Golden Age.

The team found that the climate in Iraq likely experienced greater extremes than they do today. The writings document significant climate events such as severe cold weather that are rare in present time.

chrisdebruyn, Flickr.

chrisdebruyn, Flickr.

“Climate information recovered from these ancient sources mainly refers to extreme events which impacted wider society such as droughts and floods,” said the primary author, Dr. Fernando Dominguez-Castro. “However, they also document conditions which were rarely experienced in ancient Baghdad such as hailstorms, the freezing of rivers or even cases of snow.”

In 891, Baghdad was considered a city without rival that had hot summers and cold winters, making the climate in Iraq perfect for strong agriculture. Even Herodotus tells us that the size of grain crops in Mesopotamia were larger and more plentiful than anywhere else in the world. The writers documented a number of cold events in the first parts of the 10th century. There were significant temperature drops during July 920 AD, snowfall in 908, 944, and 1007 – compared to the only record of snow in modern Baghdad in 2008.

The published study focuses primarily on Iraq, but it clearly has implications for the rest of the era. Dominguez-Castro says that “Ancient Arabic documentary sources are a very useful tool for finding eye witness descriptions which support the theories made by climate models” and that “The ability to reconstruct past climates provides us with useful historical context for understanding our own climate. We hope this potential will encourage Arabic historians and climatologists to work together to increase the climate data rescue from across the Islamic world.”

Thanks to Anthony Watts for the tip.

Global Temperatures Lower in 2011 than 1998

yeimaya, Flickr.

yeimaya, Flickr.

SODOM & GOMORRAH: Only nuts would suggest that the earth isn’t suffering from human-made warming. A new report from NASA that shows that global temperatures were lower in 2011 than 1998 proves that government scientists are pretty nutty.

A new NASA study reveals that global temperatures were lower in 2011 than in 1998. The media and climate scientists still argue that the earth is warming, despite data that points the contrary. The Associated Press said on January 20th that, “The world last year wasn’t quite as warm as it has been for most of the past decade, government scientists said Thursday, but it continues a general trend of rising temperatures.” The statement is laughable. The “trend” is completely dependent on the period of time being measured; if we start in 1998, the trend shows that the world is getting cooler. If we start at the peak of the last ice age, there’s a distinctive warming trend.

NASA scientists say that the data is “suggestive of a slowdown in global warming, this apparent slowdown may largely disappear as a few more years of data are added.” The scientists have largely left the realm of science; temperatures may do any number of things in the next few years but the information we have only shows what they have done in the past. Any supposition about a general “trend” up or down is purely speculative and is based on best guesses, which are always guesses at the end of the day.

“It would be premature to make any conclusion that we would see any hiatus of the longer-term warming trend,” said Tom Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. “Global temperatures are continuing to increase.” It would seem that it’s premature to even suggest that there’s any trend at all, and certainly premature to say that global temperatures are continuing to increase when they’ve dropped over the last ten years.

The truth is that there are no average temperatures. Climate history is the story of incredible changes as we experience ice ages, geologic shifts, and different seasons. The only certain thing is that our climate has and will always be very uncertain. The warming community will always return to old articles of faith to justify their position.