It didn’t take long for Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters to twist a new study on the discovery of the oldest living tree to fit his notion that the world’s top scientists have it all wrong when it comes to human-induced climate change.
The study, carried out by a team led by Leif Kullman, professor at Umeå University’s department of ecology and environmental science in Sweden, has found the world’s oldest tree living in the mountains of Sweden.
Somehow Shepard has got it in his head that this finding:
[results] in a total rewrite of climate history while bringing into serious question global warming theories espoused by Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his sycophant devotees.”
For a group like Newsbusters who is so “skeptical” of the mountains of scientific data concluding that human activity is the cause of global warming, they sure are willing to take any hint of counter-evidence and take it screaming to the hills.
And in this case, I don’t even think they have a hill to stand on. I’m not a scientist, so I’ve contacted Dr. Kullman to ask what, if anything, his findings say about the current human-induced warming.
In the meantime though, with a little digging (5 minutes on Google) further into the Swedish tree finding, I cannot find any robust evidence for Shepard’s grandiose claims. In fact, the National Geographic quotes Dr. Kullman as stating that these ancient trees are easier to find due to current warming:
“In fact, global warming made the ancient mountain conifers easier for the study team to find.
‘For many millennia they survived in the mountain tundra as low-growing shrubs perhaps less than a meter high,’ Kullman said. ‘Now they are growing up like mushrooms—you can see them quite readily.”’
And if that isn’t enough, Dr. Kullman also states in the same article that he’s very worried about the ancient tree’s survival:
“But climate change could also swamp these living Ice Age relics, he warned.
The treeline has climbed up to 655 feet (200 meters) in altitude during the past century in the central Sweden study area, the team found.
‘A great change in the landscape is going on,’ Kullman said. ‘Some lower mountains which were bare tundra less than a hundred years ago are totally covered by forest today.”’
In the fantasy world of Newsbusters and Noel Sheppard though this all somehow adds up to the conclusion that we should continue to ignore the threat of climate change that the world’s scientific organizations are telling us is caused by humans and is of great concern to the future of our planet.