Tree rings and ice cores may not accurately reveal howwidely the climate changed in the past, according toscientists who have studied weather data from the last 1,000years. This is important to know as scientists try to figureout if current bizarre weather, such as the recenthurricanes in Florida, is related to global warming.

Jenny Hogan writes in New Scientist that current climatereconstructions rely on indicators of climate such astree-ring growth, which go back only about 100 years.Climate scientists then extrapolate this data back in time.But a new study suggests that this method may be smoothingout century-long climate swings. Hans von Storch used asophisticated computer model to simulate the Earth?s climateover a thousand years, adding details from particularlocations. For example, the thickness of tree rings isrelated to temperature, but it’s also affected by moisturelevels and insect plagues, so there are large errors. Hefound greater climate swings using the computer.

Climatologist Timothy Osborn says, “One of the conclusionswe draw is that the climate’s sensitivity might be higher,and therefore future climate change will be greater.”

We can learn about the new by studying the old: Learn howthe holiest name of God is nothing less than theblueprintof creation, the basis for such fundamental forms as theDNA double helix and the binary language of modern computers.

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