Cheers, Gavin! - Josh 349
Oct 28, 2015
Josh in Gavin Schmidt, Josh

Here's an odd thing.

Replying to Tweeter 'Hot Topic', who was highlighting this article in the Guardian, Gavin Schmidt said that there are "More than 10x number of English vineyards now than in medieval times." with a link to a 2006 Real Climate article.

Gavin implies that this comparison trumps the argument about English vineyards being proof that Medieval Warm Period was hotter.

However, one can conclude that those who are using the medieval English vineyards as a ‘counter-proof’ to the idea of present day global warming are just blowing smoke (or possibly drinking too much Californian).

Hang on a sec! Surely you would not compare the two without mentioning the population size -  the number of people buying and drinking the stuff - I mean that would be unscientific, wouldn't it?

A quick bit of research and doing some sums, admittedly by a cartoonist, gave me approximate ratios of 15 Vineyards per million in medieval times compared to 7.5 Vineyards per million today. That means that if you want to use Vineyards as a proxy for temperature (I wouldn't) the MWP was twice as hot as it it today!

I think we can conclude that this is simply Vintage Gavin (pronounced Ga-Vin) and we should all be enormously cheered up by the logic of climate science - what they can brew up with numbers is very entertaining.

Please embibe responsibly. No more that two units of Climate Science per day.


P.S. I didn't see it at the time but William Briggs also noted Gavin's omission.

Cartoons by Josh

Article originally appeared on (
See website for complete article licensing information.