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400,000 years of climate change

Posted by Richard on December 14, 2009

I finally got around to checking out a link that David Aitken sent me (someone please persuade him to post these things on his blog). It's fascinating. J. Storrs Hall of the Foresight Institute presented a series of graphs showing temperature readings derived from Greenland ice cores (and, for the 400,000+ year perspective, Antarctic ice cores). In a masterful bit of presentation, he starts with a graph for the past 500 years, then a graph for the past 1200, then 5000, then 12,000, …

Check it out. It's like looking at a picture of our galaxy and seeing our place in it — it changes your perspective. And puts all the climate change blather by dipwads like Al Gore into a different light. As Storrs observed (emphasis in original):

we’re pretty lucky to be here during this rare, warm period in climate history.  But the broader lesson is, climate doesn’t stand still.  It doesn’t even stand stay on the relatively constrained range of the last 10,000 years for more than about 10,000 years at a time.

Does this mean that CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas? No.

Does it mean that it isn’t warming? No.

Does it mean that we shouldn’t develop clean, efficient technology that gets its energy elsewhere than burning fossil fuels?  Of course not. …

For climate science it means that the Hockey Team climatologists’ insistence that human-emitted CO2 is the only thing that could account for the recent warming trend is probably poppycock.

Somebody tell all those clowns in Copenhagen that they should shut up and quietly fly their private jets home. 

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One Response to “400,000 years of climate change”

  1. David Bryant said

    The graphs are very interesting, Richard. It’s too bad we don’t yet have a thorough understanding of the correlation between temperatures in polar regions (where the ice samples accumulated) and temperatures around the globe. It seems intuitively obvious that colder weather near the poles would cool the atmosphere in the tropics as well, but intuition is not always right. I have seen some temperature reconstructions based on sediment samples from the seabed and from lake bottoms, but I don’t think they show as tight a correlation as one would expect.

    Maybe this is old news, but I just recently ran across some interesting stuff about cosmic rays and cloud cover. A Danish guy named Svensmark is pushing this theory pretty hard.

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