As Hurricane Isaac bears down on the Gulf Coast–mostly missing Florida, apparently–and the RNC cancels the first night of the convention, it is an opportune time to catch up on the latest in climate science. You can do this by subscribing to the Science and Environmental Policy Project’s The Week That Was. From this week’s edition, one of the highlights is a report on a study of ice cores from Antarctica done by the British Antarctic Survey:
The British Antarctic Survey announced the publication of a study of an ice core from James Ross Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. Subject to ocean currents, the instruments on the Peninsula have shown recent warming, while instruments on the main Antarctic continent have shown cooling. Among the striking findings are that the Peninsula warmed by 6°C as it emerged from the last ice age, and that about 11,000 years ago it was about 1.3°C warmer than today’s average temperatures. After that the climate cooled, reaching the lowest point about 600 years ago (during the Little Ice Age). “Approximately 600 years ago, the local temperature started to warm again, followed by a more rapid warming in the last 50–100 years that coincides with present-day disintegration of ice shelves and glacier retreat.”
The alarmists purport to be doing science, but they are constantly required to ignore inconvenient facts in order to uphold the reliability of their models. Thus, the Medieval Warm Period never happened and the Little Ice Age was confined to Europe.
These findings are further evidence that the Little Ice Age was global, not regional as the IPCC claims. Also, the variation in temperatures, especially the warming 11,000 years ago, is not explained by changing concentrations in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Alarmist journalists immediately blamed human influence on the present-day disintegration of the ice shelves, totally ignoring the finding that it was significantly warmer 11,000 years ago.
So, if it was warmer 11,000 years ago than it is today, why? And why was it so cold 500 years ago? Obviously carbon dioxide is not some sort of thermostat that single-handedly controls global temperatures. The truth is that, while we are just beginning to understand global climate, one thing we know for sure is that CO2 levels have fluctuated widely over the millennia, and temperatures meanwhile have risen and fallen, with no apparent relationship between the two.