One thing about ‘climate change alarmism‘ that continues to bug me: the incredibly short data time span used to make statements about a much greater period (incl. ‘ever’), generally going strangely unquestioned among those concerned about “unprecedented catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”. Unprecedented? Nope. See below.
(Catastrophic? Sure, a given on Earth. Mostly anthropogenic? Doubt it, but won’t rule it out. Warming? Some multi-decade periods, yes; some others, no. Either way, nothing unusual. Currently, late 2011, the global average temperature in the lower atmosphere, as measured most accurately by satellites, has plateaued (Even mentioned -imagine that- in a rare news article, like HERE; still accurate), and is even hinting at the onset of a new cooling phase… But I digress…)
- Example: I often notice articles with titles like [my emphasis]: “NASA: 2010 Meteorological Year Warmest EVER“, but the article itself clarifies that “ever” really only refers to “NASA’s 130-year record” (see HERE), which makes it pretty lame as a reference period since the Little Ice Age, possibly the coldest temperature dip in 10,000 years ended just before that. This one’s even funnier: “The amount of sea ice covering the Arctic is lower than EVER before, satellite data show. (Arctic sea ice hits RECORD LOW. CBC – Sept 12, 2011, SOURCE HERE). “Ever”… Right: “… Satellite records of Arctic sea ice go back to 1972.” They do this all over the place, my list of examples could be endless.
Ten years ago I was convinced that global warming was “very likely mostly anthropogenic” (man-made/industry-caused), but I’m no longer so sure the warming and ice melting is all that abnormal in the first place, leaving the theory that it’s caused by industrial greenhouse emissions highly debatable. Even without ANY industrial activity, very similar climate change could be happening now. Climates change. It’s what they do, have always done and probably always will do. The speed and magnitude of temperature and sea level change are not unprecedented in the geological record, whatsoever. Recent climate change isn’t all that “unprecedented” if you look further back (to well before the 19th century) in the paleoclimatological records, I found. And you don’t even have to look that far back, a mere 150,000 years will do. (Even less than 10,000 years of climate history would already clarify my point.) To keep it simple, see the below:
You can easily see that it was warmer than the 20th Century average (“O C”) on this temperature anomaly graph, below, showing the past 420,000 years prior to the present. In fact, it has been over 3 degrees Celcius warmer, and – interestingly I find- the current interglacial is on the cooler side, suggesting a sudden temp spike of over 2˚C could easily still occur naturally, with or without human assistance, and clearly even that wouldn’t be unprecedented:
You see that in the 4 previous interglacials (the warm spikes that interrupt the longer ice ages), it got significantly warmer than in this interglacial. Over 3˚C WARMER than the 20th century average… (My source for that ‘over 3˚C’: see U.S. Environmental Protection Agency graph (ignore their CO2 data in yellow): http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/pastcc_fig1.html ) Some data are debated, so I’m using mainly mainstream sources who are generally aligned with what I disagree about, or considered solidly scientific without tampering. (Hockey stick graphs and other crap won’t won’t even get space here. Too see-through.)
So, how does this compare to recent warming? We’re currently (2011) about 0.6 – 0.7˚C above that average [latest data, HERE, but in this source the reference ‘0’ is the already warmer 1981-2000 average, rather than the 20th century]. In any case, there’s some 2˚C of warming left to go before we’d even get out of the zone that is apparently the natural fluctuation range (of the past million years at least) for this lovely planet. Most temperature ‘records’ set in the last decade are only “maxima” if you don’t look further back than the past 700 years. Here’s 130 Years of data, not to be confused with ‘ever’:
When we look at temperatures at the top of the Greenland ice sheet, data from ice cores shows that even during this interglacial (the past roughly 11k years, aka the ‘Holocene’ as the period is known in geology and paleoclimatology), we see that in the past 10,000 years it got significantly warmer than this alleged recent “hottest decade on record” several times, naturally (strange, not? Long before the industrial revolution…). (This graph below is a higher resolution magnification of the temperatures shown in the red square on the first graph above, annotated by me):
So, this planet clearly has a fluctuating climate. That’s an established fact. So… [to pick one scaremonger theme..] how has sea level been changing over the centuries? … Apparently, hugely changing sea levels are also part of what occurs naturally as well. Sea level went up and down, goes up and down,… all the time, and what would truly be unprecedented is if it suddenly were to stop changing somehow, right now, at some arbitrary point deemed “normal” by people dressed in polyester swimsuits living in concrete boxes in the early 21st century. So, how high has sea level gone, completely naturally, prior to industrialization…?
“[…] The last interglacial period […] was characterized by global mean surface temperatures that were at least 2 °C warmer than present. Mean sea level stood 4–6 m higher than modern sea level, with an important contribution from a reduction of the Greenland ice sheet. Although some fossil reef data indicate sea-level fluctuations of up to 10 m around the mean. […]” – Nature GeoScience, http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n1/full/ngeo.2007.28.html
“Sea levels during several previous interglacials were about 3 to as much as 20 meters higher than current sea level.” – United States Geological Survey (USGS), http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/
As for recent history, Sea Level in the Middle Ages (1,000 years ago) was basically the same as now, except for a relatively minor dip during the Little Ice Age (‘LIA’, from the 16th to the 19th centuries CE). Temperature-wise the Medieval Warm Period was most likely warmer than it’s gotten so far. (See global data suggesting that, HERE) That’s why vineyards created in Belgium in the 15th century, ruined by the LIA, have recently been brought back into production (*).
Could it be that those who “oppose climate change” have lost perspective? An unchanging climate has never existed before.
All other reasons to do something about oil and gas burning (sacredness of the Earth, oil dependency, pollution and all the havoc caused by this, habitat destruction, wars, etc.) I find plenty to work towards alternatives. I have no need for manipulative “science”. (Real science isn’t manipulative.) The climate change hysteria, as much as it has effectively freaked a good number of people out (which I can appreciate, as freaking people out can be fun), will -unfortunately- more likely backfire, I think. When those tweeked greenhouse-gas-based climate change prediction computer models (which is what the scare is based upon) are proven false by real observations, the entire green movement could lose face. To me, it almost looks like a set-up… [But that may just be because I love exposing conspiracy theories, no matter how twisted. Hehe :-) ]
Only the Truth will set us free. F*** agendas. Think hot and moist… mossy and happy. Tomatoes in Greenland… Hm… Bummer how unlikely that is … Cooling ‘s coming, and it’s not looking that good. I keep my car running idle all night, ’cause I so hope I’m wrong… [j/k]
Global warming… I’m missing it… especially tonight.