Friday, March 08, 2013

Sky is Falling Update

One study, two stories: 

The New York Times:
Global Temperatures Highest in 4,000 Years
We are seeing temperatures increase at a rate not seen in at least 11,300 years, researchers say.
Nice contrast. Both are referring to the same study.

In another diversion, CNN's story blames the warming on human-kind but doesn't mention the "Medieval Warm Period" as the Times does:
The cooling was interrupted, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, by a fairly brief spike during the Middle Ages, known as the Medieval Warm Period. (It was then that the Vikings settled Greenland, dying out there when the climate cooled again.)
Yet the Times doesn't explain what caused this interruption in the data over 1000 years ago. CNN doesn't mention this interruption at all but warns that the last time it's been as warm as it's projected to be in 2100 was over 130,000 years ago:
The last time Earth has been as warm as it is projected to be by 2100 was before the last Ice Age started -- over 130,000 years ago. That's too long ago to gather reliable data on, he said.
So, if Earth reaches a projected temperature by the year 2100 it will be as warm as it might have been before the last Ice Age, a period so long ago the data is unreliable.  Meaning it's also unclear what caused the Earth to be so warm back then.  Well it surely wasn't Republicans driving SUVs and building factories, that much is known. But this was perhaps the most starting conclusion from the paper:
Scientists say that if natural factors were still governing the climate, the Northern Hemisphere would probably be destined to freeze over again in several thousand years. “We were on this downward slope, presumably going back toward another ice age,” Dr. Marcott said. Instead, scientists believe the enormous increase in greenhouse gases caused by industrialization will almost certainly prevent that.
In other words, anthropogenic global warming has saved the planet? 

Well, there's no question the temperatures have been warming during the last 120 years.  The Times story mentions that the decade from 1900-1909 was among the 95 percent of coldest decades on record in the last 11,000 years (which is strange because they seem to be glossing over the Little Ice Age from a century previous).  The fact it was so anomalously cold also tends to dramatize the warming that occurred through the 1940s and again between 1980 and the 2000s. 

But since human-kind didn't cause this downward slide it's unlikely human-kind can stop our recent upward spike, even with Chavez-like command socialism or giant windmills from sea to shining sea.  What will occur--and make us forget about global warming--is the new technology that will inevitably come along and make carbon-free non-polluting energy cheap and abundant for the masses like fossil-fuels are now.  


Right Truth said...

I saw that article this morning and it only took them one paragraph to get to caused by humans. Have humans been here all those years???

Right Truth

A.C. McCloud said...

There are many unanswered questions in the study, which is behind the pay wall at Science magazine.

"Epic" though. Mercy.