"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ice Hockey

AGW: Anthropogenic Global Warming.  The question of the day.  But it's a two-part question.  First question: is the Globe Warming?  Second question: is it our fault?

The first question would seem to be entirely a matter of fact.  By it's structure, it is the sort of question that should have an answer.  But reliable thermometers -- let alone reliable records -- have only been around for about a century-and-a-half.

But there exist much longer "data sets."  People who have spent a lifetime studying such things tell us that the amount of ice laid down in a glacier in any particular year is in large part dependent on the mean temperature that year.  And in Greenland and Antarctica there exist glaciers that have been around since considerably before 1850.

Here's a graph of the inferred temperate data extracted from a Greenland glacier (click to embiggen):

Uh oh. Even worse, the slope goes even further up after 1900. While this hardly answers the question of whether this is all our fault, it certainly suggests that the earth has been warming in the last 150 years or so, at least as compared to what was going on between 1400 and 1850. It's that fricking hockey stick.

I hear you desperately asking if there might just be similar data for BEFORE 1400. An excellent question. Glad you asked. Here's the data from the same source, plotted all the way back to about 3,000 B.C.:

Those of you who know a bit of European history will observe the Medieval Warm Period around 1,000 A.D., followed by the Little Ice Age, which explains why the Tudors wore all those warm clothes. You'll also notice a rather precipitous decline between about 500 A.D. and 800 A.D. And you always wondered why Europe was so backward after the fall of the Roman Empire, while North Africa thrived.

If only there were data going even farther back. As it happens, there are ice sheets in Antarctica that have been there for more than 400,000 years. Here's their tale:

Our readers are all of them smart enough to draw their own conclusions, and take appropriate steps to protect themselves, their children, and their grandchildren. After all, it's all about the children, right? We know what we're going to do. We're going to practice hunting mammoths.

All of this information comes from Andrew Watts' website "Watts Up With That?" DO NOT fail to read his recent articles on problems with and adjustments to temperature data.

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