Global warming – more like global hotting at times – was a function of earth’s climate long before humans used coal; or even knew what it was. In a paper published on Climate Etc Phil Salmon talks about the many sharp upward spikes, by 10 degrees or more, in the last 100,000 years.
Salmon points out why it is misguided for humans to imagine they are in climate control; they never were.
While today’s politicians and scientists do their best to avoid the hazards of one or two degrees warming over a century or so, during recent glacial intervals temperature changes many times larger, of 10 degrees or more, took place regularly over similar short timescales. Graphs showing frozen records of the temperature of the Northern Hemisphere from ice and sediment cores show this clearly over the last hundred thousand years. This represents the time interval between our Holocene and the previous interglacial called the “Eemian”. In this glacial period there are many sharp upward spikes, or “micro-interglacials” in which temperatures rose – then fell – by up to ten degrees within only a century or a few hundred years. The technical term for these excursions is Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events. These would have been very traumatic times to live through.” Today’s scenario might prompt us to rework an iconic quip from Crocodile Dundee: ‘That’s not climate change…’
The odyssey from Africa took place about 60,000 years ago. From graphs of temperature over the last glacial cycle, it can be seen that this was not quite the coldest part of the glacial period. That lay ahead at around 20,000 years ago, the “glacial maximum” during which the climate also became very dry, with high winds blowing dust storms from arid plains. Ice core records show that, at that time, the air even at the poles carried clouds of dust from vast and windy deserts. One possible reason for the dust and aridity in mid and high latitudes during the last glacial maximum was the fall of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere to low levels of less than 200 ppm (parts per million) – levels at which CO2 “starvation” begins to cause stress to plants, and which cause ecosystems to change from forest to grasses and grasses to desert.
Salmon starts his paper by putting climate change discussion in perspective:
Paleoclimatology, the study of climate in the past all the way back to deep time, is one of the pillars of climate science. It shows us the wide range of climates that have existed on earth, from near-global glaciation in “snowball-earth” epochs to hothouses where the poles were forested. It puts in a correct perspective discussion about climate change – dismissing any notion that climate has ever done anything other than endlessly change. And it provides an alternative to computer simulated models of climate, in which, given enough knowledge of conditions and influences on climate at past times, virtual experiments can be run by fast forwarding from chosen time points, analyzing the climate record to disentangle cause from effect.
Salmon’s paper is just the latest to point to the ignorance (wilful or otherwise) that drives the demonisation of CO2. In his latest book, Climate Change Delusion and the Great Electricity Ripoff, geologist Ian Plimer points out that “In the past there has been no relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature. To claim that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming is fraudulent. The data shows the exact inverse. When temperature increases after glaciation, atmospheric carbon dioxide increases at least 800 years later.”
This, too, echoes Salmon’s observation:
Within the last million years our knowledge is still further improved by the availability of ice core data showing us the detailed ups and downs of climate temperature (and, following obediently behind it, CO2) during the Quaternary period of alternating glacial and interglacial intervals.
In his book, Plimer blasts under-informed politicians, agenda-driven activists and scientific fraudsters for having conned us to such an extent that we are in an energy crisis, despite being a world energy superpower.
In other words, policy makers the world over have been fooled as geological facts were ignored and our trust in science diminished, all to provide the false cover of ‘save the planet’ for the actual socio-economic agenda of ‘change the planet’.
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