January 28, 2005

Disaster averted

Filed under: Climate History

Human activity over the last 8,000 years may have headed off the next ice age, new research suggests.

Humans may have averted the next ice age! That’s a research result that is sure to make global warming alarmists cringe. Ongoing human activities during the past 8,000 years likely have served to prevent us from falling into an ice age, reports a research team led by William Ruddiman, former chairman of the University of Virginia environmental sciences department. “Without any anthropogenic warming,” the team writes, “Earth’s climate would no longer be in a full-interglacial state [warm period] but be well on its way toward the colder temperatures typical of glaciations.”

January 27, 2005

2 degC or Bust?

Filed under: Adaptation

A quick look out the window reveals that International Climate Change Taskforce recommendations for limiting global temperature rise to 2ºC are overly cautious.

Here’s a test. Look out the window and describe all the changes that have been caused by a long-term rise in global temperatures. Here in Piedmont Virginia, you’d be hard pressed to find a single thing—the ground is covered by a snowy mess. The pond is frozen over save for a small hole where the ducks are frantically paddling in a circle to keep open a bit of water. The trees and flowers are in their state of winter dormancy. A few cold-weather birds are poking around the ice-crusted ground looking for something to eat. Around town, folks have their coat collars pulled up to their ears and their hands dug deeply in their pockets. It is winter in the mid-Atlantic.

January 26, 2005

Yesteryear’s Climate Catastrophe

Filed under: Climate History

We’ve been waiting for this one. Back when acid rain was all the rage, it was acid rain that was blamed for the greatest extinction in earth’s history. A few years later, along came concern about the ozone hole and it, purportedly, caused a different huge extinction. Now, it’s Global Warming: Mass Murderer.

January 18, 2005

2,500 less 1

A leading expert in the field of tropical storms and hurricanes has withdrawn from participation in the writing of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (due out in late 2007), citing concerns that the IPCC has become too politicized, and “motivated by pre-conceived agendas.”

Dr. Christopher Landsea, from the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, has withdrawn from authorship of the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a compendium due to be published in 2007. Landsea, author of over 40 refereed scientific publications over the past 12 years on hurricanes and other tropical storm systems has been a contributing author in the last two IPCC Assessments, primarily responsible for the sections describing the past, present, and future behavior of tropical cyclones.
In a ‘Open Letter’ to his colleagues, Landsea announced and justified his decision. Landsea writes:

January 14, 2005

Life Imitates Fiction

Who would believe it? Christmas morning we began reading our gift copy of Michael Crichton’s global warming novel State of Fear. The villain implausibly, we thought, believes the effects of a tsunami will sway an international climate change conference. Then, within a week, the Voice of America is linking tsunamis and global warming by featuring an academic who voices alarm because of sea level rise (likely measured inches) in relation to tsunamis (measured in many tens of feet) .

January 4, 2005

In with the new, out with the old?

We had hoped that in the New Year scientists would stop hyping global warming to reporters such as the Washington Post’s new global warming specialist Juliet Eilperin. Our hopes were dashed on January 3.

The headline in the January 3, 2005 Science Notebook section of the Washington Post read “New Theory of Antarctic Ice Cap.” It began, “A sharp drop in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide 34 million years ago helped form the mile-thick ice sheet now covering Antarctica.” The article, penned by Post science writer Juliet Eilperin, referred to a recently published paper by a research team led by Purdue University’s Matthew Huber.

Amazing. Huber’s article was not about carbon dioxide and Antarctic climate. Rather, it discusses whether a shift in oceanic circulation patterns brought about by the separation of Antarctica from Australia some 35 million years ago (a consequence of continental drift), led to a subsequent cooling of Antarctica and ice sheet growth.

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