USGS: Arctic sea too warm for sea ice 3 million years ago

This is a paleoclimatology finding, with current spin added. I guess they haven’t seen the latest on the NAO and AO.

SST 3 million YA - click to enlarge

USGS Press Release: Arctic Could Face Warmer and Ice-Free Conditions

Released: 12/29/2009 6:20:34 AM

There is increased evidence that the Arctic could face seasonally ice-free conditions and much warmer temperatures in the future.

Scientists documented evidence that the Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas were too warm to support summer sea ice during the mid-Pliocene warm period (3.3 to 3 million years ago). This period is characterized by warm temperatures similar to those projected for the end of this century, and is used as an analog to understand future conditions.

The U.S. Geological Survey found that summer sea-surface temperatures in the Arctic were between 10 to 18°C (50 to 64°F) during the mid-Pliocene, while current temperatures are around or below 0°C (32°F).

Examining past climate conditions allows for a true understanding of how Earth’s climate system really functions. USGS research on the mid-Pliocene is the most comprehensive global reconstruction for any warm period. This will help refine climate models, which currently underestimate the rate of sea ice loss in the Arctic.

Loss of sea ice could have varied and extensive consequences, such as contributions to continued Arctic warming, accelerated coastal erosion due to increased wave activity, impacts to large predators (polar bears and seals) that depend on sea ice cover, intensified mid-latitude storm tracks and increased winter precipitation in western and southern Europe, and less rainfall in the American west.

“In looking back 3 million years, we see a very different pattern of heat distribution than today with much warmer waters in the high latitudes,” said USGS scientist Marci Robinson. “The lack of summer sea ice during the mid-Pliocene suggests that the record-setting melting of Arctic sea ice over the past few years could be an early warning of more significant changes to come.”

Global average surface temperatures during the mid-Pliocene were about 3°C (5.5°F) greater than today and within the range projected for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Read the full article at http://micropress.org/stratigraphy/.

[ PDF is here http://micropress.org/stratigraphy/papers/Stratigraphy_6_4_265-275.pdf - Anthony ]

Scientists studied conditions during the mid-Pliocene by analyzing fossils dated back to this time period. The USGS led this research through the Pliocene Research, Interpretation and Synoptic Mapping group. The primary collaborators in PRISM are Columbia University, Brown University, University of Leeds, University of Bristol, the British Geological Survey and the British Antarctic Survey. Learn more about PRISM research.


USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.

About these ads

113 thoughts on “USGS: Arctic sea too warm for sea ice 3 million years ago

  1. Algore says that is cuz the earth now 5 million degrees 2 kilometers down was that warm close to the surface.

  2. With regard to cooling, it looks like the warmists of the IPCC are moving along to use another gas to raise money for them from Governments, according to the Wall St Journal of Dec 28th.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704039704574616130812043404.html?mod=WSJASIA_newsreel_opinion#articleTabs%3Darticle

    We need to get moving to cool the planet’s temperature. Methane is the most effective place for us to start.

    Mr. Watson is former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Mr. Mohamed El-Ashry is a senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation, and former CEO of Global Environment Facility, an independent partnership that funds environmental projects in the developing world.

    This is why on Dec. 11, along with a distinguished group of colleagues from the scientific and financial communities, we proposed the creation of a Global Methane Fund to address the specific measures needed to get methane projects off the ground now. This includes a guaranteed price floor for methane projects to allay uncertainty over future carbon prices.

    Funded by governments and private foundations, a Global Methane Fund with only $100 million to $200 million could leverage tens of billions of dollars for other projects, which will have a quick and measurable cooling effect in the Arctic and elsewhere. Scientific studies, such as the EPA’s June 2006 report, “Global Mitigation of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases,” conservatively indicate that we could eliminate 1.3 gigatons of annual CO2 equivalent emissions—that’s half the U.S. power industry’s emissions—just by targeting landfills, coal mines, and oil and gas leaks.

    Such a fund would benefit melting glaciers in the Arctic, and in the Andean and Himalayan mountains. And it would demonstrate to the world that we can do something to quickly slow climate change.

  3. So all that ice and snow melting during spring, summer and autumn is natural then ?! Holy warming, who would have guessed ?!

    But first let’s all have a deep freeze anomaly.

  4. I did not realise that farting caused summer to come quicker. I wonder if that is true for both hemispheres?

  5. I seriously question that the climate patterns would be the same as today, particularly the ocean currents considering continental drift, which can move continents 150-200+ kilometers. They just about had to be different.

    Furthermore, the Isthmus of Panama (Darien) formed about 3 million years ago. Wow, that would be the time they are talking about! The lack of a Gulf Stream and a more circum-equatorial flow would have significantly changed the planet’s climate.

    Spin it on, but to think that the planet has been status quo for 3 million years and allows predictions of our future is venturing into fantasy just as do the climate models we have today. This information cannot and will not make the models any better.

    Just my opinion, but hey!

    It should also be pointed out that the recent report that CFCs and solar input drives climate is ludicrous regarding CFCs. Since they are at 80 ppt (parts per trillion), they would be about 5,000,000 less concentrated than CO2 (385 ppm) in the atmosphere. To think that this could drive the climate or warm it is really pursuing the “we have to find a way to blame it on humans no matter what” idea to its bitter end.

    They are banking on people not realizing how relatively little CFCs there is in the air while they recognize CFCs as an alarming term from years ago.

  6. tornadomark (16:02:35) :

    This conclusion comes from a sample of twelve bristlecone pines… plus a few tea leaves

    These bristle cones have not been adjusted and enhanced by Mann. They are still raw data.

  7. Great news: In 3 million years hence, it will be too warm for Arctic Sea Ice.
    It’s Pure Concocted Chaff to think that GCM’s can accurately predict such a sudden turn away from the last million years of Ice Ages with a temperature network that has been beat into scrap metal and fuzzy proxies.
    I mean, look at thier track record !!
    They are as about connected with the outside world as the bubble boy in HDPE.
    I’ll take Piers Corbyn for $2000, Alex.

  8. So in the mid pleistocene there was run-away global warming as well, was there? Wherever it ran to, it seems to have sneaked back home.
    btw, it’s raining here at 2000m. All the world’s snow seems to be in the wrong place, and I’ve a good mind to write to the gravy train engineer to complain about it.

  9. in mid summer how warm is the suns rays shining on the ice in the Arctic?. i.e here air temp in the shade may be 25c but out in the sun its 45c. what im getting at is that if air temp is taken in the shade in the Arctic it may be -1c but for most of the Arctic it is in the sun light and the temp may be well above 10c up to 24hours aday in summer. Just a thought.

  10. “The lack of summer sea ice during the mid-Pliocene suggests that the record-setting melting of Arctic sea ice over the past few years could be an early warning of more significant changes to come.”

    This must just be to get more funding. They can’t possibly think this is relevant.

    The earth warmed up in the Pliocene without man-made CO2. Ergo warming can be caused by something else. Ergo we cannot be sure CO2 is the problem (if indeed there is a problem) this time.

    However you slice it, this is no evidence for AGW. I’m with Charles above, in that it is evidence of nothing at all.

  11. Henry chance (16:11:54) :

    tornadomark (16:02:35) :

    This conclusion comes from a sample of twelve bristlecone pines… plus a few tea leaves

    These bristle cones have not been adjusted and enhanced by Mann. They are still raw data.

    *********************************************

    Eral Grey please and 98.6 degrees…..

    Sorry….. couldn’t resist….

  12. GLOBAL METHANE FUND….

    What are we now going to compress it and save it for heating purposes? I want to see them putting the cork in to cows and capture lines…

    they will stop at nothing to gain control over the population through taxation..

  13. Methane, Polar Bears who would of thought. Dietary restrictions on those animals should fix the problem and right at the source no less.

  14. “Ok, but the Mediterranean Sea apparently evaporated several times through out geological history (Pleistocene also, I believe). Should I lose sleep over that too?”

    Yes. It becomes that much easier for North Africans to invade Europe.

    (More seriously, I wonder if that could have aided the spread of Homo out of Africa?)

  15. If global warming is not the cause of the Artic climate changes then what motivation due the pro-global warming scientist have to lay false claims or have they just mis-calculated or misinterpretted the climate data?

  16. And at one time the entire earth was a snowball. That would be really bad and we should do everything we can to stop that from occurring.

    Climate changes, living things adapt.

    Polar bears are just brown bears that moved north about 250,000 years ago and turned white to better hide from seals.

    What do people think tundra is?

  17. If the authors pupose was to support the AGW hypothesis, they sure shot themselves in the foot as they just escorted the “elephant” into the room!

    If it was 3 deg warmer 3 million years ago, what was the forcing mechanism that caused that & why cant that be the same forcing mechanism be at work since the end of the LIA ??

    Until someone can unequivacally answer that, the AGW hypothesis is dead!

    Once again, this is no surprise to geoscientists , which is why we are one of the most skeptical groups out here in the real world. The change in climate over the last 100 years is insignificant in magnitude compared to climate change through geologic history…. and I have to see any one rule out natural forcing mechanisms or even try to separate them from potential GHG forcings for the last 100 years of climate.

    Of course, as a side node, somehow the world did manage to survive the Pliocene without any government intervention- imagine that !!

  18. “Scientists documented evidence that the Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas were too warm to support summer sea ice during the mid-Pliocene warm period (3.3 to 3 million years ago). ”

    Wait.

    Fred Flintstone drove an SUV??????????

  19. lebrochure (16:41:49) :

    If global warming is not the cause of the Artic climate changes then what motivation due the pro-global warming scientist have to lay false claims or have they just mis-calculated or misinterpretted the climate data?

    **************************************************

    MONEY and CONTROL of people…

  20. Forgot to mention this as well – This paper also kills Hansens “tipping point” hypothesis – evidently it was warmer, but we didn’t have runaway warming & become Venus. So, 2 hypothesis killed with one paper. Nicely done USGS!

  21. There was increasing geologic evidence 35 years ago that the Earth was surely headed towards a New Ice Age.
    Evidently the geologic evidence has changed.
    Can anyone figure out why there is a 10 year time lag at work here?
    It takes them 10 years to mount a bullhorn campaign to full steam, meanwhile, the climate has done an about face. It takes 10 years for the world + dog to get what’s happening, but it also take the bullhorn campaign an additional 10 years to figure out that they have been, once again, running after tabloid mirages instead of doing journalism.
    This is surely a trend at work. 0 for 4 if you count the current flabbergastation.

  22. There are a number of assumptions and dependence on relatively skimpy data and sampling that make this research speculative. There needs to be a lot more confirmation before accepting the conclusions.

  23. We have a primary sewer plant here that has always been run on the methane that it extracts from settling all the poop. Our old landfill is also contributing to our natural gas supply. Actually, collecting of methane makes sense, the technology is there, and at least here, no government subsidies as there is a profit motive.

    Not all ideas from the pro side are wrong.

  24. Quick question: where were the poles 3 million years ago?

    Given that the rotational pole moves, what is currently arctic was NOT arctic in the past… but how long ago was that?

  25. At least the remediation of the methane problem, by converting it to a far less potent green house gas, is an easy enough thing to do.

    Equip the cows with pilot lights.

  26. When the planet’s human inhabitants get too excited about something they usually, unlike lemmings who jump into the sea, start a war for no good reason, any reason in a pinch, and no reason if they’re really upset. Humans are as predictable as the weather. I don’t trust none of ‘em. Specially the ones that carry banners and signs with slogans, they’s the worst.

  27. So, if “[g]lobal average surface temperatures during the mid-Pliocene were [...] within the range projected for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”, did the oceans become highly acidic and kill off a lot of species of sea creatures, as is apparently being predicted by some of the global warming alarmists?

  28. I agree with Gary (17:01:59). The text uses “implies”, “assume”, and “infer” often. It doesn’t appear that they have a firm basis to claim much about the temps 3 million years ago.

  29. leo G… [i]Not all ideas from the pro side are wrong.[/i]

    Not all ideas from the pro side are right, either. The ones that involve taxing and spending are “WHOA! Let’s put on the brakes!” time.

  30. “Amazing -polar bears survived/thrived despite no ice.”

    Actually, there were no polar bears at that time. Polar bears are a rather recent adaptation of a brown bear.

  31. xyzlatin: “We need to get moving to cool the planet’s temperature. Methane is the most effective place for us to start.”

    Eat mor chikin’

  32. OT — Weather is not climate

    Portland Oregon U.S.A. – Snow storm. Three inches so far.

    Storm came right off the North Pacific ocean. Snow storms right off the Pacific are unusual.

    Predicted as straight rain (normal).

    Nobody predicted snow storm.

    But there it is…

  33. David L Hagan wrote:

    “Amazing -polar bears survived/thrived despite no ice.”

    Polar bears are believed to have evolved within the last half million years.

  34. Clearly Big Oil paid off the USGS…right now is the warmest it’s ever been in the history of the planet. All due to Capitalism and industry. In fact, if we don’t reverse our prosperity now, the Earth will catch fire or flood; but extreme cold and blizzards are also evidence that Capitalism is causing the warmest (and coldest) temperatures EVER in the history of the planet. Therefore, we must all go back to living like people did a century ago (the elitists are exempt of course) and people should only be allowed to have one child and eat absolutely no meat!!! It feels warmer suddenly. I think climate is changing faster! Quick, we need carbon taxes to fix the climate!!!!

  35. “This period is characterized by warm temperatures similar to those projected for the end of this century, and is used as an analog to understand future conditions.”

    Oh yeah, the reliable projections that have failed 100%.

  36. Re: tornadomark (16:02:35

    Not far off the real mark, as Gary (17:01:59 pointed out, there are too many assumptions to count in such “studies.” I could just as well assume from fossils that I need to give my children spf2000 sun-tan lotion as to make the conclusions that they make from such little data!

  37. Leo G (17:12:16) :
    “Not all ideas from the pro side are wrong.”

    No, they’re not. They (real) environmentalists (EG: Bjørn Lomborg) have some pretty good ideas. It’s the extremists that we need to worry about and their command and control ideas. Most of of would find living under those ideas to be somewhat uncomfortable.

  38. “Record setting melting”…? Pfft, they only have a 30 year satellite record…. Anecdotally there was significant melt back in the 1920’s….

    Secondly. If the Arctic ice cap could melt naturally 3 million years ago, why is it beyond the stretch of imagination that it couldn’t melt naturally at anytime?

    I think the media become overwrought when scientists say things.

  39. To put the article in perspective, 3 million years ago is what geologists dismiss as “yesterday”. Very young stuff, with the continents in nearly the present day position.

  40. Bob Watson is Director of Strategy at the UK Tyndall centre based at the University of East Anglia and was Environment Director or similar at the World Bank. He is also Chief Scientific Adviser to Defra, and is a member of the Natural Environment Research Council, which decides the funding for Tyndall et al.

    Prior to joining the World Bank, Dr. Watson was Associate Director for Environment in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President in the White House. Prior to joining the Clinton White House, Dr. Watson was Director of the Science Division and Chief Scientist for the Office of Mission to Planet Earth at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/aug/06/climatechange.scienceofclimatechange The UK should take active steps to prepare for dangerous climate change of perhaps 4C according to one of the government’s chief scientific advisers. In policy areas such as flood protection, agriculture and coastal erosion Professor Bob Watson said the country should plan for the effects of a 4C global average rise on pre-industrial levels. The EU is committed to limiting emissions globally so that temperatures do not rise more than 2C.

    When asked in 1997 at Kyoto, as the new IPCC Chairman, about the growing number of climate scientists who challenged the conclusions of the UN that man-induced global warming was real and promised cataclysmic consequences, Watson responded by denigrating all dissenting scientists as pawns of the fossil fuel industry. “The science is settled” he said, and “we’re not going to reopen it here.”

    http://sovereignty.net/p/clim/kyotorpt.htm

    Gore/Watson Mutual Admiration Society (dead link)

    http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2007/10/13/news/local/news02.txt

    “We need an advocate such as Al Gore to help present the work of scientists across the world,” said Bob Watson, former chairman of the IPCC and a top federal climate science adviser to the Clinton-Gore Administration.

    Watson’s World Bank leaving party:

    http://info.worldbank.org/etools/BSPAN/PresentationView.asp?PID=2129&EID=963

    Jack Gibbons, Watson’s former boss at the White House, read aloud a letter written to Watson by Al Gore. In this letter, Gore calls Watson his “hero of the planet,” commends him on his incredible career and contributions, and congratulates him on his new jobs. Gibbons also spoke about the challenges facing scientists whose scientific evidence is often viewed not as strict science but as efforts to steer policy.

  41. “…accelerated coastal erosion due to increased wave activity, impacts to large predators (polar bears and seals) that depend on sea ice cover, intensified mid-latitude storm tracks and increased winter precipitation in western and southern Europe, and less rainfall in the American west.”

    What I find particularly irritating about hysterical inferences drawn from models is that almost uniformly only “bad” things happen. If the models are true, how about more arable land in the Canadian provinces, longer growing periods in higher latitudes, higher crop yields in mid-level latitudes, less frost damage, and fewer people dying due to arctic blasts?

    Change is change. There will be good things. There will be bad things. It is ludicrous to think that change will only result in bad results. It is ridiculous to contemplate for even one second that the government or the U.N. can protect us from all risk.

  42. For about 90% of the past 500,000 years, the earth was locked in glacial epochs. We’re just very fortunate to be living in that 10% of the time when earth is relatively warm–called an interglacial. Why are we worried about some condition on earth that existed 6 times farther back than the past half million years?

    Overlooking the past half million, one million, even two million years of extreme cold when ice sheets up to 2 miles thick covered most of Canada and came as far south as Long Island, Chicago, and northern Idaho is definitely grasping at straws.

  43. One thing that puzzles me about this report is where, if the arctic oceans were too warm to support permanent ice, did they find the 10 million year old “permanent” ice to core for use as a temperature proxy?

  44. Paul Martin (18:08:45) :

    One thing that puzzles me about this report is where, if the arctic oceans were too warm to support permanent ice, did they find the 10 million year old “permanent” ice to core for use as a temperature proxy?

    Well, there’s a difference between ocean ice and land ice, don’t you think? It may have been too warm in the ocean but not on land.

  45. CodeTech (17:19:43) :

    “Quick question: where were the poles 3 million years ago?

    Given that the rotational pole moves, what is currently arctic was NOT arctic in the past… but how long ago was that?”

    Along that same line, due to continental drift, the land masses and sea currents were a lot different then. Who’s to say that the reason the “arctic” was ice free was because of warmer water and different air currents?

    And, just a quick scan didn’t turn up any references to increased CO2 as a cause for the ice-free condition.

  46. kadaka (17:24:32) :

    “At least the remediation of the methane problem, by converting it to a far less potent green house gas, is an easy enough thing to do.

    Equip the cows with pilot lights.”

    Afterburners, eh? Guess that’d get the cows in the barn a lot quicker at night.

  47. Thank you, Jeff L… that is an extremely informative site.

    I knew the poles wandered, but wasn’t sure what the time scale was. So 3 million years ago the current arctic was pretty much already the arctic.

  48. David L. Hagen (15:54:40) :

    > Amazing -polar bears survived/thrived despite no ice.

    Polar bears only evolved in the last 100-200 thousand years ago. There were none 3,000,000 years ago.

    tarpon (16:47:07) :

    > Polar bears are just brown bears that moved north about 250,000 years ago and turned white to better hide from seals.

    They’re more than just white bears, several other changes have occurred, dentition has changed in only the last few thousand years to better match their pure? primarily? carnivorous diet.

  49. “Leo G (17:12:16) :

    We have a primary sewer plant here that has always been run on the methane that it extracts from settling all the poop. Our old landfill is also contributing to our natural gas supply. Actually, collecting of methane makes sense, the technology is there, and at least here, no government subsidies as there is a profit motive.

    Not all ideas from the pro side are wrong.”

    True. However, when I worked for well known computer company in the 1980’s in Southern England the local authorities agreed to sell methane to the company from the local sewage treatment plant nearby for heating purposes. This was nothing to do with “climate change”, “ideas from the pro side” and/or “saving the planet”. It was purely common and economic sense. There was a resource which, until then, was just burnt off (producing CO2). It was put to good use, and still is, I believe.

  50. The last sentence in the .pdf paper:

    Finally, these new data imply a major mid-Piacenzian reduction in sea ice similar to what has been observed in recent summers, strengthening the idea that the anomalous sea ice melting we have observed in the Arctic Ocean in recent years may be an early warning for significant global warming.

    The manuscript was accepted in June, so they didn’t have the 2009 low Arctic sea ice level, but they did have the 2008 datum. There is this reference that may be the source: BOE, J., HALL, A. and QU, X., 2009. September sea-ice cover in the Arctic Ocean projected to vanish by 2100. Nature Geoscience, 2:341-343.

    That’s at http://www.atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca/~jclub/journalclub_files/Boe.sea_ice.Nature_Geo.2009.pdf and has the even worse closing line:

    “All models are wrong, some are useful” said the famous statistician George Box. We would add that many models – each wrong in a different way – can collectively be as useful as a nearly perfect one, as long as observations exist to guide interpretations of their predictions.

  51. So any species that evolved more than 3 million years ago is not at risk from “global warming” since they have already survived it. OK. Someone needs to make a list of species newer than 3 million years and put some epithelials in a freezer…

    lmg (16:35:50) : (More seriously, I wonder if that could have aided the spread of Homo out of Africa?)

    Don’t know if it was a “help”, but there is the “Sahara Pump” theory. It says that periodic cyclical changes come to the Sahara. As it turns to green and lush, species move north into it. As it turns back to desert, the abandon it for the north (it now being a bad idea to head south through the desert…).

    It is believed that this explains many species evolution and distribution.

    These folks:

    http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Sahara-Pump-Theory

    think it dates four separate human migrations out of Africa…

    The wiki used to have a great write up, but I didn’t even bother checking it this time. It would just get erased if I linked to it as evidence of natural long duration climate cycles…

    H.R. (18:51:39) :
    kadaka (17:24:32) : “Equip the cows with pilot lights.”

    Afterburners, eh? Guess that’d get the cows in the barn a lot quicker at night.

    OMG… brings back bad memories of watching another person demonstrate such an “afterburner” with “burrito vapor”… he walked funny for a couple of days and did not take well to my suggestions of ‘ice cubes’ ;-) Would have likely been OK but some “hair smolder” made some hot spots…

    (Honest – a true story. A good friend, but not the sharpest tool in the shed some times. I’d said fire didn’t belong in some places but he “just had to know if it was true.” It is. Some experiments never ever ought to be repeated. Scientific method or no…)

    So if you put pilot lights on cows, remember to put the ‘flame arrestor’ wire screen in place too … to prevent ‘flash back’ causing hair ignition. Otherwise you will get very fast moving very noisy cows that walk funny.

  52. tarpon (16:47:07) :” Polar bears are just brown bears that moved north about 250,000 years ago and turned white to better hide from seals.”

    Just to be correct:
    “a polar bear’s fur is not white. Each hair shaft is pigment-free and transparent with a hollow core. Polar bears look white because the hollow core scatters and reflects visible light, much like ice and snow does. ”

    http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/bear-facts/polar-bear-fur/

  53. Polar Bears apparently split off from an isolated population of brown bears (Alexander Archipelago brown bears) about 200,000 to 250,000 years ago, based on DNA and fossil evidence. That’s sounds like a long time ago, but is very young as species go, especially species as radically different from their relatives as polar bears are from brown bears.

    Genetically, Alexander Archipelago brown bears are closer to polar bears than they are to other brown bears, but physically and behaviorally they are brown bears. I believe, though I would have to recheck this, that polar bears and brown bears can interbreed when they are in contact. Short answer: No. Polar Bears weren’t around 3 million years ago.

    Was the earth’s geography substantially the same 3 million years ago as it is now? That’s kind of iffy. That was right about the time the land bridge formed between North and South America, though the gap had been narrowing for several million years before that, and the exact chronology seems to be a bit wanky, with the land mammal chronology indicating a more recent connection than some other indicators.

    My understanding is that the closing of the gap between North and South America was one of the triggers of the set of ice ages that we’ve had in the last couple of million years. It forced ocean circulation toward the poles, which gradually dropped the overall ocean temperature and at some point put the planet into a position where slight variations in the orbital mechanics could put it into an ice age, followed by an interglacial, followed by another ice age.

    The ice age/interglacial cycle has repeated a number of times for at least the last million years. The planet spends most of its time in ice ages. The last interglacial was roughly 130,000 years ago if I recall correctly. It was short–10,000 or 15,000 years, but it was considerably warmer than the current interglacial, with sea levels quite a few meters higher than they are now. Polar bears had to have survived warmer temperatures of the last interglacial, but they might not have been as dependent on ice floes back then.

    Sorry about the meandering, but the bottom line is that the planet has been a lot colder and a lot warmer than it is now. The current set of animals are the ones lucky enough to have survived all of those fluctuation.

  54. E.M.Smith (19:29:56)

    So if you put pilot lights on cows, remember to put the ‘flame arrestor’ wire screen in place too … to prevent ‘flash back’ causing hair ignition. Otherwise you will get very fast moving very noisy cows that walk funny.

    OMG… I bust a gut laughing! Fortunately, I set down my drink before reading this part else I surely would have been disassembling my laptop and cleaning its keyboard in the morning.

  55. In a land far, far away and long, long ago, mankind evolved to a state similar to that which we enjoy today 3.5 million years later.

    At that time, though, they took notice of the climate cycles and rather than embracing change, they decided to limit consumption, reduce power usage, simplify their lives. Within a few generations, they lost their civilization, their knowledge and their science. When the climate entered a colder phase, mankind was defenseless and …

    So you see, mankind WAS responsible for the Artic warming, long, long ago, and far, far away.

  56. Patrick Davies, exactly. The sewage plant has been there for over 40 years.

    My point was the old don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just because a pro AGW’r said that collecting methane and using it would be a good start to lowering GHG’s and at the same time may actually show a slight cooling trend, is no reason to dismiss something that has been done already for at least 40 years that I know of. If it has an added benefit, so much the better!

    As Greg pointed out earlier there are things that we could be doing ala Lumborg, that are good for the planet and the people of the planet, that are cost effective and make this world better for all.

    Off the soapbox now!

  57. E.M.Smith (19:29:56)

    So if you put pilot lights on cows, remember to put the ‘flame arrestor’ wire screen in place too … to prevent ‘flash back’ causing hair ignition. Otherwise you will get very fast moving very noisy cows that walk funny.

    …or self-basting steaks. Oh yeah…

  58. tarpon (16:47:07) :

    Polar bears are just brown bears that moved north about 250,000 years ago and turned white to better hide from seals.

    Actually, polar bears are black. Really. Read here.

  59. “Scientists documented evidence that the Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas were too warm to support summer sea ice during the mid-Pliocene warm period (3.3 to 3 million years ago).”

    With tongue firmly in cheek:
    First Pangaea broke up, then the Beatles broke up, and now CRU and Penn state are trying to avoid being broke up! Then along comes this article. The AGW / GW parascientologists need to fix this, and quick!

    Possible solutions:
    1. Re-redefine “peer review” to exclude this study, too

    2. “The U.S. Geological Survey is not chartered by the UN to perform climate research”

    3. “micropress.org is not recognized by the IPCC as a legitimate journal”

    4. Declare the Pliocene to be too old to have any impact on current trends

    5. Have AP science reporter Seth Borenstein report that PRISM is in Big-Oil’s pocket

    6. Have Briffa filter the USGS data, then feed it to “Phil’s not going to like this” Harry_ReadMe model, and viola! a hockey stick emerges!

    7. Work behind the scenes with Diane Feinstein and Gordon Brown to withhold government funding from PRISM’s members (Columbia University, Brown University, University of Leeds, University of Bristol, the British Geological Survey and the British Antarctic Survey) until they retract the study

    8. “Deny, Deny, Deny!” [A Guide for the Married Man (1967), Walter Mathau, Robert Morse, ...]

    9. Repeat loudly: “The science is settled. You can’t take DENIERS seriously.”

    I’m sure they will think up more rebuttals than I have.

    Newt Love (my real name)
    Aerospace Tech Fellow of Modeling,Simulation & Analysis
    newtlove.com

  60. Oh sure, after I post I notice “Tom in polar bear free Florida (19:32:38)” posted the same link. Oh well.

    @ E.M.Smith (19:29:56) : But how do you work in a hinge mechanism for the flash arrestor to allow for “ejection of mass”?

  61. E.M.Smith (19:29:56) :

    I do know some people who like steak that rare… ;-)

    As to the comment from Jeff L (18:03:57), is there a place on the web with maps of that nature from the other side of the Earth?

  62. It seems that the whole point of this “study” is to obfuscate established fact in order to put a Marxist spin on it. It contains no added knowledge what so ever. The only real facts it supposedly presents are concerning Arctic SST and summer ice cover that have been know for at least 10 years. The rest is just non-scientific supposition and political posturing. What a farce!

    Every time I read some new study that purports to be presenting some recently discovered knowledge regarding palaeoclimatology, I cringe. Invariably all that is presented is a misrepresentation of that which is already know to science, twisted to support the IPPC. Its like Satan using truth to lie!

    I can’t believe such pseudo-scientific babbling was published in what was once a respected Scientific Journal. Its frightening. What ever happened to Science?

    BTW, to those talking about Polar Bears, they separated from Brown Bears 250,00 years ago, not 3mya, though the genus Arctis was alive and well.

  63. Barry R. (19:37:02)

    The collision of India with Asia and the formation of the Himalayas is also believed ( at least it is until the Marxist revisionist get to work repining the data) to be a factor in creating the current climate regime.

  64. How a legitimate result -the existence of warmer areas in the Piacenzian arctic ocean- can be savagely highjacked into an alarmist piece of propaganda.
    So there was a warm period yet “Beryllium isotopes suggest essentially continuous sea ice cover over the past 12.3 Ma with short periods of diminished sea ice at 7.8 and 5.5 Ma (Frank et al. 2008).”
    Further: “No micropaleontological evidence exists that has bearing on the presence of perennial sea ice in the central Arctic Ocean during the mid-Piacenzian.”
    But,
    “Despite the state of sea ice in the central Artic during the mid to late Neogene, the micropaleontologic data and SST estimates presented here suggest that perennial sea ice did not exist continuously in the subpolar North Atlantic or nearby Arctic
    Oceans during this time interval and that the total extent of summer sea ice was reduced relative to modern. These conclusions echo those of Cronin et al. (1993) based on ostracode analyses from the North American continental margin.”

    Fine and now let’s really look at the map of figure 5. Considering we are playing with models and uncertainties, the only significant trend in the arctic is surprisingly not uniform but very limited to the Eastern Greenland/Western Scandinavia area. Thus the only claim she can make has to do with this likely hot spot area. Anything else is entirely speculative.

    Obviously Marci Robinson’s knowledge in atmospheric circulation is limited at best. And that shows in her made up conclusions. Since even the NSIDC is blaming the 2007 record and the 2009 non record on atmospheric patterns, one can see that the hot spot zone is the preferential zone of warm air advection along the eastern edge of MPHs. We also know through Leroux and Pommier works that a renewed strength in MPHs confirmed by pressure data -like since the 1970s- can easily create a stronger advection of warm air and a regional warming -eastern Greenland melting, warmer SST in this area, birds migration patterns and Globe and Mail articles by Martin Mittelsteadt…-. Thus this 3 sites study is at best, should all its results be confirmed and deemed real (the 911 site is quite anomalous), a regional study documenting a strong advection of warmer air driving surface currents. Period.
    To dare extend this to the entire Arctic Ocean, sea ice patterns are a precursor of global warming is simply preposterous.

  65. James F. Evans (17:38:59) :

    Nobody predicted snow storm.

    Same here in NW Calif. 4000 foot snow level possibly down to 3500 feet.
    Snowed down to 1000 feet.
    Would like to see Piers Corbyn weigh in on why this happened, since he had Dec 28-30th as one of his targeted periods of weather predicted months in advance.
    It just …. got colder. No polar air came down from the north. Storm came straight off the Pacific, just like you say.
    If it was cold air on the ground, it would not have snowed all day here, as the warmer air from the Pacific would have swamped it by now.
    I find this event very intriguing.

  66. The summer surface temperatures they are citing are about the same as Lake Superior today. They may well be right, but doesn’t that imply the ARCTIC as part of the grain belt?

  67. DirkH (16:44:18) : “From the article: ‘A lot of individuals and a lot of companies have grossly overpaid.’ You know what that means? LAWSUITS!”

    True, and there’s no statute of limitations for fraud.

  68. Dave F (20:24:30) :

    All that work is North American-centric. I use that as reference site frequently for reference in my work – but all of that work is in North Am so I haven’t had the need to search for similar maps for other parts of the world. I would suggest Googling images with “paleogeography” for the area & time of interest to see if other areas are out on the web.

  69. Pascvaks (17:26:31) : “When the planet’s human inhabitants get too excited about something they usually, unlike lemmings who jump into the sea, start a war for no good reason, any reason in a pinch, and no reason if they’re really upset. Humans are as predictable as the weather. I don’t trust none of ‘em. Specially the ones that carry banners and signs with slogans, they’s the worst.”

    Especially if they tell you how much they care about people:

    “…the Khmer Rouge view(ed) themselves as superhuman saints whose enormous kindness, benevolence, and goodness justifies the savage torture of everyone who fails to live up to the impeccable example of kindliness and saintliness set by the good Khmer Rouge themselves.”

    http://www.jim.com/chomsdis.htm

  70. Jeff L (21:23:17) :

    Thanks, I actually found what I was looking for on that site soon after I posted my question. That’s how things go, I guess.

  71. I once read an unsupported speculation that the inclination of the Earth’s axis of rotation with respect to the ecliptic changes as the solar system moves around the Galaxy and the Earth may have gone through periods in the past when the arctic circle was at the equator.

  72. For most of the last 2.5 million years, global temps and CO2 have been at their lowest levels in the last 250 million years. Modern plants evolved in much denser CO2. In much of the Northern Hemisphere the normative condition has been no vegetation at all, since plants don’t grow on continental ice sheets.

    A better benchmark or target temperature would be the Miocene (29.3-6.7 mya). It had a Holocene-like climate, perhaps 5 degrees C higher than now, but without the punishing 100,000-year-long glaciations. Co2 was perhaps 500 to 800 ppm (proxies = poor measurements fraught with error), which would be a good target concentration for vegetation.

    I mean, if we are going to modify the Earth’s climate (not a completely farfetched idea — many are convinced we can and even are), then we ought to pick a good target to shoot for.

    Warmer Is Better. Fight the Ice.

  73. Pictures of the Arctic 3 million years ago I just did not realize how long we have had submarines!

    Having much less sea ice is not unusual and you do not have to go back very far. If we lose all the Artic ice it would be an advantage!

  74. Mike D. (22:39:57) :

    And just how do you propose to fight the ice?
    Madmen are proposing stuffing nukes in volcanoes or injecting the atmosphere with S02 or sulphur compounds ( Intergovermental Panic Climactic Convulsion) to cool the Earth, but I have not yet come across how the UNDO button is supposed to work.
    Law of Unintended Consequences.
    I hear the equivalent of an Alan Greenspan ‘oops’ here.
    So, when this Pandorras Box opens and it destroys half the biosphere, how is it supposed to be closed, other than equally massive measures that would result in the destruction of the remaining part of the biosphere?
    I see no point or gain in saving the world by destroying it, unless one is of an alien race wishing to colonize.

  75. Be sure to study Scotese’s Paleomap Project at:
    http://www.scotese.com

    We presently live in a relatively very brief interglacial warming period during the latest of only about 5 major ice ages to occur during Earths 4 plus billion year history and 3 major ice ages to occur during the last 550 million years of the Phanerozoic eon in which multicellular life has so greatly proliferated. During the occurrence of these major ice ages, it has been extraordinarily rare for the polar seas within the Arctic Circle to freeze solid at all. Even within the present Quaternary major ice age, the Arctic seas have frozen for only relatively limited periods of time. The typical state of the Arctic Circle has been ice free and warm enough to be inhabited by temperate or tropical fauna and flora.

    Carbon dioxide levels have typically been 3 to 18 times their present levels, with the notable exception of limied periods during the Karoo Ice Age and the present Quaternary Ice Age. When looking at the longer trends of the geological periods, there is no consistent trend in the correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Millions of year pass with the actual values going in the same direction and then opposite directions. The most notable feature of the present trends in temperature and carbon dioxide is their extremely low relative values in comparison to Earth’s past history, the Plant Kingdom’s mnimum requirements for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and a warm atmosphere to maintain and enhance the hydrologic cycle and maintain high sea levels moderating seasonality.

    Eventually, the Sun will progress far enough along the main sequence and expand to destroy the Earth’s hydrosphere and atmosphere. There is, however, an immense period of time to come and further occasional major ice ages and longer warm ages to come long before the Earth’s ultimate warming to destruction by the Sun and other cosmic events can occur.

  76. Now this is a beautiful example of press-release scienc: re-hash some already well-known facts, jazz it up with some PC verbiage and voilà you get published (not in a very prestigious journal in this particular case, but what the hell…)

    So what do they actually say:

    1. It was a lot warmer in the Arctic in the mid-Pliocene. Yes, we already know that, there was taiga in northern Greenland and Nunavut at the time, and pollen analysis from the very same samples indicate deciduous forest not too far away.

    2. There was no perennial sea ice at ODP drillsites 907, 909 and 911 at that time. Well, there isn’t any perennial sea ice at those sites today, so it would have been very surprising if there was any at a time when climate was a lot warmer than now. They do note that there are a few dropstones in the ODP 909 sample which suggests that tidewater glaciers existed in Greenland even during this warm interval, which is a bit surprising.

    3. Using proxy methods they claim that summer SST:s were 12-18 centigrade (11.7 at ODP 907, 12.7 at ODP 909 and 18.1 at ODP 911). The first two seem fairly reasonable, and are more or less in line with more reliable ostracod data from the same time interval from northern Iceland (13.6). That temperature at the most northern site would have been 6 degrees warmer than from the more southern ones seems highly unlikely, and if you read carefully it is clear that the ODP 911 sample was in pretty bad shape.

    However there is good evidence that the Central Arctic Basin has not been ice-free, at least not more than very briefly, since the Miocene, more than 10 million years ago, and that there has been more or less continuous mountain glaciation in eastern Greenland for more than 6 million years. The first glaciation known to have covered lowland areas in Greenland (the Praetiglian) occurred a few hundred thousand years after the time interval (Piacenzian) covered in this paper.

    And by the way, no polar bears this far back. Polar Bears are a young species.

  77. (Honest – a true story. A good friend, but not the sharpest tool in the shed some times. I’d said fire didn’t belong in some places but he “just had to know if it was true.” It is. Some experiments never ever ought to be repeated. Scientific method or no…)

    According to John Cheever’s book, The Wapshot Chronicle, the safe way to test that rumor is in a bathtub. (Maybe the BBC can run a demo.)

  78. ‘“In looking back 3 million years, we see a very different pattern of heat distribution than today with much warmer waters in the high latitudes,” said USGS scientist Marci Robinson. “The lack of summer sea ice during the mid-Pliocene suggests that the record-setting melting of Arctic sea ice over the past few years could be an early warning of more significant changes to come.”’

    A different pattern indeed. Forget for a moment the shifting tectonic plates and that the land mass had a tad bit other layout back then. Greenland apparently lacked an ice sheet 3 million years ago, it was apparently not until during the end of that time, before the pleistocene, when Greenland actually started to get an ice sheet or so those Greenlandic ice historian scientists believe anyway.

    But of course the 2.5 million year long cool period that “ended” some 12 000 years ago is of course the standard with which we should live with, ‘course damn the evolutions of the 12 000 long warmer period to date.

  79. I watch an segment of “How the Earth was Made, Sahara Desert” . Every interesting. Here is a lead in for the HDVD.
    “Africa’s Sahara Desert is the size of the United States, making it the largest desert in the world. It’s also the hottest place on the planet. But now an astonishing series of geological discoveries has revealed this searing wasteland hides a dramatically different past. Scientists have unearthed the fossils of whales, freshwater shells and even ancient human settlements. All clues to a story that would alter the course of human evolution and culminate in biggest climate change event of the last 10,000 years.”
    They contribute the climate change to a little wobble in the rotation of the earth that happens every 20,000 years. They last time it happen was 7,000 years ago.
    Very interesting, very interesting indeed.

  80. xyzlatin (15:59:20) :

    Seeing who the authors are makes me think something fishy is going on here.

    My guess is they know the planet is cooling for the next 30 yrs or so. This is their little plan to get a quick fix in (methane, but only temporary my dear, only temporary), when the planet does show cooling, they’ll say “it’s working, but only temporary untill we get CO2 down as well”.

    That should buy them enough time until the next warming begins around 2045

  81. The Mid-Pliocene Warm Period is a very interesting subject. While it is true that the Earth was a bit different back then, tectonically speaking… One of the oddities is that it was just too darn warm with too little CO2 to suit modern GCM’s…

    Fig. 3: Pliocene OHT v CO2

    GCM Simulations Of The Pliocene Climate: Feedbacks, Ocean Transports, And CO2

    For Mid-Pliocene SST’s to have been as high as they were, either CO2 levels had to be about 4.5X modern levels (1400 ppmv) or Ocean Heat Transport (OHT) must have been about 22% greater than modern times.

    Most estimates put Mid-Pliocene CO2 in the 400 to 500 ppmv range. So… Either the climate’s sensitivity to CO2 is totally misunderstood or Mid-Pliocene OHT was significantly more effective than it is now.

    It’s certainly possible that the formation of the Isthmus of Panama and significant growth of the Himalayas since the MPWP could have reduced the OHT to its modern level.

    The crazy thing is that some warmists are trying to spin the MPWP as evidence that the Earth’s climate is 30% to 50% more sensitive to CO2 than previously thought….

    Climate Projections Underestimate CO2 Impact

  82. E.M.Smith (19:29:56)

    I too saw someone do that but he was youg and hairless so no permenant damage except to his brain but it was never noted.

  83. “The U.S. Geological Survey found that summer sea-surface temperatures in the Arctic were between 10 to 18°C (50 to 64°F) during the mid-Pliocene, while current temperatures are around or below 0°C (32°F).”

    So what caused the warming?
    If it was CO2 then why no runaway warming?

    The study is an illustration of lack of Arctic ice without man’s input. I mean at 18°C you could swim there, that was some serious warming without runaway. :o)

  84. rbateman (23:24:49) : And just how do you propose to fight the ice?

    rb, I am very glad you asked. Up until now nobody bothered to. They thought the suggestion outlandish. Everybody is more concerned about how we can freeze the planet solid and wipe out the human race. It’s too warm for the Power Elite and their guilt-ridden sheeple, who wish to sacrifice all humanity to Gaia, that evil, humanity-hating bride of Pluto.

    But you and I are not among them. We realize that a warmer planet is more consistent with Life, since Life has mostly known warmer times. We realize that warmer means longer growing seasons, more rain, more bio-productivity, more bio-diversity, ease, comfort, joy to man and beast, and other good stuff.

    So how do we get there? Burn more fossil fuel for one. Generate more CO2. Of course, that may not work, since the temp forcing effects of CO2 are weak. Just burning scads of coal may not stave off the coming Ice Age Glaciation.

    The real problem is Antarctica, that polar impediment to healthy ocean circulation. Too much ice builds up there, throwing the entire global climate into the ice box. So the best idea would be to tow Antarctica away from the South Pole — but of course that cannot be done. Mankind may be clever, but we haven’t figured out how to tow continents around.

    The next best thing would be to tow Antarctic ice to equatorial waters, thereby artificially helping the oceans to circulate heat as they are supposed to do. I mean a lot of ice, whole ice shelves, which we could break off with nuclear missiles. It would be a handy and practical application of an otherwise useless and dangerous arsenal, and as a side benefit the bergs could be towed to parched regions that could use some fresh water.

    Outlandish? No more than the schemes of super-fascist Alarmists. My plan involves no personal sacrifice, no phony markets, no huddling in the cold and dark, no pruning of the human population, no death and misery, no new taxes, no corruption of science. Just some missiles and tugboats, and an occasional iceberg in Acapulco Bay.

    Warmer Is Better. Fight the Ice.

  85. Great point about warming in Pliocene period.

    But your are missing just a slight little tiny bit of the argument.

    What caused the melting 3 mil yrs ago? Need a hint? Take a look at this nasa site:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/features/199704_pliocene/page3.html

    You see, in order to explain something, you need to know more than just the “what”. You need to know the “why”.

    Climate science tells you the “why”. You just have to seek the facts, instead of picking cherries.

    BTW – the paper in your link concludes:

    “these new data imply a major mid-Piacenzian reduction in sea ice similar to what has been observed in recent summers, strengthening the idea that the anomalous sea ice melting we have observed in the Arctic Ocean in recent years may be an early warning for significant global warming.”

  86. I have other ideas as well. Sooting Antartica to change the albedo might help. Dump coal ash from strato-bombers over the likeliest regions to induce melting. Again, a win-win-win-win scenario.

  87. Barry R

    “My understanding is that the closing of the gap between North and South America was one of the triggers of the set of ice ages that we’ve had in the last couple of million years. It forced ocean circulation toward the poles, which gradually dropped the overall ocean temperature and at some point put the planet into a position where slight variations in the orbital mechanics could put it into an ice age, followed by an interglacial, followed by another ice age.”

    In other words, all this started with the opening of the Panama Canal?

  88. While I work at the USGS in a neutral position with no political motives in particular (collecting water quantity and water quality data), I have a job because funding comes from outside sources as well as from the federal government. The government does not pay for all the data collected by paid employees. The need for my particular job is that water distribution authorities need neutrally obtained cubic feet/second daily mean discharge of their local rivers for planning water management so they pay the USGS to operate stream gaging stations.

    There is therefore no guilt by association when outside funding is for a practical purpose. But arguably, funding of other science employees’ salaries who are not in a position as practical to the public as a water-measurer may be a temptation to toe the line (the old “follow the money” problem). In my opinion, while not speaking for the USGS, is is certain that the study of the physical world is being funded by parties interested in the future global management of CO2 levels along with the management of other natural resources. For that reason, in my opinion, the USGS should remain disinterested, so that its reports are based on unbiased findings, and not presented in such a way to show favor to the source of funding.

    When climate researchers from other agencies or in employ outside of the US Government present valid data and interpretive reports that open a debate in the role of CO2 in climate change, I do not favor USGS data over other data as a rule. Strict accuracy requirements for streamflow data makes USGS an agency that is known for good reliability in water data collection but in this forum, certain USGS climate change data reports might elicit a whistleblower’s observation and response.
    There is not a lot of dialog and interaction coming from my scientist co-workers with this humble water-measurer about climate change topics (although what does this technician know, huh? -not a doctor of science with a specific discipline of expertise).

    Finally, consider that there is danger in a blind loyalty to logic. The reason is this – the practice of logic, like the practice of Law, can be reduced to a theory of winning a case. This results in behavior that ignores the data that is opposite to its own “smooth fit”. Who declared, with sufficient Authority, that the Universe is “logical”? We have not see the whole picture yet, so the limited logic of man pertaining to climate change research is a futile argument to stand on.

    It would be wise for all of you who are responsible for the integrity of the data you collect as an individual, to have skeptical loyalism to your groups and agencies, and that all of us stop coming to premature (or immature!)conclusions about things, based only on selective sensory instrumentation and hearsay. The wonder of the universe we live in is that, in time, the wise will be confounded by some foolish discovery made that changes the picture, and science textbooks will have to be rewritten yet again.

  89. As I was trying to do on the PaleoClimate, there are lots of different estimates for temperatures and CO2 in history.

    This Pliocene period was one of the more difficult because there were only a few CO2 estimates available which ranged from 184 ppm (from Boron) to 357 ppm (from Stomata) to 1,170 ppm (from Paleosols/Pedogenic Carbonates which seem to have huge variation so can probably be discounted).

    The temperature estimates for this location at the time period range from +1.5C (from d018 isotopes) to +5.0C (from the Uk37 isotopes used in this study which have a detailed formula to translate the isotope values into temperature but do not have a long time span of measurements available so that we can be sure they match the temperatures of other periods we are more sure about).

    There was another new paper published a few days ago by Pagani in Nature Geoscience covering this period that infers temperatures about 3-4C warmer than today with CO2 levels at about 350 ppm.

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/abs/ngeo724.html

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/extref/ngeo724-s1.pdf

  90. @ Roger Knights (03:09:40) :

    (Honest – a true story. A good friend, but not the sharpest tool in the shed some times. I’d said fire didn’t belong in some places but he “just had to know if it was true.” It is. Some experiments never ever ought to be repeated. Scientific method or no…)

    According to John Cheever’s book, The Wapshot Chronicle, the safe way to test that rumor is in a bathtub. (Maybe the BBC can run a demo.)”

    Or maybe the guys from MythBusters can tackle it. That’s right up their alley.

  91. I was puzzled by the authors assertion that the Pliocene was the last time temperatures exceeded 2 degrees C. I thought that during the warm phase of the last interglacial only 100 ka ago temperatures were at least this warm globally..and ice core data shows a lag in CO2 response. The assumption of CO2 forcing was built into the paper.

  92. There’s a couple of things that’s very interesting when projecting a time frame in the millions of years back. 1. Every one seem to disregard the tectonic dance, which pretty much impact and decide the circulation in the oceans, and 2. every one seem to disregard the impact of not knowing the earths path around the sun hence a linear history so to speak.

    In linear sense on the low end of the average of 0.6 cm movement per year for 3 million years, it computes to 180 km. On the high end of the average it comes out to 18 000 km. That’s a heck of a lot of shifting and drifting of what holds the water. Looking at it another way, the Sahara desert wasn’t located where it is now, and worst case on the high average it was located half away around the world.

    When it comes to our location in relation to the sun, we know it changes over the years, and we know more locally that even a in comparison to the rest of the solar system, a small change in its tilt have a vast impact on our climate and weather. For instance way back when, the years were longer by todays calendar even, the days shorter, and the why is also a part of the climate why back then. We know a lot of this today, in linear terms. We even know the moon is receding as well, and we know its impact today everyday every year, just like we do that at tiny -ss axial tilt gives us northerner or southerner summer and winter, a shifting of several tens of degrees in just a few month’ time. So imagine the whole earth being nearer or farther away from the sun by just as little as an “earth tilt” in length of distance for thousands of years in length of time.

  93. I am just curious, and this is the best place to put this, is there an analysis of the ‘vast body of climate science’ that is out there? How many of them are fluff like this study? How many of them are actually dealing with CO2 and man made climate change? Does anyone know of such an analysis? If there is one, where is it? If not, what journals would I look to in order to do such an analysis myself?

Comments are closed.