First complete ice core record of last interglacial period shows the climate of Greenland to be significantly warmer than today

Study: ‘ Greenland ice sheet is not as sensitive to temperature increases and to ice melting and running out to sea in warm climate periods ‘.

eemian_greenland

The climate graph shows the temperature from the previous warm interglacial period, the Eemian (left) throughout the entire ice age to present time. The blue colours indicate ice from a cold period, the red colour is ice from a warm period and yellow and green is from the climate period in between. The new results show that during the Eemian period 130,000 to 115,000 thousand years ago the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today. The top shows a graph of ice sheet surface temperature and altitude. In the beginning of the Eemian, 128,000 years ago, the ice sheet in northwest Greenland was 200 meters higher than today, but during the warm Eemian period the ice mass regressed, so 122,000 years before now the surface had sunk to a level of 130 meters below the current level. During the rest of the Eemian the ice sheet remained stable at the same level with an ice thickness of 2,400 meters. Credit: Niels Bohr Institute

From the University of Copenhagen

Greenland ice cores reveal warm climate of the past

In the period between 130,000 and 115,000 years ago, Earth’s climate was warmer than today. But how much warmer was it and what did the warming do to global sea levels? – as we face global warming in the future, the answer to these questions is becoming very important. New research from the NEEM ice core drilling project in Greenland shows that the period was warmer than previously thought. The international research project is led by researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute and the very important results are published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature.

In the last millions years the Earth’s climate has alternated between ice ages lasting about 100,000 years and interglacial periods of 10,000 to 15,000 years. The new results from the NEEM ice core drilling project in northwest Greenland, led by the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen show that the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today during the last interglacial period, the Eemian period, 130,000 to 115,000 thousand years ago.

“Even though the warm Eemian period was a period when the oceans were four to eight meters higher than today, the ice sheet in northwest Greenland was only a few hundred meters lower than the current level, which indicates that the contribution from the Greenland ice sheet was less than half the total sea-level rise during that period,” says Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, and leader of the NEEM-project.

Past reveals knowledge about the climate

The North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling project or NEEM, led by the Niels Bohr Institute, is an international project with participants from 14 countries. After four years of deep drilling, the team has drilled ice cores through the more than 2.5 kilometer thick ice sheet. The ice is a stack of layer upon layer of annual snow fall which never melts away, and as the layers gradually sink, the snow is compresses into ice. This gives thousands of annual ice layers that, like tree rings, can tell us about variations in past climate from year to year.

The ice cores are examined in laboratories with a series of analyses that reveal past climate. The content of the heavy oxygen isotope O18 in the ice cores tells us about the temperature in clouds when the snow fell, and thus of the climate of the past. The air bubbles in the ice are also examined. The air bubbles are samples of the ancient atmosphere encased in the ice and they provide knowledge about the air composition of the atmosphere during past climates.

Past global warming

The researchers have obtained the first complete ice core record from the entire previous interglacial period, the Eemian, and with the detailed studies have been able to recreate the annual temperatures – almost 130,000 years back in time.

“It is a great achievement for science to collect and combine so many measurements on the ice core and reconstruct past climate history. The new findings show higher temperatures in northern Greenland during the Eemian than current climate models have estimated,” says Professor Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute.

Intense melting on the surface

During the warm Eemian period, there was intense surface melting that can be seen in the ice core as layers of refrozen meltwater. Meltwater from the surface had penetrated down into the underlying snow, where it once again froze into ice. Such surface melting has occurred very rarely in the last 5,000 years, but the team observed such a melting during the summer of 2012 when they were in Greenland.

“We were completely shocked by the warm surface temperatures at the NEEM camp in July 2012,” says Professor Dorthe Dahl-Jensen. “It was even raining and just like in the Eemian, the meltwater formed refrozen layers of ice under the surface. Although it was an extreme event the current warming over Greenland makes surface melting more likely and the warming that is predicted to occur over the next 50-100 years will potentially have Eemian-like climatic conditions,” she believes.

Good news and bad news

During the warm Eemian period there was increased melting at the edge of the ice sheet and the dynamic flow of the entire ice mass caused the ice sheet to lose mass and it was reduced in height. The ice mass was shrinking at a very high rate of 6 cm per year. But despite the warm temperatures, the ice sheet did not disappear and the research team estimates that the volume of the ice sheet was not reduced by more than 25 percent during the warmest 6,000 years of the Eemian.

“The good news from this study is that the Greenland ice sheet is not as sensitive to temperature increases and to ice melting and running out to sea in warm climate periods like the Eemian, as we thought” explains Dorthe Dahl-Jensen and adds that the bad news is that if Greenland’s ice did not disappear during the Eemian then Antarctica must be responsible for a significant portion of the 4-8 meter rise in sea levels that we know occurred during the Eemian.

This new knowledge about past warm climates may help to clarify what is in store for us now that we are facing a global warming.

###

Niels Bohr Institute: http://www.nbi.ku.dk/english/

Documentary films: http://www.nbi.ku.dk/english/sciencexplorer/earth_and_climate/

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124 thoughts on “First complete ice core record of last interglacial period shows the climate of Greenland to be significantly warmer than today

  1. “This new knowledge about past warm climates may help to clarify what is in store for us now that we are facing a global warming.”

    AND the lie continues to fill with stinky methane…. Are they just waiting for us to pull a finger?

  2. This record by itself deconstructs the Hockey stick and all related “warmest evah” and “dramatic rate of change” BS. There was a study last year showing, that both by thermometers and by ice core, Greenland was as “warm” in 1940s as today, all related to AMO cycle.

  3. This is ”me too” science. Every deep ice core that has ever been drilled in Greenland (Camp Century, Dye 3, GISP, GRIP, NGRIP, Renland) has contained Eemian (last interglacial) ice that has indicated temperatures higher than the present, usually on the order of 3-5 degrees.
    What none of them has contained is an undisturbed section spanning the whole interglacial, probably because the icecap did melt to some extent during the Eemian which moved the ice divide and changed the flow pattern of the ice.
    The NEEM core was supposed to have such an undisturbed section, but it didn’t. The lowest part of the core was badly sheared and the Eemian section was fragmented. The Eemian curve for NEEM shown in this post has been cobbled together by aligning the bits and pieces by comparing them with sections of similar age from Antarctica. So, while there is no doubt that the Eemian was appreciably warmer in Greenland, and that the icecap certainly did not disappear, this particular temperature curve is definitely shaky.

  4. Please explain if I’m wrong, but from the graph, the best I can get is 3 degrees warmer not 8.

  5. Obviously inconvenient for Mann’s few remaining Hockey Stick fans, who will undoubtedly argue one site is not the same as the whole world. I think there is a Yamal tree which is exempt from this argument.

    I am not sure where the 8 degree number came from, it looks like more 3 to me. You might expect a few brickbats from your friend Gavin for this.

  6. Do they mean to say we had SUV’s 150,000 years ago?

    “…if Greenland’s ice did not disappear during the Eemian then Antarctica must be responsible for a significant portion of the 4-8 meter rise in sea levels that we know occurred during the Eemian.”

    Maybe that explains this: The Piri Reis map shows the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America, and the northern coast of Antarctica.

    http://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_1.htm

  7. Will this seriously damage the AGW fear campaign? If so, EU carbon will sinks to even new record lows.

  8. How they write it:

    as we face global warming in the future, the answer to these questions is becoming very important.

    How my brain sees it:

    This is your planet. This is your planet on CO2. Any questions?

    Also known as: 100 points from Gryffindor.

  9. Meltwater from the surface had penetrated down into the underlying snow, where it once again froze into ice. Such surface melting has occurred very rarely in the last 5,000 years, but the team observed such a melting during the summer of 2012 when they were in Greenland.

    So when cold water is buried under tons of ice it freezes,who knew? And there were all the experts saying that meltwater was disappearing down sink holes and running out to sea.

  10. I just look at this story on the Nature web site and I’m confused by the graphic:

    Could someone explain to me why the error bars cover about 10C during the warmest period about 125,000 years ago but only about 1C around 116,000 years ago when the temperature dropped? How can the error range be 10 times greater just because it was warmer? It doesn’t seem plausible that the error range is so much greater just because it was 10,000 years earlier when they’re already talking about over 100,000 years.

  11. Methinks that if they hadn’t put in that last bit, the paper wouldn’t have been published in the ever-less-prestigious Nature.

    It’s all interesting up to the last bit, but then it blows it. Early on they say “The new results from the NEEM ice core drilling project in northwest Greenland, led by the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen show that the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today during the last interglacial period, the Eemian period, 130,000 to 115,000 thousand years ago.“. That means quite simply that today’s temperatures are very far from unprecedented, that Earth survived them, etc etc. Instead, they end up feeding us the crap that somehow it can still be interpreted as a disaster – “Antarctica must be responsible for a significant portion of the 4-8 meter rise in sea levels that we know occurred during the Eemian.
    This new knowledge about past warm climates may help to clarify what is in store for us now that we are facing a global warming.
    “.

    Will no one rid us of this turbulent humbug.

  12. … and interglacial periods of 10,000 to 15,000 years.

    This means a variation/uncertainty of aprox. 5000 years.
    The last ice age ended aprox. 10,000 years ago, so …

    and …

    … now that we are facing a global warming.

    This is always true, just as Michael E. Mann’s* prophecies/warnings in the 1970s that we are approaching a new ice age. It depends solely on what part of the glacial cycle we are studying, but with the immediate future in mind, M.E. Mann’s* (previous) claim is more relevant.

    Regarding “climate investments”, focus should be placed on how the next (and at worst current) generations living far north, will need to migrate south. Overpopulation is no real problem today, but will be the day it becomes obvious that we have entered into the next ice age.

    An Orwellian/green/brown/any shade of red (“freely” chosen color) socialist solution?

    * Michael E. Mann, not to be confused with Michael Mann, the film director. It is like comparing Alfred Neumann, the composer, with Alfred E. Neumann …

  13. The ice is a stack of layer upon layer of annual snow fall which never melts away

    Well, that’s all right then – panic over.

  14. About the 3-versus-8 degree difference. You are comparing the peak temperatures of the present and previous interglacials. The current temperature is several degrees below the early Holocene peak. You can see the recent decline as a thin grey line at the far right of the diagram. Remember that the whole diagram spans 130,000 years, so the last several cold centuries are barely visible.

  15. Mike, ‘show that the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today during the last interglacial period,’ Doesn’t describe the Earth’s temperature. It only talks about Greenland’s temperature.

    Quite agree the Earth will survive these temperatures. After all the Earth was once a molten ball of rock at another time was completely covered in ice and it has survived and is still here. The question should be ‘can humans survive at these temperature?’

    Because modern humans were not around 115,000 years ago, we cannot make any conclusion as to whether we would survive in a world where Greenland’s temperature is 8 (or three) degrees hotter than today.

  16. Bill Jamison wrote:

    ” Could someone explain to me why the error bars cover about 10C during the warmest period about 125,000 years ago but only about 1C around 116,000 years ago when the temperature dropped? How can the error range be 10 times greater just because it was warmer? It doesn’t seem plausible that the error range is so much greater just because it was 10,000 years earlier when they’re already talking about over 100,000 years.”
    See my post of 12:23 AM. The whole Eemian part of the curve is shaky. At least they admit that the results are uncertain.

  17. Moe says:
    “Because modern humans were not around 115,000 years ago, we cannot make any conclusion as to whether we would survive in a world where Greenland’s temperature is 8 (or three) degrees hotter than today.”

    They were around, but only in the warmer parts (Africa and the Middle East). Apparently they somehow managed, since H. sapiens is still present.
    As a matter of fact it was very likely the wetter and more hospitable conditions in Sahara and the Middle East during the interglacial that made it possible for modern humans to disperse out of Africa. Warmer normally also means wetter as all who are interested in palaeoclimate should know.

  18. Somebody somewhere needs to build a “Climate Dashboard” so that a layman such as myself can map and compare data like this against other data sets, sun, ice, Co2, rainfall, hurricanes.

    Even if a data set has only been measured for a short time rather than reverse calculated over 1’000s of years, it’d be useful…..

  19. Mike Jonas says:

    That means quite simply that today’s temperatures are very far from unprecedented, that Earth survived them, etc etc. Instead, they end up feeding us the crap that somehow it can still be interpreted as a disaster – “Antarctica must be responsible for a significant portion of the 4-8 meter rise in sea levels that we know occurred during the Eemian”.

    Actually that is a clear improvement. A year or two ago the orthodox figure was 6-12 meters. A few years more and they will be back to the 2-4 meters that was the accepted figure before CAGW, and which is what the most tectonically stable coasts indicate. And incidentally about what the smaller Greenland icecap might amount to.

  20. Michael John Graham on January 24, 2013 at 12:33 am
    Please explain if I’m wrong, but from the graph, the best I can get is 3 degrees warmer not 8.
    ———
    I think it’s referring to the insert and it’s scale in black on the left. 8 seems ok by my eye.

  21. Moe:

    In your post at January 24, 2013 at 2:53 am you say

    Because modern humans were not around 115,000 years ago, we cannot make any conclusion as to whether we would survive in a world where Greenland’s temperature is 8 (or three) degrees hotter than today.

    True, but it is also true that similar flaura and fauna existed then as now so it indicates there is no reason to suspect modern humans would not survive in a world where Greenland’s temperature is 8 (or three) degrees hotter than today.

    Richard

  22. Moe says
    The question should be ‘can humans survive at these temperature?’
    ———
    I am fairly certain that humans can survive. But modern civilization will not. Back to living in caves at worst and small subsistence settlements at best. A lot of dying to make the adjustment.

  23. Moe,

    Based on bone fossils and MtDNA tests, homo sapiens went as far about 150,000-200,000 years ago on this earth. Perhaps, so called “modern” human adapted to warming period… like losing their fur… ;-)

  24. Moe, the temperature may not be a big issue really, as our predecessors managed to survive more difficult conditions (no houses, no heating, food gathering, [sarc] no candy, no tobacco, no bottled alcohol [/sarc] and other things that are today considered as necessary “needs” …).

    Without our unique human ability to adapt to our environment, we wouldn’t be here today! Some people just seem to ignore this fact …

  25. Slowly but surely mainstream newspapers and journals are beginning to realize that maybe they’ve been had by the 2 dozen “Climate Scientist’s” holding onto the AGW fraud.

  26. The new results show that during the Eemian period 130,000 to 115,000 thousand years ago the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today.
    ———–
    Well some here claim that such high temperatures are not possible because clouds will rescue us. If it can get to +8C in Greenland it could easily get to +4C global average.

    Looks like the “clouds will save us” theory goes in the trash can.

  27. Sasja,

    They may very well could have been as advanced as we are now only to be wiped out by something. Nothing lasts forever. Unless we build travel time machine, we will never know for sure. I for sure want to travel back in time to see why they built the great pyramid in Egypt that way. Too advanced, even by our building standard.

  28. This study is presented as some great discovery, but there is nothing new here. P— on science by press release. This study simply confirms previous studies of Greenland ice cores which have been available for years. The Eemian is known in North America as the Sangamonian. For many decades this interstadial has been known to be warmer than the Holocene, as revealed through paleontology, palynology, sediment cores, geological studies, etc. This is when hippos were in the Thames.
    Once there were climatologists who understood all of this. Today, the field of Climatology has been hijacked by a horde of theoretical physicists who are ignorant of (or ignore) past climate studies and who have proceeded to fashion a completely new, and utterly wrong, view of climate and climate processes based on CO2.

  29. Moe says:
    “Because modern humans were not around 115,000 years ago, we cannot make any conclusion as to whether we would survive in a world where Greenland’s temperature is 8 (or three) degrees hotter than today.”

    Environment Canada has just informed Canadians that we are living in a Canada that is 3.2 degrees C warmer than it was 65 years ago. And its still too cold for me.

  30. Here is a chart of the new NEEM temperature data (back to 128,500 years ago) versus the previous Greenland extended reconstruction temps (back to 123,000 years ago) and Antarctica (which goes all the way back to 800,000 years ago).

    I still think there is an problem with how they are calibrating the dO18 isotopes in Greenland using borehole thermometry but at least now we have covered the Eemian.

  31. I have mentioned it before but isotopes in precipitation are primarely a proxy for the absolute humidity / dew point of the source, which is not necesarily the same as the temperature. As the accumulation rate of the snow in Greenland seem deadlocked with the isotope ratios, it’s merely two different proxies for the same record: precipitation rate.

    Consequently, it looks like the Eemian / Sangamonian interglacial was wetter than the current Holocene, but it’s not conclusive from isotopes alone if it was warmer too.

    More here: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/22026080/non-calor-sed-umor.pdf

  32. richardscourtney says:
    January 24, 2013 at 3:43 am

    Moe:

    “Because modern humans were not around 115,000 years ago, we cannot make any conclusion as to whether we would survive in a world where Greenland’s temperature is 8 (or three) degrees hotter than today.

    True, but it is also true that similar flaura and fauna..”

    Gentlemen, not true – unless you mean by modern humans those who have tattoos of serpents, skulls and the like and with noise buds in their ears.

    http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo2/mod_homo_4.htm

    Whatever your definition, our ancestors definitely made it through a few ice ages.

  33. “as we face global warming in the future, the answer to these questions is becoming very important.”

    The truth is that this is so very important to the researchers in order to continue to receive more and more funding. This is the reality behind ALL the CAGW scientific scaremongering – follow the money.

  34. LazyTeenager:

    At January 24, 2013 at 3:43 am you write

    Moe says

    The question should be ‘can humans survive at these temperature?’

    ———
    I am fairly certain that humans can survive. But modern civilization will not. Back to living in caves at worst and small subsistence settlements at best. A lot of dying to make the adjustment.

    Although all civilsations fall eventually, I fail to understand why your assertion would be – or could be – true. Please explain.

    Richard

  35. Gary Pearse:

    re your dispute at January 24, 2013 at 6:09 am of my answer at January 24, 2013 at 3:43 am to the post from Moe at January 24, 2013 at 2:53 am.

    Yes, hominids were around 150,000 years ago. I understood Moe to be talking about homo sapiens with capability to operate a modern industrial civilisation. And I saw – and see – no reason to be side-tracked from refuting Moe’s erroneous assertion by pedantry.

    Richard

  36. Moe says: January 24, 2013 at 2:53 am

    Quite agree the Earth will survive these temperatures. After all the Earth was once a molten ball of rock at another time was completely covered in ice and it has survived and is still here. The question should be ‘can humans survive at these temperature?’

    Because modern humans were not around 115,000 years ago, we cannot make any conclusion as to whether we would survive in a world where Greenland’s temperature is 8 (or three) degrees hotter than today.
    =============================
    Our species evolved on the savannas of Africa under a hot sun and it will thrive in a warmer world. Moe is the type that gets frightened easily and so is alarmed at the prospect of milder winters.

  37. LazyTeenager says: January 24, 2013 at 3:51 am

    The new results show that during the Eemian period 130,000 to 115,000 thousand years ago the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today.
    ———–
    Well some here claim that such high temperatures are not possible because clouds will rescue us. If it can get to +8C in Greenland it could easily get to +4C global average.

    Looks like the “clouds will save us” theory goes in the trash can.
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    What “clouds will save us” theory, pray tell?

  38. To Michael John Graham….Click onto the graph and expand the blue insert. You will see that temps were 8 degrees above the zero reference point. If you look closely on the larger chart, you will see that we are currently at that zero reference point also.

    “This new knowledge about past warm climates may help to clarify what is in store for us now that we are facing a global warming.”

    So….Looks like temps were moving up since 30K years ago. It also is a redder color on the chart about 10,000 years which makes it hotter than in our current climate. It also looks like we are trending downward, not upward. But the big question is….What the hell can we do about it?

  39. Sitting here thinking how future generations will look at us and what we do to save them from whatever is to happen…I started to LTM (Laugh To Myself). They will probably have all kinds of very intelligent equipment and information, far beyond what we think is even possible, and will probably disregard anything that our primitive generation came up with. They will probably laugh their asses off about us. Will we be disregarded as we disregard other previous generations.

  40. Peter Miller says:
    January 24, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Obviously inconvenient for Mann’s few remaining Hockey Stick fans, who will undoubtedly argue one site is not the same as the whole world. I think there is a Yamal tree which is exempt from this argument.

    I am not sure where the 8 degree number came from, it looks like more 3 to me. You might expect a few brickbats from your friend Gavin for this.

    If’ you’re going to make a Mann reference, at least stick with Mann’s work. As far as I know he didn’t use Yamal, that was Briffa. Mann’s golden goose was a stand of Bristlecones in the US Southwest.

  41. Interesting, but not new news. Prof. Uriarte’s excellent book Earth’s Climate History has an entire chapter on the Eemian. Previous ice cores showed 5C above present in Greenland. This new NEEM core, plus DYE-3, mean that substantial portions of the Greenland Ice Sheet remained intact, which does shift the focus to West Antarctic ice as many techtonicly stable areas show (e.g. Via coral reefs) that sea level peaked about 4 meters above present. Northern hemisphere pollen, diatom, and varve studies suggest intraEemian climate variability about like that experienced in the Holocene–that is, some, with at least one equivalent to the LIA that lasted about 400 years.

    So, it sure looks like the past millennium and the past century are mostly normal. CAGW has a huge signal to noise problem. Almost no signal and strong natural background noise, now provably inadequately modelled as even Hansen is now forced to admit.

  42. “Overpopulation is no real problem today, but will be the day it becomes obvious that we have entered into the next ice age.”

    Realize this….The current world population if place within the borders of the US would supply each person with 7.5 acres of land or 15 acres per couple or 30 for a family of 4. Keep in mind that the rest of the earth would be human free. I don’t think that we are going to over populated anytime soon.

  43. Well some here claim that such high temperatures are not possible because clouds will rescue us. If it can get to +8C in Greenland it could easily get to +4C global average.

    Looks like the “clouds will save us” theory goes in the trash can.

    #################
    No, thunderstorms in the tropics are salvation. They keep the planet within a narrow band of temperatures.. opps.

    or here is another logic defying statement.

    well, obviously the planets temperature can vary by 8 degrees due to natural forcing, therefore C02 can have no effect. I’ve seen that nonsense more times than I care to count.
    Fires have started by lightening, therefore arson cannot cause fires.

  44. Steven Mosher:

    I have read your post at January 24, 2013 at 8:25 am but I fail to make any sense of it.

    Please try to rephrase it in an understandable form.

    For example, what is the relevance of your comment about the ignition of fires when this thread is about analysis of a Greenland ice core and ice does not burn?

    Richard

  45. We manage to live in Antarctica, the high Asian deserts, Siberia, tropical islands, Mohave dessert…get to the moon, … so what is the point? There is a north/south temperature gradient and an elevation temperature gradient. We seem to manage just about anywhere. Necessity is the mother of what?

    The little ice age killed a lot of Europeans, however; they were not blessed with today’s technology.

  46. Steven Mosher says:
    January 24, 2013 at 8:25 am
    or here is another logic defying statement.
    well, obviously the planets temperature can vary by 8 degrees due to natural forcing, therefore C02 can have no effect.
    ======================
    get back to us when you have that signal and noise thing figured out

  47. LazyTeenager says:
    January 24, 2013 at 3:43 am
    I am fairly certain that humans can survive. But modern civilization will not
    ============================
    The preceding Public Service Announcement was brought to you by…..
    SmithKline….makers of Thorazine
    “Bringing a brighter future to extreme misanthropists…one day at a time”

  48. It’s also interesting to look at the right-hand side of the climate graph. Expand that a bit and there appears to be several times in the last few thousand years where the temperature was noticeably higher than today. You don’t here the CAGW crowd talking about them either. It must be nice to have such an effective set of blinders.

  49. The accepted science is that during the last interglacial there were hippos living on the Thames. Then how could there have been any year round ice on Greenland at all?

  50. LazyTeenager says:

    ” Well some here claim that such high temperatures are not possible because clouds will rescue us. If it can get to +8C in Greenland it could easily get to +4C global average.

    But it didn’t. It even got 10-14 degrees warmer in northeastern Siberia. In temperate Eurasia it was about 2-5 degrees warmer than now. Around the Mediterranean and in the Eurasian desert zone it was if anything slightly cooler than at present (but much wetter), and in the tropics it was slightly warmer than today, at most 1-2 degrees.
    A similar pattern, but with generally slightly smaller changes in the southern hemisphere

    “Looks like the “clouds will save us” theory goes in the trash can.”

    My guess is that the clouds did save our ancestors.

  51. tty says: “See my post of 12:23 AM. The whole Eemian part of the curve is shaky. At least they admit that the results are uncertain.”

    Unlike certain Hockey-Schtick proponents who repeatedly state that the debate is over.

  52. Lazy teenagers says:

    ” Well some here claim that such high temperatures are not possible because clouds will rescue us. If it can get to +8C in Greenland it could easily get to +4C global average.

    But it didn’t. It even got 10-14 degrees warmer in northeastern Siberia. In temperate Eurasia it was about 2-5 degrees warmer than now. Around the Mediterranean and in the Eurasian desert zone it was if anything slightly cooler than at present (but much wetter), and in the tropics it was slightly warmer than today, at most 1-2 degrees.
    A similar pattern, but with generally slightly smaller changes in the southern hemisphere
    “Looks like the “clouds will save us” theory goes in the trash can.”
    My guess is that the clouds did save our ancestors.

  53. When our own written history, tells of wide ranging climate, geology agrees from what the rocks tell us, the idea that climate has been an unchanging constant until today and we and only we are the agents of change, is conceit and idiocy of the highest order.
    The term of denier, applied to any who question, by the believers of this illogic is projection.
    When one must deny history, present day evidence, so as to reinforce their faith, one is intimately familiar with denying reality.
    Crosspatch is right these types are too deranged to be allowed any positions of authority.

  54. Greenland is being used as the Big Stick to frighten the general population into submission and accept greater taxes and control. Most people here on WUWT are fairly relaxed about Greenland ice Armageddon. Greenland will be here when our great, great grandchildren are gone.

  55. I have trouble fitting together these two parts of the puzzle. From their caption and text:

    The new results show that during the Eemian period 130,000 to 115,000 thousand years ago the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today.

    and

    “… the warming that is predicted to occur over the next 50-100 years will potentially have Eemian-like climatic conditions,” she believes.

    She’s saying we’ll see something like eight degrees warming in the next 50-100 years?

    Hmmm …

    w.

  56. Comparing the watts of insolation at the moment that the previous interglacial decided to go down at 45 degrees to the insolation value we have today, on that graphic without better resolution the two numbers look pretty similar. Both about 425 W/m2 ?

  57. LazyTeenager says:
    January 24, 2013 at 3:43 am
    ……………
    I am fairly certain that humans can survive. But modern civilization will not. Back to living in caves at worst and small subsistence settlements at best. A lot of dying to make the adjustment.

    Why not? Places like Canada, Russia / Siberia, northern Europe, the Antarctic Peninsula etc. would become more hospitable? No? Also bear in mind such changes would not take place overnight. Bear in mind also that the world population is estimated to stabilize this century AND begin to decline. Aging populations, such as in Japan, are another problem. I am reluctant to make prediction so only time will tell.

    Population

    http://www.economist.com/node/14744915

    http://business.time.com/2012/12/04/birth-rate-plunges-during-recession/

    http://www.economist.com/node/15959332

  58. Steven Mosher says:
    January 24, 2013 at 8:25 am
    Fires have started by lightening, therefore arson cannot cause fires.

    Did you perhaps mean ‘lightning’ (as in ‘a bolt of lightning’), Steve?
    If not, your following statement should probably be ‘therefore arson can not cause weight loss’.
    MtK

  59. Parts of Greenland – and the Arctic region in general – have seen ~ +8-10C of warming in the past few years as a result of GHG forcing and associated ice-albedo feedback warming. The average global temperature during the Eemian climatic optimum is estimated to have been around +1C above the pre-industrial average. We are currently around +0.8C.

    The warming during the Eemian interglacial was triggered by slight increases in insolation by our orbital configuration at the time. We are now seeing a similar level of warming in the Arctic due to GHG forcing and ice-albedo feedback..

    The Eemian warm-up happened over many centuries and led to a 6-9m global sea-level rise. It is possible that we will see +2C of global warming in the next century and we’ll have to trust in the thermal inertia of the ice caps to prevent a similar outcome.

  60. Folks relating this finding to the ‘hockey stick’ do know that the Eemian was farther back into the past than anything in the ‘hockey stick’ graph by a factor of roughly ten–don’t they?

  61. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm
    She’s saying we’ll see something like eight degrees warming in the next 50-100 years?
    Hmmm …
    ==============================
    yep potentially……and there’s no one living in Miami

  62. Thank you ‘Lazyteenager’ I did’t take the trouble to read the scale on the main graph properly.

  63. I do not think they were hairy hippos! The interpretation of varves or layers of ice is very questionable especially at the bottom where the layers thin out. There must not have been any year round ice.

  64. Can we just go with the fact that it has been warmer in the past and save my money?!?!? Is that too much to ask for? Really?

    So here is the idea. All you greeny researchers out there just say,

    “It was warmer in the past according to [tree rings, ice rings, clam shells, and the lady with the globe over there in the tent] and that because we know this, we can better understand what our fate will be when we all fry in hell here on Earth because of anthropogenic global [warming, weirding, catastrophies, colding, weather extremes, whatever word is currently hip].”

    There. All done. Just copy and paste in any journal. You can have your scary scenario and I the tax payer just saved a bucket load of money.

  65. Latitude says:
    January 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:January 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    She’s saying we’ll see something like eight degrees warming in the next 50-100 years?
    Hmmm …

    ==============================
    yep potentially……and there’s no one living in Miami

    Potentially? What on earth does that mean? Potentially, I could win the lottery tomorrow. On that basis, should I quit my job and buy leisure suits to make preparations for my newfound wealth?

    I must confess … I grow tired of vague handwaving about “potentially” from folks like Dorthe Dahl-Jensen who are masquerading as scientists … when I want wild speculation on what might “potentially” happen, I’m perfectly capable of providing my own.

    w.

  66. LazyTeenager says:
    January 24, 2013 at 3:51 am
    The new results show that during the Eemian period 130,000 to 115,000 thousand years ago the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today.
    ———–
    Well some here claim that such high temperatures are not possible because clouds will rescue us. If it can get to +8C in Greenland it could easily get to +4C global average.

    Looks like the “clouds will save us” theory goes in the trash can.

    **********************
    No one here has claimed that higher temps are impossible. They have merely claimed, as this study shows, that we can have temps as high as we have, and much higher, through natural climatic processes within any interglacial.

    Nor is there some claim that clouds will prevent higher temps, only that the feedbacks from water vapor are not as high as claimed.

    We have no knowledge of why the Eemian temps were so much higher than during our Holocene, One thing should be obvious, however: water vapor feedback was not the source of that difference, since nothing has changed on that front, or we’d have suffered the same consequence in the Holocene.

    And Steve Mosher, don’t be such a tool. It’s the AGW types who have claimed that it’s impossible to have warming such as we have now, without manmade GHGs being the driver. No one has ever claimed they can’t possibly be the driver, only that the claim of that they must be the driver is clearly nonsense. The fact that the Eemian was so much warmer, without any higher CO2 buildup, clearly indicates GHGs are not the only possible driver of warm interglacial periods like ours.

  67. “Parts of Greenland – and the Arctic region in general – have seen ~ +8-10C of warming in the past few years as a result of GHG forcing and associated ice-albedo feedback warming.”

    You are aware, I hope that Greenland was warmer in the 1930-40s than it has been recently, without GHG being at all involved in that. How do you explain that?

    Your other numbers and logic are just as faulty.

  68. So when drilling anywhere in Greenland, did they ever hit bedrock (or solid ground)?

    If not, that seems to imply that no matter how hot the past was, Greenland always had ice.

  69. “And Steve Mosher, don’t be such a tool. It’s the AGW types who have claimed that it’s impossible to have warming such as we have now, without manmade GHGs being the driver. ”

    Wrong. no one says that is IMPOSSIBLE to have the warming we have now without GHGs.
    The argument is entirely different

  70. Steven Mosher says:
    January 24, 2013 at 8:25 am
    Well some here claim that such high temperatures are not possible because clouds will rescue us. If it can get to +8C in Greenland it could easily get to +4C global average.

    Looks like the “clouds will save us” theory goes in the trash can.

    Over the last half billion years or so there appear to be two principal stable temperatures – about 12 C and 22 C, according to this often quoted and quite simple graph. However these are likely related to continental configuration and may represent attractors with and without iced up poles.

  71. What is striking in this ice core plot back to the Eemian is how unstable the glacial period is, with many sharp up-spikes in temperature. By contrast the interglacials have a much smoother temperature curve. We are fortunate to live in an interglacial period of relative climate stability – imagine living through a temperature spike of 5-8 C over just a century or two.

    It is also unclear why the Younger Dryas is talked about as if it is something exceptional. It is not. It is simply one of several dozen similar spikes which characterise climate instability during glacial periods – albeit one of the largest spikes.

    Finally there is a typo in the last sentence:

    This new knowledge about past warm climates may help to clarify what is in store for us now that we are facing a global warmingcooling .
    Fixed.

  72. Steve, please stop being so obtuse. You know very well that one of the primary arguments of the AGW advocates is that our present warming has to be man-made, and that natural forces could not account for it. Even though, when pressed, they admit they don’t fully understand all the natural forces that go into climate, they will still claim our warming has to be anthropogenic. The example of the Eemian shows that natural forces really can produce higher temps even than ours at present. It doesn’t prove that GHGs play no role in today’s warming, but it does show that there’s no necessity in using them to explain our present climate trends.

  73. What a frightening metric. Enjoy the good times now. They are nearly over. Even worse than the return of the continental ice will be the drop in sea level – that drop will foment an extinction event.

  74. Steven Mosher says:
    January 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    “And Steve Mosher, don’t be such a tool. It’s the AGW types who have claimed that it’s impossible to have warming such as we have now, without manmade GHGs being the driver. ”

    Wrong. no one says that is IMPOSSIBLE to have the warming we have now without GHGs.
    The argument is entirely different

    Thanks, Mosh. I suspect the argument he is referring to is the argument involving climate models. It says that because climate models do poorly when you remove the anthropological forcings, this means the anthropological forcings must be causing the temperature changes. See the IPCC AR4 version of the argument here.

    The clearest statement is from the IPCC TAR (emphasis mine):

    The United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces a major scientic report involving up to 2500 scientists in the writing and reviewing process every 5th year. The IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) states: A climate model can be used to simulate the temperature changes that occur from both natural and anthropogenic causes. The simulations in a) were done with only natural forcings: solar variation and volcanic activity. In b) only anthropogenic forcings are included: greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols. In c) both natural and anthropogenic forcings are included. The best match is obtained when both forcings are combined, as in c). Natural forcing alone cannot explain the global warming over the last 50 years.

    That sounds a whole lot more like what he said than to what you said … I don’t doubt that, as you say, there is another argument out there that “is entirely different”. But the argument he’s talking about has definitely been made, and by the IPCC no less.

    w.

    PS—If I were a tool, I think I’d be a Leatherman …

  75. Willis says: “The clearest statement is from the IPCC TAR…”

    The discussion of Figure 9.5 in AR4 is pretty clear also:

    “Figure 9.5 shows that simulations that incorporate anthropogenic forcings, including increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and the effects of aerosols, and that also incorporate natural external forcings provide a consistent explanation of the observed temperature record, whereas simulations that include only natural forcings do not simulate the warming observed over the last three decades.”

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter9.pdf

    Regards

  76. Steven Mosher says:
    January 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm
    “And Steve Mosher, don’t be such a tool. It’s the AGW types who have claimed that it’s impossible to have warming such as we have now, without manmade GHGs being the driver. ”

    Wrong. no one says that is IMPOSSIBLE to have the warming we have now without GHGs.
    The argument is entirely different
    ====================
    When we do find our new energy source, which of course we will, what will become of the windmills?, will they fade into history again.
    Or will the subsidies continue the blight of greed and corruption ?
    It is of windmills, I ask.

  77. Two comments:

    Mann’s hockey stick covered about the last 2,000 years; the first tick on the graph above is at 20,000 years. Do posters here have a problem understanding scale? Besides, the O18 measurements from last summer’s melt event were in the same ballpark as those during the Eemian. Kind of a sharp uptick there.

    Warming then versus warming now. A comparison of apples and oranges is being made. Yes, under different orbital conditions and various other factors, it is possible to achieve the same level of warming as we are currently starting. No, under the current orbital conditions, etc. it is not possible to cause the level of warming we are seeing without the increase in CO2 levels we are causing. Bob and others are seriously confusing “not possible” ever, with “not possible” under current conditions. Brokenyogi was clearly talking about the past, with different background conditions, and Bob is clearly talking about the present.

  78. (off topic) Just a comment to see if I’m still banned. (on topic) you are wrong (1st amendment), this so called eemian ice sheet was a product of God’s angels who in 4004BC used their superpowers to accidentally freeze the whole atmosphere. Now, because they stood on the ‘then’ equator, the air flows converged over the drill site. producing a 2 meter wide column of ice, 300 m in height. Later in the same day God thought that was a good idea to fool the people. So, he built the so-called ice ages to the antarctica. that was originally planned to be the place for Eden. Then God created Adam, and put him on the continent of Mu, located in the Indian Ocean. The Eden had to be erased for the sins of Adam and then, after about 5950 years, you were born.

  79. SasjaL says:
    January 24, 2013 at 2:25 am
    “This is always true, just as Michael E. Mann’s* prophecies/warnings in the 1970s that we are approaching a new ice age. It depends solely on what part of the glacial cycle we are studying, but with the immediate future in mind, M.E. Mann’s* (previous) claim is more relevant.”

    Uh, Mann was 5 years old in 1970 and I seriously doubt he was making climate predictions.

    brokenyogi says:
    January 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm
    “The example of the Eemian shows that natural forces really can produce higher temps even than ours at present. It doesn’t prove that GHGs play no role in today’s warming, but it does show that there’s no necessity in using them to explain our present climate trends.”

    Unless that’s exactly what’s happening, no?

  80. In general, a few commenters need the CO2 forcing argument to heighten the feelings of guilt in the young and foolish. Without the willing consent of such folks they have lost their hope of leading all of us to a better way.
    ~~~~~~~

    And a specific:
    banninations continuament?
    “. . . (1st amendment)

    I assume this refers to the USA Bill of Rights. I’ll guess you don’t know what rights that amendment gives you. Regarding the privilege of commenting on blogs, the first amendment has no relevance.

  81. J.Seifert says:
    January 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    How could polar bears survive +8 C? maybe by changing their fur color?

    Laurence Crossen says:
    January 25, 2013 at 1:36 am

    The polar bears did not survive.

    Yes, it’s well known that they went extinct in the Eemian, a hundred thousand years ago …

    w.

    • I’m surprised you even took me up on it! It is not well known, but I am confident that is what happened. But I am not an AGWer! I know AGW is pure pseudoscience.

  82. brokenyogi says:
    January 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Thanks, Willis and Bob, for filling in the details of what I assumed Mosher must already know, but is pretending not to.

    Brokenyogi, assuming that you can tell what other people know is a very foolish enterprise. You haven’t a clue what Mosh knows, or I know, or anyone else knows.

    But insulting people by claiming that they are pretending not to know what you can tell, by way of your spidey sense, that they already know?

    That’s just nasty and unpleasant. You don’t know what Mosh knows, only Mosh knows that, and all your ugly claim does is to make you look much, much worse than him.

    w.

  83. Willis Eschenbach says: January 25, 2013 at 10:30 am

    “… You haven’t a clue what Mosh knows, or I know, or anyone else knows….”

    Theoretically correct, I guess. But a pedantic, politically correct Willis … who’d a thunk it?

    If Mosher says he didn’t know of this particular line I’d eat my hat…if I had one.

    “Natural forcing alone cannot explain the global warming over the last 50 years.”

  84. Thanks, Mark. Mosher likely knows of the line, he’s widely read. But he may have been thinking of something different, or just had a senior moment, or assumed people were discussing some other aspect, who knows. In any case, speculation on his motives and inner mental workings is something extra to your underlying point, which was scientific rather than personal.

    Regards,

    w.

    • In response to:
      “J.Seifert says:
      January 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      How could polar bears survive +8 C? maybe by changing their fur color?
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
      They are ‘Albino’ grizzlies and are still able to produce viable crosses http://studentsonice.com/blog/general/polar-bear-plus-grizzly-equals/

      This means genetically they are not that far removed from grizzlies (brown bears)”

      Solution: They re-evolve whenever it gets cold enough.

  85. Willis,

    Thanks for the snark, but really, Mosher is a regular reader and commentator on this blog, he blogs on his own about climate stuff, he’s clearly well read, and probably much better so than I am. So I think it would be insulting for me not to presume that he knows about the AR4 and the kinds of arguments they make. It was nice of you to post those excerpts, but I’m sure in no way necessary to Steve’s education. I notice in a latter post that even you say he must know this stuff already. So what’s the beef? That I actually called him out on it?

    Personally, I think it’s your comments to me that were condescending, insulting, and pedantic. Especially since you even agree with me about what Mosher knows about climate science. Fortunately, I don’t much care when people insult me, if they at least can argue intelligently about the underlying issue. And fortunately, you can do that, so no big deal. But your ugly remarks make you look much, much worse even than I do, and by extension Mosher, so I guess Steve wins the Internet?

  86. Willis,

    Also, re this:

    “You haven’t a clue what Mosh knows, or I know, or anyone else knows.”

    How, exactly, do you know what I know about what Mosher knows? Isn’t that incredibly presumptuous to think you know that? And it’s probably even worse for you to make that presumption about me, since you literally know nothing about me, whereas we both know a fair amount about Mosher.

    I know that Mosher comments on this block quite frequently, because I have been a regular reader of this blog for years, and I read the comments sections an awful lot. Did you know that about me? Probably not. I also know that Mosher has his own climate blog, because there’s a link to it on this blog above. I’ve checked it out, and clearly Mosher has a lot of technical stuff to say about climate, which means he’s studied the issue in depth. I’ve read Mosher arguing here on all kinds of complex climate issues. So I know that he knows about climate, the general issues of the debate, the arguments made on both sides, etc. So I think it’s a fair assumption to make that he knows about the very things that I brought up, and that you elaborated on.

    As for knowing what you know, I have read this blog almost every day for several years now, and probably have read almost everything you’ve written here. So I know you know quite a bit about climate science yourself. Without your replying, I would have guessed that you knew exactly what I was talking about here, and been right. I would also have guessed that you would have had prior experience with Mosher, and had a decent idea of his level of knowledge about climate science, since he’s a regular and his blog is referenced above by Anthony.

    So do I have anything wrong here? Have I made a single false presumption about anyone? Obviously your statement above is complete nonsense, and you should admit that it was nonsense, because obviously you and Mohser have left a whole lot of clues around as to what you think and know about climate issues. You should apologize not only because you didn’t have the knowledge to make those claims about me, but even worse, because they were quite wrong.

    The only think I don’t know, is how much drinking or smoking of herb you’ve been doing lately, that might account for this pointless attack on me. But since I don’t know you that well, I won’t make that presumption. Maybe it was just unseasonably hot in your neck of the woods. In any case, I hope you are at least enjoying this little tiff. I know I find it most amusing.

    Best regards, and hoping you have a sense of humor to go with your outrage.

  87. ***
    phlogiston says:
    January 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    It is also unclear why the Younger Dryas is talked about as if it is something exceptional. It is not. It is simply one of several dozen similar spikes which characterise climate instability during glacial periods – albeit one of the largest spikes.
    ****

    True, but what distinguishes the YD is the mass extinction of N Amer & other continental large animals, when they had breezed thru all the previous excursions.

  88. brokenyogi says:
    January 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Willis,

    Also, re this:

    “You haven’t a clue what Mosh knows, or I know, or anyone else knows.”

    How, exactly, do you know what I know about what Mosher knows?

    Since I haven’t yet learned to read minds, what another man knows and doesn’t know is an eternal mystery. He may know something and not reveal it. He may not know something and act like he knows it. He may even know it and not know that he knows it. He may have known it once and then forgotten it. Or, and perhaps most commonly, what you and he are talking about is subtly different, so what he knows is not apparent.

    And you want to convince me that you can see into Mosh’s mind and tell us what he knows and doesn’t know … good luck with that.

    You ask:

    So do I have anything wrong here?

    Yes, there’s a missing context. You’ve accused Steven of acting improperly, of putting on a false front, of pretending not to know something he knows. That is an accusation that he is acting in bad faith. You said:

    And Steve Mosher, don’t be such a tool.

    and

    Thanks, Willis and Bob, for filling in the details of what I assumed Mosher must already know, but is pretending not to.

    You have absolutely no evidence that he is pretending. You absolutely do not know what Steven knows or why he said what he said. Die gedanken sind frei.

    In fact, I suspect he didn’t understand what you were referring to. Which is why I tried to clarify things by pointing out what it was I thought you were talking about (which was not totally evident from your words). You made an uncited, unreferenced claim that “the AGW types” made some vague claim. I was guessing myself, as I said at the time:

    I suspect the argument he is referring to is the argument involving climate models.

    When you blow in, call someone a tool, and then accuse them of pretending to be ignorant of something, which means that they are acting in bad faith … yeah, you did something wrong here.

    Me, I’m willing to walk away from this.

    w.

  89. Can someone please explain this to me: How does drilling DOWN in to and getting a core of ice, show the “altitude” of the ice sheet? If one is drilling DOWN in to an ice sheet, then how can you tell the ice sheet half a mile below you was once a half a mile above you?

  90. Willis,

    “Since I haven’t yet learned to read minds, what another man knows and doesn’t know is an eternal mystery. ”

    Well, I’ve learned how to read words, and that tells me what people think. You should try it sometime. I’ve also learned the art of logical deduction. That’s a really good skill too. I don’t have to see into Mosher’s mind to see what sorts of things he knows. And if I’m actually wrong, I’m sure he’s able to correct me. What business you have doing that, you haven’t explained. But so far, he hasn’t told me I’m wrong at all about what he knows. And you’ve even admitted the same.

    Here’s what you said:

    “Mosher likely knows of the line, he’s widely read.”

    So you say he likely knows this line of argument, because he’s widely read. Exactly the same logic I used to say exactly the same thing. Why is it okay for you to say that, and not me? Please, inquiring minds need to know.

    Then you say: “You have absolutely no evidence that he is pretending.”

    Yes I do. I even have your own testimony that he likely knows this line of thought, because he’s widely read. So there’s plenty of evidence that he’s knowledgable enough about climate science and its arguments that he knows this. And thus, it’s very clear that either he’s had a sudden “senior moment”, or he’s pretending. Since I have no knowledge of his age, or any reason to think he’s going senile, I think it’s more likely that he’s playing dumb, for rhetorical purposes. Again, if I’m wrong about that, he can correct me. Why you are inserting yourself into that is beyond me.

    “When you blow in, call someone a tool, and then accuse them of pretending to be ignorant of something, which means that they are acting in bad faith … yeah, you did something wrong here.”

    Blow in? I’ve been reading this blog for years. Like I said, almost every day. I don’t comment a lot, because I’m not as knowledgeable as either you or Mosher. Which is why I accused him of being a tool, and knowing better. I’m not the only one on this thread criticizing Mosher for the way he’s been conducting himself these days. And even you say he knows better. But for some reason you’ve decided to go all righteous on my ass, for reasons that make no sense.

    Your absolutist claims are getting worse and worse, and you’re just digging yourself into a deeper hole by doubling down on them. Reminds me of some people in the climate debate itself. Do you really want to be that guy? Maybe you should stop digging, and climb out of that whole instead. You could start by apologizing for coming down on me so hard, and illogically to boot. If Mosher wants an apology from me, let him ask, and explain himself better. Maybe he doesn’t know what I think he knows. And if that’s the case, if he was just making an innocent mistake, I’ll be happy to apologize to him, even just to show you how it’s down. Because clearly, you don’t know how to do that. Show us you’re even a tenth of the man you think you are, by admitting that you were wrong.

    Is that really so hard?

  91. henrythethird says:
    January 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    So when drilling anywhere in Greenland, did they ever hit bedrock (or solid ground)?

    Yes, several cores go all the way to bedrock. As a rule, there is a temporal discontinuity during the Eemian with the ice below the discontinuity being perhaps one million years older.

  92. captainfish says:
    January 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Can someone please explain this to me: How does drilling DOWN in to and getting a core of ice, show the “altitude” of the ice sheet? If one is drilling DOWN in to an ice sheet, then how can you tell the ice sheet half a mile below you was once a half a mile above you?

    Great question. When they de-gas the core, they look at the ratios of various gases. Some ratios are used as temperature proxies. Others are used as altitude proxies.

    Since the lower atmosphere is well mixed, I am not sure how well that analysis works. It is easy to see how the gas mixtures in a forest might be different than on a mountain top (because the plants are different), but in the middle of a large ice sheet I am not so sure.

    What the proxies don’t tell is what was under the “new” ice – 1,000 meters of older ice, or bedrock.

  93. This is from the abstract

    Between 128,000 and 122,000 years ago, the thickness of the northwest Greenland ice sheet decreased by 400 +/- 250 metres, reaching surface elevations 122,000 years ago of 130 +/- 300 metres lower than the present.

    This is obviously nonsense.

    First – if the ice sheet thickness decreased, there is no way to know how much ice melted. It could have lost a meter, or a thousand meters. The assumed fact that the Eemian ice is resting on the surface indicates that the accumulations of the previous ice age, and all those before it, were lost. Therefore, the only reasonable conclusion is that about 3,000 meters of ice were lost .. not just 400m.

    Second – there is no way that only 130 meters of ice has been added in the last 100,000 years. According to the supplemental data, the core was 2,533.3m deep to bedrock and measurements from 2,162.1 to 2,533.3 meters were used to reconstruct the Eemian. So it is not clear what the 130 +/- 300 metres lower than the present means since, according to the supplemental spreadsheet, 122,025 years before present (yr BP) is located 2,395.4 meters below the current surface. Clarification is in the supplemental data

    The 128 kyr BP old ice is found to originate at a location that is about 205 km upstream and 330 m higher than the present elevation of the surface at NEEM.

    except that the abstract says that it was lower in the past and the quote above says that it is lower now. Perhaps the abstract is trying to say that the “folded” ice is now 130 meters higher than where is formed. (This is very difficult to understand.)

    According to wikipedia, the Eemian is from 130,000 to 114,000 years ago. In the NEEM core, 114,000 years ago is at 2,209m, 2,261m, and 2,364m below the surface. That’s right, in 3 places, older ice is on top of younger ice and the ice gets younger as the depth increases. The abstract clearly says We reconstructed the Eemian record from folded ice .. but this is an inverted time series .. and there are 2 of them covering the same time period.

    Actually, the data could be interpreted as the result of a meteor strike. Assuming their stratigraphy is correct (there is not enough data to make a reasonable guess), this looks a lot like Barringer Crater with an overturned rim. To me this suggests that the last ice age was instigated by a meteor strike around 114,500 years ago. (Their dates are 114,810 yr BP, 114,120 yr BP, 114,964 yr BP. Assuming that all 3 are actually the same date provides pretty convincing evidence that something important happened.)

    In addition to the 3 discontinuities associated with the “folding”, there are about 4 additional major discontinuities in the data. Presumably, these are due to major melt events during the ice age itself.

    The core is 2,533.3 meters deep, but the analyzed data only goes down to 2,432.19 meters (128,300 yr BP). The available material does not say (or I did not see it), but the lower part of the core may be over one million years old, an estimate based on recovered plant material in other Greenland cores. If so, that clearly means that the Eemian was warm enough to remove the evidence of several previous ice ages. At any rate, the supplemental material explicitly says that the lowest ice was not used.

    Their analysis contains corrections for changes in elevation between time of deposition and current elevation above sea level. However, the analysis assumes that this change is caused only by ice flow. They seem to ignore the fact that the level changes because heavy ice causes the land under it to sink.

    By the way, their supplemental data is labeled wrong. In the spreadsheet, the time columns are labeled kyr BP and kyr b2k – but the values are in years, not thousands of years. (I know its a nit, but since they think we are so “anti-science”, I thought it was worth mentioning.)

  94. brokenyogi says:
    January 25, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Willis,

    “Since I haven’t yet learned to read minds, what another man knows and doesn’t know is an eternal mystery. ”

    Well, I’ve learned how to read words, and that tells me what people think. You should try it sometime. I’ve also learned the art of logical deduction. That’s a really good skill too. I don’t have to see into Mosher’s mind to see what sorts of things he knows.

    Cool. I’m sure police forces all over the world could use a man who can tell what’s in a man’s mind from what he writes on the page … after all, people never lie or deceive or forget or are confused or make mistakes, they always write exactly what they think, so you can just read their words and correctly discern their innermost thoughts …

    Do you ever re-read what you’ve written, or do you just trust to your luck?

    And if I’m actually wrong, I’m sure he’s able to correct me. What business you have doing that, you haven’t explained. But so far, he hasn’t told me I’m wrong at all about what he knows. And you’ve even admitted the same.

    Here’s what you said:

    “Mosher likely knows of the line, he’s widely read.”

    So you say he likely knows this line of argument, because he’s widely read. Exactly the same logic I used to say exactly the same thing. Why is it okay for you to say that, and not me? Please, inquiring minds need to know.

    It’s ok because what I said was totally different from what you said. I said he might or might not know of the line. You said he was deliberately deceiving people. How you think those are the same escapes me. In any case, his having read that quote doesn’t mean he knew that was what you were thinking of, even I was just guessing.

    Let me reiterate. I said he “likely knew”. You accused him of acting in bad faith. Those are not the same, no matter how many times you claim it.

    Then you say: “You have absolutely no evidence that he is pretending.”

    Yes I do. I even have your own testimony that he likely knows this line of thought, because he’s widely read. So there’s plenty of evidence that he’s knowledgable enough about climate science and its arguments that he knows this. And thus, it’s very clear that either he’s had a sudden “senior moment”, or he’s pretending. Since I have no knowledge of his age, or any reason to think he’s going senile, I think it’s more likely that he’s playing dumb, for rhetorical purposes. Again, if I’m wrong about that, he can correct me. Why you are inserting yourself into that is beyond me.

    If you call that “evidence that he is pretending”, god help the accused if you ever have to be a juror at a trial. How you or I feel, or what I might believe about Mosher, is not evidence in any sense of the word. Nor is your estimation of the likelihood that he is “playing dumb”, that’s just your guess, it’s not evidence of anything.

    “When you blow in, call someone a tool, and then accuse them of pretending to be ignorant of something, which means that they are acting in bad faith … yeah, you did something wrong here.”

    Blow in? I’ve been reading this blog for years. Like I said, almost every day.

    By “blow in” I meant blow into this discussion. Sorry for the lack of clarity.

    I don’t comment a lot, because I’m not as knowledgeable as either you or Mosher.

    Clearly.

    Which is why I accused him of being a tool, and knowing better.

    You call him a tool because you’re not as knowledgeable as him or me? How does that work?

    I’m not the only one on this thread criticizing Mosher for the way he’s been conducting himself these days. And even you say he knows better. But for some reason you’ve decided to go all righteous on my ass, for reasons that make no sense.

    No, I don’t say he knows better. Learn to read. I said it was likely he had heard of that quote … and if you had cited, or quoted that quote, you might have a case. But you didn’t, and then you claimed Mosher was acting in bad faith because he didn’t get your vague allusion.

    Your absolutist claims are getting worse and worse, and you’re just digging yourself into a deeper hole by doubling down on them. Reminds me of some people in the climate debate itself. Do you really want to be that guy? Maybe you should stop digging, and climb out of that whole instead.

    Climb out of that whole? I’m usually lucky to save half my skin …

    You could start by apologizing for coming down on me so hard, and illogically to boot. If Mosher wants an apology from me, let him ask, and explain himself better. Maybe he doesn’t know what I think he knows.

    You’ve insisted you’re absolutely positive of what he knows … losing faith?

    And if that’s the case, if he was just making an innocent mistake, I’ll be happy to apologize to him, even just to show you how it’s down.

    Show me how it’s down? Is that like showing me what’s up?

    Because clearly, you don’t know how to do that. Show us you’re even a tenth of the man you think you are, by admitting that you were wrong.

    Is that really so hard?

    Heck, no, it’s not hard to admit when I’m wrong. Painful, but not too hard. I’ve done it right here on this blog, not many times, but more than I would like. Next time I’m wrong, I’ll let you know so you can check it out.

    And in the meantime, I plan to take your excellent advice and let Mosher deal with you … that’s enough for me.

    w.

  95. Willis,

    Now you’re becoming almost as deliberately obtuse as Mosher was. Maybe even more so, since you are making this such a personal attack on me. I know you’re the BMOC around here, but this bullying really doesn’t suit you.

    Let’s break it down. I said to Mosher:

    “And Steve Mosher, don’t be such a tool. It’s the AGW types who have claimed that it’s impossible to have warming such as we have now, without manmade GHGs being the driver. ”

    The phrase “being a tool” means, “being in the service of some larger agenda outside oneself”. I would stand by that characterization of Mosher’s contribution to that thread, which I had read in its entirety up to that point. I had noted that Mosher had made several other obtuse comments to others, and that several regulars had already criticized him for dropping brief and unexplained comments that he wouldn’t back up or respond meaningfully to. In that context, I felt it was a very reasonable observation to make, the he was “being a tool”, and that it was good advice to tell him to stop. It wasn’t an accusation of criminality, it was a personal observation about the way he was conducting himself in this discussion. And I think, a fairly accurate one.

    To which Mosher replied:

    Wrong. no one says that is IMPOSSIBLE to have the warming we have now without GHGs.
    The argument is entirely different

    You will notice that Mosher didn’t deny being a tool. But he did continue to make obtuse comments like this, which were factually wrong to boot.

    That’s when you (and Bob Tisdale) “blew in” and pointed out that the AGW modelers do in fact claim that our modern warming is impossible to explain without using GHGs as the main driver of climate change. That, in fact, is the very essence of the AGW argument. You made this response before I even had a chance to, which I graciously thanked you for:

    Thanks, Willis and Bob, for filling in the details of what I assumed Mosher must already know, but is pretending not to.

    This is where you started getting ugly. But before we get into that, notice what I actually said, not what you think I said (or thought): what I assumed Mosher must already know. Right up front, I say that I’m making an assumption about what Mohser knew. I don’t state it as an absolute fact, as you later claim I do. Which just goes to show that you can’t read very well, and make all kinds of assumptions of your own about me, which could be easily shown to be false if you had just read what I said. I assumed Mosher knew these matters, and based on that assumption, further assumed that he was pretending not to. Playing dumb, in other words.

    Was that assumption false? You didn’t seem to think so at first, when you said:

    Mosher likely knows of the line, he’s widely read

    So you, also, assumed that Mosher knew this aspect of AGW theory, because he’s widely read. So far, we seem to be in general agreement about Mosher. We both made assumptions about what Mosher knew, based on his overall familiarity with climate issues. Your insertion of the qualifier “likely” being no different from my use of the phrase “I assumed”, the difference being that of six and half a dozen.

    Then, for reasons unknown, you go out of your mind with outrage:

    Brokenyogi, assuming that you can tell what other people know is a very foolish enterprise. You haven’t a clue what Mosh knows, or I know, or anyone else knows.
    But insulting people by claiming that they are pretending not to know what you can tell, by way of your spidey sense, that they already know?
    That’s just nasty and unpleasant. You don’t know what Mosh knows, only Mosh knows that, and all your ugly claim does is to make you look much, much worse than him.

    Except that you just said that knew that it was likely Mosher knew this line of argument. Were you just feeling guilty? Were you feeling sorry for Mosher? I can’t say, only you can, but your attack on me makes no sense. Obviously I did have clues as to what Mosher knew, as did you, which is why you considered it “likely” that he knew. So on this, you were clearly wrong. Either you were wrong to say that it was likely Mosher knew, or you were wrong to say I had no clue as to what Mosher knew.

    As I’ve pointed out, there are many clues that Mosher would have known about this line. First, he’s widely read. Second, he has a blog that he uses to write about climate issues, in a highly technical way. Third, much of his blog is devoted to a technical analysis of the computer simulations and climate models that this very issue turns upon, meaning it’s even more likely that he would know about the AR4 climate models and their need for GHG warming to explain recent warming. Fourth, Mosher’s blog is respected well enough to be listed on this very blog’s blogroll as something readers here should check out. Given all that, I thought it not just unlikely, but extremely unlikely that Mosher wouldn’t know about this line. Just as you did. And so far, you haven’t produced even a shred of evidence that I’m wrong, that Mosher didn’t know about this. Nor has Mosher himself. So your entire rampaging rant against me has not the slightest bit of evidence to back it up, that I was wrong at all. Insulting, yes, but wrong on the facts behind that, no.

    So let me remind you, you’ve made a series of accusations against me, without any evidence to back them up. You are clearly wrong on the issue of whether I have a clue as to what Mosher said, or that I absolutely don’t know what he knows about this. You’ve been doubling down on your prosecution of me, without showing me any evidence of my being wrong in my assumptions. You seem to base your case against me purely on the fact that I am openly making assumptions about Mosher, without showing those assumptions to be in any way unreasonable. Instead, you merely fall back on the specious argument that no one can know what’s in anybody’s head. Well, news flash, you can. I can assume all kinds of knowledge in your head, based on your obvious familiarity with climate science, and that you regularly write on this blog, and even correct people frequently in the comments section. You would probably feel insulted if I assumed you didn’t know anything about the AR4 climate models and their need for GHG drivers to explain observed warming. So I assume all kinds of things about your knowledge base on the subject, because you have one. And the same with Mosher.

    So when you say:

    You call him a tool because you’re not as knowledgeable as him or me? How does that work?

    I would think someone as smart as you would grasp the principle immediately. Since I’m nowhere near as knowledgeable about climate science as you and Mosher, and I know about this very basic aspect of the AGW arguments, it stands very much to reason that both you and Mosher would know about it too. In your case, you have already admitted that my assumption about your knowledge base would have been correct. And you have provided no reason for me to think that my assumption about Mosher isn’t correct also. And I bet you still think he does know about this line. Admit it, dude. Get off your high horse of absolutism and BMOC bullying. Join the real world, where reason prevails, and even people you don’t like can be right.
    It’s ok because what I said was totally different from what you said. I said he might or might not know of the line. You said he was deliberately deceiving people. How you think those are the same escapes me. In any case, his having read that quote doesn’t mean he knew that was what you were thinking of, even I was just guessing.

    He could have corrected me if I was wrong in my assumption that he was pretending not to know about this. I think that’s unlikely, but not impossible. I never made the claim that my assumption was absolutely true. It just seems correct to me, based on my read of him. The thing is, if we both agree that he likely knew the line, then why the denial on his part, that “no one” makes this line of argument? Clearly many do. I know that, you know that, and we both think Mosher likely knows that. His absolutism on that is clearly false, and it seems to me that Mosher is just backing himself into a rhetorical corner. Which is why I told him to stop being such a tool, and said that he was just being obtuse, and pretending not to know this. Maybe it slipped his mind, but it sure looks to me like someone playing rhetorical tricks to get out of their corner, and then vanishing without having to explain himself.

    If you disagree with that assessment of mine, fine, but get off the high horse. You’re not some Knight in Shining Armour around here. Your job isn’t to protect Mosher from the consequences of his own bad arguments, which definitely do give the impression that he argues in bad faith. I’m not the only one, even on this thread, who thinks Mosher argues in bad faith. So my impression doesn’t come out of thin air.
    Let me reiterate. I said he “likely knew”. You accused him of acting in bad faith. Those are not the same, no matter how many times you claim it.

    Those are compounded issues, but clearly related. If Mosher knew about this line, then his argument that “no one” makes that line, is obviously an argument in bad faith. He might have said, “Some people make that line of argument, but I don’t think it’s necessary to.” That would have been arguing in good faith. What he did say, was a classic bad faith argument. And I called him out on it, which I think is what one does in the face of bad faith arguments.

    If you call that “evidence that he is pretending”, god help the accused if you ever have to be a juror at a trial.
    First, wasn’t putting Mosher on trial. You’ve been doing that to me, but it’s not what I did to him. I merely pointed out what seems obvious to me. There’s clear evidence that Mosher would likely have known of this line, and if so, that his response to me was in bad faith. That’s a prima facia case right there. It’s not good enough for a criminal trial, but for an argument in the comments section of a blog, it sure is. Mosher can of course step in to correct or clarify himself, but until he does, I think my comments are more than reasonable. You certainly haven’t shown them to be false, and have no evidence at all to back up your accusations against me. You have to remember, that libel or slander isn’t the case if the underlying accusation is true, regardless of whether it was insulting or not. And in any actual trial, Mosher would be required to testify. If he declines, there is no case against me. And so far, he’s declined, so you have no case against me.

    No, I don’t say he knows better. Learn to read. I said it was likely he had heard of that quote … and if you had cited, or quoted that quote, you might have a case. But you didn’t, and then you claimed Mosher was acting in bad faith because he didn’t get your vague allusion.

    It wasn’t a vague allusion at all. Let me repeat it for clarity:

    It’s the AGW types who have claimed that it’s impossible to have warming such as we have now, without manmade GHGs being the driver.

    That’s an extremely clear statement. It’s practically elegant. It was clear enough that you, for example, knew exactly what I was talking about, and even where to find the exact AR4 quote to back it up. Tisdale knew exactly what I was saying also. Is Mosher somehow supposed to be so ignorant of this issue that he wouldn’t know what this clear statement meant. He seems very clear in denying that it was true, and that “no one” makes this argument. He didn’t reply by saying “that’s vague, I don’t know what you mean”. No, he replied with an absolute denial of it. He gave every impression of understanding exactly what I was saying, and disagreeing with it, even though he certainly ought to know his denial was false. Maybe he just thought he could get away with it, that I was some nobody he could bowl over, but wasn’t counting on you stepping in with that quote that completely humiliated him. I wouldn’t know exactly what his motives were, only that they give the appearance of bad faith on his part.

    You’ve insisted you’re absolutely positive of what he knows … losing faith?

    Now you’re just making things up. Where on earth did I ever say I’m absolutely positive of what Mosher knows? Quote me. Give us the evidence, please. I would say this is an example of a bad faith argument on your own part. You must know this statement you just made is false. You can’t be that ignorant. I contested your claim that I had absolutely no clue what Mosher knew. I never made the counter claim that I knew absolutely what he knew, only that I had clues to work with. So what’s the explanation here for this clearly false statement on your part? Are you just getting so defensive, that you can’t think straight, and imagine that making things up is going to actually help your case? Or have you so twisted your own mind around itself, that in your delusional state you thought for a moment that I must have made this kind of absurd statement? I know you say you’re not responding to me any further, but on this point alone I think you have to offer some explanation. Again, either provide evidence that I ever said anything like this, or apologize like a man.

    Heck, no, it’s not hard to admit when I’m wrong. Painful, but not too hard. I’ve done it right here on this blog, not many times, but more than I would like. Next time I’m wrong, I’ll let you know so you can check it out.

    I think I’ve clearly demonstrated that you are wrong on several points. Some blatantly so. If you’ve apologized in the past for being wrong, then do so now.
    And in the meantime, I plan to take your excellent advice and let Mosher deal with you … that’s enough for me.

    Not good enough. I can deal with Mosher about Mosher, but you’ve made a number of false, personal allegations against me, that you need to address, or apologize for. This has gone beyond Mosher, and has become a personal issue between us. Unlike Mosher, I don’t run away and hide from this sort of confrontation. And I won’t run away from your bullying attitude either. I mean honestly, just making things up about me will only bring out the debater in me. If you aren’t man enough to face up to your false statements, that will define just what sort of man you actually are.

  96. brokenyogi says:
    January 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Willis,

    Now you’re becoming almost as deliberately obtuse as Mosher was. Maybe even more so, since you are making this such a personal attack on me. I know you’re the BMOC around here, but this bullying really doesn’t suit you.

    Let’s break it down.

    If you want to “break it down”, I fear you’ll have to do it on your own time. Sorry, not interested in the slightest.. You’ve obviously grown bored attacking Mosher, so now you want to attack me. You warn me that “you don’t run”, you caution me that this will just “bring out the debater” in you … oooooh, watch out he’s gonna bring out his Inner Debater, everyone be careful …

    Obviously, you are laboring under the incorrect assumption that I care that you have threatened me with your inner debater and associated other actions. BZZZZT. Next contestant please …

    You say:

    Not good enough. I can deal with Mosher about Mosher, but you’ve made a number of false, personal allegations against me, that you need to address, or apologize for. This has gone beyond Mosher, and has become a personal issue between us. Unlike Mosher, I don’t run away and hide from this sort of confrontation. And I won’t run away from your bullying attitude either. I mean honestly, just making things up about me will only bring out the debater in me. If you aren’t man enough to face up to your false statements, that will define just what sort of man you actually are.

    Is this a “personal issue between us”, Brokenyogi? No. For that to happen, I’d have to care about you. You may have a personal issue with me, that’s up to you. I have no “personal issues” with a random anonymous voice on the internet, couldn’t be bothered, could care less.

    Have I made “false personal allegations” about you? Not from my perspective. From here, it looks like I’ve made true personal allegations … that’s what happens when you attack like you did. People point it out.

    Now, you say you want an apology from me. Am I sorry? Actually, yes, I am.

    I’m sorry you ever showed up in the thread. I’m sorry that you decided to make bogus accusations against me and others. I’m sorry you’re still here bitching and whining at a rate of knots about what a big blue meanie I am and how I’ve been so eeeevil and kroool to you and how you really need an apology from me to make the owwie go away, you poor man.

    Further, I’m sorry you don’t have the courage to sign your hateful screeds, so that you would have to take responsibility for your words. I’m sorry I have anything to do with you at all, in fact I’m sorry I ever heard your pseudonym … yes, Broken, I’m sorry for all of those things.

    In fact, the only thing I’m not sorry about is that I only read a small bit of your most recent and no doubt faaabulous seven-page opus … best decision I’ve made all day.

    And that is the only apology you will see from me, Broken. You came into the thread, made two unprovoked and totally false attacks on Mosher, fatuously claimed to know what people are thinking, went to the point where you made accusations that Mosher was “pretending” because you are the great human lie detector and you know his secret thoughts, you closed by giving me a pile of grief for calling you on your nonsense … and at the end of your charming swing of destruction through the thread, you want an apology from me?

    Dream on, my friend, dream on, it’ll be a while … my best advice is, hold your breath while you wait for my apology. It’ll be easier on everyone.

    w.

  97. Willis,

    What a disingenuous, fatuous, pompous response you’ve constructed. Let’s see, by my word processor’s count, that alone took 646 words to tell me you’re not the least bit interested in what I have to say, you’re not going to respond to me, and that you don’t care about me. Somehow, that’s not very convincing. Guess how I know you care? You took 646 words to say so! You could have said all that, by not saying anything. Or in a single sentence. Which is part and parcel with the rest of the nonsense you’ve been throwing my way, and taking so much time to talk about, that you don’t care about. You’ve written a total of 2,145 words directly to me on this issue, that you don’t care about. Wow, the self-deception you live with must be incredibly hard to maintain, if just doing it with me on this minor issue takes 2,145 words.

    You want my name? Here it is: Conrad Goehausen. I’ve used the Broken Yogi moniker on the internet for at least ten years, and any decent google search will get you to my real name in no time. I have nothing to hide, and I’m not hiding behind any anonymity. Not that it matters, of course, since my identity has nothing to do with this argument.

    As for your puerile apology, yes, I’m sorry you are so incapable of fessing up to the false statements you’ve made, and that I’ve detailed previously. Some of them are so blatant, that there’s simply no defense, such as the accusation that I claimed absolute certainty as to what Mosher knows. I asked you to provide proof that I ever said that, and you’ve taken the coward’s route of bluster and insult. So typical of bullies when confronted with a demand for the facts. The record of everything I’ve said on this thread is right here, no one has tampered with it, and there’s no evidence of my ever saying that.

    And yet you ignore your own clear and obvious mistakes, and refuse to own up to them, while insisting that I have been proven to be wrong about Mosher, when you don’t offer any evidence in support of that. You have simply not shown in any way shape or form that my charges against Mosher were false. Where’s the evidence? Even Mosher doesn’t say my accusations were false. You’ve taken up that cause, for reasons no one else can fathom, and made a fool of yourself in the process by making patently false accusations against me, even lying about what I’ve actually said here. You continue to claim that I made unprovoked and false claims about Mosher, without showing that either of them were either false, or unprovoked. All we have is Willis’ self-righteousness to go by. Which counts for exactly nothing.

    I’m sure hoping your scientific arguments aren’t so full of holes. Up till now, I’ve tended to trust you to be honest and scrupulous in your arguments on this blog. Now I see that was a false assumption on my part. You aren’t deserving of any latitude or credit for honesty. It’s obvious now, that backed up against a wall, you will just make things up to try to win an argument, and then go into denial about it. How ironic.

  98. brokenyogi says:
    January 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Willis,

    What a disingenuous, fatuous, pompous response you’ve constructed. Let’s see, by my word processor’s count, that alone took 646 words to tell me you’re not the least bit interested in what I have to say, you’re not going to respond to me, and that you don’t care about me.

    Hey, it would have been impolite to just walk away. Plus you were so angry, I was concerned that you’d have a coronary meltdown if I didn’t at least answer your previous hissy-fit, and the site doesn’t have insurance to cover that kind of thing. So it was just a matter of prudent medical precaution.

    So I thought if I explained to you why you are not any fun to discuss things with, you might learn something … foolish me.

    This only took 99 words, didn’t even break 100 … happy now?

    Buh-bye, write if you find work,

    w.

  99. Dude, I’ve been laughing my ass off at this whole thing. But if you need that badly to think you’re in the superior position, go right ahead. My advice: learn to laugh at yourself.

  100. Update: I wrote to Steve Mosher about our exchange, and asked if it he was unaware of the AR4 issues in question, that Willis said I had absolutely no clue as to whether he was aware of these matters. Steve’s response (from his blog)

    1. Yes I am aware of the line of argument
    2. This is the exact argument I was referring to.
    3. There is a reason why I repeated your word ‘impossible’ and put it in bold.
    There is an important logical difference between arguing
    A) we did these simulations and it is IMPOSSIBLE to have the warming we have now absent GHGS
    B) we simulated with and without all currently known forcings and found that the warming could not explained by natural forcing only.
    The first makes a claim that no scientist ( no good scientist would make ) since science deals with the “likely” and the “unlikely”
    The whole point is your use of the word impossible. impossible suggests certainty and there is no certainty in science. Willis as usual is wrong in his assesment of what my point would be, and I’m not surprised he would miss the importance of my emphasis on the word IMPOSSIBLE. The actual argument doesn’t make this type of claim. I hope you see the point. No one says that its IMPOSSIBLE. The way to disprove this is not to find something where you think they imply its impossible, but to actually find something where they claim that it is, in fact, impossible and actually use the word. IMPOSSIBLE.

    ******

    So, to summarize, I was completely correct to assume that Steve Mosher knew about this line of argument, and that he was responding to it, rather than to something else. Willis was completely wrong to say I had no idea what was in SM’s mind. Apparently, my mind-reading skills are miraculously accurate.

    I wrote a reply to Moster as follows:

    Thanks, Steve. I appreciate your clarification. Yes, I understand your emphasis on “impossible”. In the context of the debate, however, that’s not how it came off, or even that your qualification is accurate in relation to the work of the modelers. It is quite clear that the modelers really are saying that, within the context of their own modeling scenarios and the assumptions they have built into them, it’s impossible for them to construct a working model that 1) conforms to observational data, and 2) does not include sizeable assumptions about GHG warming and its feedbacks. From that, they conclude that it’s simply impossible to have warming as we have now, without GHG being the driver of much of it. I don’t think that’s a mischaracterization of their arguments. It’s why they call anyone who disagree with their conclusions “deniers”, rather than merely having an honest disagreement.
    And that’s why I accused you of being obtuse in your response.
    Sorry for any ill feelings I’ve aroused. Seems like Willis got a lot more bent out of shape about it than you did.
    No hard feelings.
    Conrad

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

    So, to summarize, my claims about Mosher were quite correct, not false and unjustified.

    As to the issue of arguing in “bad faith”, I’d say that focusing on the semantics of my use of the word “impossible” distracts from the actual constraints put on modelers by their assumptions about the essential requirement for GHG warming to produce meaningful results, and the reliance on those models for the CAGW advocates to claim that GHG warming is the only possible scientific explanation for our recent warming trend. Since SM was very much familiar with these arguments, and the requirements of the models, I’d say it’s a disingenious way of arguing, to assume that “impossible” refers to some existentialist eternality, rather than the practical matter of making the equations and the computer models add up.

  101. Yes.
    It would seem that willis demands that others quote him exactly when they disagree.
    In the same spirit I would suggest that folks find a modeller and ask them the following question.
    “is it impossible that anything else has caused the warming”
    I don’t think you will find a smart modller who argues this. Why? because modellers know that all models are wrong but some are useful. or ask them this “is it possible that your model is wrong and that some un known or misunderstood factor caused the warming?”

    So rather than telling us what you think modelers mean quote them exactly. Give them the same treatment you demand from others. Now, you wont quote them exactly. You will forget that they say all models are wrong and argue that they really mean that it is impossible that anything else could be the cause. But since they believe that all models are wrong, then they cannot also believe that it is impossible that their conclusions might be wrong. At play here is the principle of charity.
    google it.

  102. brokenyogi, you claimed to know what was in Mosher’s mind. But in his answer to you, he pointed out that he was talking about something that neither you nor I picked up on, which revolved around his use of the word “IMPORTANT” and your use of the word “impossible”.

    The whole point is your use of the word impossible. impossible suggests certainty and there is no certainty in science. Willis as usual is wrong in his assesment of what my point would be, and I’m not surprised he would miss the importance of my emphasis on the word IMPOSSIBLE. The actual argument doesn’t make this type of claim. I hope you see the point. No one says that its IMPOSSIBLE. The way to disprove this is not to find something where you think they imply its impossible, but to actually find something where they claim that it is, in fact, impossible and actually use the word. IMPOSSIBLE.

    Now, Steven said in there that I didn’t get his point, which was true.

    And he said he hopes that after his new explanation you see his point, which means you didn’t understand what his point was either.

    Since neither you nor I understood that that was Steven’s point, which is why he had to explain it to both of us, your proud crowing that “Willis was completely wrong to say I had no idea what was in SM’s mind. Apparently, my mind-reading skills are miraculously accurate” rings quite hollow.

    You didn’t have any more of a clue what his point was than I did, neither of us could discern what he was trying to say, much less his thoughts, and even now he only “hopes you see the point”, he is not sure you understand his thoughts even after he has explained them to us again … yeah, you’re a hell of a mind-reader, brokenyogi …

    w.

  103. Steven Mosher says:
    February 2, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Yes.
    It would seem that willis demands that others quote him exactly when they disagree.
    In the same spirit I would suggest that folks find a modeller and ask them the following question.
    “is it impossible that anything else has caused the warming”
    I don’t think you will find a smart modller who argues this.

    Dang, an example of the “No True Scotsman” logical fallacy captured in the wild! That’s a rare thing.

    In any case, I cited just such a claim above, so your fatuous idea that I demand more of others than I do of myself is falsified, not to mention unpleasant and untrue. I quoted the IPCC’s folks as saying:

    Natural forcing alone cannot explain the global warming over the last 50 years.

    Note that “Natural forcing alone cannot explain …” means it is impossible that natural forcing caused the warming, that it cannot be explained by anything natural. This means that all natural options are ruled out … and since nothing is left but man, their statement clearly says that it is impossible that anything but man has caused the warming.

    And that, dear Steven, is the very claim that you say no smart modeler would argue, and the very claim that you basely and falsely accuse me of not quoting …

    Again I have to question the reason for your constant attacks on my character and my honesty. I don’t do that to you, in fact I defend you when I can, and I have stated many times that you are a smart guy and that people ignore you at some peril … so why are you wandering miles out of your way to vainly try to attack my ethics and integrity?

    Because for goodness sake, if you’re going to attack me, do your homework first. Don’t accuse me of not quoting things I’ve already quoted, that just makes you look foolish … and you are many things, but that’s not one of them.

    w.

  104. Willis,

    I didn’t claim that I knew everything in Mosher’s mind. I merely claimed that it was very, very likely that he knew what I was referring to in my one-sentence remark, and that he knew about the AR4 modeler arguments I was basing my comment on, and that his comment about it not being true, because no modeler literally says it’s IMPOSSIBLE for the warming to be caused by something other than GHG, was a deliberately obtuse argument.

    As you point out now that Mosher has elaborated upon it, it’s an example of the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Which means, an example of arguing in bad faith. I could have pointed that out, if Mosher had stuck around, and if you hadn’t jumped in and side-tracked the entire discussion into some fantasy of your being the thought policeman of these comments sections.

    As for what Mosher has said now in explaining himself, I thought it was fricking obvious all along that this is what Mosher was intending to put across about my comment, and what kind of counter-argument he was making in his shorthand manner. How did I know this? Was it more mind-reading on my part? Hardly. It’s the simple fact that Mosher wrote “IMPOSSIBLE” in full, screaming, capslock. I thought he was making himself very clear, if speaking in shorthand, just as I had in my own shorthand. But again, we never got to discuss that, because you focused on the juvenile argument that I couldn’t possibly assume that Mosher even knew what I was talking about, or was familiar with the modeler claims in the AR4, for example, and launched a series of pointless, stupid personal attacks on me that had nothing to do with this argument itself, but were part of your own personal problems with me, for reasons that have never been made clear.

    And to make it clear, the only reason I felt the need to go to his blog, and ask him why he responded to me with this emphasis on the word “IMPOSSILBE” was to get his clear response in his own words, to show what was actually in his mind when he wrote that, so there would be no ambiguity. It was not, as you now claim, because I wasn’t aware of what he meant by it. His answer was precisely what I thought he meant by it.

    So let’s repeat: Mosher knew everything I thought he knew, and he was arguing exactly as I presumed him to be arguing. You, on the other hand, were completely wrong about what I knew, and what Mosher didn’t know, and are even now claiming that somehow this “IMPOSSIBLE” argument Mosher is something completely new and unforseeable, even though he wrote it in a capslocks scream. If Mosher is being obtuse about the underlying argument, you are being even more obtuse about the actual discussion issues. Neither Mosher nor I have had any trouble understanding one another. It’s you, on the other hand, who have introduced a completely pointless and distracting argument about our argument, that was wrong to boot, and hence even more pointless than I would have thought possible.

    On the other hand, when you stick to just addressing the climate issues themselves, you make good points, and I welcome your contribution to the discussion. The lesson ought to be clear: stay the fug out of the way when it comes to other people’s personal disagreements, and just stick to commenting on the science. On the first, you are clueless. On the second, you are well-informed. As for Mosher criticizing you personally, it looks like I’m not the only one who thinks poorly of your personal skills here in dealing with others. But annoying as those are, it’s not as important as the science itself. So carry on.

  105. Steve,

    Thanks for rejoining the discussion here, after that very wierd interruption. Back to the science:

    So rather than telling us what you think modelers mean quote them exactly.

    I think the quote Willis produced from the AR4 is more than adequate to justify my remark:

    Natural forcing alone cannot explain the global warming over the last 50 years.

    Notice that this doesn’t say “It is difficult to explain the warming of the last 50 years by natural forcings,” or that “it’s likely the warming was caused by GHG forcings”. Instead, it used the word “cannot”. That is an uneqivocal statement. This is the grammatical equivalent of saying that it’s impossible. Though I grant you that scientists don’t like to use that word, the phrasing they choose has no ambiguity to it at all. I’m sure if you sat them down, they’d admit that it’s not literally impossible in the existential sense that they are wrong. But in the practical, working man’s scientific sense, yes, they are saying that. It’s why the climate debate has become so extreme. Many of these guys really are saying that the basic scientific issue is settled, and while there are some issues to work out, there’s simply no reasonable doubt in their minds that the warming of these past 50 years has been almost entirely due to GHG forcings.

    Is that unreasonable to suggest? The AR4 is hardly the product of some lone fanatic out there in the hinterlands. It’s the “scientific consensus” of the world’s largest international climate science body. I’m sure there are some even on the AGW side of the aisle who might be a little nervous about the lack of equivocation in that statement. But it’s there, in black and white, nevertheless, representing the scientific consensus. I’m glad you criticize it, but you can’t deny it’s existence as the voice of the international climate community. Sadly, it is, until something changes within that community. We can criticize the underlying justifications for statements like that, but we can’t pretend they aren’t out there dominating the scientific view on this matter, and of course strongly influencing all media and discussion of the subject.

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