Claim: CO2 ended the last ice age

From Oregon State University

Study explains early warming of West Antarctica at end of last ice age

CORVALLIS, Ore. – West Antarctica began emerging from the last ice age about 22,000 years ago – well before other regions of Antarctica and the rest of the world, according to a team of scientists who analyzed a two-mile-long ice core, one of the deepest ever drilled in Antarctica.

Scientists say that changes in the amount of solar energy triggered the warming of West Antarctica and the subsequent release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Southern Ocean amplified the effect and resulted in warming on a global scale, eventually ending the ice age.

Results of the study were published this week in the journal Nature. The authors are all members of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide project, which was funded by the National Science Foundation.

The study is significant because it adds to the growing body of scientific understanding about how the Earth emerges from an ice age. Edward Brook, an Oregon State University paleoclimatologist and co-author on the Nature study, said the key to this new discovery about West Antarctica resulted from analysis of the 3,405-meter ice core.

“This ice core is special because it came from a place in West Antarctica where the snowfall is very high and left an average of 20 inches of ice or more per year to study,” said Brook, a professor in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. “Not only did it allow us to provide more accurate dating because we can count the layers, it gave us a ton more data – and those data clearly show an earlier warming of the region than was previously thought.”

Previous studies have pointed to changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun as the initial trigger in deglaciation during the last ice age. An increase in the intensity of summer sunlight in the northern hemisphere melted ice sheets in Canada and Europe starting at about 20,000 years ago and is believed to have triggered warming elsewhere on the globe.

It previously was thought that Antarctica started its major warming a few thousand years later, at about 18,000 years before present. However, the new study shows that at least part of Antarctica started to warm 2,000 to 4,000 years before this. The authors hypothesize that changes in the total amount of sunlight in Antarctica and melt-back of sea ice caused early warming at this coastal site – warming that is not recorded by ice cores in the interior of the continent.

“The site of the core is near the coast and it conceivably feels the coastal influence much more so than the inland sites where most of the high-elevation East Antarctic cores have been drilled,” Brook said. “As the sunlight increased, it reduced the amount of sea ice in the Southern Ocean and warmed West Antarctica. The subsequent rise of CO2 then escalated the process on a global scale.”

“What is new here is our observation that West Antarctica did not wait for a cue from the Northern Hemisphere before it began warming,” Brook said, “What hasn’t changed is that the initial warming and melting of the ice sheets triggered the release of CO2 from the oceans, which accelerated the demise of the ice age.”

Brook said the recent increase in CO2 via human causes is also warming the planet, “but much more rapidly.”

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91 thoughts on “Claim: CO2 ended the last ice age

  1. and the subsequent release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Southern Ocean amplified the effect

    Do they say what CO2 levels were at the start?…..and what they increased to?

  2. Scientists say that changes in the amount of solar energy triggered the warming of West Antarctica and the subsequent release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Southern Ocean amplified the effect and resulted in warming on a global scale, eventually ending the ice age.

    So it was increased insolation, not CO2 that was the trigger. CO2 retained some of the heat in the atmosphere as one would expect, but it was old man Sol that was the source of the heat being retained. The CO2 came from the oceans that Sol warmed if this analysis is to be believed. I don’t yet see the tie-in to West Antarctica, but a jutland is very prone to the local oceanic climate, so if in fact the sun warmed the oceans it may have created a melt of the WA jutland.

    One presumes the CO2 level over time is charted somewhere at the OSU site but until it shows up I’ll just have to take their word for it, or not.

    Not reaching for my checkbook to fund more of this quite yet.

  3. Here’s the scary conclusion, never mind that it is obvious BS, just gimme some more grants to study this phenomenon further.

    Double the money for the next 5 years might just be enough to better understand this.

  4. “Brook said the recent increase in CO2 via human causes is also warming the planet, “but much more rapidly.”’

    So the temperature is now increasing faster than at the end of last Ice Age, when it increased 7 or 8 degrees globally???

  5. So to confirm, global warming due to natural “CO2″ release ended the last ice age 22,000 years ago with no human causation, but recent increase in CO2 is mostly “human caused” and warming the planet “much more rapidly”?

    And everytime we don’t believe this a fairy dies?

  6. So the sun caused the CO2 levels to rise because the oceans warmed up…but it was the CO2 that brought us out of the ice age? Huh? Wouldn’t that mean it was the sun that brought us out of the ice age and the CO2 was just along for the ride, since the oceans were already warming before CO2 started to rise? Somebody seems to have their cause and effect relationships confused.

  7. What is truly consistent about this study is the reliance upon the CO2 mantra to obtain funding.

    sky

  8. Scientists say that changes in the amount of solar energy triggered the warming of West Antarctica and the subsequent release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Southern Ocean amplified the effect and resulted in warming on a global scale, eventually ending the ice age.

    Sounds to me like a case of CO2 lagging Temperature

  9. All this really amounts to is a claim that the ~something~ that amplifies solar influence is CO2. Well, fine, but have you guys actually ~looked~ for any other amplification mechanisms? Even taking as a given that Svensmark is wrong about cosmic rays, the reaction to his ideas implies that the answer to my question is an emphatic ‘heck no!’

  10. Sounds exactly like it, Bryan A. (2:38PM)

    *****************************
    Book of Climastrology (Rev. Ed.)

    “… the recent increase in CO2 via human causes is also warming the planet, ‘but much more rapidly.’” Thus, saith the Brook.

  11. To fully explain and appreciate the results obtained from this study requires the insertion of a few words added to the heading and the initial paragraph. So allow me to copy the aforementioned heading and paragraph, and then my clarified version immediately following:

    ‘Study explains early warming of West Antarctica at end of last ice age

    CORVALLIS, Ore. – West Antarctica began emerging from the last ice age about 22,000 years ago – well before other regions of Antarctica and the rest of the world, according to a team of scientists who analyzed a two-mile-long ice core, one of the deepest ever drilled in Antarctica.’

    Now for my clarified version:

    Government funded study explains (probably to its funding source’s expectation) early warming of West Antarctica at end of last ice age

    CORVALLIS, Ore. (and probably Washington, DC) – West Antarctica began emerging from the last ice age about 22,000 years ago – well before other regions of Antarctica and the rest of the world, according to a government funded team of government funded scientists who analyzed a government funded two-mile-long ice core, one of the deepest (and probably most expensive) ever drilled through a government funded research station in Antarctica.

    See how easy it is to understand this research? Ok, let’s not dignify this by calling it research. But you get the idea.

  12. Brook said the recent increase in CO2 via human causes is also warming the planet, “but much more rapidly.”

    That’s why global warming has stalled for the last 16 or more years.

    Skeptical Science says that the Ordovician glaciation was triggered when co2 fell from 5,600 ppm to below 3,000ppm. They blame low solar output. I say let’s keep the Sun out of this debate eh.

  13. Wikipedia says the main objective of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide project is to produce an accurate CO2 record.

    Yet, curiously there is no mention of any CO2 related data in the press release.

  14. How can there be a west Antarctica? Since it covers the South Pole, what reference line would be unambiguous. :)

  15. Aren’t we still in an ice age? Thought an ice age was just any period that had ice at the poles, and we’re in the interglacial time period. Unless I have the wrong definition that’s pretty sad to get wrong in a nature journal

  16. (quoting article) “What hasn’t changed is that the initial warming and melting of the ice sheets triggered the release of CO2 from the oceans, which accelerated the demise of the ice age.”

    Well tra de dah, …. the initial warming and melting of the coastal ice triggers a horror’endous release of warm H2O vapor into the near surface atmosphere, where it will absorb 2X the solar energy than any CO2 molecules will, and then that Warm Front’ed air mass will move inland and the glacial ice will begin to melt like an icecube on hot blacktop.

    That same/similar process occurs every Springtime all across the Northern tier of North America.
    Been there, lived there, seen it happen every Spring. And as far as I know it is still repeating that yearly cycle.

    And ps, that initial warming and melting would not have triggered the release of any more CO2 from the ocean than does the Antarctica springtime warming does now days. Henry’s Law determines the ingassing/outgassing of CO2, …. the melting of glacial ice doesn”t.

  17. Nitrogen and Oxygen are non-radiative gases – warm them up and they stay warm and do not radiate infrared. Add some CO2 and the CO2 warmed by collision – radiates infrared cooling the Nitrogen Oxygen mixture. For some reason this tropospheric cooling effect is disregarded (although it is discussed as cooling the stratosphere). CO2 radiating atmospheric heat does not appear in any of the AGW Mickey Mouse diagrams which only consider the absorption of surface radiation. It is probable that the CO2 radiative cooling effect may be equal or greater than heating by the absorption of infrared from the surface.

    Has anyone actually done any experiments in this area?

  18. Good point Tex

    The sun is in a weak phase now and for how long no one knows. S Hem Uses ice around Antarctic has been increasing more and more every year. So what they said is sea ice decreased and oceans warmed. Exact opposite then what is happening today.

    Hypothesis of their study is keep the Government funds and grant $$ flowing

  19. There is no significant CO2-GW. The real explanation is the reduction of cloud albedo by biofeedback. More later…..:o)

  20. Scientists say that changes in the amount of solar energy triggered the warming of West Antarctica and the subsequent release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Southern Ocean
    =====================
    So the sun was the cause, and CO2 the effect.

    And why is the warming since the LIA not the cause of the release of CO2 today? How is it that warming in the past released CO2, but now warming doesn’t release CO2. Instead if must be humans.

    Same excuse doctors use when they can’t find the cause of a disease – it must be something the patient is doing that is causing the problem.

  21. Ian W says:
    August 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm
    Add some CO2 and the CO2 warmed by collision – radiates infrared cooling the Nitrogen Oxygen mixture.
    ============
    this is why the atmosphere cools with altitude. otherwise it would be isothermal.

  22. The last glaciation period ended because the earth’s eccentricity was at its peak, as was its obliquity, and the precession of the earth made it receive the maximum solar input to the northern hemisphere in the summer. The periods of glaciation and their end have little to do with what happens in the southern hemisphere, but rather, everything to do with what happens north of the equator. I can not believe these people call themselves scientists.

  23. ferd berple says:
    August 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm
    this is why the atmosphere cools with altitude. otherwise it would be isothermal
    ================
    this process would continue except that vertical circulation kicks in to limit the drop in temperature to the lapse rate – which is governed by gravity. objects can only fall so fast, so the conversion of PE to KE and thus temp/altitude is bound to gravity, moderated by the phase change of water.

  24. This headline says differently:

    “Earth Orbit Changes Key to Antarctic Warming That Ended Last Ice Age”

    “the warming in West Antarctica 20,000 years ago is not explained by a change in the sun’s intensity. Instead, how the sun’s energy was distributed over the region was a much bigger factor. It not only warmed the ice sheet but also warmed the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica, particularly during summer months when more sea ice melting could take place.”

    Twas the Sun and then the CO2

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130814132228.htm

  25. No, it was not the Sun. The Earth’s axil wriggle in its orbit around the Sun caused the initial warming. And when it wriggles back the Earth’s tilt will bring about cooling. The Sun didn’t do anything but sit there and beam.

  26. So earlier warming of west Antarctica triggered loss of sea ice there and this became general regional warming that degassed CO2 from the southern ocean and terminated the most recent ice age?` Still seems cold down there…..lots of ice all over the place (over 3000m of it where they drilled). Do we have another end of the ice age each time the major oceans’ decadal oscillations turn over, diminishing west Antarctic sea ice?

  27. This reads like a dang Monty Python script..

    “Bring out the Holy Hang Grenade” Thous shall count to three, not four, and certainly not five”

  28. Jim S

    As a scientist with substantial knowledge of this topic I would be surprised if the mechanisms causing glacial terminations are as simple as you seem to imply. The global climate system is fairly (an understatement) complex, hence the reason why it has been so difficult to model. You should refrain from making such inane evidence-free statements as you are revealing the depth of your ignorance.

  29. “No, it was not the Sun. The Earth’s axil wriggle in its orbit around the Sun caused the initial warming. And when it wriggles back the Earth’s tilt will bring about cooling. The Sun didn’t do anything but sit there and beam.”

    It was changes in the the Sun’s insolation. Sun sun sun.

  30. “Scientists say that changes in the amount of solar energy triggered the warming of West Antarctica and the subsequent release of carbon dioxide”

    My “take aways”: 1) It’s the sun and 2) CO2 *follows* temperature.

  31. The Milankovitch trigger for the end of the last glacial period is increased insolation at mid-latitudes in the NORTHERN hemisphere

  32. Let’s see … the sun causes some melting over the NH glaciers. The glaciers retreat. The albedo is reduced causing more warming. Repeat. The glaciers eventually disappear. No CO2 required.

  33. @Rob R
    Rob R wrote: “As a scientist with substantial knowledge of this topic I would be surprised if the mechanisms causing glacial terminations are as simple as you seem to imply. The global climate system is fairly (an understatement) complex, hence the reason why it has been so difficult to model. You should refrain from making such inane evidence-free statements as you are revealing the depth of your ignorance.”

    Jim S writes: My explanation is a far better one than suggesting that CO2 had any effect whatsoever in ending the last glaciation period or any of the other glaciation periods over the last 2.6 million years. Given the data record we have of CO2 concentrations, and the claim by AGW extremists that atmospheric CO2 has not risen above 280 ppm for the last 400,000, any claim that this amount of CO2 is significant enough to end a period of glaciation is ludicrous at best. Their own cockeyed theories stand against them.
    If you want evidence as to what the conditions were 12,000 year ago regarding the Milankovitch cycles, and since you claim to be a scientist, then you should know that what I described was exactly where those cycles were. As to what the actual trigger(s) are that start or stop periods of glaciation, is still a mystery, granted. However, if one wants to even imagine that CO2 has much to do with abrupt climate temperature changes, in my opinion, they should be stripped of holding the honour of being called a “scientist.”

  34. Eliza says:
    August 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    We may be observing the first effects of enlargement of antarctica on reach of cold air masses into tropics!

    http://wxmaps.org/pix/sa.00hr.html

    Probably nonsense if you check back to previous years LOL
    Reply; This cold air invasion is the direct result of the lunar declinational tidal effects in the atmosphere, moon will be at maximum culmination South extent on the 16th. This atmospheric surge in cold air mass will peak one or two days later, happens every SH winter.

  35. Hello,

    Any One ice core is as useless as any One NOAA near-surface mercury thermometer.

  36. Apparently these folks can’t read the literature or they would realize that every study of the timing of warming vs CO2 in Antarctica shows that CO2 FOLLOWS warming, not the other way around. (for a good summary of these studies, see Jo Nova’s website). So how can CO2 be responsible for the warming if the warming came first? Even with modern warming, CO2 lags warming.

  37. From 22,900 years ago to 17,500 years ago …

    … CO2 increased from 189 ppm to 188 ppm.

    Climate science math.

  38. No science here . . . just a bunch of cats dancing around on a hot tin roof. Problem is, all their acrobatics only dig them in deeper.

    A parallel piece of ignorance on the CBS Evening Propaganda tonight: Bob Schieffer says that California redwoods are growing faster than ever because of climate change, which is making the growing season longer.
    Problem #1: “Growing season” doesn’t have much relevance in the climate of the Redwood Empire. It’s cool and damp the year round, frost is rare. In many areas you can go a whole year staying between 40 F and 55 F and have that same spread in any month of the year.
    Problem #2: In general, growing seasons, where they are relevant, are getting shorter (corn belt planting a month late, in May, and threats of first frost later this month – yes, that’s August we’re talking about.) The same in Europe and Australia. Definitely not longer.
    Problem #3: More rapid growth of redwoods would be expected, as for any other plant life, as the result of increased CO2 in the atmosphere and the resultant effects of fertilization and moisture retention.

    Pardon me if I see a bit of a difficulty in Schieffer’s pontification.

  39. Nice insight, Chad Wozniak. Basically, Schieffer lied, er, pardon me. READ a lie.

    “CBS Evening Propaganda” — LOL.

    Any book news? Composing/playing news? Has #23 come and gone? Hope it was happy.

  40. Ivan says: @ August 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    “Brook said the recent increase in CO2 via human causes is also warming the planet, “but much more rapidly.”’

    So the temperature is now increasing faster than at the end of last Ice Age, when it increased 7 or 8 degrees globally???
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yeah, “Richard Alley, one of the world’s leading climate researchers and his colleagues found that the last ice age came to an abrupt end over a period of only three years and found local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. “

    Also SEE: “Abrupt Climate Change – Inevitable Surprises”, Committee on Abrupt Climate Change, National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, 2002, Dr. Alley Chair

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309074347

    Some how I do not think we are seeing human caused warming of the planet, as high as 16°C.

    Even Hansen, Mann and Jones together can’t manage that.

  41. Did the author(s?) give any consideration to the possibility of geothermal activity in W. Antarctica?
    Probably not; after all, what else could it be but CO2?

  42. There are several papers on black carbon concentrations from ice cores. They show that during periods of warming BC increases, and during periods of cooling BC declines, and this IMO is the extra, over Milankovich Cycles that drives glacial to inter-glacial transitions. Interestingly this effect shows up in the LIA.

    The six ice core samples from 750 B.P. to 100 B.P., the Little Ice Age,
    had a mean black carbon concentration of 0.6 ug/kg, – a level that very likely reflects a
    reduction in local biomass burning as well as reduction in forest fire activity that would
    supply black carbon for long distance transport.

    http://oceanography.dal.ca/publications/thesis/files/Wu.pdf

  43. So, if the increased insolation caused a rise in the CO2 levels which, in turn, amplified the warming and caused the end of the Ice Age, what triggered the beginning of the Ice Age, because obviously the increased CO2 in the atmosphere would have prevented the decreased insolation from triggering a cooling.

  44. So Antarctic warming was 2,000 to 4,000 years ahead of Artic melting and making CO2 levels rise.
    This would mean that in spite of the rising of CO2 levels it took 2,000 to 4.000 years for the Arctic to start melting. Somehow that doesn’t sound very alarming to me.

  45. Global climate shifts from warming to cooling at the highest CO2 concentrations and from cooling to warming at the lowest CO2 concentrations, if there’s a correlation between CO2 and T.

  46. So CO2 follows temperature
    So more evidence ties in with the Dome Law ice-cores.
    So temperature changes take millennia to spread over the globe, historically.

    There’s lots of curiosity here.
    Not much of it alarming.
    And not much of it proven to be related to the Sun.

  47. In reality, hydrothermal/volcanic activity was probably the real cause of these early temperature rises – if indeed they occurred.

    The prevailing wind in West Antarctica is from the north west from the area around Deception Island, an area of irregular strong volcanic activity.

  48. ” JimS says:
    August 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    The last glaciation period ended because the earth’s eccentricity was at its peak, as was its obliquity, and the precession of the earth made it receive the maximum solar input to the northern hemisphere in the summer.”

    Thank you. This cyclic pattern of ice ages and the Earth’s wobbling tilt have been known for some time. Now these anti-science alarmists MUST link CO2 to every historically known and verified event, or else be damned by them as their CAGW hypothesis fails to explain so many historical events.

  49. I think they put their CO2 increase number , which was probably correct, into a GCM and got a big temperature increase.

    From that they guessed the rest i.e. the melting of all that ice.

    Still wrong though, as the GCM they used is like all the rest i.e. not fit for purpose.

    Nice try though.

  50. jchang @ 14 Aug 2.21 pm,

    Thanks for the link to the BBC doco. Seems the scientists were very much interested in the sun in those days. Since then they have been trying to forget that the sun actually exists. Doesn’t fit the CO2 meme obviously.

  51. “ferd berple says:
    August 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm
    ferd berple says:
    August 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm
    this is why the atmosphere cools with altitude. otherwise it would be isothermal
    ================
    this process would continue except that vertical circulation kicks in to limit the drop in temperature to the lapse rate – which is governed by gravity. objects can only fall so fast, so the conversion of PE to KE and thus temp/altitude is bound to gravity, moderated by the phase change of water.”

    Correct, as I have tried to explain exhaustively on previous occasions both here and elsewhere.

    The decline in pressure with height creates the lapse rate and convection maintains the lapse rate. If one takes the sum of all convection from surface to space it will always be just sufficient to maintain the ‘ideal’ lapse rate set by mass, gravity and insolation.

    The most basic thermostat is the change of KE to PE and back again as the amount of convection changes.

    The surface temperature will only change if the proportion of ToA insolation reaching the surface changes which is where cloudiness and albedo come in. I have shown how solar variations could change cloudiness and albedo by shifting the entire global air circulation latitudinally.

    CO2 is only along for the ride and any net effect from that CO2 (whether warming or cooling) is simply negated by a miniscule circulation change that is lost in the noise of similar shifts caused by sun and oceans.

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/new-climate-model/

  52. The problem is that the whole discussion is pointless when you interpret the proxies incorrectly. Every now and then it is remarked that isotopes in precipitation have more correlation with precipitation rate than with temperature. Michel Helsen’s PhD thesis for instance and also:

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI4027.1

    “The spatial isotope–temperature relation varies strongly, which indicates that this widely used relation is not applicable to all sites and temporal scales.”

    I have pointed out before that isotopes measure dewpoint, not temperature:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/22026080/non-calor-sed-umor.pdf

  53. After so many reports of runaway global warming manifesting exclusively in West Antarctica, although often concentrated in the Antarctic Peninsula, I’m surprised there was still ice at least two miles thick to drill. Are they sure they didn’t start going sideways?

    Article writer: “…two-mile-long ice core…” “…of the 3,405-meter ice core.”
    Professor Brook: “…20 inches of ice or more per year…” “…gave us a ton more data…”

    Gee, I hope no one was expecting the US to go metric anytime soon, if ever, if even an esteemed Oregon State University paleoclimatologist shuns using metric in public statements.

    What would have been so wrong with the OSU PR department sticking with metric in their press release? Don’t they realize “nearly three and a half kilometers long” sound much more impressive than simply “two miles”?

    Don’t they realize the key to adoption is utilization? Besides, metric can sound good. At least half the US population would agree “It’s ten centimeters” sounds much better than “It’s four inches.”

  54. Edim says: August 14, 2013 at 11:21 pm – “Global climate shifts from warming to cooling at the highest CO2 concentrations and from cooling to warming at the lowest CO2 concentrations, if there’s a correlation between CO2 and T.”

    SamC says “Yes”, there is a correlation. It is called Henry’s Law.

  55. SamC, I agree in general that there must be a correlation, but evidence is somewhat inconclusive. The most reliable evidence is the MLO data (I don’t find gas concentrations from ice cores valid) and it shows a correlation between change in CO2 and T. That means constant (annualy averaged) temperatures cause change in CO2, in other words the temperature doesn’t need to change at all for CO2 to change. IMO, the most plausible explanation is that the seasonal temperature cycle is causing change in CO2, by acting as a ‘reciprocating CO2 pump’, which is temperature dependent (dCO2 = f(T)).

    My original point is that if one accepts the correlation between CO2 and T (at any timescale), one also must accept that climate shifts from warming to cooling at the highest ‘CO2 forcing and vice versa, at the timescale.

  56. So, once again, CO2 chases the initial warming, and the scientist still claim it was CO2 all along.

    What the hell is wrong with these people?

  57. Milankovitch effects cancel between hemispheres and over the course of a year. There is no net effect on a global scale and a yearly time frame. In order to work at all they must be amplified by asymmetry like the concentration of continents in the Northern Hemisphere.

    The highest correlation between Milankovitch insolation and glacial/interglacial transition is for sixty degree latitude Northern Hemisphere insolation. Here they abandon this in favor of lower correlation Southern Hemisphere insolation in order to fabricate a role for CO2.

  58. and the precession of the earth made it receive the maximum solar input to the northern hemisphere in the summer.”

    So why did the SH warm faster than the north ? Outgassing from larger, warmer land mass and the North Pac and N.Atlantic with higher radiation would surely have warmed the north pole quicker particular if polar amplication by CO² is correct.

  59. MattN says:

    August 15, 2013 at 6:32 am

    So, once again, CO2 chases the initial warming, and the scientist still claim it was CO2 all along.

    What the hell is wrong with these people?

    MONEY !!!!

  60. “Scientists say that changes in the amount of solar energy triggered the warming of West Antarctica and the subsequent release of plankton farts from the Southern Ocean amplified the effect and resulted in warming on a global scale, eventually ending the ice age.”

    This makes just as much sense and is just as likely just as replicable. Send me my grant money!

  61. So CO2 not only brings on the inter-glacial periods, with its blowtorch effect, but every time the CO2 levels reach a maximum we get glaciers…and this passes for an explanation of cause and effect.

  62. @Stephen Richards

    The first paragraph of the article says it all:
    “West Antarctica began emerging from the last ice age about 22,000 years ago – well before other regions of Antarctica and the rest of the world, according to a team of scientists who analyzed a two-mile-long ice core, one of the deepest ever drilled in Antarctica.”
    This seems to be an accurate account due to the Milankovitch Cycles, with some modifying remarks
    The precession of the earth, 22,000 years ago, would be right about where we are now in that for the summer of the Southern Hemisphere would be wherein the earth was closer to the sun according to eccentricity. The tilt or obliquity would be around where we are now too. Therefore, it stands to reason that the SH would be receiving more solar energy than the NH where and when it counts.
    The big HOWEVER is this though: 22,000 years ago, the earth was in the farthest reaches of its glaciation cycle. During these long glaciation periods that last from 85,000 to 90,000 years, the end of these cycles are the coldest parts. The preliminaries for our current interglacial period did not commence until about 14,500 years ago when the Bolling Oscillation drove global temperatures up by 12 C in one century. The actual Holocene did not really start until 11,500 years ago when the final drive to warming occurred after a few “cooling” setbacks after Bolling.
    So this paper is really dealing with a minor warming period that occurred during the last glaciation period and not the beginning of our current interglacial period. I am surprised that the “scientists” who wrote this paper did not understand this for 22,000 years ago, the earth was not “emerging” from the “last ice age.”

  63. Ian W says:
    August 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm
    Nitrogen and Oxygen are non-radiative gases – warm them up and they stay warm and do not radiate infrared. Add some CO2 and the CO2 warmed by collision – radiates infrared cooling the Nitrogen Oxygen mixture. For some reason this tropospheric cooling effect is disregarded (although it is discussed as cooling the stratosphere). CO2 radiating atmospheric heat does not appear in any of the AGW Mickey Mouse diagrams which only consider the absorption of surface radiation. It is probable that the CO2 radiative cooling effect may be equal or greater than heating by the absorption of infrared from the surface.

    Has anyone actually done any experiments in this area?

    I’ve brought this point up several times in the last 3 years and gotten no logical responses (as have others). I’m not sure how one would measure the cooling effect of increased CO2 in the atmosphere and separate it from the GHE. I suppose if one knew the total number of energy transitions (both radiation and kinetic), an estimate could be made.

  64. They fail to mention any role for the most important GHG (water vapor). It seems they’re really arguing that solar insolation is almost completely responsible, and that increased atmospheric CO2 is an effect, rather than a cause, of warming.

  65. They are out to lunch. First of all the CO2 increases are a result of the warming,not the cause. One can see that clearly by looking at past temperature changes versus CO2 changes. Temperature change leads CO2.
    Secondly the earth reverted back to very near ice age conditions during the Younga Dryas and also had many substancial cooling periods prior to the start of the Younga Dryas and the end of the maximum last glaciation extent, some 20,000 years ago.

    So they are COMPLETLY on the wrong path because the earth did NOT emerge from the maximum of the last ice age and stay warm, instead it reverted back many times to very cold conditions once it emerged from the maximum of the last ice age with the Younga Dryas being the last such cold period post the maximum of the last ice age.
    Although, another significant cold event took place just 8200 years ago.

    Yet CO2 is on the rise through out this time and according to them had a large part in emerging the earth out of the last glaciation, and yet the temperature record shows CLEARLY many sharp pullbacks , which means their argument for a CO2 increase /temp. increase does not hold up. If it did the temperature (severe pullbacks)would not have occurred post the maximum of the last glaciation as CO2 was on the increase according to them.

    If anything they have proven that other factors must be at work,to explain the many temperature severe pullbacks since the maximum extent of the last glaciation.

    They have proven the opposite of what they are trying to prove.

  66. These people are absolutely in love with CO2. Their logic is basically: orbital forcings caused ONLY the poles to warm which then caused some minor degasing of CO2 from the oceans and this forcing from the extra CO2 caused the rapid melt of continental glaciers between 20,000-12,000 years ago. Fail.

    It would be interesting to see what temperature sensitivity to CO2 is needed to increase the global average temperature by at least 8 degrees C AND melt 120 m of ocean sea level equivalent glaciers.

  67. @Salvatore Del Prete:
    “They have proven the opposite of what they are trying to prove.”

    I agree, and you presented the evidence better than my attempt above.
    However, since they did not even know that the earth was not emerging from the last glaciation period when they identified the event as being 22,000 years ago, what else could one expect from them? They are totally clueless about the past history of the earth, and yet they seem to think that CO2 did all of the warming to get the earth into the Holocene. Yet they are alleged “scientists.”?

  68. The field of climatalogy is in need of new innovative approaches and thinking.

    The field of climatolgy today is in a very sad state of affairs and the explanations out there are on grade school levels for the most part.

    This article being a perfect example.

  69. The 1′s are the atmosphere and the single o is the carbon dioxide. The one 0 is heating up all the 2499 1′s?

    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111101111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

    I just can’t believe it!

  70. How does this crap contineu to get through peer review??

    There is not one shred of evidence or model data, or anything that shows that the rate of temperature rise “increased” ..ie., was amplified due to CO2!!

    All I see is the same old song and dance. Climatewackos interjecting an assumption into data, for which the data do not speak. One of the reviewers should have questioned this! [of course, we all know this is what happens when your buddies review your study with you while you are all having a beer].

  71. Nice “picture worth a thousand words,” there, Kelvin Vaughan (1:44PM). Indeed, belief alone, not reasoning, is the key to selling CAGW. “400 ppm” is like, 400cc (of a medicine) in the public’s mind or something, lol. They don’t even THINK about the rest of the million parts.

    Gullible: [AAAHCHOO!] I feel mitherable.
    Numbskull: Try “Contac 400″ for your cold.
    G: Why?
    N: Look here. I’ll show you. [breaks open a capsule and they watch for awhile (quite awhile, actually; it's fascinating!) as all the tiny, colorful, o's bounce across the table and onto the floor..............]
    G: I don’t know, Numbskill, they look awful small. They just kind of disappear into the carpet.
    N: BUT THERE ARE 400 OF THEM!
    G [brightens]: Oh, yeah. Hand ‘em over. I’ll take 6 to be on the safe side.

  72. It just needs some editing. Specifically, the following four sentences should go, as they are simply the obligatory carbon-centric nonsense put there to please their bosses, the NSF:

    …and the subsequent release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Southern Ocean amplified the effect and resulted in warming on a global scale, eventually ending the ice age.

    The subsequent rise of CO2 then escalated the process on a global scale.”

    “What hasn’t changed is that the initial warming and melting of the ice sheets triggered the release of CO2 from the oceans, which accelerated the demise of the ice age.”

    Brook said the recent increase in CO2 via human causes is also warming the planet, “but much more rapidly.”

    Once you take those out you’ve got, well, something. A grade-schooler could probably do better, but at least they tried.

  73. In response to: Edim – August 15, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Edim, I agree, ice core CO2 ppm data is at its best, highly suspect and unreliable.

    Near-surface CO2 ppm is highly erratic due to H2O vapor in the air which is the reason Keeling moved to atop Mona Loa. And one doesn’t know if glacial ice was formed by falling snow or wind blown snow …. or how much or when, or if any, of the top snow/ice layer has melted from one decade to the next.

    And Esim, for a graphical picture of your stated “seasonal (bi-yearly) temperature cycle causing changes in CO2 ppm” take a look-see at this copy of a Keeling Curve graph @

    ….. and therein you will also see Henry’s Law in action whereby the ingassing/outgassing of the CO2 is determined by the temperatures of both the ocean water and the surface air and/or the partial pressure of the CO2 between the water and the air. And that steady 50+ years increase in CO2 ppm is due to the steady increase in the average temperature of the ocean water during the same 50+ years.

  74. The scientific facts, calculations and conclusion concerning the claims of CO2 causing AGW.

    Note: the near-surface atmospheric H2O vapor (humidity) ppm ranges between 1.5% and 4%, except in desert areas, and with the 4% being Tropical conditions.

    FACTS:

    Concentration of atmospheric “greenhouse” gases
    Carbon dioxide (CO2) 394 ppm — 0.0394% —– Specific Heat Capacity – 0.844 kJ/kg K
    Water vapor — (H2O) 40,000 ppm – 4.0000% — Specific Heat Capacity – 1.930 kJ/kg K
    The average mass of the atmosphere is about 5 quadrillion (5,000,000,000,000,000) metric tons.

    CALCULATIONS:

    Thus, any portion of the Tropical atmosphere that contains 394 ppm of CO2 and 40,000 ppm of H2O vapor then the quantity of H2O vapor molecules is 101.5 times greater than the quantity of CO2 molecules.

    And the Specific Heat Capacity of H2O vapor is 1.086 kJ/kg K greater than the SHC of CO2 or 2.3 times greater. Which means that in any portion of near-surface Tropical air, regardless of what the thermometer temperature is, each H2O vapor molecule will, at any given time, contain 2.3 time more thermal energy than will each molecule of CO2.

    And 101.5 times more molecules of H2O vapor that has 2.3 times the heat holding capacity of the CO2 molecules …. means that said total H2O vapor in said portion of the Tropical atmosphere is 233.5 times more effective at “warming” the atmosphere than is the total CO2 in said portion of the Tropical atmosphere.

    CONCLUSION:

    If both atmospheric H20 vapor and CO2 are considered “greenhouse” gases and there is on average 101.5 times as much H2O vapor with 2.3 times as much Specific Heat Capacity as there is CO2 in the atmosphere ….. then an increase of even 500 ppm of CO2 to a total of 894 ppm should not really be significant relative to any increase in global warming due to a “greenhouse gas effect” because the H2O vapor would still be 44.7 times greater and/or be 102.8 times more effective at “warming” the atmosphere than is the total amount CO2 in the atmosphere,

    And thus, the overwhelming amount of H20 vapor in the atmosphere as compared to the amount of CO2 that is intermixed with it will completely overshadow any warming effects of the CO2 by a factor of 102.8 and thus render it impossible for anyone to be blaming and/or attributing any of said “warming” on said CO2.
    And/or, the increased “warming” effect of the near surface atmosphere that would be caused by an additional 500 ppm of CO2 would be so miniscule as to be unmeasurable via Surface Station thermometers.

    Now the above factual commentary is not obvious to the casual viewer/researcher during periods of full or partial Sunshine due to the incoming Solar radiation. But it does become obvious as night time approaches and/or during daytime whenever thick cloud cover quickly moves in and blocks the incoming Sunshine.

    Near-surface temperatures quickly cool a few degrees when above said cloud cover occurs.

    Near-surface temperatures in desert areas of extremely low humidity (H2O vapor ppm) cool very quickly at night time.

    Whereas, near-surface temperatures in non-desert areas of 1.5% to 4% H2O vapor (humidity) DO NOT cool very quickly at night time and thus will remain “warm” to “hot” long into the night time hours..

    Also, in temperate zones, the Month of September is noted for “hot” days and ”cool” nights simply because the Month of September is also noted for its low humidity (H2O vapor ppm).
    Now in closing, if it were true what the proponents of CO2 causing AGW have been claiming, … that the past 100 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 ppm is responsible for a 1 (one) degree C increase in average surface temperatures …… then a July increase of 20,000 ppm in H2O vapor (humidity) would increase the surface temperatures enough to burn the socks off your feet while standing in knee deep water.

    I do not believe it is possible for anyone to measure the heating effect of the lesser quantity of gas (CO2) in a mixture of two different gases when the quantity of the greater volume of gas (H2O vapor) is constantly changing from hour to hour and day to day. Especially when said greater volume of gas has a 100+- times greater “warming” potential for said mixture than does the lesser volume of said gas in said mixture.

  75. F. Ross says:
    August 14, 2013 at 9:33 pm
    Did the author(s?) give any consideration to the possibility of geothermal activity in W. Antarctica?
    Probably not; after all, what else could it be but CO2?

    My thoughts exactly!

    Also, didn’t that wee scamp Sami Solanki at the Max Plank Instiute conclude that the Sun is burning brighter now than at any time than it did 11,500 years ago, back in what was it ’08/’09? rather a coincidence for me, if it burned as bright back then, causing the seas to warm etc! Just saying. All you scientists out there have said plenty on this paper, which I suggest should be fully collated, cut into little A5 rectangles, have a small hole placed in the top left (or right – no wish to upset anyone), & hung on a nail in the smallest room in the lab building!

  76. At the height of the last glaciation C02 was at 4000 ppm. That means of course that most f the commentary on carbon is absolutely wrong.

  77. Did you rea;lize that they also discovered a mountain higher than Everest?

    Quote
    – West Antarctica began emerging from the last ice age about 22,000 years ago – well before other regions of Antarctica and the rest of the world, according to a team of scientists who analyzed a two-mile-long ice core, one of the deepest ever drilled in Antarctica.
    ……..
    “This ice core is special because it came from a place in West Antarctica where the snowfall is very high and left an average of 20 inches of ice or more per year to study,” said Brook, a professor in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.
    End of quote.

    Now an average of 20 inches per year for 22 000 years is 440 000 inches. Divide by 12 to get feet. This is 36 666 ft. Divide by 5280 to get miles, hey presto, West Antarctica has a mountain 6.944 miles high.

    Beats Everest, though this doesn’t quite make the 40 000 ft and 6 inches height of Rum Doodle. Never mind, just as good fiction.

  78. “rea;lize” should of course be “realize”. However, if the “20 inches of ice or more per year” is in fact ‘more’, it may well have beaten Rum Doodle.

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