New Zealand glacier findings upset climate theory

From the :

nzherald.co.nz

Fox Glacier is one of the worlds climate change indicators.

Fox Glacier is one of the world's climate change indicators.

Research by three New Zealand scientists may have solved the mystery of why glaciers behave differently in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Geologist David Barrell of GNS Science, Victoria University geomorphologist Andrew Mackintosh and glaciologist Trevor Chinn of the Alpine and Polar Processes Consultancy have helped provide definitive dating for changes in glacier behaviour.

They were part of a team of nine scientists, led by Joerg Schaefer of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York, who used an isotope-dating technique to get very precise ages for glacial deposits near Mt Cook.

They measured the build-up of beryllium-10 isotopes in surface rocks bombarded by cosmic rays to pinpoint dates when glaciers in the Southern Alps started to recede. The technology is expected to be widely applied to precisely date other glaciers around the world.

Glaciers are sensitive indicators of climate changes, usually advancing when it cools and retreating when it warms.

The first direct confirmation of differences in glacier behaviour between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the new work topples theories based on climate in the Northern Hemisphere changing in tandem with the climate in the Southern Hemisphere.

The research argues that at times the climate in both hemispheres evolved in sync and at other times it evolved differently in different parts of the world.

Dr Barrell said their research presented “new data of novel high precision”, though the team has so far chosen not to roll out wider interpretations too quickly.

He said much of it reinforced work done 30 years ago by Canterbury University researcher Professor Colin Burrows, who used NZ glacier data to highlight some of the similarities and differences between northern and southern records over the past 12,000 years.

The paper published in Science magazine yesterday showed the Mt Cook glaciers advanced to their maximum length 6500 years ago, and have been smaller ever since.

But glaciers in the Swiss Alps advanced to their maximum only in the past 700 years – during the Northern Hemisphere’s “Little Ice Age”, which ended about 1860.

During some warm periods in Europe, glaciers were advancing in New Zealand. At other times, glaciers were well advanced in both areas.

In a commentary which accompanied the research, Greg Balco, from the Berkeley Geochronology Centre in California, said the conclusion that glacier advances in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres were not synchronised was “unexpected”.

Dr Barrell said the paper presented only the first instalment of the dating work, and more would be revealed at an international workshop on past climates to be held at Te Papa on May 15.

“The New Zealand findings point to the importance of regional shifts in wind directions and sea surface temperatures,” he said.

Regional weather patterns such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation were superimposed on the global climate trends reflected in the behaviour of glaciers.

– NZPA

(h/t to Leon Broznya)

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105 thoughts on “New Zealand glacier findings upset climate theory

  1. Strange. I wouldn’t have expected short-term phenomena like ENSO to show up in glacial records.

  2. Whoops – it’s not so easy, this climate thingee, is it? Bet the models haven’t considered that small detail; sometimes the hemispheres are in sync and sometimes one’s in a warm period while the other’s having a bit of an ice age. Guess it’s back to the drawing board for those models.
    This was also noticed and briefly covered at American Thinker:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/05/another_part_of_global_warming.html
    A little gem in that piece is how, as an aside, they refer to Al Gore not as a politician or a former vice-president or even an environmental activist, but as “the investor betting big bucks on carbon regulation and trading,”
    Touché!

  3. This finding would seem at odds with a recent study reported in WUWT. In it, the analysis of New Zealand cave stalactites purportedly indicated the European medieval warming period had been simultaneously experienced in the southern hemisphere.

  4. Not strange ? I would expect that short term phenom to show up but as a temp +/- to the longer occurring influence based upon that influences ‘polarity’, e.g. the PDO .
    What I’m not understanding yet is how the variance of cosmic rays over time is accounted for ? What am I missing ?

  5. 1. The Fox glacier is much more sensitive than many others to short-term climate oscillations – a very steep and narrow glacier run-off and a wide source area. It’s a boon both for skeptics and warmers – as it’s snout moves far more rapidly than many others in the world.
    2. I’d suspect that you want to look at the following to compare N. and S. hemisphere:
    i. Tilt of the earth – as I understand it this affects climate on a longer-term scale.
    ii. The drivers of S. Hemisphere snowfalls.
    3. New Zealand is a small land mass in a big ocean – wouldn’t a comparison between Argentinian glaciers and the N. hemisphere be more meaningful?
    The research sounds very interesting, but are you sure that the deductions should be spread to global theories?

  6. Isn’t the study actually a theory?Isn’t that what science is about?At least when it comes to understanding mother nature,as non scientists call it.A pair of scientists or scientist put forward a theory which is never actually proved.The only thing I’ve learnt about this branch of science,whatever it comes under is the more you know,the less you know.To be honest,being the dumbo I am at science,I was surprised to see that science does not know the suns true effect on Earth.I thought that was nutted out years ago,but now debate is raging on sun spots.In my opinion science is never going to understand mother nature.

  7. Of course, the coriolis effect is implicated in this – and it’s AGW theory down the plughole, one way or another.

  8. Claude Harvey (23:15:45)
    You’re probably thinking of this piece from 3 January 2009:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/03/4000-year-o18-histories-of-new-zealands-north-and-south-islands/
    While that study seems to confirm a widespread MWP, this glacier study seems to suggest that New Zealand’s climate has been milder for approx 6,500 yrs. or, at least, that it did not experience a Little Ice Age as was experienced in the Northern Hemisphere. In other words, during the MWP the hemispheres were in sync. Then, during the LIA, they weren’t; the Southern Hemisphere remained milder than the North. This climate business isn’t as easy as it looks.

  9. http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2009m5d2-Global-warmingwaiting-to-exhale
    The ‘inside baseball’ dirty secret is that both sides in the global warming debate officially ignore each other, but react aggressively and axiously to any major media coverage the other side receives. It’s a ping pong match without end. The skeptics have behaved better, by and large, but only by placing fairly rigid limits on the scientific range of discussion. They are most probably correct in saying that a simple doubling of CO2 will not cause catastrophe, but are intentionally ignoring that another re-doubling and perhaps yet a further re-doubling of CO2, and the effluent that would accompany it, would, as the conventional environmental wisdom has it, carry costs we do not want to bear–or sometimes even contemplate.
    And while they bat the ball back and forth–‘Denier!’ ‘Alarmist!’–what we breathe out has been officially classed as pollutant and poison, and the power to regulate how much of it we can produce has been delegated to the most faceless of bureaucracies. The Environmental Protection Agency, created by Richard Nixon, will have… power… that may be difficult to constrain in the future.
    President Obama, pragmatic and practical, almost certainly wants to use the EPA’s newly minted power as a bully stick to threaten the Republicans, forcing them to the legislative bargaining table. But, in the same way that Republicans should have reflected while pursuing the expansion of presidential powers that they would not govern forever, so too should President Obama remember that the powers given to the EPA may not always be exercised in strict accordance with presidential wishes.
    The most extreme environmentalists have as an ultimate goal the reduction of the human population to such a level as they believe concords with the ‘carrying capacity’ of this planet, and feel that their morality is on a higher plane than those who do not share this desire. And with the help of environmental organisations, they have worked hard at getting to the top of committees, organisations and, yes, governmental bureaucracies. Should President Obama ever feel the need to tell the EPA to back off, he may be surprised at the answer he receives.
    Evidence is beginning to accumulate suggesting that this particular doubling of CO2 will not imperil us. Arctic ice is recovering, the lack of sunspots calls to memory the cold periods that accompanied previous minimums of sunspot activity, temperatures are declining of late. But even if this trend persists, environmentalists will rightly bear in mind that the energy consumption and resultant pollution of 6 billion now, 9 billion in the future, will certainly have effects that include upward pressure on temperatures, and much else besides. They would be fools to abandon their case even if they are made to look like fools in the short term.
    So if you think the debate has been mean-spirited and ugly to date, I can tell you now that it may only have been the prelude. The skeptics, if proven right in the first battle, will use their victory to diminish the value of climatology, possibly at just the time climatology matures to such an extent that it would be of service going forward. Those who sounded an alarm that looks now to have been arguably false will have a choice–to either admit error and engage with those they have fought, or to regroup and become even more bitter and accusatory than they are at present.
    The tactics to date of the alarmists have been stupid–graceless to the point of thuggishness. But worse than stupid, their tactics have been wrong. Most skeptics have only wanted their objections acknowledged and incorporated into ongoing study of climate and its changes.
    But, as someone who is proud to be a liberal, I can hope that other participants in this debate remember the essential utility of liberalism–the tolerance that allows consensus and yes, compromise. President Obama’s energy plan is a good start for this country, and I say that as one who is skeptical about the current range of catastrophic outcomes predicted by alarmists. Let’s use it as a starting point for Round Two of debate on climate change.

  10. Claude Harvey (23:15:45): “This finding would seem at odds with a recent study reported in WUWT. In it, the analysis of New Zealand cave stalactites purportedly indicated the European medieval warming period had been simultaneously experienced in the southern hemisphere.”
    They may both be correct. The MWP was characterized by a fair amount of climate oscillations during the period. It was not a period of warm stasis. It would require a closer look at high resolution data from both hemispheres, but I suspect one might find the glaciers to be a lagging indicator. Glaciers begin in the snow fields. In Southeast Alaska, it takes 250 to 400 years for the snow deposited in the high elevation fields to reach the face of the tidewater glaciers. If the basis of the study is Beryllium-10 on the rocks, it would take a while for advancing glaciers to cover the rocks, moving the subsequent Beryllium record on exposed rocks down stream, or the opposite during a warm period when it would take a while for the receding glacier to reveal bare rock.
    I’m not the expert on this and it’d be interesting for others to weigh in on the notion.

  11. Greg Balco, from the Berkeley Geochronology Centre in California, said the conclusion that glacier advances in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres were not synchronised was “unexpected”.
    I’d only say that it was “unexpected” by him but not necessarily others…
    Since glacier growth is proportional to snowfall, I’d expect it to be driven by water availability and to be idiosyncratic by glacier. I see no reason to expect hemispheric, continental, or even major basin synchrony in glacier growth.
    Perhaps some gross proportionality in that an ice epoch would probably cause many glaciers to grow together; but even then, as an area becomes dramatically cold, like the interior of Antarctica, it becomes a frozen desert and glacier growth ought to slow rather than accelerate. I could even see a case where glaciers at the perimeter or on the side near a relatively warmer ocean would be growing while those more interior or downwind of a mountain range (thus having a water deficit) would be shrinking.
    It’s all about the mass flow of water at less then the freezing point. Why one would think that all the things driving that process would work in unison over great distances in different geology is beyond me…
    And the notion that the glacier growth rate in New Zealand tells you anything about the existence of a LIA globally is also suspect. I could easily see a colder ocean giving less snowfall resulting in less glacier growth… You would have a race condition between the colder air letting snow take longer to melt at the bottom edge of the glacier and colder air being less able to transport water as snow to the glacier root. I don’t see a simple way to determine the winner of that race… (where stalactites don’t have these same issues).

  12. I know Prof Collin Borrows and have done the odd mountaineering trip with him, he has plotted the waxing and waning of NZ glaciers over the last 7000 years, there is no question in the last 70 years glaciers on the eastern side of the southern alps have receded signifigantly and a whole bunch of new lakes are forming. But glaciers on the western side of the alps have receeded much less and are currently growing.
    Temperature change is only one factor for the possible reason for the recession, reduced snowfall on the neve because of changes to the westerly wind pattern across the tasman sea and a change in ocean currents and temperature which reduces the ammount of moisture being taken up may in fact have more to do with it.
    We do seem however be returning to a pattern of heavier rainfall and snowfall in the Alps in the last few years. Time will tell.

  13. That the hemispheres behave differently is hardly news. After all, the mediaeval warming period and little ice age were largely northern hemisphere phenomena, as was the cooling after Mount Pinatubo. The southern hemisphere is always slower to respond to external forcings.

  14. Re: Claude Harvey (23:15:45) :

    This finding would seem at odds with a recent study reported in WUWT. In it, the analysis of New Zealand cave stalactites purportedly indicated the European medieval warming period had been simultaneously experienced in the southern hemisphere.

    I didn’t see the MWP mentioned anywhere in the article. In fact the article says:
    The research argues that at times the climate in both hemispheres evolved in sync and at other times it evolved differently in different parts of the world.
    Which means that at the time period of the MWP it might or might not have been in sync.

  15. And nothing about the ‘glaciers are retreating because of human-induced global warming’ statement?

  16. I wonder if the difference between the north and south halves of the planet are due to an interaction between sunspots driving the weather, and whether the planet’s orbit is closer to the sun during the southern or northern winter.
    The idea is that an increase in cloudiness at low altitude will have an overall cooling effect, but this comes as a result of lowering high temperatures more than it raises low temperatures.
    Along this line, one would suppose that the damage to the growing season from a new Little Ice Age would be more in the soil temperatures than in the air temperatures or the date of the last killing frost. It appears that planters in the US are again having problems with wet fields, the same as resulted in a late planting last year.

  17. Earth’s magnetic field is, I believe, relatively weak at the moment, particularly in an area to the south of S. Afica, and may even be preparing for a change of polarity (a fairly common occurrence but not known for the last 780,000 years or so). Fluctuations in intensity, be they local or planet-wide happen all the time without leading to a flip and compasses pointing south, of course.
    Now, I am just a feeble minded geologist and I have to start cooking lunch but can anyone else consider how variation in the field’s intensity might influence solar wind and cosmic ray effects on hemispherical climate/glaciers, please?

  18. It is an interesting thing that the complexities of a disjointed hemispherical climate may not be in any climate model. It seems the science is trending away from AGW assumptions. Even so, I agree with Mr. Fuller in that the efforts of the radicals will continue. I’m not convinced that the Obama energy policy is a good starting place, as it owes so much to the ideas of those same radicals. As for the Waxman bill in congress, they would take the U.S. to levels of CO2 production that obtained around 1905. Unfortunately, it would only be U.S., not the world. And as Chicago activist Saul Alinsky emphasized, make sure you frame the debate, not your opponent. Along that line there is an interesting NYT (RIP) article about a briefing of government officials on how to do so, key point, stop talking about global warming. ‘1984’ was ahead of its time a bit.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/02/us/politics/02enviro.html?_r=1

  19. This surely is evident from Ice Cores from GISP and Antarctica for decades?
    The significantly long Younger Dryas cold period is all but missing from the antarctic cores but is present in the Greenland.
    GISP warms 14500 ya to a 0C anomaly then by 13000 ya is back down at -17C anom. Warming to 0C anomaly begins 12000 reaching 0C by 10000ya
    Antarctic EPICA data shows warming to -5C 14500ya then “stable until 12500ya followed by warming to 0C anomaly 11500ya
    http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/6826/iceage040kkq1.jpg

  20. Michael T
    I have published a paper that links changes in the position of the Earth’s magnetic field with global temperatures, you can see it on my website. I would appreciate your comments. I seem to remember recently some thoughts that the majority of the GCRs that might affect weather would be taken out in the upper atmosphere such that we would not see much variation at the Earth’s surface.
    Hope lunch was good

  21. steptoefan,
    Two quick responses:
    The cosmic ray variability should be relatively constant for NH and SH data. So the researchers can compare same-year data confidently. That allows apples-apples comparisons about whether they are in or out of sync.
    I don’t know specificly (the article may say or other research might reveal) but there are probably other signals available (outside the specific data set for glaciers) that can provide year-to-year CR variability estimates.

  22. Awww, E.M. and Lindsay H beat me to it. I’d come to believe that water vapor/precipitation coupled with temperature were the most important factors in determining whether a glacier will advance or retreat. Those are local phenomena, eh?
    So what’s the major driver of precipitation and temperature on multi-decadal scales? Ocean currents and the jet stream would get my vote over CO2 any day.

  23. Wouldn’t it be nice if mankind were as smart as he makes himself out to be?
    Climate research obviously must involve the earth, the solar system and the universe. The impact of the location of the earth, in the various streams of energy and particles following around the Milky Way and all the stuff in between must be included. Who knows what our solar system encounters in it’s journey within and without the Milky Way. The effects of all this on life on earth are just beginning to be explored.
    Who wants to do the research and then write a paper about how the changing earth’s magnetic field effects the climate with the changing effects of cosmic rays? It seems only logical that cosmic rays, which come in a wide spectrum of energy values, would have localized effects, causing varying precipitation factors, depending on magnetic filed strength and pole location.
    Got to love this Al Gore, “the investor betting big bucks on carbon regulation and trading” Most people would see this as a huge conflict of interest — Making anything he says null and void … What we know about how earth’s climate works, you could write a book. What we don’t know about how earth’s climate works, you could fill a library.

  24. Tom Fuller: Do you believe that there is enough oil and gas left in the ground to double, then double again, then double again, the c02 content?

  25. Claude Harvey, et al.:
    I believe your logic has a flaw–That the two hemispheres climates must mirror in amplitude as well as phase. Both papers can be right.

  26. Tom Fuller – Second Ryan’s question but nice post.
    Agree your concerns and IMO we need the MSM to raise its game with proper informed critical commentary instead of partisan advocacy. The energy question is fundamental – maybe I’m showing a lack of economic sophistication but IMO that is what modern economies are really all about: replacing manual labour (work) with energetic input sourced from natural reserves. The future should be about how we do this in a sustainable and globally equitable way using the best science to inform and facilitate it.

  27. Ryan C,
    That was my first thought, too. It’s human nature to assume that trends will continue indefinitely. But trees don’t keep growing until they reach the moon. Every cycle contains the seeds of its own reversal.
    All of the real world evidence available indicates that CO2 is not harmful, that it does not cause significant [or even measurable] warming, and that more CO2 is beneficial to all life on Earth.
    It is the baseless demonization of “carbon” that is deceitful. The only putative evidence for runaway global warming comes from computer models, programmed by people with certain expectations.
    But the planet does not agree with the computer models: as CO2 rises, the temperature has been flat to declining. The CO2=AGW hypothesis has been falsified by the planet itself.

  28. adrian kerton (03:53:17) :
    H’mmm – most interesting, thank you very much for the link, Adrian. You do state in the abstract that “Movement of the poles changes the geographic distribution of galactic and solar cosmic rays, moving them to particularly climate sensitive areas” – from which I might infer that local variation of field strength could also possibly cause local climate variation? I guess I need to get hold of your complete paper and do some thinking about this…
    Lunch was very good, thanks (typical english roast beef and yorkshire, nice bottle of burgundy).

  29. Ryan C (04:50:24) :
    Tom Fuller: Do you believe that there is enough oil and gas left in the ground to double, then double again, then double again, the c02 content?

    Add coal to the equation…And there probably is enough fossil “carbon” left to do that. Before all of that carbon was bound up in fossil fuels, the Earth’s atmosphere had about 4000ppm to 7000ppm CO2.
    Although, since plant stomata data suggest that CO2 levels of 380ppm were not uncommon in the early Holocene, I think the Earth is easily handling our current output of anthropogenic CO2.

  30. Referring to the other article on NZ caves where the comments are closed, there was a book written about 40 years ago about these warm periods in NZ, one about 1100 and a couple of later ones I think just before Cook arrived. The author thought they where caused by the sun getting hotter. The interesting part was that during each period most of the westerly facing forest was flattened by severe hurricanes, the stumps of the trees can be seen as bumps in the ground in many places today, there was also serious flooding. Today most of the trees over 400 years old are to be found in valleys that were sheltered. It was an interesting book written before global warming, certainly agw, was known about, altho I doubt sold much. If anyone is interested I will try and find the name of the book and the author.

  31. It is clear that the climate of the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere are not sync’ed.
    At least the ocean cycle influences do not operate in tandem.
    The ENSO has more impact on the NH than the SH. The North Atlantic and the South Atlantic almost operate like a dipole with one going up while the other is going down (not perfectly, just in general).
    The temperature trends over the last 130 years show that there is a quite a divergence between the two (although the difference seems to closing over the past year or two.)
    I imagine something like the solar impact is similar other than periods of time when the Milankovitch cycles changes the orbit so that summer periods for example are much different between the hemsipheres. Right now, the Earth is closest to the Sun during the SH summer but the difference is fairly small. During the ice ages, it seems this differential grows so that there is much less snow melt in NH summer. (I haven’t seen any info on this differential 6,500 years ago, maybe it went the other way for a period of time.)
    And just because the Medieval Warm Period is not sync’ed in time between different regions of the planet, does not mean it did not exist. That is just the faulty logic that the pro-AGW crowd uses to get rid of it. We should just change the name of it to the Medieval Warm Period(s).

  32. tarpon (04:49:27) :
    “Who wants to do the research and then write a paper about how the changing earth’s magnetic field effects the climate with the changing effects of cosmic rays? It seems only logical that cosmic rays, which come in a wide spectrum of energy values, would have localized effects, causing varying precipitation factors, depending on magnetic filed strength and pole location.”
    Tarpon,
    For what it’s worth, the name is a.o. Svensmark
    His theory stating that low solar winds and low magnetic field allow penetration of cloud seeding intergalactic particles into our atmosphere.
    More cloud cover at low to medium altitudes causes cooling.
    (I can’t reproduce the theory in any shorter way)
    The theory is not without opposition (Leif Svalgaard for example states that this theory is BS Bad Science) but it is carried a.o. by David Archibald and Nir Sharviv.

  33. At least NZ can provide the Northern Hemisphere with much needed wool for those impending long, cold winters..
    Oz may have to provide wheat too…

  34. Tom Fuller
    What Obama energy plan are you referring to? If it is a plan to stop using fossil fuels and replace the energy with taxes, that is not a plan. If it is a plan to start using smart energy, I am all for it but what is smart energy. If the plan is to use green energy how many people are we going to starve to achieve the green goal. If the plan is to continue to ban nuclear power, that is grossly ignorant.

  35. The point here is that glacial synchrony was on and off. It would then seem to me that a reasonable hypothesis is that there are multiple temperature-affecting cycles of varying length that occasionally and mathematically are capable of being in grand sync. This does not disprove the LIA. In fact it does just the opposite. It reveals that it is possible, in the past, as well as in the future, for the planet as a whole to occasionally heat up as well as cool down (not exactly on the hour but you get my point). I suspect that eventually, a new word or phrase will be coined to label the long and short term regional and sometimes global weather pattern variation affects of Earth-bound oscillations.
    So I’ll take a stab at it.
    Short and long term synchronic-capable Earth-bound oscillations.
    I believe this could be computerized and modeled with a fair degree of %-chance certainty of occurrence, much like what has been done with earthquake and volcanic %-chance certainty of occurrence. Once the oceanic oscillation affect has been modeled and shown to be more closely correlated to current observations than CO2 models are (which I believe has already been done), further investigation can be fine tuned to discover how oscillating trade winds encourage these oceanic oscillations. Then they can also be modeled or added to the formula. After that proves relatively valid and reliable, cyclical columnar equatorial heat build-up as a trigger to trade winds can be added (if indeed my brainstorm idea is a part of it). The final piece would be Coriolis affects on trade winds and whether or not Coriolis affects are cyclical as well. To be sure, there are axial spin and tilt cycle wobbles that are already known and should be added as well.
    The first person or agency to model this as a valid and reliable theory, will earn about as much praise as any one person or agency has ever collected. It will go down in history much like Galileo’s thinking.
    Imagine that, a modern day renaissance human speaking out against the dark ages of our time.

  36. Richard (01:53:58) :
    So, definitive proof that the LIA wasn’t global.

    No strong evidence that the climate is too complex to put in a box of simplistic notions.
    As mentioned above glaciers on opposite sides of the same mountain can do different things at the same time. Here in the Rockies we can have 150% of snowpack in one drainage basin and 70% of normal snow back just a few miles away in another drainage basin. Prevailing wind conditions (direction and moisture content) have a lot more to do with snow accumulation than temperature does.
    All you have to do is look at lake effect snow amounts near the great lakes to see how significant moisture content can be in a single storm. The eastern face of the Rockies have very heavy snow falls when a low center sets up on the south east corner of Colorado and suck warm moist air up from the gulf of mexico. If it is cool enough the up slope flow that develops can dump 3 ft of snow in the Denver Metro area in a little over 24 hours in a single storm.
    The greatest amount of snowfall from one storm in Denver was 45.7 inches from December 1-6, 1913 (with 37.6 inches recorded between December 4-5th 1913). Very interesting! The Georgetown blizzard of 1913 dumped 86 inches of snow just west of Denver.
    In 1961 and 1982 we had similar heavy snow falls. The record 24 hour snowfall was 23.6 Inches in on December 24th 1982 (The snow totals for the storm were nothing short of incredible. Golden Gate Canyon to the west of the city received 48 inches, Thornton 34 inches, Littleton 29 inches and Denver had almost 25 inches. )
    During the Christmas Blizzard of 1982 here in Denver I was driving nurses home from work at the hospitals and was driving through head light deep snow in the residential areas of Arvada in a full sized Jeep Cherokee (head lights about 48 inches off the road surface)
    It would only take a couple seasons of prevailing winds set up to bring recurring snow falls of that sort, to significantly impact the glaciers in Rocky Mountain Park northwest of Denver.
    During other years when the prevailing wind flow comes from the west, it can be very dry here in the Platte River drainage.
    From a national weather service summary:

    DENVER WEATHER SUMMARY FOR 2002
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER COLORADO
    1150 PM MST THU JAN 01 2003
    …DENVER’S WEATHER SUMMARY FOR 2002…
    …2002 FINISHES AS DENVER’S DRIEST YEAR EVER…
    EACH OF THE 12 MONTHS OF 2002 RECORDED BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION. IN
    FACT…AS OF DECEMBER 2002…DENVER HAS EXPERIENCED 17 MONTHS IN A ROW
    WITH BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION. THE LAST ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION
    OCCURRED DURING JULY 2001. SINCE THEN…EACH MONTH HAS BEEN BELOW NORMAL
    AND THIS HAS LEAD TO DENVER FINISHING WITH THE LOWEST AMOUNT OF ANNUAL
    PRECIPITATION EVER RECORDED IN THE 130 YEARS OF WEATHER RECORDS KEEPING
    FOR DENVER. RECORDS HAVE BEEN MAINTAINED SINCE 1872. 2002 FINISHED WITH
    A DISMAL 7.48 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION…8.33 INCHES BELOW THE NEW NORMAL
    OF 15.81 INCHES. THE OLD DRIEST RECORD WAS 7.51 INCHES RECORDED IN 1954.
    THE WETTEST DENVER YEAR WAS 1967 WITH 23.31 INCHES. EVEN THOUGH 2002 WAS
    THE DRIEST YEAR ON RECORD…NONE OF THE 12 MONTHS SET RECORDS FOR BEING
    THE DRIEST AND ONLY TWO MONTHS MADE IT INTO THE TOP 10 DRIEST. APRIL
    (0.23) WAS THIRD DRIEST AND DECEMBER (0.05) SIXTH DRIEST. THERE WERE 60
    DAYS WITH MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION BUT THAT WAS 29 BELOW THE 89 DAY
    NORMAL. JUST LAST YEAR…2001…THE TOTAL PRECIPITATION VALUE STOOD AT
    16.55 INCHES.

    As you can see your annual precipitation can range from 7.48 inches of precipitation to 23.31 inches. If a large fraction of that higher number comes mostly during sub freezing weather that makes for significant snow accumulation.
    Glacier growth has more to do with the balance between total seasonal snow fall and snow melt during the summer season than it does from temperatures alone.
    Larry

  37. O/T – Hadley has issued the CET figure for April which is 10.0 making it 13= in the overall record and on a par with 1762, 1733, 1949, 1792, 1755, and1961. In 1755 the May temperature was 0.6 LOWER so keep wrapped up warm, guys!

  38. Adrian Kerton,
    I am having trouble accessing your website. Could you give me the site here so that I can just click on it ?
    Many thanks.

  39. Extensive reseach on glacial advance and retreat in New Zealand and elsewhere in the world shows that glaciers were almost exactly (within the limits of 10Be and 14C dating) synchronous in both hemispheres during the last ice age, including the Younger Dryas. My own research in New Zealand and elsewhere in the world has established beyond reasonable doubt that climates have changed at the same times at many places in the N and S Hemispheres (see http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~dbunny/research/global/index.htm). Before rushing to conclude that this study shows a different pattern in the more recent past, let’s wait for the paper to come out and see exactly what was dated. 10Be dating isn’t accurate enough to show variations over a few decades or centuries.
    s wa

  40. Tom Fuller, I believe that the majority feel the same way and we know that in the end we will need to stop using fossil fuels. If the politicians wanted to though they could have come up with good arguments why we should reduce carbon consumption now but they didn’t. What angers many is that they did not use truth and honesty but jumped on the scare scenarios of the environmentalists. Not because they believed it but because it is politically expedient for them to go that way. In many ways though the scare mongers have damaged their cause possibly fatally because now very few people actually believe them after the initial scare. They are beginning to look like fools.
    Whilst we must eventually find alternatives to FF’s, given the coming energy crunch, surely we would be stupid to deny ourselves their use now. they are still an incredible energy form.

  41. Re: Tom Fuller
    They are most probably correct in saying that a simple doubling of CO2 will not cause catastrophe, but are intentionally ignoring that another re-doubling and perhaps yet a further re-doubling of CO2, and the effluent that would accompany it, would, as the conventional environmental wisdom has it, carry costs we do not want to bear–or sometimes even contemplate.
    Let it go,co2, if even quadrupled will have no effect on temps.There is NO proof that it contributes to warming and there will never be any proof.
    AGW is still a wonderfully exagerated theory and one that will go down with the flat earth debate.
    Your energy and time would be better spent on matters more detrimental to society .i.e.,the elimination of christianity in the world by terrorists and the robbing of the wealth from the middle class by the elitist government and corporate america.
    GOD BLESS

  42. A little gem in that piece is how, as an aside, they refer to Al Gore not as a politician or a former vice-president or even an environmental activist, but as “the investor betting big bucks on carbon regulation and trading,”
    The 1st signs of a trading scheme. Follow the money. Yell fire in one place and places the call halfway around the globe. Nobody will ever know. That’s a subject for bloodhounds.

  43. M White (01:56:04) :
    Carbon neutral expidition “Greenland expedition 2009 has been abandoned due to repeated, irreparable storm damage to our sailing vessel Fleur”
    It’s good to see BIG OIL coming to their rescue hahaha

  44. OT?
    “‘Green’ lightbulbs poison workers
    Hundreds of factory staff are being made ill by mercury used in bulbs destined for the West
    WHEN British consumers are compelled to buy energy-efficient lightbulbs from 2012, they will save up to 5m tons of carbon dioxide a year from being pumped into the atmosphere. In China, however, a heavy environmental price is being paid for the production of “green” lightbulbs in cost-cutting factories.
    Large numbers of Chinese workers have been poisoned by mercury, which forms part of the compact fluorescent lightbulbs. A surge in foreign demand, set off by a European Union directive making these bulbs compulsory within three years, has also led to the reopening of mercury mines that have ruined the environment.
    Doctors, regulators, lawyers and courts in China – which supplies two thirds of the compact fluorescent bulbs sold in Britain – are increasingly alert to the potential impacts on public health of an industry that promotes itself as a friend of the earth but depends on highly toxic mercury.
    Making the bulbs requires workers to handle mercury in either solid or liquid form because a small amount of the metal is put into each bulb to start the chemical reaction that creates light.
    Mercury is recognised as a health hazard by authorities worldwide because its accumulation in the body can damage the nervous system, lungs and kidneys, posing a particular threat to babies in the womb and young children.”
    urlm.in/cicl (timesUK)

  45. Tom Fuller (23:55:03) :
    Very thoughtful and balanced commentary, thanks.
    Unfortunately, I think there’s too much money and power in it for the alarmists. They’re not going to give it up just for ethics.

  46. carlbrannen (02:08:21) :
    The late rains in California (Yes, they are still crying drought even as relief pours down on thier heads) are ongoing as we speak. Headed straight for the heartland, as usual.
    Health officials are worried about panic over the outbreak, but then the public has been primed by the 24/7 barrage of AGW hysteria. What do you expect when they keep yelling fire on a crowded planet? All the credibility of mud.

  47. @ Tom Fuller
    They are most probably correct in saying that a simple doubling of CO2 will not cause catastrophe, but are intentionally ignoring that another re-doubling and perhaps yet a further re-doubling of CO2, and the effluent that would accompany it, would, as the conventional environmental wisdom has it, carry costs we do not want to bear–or sometimes even contemplate.
    This is because the effect of CO2 on infrared absorption is not linear, it is logarithmic. Right now, you have X amount of it in the atmosphere, and it absorbs Y=Log_b (X) amount of incoming IR. If you grow to have 2X CO2 in the atmosphere, You do not get 2Y of IR absorption, you get much much less than that. “deniers” ignore multiple redoublings of atmospheric CO2 on solid scientific grounds. While it is unknown exactly what “b” is in that equation, it’s safe to say from past earth history that it’s a value that makes CO2 no threat to us.

  48. The thing is, you can’t “Sustainably” use a Finite Resource.
    No, there’s Not enough Fossil Fuels to double the CO2, again. We’ve probably used half of the oil that we’re ever going to recover, and the higher grades of coal are getting pretty scarce, also.

  49. .
    >>>What I’m not understanding yet is how the variance of cosmic
    >>>rays over time is accounted for ? What am I missing ?
    Indeed. Since cosmic ray flux is regulated by Sunspot activity and thus in synch with climate change, you have a right old mix of variabilities.

  50. Michael T (02:29:55) :
    Earth’s magnetic field is, I believe, relatively weak at the moment, particularly in an area to the south of S. Africa, and may even be preparing for a change of polarity

    I have heard the same, but nobody really seems to know the likely time-scale. I hope I’m wrong, but IIRC, the loss of a magnetic field for the time taken to ‘change ends’ is likely to be catastrophic and would trump any AGW nonsense. Has anyone explored this?

  51. This hasn’t “solved the mystery”, it added to the mystery.
    And, Richard, one glacier isn’t definitive proof about the LIA. Maybe it was cold but dry; maybe most of the precipitation was falling on the other side of this mountain range.

  52. @ Tom Fuller (23:55:03) :
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2009m5d2-Global-warmingwaiting-to-exhale

    Tom, very well written comment. Then I discovered that you’re a pro writer. No wonder it was good! But you’re a skeptic liberal. Not a comfortable position in S.F. ( I know…)
    At any rate, welcome aboard! The constant chant from the AGW side that “deniers” are all a Republican Big Money Big Oil (yada yada) plot, ignores folks like you, me, and many of the other people here. You will find several liberal, Democrat, and Libertarian folks here; skeptics all.
    FWIW, Glen Beck had a show about the recent Tea Party organizers. Had an audience full of participants and organizers of the Tea Parties. A show of hands had them more or less evenly P.O’d at both Dems and Repubs. Another show of hands showed them spread over all sorts of political beliefs (with a fair number of libertarians and democrats).
    What “The Powers That Be” need to understand is that the Joe and Jane Six Packs of the world are happy to let them run the world, as long as they don’t screw up the common person’s life too much. But they are generally not particularly partisan. Stray too far from “just leave us alone” and, well, eventually sloth is set aside in favor of action but typically not of the kind the politicians wanted… a big pull to the boring middle!
    With the present PDO flip and the sun playing with a grand minimum it is mostly likely to be cold for the next 20 to 30 years. The backlash against the AGW movement, and with it everything green and liberal, has the potential to be very very large. The prudent course would be to do “watchful waiting” for about a decade ( I think we’ll see significant cold in 2 to 5 years ) then make policy. But we, as a world, do not seem very prudent and the AGW movement is positively radical in its motives.
    So we will live “in interesting times”… For now, take a look at the New Zealand and Australian snowfall this winter. The early ski resort openings. The rising Antarctic ice. Watch for crop failures in Argentina and snow in southern Brazil (like we had last year – Surprise!) with South Africa being cold and snowy too. And lord help us if a big volcano pops off…

  53. Glaciers are the “posterchild” of the AGW movement — the glaciers’ retreat is about all the AGW movement has left, now that ice seems to be building at both poles.
    So, because this ideally is about science and not politics (yes, I know it’s about politics) glaciers need to be studied and understood.
    After all, it’s been the science and a somnolent Sun that has swung the polls away from the AGW camp and stalled cap-and-trade legislation in Congress.
    While irrationality may get a good head start, ultimately reason and careful observation & measurement will gain the upper hand.

  54. Alex,
    0.008 ° C
    That’s less than 1/100 of a degree!
    Does RSS specify an error margin?

  55. Cold fronts encountering warm moisture laden warm bearing air masses cause the maximum amount of snow fall, and can be quite local. The cattle killing storms in the Panhandle of Texas occurred during the latter part of March and first part of April. High winds force wet snow flakes into their nostrils suffocating them. It marks the onset of the rainy season in that area. When very cold highs cover the area, the old-timers used to say it was “too cold to snow.”
    This is an observation from a very small localized area, but so is the glacier in N.Z. In MHO they cannot be depended upon for extrapolating large scale climate factors.

  56. Tom Fuller (23:55:03) : “…a simple doubling of CO2 will not cause catastrophe, but are intentionally ignoring that another re-doubling and perhaps yet a further re-doubling of CO2,…”
    Correct me if I am wrong – These second and third re-doublings are being ignored because they are not possible – in the sense that humans cannot accomplish that, maybe not even the first doubling that is talked about. Something about Earth – maybe it will crack open – could cause a rise to 760, 1520, 3040 ppm but that’s closer to science fiction than science.
    Others have commented before me on this, but I thought I’d stick up the numbers and see if someone can figure a way to get us there.

  57. Richard, “So, definitive proof that the LIA wasn’t global”
    Just like modern global warming 1977 onwards.

  58. Molon Labe (00:42:35) :
    “At least six people have been killed after an avalanche in Austria, reports say. Several others are missing.” http://twitter.com/BreakingNews
    Isn’t it May?
    Das Unglücksgebiet liegt auf rund 3.000 Meter Seehöhe.
    The location of the accident was at 3000 meters above sealevel. They were Czech tourists who went out despite high avalanche danger. They all carried
    avalanche rescue beacons, but the avalanche was too enormous to allow a quick rescue.
    No climate significance, except for the enormous amount of snow the Austrian Alps received this winter.

  59. Richard (01:53:58) : “So, definitive proof that the LIA wasn’t global.”
    No. Definitive proof Earth is complicated. Above comments by several people explain a few of these many things. More will follow – I think.

  60. Michael T (02:29:55) : Now, I am just a feeble minded geologist and I have to start cooking lunch but can anyone else consider how variation in the field’s intensity might influence solar wind and cosmic ray effects on hemispherical climate/glaciers, please?
    Well, I’m just a feeble minded economist who has to go cook breakfast! But I’ll start it: Take a look at the ozone map on any given day. It looks like a Birkland type current is hitting the N. pole and there is a significant asymmetry of ozone distribution. Ozone is rather important to several weather related phenomenon, including blocking the 9-10 micron IR band.
    There is a theory that as the planets wobble above / below the plane of the ecliptic that this current from the sun would swap what pole it hits. This ought to cause a significant difference in how weather is distributed between the poles… It might also have some influence upon and /or be influenced by the earth’s magnetic field. Certainly the inflow of charged particles to the atmosphere would be different if we suddenly sprouted a new “North pole” just off Bermuda (which looks like it’s trying to happen… the initial stages of a pole swap are a chaotic outbreak of ‘many poles’ until it reforms as just 2 …)
    See:
    http://exp-studies.tor.ec.gc.ca/e/ozone/Curr_allmap_g.htm
    which as I type this is showing both poles low on ozone… though you still get the ‘two yellow eyes’ effect of a Birkland current at the N. Pole.
    Geoff Sharp can do more justice to the theory of polar steering via planets than I can, maybe he’ll pitch in here… (HINT!)
    The magnetic field dropping low during a reversal also ought to let in more cosmic rays and solar particles that, via the Svensmark theory, would cause more clouds (a theory I’m endorsing much more these days, headed into early May in California with cold, overcast, the heater running, drizzle in the garden, not May at all weather…). I’m not sure exactly how the mag field and the solar & cosmic particle sources would interact, but it’s likely to be complex. See:
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/30oct_ftes.htm
    for an idea just how complex the sun / earth / magnetic interaction can be.
    OK, I kicked the can, somebody else take it on down the field 😉

  61. I don’t get warm and fuzzies when scientists say things are “unexpected”.
    I know they are human and it shouldn’t mean much more than that they had a theory that was thrown a curve ball or an assumption that needs reevaluation, but the word still gives me the feeling that the scientist had some prejudice.
    I would rather hear them say right off the bat that this finding does not support assumption A or theory X….

  62. M White (01:56:04) :

    OT Carbon neutral expidition “Greenland expedition 2009 has been abandoned due to repeated, irreparable storm damage to our sailing vessel Fleur”
    http://carbonneutralexpeditions.com/category/greenland-2009-blog/
    “The team are now safely and ironically aboard the oil tanker Overseas Yellowstone.”

    First I’ve heard about that boondoggle. Good that the crew is safe. Their home page says “Richard Spink and Raoul Surcouf set up Carbon Neutral Expeditions (CNE) in 2006 to show how journeys to some of the wildest, untouched places on the planet can be undertaken with minimal impact on the environment.”
    Their sponsorship page notes “Since a carbon neutral expedition to Greenland has never been tried before, we are confident that we will attract mainstream media attention. We are also planning to sell footage of the trip to a major broadcaster.”
    Perhaps there’s a reason such an expedition hasn’t been attempted before.

  63. Claude Harvey (23:15:45) :
    “This finding would seem at odds with a recent study reported in WUWT. In it, the analysis of New Zealand cave stalactites purportedly indicated the European medieval warming period had been simultaneously experienced in the southern hemisphere.”
    Why? I thought they just said they are not always in sync.. . the write up says:
    “The research argues that at times the climate in both hemispheres evolved in sync and at other times it evolved differently in different parts of the world.”

  64. Claude:

    This finding would seem at odds with a recent study reported in WUWT. In it, the analysis of New Zealand cave stalactites purportedly indicated the European medieval warming period had been simultaneously experienced in the southern hemisphere.

    What this finding suggests is that the LIA phenomenon was less severe in the southern hemisphere than the northern one, not that it was entirely absent.

    So, definitive proof that the LIA wasn’t global.

    Nope, not even close.

  65. RW (00:41:06) : After all, the mediaeval warming period and little ice age were largely northern hemisphere phenomena,
    Baldly stating an mistaken assumption does not make it so. There is evidence for a global impact of LIA and MWP. But Glaciers are the wrong thing to hang your “evidence” upon. They are NOT just cold indicators.
    Richard (01:53:58) : So, definitive proof that the LIA wasn’t global.
    Not at all. Glaciers, as stated above, are driven by a race condition between supply of water vapor to make snowfall as it rises up slope or into a colder climate zone and the temperature at the lower edge modulating melt rate. To the extent that a LIA cools the water source, you get less vapor so less snowfall so less glacier. To the extent that a LIA causes an extreme cold, you can get the vapor removed from the air long before it reaches the snow field that feeds the glacier. It’s not all about the melt rate at the foot (or toe) of the glacier. Then there is also sublimation in frozen, but dry, conditions…
    Each glacier has an idiosyncratic local set of conditions in the water field supply of vapor mass and the snow field accumulator along with the foot melt point. These are very unlikely to be in simple sync with a LIA “average” temperature. Not to mention that shifts of ocean currents and winds could have a dramatic impact on a single little island like N.Z. while still being part of a global cooling.
    So I’d advise being much more cautious about attributing conclusions lest your assumptions let you run off a cliff of conclusion… rather like “The CO2 Did It!” is being dramatically falsified by the earth getting colder for the last decade while CO2 rises…

  66. “The research argues that at times the climate in both hemispheres evolved in sync and at other times it evolved differently in different parts of the world.”
    So … climate in the two Hemispheres changed in the same way except for periods when they didn’t. Ok, I can buy that … in a Reverend Jim sort of way.

  67. Tom Fuller,
    The examiner piece is very good given where this issue has “been”. One statement that nails it for me is this:
    “The tactics to date of the alarmists have been stupid–graceless to the point of thuggishness. But worse than stupid, their tactics have been wrong. Most skeptics have only wanted their objections acknowledged and incorporated into ongoing study of climate and its changes.”
    I have issues with some of the other statements such as;
    “But even if this trend persists, environmentalists will rightly bear in mind that the energy consumption and resultant pollution of 6 billion now, 9 billion in the future, will certainly have effects that include upward pressure on temperatures, and much else besides. They would be fools to abandon their case even if they are made to look like fools in the short term.”
    How can he be certain the effects would be upward pressure on temperatures? It seems to me that current knowledge does not have a clear answer. CO2 introduces some warming, aerosols cooling (?), land use (who knows?)….We want to protect the Environment for many very good reasons, but Climate Change/Global Warming is generally at the bottom of the list and clouds all the good reasons that our attentions should be focused on, but aren’t.
    “The skeptics, if proven right in the first battle, will use their victory to diminish the value of climatology, possibly at just the time climatology matures to such an extent that it would be of service going forward.”
    I disagree. Perhaps that will be what the public and politicians do. But I think that knowledgeable skeptics would do the opposite, recognizing there is value in continuing modeling research (emphasizing research)
    I’m having a hard time holding back on the OT statements about Obama being “pragmatic and practical” and “…the essential utility of liberalism–the tolerance that allows consensus and yes, compromise.”…

  68. Adam Soereg (01:45:17) :
    “And nothing about the ‘glaciers are retreating because of human-induced global warming’ statement?”
    —————————-
    The Fox Glacier had retreated by 1,000 feet in December, 1974, during global cooling.

  69. This sentence,
    Glaciers are sensitive indicators of climate changes, usually advancing when it cools and retreating when it warms.
    appears to be out of place. The article goes on to properly indicate that glaciers in the world are not always in concert and are susceptible to local conditions and events.
    Yes glaciers tend to advance when it is cool and retreat when it is warm. However, I do not feel they are ‘sensitive indicators’ of climate change at least not in a global sense.
    The Muir Glacier in Alaska has retreated, but, has done so for over 200 years. Glacier Bay did not exist in 1740 and what is now the mouth of the bay was just a wall of ice against the sea. A paper from 1923 speaks of records about Glacier Bay and goes back to 1794 and the glacial retreat.
    The bay, which once was nothing but a huge amount of glacial ice, already existed as a bay when Muir visited in the late 1800’s. Over the recent past 60 years the Muir Glacier retreated a distance of 7 miles; (.12 miles per year). It is now almost 60 miles from the mouth of the bay. So 50+ miles of retreat occurred prior to 1940; (.25 miles per year average). That figure is gracious in using 1740 as the start point. The figures; .12 miles per year verses .25 miles per year, illustrate the Muir Glacier retreated more than twice as fast in the past than it has in modern times. Additionally; the greatest volume of Muir Glacier ice, as opposed to glacial length or extent, melted long before the beginning of modern industrial activity.
    We have all heard about the catastrophic retreat of glaciers during the 20th century and supposedly increased rates of retreat during the late 1990s. Glaciers don’t just retreat geographically, they also thin. In most cases they, (being three dimensional), also narrow. Glaciers historically pointed to by the AGW crowd retreated at a faster rate in the past, and, lost most of their volume of ice long ago. Long before the use of fossil fuels. Long before the 20th century.
    The glaciers which have retreated slightly faster, are reflecting they entered modern times with far less ice volume, and, far thinner than they were in the past. They are not a demonstration of runaway global warming. Glaciers are not a simple gauge which one can use to claim unusual warming or temperatures greater than those of the past.
    In the area of the Muir Glacier, the McBride and the Burroughs Glacier have been retreating. But, others have stopped their retreat in recent times and are advancing, they are growing. The John Hopkins Glacier stopped its retreat and began advancing during these modern times of satellite records. It is not an anomaly, a lone rogue. The Grand Pacific, Lamplugh, Margerie, and Reid glaciers are currently advancing. The Brady Glacier has been advancing since 1794 as the Muir retreated.
    The greatest amount of warming in recovery from the LIA occurred prior to 1900. The current temperatures are pretty much ideal for man, though cooler than other times during the Holocene. Earth’s glaciers have retreated due to natural variation in climate and conditions. Many glaciers are now advancing due to natural variation in global climate and conditions specific to the region where they exist.
    I stated above; Glaciers are not a simple gauge which one can use to claim unusual warming or temperatures greater than those of the past. As you can see from my examples, in the same geographical area some glaciers can be retreating, while others, advance.

  70. As Geoff Sharp indicated above, the effect of LIA in both hemisphere was different. Time ago I referred to an study of the argentinian geologist Miguel Gonzales, where he found at the Salinas del Bebedero (salt lake of Bebedero) were filled with water during little ice ages (Maunder and Dalton´s); and not only that but that salt lake in those times, coincided with drought in the argentinian pampa (plains) around. The water came from increased glaciers on the andes.
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/m11m129238u61484/
    Abstract:
    Abstract We present a climatic reconstruction of Holocene lacustrine episodes in the Salinas del Bebedero basin (Argentina), based on geological and diatom information.
    Morphological, sedimentological and diatom evidence between 11600 ± 140 yr BP and 325 ± 95 yr BP, allowed us to interpret the paleoenvironments of the basin. Episodes of high energy (sandy levels) are linked to large inflow of meltwater through the Desaguadero River, related to development of glaciers on the Andes. This inflow is characterized by peaks of relative abundance of the brackish water diatom Cyclotella choctawatcheeana Prasad. The values of C. choctawatcheeana decrease in deposits of low energy (clay levels), where it co-dominates with oligohalobous Fragilaria and Epithemia spp.
    To the last two peaks of large inflow of meltwater, radiocarbon dates corrected to sidereal ages, are AD 1280/1420 and AD 1443/1656. These ages agree with two cold episodes clearly recorded in dendrological studies from the Patagonian Andes and were correlated to the Little Ice Age. Thus, older Holocene episodes of large inflow of water to the basin were correlated with the Neoglacial Advances defined by Mercer (1976) for the Andes.

  71. Here’s the math on double, re-double and re-double atmospheric CO2 levels:
    In round numbers: current atmospheric CO2 levels are around 400 ppm. Double is 800, re-double is 1600, and re-re-double is 3200 ppm–about half of all-time high CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.
    In the industrial age, we have added about 100 ppm CO2 to the atmosphere. We’re probably half way through our oil reserves, figure a quarter through coal and gas (and let’s take de-forestation at zero, which is conservative). So, in a better case, figure we can quadruple atmospheric CO2 from current levels, which would equal 400 ppm in total, and bring total atmospheric CO2 to around 700 ppm (300 natural + 400 man-made). That’s a long way from 3200.
    For a ‘worse case’ scenario, let’s assume that the earth can no longer absorb about half our CO2 emissions, which apparently is has over the last century. If you do the math, you top out at 1000 ppm–still a long way from 3200.
    Right now, atmospheric CO2 is rising at a pace of 2 ppm per year. So you have a good 50 years to change course if you allow another 100 ppm is not that bad.
    Conclusion: Atmospheric CO2 is likely to top out under 600 ppm, and we should have time to monitor changes in the environment meanwhile.

  72. As it is much more than probable that GWrs. will attribute any drought to their favorite cause, drought in the argentinian pampa, already happening, and the filling of those dried salt lakes with water once again, from the andes mountains, as during the LIA, will demonstrate just the opposite.
    So, save this data and check it with the news in the years to follow.

  73. What is really interesting in Dr.David Barrell study is that it shows that in an island as New Zealand, surrounded by the biggest sea, this acted as the “warm water bottle” at its feet, which made the Maunder Minimum not to be felt there, while in the southamerican continent it was , as indicated above, where glaciers increased.
    Steven Kopits (10:20:41) :You see, nothing of the CO2 accounts but the Sun.
    Did you ever try breathing continuosly, without interruption?, what did you feel?, you over oxygenated and felt dizzy…well, that is LACK of CO2. If you and all the bunch of GWrs. could get the CO2 to lower (which it is totally impossible, because you and I, we the human beings, are NOTHING, almost unexistent to nature) it would shorten your precious life lenght, by accelerating your metabolism by speeding up oxydizing processes in your body.
    Don´t tell me now that you didn´t think of the consequences on human life of reducing atmospheric CO2. (not considering of course your taxes)
    Perhaps some endocrinologist, if reading these lines, could tell us the optimum amount of CO2 for human life.

  74. To Gwrs.experimenters:
    Reduction of carbon dioxide causes a reduction in pH (concentration of hydrogen ions) in the blood, and shifts acidity to alkalinity since a solution of carbon dioxide gas is a weak acid. If carbon dioxide decreases, then the environment and organism becomes more alkaline or is shifted in the direction of alkalinity. This causes the following abnormalities:
    c) Change in the activity of enzymes and vitamins: some of them increase their activity, while others decrease. And this inevitably leads to:
    d) Abnormalities of the metabolism, which is the foundation of life i.e. enzymes (there are about 700 of them which have already been discovered) and vitamins (there are more than 20), all these control units of the metabolism start to work abnormally. The metabolism is abnormal, the foundation of life is abnormal. If carbon dioxide decreases below the limiting norm, then there is a termination of the chemical processes, death of the cells and organism

    http://www.normalbreathing.com/book-lecture-content.html

  75. E.M.Smith (08:59:28) :
    RW (00:41:06) : After all, the mediaeval warming period and little ice age were largely northern hemisphere phenomena,
    These folks started a data base to refute the argument stated by RW. Their main page is here: http://co2science.org/ Where you can read this:
    “Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week
    Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 697 individual scientists from 406 separate research institutions in 40 different countries … and counting!”
    The full data base is here.
    http://co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php
    I’ve read the abstracts of about 2 dozen and gone to the on-line papers of a few. Do the same and you can judge for yourself how complex Earth is but their claim that the MWP existed and was world wide is well documented.

  76. Did Thomas Fuller silp his own post here or was that done by someone else? If the latter, maybe he should be aware of this.

  77. OT, Yesterday, the second of May was the 1 year anniversary of the Chaitén Volcano eruption which is a non stop event continuing until today.
    http://volcanism.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/chaiten-one-year-on/
    Today it was also reported that Indonesia saw yet another volcano erupt
    http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2009/05/yet_another_indonesian_volcano.php
    Indonesia currently has 4 volcano’s under Orange Alert and another thirteen, yes, you read this correct, thirteen volcano’ under Yellow Alert.
    http://volcanism.wordpress.com/2009/05/03/alert-at-indonesias-mt-rinjani/

  78. Tom Fuller (23:55:03) :
    But, as someone who is proud to be a liberal, I can hope that other participants in this debate remember the essential utility of liberalism–the tolerance that allows consensus and yes, compromise.
    I’ve long been fascinated with the liberal perception of compromise.
    So, I propose a compromise.
    I’m willing to compromise and settle for half of your next paycheck.
    Deal??

  79. ““The New Zealand findings point to the importance of regional shifts in wind directions and sea surface temperatures,” he said.”
    Of course. Oceans and winds. And of course the climate models miss all this because their emphasis is really on the atmosphere rather than the seas…time to revisit this piece….
    http://climatesci.org/2009/01/29/real-climate-suffers-from-foggy-perception-by-henk-tennekes/
    “A weather model deals with the atmosphere. Slow processes in the oceans, the biosphere, and human activities can be ignored or crudely parameterized. This strategy has been very successful. The dominant fraternity in the meteorological modeling community has appropriated this advantage, and made itself the lead community for climate modeling.
    The climate models were ‘doomed’ from the start.

  80. Maybe this is simplistic, but this story (and others) lead me to the obvious conclusion: there’s no such thing as “global” climate. There is local and regional climate which, added together, produces an artificial global aggregate.

  81. Tom Fuller,
    “…but are intentionally ignoring that another re-doubling and perhaps yet a further re-doubling of CO2, and the effluent that would accompany it, would, as the conventional environmental wisdom has it, carry costs we do not want to bear–or sometimes even contemplate.”
    All the fossil fuel we have burned to date is claimed to be responsible for about 110ppm CO2. To finish the first doubling we need to add another 170ppm, more than we have added since the late 1800’s. The next doubling we will need to add 560ppm, 5 times what we have added already. A third doubling envisions burning a totally ridiculous amount of fossil fuels.
    Exactly how much fossil fuel do you think is available in the planet???
    Dave Middleton,
    “Add coal to the equation…And there probably is enough fossil “carbon” left to do that. Before all of that carbon was bound up in fossil fuels, the Earth’s atmosphere had about 4000ppm to 7000ppm CO2.”
    Sorry, more CO2 is tied up in soils, “The White Cliffs of Dover”, plants, shells (living and dead)… Please do your homework on that.
    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/9r.html
    See table 9r-1.
    All that CO2 was NATURALLY sequestered, BUT, the majority didn’t make it to fossil fuels. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH FOSSIL FUEL TO DO THE JOB.

  82. I’d like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts on the article I posted here as a comment. Especially those of you who, being conservative, could have criticized my politics but instead dealt with the topic I raised. I wish that some of my fellow liberals could have been so gracious.
    Tom

  83. steptoe fan (23:25:15) (re: comic rays and the methodology of this study)
    Your original inquiry, to which several have referred, makes a good point about the inconsistency of such studies. They assume uniformity in some things known NOT to be uniform over time in order to study unique cataclysmic events! There is much about the past that we do not know and all such studies and their methods must constantly be questioned for logical consistency.

  84. Ed Scott
    You stated,
    The Fox Glacier had retreated by 1,000 feet in December, 1974, during global cooling.
    Both Fox & nearby Franz Josef Glaciers have an approx. 5 yr lag between weather conditions at the neve and manifestation at the terminal face. For 1974 look to the conditions in 1969. Both of these west coast glaciers have been advancing rapidly, with occasional retreats, since 1984.
    With the recent overflowing of the hydro lakes in the downstream region of the Southern Alps (on the eastern side of the divide) as a result of a steady flow of heavy rain in the headwaters since last September, expect to see more major advances at the terminal faces of F.J. & Fox in 4.5 years.
    An announcement on the weather for T.V.N.Z. tonight stated that Mt Hutt Ski Field on the eastern flank of the Southern Alps has a ski base of 45cm (18 inches) with opening day not far away. A great start for ski fans!

  85. Thanks for the comments,
    Jim Papsdorf (06:59:24) Try http://www.akk.me.uk/
    If you have trouble accessing the website feel free to email me akmagnetic at akk dot me dot uk
    Tarpon, I could not find any paper that linked space weather to terrestrial weather, but Svensmark notes that CGRs may cause cloud formation. You write:”Who wants to do the research and then write a paper about how the changing earth’s magnetic field effects the climate with the changing effects of cosmic rays?” I refer you to this paper;
    [2] K. Scherer, et al Interstellar-Terrestrial Relations: Variable Cosmic Environments, The Dynamic Heliosphere, And Their Imprints On Terrestrial Archives And Climate. Space Science Reviews (2006) DOI: 10.1007/s11214-006-9126-6 _C
    It’s abstract is in my paper which you can download from my website but one of the ideas is that as the Our Galaxy moves through space we hit regions of intense CGR and these tie up with ice ages.
    Just a quick comment about me so you know where I am coming from. I am not an academic, I am 61 years old and have been an electronics engineer for all my working life and am partially retired. I gained an MSc in Electronic Engineering in 1992 .The reason I started to look at climate change was purely an interest in learning more about it. Just out of curiosity I decided to look at the position of the north magnetic pole and norther hemisphere temperatures as there was conjecture that the poles were about to reverse and plunge us into an ice age. I originally went back to 1600 but before ~1900 temperature projections vary wildly and the estimates for the magentic pole positions are also variable so I restricted it to the last 100 years. As the pole positions are given in 5 yr intervals the cooling seen recently is not reflected in the graphs. All comments welcome. Cheers Adrian

  86. It’s worth pointing out that the snowfields which feed all NZ West Coast glaciers (all in the South Island) are about 10 miles max from the Tasman Sea. They are at the top of the Southern Alps, max height a modest 12,345 feet (or so it was before the Alps had a leetle hiccup and a few feet fell off the top, right onto the glacier below. Changed it’s albedo, fer sure.
    So there’s absolutely no point in comparing continental glaciers anywhere, with these babies. The ocean they face and the prevailing westerly wind, has a clear run right from Africa. That ocean is host to some of the scariest wave trains in the world (100 ft is not unusual, read abaht it in any round-the-world yachting epic), and thus those glaciers are a creature of SST and winds, just as the study rather bleedingly obviously is reported to have, well, reported.
    More than a leetle skepticism is warranted here, as Rhys J has pointed out way above.

  87. >>>Earth’s magnetic field is, I believe, relatively weak at the
    >>>moment, particularly in an area to the south of S. Africa,
    >>>and may even be preparing for a change of polarity
    Entirely possible, it is overdue, I think. The South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly is one possible precursor of this change – it is an area of weakening magnetic field that is allowing cosmic rays etc into the atmosphere. And it is growing.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Atlantic_Anomaly
    http://web.dmi.dk/fsweb/Esautilw/pee04ag.gif
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081125090348.htm
    http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/fileadmin/documents/OSTST/2002_no/willis.pdf
    .

  88. ” Claude Harvey (23:15:45) :
    This finding would seem at odds with a recent study reported in WUWT. In it, the analysis of New Zealand cave stalactites purportedly indicated the European medieval warming period had been simultaneously experienced in the southern hemisphere.”
    Actually, there is no contradiction. The Lorrey paper says the glaciers grew during the LIA, NOT the MWP. Please reread it more closely.
    Furthermore, you should also pay attention to the relative altitudes of the caves and the glaciers.

  89. “”” Claude Harvey (23:15:45) :
    This finding would seem at odds with a recent study reported in WUWT. In it, the analysis of New Zealand cave stalactites purportedly indicated the European medieval warming period had been simultaneously experienced in the southern hemisphere. “””
    What’s the mystery? The study says the Fox Glacier reached its most advanced position 6500 years ago, and has been receding since. They do not say it has been receding monotonically. In fact Fox Glacier, and its cousin Franz Joseph Glacier a few mile up the road regularly advance and recede. When I was there New Year’s Day of 2007, both were advancing, but you could see from the signs and early photographs where the glacier had been earlier and it was much more advanced than it is today. At it’s furthest advance the chances are the Fox Glacier ended up in the Tasman Sea. In Jan 2007 you could walk right up to the very face, and that brown strip on the bottom left of the picture above.
    Some rocket scientists were actually walking inside ice caves at the bottom of the front face with overhanging cliffs above them (for photo opportunities. The string of large ice blocks that had bounded 1/4 mile down stream from that face; probably would give some clue as to one’s life expectancy for being so foolish. Unlike in the USA; in NZ, they don’t care too much if you want to off yourself in such a fashion. Don’t look for a payoff for your hers . The signs plainly tell you it is illegal to even go up there that far (without being on a guided trek.
    The long term trend is they retreat from the last ice age, but on shorter (30 year) time scales they wax and wane.
    George

  90. “”” Tom Fuller (23:55:03) :
    But, as someone who is proud to be a liberal, I can hope that other participants in this debate remember the essential utility of liberalism–the tolerance that allows consensus and yes, compromise. President Obama’s energy plan is a good start for this country, and I say that as one who is skeptical about the current range of catastrophic outcomes predicted by alarmists. Let’s use it as a starting point for Round Two of debate on climate change. “””
    What debate are you talking about. There is no debate; the science is settled remember !
    Just what Obama energy plan are you talking about: his “energy plan” is a massive tax scam designed to raise the trillions of dollars required to fund his wild socialist Marxist totalitarian take over of America.
    Tolerance ? you have to be kidding. In the Congress, the minority party may not even introduece ANY legislation; and may not make amendments to legislation the majority party puts up. If the minor party doesn’t vote for the legislation of the major party; they are obstructionists, and mean spirited.
    Well the minority party is supposed tor resist stupid legislation that will destroy the country the founders gave us. All three branches of the Government simply run roughshod over the Constitution. The Constitution grants authority to the Congress to make uniform laws of bankruptcy that apply uniformly everywhere in th4e USA; but this little dictator simply usurps authority he doesn’t have and simply tells a private business that they have to sell out or go bankrupt under his rules; which is to give that company to the ubiob workers who helped put him in absolute power; “we won” is his authotity to do whatever Saul Alinski taught him and other radicals to do.
    You’ve got to be living in a dream world Tom; if you think this is what the American People voted for.
    Well you and your fellow liberals have the whole ball of wax now; so whatever happens next is on your ticket.
    When the minority part can not raise a single vote to support wild run amok legislation; and significant numbers of the Majority part can’t either; that is usually a warning that the train is off the rails.
    Enjoy it while you can Tom; your children, and your grandchildren; and their granchildren are going to love you, for what you are doing to this once great country.
    Maybe with luck Mother Nature will step in and throw the light of reality on this foolishness.

  91. “”” E.M.Smith (08:59:28) :
    RW (00:41:06) : After all, the mediaeval warming period and little ice age were largely northern hemisphere phenomena, “””
    Not so. A number of authors have done reviews of hundreds of world wide studies of various climate indicators and show that BOTH the the MWP and the LIA were indeed global phenomena.
    But you only have to look at the land/water assymmetry, with most of the land being in the northern hemisphere, and most of the water in the southern hemisphere, including both the Arctic, and the Antarctic; to see that you wouldn’t expect both hemishperes to fall lockstep into the same patterns.
    One famous phenomenon that definitely was not global; as stated even by it’s best known promoter; is the Mann “Hockey Stick”
    The original publication of the phenomenon states quite learly at the top of the graph: “NORTHERN HEMISPHERE”
    So we know the hockey stick was just a local anomalie; not a global event; Mann said so.
    “””
    Each glacier has an idiosyncratic local set of conditions in the water field supply of vapor mass and the snow field accumulator along with the foot melt point. These are very unlikely to be in simple sync with a LIA “average” temperature. Not to mention that shifts of ocean currents and winds could have a dramatic impact on a single little island like N.Z. while still being part of a global cooling. “””
    Time for a little geography E.M.
    New Zealand definitely is NOT a “single little Island”, as any credible map of the world will show; And it is somewhere between Oregon, and California in size. If you flipped NZ across the equator, and moved it to the US West Coast, it would stretch from up in the Gulf of Alaska, down to the Mexican border: and it has four islands; North Island, South Island, Stewart Island, and Rangitoto.
    So it definitely does have its own climate.

  92. “”” Mike Lorrey (10:21:50) :
    ” Claude Harvey (23:15:45) :
    This finding would seem at odds with a recent study reported in WUWT. In it, the analysis of New Zealand cave stalactites purportedly indicated the European medieval warming period had been simultaneously experienced in the southern hemisphere.”
    Actually, there is no contradiction. The Lorrey paper says the glaciers grew during the LIA, NOT the MWP. Please reread it more closely.
    Furthermore, you should also pay attention to the relative altitudes of the caves and the glaciers. “””
    Mike,
    The ancient glacial moraine beds of the Fox glacier ar essentially at sea level; same for Franz Joseph. The main hiway past both of those is only a few feet above the sea, and the present glacier terminal face might be 200 feet up the canyon; but I doubt it is much more; they are sea level glaciers, although they start a good way up the Mount Cook area of the Southern Alps.
    George

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