Monday, January 4, 2010

The Hubris of Mankind

It dawned on me the other day that we really have not seen what sort of weather this planet is capable of unleashing. How do I know this? I'm not a "climateologist" or highly-trained meterologist. I'm just an orginary guy, not that much different from the rest. So, what makes me so certain that we haven't seen the whole picture yet? Three words; ice core data.

You see, in case you didn't know this, we've been drilling cores of ice out of the ground in Antarctic and Greenland for years. Each year's new layer of ice tells us a great deal about the climate of the Earth, going back millions of years. It's, in fact, the ONE reason we should know that we have nothing to fear from the "global warming craze". This link reveals some interesting charts:

Forget the 800-year lag in CO2 results, that's just a red herring. Look instead at the temperature. The bottom of the page shows the entire 420,000 year record from the 1998 Vostok ice cores (Vostok is the Russion Antarctic station near the South Pole). Notice how the temperature goes up briefly every 100,000 years? There's a total of 5 peaks on the graph, including our own brief modern history in the last 8,000 years. The peaks are ALL warmer than out modern phase! Every single interglacial period has been AS WARM or SIGNIFICANTLY WARMER. They've also always been followed by a rapid decline in temperatures once more. Always.

So... to sum this up succinctly. The last 8,000 years have been an unusual abberation in our climate. All of the weather patterns we've observed in the history of mankind have been a part of this abberation. If each interglacial period is roughly 10k years in length, and there have been five in the last 420k years, then we've not witnessed 370,000 years worth of weather patterns which CAUSE ice ages.

Yet, somehow, we're supposed to believe that we're the "kings of the Earth" as far as weather and climate predictions go? I do believe that we're in for a very rude awakening some day.

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