Friday, December 10, 2010

To Obscurity, Whoever You Are

I just posted this on Dr. Roy Spencer's blog as a comment to a post by "Obscurity", who accused skeptics of making fun of man-caused global warming by noting the current record lows in Cancun, the UK, and Europe.

Skeptics are not alone in sometimes citing weather (cold snaps, record low temperatures) as climate trend. Al Gore was awarded a Nobel Prize for that very thing. When or where did Al Gore mention that current warming started around 1850, at the end of the Little Ice Age? Or that there have been at least six periods of greater or equal natural warming in the Holocene, including most recently the Medieval Warm Period?

"An Inconvenient Truth" is replete with examples of weather (Katrina, floods, a strong storm drowning three polar bears, etc.) that Al Gore cites as proof of AGW (or climate change). Kilimanjaro is prominently featured, even though its glacier retreat occured predominantly prior to 1900 and had nothing to do with warming (the glacier field never warms above freezing - Al never heard of sublimation?). Then there's the 20 feet of sea rise by 2100 compared to about six inches in the past century (and 420 feet in the past 11,000 years, an average of four feet per century).

What explains that cooling always beginnings when atmospheric CO2 is relatively high? If increasing CO2 causes warming, why can't high levels of CO2 prevent cooling?

I'm glad Al Gore brought the Vostok ice cores to our attention, showing that changes in CO2 follow, not precede, changes in temperature. Thanks, Al.

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