Sunday, 2 January 2011

New year, new nonsense

It looks like the climate change deniers are getting their retaliation in early, before 2010 is confirmed as the hottest year on record.

With 'Global Warming stopped in 1995' wearing a bit thin and probably no longer tenable in the face of 2005, 2009 and (very probably) 2010, the deniers have gone to the opposite extreme. Instead of trying to confuse things by obsessively focusing on short periods of time, they're now claiming recent warming is not at all unusual, if you look at the amount of variation over the last 10000 years:
So where do the 1934/1998/2010 warm years rank in the long-term list of warm years? Of the past 10,500 years, 9,100 were warmer than 1934/1998/2010. Thus, regardless of which year ( 1934, 1998, or 2010) turns out to be the warmest of the past century, that year will rank number 9,099 in the long-term list. (1)
The above is accompanied by this graph (2), which appears to bear out its claims:


However, the claim is spurious. The reconstruction of the last 10,000 years temperature is based on a SINGLE ICE CORE. That's like basing a represnetation of current temperature on a single thermometer.

A single ice core can only provide a very general picture of past temperature, and different ice cores on serve to confound attempts at precision. Look at the differences between the isotopic content of the Vostok, GRIP and EPICA ice cores (3):


Note how the big spikes present in the recent Vostok record are lacking in the EPICA core - particularly the big spike in Vostok about 8000 years ago. EPICA records a slight fall, and GRIP goes through the floor - all at virtually the same time. And sometimes one is going up when the other is going down. It isn't possible to base too much on them, and especially not on a single core.

So, lets stop this silliness now. Claims that 2010 will "rank number 9,099 in the long-term list" are spurious,k anti-scientific nonsense, based on misuse of painfully gathered data, and henceforth included in Lurgee's Paradigm as evidence of a hardcore denier who can be dismissed.
1 - "2010 – where does it fit in the warmest year list?," by Don J. Easterbrook. Published on Watts Up With That?, 28th of December, 2010. (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/28/2010%E2%80%94where-does-it-fit-in-the-warmest-year-list/)
2 - Temperatures over the past 10,000 years recorded in the GISP2 Greenland ice core, published in the article linked above.
3 - "Epica-vostok-grip-40kyr-HCO, uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by William M. Connolley, 11th of March, 2005. (
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Epica-vostok-grip-40kyr-HCO.png)

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