Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Mountain versus a Molehill

I have received two emails today (note: I prefer comments on my blog posts so everyone can see them) questioning my contention that today's temperatures are not "extraordinary."  Both came from pro-GW friends and I welcome them.  One said that plant and animal life cannot survive the rapid temperature changes predicted by the IPCC.  The other challenged whether there was peer-reviewed literature supporting my contention.

In case you missed it, here is the post that caused the concern.  The purpose of this blog is not to "do science," but to inform people on weather and environmental-related items that I think might be of interest.  Nevertheless, it is fair to ask what the peer-reviewed evidence shows.

Here is part of the basis for my opinion.  This graph,

depicts the temperatures of the last 1,200 years using Greenland ice.  The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) around year 1,000 is a mountain compared to the current warming which is molehill-sized.  The graph is plotted from this peer-reviewed paper with the raw data at NOAA's web site here.  Commentary about the paper is at Watts Up With That.  We also know that, as Greenland's ice has retreated in recent years, the debris of large trees has been found indicating they grew in Greenland in the past which further corroborates the ice core data.

In addition to this data, we know from the written record that grapes were grown in Newfoundland and northern England during this era.

With regard to flora and fauna, take a look at the temperature drop that starts around year 1,200.  If animals and plants could survive the drop from the MWP to the Little Ice Age, it seems reasonable they can adapt to the less steep rise of contemporary times, especially with the higher concentration of CO2 -- plant food!

Comments and questions are always welcome.  Thanks for reading.

UPDATE:  Less than 90 minutes after posting, I saw this headline:

Vulnerable nations at Copenhagen summit 

reject 2°C target

Alliance of Small Island States say any deal 
that allows temperatures to rise by more 
than 1.5°C is 'not negotiable'

"Allows"??!!  We think humans can "govern" the 
weather?  This just gets more and more surreal.  

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