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The Eemian again – same article, different take

1 October 2010
Climate change

At  http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/01/ there is a post with the title ‘2 Degrees’ – the amount our Canute like EU and US leaders think they are able to limit C02 to, a measly 2 degrees. Of course, it isn’t anywhere near that figure – but that depends how it is calculated. In a paper in Journal of Quaternary Science this small increase is said to be dangerous – but why? A team of scientists took a look at the Eemian interglacial some 125,000 years ago and claim to have reconstructed temperatures at different places around the planet. It appears temperatures in polar regions were 5 degrees warmer in the Eemian – but the Tropics were only marginally warmer. In fact, they have calculated global temperatures, by running an average of the sites they investigated, was about 1.9 degrees greater. However, not greater than modern temperatures – and here is the trick. It is 1.9 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures, when the world was just climbing out of the Little Ice Age. Several points arise – this is of course being used to throw up a scary AGW scenario, we are on the brink of the polar regions going into melt-down. It doesn’t occur to the authors or any commenter at Watts Up With That that the polar regions may have been warmer for some other reason. If temperatures were just 1.9 above what they were a hundred and fifty years ago, or more, that does not suggest it was particularly warm in the world outside the polar regions. Further, sea levels differed – but only by something like 6 metres, and yet a huge ice sheet is thought to have melted. The authors appear to have failed to notice the ambiguity here as they were more interested in informing the world that this meant sea levels in the 21st century were going to climb much more than even the IPCC reckoned.

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