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End of Holocene conjecture

18 March 2012
Climate change

An excellent piece by guest poster William McClenney at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/the-end-holocene-or-how-to-make-ou… which is an update on an earlier posting. His argument is that CAGW people are ignoring the fact we live in an interglacial and we are nearing its end – or are we? Five of the last six interglacials, it is claimed, lasted around half a precession cycle. These last 19,000 to 23,000 years (apparently they vary) and as we are already in to the Holocene by someting like 11,500 years, which is easily half way – so when will the Holocene come to an end? For some strange reason, adding to the query he has created, why is he calculating the end of the last glaciation at 9500BC. Surely this is when the Younger Dryas event came to an end, along with the Pleistocene, but the Last Glacial Maximum came to an end around 16,000 years ago – and in that case we are almost at a full precession cycle.

Some of the comments are excellent – and others are thoughtful. For example. 'leftturnandre' says at 4.57am that the Late Glacial Maximum does not appear to have been too bad in Siberia, quoting various papers from 2005, 2006 and 2009 etc as evidence that large herbivores in the region required biomass (fodder) in order to survive – and there were lots of herbivores. Another comment, by 'hagendl' at 5.11am gives some links to articles on the Little Ice Age in Estonia and Finland. Web sites offered included http://dinosaurtheory.com/index.html

See also McClenney's reply to Alec Rawl at 9.49am in which is is talking about the Dansgaard-Oeschger temporary rapid warmings that drift back to the previous temperature that have been found to litter the last 100,000 years. This is just the kind of thing that proxy data might show if a series of Peter Warlow tippe top movements had occurred – oscillating before resettling back down again. Is this feasible?

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