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Thoughts on Rio and new findings with implications for climate science, and the Ice Ages

26 June 2012
Climate change

Jennifer Marohasy (see http://jennifermarohasy.com) reports on Rio and says the West and Western science was largely ignored at the United Nations talkfest in Rio – a sign of the times. It seems the Chinese are now in the driving seat, not only economically but scientifically – as far as climate science is concerned. This was inevitable of course as the West is mesmerised in looking at it's navel, fighting old battles which should have been reconciled years ago. Marohasy has had a paper published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, a journal with heavy Chinese input.

Christopher Moncton, on the other hand, picks on a different way to have a go at the Rio bean feast – see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/25/dont-worry-about-the-ickle-birdies/

Meanwhile, at http://esciencenews.com/articles/2012/06/25/greenland.ice.may.exaggerate… … it seems that ice cores may not actually record temperature after all. If you find that hard to believe – so do a lot of other people. This comes long after Greenland glaciers have served as a historical thermometer over thousands of years into the past. However, comparing the ratio of oxygen isotopes buried as snow fell may not be such a straightforward indicator as it has been assumed to be and it may actually give a false impression. A geoscience team says quite bluntly, 'we don't believe the ice cores can be interpreted purely as a signal of temperature …' and 'you have to consider when the precipitation that formed the ice came from'. The study, in PNAS (June 25th) has a lot to say about the Younger Dryas event, which began around 13,000 years ago, a cooling episode that was abrupt and short lived. According to the ice cores temperature in Greenland plunged by 15 degrees – and shot back up again at the end of the Younger Dryas, over a thousand years later. The problem appears to revolve around their models – they cannot get them to reproduce the drop in temperature or the rise back up again, in spite of wiggling around with ocean circulation changes, twitching about with injections of fresh water into the North Atlantic, and playing around with Arctic sea ice levels – even to the extent of having ice covering most of the North Atlantic. The team can't make the models reproduce the event as it was found in ice cores – therefore, the ice core evidence may require looking at again. We may note catastrophism is not part of the models – only assumed climate processes. One problem highlighted in the abstract is the amount of co2 in the atmosphere by the time the Younger Dryas event occurred – which is assumed to have a warming effect on the Earth and therefore counterbalancing the other changes to climate assumed to be responsible for a cooling. See also http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/26/we-dont-believe-the-ice-cores-can-…). A comment at 2.01am says temperature of condensation is dewpoint, hence the isotopes are a proxy of the absolute humidity of the airmass and not of the ambient temperature. See also http://phys.org/print259861771.html.

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