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Ammonites in Antarctica

5 September 2012

We are used to finding ammonites in various places in the UK, such as the collapsed cliffs at Charmouth in Dorset, dating back to the Jurassic. These creatures of warm seas have been studied for years and are part and parcel of the idea that the Dinosaur age was one of global warmth. This appears to be confirmed by the discovery of large ammonites on an island off the peninsular of Antarctica – proof of Jurassic and Cretaceous global warming – see http://phys.org/print266079227.html

We have also been told a fair bit about a catastrophe at the end of the Cretaceous involving a comet or asteroid striking Chixulub in the Yucatan, wiping out the dinosaurs and allowing the mammals to inherit the world after 60,000 million years ago. Now, most of us are also aware that there has been a continuous lobby that has claimed geological strata does not quite fit and the eruption of the Deccan Traps and other evidence of volcanism was not sparked by the impact, the most obvious explanation, but occurred somewhat later – or earlier. This involves a strict interpretation of the geology. Strata are laid down over long periods of time and never instantly – or rarely so. This is the latest attempt to carve up the beef into two separate incidents thereby downplaying the significance of the impact and possibly at some point in the future, completely neutering the idea of a smack by a cosmic object. In this study they are separated by 300,000 years and the volcanism itself lasted 100,000 years. Now, that is taking geological strata to the extreme of reason but yes, that is what is being seriously suggested. Not only that, there was so much volcanism it warmed the planet. In normal circumstances, so as our own time, volcanoes are notorious for cooling the planet as they emit so much material into the atmosphere the warmth of the Sun is impaired. Not on this occasion it seems. They recognise a cooling has to have taken place but it could have lasted no more than ten years (two or three times as long as in the modern world with an ordinary kind of volcano). After that greenhouse gases spewed out by the volcanism caused the planet to warm into a hothouse, an exercise in magic as greenhouse gases aren't causing much warming at present. The paper is in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology and Palaeoecology and is a result of research on Seymour Island.

There was another paper on warming in the Antarctic, published by Nature (August 22nd 2012) – see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/05/is-the-current-global-warming-a-na… … but this concerns a much more recent period of time. It was written by Robert Mulaney and colleagues of the British Antarctic Survey (doi:10.1038/nature11391) and reports on two warming cycles, one at 1500AD and the other at 400AD, easured via deuterium concentrations in ice cores bored adjacent to recent breaks in the ice shelf. They are similar in amplitude to the present global warming signal but cannot be blamed on the billions of humans currently infesting the world – as recorded by the Church of Climatology, or by noxious coal fired power stations or indeed by any other kind of electric generating system. Perhaps the cows were breaking wind and drumming up a tatoo back then.

The authors did a similar but more extensive analysis of historical temperatures from ice core data (using Vostok) and they found 342 natural warming events distributed over 250,000 years. However, they could not get this published – at the time (by Nature or by Science or by anybody else). An interesting read if only to note the bias that existed and how easy it had become to thwart publication of anything remotely opposite to CAGW doctrine. Is the Church of Climatology weakening if the second paper gained peer review consent? Sceptics are always hopeful, a chink of light through the poison cloud – perhaps.

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