Powers of 10

This is a really interesting post at WUWT by J. Storrs Hall. It reminds me of one of those powers of ten films. He looks at data from a Greenland ice core (archived at NOAA here) going back over 50,000 years.   He begins looking at the last few hundred years, and then pulls back the view on larger and large time scales.  Highly recommended.

Note: Box, et al in 2009 claim to have found from 1-1.5C of warming since around 1900 when this chart leaves off.  It is very, very , very dangerous to splice data sets together, but one probably has to add a degree or so to the tail of the chart to bring it up to date, putting current warming about at the Medieval level but below earlier Holocene temperatures.

  • Mark

    If my understanding is correct, the global-warming people are saying that the average temperature of the entire earth is higher than in the past and climbing fast. The Greenland ice cores show that a local temperature in the past was much higher than today and has varied widely.

    Confusing to me. Does a small rise in average earth temperature mean even wider swings in local temperatures? What is the issue with a small rise in average temperature if local temperatures will be behaving as they have in the past?

    Looking at local temperatures might show that lots of melting at the pole is normal if you look back far enough. Would a small change in earth’s average temperature cause abnormal temperatures at the pole?

  • Ike

    Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving and revolving at 900 miles an hour…

    It’s orbiting at 19 miles a second (so it’s reckoned) a sun that is the source of all our power…

  • hunter

    The figger I hear for warming in the industrial age is ~0.7oC.
    Now I am hearing 1-1.5.
    Then, when we look at the long range, we see that neither number is significant.
    Why do so many people soak up this sincerely bogus pap and regurgitate it as if it were the key ot the universe?

  • ADiff

    Warming (or cooling) aside, this is a damning indictment of claims current trends portend catastrophe of any kind at all, and tends to undermine any claims they’re in any way unprecedented.

    And all that simply on the basis of climate change itself, without even proceeding to uncertainties in causality, ‘remedial’ efforts, or cost-benefit analysis…..

  • Klem

    When it comes down to it folks, the Copenhagen talks are not really about what the science says or doesn’t say. They are going to push this agreement through because they have a bigger goal. A world government. And if this treaty is signed by the world, it won’t matter if AGW is totally proven to be wrong, the global tax system will reamin. So they are in a rush to get this thing agreed to, because the public is gradually awakening to the truth. They had better hurry.

    Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep reasoning. Keep fighting.

  • Hold on now, folks! We haven’t finished adjusting the historical record all the way back to the Vostok ice core. Give us time. Most of those high deuterium temps will be adjusted downward to meet proper EPA, CRU, GISS, and KGB standards of accuracy.

    Honestly, on the recent frantic schedule of worldwide conferences and media appearances, who has time to eat a proper breakfast — much less perform the proper historical adjustments to data.

    Remember: if it is raw data it is meaningless. Data only takes on meaning when it has been properly modified by the value added techniques of validated data handlers. If you have to ask then you are not one of us.

  • Wally

    This is off topic to this particular post, but I figured it would of interest to the readers and the writer of this blog. Factcheck.org posted something on climate-gate just yesterday: http://factcheck.org/2009/12/climategate/

    Having read through it, its becomes pretty clear they are either addressing claims from uninformed skeptics or basically missing the point. Its not surprising that the writer of this article was a history of science major with a MA in English.

  • Stas Peterson

    Using ice core analysis as a means of measuring temperatures by radioactive isotope composition, may be valid.

    However, Any ice core analysis that attempts to measure atmospheric component constituents that are, hydrating gases, like CO2 or CH4, under pressures that they will likely cause hydration, in an ice core, is akin to reading chicken entrails and nothing more.

    Dr. Zbiegnieiw Jaworowski the Ice core ‘Emminence Gris’, and chair of the IPPCC subcommttee looking at ice cores resigned when appropriate corrections were not made for hydrations. He was immediately discredited,blackballed, and his career jeopardized by the members of the “CRU Team”. No hydrate corrections were allowed, showing depleted CO2 of rock steady 270-280 ppm in ice coe ice bubbles. And the Vostok-Moana Loa CO2 scandal continues.

    Ask anyone if the have seen the ever rising Moana Loa CO2 record, and even solid scientific skeptics will say the pre-industrial CO2 level was 270-280 ppm. Scientist Georg Beck proves, from purposely ignored Laboratory measurements, that it varied from 330 to 440 ppm in the 19th century, with a high in 1821 the Famine ‘Year of No Summer’. Todays ‘elevated’ reading is 388 ppm a long way below 440 ppm. Modern science has shown 1821’s 440ppm, to be a consequence of the massive Mt. Tambora volcano. And it was detected in the 19th scientists lab results. In addition, the lab measurement were a half a world away, and no tipping points were observed, another alarmist surmise either.

    Why read ice cores, tree rings, or chicken entrails, when actual lab measurements were avialable? No reason at all; none. Except it won’t support the AGW Warmist desires.

    This laboratory record long discredited by Dr.Callandar an early AGW exponent, confirms that Dr. Jaworowski was correct all along. There has not been any massive atmospheric growth in CO2, without data fudging, & data lying, just as there has been a lot less real global warming in the 20th century.

    Grafting the Vostok Ice core to the Moana Loa results by discarding a period of 83 years, to make them blend smoothly, is but one of the AGW Warmists easily reproduced data lies.

  • hunter-we are talking about Greenland specifically-the figure is bound to be higher given the arctic site.

  • mitchel44

    I saw a paper from Kaufman et al in 2004, “At the 16 terrestrial sites where quantitative estimates have been obtained, local HTM temperatures (primarily summer estimates) were on average 1.6 plus/minus .8C higher than present (approximate average of the 20th century)”, http://esp.cr.usgs.gov/research/alaska/PDF/KaufmanAger2004QSR.pdf

    For more arctic papers that show it warmer in the past, try here, http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/dont-panic-the-arctic-has-survived-warmer-temperatures-in-the-past/

    Not that I expect reality has anything to do with what’s going on in Copenhagen.