Monday, August 18, 2008

"Disaster!" --Really?!?

Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from...Image via Wikipedia While preparing my previous post, I bumped into1 the image at right of "CO2 (Green graph), temperature (Blue graph), and dust concentration (Red graph) measured [or surmised!--JAH] from the Vostok, Antarctica ice core" (according to "Petit et al., 1999").

420,000 years of ice core data from Vostok, An...Image via Wikipedia And I was just about to comment on that graph when I acquired another, described as "From bottom to top: Solar variation at 65°N due to Milankovitch cycles (connected to 18O [isotope of oxygen]). 18O isotope of oxygen. Levels of methane (CH4). Relative temperature. Levels of carbon dioxide (CO2)."

The description for this second set of graphs says it includes "420,000 years of ice core data from Vostok." Note that the current period is at the left.

I implore you: take a look at those graphs. Carefully. Whether you believe the science is accurate surrounding how many years the ice core data really include, consider what these core readings say about the earth's temperature today . . . and compared to times in the past.

We keep reading and hearing about the climate "disaster" and "crisis" we face and how it is all humankind's fault--our terrible hydrocarbon-based lifestyle, you know.

Well--whose fault was it in all those previous cycles in which temperatures seem to have matched or, even, possibly, exceeded the temperatures we seem to be experiencing today? Where did all those high CO2 values come from?

Somehow, looking at these kinds of data, I get the impression we really are faced with a bunch of wild-eyed, hysterical crazies when it comes to the suggestion that global warming is all "our" (humans') fault. The arrogance on both sides--to think we have been able to cause all the warming or to imagine, as soon as temperatures begin to fall, that it was, somehow, our efforts that brought the earth's temperatures back down.

1 I've been using Zemanta for some time. It provides some interesting public-domain photo-illustration suggestions as well as related articles for almost anything I blog about these days. Both sets of graphs came to my attention from Zemanta.
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