Thursday, October 23, 2008

Researchers find arctic may have had less ice 6000-7000 years ago

In addition to the recent posts below indicating that the basic science might have reached a tipping point in disclaiming AGW theory, here is an excellent post from Anthony Watts highlighting field work from Norway indicating that fluctuating levels of Arctic sea ice are far from a new or rare phenomenon. Indeed:
  • The arctic may have periodically been nearly ice free in recent geologic history, after the last ice age. It is clear from this that we don't really know as much as some think they do about climatic and ice cycles of our planet.
  • Recent mapping of a number of raised beach ridges on the north coast of Greenland suggests that the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was greatly reduced some 6000-7000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean may have been periodically ice free.
  • The climate in the northern regions has never been milder since the last Ice Age than it was about 6000-7000 years ago.
The research team qualify their findings with the caveat that: "Changes that took place 6000-7000 years ago were controlled by other climatic forces than those which seem to dominate today".

So, the questions that arise from both this and other evidence of past periods of climate warming would be:
  • what factors were the "drivers" of past climate shifts? and are they not now still driving contemporary climate changes? (e.g. sun spot activity, PDO, ocean/atmospheric interactions) and,
  • what happened to the basic atmospheric physics of the planet to transform carbon dioxide from a trace gas with no connection to climate shifts, to a trace gas that "drives" global warming?
Absent of clear, physically valid explanations to these two questions, data such as those for changing patterns of Arctic sea ice would seem to suggest that climate changes naturally over time, mainly due to natural forces and processes and that whatever the human modification of climate (both in the past 100 years, now and in the near future) it is but a minor variation, for which the human species has shown a tremendous capacity for adjustment and adaptation: see air conditioning, home heating, housing, development....

On a more philosophical note: why is it environmentalists who ascribe to science as their means for explanation and understanding, are so vehemently opposed to change, when all of science confirms that adaptation to dynamic change is the very basis for continued evolution?

The world is not static. It is not balanced. It is a dynamic, complex pattern of constant change and adjustment: it is only ideological dogma that wishes to define and control vibrancy and replace it with stasis.