Global warming

Past-E-Mail: Various Topics: Politics and Religion, Ketchup or Gravy: Global warming
Tom (Tom) on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 11:03 am:

Here is an interesting topic. Global warming.
I read recently that 97% of global warming is caused by natural events and 3% by mankind. No one is disputing global warming anymore but are looking at the causes to determine what, if anything, car really be done about it. Once it becomes a political football all reason is out the window. Any comments?

By Snowman (Snowman) on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 06:00 pm:

Did anyone see Al Gore's documentary? What a fate for the polar bears, not to mention everything else that this will have an impact on.

By Kathy P. (Katiaire) on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 07:38 pm:

Snowman, are you talking about AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH? It was very good. Whether Global Warming is a natural occurrance or a manmade problem, we still need to do what we can to lessen our carbon footprints. If we can make any difference in the warming affect, it only makes sense it will help the situation.

By Danbury (Danbury) on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 07:50 pm:

No one is disputing ...? That's a good one. I seem to recall entries on pc that denied the existence of said phenomenon.

It'd be interesting to know the dimension of your numbers - percentage of what was measured?

Whatever it was, whenever the minimal impact human emissions have on global climate comes up, I like to suggest thinking of a canoe that's on the verge of tipping - a minimal amount of additional movement can be all it takes.
Not that I'm saying climate is close to anything like "tipping", to stay in the picture. Problem is, there's no way (I know of) to guarantee it's not.
The problem, whatever, however it will happen, if at all, is also not with the climate.
Climate is nature, and that will endure, wether there be mankind or not. Climate doesn't need saving.
There has been global warming before, also cooling. Right now, data's showing warming, specifically global surface temperature.
No point denying that. This world's not coming to an end over it.
Our way of living might, however. It's true that all the CO2 that has, is and will been released due to use of fossile fuels is basically fixated atmospheric CO2, just being released to where it came from. But the living conditions on this world sure were different then. Climate was different, too.
Also good to keep in mind is that CO2 is just one climate effective gas, and the most important due to the amount it is emitted. Methane is the next big thing, then come quite a few more, in smaller amounts, but all more climate effective than CO2, some up to a couple thousand times. Climate effective referring to the ability of a compound, a gas, for instance, to change the radiation conditions in an atmosphere or a similar body.
I just noticed that it's 0148 in the morning, so - good night to all. I'll be back.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 09:27 pm:

For those who have only seen the political side of the question (Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," here's a scientific view of the question.

(As might be expected, it's a bit of a heavier read than the pureed PC pablum of "An Inconvenient Truth.")

In my own never humble opinion, when compared with the cosmic forces involved, the total human (anthropogenic) contribution to the equation of climate change is a bit like someone sitting on the beach (or perhaps on a sand dune in the Sahara) 'shifting sand' with a teaspoon.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 11:01 pm:

A further scientific opinion: John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel, now a meteorologist for San Diego TV station KUSI, writes on the website of ICECAP, The International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project, as follows:

Click ® Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming ‘Greatest Scam in History’

See also: ICECAP's FAQs and Myths

Quite a reading assignment, my previous post and this, eh?

By Danbury (Danbury) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 03:00 am:

Haven't had time yet to read all of it, just the bit on the "Scam" and one blog. Would be interesting to know who funds him.

If there's still people who believe in the "hockey stick", too bad. Coleman's right on that one.
One of the mistakes with it is the same Coleman makes - limited timeline. Which is because he also missed the field of research - this is not about meteorolgy, which deals with weather, but with climatology. That in itself doesn't make him wrong, but there're differences, notably in the timelines.
Other mistakes include character assasination instead of sound argumentation (being environmentally conscious, an environmentalist [any volunteers willing to try and give a definition?], does not automatically include being delusional, blinded by an agenda, and probably downright evil), something the other side unfortunately has done as well. Just that a maiority of serious scientists thinks along the same lines does not guarantee they're right. Nor that they're wrong, too.
Also, it's right that when exposed to higher partial pressures of CO2 (as in more atmospheric CO2 available), some plants do indeed grow better. But not infinitely. With global change (which is a simple part of this world's turning, no matter wether it's denied or not), changing conditions may as well inhibit this additional growth.
In another exchange on the same subject, one pc contributor gleefully jubilated about there being two harvests in the US in the future, instead of one, all due to global warming. He (or she) carefully neglected to explain where the water for all that growth was supposed to come from, not to mention the possibility of an increase in desertification.
As to timelines, 2000, 3000 years - hm. That may be sufficient for meteorology, but for climatology? Better take another look, perhaps?
As I've said before, CO2 is just part of it. Also,
possible effects on global climate are only part of the consequences of using fossil fuels - think acid rain, soil degradation, dropping pH-factors in forest floors. Also, there're other processes than burning fossil fuel that might have an impact on the environment.

Gore's piece certainly served a purpose, but the hockey stick wasn't his only mistake, I seem to recall. But I'm not sure what the others might have been. Any better informed contributors?

By k j (Kathiscc) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 09:32 am:

Have you seen the movie "The Day After Tomorrow"? It gives another view of what happens when there is too much warming of the arctic ice cap. I know, "it's only a movie."
I realize the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" had things in there that were, shall we say tainted, but, all in all, I think every American should see it.
There are scientists with statistics on both sides of this argument. You and you alone can decide which side you believe.
I agree with Kathy P-we should still do what we can to lessen our "carbon footprint".
Have you seen "Who Killed the Electric Car"?
Gosh, I must watch too much TV.

By FJL (Langoman) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 09:35 am:

An "Inconvenient Truth" should be re-named A "Convenient Lie"..........

By k j (Kathiscc) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 09:41 am:

Read this-

By Snowman (Snowman) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 09:48 am:

The Arctic is feeling the effects the most. Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled between 2000 and 2004.
Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Polar bears and indigenous cultures are already suffering from the sea-ice loss.
Glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting—for example, Montana's Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910. In the Northern Hemisphere, thaws also come a week earlier in spring and freezes begin a week later.
Coral reefs, which are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature, suffered the worst bleaching—or die-off in response to stress—ever recorded in 1998, with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent. Experts expect these sorts of events to increase in frequency and intensity in the next 50 years as sea temperatures rise.
An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed in part to climate change by some experts.

By Tom (Tom) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 11:12 am:

One comment I read about global warming is that in the days of the dinosaur CO2 levels were 18 times what we currently think as normal. Apparently over a longer period of time all things in nature fluctuate and the evolution process continues. Why do so many people think that the earth is in a constant state?
We have had ice ages in the past and warming trends, too. So we have a warming now and it is on us so strong that it can now be noticed rather easily.
If mankind cannot adjust to these long term changes perhaps it (mankind) will disappear like other species in the distant past?
I am not referring to mankind changing the global weather/climate trends. Just adjusting to it and surviving as best we can.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 11:29 am:

Snowman (Snowman):
" An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events …"

Note the very first item from the previously posted link to ICECAP's FAQs and Myths


"Weather extremes such as droughts, floods, hurricane, tornadoes, and heat waves have become more common.

Scientists have studied this issue and come to the opposite conclusion: extreme events are becoming LESS common. Atlantic hurricanes were much more numerous from 1950 to 1975 than from 1975 to present. Hailstorms in the US are 35% less common than they were fifty years ago. Extreme rainfall in the US at the end of the 20th century is comparable to what it was at the beginning of the 20th century. Roger Pielke, Jr, in the journal Climatic Change (1999) said “it is essentially impossible to attribute any particular weather event to global warming.” For flooding, Pielke did list a number of important non-climatic factors that have the potential to influence flooding in the future, including deteriorating dams and levees, changes in land use, building in flood-prone areas, governmental policies, as well as other societal influences. Pielke, R.A., JR. 1999. Nine fallacies of floods. Climatic Change 42: 413-438.

Anyone who hasn't had a chance to wade through the scientific tomes posted above in detail (particularly anyone whose opinion to date is based on An Inconvenient Truth) may want to take this quick 10 question Global Warming Quiz (from the end of the previously posted link to ICECAP's FAQs and Myths)
k j (Kathiscc) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 11:36 am:

Ok, I got 10 out of 10 correct. Now what?

Good Job!
How's this FRNash? :->

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 11:59 am:

k j (Kathiscc):
"Ok, I got 10 out of 10 correct. Now what?"

Hooray fer you! Now if I just had a Gold Star equivalent of WhatsUP's Early Bird sticker, I'd paste it on your note! (If I could, but I don't have an administrator's magic wand!)

Mary says: I waved my administrator's wand for you, hope you approve! :->

By Snowman (Snowman) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 02:15 pm:

Good job kj!

By k j (Kathiscc) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 03:28 pm:


By Danbury (Danbury) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 03:45 pm:

Seems to me both sides to the argument are "convenient" to somebody, depending on what they want to believe.

I don't think it's helpful to call one side "political", and the other "scientific".

According to the test mentioned above, we're living in an ice age - large landmass at the south pole.
It's quite fun sometimes - what it states in the explanations is sometimes about the opposite to the information I recall from other sources.
Especially the correlation in the sun cycles - the last curves I saw ended in the '90s because after that, the data didn't fit the theory.
Furthermore, in 2001 a german magazine published a similar curve, showing the same correlation. Ihe magazine ignored the most inconvenient fact that this very graph had been withdrawn by the scientist who'd created it in the first place due to errors in the interpretation of data on solar activity.
The corrected graph did not show an increase in solar activity since the 1940's.
As of now, no source has explained why an increase of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere does not result in an increased greenhouse effect.
No, the saturated absorption bands do not explain this.
That CO2-levels were at an extreme high during an ice age is just an observation. The question is - what happened then?

A link for those interested in more than one approach:

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 05:02 pm:

I have to add this item that I inadvertently bumped into yesterday in a Google® search.

No question but this item is "political". I have to warn you, to me this sounds like a bit of extreme nonsense from the "conspiracy theory" crowd, so take it with a large grain of salt.

Click ® March 2007 – "HYSTERIA: Exposing the secret agenda behind today's obsession with global warming"

I would hope that the conversation here does not go any further in the direction of that link, as this item certainly is more "political" than "scientific", and represents something that doesn't belong here, but I post this link here solely as a brief passing mention as an "FYI", so we all are aware of what's out there. Wacky tho' it may be.

By Gustaf O. Linja (Gusso) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 05:50 pm:

GLOBAL WARMING:I am a bit confused; we hear much talk about the north and south polar ice caps melting and we hear about water shortages through out the world. The last I have heard when ice melts it turns to water or vapor. So I ask where is all this water from melting ice going? As has been mentioned by Tom; this big blue marble is changing constantly and has been changing from the beginning and will continue to change and there is very little we can do about it.

By k j (Kathiscc) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 10:18 pm:

Keep thinking that.

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 11:55 pm:

From the Washington Post Foreign Service today, a new report to show UN overestimated AIDS epidemic. Now, why would they do that? Why would the UN overestimate the AIDS epidemic? Can anybody say money? {Follow the $ ] Same reason Ted Danson overestimated the death of the oceans. Can anybody ask the same question about global warming? Why would the UN be overestimating the destruction from global warming? "The United Nations' top AIDS scientists plan to acknowledge this week that they have long overestimated both the size and the course of the epidemic, which they now believe has been slowing for nearly a decade, according to U.N. documents prepared for the announcement. AIDS remains a devastating public health crisis in the most heavily affected areas of sub-Saharan Africa. But the far-reaching revisions amount to at least a partial acknowledgment of criticisms long leveled by outside researchers who disputed the U.N. portrayal of an ever-expanding global epidemic."

Just take the AIDS epidemic outta here and put global warming in it and you've got an identical story in about ten years. "The latest estimates, due to be released publicly Tuesday, put the number of annual new HIV infections at 2.5 million, a cut of more than 40 percent from last year's estimate, documents show. ... Having millions fewer people with a lethal contagious disease is good news..." However, as is the case with the Liberal Media, there is always a "however" after the good news. "Some researchers, however, contend that persistent overestimates in the widely quoted U.N. reports have long skewed funding decisions and obscured potential lessons about how to slow the spread of HIV. Critics have also said that U.N. officials overstated the extent of the epidemic to help gather political and financial support for combating AIDS." Oooh, okay, so they did it strategically. They were smart. They lied on purpose to get our attention, to make sure we knew just how rotten it was going to be, and to make sure that governments around the world and individuals threw money at AIDS programs all over the world, administered by the United Nations.

Can anybody say, global warming overestimated? Same bunch of people. In fact, this last line, last paragraph, I never thought that I would see this in the Washington Post: "Beyond Africa, AIDS is more likely to be concentrated among high-risk groups, such as users of injectable drugs, sex workers and gay men. More precise measurements of infection rates should allow for better targeting of prevention measures, researchers say." I don't want to rehash a bunch of history, but I'm sure you all remember back in the eighties when Ronaldus Magnus was president and the AIDS epidemic was spreading because Reagan didn't care, and he had never uttered the word, and if we weren't careful this was going to spread to the heterosexual population in a geometric fashion and it was going to be devastating. So then we started teaching kids how to use condoms, you know, using bananas and cucumbers in school. The condom craze started because it was going to spread to the heterosexual community and so forth. There was never any evidence that it was spreading to the heterosexual community, not sexually anyway, and if you said that, then you were guilty of a hate crime and profiling and discrimination, and all of that.

Now, remember what is fundamentally involved in all this: science. Science told us it was going to spread; it was going to spread to the heterosexual community. Science told us it was going to spread at geometric rates. It was a consensus of scientists. Scientists, scientists, scientists told us that this was all going to be one of the most devastating things around the world. It was time to cough up money for education, and condoms, and cucumbers and all that, and we had rock stars like Bono establish philanthropic careers on the basis of all this, all based on science. I think I read the other day -- correct me if I'm wrong down the road -- but I think somebody's discovered the original case of AIDS in this country was brought in by a Haitian immigrant; is that right? In the fifties? Whatever, it wasn't the eighties. Reagan had nothing to do with it. The left politicizes virtually everything.

That was Rush Limbaugh. I think the same, David,

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Thursday, November 22, 2007 - 12:22 am:

Climate change is the topic I generally teach last in my Environmental Geology class because it is such a complex topic, if I got side-tracked, I would very likely spend the rest of the semester addressing its numerous aspects. First, let’s think of the things that affect Earth’s climate: solar luminosity, greenhouse gasses, volcanic eruptions, location of plates on earth’s surface, ocean currents, Milankovitch cycles, albedo, living things, solar activity, the weathering rate of rocks, etc., and many other things we don’t even know about yet. If anyone EVER claims to know the whole truth about this topic… they are lying. The first thing to being a good scientist is to know one’s limitations.

Next, let’s think about the amount of influence each of these different aspects has. Gerhard et al. (2001) and Sorokhtin et al. (2007) separate these into four orders of influence on the climate. First order climate drivers include solar luminosity. Second order drivers include the distribution of continents and oceans on earth’s surface. Third order climate drivers include orbital variability and ocean currents. Fourth order drivers include volcanic eruptions, weathering of rocks, anthropogenic influences, and solar storms. Granted, this is not a perfect classification, but a very good estimation of the relative influence of various climate drivers.

Next, let’s look at earth history. No, not just the past 100 years, not just since the beginning of the current ice age, let’s look at earth history. I mean, if you were studying American History, would you really understand the American experience if you only looked at events since 1980? I don’t think so. So earth’s climate history shouldn’t be limited to a tiny sliver of time either. First of all, greenhouse gasses are not evil. If we did not have any in the atmosphere, earth’s average global temperature would be something like –15 degrees Celsius. Second, during the Phanerozoic (the last 600 million years of earth’s history) the average global temperature was around 22 degrees Celsius. Today it is something like 15 degrees Celsius. We also should note that during the 4.6 billion years of earth’s history, there have been only 5 ice ages. So ice ages, such as the one we are in today, are rather rare. (We should also note that people evolved during an ice age, and possible because of an ice age, and we don’t like change.)

Other neat facts from Dr. Nat’s fountain of inconvenient knowledge:
-during the Cretaceous (when Tyrannosaurus Rex was roaming the land) the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere was 4000ppm. Today it is 300ppm (Marchak, 2005).
-during the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum, the arctic was a lush, swampy, forest full of life (no citation here, but it was a talk I went to about three weeks ago at a national conference of geologists).
-even during the last few thousand years, average global temperatures have fluctuated. Think about the climatic optimum, Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Interval, Younger Dryas, etc. In fact during the current ice age there have been around twenty interglacials (warmer periods) similar to today’s. In fact, some were even warmer than the current interglacial.

All right, so what am I actually rambling about? I am trying to point out that climate is in a constant state of change. Climate change is natural. It has been happening for 4.6 billion years and it will continue to happen long after we’re all gone. Stopping climate change is a ridiculous and futile proposition.

I do not condone wasting earth’s resources, nor do I condone fear mongering about climate change. We should be intelligent about how we use and treat the place we live. And if you want to know about the science of climate change, educate yourself from reputable scientific sources, not politicians.

By Kathy P. (Katiaire) on Thursday, November 22, 2007 - 01:25 am:

Very well presented, Dr Nat.

By FJL (Langoman) on Thursday, November 22, 2007 - 09:02 am:

AMEN Dr. Nat........ Have a great Bird-day all.....

By FJL (Langoman) on Thursday, November 22, 2007 - 10:36 am:

GREENLAND: Sientists who probed 1.2 miles through a Greenland glacier to recover the oldest plant DNA on record said the planet was far warmer hundreds of thousands of years ago than is generally believed. DNA of trees, plants and insects includind butterflies and spiders from beneath the southern Greenland glacier was estimated to date to 450,000 to 900,000 years ago, according to the remmants retrieved from this long-vanished boreal forest. That view contrasts sharply with the prevailing one that a lush forest of this kind could only have existed in Greenland as recently as 2.4 million years ago. The existence of those DNA samples suggest the temperature probably reached 50 degrees F in the summer and 1 degree F in the winter. They also indicated that during the last interglacial period, 116,000-130,000 years ago, when temperatures were on average 9 degrees higher than now, the glaciers on Greenland did not completely melt away

By Tom (Tom) on Thursday, November 22, 2007 - 11:00 am:

I was so glad to read Dr. Nat's report. Where in all of this is mankind? Also glad to read that the politicians should keep out of this.
The worry about attempting to change climate is that there would be an economic cost. A useless directing of personal income in a futile effort.
How are we going to educate politicians and their lackeys? It has/is such a hot topic for them to
hang on to for personal purposes. I know this seems to be on the wrong topic page but it really is frustrating.
Perhaps we can later have more info on some of those four points Dr. Nat mentioned. Thanks.

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Thursday, November 22, 2007 - 05:51 pm:

Yep,the politicians should keep out of this,just like Regan.Many people think that way.

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 09:10 am:

Some of you folks posting comments appear to believe everything radical right-wing conservative talk show hosts Limbaugh and Hannity say. They use tactics that Hitler's propagandists used, i.e., one being the repeating of opinions and lies often enough and they become accepted as the truth. Global warming has been politicized for many reasons, but it is what it is.

By Tom (Tom) on Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 10:45 am:

Intersting comment Dr. Nat made that I just reviewed. She mentioned we are coming out of an ice age. Didn't refer to it as global warming which has a different connotation. Global warming advocates seem to think it is a one way trend. Warmer continuously to what end? Rather than a natural cycle phase.
Read that German scientists have drilled several kilometers through the ice in the antarctic and have hit ground or whatever you want to call it. Also found evidence of ancient plant life found in more temperate climates. ?????

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 11:07 am:

Tom (Tom):
"… German scientists have drilled several kilometers through the ice in the antarctic …"

Interesting, sounds very similar to discoveries reported from Greenland as noted above By FJL (Langoman) on Thursday, November 22, 2007 - 10:36 am:

Humans: "Too short memories, too soon panic"!

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 11:21 am:

An opinion piece from, citing a recent study from the Journal of Geophysical Research (November 2007):
Click ® It's the Sun, Stupid.

(The Journal of Geophysical Research study is available in PDF format via a link in the article.)

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 09:08 pm:

Hello folks,

We haven't been on too much lately because our home computer decided everything was a virus and kept shutting down. It is back up and running and Dr. Nat assures me that she will elaborate on the four orders for climate drivers this weekend.

The article Frnash has linked above is a great read to understand current thinking in climate change.

By Tom (Tom) on Saturday, December 1, 2007 - 10:42 am:

I read that article FRNash referred to and found it very interesting.
And, get Dr. Nat on later!!

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Saturday, December 1, 2007 - 07:02 pm:

Here’s a little more info on the different influences on earth’s climate and their relative impact:

According to recent research, including the study from Duke University that FRNash mentioned, the sun is the most important thing influencing climate. Solar luminosity refers to the amount of energy the sun emits. This amount is not constant over time. Sometimes, the sun burns a little brighter and the climate warms a bit.

The second order climate driver I mentioned is the location of continents and oceans on earth’s surface. Continents are in constant motion (a process geologists call plate tectonics). Land and water absorb and reflect different amounts of energy, called heat capacity and whether continents are located at the poles or at the equator can have an influence on climate. In addition, the movement and location of plates affects other aspects of climate such as the ocean currents, location of mountain ranges, and even the rise and fall of global sea level.

The third order climate drivers I mentioned are orbital variability and ocean currents. Orbital variability is also sometimes referred to as Milankovitch Cycles, after the scientist who studied these. Basically, earth’s movement around the sun varies over time in three ways. The first way is call eccentricity. Sometimes the orbit around the sun is circular, sometimes it is more of an oval shape, taking the planet farther from the sun. The second way earth’s orbit varies is in a way called obliquity. Obliquity refers to the tilt of earth’s axis. Right now the axis tilts ~23.5 degrees, but it can vary anywhere from 22.5 to 24.5 degrees. It doesn’t sound like much, but it does affect how much of the sun’s energy hits the poles. The last way the earth’s orbit varies is called precession. (The first person to study precession was actually a Greek man named Hipparchus (190-120 B.C.)). The way to view this is that earth’s axis wobbles over time, kind of like a top does. All these ways earth’s orbit varies affect the amount of the sun’s energy that reaches the surface. Ocean currents affect earth’s climate since they are an important way heat gets distributed around the planet. The equator receives the most energy from the sun. Ocean currents then move this heat energy from the equator to the poles. The best example of this is the Gulf Stream. London, England is actually farther north than Winnepeg, Manitoba but London has a much milder climate thanks to the Gulf Stream.

The fourth order climate drivers I mentioned are volcanic eruptions, weathering of rocks, anthropogenic influences, and solar storms. Volcanic eruptions can affect earth’s climate by erupting large volumes of ash into the atmosphere. This ash can block the amount of sunlight that reaches earth’s surface and cool the climate. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 (a relatively small eruption compared to many in history) caused a noticeable drop in average global temperature for a few years. The weathering of rock can actually remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Some studies (Landscheidt, 2002) have also noted that solar activity such as solar flares (what also gives us the Northern Lights) have an influence on earth’s climate.

But I will say again, the climate system is very, very complex. As much as we do know about it, undoubtedly there is even more we don’t know about it.

By Tom (Tom) on Saturday, December 1, 2007 - 07:10 pm:

After I read Dr. Nat's information I am supposed to believe that mankind is going to change the direction of global warming? Mankind has something more powerful than those enumerated? I don't think so. We still must keep the air clean for our own good, etc., but how much money would you like to Mis-spend(my word) on a useless endeavor such as reversing the warming trend?

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, December 7, 2007 - 11:23 am:

I don't know, when I was but a wee child in the 70's I remember the big crisis was global cooling and the fact that if mankind didn't do something to reverse that trend we were all doomed....... I guess we did a really good job!!!! ;-)

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Friday, December 7, 2007 - 11:52 am:

I remember that, well, Capt Paul. The gloom and doom sayers were warning that the glaciers would reach way down south in the US (I wish I could remember how far), but it was the impending Ice Age cometh!

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 01:04 pm:

Considering the weather we've had here in Texas over the weekend, I wouldn't mind seeing a glacier roll through Houston and cool things off....... this is NOT December!! hehe

Speaking of glaciers and how far south they've come. During the last ice age to occur in North America, what was the southern most glacier in the United States??

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 01:22 pm:

Gee, Capt Paul, some of the folks in Oklahoma & Missouri probably thing a glacier-type thing has dumped on them & is continuing to do so for a few days. They wonder where their power went! (Have you seen the pictures of 1" of ice on the power & phone lines & trees? And that was before the coming storms. Southern Iowa has a Winter Storm Warning for tonight thru who knows when, for mainly ice. Just head north a few miles (figuratively speaking) into Oklahoma, and you'll cool off & get some more December-like weather. :-)

I'll take a good, old-time blizzard any day over that stuff!

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 04:50 pm:

To summarize the previous comments, we can do much talking and writing about the climate, and adapt to it as needed.

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 05:31 pm:

Capt. Paul,
I'm old but not quite old enough to remember the last ice age unless you mean the one in the 1970's that didn't make it.
As I recall I think I was told that in the last ice age the glacier in the Great Lakes area reached to mid Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

By David C Cloutier (Dccloutier) on Friday, December 14, 2007 - 11:26 am:

I wanted to thank Dr. Nat and others for the interesting discussion. Dr. Nat has presented a well balanced introduction to a very complicated issue. One that requires additional study. It is important that we do not allow politicians to interfere with science. But it is also important that we use our resources wisely. Unfortunately, absent governmental leadership that establishes policies that support conservation practices the very nature of our economic system tends to promote gross wastefulness. (i.e. SUPER-SIZE and throw-away packaging!!)

During the Wisconsin Glaciation in the late Pleistocene, a glacial period that ended approximately 10,300 years ago, the ice sheets covered North America to approximately 40 degrees north. A few years back I came across some very dense over consolidated clays in northern Missouri that were remnants of that glacial event (the weight of the glacial ice had packed the clay very tight).

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, December 14, 2007 - 09:21 pm:

Thanks David; it's nice to see that people appreciate our posts about what we consider the best job in the world.

So far, no right answers on the glacier question. Take a look at the question again. Remember, I didn't mention what kind of glacier (mountain or continental), so it may have been in a place you'd never expect.......

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 12:17 am:

Capt. Paul,
Within the continental U.S, I would guess on the western slopes of the mountains in Arizona or New Mexico. In the U.S. however perhaps Mauna Kea?

By FJL (Langoman) on Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 12:00 pm:

Well, here's my two cents.... Wisconsin is the most recent glaciation. The last glacial stage is known as the Wisconsin and the lobe which reached the farthest south to the Des Moines area is known as the Des Moines Lobe........Not sure this answer's the cap's question, but it's worth a try.....

By Rowdy (Roudymi) on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 12:14 pm:

I understand that now there is pocket of magma under northeast Greenland that my be the cause of glacial melt there. What are Al and his peace prise gonna propose now? Maybe government subsidies for deep mines eg. the C.C. so we can cool the Earth by pumping cooling water down there? Go for it!

By Heikki (Heikki) on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 08:34 am:

Interesting read.....

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 11:52 am:

Bob Jewell: The last ice age left some hills of beach sand in various parts of the tri-state area of Ohio and Indiana as far south as U.S. Rt. 50, where there are no natural lakes.

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 11:55 am:

Please ignore "the tri-state area of", I meant to say "parts of Ohio and Indiana".

By Heikki (Heikki) on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 04:57 pm:

Capt. Paul,

The Middle Palisade glacier in the Sierra Nevadas is the southernmost glacier in the continental United States.

(Copied/pasted from Google Earth Community and may have been posted by you under another username, 'Captainspaulding') ;-)

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 05:24 pm:

Just to stir the pot a bit, remember, Capt. Paul's question was:


"During the last ice age to occur in North America, what was the southern most glacier in the United States??"

That's not necessarily referring to the continental United States!

Heikki (Heikki) on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 10:14 pm:


You're correct. I forgot that point while doing a search. I'll just have to make a SWAG off the top of my head: I think I remember reading about glaciers at a wayside while traveling through Illinois several years ago. Can't remember the exact spot or highway, so I'll say somewhere in southern Illinois was the location of the southernmost glacier, although I don't remember anything about 'what' glacier.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Monday, December 24, 2007 - 03:20 pm:

The Middle Palisade Glacier near Big Pine, California is currently the southernmost glacier on the continent. However, during the last stages of the Wisconsin Glaciation in the late Pleistocene there was an alpine glacier that formed on Sierra Blanca peak in central New Mexico near the town of Ruidoso, making it the southern most extent of a glacier in the United States. Evidence for this includes various types of moraines and cirques.

I knew this would probably throw people for a loop because I knew everyone would think an ice sheet. However, there are two distinct types of glaciers; Alpine and Continental.

Alpine glaciers form high in mountain valleys while continental glaciers (or ice sheets) cover large areas of land. The major difference between the two is their location and thickness; continental glaciers can get up to 3.5 km while alpine glaciers are much thinner. Alpine glaciers are found in the Alps, Alaska, and the Himalayas. Prime examples of continental glaciers include Greenland and Antarctica.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 - 08:52 pm:

I would have never guessed New Mexico! Thx for the info, Cap. Very interesting.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Thursday, January 3, 2008 - 10:06 pm:

Not a problem Heikki, that's why we're here and why we love our job so much!! :-)

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Friday, January 4, 2008 - 12:53 pm:

I was thinking in terms of the southern Sierras, around Kings Canyon NP / Sequoia NP / Mt Whitney area, although I wasn't specifically aware of the Middle Palisade Glacier.1

Sierra Blanca Peak, NM never occurred to me. I guess I've spent much more time in California and have kinda' neglected New Mexico in my travels. I REALLY must get to Ruidoso, NM one of these days, though.

Speakin' of the southern Sierras and Big Pine, CA, there was once an interesting little airport about 10 miles west of Big Pine, at Coyote Flats, CA [37.2 N/118.48W] with a 3000 ft. runway (RWY14/32) at an elevation of 10,029 ft. (Adrenaline rush, anyone?) Click Þ Coyote Flats Airport (04CA) Emphasis added:


The Coyote Flats runway was reportedly built in 1968 by the Army High Altitude Test Center as a facility to test the high altitude performance of helicopters & light airplanes.

It was also used in a similar capacity by the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare School in Bridgeport, CA.

According to Jed Keck, “Rumor is that they even operated a C-130 Hercules out of there but I have not seen the photo.”

Coyote Flats was depicted simply as "Landing Strip" on the 1978 USGS topo map.

It was not depicted at all (even as an abandoned airfield) on a 1987 aeronautical chart.

A C-130 Hercules out of there??? Oboy, I sure would have loved to see that!

(1This in spite of my "stirrin' da pot" above with a deliberately misleading "That's not necessarily referring to the continental United States!")

Heikki (Heikki) on Friday, January 4, 2008 - 03:55 pm:


If you want to see something spectacular, watch Fat Albert (Blue Angels) take off with JATO/RATO assist. The Herk (L-100 civilian model) was also used extensively transporting equipment/supplies to the North Slope during the construction of the Alaska Pipeline. In the early 70's, I worked on USAF C-130A's as a mechanic. During a take-off to Texas from O'Hare IAP we were running no appreciable payload and were airborne in about 2,000 ft., so even at 10,000 ft. elevation, it should be doable on a 3,000 ft runway with some strip left to spare. It's a remarkable aircraft, and the reason it's so widely used today.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Friday, January 4, 2008 - 07:21 pm:

Heikki (Heikki):

Re: Fat Albert
Yes I've seen Fat Albert at quite a number of Blue Angels airshows (w/o the JATO/RATO, of course).

I see Lockheeed Martin claims a Max Effort Takeoff roll of 3,100 ft. at Max Takeoff Weight of 164,000 lb. and a Max Effort landing ground roll of 1,639 ft. for the C-130J model at 135,999 lb. all at sea level / standard conditions (presumably w/o JATO/RATO).

Speaking of the C-130 being so remarkable, and still so widely used today, It's interesting that in comparison, the C-5 Galaxy never seemed to live up to the its "great expectations".

Not quite as exciting, but didja ever see the Super Guppy in action? I yoosta see that one and the earlier Pregnant Guppy quite frequently in the 1970's at SBA. Quite an exercise in weight & balance, I'd guess. And now NASA has one remaining Super Guppy still in service!

(And they said the bumblebee couldn't fly!)

By Heikki (Heikki) on Friday, January 4, 2008 - 08:19 pm:


Yeah, I remember the Guppies, but never saw them in action. A new form of large cargo freighter is the Dreamlifter, a 747 bulged out to accomodate large aircraft sections.

I just looked up tech specs on C-130's, and at min. wt. the min. takeoff roll is around 1500 ft., so my memory must be functioning okay yet about our takeoff roll being around 2,000 ft. at O'Hare IAP. We had a full load of fuel of course, but just a few troops and the aircrew onboard. I think the C-5 developed airframe problems and its max payload was reduced significantly.

I remember the aerodynamics of a bumblebee being compared to a C-124 Globemaster, aka "Old Shakey". Flew on one of those from England to Morocco in Jan. 1963 returning on the same aircraft in April 1963. Old Shakey was an appropriate name. LOL.

By Tom (Tom) on Saturday, January 5, 2008 - 12:04 pm:

I flew from Korea to Tachikawa via a C-124. We used to say that it had to flap it's wings to get off the ground. Seemed to need the entire runway to get off when loaded. The wings would flex when in flight. Or so it seemed to us.
The C-119 was another interesting aircraft. Flew quite a few miles in them both in Korea and Europe.
They didn't have much of a glide path we were told. The later models had higher powered engines and I suppose older models were retro-fitted?
Once flew from Alconbury, England to Tripoli with a stop in France. Got hit by lightening over the Med Sea. Had a hole in one of the tail booms when we landed. Pretty scary flight. They made us take the same plane, after some repairs, to Athens, Greece. More problems by the time we landed. Today I would be really nervous flying in one of those. Back then you just took what you got.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Saturday, January 5, 2008 - 03:46 pm:


That's where I was stationed in England. RAF Alconbury! Dec. 1962 - May 1966. Was Crew Chief on RB-66B's and later, RF-4C's. Were you PCS there (USAF),in transient, or US Army Intel? Being a Recon outfit, we had several Army troops on base (PCS) working Intel.

Also worked C-119G's (R-3350 engines) for 18 months at 928th TAG, O'Hare IAP (USAFR) That was a fun aircraft to work on......especially engine runs and taxiing.

By Tom (Tom) on Saturday, January 5, 2008 - 03:50 pm:

Was PCS at RAF Chicksands, USAFSS.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Saturday, January 5, 2008 - 05:55 pm:

RAF Chicksands......rode/drove by it hundreds of times but never was on base. My future better half was living in Luton and I traveled the Bedford route to and from RAF Alconbury. A guy from my hometown (Iron River) by the name of Darrel Smith, now deceased, was stationed at Chicksands. Name ring a bell? Don't know what years he was there. Probably late 50's/ early 60's.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Sunday, January 6, 2008 - 11:26 am:

Lol, funny how this thread went from a delicate topic like climate change to a walk down memory lane.....

Gotta love the PastyCam!!

By Heikki (Heikki) on Sunday, January 6, 2008 - 12:30 pm:

This is still all about climate change. Just layin' the groundwork for comparing climate in the UK of yesteryear to today. Honest! ;-)

By Tom (Tom) on Monday, January 7, 2008 - 09:29 am:

Yes, Heikki, this is climate change.When I was at RAF Chicksands we had 50 consecutive days of fog. So thick we had ropes on post along the walkways to various buildings to find our way. If you got too far off the beaten path you could wander around a long time before you stumbled into somthing famiiar.
Chicksands was called a priory-------no airfield, etc.
The buses would have the conductor walking in front of the bus with a light, following the bullseyes on the road to keep going. Took forever to get anywhere outside of town. You opened the door to the barracks (or any building) and the fog just rolled in. Pollution from coal use in factories and homes was the major culprit.
Lived in Iron River for 7 years---1963-70.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Monday, January 7, 2008 - 10:14 am:

See, Cap? It's about climate. lol.

I remember some nasty fogs as well in the UK, but never as long as you experienced. My intro to the UK included the worst snow storm they had in 80 yrs. The 50 consecutive days you speak of must have occurred before my stint over there. I vaguely remember reading about the great fog in London during the late 50's when some folks died from the heavily polluted air. That may have been the same period of time you experienced the prolonged fog of 50 days.

If you lived 7 yrs in Iron River we must know folks in common. I 'escaped' in Feb. '62, but had some relatives still living there and I've been back many, many times over the years. I have some pix that may interest you. Will send to your email addy shown on your profile. Hope it's current.

By Tom (Tom) on Monday, January 7, 2008 - 12:45 pm:

Yes, I was at Chicksands in the late 1950s. And there was a lot of concern about TB and stuff. You couldn't help but breathe it in. Very dreary.
Doing the night shift even following the ropes was difficult. The guy in front of you could not be seen even a few feet away. The ropes were coded so you knew which building you were headed for===color coded, if I remember right. It was worse than the LA smog of years ago. But the correction shows that society can clean up the air.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 02:24 pm:

From the looks of the weather in the Copper Country today, you'd be hard pressed to convince anyone of the impending doom and gloom of global warming!!! ;-)

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 06:13 pm:

Thank God for global warming.
Its -40 windchill...
just imagine how cold it would be without it?

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 07:09 pm:

As was asked on


"I wonder if the Nobel Prize folks put a return address on that prize for Al to mail it back."

Therese (Therese) on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 07:09 pm:

Davis S, global warming refers to a rise in the average temperature of the world's surface. It is a change in climate. It doesn't mean we won't get some cold weather -- come on, this is Michigan! --but that the average temperatures worldwide will continue to rise, causing a shrinking in the amount of water stored as ice in mountain and continental glaciers and in the polar ice caps.

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 08:00 pm:

It's kind of interesting referring to average global temperatures... Like I said once before, the average global temperature throughout Phanerozoic time has been about 23 degrees celcius, today it's about 15 degrees. If we warm up a bit, we'll just be getting back to normal...

But think about this, too... The warming climate of the current interglacial could mean MORE snow for the Keweenaw! Warmer temps means the Lake won't freeze and there will be warmer air masses passing over the Lake (warmer air holds more moisture).

But more snow will take longer to melt in spring, which increases Earth's albedo, which has a cooling effect, and could in turn help end the current interglacial.

Wow! It's so blasted inconvenient that the SCIENCE behind climate is so complex.

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Friday, February 1, 2008 - 11:45 am:

I've been wondering why some people, especially a few radical talk shows hosts, try to distinguish between global warming and climate change. I'm glad to see that there are some sensible comments posted on this site that agree that global warming is an aspect of climate change.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Friday, February 1, 2008 - 11:53 am:

WHAT !!!
you mean its not from too many cows ?
or emissions from autos?
or too much cement?
or from fermenting grapes? or any of that stuff????
climate change?

or sort of like the glaciers are still receeding from the Ice Age and we're still in the warming up phase of this. Were there not palm trees in Missouri some thousands of years ago prior to the ice stopping around St Louis or therabouts?

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Saturday, February 2, 2008 - 03:25 pm:

Yes, climate is always changing. During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) which was 58 to 51 million years ago, the average temperature of the arctic was 12 degrees celcius (53 degrees farenheit). Today, that average temperature is -15 degrees celcius (5 degrees farenheit). This, of course, was long before people and cars and the industrial revolution. During the PETM, salamanders, turtles, snakes, and alligators lived on Ellesmere Island in the arctic. There was also an extensive forest, similar to the pine forests of the southern United States, in which all these beasties lived. This data comes form Eberle, 2007, a presentation made at the annual Geological Society of America conference.

By Tom (Tom) on Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 03:15 pm:

Dr. Nat, I am glad for your comments. And, I think Al Gore should send that Nobel Prize back. !!
Finally got down here to AZ. South of Tucson. About 3000 feet elevation. Very nice and green here. So it is named Green Valley.
Many rules here-------must be over 55 and all that.
What we see are old people------miss not seeing young people around. Would not live here permanently because of that. Otherwise it is very comfortable.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Monday, February 4, 2008 - 08:17 am:

Here's a recent example, in geological terms, of climate change that affected man. It is the beginning of the Little Ice Age that factored into the abandonment of Viking colonies on the SW tip of Greenland. 500 years before Columbus sailed toward the New World, Erik the Red and a few handfuls of surviving Vikings established the first colony. In the ensuing decades, an estimated 5,000 inhabited that area. From the first colony til the end, the period lasted circa 500 years. Its economy was primarily agricultural. The climate went into decline over a period of several decades hampering agriculture, along with other obstacles (trade, turf wars with Inuits, etc) detrimental to their existence. They may have survived had they adopted the Eskimo lifestyle of subsistence hunting. However, the point behind all this is at that time (circa 950 AD), that section of Greenland's climate permitted agriculture, and after several hundred years did not because of climate change. All this before the Industrial Revolution. Now, if the Al Gores of this world can explain what caused that significant climate change, they may stumble onto a convenient truth behind today's climate aberrations.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Friday, February 8, 2008 - 03:45 pm:

It has been kinda quiet here lately.

Too many folks in da UP, and Wisconsin and northern Illinois in partcular, struggling with the latest round of up to 20" plus of er, um … 'global warming', eh?

Here's an item noted today on, that deserves to have a citation here as well.

From Investor's Business Daily, Thursday, February 07, 2008 4:20 PM PT, click ® The Sun Also Sets


"Climate Change: Not every scientist is part of Al Gore's mythical "consensus." Scientists worried about a new ice age seek funding to better observe something bigger than your SUV — the sun."

FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Friday, February 8, 2008 - 03:56 pm:

Oh, and while we're at it, more food for thought, re switching from fossil fuels to 'biofuels':

From The [Manchester] Guardian, Friday February 8 2008.
Click ® Biofuel farms make CO2 emissions worse


"Transforming ecosystems into farms for biofuel crops will increase global warming and result in net increases in carbon emissions, according to a study."

FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Friday, February 8, 2008 - 03:59 pm:

Ooops, I botched the link in the above post, (don'cha hate when that happens?) corrected here:

From The [Manchester] Guardian, Friday February 8 2008.
Click ® Biofuel farms make CO2 emissions worse

By k j (Kathiscc) on Friday, February 8, 2008 - 05:15 pm:

It only snows when it warms up. Maybe we all got tired of hitting our heads against brick walls.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 11:22 pm:

I don't see the whole discussion on where that link came from, but the link is an interesting topic in of itself. In the end, it may be the sun that controls our entire global climate. There is a growing community of scientists that are looking at solar influences and coming up with some very viable data and results of modeling.

I'm sure the Dr. will have more to say about it since she is the "expert" on climate change, or at least more informed about it than me ;-)

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Friday, February 15, 2008 - 11:17 am:

Here's another link found on, re biofuel farms and CO2, from National Geographic News, February 7, 2008:
Click ® Clearing Land for Biofuels Makes Global Warming Worse.

Capt. Paul (Eclogite):
"I don't see the whole discussion on where that link came from …"

Original references:

1. (Investors Business Daily: The Sun Also Sets)
General Discussions: Miscellaneous : Solar activity and the effect on the Sun's warming powers... By snowmobiledave on Friday, February 08, 2008 - 01:12 pm: Hey... could pose a problem to the food supply …

2. (The [Manchester] Guardian: Biofuel farms make CO2 emissions worse)
General Discussions: Miscellaneous : WI State-Wide Ethanol Mandate In State Senate TODAY:
By toadster920 on Friday, February 08, 2008 - 08:15 am: Do you think they know about this

3. (National Geographic News: Clearing Land …)
General Discussions: Miscellaneous : WI State-Wide Ethanol Mandate In State Senate TODAY: By lesinge on Sunday, February 10, 2008 - 11:49 am: Here is another study for you to chew on:

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 08:24 am:

The Dr. and I have recently been watching a program on National Geographic Channel called "Six Degrees could Change the World". It is claimed to be a frightening look at how as the earth gets warmer by 1, 2, up to 6 degrees, massive floods, devestating hurricanes, famine ( I was waiting for frogs, but didn't see that one), and basically doomsday will spread across the world. The TV show is based off a book by the same name that was written not by a scientist, no, but a journalist and broadcaster. Do you see a problem here?? No where in the description does it say noted scientist or climatologist or even lowly geologist. Nope, it says journalist. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against journalists, I just believe they should stick to what they do best and not pretend to be experts on climate change (Peace Prize winners included ;-)

On the flip side, real scientists have been saying all along that we are just coming out of an ice age, and that warming would be expected. Some even say that we are still in an ice age, and that we are simply in a period of warmth between glacial advances. A growing number are also predicting that within 15,000 yrs, we could slip back into another ice age with glaciers rolling across north america. Too bad our "self-proclaimed" experts reject these predictions because they just don't fit.

Sometimes ignorance of certain facts makes one arrogent to all....

By Heikki (Heikki) on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 11:37 am:

Capt. Paul,

I couldn't agree with you more. What concerns me more than normal climate change, is the motivation behind articles predicting a doomsday scenario because of man's existence on this planet. My guess is fear-mongering has become a business for many writers because it sells. For others in the game, there may be long term political goals to reshape our lifestyle and economy into the image of what 'they' consider to be consistent with a 'green paradise'. Whatever the reason, nothing good comes of lies, misinformation, or agendas being worked by power brokers. Sound science and good business sense should be the guide to whatever changes we may make in industry and our lifestyle, and not the ruminations of persons who benefit from book sales, TV productions, and the like.

By Danbury (Danbury) on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 06:31 pm:

Yep, and there's still people that "don't believe in climate change". Thought we had that cleared up. But well, their believe is not going to change anything.
Maybe solar cycles even are a (or the) maior factor in climate - so what? As long as some crazy doesn't come up with a plan to change them, nothing we can do about.
Isn't the real question what our influence is, and what could/should/might be done about it, or not?
sorry to those who think politics should keep out of this - it is a highly political topic. Let me rephrase that - it is simply a political topic. Coming up with the data and information on which said decisions are based, that's where science comes in. Or, should come in.
It's nice to know that Co2-levels have been much higher in earths history, with earth being covered in life of all sorts. Anyone mention anything about the times of transition? I might be wrong, but currently, the surface types spreading are sealed, agricultural, and desert. No lush landscapes coming from that, and two of those three are not exactly pleasant to live on.
It might also be worth a second thought that CO2 is but one greenhouse gas. Make that two, by including water, in its gaseous state. There are way more efficient gasses. Fortunately, they're emitted in much smaller quantities, but also with possible, as yet unknown long term side effects.
I just can't help that thinking "oh, we don't know for sure that there are consequences, so we'll assume there are none and just keep going" is a suitably sustainable strategy. Except for those, perhaps, that do not intent to have any children.
Considering consequences and their desirability has nothing to do with fear-mongering. I would like to think it's just common sense. It doesn't even mean to act - just considering.

I would like to thank Dr. Nat, a little belatedly, for her input. Made me look deeper into the whole solar aspects. Despite all you've said, though, what I think was the most profound you wrote on this page was nothing of the science part, but merely the simple statement that " ... and we (humans) don't like change." Something to bear in mind.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 01:47 am:

We skeptics doubt our climate is being changed by man. There's too much evidence to the contrary. Our climate has changed. There's no argument about that, but it will change whether man is on earth or not. While some areas become arid, other areas become capable of producing crops. Perhaps not in sufficient area to maintain food supplies with the earth's population explosion, but that is another matter requiring different solutions. I don't know of anyone who is against maintaining a clean environment and practicing good stewardship of nature's bounty.....that's only common sense. Where the rub comes in, is where some want to make sudden, drastic changes to our economy and lifestyle for a cause that would have little or no effect on Mother Earth's moodiness. There was a time when I was a lad, air pollution in our cities was absolutely horrendous. While pollution still exists, it's in no way as bad as yesteryear. Great strides have been made, with more work to do, but at a pace dictated by sensible economics. Lake Erie was once 'dead'. We never thought it would recover, but today is a great walleye fishery. Improvements were made. Doom-sayers were around in the 50's and 60's, too, and that's why we older folks find it difficult buying into today's doom-sayer's predictions, especially when it has become so politicized. For some it has become a 'religion' as well, and that's downright scary. We 'man-caused global warming skeptics' have children....and grandchildren.....and some of us will soon have great-grandchildren, and we love them and care about their future, too. But we have lived through times that were worse, and today's concerns are viewed as just another changing condition to cope with. We cannot expect the earth to remain in a static state with so many natural external/internal forces at work.

By Peter Osmar (Pcosmar) on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 09:00 am:

It would seem that the direction has already changed to global cooling.
Some reading on the subject.
link 1
link 2
link 3
link 4

The Global Warming scare was nothing but a means to collect a Global Tax. And to further implement Agenda 21.

By Tom (Tom) on Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 11:30 am:

Having read all the articles you listed I am wondering what the global warning people will have to say? Not enough long term data? Seems those people were quoting long term data to support their theory of global warming not too long ago. Who are we going to believe?
I have been a skeptic of man caused warming, but, perhaps blindly, accepted the idea of global warming be a natural phase of the earth's life. The Canadian article points out some serious problems if the cooling theory is correct; how to grow crops in a country that is already at the northern most latitude for such activity?
Thanks for the information Peter.

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Friday, March 14, 2008 - 04:32 pm:

On a lighter note the middle of Tennessee has been getting their share of winter weather this year, which is where my parents moved "South" to. My stepdad commented that Al Gore was in Nashville freezing his a** off and hugging his Nobel prize to keep warm. I of course am always able to laugh at politicains regardless of party affiliation.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Thursday, March 20, 2008 - 11:34 pm:

Those are some interesting reads indeed. Makes one wonder what would happen if suddently we began a cooling phase; would the global warming camp run away with their tail dragging, or would they claim victory for their efforts?? An interesting question to ponder.

Too bad all the PastyCammers are so far away, because in a couple weeks the Dr. is giving a public lecture on climate change and the inconvenient science behind it. It promises to be an informitive and lively lecture to say the least......

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Monday, March 24, 2008 - 11:52 am:

I'm with Danbury (above) on this one. Seems so much cynicism and discord regards the subject.
It seems how one feels about this depends which side of the political fence one is.
I wonder why this is?

By Tom (Tom) on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - 01:20 pm:

Is Dr. Nat going to put a short version of the findings used in her talk? Sure would be interesting.
Of course there is a lot of discord on this global warming subject. Even when I was a kid in jr. high in Hancock we were taught about the earth's long term cycles. I assume that was a standard topic in all schools. The earth is going to follow its' course no matter what people do or how many there are. Again, that doesn't mean we should pollute our environment recklessly; we need a clean environment to live in now and in the future. But to attempt to change direction the earth is taking is futile. By direction I mean cycling from cold to warm and back over very long periods of time.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 - 07:41 am:

We will certainly try to get something of her lecture on here. Whether it will be in its entirety or a little bit in a few messages has yet to be determined.....

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 - 09:12 pm:

Well, Dr. Nat gave her climate change lecture today and I must say, it was VERY informitive and raised a lot of questions about how the IPCC and the Gore camp got their figures. Hopefully, we can get some of the lecture notes and/or graphs posted on here; graphs and scientific facts the other side don't want you to see.... ;-)

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Thursday, April 3, 2008 - 05:50 am:

That will be very interesting to read for sure. One must understand that this crowd who preach that Global Warming is harming the planet,took over this project since there is no more Cold War.Another fifty years and things will be just fine.

By Tom (Tom) on Thursday, April 3, 2008 - 01:28 pm:

Glad to read that Dr. Nat's comments will be shared to some degree. I hope there wasn't hostility towards her by Gore's side.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, April 4, 2008 - 11:13 pm:

On the contrary; she has been asked to do an encore presentation in June because there were a lot of people that wanted to attend but couldn't. Also, it appears that the entire slideshow will be posted to the internet in the coming days. As soon as I get the link, I will post it here.

In the meantime, I'm hoping Dr. Nat will share some of what was presented on here. Maybe if we click our heels 3 times and summon her enough she'll talk...... ;-)

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Sunday, April 6, 2008 - 05:29 pm:

"Since the general prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied"

John Stuart Mill

By Heikki (Heikki) on Sunday, April 6, 2008 - 06:11 pm:

"Since the general prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied"

So true, so true. When one reflects on how this man-caused global warming movement a consensus of all things....and further promoted by politicos and pop culture, not to mention the 'disciples' of our former vice-president 'spreading the gospel' by holding indoctrination gatherings using his error-ridden pseudo documentary as a focal point, it is no small wonder it has invited criticism, and rightly so. There was another movement started in similar manner circa the start of the 20th century, called eugenics. Any student of history knows the outcome of that movement.

Good one, Russ! You hit the nail on the ol' proverbial head.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Monday, April 7, 2008 - 02:08 am:

Mills' words here can be applied to either side of this issue! I only hope that in the end of all this, (if it ever ends in any of our lifetimes) I can be at the dance to see which way the music goes!
I still don't understand how in the face of the overwhelming numbers of world scientists, organizations, universitys, governments agreeing with global warming in some degree or form, how is it we only are right and the rest of the world is wrong, even our allies?
I certainly also look forward to see/hear Dr. Nats' works on this and am curious as to how her statistics came about and where from.
I still am with Danbury above in that I anyway also, thought the world scientific community worked together in harmony, respect, and mutual accord on issues that are or may be of serious interests to all mankind giving benefits of the doubt to all until matters reach some solid resolution. One must consider what/who it benefits each side greater on this and what each side has to lose--in the long run!

Dave H. my friend, you are wrong again. The Global warming issue started way before as you state, even as far back as in the 60s to a degree along with the pollution, enviromental movements of the time which were PART of the reason for the cultural/social upheavals of the time. (See the "Port Huron statement/documents" 1962)where all the 60s turmoil started right here in my backyard so to speak --OH MY GOD!--terrible situation should I say?

By Heikki (Heikki) on Monday, April 7, 2008 - 07:59 am:

...."overwhelming numbers of world scientists, organizations, universitys, governments agreeing with global warming"...

Among those numbers are many that are politically-driven, which negates any shred of objectivity/credibility. Eugenics started in identical fashion....."everybody" was supporting the theory (including many prominent names in the U.S.). I believe combining historical fact with science offers a better perspective for the layperson when separating the wheat from the chaff.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 - 02:16 am:

And those "opposed" to global warming are not politically driven?----!

By Heikki (Heikki) on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 - 08:06 am:

..."And those "opposed" to global warming are not politically driven?..."

Excluding political pundits, I can't see any comparison. When one looks at the makeup of the IPCC and the credentials of many of its members; the UCC and its members; the strong-arm tactics used by a Weather Channel executive (can't remember her name, but she proposed license suspension for dissenting meteorologists);and a practicing politician, Al Gore, whose efforts have overshadowed every other politico in the arena, this issue was definitely politicized first by the left. What I see in opposition (again, excluding pol pundits), are practicing scientists, and retired professors with grant money no longer held over their head, who honestly disagree with the premise of man-caused global warming. I am not aware of any organization(s) formed by these professionals to offer a consensus of their opinions and therefore attempt to sway the public in that manner. To say practicing scientists who offer opposing views are politically-driven is akin to saying Winston Churchill was a warmonger for opposing Hitler. In the final analysis, who started it all?

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 - 07:54 pm:

All right, first of all, I want to make it clear that I do not have a political agenda. I don’t even belong to a political party. And if anyone wants a record of my funding, I will be more than happy to provide it. It is mostly from sources such as the National Science Foundation, Geological Society of America, and New Mexico Geological Society.

That being said, let’s talk about climate. Lesson Number One: Climate Changes! Get used to it, bub. It always has and always will. We are currently in a colder time period.

So a big question that looms before us today is: Is warming actually occurring? Some places on earth are currently getting cooler. Like Greenland (Chylek et al., 2004). And Russia experienced its coldest winter on record in 2005-2006 (Sorokhtin et al., 2007). But we’re talking global climate. And in recent years the average global temperature has been rising. It’s been rising about 1 degree Fahrenheit per century. Sounds scary, eh? But let’s put that into perspective. Since the last glacial maximum, temperature has risen much greater than that (at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit in one century). There have been at least twenty rapid climate changes from glacial to interglacial periods over the past 100,000 years. So this is actually nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, in a historical perspective, the current climate change is rather tame (Burroughs, 2005).

But I know some of you out there will be asking, what about all that CO2? Sure, the carbon dioxide levels are rising. But they are still very low compared to other time periods in earth history. And the other interesting thing about carbon dioxide is that analysis of ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show that a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide actually follows a rise in average global temperature. Not the other way around. (I have several references for this, but, of course, left them sitting on my desk at work, if you are desperate for them, just ask). This pattern of carbon dioxide rise is not unexpected, however, as it follows something called Henry’s Law, which governs the solubility of gas in water. (Although it gets a little more complex because carbon dioxide also reacts with water to form carbonic acid. Dam, climate is complex!). And some scientists even question just how much carbon dioxide actually affects climate anyway. Sorokhtin et al. (2007) did a very extensive study of what happens to the atmosphere when CO2 is added. When they accounted for atmospheric density changes, adiabatic behaviour of gasses, and the circulation and heat transfer properties of the atmosphere (in addition to various other things that are far too complex to discuss in this forum) they concluded that heating caused by additional carbon dioxide is negligible. And carbon dioxide cannot account for various other warm time periods in earth history (such as the PETM) and during the Ordovician CO2 levels were much higher than today and there was an glacial period. So clearly, carbon dioxide cannot be the only thing affecting earth’s climate.

All right, where was I before the CO2 tirade? Climate changes. Temperature rises and falls... Ah, yes. Is the current change anthropogenic or natural? Well, since the changes are well within the sorts of changes we have had in the past, there is nothing that makes me think these changes are not natural now. I and a number of other scientists are waiting for data to indicate otherwise. If I see that data, I will be the first one to be writing on here to talk about it. As I said before, I am a scientist, not a politician. I am not interested in money (I sure as he11 wouldn’t be a college professor if I was), I am not interested in votes, I’m not interested in winning an Oscar or any politically motivated prizes. I am interested in understanding the beautiful earth we live on and how it works. That is what I have dedicated my life to.

By the way, isn’t it interesting that the southern ice cap on Mars has been shrinking over the past years. Makes me wonder what’s causing that. Could it possibly be that big bright thing in the sky that emits a lot of energy?

I suppose I should just conclude with a few more lessons in climate change. Lesson Number Six: There is no consensus in the scientific community about the causes of global warming. And God help us if there ever is. The best science is conducted when people question things. And why is a scientific consensus so important anyway? The scientific consensus before Galileo was of a Geocentric universe. Didn’t make them right, did it? Lesson Number Seven: If anyone, including me, ever tells you they completely understand climate, they are lying. Climate is extremely complex. I cannot say that enough. It is extremely complex and there are things we don’t even know that we don’t know about how climate works.

I think this message is long enough. When I actually have my notes in front of me I can write more. I can even give a brief history of climate changes since the last glacial maximum if people are interested.

Sorry about the sarcasm. Now you see what sitting through one of my lectures is like.

By Tom (Tom) on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 - 09:01 am:

Thank you, Dr. Nat. Very interesting and unbiased.
A history of climate changes must go back, and back, etc. Eons? Would it be possible to sketch the number changes and length in time? Not a book---that would take up too much of your time.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - 10:36 pm:

Yes, thanks Dr. Nat for your comments and insight on this. Some real interesting stuff here. I am always eager to hear more! I have one question I don't understand. > How come it keeps coming up about the many changes ups, downs of cycles over the eons of milleniums? I have no reason to doubt that and that it will continue, but so what? Don't these cycles take many thousands of years ? I thought the global warming issue/concern was about since mankind began on this earth and more particularly the past few hundred years with the advent of the industrial revolution? Isn't this period just a mere fleck on the geological spectrum?

Heikki: Yes in the final analysis, who did start it all? when? and for what reason(s)? Conversely with those opposing, the same goes, and why did they only just recently come to the forefront with their opposing views? I'm not trying to be sarcastic here, just really want to know and hear both sides, playing the devils advocate so to speak! Were it a bunch of scientists, meteorologists that dreamed up global warming?Were they in error and very naive? > Or was it some with sinister and ulterior motives?- If so they should be rounded up and executed! (Now I am being sarcastic!)
>>>Your comment regards Churchill is correct and complimentary but the comparison to his credibility smugly implys that those against warming are above reproach and can be only the ones correct and no one else!
The way I see an analogy somewhat to this all is: suppose the liquor industry decided that booze really doesn't cause all the grief attributed to alcohol, somebody has just made this up, lets discredit it all! Or the tobacco industry doing the same---they did try it! OR more blatant, if the Chemical companys got together and all of a sudden campaigned that DDT is not really that toxic and never has caused the poisoning blamed on it! ! Well guess what folks that's exactly what IS happening! They are presently up to this! Contradictions of even their own scientists! Why?

"The answer my friend is blowing in the wind!"

By Heikki (Heikki) on Thursday, April 17, 2008 - 08:37 am:


As with eugenics, it has been accepted by many as unvarnished facts based on unproven theory. Folks can theorize all they want, and hold beliefs that can't be proven, and I don't think anybody has a problem with that. In fact, it's healthy for our society to entertain ideas from a wide spectrum. However, when movements are set into motion such as the Kyoto Protocol that is designed to tax industrialized nations and base their reason on unproven theory, I think it's necessary for the man-caused global warming concept to be seriously challenged. A scam is often recognized in the manner it is presented. Scare tactics have been widely used in lieu of serious scientific debate between proponents and opponents within the scientific community. Several aspects of the claim of latest climate cycles being man-caused have been discredited by very reputable scientists. That's enough for me to give pause before jumping on the bandwagon.

You can interpret my analogy any way you like. To each his own. Your analogies can be cherry-picked as well: Alcohol doesn't cause grief no more than flies cause garbage. It's the abuse of alcohol by human beings that causes grief. The impact of banning DDT has cost more lives than it saved. Check it out. There are several websites offering opposing scientific views.

So, we're back to the "final analysis". It is my humble opinion as a news 'junkie' and natural-born skeptic....and with sincere recollections....that the politicization of man-caused global warming initiative started with the IPCC of the UN. The UN, being primarily a political institution, is more interested in social engineering than the pursuit of scientific fact. Is there any better reason to remain skeptic???

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Thursday, April 17, 2008 - 10:09 pm:

Thank you Dr. Nat. Your always a good read too Heikki. 500,000 new Green collar jobs comming to replace some of the old Blue collar ones that have been lost.

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Friday, April 18, 2008 - 10:18 pm:

Climate has indeed been changing for eons. Of course, it would take a long time for me to outline all the climate changes earth has undergone. But, in one of my classes, I usually go over the climate changes that have occurred during the current interglacial. I’ll give you a bit of that lecture here. Just remember, all the dates I provide are approximate ages and I do not go into the minute details of all the climate changes.

Another thing I think is important to remember is how quickly climate change can occur. Very often you will hear things on the news about how rapidly climate is changing today. In fact, the average global temperature has risen about 0.5 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years. There have been times in the pre-industrial past when temperatures have warmed or cooled as much as 7 degrees Celsius in one to two decades.

But anyway, a brief look at climate since the last glacial maximum. And I mean brief. I could teach an entire semester about this and not cover everything.

~18,000 years ago: Last Glacial Maximum. Average global temperature was about 6 to 7 degrees Celsius cooler than today. (The average temperature at the equator was about the same as today, at mid-latitudes the temperature was about 14 degrees Celsius cooler). In the Sahara, it was drier than today and the desert extended about 500km farther south than it does today (Cremaschi et al., 1998).

~14,000 years ago: Warming occurred, raising temperatures to roughly those of today.

~12,500 years ago: Younger Dryas. This is an abrupt return to glacial temperatures. And I mean abrupt. This cooling probably occurred over about a decade (Alley et al., 1993).

~11,500 years ago: End of the Younger Dryas, beginning of the current interglacial, called the Holocene. The temperatures increased to roughly current levels within a century. Most of this warming was concentrated in a single spurt of warming that lasted less than fifteen years (Taylor et al, 1997; Adams et al., in press).

~7000 to 2000 B.C.: Climatic Optimum. Average Global Temperature was warmer than today by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius. There were sunny and warm summers and mild winters in Europe, enhanced monsoons in the Sahara allowed rivers and lakes to exist there, supporting hunting, cattle herding, and some agriculture in the region (Holl, 2004). This is also the time of the settlement of Mesopotamia, an area which also experienced warm and wet conditions. In fact, this is really the time of the rise of agricultural civilisation worldwide. (Kuper and Kropelin, 2006). There were a few cooler, more arid phases within this overall warm time, notably at around 6200 B.C. (Alley et al., 1997) and 3500 B.C. (Malville et al., 1998; Nicoll, 2004). It was during the 3500 B.C. cooling that consolidated its control over the Nile River Valley. Several researchers (Hoffman, 1992; Midan-Reynes, 1992; Adams and Cialowicz, 1997) suggest that this consolidation of power was in part because the more difficult climate of the cooler and dryer times required an organised cultivation, harvest, and stockpiling of grains.

~600 B.C.: Pronounced cool and wet period in many parts of the world. (Niggemann, et al., 2003; Holzhauser, et al., 2005). Very early Roman writers refer to the Tiber River freezing around this time period.

~200 B.C. to 450 A.D.: Roman Warming: During this time it was warmer and moister in the North Africa and the Middle East (Lamb, 1995). Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus) of Alexandria kept a weather diary for many years that clearly reflects this wetter climate. Passes that are closed during colder climates were open during this time-- something that allowed Hannibal to march on Rome with his elephants.

~450 A.D. to 900 A.D.: Cold Period: This time period is notably cooler and drier than today. On the Asian steppes, there was a severe drought, one of many factors that influenced the “barbarian invasions.” When things looked dire on the steppes, they looked for nicer places, and what could be better than Rome? The years 535-536 were extremely cold and dark, according to primary sources, which refer to the sun shining without heat or much light. The cause of this darkness was quite possibly volcanic ash in the atmosphere (Wohletz, 2000). This, however, is a fascinating topic for some other time. The winter of 859-860 was also extremely cold. The Adriatic near Venice had ice thick enough to drive wagons across. Also during this cold period, ice could be found on the Nile and Bosphurus (Lamb, 1995).

~950 to 1300 A.D.: Medieval Warm Period: Average global temperature was 1 to 2 degrees Celsius warmer than today. This is the time period of the Norse expansion, when settlers founded an agricultural settlement on Greenland. In fact, in Norway, barley was grown as far north as 69 ½ degrees latitude. This time is also sometimes referred to as the High Middle Ages. It is a time of population growth, expanded trading, and the building of many great cathedrals. Why? Well, in part it was due to the equable, warm climate of the times. Crops grew well, supporting a larger population. And a larger population made for more workers to build some of the grand architecture of the times. (Lamb, 1995; and two papers sitting in my office that I didn’t bring home with me).

~1300 to 1850: The Little Ice Age: Average global temperature is 2 to 4 degrees Celsius colder than today, as much as 9 degrees colder than today in some locations. In addition to being colder, there were some very wet years, in particular around 1315. Grain didn’t ripen, causing massive famine throughout Europe. Grain was imported from the Middle East to feed the starving masses, and with the grain came rats. With the rats came fleas. With the fleas came Yersinia pestis. Black Plague. Black Plague is a fascinating disease. My office at one of the places I worked was next to a guy who was an expert on plague and we had some interesting discussions over lunchtime. The bacteria Yersinia pestis secretes an enzyme called coagulase that causes blood to clot in the flea’s throat. So the flea gets very hungry and bites a lot. But because of the clot in its throat, the flea can’t swallow, so it spits blood back in the bite wound. And with that blood it spits some plague bacteria, spreading the disease. The interesting thing is that when the temperature is warmer (over about 25 degrees Celsius), the blood won’t clot in the flea’s throat and it is harder for the flea to transmit plague.
Another nasty disease of this colder time period was St. Anthony’s Fire. This is caused by the ergot fungus. Ingesting ergot causes convulsions, hallucinations, and the gangrenous rotting of limbs. Ergot only grows when it is cool and damp and only a little ergot contaminated grain can ruin an entire barrel of grain.
There were a few warmer times during the Little Ice Age, notably ~1500-1550, but mostly it was cold. Load bearing ice was present on the shores of Lake Superior in June of 1608. The Little Ice Age is also the time of Washington at Valley Forge. Let’s face it, Pennsylvania winters aren’t all that bad. But in Washington’s time they really were cold and bitter. And that ice the paintings show on the Delaware River when General Washington crossed it, that’s not just a romantic image. At that time the Delaware River did freeze. And the Hudson, too.
This colder time also encouraged people in Europe to begin farming the potato rather than grains. The potato tends to be hardier than many grains. We’ll get back to the potato later. Also during the Little Ice Age the Norse settlement on Greenland failed. Why? Crops they wanted to grow wouldn’t grow anymore and the settlers didn’t adapt to the changing climate.
There are so many more things to the Little Ice Age, like the eruption of Tambora, the Maunder Minimum, etc. But I think I’ve talked about it quite enough. (My apologies, but I don’t have my list of references for this section. If you want them, just ask.)

~1850-1880: Warming trend: This warming trend actually began in the 1840s. This is an appropriate time to re-visit the potato. The Irish are known for their potatoes. And their Potato Famine. During the colder times of the Little Ice Age, the Irish took to growing a certain type of potato (I can’t remember the species and left the reference on my desk at work). Anyway, this was a great potato to grow in the cooler climate, but was particularly susceptible to potato blight (Phytophthora infestans). Potato blight needs warm, wet conditions to multiply, which is why the potato famine occurred as the world left the Little Ice Age.

~1880-1900: slightly cooler temperatures.

~1900-1940: This was a period of rapid warming. In fact, most of the past century’s warming occurred during this time.

~1940-1980: Cooling period: This is why when I was younger, there were articles concerning what to do about global cooling and how to survive the next ice age that was about to doom us all.

~1980-today: warming time period. I have, however, seen some very recent data that indicates that temperatures have been very slightly cooling since 1998. (Personally, I don’t think that is enough time to determine any sort of meaningful trend, but that’s my opinion.)

So what does all this really mean? Climate changes all the time and it can change very rapidly. Personally, I think we should learn from the mistakes of my Norse ancestors, the ones who didn’t adapt to the changes the earth undergoes. Earth changes. And if we want to survive, we should be ready to change with it. But that’s just my opinion.

Sorry for the long post. Can you tell I’ve spent a while researching this?

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Friday, April 18, 2008 - 10:46 pm:

Thank you Dr. I realy enjoyed reading that and yes of course to you question. One would have to be a D.A. to think other wise. You know what I mean!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Saturday, April 19, 2008 - 11:32 am:

Thanks Dr. Nat! I wish I could talk some of the people I know into visiting this page so they could put their Chicken Little suits away.
Check out M4GW on YouTube for a song on global warming.
Mr. Deb

By Heikki (Heikki) on Saturday, April 19, 2008 - 10:40 pm:

Great job, Dr. Nat, especially tying in the effects on humans with each climatic period. The bit about the Black Plague during the Little Ice Age caught my eye, as I visited an ancient country church in England in the early 1960's that had no other buildings nearby.....just sitting by its lonesome on the edge of a field. The nearest village was a mile down the road. When I asked why the odd separation of church from village, I was told the original village surrounding the church was burned during the Black Plague and rebuilt down the road in order to better control rat population in the area. It's also interesting to note recent scientific and historical investigations have some researchers questioning the long held belief transmission of the disease was caused by rats and fleas. One researcher pointed out Iceland lost 1/2 to 2/3 its population to the Black Death, yet there were no rats in Iceland at the time. Other scientists suggest it may have been an Eboli-type virus.

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 05:03 pm:

Can I safely conclude from all of the informative comments posted that human activity has little or no effect relative to climate change? I recall reading about a theory that when certain forces and/or activities go beyond a specific level, they result in a condition something like what happens when a glass of water is filled to the point where it overflows. Relative to global warming/climate change, is it possible that such a point can be brought about by human activity? Perhaps someone knowledgeable about such a theory would comment further.

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 10:03 pm:

Heikki definitely knows their stuff. There is indeed current research looking into the fact that the plagues of the Little Ice Age were not completely due to Yersinia pestis and the bubonic/pneumonic plague that it causes. There were most certainly other diseases during that time that took their toll on the population (as I indicated, St. Anthony's Fire was one of them). Indeed, any time you get people who are weakened by famine, then cluster together during the cold and nasty weather, disease will spread easily.

As with many things in science, seeking answers only leads to more questions. I look forward to the ongoing research into this topic and time period.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 12:29 am:

Dr. Nat: Once again some good stuff on your April 18th post! I do recall lots of it from my high school days! Unlike many of my classmates I did listen and try to absorb that stuff as it was interesting to me. (Nerd definition?) In my day Teachers had a higher esteem and respect due them as with Scientists and Doctors.

Heikki: Of course human abuses apply for most things as such, even as applys to Global warming even if Global Warming is only for a short term!
How obvious.
Given the nature of humans many things unfortunately must be controlled, usually by laws. Laws are supposed to be for the betterment of the majority. Granted they don't always work that way.
As for DDT, there are (and were) other insecticides and methods that work just as well as DDT or even better without the toxicity! Unfortunately many "3rd world" countrys still use DDT"

I still say it's sad there is so much disagreement, snide remarks, innuendos of this subject amongst the world scientists (and others) I thought there would be more of a spirit of harmony and objectivity on what surely is important (as Danbury exclaims way above) no matter what the outcome! Hopefully the scientists actions, reputations won't sink to the levels of lawyers! LOL

Anyhow: FWIW, "FRONTLINE" this Tuesday evening 10PM many PBS Stations: "HOT POLITICS"--"Global Warming". The Global Warming issue is over, "Now it's time for action"

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 04:26 am:

Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons):

Thanks for the FRONTLINE alert, I'll put that on my must watch list!

By Heikki (Heikki) on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 08:59 am:

Perhaps I should have elaborated on my opinion of DDT. Not being an advocate of heavy prolonged use of any chemical having adverse effects on life, there are times when its use is the lesser of two evils, as with mosquito-infested poor countries experiencing high death rates from malaria, not to mention the lost time (in labor) to these same countries as survivors recuperate. Used intelligently and sparingly, DDT saved many lives because of its low cost and effectiveness. Of course, the preferred prevention of malaria is brought about by anti-malarial drugs, bed nets, and draining/filling mosquito breeding grounds near residential areas. But, as a stopgap before these controls could be put in place, especially in poor countries, DDT played a positive role. The criticism of DDT based on unintelligent use (abuse) of the substance was proper, but the outright ban created malaria outbreaks before other low-cost alternatives were available to many countries. And yes, some countries still use DDT, but I would guess they are the poorest of the poor, not being able to afford more costly controls.
The point I've been offering is how laws/movements are sometimes put into action based on faulty science.....a form of knee-jerk reaction one might say. Eugenics and the banning of DDT (to a degree) are just handy examples. There is bound to be more not yet revealed until questioning scientific minds challenge long-held beliefs, which brings us back to man-caused global warming. I think it unwise to adopt expensive anti-global warming-specific measures when there is so much evidence man plays little or no role in climate change. As to fostering a clean, safe environment? Yes, but not in the name of attempting to change the moods of Mother Earth. Please don't take my comments as a personal affront, as they are only contribution to the discussion, that is all.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 02:42 pm:

I just have to toss this one in here on general principles (the usual caveats apply):

From, click ® Scientist: Forget Global Warming, Prepare for New Ice Age

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 03:02 pm:

Oh, and for those who perhaps missed the link in the above article to Chapman's opinion piece in The Australian, here 'tis (and 'tis considerably more technical than the article):

From The Australian, click ® Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Friday, May 2, 2008 - 12:57 pm:

A Junk Science opinion piece from

Click ® Junk Science: The Great Global Warming Race,
quoted here, in part:


Can global warming’s vested interests close the deal on greenhouse gas regulation before the public wises up to their scam?

* * *

Researchers belonging to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, reported in Nature (May 1) that after adjusting their climate model to reflect actual sea surface temperatures of the last 50 years, "global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations … temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming."

You got that? IPCC researchers project no global warming over the next decade because of Mother Nature. Although the result seems stunning in that it came from IPCC scientists who have always been in the tank for manmade global warming, it’s not really surprising since the notion of manmade climate change has never lived up to its billing.

(You may want to check some of the other Junk Science COLUMN ARCHIVE links on this page as well.)
Heikki (Heikki) on Thursday, June 26, 2008 - 08:58 am:

The article was written by John Coleman who founded the WEATHER CHANNEL. Interesting read:

By Eddie Allen (Glocktologist21) on Monday, June 30, 2008 - 11:18 am:

Thank you for posting the article by John Coleman. It explains a lot of things we need to consider. I am not sure that the world “isn’t” getting warmer but one thing for sure is that it’s a God driven thing. The earth’s natural process is going to happen whether we want it to or not. In terms of melting, heck, it’s been melting since the ice age that we know of began. It’s going to happen. What kills me that Al Gore, the United Nations, and all the greenhouse gomer scientists that are all into this thing are probably more for political or personal gains rather than to promote it for the good of the people of the world. Just look at the millions ol’ Al’s made out of the Inconvenient Truth book and all his public appearances he’s made over it.
The only thing in defense of these guys that I have is that at least their trying a little bit to help people see that they should be taking care of the earth a bit better than we have. That’s not a bad thing, however, we should all naturally be stewards to our earth anyway and that should’ve been practiced all along. Unfortunately, we might be enviroment friendly here and big government may try to put the inconvenient restrictions on us here as well but that’s not going to change the way China or India or any of these fast growing industrialized nations operate and take care of our enviroment! They care less!
Funny through all this global warming hype that all it would take is one super volcano to cloud are atmosphere or one good size meteor to strike the earth and all this global warming thing would be right out the window and we’d be freezing all over again! Makes you wonder about that stuff when the dinosaurs extensively roamed the earth...I guess we were a really warm planet then and now the earth is going back toward where it was once.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Monday, June 30, 2008 - 04:18 pm:

Ooops, it looks like I neglected to post this item.

Check out this press release from the Space and Science Research Center, entitled "Changes in the Sun’s Surface to Bring Next Climate Change".

Click on the following folder icon to obtain the document in PDF format (created from the original MS Word document):

application/pdfSSRC Press Release SSRC1-2008
changes_in_the_suns_surface_to_.pdf (13 k)

Or you could go to their site, Space and Science Research Center, click on press releases at the left hand side, and then scroll all the way down that page and there is a link that says … Press Release SSRC 1-2008.

While there, you may also want to check out the later Press Release SSRC 2-2008.
Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 12:45 pm:

I'm beginning to think that the minds behind the global warming movement, who thought they could ram gloom and doom down what they thought was a dumb ignorant society, are beginning to realize that there are a few educated people out there who actually study this topic for a living and that aren't going to take anymore general statements like "all scientists are in agreement that....". In fact, it's only the so called scientists who have proclaimed themselves "experts" (which in my mind, there are NO experts on how earth's climate works) that jumped on the bandwagon and for what, a little extra funding, short lived global recognition, or......??

Makes me wonder what the next peril of mankind will be that we'll be told to fear??

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 01:05 pm:

The collapse of the NHL?

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 03:19 pm:

Climate change I can survive, but life without my beloved Red Wings..... now THAT is a peril!! ;-)

I'm sure some will blame global warming for the demise of the NHL as well......

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 05:46 pm:

well, you surely realize that melted ice cannot be skated upon.

maybe they can skate on water skis ?

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 04:36 pm:

Tuesdays news showed Videos of HUGE sections of the glaciers at the tip of Argentina breaking, falling off into the ocean! Awesome sight! Argentine authoritys say this has never, ever happened before in winter (mid winter is now down there)
How can this be explained?

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 09:19 pm:

Generally, glaciers calve icebergs into the ocean when they are growing. But I have not seen this footage yet. I've been a wee bit busy lately preparing for my work at Oxford. I've got a long flight tomorrow.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Friday, July 11, 2008 - 08:33 am:

Must be referring to the ice tunnel collapse of Perito Moreno into Lake Argentino. Tunnel is caused by water erosion from flow created by uneven water levels (glacier divides the lake). This collapse occurs every 4-5 years but mostly in (their) summer. Has also ocurred in 1917 and 1951 during (their)winter according to some.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Monday, September 22, 2008 - 08:15 am:

I have to laugh now because the doomsayers are blaming global warming for causing the devestation at Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula from Ike. They have even went so far as to say that Galveston has never seen a storm like this ever............

Funny, I could have sworn a much bigger storm hit Galveston in 1900 and again in 1915 (hence, the reason the seawall was built). When will these people learn to study history before opening their big yaps??

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Monday, September 22, 2008 - 11:20 am:

I didn't realize that were even trying to say that Galveston had never seen a storm like this ever??? In addition to the storms you named, Capt Paul, there was Hurricane Carla, in 1961, that has been referred to as "the big one" all of my life. Carla was a more intense storm, a Category 5, that was downgraded to Category 4 shortly before landfall, with a 22-foot storm surge. I believe the geographical size of Carla was actually smaller than Ike, though. And then there was Hurricane Alecia (sp) in the 1980's.

I believe you've already stated, Capt Paul, the greater Houston/Galveston area (and the rest of the country) are all extremely lucky, that the Hurricane Ike did not make landfall at such an angle that the worst of the storm surge went up the Houston Ship Channel. That could have knocked out the Port of Houston and many of the refineries that produce gasoline and chemical plants for the Gulf Coast and the U.S., in addition to knocking out many more homes because of the denser population there. (I realize that those who lost their homes or who are still without power from Ike might not agree, but it is true.)

Yes, Ike was very large and very powerful. It knocked flat most of the west end of Galveston Island, that was not protected by the seawall, as well as the Bolivar Peninsula. But, the whole city of Galveston was not knocked flat, like Ike was predicted to do by NOAA, etc. Galveston can still be rebuilt. Yes, some of the great historical places, particularly on piers, were knocked out. Galveston is down, but it is not out. It can live another day, if and when it chooses to. For instance, they are talking now about restarting the football season for Galveston's Ball High School this week. And, I believe that the Univ of Texas' Medical School and Hospital in Galveston were damaged, but not irreparably. And, the Houston Ship Channel, the Port of Houston, most of the refineries and chemical plants are relatively in tact. That will save us all a lot of money, not only at the gas pump, but in the prices of nearly everything that we buy at the grocery store, the box store, and everything, because that gas refining capacity, etc., was not lost.

PS I neglected to mention the Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange areas, just east of Galveston and Bolivar, received a lot of the storm surge, too. The oil refineries and chemical plants there, I believe had relatively little damage, too, although a lot of homes, churches, and retail stores were flooded.

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - 03:52 pm:

PS to my last note: I am hearing mixed signals on & from Galveston. On the one hand, they are talking about restarting the football season this week. On the other hand, they have no intention of restarting school any time in the foreseeable future.

What's more, Galveston's mayor is in Washington DC today, requesting 2.3 Billion dollars in aid, for everything from debris removal to rebuilding. Over 600 Million of that is to repair the Medical School. I must admit, I'm confused?

By Snowman (Snowman) on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - 04:32 pm:

Why, if global warming is a hoax, are so many species of animals moving further up north and slowly becoming extinct??? Hmm, maybe I'm just a person in the dumb, ignorant society.

From 1915 to 2008 is quite a span.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - 05:26 pm:

I'm not really sure how anyone can ague about the fact the Earth is warming. Its proven by the data.
It may not be totally true its caused by us humans as much as its said it does...I think we contribute. It doesn't make much sense to me to refute the fact our carbon emissions contribute, plus a lot of the other chemical pollution, our heating our homes, the expanses of concrete.

On the other hand, I think we're still warming in the normal climatic cycle...ever since the Earth started warming from the iceage, which was only 20,ooo years ago..virtually a blip in the overall life of this planet. These cycles have been happening for a very long time. Check this chart out.

By Tom (Tom) on Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 02:27 pm:

Global warming is continuing. The main cause doesn't seem to be identified. Is it mankind or is it part of a "normal" cycle of our planet as it ages?
If we had evolution in the past it must be going on now too. So some animal species become extinct while others adapt to the changes. Humans can adapt most quickly while the non-sentient animals cannot.
Thus we lose some over a long period of time.
Can this be?

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 03:06 pm:

Tom (Tom):
"The main cause doesn't seem to be identified."

So Tom, does that mean you don't buy this argument? [Emphasis is mine.]:


"The Sun is our solar system's supreme creative and sustaining natural force. It bathes us with warmth and light in ways we still do not fully understand. In its gravitational harmony with the Earth and other planets, it irradiates us with an awesome spectrum amidst a complex play of cycles. The Sun alone has the power to determine whether we live and prosper in that warmth or descend into an ice age of almost 100,000 years of lethal cold."

John L. Casey, June 2008
Director, Space and Science Research Center

See also, Space and Science Research Center Press Release SSRC 4-2008 Monday, September 22, 2008 9:00 PM: Senators McCain, Obama, Biden and Governor Palin Are Warned about the Next Climate Change. Quoted here, in part:


"The Space and Science Research Center (SSRC) in Orlando, Florida, today sent letters to Senators John McCain, Barack Obama, Joseph Biden and Governor Sarah Palin warning them of the consequences of the next climate change to a period of deep, long lasting and possibly destructive cold weather."

Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 03:54 pm:

So Frank, we can rest easy that the ones who blow all the hot air aren't next going to tell us to breath on a strict schedule to minimize our carbon footprint. That was the next step wasn't it?

By Tom (Tom) on Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 07:47 pm:

FRNash-----------I do not accept that mankind has caused global warming. I believe it is part of the cycles of the earth. And that the sun makes the most impact on the cycles and when they change.

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Friday, September 26, 2008 - 08:27 am:

Does anyone think that the candidates for president and vice president of the U.S. have been seriously thinking about global warming? There is a enough "hot air" coming from all of them to warm up Lake Superior a few degrees.

By Eddie Allen (Glocktologist21) on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 - 04:08 pm:

*****I believe you've already stated, Capt Paul, the greater Houston/Galveston area (and the rest of the country) are all extremely lucky, that the Hurricane Ike did not make landfall at such an angle that the worst of the storm surge went up the Houston Ship Channel.*****

...The storm did move slightly East just before it came ashore putting the biggest point of impact across Bolivar and across Chambers county...I am about 45 miles due North of Galveston Bay and can attest to the fact that Ike's eye came directly over my house...but that shift being just slightly East wasn't as much as a consolation for those onto the West side of it... It was pretty much that everyone 50-60 miles on either side of the center of the storm suffered considerable wind and water damage. The storm surge would have to be of a category 3+ or even maybe a low 4 to affect the ship channel area in the port...Galveston and Bolivar together sort of slow that surge a little...but those people in those areas still need a lot of prayer and help yet...

By Heikki (Heikki) on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 - 10:45 pm:

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 02:07 pm:

Galveston and Bolivar together sort of slow that surge a little.

Hence, the reason why people should not be living in those places or even allowed to build/rebuild there...... Barrier islands are designed for one thing; to protect the mainland coastlines from the intense wave action and storm surge that a tropical system can bring. When people build on these islands, they are asking for trouble, period!!

Great link Heikki!! I'm sure the Dr. will be able to use most of those graphs in her presentations and such......

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - 02:23 am:

Consider this:

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - 11:03 pm:

Can't open the link, Russell.

On a side note; November 25 the Dr. is giving a presentation to the Houston Gem and Mineral Society titled "Geologic Events in Human History". It is basically a lecture on how natural disasters and other geologic events in earth's history have shaped mankind and where we are at today. Undoubtably, climate change will play a large role in the lecture, as well as other events. If anyone is in the Houston area around that time, come on by; should be a fun one........

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 01:04 am:

Capt. Paul (Eclogite):
"Can't open the link …"

Hey, Cap'n, it worked for me, earlier today, and now as well.

Of course since it isn't properly formatted as a link, ya gotta copy it and paste it in your browser's address field. (But you knew that.)

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - 09:19 am:

For anyone interested and living near the Houston area. On November 25 the Dr. is giving a presentation to the Houston Gem and Mineral Society titled "Geologic Events in Human History". It is basically a lecture on how natural disasters and other geologic events in earth's history have shaped mankind and where we are at today. Undoubtably, climate change will play a large role in the lecture, as well as other events. If anyone is in the Houston area around that time, come on by; should be a fun one........

By Tom (Tom) on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - 10:00 am:

Capt, sure wish I was in the Houston area to attend Dr's presentation. Every magazine I read that has an article on global warming blames it on mankind. Even National Geographic's current issue does the same in one of their articles.

By FJL (Langoman) on Monday, November 24, 2008 - 01:07 pm:

NEW'S FLASH!!! The alarmest have put to rest the "Globel Warming" title. They now use "Climate Change"..........."It is, and so it shall be"....

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Monday, November 24, 2008 - 01:57 pm:

FJL (Langoman):
"They now use "Climate Change"

I guess they've heard of the coming ice age; so now they can say: "Well that's Climate Change, isn't it"?

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Friday, December 5, 2008 - 04:54 pm:

I believe the climate is going through regular cycles. Some
places in the northern L.P. were setting record low overnight
temps the 3rd week of October. Is that global warming? Not

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Friday, December 5, 2008 - 09:41 pm:

its not point changes that define global warming but the long term trends.

If you think about what the term global warming means and look at the data, you will see the Earth is warming. And I , too, believe it is a continuance from the ice age.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 06:58 pm:

From today's "What'sUP":
By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 12:53 pm:

Snow in Houston yesterday, skiing in New Orleans (well, on the north shore at Mandeville & Slidell, at least) today. It's the coming of the next ice age! (Is Algore still reciting that Global warming mantra?)

More science (vs. "Political Science"), this from Science is Broken, by Gary Novak, an independent scientist.

Click → Global Warming not caused by carbon dioxide, The Science of Global Warming in Perspective.

Much food for thought, many further links & resources, lots o' further reading. Enjoy!

Perhaps with the present state of the economy, this is no time for government imposed "carbon dioxide sequestration" mandates, or to squander any money or effort on misguided "Tilting at Windmills" in a hysterical "Henny Penny-esque" panic!
FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 05:24 am:

More refutation of Algore's "Settled science" on Global Warming (March 21, 2007) Quote [emphasis is mine]:


The science is settled, Gore told the lawmakers. Carbon-dioxide emissions — from cars, power plants, buildings and other sources — are heating the Earth's atmosphere.

This from the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works:
Click → UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

Meanwhile, where is our president elect Barak Obama on this issue?

From the Associated Press Click → Obama left with little time to curb global warming. (That headline also serves to shows ya that the mainstream press is still firmly in Chicken Little's camp, eh?) Quote [emphasis is mine]:


"The time for delay is over; the time for denial is over," he said on Tuesday after meeting with former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. "We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now that this is a matter of urgency and national security and it has to be dealt with in a serious way."

What's wrong with this picture?

David Soumis (Davesou) on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 06:59 am:

what is wrong is that you don't believe it.

Story Highlights
About 2 trillion tons of ice has melted in Greenland, Antarctica, Alaska since 2003

Lost amount of water could fill up Chesapeake Bay 21 times, NASA scientist says

Most came from Greenland, where losses raised global sea levels .5 mm annually

Scientist says sea levels rising 50 percent faster than 15 years ago

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 04:47 pm:

David Soumis (Davesou):
"… what is wrong is that you don't believe it."

True, and although I believe it is useful to examine opinions from across the spectrum, I find the scientific opinions in these excerpts appearing in the UN Blowback link above from the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, to be far more credible. [Emphasis, as usual, is mine.]:


“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” - Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.


For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?" - Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.


“Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.” - Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.


CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another…. Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so… Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.” - Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.


Update: 'No evidence for accelerated sea-level rise' says Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute – December 12, 2008 Excerpt: In an op-ed piece in the December 11 issue of NRC/Handelsblad, Wilco Hazeleger, a senior scientist in the global climate research group at KNMI, writes: “In the past century the sea level has risen twenty centimeters. There is no evidence for accelerated sea-level rise. It is my opinion that there is no need for drastic measures. It is wise to adopt a flexible, step-by-step adaptation strategy. By all means, let us not respond precipitously.”


Peer-Reviewed Study: Recent worldwide land warming' NOT 'a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land' - – December 3, 2008 ‘Rethinking Observed Warming?’ Key quote: “Evidence is presented that the recent worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response to a worldwide warming of the oceans rather than as a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land.


Alert: 2008 will be coolest year of the decade! - December 5, 2008 Excerpt: This year is set to be the coolest since 2000, according to a preliminary estimate of global average temperature that is due to be released next week by the Met Office. The global average for 2008 should come in close to 14.3C, which is 0.14C below the average temperature for 2001-07.

What we really need is for the scientific community at large to address this issue in concert, with a whole lot more of the usual methodical analysis and peer review cycles, and far less hysterical publicity. (Although that typically involves more patience than many of the politicians appears to have.}

I have absolutely no doubt that the scientific method will win out.
And finally, here's a little item that I just stumbled upon today, from The National Post (Canada!) dated October 20, 2008:
Click → Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof
David C Cloutier (Dccloutier) on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 04:51 pm:

The fact that it snowed in Houston for the first time in 40 years or that parts of the northern LP are setting record lows is interesting, but it has no bearing whatsoever on the fact that the earth is experiencing a warming trend. Those things are weather events. Nothing more.

The warming of the oceans and the melting of the polar ice caps are signs that the global temperatures are increasing. There is a huge amount of scientific data to support this trend. And nothing but naysayers blithering to the contrary. Why is that so hard to understand or accept?

But seriously, I am sorry that you don't want to believe that those things are occurring, but sometimes reality bites. While the dynamics of the natural systems that manage global climate are very complicated, the solutions (the things we ALL can do) really aren't all that complicated. We all need to design our lifestyles so that we are less wasteful of energy and other finite resources.

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 06:32 pm:

I am sorry that you believe that those things are occurring. And you think the human race can stop it, and is the cause of it. It has been going up and down long before man walked upright on Earth I bet. It is fine to design our lifestyles so that we are less wasteful of energy and other finite resources. But not to save the Planet, but to put savings in your pocket. Has your electric bill gone sky high as a result of using less?

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 12:09 am:

Didja know that:


Alaska's glaciers grew this year after shrinking for most of the last 200 years. The reason? Global temperatures dropped over the past 18 months.

The global mean annual temperature has been declining recently because the solar wind thrown out by the sun has retreated to its smallest extent in at least 50 years. This temperature downturn was not predicted by the global computer models, but had been predicted by the sunspot index since 2000.

This from the Peoria, IL Journal Star ( Op-Ed: Look to patterns to grasp glacier growth

Let's see, that would be anthropogenic Global Warming?

Nooooo, more like heliogenic Global Cooling! More from the article [The emphasis is mine.]:


Unusually large amounts of Alaskan snow last winter were followed by unusually chilly temperatures this summer. "In general, the weather this summer was the worst I have seen in at least 20 years," says Bruce Molnia of the U.S. Geological Survey. "It's been a long time on most glaciers (since) they've actually had positive mass balance (added thickness)."

Climate alarmists claim all the glaciers might disappear soon, but they haven't looked at the long-term evidence of the 1,500-year Dansgaard-Oeschger climate cycles. During the Little Ice Age - 1400 to 1850 - Muir Glacier filled the whole of Glacier Bay. Since then, the glacier has retreated 57 miles. But the Little Ice Age was preceded by the Medieval-era warming, the cold Dark Ages, a Roman-era warming and a whole series of moderate warmings and coolings that extend back at least 1 million years, based on the evidence of the microfossils in the world's seabed sediments.

The real question is whether today's warming is different than the previous Dansgaard-Osechger warming cycles. I think that the difference, if any, is slight. Most of our modern-era's warming occurred before 1940, and virtually all of our human-emitted CO2 came after that date. The temperatures in 1998 - the recent peak - were only 0.2 degree Celsius higher than in 1940. After the temperature drop of the past 18 months, the temperatures are now cooler than in 1940.

The sunspots are now predicting a 30-year cooling of the Earth. That would thicken the Alaskan glaciers somewhat, but probably wouldn't refill Glacier Bay with ice. That'll have to wait for the next large-scale ice age.

The sunspot index has a 59 percent correlation with our temperatures (in a roughly 10-year lag). CO2 has only an "accidental" 22 percent correlation with our temperatures, which is grounds for dismissing CO2 as a major climate player.

David C Cloutier (Dccloutier) on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 11:14 am:

David Hiltunen:
Where in my post did I say that I believe that Humans are causing global climate change? I didn't say that, so please don't put words in my mouth. And I don't know whether or not humans can stop it, but I believe that we should live a more sustainable lifestyle and I also believe that we need to continue to monitor all the factors that affect global climate so we can understand how the system works and make informed decisions concerning our lifestyle.

As I said, the global carbon cycle is very complicated. We do not fully understand all of the dynamic relationships that factor into global temperatures. We do know that carbon plays a role in global temperatures and that the earth has a tremendous natural capacity to recycle and absorb carbon. However, that capacity is not limitless, so while man's carbon contributions may account for only 2% or 3% of the total carbon in the system, there is a point at which the amount of carbon being dumped into the system exceeds the earths capacity to process it. (this is much like pouring water into a funnel - if you pour slow enough then the water level in the funnel finds a point of equilibrium and stays in the funnel, but if you pour too fast, then the water level in the funnel rises and eventually over tops the funnel)

There are also external factors that affect the earths temperature such as how much energy we receive from the sun. The sun just went through a 25 to 30 year long period of increased sunspot activity during which the sun has been giving off more energy. It is possible that this is actually the cause of our increase in global temperatures. Since more CO2 can be dissolved in warmer water, it is entirely possible that the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the oceans is due to the warmer temperatures which was caused by the increased energy we received from the sun. It is also possible that over the next few decades, if the energy from the sun remains at the current or lower levels, we will begin to see a global cooling off period. The fact is we need to monitor these things so we can make informed choices about what to do.

But regardless of the mechanisms driving global temperatures, the fact is that we have seen an increase in global temperatures over the past 25 to 30 years. It is also true that as global temperatures rise we will see melting of the ice caps in the polar regions, which will in turn cause the oceans to rise.

I am not in a rush to implement any sort of new rules dealing with "carbon credits", but I do think we should all try to live in a more sustainable manner. We should try to conserve (use wisely) all of our finite resources and not be as wasteful of energy, water, and other necessary natural resources as we have been. Hopefully others agree with me on that.

By FJL (Langoman) on Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 11:02 am:

OBAMA TAPS CLIMATE EXPERTS:: President elect Barack Obama on Saturday named a physicist and a marine biologist to science posts, signaling a change from Bush administration policies on "global warming" that were criticized for putting politics over science.......Both John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco are leading experts on "climate change" who have advocated FORCEFUL GOVERNMENT RESPONSE"......Obama further states, "Because the truth is that promoting science isn't just about providing resources - it's about protecting free and open inquiry. It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. I could not have a better team to guide me in this work."..... What these appointments mean is BILLIONS of dollars directed towards something that doesn't need a fix.......FJL

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 11:22 am:

i would rather see my tax dollars going towards preserving and bettering the environment than for maiming and killing anyday, even if it doesn't do a thing as far as climate change, which I doubt it will myself. I'm all for clean air and water, preservation of our natural wonders. Anyone living in the UP should be for it as well.

check out the Green Party ... get out of the rut of the same old politics that even Obama is going to give us.

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 04:21 pm:

With so much concern about the earth, how it works, and how it changes, I find it amazing that officials never seem to consult any earth science experts. Why is geology the overlooked, unloved science? We are the people who study the earth. At some point in time, shouldn’t some government official consult one of us? Sure, marine biology is important. Sure physics is important. But if you want to know about EARTH, come to a geologist!

Or maybe we’re overlooked because the answers we would give are “inconvenient” for the agenda.

Geologists have a much different, more humble view of our place in the world. We know the power of the earth and insignificance of humanity. As my esteemed colleague, Dr. Iain Stewart has said:

“Earth and life recovered and sometimes benefited from this [mass extinction event] and every other major catastrophe. It’s this ability to deal with catastrophe that is the truly special thing about earth. Our planet is really tough and there’s nothing to suggest that that’s going to change anytime soon. In the long run, earth can cope with anything we can throw at it. We can clear all the jungles, but a jungle can re-grow over a few thousand years. We could burn all earth’s fossil fuels, flooding the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, but even then it would take only a million years or so for the atmosphere to recover. Even the animals we are wiping out may be replaced with others equally rich in diversity as the relentless work of evolution continues. So in changing this world we are altering the very environment that has allowed the human race to survive. We could be creating conditions that threaten the long-term survival of our civilisation. So all this stuff about saving planet earth... that’s not the problem. Planet earth doesn’t need saving. Earth is a great survivor. It’s not the planet we should be worrying about... it’s us.”

I support conservation. As I always point out to my students, I don’t buy new toys (computers, TVs, gadgets of all sorts just to throw last year’s version out), I still drive my college car that gets well over 30 MPG in the city, I don’t approve of the wasteful nature I see in many people.

BUT, I also do not approve of scare tactics based on ••••-poor science. And I’m tired of people who have had maybe one earth science class (and in the case of a prominent journalist and nobel peace prize winner, almost failed it) being considered experts on the earth. Give geologists who dedicate our lives to understanding planet earth some credit.

So in conclusion, I think it's important for people to live wisely and treat earth wisely, and ADAPT to the changes the planet send us. As one of my favourite authors wrote:

"To exist is to adapt, and if one could not adapt, one died and made room for those who could."
Louis L'amour

Can you tell I’m bitter about not getting that science advisor post? ;-)

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 04:34 pm:

I'm a terrible waster of gasoline...I drive a 1994 Chevy Suburban ... it is painted green, though...
and its way paid off. It still runs, and I'm driving it until it dies...its called conservation of cash.

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 01:45 pm:

I love you half as much as the Capt. Dr Nat x 2 just for your brain alone. You can read to me anytime..

By Tom (Tom) on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 01:56 pm:

thanks for wonder who the scientists are that give the politically correct answers instead of looking more closely at evidence. I was very glad to read the part of the quote referring to on-going evolution. I do wonder why people who study the earth are not consulted and their views not put forth publicly more often. Politics, I know. Crap.
OOps is that a swear word????

By Tom (Tom) on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 01:57 pm:

seems that the beginning of my email was cut off. Now I can't remember what I wrote. ??

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 03:51 pm:

Why that is wierd, Tom

Contrary to most belief's there are many people who can not be purchased at any price! I have never opted to buy one. Guess they don't come cheap.

Have you seen what the Gov. of CA. has done to go Green?

By Snowman (Snowman) on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 04:49 pm:

Yep, David, he's watchin' the "Green Giant" commercials.

By FJL (Langoman) on Thursday, January 8, 2009 - 10:28 am:

END OF AN EPOCH: "The impact humans have made on the surface of the planet has become so expansive that scientists say Earth has entered a new epoch-the Anthropocerne. A team from the Geological Society of London made the determination after examining transformed patterns of sediment, disruptions to the carbon cycle and wholesale changes to the world's plants and animals. Members believe humans have so physically changed the landscape that post-indrustralized Earth can no longer be considered still in the Holocene epoch"........The above article was in the "earthweek" section of the Milw. journal sentinel, mon. Jan. 5th. Maybe Dr. Nate or the Capt. would comment...

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, January 8, 2009 - 12:23 pm:

Anthropocerne (sic): Anthropocene?

By FJL (Langoman) on Thursday, January 8, 2009 - 04:12 pm:

Thanks FRNash, Anthropocene is correct.....

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 - 08:01 am:

I read about the proposed Anthropocene about a year ago in one of my geology journals. I'm not convinced this name should be adopted. The term Holocene refers to the relatively warm time that began about ten thousand years ago, following the last major glacial advance. I believe the term still is appropriate.

Humans like to make themselves the centre of the universe and I don't particularly like anything that encourages that sort of vanity. Honestly, in the long run, the earth will do as it pleases and humans will have to adapt to those changes.

By FJL (Langoman) on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - 11:12 am:

ADAPTATION is the change in living animals that allow them to live successfuly in an environment.....ADAPTATION: Any change in the structure or functioning of an organism that makes it better suited to it's environment........For hundreds of thousands of years animals and man have adapted to the drastic changes of this earth.... And as the good Dr. states, the earth will do as it pleases, and we shall continue to adapt.......

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Monday, February 9, 2009 - 08:35 am:

After taking another look at the comments on this site, Dr. Nat's commentary of Dec. 21 makes me wonder how much on-going evolution and climate change will affect the physical appearance of humans in a million or so years. Current portrayals of "space aliens" comes to mind.

By Tom (Tom) on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 04:16 pm:

I am so glad Dr. Nat has commented again about this global warming issue. Even though she didn't attack it outright, she implied what many are thinking.
Can man actually destroy the earth? Nuclear holocast as we were taught many decades ago? Or is the earth on a path that requires mankind and other life forms to adapt as a previous email states?
My thinking accepts the latter. Evolution is occurring and we don't necessarily like it.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 10:24 pm:

It’s been a long while since anything has been posted here. I’m not writing anything new in the climate change debate; rather, I’m writing to the followers of this thread and let everyone know that Dr. Nat will be presenting a research paper in Oxford, England in March that deals with climate change issues. Her research that she is presenting will definitely be controversial as it goes against everything one hears in the news about what is causing our current temperature trends. England is also a hotbed of the climate change debate so the good Dr. will literally be presenting research that is not very popular in merry ole’ England…..should be fun. We already turned in an abstract (that was accepted without corrections) and now comes the paper. At some point, I’m sure she’ll post it somewhere for everyone to read.

By FJL (Langoman) on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 02:53 pm:

God bless Dr. Nat. A sane head in this sea of hysterical babble and mis-information about globel warming, now called "climate change."

Since Thanks-giving is tomorro lets talk about the biggest turkey of them all,Al Gore......While on Conan O'Brien's show, Gore--extolling the virtues of geothermal energy--said the temperature in the interior of the earth is "several million degrees." Actually, if that were the temperature, the Earth would be a star. And this is the man gullible people follow blindly as a truth sayer...

Would the good doctor be able to satisfy our curiosity soon. March is an eternity away

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 03:52 pm:

Meanwhile …
It might be interesting to search Google News for stories relating to (search phrase) CRU, for the hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, which may reveal evidence of climate data deliberately being manipulated in attempt to push the anthropogenic warming theory!

Here are just a few example news articles:
1. From The New York Times, November 24, 2009: Stolen E-Mails Sharpen a Brawl Between Climate Scientists and Skeptics.

2. From The Examiner, November 24, 2009: In wake of CRU e-mails, GOP Senator pushes for investigation.

3. From The Atlantic, November 25, 2009: The Real Problem With the Climate Science Emails.

This is still an evolving story, do your own news search.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 09:02 pm:

So now the fallout from the University of East Anglia, noted above, is being referred to as Climategate.

Here it finally appears at Fox News, Tuesday, December 01, 2009.)
Click → Facing Scandal, Head of Climate Research Lab to Temporarily Step Down

Why are so many of the other US US media outlets still pretending this issue does not exist?

Will this issue arise at Copenhagen? (Wanna bet?)

By dan belo (Djbelo) on Sunday, December 27, 2009 - 05:53 pm:

People seem to be afraid of mentioning the bible history of the flood for example. In other words-immorality of effect on earth being punished for evil. I believe our country is being punished for
abandoning GODS laws; as the Isrelites were punished for Idolatry. Abortion can bring
punishing weather but Atomic war & overrun by
the enemy like China.

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Sunday, January 3, 2010 - 09:47 pm:

Many cultures around the world have flood myths included in their ancient literature. The Babylonians, ancient Greeks, Indians, Chinese and the Mayans all have flood myths. I even seem to recall an ancient Irish legend referring to a great flood.

These flood myths are likely rooted in the pulses of rapid sea level rise after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Approximately 18000 years ago, sea level reached a lowstand ~120m lower than today. This increased land area by 10%. Following the LGM, sea level rose as ice melted. The resulting sea level rise was concentrated in two pulses. At its most rapid, sea level rose ~24m over 1000 years. In gently sloping, low-lying areas this rise would correspond to the sea advancing several kilometres inland every year. Most flood myths have roots in these pulses of rapid sea level rise (Fairbanks, 1990; Burroughs, 2005; and Ruddiman, 2007). Several researchers also point to the flooding of the Black Sea as an inspiration for regional flood myths. There is currently a lively debate about this idea (Pittman and Ryan, 1997; Ryan et al., 1997; Aksu et al., 2002; Schiermeier, 2004).

Biblical literature is enlightening to read and fascinating to study. The Old Testament was written over ~1000 years by many different authors. Even the Book of Genesis was written by different authors. For example, the Yawist wrote in the 10th Century BC and the Elohist wrote in the 6th Century BC—during the Babylonian Exile (Sotak, personal communication; Jones, 2008). The many writers of Biblical literature were concerned with the relationship between God and humans, not with a study of the way the earth works and the science behind it. Perhaps a discussion of Biblical literature should be started on another thread.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, January 3, 2010 - 09:54 pm:

so how long before NYC is under water ?

Why is China an enemy?
Why can't they be our friends? What's up with the negativism ?
That's the whole problem, isn't it? looking at others with fear and contempt. Not taking the time to understand each other. Not communicating.

If we're talking bible, I'm not finding where Jesus said we should hate and fear each other. Where Jesus said we should kill each other.
Please quote me those passages.

By FJL (Langoman) on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - 08:58 am:

This thread is called "Global Warming"

If you want to discuss the Bible do as the good Doctor suggests. Use another thread. There is one in this section that should do. It's called, "Fact or Fiction."

As far as understanding and communicating with each other. I suggest that you sit down with the Terroists and ask them to show you "those passages."

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - 06:08 pm:

I will rephrase my post.

How long before NYC is under water?

its really hard not to respond to your post, FJL, but I will, this time.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 02:12 pm:

A Global warming rebuttal, from KUSI TV News in San Diego. a video by John Coleman, meteorologist and founder of The Weather Channel. (8 minutes + 14 seconds)

By FJL (Langoman) on Friday, January 8, 2010 - 10:54 am:

In the latter part of Dec. 2008, Pres. Obama, while naming a Scientist and a Biologist to head his policy on Global Warming stated, "Because the truth is that promoting science isn't just about providing resources-It's about protecting free and open inquiry. It's about ensuring that facts and evidence ARE NEVER TWISTED OR OBSCURED by politics or ideology."

CLIMATEGATE: The twisting and obscuring of facts and evidence to further a political ideology.....

By Eddie Allen (Glocktologist21) on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - 04:44 pm:

I guess everyone restarted this topic again as they throw a few more chunks of wood in the wood stove to stay warm in our ever "warming" Earth....

While there are good points on both sides of the equation, I for one wouldnt doubt the rise in level in CO2 but has anyone thrown in the factor that huge chunks of the S. American rain forest are cut down every day?...I could see where less trees might contribute more to that than the burning of fossil fuels....and I do not believe in the Left Wingers using this subject to their political advantage to advance themselves while imposing stricter regulations on American consumers while no one else around the world is not going to step up to the plate....

As for biblical topics coming up on this section...believe what you want to believe but if you believe their is a Creator of the universe and all living things in it, then why leave God of the subject if he's the designer and builder of our planet and knows how it works and does what it does better than we do?....

Just my thoughts for the day!...Thanks!...

By FJL (Langoman) on Saturday, January 16, 2010 - 10:38 am:

Well folk's, we all knew it would come to this........

Danny "I love Hugo Chavez" Glover, say's the Earthquake in Haiti was caused by 'Global Warming.' I'm sure that this admission is shared by many of the global warming advocates. Re-lieved that the truth is out they may now pursue other fantasies of Earth's destruction........

FYI: Mr. Glover will be at Central Mich.U. as the Martin Luther King Jr. week's keynote speaker.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Sunday, January 31, 2010 - 12:50 pm:

Still more sloppy science and misrepresentation uncovered in the U.N.'s Global Warming Report:

"Amazon rainforest endangered by global warming" and
"Himalayan glaciers rapidly melting because of global warming".


Click → U.N.'s Global Warming Report Under Fresh Attack for Rainforest Claims.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 01:48 pm:

Seems the IPCC is going to need taller boots if they keep stepping in it like this.....

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Monday, April 5, 2010 - 10:22 pm:

I was in Britain to give a lecture at Oxford University concerning climate change. After the climate conference, I spent a few days driving around for fun. Most of this is copied from my fieldbook, although I did edit out all the woeful discourses about missing my husband. And no names are given to protect the stupid and/or annoying.


20 March 2010
Flight day. I flew from Houston to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Glasgow. When flying to Britain I always go to Glasgow. I absolutely despise Heathrow airport for several reasons. Glasgow is a much more welcoming place.

Amsterdam is a big airport, but very easy to get around. My flight to Glasgow was unique in the fact that I sat in a row with two other geologists. How bizarre!

21 March 2010
Traveled from Glasgow to Oxford. I stayed at Lincoln College. They gave me a great room overlooking one of the quads. But there was one thing I pondered all week. In the middle of this nice green lawn of the quad, under a giant tree that had certainly seen a few hundred years of history, there was this nice wooden bench. But all around that nice green lawn there were “Keep of the Grass” signs. All week I thought, what the •••• is the point of that very inviting bench if I can’t walk on the grass to get to it?

22 March 2010
First day of climate talks. There was a very interesting group of people invited, but I was the only geologist. Some of the people there were fantastic, one was a posturing, arrogant @$$, and a couple were just plain weird. When I wasn’t in lectures or discussions, I walked around town. It was cool and a bit drizzly, but I think that is much more pleasant than the weather that I have to deal with living here in purgatory. It was so nice to be back, walking on the familiar streets, lifting pints in my favourite pubs.

23 March 2010
Had a lively debate in the session today. One of the other lecturers suggested that it was important to question the “consensus” that global warming is man-made. That caused quite an uproar. I pointed out that if dogma was what they wanted, they should be in a religion class. As scientists it is our duty to ask questions. Several of the other participants didn’t much like that or like me for saying it. But goodness, science is all about asking questions and seeking answers. It is not about deciding what you want the answer to be and figuring out how to manipulate data to prove it.

24 March 2010
I found it quite amazing that several of the other participants, people who are highly educated in their fields, have such a static view of the earth. They seemed to think that nothing ever changes on earth. Temperature always the same, atmosphere always the same. In their view nothing ever changed until people showed up. I was actually surprised by the very anthropocentric view many of the participants had. I guess I grew up in a geologic family, so I grew up learning about the amazing power of the earth, and that all the grand designs of humans are nothing compared to the forces of Nature. Then there was the other participant who was a bit odd. One of her weird statements was, “If we didn’t change the climate, we would have world peace.” Hmmm… I’m still trying to figure out how that would work.

I had the afternoon off, so I went to the Natural History Museum. On my way back to Lincoln College, I passed some very amorous ducks. But what was weird about it was that there were several tourists gathered around the amorous ducks and began photographing them. That was a “Whisky Tango Foxtrot” moment.

For dinner I had a Cornish pasty. YUM!

25 March 2010
I gave my talk. It went surprisingly well. I honestly don’t think any of the other participants had enough geologic knowledge to really question much. Remember the arrogant @$$ mentioned earlier. Well, he always had something to say about everyone’s lecture. Even when he was blatantly wrong. (In his world, rivers flow from the Aral Sea into the Sea of Japan). Anyway, because he liked to hear himself talk, but couldn’t think of anything pertinent to say about my talk, he told jokes about Winston Churchill. I asked him to please return to topic and he then told me that there are no articles published in the past fifteen years in any reputable journals that question anthropogenic global warming. I asked him if he was certain of that. He proclaimed to me, “Absolutely! There are NONE!” In my notes, I just happened to have a copy of an article published in one of my professional journals a year or two ago that studies solar cycles and links them to large-scale climate change. So I pulled that out of my notes, held it up, and said, “That’s funny, because I’m holding an article that does just that.” He glared at me for the rest of the day.

At the end of the meeting, several of the delegates insisted that we needed to release a statement about climate change. The handful of scientists there who think that climate change is a natural process elected me to be their representative to the committee that drafted the statement. I felt rather like Cincinnatus. I would have preferred to be doing just about anything else, but I had to do my duty as a scientist. I made sure that nowhere in the statement is there anything about “anthropogenic climate change” or “stopping climate change.” In my expert opinion, climate change is natural and people have about as much chance stopping the climate from changing as they do stopping the plates from moving or the sun from rising. What we really should focus on is adapting to Earth’s changes. Anyway, the statement ended up being all about conservation of energy and other resources, which I do think is a very good thing.

26 March 2010
Conference over. I picked up my rental car, a Vauxhall Insignia. I liked it. It was fun to drive. I drove to Stonehenge, which was interesting, but would have been more enjoyable without all the people singing, chanting, and playing with their crystals. Personally, I prefer visiting some of the lesser known standing stones up in Scotland. It is more of an experience to stand among the ancient stones without all the tourists and weirdness. Up in Scotland, alone with the stones and the wind, one can really feel oneself standing in the shadows of antiquity. At Stonehenge, sadly, it is a little more like being at a circus of eccentricity. After Stonehenge, I drove to Wales. I drove through the River Wye valley, stopping at Tintern Abbey along the way. The abbey was built by Cistercians back in the 1100s and occupied until the 1500s (I can’t recall the exact dates). I mainly went there because I recalled reading Wordsworth’s “Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” in Mrs. Rabbers’ British Literature class. That was one of the best classes I ever had, one of the ones that has made more of a difference in my life than any other. So I went to the abbey. It sits right next to the River Wye in a beautiful valley. Even in ruin, or perhaps because of it, the abbey was incredibly powerful. Grass blankets the floor of the cathedral. In the windows you can still see the ornate stonework that once held stained glass. As I stood inside that roofless cathedral, sad grey clouds drifted in, dropping drizzle and melancholy. It is difficult to find apt words to describe the experience. All I can say is that it was a place dedicated to the glory of God, and on a quiet spring evening just before the gloaming, that glory can still be felt.

27 March 2010
I drove through the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons National Park. That is some beautiful countryside. I went to Dolaucothi Gold Mine. The gold there formed in veins hosted in deformed 440-460 Ma marine sediments (looks mostly like shales, some with ripple marks). There was some Iron Age mining done in the area. The Romans began mining there in about 70 A.D. until they left Britain. They used both underground and open pit mining techniques, ultimately mining about 500,000 tonnes of ore. Modern mining was conducted from 1853 to 1938. The tours offered at Dolaucothi are absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend visiting there and taking a tour. My favourite part was climbing stairs inside the mine that were carved by the Romans. How fantastic to tread such paths of history!

After the mine I drove over the south end of the Cambrian Mountains on this winding little one-lane road. It’s a wee bit disconcerting to be driving on a one-lane road and seeing a “Road Narrows” warning sign. How the •••• does a single lane road narrow! But it did! It was a great drive!

I ended up spending the night in Shropshire, renting a room above a pub. It’s very convenient. No worries about drinking and driving. I can enjoy a few pints of bitter and then go upstairs to my room.

28 March 2010
I drove back to Glasgow, but took a pleasant detour through the Lake District. It’s a fantastic area of glacially carved mountains. There were more winding roads, snow, wind, and all the things to make a geology trip fun other than my husband.

29 March 2010
Flight day. Back to purgatory. The only thing that made me want to return was my dearest love and the kitties. Otherwise I’d stay in Scotland, that’s my favourite part of Britain. I could write volumes on the beauty of the Highlands and the fascinating geology there.

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 07:22 am:

Dr Nat, it sounds like you had an awesome trip to the British Isles! I am really glad that your paper was well received. I am especially glad that you were able to help shape the concluding statements from the conference, to something more acceptable than we have been hearing in the past. Thank you for sharing! Take care, Marianne

PS I hope you will be posting the highlights or a more detailed summary of your paper sometime. :-)

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 07:54 am:

Och aye, sounds like a fantastic trip, Dr. Nat. I hope to get back there myself someday.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 09:25 am:

LOL! This is great, Dr. Nat! "Whisky Tango Foxtrot moment".....darn near spit coffee all over my keyboard!!!! You'd fit right in with a ready-room full of fighter jocks on an aircraft carrier, ma'am....or I should say, Doctor. (Just had a minor Boxer moment, Dr. Sorry)

I'm happy to read you've not only survived but triumphed over some pinheads during your trip. Keep up the good work. The world needs you!

By Tom (Tom) on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 10:18 am:

I am so glad to read your comments on those who see the earth as a static condition. Seems many people think the earth has reached some position such that there should not be any changes in climate, etc.
Very encouraging to read. I hope you get to present such a paper at other conventions related to this topic. Thanks.

By Erica - Florida Keys (Erica) on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 10:31 am:

Dr.Nat,I find your view on climate change most refreshing. I believe our only choice is to accept that change will occur and we must adapt.

By Dunerat (Dunerat) on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 12:43 pm:

Dr. Nat --

Thank you for the fascinating summary of your journey.

Although I've never been to Stonehenge, I have had the great good fortune to visit the Stones at Callanish on a windswept late September day and feel the sense of antiquity you mentioned.

By Doug Walters (Dawalters) on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 01:19 pm:

In keeping with today's Pasty Picture of horses, sounds as though Dr. Nat met up with a real horse's arse while on her travels. There's at least one anywhere you go. Fortunately most folks are great. Sounds like a great trip though.

By Carol Van Der Woude (Cvanderwoude) on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 06:10 pm:

Dr. Nat,
I enjoyed your comments on climate change and the colorful
summary of your travels. Thank-you for posting your notes!

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 10:13 am:

Three cheers for Dr. Nat!

It's so refreshing to hear of some real scientific discussion of the subject instead of the all too common political drivel!

I'd sure love to read a transcript of your lecture, and perhaps the "Official statement about climate change"!

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 06:15 pm:

All I can say is wow & ditto to all of the other comments I read.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 03:34 am:

An article from The Heartland Institute: Global Warming - Facts vs. Faith. Includes a link to the full text of Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham's booklet (20 pages) in PDF form.

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