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HOLOCENE COOLING, ANTHROPOCENE WARMING? March 10, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Global Warming (climate change), Natural Environment.
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In recent days a study has been publishing suggesting that over the past 11,300 years the mean surface temperature has been showing cooling trend, until the hundred years or so.

Will this study, run foul of the climate conspiracy schools? Probably. Does it have methodological uncertainties? Very likely, but that is not unusual with scientific inquiry. The study uses a set of different proxies for temperature readings from 73 locations around the world, including those below sea level.

Just to provide a clear picture:

 (source: ZME Science)

In The New York Times, Arthur C Revkin summaries the findings (which, at least to me, makes more sense than the abstract of the study):

While the researchers, led by Shaun Marcott of Oregon State, conclude that the globe’s current average temperature has not exceeded the warmth that persisted for thousands of years after the last ice age ended, they say it will do so in this century under almost every postulated scenario for greenhouse gas emissions.

In a news release, Candace Major, program director for ocean sciences at the National Science Foundation, which paid for the research, said:

The last century stands out as the anomaly in this record of global temperature since the end of the last ice age…. This research shows that we’ve experienced almost the same range of temperature change since the beginning of the industrial revolution as over the previous 11,000 years of Earth history – but this change happened a lot more quickly.
In sum, the work reveals a fresh, and very long, climate “hockey stick.”

What I thought was good about this article is that it included the direct contributions and comments of climate scientists.

The most interesting graphs can be found at globalwarmingart.com (via NYT)

Then it has a video in the writer interviews one of the lead authors:

And then the roles change:

It is interesting to see, and be reminded as in previous scientific discoveries, that debate among scientists, which I would call the dialectic is really important. This was also noted in Jacob Bronowski‘s account of the uncertainty associated with nuclear physics and the subsequent use of the atomic bomb (This video runs for 50 minutes).

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