65 Million Years

Joanne Nova says our current “record heatwave” is far cooler than normal.

Of course she is talking about a time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and our distant ancestor hadn’t even evolved. The planet and the life on it now are quite different – something climate scientists are well aware of.

Nova continues …

But, in terms of homo sapiens civilization, things are cooler than usual, and appear to be cooling.

No they’re not. Nova fails to get the basic facts right.

Homo Sapiens evolved about 250,000 years ago, during a glacial period when temps were several degrees colder. Since then the planet warmed, cooled and warmed again and on larger timescales where the rate of temperature change was far slower than rate of warming expected over the next century.

Only in the last few thousand years, when temperatures have been relatively stable, have homo sapiens flourished.

More Deception? Or just Ignorance?

Nova’s graph of the last 10,000 years comes from one ice core drilled in Greenland. The data can be downloaded here and the paper is here .  There are a few problems with Nova’s comparison of Greenland data to today’s temperature:

  • The data doesn’t contain information linking the proxy ice core to today’s current global temperatures so direct comparison cannot be made.
  • The data is local representation of Greenland climate, not global.
  • Being in Greenland means it is susceptible to polar amplification, localised temperature change greater than the global average.
  • Looking further back in the data shows changes of greater than 20°C, something not seen in other proxy data of non-polar origin again confirming polar amplification.
  • The data is sparse and error margins large.
  • The nearest point of data was 100 years ago. It’s missing Greenland’s warming of the last century.
  • Future warming globally is expected to be a few degrees by 2100, likely even more in Greenland.

As seen in NASA’s data the planet has warmed about 0.68°C (from a baseline of 1951-1980) whilst some parts of Greenland has warmed between 2 and 4 degrees.

Nova confuses local temps with global temps and fails to consider polar amplification, but as is usually the case with Nova, she’s more interested in deceiving her readers than educating them. If you ask the experts, such as Richard Alley, the author of the data/paper on which Nova’s topic was based, then you find they don’t share Nova’s views on global warming.

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One Response to “65 Million Years”

  1. Dave Hills Says:

    Richard Alley is a great scientist. It’s disappointing to see Joanne Nova misrepresent the science yet again. As you say, Nova is more interested in supporting a political view, than presenting proper science. But take heart, Nova’s readership numbers are dropping so I expect thats because people are starting to take notice of what the experts say rather web bloggers.

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