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Antarctic scientists may find climate Holy Grail, ice with magic 7 digit age

Posted By Jo Nova On December 14, 2016 @ 1:49 am In Global Warming,Media-matters,Science Communication | Comments Disabled

ABC news tells us intrepid researchers are in a race for the sacred key. The news is a sexed up advert for climate funding done in the theme of Raiders of the Lost Ice:

“It’s the “holy grail of climate science”, a piece of ice so old that it might be able to reveal the climate of the past and help predict the future of Earth’s atmosphere.

And Australia’s Antarctic scientists are now part of an international race to find the ancient time capsule.

So, what is it?

Somewhere deep below the surface of Antarctica, ice has laid untouched for a million years or more — it’s believed to be the world’s oldest ice

I don’t know why scientists think the million year mark is so holy, they’ve pretty much ignored the message in the first 800,000 years. They hunted and drilled but the telex from prehistory kept saying temperature controls CO2, not the other way around.

Either CO2 followed the temp, or CO2 stayed high, but temp did its own thing. (See the spot from circa 130,000BC, for about 15,000 years? CO2 was at “record highs” unseen for 120,000 years, but that didn’t stop temperatures falling by a eight degree blitzkreig. So much for that “warming” ability.

Vostok Ice Cores. Graph, ancient temperatures.

Deny this. Fifteen thousand years of high CO2 that has no detectable effect.

ABC still pushing the Al Gore cheat-speak on the ice cores

After 1999 many papers were published showing that CO2 levels lagged behind temperature by hundreds of years. By 2003 Caillon et al calculated it as 800 years. Now 13 years later, the ABC is still in denial of the 800 year lag. Note the pravda-lingo, are you still beating your wife and can scientists make more accurate predictions:

“The idea is that by studying the past climate, scientists will able to make more accurate predictions about how it will change in the future.

For example, ice core research has proven that up until industrialisation, the Earth’s temperature and carbon dioxide levels rose and fell in lockstep.”

So “lockstep” and “800 years” are the same number in ABC maths. Let’s take that nuance and run with it: The ABC is in “lockstep” with Australians in 2016, or was that 1216 AD, and who cares anyway?

The ABC wants your money now to save the world, not in 800 years time. Pay now, pay twice, and if we’re lucky we might stop CO2 from rising and prevent the medieval warm period.

I say, let’s pay them in lockstep. The cheques in the mail, and it’s coming in 2800.

The ABC sells the idea that even though CO2 hasn’t done anything conclusive for 800,000 years, it might have before that:

Besides one million is a really big number:

Why is it the Holy Grail of climate research?

While the 800,000 year ice core has revealed a lot about climate history, something strange happened about a million years ago; the cycle of ice ages slowed down.

Rather than happening every 40,000 years, they started happening every 100,000 years.

Scientists believe carbon dioxide played a role but the only way to prove that theory is by finding the oldest possible record of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Vostok Ice cores were the Holy Grail of climate scientists back in 2000.

I predict when they get to the million-year-mark, the holy grail will be at 1.5 million.


  • Petit et all 1999 — analysed 420,000 years of Vostok, and found that as the world cools into an ice age, the delay before carbon falls is several thousand years.
  • Fischer et al 1999 — described a lag of 600 plus or minus 400 years as the world warms up from an ice age.
  • Monnin et al 2001 – looked at Dome Concordia (also in  Antarctica) – and found a delay on the recent rise out of the last major ice age to be 800 ± 600
  • Mudelsee (2001) - Over the full 420,000 year Vostok history Co2 variations lag temperature by 1,300 years ± 1000.
  • Caillon et al 2003 analysed the Vostok data and found a lag (where CO2 rises after temperature) of 800 ± 200 years.
  • The Voctok Ice Core reference graphs (Joanne Nova 2008)
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