JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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1970s Spock documentary — Climate scientists believe the next ice age may have already started

Watch Spock in the 1970s describing how climate scientists were predicting a mile high wall of ice that could cover Canada down to Boston “in your lifetime”, and it may already have started. Commenter Bulldust found Gary Orsum’s droll commentary on that documentary. Great stuff.

Best part begins from 5:45 mins on:

In 1977 the worst winter in a century struck the United States… one desperate night in Buffalo, eight people froze to death…

the brutal Buffalo winter might become common all over the United States. Climate experts believe the next ice age is on its way.

Temperatures have been dropping for thirty years…

With 40 years headstart on climate scares, Orsum has all the answers.

Leonard Nimoy: Arctic cold and perpetual snow could turn most of the inhabitable portions of our planet into an Arctic wasteland.

Sure says Orsum, but there are ways to allieviate that threat even with your primitive caveman technology, just get the kids to take Fridays off school.

The opening five minutes explaining how he’s not a denier though he keeps being called one. Readers here have lived that landscape already. Just say “lukewarmer” and [...]

Glaciers on the move: Two minutes of extreme climate change on Swiss Alps, Italian beaches

The next ice coming to Europe might look something like the last ice age shown in this simulation. A time when Venice will be top of a long paddock that stretches to Albania.

In school children are taught to hyperventilate about the last 30m retreat of glaciers that never stayed put ever.

Instead, they could be studying this… (click to start)

At the 24,000 year BC point glaciers have wiped out Zurich, Bern, Geneva.

Image the effect on people if this were shown everytime a Swiss Alps disaster story was run?

OK, so it is a model

Advance and retreat of the Alpine glaciers during the last glacial cycle from Julien Seguinot on Vimeo.

About 25000 years ago, Alpine Glaciers filled most of the valleys and even extended onto the plains. Using a computer model that contains knowledge on glacier physics based on modern observations of Greenland and Antarctica and laboratory experiments on ice, help from traces left by glaciers on the landscape, and one of the fastest computers in the world, this animation is an attempt to reconstruct of the evolution of Alpine Glaciers in time from 120000 years ago to today.

Meanwhile, WWF [...]

Fossils show models can’t predict how climate affects animals

Fossils show those dang mammals lived in all the spots they weren’t supposed to live in. Climate models don’t predict the climate, and animal distribution models don’t predict (or in this case hindcast) animal distribution either. How little we know, and how adaptable is biology?

This calls into question all the headline prophecies about the extinction of cute furry critters due to climate change.

The modelers were sure that animals would be unable to cope with temperature changes and would not have lived in the same places as they do now during a climate so different. By crikey, it was an ice age! Yet those small mammals, whose defining biology is that regulate their own temperature, flummoxed the models by living nearer the glacier sheets where the models predicted they would not live.

All the alarming forecasts of local extinctions of mammals come from assumptions built into modern models that fail in multiple ways. The temperature changes from the last 20,000 years show that these mammals have already survived massive shifts, both colder and warmer, and that anything we face in the next century is but a flea on a hippo.

In the graph, the dots are the fossils, the [...]

The big picture: 65 million years of temperature swings

Greenland Interglacial Temperatures – last 10,000 years. Are we headed for an ice age? (See below for more detail.)

David Lappi is a geologist from Alaska who has sent in a set of beautiful graphs–including an especially prosaic one of the last 10,000 years in Greenland–that he put together himself (and which I’ve copied here at the top).

If you wonder where today’s temperature fits in with the grand scheme of time on Earth since the dinosaurs were wiped out, here’s the history. We start with the whole 65 million years, then zoom in, and zoom in again to the last 12,000 from both ends of the world. What’s obvious is that in terms of homo sapiens history, things are warm now (because we’re not in an ice age). But, in terms of homo sapiens civilization, things are cooler than usual, and appear to be cooling.

Then again, since T-rex & Co. vanished, it’s been one long slide down the thermometer, and our current “record heatwave” is far cooler than normal. The dinosaurs would have scoffed at us: “What? You think this is warm?”

With so much volatility in the graphs, anyone could play “pick a trend” and depending [...]

Carbon rises 800 years after temperatures

Ice cores reveal that CO2 levels rise and fall hundreds of years after temperatures change

In 1985, ice cores extracted from Greenland revealed temperatures and CO2 levels going back 150,000 years. Temperature and CO2 seemed locked together. It was a turning point—the “greenhouse effect” captured attention. But, in 1999 it became clear that carbon dioxide rose and fell after temperatures did. By 2003, we had better data showing the lag was 800 ± 200 years. CO2 was in the back seat.

[...]