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Snow Job

© Matt Davies

The science behind global warming predicts that all the extra energy in the atmosphere will stimulate more extreme weather, both hot and cold. Just because it is snowing now doesn’t mean this hasn’t been the hottest decade in thousands of years. Likewise, just because it sometimes rains in the desert doesn’t mean that deserts don’t exist and aren’t (generally) dry. Or as Colbert put it, “It is dark outside, so we can only assume that the sun has been destroyed”.

In related news, one of the scientists at the center of the “climategate” email scandal has been cleared of any wrongdoing. One of his stolen emails mentioned a “trick” used to manipulate data, and this was claimed to be evidence of scientific fraud. But the investigation concluded that “The so-called ‘trick’ was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.” There was no falsifying of data.



  1. Brandon wrote:

    The so-called ‘trick’ was nothing more than a statistical method…

    And the world finally figures out why we scientists dismissed Climategate five minutes after it broke.

    Friday, February 12, 2010 at 8:12 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Well, they might, if the mainstream media covered this 1% as much as they covered the original (manufactured) “climategate” scandal.

    Friday, February 12, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink
  3. Blizzard wrote:

    Not to mention: “hide the decline” wasn’t speaking about hiding the decline in actual temperature data. It was talking about hiding the apparent decline in tree ring data, which wasn’t shown in the actual data. The only thing that’s questionable in those e-mails is claiming that tree ring data is an accurate way to gauge temperatures from the past. Which is what they were discussing.

    Friday, February 12, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink
  4. Doña Barolo wrote:

    Everyone out there is aware that we have been in a period of global warming since the last ice age right? That indeed each decade and each century has been getting increasingly warm ever since the ice started to melt?… certainly we have been in a warming trend since long before the invention of the internal combustion engine, since long before the wolves and neck high snow drifts left England, since long before the Chinese navigated the arctic seas, and since long before Leif Erikson named Iceland and Greenland. Why, some scientists even claim it has been warming up for well over 12,000 years now, and they even have proof! Holy Great Floods Batman…could that be true???? So relax little Noahs of the world…don’t worry…we are not destroying the world. The world has been going around in orbit for a lot longer than we have been on this world. We humans credit ourselves with far far too much power. To think we will actually destroy the earth? Ridiculous, we just are not that omnipotent. What we are doing to ourselves however, is another matter entirely…. Over specialization of any species throughout history has, typically, led to extinction.

    tra la….Top Gear rules! The Earth will Party on!

    Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink
  5. Blizzard wrote:

    Um. What?

    Please cite your sources for pretty much everything you just said?

    Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    I haven’t seen any hard data to back up what Barolo is saying. In fact, we have had several mini-ice ages, including one around 1400 years ago. Yes, the earth’s temperature goes up and down, but the rise during the last 100 years is scientifically unprecedented. Even more worrisome is that it is accelerating.

    The only thing I agree with in her post is that the earth will probably Party On just fine if we make ourselves extinct. And even if we don’t go extinct, I don’t think things will be very pleasant for those who survive.

    As for “We humans credit ourselves with far far too much power” — we already have the power to “destroy” the world, using nuclear or even chemical weapons. It just depends on what counts as “destroy”. How about “kill every species larger than a cockroach”? Does that count? Although I’m sure the cockroaches would have a big party then.

    Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Permalink
  7. Doña Barolo wrote:

    Oh dear, where to start…let’s make it easy at first, and refer anyone interested in reading about earth history to wikipedia for a quick summary… If you really want to get in depth here are a few references I copied below to get you started. I am happy to supply more if you want to really get into the subject. I suspect independent research would be a more credible source than myself however, as I am obviously biased. Perhaps speak with an Earth Sciences professor at your local university to get started. Even better, take a course from their department of geology. The earth really has had a lot worse things than the internal combustion engine thrown at it over its rather long history. Dare I compare all of us to nothing more than a skin rash by comparison.

    A Random selection of References:
    James S. Aber, Detailed Chronology of Late Holocene Climatic Change. Retrieved 1 August 2007.
    Clark, D.H.: Extent, timing, and climatic significance of latest Pleistocene and Holocene glaciation in the Sierra Nevada, California. Ph.D. Thesis, Washington Univ., Seattle (pdf, 20 Mb)
    Möller, P. et al.: Severnaya Zemlya, Arctic Russia: a nucleation area for Kara Sea ice sheets during the Middle to Late Quaternary. Quaternary Science Reviews Vol. 25, No. 21–22, pp. 2894–2936, 2006. (pdf, 11.5 Mb)
    Matti Saarnisto: Climate variability during the last interglacial-glacial cycle in NW Eurasia. Abstracts of PAGES – PEPIII: Past Climate Variability Through Europe and Africa, 2001
    Lyn Gualtieri et al.: Pleistocene raised marine deposits on Wrangel Island, northeast Siberia and implications for the presence of an East Siberian ice sheet. Quaternary Research, Vol. 59, No. 3, pp. 399-410, May 2003. Abstract: doi:10.1016/S0033-5894(03)00057-7
    Zamoruyev, V., 2004. Quaternary glaciation of north-east Asia. In: Ehlers, J., Gibbard, P.L. (Eds.), Quaternary Glaciations: Extent and Chronology: Part III: South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica. Elsevier, Netherlands, pp. 321–323.
    Robert F. Spielhagen et al.: Arctic Ocean deep-sea record of northern Eurasian ice sheet history. Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 23, No. 11-13, pp. 1455-1483, 2004. Abstract: doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2003.12.015
    Richard S. Williams, Jr., Jane G. Ferrigno: Glaciers of the Middle East and Africa – Glaciers of Turkey. U.S.Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386-G-1, 1991 (pdf, 2.5 Mb)
    Jane G. Ferrigno: Glaciers of the Middle East and Africa – Glaciers of Iran. U.S.Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386-G-2, 1991 (pdf, 1.25 Mb)
    Lewis A. Owen et al.: A note on the extent of glaciation throughout the Himalaya during the global Last Glacial Maximum, Quaternary Science Reviews, V. 21, No. 1, 2002, pp. 147-157. Abstract: doi:10.1016/S0277-3791(01)00104-4
    Quaternary stratigraphy: The last glaciation (stage 4 to stage 2), University of Otago, New Zealand
    Lehmkuhl, F.: Die eiszeitliche Vergletscherung Hochasiens – lokale Vergletscherungen oder übergeordneter Eisschild? Geographische Rundschau 55 (2):28-33, 2003. English abstract
    Zhijiu Cui et al.: The Quaternary glaciation of Shesan Mountain in Taiwan and glacial classification in monsoon areas. Quaternary International, Vol. 97-98, pp. 147-153, 2002. Abstract: doi:10.1016/S1040-6182(02)00060-5
    Yugo Ono et al.: Mountain glaciation in Japan and Taiwan at the global Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary International, Vol. 138-139, pp. 79-92, September-October 2005. Abstract: doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2005.02.007
    James A.T. Young, Stefan Hastenrath: Glaciers of the Middle East and Africa – Glaciers of Africa. U.S.Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386-G-3, 1991 (pdf, 1.25 Mb)
    Lowell, T.V. et al.: Interhemisperic correlation of late Pleistocene glacial events, Science, v. 269,p. 1541-1549, 1995. Abstract (pdf, 2.3 Mb)
    C.D. Ollier: Australian Landforms and their History, National Mapping Fab, Geoscience Australia
    A mid Otira Glaciation palaeosol and flora from the Castle Hill Basin, Canterbury, New Zealand, New Zealand Journal of Botany. Vol. 34, pp. 539-545, 1996 (pdf, 340 Kb)
    Ian Allison and James A. Peterson: Glaciers of Irian Jaya, Indonesia: Observation and Mapping of the Glaciers Shown on Landsat Images, U.S. Geological Survey professional paper; 1386, 1988. ISBN 0-607-71457-3
    Brief geologic history, Rocky Mountain National Park
    Ice Age Floods, From: U.S. National Park Service Website
    Richard B. Waitt, Jr.: Case for periodic, colossal jökulhlaups from Pleistocene glacial Lake Missoula, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v.96, p.1271-1286, October 1985. Abstract
    Svend Funder (ed.) Late Quaternary stratigraphy and glaciology in the Thule area, Northwest Greenland. MoG Geoscience, vol. 22, 63 pp., 1990. Abstract
    Sigfus J. Johnsen et al.: A “deep” ice core from East Greenland. MoG Geoscience, vol. 29, 22 pp., 1992. Abstract
    Schubert, Carlos (1998) “Glaciers of Venezuela” United States Geological Survey (USGS P 1386-I)
    Late Pleistocene glaciation of Páramo de La Culata, north-central Venezuelan Andes
    Mahaney William C., Milner M. W., Kalm Volli, Dirsowzky Randy W., Hancock R. G. V., Beukens Roelf P.: Evidence for a Younger Dryas glacial advance in the Andes of northwestern Venezuela
    Maximiliano B., Orlando G., Juan C., Ciro S.: Glacial Quaternary geology of las Gonzales basin, páramo los conejos, Venezuelan andes South America during the last 150,000 years.
    Anderson, J.B., S.S. Shipp, A.L. Lowe, J.S. Wellner, J.S., and A.B. Mosola, 2002, The Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum and its subsequent retreat history: a review. Quaternary Science Reviews. vol. 21, pp. 49-70.
    Ingolfsson, O., 2004, Quaternary glacial and climate history of Antarctica. in: J. Ehlers and P.L. Gibbard, eds., pp. 3-43, Quaternary Glaciations: Extent and Chronology 3: Part III: South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica. Elsevier, New York.
    P. Huybrechts: Sea-level changes at the LGM from ice-dynamic reconstructions of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets during the glacial cycles, Quaternary Science Reviews, V. 21, no. 1-3, pp. 203-231, 2002. Abstract: doi:10.1016/S0277-3791(01)00082-8
    Bowen, D.Q., 1978, Quaternary geology: a stratigraphic framework for multidisciplinary work. Pergamon Press, Oxford, United Kingdom. 221 pp. ISBN 978-0080204093
    Ehlers, J., and P.L. Gibbard, 2004a, Quaternary Glaciations: Extent and Chronology 2: Part II North America. Elsevier, Amsterdam. ISBN 0-444-51462-7
    Ehlers, J., and P L. Gibbard, 2004b, Quaternary Glaciations: Extent and Chronology 3: Part III: South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica. ISBN 0-444-51593-3
    Gillespie, A.R., S.C. Porter, and B.F. Atwater, 2004, The Quaternary Period in the United States. Developments in Quaternary Science no. 1. Elsevier, Amsterdam. ISBN 978-0-444-51471-4
    Harris, A.G., E. Tuttle, S.D. Tuttle, 1997, Geology of National Parks: Fifth Edition. Kendall/Hunt Publishing, Iowa. ISBN 0-7872-5353-7
    Mangerud, J., J. Ehlers, and P. Gibbard, 2004, Quaternary Glaciations : Extent and Chronology 1: Part I Europe. Elsevier, Amsterdam. ISBN 0-444-51462-7
    Sibrava, V., Bowen, D.Q, and Richmond, G.M., 1986, Quaternary Glaciations in the Northern Hemisphere, Quaternary Science Reviews. vol. 5, pp. 1-514.
    Pielou, E.C., 1991. After the Ice Age : The Return of Life to Glaciated North America. University Of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. ISBN 0-226-66812-6 (paperback 1992)
    The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850, Basic Books, 2002, p. 10. ISBN 0465022723.
    The Saga of Eric the Red, pg 17. Olson, Julius E. and Edward G. Bourne (editors). The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503: The voyages of the Northmen; The Voyages of Columbus and of John Cabot. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1906). Pages 14-44 Online facsimile edition at Accessed February 8, 2008
    Marc Carlson, History of Medieval Greneland, 31 July 2001. Retrieved August 1 2007.
    Dale Mackenzie Brown, “The Fate of Greenland’s Vikings,” Archeology, 28 February 2000. Retrieved 1 August 2007.

    if this is looking a little too much like work, why not start with a Google search or look it up on Wikipedia. Key words. Ice age, erik the red, little ice age, climate chnge in the geologic record etc etc….

    And lest I forget: If you do not get BBC TV programming, you can check out Top Gear on YouTube or at A delight to all the senses.


    Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Permalink
  8. starluna wrote:

    I’m sorry, Barolo. You lost me at the reference to Wikipedia for a summary of the climatic and geologic history of the Earth.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    Barolo, I think we wanted specific references for your claims, not a 4 year set of courses leading to a degree in environmental science.

    And please stop spamming us with off-topic site links. My spam detector flagged your post, and I had to go rescue it.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  10. Doña Barolo wrote:

    Well its a work week so time for me to end the fun and games on one parting note.

    Given that this is a blog dedicated to irony, I wonder who out there will recognize the irony in the opposing critiques to my posting? It rather brilliantly underscores how passionate we get about subjects we know so little about… and underscores the firm grip we have on those cherished opinions while expending little or no effort to investigate opposing views.

    As for the Spam (‘)…sincere apologies, it was a misguided attempt to give you quick access to the actual references sited. I had vague hopes someone might actually want to read about it…. so thanks for taking the trouble to rescue it.

    Cheerio all.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink
  11. DNONO wrote:

    Thanks for Playing Ms/Mr Barolo. Feel free to continue to play the role of earth’s ‘skin rash’.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  12. Iron Knee wrote:

    Please, Dnono, play nice.

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Permalink
  13. Doña Barolo wrote:

    Probably too late to file this comment now but just wanted Iron Knee to know that I think Dnono was playing nice….call it what you will, a skin rash or devils advocate, chances are if it itches, someone’s gotta scratch.

    Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 9:45 am | Permalink

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