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2010 is the hottest year since...?

1500BC, or maybe 5100BC?  The CO2 levels 7000 years ago were a lot less than today. The point is that the temperature has been changing on earth for millions of years, and the real question is, is the current temperature increase within normal bounds or an outlier? This is the crux of the Climate Change debate. Take Greenland ice core data. These estimate the temperature based on the isotopes of oxygen found in the tiny bubbles of air trapped in the ice. Its a proxy, an estimate for past temperatures. If the ice core data is right then the warming of the part 100 years  is just part of the normal climatic movement. We had the Medieval Warm period, followed by the Little Ice Age, that now we are warming up to get back to temperatures that have occurred in the past.

All the discussion in the media with temperature graphs and comparisons focuses on the last 60-100 years. If it was as warm, or even just close to as warm 2000 years ago during the Roman Warm Period with no increased CO2 levels, then how did that happen?  If the British were harvesting grapes in the Medieval Warm period, with no extra CO2 levels, then how did the temperature increase then?  If 2010 is the hottest year in the last hundred years, or the last ten years, does it really matter if it was even warmer 2000 years ago?

Greenland Ice Core temperature

1 comment to 2010 is the hottest year since…?

  • drewski

    What really needs to be answered is what “triggers” were pulled to create the changes in the past climate. Did increased vulcanism cause a cooling blanket of soot; did a tilt in the earth’s axis cause extra heating; or did the sun go through an extensive period of sun spot activity?

    According to the vast majority of practicing climate scientists, the present trigger for the present global warming is due an increase of CO2 which is the equivalent of 1 watt per cubic meter of atmosphere. No amount of hyperbole by climate skeptics can account for this most basic question — where does this extra energy goes in the climate system go? The only credible — and exhaustively documented — theory is that the extra heat-trapping gas we are adding to the system does, in fact, warm the atmosphere.

    The fact that the normal triggers of climate change are not in operation at this time (orbit and tilt) — or actually moving in the opposite direction (the solar output) — to the observed trends reinforces the accepted theory of AGW.

    Or you can show me EVIDENCE to the contrary.