Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Coming Ice Age

Hmm, I'm trying to imagine what kind of hysteria is going to break out if global cooling takes the reins from global warming as the crisis-du-jour. Maybe all the warnings to repent of our earth-killing behavior will remain the same, with claims that we thought our SUV-driving ways were warming the planet when in fact they are icing it.

On the positive side, I'm hoping a cease-and-desist order goes into effect for Ira Flatow so he doesn't have to contort every blessed podcast on Science Friday to be about the consequences or causes of global warming. Dude, are you getting paid 5 bucks by Al Gore for every use of that phrase on the show?

Anyhow, there is a reason for this early morning rant:

All four agencies that track Earth's temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.

There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that 2007 was exceptionally cold. It snowed in Baghdad for the first time in centuries, the winter in China was simply terrible and the extent of Antarctic sea ice in the austral winter was the greatest on record since James Cook discovered the place in 1770.

There you have it. More data and (the preferred method of proving things for those prone to hysteria) anecdotal evidence.

1 comment:

lokki said...

excellent!

And I just bought a down jacket. I'm all set.