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Climategate’s Stubborn Facts December 16, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Climategate’s Stubborn Facts

American Thinker, December 16, 2009

Mark Twain once said, “Get your facts first, then distort them as much as you please.” By contrast, he also exclaimed, “How empty is theory in the presence of fact!” This pretty well covers the recent controversy over the altered global temperature data from Dr. Jones at East Anglia University in Great Britain.

What are the facts? Well for starters, scientists at the Smithsonian Institution tell us that during what is known as the Medieval Optimum, the Vikings were growing grapes in Greenland. An agronomist at Virginia Tech suggest that if you are planning to start a vineyard, the roots of the vines cannot be exposed to temperatures below 25oF or the vine will die. Even though there were no thermometers at the time of Eric the Red, this gives us a benchmark for reference. There are no vineyards in Greenland today because it is too cold. In fact, the Smithsonian reports that there is evidence which supports the theory that the Viking colonies later collapsed as a result of a dramatically cooling climate.

Other facts seem to stand stubbornly in the way of the global warming theory. Paleoclimatological records show that after the last ice age — about seven thousand years ago — the climate on earth reached a very warm period (much warmer than now) known as the “climatic optimum,” which resulted in green pastures covering what is now the Sahara Desert in Africa. This fact contradicts the popular mantra from former Vice President Al Gore that we are warmer now than ever before.

Geologists tell us that the earth’s climate has changed many times from hot to cold and back again. The prevailing theories are that over the last billion years, there have been at least four major ice ages. Since the end of the last ice age, we have been in what these climatologist say is an interglacial period. In English, this means that the planet has not yet transitioned to a climate of either beach balls or snow balls.

But what about the curve balls in ClimateGate? The swirling controversy concerns the infamous e-mails about the Jones global temperature data set. The recent e-mails published on the internet suggest that the data was deliberately modified to reach a preconceived conclusion. This data was used in the reports generated by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has concluded that Carbon Dioxide (CO2) causes global warming by absorbing infrared radiation. The vast majority of the report documents the measured increase in CO2. The report also represents climate change model predictions as “evidence” of the effects of this increase in CO2. Climate models are computerized forecasting aids, not evidence.

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