Friday, January 05, 2007

More Monckton Silliness

It does become tiresome reading statements that the Medieval Warm Period was likely warmer than now. Journal-published author Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, in a letter demanding the resignation of two US Senators, is unequivocal.
There is no evidence that today’s temperatures are warmer than during the mediaeval warm period 1,000 years ago.
None. Nada. Zero.

How can one lie so brazenly, and expect to have one's reputation remain intact? I guess if you have no reputation to begin with……

There is actually plenty of evidence that it is warmer now, though honest skeptics could argue that such evidence is still insufficient, conflicting and not well understood. Fair enough, though probably incorrect.

So, to show Monckton is, ahhh, loose with the truth, here’s a ‘nice’ little piece of evidence I’ve recently become aware of:
In the summer of 2002, graduate student Derek Mueller made an unwelcome discovery: the biggest ice shelf in the Arctic was breaking apart.

When the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf originally formed, it blocked the mouth of Disraeli Fiord, cutting it off from the Arctic Ocean. In the process, the ice shelf trapped driftwood inside the epishelf lake and kept other pieces of driftwood from entering. Pieces of driftwood found along the shores of Disraeli Fiord have been there since the ice shelf formed, and by radiocarbon dating the wood, researchers have been able to estimate the minimum age of the ice shelf. “There simply are no radiocarbon dates more recent than 3,000 years before present,” said Jeffries. This ice shelf, in existence for at least three millennia, has now encountered conditions it can no longer survive.
So this ice shelf is at least 3000 years old, survived intact through the Medieval Warm Period beginning ~1000 years ago and ending ~750 years ago, and is now melting and breaking apart. Kinda strange if it was warmer then, don’t you think? This is, of course, just one further piece of evidence to add to numerous others, like tree ring data proxies.

Why, Monckton, why?

More on the Viscount’s comedic letter soon.