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back to article Ice age end was accelerated by CO2

A new global study of ice core samples and underwater sediment suggests that rising atmospheric CO2 preceded the ending of the last Ice Age – not the other way around. One of the favourite rhetorical devices of the climate change denier is to invert cause-and-effect – in other words, the carbon rise around the end of the last …

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WTF?

El Reg supports CO2-based global warming? Prepare the faggots, for surely there will be burnings at the stake!

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FAIL

How ironic

First they said we will cause "global warming" with CO2. That was proven to be incorrect.

Now they are backpedaling to the 70's and again saying we will case an "ice age" with CO2.

"Climatologists", please make up your mind which method you want to scare people into giving you money.

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FAIL

Re: How ironic

Can you support your first statement with a peer reviewed science paper? Nope?

The planet *is* still warming and the signal is obvious is you remove the temporary current cooling of La Nina, the solar cycle and aerosols:

http://tinyurl.com/cgtn888

Also see:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm

To see the answers to other AGW denier myths and misinformation see:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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Re: How ironic

Oh dear, comprehension FAIL.

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Re: How ironic

While there is clearly a lot of earnest, enthusiastic and ill-informed comment on both sides of the climate change "debate", Lord Zedd must surely take some kind of award. How many things can one commentard get wrong in a three-line (three-paragraph) posting? I particularly like the 'case an "ice age" with CO2' RTFA fail!

Special mention must go to the two morons who upvoted that post.

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FAIL

Re: How ironic

How ironic... a climate change denier that can't read.

Wait, that's not ironic at all. That's pretty typical, actually.

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Alien

Re: How ironic

What is involved when you "case an ice-age", it sounds fascinatingly furtive and clandestine.

Does one sneak about it in a time-travelling police box, and if I join in said casing, do I get my own sonic screwdriver?

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Re: How ironic

Lord Zedd. I am a climate change skeptic, and I'm afraid I must mod you down here for making the rest of us look bad. You have completely misunderstood the article.

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Fail

"...the initial cause of the end of the Ice Age was a change in the “wobble” of Earth’s axis"

Once again, the plane can't quite get off the ground.

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Boffin

Re: Fail

This has been explained twice on the Beeb in recent days - a combination of changes in the Earth's orbit (i.e. variation in distance from the Sun over a period of 100Kyears), axis tilt (40Kyear cycle) and precession of the axis (20Kyear cycle) in the right combination are the primary causes of the start and end of ice ages.

Next one's due in about 60Kyears, BTW.

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Trollface

Re: Primary causes?

I've heard that scientists think ice ages are ended ONLY by plant food emitted by conservatives driving too-big cars, and from economic growth. They think we had those things thousands of years ago on Earth and they think those things currently exist on Mars. Their politically correct "solution" (being forced on us by the NWO) is to tax economic growth out of existence and abort all conservatives' babies.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Primary causes?

Please give up with the "Plant Food" meme, it's about as sophisticated as the people who bang on about di-hydrogen monoxide.

Here are a few points:

1) CO2 is required for plant growth, yes.

2) Too much CO2 kills plants

3) CO2 is mamal exhaust

4) Too much CO2 will kill most animals

5) CO2 acidifies the oceans - it causes coral bleaching and kills fish

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@ Uncle Slacky

IIRC (from ep.2 of 'Orbit') the third factor is the location of the perihelion on the orbit ? But yes, the next Ice Age will be along in 60k years, for definite.

But more importantly, has anyone else noticed the *apparent correlation* between rising global temperatures, and the rising number of really HOT tv boffinesses like Helen Czerski and Alice Roberts ? This needs further investigation, I think.

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Coat

Re: the end of the Ice Age

And here I thought it was Scrat digging out his nut again.

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Re: Fail

Solid information with numbers.

Much appreciated.

I note 60k years is quite few election cycles away as well.

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Re: Primary causes?

From which one of the voices in your head did you hear that?

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So...

Correct me please if I'm misunderstanding this. According to the article, c02 both accelerated the start of the ice age and ended the ice age?

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@silent_count

"Correct me please if I'm misunderstanding this. According to the article, c02 both accelerated the start of the ice age and ended the ice age?"

The article says this about the end of that ice age..

While the initial cause of the end of the Ice Age was a change in the “wobble” of Earth’s axis, the researchers believe the process was then accelerated by the CO2, possibly released from the warmer oceans.

The abstract of the paper says much the same. Neither mention the start of it, nor the cause.

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Re: @silent_count

That's for clarifying that Mr. Parker. My brain went one comprehension safari when I was reading the article.

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Anonymous Coward

oh yeah

Damn Range Rovers. They we selling like hotcakes back then too, eh?

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Holmes

But warming leads CO2 concentration, so...

Since the increase in temperatures lead the increases in CO2 concentrations by several hundred to a thousand years you have to wonder how CO2 concentrations force the end of the ice age.

It also begs the question how an ice age can start while the CO2 concentrations are higher.

Unless they have cause and effect reversed.

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Re: But warming leads CO2 concentration, so...

Ice ages start when orbital positioning means that less sun falls on the northern hemisphere. Ice builds up which then reflects more sunlight, giving a negative feedback.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

If CO2 rises high enough then it will override this effect and cause the ice to melt, giving a positive feedback. See the explanations for how snowball Earth ended:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_earth

To further complicate matters, if temperature rises enough from another cause (e.g. solar variation) then it can warm the oceans enough to release significant amounts of dissolved CO2. That then causes more warming. This is another positive feedback:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But warming leads CO2 concentration, so...

@Sapient Fridge

Just to be clear on your usage of the terms "positive feedback" and "negative feedback". Positive feedback occurs when a result of a change increase the magnitude of the change in the same original direction. Therefore, unless you are suggesting that ice reflecting the sun causes warming then you are actually claiming that the formation of ice causes positive feedback. It is just that it is positive feedback on a cooling effect; whereas the other 2 things you claim are positive feedback on a warming effect.

An example of negative feedback might be: warming resulting in more water vapour in the atmosphere which causes super-saturation and more clouds to form. This reflects more sun and results in a cooling effect.

Positive and negative feedback are interesting. Positive feedback causes runaway effects unless it reaches a hard stop for some reason. Square wave and triangle wave generators in electronics are usually built using positive feedback. Negative feedback tends to cause something to reach equilibrium - the point at which the negative feedback balances the initial effect. You use negative feedback in control systems.

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Re: But warming leads CO2 concentration, so...

And with that very first reference article, poor as it is, we get to my very first objection about current warmmongering: The models predicting runaway temperature increases based on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere assume solar forcing is constant.

Until you have the proper variation in solar forcing in the model, it is GARBAGE.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But warming leads CO2 concentration, so...

Gents... positive feedback in a climate system is not the same as in an electrical system and does not imply runaway warming. It's odd that they use the same terms in seemingly the same way as an electrical engineer does but they mean something different. Think about it on these terms:

Normally X change in CO2 would equal Y change in equilibrium temperature (based on simple lab physics)

In the climate system (so the theory goes) X change in CO2 equals (Y + Z) change in equilibrium temperature with Z being amplification via positive feedback mechanisms

Perhaps with the exception of some real nut jobs floating around on the internet - none of the <what's the opposite of a "denier"?> believe there will be "runaway" warming. That's not to say that a significant non-zero percentage of them think it will be catastrophic and a potential extinction event - but nobody really seriously thinks this will turn us into Venus.

FWIW - this is coming from a non-believer (denier?). There are plenty of real issues in question, but the question of "runaway" warming isn't really one of them.

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Re: But warming leads CO2 concentration, so...

An increase in insolation combined with an increase in CO2 in the oceans results in... photosynthesis as algae have a growth spurt. They capture the carbon back, lower the temperature until the poles freeze over. Until the orbit wobbles again.

The only way we can prevent this is to release the carbon manually.

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Anonymous Coward

WTF

" One of the favourite rhetorical devices of the climate change denier is to invert ..."

Using the term "denier" is an asshole move and I really expect more from the Reg. I expect that kind of shit from Ars - which is why I come here.

Seriously, is comparing people who have looked at the Vostok temperature / CO2 and said " wow, that's odd isn't it?" to Holocaust deniers really what passes for fucking journalism here?

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Re: WTF

Who said anything about Holocaust deniers? Nobody but you.

AGW deniers are something completely different, any connection exists only in your own mind.

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Re: WTF

And the use of the word 'denier' to tar both with the same brush isn't a cheap 5th form debating trick at all, is it? I assume you'd be perfectly happy if I choose to refer to AGW proponents as 'baby murderers' on the grounds that diverting resources from 3rd world development to windmills results in the death of children.

Let's try to progress the debate by science and rational discussion rather than thinking up new boo-words for those taking a different view, shall we.

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Re: WTF

The earth is not flat. Anyone who denies that the earth is not flat is a denier. We don't have to redefine or stop using a word just because there are people who deny things which are politically sensitive. CO2-led global warming is a fact which deniers deny; that would be the same even if Hitler never existed.

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Re: WTF

And within minutes, here come the AGW Grand Inquisition* to burn any heretics that dare to question the Holy Power of The Model or deny the Godhood of the IPCC. Equating the state of AGW science to demonstrating that the Earth is round (something no literate person has doubted since Eratosthenes) won't fool anyone over the age of 11.

* See what I did there?

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Re: WTF

No problem with the use of the word 'denier' here. It'd be a bit rich as I tend to refer to the worst of the AGW crowd as 'Green nutjobs' or just 'fucking nutters'.

In fact, with the increase in TV shows covering the issues badly My missus can generally tell what I'm watching without even needing to hear/see the TV.

Whether right or wrong, why do they insist on always showing the crackpot fundamentalists? (which goes for a lot of topics).

I don't deny climate change, but I'm incredibly sceptical about the 'science' that supposedly indicates a human cause. It's the green nutjobs that are responsible for that though, given their apparent preference for capitalism over science.

The earth may be warming, we may even be causing it, but when your solution involves taxing me stupid you better have some hard reliable evidence rather than the crap that's been used historically.

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Facepalm

Re: WTF

@Craigness - you are right, no reason not to use perfectly good word such as "denier" IF that is the word that best describes the idea being expressed. Words have power and the exact meaning of words is important.

If someone is making the argument that global temperatures are not rising at all, then it's accurate to call them a global warming "denier". If someone accepts that warming is taking place and that part of it is due to human emmissions of CO2, but isn't at all convinced of either the proportion of warming that is human-attributable or that drastically reducing CO2 output is the best way to solve the issue, it would be more accurate to call them "skeptics".

For the vast majority of people that I have seen commenting in El Reg forums over the years on this issue, "skeptic" is a far better fit than "denier". And yes, calling a skeptic who does not accept everything you say at face value a "denier" is a cheap debating trick that adds nothing to either your argument or the debate in general.

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Re: WTF

"why do they insist on always showing the crackpot fundamentalists? (which goes for a lot of topics)."

It's TV, the aim of the programmes is primarily to increase viewer ratings and only secondarily to inform/educate. If there's a conflict, typically the ratings win. Hey, it works, doesn't it? Otherwise why are you shouting at your TV?

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Re: WTF

@ChrisMiller

Do you really think 1 person constitutes a Grand Inquisition?

The fact is, there are known facts about relationships between atmospheric content and climate. Some people deny those facts and they should be called Deniers, just like those who deny known facts about the spherical nature of the planet.

Holocaust Denier means Holocaust Denier. Denier does not mean Holocaust Denier, unless used in the context of a discussion about a holocaust. Under no circumstances should anyone labelled a Denier be considered a Holocaust Denier in a conversation about climate change where the word Holocaust is used in not conjunction with the word Denier.

We NEED a word to describe a denier and Denier is what we use. Deniers of any particular fact are not tarred with the same brush as anyone who denies anything else, except that they are both Deniers of facts.

@the other one.

I never said there are no skeptics.But deniers also exist, and they are called deniers. Claiming not to be anti-semitic does not excuse people their denial of climate facts.

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Anonymous Coward

@Craigness

"CO2-led global warming is a fact which deniers deny"

Correction: CO2-led global warming is a *theory* which 'deniers' *challenge*.

There is evidence to support it, but that does not prove it correct. Indeed, there was evidence to the effect that CO2 levels rose in response to temperature change that this new evidence contradicts. Simply because there are those who do not believe the theory is sound, does not make them a 'denier'. Rather it is what drives the scientific community and prove the theory: Test it, challenge it, try to break it, and if it still stands firm, accept that it is most likely correct. However, where the backers of a theory refuse to accept challenges then you have a break down of the scientific process and so the theory becomes little more than belief, and like other forms of belief, people get rather defensive and will show aggression towards those who show disbelief.

Also, there are too many variables involved in temperature, and in climate, to state absolutely that CO2, man or any other factor is the driving force. Each might be contributing, but it is hard to pinpoint a single driving factor. For example: Clouds cause cooling. But distance from the sun and a lack of sunspot activity do so, too. Which factor drives the cooling, or is there no one single factor involved? That is why there are sceptics over the CO2 theory, and about the AGW in general: The claim of a single source of change doesn't sound right, nor is it truly substantiated beyond 'well, man may contribute, but it's happened before and will likely happen again'. And that, beyond anything else, is the reason why there are so many skeptics, and what this evidence goes to support is: It's happened before without us.

As such, the efforts to stop the change could be futile. That does not mean we should not strive to be 'cleaner' and 'greener', but it does mean that we should also be looking at how to survive said change as a species.

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Re: WTF

English is a rich and varied language. My Roget lists over 50 synonyms for 'deny', but you and other AGW promoters choose to fixate on this one. Consciously or unconsciously, you are doing so because you wish anyone who disagrees with your position to be associated with Holocaust Denial.

No-one has said denial means Holocaust Denial. No-one has said they deny the world is round. I am happy to 'deny' that climate science is anywhere even close to being as accurate, well-established or uncontroversial as geodesy and I defy you to find a real scientist who would disagree with this assessment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Craigness

Please, read again the line I was bitching about:

"One of the favourite rhetorical devices of the climate change denier is to invert cause-and-effect – in other words, the carbon rise around the end of the last Ice Age happened as a result of the warming, not the other way around."

The implication is pretty clear when I read that - maybe overstating a little but something along the lines of: "[those fucking nutjob flat-earthers are making shit up and arguing things backwards to try and confuse people]".

What is not disputed in the published research is that the antarctic cores - in particular the Vostok cores that formed the centerpiece presentation of "An Inconvenient Truth" - CLEARLY show CO2 lagging temperature. I don't think it's appropriate to implying someone is a denier because they are aware of that FACT, and think it might not have been explained adequately... especially when you have people saying that "[CO2 levels are the thermostat for our climate]". Just look at what "Skeptical Science" has to say on it (assuming a science site run by a cartoonist is a reliable source - maybe that's a conversation for another day/discussion):

"The only conclusion that can be reached from the observed lag between CO2 and temperatures in the past 400,000 years is that CO2 did not initiate the shifts towards interglacials. "

That, more or less, was the consensus explanation of Vostok prior to this research - "[that some mystery mechanism (NOT CO2!) started us out of the glacial periods and then CO2 took over about 600-1000 years into the warming]". I think a reasonable person could see that as being a little odd sounding... but being, apparently, a "flat earther" what do I know right?

What this abortion of an article fails to clearly articulate is that the big deal here is that this attempts to establish a mechanism to explain the Temperature ->then->CO2 lag in the Antarctic cores while establishing CO2 as the initiator of the warming out of the glacial periods - where, to my knowledge, no published theory existed to tie that together before.

That's a big statement - by all means now let's see how it stands up to scrutiny... but we shouldn't pretend that "[everyone knew this already except for those strawmen flat-earther-types over there]"... and while we're at it, can we try not to act like children - calling each other names?

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Anonymous Coward

This is amazing, the ending of an ice age tens of thousands of years ago, that took over 7 thousand years couldn't possibly have anything to do with our present alarmist predictions.

Anyone who claims it could is dogmatic.

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Stop

Norfolk 'n' Goode

Right, I've had enough of this one now.

You really have your handle right don't you.

Your constant spinning is no f'ing good to man nor beast.

Firstly, your constant use of the word 'alarmist' does nothing for the debate. Ad hominem attacks are merely another tactic used by those in any debate to try and belittle the other side due to the lack of convincing argument for their own.

Secondly your constant twisting of any article about climate into a purported link to the current global warming debate is feeble and disingenuous in the extreme (incidentally, the debate isn't about whether global warming is happening, the consensus amongst reputable Climatologists is that it is, the debate is about how much influence man has in the acceleration of the warming).

As for being dogmatic, I would suggest that your postings are constantly dogmatic*, peremptory** and indeed didactic***

* (of a statement, opinion, etc.) forcibly asserted as if authoritative and unchallengeable: Collins English Dictionary 2003

** Not allowing contradiction or refusal: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000

*** inclined to teach or lecture others too much; Random House Dictionary 2012

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Joke

Re: Norfolk 'n' Goode

With all those references, you must be a lexiconophilist!

Yeah, alright, I had to look it up

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Finally

At last you are admitting that humans are not responsible for global warming - that it simply occurs as a result of nature. Now stop wasting my tax money and put it towards something we can control.

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Re: Finally

Finally someone gets it!

In the same manner, people were dying long before the invention of the gun so guns cannot be responsible for any deaths.

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Re: Finally

Guns don't kill people.

I kill.. I mean people kill people.

Just like spades don't dig holes, they are tools used to dig holes.

and like CAGW alarmism is a tool for raising taxes and curtailing freedoms.

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Joke

Re: Finally

The gun helps though, you won't kill someone just by shouting BANG. I mean you'd have to have quite a weak heart for that to kill you.

Thanks Mr Izzard

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Finally

@Craigness

No, a gun cannot be responsible for any deaths. It is an inanimate, crafted object. It does not choose to 'fire' a bullet, nor does it decide where the bullet will go. The person who left it loaded might be responsible, as might the person who used it to shoot someone. But no, the gun itself is not responsible as it has no awareness of action and has no intent in action either.

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"Christian Science Monitor"

Seriously?

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