Today: 26.Apr.2018

Dennis Avery is an agricultural and environmental economist and a senior fellow for the Center for Global Food Issues: In a recent New York Times column, Nicholas Kristof misleads us about the awful history of Easter Island (2,300 miles west of Chile), whose vegetation disappeared in the cold drought of the Little Ice Age. In doing so, he blinds modern society to the abrupt, icy climate challenge that lies in our own future.

John Robson: For the past 2.5 million years the Earth has been unusually cold, with repeated glaciations whose periodic advances and retreats science cannot model or predict. In fact we are still in an “ice age” today, with significant polar ice, though in a relatively warmer “interglacial”. Fortunately. Civilization would be impossible without the warming that started suddenly 12,000 years ago, and would become very difficult if the glaciers began another sudden advance. If the Earth actually is now warming, relative to 15,000 years ago or indeed the “Little Ice Age” from the end of the Middle Ages into the mid-19th century, it would be neither surprising nor man-made.

Euan Mearns, geologist: He takes a close look at the data on temperatures, carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) found in the Vostok Ice Core of Antarctica. He focuses on the Eemian warm period between 130,000 and 115,000 years ago. This warm period was the last warm period before the current warm period, the Holocene. In her 2008 graphs showing the relationship between CO2 and temperatures from the Vostok Ice Core covering the entire record, Jo Nova stated the average lag was about 800 years, with temperatures rising (falling) about 800 years before CO2 rising (falling). This lag indicates that CO2 could not be the cause of rise or fall of temperatures.

Freeman Dyson, May, 2016 - I watched Mercury transiting the Sun. The striking fact was not the little black image of Mercury but the total absence of sunspots. I have seen many transits before this one, but never without sunspots. It seems the sun has gone to sleep as it did in the Maunder Minimum in the seventeenth century. In the seventeenth century we had the Little Ice Age and now we have the pause in global warming. Evidence getting stronger that the Sun is a big player in the climate story.