Friday, August 01, 2008

NOAA Revises Itself

Back in January, I posted about how NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) was claiming that "there was no multi-century periods [sic] when global or hemispheric temperatures were the same or warmer than in the 20th century." In short hand, they were Medieval Global Warming Deniers. Since we all know that we can always trust government bureaucracies to be competent and truthful, this viking dock must have been constructed under the ice.*

NOAA seems to have changed its tune, and is now admitting there was a Medieval Warm Period, but it wasn't quite as warm as the 20th and 21st Centuries. They even go so far as to admit "Norse seafaring and colonization around the North Atlantic at the end of the 9th century indicated that regional North Atlantic climate was warmer during medieval times than during the cooler 'Little Ice Age' of the 15th - 19th centuries," a big change from back when they were disparaging reliance on contemporary accounts and archeology, darkly hinting that the Medieval Warm Period had some kind of political agenda behind it.
Viking Woman: Where are you going?
Viking Man: I'm going to Greenland.
Viking Woman: Why in the Hel would you go there? Everyone knows it's just a barren wasteland of ice, since the Industrial Revolution has not yet come to melt all the ice away and strand polar bears.
Viking Man: I'm going to build some fake settlements under the ice, and maybe plant a vinyard or two.
Viking Woman: What?! Why?!
Viking Man: We're going to use it to embarrass a future politician who will live south of Newfoundland named Al Gore.
Viking Woman: Why would you care about someone who won't be born for centuries?
Viking Man: Because I'm a secret operative working for Karl Rove! All the materials were provided to me by Halliburton! Muhahahaha!

By the way, don't bother looking for the older page I linked to. It has apparently been erased.

*h/t Slouching Toward Extimacy.

2 comments:

  1. Nice. I'm just finishing editing a contributed volume on climate change and anthropology. Evidently people not only can't decide whether current climate change is an anomalous (and ominous) period or part of a larger fluctuation, but they also can't decide if climate change is necessarily a bad thing. Farmers and ranchers in southern Greenland are apparently quite happy to live sans permafrost. Maybe it'll be Vinland once again.

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  2. You know, I have no problem debating about how serious a problem global climate change is, as long as its detractors don't use it as an excuse to forgive the destruction and pollution of the planet -- which, as I've seen, these people are a lot of the time one and the same. Not always, but quite frequently.

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