Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bring On the Arctic Riviera

The headline emblazoned above the scroll on Drudge Report reads Scientists Say Arctic Once Was Tropical — Before Mankind! Alack and alas! This must mean that global warming really is just liberal fiction and Al Gore is a servant of Satan himself. Right?

Far be it from me to suggest that Drudge runs misleading headlines, but Drudge runs misleading headlines. The link points to a New York Times article about how scientists have discovered that the arctic was a tropical paradise with average year-round temperatures of 74 degrees 55 million years ago. That's before mankind, so it must mean that global warming can't be caused by man.

You'd think that, unless, of course, you actually read the article. If you did, you'd learn the findings of the study "suggest that scientists have greatly underestimated the power of heat-trapping gases to warm the Arctic." Apparently there was some sort of huge global warming incident called the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum in the long long ago, and this new study leads scientists to conclude that it "must have been caused by an enormous outburst of heat-trapping, or greenhouse, gases like methane and carbon dioxide."

They don't know where those gasses came from 55 million years ago, but they sure know where the buildup of such gasses is coming from today: us. According to Penn State geoscientist Richard Alley, discovering that greenhouse-gasses were responsible for changing climate history "strengthens the argument that greenhouse-gas changes are likely to control much of the climate future."

In which case, Drudge and the global warming deniers better buy themselves some Bermuda shorts and start looking for prime real estate on the Greenland coast. After all, if it's 74 degrees in the arctic, how hot do you think it's going to get down here?
Listed on BlogShares