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Another interesting aspect of the 'rapid' change problem is just to consider the timescales in question. A February 6th article in Science looked at the effects of climate change in Peru over the last 50,000 years. They found that South American temperatures rose 5 degrees over about 5 millenia after the last ice age as compaired to North America (changes around 1 degree C per century). This difference in the rate of temperature change between continents strikes me as fairly dramatic. They used this discrepancy to help explain why there's so much more biodiversity in the Andes Mountains compared to similar areas in North America. Where the temperature change was slow, more species could succesfully adapt.

The IPCC is predicting a minimum of one degree Celsius of warming in the Andes by the end of this century. This type of swift (1 degree C per century!) change has not been seen in Peru in the last 50,000 years so the scientists believe that the warming will greatly impact the area. Although deforestation and extintions are expected, the change will help farmers by giving them more land for agricultural development.


I just noticed that the report that Andrew Marshall commissioned is now being metioned in a few other places...with "shocking" headlines and conclusions.

The Drudge Report linked to an article in the Gardian yesterday, Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us and Yahoo News carried a London AFP article, Leaked Pentagon report warns climate change may bring famine, war. Both articles were written on the 22nd.


I would like to refer you to "Antarctic studies throw cold water on global warming" by Bernard Switalski 24 Nov 2004 on where the figures for Antarctic cooling over the past 4 decades, and glacial ice expansion are given. Julian


In the interest of discussion, here is a link to the story mentioned in the post above:

Antarctic studies throw cold water

Two things jump out, the post is from November 2004 but it is a reprint of a story from March 2002 (not that I have a problem with 2002, it just seems odd) and the article refers to people who believe that climate change is happening as "global warming alarmists" - not exactly subtle.

For the counter argument to the Nature article that spurred Switalski's post (Doran et al, 2002), check out

Antarctic cooling, global warming?

by the folks at Real Climate.

And if you are interested in climate change, add Real Climate to your RSS feed. It is a great site.

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