Thursday, November 04, 2010

Climate change: evidence from the geological record

The Geological society of London has published a short series of answers called Climate change: evidence from the geological evidence, which outlines the the issue "based on analysis of geological evidence, and not on analysis of recent temperature or satellite data, or climate model projections". Of course, those data and methods are very important too, but this short piece highlights another piece of a coherent picture.

Scientists are not ignoring the fact that the earth's climate has always changed (as some commentators like to point out, as though they were the first to have had this thought). Far from it. This publication puts the relative stability of the Holocene climate into a larger perspective. The Holocene covers the most recent ten thousand years or so, roughly the period in which human agricultural and then more recently industrial civilisation has developed. Taking what we can glean of past (natural) climate change into account offers little encouragement when we consider present anthropogenic climate change.

The Geological Society is just one of scores of highly respected scientific institutions that are willing to risk their reputations to highlight this issue. We ignore them at our (neighbour's) peril.
H/T Graham.