Another blow to Al Gore’s Bull

I just watched a Nova documentary called Arctic Dinosaurs that included some scientific findings that cracked me up.

One of the scientists featured in the film is Robert Spicer, a British paleobotanist. (He studies fossilized plants.) He explained that, in hot tropical climates, the edges of leaves are smooth, while in colder climates, they tend to have serrated edges. In hot climates, moisture evaporates from leaves, causing water to rise up through the roots. In cold weather, evaporation ceases. To avoid starvation, plants in colder climates have little glands on the edges of the leaves that pump water out and keep critical circulation going. These glands make the leaf edges jagged.

Spicer got the bright idea that he might be able to use his plant fossils to figure out what the climate was like when dinosaurs roamed. First, he collected a ton of modern leaf and climate data from more than 170 locations around the world. From these, he was able to create a statistical model that accurately predicts, to within a degree or two Celsius, what the average annual temperature of a given place is (or was) by the proportion of toothed leaves and non-toothed leaves in the environment.

Neat, huh? By examining his extensive collection of ancient arctic leaf fossils, Spicer demonstrated that, when dinosaurs were living on the North Slope of Alaska, the average annual temperature there was about 30 degrees warmer than it is today. So I’m thinking, “Continental drift, people!” but the joke was on me. According to geologists, at the end of the age of dinosaurs, the North Slope of Alaska was not further south. It was further north!

Yet it was 30 degrees warmer and enjoyed a great diversity of plant, insect and animal species.

Think about it. The Gore-Bull Warmists shriek about the Catastrophic Consequences of even a small rise in average global temperature, right? But back when Alaska was 30 degrees warmer, it was much MORE hospitable to life than it is now.


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Filed under Al Gore, Climate, Science

5 responses to “Another blow to Al Gore’s Bull

  1. Ting

    Well now. That is useful information, if I can only remember it! I will be on vacation in July with an awful lot of “true believers.” The one thing that has given them pause over the years is when I remind them of the magazine covers of the late 70’s predicting the coming Ice Age. Even the ones who had not been born back then believe me because I am such a notorious hater of the cold that they know such covers would probably have “traumatized” me.


  2. I’m not sure your reference to GlobWarmers makes sense in this context. If we had the conditions the world was in then, it would be catastrophic for current coastal civilization the world over. That isn’t going to happen suddenly, of course; that’s just how the glaciers melt, the oceans rise (despite Obama), and currents change, between ice ages. I can’t really relate this to the AnthroGenClimeChange theory because… well, simply because there’s nothing to the AnthroGen part.

    $#!+ happens. Also, climate changes. The big changes are caused by the cosmic rays from the sun and the stars, which lift the clouds and that causes cooling. Or the inverse. The sun’s effect varies irregularly depending on how it’s feeling this year or decade. The stars we pass by every 25,000 years or so really whip up the clouds so we get ice ages. We’re slowly on the orbit back to that after a nice long interregnum from the ice.

    “The science is settled.” That’s a nice, reliable, predictable cycle, although the actual temperature age-to-age could be temporarily affected by your random supervolcano, significant asteroid impact, or large-scale nuclear war. Little variables like that throw your nice regular patterns right off.

    All this is just off the top o’ me ol’ faulty noggin’. Tell me I’m wrong on any of the details and I’ll believe you. But I think I got the basics.

    Alaskan temperatures would depend on multiple variables, like whether you’re in an ice age or not, but especially important is ocean flow. These days, Europe is warmed by the Atlantic currents flowing up from the South. If that shifts just a bit, they get a lot colder, real fast. When the ice wasn’t there, the warm Pacific currents breached right on through up to the Arctic Circle. So, considerably farther North has always meant colder, but only relative to the general oceanic ambiance.

    But yeah, that was one impressive bit of research! Thanks for passing it along.

    [Oh my. Where did all those words come from. Good grief.]


    • chrissythehyphenated

      Your head amazes me. 🙂

      As for my “argument” such as it is … I was directing it not to people who actually understand Thing One about climate, but to the dumb bunnies who were driven to PTSD by “An Inconvenient Truth” and the hysterical “OMG!!! Drowning Polar Bears!!! The whole planet’s going to FRY!!! Ban Fossil Fuels and Save Gaia!!!” thing.