Pesky Temperature Fluctuations
Fossil Suggests Antarctica Much Warmer in Past
A college student's new discovery of fossils collected in the East Antarctic suggests that the frozen polar cap was once a much balmier place.So...the South Pole was 31 degrees hotter than now?!?
The well-preserved fossils of ostracods, a type of small crustaceans, came from the Dry Valleys region of Antarctica's Transantarctic Mountains and date from about 14 million years ago. The fossils were a rare find, showing all of the ostracods' soft anatomy in 3-D.
"Present conditions in this Antarctic region show mean annual temperatures of [minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit]," said Mark Williams of the University of Leicester, co-author with Ashworth of the fossil-find report in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "These are impossible conditions to sustain a lake fauna with ostracods."
...the warmer climate that supported the ostracods would have existed "when Antarctica was pretty much in its current location," said study co-author David Marchant of Boston University.
Marchant estimated that the summer temperatures in Antarctica would have been about 30.6 degrees F warmer than they are now.
How did that happen? Was somebody's carbon footprint out of control? Burning too many fossil fuels? Oh wait, the fossils fuels were just being formed...
This warmer period started to end when the first continent-sized ice sheets began appearing on Antarctica around 34 million years ago, around the end of the Eocene epoch. These ice sheets expanded and contracted until around 14 million years ago, during the Miocene epoch, when a dramatic cooling took place and transformed the tundra into an environment "that today looks like Mars," Marchant told LiveScience.So the ice sheets fluctuated, without human intervention, for 20 million years.
Marchant said climatologists are uncertain exactly what caused this intense period of cooling.
Then, it suddenly got much colder.
And they aren't sure why.
But somehow we're to believe they're sure we're going to warm up?
Except it's looking more and more that solar activity drives climate (CO2 is largely irrelevant -- at least the human component), which perhaps depends on changing tidal forces from the alignments of the planets, and we're going into a cool cycle right now.
Maybe the Global Warming Prophets like Al Gore are so intent on getting immediate measures passed, so they can claim a credit for the inevitable cooling that's just around the corner.
Don't fall for it! Antarctica can change its temperature by over 30 degrees all by itself; to think we can control that is ridiculous.