In response to Greg Pollowitz’s “Antarctica Used to Be Warm,” a number of savvy Planet Gore readers have weighed in to wonder aloud if “14 million years is sufficient time for continental drift to be a factor” in the discussion of Antarctic ostracods.
One reader, a wildlife biologist in Arizona, sounds the cautionary note he learned from his geologist father:
He taught me at very young age that, when speaking about ”things geologic,” here is not always here. Where was Antarctica (latitude/longitude) on the planet 14 million years ago?
Well, this puts it in the neighborhood:
So if the plate-tectonic consensus is to be believed (and we’ll grant some latitude for skepticism), latitude doesn’t sufficiently explain Antarctica’s warmth.Another reader notes the difficulties AGW proponents have in explaining that warmth:
Hardly news about warm Antarctica. The global warmers are way ahead of you on that. But rather than viewing it as a falsification of their CO2=death hypothesis, they actually consider it more evidence for CO2′s evil deeds.
Great Britain’s chief scientist (and AGW fanatic) Sir David King testified to a House of Commons Select Committee in 2004 that:
Fifty-five million years ago was a time when there was no ice on the earth; the Antarctic was the most habitable place for mammals, because it was the coolest place, and the rest of the earth was rather inhabitable because it was so hot. It is estimated that it [the carbon dioxide level] was roughly 1,000 parts per million then, and the important thing is that if we carry on business as usual we will hit 1,000 parts per million around the end of the century.
(King has cause and effect backward, but that’s normal for warmers.)
UPDATE: Another reader points out:
It is not merely latitude: temperatures are driven by ocean currents. As Continental drift occurs over time, those currents can be blocked or opened, radically changing weather patterns at the same latitude. When Northern and Southern America drifted enough to connect at present day Panama, the existing North American/European weather system was created as warm currents flowed up the America coast line and across the Atlantic creating our modern temperate climate at a latitude that is just as far north as Siberia is.
So the weather and temperature changes in Antarctica, as described, were caused by other land masses, South America as I recall, moving away and changing the ocean currents around Antarctica. It has nothing really to do with CO2, or AGW, either as evidence in favor or against.