Wednesday, July 02, 2008

NZ Scientists Debunk Critical Climate Change Assumptions.

A recent article in the NZ Herald carried the astonishing story that recent research in Westland "puts the cat among the paleoclimatology pigeons"

In simple terms the story is research in Westland (of New Zealand) debunked a critical climate change assumption. The assumption that climate change occurs across the hemispheres simultaneously was speared by research from the University of Canterbury. This is a critical assumption for the warmists' anthropogenic climate change agenda.

I did think it deserved a post. I see now that Watts Up With That has picked the story up. They note:

University of Canterbury research indicating a glacial ridge in the South Island was formed by a landslide could pour cold water on evidence that climate change happened simultaneously around the world. Scientists had believed the Waiho Loop moraine was created during a brief cold snap about 13,000 years ago that also affected Europe and North America...

But no one had ever studied the Waiho Loop sediments. “...these new findings suggest the loop (see photo at Top) - which sits near the South Island’s Alpine fault line - was the result of a landslide, not climate change...”

“When graduate student Dan Tovar had a look, he discovered to our surprise that it was mainly made up of a rock type known as greywacke, which is different from the rocks that make up all the other moraines in front of the Franz Josef Glacier.”

Professor Shulmeister said greywacke occurred about 13km up the valley from the Loop. All the other moraines were predominantly composed of schist which outcropped near Franz Josef township.“The greywacke was also rather more angular than the rocks in the other moraines, suggesting it had not been transported in water or at the base of a glacier.”

It is this is the assumption that appears to be wrong. The team concluded:

...As a result of the study, Professor Shulmeister’s team believes a large landslide dumped a huge volume of rock on top of the glacier, causing it to advance and, when the advance stopped, the moraine was created.
This research is to be published in Nature Geoscience and the Abstract is here.

Perhaps the most critical comment in the abstract is this:

Our study shows that glacial moraines are not necessarily climatic in origin, which must be taken into account when evaluating the mass balance responses of glacial systems.

The criticality is that many/most of the warmists use glacier change (as demonstrated through analysis of the moraine) as proof of global warming.

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