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Vostok 800 Year Lag: Thought Experiment?

Imagine you are a climate scientist living 4 centuries after the temperature has continued to fall while CO2 has still been on the increase - i.e. half-way through an 800 year lag.

Imagine further that during your lifetime, that continues to happen and, if you had a crystal ball, you would see that it would continue happening for the next dozen or so generations of climate scientists.

Would you put your hand on your heart and say that increasing CO2 would necessarily cause warming when you have 400 years of empirical evidence that shows the opposite?
  • Answers
  • That seems to be a world where climate scientists didn't belong to a species of CO2 emitters. We are lucky to be born in a relatively warm wonderful climate. Just 300 years ago, it was noticeably worse. 15 thousand years ago, most of us probably wouldn't survive the climate where were are living now. Since we are born in a warming climate and a warming ocean seems to be increasing CO2 as we are emitting it, it is hard to know what the CO2 concentration would have been without our emissions and what the temperature would have been as well. If other factors were more significant, I think we could have increasing CO2 concentrations and cooling and obviously we have short term periods that seem to prove that point.
    JimZ · 2 1
  • Sadly the deneir “lag theory” is a fine example of how deneirs take some science but leave out parts they don’t like.
    antarcticice · 6 2
  • An inconvenient truth... I'm sure lots of climate scientists wished those Vostok ice cores would simply disappear. It is undeniably true that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. An increase in concentration will exert an upward forcing on terrestrial temperature. However, the historical record suggests the effect of CO2 is pretty weak in the the whole picture. A better conclusion is that other primary and secondary factors exert a much greater influence than CO2.
    wilds_of_virginia · 0 5
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