23 Aug '12, 8pm

Antarctic Peninsula warming: natural variability of “global warming”?

Hey Chris, good to hear from you as always. My brief response is twofold. 1) I think people make too much about the oxygen isotopes as a temperature proxy, for which they are imperfect for sure. But oxygen (or hydrogen) isotopes are a perfect proxy for... oxygen isotopes! And those isotope ratios are still exceptionally high in the last few decades, relative to the last millennium. That's a very robust result that does not depend at all on whether the isotope ratios "really" reflect temperature change. And to change the isotopes, you have to change climate -- e.g. circulation sea ice, etc. So it is still a significant climate change, corresponding with the global warming trend. Indeed, it may well be more meaningful than temperature change, because temperature can change locally due to rather small changes in radiative balance e.g. albedo; whereas isotopes in precipitation...

Full article: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/08/ant...

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