By JR on Monday, May 25, 2015
Cannes festival film aimed at saving the planet
Saving the planet gives you SUCH a warm feeling! But it's a feeling bought at the expense of critical thinking.
The idea that something crushed for thousands of years beneath a great weight of glacial ice would remain pristine and unchanged despite such pressure is ludicrous on the face of it -- but that is the assumption underlying the work of the galoot celebrated below. He assumes that air bubbles trapped in glacial ice thousands of years ago have remained unchanged for all that time and that the ice cores used to extract them have also not altered them in any way: Heroic assumptions. And a very experienced (40 years studying Arctic ice cores) Arctic glaciologist, the late Zbigniew Jawaworski, questioned those assumptions forcefully
The initial stage of "trapping" air bubbles is also one where much could happen -- as the layers of snow slowly compress into at first firn and then ice. Much could be lost even at that early stage.
And note this recent comment:
"Sometimes they don’t really KNOW what the evidence means, like in the O18 graphs from the GISP2 and GRIP ice cores that show the really big swings in O18, which is universally interpreted as a valid proxy for temperatures. I don’t have anything better to replace that with, but let’s just say that if it some day turns out to not be true, I won’t be surprised. YES, the O18 went up and down. Does that REALLY mean that temps swung up and down by 13°C or 14°C? As a catastrophist thinker, I’d WANT it to be, but as a realist, I have to wonder."
But perhaps the most graphic evidence for ice-core unreliability comes from the work of German chemistry professor E.G. Beck. He showed that actual measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere that were taken over the last 180 years gave a very different result from what was inferred from ice cores. So sad to wreck a lovely time-travel story. But I am sure Claude Lorius is SUCH a nice man. And so CARING!
The Cannes Film Festival's closing film on Saturday was a call to arms to tackle climate change featuring the scientific pioneer who spent decades in Antarctica proving the existence of global warming.
"I used to be pessimistic, but I think people are changing," said Claude Lorius, the 91-year-old French scientist whose groundbreaking research on ice cores proved the link between greenhouse gases and global temperatures.
His story is told in the documentary "Ice and the Sky", featuring footage from his earliest missions in the 1950s through to the present day.
Lorius carried out 22 expeditions -- some lasting as long as a year -- in Antarctica, where he helped pioneer the drilling and examining of ice cores, gathering climatic data going back more than 400,000 years.
One of his key insights, described in the film, came from drinking whisky one day with colleagues. Watching ice crack in the glass made him realise he could extract ancient air bubbles from the ice samples they were collecting.
"I'd already had a bit to drink, otherwise I wouldn't have had this brilliant idea, this brainstorm," Lorius told reporters after the screening. "It took many years to put the ideas into practice."
Director Luc Jacquet said the world had made "fundamental progress" in understanding the problem of climate change.
"When Claude published his paper 30 years ago, the concept didn't even exist, it was hard to drum this idea into people's minds," said Jacquet. "But people are now aware of the problem and impatient to see results."
Lorius said he was looking forward to progress at the next global climate conference being held in Paris in December. "We expect a lot from the conference, it could really change things," he said.
"I deeply believe that if everyone tackles these issues, they will cease to be problems. They can be a source of tremendous creativity."