Riddle Me This

By Keith Kloor | January 27, 2011 2:57 pm

A very interesting correlation between global warming and evolution–and not the one that may spring immediately to your mind.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: climate change, evolution
  • kdk33

    (purposefully?) conflating GW and AGW.

    Nice try, though.

  • Stu

    “The first time we heard a scientist authoritatively state that the evidence was in, and that global warming was real, was when James Hansen said it whilepresenting his research to Congress in 1988. That was a daring claim for Mr Hansen to make at that point. It was daring because it was very clearly falsifiable. If, after 1988, global temperatures had stopped rising, or had started to exhibit a lot of volatility””if there had been a decade-long cooling episode, such as the world saw in the late 1930s and 40s””then Mr Hansen would have been discredited. But that didn’t happen. Instead, for a decade and a half after Mr Hansen made the call, global mean temperatures kept going up and up. They bounced around a bit in the mid-2000s, and have now resumed rising again.”

    Well, at time of writing, UAH global temps are .18 degrees above the newer 1981-2010 base period, and in fact, look very close to temperatures in 1988


    Up and up, and down, and up, and down and down, and up…

  • Marlowe Johnson


    Do you a clue?  of course the anomaly is smaller when you use a more RECENT 81-10 period…how could it be otherwise? Now you (and Spencer) wouldn’t be trying to fool anyone with this sort of ‘trick’ now would you?

  • Shub

    You did not get Stu’s point. Temperatures going up or down do not either falsify or prove global warming, but the writer of the article made some kind of brain short-circuited cross connection. Stu’s answering to that.

  • David44

    Tsk, tsk Keith.  It’s an analogy, not a correlation, and a weak one at that.  No need to list the problems with it here as they well covered in the comments at the Economist.  Who the heck might “M.S.” be?

    BTW, feathers likely evolved in birds for the same reason hair evolved in mammals, as an aid to temperature regulation.  Both birds and mammals are endothermic (“warm-blooded”) unlike reptiles which are exothermic.  Endotherms rely on metabolic heat, i.e., food, and thus need external insulation to help conserve energy/food.

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    yer right. I initially thought analogy, but then I was trying to say something else…and oh, why make excuses. No fun sometimes not having an editor.

  • David44

    Think nothing of it.  I’m a compulsive editor (of other people’s stuff, that is, not mine.)

  • David44

    Not the appropriate thread for this, but there’s an excellent, excellent post at DotEarth by Redmond Clark (comment #83 under “Obama Ducks and Covers) which succinctly explains the jobs/economy/energy problem that faces us as a nation and Obama as President.


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Collide-a-Scape is an archived Discover blog. Keep up with Keith's current work at http://www.keithkloor.com/

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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