Saturday, March 20, 2010

Oh oysters come and talk with us!

William Patterson is not a walrus or a carpenter, but he's been chatting a lot with oysters. They've been discussing the weather. Global Warmers may develop shellfish allergies

William Patterson's specialty isn't clambakes but isotope chemistry, and he's using it to analyze clamshells buried for centuries off Iceland's coastline.

That and radiocarbon dating of the shells confirms what anyone who knows anything about climate change already knows: the Medieval Warm Period (AD 800 to 1300) and the Little Ice Age (1300 to 1850) were real.

But the shellfish shell out more stories. Since changes in the chemistry of the shells reveal day-to-day changes in weather, Patterson was able to confirm the lesser known and little discussed Roman Warm Period (200 BC to AD 600) and the Dark Ages Cold Period (AD 600 to 800).
A comment posted on the NatureNews website puts Patterson's work in perspective:
"Very unlikely he'll get funding for those additional studies. He's already put the lie to many of the dominant funders' approved assumptions and conclusions, and will not be given any help in doing further damage to the orthodoxy. Sorry, Patterson. Time to clam up!" ;)
If nothing else, when planet-savers whine about the shrinking polar icecap killing the polar bears libertarians can answer with, "Hey, they obviously survived the other big warm periods or there wouldn't be any polar bears today, so don't sweat it."

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