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Figure 1 is a graph of the last thousand years based on work by climatologist H. Faced with the flaws in this graph, the IPCC has since dropped it and now claims the climate is the warmest in 400 years, which isn’t that impressive given that we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age.Going back 8,000 years or so, we encounter the Holocene Optimum, which was 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer than today’s temperatures — naturally.Let’s expand our view once again, to the past 450,000 years (Figure 4). A roller-coaster ride of glacials (cold times) and interglacials (warm times), on a cycle of about 100,000 years. Gore doesn’t try to explain why this roller coaster has occurred, since if changes in carbon dioxide levels were causing the cycle of glaciations and interglaciations, as Gore implies, then the logical question is what caused the changes in carbon dioxide levels?
During the glacials, much of the northern hemisphere (and Antarctica, of course) is covered with ice two and three kilometres thick.Within our roughly two-million-year-old ice age, the glacials last about 80,000 years.The warmer interglacials, which make global civilization possible, last only 10,000-20,000 years.It’s possible to look at a graph of the past century and conclude: “Oh, my God, the planet is burning up!” After all, the temperature has been rising, more or less, since the 1850’s, with a dip from the 1940’s to the mid-1970’s. Only 400 years ago, the planet was quite cold, a period known as the Little Ice Age (roughly 1300-1850).