Friday, 28 April 2017

Core Blimey! A Glacier Older Than Creation!

Panoramic view of an ice cliff inside the Scărișoara Ice Cave, where the research was done.

Credit: Gigi Fratila & Claudiu Szabo
Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past | NSF - National Science Foundation

Quietly and without fuss, and quite unintentionally, science again refutes creationism.

As it often does, in fact as it almost invariably does, another piece of scientific research based on observations of the real world, incidentally refutes the primitive superstition that the Universe and Earth were created by magic just a few thousand years ago. It also refutes the myth that there was a global flood even more recently, within the written history of civilisations such as those of Ancient Egypt, China and Northern India - who all seem to have forgotten to record it or even notice that there was anything amiss.

The ice cliff with a member of the research team rappelling down into the "Small Reserve."

Credit: B. Onac
The evidence comes from an examination of the worlds oldest glacier in a cave in the Romanian Carpathian Mountains, the Scărișoara Ice Cave, where there is a record of climate change in East-Central Europe going way back beyond the time at which Bible literalists hold that Earth was created. Apparently, the climate in East-Central Europe was changing in line with changes in the North Atlantic ocean currents, and leaving a record of that change in annual ice deposits long before the Universe existed, if you listen to creationists.

The research was done by a combined international team from the Emil Racoviță Institute of Speleology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the University of South Florida School of Geosciences, the University of Belfast, the University of Bremen and Stockholm University.

The "Great Hall" in the Scărișoara Ice Cave, where researchers extracted ice cores.

Credit: A. Persoiu
Among abundant reconstructions of Holocene climate in Europe, only a handful has addressed winter conditions, and most of these are restricted in length and/or resolution. Here we present a record of late autumn through early winter air temperature and moisture source changes in East-Central Europe for the Holocene, based on stable isotopic analysis of an ice core recovered from a cave in the Romanian Carpathian Mountains. During the past 10,000 years, reconstructed temperature changes followed insolation, with a minimum in the early Holocene, followed by gradual and continuous increase towards the mid-to-late-Holocene peak (between 4-2 kcal BP), and finally by a decrease after 0.8 kcal BP towards a minimum during the Little Ice Age (AD 1300–1850). Reconstructed early Holocene atmospheric circulation patterns were similar to those characteristics of the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), while in the late Holocene they resembled those prevailing in the positive NAO phase. The transition between the two regimes occurred abruptly at around 4.7 kcal BP. Remarkably, the widespread cooling at 8.2 kcal BP is not seen very well as a temperature change, but as a shift in moisture source, suggesting weaker westerlies and increased Mediterranean cyclones penetrating northward at this time.

So, not only do we now know the annual changes in temperature in East-Central Europe but we have a detailed record going back 10,000 years. These records also tie in with other climate records and map closely with known changes in North Atlantic ocean currents. Unless, of course, they argue, despite the complete absence of any evidence for the idea, that East-Central Europe used to have more than one winter er year, this is going to be hard for creationists to ave aside. Even harder for them to dismiss is the fact that this ice cave would have been entirely destroyed in the cataclysmic global flood they believe occurred 4000 years ago (the one that everyone who lived through it forgot to make a note of!).

So, once again, without trying, and with the team which did it not even trying to do so, science has again refuted creationism, just as it does countless time a day in one scientific paper after another. And never once does science produce anything which comes close to substantiating any of this primitive creation myth.

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