backtop


Print 31 comment(s) - last by TheEinstein.. on Jul 25 at 8:53 AM

Data suggests that unknown processes may be missing from prediction models.

If there's a topic that nearly everyone is familiar with this year, it's global warming. Advocates for this camp and that camp have been slinging mud and "facts" at each other at an increasing rate in the last few years as global awareness of the various theories behind it has risen. Though special purpose groups, scientists and Al Gore may not agree on what should be done, there are generally accepted numbers that climate researchers use to generate pictures of what kind of temperature the Earth will endure in the next century. Only, those numbers might be wrong.

A paper recently published in Nature Geoscience, authored by Gerald Dickens of Rice University, Richard Zeebe of the University of Hawaii and James Zachos of the University of California - Santa Cruz has found evidence that climatologist models may in fact be wrong. Their work concentrates on a well-known thermal event in Earth's past known as the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) and the records it left behind in the form of carbon deposits. Via core samples from all around the world, the PETM is one of the best documented events of its kind.

But what Dickens's team found in those PETM cores doesn't jive with the standard global warming model in use by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC model typically uses a 100% increase in atmospheric carbon as the threshold in their models, but when compared to the deposits from the PETM, in which atmospheric carbon levels only rose by about 70%, the current model fails to explain the dramatic temperature increase during that period.

How does the Dickens/Zeebe/Zacho team explain the 7 degrees Celsius jump in just 10,000 years? They can't. But they think their data suggests that there's some unaccounted process missing from the IPCC model. If they are correct, the IPCC models could be off by as much as 100% as far temperature goes when using the PETM event as a reference.

Global warming, whether it exists or not, whether it's man-made or not, will be a hot topic in the next few years, perhaps decades. While not every study done has substantial ground to stand on, there does seem to be much that scientists do not understand about the geological or environmental processes behind it. More data is needed, and perhaps groups like Dickens's will find it.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Exactly
By FITCamaro on 7/16/2009 8:32:14 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
More data is needed


This is why jumping to conclusions and trying to spend trillions of dollars to "fight" climate change is retarded. We haven't even scratched the surface as to how our climate works. But we went to spend tons of money and destroy economies and industries based off flawed models?




RE: Exactly
By Ringold on 7/16/2009 2:14:26 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
But we went to spend tons of money and destroy economies and industries based off flawed models?


Check out the cap & trade bill the Democrats passed in the House and sent to the Senate; 85% of the emission permits are handed out by the government. It's the largest source of patronage to campaign donors and lobbyists perhaps in history. At least Obama wanted to auction them all off to raise revenue, but Congress wanted a new set of goodies to doll out to buy votes, donations and influence. It should be obvious that this is really why governments are so keen to jump on the global warming bandwagon; the scope to expand their power is almost unlimited.


RE: Exactly
By AnnihilatorX on 7/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Exactly
By Solandri on 7/17/2009 1:09:15 AM , Rating: 5
You're forgetting opportunity costs. Yes green-spawned industries can make money. But non-green industries make more money. So by encouraging green industries over non-green industries, you are stunting economic growth. If the green industries could outperform non-green industries, they wouldn't need government assistance. They would be able to compete and win in the market on their own.

That said, a lot of the non-green industries don't properly account for externalized costs (pollution, decreased quality of life, economic instability due to volatile foreign oil supplies, etc). You could make an argument that if these externalized costs were properly paid for by the industry causing them, the green industries would be competitive or even outperform the non-green industries. And that the government assistance and regulations are necessary to level the playing field.


RE: Exactly
By FITCamaro on 7/20/2009 9:10:34 AM , Rating: 3
Wind energy and solar energy do not make money. They need government assistance to be even remotely viable. Hybrids at first were only possible due to government tax credits. They became more popular only when gas prices skyrocketed.


RE: Exactly
By MrPoletski on 7/21/2009 11:13:25 AM , Rating: 3
I still stand by my global warming solution for dealing with cattle methane emissions.

Fit pilot lights to every cows back side, you could cut methane emissions drasticly overnight... and if it ever goes wrong you get free steak.

Hooray for free steak!


"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki