More Evidence That Science is Still Clueless About Global Climate Controls
January 8, 2010 7:34 PM
comment(s) - last by
For all we know, Al Bundy's socks may be the cure for the global climate crisis.
Will the war for global warming ever be won? That depends on the amount of information we can harvest, analyze and extrapolate from. In all likelihood, the only way we will know for certain if the Earth is heading for a global warming disaster is by waiting another few thousand years and looking at history books.
But, for those not comfortable with the wait and see approach, scientists continue to plunge into one of the crucial factors thought to govern global (I’m trying not to snicker) climate change, the global carbon sink system. Roughly composed of just about every living and even more dead things, these parts of local, regional and whole-Earth ecosystems are under high scrutiny as researchers try to understand how present day climate change will further affect future climate change. The popular idea seems to be that global warming is like a snowball rolling downhill – as it rolls it picks up more snow and eventually hits something and explodes. Exploding is bad for the Earth, honest.
From the University of Colorado at Boulder comes a study supporting the theory that extended growing seasons may not be the boon for the carbon sink that many have previously thought. At least not for subalpine conifers such as the lodgepole pine, subalpine fir and Englemann spruce. It turns out these trees depend much more upon snowmelt for their summer water fix than rainfall, and in years where spring comes early due to mild winters and low snowfall,
the trees actually take in less carbon dioxide
over the year than when spring arrives late with heavy snow still on the ground. Up to 60% of their internal water supply from stems and needles was identified to be from spring snowmelt rather than rainfall in the fall months. We can thank our friends the hydrogen and oxygen atoms for this precise identification work.
Since around 70% of the western USA’s carbon sink is found in these subalpine forest ranges, watching the snow caps shrink yearly would definitely affect their ability to operate to capacity, should this study be accurate. Facts don’t lie; snow good, carbon dioxide bad.
On a somewhat brighter note, according to researchers at the National Oceanographic Center, Southampton, another very large and poorly understood carbon sink may be completely underestimated in present carbon cycle models. Echinoderms, which comprise a vast portion of the ocean’s calcium carbonate dump,
may sequester much more carbon yearly than previously thought
Echinoderms suck in carbon from seawater to form their skeletal systems and include such happy marine animals as star fish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. When these animals find the end of their lifecycle, they typically sink to the ocean floor with their captured carbon and become indefinitely buried in the sediments. Some of the calcium carbonate finds its way back up the “biological carbon pump,” but probably much less than is taken down to the depths.
This could mean that the ocean is once again showing itself to be far more excellent at helping regulate global carbon levels, or it could just mean scientists still don’t really understand what’s going on in there.
If these studies only prove one thing it is that we, as a global community, race, organism and observer still have very little understanding in the way all of our ecosystems work together to regulate the Earth’s climate. It’s far too early for any sane person to jump on the “we’re melting, melting” or “Minnesota never left the ice age, what’s your problem” camps. There simply aren’t enough data to concretely support any given theory with certainty and these kinds of discoveries are shining examples of why.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: How to tune people out.
1/11/2010 12:57:49 PM
What you see as disrespect, I see as satirical comment about how people are simply not willing to consider anything but what they are force-fed by the mass media.
If you read the article, you will see that I favor neither side of the global warming/climate change debacle, and in fact take shots at both. This is, after all, an opinion piece and my point of view which no one is obligated to respect or agree with.
But let us be honest here, slapping a "climate change" sticker over the "warming" on the old shock and awe signs was just silly. And if you take it seriously, you can consider it even more support for the views I expressed in this piece: they actually haven't got a clue what's going to happen.
RE: How to tune people out.
1/11/2010 2:00:25 PM
If you read the article, you will see that I favor neither side of...
My point was that once I start reading "snicker" in an article I don't take it seriously and I stop reading. Normally this is the end of it but since you've been
disagreeing with me in a comment above I'll be happy to finish it.
As for the "climate change" sticker: I believe that was coined by a republican political strategist that worked with Bush (jr). He was on the Daily Show a few years back and the guy was utter genius. One of his big jobs was taking polically hot terms and creating new ones that stick in the mind of the public. Some of his other creations:
war on terror = fight against global extremism.
torture = enhanced interrogation
I forget the bit but John Stewart threw some nasty term at him and the guy whipped up something genius in like 5 seconds. It was impressive.
Anyway, "climate change" was a term coined not by global warming supporters but by their opponents. Global warming supporters call it "global warming".
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
Latest By Levi Beckerson
Of Turbines Large And Small
May 24, 2011, 9:07 AM
Various Alcohols Shown To Make Various Improvements on Specific Superconductor
January 11, 2011, 8:32 AM
Genetics and Taste Buds; Can Science Build Better Chocolate?
December 27, 2010, 9:01 AM
New UMass Technique Seeks to Replace Petroleum for Industrial Chemicals
November 26, 2010, 7:26 AM
New MIT Nanotech Fights Cancer Naturally
September 20, 2010, 8:30 AM
Genetic Modification Turns Killers Into Saviors
September 16, 2010, 1:13 PM
New Rensselaer Nanocomposite Kills Staph
August 17, 2010, 8:10 AM
Researchers Create Nanoscale Particles For Ultrasound Applications
August 16, 2010, 3:44 PM
NCSU Study To Help Understand Nanoparticles Inside the Body
August 16, 2010, 8:38 AM
New Lithium Metal Phosphate Batteries Made With Wax and Soap
August 13, 2010, 1:10 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
HTC Preps Nexus 9 With Nvidia K1 64-Bit "Denver" SoC, Android L Onboard
September 10, 2014, 10:21 PM
Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Reviews Roll In
September 16, 2014, 9:13 PM
Dell Announces "World's Thinnest" Tablet: The Venue 8 7000 Series
September 11, 2014, 8:51 AM
Samsung Calls Out “Copycat” Apple for 5.5” iPhone 6 Plus in New Ads
September 14, 2014, 11:06 PM
Confirmed: Next Generation of Windows to Be Announced on September 30
September 15, 2014, 4:43 PM
Latest Blog Posts
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information