New study shows global warming/climate change could be much worse than predicted

burns Global warming deniers leaped on a new study which indicates current predictive models may be wrong. Well, sort of.

In a commentary published with the study, David Beerling, a paleobiologist at the University of Sheffield in England, writes: “The upshot of the study. is that forecasts of future warming could be severely underestimating the extent of the problem that lies in store for humanity as greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere.”

According to Melanie Fitzpatrick, a climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), carbon dioxide-induced warming can lead to changes that exacerbate the problem. For example, increasing CO2 concentrations:
– melt tundra, which then releases methane and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere;
– warm the air, which then can hold more water vapor, another heat-trapping gas; and
– melt white ice, which exposes the ocean and land, which, because they are darker in color, absorb more heat from the sun and reflect less of it back into space.

Scientists are still trying to precisely quantify the effect of such “positive feedback cycles” that took place millions of years ago as well as the ones that are happening today, Fitzpatrick said. The scientific literature, including the new Nature Geoscience study, indicates that positive feedbacks greatly outweigh negative ones and that current climate models are likely underestimating potential temperature increases from overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.

Precisely.

I would add that the study’s authors themselves note in the conclusion:

Possible causes of the excess warming include increased production and levels of trace greenhouse gases as a consequence of the climatic warming (such as CH4).

Given that some of the fastest warming on the planet is occurring right where the most methane is stored (see here), the methane feedback remains the biggest worry in the entire carbon cycle.

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10 Comments

Filed under global warming/environment, Uncategorized

10 responses to “New study shows global warming/climate change could be much worse than predicted

  1. The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of this ancient warming. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for current best estimates of 21st century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM.”

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/sciencefair/2009/07/could-we-be-wrong-about-global-warming.html

    • yes, it might be the the feedback loops like increasing release of methane from permafrost may make global warming even worse than we can now predict. Glad you understand.

  2. Over 100 leading climate scientists from around the world signed a letter in December stating: “significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming.” In December a list was also released of another 400 scientists who questioned the general notion of significant manmade global warming.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/lott/lott59.html

  3. seesdifferent

    Thanks for providing those. You can see that most are not climatologists and those who claim to be, if you google them are not real climatologists or are not active researchers. Many are geologists. And the ones I googled are mostly Marshall Institute/Competitive Enterprise Institute/Heartland Institute/Big Oil front group funded. Follow the money, and that is big oil. Big oil uses geologists to find oil, and that is why you see so many of them mouthing the denier nonsense.

  4. Mike/disinter,
    Thanks for the “interesting” posts. I doubt very much that you are interested in getting at the truth. I do find it odd that you don’t make the connection between Exxon/Big Oil/Heartland Institute/Marshall Institute and these denier “scientists”; if you want to find a real conspiracy, there it is.
    At any rate, I am done trying to point it out to you.
    Since you find me “ridiculous,” please find another place to put up your uncritically selected stuff.

  5. you make my point. They aren’t climatologists.
    And by the way, I have tried to respond appropriately to your posts, but since you don’t really want to hear what I have to say, and you are coming into my house and getting rude, I’d like to disinvite you at this point. You might want to look into the Exxon/Marshall Institute/Heartland Institute connection with your “scientists.”
    Goodbye.

  6. seesdifferent

    Mike: I have. And my opinion stands. Signatures are not science. These people haven’t done any research/peer reviewed publications that challenge the IPCC….there are no peer reviewed studies that challenge global warming/climate change.

    The Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy undertook an assessment of the 687 people listed as “dissenting scientists” in the January 2009 version of the ‘Inhofe list’. Their conclusions:

    * Slightly fewer than 10 percent could be identified as climate scientists.

    * Approximately 15 percent published in the recognizable refereed literature on subjects related to climate science.

    * Approximately 80 percent clearly had no refereed publication record on climate science at all.

    * Approximately 4 percent appeared to favor the current IPCC-2007 consensus and should not have been on the list.

    You have neither science nor civility. Thanks and goodbye.

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