Is Global Warming Part of Earth's Natural Cycle: MIT Team Says "Yes" -A Galaxy Insight
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June 25, 2009

Is Global Warming Part of Earth's Natural Cycle: MIT Team Says "Yes" -A Galaxy Insight

Glaciermelt A team of MIT scientists recorded a nearly simultaneous world-wide increase in methane levels -the first increase in ten years. What baffles the team is that this data contradicts theories stating humans are the primary source of increase in greenhouse gas. It takes about one full year for gases generated in the highly industrial northern hemisphere to cycle through and reach the southern hemisphere. Since all worldwide levels rose simultaneously throughout the same year, however, it is probable that this may be part of a natural cycle - and not the direct result of man's contributions.

MIT's Matthew Rigby and Ronald Prinn, the TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, state that this imbalance has resulted in several million metric tons of additional methane in the atmosphere. Methane is produced by wetlands, rice paddies, cattle, and the gas and coal industries, and is destroyed by reaction with the hydroxyl free radical (OH), often referred to as the atmosphere's "cleanser."

Methane accounts for roughly one-fifth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, though its effect is 25x greater than that of carbon dioxide. Its impact on global warming comes from the reflection of the sun's light back to the Earth. Methane is broken down in the atmosphere by the free radical hydroxyl (OH), a naturally occuring process. This atmospheric cleanser has been shown to adjust itself up and down periodically, and is believed to account for the lack of increases in methane levels in Earth's atmosphere over the past ten years despite notable simultaneous increases by man.

Prinn has said, "The next step will be to study [these changes] using a very high-resolution atmospheric circulation model and additional measurements from other networks. The key thing is to better determine the relative roles of increased methane emission versus [an increase] in the rate of removal. Apparently we have a mix of the two, but we want to know how much of each [is responsible for the overall increase]."

The primary concern now is that while the collected data in 2007 reflects a simultaneous world-wide increase in emissions, how relevant are any of the data findings at this late date?

One thing does seem very clear, however; science is only beginning to get a focus on the big picture of global warming. Findings like these tell us it's too early to know for sure if man's impact is affecting things at "alarming rates." We may simply be going through another natural cycle of warmer and colder times - one that's been observed through a scientific analysis of the Earth to be naturally occurring for hundreds of thousands of years.

Posted by Casey Kazan. Photo Credit: Maria Stenzel, National Geographic.

Source Link: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/methane-tt1029.html

MIT Team Asks: Is Global Warming Part of a Natural Cycle?.

Comments

I think it's disingenuous to argue that, just because it has been suggested that emissions from one greenhouse gas may be reliant largely on natural cycles, so humanity may not have an impact on current climate change.

The correlation between CO2 concentrations and average global temperature is well-documented and, in fact, responsible for this planet being habitable by us (the greenhouse effect already accounts for an about 30 degrees Celsius temperature increase over the Earth's black body temperature). The best theories we have suggest that recent climate change is largely due to human activity, and no known natural process accounts for the rapidity and degree of change with the same effectiveness of the current consensus. Whilst it is very possible that this may not be the case, and it may indeed be the result of a natural cycle (one which just so happens to correlate very neatly with an increase in industrialisation and thus human greenhouse gas emissions) and it is certainly important to highlight gaps in our knowledge, it is only fuel for the sceptics to present these findings as suggestive of serious flaws in our understanding of wider climate science.

Incidentally, it is a well-known fact that "global warming is part of Earth's natural cycle" and climate scientists do not dispute this; however, this current warming episode is inconsistent with what we see in previous cycles and the best explanation we have for it is that it is - either largely or fully - anthropogenic.

As CO2 is less than %1.00 of the whole atmosphere, I just cannot see how it can have so much effect, there could very well be other factors, such as Methane as mentioned above, the 24,000 year pole tilt cycle, volcanic activity up %300 in the last 2,000 years, earths orbit as well as the polar shift, lord know what else [all the hot air generated by the reverand Al Gore]

Why don't they touch on the possibility that the rise in Methane simultaneously around the world could be methane clathrates melting and releasing methane into the atmosphere thru the worlds oceans? Then the argument could definitely be made that the rise in ocean temperature that is causing the melting is due to our impact on global warming, therefore being directly our fault?

Global warming is our religion. We would die if we couldn't believe it was all our fault. How dare these MIT pipsqueaks come along and take away our self-flagellating joy???

Besides, how are we going to wreck the US economy and create political peak oil, if we can't claim we are doing it for the good of the planet? Save the world, kill a country, or something like that. You know you love it, baby.

It's truly amazing that, no matter how many scientists from disparate backgrounds and fields of related study dispute the claims of the Warmists, those Warmists not only fail to truly listen but continue to claim that there is "no debate" on the issue.

The article says nothing about whether humans are responsible for climate change not not - maybe the OP read a different article

Oh yeah, no doubt about it dude!

ER
www.anon-tools.tk

The original article says nothing about global warming being part of the Earth's natural cycle. It is specifically about the increase in methane levels.

Perhaps the Title should be changed to
Is recent methane increase Part of Earth's Natural Cycle: MIT data suggests "Yes" -A Galaxy Insight

Common Ladies and Gents, have you ever looked at a satellite photo of any inhabited location on our planet? Don't tell me that we the people don't affect this planet's natural cycle. It's the biggest crock of shit to assume our footprint doesn't leave any problems for our environment!

it is sad that so many people are under the false impression that Global Warming is a "known process thats triggered by humanity"

my local weatherman cant accurately predict a temperature rise of 1 degree over the period of 3 days, and somehow tons of people think we know all there is to know about global warming.

as a Highschool Science Teacher this not only frustrates me, it also scares me. it scares me to see how many textbooks blatantly will tell people that "global warming is caused by large increases of CO2 levels due to industrialization."
it scares me to see so many of my colleagues shamelessly tell students that we are the cause of the death of the planet.

we know hardly anything about climate shifts as is, we have only been taking accurate weather data for the last 150 years.
what we know is something is happening, and tbh we should be focussing on how to live with this effect first, then study how it was caused and how it could be prevented.

the notion of "humanity being able to halt or revert climate change" is ridiculous at best, and should not receive so much support and government funding.

All one has to do to learn about the future is look at the past. Based on Holocene temperature changes, the Earth goes through the same cycle about every 100,000 years.

How did the previous warming cycles occur from ice ages, every 100,000 years? Dinosaur farts? Primordial ooze driving Hummers?

It's all fear. And the politicians have scared the vast majority of the world in this conspiracy.

We have more to fear about the quality of our drinking water, local freshwater sources, impact on forests, smog than we do on the warming/cooling cycles of the Earth.

Stop wasting time, emotions and money on a dead issue. And someone duct tape Al Gore and Michael Moore before they spread more stupidity.

Thanks for this interesting article!

This article is misleading and misrepresenting the MIT article. The MIT article doesn't say whether humans are or are not responsible for the huge increase in methane in the past couple years and clearly does not say that it's "part of Earth's natural cycle."

Actually, here's a quote from the MIT article that does associate the rise in methane with humans:
"Methane levels in the atmosphere have more than tripled since pre-industrial times, accounting for around one-fifth of the human contribution to greenhouse gas-driven global warming."

But somehow in this the DailyGalaxy article, the part of "human contribution" is ommitted. Why is that?

A very important fact that many like to overlook is: We started recording world temperatures around the mid 1800's. Coincidentally, this is the same time we were coming out of a little ice age. So when looking at the record of global temperatures which happen to begin at the time we were coming out of a cold period, its not surprise there is a warming trend. That is exactly what you would expect when coming out of an ice age. Yet this information is manipulated to show that we are increasing the temperature.

Follow the money on global warming first

From the last time this MIT study was mis-represented as being about global warming.

"'ain't no global warming' spin - from MIT?? "
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/30/175733/02

"Comfortably Dumb: The TGDaily MIT/Methane Fraud"
http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/comforta ...


Daily Galaxy should know better.

How dare you use science to argue against Al Gore!?

Where do you get off not jumping on the retard bandwagon of political jargon we call "Global Warming"?!

If you don't have a respectable degree in climate science you really shouldn't be bashing climate change theories. People spend fifteen, twenty, or more years becoming more knowledgeable than you about climate change theories, and you should respect their expert opinions.

.. I don't have a degree in climate science so don't take the following comment as scientific fact/theory :

A couple years ago I encountered a study which suggested that a synchronous global rise in methane levels is one possible effect of man made global warming. The argument was that human produced greenhouse gases would generate enough warming to cause latent stores of natural methane to be released. I think this study specifically referred to the methane that would be released as a result of permafrost thawing, so I don't know if it could explain the findings of this study. It was speculated that this global rise would shift climate change into a more rapid phase.

Also, you don't have to buy that global warming is man made to see that it is a bad thing for humanity. We have a vested interest in preventing climate change whether or not we caused it.

When you think of human activity producing CO2, do you think of just the activity producing the gasses, like coal-burning power plants, old cars, etc? Or, did you also consider the massive logging and clear-cutting of plant life capable of absorbing CO2? Download Google Earth and take a close look at the Amazon Rain Forest, then take a close look at Canada.

Wow, amazing how many jump on this as proof that global warming has nothing to do with our CO2 emissions.

"Findings like these tell us it's too early to know for
sure if man's impact is affecting things at 'alarming
rates.'"

The study clearly states that they are unsure if we are affecting things at an 'alarming rate', not that we aren't affecting it at all.

- We know for certain that CO2 is a green house gas that traps heat in the planets atmosphere.
- We know for certain that burning fossil fuels releases larger amounts of CO2.
- We know for certain through samples of arctic ice that are thousands of years old that the current CO2 levels are at historically high levels.

Yes there are other green house gases and yes there are other sources of those gases than man. However, just because we are not the only source of the green house gases does not mean that we are not causing a problem by adding more to the existing natural processes. Similarly, just because the earth goes through natural heating and cooling cycles does not negate the possibility that we may be impacting those natural cycles in a negative way by our activities.

Denying the possibility is like hiding your head in the sand and if everyone waits until there is absolute proof to do something it will be too late.

What are the solutions? Vehicles that get better mileage, renewable energy sources, greater efficiencies to reduce waste, locally grown produce and manufactured goods, etc. Why wouldn't you want these things? You reduce our CO2 emissions and you also reduce our particulate emissions and make our air healthier to breath. Renewable energy would help control energy costs, create jobs and would stop shipping huge sums of money to the middle east. Reduced waste means less landfills and less pollution. Locally grown produce and manufactured goods mean more local jobs and less trucks on the highway. I can't think of any measures to reduce CO2 that wouldn't have very positive spin-off benefits.

So really now, why are you against it?

So retro. I can't believe that this story is *still* being incorrectly peddled as some sort of refutation of AGW. But then again, we're dealing with hyper-partisans who don't approach the issue with even a modicum of rational thought.

This isn't 'skepticism'. This is rehashing a flawed analysis with flawed ideas about climatology and misconceptions about recent climate data.

PLEASE READ....I'm a seventeen year old and I have recently studied this. Firstly the title of this is completely misleading this doesn't disprove anything about the human involvement in global warming. Firstly the world wide increase in methane is actualy caused by an increase in temperature. So this artical is correct in stating that the global increase in methane is not DIRECTLY caused by humans. If humans have been causing global warming thus far then the increase in methane is an indirect cause of humans. The cause of this increase is something called Methane hydrates. Methane hydrates are clusters of ice that have traped methane gas. These hydrates are found at the bottom of oceans and in permafrost. And for those Hal have seen the news alot of the permafrost in Russia has been melting. Furthermore ocean temperatures have been rissing, realeseling more amounts of methane. Since methane is much more effective at traping heat than almost any other green house gas, it has caused a positive feedback system. As temperatures increase methane is realsed cause temperatures to increase therefore releasing even more methane. Just google methane hydrates. There all over the world and contain an unbelievable amount of methane. This is accuring ALL OVER the world from the artic to the santa Barbara Chanel in ca. So while I actualy support the findings in the artical I completely disagree with the title firsty because it is irrelevant and in no way is correct. Franckly I find it funny that anyone who has every taken an enviromental science class would know this. So wether or not we have been causing global warming the increase in methane is caused by warmer temperatures. Soooooooo......all you ignorent people out there please just stfu, thanks.

CO2 levels ALWAYS lag temperature increases. That's well established. Some of these comments are just whacky.

If you want to be taxed to death in a money for nothing scam, today's your lucky day. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D992F2QO0&show_article=1

Whether we freeze or burn to death doesn't matter as we'll run out of water long before that. These politicians could care less about the environment. This is about controling your life and that of your families. Micromanaging it in fact.

Global warming is part of a natural process, yes, but dumping toxic crud into the ocean & the sky, deforestation, killing off unique life forms in the rain forests take this natural process & put into OVERDRIVE.

Politicizing it & calling it a " Liberal issue " only makes things worse & divides us when we should unite in trying to control the beast & take steps so our environment won't be nearly destroyed.

Wow, you deniers just cannot seem to stop spewing the same 4 talking points in any conversation of your whackery, can you? Cowfarts! Cold at my house! 150 years! Algore!!

You could sit in a burning house and convince yourself you were enjoying a day at the beach, couldn't you?

but, but, we couldn't afford to fix it so it must not be happening! I mean, but, broken hockey stick! ALGORE!!!

Get a life...

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