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Earth NASA Science

Doubling of CO2 Not So Tragic After All? 747

carvalhao writes "The Register reports on a study from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that claims that new climate models that account for the effects of increased CO2 levels on plant growth result on a 1.64 C increase for a doubling of CO2 concentrations, a far less gloomy scenario than previously considered."
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Doubling of CO2 Not So Tragic After All?

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  • Error Bars (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) * on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:17AM (#34497282) Journal
    1.64DegC is still within the error bars for climate sensitivity that have not significantly changed since the 1970's; ie: 3.0DegC +/- 1.5 degC for a doubling of CO2.

    The abstract itself claims: "By accelerating the water cycle, this feedback slows but does not alleviate the projected warming, reducing the land surface warming by 0.6C. Compared to previous studies, these results imply that long term negative feedback from CO2 induced increases in vegetation density could reduce temperature following a stabilization of CO2 concentration." [My emphasis] - In other words nature will suck up our excess if we stop pumping into the atmosphere faster than she can cope with it, which has been the assumption for many years.

    Disclaimer: I'm not rubbishing the study I think it's a valuable in the effort to reduce the above mentioned error bars. However despite the inference of the summary it does not change the risk assesment one iota.
  • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sir1real ( 1636849 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:46AM (#34497430)
    There's nothing wrong with ideology. Skepticism is an ideology. Without ideology we wouldn't have the scientific method.
  • Mars & Venus (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Das Auge ( 597142 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:30AM (#34497694)
    Of course the sun has nothing to do with the warming of Earth. I mean, if it did, you'd expect other planets, such as Mars and Venus, to be warming up as well [].
  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@ g m a> on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:36AM (#34497724) Homepage

    Models are garbage, even hindcasted.

    Peer reviewed study here: []

    End of story. We should not be making any decisions based on faulty models, and all of the models in use can't even accurately predict the weather that's happened in the past, with verifiable data.

  • Re:Hopefully (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RoFLKOPTr ( 1294290 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @03:00AM (#34497826)

    It's happening all right, but I still have my doubts if it is happening due to man or if it's part of some unknown cycle of Earth which is too complicated for us to grasp yet.

    It's not an unknown cycle of Earth which is too complicated for us to grasp. We HAVE grasped it. It's just that Al Gore and friends and politicians who like to hop on the green bandwagon and people who think being "green" is going to stop global warming refuse to believe it.

    Now, that's not to say that being "green" (whatever the fuck that means) is a bad thing. There's plenty of other things that can be stopped by producing less emissions, including lowering the amount of smog in the air and indirectly reducing our dependance on foreign energy sources (because god forbid we drill for oil off OUR coast). Global warming just isn't one of them, and this apocalypse that's going to happen in 10 years if we don't drastically alter our energy habits... simply won't.

  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @03:12AM (#34497874) Homepage Journal
    Wait a second, global warming scientists have been saying that manmade global warming will result in less snowfall []. This from the prestigious Climate Research Unit, no less.

    "Within a few years winter snowfall will become a very rare and exciting event"

    "Children just aren't going to know what snow is"

    more snow = global warming
    less snow = also more global warming?

  • by turkeyfish ( 950384 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:54AM (#34498302)

    Well if you think a little about life in the oceans, you will quickly recognize that most of them produce skeletons of some kind, most based on calcium salts. Skeletal formation and for many reproduction will not occur if the pH drops even a fraction of one pH unit (pH is a logarithmic scale). If you have ever enjoyed shirmp, crabs, shellfish, or fish, most of which feed on such organisms, not to mention need to produce their own calcium-phosphate salt, you can begin to understand why this needs to be a very serious concern. According to some estimates it would require about 22 times the land mass off all human agriculture should we loose the oceans as protein source, not to mention the many calcareous algae that we tend to take for granted when we breath. When one recognizes that we won't have 22 times the land mass for that purpose, but are actually losing arable land because of drought or unpredictable weather and flooding, it becomes more of a concern.

    Organisms won't adpat to conditions that fall outside their tolerance limits. Either they find a place to go or they go extinct.

    If you think about it just a little bit, you can begin to get an idea of just how bad even a slight lowering of pH is going to be. The crash of sea-life in the Permian, during which about 95% of all organisms went extinct might give the prudent time to pause and reflect on exactly how large a calamity this will be. The only real good news, is that humans, likely the source of the problem, will be among the first to go because we are so incredibly dependent upon other simpler life forms to keep the world a habitable place for all 6.5 billion of us.

  • Re:Hopefully (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kijori ( 897770 ) <ward,jake&gmail,com> on Thursday December 09, 2010 @05:59AM (#34498572)

    correlation does not imply causation, it implies connection.

    The first part of this is true - but it's important to bear in mind that the use of "imply" in this statement is not the same as the colloquial use. Imply here means "prove" - correlation does not prove causation. A suggestion for a more accurate way of phrasing the statement that avoids confusion is "correlation does not imply causation, but it is a hint".
    I point this out because the second part of your statement isn't true unless you're taking the colloquial meaning of "imply", since it is not true that correlation always means there is connection - coincidence is also a possibility. Taking this meaning (that correlation suggests there is a connection) it would be true in many circumstances to say that correlation implied causation.

  • by OeLeWaPpErKe ( 412765 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @06:02AM (#34498580) Homepage

    You know, we don't actually know *what* causes ice ages (and no it's not the gulfstream) ... the long-term graphs seem to indicate pretty strongly that one is indeed coming : [] (source [])

    I mean the graph has jumped 10 degrees downward 10 times like clockwork every 100000-110000 years or so. Seems logical that it will in fact jump again, doesn't it ? Last time it jumped was about 108000 years ago. So it's pretty much bound to jump again. And I repeat, we do *not* know what causes this, and the temperature drops like a stone (weather apparently goes from normal to ice age conditions, meaning permafrost in the northern sahara, and a *very* white Christmas in southern Mexico, while Florida becomes an ice sheet, just to give an idea how extreme this is, in less than 10 years). That's 10 years, triggered by some unknown event, after which America less inhabitable than Greenland. Even the deserts of the middle east will be cold conditions, and harsh winters, at best.

    Of course the error margin on these data are like 500-1000 years, which is a lot of time. But while we don't know why or how, *something* is going to trigger an ice age, pretty soon now. But that's "pretty soon" in "very likely in the next 2000 years" ...

  • by qmaqdk ( 522323 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @06:36AM (#34498728)

    There's nothing like a climate debate to revamp people's passion for scientific scepticism. Oddly it doesn't seem to happen with other topics. Let's recap:

    Burnhard (1031106) calls ocean acidification a "ridiculous Green bandwagon" and lumps it in with other "idiotic claims" []. Modded interesting.

    Rockoon (1252108) states that "All of those previous models are crap, but so too is this one most likely crap." []. Modded insightful.

    Mashiki (184564) lets us know that "Models are garbage, even hindcasted." []. Modded interesting.

    Let me add further scepticism: Unless you cite a paper that you published in a peer-reviewed journal to back up your claim, you don't get to dismiss models that have been accepted in peer-reviewed journals.

  • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linuxrocks123 ( 905424 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @07:30AM (#34498972) Homepage Journal

    On what basis do you claim temporal ordering? [] shows that the temperature fluctuations PRECEDED the CO_2 fluctuations.

    Note: I'm seriously asking. No need to personally attack me or anything; I'm not personally attacking you. I'm assuming you have some piece of evidence other than the ice core data on which you're basing your claim of temporal ordering, and I'm just asking you what that is.

    Have a nice day,

  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @09:00AM (#34499408)

    I stand by those claims. If you're not aware of what's happening on your planet, I'm not the one that needs to dig out a newspaper.

    Uh huh. Citation please. Last I checked, newspapers were a poor source of information on such things. I blame global warming for that.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"