Feeds

back to article 10m years ago there was less CO2 - but the Earth was WARMER

Scientists are puzzled today by the discovery that millions of years ago levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were lower - and yet, temperatures were higher than today's. The revelations come in a new paper just published by hefty boffinry mag Nature, in which geoscientists probed the temperatures experienced by the Earth …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge
FAIL

Here's an idea, if there was no ice then sea levels were a lot higher.

Therefore a lot of land was covered with shallow seas

Therefore a much greater surface area would along with a lack of things like the gulf stream which is powered by cold water from the Arctic would leave the water not mixing with the colder stuff at the poles.

This would surely mean higher surface temperatures......

To claim the link to carbon is 'decoupled' is just bad science as the article only shows one group of surface dwelling creatures and not anything about how cold or warm the lower levels of the seas were.

Looks like just another attempt to link to a paper which has more questions than answers as a means of dismissing global warming......

27
10
Meh

Yeah, it's a genius approach Lewis has adopted, isn't it? Link to a paper that's behind a paywall, misrepresent it and claim that it backs your assertions, wave big stick at all current theories regarding possible links between human industrial activity and temperature fluctuations.

It's the factual veracity equivalent of that old chestnut about sincerity - facts are the key. Once you can ignore (or misrepresent those) you've got it made...

25
15
Bronze badge

Can't read the paper but...

The stuff I've read elsewhere says that the paper cannot explain *why* temps were higher than they should have been given the atmospheric CO2 levels. They make the assumption that, in some way, the climate was decoupled from CO2 levels then, but isn't now and that ocean currents were different. Good theories, but at the moment, that's all they are.

Having been told for decades that CO2 was the *only* significant driver of increased global temperatures, it's still surprising that a paper can suggest that there may have been other mechanisms at work maintaining planetary temperatures.

The point being that, if CO2 wasn't the be-all and end-all then, it may not be-all and end-all now, and it may be that ocean currents, land use changes, pollution may all be much more significant that currently credited, and the climate sensitivity may be lower than the IPCC have so far accepted.

Just so it's clear I don't have problem with CO2 being a ghg and a doubling giving a theoretical ~1c rise in temps. It's the feedbacks and other forcings that are key to all of this, and they are what is in dispute.

11
1
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Can't read the paper but...

"Having been told for decades that CO2 was the *only* significant driver of increased global temperatures"

You should stop getting your science off the TV and Wikipedia, then. I was taught that CO2 is important, along with Milankovitch cycles, continental configurations (particularly at the poles), volcanic activity, and sea depth distribution. But, hey, that was only 30 years ago so it's probably not got much further than Horizon in terms of Pop Sci.

14
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't read the paper but...

agreed, this whole notion that we know everything to do with climate change is just utter BS.

we don't know everything, far from it, and there is so much that effects the climate that to even try to suggest that it is as simple as one thing is farcical. But hay, I guess this is where media distributed dumbed down science for the masses and political justification comes in to it.

6
1

This post has been deleted by its author

This post has been deleted by its author

WTF?

Yea right

You wave a big stick, and make a lot of noise, but I cant see any evidence within the article of Lewis doing this.

This is the whole problem when politics meets science - the blinkers come out, and the shouting gets in the way of the science. It is often the people making the most noise that have the most entrenched views.

In this case, the scientists have stumped up a result that feels unusual or needs more explanation, a reporter has reported this, and even comments that the scientists themselves were surprised.

What would you have them do.. not do any research, or only publish stuff that conforms to your way of thinking? What would you have Lewis do - only report on findings that match the general consensus, your way of thinking? Or maybe, he writes a report on a paper published by a bunch of real scientists from a good uni with some interesting results?

9
2
Happy

Re: Yea right

"What would you have Lewis do - only report on findings that match the general consensus, your way of thinking?"

Unfortunately, that is exactly what a lot of the brainwashed readers here would prefer.

I genuinely don't understand that vitriol that confronts Lewis' climate articles. He is often accused of pushing an agenda. Wtf? As far as I can work out the guy is an ex RN guy turned journo with an interest in climate and nuclear power. I actually value that he posts articles providing contradictory viewpoints to the mainstream press. It provides balance to the other side of the debate pushed by people with the real agendas - politicians.

8
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Yea right

I generally prefer my news reporters to offer an unbiased opinion, report the news, and let ME form an opinion. Lewis never does that. There's a massive bias and agenda being pushed in all of his articles. Now, I actually agree with him on some issues, but I still find the way that he churns out propaganda to be nauseating.

The Reg is nominally an IT publication. Yet at least once a week we get a 'climate change is probably bollocks' article from Lewis. I've never read anything here with an opposing opinion, and IMHO the Reg is really sliding in quality, and destroying its own integrity.

8
3

Re: Yea right

Then contribute to the debate, write your own articles, get them published. Slating someone who has contributed over 2000 articles over 5 years helps no one.

3
2
Silver badge

Re: "I generally prefer my news reporters to offer an unbiased opinion"

The day you find a reporter like that, please tell me who it is !

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Yea right

I would; gladly. However, I'm unsure if...

a) El Reg accepts random submissions

b) I am qualified to comment with any authority on the subject of climate change. I would not wish to have anything incorrect in print with my name attached.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: "I generally prefer my news reporters to offer an unbiased opinion"

There are plenty around. The problem is that they don't get jobs with leading publications, because leading publications tend to push an agenda.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Can't read the paper but...

@ Robert Long 1

Perhaps you've been living in a cave for 30 years and missed the IPCC reports that clearly state that the world is warming, that the warming is *mostly* caused by anthropogenic CO2? Some people, Pielke Snr among them have been trying to get acceptance that there are other first order forcings including land use change and particulates, but it's been uphill work.

Since you mention them:

Milankovitch cycles, are tens of thousands of years long, and therefore considered to be largely irrelevant in terms of warming seen in the last 150 years?

Solar TSI is also considered to be more or less constant and therefore Sun has also been dismissed. Svensmark may have more to say though...

Vulcanism is mentioned, but only as a source of CO2, and I thought that the orthodoxy said that it was also irrelevant because rates of vulcanism are more or less constant over time so the CO2 put into the atmosphere by volcanos can't account for the recent temperature rise.

Doesn't the orthodoxy say that continental configurations have not changed significantly in the last 150 years and cannot account for recent temp rise.

TV and Wikipedia? Meh

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Yea right

While I agree with most of your post, don't acquit Lewis of not having a position which he is vigorously advances, because he does. I just happen to share his opinion that the warmist drivel is bunk and we need to keep shoving the stuff that exposes it as such in their faces until they finally admit they are the real deniers of science. Doing it with a Nature article is just that much sweeter.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: news reporters to offer an unbiased opinion,

"Unbiased opinion" not unlike the Warmist hockey stick, is a fairy tale told to children. I prefer authors be upfront about their biases, which Lewis does in spades. He wants full reporting of all the facts, even the ones that are inconvenient to those who want to destroy economies in order to reduce CO2 production by a negligible amount all in the name of saving planet Earth, better known as Gaia.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: missed the IPCC reports

Given that vulcanism actually isn't constant, that would seem to be a major source of error. Particularly given that most volcanic eruptions dump more CO2 than the combined industrial output of the last 150 years.

And as an amateur astronomer, I have real problems with that Solar TSI thingie being constant. Particularly since its variance seems to closely correspond to the sorts of variance we see in temperatures over the last 150 years.

But the biggest problem for me is the claim that when we know we only have real data for 150 years, we somehow know exactly what these x0,000 and x00,000 year cycles are.

Oh, and don't bother me with IPCC reports that quote activists with no science backgrounds as authoritative scientists.

0
0
Silver badge

It's the geology stupid

A few other trifflingl little events did happen in the Miocene.

Antarctica separated, Africa and Europe met up, the Indian ocean stopped flowing into the Med the Andes and Rockies formed. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/tertiary/mio/miotect.html

On the other hand it was before the iPhone - so evidence that iOS causes global cooling and so long as we stay away from Android and buy American we are safe.

12
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Carbon dioxide levels as such is not the problem. As any ful no, carbon dioxide induced by mankind is the evil thing and producing global warming!

Sorry, just trolling...

5
1

What's "significantly" lower ?

If you listen to those who speak either for or against global warming, "significantly" can mean as little as a tenth of a degree, buried under daily fluctuations of more 5 degrees or more and averaged over only exactly as many years as fits their preconceived ideas of whether they are trying to prove temperatures should be rising or falling.

With science like this, its not surprising that people think most talk about global warming is just a lot of hot air.

4
0
Happy

Re: What's "significantly" lower ?

Your last state is correct and it is where global warming started (that is man made global warming). If the hot air stops the earth may return to the freezer again.

0
0

When did the Reg become one undereducated, science-oblivious redneck's personal ranty soapbox?

19
17
Silver badge
Coat

And when did El Reg's comment section become the personal rant soapbox for Page-haters? Oh, hang on, I'm gone...

7
3
Bronze badge

It isn't a solo effort.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Hieronymus Howerd

"When did the Reg become one undereducated, science-oblivious redneck's personal ranty soapbox?" I was going to say about the time you posted, but then that would just be insulting to rednecks.

7
4
Anonymous Coward

Indeed why is a ex-navy employee the editor of a technology website - they are not know for their education, intellect or intelligence, after all.

6
7
Silver badge
Trollface

Well your profile says

you started on Wednesday 16th May 2012 08:40 GMT.

2
1
Silver badge
FAIL

However-

Their spelling is better than yours...

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Intelligent life spotted?

based on most of the responses, including yours, I'm comfortable that the Navy employs articulate, communicating Homo Sapiens, rather than blubbering irrelevantists

2
0
Gold badge

" they are not know for their education, intellect or intelligence, after all."

Are they not? I think you'll find that the armed forces have a considerable number of engineers in their ranks. When the shooting starts, you don't want to be sending out for consultants. You want relevant graduates in uniform on the front line.

I suspect that Lewis' educational background is a match for most of his readership. It probably wouldn't pass muster at a climatologists' conference, but that's not actually the issue here. This paper has got past the referees of Nature and I strongly suspect that they would pass muster.

2
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: personal rant soapbox for Page-haters?

About 3 minutes after his first article went up. Because yes, when you know how to hit pretenders hard in the intellectual solar plexus, that's how they react. And yes, Lewis is that good at it. Go Lewis!

0
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

why decoupled?

If you have multiple possible causes for warming, if you find that at some point source A wasn't the cause, why rule out it ever caused it? Tssss. Journalists != scientists, that's for sure...

5
2

Yawn.

Paywall, misrepresenting information, outright lying. Register has become a Right wing political blog.

9
19

@Jeebus.

[CITATION NEEDED]

Proof please, or fuck off.

0
1
Stop

ElReg

I understand from comments in the past that Lewis is editor these days, but who actually owns El Reg? Who pays the wages and online costs?

This "IT Blog" really seems to have gone tits up recently.

4
7

Re: ElReg

I'd also like to know who contributed to the site, or bought outright lately, this is a new happening on El Reg. Orlowski and Page are being paid to shill an agenda, a considerably right of centre agenda and clearly willfully biased.

There's no presenting the other side, just selective deletion of anything that proves they are both liars and funded shills.

Who owns this site?

6
14
Gold badge

Re: selective deletion of anything that proves they are both liars and funded shills

Of course, you realise that this little hypothesis of yours is by its very design impossible to back up with evidence. Convenient, that.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: ElReg

@Jeebus:So, if as you state Orlowski and Page are paid shills, what about the rest of the Reg staff and contributors? I would have expected probabilistically that in a group of such size you would expect there to be some people that held differing views, perhaps even vehemently so. That you do not agree with them is neither here nor there.

I, for one, am glad to see articles demonstrating the alternative side of the climate "debate" as just about every other organisation only puts the politically charged, tax-backed, subsidise my renewables company side of the argument.

In my opinion, and it is only my opinion, the climate change brigade would get a lot more people on side if they said "we need to build nuclear stations in the short term and plan for the longer term" rather than wanting power bills to triple overnight (pushing the poor into outright energy poverty), subsidies to be paid to support renewable sources that just don't work here (wind, I'm looking at you) and low and behold some of the biggest campaigners are on the board of company XYZ that stands to benefit. Modern society has corrupted itself beyond belief to the point where it is like watching some clichéd TV show.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

This

Is like an un-godly mix of The Sun and the Daily Mail nowadays, although I suspect this is what they're going for....

7
9
Flame

One also has to take into consideration global dimming. The more pollutants in the atmosphere, the less solar gain the earth has. Thus the more populated (and assumed most polluted) regions of the world might find that, with the more particles released into the atmosphere, the more sunlight is reflected back into space, in turn cooling said areas. An excellent example of this is the Little Ice Age (1300's-1800's) that followed the period of extreme global warming known, coincidentally, as the Medieval Warming Period.

An article of interest- http://discovermagazine.com/2002/sep/cover/

2
0
Headmaster

At least they have some ideas...

From someone called a boffin but not in this field (thankfully!), the abstract - not behind the paywall - says:

"We also present new stable isotope measurements from the western equatorial Pacific that, in conjunction with previously published data5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, reveal a long-term trend of thermocline shoaling in the equatorial Pacific since ~13 Myr ago. We propose that a relatively deep global thermocline, reductions in low-latitude gradients in sea surface temperature, and cloud and water vapour feedbacks may help to explain the warmth of the late Miocene. Additional shoaling of the thermocline after 5 Myr ago probably explains the stronger coupling between pco2, sea surface temperatures and climate that is characteristic of the more recent Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs"

Seriously folks, this is how science works - you observe something unexpected, you come up with ideas to explain it, then test those ideas in the future.

Just like trying to understand why Venus is so much hotter than it should be...hey, what's all that CO2 doing there?

Couldn't find a picture of my old physics teacher here, so Prof. McGubbins will have to do.

6
0

It makes me laugh...

...when I read the posts calling for Lewis' head. The commentards who do this display such a stunning, blinkered, faith-based belief in their world view that it would make a southern Evangelical Christian blush. I know the climate is changing, I know the climate has always been changing. I SUSPECT that mankind may be contributing somewhat to these changes, but I don't KNOW that for certain, and neither do YOU. The real "climate deniers" are people who absolutely refuse to believe that we may not have all the answers or believe that we should simply stop asking questions. This type of single minded "groupthink" merely demonstrates how utterly close-minded they are.

20
3

Re: It makes me laugh...

You seem to be equating those who question Lewis with those who believe utterly that AGW is taking place. Well that maybe the case for some. However, I cannot make huge generalising statements as you are as I personally don't know anyone who comments on here. I do however think that one person hijacking a IT blog to blindly push their own agenda isn't necessarily a good thing. This occurrence is a quite recent one and one you seem to relish. You are welcome to voice you views on the comments section as am I but I think that tone of the blog has changed recently. All media tends to reflect the views of its editor and it shows maturity when an editor publishes views opposite to their own, or avoids the use of their power to further their own ends. Unfortunately we do not get this here, so it tends to rile the commentators enough SO they GET all SHOUTY.

There are plenty of sources on the web for this type of posting and vociferous arguments abound on most of them. I personally would rather not see El Reg hijacked one way or another, I like it as an IT Blog, although, sadly, I seem to be in a minority.

I am not asking for Lewis' head, I do not want him sacked, moved on, rolled over by a steam roller, pushed out of a window or even smacked with a wooden ruler (OK maybe the last one).

8
0
tgm

Re: It makes me laugh...

@Slartbardfast - I'm with you.

I used to think Orlowski was bad, but at least he can actually write good articles, even if I don't completely agree with his slant on them.

3
0
Silver badge

Pedant

The Miocene is not a period, it is an epoch ranging from 23.4 Mya to 5.3 Mya, it's divided into six stages (or ages). The Miocene and the Pliocene together form the Neogene period.

The Miocene is a bit of a bugger climatologically, generally the early part of the epoch sees a cooling as the Antarctic ice sheet established in the Eocene grew and the establishment of the circumpolar current in the Antarctic Ocean, but at the same time the proto-Mediterranean dried out entirely as the Alps rose which caused temperatures across Eurasia to rise. The later Miocene is generally warmer than the present climate.

Work done in 2011 in Bremerhaven suggests the warming climate in the late Miocene can be put down to changes in vegetation patterns across the world causing a slight darkening of the planet.

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL048873.shtml

5
0
Anonymous Coward

I'm beginning to think Lewis may be investigating something other than climate change per se

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Like perhaps how much he can get away with or how many comments he can troll?

3
0
Boffin

It takes a long time to heat the oceans

Was discussing this issue on SlashDot, checked my math, added references. The thermal mass of the oceans is enormous -- ballpark, if you took a quantity of energy equal to one year of 100% of the solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere, and dumped it into the oceans, they would warm up by a little more than 1 degree C. (Takes 1.8 years of 100% to melt icecaps; icecaps dumped into ocean and just melted would cool it by 2 C.)

We're not at equilibrium, won't be for a long time. You'd think that this was be obvious to technically-inclined journalists.

http://dr2chase.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/numbers-that-were-larger-than-i-had-imagined/

2
0

This is an anomaly

A statistical blip, if you will, It doesn't change the fact that you are responsible for global warming the and only way to reverse it is for you to go back to living in a well-insulated cave,

Move along.

6
2

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.