Global warming dirt-carbon peril models are wrong, say boffins
Greenhouse experiments show reduced greenhouse effect
The world may not be doomed after all, according to top American dirt scientists. Soil-dwelling microbes, expected in climate models to go into CO2-spewing "overdrive" as the world warms, refused to do so in experiments.
This is how you create a greenhouse effect.
According to a statement released this week by the US National Science Foundation, which funded the research:
Conventional scientific wisdom holds that even a few degrees of human-caused climate warming will shift fungi and bacteria that consume soil-based carbon into overdrive, and that their growth will accelerate the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
This conventional wisdom now appears to be wrong, as research conducted by University of California ecologist Steve Allison have shown that in fact the carbon-eating microbes' planet-busting activities are reduced, not increased, by warmth.
Allison developed a new climate model based on experimental results showing what happened in soils which had been warmed up artificially in greenhouses over a period of several years. There is an initial increase in microbial emissions, which has been the basis for existing models, but after a while the microbes "overheat" and their numbers - and CO2 output - plunge.
"When we developed a model based on the actual biology of soil microbes, we found that soil carbon may not be lost to the atmosphere as the climate warms," Allison says. "Conventional ecosystem models that didn't include enzymes did not make the same predictions."
The flow of carbon in and out of the Earth's soils is thought to be one of the biggest factors in the amount of greenhouse effect experienced by the planet, so the new results could have a major effect on climate forecasts and related government policies. Allison cautions that more research is needed, but seems confident that the microbe menace is not as severe as had been thought.
"We need to develop more models to include microbe diversity," he says. "But the general principle that's important in our model is the decline of carbon dioxide production after an initial increase."
Allison and his colleagues' research appears online this week in Nature Geoscience. ®
In all the forecasts I've read, 'just a few degrees' (assuming we're talking celsius here) of human caused warming is the _problem_, not the trigger for the problem. Any further warming caused by carbon being released from soil after that initial few degrees warming is more in the 'icing on the cake' column. 'Just a few degrees' of human-caused warming is liable to produce enough problems all on its own...
So where's the big conspiracy then?
Here you go. US Government funded research and the results for this one particular experiment show results that show one particular aspect of climate change isn't as bad as was feared.
Is it covered up? Are the scientists being condemned by global warming jihadists? No. It's science. They did research and published the results. I'm sure they're not in fear of their jobs for publishing this and I'm sure there wasn't political pressure to make their results fit in better with the big picture.
Perhaps you shouldn't just assume there's a huge conspiracy of climate change people wanting to hide the evidence that it's all a load of crap. Maybe, just maybe, the 90+% of scientists who think we should be worried about it are actually right.
Jolyon (waiting for those thumbs-downs from the clarksontards)
There's alwas the possibility....
While we humans are very good at trying our damdest to bugger-up the ecology of this planet, whether it be poisoning the sees (not that it matters any more because we've dragged out and and/or killed anything and everything that actually lived in there), raping the rain forests, over-farming fragile local ecologies and turning them to desert, throwing toxic waste all over the place, and pouring oil into the sea, etc etc, it might just be that the planet is actually more robust when it comes to the climate. Could it be that if it wasn't, then we probably wouldn't be here in the first place?
Oh, hang on - where's the tax revenue opportunities with that way of thinking?