Arctic climate may be more sensitive to warming than thought, says new study

Jun 29, 2010
From left to right, Ashley Ballantyne of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Dara Finney of Environment Canada and Natalia Rybczynski of the Canadian Museum of Nature search for fossils in a peat deposit at Strathcona Fiord on Ellesmere Island in Canada's High Arctic. Credit: Photo courtesy Dara Finney, Environment Canada.

A new study shows the Arctic climate system may be more sensitive to greenhouse warming than previously thought, and that current levels of Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide may be high enough to bring about significant, irreversible shifts in Arctic ecosystems.

Led by the University of Colorado at Boulder, the international study indicated that while the mean on Ellesmere Island in the High during the Pliocene Epoch 2.6 to 5.3 million years ago was about 34 degrees Fahrenheit, or 19 degrees Celsius, warmer than today, CO2 levels were only slightly higher than present. The vast majority of climate scientists agree Earth is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping atmospheric gases generated primarily by human activities like fossil fuel burning and deforestation.

The team used three independent methods of measuring the Pliocene temperatures on Ellesmere Island in Canada's High Arctic. They included measurements of oxygen isotopes found in the cellulose of fossil trees and mosses that reveal temperatures and precipitation levels tied to ancient water, an analysis of the distribution of lipids in soil bacteria which correlate with temperature, and an inventory of ancient Pliocene plant groups that overlap in range with contemporary vegetation.

"Our findings indicate that CO2 levels of approximately 400 parts per million are sufficient to produce mean annual temperatures in the High Arctic of approximately 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees F)," Ballantyne said. "As temperatures approach 0 degrees Celsius, it becomes exceedingly difficult to maintain permanent sea and in the Arctic. Thus current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere of approximately 390 parts per million may be approaching a tipping point for irreversible ice-free conditions in the Arctic."

A paper on the subject is being published in the July issue of the journal Geology. Co-authors included David Greenwood of Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada, Jaap Sinninghe Damste of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Adam Csank of the University of Arizona, Natalia Rybczynski of the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa and Jaelyn Eberle, curator of fossil vertebrates at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History and an associate professor in the geological sciences department.

Arctic temperatures have risen by about 1.8 degrees F, or 1 degree C, in the past two decades in response to anthropogenic greenhouse warming, a trend expected to continue in the coming decades and centuries, said Ballantyne. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have risen from about 280 parts per million during the pre-industrial era on Earth to about 390 parts per million today.

During the Pliocene, Ellesmere Island hosted forests of larch, dwarf birch and northern white cedar trees, as well as mosses and herbs, including cinquefoils. The island also was home to fish, frogs and now extinct mammals that included tiny deer, ancient relatives of the black bear, three-toed horses, small beavers, rabbits, badgers and shrews. Because of the high latitude, the Ellesmere Island site on the Strathcona Fiord was shrouded by darkness six months out of the year, said Rybczynski.

Fossils are often preserved in a process known as permineralization, in which mineral deposits form internal casts of organisms. But at the Ellesmere Island site known as the "Beaver Pond site," organic materials -- including trees, plants and mosses -- have been "mummified" in peat deposits, allowing the researchers to conduct detailed, high-quality analyses, said Eberle.

This is an artist's rendering of the Beaver Pond site on Ellesmere Island, in Canada's High Arctic, as it may have looked about 3 to 5 million years ago. Credit: George

Ballantyne said the high level of preservation of trees and mosses at Ellesmere Island allowed the team to measure the ratio of oxygen isotopes in plant cellulose, providing information on water absorbed from precipitation during the Pliocene and which yielded estimates of past surface temperatures. The team also compared data on the width of tree rings in larch trees at the Beaver Pond site to trees at lower latitudes today to help them estimate past temperatures and precipitation levels.

The researchers also analyzed the distribution of ancient membrane lipids from known as tetraethers, which correlate to temperature. The chemical structure of the fossilized tetraethers makes them highly sensitive to both temperature and acidity, or pH, said Ballantyne.

The last line of evidence put forward by the CU-Boulder-led team was a comparison of Pliocene ancient vegetation at the site with vegetation present today, providing a clear "climate window" showing the overlap of the two time periods. "The results of the three independent temperature proxies are remarkably consistent," said Eberle. "We essentially were able to 'read' the vegetation in order to estimate air temperatures in the Pliocene."

Today, Ellesmere Island is a polar desert that features tundra, permafrost, ice sheets, sparse vegetation and a few small mammals. Temperatures range from roughly minus 37 degrees F, or minus 38 degrees C, in winter to 48 degrees F, or 9 degrees C, in summer. The region is one of the coldest, driest environments on Earth.

"Our findings are somewhat disconcerting regarding the temperatures and levels during the Pliocene," said Eberle. "We already are seeing evidence of both mammals and birds moving northward as the climate warms, and I can't help but wonder if the Arctic is headed toward conditions similar to those that existed during the Pliocene."

Elevated Arctic temperatures during the Pliocene -- which occurred shortly before Earth plunged into an ice age about 2.5 million years ago -- are thought to have been driven by the transfer of heat to the polar regions and perhaps by decreased reflectivity of sunlight hitting the Arctic due to a lack of ice, said Ballantyne. One big question is why the Arctic was so sensitive to warming during this period, he said.

Multiple feedback mechanisms have been proposed to explain the amplification of Arctic temperatures, including the reflectivity strength of the sun on Arctic ice and changes in vegetation seasonal cloud cover, said Ballantyne. "I suspect that it is the interactions between these different feedback mechanisms that ultimately produce the warming temperatures in the Arctic."

In 2009, CU-Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center showed the September Arctic sea ice extent was 649,000 square miles, or 1,680,902 square kilometers, below the 1979-2000 average, and is declining at a rate of 11.2 percent per decade. Some climate change experts are forecasting that the Arctic summers will become ice-free summers within a decade or two.

In addition to its exceptional preservation of fossil wood, plants, insects and mollusks, the Beaver Pond site on Ellesmere Island is the only reported Pliocene fossil site in the High Arctic to yield vertebrate remains, said Rybczynski.

Eberle said there is high concern by scientists over a proposal to mine coal on Ellesmere Island near the Beaver Pond site by WestStar Resources Inc. headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. "Paleontological sites like the Beaver Pond site are unique and extremely valuable resources that are of international importance," said Eberle. "Our concern is that coal mining activities could damage such sites and they will be lost forever."

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Modernmystic
2.5 / 5 (18) Jun 29, 2010
"Thus current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere of approximately 390 parts per million may be approaching a tipping point for irreversible ice-free conditions in the Arctic"

I'd like to know what this idiot's definition of irreversible is...
joefarah
2.6 / 5 (18) Jun 29, 2010
"The vast majority of climate scientists agree Earth is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping atmospheric gases generated primarily by human activities like fossil fuel burning and deforestation."
Wrong.
Parsec
3.3 / 5 (14) Jun 29, 2010
"Thus current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere of approximately 390 parts per million may be approaching a tipping point for irreversible ice-free conditions in the Arctic"

I'd like to know what this idiot's definition of irreversible is...

Well... just a guess, but I suspect that any good dictionary would give you the answer. Irreversible in this case represents a state change. To move back would require CO2 levels MUCH lower than todays. While your dictionary is open, check out the definition of 'tipping point'.
Parsec
3.6 / 5 (17) Jun 29, 2010
"The vast majority of climate scientists agree Earth is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping atmospheric gases generated primarily by human activities like fossil fuel burning and deforestation."
Wrong.


Are you a scientist? I know that there are a few that believe that global warming doesn't exist, but they get fewer every day. There are scientists that believe in creationism too... but most don't.
Ronan
3.4 / 5 (10) Jun 29, 2010
Um...Joefarah? There are more than seven or so climate scientists on Earth, so "everyone who isn't John Christy, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, or Fred Singer" does, in fact, qualify as a vast majority.

But that aside...very interesting, and quite worrisome, as well. One thing strikes me, though; these temperatures are measured over the period during which North and South America finally joined together, cutting off the Atlantic from the Pacific. I know that even five million years ago, the gap between the two continents wasn't exactly very large, so I'd be surprised if there was much of a current through the passage--but if there was, its presence might've had some effect on global climate, and perhaps enough to explain some of the high temperatures around Ellesmere island. It'd be very interesting to try to put together a similar record for other northerly islands, and see if the same temperatures existed there, as well.
TegiriNenashi
3.2 / 5 (11) Jun 29, 2010
They predicted that @400 ppm the high arctic would warm up 19 degrees Celsius? Not a smart move. This CO2 concentration level would be reached in less than ten years then, they would find themselves subject of ridicule.
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (8) Jun 29, 2010
"Thus current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere of approximately 390 parts per million may be approaching a tipping point for irreversible ice-free conditions in the Arctic"

I'd like to know what this idiot's definition of irreversible is...

Well... just a guess, but I suspect that any good dictionary would give you the answer. Irreversible in this case represents a state change. To move back would require CO2 levels MUCH lower than todays. While your dictionary is open, check out the definition of 'tipping point'.


http://www.merria...versible

Fail.

He might fail as a scientist, but he'd be a hell of a used car salesman...or perhaps a game show host.
GSwift7
2.3 / 5 (8) Jun 29, 2010
@ Ronan:

"Ellesmere Island is the only reported Pliocene fossil site in the High Arctic to yield vertebrate remains"

This site is not typical.
GSwift7
2.8 / 5 (13) Jun 29, 2010
Another example of climate whackos cherry-picking data and using unforgiveably small data sets to make excessively broad claims. You can't sample one unique site and use questionable methods to estimate historical temperatures and then start making predictive inferences relating to conditions present today. That's just stupid. Sounds to me like they are more interested in stopping the coal mine than anything else. This smells like a manuever to influence the government in regard to the mining.
TehDog
3 / 5 (2) Jun 29, 2010
@ Ronan:

"Ellesmere Island is the only reported Pliocene fossil site in the High Arctic to yield vertebrate remains"
This site is not typical.


Well, that's what he's saying...
Let me fix that quote for you...

In addition to its exceptional preservation of fossil wood, plants, insects and mollusks, the Beaver Pond site on Ellesmere Island is the only reported Pliocene fossil site in the High Arctic to yield vertebrate remains, said Rybczynski.
ubavontuba
2.5 / 5 (11) Jun 30, 2010
Actually, this could be a good thing.

Poles warming, plus more rain... Voila! More farmland!
2600merc
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 30, 2010
How did the planet recover after the dinosaur where wiped out by a comet? Could the melting ice caps have to do with the increase in sun spots?

I have not seen a report that looks at everything in a big picture.
Loodt
2.7 / 5 (12) Jun 30, 2010
Most astro-physicists believe that the sun plays a major role in the climate we experience here on Gaia. But then, they are classical trained, unlike the modern crop of pseudo scientists in the climate change aka give me a grant dissipline.

This site is not typical, it is an outlier, and should be rejected.

See dictionary for outlier.
Zarky
2.7 / 5 (7) Jun 30, 2010
>> Elevated Arctic temperatures during the Pliocene -- which occurred shortly before Earth plunged into an ice age about 2.5 million years ago >>

yes, that is what happens but it is not due to CO2
it is due to over hot oceans putting a floor under minimum day temperatures

The over hot ocean is due to the ubiquitous petroleum oil present in the surface marine micro-layer. This oil reduces water evaporation and thus heats the oceans.

The released fresh water from ice melt and the over-hot ocean will precipitate an Ice Age.
see
http://www.omegaf...amp;t=46
GSwift7
2.6 / 5 (10) Jun 30, 2010
@ Loodt:

I couldn't have said it better myself. I still say that the real point of the story is the coal mine though. They are trying to say that peat deposits should be protected. Oh, and it just happens that peat and coal are geologically related, since peat can turn into coal. It's common to find peat and coal nearby one another. So, by saying that the peat should be protected and setting a precedent for this, they can block a lot of future coal mining. There's an agenda here, or else they wouldn't have mentioned the mine in this "scientific" (read non-scientific) article.

About 90% of the climate articles on this site are politically motivated with some agenda other than science. My BS detector goes nuts every time I read one of these.
lengould100
2.3 / 5 (6) Jun 30, 2010
Fun to watch the same few deniers getting more and more hysterical (and hysterically funny!)
furlong64
2.4 / 5 (7) Jun 30, 2010
Deniers are inadvertently hilarious, and a showcase for logical fallacies! Great fun indeed~
GSwift7
1 / 5 (2) Jun 30, 2010
@ Ronan again:

Your point about the connection of north and south america is a valid one, and upon looking it up, seems to be a well-known and well-established fact. I wonder why the supposed experts who wrote this article failed to mention shuch an obvious factor which would have major impact on the interpretation of their observations. The sources I found say that the connection of the panama isthmus cut off the equatorial current and caused the Atlantic to cool drastically in a short time, leading to the glaciation of North America, Greenland, and Europe, as well as the polar ice cap formation. So, it looks like you were spot on about that, and the people writing about the coal mine are a bit confused about a thing or two. lol.
GSwift7
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 30, 2010
It's also well known that a group of stars passed relatively close to our solar system around that time and it's likely that there was at least one supernova in that group around this period of time. Such a nearby supernova would have had effects on our climate due to destruction of our ozone layer and other effects. I would think that a climate study like the one above would take that into account.

There was a marine mass extinction, probably caused by the supernova, but who knows for sure. I would suspect that a massive decrease in algea and other marine plants would have a prety big effect on CO2 and O2 concentrations, but I'm no scientist.
GSwift7
2.3 / 5 (6) Jun 30, 2010
@Langould/Furlong:

I just hate it when clowns like this Ballantyne character make serious climate scientists lose credibility by publishing this kind of junk. Don't you agree that such an obviously flawed paper hurts more than it helps your cause? It makes you look like idiots by association, just like when Tegiri posts something that agrees with me.
mysticshakra
3 / 5 (8) Jul 03, 2010
There is no such thing as a serious climate scientist. In fact climate science is an oxymoron. You can't have a science about something you don't know anything about. These liars can predict what the weather will be in two weeks and they want us to believe they know is going be 36.0796543 degrees celcius in 100 years.
Shootist
2.1 / 5 (7) Jul 03, 2010
Deniers are inadvertently hilarious, and a showcase for logical fallacies! Great fun indeed~


Freeman Dyson. A majority of one.

Shootist
2.7 / 5 (7) Jul 03, 2010
Deniers are inadvertently hilarious, and a showcase for logical fallacies! Great fun indeed~


Freeman Dyson. A majority of one.


He actually worked as a Climate Scientist. His specialty is combining data from many separate systems. He is the world's supreme multi-disciplinarian.

You fear-mongers (that's what Dyson calls you) know that, yes?
Shootist
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 03, 2010
Deniers are inadvertently hilarious, and a showcase for logical fallacies! Great fun indeed~ /q]

Freeman Dyson. A majority of one.


He actually worked as a Climate Scientist. His specialty is combining data from many separate systems. He is the world's supreme multi-disciplinarian.

You fear-mongers (that's what Dyson calls you) know that, yes?


Cannot stand the truth, oh giver of the blatant 1?

And Dyson's a lefty as well. Though an honest one.
Sanescience
3 / 5 (4) Jul 04, 2010
It's strange, but it seems like interest in these warming studies have really cooled off of late. Could it be that fad science is moving on to new pastures?
thermodynamics
2 / 5 (8) Jul 04, 2010
Insanesciench: Recent papers showing that GW is stronger than predicted. I can only assume you are typing this misleading sentence to influence those who might not be paying close attention. Of course, you might not be paying attention and might not know what is actually happening. Let me be more specific. They now have multiple satellites showing that we have a net annual loss (moving average) of ice on the planet. They also have new methods for assessing ocean temperatures that are showing the steady enthalpy increase in the ocean water column down well below where it was expected to be increasing by now. They have reconciled surface and satellite measurements of temperature to the models. Now they are working more on the assessments of prehistoric temperatures (reducing the uncertainties). And, contrary to what I am sure you have heard on Fox news, the temperature of the earth is rising not falling. Where have you been?
Loodt
2.3 / 5 (6) Jul 04, 2010
Enthalpy of ocean going down means total enthalpy of earth going down given that: -

- water is 1000 times denser than air
- there is a greater mass of ocean water than air on Gaia.

Where have you been... not drinking cool-aid or harrasing escorts...
thermodynamics
1.7 / 5 (6) Jul 04, 2010
Loodt: I said: "showing the steady enthalpy increase in the ocean water column down well below where it was expected to be increasing by now." I may not have written that well (limit of 1000 characters). But it clearly says "enthalpy increase." The "ocean water column down..." was referring to the depth they can measure and the enthalpy continues UP. Thanks for pointing out something ambiguous - but I suspect that you might have been drinking something harder than spiked coolaid to come up with that interpretation. The enthalpy is going up. We are measuring it to greater depths. Is that clear or do I have to use smaller wrods?
RJB26
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 04, 2010
another fine piece of marxist propoganda. at least with agw in full meltdown mode you see fewer and fewer "scientists" publishing this crap. i imagine funding is starting to dry up a bit. you gotta love an agw cultists commitment to looking at bits of information in isolation, then making broad sweeping generalizations followed by end of days predictions of doooooooooooooooooooooom. the wheels are coming off the bus for these guys just in time.

http://www.examin...and-more
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (4) Jul 04, 2010
RJB26: Beautiful. Marxist am I? Let's see. I spent two years in Viet Nam. I served two tours as a civilian in Iraq. I have put my life on the line a number of times and have zero use for someone who calls me a Marxist on the 4th of July.

Instead of going to scientific papers you link to an Examiner piece on John Cristi. Try linking to something that has science behind it instead of calling names and linking to fluff. Maybe fluff is all you can link to (not that it will matter - here are some up-to-date links that I am sure you will just resort to name calling on:

http://nsidc.org/...icenews/

http://arctic.atm...osphere/

http://www.osdpd....our.html

http://www.metoff.../latest/

http://data.giss..../graphs/

So, I have just given you links to data and analyses that back up what I said before. Time for you to explain why I am a Marxist and back up your claim the wheels are coming of.
RJB26
3 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2010
well i wasnt talking about you per-se thermo, but since your taking it so personally(he doth protest too much!)ill address your weak defense of the afore mentioned marxist propoganda. before we get going i would like to point out john kerry was in viet nam too(as he likes to point out) and we see where his head is at on agw cultism. so while i thank you for your service to our country, i have to point out in the context of this conversation its absolutely meaningless as a defense of agw. good people can be convinced of all sorts of things and so ill put you in that category for now. now let me express my distrust of "scientific papers" as you put it, as if a paper bounced around in an echo chamber has any value whatsoever. agw "scientists" have stated as a goal that they want to get as many papers published in journals as possible so that they can cite each other. they have hijacked the peer review process.

http://online.wsj...244.html
RJB26
not rated yet Jul 04, 2010
now that isnt a "peer reviewed scientific paper" and so you will invariably attack the messenger instead of addressing the message, so ill continue.
how about some ice news.

http://wattsupwit...re-21373

http://wattsupwit...-record/

now again address the message and not the messenger. i know that unless a paper is written at berkley and published by an agw friendly institution you wont accept the conclusions therein and thats fine.
as far as fluff goes lets delve into your sources for a moment.

giss gets it wrong over and over again. faulty data, graphs that misrepresent, etc.

http://climateaud...us-data/

the met office?
http://www.indepe...694.html
http://autonomous...d-wrong/
http://www.boltva...m/met-of
RJB26
1 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2010
nsidc?
http://wattsupwit...orecast/

i refer to it as marxist propaganda because agw cultists, like marxists wont be happy until we(the industrialized world) all live in mud huts and live off rice and soy patties. the sad part is there are plenty of useful idiots who will pitch in and help them fulfill this ideal.so while i once again thank you for your service, if that hits a little too close to home and you feel insulted-well, i think i can live with that.
RJB26
1 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2010
thermodynamics
2 / 5 (4) Jul 05, 2010
RJB26: You are welcome for the service that millions of us have given so that you can write what you want. Your web site references are very interesting. I see you prefer to have your data interpreted for you instead of actually looking at it yourself. Is that because you don't know how to write computer software to look at the data or you just prefer to hear if from someone as even handed as WattsupwithThat or Judicial watch? Why not a primary data source? The interesting thing is that if you go to the references that appear on Wattsupwiththat and actually look at them you will find that they actually dispute the view that sea ice is expanding and that temperatures are going down. To get to that you will have to go past Watt's polemic and look at the right side of his page. Click on the "sea ice" graph and you will see that the arctic sea ice is below the 2007 record (that may or may not hold up but shows where 2010 stands). 1000 character limit
thermodynamics
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 05, 2010
Continued: Your "sources" don't even go to recent temperature sites to see that 2010 is hot (in spite of snow in your back yard). And the e-mails you have dragged up are from 2001. Can't you do better than that? How about your idea that because someone is concerned about global warming they want you to "all live in mud huts and live off rice and soy patties." That is very scientific rhetoric. I suggest you take a look at the sites I showed you before that actually have recent data and then come back and (without sending me to Wattsupwiththis) actually add some science to your paranoid monologue about scientists pushing for the dark ages. Don't you see a little irony in that concept? You are saying scientists are lying about their results so that we can go back to mud huts where they cannot do science. I think you need to adjust your meds.
nevdka
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 05, 2010
The sun drives Earth's climate. But, it's a simple calculation to show that the temperature of Earth is much higher than would be expected by having a large hot body (Sun) sitting 1 AU away from a small, rocky body (Earth). The difference is caused by Earth having an atmosphere, which alters Earth's black body radiation. Regardless of the accuracy of temperature measurements, the science says that increases in CO2 will lead to increased surface temperatures. CO2 levels are increasing, and the combination of radionuclide levels and the decreasing amount of oxygen in the atmosphere says that it's caused by burning fossil fuels. I don't know the science that says how fast it *should* happen, but, if it's not already happening, it will.

As for this research specifically... Albedo changes more at the poles. You go from white (high albedo) to brown or green (lower albedo). The Earth absorbs more heat from the Sun when the ice melts, and so heats up more, leading to more melting ice... Easy.
thermodynamics
2 / 5 (4) Jul 05, 2010
nevdka: You are absolutely correct. However, you will, most likely, find that there are many, on this site, who do not understand physics and will immediately argue your points to show that the earth is actually cooling and that you do not understand the complexity of it all. It will be interesting to see how they come back to tell you that the physics is wrong. :-) Their imagination and lack of basic science always surprises me. Naturally, I agree with your view.
Sanescience
3 / 5 (2) Jul 05, 2010
nevdka: The Moon surface temperature sunward reaches about 242.33 degrees Fahrenheit without an atmosphere. As the earth is much cooler at the surface with an atmosphere, logically the more atmosphere the planet has the lower the temperature at the surface should be.

Anybody who convinces themselves that an "Easy" description of the Earth's environment gives them deep insight into a fantastically complex system is only accomplishing self delusion.

thermodynamics: name calling tells me you are not mature enough to engage in rational conversation.
nevdka
4 / 5 (4) Jul 05, 2010
@thermodynamics: Thanks for the support, and your prophetic wisdom:

The Moon surface temperature sunward reaches about 242.33 degrees Fahrenheit without an atmosphere. As the earth is much cooler at the surface with an atmosphere, logically the more atmosphere the planet has the lower the temperature at the surface should be.


Last night, my oven went up to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Obviously, the presence of potatoes causes increased temperatures, and any model that doesn't take that into account must be wrong.

I try to base theories on scientific/physical principles, rather than observations. It's not enough to describe what's going on, but to understand why it's going on. At present, there is no known reason why the Earth should be getting colder, but there is a reason it should be getting warmer.
Sanescience
3 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2010
Heh, that wasn't meant to be taken seriously, as evidenced by my ridiculous proposal as an example and the second statement about "Easy" descriptions that would only make sense if I wasn't being serious.

I was also subtly making fun of thermodynamics, but I see that was completely missed as well.

You then go further and make several unfortunate statements:

You implied that the temperature of the Moon's day lit surface with no atmosphere is utterly unrelated to the temperature of the Earth with an atmosphere (presence of potatoes and the temperature of your oven.) This is far from the case, do you know the succinct explanation?

Then you imply that observational data is not part of scientific/physical principles.

Then you state there are no known reason[sic] (which in context implies mechanisms) that could cause the Earth to cool.

These are basic elements of a discussion of agw, I do not think you are well informed.

thermodynamics
3 / 5 (4) Jul 06, 2010
nevdka: Welcome to the site where science takes a second seat to Rush Limbaugh and Fox news. Just don't let the Trolls drive you away. You will see them argue that the earth is cooling and that the ice on the earth is increasing. They will also tell you that CO2 is not concentrated enough to warm the earth. The list of their dogma is long and they depend on information from the news media and sites that depend on a conspiracy theory to make their claims seem sensible. It has been interesting when I give them links to the data that they choose to go for Fox news instead. Take a look back in this comments section and you can see they have no interest in primary data sources and quote web sites with advertisements from creationist sites.
thermodynamics
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 06, 2010
Insanescience: Since you seem to be very well read on your version of reality, let me ask a few questions.

1) Do you believe the Earth is warming?

2) Do you think that CO2 can have any role in warming the Earth (if you said yes to question 1)?

3) Do you think that humans have contributed to the build up of atmospheric CO2 (no matter how you answered question 1)?

4) Do you believe the Earth is cooling?

5) Do you believe there is a conspiracy by a large number of scientists to scare people into contributing to their AGW research?

Just trying to see where you are coming from. You are welcome to ask me any question you would like and I will try to answer to the best of my ability.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2010
I missed so much on vacation.
Sanescience
5 / 5 (1) Jul 07, 2010
I guess nevdka isn't coming back. Anyway the succinct explanation as to why the Moon's surface is hotter than the Earths surface is that the suns energy is concentrated on the 2d surface of the moon but on Earth it spreads out over the 3D volume of the atmosphere. Plus the Moon doesn't have much of an atmosphere for convection to transporting heat away from the surface.
Sanescience
not rated yet Jul 12, 2010
I'm not the only person observing the drop off.

http://www.newswe...eat.html
TehDog
not rated yet Jul 12, 2010
@Loodt
"Oh, and it just happens that peat and coal are geologically related, since peat can turn into coal. It's common to find peat and coal nearby one another."

Seperated usually by a few hundred feet of sedimentary rock...

"About 90% of the climate articles on this site are politically motivated with some agenda other than science."

This site is simply an aggregator

http://en.wikiped...gregator