Climate sensitivity greater than previously believed

December 20, 2011, University of Gothenburg

Many of the particles in the atmosphere are produced by the natural world, and it is possible that plants have in recent decades reduced the effects of the greenhouse gases to which human activity has given rise. One consequence of this is that the climate may be more sensitive to emissions caused by human activity than we have previously believed. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) have collected new data that may lead to better climate models.

" by plants to the atmosphere are influenced by – higher temperatures can increase the rate of the biological processes that control the emissions. If natural emissions increase as the temperature rises, this in turn increases the amount of that are formed", says Kent Salo of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg

The interactions between particles and the climate constitute a very complex web of processes. The particles in the atmosphere consist to a large part of organic substances, which may arise from incomplete combustion in engines or boilers. Such substances may also arise from plant growth. Emissions from plants occur as gases, and are greater than emissions from other sources, in a global perspective.

Once released into the atmosphere, the gases from are converted by many chemical processes, such that they can eventually condense and form particles. The particles that are formed in chemical reactions in the atmosphere are known as "secondary organic aerosols" (abbreviated to "SOA"), and consist of a complex mixture of organic substances. The particles age and change with time, and this process influences the effects that the particles have on human health and on the climate.

"Particles in the atmosphere basically have a cooling effect on the Earth, and they affect cloud formation. The greater the number of particles in the air, the greater will be the number of cloud droplets. This affects the lifetime of the clouds and the amounts of precipitation, and consequently, the climate. Today, we do not have a fundamental understanding of how SOA particles are formed and the properties they have, despite them being an important component of, for example, ."

Kent Salo has studied organic substances that are known to be components of particles in the and how their physical properties can be used in models to understand the complicated systems that the SOAs constitute, and the effect they have on the climate.

In order to study these processes, Kent Salo has developed a special instrument that measures the degree to which the particles evaporate when they are heated. He has carried out experiments at several major research facilities in Europe using this instrument.

Explore further: A dance of aerosols: Study shows plant-sourced particles pick and choose their partners

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2.1 / 5 (8) Dec 21, 2011
climate MAY be more sensitive to emissions caused by human activity than we have previously believed, . . .

Or the increase in global temperatures since Last Little Ice Age may be natural, independent of human activity:

See: http://judithcurr...t-151639
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 21, 2011
climate MAY be more sensitive to emissions caused by human activity than we have previously believed, . . .

Or the increase in global temperatures since Last Little Ice Age may be natural, independent of human activity:

See: http://judithcurr...t-151639

According to the link you posted (and various other links in that link) it would appear that they postulate it could be both....and they are only talking about the arctic, mainly sea ice extent and the reasons behind it's decrease of late.
1 / 5 (6) Dec 21, 2011
Today world leaders and their army of government-funded scientists seem to be trying desperately to distract attention away from reality and the world's collapsing economy:



1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 21, 2011
How about data that validates a theory?
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 22, 2011
without saying anything at all about whether either is correct or incorrect, does anyone else think that the title of the article matches the text of the article? They could both be correct, but it doesn't seem to me that the article is saying the same thing as the headline.

The text of the article is saying that they think plant SOA's are cooling. They say that they think AGW is leading to more SOA's. That is a negative feedback.

I have a question though. If increased SOA's lead to increased cloud formation, then it is a self limiting system. Once an SOA is used up as a condensation nuclei, it is scrubbed from the atmosphere as condensation.
2 / 5 (1) Dec 23, 2011
lol, This same university released an actual Published and Peer Reviewed journal article a few months ago that says exactly the opposite of what this guy is saying, but this guy isn't Published or Peer Reviewed. Science by press release is a wonderful thing. No accountability at all.

I wonder if the people who did the real study a few months ago are aware that this guy is talking to the Press and trying to undermine their Published research?
1 / 5 (2) Dec 28, 2011
It really depends on what SOA really is. The way I read this, it means the soot, and particulates from burning plant material. If that is the case, the AGW will impact certain regions via drought and brush fires. Is that the way you see it G7?
3 / 5 (2) Dec 28, 2011
The headline is misleading if not outright inaccurate. An unqualified statement is by its very nature "wrong" when dealing with an uncertain result. Thus stating "Climate sensitivity greater than previously believed" is simply not true, as evidenced a few sentences in where the article qualifies the position thus (emphasis mine): "...the climate MAY BE more sensitive to emissions..."

Yes, I know it is a headline, but there are plenty of examples on this forum where the writer went ahead and qualified the premise in the headline. This one is just trying to get attention with a false claim.

Now before anyone freaks out by me saying that it is a "false claim", I'm talking strictly about it being presented as an unqualified fact, which is false. The fact that my OPINION is that the article is probably also incorrect has no bearing, and I'm willing to accept it at face value to make the point about the headline.

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