Skip to comments.MIT scientists baffled by global warming theory, contradicts scientific data
Posted on 10/31/2008 3:37:15 AM PDT by xcamel
Boston (MA) - Scientists at MIT have recorded a nearly simultaneous world-wide increase in methane levels. This is the first increase in ten years, and what baffles science is that this data contradicts theories stating man is the primary source of increase for this greenhouse gas. It takes about one full year for gases generated in the highly industrial northern hemisphere to cycle through and reach the southern hemisphere. However, since all worldwide levels rose simultaneously throughout the same year, it is now believed this may be part of a natural cycle in mother nature - and not the direct result of man's contributions.
Methane - powerful greenhouse gas
The two lead authors of a paper published in this week's Geophysical Review Letters, Matthew Rigby and Ronald Prinn, the TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, state that as a result of the increase, several million tons of new methane is present in the atmosphere.
Methane accounts for roughly one-fifth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, though its effect is 25x greater than that of carbon dioxide. Its impact on global warming comes from the reflection of the sun's light back to the Earth (like a greenhouse). Methane is typically broken down in the atmosphere by the free radical hydroxyl (OH), a naturally occuring process. This atmospheric cleanser has been shown to adjust itself up and down periodically, and is believed to account for the lack of increases in methane levels in Earth's atmosphere over the past ten years despite notable simultaneous increases by man.
Prinn has said, "The next step will be to study [these changes] using a very high-resolution atmospheric circulation model and additional measurements from other networks. The key thing is to better determine the relative roles of increased methane emission versus [an increase] in the rate of removal. Apparently we have a mix of the two, but we want to know how much of each [is responsible for the overall increase]."
The primary concern now is that 2007 is long over. While the collected data from that time period reflects a simultaneous world-wide increase in emissions, observing atmospheric trends now is like observing the healthy horse running through the paddock a year after it overcame some mystery illness. Where does one even begin? And how relevant are any of the data findings at this late date? Looking back over 2007 data as it was captured may prove as ineffective if the data does not support the high resolution details such a study requires.
One thing does seem very clear, however; science is only beginning to get a handle on the big picture of global warming. Findings like these tell us it's too early to know for sure if man's impact is affecting things at the political cry of "alarming rates." We may simply be going through another natural cycle of warmer and colder times - one that's been observed through a scientific analysis of the Earth to be naturally occuring for hundreds of thousands of years.
Rigby and Prinn carried out this study with help from researchers at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Bristol and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Methane gas measurements came from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), which is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Australian CSIRO network.
Are you trying to tell me it's not?
The city folks might spend less time envying those with big houses and big cars and more time on those that envy them.
I heard that earthworm farts were much more concentrated than cow farts.
“Digg It!” - xcamel
I took your advice, and here are some of the comments I found:
The author is censoring comments on that page which point out that he does not cite the source of his quotes: a press release which contradicts the central theme of his article.
Also, please see the following FACTUAL article on the subject from an AP science reporter:
I’m sad to see that TGDaily has gone the way of Micheal Asher’s misinformation stream at DailyTech. It’s just a pathetic effort to get web traffic, because every conservative blog will link to a story like this. Sadly, it works, and these sites reap in ad money for misrepresenting the results of scientific papers.
I know that you deniers think you’re onto something here but you’re not. That TG Daily concoction is downright misleading and is a prime example of bad journalism. Read the statement directly from MIT. Nowhere does it say that these methane increases contradict global warming.
or better yet the actual article:
M. Rigby, R. Prinn, P. Fraser, P. Simmonds, R. Langenfelds, J. Huang1, D. Cunnold, P. Steele, P. Krummel, R.Weiss, S. O’Doherty, P. Salameh, H. Wang, C. Harth, J. Mühle, L. Porter. Renewed growth of atmospheric methane. Geophysical Review Letters, 28 pages 2008
Whoa, yeah after reading the actual MIT press release it does seem like TG Daily has misrepresented the findings of this research, or at least the researchers’ understanding of the meaning of the findings:
Before anyone posts anything, please check out the links to the actual study already posted.
Its already been pointed out that this article massively misrepresented the study they are basing this on, and took one line out of context to make it seem like the entire article from MIT was somehow refuting global warming as man-made.
Here are some more balanced articles referencing the same study but reporting the actual gist of the conclusions. Links found by Jenga previously.
In just the past 3-5 years it’s gone from global warming to global cooling to global warming several times! Finally the environmentalist wackos saw what was really happening and just started calling it “climate change.” Now, they can’t possibly be wrong anymore!
Methane is about 20X more efficient at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide is. Anyone who ignores the former and focuses on the latter is not seriously investigating human-related effect on climate.
Not a "human gene" but a "liberal meme". All of these were (and are) liberal/socialist talking points.
We may simply be going through another natural cycle of warmer and colder times - one that’s been observed through a scientific analysis of the Earth to be naturally occuring for hundreds of thousands of years.
Wow! Are these scientists actually saying that the earth has cycles? What a concept!! The same earth that has been traveling around the same sun for millions of years? Well, I never! The same earth that has the same number of molecules and atoms at the end of each year as at the beginning of each year, because I am not aware of the earth’s ability to capture new atoms of anything from space? Our earth is the true definition of recycling!
re: negative diggs
Here’s the trick - positive clicks on the buryied articles (- totals) - don’t let the AGW’s run the board...
Sediments make gas. Do scientists know how much the ocean floors 'burp'?
I am an agnostic when it comes to global warming, but the source the global warming folks would point to for a spike in methane are found in nature and would be released at higher and higher rates as (if) global temperatures rise.
The two prime examples are the peat locked up in permafrost and seabed hydrates. A release from peat might follow a North South trend. A release from seabed hydrates probably would not.
They’ll be even more shocked if they ever study the most powerful greenhouse gas, water vapor.
It’s those doggone pesky facts again, how annoying.
Release from hydrates under the north polar ice cap do to very large quantities of hydrate being there, and a substantial increase in the northernmost mid atlantic rift volcanic activity heating it up enough to “burp”.
Huge nearly pure methane bubbles have been found under the icepack near greenland...
You might want to use a different argument. There is an ability to capture stuff from space. It's call gravity. The moon has a nice record of all that it captured from space, they are called 'craters'. And we have pictures of the pieces of a comet (Levi-Shoemaker) being captured by Jupiter.
And Anthropogenic Global Warming is BS, just so you know where I stand.
Theory’s busted? Algore will fix that for them. Afterall, GW is accepted as fact beyond dispute.
Nah, just a 'catastrophe de juoir' for the masses to surrender power...
everything is a calculated move by the commie bastards on the great chess board of life...
I didnt graduate MIT, but i could tell it was all bunk from the gitgo...1/2 degree global temp over what 50-60 yrs ???
the tech in thermometers has changed how many times in that period ???
when watching local weather to plan my day, i always check the 'record highs and lows'...most are from the 1880s-1930s still yet...
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