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Warming event at 40,000 years ago

25 June 2010
Climate change

www.physorg.com/print196606682.html June 24th … is an interesting article on a rapid warming event 40,000 years ago, which is well documented in palaeo-climate science sources. However, what caused the warming is a matter of debate and this article disputes an earlier study that claimed methane released from ocean sediments was responsible, the co called ‘clothrate gun hypothesis’. A large release of methane, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere is thought to have led to rapid global warming – an idea with an origin in ice cores which do appear to show a correlation between methane levels and cold/warm periods. We may note this is stating the obvious as warming temperatures melts ice creates puddles of water which creates wetlands which emit methane – dying vegetation. The process is not instantaneous and follows warming and this is why the idea of methane released from an oceanic source unrelated to melting was suggested as the way round the problem. Clever dicks you might think – and so too might the authors of this new study published in Science (last week of June) as their research shows the higher levels of methane in ice cores was due to wetlands – as a result of warming rather than as a primer for a warming event. They also dispute the idea of large amounts of methane as clothrate in ocean sediments along continental margins – so what it was that caused the warming event is still an open question. The article illustrates how difficult it is to account for sudden switches in climate within the consensus model – and how AGW funding produces some hare-brained ideas that are written in all seriousness (until unthreaded by critics). The non-catastrophist view of the past has problems accounting for what are basically catastrophic events – sudden warmings or coolings.

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