New paper suggests that CO2 '…could prove to be our salvation from the next ice age'

From the University of Gothenburg , another head exploder for Joe Romm and company.

Figure 1. The idealised CO2 development of age cycles according to the P/IAH (above) and applied to the CO2 concentrations of 90−230 kyr from Antarctic ice cores (Petit et al. 1999, Monnin et al. 2001, Pépin et al. 2001, Raynaud et al. 2005)

Carbon dioxide – our salvation from a future ice age?

Mankind’s emissions of fossil carbon and the resulting increase in temperature could prove to be our salvation from the next ice age. According to new research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, the current increase in the extent of peatland is having the opposite effect.

“We are probably entering a new ice age right now. However, we’re not noticing it due to the effects of carbon dioxide”, says researcher Professor Lars Franzén.

Looking back over the past three million years, the earth has experienced at least 30 periods of ice age, known as ice age pulses. The periods in between are called interglacials. The researchers believe that the Little Ice Age of the 16th to 18th centuries may have been halted as a result of human activity. Increased felling of woodlands and growing areas of agricultural land, combined with the early stages of industrialisation, resulted in increased emissions of carbon dioxide which probably slowed down, or even reversed, the cooling trend.

“It is certainly possible that mankind’s various activities contributed towards extending our ice age interval by keeping carbon dioxide levels high enough,” explains Lars Franzén, Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Gothenburg.

“Without the human impact, the inevitable progression towards an ice age would have continued. The spread of peatlands is an important factor.”

Peatlands act as carbon sinks, meaning that they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They are a dynamic landscape element and currently cover around four percent of the earth’s land area. Most peatlands are found in temperate areas north and south of the 45th parallel.

Around 16 percent of Sweden is covered by peatland. Peatlands grow in height and spread across their surroundings by waterlogging woodlands. They are also one of the biggest terrestrial sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Each year, around 20 grams of carbon are absorbed by every square metre of peatland.

“By using the National Land Survey of Sweden’s altitude database, we have calculated how much of Sweden could be covered by peatlands during an interglacial. We have taken a maximum terrain incline of three degrees as our upper limit, and have also excluded all lakes and areas with substrata that are unsuitable for peatland formation.”

The researchers found that around half of Sweden’s surface could be covered by peat. In such a case, the carbon dioxide sink would increase by a factor of between six and ten compared with the current situation.

“If we accept that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to an increase in global temperature, the logical conclusion must be that reduced levels lead to a drop in temperature.”

The relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature is not linear. Instead, lower levels result in a greater degree of cooling than the degree of warming achieved by a corresponding increase.

“There have been no emissions of fossil carbon during earlier interglacials. Carbon sequestration in peatland may therefore be one of the main reasons why ice age conditions have occurred time after time.”

Using calculations for Swedish conditions, the researchers are also producing a rough estimate of the global carbon sink effect if all temperate peatlands were to grow in the same way.

“Our calculations show that the peatlands could contribute towards global cooling equivalent to five watts per square metre. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that we are near the end of the current interglacial.”

###

Professor Franzén and three other researchers have published their findings in the journal Mires and Peat.

1. Franzén, L.G., F. Lindberg, V. Viklander & A. Walther (2012) The potential peatland extent and carbon sink in Sweden, as related to the Peatland / Ice Age Hypothesis.

FULL PAPER HERE:

Mires and Peat 10(8):1-19. http://www.mires-and-peat.net/map10/map_10_08.pdf

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
MattN

This was the exact argment in the 1970s….

Jimbo

We have been saved! C02 is the dominant climate driver. Runaway warming is up next on your scheduled program.

Reconciling Late Ordovician (440 Ma) glaciation with very high (14X) CO2 levels
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 100, NO. D1, P. 1093, 1995
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1995/94JD02521.shtml

Late Ordovician glaciation under high atmospheric CO2
PALEOCEANOGRAPHY, VOL. 14, NO. 4, P. 542, 1999
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1999/1999PA900021.shtml

Chris

“If we accept that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to an increase in global temperature…”
And if we don’t accept this premise, it invalidates the entire theory.

Jimbo

Increased felling of woodlands and growing areas of agricultural land, combined with the early stages of industrialisation, resulted in increased emissions of carbon dioxide which probably slowed down, or even reversed, the cooling trend.

Didn’t the IPCC say man had a discernible effect on global temperature after 1960? Hey, let’s say even 1920, someone is trying to deceive me.

Jimbo

““We are probably entering a new ice age right now……………………….There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that we are near the end of the current interglacial.” “

This is not a problem should it arise. The problem is global warming which could lead to mass migrations, hunger, drought and calamity. Ice ages are good, warm tropical temperatures kill vegetation and animals all across the tropics while the polar regions thrive with life. Anyone for an Antarctic safari?

taxed

With the chnges am seeing with the jet stream and and weather patterns, there does seem to be a battle going on between climate warming and cooling at the moment. lt looks like that maybe the cooling is starting to win out.

richardscourtney

Friends:
For more than a decade it was not possible to publish papers if they asserted possible benefits of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration. Then, at Copenhagen in 2009 there was a stake through the heart of the AGW-scare. Now, this paper suggests

Mankind’s emissions of fossil carbon and the resulting increase in temperature could prove to be our salvation from the next ice age.

And thus the AGW-scare slowly fades away …
Richard

Steve D

We do not use the proper controls. You need to compare the temperature of the earth today, with that of an identical earth in which the CO2 levels did not increase.

u.k.(us)

Don’t let them think we can change things on purpose.
Or, we’ll never escape their clutches.

Vancouver Canada, carbon capture capital of the world:
Burns Bog is the largest domed peat bog in the world encompassing over 40 square kilometres of land.
http://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/burns-bog-delta-nature-reserve/

JA

“Human activity in the late 18th century may have halted an ice age.”
Give me a break.
Human activity in the late 18th century was confined almost exclusively to Europe. Damn near no one lived in N. American or Latin America or Australia (given the size of the land masses) and Africa was still mostly an unexplored continent.
The total, complete, absolute garbage that these “scientists” publish is a disgrace.
Why don’t they try to answer some very basic questions like:
1. What caused the ice ages before humans even existed?
2. What caused the warming that ended the “pre-human existence” ice ages?
3. If item “2” above, was caused by a build-up of CO2, pray tell, where did the CO2 come from?
4. Has it not been shown that CO2 increases in RESPONSE TO TEMPERATURE INCREASES?
5. During the interglacials – and before humans walked this earth – presumably caused by CO2 buildup, what happened to all that CO2 that should have prevented a subsequent ice age?
6 Why didn’t the CO2 levels during interglacials just get larger and larger, causing ever more and more warming, until the planet just became an oven? At a minimum all this CO2 should have never permitted another ice age.

It’s always all one way. This time, “The researchers believe that the Little Ice Age of the 16th to 18th centuries may have been halted as a result of human activity. Increased felling of woodlands and growing areas of agricultural land, combined with the early stages of industrialisation, resulted in increased emissions of carbon dioxide which probably slowed down, or even reversed, the cooling trend.” and “Without the human impact, the inevitable progression towards an ice age would have continued“.
Brilliant. That’s how just one of the “at least 30 periods of ice age, known as ice age pulses” came to an end. Hmmm. Now tell me about the other 29. How they started, and how they ended without human assistance/.
What terrifies me is not that the alarmists are so desperate that they are telling bigger and bigger lies, but that as the MSM lets them get away with (or encourages them in) their lies, so they happily tell bigger and bigger ones. They aren’t losing, they’re winning.

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

Stop…..it hurts…..

peterhodges

“We are probably entering a new ice age right now. However, we’re not noticing it due to the effects of carbon dioxide”, says researcher Professor Lars Franzén.
Haha. Not out here in the real world.
The only people not noticing it are the ones fooled by adjustments, models, and propaganda.

davidmhoffer

Odd that if it was so easy for peat bogs to drive down the CO2 levels in the atmosphere that they aren’t being considered as possible carbon sequestration projects?

anarchist hate machine

No No No No No No. The greenhouse effect of CO2 is far too weak to prevent an ice age. Idiots.

Jason H

CO2 at more than 10 times today’s level didn’t seem to help in the late Orodovian period.

Chris says:
November 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm
“If we accept that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to an increase in global temperature…”
And if we don’t accept this premise, it invalidates the entire theory.
======================================================
Bingo !!!!

Luther Wu

Sometimes, all I can do is just shake my head.

Konrad

Chris says:
November 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm
“If we accept that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to an increase in global temperature…”
And if we don’t accept this premise, it invalidates the entire theory.
——————————————————————————————–
Bingo!
The effect of condensing and non-condensing radiative gasses in our atmosphere is cooling and no amount of politics, pseudo science and spin will ever change that. Without radiative gasses, rising air masses heated by conductive contact with the surface would have no way of cooling at altitude. (Adiabatic cooling is irrelevant to convective circulation problems.) With gasses unable to cool by radiation at altitude, convective circulation in our atmosphere would slow and cease. Our atmosphere would slowly heat to the hottest point of conductive surface contact. That would not be the surface of the hottest desert, that would be exposed liquid magma. It matters not if the ground under your feet has a slightly lower average temperature if you are breathing the air from an oven.

As I recall this idea goes back to the 70’s. Objections are the same as to AGW.

ossqss

Ironically, I just finished watching this wonderful recollection of history.
Be aware that this video touches on climate change, coal, oil, CO2, SUV’s, glaciers etc.
It may be horrifying to some, but it is fascinating to me….
Oh, and there are many connections to this blog entry including explosions 🙂

macha

As if anyone will fall for that two card trick. the mainstream explanation of GHG is totally flawed because the real physicals is virtually opposite of greenhouse effect, let alone CO2 have a significant involvment in temperature changes. Its a trace gas for crickey’s sake.

Gail Combs

Is it me or are the papers getting weirder and weirder?

Face palm!

Grant

Oh for peat’s sake! (Sorry) Stretch much? I could have had summers off and been able to peddle this stuff? I missed the boat.

Rosy's dad

Give these authors a break. Did you notice the name of the journal this appeared in “Mires and Peet”?
These guys see that Climate change is where it’s happening and they just want to get in on the fun.

Nick

I’ve decided to let my subscription to Mires and Peat lapse. Meanwhile, perhaps creating synthetic peatlands would assuage those concerned about reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. We could even trade peatland credits for those who prefer other their lawn.

Mark.R

If we believe carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not lead to an increase in global temperature,
We therefore must believe that carbon dioxide will not slow down an ice age.

JaneHM

Logically, that which initially causes the spreading of the peatlands should be the cause of the glaciations (in this paper); the subsequent lowering of CO2 levels and its effect on global temperatures are feedbacks, not the driver.

This paper seems to overlook some rather important facts:
1. The total increase in the atmospheric content of CO2 following the large increase in CO2 emissions after 1945 amounted to only 0.008%. How much warming can you get from that (forget the nefarious ‘water vapor effect’–it hasn’t increased during the 1978-1998 warming).
2. If such large increases in CO2 emissions caused only 0.008% change in CO2 content of the atmosphere, how much could a small population cause? Precious little!
2. There have been 27 episodes of global warming and cooling, all of which occurred with no increase in CO2. What caused these warm periods? Certainly not CO2.
3. Almost all of the past 10,000 years have been warmer than present, long before any increase in CO2.
4. There is no physical evidence that CO2 causes warming. In fact, new papers show that even warming in historic time preceded small increases in CO2.
This paper totally lack credibility in the face of these (and other) facts.

Olaf Koenders

And wouldn’t rotting vegetation under these peat bogs bubble up Methane – apparently the most DANGEROUS GHG, offsetting any CO2 sequestration? How much of the globe is covered by peat bogs anyway? What a farce. Exploiting (inventing) one globally insignificant metric about peat bogs and CO2 to explain the cause of ice ages for more funding. Hooray.. Chuck that man a “Go To Jail” card.

Alex

I hate to admint I’m from Sweden. This paper don’t pass the laugh test.

RoHa

Does this mean I’m allowed to breathe out again?

Konrad says November 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm

The effect of condensing and non-condensing radiative gasses in our atmosphere is cooling and no amount of politics, pseudo science and spin will ever change that. Without radiative gasses, rising air masses heated by conductive contact with the surface would have no way of cooling at altitude. (Adiabatic cooling is irrelevant to convective circulation problems.) With gasses unable to cool by radiation at altitude, convective circulation in our atmosphere would slow and cease.

I think this ignores Hadley cell (and Ferrel cell and Polar cell as well) ‘circulation’, which does not seem to require that atmospheric gasses posses ‘radiative’ characteristics (of which only WV and CO2 and not Nitrogen and not O2 are in this category) …
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadley_cell
.

“The relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature is not linear.”
The only thing in there I agreed with!

Mark and two Cats

ferdberple said:
November 8, 2012 at 5:16 pm
Burns Bog is the largest domed peat bog in the world encompassing over 40 square kilometres of land.
———————-
From the Burns Bog website:
“Toilets at Burns Bog Delta Nature Reserve – There are no toilets available in the Nature Reserve. The closest washrooms are located in Planet Ice.”
Yikes! Your bum would stick to the loo.

Matthew: In response to:
“If we accept that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to an increase in global temperature…”
You wrote: “And if we don’t accept this premise, it invalidates the entire theory.”
This is a well worded (and funny as hell) response to the nonsense.

Dieter

Of course, now the fringe Earth First types will complain that natural ice age glaciation won’t be able to wipe the excess number of people inhabiting the planet. That said, if CO2 is doing so little now, it’ll be no match for the natural cooling processes.

sophocles

Professor Lars Franzen says:
“We are probably entering a new ice age right now. However, we’re not noticing it due to the effects of carbon dioxide.”
==========================================================================
Aaaah … excuse me … who turned off the Quaternary Ice Age while I wasn’t looking?
It was such a nice ice age, too. Only two-and-a half million years old,
with about 17 glaciations completed and the 17th interstadial left
undone! With a bit of effort, it could have completed another 25-27
million years …
Oh wait! It can’t have gone: Antarctica and Greenland still have their
ice caps …whew! Don’t panic Professor, the next glaciation will come on time!

Interested

I very much liked JA’s list of objections and questions, which to my way of thinking pulls the rug out from under the entire paper; not to mention pulling the rug out from under the entire CAGW hypothesis at the same time.
And yes, if you take the position that CO2 is not a principal driver of global temperatures – and even a cursory glance at paleoclimatology confirms that fact – then, again, the paper is invalidated.
Steve D’s lament that ideally, to test the CAGW hypothesis under perfect conditions we need an identical Earth minus the CO2 increase, is true enough.
But geology shows us that our planet itself has conducted countless experiments with varying temperatures and varying CO2 concentrations for billions of years, and the results are there in the geological record for all to see. None of the experiments is perhaps quite as perfect as Steve’s idealised thought experiment but from the results it’s plainly obvious that carbon dioxide is only a minor player.
Why any scientist worth his/her salt would entertain the possibility that human-produced CO2 could have any significant effect on the climate is something I just don’t understand.
But I think I do understand the motives of some of the people out there peddling this nonsense – and it’s got nothing to do with science.

Nick in Vancouver

This “research” is also another form of wet organic material.
Just more pungent.
Thanks to our Irish cousins for saving us from an Ice Age.
Sorry that the heat and light that your ancestors got from peat fires was non-existent but what the heh you now know that it was for the greater good – an AGW parable if ever i heard one, to be sure.

Konrad

_Jim says:
November 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm
Jim,
If it were possible to instantly remove all radiative gasses from the atmosphere it would still take some time for convention to slow and stop, however it would eventually happen. Turbulent mixing at altitude and solar differential heating causing turbulent contact with areas of the earth’s surface that had radiately cooled at night would delay the eventual stagnation. However if the only way atmospheric gasses can cool is restricted to conductive contact with the earth’s surface, convection must slow and cease.
A simple experiment you can try, which illustrates this physical reality using only conduction is as follows –
You will need –
– two 1m long EPS foam tubes 100mm diameter closed at both ends.
– two foam cooler boxes or “eskis”
– two fish tank water pumps
– fish tank tubing and “Y” connections
– Dual probe thermometer with K type probes
– four water coils. Thin aluminium tubing wrapped in a spiral with both input and output tubes pointed in the same direction and sprayed matt black.
To build the experiment –
– In “tube 1” install one water coil in the base and one at the top with their input and output ends through the foam to the outside of the box
– In “Tube 2” install both water coils inside the base of the tube 75mm apart.
– in both tubes install the thermometer thermocouple 500mm up the side on the interior
– install one fish tank water pump in each cooler box. Use the tubing and Y splitter to organise two output tubes from each box
– One cooler box should be filled with boiling water, the other with ice water
– Connect one of the hot tubes to the water coil in the base of tube 1 and the other to one of the coils in the base of tube 2. Install return lines from the two coils used to the hot water box.
– Do the same for the cold water coils at the top of tube 1 and the base of tube 2 with return lines going to the cold water box
To conduct the experiment –
– ensure the foam tubes have equal starting temperatures and are standing upright
– switch on the water pumps and observe the temperature differential reading on the dual probe thermometer.
Tube 1 is a crude representation of our atmosphere in which air is heated at the surface and displaces air that has cooled by radiation higher up. Tube 2 represents a theoretical non-radiative atmosphere in which air can only heat and cool through conductive contact with the surface.
We need radiative gasses in our atmosphere to survive. Water vapour is the most important. The hydrological cycle represents a giant vapour / condensate heat pipe, lifting heat high into the atmosphere where much of it is radiated to space. This was the science in the 50’s, the reality has not changed but it has been obscured by the pseudo science of AGW. The effect of radiative gasses in our atmosphere is cooling. Adding more will not cause CAGW.

BREAKING NEWS: Mars has what we expect. nothing, name some rocks! are you finished?

FrankSW

From experiments in garden weed control one suspects that the thousands of years required by the “vegetation establishment phase” might just be a smidgeon overstated.

I doubt it, with global cooling oceans will easily mop-up excess CO2, remember CO2 follows the temperature’s changes.
Glaciations will start from the poles. Antarctica is isolated by strong circumpolar currents, the problem is in the Arctic. One of the ways to stop all year round freezing of the Arctic is outlined here:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SNGP.htm

This prediction seems a little horrible

sophocles

You know, there is one place—or direction—by my (daily) observations
where nearly 90% of humanity, including myself, do not unconsciously
look at, in or search.Often, not even the Police do (having watched some
Officers on the hunt, at night with torches, on different occasions…:-).
That direction is Up. (Why are the roof tops known as “The Thieves’
Highway?” )
What do you think the result(s) would be if we extended these loose
observations to research scientists, especially most climate research
scientists (excluding Willis … )?
For what it’s worth, I think they mostly act, react and work in exactly
this way—inward looking for all the possible ways the planet’s atmosphere
and oceans act, react, warm, cool, blow, pause, melt or freeze. Most of
the satellites look down upon the globe. Whatever the state, it seems to
have to be caused down here. Sol is basically ignored (“TSI is constant”)
as are those few who do really look.
I’ve just finished reading Svenmark’s last paper ““Evidence of Nearby
Supernovae Affecting Life on Earth”. for the third time and I think I’m
starting to absorb its immensity and a few more of its implications. It’s
a tour-de-force and (bluntly) puts some things—such as climate change
and its control and even evolution—into a long perspective taking
it right out of our hands. What’s happening down here is starting to
appear inconsequential and trivial. I know it isn’t but that’s the
feeling a long view of this size brings on.)
If he’s right—and the paper, while looking a little moth-eaten in places
where some supporting evidence is lacking and has left some holes,
hangs together very well and paints a vast yet credible picture—then if
we think we are the cause of any real changes on the Third Rock from
Sol, it’s pure hubris on our part. In this scheme of things, a mere doubling
of CO2 is “So What?”
There’s something much bigger, uglier and far more potent than we are
out there. (Look Up) It neither knows nor cares about us: the Galaxy.
Maybe we need to look up and look out. A few others have.

Ryan

I don’t buy it. In the end the Earth’s temperature is related to the level of incoming solar radiation and the warming of the planets surface. Since the specific heat capacity of water and rock is very much higher than that of the atmosphere, most of the heat energy is held in the sea and the land. Messing about with the atmosphere will make very little difference to the land or sea surface temperature, and hence to whether ice will form or not. Therefore, the orbital variations that cause the ice ages cannot possibly be counteracted by pumping lots of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Doug Huffman

N. N. Taleb (Fooled by Randomness) teaches that the best forecasters/predicters have skin in the game. None have skin in the distant future game.