Earth Can Regulate its Own Temperature Over Millennia, New Study Finds

Scientists have confirmed that a “stabilizing feedback” on 100,000-year timescales keeps global temperatures in check

Peer-Reviewed Publication


The Earth’s climate has undergone some big changes, from global volcanism to planet-cooling ice ages and dramatic shifts in solar radiation. And yet life, for the last 3.7 billion years, has kept on beating.

Now, a study by MIT researchers in Science Advances confirms that the planet harbors a “stabilizing feedback” mechanism that acts over hundreds of thousands of years to pull the climate back from the brink, keeping global temperatures within a steady, habitable range.

Just how does it accomplish this? A likely mechanism is “silicate weathering” — a geological process by which the slow and steady weathering of silicate rocks involves chemical reactions that ultimately draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and into ocean sediments, trapping the gas in rocks.

Scientists have long suspected that silicate weathering plays a major role in regulating the Earth’s carbon cycle. The mechanism of silicate weathering could provide a geologically constant force in keeping carbon dioxide — and global temperatures — in check. But there’s never been direct evidence for the continual operation of such a feedback, until now.

The new findings are based on a study of paleoclimate data that record changes in average global temperatures over the last 66 million years. The MIT team applied a mathematical analysis to see whether the data revealed any patterns characteristic of stabilizing phenomena that reined in global temperatures on a  geologic timescale.

They found that indeed there appears to be a consistent pattern in which the Earth’s temperature swings are dampened over timescales of hundreds of thousands of years. The duration of this effect is similar to the timescales over which silicate weathering is predicted to act.

The results are the first to use actual data to confirm the existence of a stabilizing feedback, the mechanism of which is likely silicate weathering. This stabilizing feedback would explain how the Earth has remained habitable through dramatic climate events in the geologic past.

“On the one hand, it’s good because we know that today’s global warming will eventually be canceled out  through this stabilizing feedback,” says Constantin Arnscheidt, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). “But on the other hand, it will take hundreds of thousands of years to happen, so not fast enough to solve our present-day issues.”

The study is co-authored by Arnscheidt and Daniel Rothman, professor of geophysics at MIT.

Stability in data

Scientists have previously seen hints of a climate-stabilizing effect in the Earth’s carbon cycle: Chemical analyses of ancient rocks have shown that the flux of carbon in and out of Earth’s surface environment has remained relatively balanced, even through dramatic swings in global temperature. Furthermore, models of silicate weathering predict that the process should have some stabilizing effect on the global climate. And finally, the fact of the Earth’s enduring habitability points to some inherent, geologic check on extreme temperature swings.

“You have a planet whose climate was subjected to so many dramatic external changes. Why did life survive all this time? One argument is that we need some sort of stabilizing mechanism to keep temperatures suitable for life,” Arnscheidt says. “But it’s never been demonstrated from data that such a mechanism has consistently controlled Earth’s climate.”

Arnscheidt and Rothman sought to confirm whether a stabilizing feedback has indeed been at work, by looking at  data of global temperature fluctuations through geologic history. They worked with a range of global temperature records compiled by other scientists, from the chemical composition of ancient marine fossils and shells, as well as preserved Antarctic ice cores.

“This whole study is only possible because there have been great advances in improving the resolution of these deep-sea temperature records,” Arnscheidt notes. “Now we have data going back 66 million years, with data points at most thousands of years apart.”

Speeding to a stop

To the data, the team applied the mathematical theory of stochastic differential equations, which is commonly used to reveal patterns in widely fluctuating datasets.

“We realized this theory makes predictions for what you would expect Earth’s temperature history to look like if there had been feedbacks acting on certain timescales,” Arnscheidt explains.

Using this approach, the team analyzed the history of average global temperatures over the last 66 million years, considering the entire period over different timescales, such as tens of thousands of years versus hundreds of thousands, to see whether any patterns of stabilizing feedback emerged within each timescale.

“To some extent, it’s like your car is speeding down the street, and when you put on the brakes, you slide for a long time before you stop,” Rothman says. “There’s a timescale over which frictional resistance, or a stabilizing feedback, kicks in, when the system returns to a steady state.”

Without stabilizing feedbacks, fluctuations of global temperature should grow with timescale. But the team’s analysis revealed a regime in which fluctuations did not grow, implying that a stabilizing mechanism reigned in the climate before fluctuations grew too extreme. The timescale for this stabilizing effect — hundreds of thousands of years — coincides with what scientists predict for silicate weathering.

Interestingly, Arnscheidt and Rothman found that on longer timescales, the data did not reveal any stabilizing feedbacks. That is, there doesn’t appear to be any recurring pull-back of global temperatures on timescales longer than a million years. Over these longer timescales, then, what has kept global temperatures in check?

“There’s an idea that chance may have played a major role in determining why, after more than 3 billion years, life still exists,” Rothman offers.

In other words, as the Earth’s temperatures fluctuate over longer stretches, these fluctuations may just happen to be small enough in the geologic sense, to be within a range that a stabilizing feedback, such as silicate weathering, could periodically keep the climate in check, and more to the point, within a habitable zone.

“There are two camps: Some say random chance is a good enough explanation, and others say there must be a stabilizing feedback,” Arnscheidt says. “We’re able to show, directly from data, that the answer is probably somewhere in between. In other words, there was some stabilization, but pure luck likely also played a role in keeping Earth continuously habitable.”

This research was supported in part by a MathWorks fellowship and the National Science Foundation.


Written by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office


Science Advances




Presence or absence of stabilizing Earth system feedbacks on different timescales



From EurekAlert!

Here is the article abstract

Presence or absence of stabilizing Earth system feedbacks on different time scales


The question of how Earth’s climate is stabilized on geologic time scales is important for understanding Earth’s history, long-term consequences of anthropogenic climate change, and planetary habitability. Here, we quantify the typical amplitude of past global temperature fluctuations on time scales from hundreds to tens of millions of years and use it to assess the presence or absence of long-term stabilizing feedbacks in the climate system. On time scales between 4 and 400 ka, fluctuations fail to grow with time scale, suggesting that stabilizing mechanisms like the hypothesized “weathering feedback” have exerted dominant control in this regime. Fluctuations grow on longer time scales, potentially due to tectonically or biologically driven changes that make weathering act as a climate forcing and a feedback. These slower fluctuations show no evidence of being damped, implying that chance may still have played a nonnegligible role in maintaining the long-term habitability of Earth.

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November 20, 2022 6:11 am

Life itself acts on a much faster time scale and has a “will to survive.”

The unscrupulous use untestable hypotheses to promote their own narratives.

Reply to  Scissor
November 20, 2022 8:12 am

Exactly. Somehow, MIT (or their CCP minder) forgets that fossil fuels are both organic and geology.

Reply to  dk_
November 20, 2022 10:21 am

And are part of the Carbon Cycle.

November 20, 2022 6:12 am

There are two constants in climate science: Arrogance and Hubris.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  strativarius
November 20, 2022 8:13 am

I’d add self-righteousness.

Rod Evans
Reply to  strativarius
November 20, 2022 8:26 am

I would like to add ‘Lies and Ignorance’ to the Climate Science list.
Maybe those who claim to be ‘Climate Scientists(?)’ should master actual science before attempting to specialise in a complex area, called Climate?

Joseph Zorzin
November 20, 2022 6:12 am

“The Earth’s climate has undergone some big changes, from global volcanism to planet-cooling ice ages and dramatic shifts in solar radiation.”

Not to mention the giant asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs- yet the Earth recovered.

Tom Abbott
November 20, 2022 6:25 am

From the article: “Chemical analyses of ancient rocks have shown that the flux of carbon in and out of Earth’s surface environment has remained relatively balanced, even through dramatic swings in global temperature.”

That would lead to the assumption that CO2 does not control global temperatures.

So, these scientists are trying to fix that problem by involving silicate weathering.

It’s all about CO2. CO2 must be the control knob of the atmosphere they assume, and they don’t look for anything else as a cause.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 20, 2022 6:34 am

To be published, one must not go against certain narratives, so they “go along to get along.” A problem with this is that everything is tainted.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 20, 2022 7:02 am

It’s right for all the wrong reasons.

As you correctly point out, they are trying to square reality with their Climastrology dogma.

From YouReekAlot! so you know it’s craaaaaaap!

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Rich Davis
November 21, 2022 9:19 am

It also can’t be scottish.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 21, 2022 2:22 am

They seem to be ignoring a rather important fact: that since life started on our planet, for most of that time atmospheric CO2 was far higher than today, up to around 20 times as high. And yet life was if anything more abundant than today and temperatures were ideal for life.
Ironically, reseach by astronomers showed that the ideal temperature for planetary life was 5 degrees warmer than Earth.
Climate scientists should get rid of their mad obsession with CO2, which is literally the gas of life. In a nutshell, they should go back to doing science.

Michael in Dublin
November 20, 2022 6:28 am

If there is a creator God then this would make sense.
If there is no creator God then all the climate alarmism makes no sense.
“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
November 20, 2022 6:37 am

And if everything is meaningless, then anything can be justified. That is the battle being fought.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Scissor
November 20, 2022 7:30 am

And we are losing that battle

Reply to  Rich Davis
November 20, 2022 8:03 am

Tragically, it seems that way, but as long as you exhale carbon dioxide, the fight is on.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Scissor
November 20, 2022 7:51 am

Actually the reverse, If everything is meaningless,then nothing can be justified.

Reply to  Leo Smith
November 20, 2022 9:59 am

Depends on what you mean by meaningless, if you know what I mean. 🙂

Reply to  Leo Smith
November 21, 2022 11:56 am

If everything is meaningless, then nothing need be justified, everything is justifiable.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
November 20, 2022 7:50 am

Yes. Pure atheism – which so many Left leaning intellectuals pretend do, has no moral compass to guide it whatsoever.

If you throw out God, you lose Divine Purpose, and if you lose that it’s all just happenstance.
No one cares about us, or the wretched Planet.

In order to justify the morality of the Left one has to invent principles for making value judgements.

The more cynical amongst us regard these as exrardinarlily convenient for the pursuit of power and profit, and the control of populations in a far less pleasant way than religions did. Well, Christianity, anyway.

Historically Marxist Atheism found religion and conservative values to be its greatest enemy, so set about destroying them but that left a vacuum, so they had to invent a specious humanism to fill the gap.

Myself, I am pretty much an atheist, but an atheist who regards the Christian way of life and moral codes as probably the greatest invention of Mankind in becoming civilised.
In short, irrespective of the truth-content of God narratives I would far rather people lived as if a God existed.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 20, 2022 8:22 am

“In short, irrespective of the truth-content of God narratives I would far rather people lived as if a God existed.”

Or, at least people need to understand that morality and ethics allows society to function better without a need for divine rules and regulations.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
November 20, 2022 10:48 am

Most people couldn’t care less about society, all they want is to get as much for themselves and their family as they can.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  MarkW
November 20, 2022 11:12 am

you don’t have to care about society to realize that if you misbehave towards others they may return the same to you- thus, it’s just common sense that we ought to behave because it’s in our interest

also, I think most people who’d like to misbehave more often realize they may get caught and that could be unpleasant

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 20, 2022 10:50 am

In reply to Leo and Joseph

French philosopher, B H Levy, concluded a 1983 interview:
I am not a man of faith, but I think if we are looking for a new foundation of ethics, the best ground is the old biblical tradition. These old manuscripts contain the principles of human rights, the idea of individuality, the idea of exile and cosmopolitanism. Marxism maintains there is no absolute ethics, truth, evil, and good; it all depends on the circumstance and the class which is expressing it. If you want, however, to escape this relativity of ethics you’ll find the tools and inspiration in the Bible.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 20, 2022 10:04 pm

Leo, your idea can be looked at another way. Those who are civilized as such, do not need the fear of God to espouse the best way to live. Today we are witnessing the hell on earth possible when those who most need the restraint of this fear, have freed themselves from God.

Rick C
November 20, 2022 6:35 am

The study seems premised on CO2 being the “climate control knob” and looks like an exercise in confirmation bias. Not that silicate weathering does not play a roll in long term carbon sequestration which I think has long been an accepted fact. But there are many other negative feedbacks that promote climate stability – e.g. the water cycle, ocean currents, atmospheric energy transport, etc.

In any case, I don’t think the long term changes from ice ages to hothouse climates can be considered very stable.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Rick C
November 20, 2022 8:23 am

stable only in a relative sense- compared to the frigidity of space or the surface of some molten hot planets- it’s quite amazing

November 20, 2022 6:37 am

Am I mistaken, or is the entire study based on the assumption that CO2 in the atmosphere is the absolute “control knob” for the Earth’s climate, and that natural processes that increase or reduce atmospheric CO2 determine whether the Earth cools or warms? How simplistic!

Rich Davis
Reply to  hiskorr
November 20, 2022 7:25 am

“Moronic” would be my take on it.

joe x
Reply to  hiskorr
November 20, 2022 10:18 am

that is precisely what i thought also. the study is bs. crafty wordsmiths they are.

November 20, 2022 7:00 am

What do mean”Earth Can Regulate its Own Temperature”
NO … that’s the job of the IPCC !!!

If we allow Earth to Regulate its Own Temperature, then there won’t be any more COP-OUT parties like the one we’ve just had at ‘Sham El Shake down’.

Reply to  1saveenergy
November 21, 2022 12:07 pm


E. Schaffer
November 20, 2022 7:14 am

Oh, they already realize? Let us go back to the famous Al Gore chart..

comment image

Al Gore wants to tell a certain story here, and people look at the magicians hands. But for a moment, please just look at the temperature curve in white. It goes up and down, but it does not leave a certain bandwidth of oscillation. This is NOT a random walk. Rather in the long term, despite all the oscillation, the trend is perfectly flat.

There are pertubations obviously, but something holds the temperature, almost like a rubber band, in place. In the terms of “climate science”, this “rubber band” is a feedback, a negative feedback. And obviously it is dominant.

Reply to  E. Schaffer
November 20, 2022 8:08 am

When it’s really cold, Justin Trudeau’s home is under a mile of ice. Cherish the thought.

Henry Pool
Reply to  E. Schaffer
November 20, 2022 9:04 am
Doud D
November 20, 2022 7:20 am

This is what we all suspected, but the author now worries that this process is too slow to solve the modern day problem .
I contend the modern problem is people who feel like they have to assist the natural process instead of adapting like life always has .

Reply to  Doud D
November 20, 2022 8:18 am

Reminds me of the following short video. Dan Pena may not get his details precisely correct, and he uses stark and offensive language, but his messaging is sharp and accurate.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Doud D
November 20, 2022 8:26 am

assisting the process would be fine if cheap enough- but when I hear trillions of dollars, I think we can let Mother Nature do the work, if imperfectly

November 20, 2022 7:22 am

For those interested in climate-related positive feedbacks, Wikipedia lists the following …

Arctic methane release
Thawing permafrost peat bogs
Atmospheric Methane release
Peat Decomp
Rainforest drying
Forest Fires
Cloud Feedback
Gas release
Ice-albedo feedback
Water vapor feedback
Ocean-warming feedback

Negative feedbacks? Only four …

Blackbody radiation
Carbon Cycle
Lapse Rate
Impacts on Humans.

<a href=””>Climate change feedback</a>
Hard to believe we’ve lasted this long.

Leo Smith
Reply to  rovingbroker
November 20, 2022 7:53 am

Most of those are in fact negative feedbacks

Reply to  rovingbroker
November 20, 2022 10:50 am

You say positive feedback, the tag on your URL says negative feedback.
Which is it?

Luke B
Reply to  rovingbroker
November 21, 2022 4:26 pm

Interestingly, the wikipedia page for positive feedback lists clouds as a positive feedback, while the page for negative feedback explains why they would be expected to be negative feedback.

Henry Pool
November 20, 2022 7:25 am

It is far less complicated as what the authors make it to be.

70% of earth is water. More heat/ warmth causes more clouds. More clouds send most of the radiation from the sun back to space, causing cooling. ‘Global” warming is a myth. It cannot even happen.

As far as the sun is concerned, there is a quasi sinusoid solar cycle (Gleissberg) with a wavelength of 87 years, on average. Average is important here. You can see it, if you study Tmax (global). As with every sinusoid, it has a top and a bottom. There is a (electrical?) switch and it seems it is thrown when the planets are all on time and there is enough centrifugal/gravitational force to reposition something of the inner center of the sun.
So, the sun has also a system to make sure it does not get too warm or not too cold. Amazing, is it not?

In all probability, following simple logic, as far as the current warming period is concerned, it is caused by earth itself.
See here.
It is the earth itself, stupid!? | Bread on the water
I reworked the end of my report. Let me know what you think of it?

Reply to  Henry Pool
November 20, 2022 8:25 pm

‘Global” warming is a myth. It cannot even happen.”

Earth spends about half the time warming and half the time cooling.
Are you drunk?

Henry Pool
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 20, 2022 10:40 pm
November 20, 2022 7:26 am

Study still assumes that CO2 is the control knob for climate. A belief that has been completely refuted by existing real world data.

Henry Pool
Reply to  MarkW
November 20, 2022 1:07 pm

Ja. It is crazy. Nonsense.

November 20, 2022 8:08 am

The study doesn’t seem to show much for new information. Just an old theory without much validity. So why did it get so warm, why is it so damn cold? Because silicate weathering changing the CO2 which isn’t all that important in the world’s temperature. Really? What a fluff piece.

The oceans move heat to the poles, when this changes like Arctic and Antarctic are locked in by rock it allows cold dense waters to dominate the oceans which 90% of the oceans is between 0-3 degrees today. Giant massive oceans with it’s insane energy storage compared to the atmosphere is what controls the Earth’s temperature. When there is easy passage of waters to the poles and large inland seas that push warm dense waters to the bottom of the ocean the world is warm as the oceans are much much warmer than today transferring heat. And when the poles are locked and the world freezes, our interglacial is a buildup of the heat in the oceans that get expressed in a roller coaster ride of cooling until the ice once again marches to New York. This dynamic isn’t going to be stopped by CO2 emissions, alas the world was much warmer with much more CO2 and the march to the ice ages happened.

Reply to  mydrrin
November 20, 2022 8:29 am

The relatively abrupt exit from glacial periods, at least the last few, is quite interesting too. What’s the supposed mechanism for that? It’s also not CO2.

Reply to  Scissor
November 20, 2022 9:00 am

It’s a buildup of heat in the upper oceans. Right now you have rivers of very dense cold water going down to the bottom of the oceans displacing pushing up warm waters and the Atlantification of the Arctic Ocean with warm waters. When this mechanism slows down, in essence stops, like in the deep ice age because of ice caps are so engulfing, and warm waters don’t get pushed to the poles to cool down there is a buildup of warm waters and energy. When the interglacial starts warm waters go to the poles and starts the interglacial or DO event depending on how much warm waters have built up. Only the oceans contain the energy required to cause interglacials. Period, nothing comes close.

Today the upper warm ocean is shrinking, likely was expanding during the little ice age and now is expressing warming the air but cooling the oceans as the roller coaster ride to ice ages happen as this energy get squeezed out of the oceans.

Reply to  mydrrin
November 20, 2022 10:35 am

It makes sense that the energy to melt the glaciers is ocean derived but it is remarkable that the heat transfer to poles is so quick coming out of the glacial periods.

Even now, while the average surface temperature of the oceans is higher than the global temperature, the average temperature of ocean waters is lower and we still have a lot of ice around.

Reply to  mydrrin
November 20, 2022 10:53 am

Fresh water floats on top of salt water. The temperature difference is rarely enough to over come that.

Beyond that, by the time glacial melt waters make it to the oceans, the temperature difference is pretty much gone, anyway.

Reply to  Scissor
November 20, 2022 7:50 pm


The abrupt exit from glacial periods is due to the cessation of the on-going volcanic eruptions that caused the glaciation.

It takes less than 25 years for the volcanic SO2 aerosols to settle out of the atmosphere, allowing warming to begin..

Tom Abbott
Reply to  BurlHenry
November 21, 2022 3:49 am

Twenty-five years, Burl?

The Mount Pinatubo eruption reduced temperatures for over a year, but not 25 years, so I’m wondering how you are calculating that the aerosols stay in the atmosphere for 25 years.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 21, 2022 3:19 pm

Tom Abbottt:

I did say LESS than 25 years.

Not knowing the VEI of the last eruption, I made the worst-case assumption that it could have been a VEI7, or a VEI8.

Mount Tambora was a VEI7 eruption in 1815, and its aftereffects were reported to have lasted for 15 years: a VEI8 would have been longer.

Both are rare beasts. Pinatubo was about 2 years, so the rapid recovery at the end of a glacial period could be as little as 2 years.,

Tom Abbott
Reply to  BurlHenry
November 21, 2022 5:51 pm

Thanks for the explanations, Burl.

Richard M
November 20, 2022 8:16 am

The overall physics appears to make temperature and CO2 completely independent. This is clearly desirable for a stable environment. Seems reasonable that nature would be designed this way. Since we already know there are 100s of physical variables set just right to support life, why would CO2 be any different?

I doubt this study is worth the paper it is printed on or the silicon it is stored on.

Peta of Newark
November 20, 2022 9:11 am

At least they’re setting themselves up The Big Shock – when it comes.

Because, strangely, quite a lot of things can self-regulate without Scientific and Governmental meddling

November 20, 2022 9:17 am

Amazing! The 4 billion+ year-old earth, manages its own climate. Whoda thunk?
Most people don’t understand what it means that everything radiates thermal energy all of the time, and that if the heat ‘input’ increases, the radiation output RATE increases to the 4th power of the heat increase. Not squared, the 4th power. Squared, squared. That means that it almost impossible to ‘heat’ the earth above its thermostatic temperature. Certainly, Co2 has nothing to do with it.

Reply to  jshotsky
November 20, 2022 11:10 am


It’s is always gonna down to Co2 until the cultists move to “adapt” versus “control”.
That is because too many have the liberal midset that “we have to do something”, and we humans can reduce Co2 emissions easier than diverting the Gulf Stream or influencing the Sun’s radiance or … or….. So it’s simple, go back to horse and buggy days.
My hope is a good cold winter will have enuf power problems for some to realize we still need fossil fuel power plants and nukes for some time to come, and not in a few short years to realize the fantasy of wind and solar power with no practical backup.

Gums sends…

November 20, 2022 9:35 am

They got a “do-pass” on this one because with a mechanism at 100,000 cycles they are safely outside the debate-has-ended science blockade on thought and evidence. Anything less than that like 60-to-90-year irregular ocean cycles and multi-cycle solar groupings are not okay. The climate church lady monitors are watching.

November 20, 2022 10:16 am

In the Earth’s atmosphere the water vapor is the only condensing GHG. 

At some (sufficiently low) temperature any gas will become a condensing GHG, but without the presence of vaporizing & condensing GHGs in the system there is no atmosphere at all. 

We can observe this concept in the behaviour of comets – where a comet starts to build up atmosphere when getting closer to the sun and the surface materials start to evaporate. On the reverse trajectory, when getting farther from the Sun, the atmosphere condenses back to the surface and disappears.

In Earth’s case, consider that with the complete absence of an atmosphere, the temperature can be approximated by global average 340 Wm-2 incoming solar limiting temperature about 278-279K. This is optimal for the case of a water dominant atmospheric mass balance, where sun-lit areas evaporate and then water later condenses at height or cold surfaces.

In the case of Mars, the limiting temperature by insolation is only 226K at 147.5 Wm-2, resulting in a CO2 dominant atmospheric mass balance by condensation of CO2.

In the case of Earth, energy conservation is dominated by the hydrological cycle, and thus the mass balance, potential energy, and associated atmospheric opacity. Any perturbation to mass balance, such as by introduction of excess CO2, necessarily results in condensing out the equivalent H20. This process occurs much more quickly than over 100,000 years. It may occur in as little as 9 days.

The optical properties are coupled to the mass exchange, where the phase changes of water represent the dominant control knob.

Reply to  JCM
November 20, 2022 10:57 am

I was reading about a recently found exo-planet. The planet is so close to its sun, that scientists think it is possible for it to rain molten iron.

Reply to  MarkW
November 20, 2022 11:52 am

remarkable! it must be 1000s of degrees.

Reply to  MarkW
November 21, 2022 4:48 pm

and the ceramic lifeforms on the planet are in heated battle over ‘global warming’ on the planet, some saying that any increases in the tungstanium carborundium levels in their atmosphere will cause a rise of possibly 50 degrees decade.

November 20, 2022 11:41 am

There are many cycles of various lengths in Earth’s climate. When the climate warms, CO2 gets added to the atmosphere from the ocean, and when the climate cools, CO2 is absorbed from the atmosphere into the ocean. Temperature is cause and CO2 is effect. This paper is yet another in a long line of papers that get cause and effect the wrong way round.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
November 20, 2022 8:27 pm

Adding manmade CO2 to the atmosphere is also a CAUSE of climate change. Did you deliberately omit that fact? Or do you actually believe there is no greenhouse effect and CO2 is not part of the greenhouse effect? I hope not, because only fools believe there is no greenhouse effect and CO2 can not affect the climate.

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 20, 2022 9:46 pm

The CO2 is not man made. All CO2 is here naturally. It was sequestered naturally before humans evolved to release it back into the atmosphere where it came from. Evolution is also natural. If that bothers you, then humans and the entire biosphere bother you, since they all evolve naturally.

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 21, 2022 12:20 am

Minimal effect! Only fools and liars would declare CO2 to have the capacity to overwhelm the earths natural variability and many different regulatory mechanisms. Their time would be better spent trying to nail down what carbon sink(s) have yet to be identified.

November 20, 2022 1:05 pm

They are coming up with the far-fetched BS to justify why CO2 is not causing runaway global warming.

What is more powerful than sea ice that limits the minimum temperature of ocean water to -1.7C and convective instability with associated cloud persistence that limits ocean surface temperature to 30C? These processes are so powerful that they set hard annual limits on the ocean surface temperature that only vary slightly with salinity and atmospheric mass.

November 20, 2022 1:43 pm

Wrong assumption inducing wrong conclusion :

CO2 (possibly indirectly) accelerates silicate weathering which is also very sensitive to (accelerated by) temperature.
Atmospheric CO2 is driven by temperatures at any timescale as showed by measured data from months (CO2 – T cross-correlation diagrams) to hundred millenia (ice cores).

Thus silicate weathering may indeed be an equilibrium contributor of atmospheric CO2 (with oceans, ice, soils, vegetation, …) and it’s driven by the climate (temperature, humidity, …), but, at least with respect to CO2, it is not a stabilizing climate feedback unless it is proven that CO2 is itself a driver of global temperatures.
Since such assumption – upon which the article is based – is contradicted by measured data on all timescales the article’s conclusion is wrong.

November 20, 2022 1:46 pm

Earth can regulate its own temperature over centuries, decades, years, days, even hours, old study finds. Impulse processes are not uncommon in evolution. Peer-reviewed publication

Martin Brumby
November 20, 2022 1:57 pm

Never a shortage of ‘scientific’ studies which, when boiled down, amount to conclusive proof that whatever The Science is, it certainly isn’t “settled”.

Myself, I’m not a gambler. But my view on ALL the allegedly scientific hypotheses is that 95% can be instantly rejected because they promote obvious lies. Occasionally unwittingly but mostly from venality and pure cowardice, not wanting to stick head above the parapet.

My hunch is that Willis Echenbach’s hypothesis with tropical thunderstorms and a self-regulating heat engine is the one to watch. Looks good and smells right!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Martin Brumby
November 21, 2022 3:44 am

“My hunch is that Willis Echenbach’s hypothesis with tropical thunderstorms and a self-regulating heat engine is the one to watch. Looks good and smells right!”

I agree.

I also think the studies by Javier Vinos and Andy May are in the same category and complementary to Willis’ studies.

The Earth’s climate is very complicated and these scientists make it understandable.

And it appears that CO2 is a minor player in the scheme of things.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 21, 2022 3:39 pm

Tom Abbott:


Willis,Javier,and Andy are all wrong.

Read my short paper on Google Scholar:”Net-Zero Catastrophe Beginning?”

November 20, 2022 3:05 pm

This study has nothing to do with manmade causes of climate change such as greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution that blocks incoming sunlight.

Also, Earth’s “regulation” included a very cold climate and a very low CO2 level 20,000 years ago. That’s a big deal. My property in SE Michigan was under an ice sheet. And I can’t ice skate.

Earth can regulate its own temperature, but the past extremes were bad news from a human point of view. Even just 20,000 years ago.

What is the purpose of this study?

Frank from NoVA
November 20, 2022 3:13 pm

‘The new findings are based on a study of paleoclimate data that record changes in average global temperatures over the last 66 million years. ‘

Hmmm, 66 million years sounds very familiar. Could they be looking at the CENOGRID data of Westerhold et al? The same data that, correctly analyzed, strongly shows that plate tectonics, not CO2, has been the primary driver of the Earth’s temperature over this period?

But instead, they invoke silicate weathering as a climate offset in order to maintain the fiction of the CO2 ‘ control knob’, overlain by stochastic calculus to impress the idiots at Eureka Alert.

What a pile of crap!

Loren Wilson
November 20, 2022 3:52 pm

Since the temperature during a glacial period varies significantly over the ice and warm parts of the cycle, clearly the natural cycles are governed so that we never hit that magical and ominous “tipping point”. Otherwise, the first glaciation would have pushed us over already.

Smart Rock
November 20, 2022 4:28 pm

“Silicate weathering” appears to be a handy wild card that can be pulled out and laid on the table in any “CO2 control knob” study. Near-impossible to quantify,even at the present day, and so it can be “modelled” to support any theory of past climate changes. The logic seems to go like this:

Temperature was (higher/lower) in the xx period.
Therefore CO2 was (higher/lower)
Therefore there was (less/more) silicate weathering

Jeff Alberts
November 20, 2022 6:55 pm

Confirmed. Riiight.

Louis Hunt
November 20, 2022 7:42 pm

Some say random chance is a good enough explanation…”

When you’re supposed to be the expert and you don’t have the answer, blame it on random chance. How do you disprove that? No expert wants to admit that he simply doesn’t know the answer. It’s like a security expert at a casino who is asked to figure out how the same guy is able to beat the house odds on a regular basis. If he can’t figure out what method the guy is using to cheat the casino, the last thing he wants to do is admit that he’s not very good at his job. So he falls back on the explanation, “the guy is just lucky.”

Louis Hunt
November 20, 2022 7:59 pm

There’s an idea that chance may have played a major role in determining why, after more than 3 billion years, life still exists,” Rothman offers.

The thing about “chance” is it is random. It can go either way. To assume that whenever something bad happened over 3 billion years random chance stepped in to save the day is very naive. It would have only taken one time for chance to go the other way for life to be wiped out. What are the odds of that not happening over 3 billion years?

Gary Pearse
November 20, 2022 9:32 pm

“…there was some stabilization, but pure luck likely also played a role in keeping Earth continuously habitable.”.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
November 20, 2022 9:45 pm

Pure luck in units of 100,000 year bits making up 3,000,000,000 yrs sucks the air out of the science of a stabilizing correction. What is the unknown nature of the ‘bullet’, that we have been lucky enough to dodge? Being an equal opportunity sceptic, this looks like a numbers casserole à la climate muddle.

November 20, 2022 10:28 pm

“Earth Can Regulate its Own Temperature Over Millennia, New Study Finds”
You don’t say!!!!!!!!!! What ever gave them the first clue?

November 21, 2022 4:30 pm

hahaha, when I read this:

“A likely mechanism is “silicate weathering” — a geological process by which the slow and steady weathering of silicate rocks involves chemical reactions that ultimately draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and into ocean sediments”

that was the place to stop. right after they wrote that they got another couple million in research grants

Clyde Spencer
November 21, 2022 5:17 pm

I think that many of you have missed the importance of this article. The alarmists are continually suggesting that we are quickly approaching some kind of existential Tipping Point. The poorly supported claim that CO2 is not only the ‘control knob,’ but the only influence of concern for global temperatures, is invalid under the conclusions of this article. Therefore, there can be no Tipping Point (A critical condition from which there is no recovery.). This nullifies the moral imperative of doing something quickly because of the imminent approach of a point of no return.

November 22, 2022 8:42 am

It’s notable that they showed self-stabilization up to hundreds of thousands of year time scales but not over million year and above time scales. However even at hundreds of millions of year timescales temperatures appear somewhat constrained between upper and lower bounds of hot house and ice house. At the end-Permian it may have briefly broken through higher than this bound.

Some more thoughts on climate emergent homeostasis

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