Monday, March 30, 2009

Yet more inconvenient truths

Some now say that variations in atmospheric dust levels affect the temperature of the Atlantic ocean far more than global warming. They are claiming that 70 per cent of the change in Atlantic temperature over recent decades has resulted from reduced dust, rather than climate change. What kind of Holocaust-denying, flat-Earth, anti-science right wingnuts are saying this?

"The new analysis comes from scientists in the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Wisconsin. They say that the Atlantic temperature trend has been warmer by approximately a quarter of a degree each decade since 1980: but that most of this is actually because more sunlight is reaching the sea due to reducing levels of dirt in the air above it.

"A lot of this upward trend in the long-term pattern can be explained just by dust storms and volcanoes," says Amato Evan of Wisconsin uni. "About 70 percent of it is just being forced by the combination of dust and volcanoes, and about a quarter of it is just from the dust storms themselves."... The researchers say that predicting what will happen to atmospheric dust levels in future is difficult, with volcanoes notoriously random and African dust storms poorly understood. Nonetheless, according to Amato, future ocean-warming models will need to make allowance for them somehow or their predictions will be well out of whack." (my emphasis)

The Register story here
The actual paper here (requires subscription)

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