Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history

Abstract: Holocene Impact Working Group summary of research

3 Responses

  1. Yes, the shock between the meteoroids and the planet Earth, in such a way seem to be common in the Holocene in the land as in the sea. The research on the basis of transdiscipline methodologies, as the Archaeoastronomy, could potentially bring new perspectives on the theme.

  2. Why do the natural sinks need to be ieprovmd? Bob asked But what is the storage factor? Could the % recycling be made much better? Uhm, at less than Four HUNDRED parts per MILLION, it pretty well has.Well yea but then so what? We know there’s massive natural carbon sinks and massive natural carbon producers, the balance out leaving around 800ppm in the air. It still hints that carbon might be important and casually moving that number around can produce dramatic consquences.Looking at the long term temp. graph I can see quite a few possible scenaros that might be at play.Consider this hypothesis. Suppose that on average life is a CO2 drain on the air (leaving out the actions of modern humans). This might make sense given the massive oil reserves we had which is the past carbon storage of life long ago. Say we have periodic vulcanic eruptionsof CO2. There’s your long term graph. Life draws down CO2 cooling the climate and every few dozen thousand years eruptions push the levels back up creating warming spurts.This would make for the long term graph that skeptics seem to be talking false security in but its actually quite scarey. Why? Because it would mean we are now pushing life to be a net CO2 producer. Rather than draw down CO2 between eruption events, we are keeping it stable and adding. The eruptions will still come so the CO2 positive aspects of the natural system remain meaning we might be pushing ourselves far outside of the relatively comfortable equilibrium that’s been at play for the last half a million years or so.What is the upward limit of the biosphere given different levels of temperature, humidity, precipitation, and CO2. Well clearly physics would say the most CO2 you can have is 1 million parts per million. Beyond that we know CO2 will suffocate us at some point between that upper limit and the current 800 ppm. No doubt life on earth can exist at more than what we have now but that’s not really the question. We’d like life to continue to exist, of course, but we’d also like to be comfortable for people like us and our civilization. Bob’s eagerness to see half of North America covered with an ice sheet notwithstanding.From a conservative point of view, we don’t really know the consquences of pushing CO2 ever higher. This argues for setting systems in place now to try to limit that. Should the opposite case turn out to be, that we need more CO2 to dodge natural ice ages and such it’s really easy to change course .a gallon of oil or coal not burned today doesn’t disappear. It can just as easily be burned in 2020 or 2050. Put the systems in place now, figure out what the bugs are and if it turns out the next ten years of data and research show we are in deep trouble then at least we have a head start on clamping down on CO2. If not then issue more carbon credits and we keep the system in place but loose until we are sure.Most supporters of climate policy are not claiming the skeptics are right about the uncertainity. Considering how complex these systems are its clear this is no simple model. The problem is with skeptics claiming uncertainity merits assuming no problem and not even baby steps at a solution.

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