You are on page 1of 1

The Mystery of Climate Change

Richard Bradshaw
CO2 lags temperature (Climate change denial)
"An article in Science magazine illustrated that a rise in carbon dioxide did not precede a rise in
temperatures, but actually lagged behind temperature rises by 200 to 1000 years. A rise in carbon
dioxide levels could not have caused a rise in temperature if it followed the temperature." (Joe Barton)
. The initial changes in temperature during this period are explained by Milankovitch cycles. Though
the effect of orbital change is too weak to cause the observed climate change, it can cause activation of
numerous delicately balanced positive feedback systems such as:

1) Changes in ice sheet cover and vegetation patterns, 2) changes in atmosphere and ocean
chemistry (greenhouse gases : CO2, CH4, N2O, CFC-gases), 3) ocean heat content 4) the icealbedo mechanism, 5) ocean current circulation, 6) lower tropospheric water vapor content

Possibly exacerbated by 1) deforestation, 2) solar temperature variation, 3) volcanoes

1. Any of these positive feedback mechanisms when activated by slight temperature changes from
Milankovitch cycles can lead to significant impact upon the tipping points of other feedback
mechanisms and their surrounding environment, leading to greater global imbalance.
2. Positive feedback mechanisms have a reciprocal effect on each other, collectively exacerbating
the situation until some kind of new balance is achieved, usually far different from the initial
3. These changes can in turn cause possible change in biodiversity, and species extinction, which
again changes the environment and climate.
4. Though any of these variables can exacerbate climate change by adding to the positive feedback
process, few if any can be used in isolation to predict or explain general trends in climate
5. Since the process of climate change is so complicated and there are so many interacting
variables involved, any specific aspect of climate change tends to resist simplification, and the
multi-phase process for climate change tends to remain hidden until teased out by careful
For example:
1. The Earth's orbital cycles triggered warming in the Arctic approximately 19,000 years ago,
causing large amounts of ice to melt, flooding the oceans with fresh water.
2. This influx of fresh water then disrupted ocean current circulation, in turn causing a
seesawing of heat between the hemispheres.
3. The Southern Hemisphere and its oceans warmed first, starting about 18,000 years ago. As
the Southern Ocean warms, the solubility of CO2 in water falls. This causes the oceans to
give up more CO2, releasing it into the atmosphere.
4. While the orbital cycles triggered the initial warming, overall, more than 90% of the glacial-

interglacial warming occurred after that atmospheric CO2 increase ,