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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Houston Geological Society Bulletin


Houston Geological Society Bulletin, Volume 49, No. 10, June 2007. Pages 19-19.

Abstract: Global Climate Change—A Geologic Perspective What Does The Data Tell Us?


Ray Thomasson

There has been an exponential increase in research into global climate change and in particular “global warming” since the early 1980s. Two basic types of research are being conducted. One is being conducted by physicists, astrophysicists, thermodynamicists, geologists, chemists, climatologists and allied scientists in an attempt to understand fundamental scientific principles and is based on global climate history recorded in the geologic record. The second, and by far the most abundantly funded research, is being conducted by a significant body of scientists assisted by Previous HitcomputerNext Hit modelers using global circulation models. These models are based on data and assumptions of how temperature relates to various past, present and future parameters. The latter research is focused on CO2 as a climate driver. This talk is designed to discuss the first data based body of research in some detail and the second model based body of research in summary.

We will discuss the makeup of the atmosphere, the global climate system and how the carbon cycle works. The history of the earth’s atmosphere and temperature through geologic time is an important context in which to describe the most recent CO2 –temperature relationship. Significant conclusions are possible with the use of isotopic data derived from extensive ice cores and the results from deep-sea cores acquired in the recent past.

Fundamental data on thermodynamics suggests limits to the effect CO2 can have on temperature. Much research has now been done on solar irradiance, earth-sun variations, sunspots and solar flares relative to temperature variations. Variations in cosmic ray intensity can be shown to be directly related to historical temperature changes. In addition, “greenhouse gases” play an important role in temperature control. A review of all these data helps explain the causes for both temperature and CO2 rises in both the past and present. We will also discuss some related climate elements such as hurricanes, etc.

Out of the facts it is possible to state more clearly what is known from Previous HitscienceTop and what is speculation.

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