A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has found that the Earth is capable of regulating and stabilizing its temperature across vast timescales and even after dramatic changes in climate.
The Nov. 16 study published in Science Advances elaborated on the planet’s “stabilizing feedback system,” which has allowed the existence of diverse life-forms for the past 3.7 billion years or so. While this feedback has been assumed before, the study now serves as primary evidence for the existence of this system.
“You have a planet whose climate was subjected to so many dramatic external changes,” said MIT climate scientist and study co-author Constantin Arnscheidt. “Why did life survive all this time? One argument is that we need some sort of stabilizing mechanism to keep temperatures suitable for life. But it’s never been demonstrated from data that such a mechanism has consistently controlled Earth’s climate.”
To prove this argument, Arnscheidt and his co-author Daniel Rothman investigated existing paleoclimate data collected over the last 66 million years. They applied mathematical modeling to determine whether swings in Earth’s average temperatures might be limited by one or more factors.
The MIT researchers believe that silicate weathering is a critical mechanism in how the Earth regulates its temperature. As silicate rocks endure and corrode over time, deeper layers of mineral are constantly exposed to the atmosphere. Chemical reactions with the silicates extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and trap it in rock and ocean sediment.
Higher rates of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere build up weathering activity, growing the volume of exposed silicates that, in turn, takes out more of the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere, preventing future weathering.
As expected, the timescales of the temperature stabilizations correspond to the timescales that silicate weathering works, which is up to about 400,000 years. The evidence left by fossils and ice cores indicate that this weathering is actually keeping temperatures in check.
“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. There’s a timescale over which frictional resistance, or a stabilizing feedback, kicks in, when the system returns to a steady state,” said Rothman.
The results are the first to employ actual data to verify the existence of a stabilizing feedback. This stabilizing feedback would help explain how the Earth has remained habitable through dramatic climate changes 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. 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,” Arnscheidt said. (Related: Theory of annual rise in Earth’s temperature due to climate change is now exhaustively DISPROVED.)
Without stabilizing feedbacks, fluctuations in global temperature should evolve with timescale. But the team’s investigation disclosed a system in which fluctuations did not develop, indicating that a stabilizing mechanism dominated the climate before fluctuations became too extreme. The timescale for this stabilizing effect – hundreds of thousands of years – corresponds with what scientists forecast for silicate weathering.
Moreover, the study by Arnscheidt and Rothman disproves claims put forward by climate alarmists such as activist Greta Thunberg, former Vice President Al Gore and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The study’s publication came amid a leaked video of Gates disclosing that the clean energy movement is a scam to further advance the interests of the global elites.
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