Home / Country Life / Our world has a thermostat

Our world has a thermostat

Ps-s-s-t, don’t tell Al Gore, but new scientific information demonstrates that planet earth has a thermostat that regulates global warming.

You may remember Mr. Gore, a former vice president and presidential candidate, and his book and movie, An Inconvenient Truth. He continues to soar around the globe in his private, fuel-guzzling Gulfstream jet proclaiming that global warming is caused by the world’s industrial activity. All the while making little effort to reduce his own carbon footprint.

Uncle Al, as I call him, emits a lot of rhetoric about global warming. But there’s nothing more debatable when it comes to the environment. This may be news to you younger readers out there, but the rest of us know that Ohio winters have been milder and less snowy since the blizzard of 1978.

While Uncle Al espouses man-made solutions to global warming, others argue that global warming is part of a natural cycle.

Readers who seek a balanced view on the subject should check out Fred Singer and Dennis Avery’s book, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007). Just a warning, however: If you read this book, the progressives could lump you in with Flat Earth Society members.

New scientific findings published in June this year add significant understanding of rising environmental temperatures and their cyclical nature (https://www.geochemicalperspectivesletters.org/article1726). This new information proves a hypothesis long held by scientists that the earth has a natural thermostat that regulates temperatures, stabilizing our climate for the long-term. Otherwise, the environment would eventually become incompatible with life.

But no one had proof to confirm this thermostat hypothesis, until now. Scientists know that as CO2 levels from nature and man’s activities increase, environmental temperatures rise. The question is: How does Mother Earth adapt over thousands of years to periods of gradually rising and falling temperatures?  Even more tantalizing: What caused the Ice Age?

Now scientists have shown that global temperature variances, up and down, are linked to regulation of CO2. When CO2 levels increase, ambient temperature gradually increases over thousands of years. Increased CO2 levels also bring more rainfall.

And more rainfall causes increased weathering of silicate rocks — which make up 90 percent of the earth’s crust. Weathering of silicate rocks, in turn, increases the rate of CO2 being removed over the eons from the atmosphere as the gas is incorporated into marine rocks in oceans, lakes and streams.

The chemical weathering of silicate rocks is referred to as a “drawdown” mechanism, which pulls CO2 from the atmosphere. This drawdown of CO2 cools Mother Earth.

For years, geophysical scientists have postulated that dropping atmospheric CO2 levels stabilized long-term warming of our climate. This was thought to be the “weathering thermostat.” The problem has been that even if it were true, no one could prove the hypothesis. But no more!

Scientists now know that chemical behavior of forms (isotopes) of lithium in rocks is controlled by the silicate rock weathering that rain causes. There is a 90% correlation between lithium isotope changes, the rock weathering, and CO2 in the atmosphere.

This mechanism gives scientists an unusual insight into CO2 drawdown and climate change. Analysis of lithium isotopes in silicate rock serves as the “barometer” to predict earth’s long-term CO2 regulation. This lithium barometer has been tested in the highest mountains and at sea level in China and elsewhere under a wide range of conditions.

In summary, as atmospheric CO2 increases, it causes global temperature to rise. This triggers more rain and increased chemical weathering of silicate rocks, which causes increased CO2 removal from the atmosphere. Dropping atmospheric CO2 levels over thousands of years causes a gradual drop in ambient temperature.

The recovery and stabilization of our climate system is the mechanism for maintaining life. This makes me think about a supreme being with a thumb on the thermostat.

Gazillions of dollars have been spent to reduce fossil fuel use with no apparent effect on today’s rising temperatures. In their book, Singer and Avery advocate that we adapt to global temperature change — that public policy drive adaptation rather than continue to push futile attempts to prevent climate change by eliminating fossil fuels. They report that society’s most successful times have coincided with the warmest periods of the global climate cycle. Modern technology can help “humanity … to not only survive global climate change but thrive” (Singer and Avery).

Don’t tell Trump, but he may be right. Global warming may be the long-term key for maintaining life.

Check Also

Prospects for corn trade in 2018/19 and beyond

By Ben Brown, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University The …


  1. There’s nothing in that undermines AGW science nor the short and long term harm excessive co2 has and will continue to cause, there’s just you unwittingly validating the role co2 plays in it. Well done. “While the Earth’s climate is always in flux, and life will continue to persist through the rise and fall of temperature, the rapid warming brought about by burning fossil fuels will make life much harder for humans. It is necessary to limit carbon pollution to ensure the Earth remains hospitable for our species.

    “The Earth’s climate varies a lot. It has varied a lot in the past,” said Pogge von Strandmann. “The point is, of course, that every time it varies a lot, it causes a big, mass extinction.”” https://www.popsci.com/earths-climate-regulates-itself#page-3

  2. As usual great piece Doc. I was reading an article in the Sunday Columbus Dispatch from February 26, 2017 where a study done by Purdue on sediments taken from Lake Martin in Indiana revealed the climate in the region from 950 to 1250 was warmer and wetter than today. Looks like there is some archaeological evidence to support the 1500 year cycle and that it is going to get warmer before the trend reverses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *