Friday, July 2, 2010

Frontiers in Denialism - Blame the Mammoths

In a blast of good news for climate change denialists, new research points to another non-human source of global warming: those goddamn mammoths.
The results ... suggest that when the mammoths disappeared, the Betula trees expanded across Beringia, forming forests that replaced as much as one-quarter of the grassland. The trees' leaves, which are darker than grasses, absorbed more solar radiation, and their trunks and branches, which jutted above the snowpack, continued the effect even in winter. The researchers calculated that the mammoths' disappearance contributed at least 0.1˚C to the average warming of the world around 15,000 years ago. Within Beringia, the warming due to the loss of the mammoths was probably closer to 0.2˚C, the team concluded.
We would have had such a great and prosperous time burning all the fossil fuels we could find if not for those meddling mammoths.

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