Terra Daily/AFP: Natural Climate Change Periodically Wipes Out Mammal Species
Climate change, naturally induced by tiny shifts in Earth's rotational axis and orbit, periodically wipes out species of mammals, a study published on Thursday says. Palaeontologists have long puzzled over fossil records that, remarkably, suggest mammal species tend to last around two and a half million years before becoming extinct. Climate experts and biologists led by Jan van Dam at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, overlaid a picture of species emergence and extinction with changes that occur in Earth's orbit and axis.
The Earth's orbit is not a perfect circle ... shifts in Earth's pattern of movement are relatively minor compared with those of other planets. But they can greatly influence the amount of radiation -- heat and light -- which Earth receives from the Sun. ... Astronomical impact "provides a crucial missing piece in the puzzle" of regular species turnover, it says. Previous research has also established that Earth's climate system can be affected by massive volcanic eruptions or the impact of an asteroid or comet. These can kick up so much dust that the planet receives less sunlight, and in turn plant species suffer.
Letter to the GUARDIAN: Alarmism on global warming
The claim (Diary, October 3) that I am associated with the oil industry and the implication that this accounts for my view that global warming alarmism is unjustified. ... My own research has always been funded by the US government. My only remunerated position is as a professor at MIT. I have never received any funds from the oil industry. ... Frankly, my research leads me to conclude that this is not the case, and that current climate models are greatly exaggerating the impact of anthropogenic greenhouse gases.Anthropogenic global-warming is bunk. Leftist bunk invented to create a hysterical reason to justify more statism and higher taxes. REPEAT: Climate change is natural, so just keep on truckin'!
Richard S Lindzen
Professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT