How has Earth been able to stabilize temperature fluctuations over hundreds of thousands of years?

How has Earth been able to stabilize temperature fluctuations over hundreds of thousands of years?

A new study confirms that the Earth is able to adjust and regulate its temperature over hundreds of thousands of years to keep it within a fixed range.

The planet has a ‘constant feedback’ mechanism capable of keeping global temperatures within a stable range, preventing them from swinging too far in either direction over long timescales, according to the research by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The study indicates that Earth is able to regulate its temperature and stability across vast time scales, 100,000 years or so on average, even after massive shifts in climate caused by ice ages, shifts in solar radiation, and intense volcanic activity.

The team behind the new research says that these ‘stabilizing reactions’ are part of the reason why Earth has been able to sustain life on it for the past 3.7 billion years or so. These theories have been put forward before, but There is now some direct evidence of it.

To find this evidence, the researchers dug into climate data collected over the past 66 million years and applied mathematical modeling to determine whether fluctuations in Earth’s average temperatures might be limited by one or more factors.

“You have a planet whose climate has undergone many dramatic external changes. It has stabilized to maintain temperatures suitable for life. But that hasn’t been demonstrated by the data. Such a mechanism has continually taken over,” says climate scientist Konstantin Arnsscheidt of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Earth’s climate.

This is thought to be done through ‘silicate weathering’, a geological process that involves the slow and continuous weathering of silicate rocks, which through chemical reactions draws carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into rock deposits in the oceans, thereby trapping the gas in the rocks. .

According to the findings, which were published in the journal Science Advances, the scientists found that there appears to be a consistent pattern in which the planet’s temperature fluctuations diminish over hundreds of thousands of years. This duration is similar to the time scales over which silicate weathering is thought to operate.

And through previous research, scientists have observed the movement of carbon into and out of the Earth’s surface environment to remain relatively balanced, despite fluctuations in global temperatures.

Scientists believe we are in a warming period and have urged policy makers to enact a range of changes to reduce carbon emissions or become carbon neutral.

“To some extent, it’s as if your car is accelerating down the street, and when you hit the brakes, you slide for a long time before coming to a stop,” Daniel Rothman, a professor of geophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a statement.

As a result, they found that temperature fluctuations stabilize approximately every 100,000 years, a phenomenon that would not occur if there were no underlying mechanism. Likewise, they showed that periods of climatic stability correspond to periods of silicate weathering.

The conclusions obtained are the first to support, based on the analysis of concrete evidence, the existence of a proven feedback process driven by carbon uptake from silicate rocks.

The scientists noted that understanding how Earth’s climate stabilizes over geological time scales is an important issue for understanding the long-term consequences of human-induced climate change and its impact on the planet’s habitability.

Source: Daily Mail


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick