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BoBo1946's avatar

Could Hurricanes Spawn A Permanent El Niño?

Asked by BoBo1946 (15285points) February 25th, 2010

An epoch of ancient time known as the early Pliocene 3–5 million years ago holds special fascination for climate scientists, because levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were about as high as they are in modern climate.

What puzzles researchers is why, even though conditions such as sunlight, geography, and CO2 concentrations were much like today, Earth’s climate was different—temperatures were 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, there were no polar ice caps, sea level was 82 feet higher, and the Pacific Ocean was locked in a permanent El Niño.

(part of an article written by John Cox as was too long to post it all, but this is the “meat of the article”)

http://www.news.discovery.com/.../could-hurricanes-spawn-a-permanent-el-nio.html -

My first thought, how would scientists know the components of the atmosphere 3–5 millions years ago?

What are your thoughts on this hypothesis? It is an “educated guess,” is it not?

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7 Answers

frigate1985's avatar

Theres the tree rings that can tell the growth rate (and thereby whether the conditions were suitable or not) odd oceanic rocks up high etc etc

marinelife's avatar

Just because there was a permanenet El Nino, does not mean it was caused by hurricanes.

BoBo1946's avatar

@marinelife understood, but the question was, could it? I’ve no idea…so many “educated guesses” now days about the climate. The global warming scientists have so a verisified opinion.

mattbrowne's avatar

Past atmospheric composition and climate can be measured by analyzing ice cores.

BoBo1946's avatar

@mattbrowne understood, but 3–5 million years ago. That blows the human mind…loll well, mine! that is not saying much Matt!

mattbrowne's avatar

@BoBo1946 – Scientists got a good idea about the climate when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Scientists found footprints of herbivore dinosaur on the island of Spitsbergen which today is not too far away from the North Pole. Herbivores need plenty of plants.

Scientists also have a good idea about the atmosphere before the invention of photosynthesis billion of years ago. There are many clues about the distant past.

BoBo1946's avatar

wow….cool stuff…thanks for the info Matt!

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