On global warming and exploding compost

Yet more doubts are being cast on the reality of global warming by David Happer, professor of physics at Princeton:

During a fundraiser in Atlanta earlier this month, President Obama is reported to have said: “It gets you a little nervous about what is happening to global temperatures. When it is 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March, you start thinking. On the other hand, I really have enjoyed nice weather.”

What is happening to global temperatures in reality? The answer is: almost nothing for more than 10 years. Monthly values of the global temperature anomaly of the lower atmosphere, compiled at the University of Alabama from NASA satellite data, can be found at the website http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/. The latest (February 2012) monthly global temperature anomaly for the lower atmosphere was minus 0.12 degrees Celsius, slightly less than the average since the satellite record of temperatures began in 1979.

I admit that I am disappointed by all this. My wife is a keen gardener and she keeps a number of compost piles in our yard. I had high hopes that they would very soon be exploding in spectacular showers of potato peelings and rotting parsnips. But no: most disconcerting.

Global warming could explode ‘compost bombs’ all over the planet.

When the compost pile in your backyard revs up, it starts producing heat, as the microbes in it do their work breaking down organic matter. On a small scale, that’s great for your garden. On a grand scale, though, this same process can create a “compost bomb” — a burst of carbon into the atmosphere. And as the planet warms up, this is going to happen more often.


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