I’m perplexed…

This really isn’t relevant to anything I’ve been working on or should be working on, but some news releases about a fascinating paper have got me puzzled.

So here is the deal. A paper was recently written about the effects of land use and land cover change on climate trends in the United States. Judging by what the paper says, it seems to be suggesting that the primary effect of these influences is one of relative cooling over most of the US and on average. I don’t question the study itself-I don’t know enough to do anything of the kind. But here’s what is bugging me. In the press release from Purdue has several statements which seem to say the opposite! What am I supposed to believe, my own reading of the paper or what the scientists are saying about it? I don’t know! I’m confused! AH!

“What we highlight here is that a significant trend, particularly the warming trend in terms of temperatures, can also be partially explained by land-use change,” said Dev Niyogi, a Purdue earth and atmospheric sciences and agronomy professor, and the Indiana state climatologist. He is the study’s corresponding author.

While the effects of greenhouses gases like carbon dioxide are clear, Kalnay said, the study does suggest land use needs to be considered carefully as well.

“I think that greenhouse warming is incredibly important, but land use should not be neglected,” she said. “It contributes to warming, especially in urban and desertic areas.”

Another study co-author, Roger Pielke Sr., said the results indicate that “unless these landscape effects are properly considered, the role of greenhouse warming in increasing surface temperatures will be significantly overstated.”

Adding to my puzzlement, is the headline of a Physorg.com report “Green is cool, but US land changes generally are not.

Can somebody clarify what the heck is being said here?

No reasonable explanations dismissed…


One Response to “I’m perplexed…”

  1. Greg F Says:

    Think black top.

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