The University of Texas at Austin
  • Reuters quotes geosciences dean

    By Tara Chandler
    Published: May 1, 2008

    Eric Barron, geosciences dean at the University of Texas, argued that causal factors in climate change may be interacting in ways not yet imagined. For example, whether carbon dioxide buildup is a cause or effect of temperature rise depends on whether one is talking 30 years or a million years, he said. In the short run, human activity is putting more carbon dioxide into the air, but in the long run, the impact might be mitigated or made worse by climate responses not yet understood or predicted, he said. Barron called for deeper study of the geologic record to better calibrate computer models predicting the future. “If you do that, you might find we have even more to worry about,” Barron said, adding that the Earth’s geologic history has an important climate story to tell. “It shows the climate is very sensitive to small changes,” he said.

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