Fireball Global Warming Theory

Now, this is an interesting take on what might be causing temperatures to rise on Earth. A Russian scientist disputes that fossil fuel emissions are responsible for the increase of greenhouse gasses, while making claims that the Tunguska Event that occurred over Siberia in 1908 stripped the upper atmosphere of ice crystals and is the cause for recent warming.

Excerpt from Science Blog:

Russian blames global warming on 1908 Tunguska Event

A new theory to explain global warming was revealed at a meeting at the University of Leicester (UK) and is being considered for publication in the journal “Science First Hand”. The controversial theory has nothing to do with burning fossil fuels and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. According to Vladimir Shaidurov of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the apparent rise in average global temperature recorded by scientists over the last hundred years or so could be due to atmospheric changes that are not connected to human emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of natural gas and oil. Shaidurov explained how changes in the amount of ice crystals at high altitude could damage the layer of thin, high altitude clouds found in the mesosphere that reduce the amount of warming solar radiation reaching the earth’s surface.

Image: Tunguska Fireball –

Shaidurov has used a detailed analysis of the mean temperature change by year for the last 140 years and explains that there was a slight decrease in temperature until the early twentieth century. This flies in the face of current global warming theories that blame a rise in temperature on rising carbon dioxide emissions since the start of the industrial revolution. Shaidurov, however, suggests that the rise, which began between 1906 and 1909, could have had a very different cause, which he believes was the massive Tunguska Event, which rocked a remote part of Siberia, northwest of Lake Baikal on the 30th June 1908.

[ . . . ]

The most powerful greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is water vapour, [Shaidurov] says, “Human activities have little direct control over its atmospheric abundance, which is controlled instead by the worldwide balance between evaporation from the oceans and precipitation.”

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Of course, the cycle of precipitation and evaporation largely is influenced by the Sun. While I agree with the good doctor’s analysis that fossil fuel has little to do with global climate, I respectfully submit that noctilucent ice is widely evident in the atmosphere today; moreover, should ice have been displaced in 1908, it would have had plenty of time to reconstitute in 98 years’ time. Yet, this is an interesting concept, and generates both insights and questions.