Hey, breaking news! The guys who predicted
global warming climate change got some things wrong. Apparently, the planet is a complicated thing, and it's tough to model it with your TI-82.
"Everyone seemed to think that August heat waves and drought would have major effects on grass productivity, but we couldn't find any," says Prof Joseph Craine of Kansas State uni, describing research on prairie grasslands carried out at the US National Science Foundation's Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site - one of a network of US government monitoring stations used to assess climate effects.
According to new research published by Craine and his colleagues, both droughts and heat waves generally have much less effect on the mighty grasslands of America than previously thought. Heat waves in particular need to happen during a specific two-week period to have any real consequences for grass growth in a given year.
Yeah, so apparently, warmer weather doesn't just automatically kill all the grasses in Mid-West America. Why is this important to the computer models, you ask?
These results are significant as until now projections of the possible effects of predicted climate change have assumed that droughts and heat waves would always have an effect on ecosystems - and that in turn would lead on to carbon level changes leading to more temperature rises and so on. These assumptions may now have to be revisited.
Revisited, you say? You know, that's what I'm going to start saying when I get something totally wrong. "What's that? The Cubs didn't win the World Series last year as my computer model predicted? I guess I'll have to revisit some assumptions I made about Kerry Wood's arm.
Revisiting. It's the new: "Oops, we got that totally wrong."