The CLAW hypothesis and its demise

 The CLAW hypothesis states that the Earth has a climate regulating function: warming increases primary production in the oceans, increases DMS emissions, increases cloud cover, and leads to colder temperatures. We call it the CLAW hypothesis, after the initials of the authors of the paper that proposed it. Since the CLAW hypothesis was proposed, research on the ocean atmosphere, microorganisms, and climate effects has advanced dramatically in order to test the hypothesis. Later, two disciples of the lead author of the CLAW paper (Charlson) published a paper in Nature (Quinn & Bates, 2011), concluding that although individual processes were observed, there was no evidence of a climate regulating function, as shown in the figure above, from warming to ... to cooling.

Here is the cover of the paper and part of the abstract from Quinn and Bates, Nature, 2011.

 In the Acknowledgements of this paper, ~"coming both to praise and bury Caesar = " we (Quinn & Bates) wrote this review paper to bury the CLAW hypothesis, which has reigned like Caesar. It is interesting and deeply moving that they quote a passage from Shakespeare (Julius Caesar). They conclude with the explanation that "the use of the CLAW hypothesis will come to an end, but its achievements will last for a long time".

Below are the acknowledgements for the Nature paper.


Last modified: Friday, 4 August 2023, 10:06 AM