2011-06-27 02:12:44Strange placement of "counter-evidence" for snowball Earth in Wikipedia's page for it
Alex C


I found the inclusion of source 58 in Wikipedia's article rather odd.  The section they're discussing at the moment is titled "Breaking out of global glaciation," and this is their closing statement:

"More recent evidence suggests that with colder oceanic temperatures, the resulting higher ability of the oceans to dissolve gases led to the carbon content of sea water being more quickly oxidized to carbon dioxide. This leads directly to an increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide, enhanced greenhouse warming of the surface of the Earth, and the prevention of a total snowball state. [cite source]"

The paper they link to is Peltier et al 2007, published in Nature.  What I find odd about the citation, aside from how it doesn't fit with that section in the article, and perhaps more appropriately under "Initiating 'Snowball Earth'," is that there's quite obviously from the abstract page at Nature a reference to another comment ("Brief Communication Arising") on the paper here, titled "Snowball Prevention Questioned," and authored by one of the authors of the previous paper, John W. Crowley, and a few other authors.  The initial authors replied, but from what I can gather from that page, they only responded to the first contention and not other complaints, such as the lack of consideration for geological observations and components of the carbon cycle.

I don't really have an explicit question on the issue, but I was in general curious on the conclusions of the paper and its usage as what seems to be a "throw in last minute" reference in Wikipedia, and was wondering if anyone else would like to comment to provide a second opinion or impression on the issue.