Cutting Through The Crap

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Acid Test


In the blizzard of climate prevarication we've had to endure this winter, because, you know, it still gets cold in January, some important points get lost. It's not just about temperature! That stuff we spew into the atmosphere does damage in many ways.
When we humans burn fossil fuels, we pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, where the gas traps heat. But much of that carbon dioxide does not stay in the air. Instead, it gets sucked into the oceans. If not for the oceans, climate scientists believe that the planet would be much warmer than it is today. Even with the oceans’ massive uptake of CO2, the past decade was still the warmest since modern record-keeping began. But storing carbon dioxide in the oceans may come at a steep cost: It changes the chemistry of seawater....
....But there’s a crucial difference between the Earth 100 million years ago and today. Back then, carbon dioxide concentrations changed very slowly over millions of years. Those slow changes triggered other slow changes in the Earth’s chemistry. For example, as the planet warmed from more carbon dioxide, the increased rainfall carried more minerals from the mountains into the ocean, where they could alter the chemistry of the sea water. Even at low pH, the ocean contains enough dissolved calcium carbonate for corals and other species to survive.
Today, however, we are flooding the atmosphere with carbon dioxide at a rate rarely seen in the history of our planet. The planet’s weathering feedbacks won’t be able to compensate for the sudden drop in pH for hundreds of thousands of years.
There's more. As permafrost melts, and as the ocean changes, we get methane. Lots of methane.

In the past few days (the paper is from a couple of years ago, Sid interjects), the researchers have seen areas of sea foaming with gas bubbling up through "methane chimneys" rising from the sea floor. They believe that the sub-sea layer of permafrost, which has acted like a "lid" to prevent the gas from escaping, has melted away to allow methane to rise from underground deposits formed before the last ice age.

They have warned that this is likely to be linked with the rapid warming that the region has experienced in recent years.

Methane is about 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and many scientists fear that its release could accelerate global warming in a giant positive feedback where more atmospheric methane causes higher temperatures, leading to further permafrost melting and the release of yet more methane.

That's why every time the idiots at Fox "news" ran outside this winter, saying "it's snowing, it's snowing," like kids looking for their galoshes, the national brain lost another quantum of gray matter; and we got still closer to disaster of our own making, happy to be relieved of responsibility, drinking from the punchbowl while ignoring what we've put in it

10 comments:

Frank Drackman said...

No Healthcare Post?!?!? Well, Acceptance is the first step...You know what else produces CO2??
Breathing, well, the Breathing out part, some 3.1ml/kg/minute, so tell that Fatty Al Gore to hold his breath.
Seriously, its March, and it's still cold as Elizabeth Edwards Tit, even in Georgia.
And it'd be easier to believe CO2 was a problem if that Fat Pig Al Gore didn't take his Gulfstream 400 to Whole Foods..
And how do you know what it was like 100 million years ago?? I mean, a 100 years, I could understand, cause your almost that old, and anyways, the Earth's only been around about 6,000 years.
And as for all that Methane, Mrs. Sid asked me to talk to you about that,
try some "Beano",
gotta protect that Ozone,

Frank

Anonymous said...

Could this methane be what caused the big earthquake in Hawaii? I know that's a concern of Obama. Are you part of the aid group that's going there?

jd

Sid Schwab said...

Good news, jd: I've turned off the tractor beam that keeps pulling you here against your will.

As an extra benefit, it should help reduce the rate at which your brain is leaking out your ears.

Frank Drackman said...

Attacking the Messenger again???
No wonder UPS wont deliver to your house...

Sid Schwab said...

You did notice to whom my last comment was directed, didn't you, Frankie?

Anonymous said...

Don't tell me you missed it! I know you watch Fox News all the time--or else how would you know to criticize them like you do?

http://www.breitbart.tv/puzzling-statement-obama-says-louisiana-purchase-will-help-with-the-earthquake-in-hawaii/

He is the president, so he must know this stuff. And it's his home state, so it would be hard for him to get it confused with another state. Even though there are 57 of them.

jd

Sid Schwab said...

On point, original, and useful, as usual, jd.

Breitbart, by the way, in addition to pretty much continually frothing at the mouth and spewing hatred while decrying those who, in his view, spew hatred, is, like Fox "news," making something out of nothing. And you, as usual, pick it up with your pooper scooper and sniff it and lick it, just as they want you to.

Sid Schwab said...

Breitbart.

Anonymous said...

And this has been on his mind for...3 1/2 years? No record of him discussing it back then, when he was in the US Senate and might have done something to help. And the fix for a 3 1/2 year old earthquake is buying off Louisiana? You can complain about Fox News all you want--they just broadcast the pres's words. If he makes himself look bad, that's his problem.

And it is.

And here's your balanced source...in their own words:

"Media Matters for America
Mar 17, 2010 ... A non-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation"

Well, they certainly must be believable!


jd

Sid Schwab said...

Right, jd. If Media Matters said it, it must be untrue. Applies to earthquakes, too. Never happened.

Really, is there nothing Fox "news" tells you to think that you'd consider beneath you? Is there no point too small or irrelevant or unimportant, if your RWS™ scream it? Have you ever had an original thought? Do you have any filters?

I do appreciate your appearances here, though, because (not that it's needed) it demonstrates the truth of what I say about the right wing and its unrelenting and clueless craziness. You're like a self-executing bill: you can't help yourself.