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#6823 - 06/07/06 02:30 AM Re: As the Earth warms
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day Paul,

The reference to God was to make a point. It was certainly not an attempt to name call at all. That is something I do not agree with on any forum for discussion. I do hope you appreciate there is a big difference between exaggerating to emphasise a point such as the reference to God and actually calling someone a God or believing they think they are.

As best as I could find, there is no evidence for any significant release of methane 11,000 years ago. It is not an area in which I have any particular expertise at all, as it has never been brought up in the area where my fascination lies. Having looked at the information available, methane has the potential to make major climate changes if released in large quantities. It may well have done so, as I previously said 55 million years ago (or the methane might have been released in response to a massive climate change - I do like these chicken and egg questions especially when there seems to be no science to support either argument well).

As to "rivers" on the ocean beds, dehammer is right in respect to massive rises and falls in ocean levels. In this Ice Age (somewhat more than a million years in geologic time), there has been a great many fluctuations in sea levels. They have been around 120 metres lower than they are now and around 40 metres higher. There is less evidence, but still some evidence, to suggest that lower levels have occurred.

Now 160 metres is a very long way indeed. It means the difference between much of the continental shelves being exposed and well underwater. To use a nice simple example, Sydney Harbour, is quite famous for its natural beauty (and the yearly fireworks that are amongst the first in the world - it starts at Tonga, then NZ, then eastern Australia). It is a river bed as are a great many other major world harbours. 20,000 odd thousand years ago, there was a creek running where ferries now travel. The creek could be waded across in drought times. The water edge for the coast was as much as 8 kilometres (about 5 miles) further out that it is now, thus what is seen on most continental shelves are the remnants of rivers, creeks, etc that flowed during the last lower period.

The theory that makes sense to you would be a good theory if any evidence supported it and that is what these forums are for. To discuss the evidence available. The references you provided did not actually suggest that there was a major release of methane 11,000 years ago or that this was the cause of this interglacial period.

As to the far distant past, the evidence is that the world was a pretty hot place indeed. At different periods the world was much hotter than today but generally, and this is a very big generalisation, the earth has cooled over the millennia.

What is not a generalisation is just how recent human habitation has been. Humans did not get swept back down to sea by rising sea levels in the times that climates changed greatly because humans just were not around during almost all of those changes. Human life is pretty much confined to this Ice Age. Before that and our ancestors were more ape like than human like. It was only about 700,000 that the acceleration towards human like creatures began, with the use of fire becoming widespread and therefore, the need to digest raw food being reduced meant that other developments could occur.

Humans have suffered greatly due to the flip flops between interglacial periods and glaciations in this ice age and my guess is that floods caused some losses but most of the losses were the change to environment that made life harsher.

Pretty much all modern human development has been in this one very very small interglacial period. Before that settlements were not permanent. Think of the way of life of the Inuit, American Indians, Australian aborigines, New Guinea tribesman, for an idea of how life was for most humans before the dawn of this interglacial period and the settlement near the Mediterranean that ended up in "civilisation".

You also mentioned deep ocean floor patterns as part of a theory on methane release. This is also not an area of expertise but I understand that there are some really fascinating reasons for the patterns but they were not made because the water is normally warm and into it intruded "rivers" of cold water.

Very cold water is part of the ocean depths. It is near to freezing anyway. Whether the world above the sea is warm or cold makes pretty much no difference to the temperature of the water at significant depths (I say pretty much because the very small differences caused by very slow vertical currents actually do have a significant effect on climate but in terms of what would normally be considered "warm" and "cool", the difference is negligible). So icy waters flowing from above the oceans just wouldn't do it. The icy water entering from the Antarctic for instance, is pretty much the same temperature as the water it eventually reaches at depth, close to zero C.

Paul, you have an interesting perspective on the world and obviously are interested in this topic. It is with evidence that even seemingly outlandish theories have been proved correct or had to be discarded. Plate tectonics is perhaps the classic example in Earth Sciences of a theory that was really taken as a crackpot theory until eventually the evidence was presented that was too overwhelming to ignore anymore (amazingly that took around 60 years after the evidence was available but that is one of the really big drawbacks of theoretical science, peer review and the inertial in scientific thought where it does not conform to the mainstream).

As to methane causing climate change whether in the short term or in the much longer time frame, there does, in the end, need to be evidence to suggest that this is a valid explanation. Certainly in the short term, there does not seem to be any such evidence at all.


Richard
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#6824 - 06/08/06 02:05 AM Re: As the Earth warms
paul Offline
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Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 4136
there is a large amount of methane about to be released into the atmosphere that has been forcasted
to release billions of tonnes of methane as the permafrost warms , the methane comes from peat.
which was formed about 11,000 yrs ago.
there might be a method to control the release.
Methane Consumming Bactierium and Microbes ... nice to know that they do exist.

thank you for your concern rics about my interest
I live here too perhaps that is the foundation for my interest, and I would hope that my children could breath clean free fresh air as I have.

earths atmospheric mass --> 5000 trillion metric tonnes.

current atmospheric methane content by volume 1.745 ppmv

releasing 1 billion tonnes into 5000 trillion tonnes may not seem to be alot.

but when the release is a greenhouse gas its effects may and probably will be drastic to the climate.
_________________________
3/4 inch of dust build up on the moon in 4.527 billion years,LOL and QM is fantasy science.

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#6825 - 06/08/06 11:56 AM Re: As the Earth warms
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day Paul,

Thus far your links in support of your positions have included google search references. That is NOT a reference nor of any value. Because of the way Google does searches, the top entry or even the top few entries may differ between your search and a search conducted at a later time.

A link to a search does not even suggest what reference you actually wished to refer to.

I have trouble with your last comment which included the statement that the permafrost will warm and that this will release methane in rather large quantities. From ice core samples of previous hot periods such methane releases do not seem to have occurred and the question of the melting of permafrost is a prediction based on little hard science.

These are just that sort of predictions used in newsaper articles on global warming, without reference to any actual science. They are often based on "common sense" logic. In this instance, the release of methane just does not seem to have occurred during times of permafrost retreat after the flip to an interglacial period. If it has not occurred in the past, the prediction that it will occur due to warming that is currently occurring (if it really is occurring and is not simply a fluctuation inherent in the climatic system during an interglacial period), really has to be treated with a great deal of sceptiscism.

As to when peat was actually formed, I think you will find there are many different types of peat deposits (the forerunner of coal production from previous deposits of plant matter) and the ages of such deposits vary from peat that has just been laid down to deposits that date back a great deal further than 11,000 years.

There was a study of permafrost peat deposits in Siberia that showed signs of thawing that suggested that this could release methane. The study is very much based on suposition, it seems to me, with once again a lack of hard science.

As I stated earlier Permafrost peat deposits have thawed in the past during several periods of warming on this earth and the records that exist do not support that this led to atmospheric methane upsurge.

This is one of the principal problems with global warming arguments. Quite aside from the argument whether there is sufficient evidence to support that any prolonged warming is really occurring, all manner of disasters are predicted because of global warming, and in these areas the predictions seemed to be little better than crystal ball gazing. Massive methane release that actually had an effect on the world's climate or at least coincided with a major change in climate really only is evident once in time of vertebrate life. That was 55 million years ago. There just does not seem to be any precident for the predictions relating to methan deposit release being an inevitable result of current warming, which in turn will lead to other disastrous effects.


Richard
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#6826 - 06/08/06 01:18 PM Re: As the Earth warms
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Quote:
Originally posted by RicS:
As I stated earlier Permafrost peat deposits have thawed in the past during several periods of warming on this earth and the records that exist do not support that this led to atmospheric methane upsurge.
Hi RicS,

So you're saying that the following article is absolutely baseless?

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18725124.500

Quote - "In May this year, Katey Walter of the University of Alaska Fairbanks told a meeting in Washington of the Arctic Research Consortium of the US that she had found methane hotspots in eastern Siberia, where the gas was bubbling from thawing permafrost so fast it was preventing the surface from freezing, even in the midst of winter."


That's a million square kilometers with a couple of billion tonnes of trapped methane bubbling away.

What 'Hard Science' leads you to believe this will not release large amounts of methane into the atmosphere?

Blacknad.

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#6827 - 06/08/06 05:17 PM Re: As the Earth warms
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day Blacknad,

Good question. There is a big difference however between peat bogs or marshes giving off methane (something that I understand they are rather prone to doing) and this being released on a massive scale. The historic records do not seem to bear out such releases. The historic records do not also seem to bear out the supposition that methane release correlates with major warming events (with one very big possible exception).

The reference to which you refer, is an article that is full of "may"'s and "could"'s. The fact that such a large mass of methane may actually be subject to sudden release is cause for concern. But it does depend on what type of environmentalist you are. Should the current environment be preserved at all costs, even if the devastation of a natural environment has a natural cause? Or should the fact that the only certainty on this planet is that it is constantly changing and as long as the environmental changes are not caused by man and such changes when caused by man are not likely to be significantly negative mean that nothing should be done in the face of such changes?

Or to get really fundamental, what can man do to reverse the change in the landscape in Siberia and Alaska even if caused by man. If all CO2 and other greenhouse gas release by man were stopped right now, the changes would already be such, according to the various models that say that man made global warming is already very much with us, that they would continue to happen. Oh, and stopping all greenhouse gas production would condemn pretty much all but a very few of the world's population to death.

Back to the methane specifically. Aside from anything else, it the methane that is currently locked into the bogs in Siberia would make a very good, environmentally friendly source of energy, if harnessed correctly. For a long time peat was the primary source of energy needs for substantial populations (but wasn't harnessed very efficiently or cleanly for that matter either but that is not to say it could not be done).

The article referred to is not a research paper. It quotes a warming trend for the region that does not appear to be backed up by satellite data. It also does not mention at all where the 3 degree figure actually came from. It highlights the following:

"This is an ecological landslide that is probably irreversible and is undoubtedly connected to climatic warming"

Yet, even supposedly being a reputable scientific publication, New Scientist offers no research or reference to any research that backs such assertions up. It simply does what seems to pass for science nowadays, it quotes the opinions of scientists without needing any research at all to back up such opinions. If I approached New Scientist with a counter view I can absolutely guarantee that I would be told that it was not newsworthy unless backed by major research. I actually wonder if, even if backed by major research whether it would get a hearing.

The article also fails to mention that the earth is prone to the release of stores of carbon dioxide and many other gasses, now considered to be greenhouse gasses (which now seems to be anything that can exist in the atmosphere - really the biggest greenhouse gas is water vapour - it makes up around 98% of the total greenhouse gasses available). Such releases occur with volcanic activities and with changes in environments for purely natural reasons.

As best as can be determined from the evidence available, the release of such greenhouse gasses, almost never results in global warming. It has resulted in global cooling a few times. And that is the difficulty with all of these types of stories. A natural event is occurring (or it might even be man made - unlikely in this case but I'd be happy to concede the point). Since this event has been noticed or reported on during the period where all world natural events are indicators of global warming, then it must be part of the global warming cycle. Then of course, the hysteria is added to by using what is occurring to say that it will accelerate the global warming process. How come it just has not occurred in the past? And please do not say it is because man did not effect nature in the past.

The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is insignificant compared to what has been the norm in the earth's history, yet most of the time the world was colder. Methane and other gasses' concentrations have also varied yet they too do not seem to correlate with climate change. The reason for this is pretty simple. The principal mechanism for temperature control on the earth is water in the atmosphere. Doubling, tripling or quadrupling CO2 in the atmosphere changes the mix by a very small effect and it would seem that water in the atmosphere as a principal means of temperature stabilisation on a planet is self correcting to a large degree. It works so well in fact that according to a recent study on the tropics, the temperatures in the tropics has stayed within a couple of degrees of its current average for many millions of years regardless of glaciations, interglacial periods or the coming or going of Ice Ages.

It really is a very simple question. What makes everyone so sure that greenhouse gas is being released because of global warming or that it will cause global warming when all the evidence that is really available from the earth's history show that it has done no such thing in the past (in the case of CO2 despite being in concentrations that are several hundred percent higher than the worst estimates of what man has been able and is going to be able to produce in the foreseeable future).

Richard
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#6828 - 06/08/06 07:15 PM Re: As the Earth warms
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
RicS wrote:
"The historic records do not seem to bear out such releases."

And you, having found this to be facdt by research rather than just making it up off the top of your head because it was convenient you can, of course, point us to a credible reference source that supports this statement?

Please do so or have the integrity to admit it is pure drivel!
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#6829 - 06/08/06 07:44 PM Re: As the Earth warms
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Quote:
Originally posted by RicS:
The historic records do not also seem to bear out the supposition that methane release correlates with major warming events (with one very big possible exception).
Thanks Richard,

Regarding the above quote...

Could it be possible that the records do not show such major releases of methane into the atmosphere, because overall, the levels of methane historically would have always been far lower than today.

Two thirds of methane is produced by the following: wetlands and rice fields, as well as the digestion of ruminants and termites, waste disposal sites, and the gas produced by sewage treatment plants.

During the last interglacial period some of those producing factors would simply not have existed or in the case of ruminants would have existed in far fewer numbers.

Also IF humanity has contributed to global warming in tandem with a natural cycle, then it may be that temperature increase is faster than in the past and therefore the incidence of 'positive feedback' is also faster. Simply put, melting of peat bogs in the past may have been slower, allowing more time for methane to be broken down.

So because methane (as you say) has not been shown to be significant in previous warmings, may be no indicator that it is not playing a significant role today.


RicS Said - "Good question. There is a big difference however between peat bogs or marshes giving off methane (something that I understand they are rather prone to doing) and this being released on a massive scale."


That is exactly the point isn't it. In the past the unfreezing of peat bogs was probably far slower allowing for a gradual and much more manageable breakdown of methane in the atmosphere (CH4 molecules last on average 9 years in the atmosphere - but during periods of higher concentration will probably last longer due to there not being enough OH radicals to go around). What we may be seeing today is a quicker release being much harder for the planet to deal with ? exacerbated by the far higher biogenic production due to a greater human population, along with their bovine friends and paddy fields.

Blacknad.

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#6830 - 06/08/06 08:21 PM Re: As the Earth warms
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Quote:
Originally posted by RicS:
The historic records do not also seem to bear out the supposition that methane release correlates with major warming events (with one very big possible exception).
Richard,

I am glad to see you have jumped to a conclusion on this. There's nothing like standing firm on an issue ? but it seems that others are less sure than you are.

Scientists at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies certainly feel that the jury is still out.

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/features/methane/


Note part of the summary:

?Over the last 30 years, methane has gone from being a gas of no importance, to ? in some researchers eyes, at least ? possibly the most important greenhouse gas both for understanding climate change and as a cost-effective target for future emission reductions. Whether some of these new ideas stand up to the scrutiny of the wider climate research community remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, the scientific journey of methane is not yet complete.?


Blacknad.

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#6831 - 06/09/06 06:07 AM Re: As the Earth warms
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day Daniel,

How do you prove a negative? How about you point to any research that shows that methane has been the trigger for global change in the past (except the 55 million year ago occurrence which I'm happy to concede).

That is the problem with your posts. You insist that anyone but you back up general statements. Please point to research, ice core sample analysis or anything else you might wish to use that actually indicates that methane release was a climate change trigger, then I'll discuss the matter further with you.


Richard
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#6832 - 06/09/06 07:06 AM Re: As the Earth warms
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day Blacknad,

A really reasoned argument. Thank you.

What you say may well be true. It is a primary difficulty in climate change that so little records exist and the study of historic climate has for a very long time been consigned to a very low level. It is also more difficult to study historic climate than simple look for fossils to study evolutionary paths. I understand how difficult it is to extrapolate from the scant fossil record for many periods just what was around let alone attempting to understand climate on a world scale. The evidence is not directly available and even indirect evidence is difficult to locate and subject to interpretation.

In broad brush terms the climate of the world is somewhat known. The concentrations of CO2 has at least a degree of certainty to it as does the concentration of oxygen, etc. So arguments about what happened in the past can only be as good as the evidence thus far uncovered.

How about a simple counter logic to yours as a starting point. This interglacial period has been of much longer duration than the "average" for this ice age. The oscillation of interglacial periods to glacial periods seemed to have settled down to a fairly consistent pattern starting around 120,000 years ago. This interglacial period breaks the mold in that it is several thousand years longer than the norm.

If peat bogs that are under permafrost existed in equal quantities during all interglacial periods then it would be expected that the extra years would eventually cause a difference in pattern of release to occur. The same goes for the retreat of glaciers and a number of other things. Given a long enough interglacial period and glaciers melt, the permafrost retreats etc.

Since humans have certainly not extended this interglacial period by several thousand years then the differences could also be considered to be natural, could they not?

I also have some problems with the suggestion that the numbers of ruminant animals being fewer in previous interglacial periods. We were not around to count them as we now are. We can currently say with some accuracy how many cows exist on this earth but we have no idea what that figure was even 2,000 years ago. However it is reasonable to assume that there were large numbers of ruminant animals (and they are not the only methane producing animals by the way) in the past. There is evidence of vast herds that roamed the earth in past geological times and in much more recent times. Before man?s impact in large numbers in many parts of the world, the numbers of herbivores that produce methane are actually so large they are difficult to imagine. I do remember vaguely a passage from an explorer?s diary of a couple of centuries back where he was talking of the migration of grass eaters in Africa, saying that he witnessed the movement of many millions of animals that stretched from horizon to horizon and took literally days to pass. While that is anecdotal and it could be argued that was a concentration in one small area and does not necessary mean than the whole world was overrun by herbivores, I still find it useful as a way of at least considering that number of ruminants in the world is not necessarily determined by whether man decided to domestic some of them.

Think of buffaloes as another example. The numbers of these creatures during the last interglacial periods would be truly breathtaking. Indeed, until man decided to slaughter them a few hundred years ago, it is quite possible - at least from the information I have read - that they existed in far greater numbers than the grazing stock that eventually replaced them.

This is one of the real problems in discussing climate change. To argue effectively your expertise needs to be truly immense, covering a large number of dissimilar fields. I lay no such claim and so I'm open to any discussion as to the number of animals that existed over time or evidence that what I have just suggested is wrong. I'm dredging into memories of study that is not directly related to my interests to address what has been suggested, and obviously I could be mistaken.

It is also true that methane went from nothing 30 years ago to the big bogie today. But this seems to have happened without any correlating increase in evidence as to why this has occurred. Have studies uncovered prior correlations between methane and climate from ice cores for instance other than the obvious that there should be somewhat more methane in warmer periods?

It is true in one ice core study that methane concentrations have changed from a stable 600 ppb (and parts per billion is what we are talking about here) to around 1400 ppb today (actually there are higher figures but these are not from ice samples but from air samples), with the trend of acceleration starting around 1800. While the acceleration has been in modern times, it is the 1800 start that would give me pause for thought if I was trying to establish a correlation between methane concentrations and human activities.

In earlier ice cores there has been shown a small correlation between fluctuations in methane and climate. But that should be expected. The warmer the climate, the more methane that should be produced. What the correlations do not show is methane CAUSING any climate change. As best as can be analysed, the methane fluctuations follows the climate (a slight lag has been picked up in some studies) and then we get right back to a chicken and egg question. But in this case the likelihood is much less than methane came first since there is such an obvious explanation for fluctuations simply due to increased biological activity, photosynthesis etc during warmer periods.

Finally, if methane really is a greenhouse gas 30 times or 50 times as effective at trapping atmospheric heat than CO2 for instance, so what? Its concentrations could be in the order of several magnitudes higher and it would still be dwarfed the effect CO2 is said to have and the effect that water vapour really does have.

I do hope this gives some pause for thought even if you do not agree with a word written. I find the very best ways of assisting me in research is to have someone with a violently counter view review it. Those that agree with you rarely suggest anything that actually makes you think about your own position or, if necessary, alter it.


Richard
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#6833 - 06/09/06 01:34 PM Re: As the Earth warms
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
QUOTE]Originally posted by RicS:
How about a simple counter logic to yours as a starting point. This interglacial period has been of much longer duration than the "average" for this ice age. The oscillation of interglacial periods to glacial periods seemed to have settled down to a fairly consistent pattern starting around 120,000 years ago. This interglacial period breaks the mold in that it is several thousand years longer than the norm.

If peat bogs that are under permafrost existed in equal quantities during all interglacial periods then it would be expected that the extra years would eventually cause a difference in pattern of release to occur. The same goes for the retreat of glaciers and a number of other things. Given a long enough interglacial period and glaciers melt, the permafrost retreats etc.

Since humans have certainly not extended this interglacial period by several thousand years then the differences could also be considered to be natural, could they not?
[/QUOTE]

Hello again Richard and thanks for your response.

It seems to me, to be less about the length of time of the interglacial period and more about the warming over the past few decades. We are currently pumping 20 billion metric tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. CO2 takes about 100 years to breakdown. Obviously our output has been increasing, and exponentially so in the last few decades, but how much CO2 have we put into the atmosphere last century. Now you would argue that in relation to H20 in the atmosphere it is insignificant. I would say that combined with naturally rising temperatures, the CO2 and other greenhouse gasses we have released may have tipped us into a situation where we are seeing slightly faster than normal warming. It may not take that much human activity to upset a delicate planetary cycle.

The point is that it may not take much of an unnatural temperature rise to start a cascade that could have massive consequences.

The culprit here being CH4.

According to Hydrogen Now Journal, where records show a rapid rise and fall in warming above and beyond the standard interglacial cycle, the likely cause is methane.

You should not confuse the relationship between methane and warming. Because methane increase lags slightly behind temperature does not mean it is not having a causative effect. It likely contributes towards raising temperature and this causes massive amounts of methane to be released from hydrates and such.

There are vast deposits of Methane hydrates all over the world. They take the form of frozen/slush methane hydrate found on the seabed of the arctic ocean, silt in river deltas like the Gulf of Mexico and permafrost covering layers of methane (phenomenal amounts in the Northern hemisphere).

Rising temperatures will affect release of methane from the silt and seabed hydrates and obviously as permafrost melts it is released. The potential for a very significant methane release over a short period of time is clear. The Siberian permafrost alone could unload a couple of billion tonnes ? compared to an estimated current total annual worldwide release of 550 million tonnes.

Quote from Hydrogen Now Journal (Issue 3, Article 2)

?The theory for these rapid rises and falls of temperature, based on the geological records from 55 million years ago, is that gradual global warming due to some natural cause had resulted in temperatures 5 to 7 degrees centigrade higher than average ( i.e. higher than today's temperatures). At this point methane trapped in methane hydrate deposits started to be released into the atmosphere and accelerated the rate of warming. This would result in further warming releasing more methane. As the atmosphere warmed different types of methane deposits would start to be released and so a cycle of methane release leading to increased warming leading to more methane release from other areas of methane deposits elsewhere in the world would become established as global warming effected different areas of the world.?


Now none of this is set in stone and is still up for debate, but it may be that with our CO2 production combined with the natural warming cycle we may have kick-started a potential runaway scenario where methane release is out of control and once started will not be stopped until it has run its course ? we can reduce our CO2 output but we cannot stop permafrost from melting and releasing CH4 when it starts.

Blacknad.

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#6834 - 06/09/06 03:13 PM Re: As the Earth warms
paul Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 4136
Beautifull
Quote:
?The theory for these rapid rises and falls of temperature, based on the geological records from 55 million years ago, is that gradual global warming due to some natural cause had resulted in temperatures 5 to 7 degrees centigrade higher than average ( i.e. higher than today's temperatures). At this point methane trapped in methane hydrate deposits started to be released into the atmosphere and accelerated the rate of warming. This would result in further warming releasing more methane. As the atmosphere warmed different types of methane deposits would start to be released and so a cycle of methane release leading to increased warming leading to more methane release from other areas of methane deposits elsewhere in the world would become established as global warming effected different areas of the world.?


Now none of this is set in stone and is still up for debate, but it may be that with our CO2 production combined with the natural warming cycle we may have kick-started a potential runaway scenario where methane release is out of control and once started will not be stopped until it has run its course ? we can reduce our CO2 output but we cannot stop permafrost from melting and releasing CH4 when it starts.
1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1= 13

adding up everything involved,not just 1 or two things usually renders a more clearer result.

when the last huge methane release occured there was plenty of ice to melt.
now there isnt.

we can expect to loose Florida and most of our coastal and inland low lying areas.

it sounds extreme I know but elevations tell the story and pictures tell of past encounters with flooding.

any warming will result in more releases and more
warming which will result in more water content of the atmosphere.

more warming , more releases , more water...
more rain. more storms. more flooding.

the oceans will begin to release its methane when the water temperatures get high enought.

unless we can stop the release in siberia using some currently known method , such as methane consumming bacterium and microbes then we may well be in deep do do.

or at least it will smell like we are.
_________________________
3/4 inch of dust build up on the moon in 4.527 billion years,LOL and QM is fantasy science.

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#6835 - 06/09/06 04:32 PM Re: As the Earth warms
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day Blacknad,

A quick comment. Do you have a good picture of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere over the last, say, 60 million years. Do you know that for almost all of that period the CO2 levels were many many times what they are now?


Richard
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#6836 - 06/09/06 05:41 PM Re: As the Earth warms
dehammer Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/23/06
Posts: 1089
here's another idea of what could have happened.

a meteoroid struck the earth 55 million years ago

http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/meteorite-list/2003-June/092195.html

causing a lava sheet to appear.

http://www.book-of-thoth.com/article1406.html

which released enough heat and greenhouse gasses to warm up the world fast enough and far enough to release a large methane pocket

the result. the arctic reached 70 degrees for a few hundred millennium. this fits all known data (at least known to me). an increse in methane at that time, a higher tempature, a meteiord strike, and a lava shelf (not the biggest by any streatch)
_________________________
the more man learns, the more he realises, he really does not know anything.

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#6837 - 06/09/06 06:12 PM Re: As the Earth warms
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day Blaknad (again),

Since I'm preparing a document for another matter at the moment summarising my views on Global Warming I thought I would include some of the draft in this thread. If you are interested in any references after I've done this for any of the statements I've made feel free to post it or email me for them (the same goes for anyone else interested enough to read it) But that will take a little time. Moderator: Since what I am proposing is the equivalent to four or five pages of normal text please let me know if it is against policy.

With respect to methane, I have a small request. Prove any of it! What happened 55 million years ago is unknown aside from there was a methane release. Why is unknown. The sequence of events is unknown. The Journal you quote is providing just one of many suppositions without any evidence to back it up. That happens often in science in the absence of evidence and it is good that suppositions are put forward because it actually might lead someone to be able to find some evidence to refute or support any of them.

As to methane release, you seem to be confusing the massive release of methane 55 million years ago with the relatively small increases in methane that accompany any rise in the earth's temperature.

Where is there any proof at all that there is a relationship between methane release and warming? Not theories or supposition, actual data that supports this.

I'm not being antagonistic here. I would be interested in any proof that can be established but thus far in the methane debate, I have seen no science at all and a whole lot of supposition.

I would also be interested in what stopped massive methane releases during other periods on this earth when it was very much warmer than it is now, when there was no locked ice on the earth at all. If the warming of the earth and the loss of locked ice leads to the release of methane in massive quantities as has been suggested will occur in the near future, how come it has not happened in the past. The methane deposits were there. We know that in several periods of very warm periods there was a whole lot of it because eventually it turns to coal and that is one industry that has been around for a long time and the geology etc has been very well studied.

Food for thought, I hope.


Richard
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#6838 - 06/09/06 07:19 PM Re: As the Earth warms
dehammer Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/23/06
Posts: 1089
MASS EXTINCTION:
Has an Impact Done It Again?
Richard A. Kerr
Researchers claim to have found more proof of a second major impact that triggered a mass extinction.

from http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/302/5649/1314

they believe that the methane deprived the deep oceans of o2, which caused mass extinction of many sea animials.
_________________________
the more man learns, the more he realises, he really does not know anything.

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#6839 - 06/10/06 12:22 AM Re: As the Earth warms
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Quote:
Originally posted by RicS:
With respect to methane, I have a small request. Prove any of it!
Hi Richard,

I would be interested to read your paper.

With respect to methane - it is a greenhouse gas - it is 21 times more effective than CO2 at trapping heat - it currently comprises 20% of the total radiative forcing from all greenhouse gas - if even a fraction of the estimated 70 billion tonnes that Siberia alone holds are released into the atmosphere it will drive up temperatures. The question is by how much.

If say 2 billion tonnes of CH4 are released from melting permafrosts over a decade (okay - not going to happen yet but it may eventually release that quickly) then we will have the equivalent of another 40 billion tonnes of CO2. This is not insignificant especially when added to the ever greater amount of CO2 occuring anyway.

The Hard Science is being worked on and until the jury is in we should count it a distinct possibility that the methane effect may be significant. What should concern us is that the positive feedback, when truly underway, would be beyond our power to stop.

I cannot prove it, but for my money the balance of probability is that methane will play its part along with CO2 etc. in causing real problems for humanity.

I am saddened to hear some here saying, 'this has all happened before and the planet recovers'. That may be so, but the last time it happened there weren't six billion humans on the planet. It is not only the impact on the planet that should concern us (after all, it will right itself in time), it is the potentially devastating impact on the human race and other species. Rising sea levels and increased weathering will not be a party you want to invite your friends to.

Blacknad.


-------------------------------------------------------------------

"The more people there are on the planet, the less each of us can use the atmosphere for waste disposal without contributing to further global warming." - Population Action International, 2000

"One hundred and fifty years ago humans started a grand,
uncontrolled experiment with carbon on earth. We don't know exactly how the experiment will turn out, but it will certainly change our climate and our lives." -George Kling

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#6840 - 06/10/06 03:53 AM Re: As the Earth warms
paul Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 4136
I would also like to read your paper.

I would like to find out if there are any of your thoughts and work in the paper or if it is just a collection of other peoples thoughts and work.

so far I have seen that you only give credit to proven things as you call them.

have you proven something that the paper is about or
is it about something that is not yet proven?

G'day
_________________________
3/4 inch of dust build up on the moon in 4.527 billion years,LOL and QM is fantasy science.

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#6841 - 06/10/06 07:30 AM Re: As the Earth warms
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day Paul and Blacknad,

I'm actually involved in research currently at the request of an institute. It involves the review or study of studies on Global Warming, almost wholly focusing on the data used and its validity or otherwise.

It is a study which should take me more than a year. It actually takes a bit of time even to find out what data was used for some major studies, let alone gain access to the data, then review it and any suppositions, assumptions or extrapolations used to create the data. Since the number of studies to be reviewed is not currently been finalised, this could take me a while. I am significantly disabled and mostly bedridden. Because of the effects of my condition and medication my brain does not function as it should and I either cannot work for extended periods or it takes me longer to get the work done.

As to whether the bits of a draft paper I was proposing to post contains any new thoughts or is a collection of others thoughts: the thoughts are mine, the studies are other peoples. The only research I did in this field was in the late 70s and into the 80s and that was on a very specific field relating to the boundaries between glaciations and interglacial periods and their causes. It fascinated me that such a complex system also seems to find a way to remain stable for a time and then flips to another period and this quickly becomes stable. It also fascinated me just how long it took to go from one state to the other. At the time the prevailing wisdom was several thousand years. I thought so to and was asked to write a paper on just that topic but all the evidence I found pointed to an extremely rapid change. You could say at this point I became serious sidetracked and call on the expertise of biologists, vulcanologist and several other fields to correctly understand the evidence which was available.

In addition to that research I was assisting in research on whether any accurate estimate of the average temperature could be made and what changes could be observed year to year if this was true. I was the bunny who had to actually research possible sites to find out whether changes were made to equipment, whether mines were built nearby, and a myriad of other things which could alter the accuracy of temperature records when compared year to year. This was before satellite data of course. What astounded me was just how difficult it was to obtain any accurate data. I thought that ocean air temperatures might be a way to achieve some consistency but after the research we did, we found there was no way at all to obtain even remotely accurate data.

The paper that I am currently preparing is simply a summary of my current views on Global Warming based on the small amount of research I have done recently and my reading of various papers and their data over the years. It is a field which fascinates me so I tried to look at major research papers and data where it was readily available. The object of the exercise is to establish my current biases and then look redo the paper at the end of the research and see how much has changed. My views may be counter to the mainstream but in this instance it was one of the reasons for obtaining the grant in the first place. Apparently they already have similar research conducted from ?true believers? and wanted a different perspective.

Having explained this much it might not be of further interest but it is not any difficulty for me to produce as I need to work on my drafts anyway. The major difference will be the lack of references (as there are several a paragraph and that would increase the size of the post enormously) and the much less formal writing technique I adopt in drafts. I like to write as I would if I was giving a verbal presentation and later I adapt this.


Richard
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#6842 - 06/10/06 12:55 PM Re: As the Earth warms
paul Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 4136
I understand your position or view point on this matter now.
and am glad for you that you have found an outlet that is profitable to you concerning the paper.
also you have an oportunity to do something in the field that deeply interest you.
I expect that you may deliver a extremely precise document as the result of your interest in the field.
but I also expect that you should not hold back the truth.

Quote:
It fascinated me that such a complex system also seems to find a way to remain stable for a time and then flips to another period and this quickly becomes stable.
lets run through it one time.
starting with our current climate.
  • the earth has been warming from a balanced or stable state to a unbalanced or unstable state due to our pollution or whatever cause you may wish to attach to it.
  • the state that the earth is in at this time is the melting of the stabilising factors
    (our planets cold stuff)you might say.
    the stuff that cools down the hot stuff.
  • without the stability factors the stability cannot exist.
    when some of the cool stuff (ice) melts away as it is doing as you read this and uncovers things that were frozen ( methane ) then the instability gets even less stable.
  • this instability is sort of like a snowball rolling down a hill getting bigger and bigger as it rolls.
    it feeds itself by producing more and more heat.
    ....time passes....
  • the trouble with its feeding habits is that it will eventually cause enought heat to make the earth belch ( volcanoes ) this throws up a shield of dust that plunges the earths temperatures downward again.
  • the earth is now heading back into a ice age again. .... time passes .... as the ice age progresses the water in the oceans move to north and south pole regions , as the water pressure in the oceans are reduced once again methane is released from hydrates.
    another sudden change occurs and the earth begins to warm again....time passes....
    it reaches a point of stability again.
    where we used to be.


Quote:
but all the evidence I found pointed to an extremely rapid change.
what else could lie dormant , waiting for the right temperatures and pressures to occur.

what else could actually bring about climate change so suddenly.

why doesnt the earth stay hot when it heats up?
why doesnt it stay cold when it gets cold?

its really very simple , but simplicity doesnt sell books or make anybody any money , it just makes sence.

I wish you well.
_________________________
3/4 inch of dust build up on the moon in 4.527 billion years,LOL and QM is fantasy science.

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