2011-03-18 17:29:27CO2- SOME FACTS, FIGURES AND OUTCOMES
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.36.196

CO2 – Some fact, figures and outcomes

 

 

Introduction

The largest source of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere since 1850 is from the burning of fossil fuels and vegetation, arising from human activity.  These emissions pose a threat to the survivability of all on the planet.  The following invites attention to the sources of CO2 emissions, some of their effects and measures which might be taken to enforce their reduction.

 

Emissions

213 countries and territories are listed as emitting a total of 29.319 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2007.

 

52 countries, each emitting <1 million tonnes per annum, were responsible for 18.6 million tonnes (0.06%) of CO2 in 2007.

 

120 countries, each emitting <100 million tonnes per annum, were responsible for 2.683 billion tonnes (9.15%) of CO2 in 2007.

 

41 countries, each emitting >100 million tonnes per annum, were responsible for 26.618 billion tonnes (90.79%) of CO2 in 2007.

 

 

 

Fig. 1. The ten largest emitters were responsible for 76% of total anthropogenic emissions in 2007.

 

CO2 emissions into the atmosphere are increasing at a rapid and accelerating rate and are now at their highest level in 15 million years.

 

The Big Five: China, USA, India, Russia and Japan each emit over 1 billion tonnes of CO2 per annum. Their total emissions in 2007 were 16.781 billion tonnes, over 57% of anthropogenic emissions.

 

China and the USA are the largest emitters of CO2.  In 2007 they emitted 6.538 and 5.838 billion tonnes respectively, over 42% of global emissions.

 

Neither country has committed to a reduction of their total emissions by 2020.

Both countries expect their emissions to rise for at least the next 20 years.

 

Japan emitted 1.172 billion tonnes of CO2 in 1990 and committed itself to reduce them by 20% or 237 million tonnes by 2020. By 2010 its emissions were 1.327 billion tonnes, an increase of 155 million tonnes or 13.2% on 1990 levels.

 

India expects its population to increase by 500 million over the next 20 years and its economy to rapidly expand. Consequently CO2 emissions are predicted to at least double, possibly treble over the next 20 years.

 

Russia significantly reduced its emissions in 1990 when it closed high polluting inefficient factories with collapse of the Soviet economy. Following the heatwave of 2010 which destroyed 20 percent of its grain crop and caused 50,000 deaths, it committed to reduce its 1990 emissions by 25 percent by 2020.  Achievement of this target is questionable.

 

Australia is the largest exporter of coal in the world.  Its 2008/09 coal exports were 261 million tonnes compared with production of some 70 million tonnes for domestic use.

 

Emissions from exported coal are over 3 times more than domestic emissions. Exported emissions are not recorded as Australian emissions but those of the countries in which the coal is burned.

 

Australia now emits more CO2 than France, a country with a larger more diverse economy and a population almost three times greater.

 

In 2008/09, major importers of Australian coal included Japan (104.8million  tonnes/39.8 percent), Korea (43.1mt/16.3pc), Taiwan (26.1mt/9.9pc), China (25.0mt/9.5pc) and India (24.7mt/9.4pc), all countries with significant and growing CO2 emissions.

 

Increased greenhouse gas emissions produce global warming and global warming causes increases in the level of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere from slow feedbacks including:

 

  • Warming oceans.  As seawater gets warmer, its ability to absorb CO2 falls and the volume released by it rises, increasing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere.

 

  • Decaying organic material.   Vegetation and animal remains buried beneath frozen ground remain inert until the ground in which they are buried begins to thaw, resulting in their continuing to decay, releasing methane (CH4) into the atmosphere.

 

  • Melting of clathrate.  Methane clathrate is an ice like substance found beneath sea floor sediment in polar regions.  When melted by warming ocean water, it releases CH4 into the atmosphere at a rate of 168 litres per litre of solid clathrate.

 

  • Water evaporation.  As temperatures of the earths surface and atmosphere rise, surface water evaporates, increasing the level of water vapour (the most powerful of greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere.

 

Prior to 1750 the concentration of methane in the atmosphere was 0.7ppm but due to agriculture practices, mining and fossil fuel use is now 1.7ppm. In some parts of the Arctic it is nearly 2ppm due to melting of clathrates and permafrost.

 

Methane oxidizes to form CO2 over a period of ~15 years.  During this period  it is ~75 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse  gas.

 

Effects:

Solar energy reaching the earths surface is radiated back into space as long wave (infra-red) energy.  Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, particularly CO2, absorb part of the solar energy radiated from the earths’ surface and emit some of it back to the earths surface – the greenhouse effect.  This is causing average global temperatures to rise, more so in temperate and polar regions than in the tropics. The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the greater the rise in average global temperatures.

 

Sea Level:  Ice sheets covering Greenland, East Antarctica and the marine ice sheet covering West Antarctica have begun melting at an increasing rate as a result of rising sea and atmospheric temperatures.  Hansen and Sato (2011) predict that the rate of polar ice loss could double every decade.

 

Consequently, sea levels are also rising at an increasing rate.  It is estimated that by 2100 this will result in average sea level rising by 0.8m – 2.0m though Hansen and Sato predict a rise of up to 5m.  Sea level rise of this magnitude will cause flooding of low coastal lands, especially coastal cities where over 70% of the world population lives and the most fertile river deltas used for food production.

 

Land ErosionAs a general rule, for each centimeter rise in sea level, coastlines will be eroded by 1m or by 100m in the event of a 1m sea level rise.  Coastal erosion of this magnitude will cause major damage to infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railways, airfields and to domestic, industrial and other buildings located on low-lying coastal land.

 

Fresh Water:  As average global temperatures rise, they cause land based snow and glaciers to melt more rapidly than they can be replaced. In other words, they melt at an increasing rate, reducing the amount of water they yield each year for dependent ecosystems and human agriculture.  The latter is now threatened.

 

Fig. 2. Overview on glacier changes since the end of the Little Ice Age. Glaciers and ice caps reached their Holocene (the past 10 000 years) maximum extent in most mountain ranges throughout the world towards the end of the Little Ice Age, between the 17th and mid-19th century. Over the past hundred years a trend of dramatic shrinking is apparent over the entire globe. 

Courtesy: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

 

In California competition for water between people and agriculture has resulted in unsustainable pumping of groundwater. Fresh water sources in coastal areas are being made salt as a result of rising sea levels.  By 2050 it is predicted that over half the estimated world population of 9.5 billion, will face water shortages.

 

Rainfall Changes: Climate scientists have long warned that rising air temperatures will increase water vapor in the atmosphere, change air flow patterns and precipitation in some areas. Increased rainfall is expected over tropical and high latitude areas with reductions occurring over the south-west and interiors of continents, the Mediterranean/Sahara and Central America.

 

For some parts this means drought conditions will persist or worsen (S.W. Australia,) while in others where rainfall has hitherto been adequate (the Amazon Basin, Zimbabwe), drought conditions may develop and become more frequent.  Regions with adequate rainfall may get additional precipitation causing flooding, damaging property and agriculture.

 

Climate Events:  As sea levels rise and air temperatures increase, the incidence of extreme or catastrophic weather events will increase and include destructive winds, drought conditions, heavy rainfall causing extensive flooding and high temperatures.

 

While there is little evidence that the 2010 Russian heat-wave or the Pakistan floods were produced by global warming, it is representative of extreme climate events which can be expected as world temperatures rise. 

 

Ocean Acidity:  As the level of CO2 in the atmosphere rises, the amount absorbed in colder seawater will increase, causing it to become more acidic. This reduces aragonite/calcites needed by marine animals to form shells – eg pteropods, corals, etc. and may reduce availability of iron required by phytoplankton.  Loss of these animals poses a serious threat to the marine food chain on which humans and other animals depend for food.

 

Species Extinction:  The rapidity with which climate changes are occurring threatens adaptive ability of some animal and plant species, both terrestrial and marine.  Hansen (2008) notes that species unable to adapt will go extinct.  They include those in a symbiotic relationship and those on which humans depend for food. 

 

It has been suggested that we are at the start of a 6th mass extinction.  This should be of concern to us since such an event affects our own ability to survive, particularly since it is occurring at a time when human population is reaching unsustainable levels.

 

Human Habitat: Serious threats to food crops on which a rapidly growing human population relies will arise from the above and attendant causes such as the spread of plant diseases, insects, other animal pests and, as experienced in Russia in 2010, agricultural losses from drought, heat and fire.

 

A combination of heat and humidity will kill an increasing number of animals, including homo sapiens, a species that can only survive a few hours in temperatures of 35°C and relative humidity >90%.  Sherwood et al (2010) predicts these conditions will develop and spread, progressively reducing human habitat as global temperature rises.

 

Conclusion

The main culprits and countries responsible for CO2 emissions are known.  The culprits are vested interests in the production and use of fossil fuels.  The effects of their action are known and best summarised as risking our socio-economic destruction in pursuit of short-term profits.

 

Primary responsibility for limiting their activities and ensuring that average global temperature does not exceed 2°C by 2100 is vested in national governments.  Those governments can and should be compelled to act responsibly by imposing a carbon tariff on national exports equivalent or related to the carbon emissions associated with their production.  In short, imposition of a global price on carbon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011-03-19 02:41:54
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

of-set => offset

CO2 concentrations are at their highest levels in 15 million years.

Here's a link for the 2°C danger limit.

"It is widely held that CO2 concentration of 450 ppm, including emissions resulting from global warming" => are you talking about carbon cycle feedbacks here?  It's a bit unclear.

"At present there are no reliable estimates of the volume of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere as a result of global warming" => we do have measurements of increasing water vapor and methane.

In the Effects section, I don't think every sentence needs to be its own paragraph :-)

Sea level rise by 2100 is more like 0.8 to 2.0 meters.

It would be good to link to our rebuttal on acidification.

You could add potential mass extinction to the list of effects.

For the Russian heatwave, an NOAA study showed that a currently once-per-century heat wave will become once-per-decade by the end of the century.  Another recent study said a heat wave of this magnitude will happen once every 8 years by the end of the century.

"Failure to limit emissions concentrations to less than 450 ppm by 2100...will have catastrophic dangerous consequences for all inhabiting the planet."

2011-03-19 11:16:46
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.36.196

dana1981

All good points - all taken on board.  Thank you.  

I suppose it would be "alarmist" to refer to Hansens predictions of 5m/6c by 2100?

2011-03-19 12:10:40
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.44.251

What is the focus of this?

2011-03-24 13:37:19
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.36.196

Nealjking

Identify those responsible for CO2 emissions, the consequences of their actions and a means of preventing their continuance.

2011-03-27 18:28:49
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.36.196

Dana1981

Essay re-written along lines suggested by you

2011-03-27 21:04:31Lots more feedback
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.158.190

Welcome to the forum, Agnostic.

"It is widely held that CO2 concentration of 450 ppm, including emissions resulting from global warming would result in average global temperatures reaching 3C above those of the pre-industrial era, well before 2100."

I agree with Dana, it's not clear what you mean here. And the link doesn't work. If you're just talking about fast feedbacks then it's generally agreed that 550, not 450 ppm, results in 3C warming. Carbon cycle feedbacks and/or ice sheet feedbacks could add to that.

"Hansen/Sato (2011) warn that with slow feedbacks, CO2 concentration of 450 ppm would result in average global temperature reaching a disastrous 6C by 2100."

Where in the paper does it say this? Their 2008 paper "Target Atmospheric CO2" concluded that 550, not 450 ppm, would result in 6C after ice sheet feedbacks, but I don't think they are saying all the warming would happen before 2100.

"Prior to 1750, the level of methane present in the atmosphere was 0.7ppm but due to melting of clathrates and human activity, its concentration has risen to 1.7 ppm and in some parts of the Arctic is nearly 2 ppm."

The way this is worded, it gives the impression that the rise in methane is because of a feedback. But the IPCC says it is mostly caused by agriculture and fossil fuels. As I understand, it's only in the last few years the methane feedback may have started to kick in.

"It is estimated that by 2100 this will result in average sea level rising by 2.5m – 2.9m though Hansen and Sato predict a rise of up to 5m."

Where does the 2.5-2.9 m range come from? As Dana points out, the consensus is more like 0.8-2.0 m by 2100.

"water on which most life-forms and human agriculture depend"

You might want to reword this slightly to clarify that only people and ecosystems in those regions directly depend on glaciers.

Also, in your list of impacts you could add something about changes in rainfall - more rain in already wet places, more droughts in already dry places, more intense rainfall everywhere. Obviously, drought will be a major cause of water shortages.

"This reduces availability of iron essential for plankton"

I'm not well-versed in the chemistry of ocean acidification but this doesn't sound right to me. Isn't it calcium carbonate, not iron? I notice you link to the website CO2 Science; I don't think they're a reputable source.

"draught conditions" should read "drought conditions"

"The rapidity with which climate changes is occurring" should read "The rapidity with which climate changes are occurring"

"the rate of human population growth is reaching unsustainable levels"

The rate of human population growth is actually slowing down. The population continues to grow but at a decreasing rate. I suggest rewording to "human population is reaching unsustainable levels".

Sorry if I seem harsh, but if we don't triple-check our facts contrarians will pounce on it as evidence of our "alarmism".

2011-03-27 21:06:08
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.56.15

Agnostic:

Why not add a sentence at the beginning explaining the focus, as you've stated it?

2011-04-02 10:42:33
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.36.196

James Wright:  Thank you for raising the following points to which I respond as follows:

 

1.  "It is widely held that CO2 concentration of 450 ppm, including emissions resulting from global warming would result in average global temperatures reaching 3C above those of the pre-industrial era, well before 2100."

I agree with Dana, it's not clear what you mean here. And the link doesn't work. If you're just talking about fast feedbacks then it's generally agreed that 550, not 450 ppm, results in 3C warming. Carbon cycle feedbacks and/or ice sheet feedbacks could add to that.

R:  Paragraph deleted.  It is more appropriately included in my other essay “Why 450 ppm is misleading”

 

2.  "Hansen/Sato (2011) warn that with slow feedbacks, CO2 concentration of 450 ppm would result in average global temperature reaching a disastrous 6C by 2100."

Where in the paper does it say this? Their 2008 paper "Target Atmospheric CO2" concluded that 550, not 450 ppm, would result in 6C after ice sheet feedbacks, but I don't think they are saying all the warming would happen before 2100.

R:  I think I have misunderstood Hansen where he writes … ” BAU scenarios result in global warming of the order of 3-6°C. It is this scenario for which we assert that multi-meter sea level rise on the century time scale are not only possible, but almost dead certain”.  I assumed Hansen was referring here to doubling of CO2 + slow feedbacks, each contributing 3C.  You are right that he does not specify 2100 but then again, it is reasonable to assume that both factors will have occurred by 2100, probably sooner.

Paragraph deleted.  Again, I think this para is more appropriately included in the essay “Why 450 ppm is misleading”

 

3.  "Prior to 1750, the level of methane present in the atmosphere was 0.7ppm but due to melting of clathrates and human activity, its concentration has risen to 1.7 ppm and in some parts of the Arctic is nearly 2 ppm."

The way this is worded, it gives the impression that the rise in methane is because of a feedback. But the IPCC says it is mostly caused by agriculture and fossil fuels. As I understand, it's only in the last few years the methane feedback may have started to kick in.

R:  Reworded to clarify …. Prior to 1750 the concentration of methane in the atmosphere was 0.7ppm but due to agricultura practices, mining and fossil fuel use is now 1.7ppm. In some parts of the Arctic it is nearly 2ppm due to melting of clathrates and permafrost.

 

4.  "It is estimated that by 2100 this will result in average sea level rising by 2.5m – 2.9m though Hansen and Sato predict a rise of up to 5m."

Where does the 2.5-2.9 m range come from? As Dana points out, the consensus is more like 0.8-2.0 m by 2100.

R:  You are right.  I have replaced those values with 0.8-2.0m, though I think 0.8 is nonsense and 2.0 is wishful thinking.

 

5.  "water on which most life-forms and human agriculture depend"

You might want to reword this slightly to clarify that only people and ecosystems in those regions directly depend on glaciers.

R:  Reworded to clarify … In other words, they melt at an increasing rate, reducing the amount of water they yield each year for dependent ecosystems and human agriculture.

 

6.  Also, in your list of impacts you could add something about changes in rainfall - more rain in already wet places, more droughts in already dry places, more intense rainfall everywhere. Obviously, drought will be a major cause of water shortages.

R:  That is a tricky one, unless dealt with at a macro level, since so many factors other than temperature contribute to rainfall change, which is why I left it out.  New paras on “Rainfall Changes” added but really this subject is an essay by itself.

 

7.  "This reduces availability of iron essential for plankton"

I'm not well-versed in the chemistry of ocean acidification but this doesn't sound right to me. Isn't it calcium carbonate, not iron?

R:  Yes, it is calcites which in the presence of carbonic acid form carbonates which can not be used by calcifying animals and reduce saturation of aragonite which can.

 But carbonic acid also reacts with iron reducing its presence in seawater in a form which can be taken up by phytoplankton (diatoms).  Shi et al (2010) have a useful Paper on this.

Steve Baines/Rob Painter have drawn my attention to a commentary by William Sunda in Science on the Paper by Shi. The chemistry is complex and beyond me but comments on the way in which declining pH reduces Fe availability. I am in doubt whether to keep the reference to reduced availability of iron or not – but it is a significant factor not often referred to.  I have amended it slightly by adding the word “may” reduce availability of iron.  Is that OK?

 

8.  I notice you link to the website CO2 Science; I don't think they're a reputable source.

R:  Reference replaced with one to SkS.

 

8.  "draught conditions" should read "drought conditions"

R:  Fixed.  After speaking the language for over 70 years, some words still confuse me.

 

9.  "The rapidity with which climate changes is occurring" should read "The rapidity with which climate changes are occurring"

R:  Fixed

 

10.  "the rate of human population growth is reaching unsustainable levels"

The rate of human population growth is actually slowing down. The population continues to grow but at a decreasing rate. I suggest rewording to "human population is reaching unsustainable levels".

R:  Fixed

 

11.  Sorry if I seem harsh, but if we don't triple-check our facts contrarians will pounce on it as evidence of our "alarmism".

R:  You are absolutely right and thank you for taking the time to critique the essay.

2011-04-03 17:17:11
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.36.196

Nealjking

Amended as suggested by you

2011-04-05 11:35:09Greenland / Antarctica ice loss
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

There is a brand new paper on GRACE results here (pdf) presented at CP.

Another report on 2010 melt season on Greenland here (pdf): The role of albedo and accumulation in the 2010 melting record in Greenland", Environ.Res.Lett. 6, (2011).

2011-04-09 10:44:30
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.157.162

Oslo:  Thank you for the reference to the latest Paper by Rignot et al (2011).

 

I note that the prediction of SLR is based on the assumption that current rates of Polar ice loss do not continue to escalate which, given the findings of Shakhova et al (2010), seems an invalid assumption.

 

Predictions by Hansen have been proven right on too many occasions in the past to ignore his predictions that the rate of Polar ice loss will double per decade and that consequently 2100 SLR could be 5m. higher than it was in 1750.

 

The current rate of Polar amplification will increase as a result of the effects of methane entering the atmosphere as a result of melting permafrost and clathrates.  Combined with ocean warming, particularly of the Southern Ocean, one would expect the outcome to be the decadal doubling of ice loss predicted by Hansen.

 

However, I have no expertise in this area and I rather suspect that those that do would be less than accepting of these outcomes.  Personally, I think Hansen is right and that it is too late to do much to prevent it – other than to move to higher ground.

2011-04-09 10:54:06
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

"move to higher ground"

Wise counsel in times to come.  We got hit 5 years ago with a once-in-500-years flood.  We finally got a buyer last fall & moved another 60 feet higher in the sky (one of the highest points in town).

Reading Carozza et al 2011...after reading Hansen 2011 things don't look promising.

2011-04-10 15:54:19
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.157.162

Yes, Carozza et al (2011) present some interesting work which does rather confirm what Hansen has had to say.  Hardly surprising given that Hansen’s findings and predictions are based on previous global warming events, though in this instance it would he nice if his conclusions were wrong. 

 

Carozza notes that the initial warming (stage 1) can not be attributed to carbon release only, so what did?  Solar radiation as a result of changing orbital parameters causing initial methane release, amplifying temperature in polar regions, reducing albedo and resulting in Stage 2, a sequence which has occurred before and seems to be starting to repeat itself now?

 

The description of Stage 2, a very rapid and massive release of carbon deficient in ∂13C does put one in mind of the Methane Gun theory.  As you know, it postulates that methane clathrates begin melting and through the feed-back process accelerate ocean warming and melting of even larger, deeper clathrate  deposits. 

 

Indications are that clathrates off the central Siberian coast ate stable at 350m below sea surface.  Recent studies show that off Svalbad they are only stable below 400m indicating ocean warming and deeper clathrates are subject to melting and release of methane.  If this process does occur, one wonders what stops it when CO2 reaches ~ 280 ppm?

 

One would expect that a significant release would result in massive loss of oxygen, particularly in the oceans but also in the atmosphere as methane oxidized to CO2 Hypoxic conditions of this magnitude would cause large extinction of flora and fauna, especially water breathing animals.  This occurred with the Cretaceous Extinction 65m, years ago but did it occur around the PETM 55m years ago?

 

I think we are now seeing the beginning of the next extinction and once again it seems likely that the culprit is the dreaded CH4.  We have yet to see rapid melting of clathrates and massive release of methane but I think Shakhova may have  described the precursor of that event in her 2010 Paper.

 

This scenario provides an explanation for the very rapid (geologically speaking) rise in temperature marking the end of the Paleocene and the more recent end of glacial periods shown in the Vostok Core, including what is happening now.  Does the above make sense or is it all my fanciful imagination?

 

What continues to puzzle me is the cause of the decline in temperature and CO2 following the end of the Eemian.  Where did the CO2 go?  A reduction of almost 100ppm.  More disturbing to Hansen (and me) is that we are now heading for a Holocene maxima without significant or causative change in orbital parameters, a change initiated by and largely attributable to burning fossil fuels.

 

Here we are, approaching 400ppm COand charging ahead when Hansen tells us we are in some trouble at 350ppm.  Meanwhile government listens to the assurances of businesses associated with production and use of fossil fuels that pursuit of short term profits is soooo much more important than avoiding the disasters to come.  How can anyone not be angry, indeed outraged!?

 

If national governments can not or will not act to control businesses directly responsible for greenhouse gas emissions so as to reduce those emissions, then those governments should be penalized.  The only penalty which can be imposed is a carbon tariff imposed on the exports of offending countries – most urgently on all of those countries emitting in excess of 1 billion tones per annum.

 

This Carbon Tariff would be set at a rate reflecting the level of a country’s emissions, increasing where that country’s emissions rose, declining where they fell and were independently verified as having done so.  Adoption of Protocols which have no compulsion or punitive measures in them (eg. Kyoto) is simply not an effective or acceptable way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions – something all countries can and must work to achieve.

 

There, I have had my say.  The above is all your fault Daniel Bailey.  You really should not dangle intriguing Papers in front of me – but thanks for doing so.

2011-04-10 22:31:01I think you have the right of it
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

I'll take the blame as messenger...but share in it anyway as a member of the human race.

I'd been toying with a post on the PETM/Clathrate Gun Hyposthesis for some time now.  After Carozza et al 2011 I don't find I want to.  Not because it's not interesting enough or that there's not enough info (Davy 2010 explores methane clathrate gas escape features off New Zealand, for example), but because the picture it (and you) paint is simply too depressing because I simply CAN'T dismiss it out of hand (the risk is unboundable).  Hansen remarked somewhere that the clathrate gun was not only "reloaded" from the PETM discharge but that reserves may be greater still, now.

Someone should do a post on it that does it justice, as it surely deserves one.

2011-04-14 09:38:53
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.149.141

Below the thunders of the upper deep,

Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,

His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep

The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee

About his shadowy sides: above him swell

Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;

And far away into the sickly light,

From many a wondrous grot and secret cell

Unnumbered and enormous polypi

Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.

There hath he lain for ages and will lie

Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,

Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;

Then once by men and angels to be seen,

In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die

 

Daniel Bailey … Thanks for the Davy 2010 Paper on methane emissions from the Chatham Rise rise.  I had no idea they were so large.  It would be interesting to know when they occurred. Even more concerning would be evidence of methane emissions further south, particularly in West Antarctica where warm equatorial currents are penetrating the Southern Ocean.

You are right, someone should write specifically about the dangers posed by methane emissions arising from clathrate melting.  It is one of those areas (one with serious implications) which SkS does not specifically address and as such is, in my view, a serious omission.  The problem is I lack the writing skills and, more importantly the scientific training, knowledge and fluency which you have.

I think you should fill the gap and risk depression.  If in fact Shakhova has described the precursor to firing of the methane gun, we should all be depressed.

And you select such unusual titles.  Zebra’s in Greenland indeed!  I suggest an essay on clathrates and methane emissions might by titled “The Kraken Awakes” which is why I began this comment with Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem of that name.  It describes the waking of something ominous and fatal in the cold ocean depths where it has lain dormant for millions of years. 

It could so well be describing the melting of clathrates and the rising of methane to the surface.  So why not start a serious scientific contribution with Tennyson, though perhaps the last woird "die" should be replaced by kill ?

2011-04-19 09:54:39
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.183.137

Daniel; Bailey:

I have drafted an article "The Hidden Danger - Methane" which sets out my thinking and I will post it but I still think you could do a far better job for reasons stated above.

2011-04-19 14:43:09
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

And you select such unusual titles.  You are very kind.  I had a miss-spent youth & indulged myself by reading widely; as have you, with your above Tennyson quotation (haven't read Tennyson in decades...pity). Suggested title (click on link for full effect): 

Wakening the  Kraken

 

Give me a bit to read up on what you've got so far.

2011-04-19 15:23:43
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Put it into blog format for you here.

2011-05-18 12:24:00
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.166.133

Final article -  think I have addressed matters raised by commentators and thank you.

Graphics inserted in text As Fig1 and Fig 2 do not appear for reasons unknown.  Can someone help me on getting them inserted please?

Also all URL links seem to have vanished!

2011-05-23 04:48:20
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

Which one is the final version?

2011-05-23 09:41:43
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.80.32

The one shown at the top of this page.