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Thread: Geologic Record of Carbon burps, warming, ocean acidification and kill off.

  1. #1 Geologic Record of Carbon burps, warming, ocean acidification and kill off. 
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    An interview with a geologist discusses his recent work which looks at the geologic record for examples of Co2 driving ocean acidification and its dramatic effects temperature and ocean life.

    "The beauty of looking in the rock record is you don’t have to run a computer model to see what’s going to happen. You see the whole thing. When you put say 2,000 gigatons [billion tons] or thereby of carbon into the atmosphere rapidly a certain number of things happen. It gets hot. The oceans get acid. They run short of oxygen and as a result quite a number of animals become extinct. ... "
    A CO2 Warning Etched in Stone and Sediment - NYTimes.com

    and abstract of the associated paper.

    "A comprehensive new review of research on episodes of carbon-driven disruption of ocean and climate conditions over the last 300 million years shows the power of a big pulse of carbon dioxide to profoundly affect the environment. The review, which is being published in the journal Science on Friday, concludes that the human-driven buildup of carbon dioxide under way now appears to be far outpacing past natural events, meaning that, for ocean chemistry particularly, the biological implications are potentially enormous — and laden with the kind of uncertainty that is hard to see as a source of comfort."
    A CO2 Warning Etched in Stone and Sediment - NYTimes.com



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    It's clear that looking to paleoclimate through geological evidence reinforces what the rest of climate science is telling us. There is consistency that a field of science that is truly divided could not have. I doubt that the doubters and deniers will treat the warnings in the stone and sediment any more seriously than the complex reiterative calculations of interactions that are climate models. The strength and popularity of such doubt and disbelief is dismaying. Worse, it divides, hinders, compromises and prevents timely and effective action.

    Lynx Fox, I'm still at a loss to see how to get a thorough rebuilding of energy infrastructure and energy economics from here; the kinds of policies needed are treated as worse than merely politically unpalatable. They are treated as being outside the realms of the possible. I've said before that I don't think the problems are primarily those of inadequacy of technologies but failure of appreciation of the true nature and extent of the problem and the result is a deep apathy and inertia that makes us unwilling to act.


    Last edited by Ken Fabos; March 5th, 2012 at 06:50 AM. Reason: clarity
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    Ocean acidity is one of the most worrisome problems facing marine biologists. There is a lot that we don’t understand about the carbon cycle including exactly how much of the carbon dioxide human activity belches into the atmosphere ultimately ends up in the ocean. Scientists think it’s about 30 percent, give or take.They know that the oceans act as a carbon sink, meaning excess atmospheric CO2 makes its way to the ocean where it gets absorbed. When carbon dioxide mixes with saltwater it turns to carbonic acid. The more carbon in the ocean the higher the acidity and the lower the ocean’s pH balance.
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