New study: Earth may be able to recover from rising carbon dioxide emissions faster than previously thought

This carbon cycle diagram shows the storage an...

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That’s the good news. The bad news is that they think it will take 30,000-40,000 years, even though they “don’t know exactly where this carbon went” (their own words from the press release) in their model. Isn’t it great when you can announce results like that and not have to worry about tracking where the main component went?

And I thought Susan Solomon’s 1000 year CO2 regime was way out there.

Purdue-led team studies Earth’s recovery from prehistoric global warming

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Earth may be able to recover from rising carbon dioxide emissions faster than previously thought, according to evidence from a prehistoric event analyzed by a Purdue University-led team.

When faced with high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and rising temperatures 56 million years ago, the Earth increased its ability to pull carbon from the air. This led to a recovery that was quicker than anticipated by many models of the carbon cycle – though still on the order of tens of thousands of years, said Gabriel Bowen, the associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences who led the study.

“We found that more than half of the added carbon dioxide was pulled from the atmosphere within 30,000 to 40,000 years, which is one-third of the time span previously thought,” said Bowen, who also is a member of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. “We still don’t know exactly where this carbon went, but the evidence suggests it was a much more dynamic response than traditional models represent.”

Bowen worked with James Zachos, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, to study the end of the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, an approximately 170,000-year-long period of global warming that has many features in common with the world’s current situation, he said.

“During this prehistoric event billions of tons of carbon was released into the ocean, atmosphere and biosphere, causing warming of about 5 degrees Celsius,” Bowen said. “This is a good analog for the carbon being released from fossil fuels today.”

Scientists have known of this prehistoric event for 20 years, but how the system recovered and returned to normal atmospheric levels has remained a mystery.

Bowen and Zachos examined samples of marine and terrestrial sediments deposited throughout the event. The team measured the levels of two different types of carbon atoms, the isotopes carbon-12 and carbon-13. The ratio of these isotopes changes as carbon dioxide is drawn from or added to the atmosphere during the growth or decay of organic matter.

Plants prefer carbon-12 during photosynthesis, and when they accelerate their uptake of carbon dioxide it shifts the carbon isotope ratio in the atmosphere. This shift is then reflected in the carbon isotopes present in rock minerals formed by reactions involving atmospheric carbon dioxide, Bowen said.

“The rate of the carbon isotope change in rock minerals tells us how rapidly the carbon dioxide was pulled from the atmosphere,” he said. “We can see the fluxes of carbon dioxide in to and out of the atmosphere. At the beginning of the event we see a shift indicating that a lot of organic-derived carbon dioxide had been added to the atmosphere, and at the end of the event we see a shift indicating that a lot of carbon dioxide was taken up as organic carbon and thus removed from the atmosphere.”

A paper detailing the team’s National Science Foundation-funded work was published in Nature Geoscience.

It had been thought that a slow and fairly constant recovery began soon after excess carbon entered the atmosphere and that the weathering of rocks, called silicate weathering, dictated the timing of the response.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide that reacts with silicon-based minerals in rocks is pulled from the air and captured in the end product of the reaction. This mechanism has a fairly direct correlation with the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and occurs relatively slowly, Bowen said.

The changes Bowen and Zachos found during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum went beyond the effects expected from silicate weathering, he said.

“It seems there was actually a long period of higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide followed by a short and rapid recovery to normal levels,” he said. “During the recovery, the rate at which carbon was pulled from the atmosphere was an order of magnitude greater than the slow drawdown of carbon expected from silicate weathering alone.”

A rapid growth of the biosphere, with a spread of forests, plants and carbon-rich soils to take in the excess carbon dioxide, could explain the quick recovery, Bowen said.

“Expansion of the biosphere is one plausible mechanism for the rapid recovery, but in order to take up this much carbon in forests and soils there must have first been a massive depletion of these carbon stocks,” he said. “We don’t currently know where all the carbon that caused this event came from, and our results suggest the troubling possibility that widespread decay or burning of large parts of the continental biosphere may have been involved.”

Release from a different source, such as volcanoes or sea floor sediments, may have started the event, he said.

“The release of carbon from the biosphere may have occurred as a positive feedback to the warming,” Bowen said. “The forests may have dried out, which can lead to die off and forest fires. If we take the Earth’s future climate to a place where that feedback starts to happen we could see accelerated rates of climate change.”

The team continues to work on new models of the carbon cycle and is also investigating changes in the water cycle during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

“We need to figure out where the carbon went all those years ago to know where it could go in the future,” he said. “These findings show that the Earth’s response is much more dynamic than we thought and highlight the importance of feedback loops in the carbon cycle.”

###

Related website:

Purdue Isotope Ratio Ecology and Hydrology:
http://www.eas.purdue.edu/ireh/index.htm

Press release and abstract on the research in this release is available at: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2011/110421BowenCarbon.html

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70 thoughts on “New study: Earth may be able to recover from rising carbon dioxide emissions faster than previously thought

  1. The earth doesn’t need to ‘recover’ from anything. CO2 goes up, plants flourish, species adapt, live evolves. CO2 goes down, plants decline, species adapt, life evolves. CO2 in the atmosphere is a phenomenon, not a problem.

    And breathe…

  2. Are there any bids on models that purport to predict 50,000 years into the future? Going once, twice …

    Oh well could give the Abiogenic petroleum theory a reboot. :-/

  3. What do these people mean-‘recover from rising CO2′ ?

    Geohistorically atmospheric CO2 levels have been much higher than today. The average, if such a number were to be important, would be much higher than today. Considering the fact that plant growth will increase with more atmospheric CO2 then today’s paltry volume is required to increase.

    The CO2 sinks include that for the formation of limestones which is a process that has been running for billions of years resulting in limestone being the most prolific of sedimentary rocks and depleting the atmosphere of a vital life giving gas.

    If we want to feed everyone to a satisfactory level then more atmospheric CO2 is needed. (see the latest post on the co2science site about raddish growth in a CO2 enriched atmosphere).

  4. Wouldn’t have something to do with all those thick Eocene coal deposits around the world perhaps? The ultimate carbon dioxide filter.

  5. As luck would have it, that 30,000 years will put us smack in the middle of the next ice age, and we won’t be able to tell for sure if they’re right or wrong. Darn warmistas always give themselves an out.

  6. So they seem to saying in effect that CO2 cycles are natural, levels go up which then kicks off an increased absorption cycle. What we have then is a dynamic robust biosphere system with the ability to respond to natural cyclic changes.

    You can infer, although I guess they would never say it, that there is no problem with CO2 and there will not be a problem with CO2 as we just happen to live on a planet with robust evolved systems able to cope with atmospheric changes.

    Let me summarize their work: Do not worry, there is no problem, there never was a problem, all the thousands of scaremongering stories about a fragile earth just about to die because of supposed feedbacks.

  7. The pro-AGW set loves the PETM, because all kinds of simulations can be produced about it.

    The evidence indicates CO2 increased by an amount which would be equivalent to about 3,000 Gigatonnes of Carbon versus human’s yearly contribution of about 10.0 Gigtonnes today. CO2 levels stayed high for 170,000 years.

    The likely source of the CO2 was north Atlantic volcanoes. The north Atlantic was just opening up at the time and a large magma plume between Europe and Greenland (which were attached at the time) started the split and the opening of the north Atlantic. Magma plumes typically last between 100,000 years and 1.0 million years, so CO2 was constantly being added over time as individual eruptions occurred.

    Comments:

    – The pro-AGW set builds their simulations assuming that the CO2 was added in one single event, instantaneously that is – but nobody knows how much CO2 was released by these volcanoes, how long it took and was there, in fact, 50,000 Gigatonnes of CO2 released over multiple events covering 165,000 years, which were rapidly sequestered by oceans and plants each individual time.

    – the only high resolution data at the start of the event says that temperatures increased first, about 3,000 years before the CO2 increase started.

    – the PETM was not that warm and it was not that special. It was 4C warmer 30 million years earlier when CO2 was only half as high. The pro-AGW set likes to focus on it because it is the only time in Earth history when a CO2 increase occurred at the same time as a temperature increase.

    – Today, plants and oceans are absorbing about 2.0% of the excess CO2 above 280 ppm each year. Applying the same framework to the PETM CO2 levels means that the CO2 was rapidly sequestered after each volcanic event. Then another large volcano went off in the north Atlantic and so on and so on.

    – All kind of “simulations” can be done around an event such as this.

  8. I thought that the expected time constant of co2 in the atmosphere was 50 years, based on the amount the level currently is above pre-industrial levels and the proportion of mankind’s emissions that disappear from the atmosphere. These guys are saying it only takes 30000 years. Somebody better tell the warmists so they can say that each amount of co2 emitted will take 30000 years to disappear.

  9. So it only takes a little longer to get CO2 to absorb into a colder earth than it does to get logic through the thick skulls of Orthodox scientists. Again, the ice-core isotopes show that CO2 does not affect temperature in any significant way, but temperature evidently controls CO2. And yes, decreasing temperature leads decreasing CO2 by the order of 10,000 years after thermal optima.

  10. In the article they write:-
    “During this prehistoric event billions of tons of carbon was released into the ocean, atmosphere and biosphere, causing warming of about 5 degrees Celsius,” Bowen said. “This is a good analog for the carbon being released from fossil fuels today.”

    What an extraordinary claim to make.
    Do they have proof that this prehistoric event which released billions of tons of carbon caused the 5 degrees rise?

    There may have been a 5 degree Celsius rise, but they can only theorise as to the cause. Whereas they seem to be stating that they know there is a direct link. There are so many variables that are simply unknown to be able to do anything else but theorise as to the cause.

    Why would this be a good analog for today?

    When will they understand that Carbon Dioxide and Warming is beneficial for the biosphere.

  11. “When faced with high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and rising temperatures 56 million years ago, the Earth increased its ability to pull carbon from the air.”

    Yes, but next time it might decide not to, then where will we be?

  12. There are three categories of knowledge:

    1 what we know
    2 what we don’t know
    3 what we don’t know we don’t know.

    This study adds to our category 2 knowledge, which makes it slightly better than most other climatology studies. I know of none that have provided category 1 knowledge. If you do, I seek enlightenment.

  13. ““We need to figure out where the carbon went all those years ago to know where it could go in the future,” he said”

    As long as you do it on your own dime, and not mine, go for it.

  14. Happy earth day. Save the trees. The trees and grassies inhale CO2 . It is their diet.

    Plants scrub the atmosphere.

  15. “During this prehistoric event billions of tons of carbon was released into the ocean, atmosphere and biosphere, causing warming of about 5 degrees Celsius,” Bowen said.

    So diamonds cause warming? Graphite causes warming? Carbon is an element these people are misusing words intentionally to continue a falsehood.

  16. Quicker than anticipated from carbon models?! That seems backwards and upside down to me when actual is considered to be “off” compared to some model. More like proof that they don’t understand and can’t explain reality. There: I fixed the conclusion part of the study.

    I don’t care for the common inferences from the term “recover” either. Come to think of it, “recover” may not even scientfically describe what is going on except in the crudest meaning of returning to a prior measurement level. It looks like publicity was a consideration in bringing this “study” to market.

  17. Perhaps the natural course for an earth-like planet, sans a life form intelligent enough to manipulate the environment, is to deplete itself of CO2 through uncontrolled plant growth which would eventually lead to the death of those very plants and in the end leave a cold, lifeless world. Perhaps it is we, the evil humans, who have unwittingly saved our own planet from this fate.

  18. My visit here this morning started with great anticipation of good science and then I read Gabriel’s model crap. Another model and lots of “it seems” and “it is thought” kind of speculation. The never ending story of agw grant graspers.

  19. How long was the peer-review cycle from submission to publication for this 30,000-40,000 CO2 recovery cycle?

  20. Basil Beamish:
    April 22, 2011 at 4:29 am

    Maybe. Seems like when sea levels are low there are lots of coals deposited. And when sea levels are high, there are lots of limestones.

  21. From what I understand, aren’t the Mauna Loa measurements only detecting about half the CO2 in the atmosphere expected based upon the fossile fuel combustion. If that is the case, wouldn’t it be much more prudent to first sort out the mass balance and find the sink (likely in the oceans, precipitating out as carbonate minerals) and then try to figure out what might happen in 30K years?

  22. [snip] the shriek from the collective crazed climate communist hippie society of paranormal climate science that just became alarmed over the fast dwindling funding of the ill begotten future painted by this study.

    Small doses, small doses, please. :p

  23. Unbelievable, how long do we have to put up with this drivel, do they not understand the very important role CO2 has within our eco system.
    As they get more and more desperate they get more and more ridiculous.

    The problem is that papers like the UK Guardian the Independent will love stuff like this.
    Likewise the BBC.

  24. Slightly off topic but …

    From Tim Blair:

    CRAZED CULT LEADER JOINS CRAZED CULT

    Tim Blair
    Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 10:58am

    The Daily Mail reports:
    Crazed cult leader Charles Manson has broken a 20-year silence in a prison interview coinciding with the 40th anniversary of his conviction for the gruesome Sharon Tate murders – to speak out about global warming.

  25. Somehow the CO2 recovery numbers have always struck me as extreme. When you look at the Mauna Loa seasonal signal, and the percentage of change that happens in a single season, it makes you realize that the absorption capability of the earth is vast.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/04/06/co2-monthly-mean-at-mauna-loa-leveling-off/

    We can see that during the absorption part of the year 6-7 ppm can be removed in just that season. So if there were a desperate need to remove CO2 quickly we could do it by simply droping what we put into the atmosphere. I don’t, however, anticipate any such need.

  26. the fact remains that nobody knows, ever did know, or ever will know with certainty just what was going on 56million years ago.

    how do they know about the co2 levels? they observed layers of rock made from layers of dead plant material, which tells us what the plant was eating, which tells us what the atmosphere was like. now, using this twisted little path to explain the co2 levels at the time, they claim that they know the rate of change of co2 concentrations in the atmosphere?

    what about weather? does a rock that’s 56 million years old tell you something about rain? how about cloud cover, or the migration of animals? For all we know the co2 levels at their test site changed due to the migratory habits of a large herbivore dropping dung nearby. The wonderful part about researching 56 million years back in time is that no one is EVER going to check your work.

    Really and Truly I do Apologize. This is complete, uncheckable crap.

  27. “A rapid growth of the biosphere, with a spread of forests, plants and carbon-rich soils to take in the excess carbon dioxide, could explain the quick recovery, Bowen said.”

    Perhaps an abundance of “food” might account for this? I know, the “model” doesn’t account for common sense.

  28. We look at our world and the universe with human eyes and more importantly, with a human lifespan. In terms of the latter, we see an apparently ageless and unchanging view but it’s a false impression. When looked at through the eyes of “deep” time, it is dynamic, violent and forever changing. There is no ideal static harmonious state which must be maintained. There never was and there never will be either.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/the-steady-state-environment-delusion/

    Pointman

  29. BenAW says:
    April 22, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Thanks for that link to the Azolla event — fascinating stuff!

    “The event coincides precisely with a catastrophic decline in carbon dioxide levels, which fell from 3500 ppm in the early Eocene to 650 ppm during this event.”

    So odd to hear declining CO2 levels as ‘catastrophic.’

  30. Desert Yote,

    I did, years ago. I had a 125 gallon tank and bought a fairly cheap injection unit. Don’t recall the manufacturer, but it used 12 gram CO2 cylinders. The plant growth really took off, to the point that I stopped using CO2 injection – the plants completely filled the aquarium. For some reason, the fish seemed to benefit too.

  31. Just out of curiosity, are there any measurements of CO2 levels recorded for central Antarctica?
    My limited logic tells me CO2 should accumulate there due to wind patterns and lack of plants.
    If this was the case we should see increasing summer time temperature trends.

  32. Why do they only consider ‘organic carbon’? They don’t want to admit the importance of the long term role of carbonate mineral precipitation and accumulation in the carbon cycle. They ignore limestone formation because it’s effective long term sequestration of CO2 necessitates the inclusion of a strong negative feedback into their models. This would not be good for their desired outcome.

    The importance of long term sequestration of CO2 into limestones explains the trend of decreasing atmospheric CO2 over time, can also add to the explanation of seasonal atmospheric varialbility and is evidenced by the tremendous volumes of carbonate rock masses currently known on all continents and in all ocean basins.

  33. I think they have their terms backwards.

    If CO2 was higher geo-historically… And biomass was higher and more diverse than now… We must conclude that CO2 levels are catastrophically low now, BUT a recovery is in progress. Why would we want to return to near catastrophic low levels? Is there some other way to view this?? GK

  34. EARTH’S Climate can be controled by capturing Conc: De-icers by installing Zero Discharge Systems (ZDS) in Desalination Plants around WORLD particularly in M.E. Hurricans will reduce, Icemass will grow in BOTH POLES & HIMALAYAS & thereby GLOBAL WARMING will ARREST & NO SEA LEVEL RISE.

  35. John Johnston says:
    April 22, 2011 at 5:36 am
    “…I know of none that have provided category 1 knowledge. If you do, I seek enlightenment…”

    OK Johnny, here is the definitive category 1 knowledge for your enlightenment:
    Co2 is good for plants.

    That’s it my friend…the short version. ;0)

  36. 30,000 years ? I would presume that they calculated the “fallout” from !!!!
    Iran, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, if you notice any similarity between these places, please, it is Global Warming thats done it !
    (sarc of )

  37. Yesterday we leaned the ozone hole was responsible for climate change in the Southern Hemisphere all the way into the tropics. Today we get a junk paper claiming this group of “scientists” can predict cause and effect of CO2 warming the planet 56 million years ago followed by 30,000 years of the planet going on a CO2 drinking binge.

    Here are some facts they apparently overlooked: For more than 55 million years, Ellesmere Island located in Canada’s high Arctic remained in one place while the world around it changed. Fifty-five million years ago, verdant forests grew at 75° North latitude. These wetland forests, comprised of species now primarily found in China, grew on an alluvial plain where channels meandered back and forth and periodic floods buried stumps, logs, and leaves intact. Today the forests are preserved as coal seams that outcrop on the edges …of modern Ellesmere Island, where there are no forests, and the tallest vegetation grows less than 15 cm high. Large parts of the area are polar desert, subject to intensely cold and dark winters and minimal precipitation.

    That’s Climate Change there! From 90 ft trees to hardly anything growing higher than a few centimeters now dark and frozen solid virtually year around. Moreover, here in Fort McMurray, Alberta, in the oil sands deposits we’re constantly digging up marine reptiles from a time when my hometown was underwater from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico. Now we’re 1214 ft above sea level – once western North America from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico was an area called The Western Interior Seaway, a present day era famous for its skeletons of sea monsters: mosasaurs, ichthyosaurs, and plesiosaurs, ancient marine reptiles that lived during the Age of the Dinosaurs.

    Plate tectonic changed everything – until and unless those so called “scientists” can account for every single event in historical time such as I mentioned above when presenting articles as presented then this paper isn’t worth the time it takes to read. What I can see with my own eyes are the marine reptiles we’re digging up on a constant basis so I know what my little part of this planet used to be before AGW even existed. And this period we’re digging up was warmer than now – it’s there in the oil sand!

  38. Smokey says:
    April 22, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Desert Yote,

    I did, years ago. I had a 125 gallon tank and bought a fairly cheap injection unit. Don’t recall the manufacturer, but it used 12 gram CO2 cylinders. The plant growth really took off, to the point that I stopped using CO2 injection – the plants completely filled the aquarium. For some reason, the fish seemed to benefit too.
    ###

    Amazing isn’t it. I started playing around with manipulating CO2 back in the 80s. I have used Gas cylinders like you, yeast based CO2 generators, and decomposing vegetation (which I would NOT recommend unless you really know what you are doing). Personally, I like the elegance of the organic solutions, but the gas cylinders are easier to experiment with. Did you, by any chance take CO2 measurements?

    I did. I sure wish I had my Aquarium logs. They were destroyed when my storage unit was ransacked by tweekers. Anyway, I found that if I increased the rate of CO2 injection, the dissolved CO2 would increase for a few days, then start to come down so that within a week I was unable to resolve an increase in CO2 levels from where they were before the injection rate increase, with the Hatch test kit I was using. The funny thing is that I saw an O2 increase instead. I took my measurements at 1630 after the main lights had been on for 9 hours.

  39. Bowen worked with James Zachos, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, to study the end of the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, an approximately 170,000-year-long period of global warming that has many features in common with the world’s current situation, he said.

    What features is he talking about? The available geological evidence indicates that the present has the lowest CO2 levels of the Phanerozoic.

  40. When faced with high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and rising temperatures 56 million years ago, the Earth increased its ability to pull carbon from the air
    ===================================================
    Woops!
    Cut these people’s funding immediately….

    …they just said that the planet sequesters CO2 faster than we can put it out

    That obviously 390 ppm is low, that as CO2 levels drop the metabolism of the planet drops….

    and that low levels of CO2 are not optimum

  41. ““During this prehistoric event billions of tons of carbon was released into the ocean, atmosphere and biosphere, causing warming of about 5 degrees Celsius,” Bowen said. “This is a good analog for the carbon being released from fossil fuels today.””

    Did I read somewhere, some time ago that the CAGW leadership warned their ‘trusted minions’ that the public at large did not seem to be getting the AGW message and that there seemed to be necessary to ‘Change Tack’?

    If they think dusting off and editing what “Scientists have known of this prehistoric event for 20 years” may be one good place to start, then it looks like, to me for one (after reading the e above article), that they are likely to be as successful as German scientists were during the early part of the twentieth century in proving that the German people were descendants of the Aryan race.

  42. Anthony writes:

    “Isn’t it great when you can announce results like that and not have to worry about tracking where the main component went?”

    That says it all about Warmista climate science. Until they know where the CO2 is and where the alleged additional warming is, they should not refer to their work as science. Of course, being good Leftists, they treat “CO2″ as a theoretical term. That way it does not matter that they cannot account for all the CO2, or so they think. And why shouldn’t they? As all Leftists constantly preach, everything is theoretical. Everything is a social construct, including science and all that it accounts for.

  43. DesertYote says:
    April 22, 2011 at 9:34 am

    You must cease and desist talking about your experimentation at once. This is a science blog and we don’t need to hear any more about your fantasy CO2 measurements. Surely, you would have been able to produce more accurate results by writing a computer model instead of taking actual measurements. Enough of your old-school pseudoscience…
    /sarc off

    Seriously, anyone who would believe the “conclusions” of this study should be issued a restraining order and forced to stay at least 100 yards from actual science. The leaps of faith and speculation that are passed off as fact in this study can only be rivaled by the claims made regularly on the Weather channel, Discovery channel, etc. about what is going on now in our environment. Pure unadulterated bull(snip).

  44. Why is it always “faster than previously thought”, “more than expected”, “experts were shocked by” etc?

    It seems that we need some new experts if these guys are always being taken by surprise.

  45. John Johnston,0-2-3 exactly. I can understand the complaints of, wheres the science on WUWT, recently but realise this is not Anthonys doing, these taxpayer funded pseudo scientists and the rubbish they publish must be mocked (simple exposure to light is enough). However the retreat from AWG by the more savvy team members has left a void, the recent bafflegab is low quality and lacks the art and passion of religion those propogandists exibit.Most of the coulda woulda why don’t you trust me, pronouncements of late are by such 2nd rate actors that they barely rate comment. The silence from the Team UN is that of revealed idiots who hope that we will forget if they stay silent for a short while, or until the weather cooperates with the official religion once more.

  46. Our interglacial will be over soon well withing 40,000 years – maybe 1000. That kind of “solving of CO2 warming problem” will kill billions.

  47. The aquarium CO2 experiments sound elegant and simple. Too cheap for a peer-reviewed magazine, of course. Too cheap for university or government grants, too. Not flashy enough to get you tenure or as a reviewer for the IPCC.

    The Paleocene-Eocene thermal and CO2 event clearly did not kill the oceans by acidification. I’ve seen the Eocene coals and estuary deposits in Oregon and have my first fossilized sand dollar from the (volcanic) muddy deposits you can see along the present day shoreline. Pretty darn healthy place. There is still snow on the Oregon hills today. Too bad this wasn’t the Paleocene or Eocene.

  48. Pointman says:
    April 22, 2011 at 7:56 am
    “We look at our world and the universe with human eyes and more importantly, with a human lifespan. In terms of the latter, we see an apparently ageless and unchanging view but it’s a false impression.”

    In a sense, yes, this is the Warmista (communist) problem. However, your statement suggests you might be willing to excuse them. You should not. The vast majority of human kind living and dead, 99% of them farmers, have always known that their environment is ageless for up to two weeks at a time. In other words, another aspect of the Warmista problem is hardcore, twenty-first century bubblism.

  49. They ran a model and don’t know where the carbon went in that model? How about printing out the results? In the last timestep? What kind of clowns are they?

  50. Scientists have known of this prehistoric event for 20 years, but how the system recovered and returned to normal atmospheric levels has remained a mystery.

    And still is!

  51. It truly is a desperate klatsch that not only puts the theory before the data, but continually devises increasingly sillier ways of doing it, all with the idea that nobody is intelligent enough to notice. I assume the people whose intelligence is insufficient to be the same ones holding the purse strings. Yes?

  52. >>
    DirkH says:
    April 22, 2011 at 10:22 am

    They ran a model and don’t know where the carbon went in that model? How about printing out the results? In the last timestep?
    <<

    It’s possible to remove something from a mathematical model without knowing where it went. It’s a well know mathematical process called “subtraction.”

    >>
    What kind of clowns are they?
    <<

    That is something people will have to judge for themselves. :-)

    Jim

  53. Great news! There’s hope. But only if we act now.

    Clearly we need a new UN taskforce and a new 30,000 year plan. But be warned. The Committee to Restore Atmospheric Perfection will require massive support. This CRAP won’t be cheap.

  54. DirkH says:
    April 22, 2011 at 10:22 am

    “What kind of clowns are they?”

    Well paid professional clowns. The joke is on us.

  55. Unless we do something to prevent the next ice age, it will be here in < 30,000 years. I can hardly wait to see what happens.

  56. The sun get hotter, the oceans heat up, they give off CO2 and extra water vapor. Rain increases at night. The sun cools down. Rain strips CO2 from the atmosphere faster, day and night. The system goes back to more-or-less where it was. Until next time.

  57. “1DandyTroll says:
    April 22, 2011 at 7:02 am ”

    Unless I am totally misreading the letters, that is not what I expected to see on Good Friday or any other day on WUWT.

    [Reply: You're right, and it has been snipped. ~dbs, mod.]

  58. @DesertYote

    “Has anyone else here besides me experiment with CO2 injection in Aquariums?”

    Probably most people since most people having aquamarine environments tend to use air pumps*.

    Ackos

    “What is normal?”

    Snails kind of melt when you dose ‘em with salt?

    *If the reader doesn’t get the point, here’s a hint: where is the air pump located and what tends to get concentrated at that location and elevation.

  59. “The vast majority of human kind living and dead, 99% of them farmers, have always known that their environment is ageless for up to two weeks at a time.”

    Ageless for a whole “two weeks at a time”. Why me Lord? I know you sculpted me for better things than being a looney magnet.

    Pointman

  60. “We don’t currently know where all the carbon that caused this event came from, and our results suggest the troubling possibility that widespread decay or burning of large parts of the continental biosphere may have been involved.”

    Oh, are they trying to say that it was already on the surface?
    How do you get widespread burning and not have a worldwide carbon-rich layer of soot? How do you get widespread massive decay all of a sudden?
    Most troubling is, that after all that going on, no definative answer is to be found.
    Even worse, they don’t know where it came from OR where it went.
    Perhaps it even came from Outer Space.
    Okay, here’s a good one: A big asteroid smacked Venus, melting it’s surface and ejecting massive quantities of CO2 that Earth sucked up down orbit.

  61. “Expansion of the biosphere is one plausible mechanism for the rapid recovery…”

    So, with all the droughts, floods, fires, rising oceans, extinction of species, and extreme weather events that are supposed to happen when CO2 rises, the biosphere still expanded? Doesn’t that mean that the net effect of increased CO2 on the biosphere is positive? Then why should we be concerned about climate change?

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