CO2 increase is “like hitting our ecosystem with a sledge-hammer”

Hammer time - close but no cigar

That comes from this statement in the press release:

Professor Kennedy said that the doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere over the past 50 years is “like hitting our ecosystem with a sledge-hammer”

Hmmm, you’d think they could get the basic math right. From ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt

Today’s seasonally corrected Mauna Loa CO2 April 2011 = 390.49 ppm

The seasonally corrected Mauna Loa CO2 value 50 years ago , April 1961 = 317.27 ppm

317.27 x 2 (a doubling over 50 years) = 634.54 ppm Seems the claim for doubling over 50 years is 244.05 ppm short. Perhaps he meant a ball peen hammer.

Greenhouse ocean study offers warning for future

The mass extinction of marine life in our oceans during prehistoric times is a warning that the same could happen again due to high levels of greenhouse gases, according to new research.

Professor Martin Kennedy from the University of Adelaide (School of Earth & Environmental Sciences) and Professor Thomas Wagner from Newcastle University, UK, (Civil Engineering and Geosciences) have been studying ‘greenhouse oceans’ – those that have been depleted of oxygen, suffering increases in carbon dioxide and temperature.

Using core samples drilled from the ocean bed off the coast of western Africa, the geologists studied layers of sediment from the Late Cretaceous Period (85 million years ago) across a 400,000-year timespan. They found a significant amount of organic material – marine life – buried within deoxygenated layers of the sediment.

Professor Wagner says the results of their research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has relevance for our modern world: “We know that ‘dead zones’ are rapidly growing in size and number in seas and oceans across the globe,” he said. “These are areas of water that are lacking in oxygen and are suffering from increases of CO2, rising temperatures, nutrient run-off from agriculture and other factors.”

Their research points to a mass mortality in the oceans at a time when the Earth was going through a greenhouse effect. High levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising temperatures led to a severe lack of oxygen (hypoxia) in the water that marine animals depend upon.

“What’s alarming to us as scientists is that there were only very slight natural changes that resulted in the onset of hypoxia in the deep ocean,” said Professor Kennedy. “This occurred relatively rapidly – in periods of hundreds of years, or possibly even less – not gradually over longer, geological time scales, suggesting that the Earth’s oceans are in a much more delicate balance during greenhouse conditions than originally thought, and may respond in a more abrupt fashion to even subtle changes in temperature and CO2 levels.”

Professor Kennedy said that the doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere over the past 50 years is “like hitting our ecosystem with a sledge-hammer” compared to the very small changes in incoming solar energy (radiation) which was capable of triggering these events in the past.

“This could have a catastrophic, profound impact on the sustainability of life in our oceans, which in turn is likely to impact on the sustainability of life for many land-based species, including humankind,” he added.

However, the geological record offers a glimmer of hope thanks to a naturally occurring response to greenhouse conditions. After a hypoxic phase, oxygen concentration in the ocean seems to improve, and marine life returns.

This research has shown that natural processes of carbon burial kick in and the land comes to the rescue, with soil-formed minerals collecting and burying excess dissolved organic matter in seawater. Burial of the excess carbon ultimately contributes to CO2 removal from the atmosphere, cooling the planet and the ocean.

“This is nature’s solution to the greenhouse effect and it could offer a possible solution for us,” said Professor Wagner. “If we are able to learn more about this effect and its feedbacks, we may be able to manage it, and reduce the present rate of warming threatening our oceans.”

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99 Responses to CO2 increase is “like hitting our ecosystem with a sledge-hammer”

  1. Ed Caryl says:

    This passed peer review????

  2. pat says:

    Hmmmm. Start with a conclusion and search for the evidence. Then ramble confusedly when the evidence does not quite support the conclusion. We have been seeing a bit of this lately.

  3. Jeremy says:

    Really? Increasing plant food is like hitting the ecosystem with a sledgehammer? Maybe if by sledgehammer you mean, “awesome sauce”.

  4. John of Kent says:

    It’s not even a ball- pein hammer, more like hitting the eco system with fertiliser!

  5. “If we are able to learn more about this effect and its feedbacks, we may be able to manage it, and reduce the present rate of warming threatening our oceans.”

    The present rate of warming [is] threatening our oceans. So it is the “rate” of warming that is the threat? Or the absolute warming? Or the level of CO2? Or the level of O2? Or all of the above? Send more money and we will let you know.

    If it is the rate of warming then the solution is simple, melt the glaciers and increase the flow of cold water into the sea …

  6. Gendeau says:

    I suppose that when ‘facts’ and ‘reality’ let you down, you need to start using models and hyperbole

    As McCoy used to say(ish) it’s science Jim, but not as we know it

  7. Vince Causey says:

    “They found a significant amount of organic material – marine life – buried within deoxygenated layers of the sediment.”

    Well done Sherlock – you’ve just proved that when water becomes deoxygenated, more marine life dies. Everything else is based on unsuported assertions.

    That the Cretaceous underwent a warming period around 85mya is well documented. Unfortunately, Sherlock, Co2 level’s were declining.

    There goes another nice theory. Never mind, that makes it a dead certainty for the next IPCC novel.

  8. Nomen Nescio says:

    The punchline: “This is nature’s solution to the greenhouse effect and it could offer a possible solution for us,” said Professor Wagner. “If we are able to learn more about this effect and its feedbacks, we may be able to manage it, and reduce the present rate of warming threatening our oceans.” is worth the read to the end.

  9. John of Kent says:

    “Their research points to a mass mortality in the oceans at a time when the Earth was going through a greenhouse effect. High levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising temperatures led to a severe lack of oxygen (hypoxia) in the water that marine animals depend upon.

    Cause and effect mixed up once again. The high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and low levels of oxygen in the water are both the result of high temperatures on the Earth, not the cause!

    The cause being a higher level of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface during past eras.

  10. mkelly says:

    From above: “High levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising temperatures led to a severe lack of oxygen (hypoxia) in the water that marine animals depend upon.”

    http://www.ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/2005-08-18/dioxide.htm

    “There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.8 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm — about 19 times higher than today.”

    So why did the little critters grow in the first place?

  11. glacierman says:

    “Their research points to a mass mortality in the oceans at a time when the Earth was going through a greenhouse effect.”

    So the GHE comes and goes? Or does it runaway?

    If they were right, it would be boiling hot right now. Can they even keep a straight face when spewing this crap?

  12. Alexander K says:

    I have serious questions about the quality of scientists who peer-reviewed this silly and alarmist mish-mash of supposition and muddling effect and cause. It’s not just basic arithmetic that’s incorrect!

  13. John S. says:

    Cue the Peter Gabriel music video…

  14. Bob Diaz says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but several hundred million years ago, wasn’t the level around 1,000 PPM? If you go back even longer, wasn’t it around 5,000 PPM?

    Why is it OK for the Earth back then, but not now?

    Last time I checked, plants need CO2.

  15. Latitude says:

    “If we are able to learn more about this effect and its feedbacks,”
    ==================================================
    I think this is a do over…………………

    One thing I’ll give them all credit for….
    …they have no shame in showing the world exactly how ignorant they are

  16. Mike Bromley says:

    Astounding. My last attempt at a publication, in 1992, left the impression I had put the cart before the horse. It got lambasted in review. Not that it was a bad paper, but that it was contextually juggled. It never did get published, because other things came along at the time. But it taught me a lesson.

    But this effort not only juggles context, it out-and-out destroys it, like so many papers of this type which cite precedents of past warming, or die-offs, or ice-melting, you name it, with nary a mention of ‘anthropogenic’..because, ladies and gentlemen, we weren’t AROUND at the time. Another case of “warming happened”, but somehow today’s ‘warming’ is different. Doubling CO2??? Now I KNOW that the peer-review process is corrupt as regards climate mythology; nothing more than a closed club of furtive and jolly neanderthals all slapping each other on the back and calling people names…and allowing shoddy work to slide by.

  17. Gator says:

    This surely is the result of ‘beer review’ and not ‘peer review’.

  18. James Schrumpf says:

    Could someone explain why Mauna Loa is the go-to for the atmospheric CO2 measurement? Being as it’s very close to active volcanoes, it seems to be a possibly biased source. Why isn’t the CO2 level averaged from remote sites around the world, as is attempted with temperature? I’d think a CO2 measurement from Antarctica or Easter Island would be good samples as well.

  19. DD More says:

    Using core samples drilled from the ocean bed off the coast of western Africa, the geologists studied layers of sediment from the Late Cretaceous Period (85 million years ago) across a 400,000-year timespan. They found a significant amount of organic material – marine life – buried within deoxygenated layers of the sediment.

    Would the spread of the continents have anything to do with lack of oxygen? The underwater rift may have had more to do with high temps than CO2.

    http://www.dinosauria.com/dml/maps.htm

  20. ShrNfr says:

    Adelaide? Perhaps he is the present holder of the Barrie Harrop chair at that august university.

  21. wobble says:

    Actually, a sledge hammer is very small and light compared to the massiveness of the ecosystem. Metaphor fail.

  22. cedarhill says:

    If Kennedy digs a few more cores he’ll show that Co2 was the cause of the Big Bang and that we’re perilously to causing another Big Bang with our SUV’s.

  23. JAE says:

    “These are areas of water that are lacking in oxygen and are suffering from increases of CO2, rising temperatures, nutrient run-off from agriculture and other factors.”

    “…suffering from increases in CO2?”

    It appears that they are saying that the levels of CO2 in the ocean are going up as the water heats; which is backwards. If that is what they are saying, the editor should not utilize those peer-reviewers anymore.

  24. Sean says:

    “They found a significant amount of organic material – marine life – buried within deoxygenated layers of the sediment.” does not necessarly mean they die due to the deoxygenate. It could mean the area was so fertile and full of life, more died there. It could also mean the same number died as usual but were just better preserved.

  25. Richard111 says:

    Wasn’t that about the time when the volcanic activity produced the Deccan Traps? That lasted quite a few hundreds of years, must’ve had quite an effect on the biosphere.

  26. Pat Michaels says:

    If you are an Academy member or have an Academy “sponsor”, PNAS papers aren’t really peer reviewed. Suggestions are passed on to the author, with no need to heed.

    If you don’t think the National Academy is a joke on climate science, you will if you read their just-released “America’s Climate Choices”, as NAS has succeeded in removing “science” from “climate”, and, sadly, their “Proceedings” often does the same

  27. rbateman says:

    “If we are able to learn more about this effect and its feedbacks, we may be able to manage it

    They want to manage it. What they really mean is that they want to micromanage Life on Earth. When they fail, it will still be all your fault, irregardless of whether they knew what they were doing… which is highly doubtful.

  28. Dell from Michigan says:

    Sledge hammer, and the ring-the-bell carnival game gave me a great idea:

    Whack-a-warmer.

    Kind of like Whack-a-mole, but with cuddly figurines of Al Gore, James Hansen, etc., who pop out of their hole with some new panic attack global warming alarmism tidbit, and then the so-called “deniers” whack them before they hide back in their hole.

    ;>P

  29. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    Gee, with that kind of mathematical ability he qualifies as a Journalist.

    Guess arithmetic is not part of modern Climate Science Data Changing.

  30. Peter in MD says:

    From the article:

    “These are areas of water that are lacking in oxygen and are suffering from increases of CO2, rising temperatures, nutrient run-off from agriculture and other factors.”

    and then:
    …….and may respond in a more abrupt fashion to even subtle changes in temperature and CO2 levels.”

    It doesn’t matter the topic, the mantra must be included and adhered to, except which one comes first? uh ohhhhh…….. and the whole we can manage it line? Why don’t learn to manage tornadoes, how about hurricanes? those are more localized events, they should be much easier to manage, right?

    One thing I don’t see mentioned is what effect do underwater volcanoes have on CO2 in the oceans? I doubt we even have a clue on not only how many there are, and I’ve seen reports that esimate 5000 worldwide, but how much CO2 and Methane is being emitted? There is so much we don’t know, I’d like to see a model that takes every possible piece of the climate puzzle and address them. Oh wait…. we just dismiss those we don’t understand and say they don’t matter. All roads lead to CO2, how convienant.

  31. John Wright says:

    We are now being engulfed by a tsunami of rubbish alarmist papers that have been under preparation over the last few years in “justification” for the lavish funding they’ve been getting. It’s not over by any means but unlike a non-metaphorical tsunami we can just laugh it off. What else is there to do?

  32. reason says:

    “Actually, a sledge hammer is very small and light compared to the massiveness of the ecosystem. Metaphor fail.”

    Hold on, let’s not let a perfectly good metaphor get discarded without thinking it through to full absurdity…

    They’re saying we’re doing just as much damage to the ecosystem as a crazed lunatic running around an open field, swinging a sledgehammer over his head, attempting to bash individual O2 molecules.

    Metaphor, unintentionally, dead-on accurate. :)

  33. John F. Hultquist says:

    James Schrumpf says:
    May 17, 2011 at 9:49 am
    Could someone explain why Mauna Loa is . . .

    James,
    Here is a post with many comments that might be helpful, or not!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/04/under-the-volcano-over-the-volcano/

  34. Allan M says:

    “We know that ‘dead zones’ are rapidly growing in size and number in seas and oceans across the globe,”

    No they don’t!

    Like Norman Myers and his “40,000 species a year becoming extinct,” they just make it up.

  35. Francisco says:

    This is OT, but important. The following site http://enenews.com/ keeps track of news as they appear (mostly from Japanese news sources) about the nuclear plant. Scrolling down through just a few pages of its most recent headlines is not a reassuring experience. This is turning into a big, chronic disaster with no end in sight, and it’s by no means limited to Japan. Why has this all but disappeared from the news elsewhere?

  36. James Schrumpf says:

    Richard111 says:
    May 17, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Wasn’t that about the time when the volcanic activity produced the Deccan Traps? That lasted quite a few hundreds of years, must’ve had quite an effect on the biosphere.

    Not only the Deccan Traps (30,000 year eruption event), but the Chicxulub meteorite impact — as even a simple Wikipedia search will find. The end of the Cretaceous was a nasty time for life on earth, and not because of CO2 — if anything, CO2 was up because of the Deccan and Chicxulub events.

  37. SandyInDerby says:

    “These are areas of water that are lacking in oxygen and are suffering from increases of CO2, rising temperatures, nutrient run-off from agriculture and other factors.”

    Does oxygen out-gas at a similar rate to CO2 or is it faster or slower? I can’t find a definitive answer.

  38. Andrew H says:

    I think Kennedy and Wagner should stick to what they do best…………. getting assassinated and composing music !!

  39. Hugh Pepper says:

    Do you really think its reasonable to base your assessment on one measurement in one location? I’m sure Professor Kennedy was using data from the thousands of sites located all over the world.

  40. Smokey says:

    Peter in MD says:

    “…what effect do underwater volcanoes have on CO2 in the oceans? I doubt we even have a clue on not only how many there are, and I’ve seen reports that esimate 5000 worldwide…”

    The total number of undersea volcanoes may be in the millions.

  41. Pete in Cumbria UK says:

    As I read them, they’ve got it back to front and are seeing a blossoming of Life on Earth at that time and not at all the disaster they’re painting it to be.

    What sort of organic matter – animal or vegetable – but even then it doesn’t matter.
    I suggest that there was a massive profusion of plant growth, (presumably the animals would have liked that too) caused by the extra CO2 and warmth. The more there was alive, the more would die and sink to the bottom. Water circulates very slowly at depth so all the extra dead stuff would soon strip whatever oxygen there is down there. That’s what happens isn’t it, decaying ‘stuff’ burns oxygen and when the oxygen runs out, it becomes preserved, eg as coal, oil, gas or whatever these jokers have dug up.
    The lack of oxygen is what allowed them to find anything in the first place and not the reason it came to be there, leave it another 80 million years and they’d have struck oil. They are witnessing a flowering of life on earth and cannot see it.
    Clowns, the lot of them.

  42. Philip Finck says:

    I like Sean’s comment about increased preservation potential. If the sediments are deoxygenated wouldn’t it generally mean less decomposition ……… I’m not very good with the Eh – pH stuff. A reducing environment?

  43. gnomish says:

    “Ed Caryl says:
    May 17, 2011 at 9:09 am
    This passed peer review????”

    yah – everybody peed on it.

  44. RobWansbeck says:

    China is having problems with exploding Watermelons:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13421374

    I sure someone will link this excessively fast growth to CO2 & global warming.

  45. nc says:

    Getting off topic a bit, between the listening devices on submarines traveling world wide and systems like SOSUS http://www.navy.mil/navydata/cno/n87/usw/issue_25/sosus.htm

    should there not be some idea on the number of underwater volcanoes if this information can be accessed?

  46. jackstraw says:

    So let me get this right, a 0.1% variation in the solar TSI is totaly insignificant, but a 0.01% variation in the atmospheric content (100 ppm) is hitting the ecosystem over the head with a sledgehammer.

  47. pat says:

    Re Mauna Loa as a CO2 measuring site.
    Mauna Loa is used because that is where such measurement began. Initially as a hobby by Charles Keeling. But the record is the longest. It is a good situs, even if within 15 miles of an active volcano, Kilauea Iki. However being upwind, the effect is minimal, and when the wind shifts, the volcanic CO2 is easily detected. Mauna Loa, as was determined early, is ideal. It is far from urban influence, is high enough to get lower atmospheric readings of pure atmosphere, such as it is.
    There are of course now other sites. Ironically, some also close to volcanoes. But the readings are uncontradicted: the measures from Mauna Loa are pure accurate data and CO2 is indeed increasing.
    It lends lends itself for the measure of other atmospheric components, both natural and introduced and began the trend of high astronomical observatories serving as climate science sites.

  48. “Greenhouse Oceans”
    Interesting new term.

    Is this a new term from the marketing and branding departments of the CAGW movement that they are going to use?
    There is a long list of Orwellian doublespeak they use in their propaganda already such as climate deniers, carbon pollutions, climate disruptions, greenhouse pollutions, acidification of the oceans and carbon footprint, which all are misleading.
    I wonder how a greenhouse ocean looks like?
    Is it an ocean with accelerate warming?

  49. Sam says:

    Really, that is all you can come up with.

    The only thing you can do to defame their conclusions is comment on the mistaken writing of some shoddy journalist about a doubling.

    Clutching at straws

  50. DirkH says:

    Scientific standards corrected for the emancipation of the numerically challenged.

  51. Mike Bromley says:

    ….I think it was a “Sludge-hammer”, actually. More mismatched volumetrics too, I’m sure.

  52. Mike Bromley says:

    Sam says:
    May 17, 2011 at 11:20 am
    Really, that is all you can come up with.

    The only thing you can do to defame their conclusions is comment on the mistaken writing of some shoddy journalist about a doubling.

    Clutching at straws

    Perhaps, Sam, you could come up with some of the things that make this paper “Correct”. Troll Fail.

  53. James Evans says:

    “Professor Kennedy said that the doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere over the past 50 years…”

    Sums are hard. University professors shouldn’t have to do them.

  54. James Evans says:

    Sam says:

    “The only thing you can do to defame their conclusions is comment on the mistaken writing of some shoddy journalist about a doubling.”

    No, that just gives us a good giggle. Any refutation of the conclusions is left to the brains of the people who read this blog. That’s the way it works around here.

  55. tadchem says:

    A ‘sludge hammer’ is perhaps a more appropriate metaphor.
    Ordinary flooding (due to statistical vagaries in rainfall) dumps massive amounts of organic material into rivers whence it flows into oceans. These marine flood deposits are subject to the same laws of chemistry and physics as everything else, so decomposition locally depletes the oxygen – to an extreme. Anoxia does not cause the formation of massive marine organic deposits, but rather the converse is true.

  56. Bill Illis says:

    The paper is online here.

    Pretty hard to write that news release based on this rather esoteric paper.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/05/12/1018670108.full.pdf+html

  57. Don K says:

    Philip Finck says:
    May 17, 2011 at 10:52 am

    “I like Sean’s comment about increased preservation potential. If the sediments are deoxygenated wouldn’t it generally mean less decomposition ”

    ——————————

    Yep. But the mechanism is even simpler than you think. Decomposition of organic material on the seafloor is accomplished by critters that eat the organic matter. The critters — whether unicellular or multicellular need Oxygen to survive. Cut off their oxygen and you end up with deposits (typically black shales) full of undecomposed organic matter. Some spectacular fossils have been found in such beds.

    Cook the black shales for millenia and you get petroleum or natural gas depending on the thermal history and the ability of the fluids/gas to escape.

    It’s not clear to me whether the press release is talking about periodic episodes of anoxia that killed marine life or periodic periods of anoxia that prevented normal decomposition of material that died from natural causes then settled to the bottom. And it’s not clear that whoever wrote the press release knows the difference.

    It’s possible that the authors of the paper have a meaningful point, but I don’t quite see how anyone is going to figure out what the point is from the press release. I’d point out that unless the authors had a hand in the press release, it’s also possible that the actual authors of the paper know how to multiply 2 times 317ppm.

  58. SasjaL says:

    They found a significant amount of organic material – marine life – buried within deoxygenated layers of the sediment.
    – What’s new? I might be wrong, but isn’t this the beginning of oil …?

    … we may be able to manage it, and reduce the present rate of warming threatening our oceans.
    – Hybris! Strange that they still (deliberatly) do not understand that this is a system that is so extensive in complexity, that no one is close to understand how it fits together … (Not even the world’s total computing power is sufficient to yield an accurate forecast …)

    … and this will not happen as long as they are (deliberate) stuck on some (irrelevant) details, without or with low scientific value, instead of looking at the big picture like it should be …

    No, we need a global (political) movement, like the new Australian against CO2 taxes, but more in general to stop this nonsense … (PASAPA – People Against Scientific And Political Atrophy)

  59. Tamara says:

    “These are areas of water that are lacking in oxygen and are suffering from increases of CO2, rising temperatures, nutrient run-off from agriculture and other factors.”

    Okay, so what we are to infer is that a gas that exists at 390ppm in the atmosphere is somehow interferring with the ability of oxygen, which exists at 210,000ppm in the atmosphere, to dissolve in the ocean???

    Apparently the learned professor is completely unfamiliar with the process of eutrophication (eutrophia: Greek = healthy, adequate nutrition) in which cellular respiration is so vigorous that oxygen in the vicinity is depleted and converted into CO2. This sentence should have read:
    “High levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising temperatures led to” “a severe lack of oxygen (hypoxia) in the water that marine animals depend upon.”

  60. Douglas DC says:

    The “Sledgehammer” reminds me of a line form the old cult TV series “Sledge Hammer” Sledge:
    “Trust me I know what I’m doing” -just before the whole stiuation went south…

  61. Tamara says:

    “The public does not yet know much about nitrogen, but in many ways it is as big an issue as carbon, and due to the interactions of nitrogen and carbon, makes the challenge of providing food and energy to the world’s peoples without harming the global environment a tremendous challenge,” said University of Virginia environmental sciences professor James Galloway, the lead author of one of the Science papers and a co-author on the other. “We are accumulating reactive nitrogen in the environment at alarming rates, and this may prove to be as serious as putting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.” http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/uov-at051208.php

    We have Got to get these two together!

  62. Jeff in Calgary says:

    I just looked up the cause of dead zones. Guess what, they are caused primarily by chemical fertalizers. Global warming has nothing to do with them. The author of this paper is a ….

  63. SasjaL says:

    How? Is it different from other carbon dioxide? [ironic] Greenish? Name tagged ? [/ironic] (Sorry for that! … but couldn’t avoid …)

    An increasing carbon dioxide level at a volcano site, might be an early indicator of increased volcanic activity … like when a volcano emits various gases immediately before and during an outbreak.

    All volcanoes, regardless of status (active, dormant or dead) emits carbon dioxide …

  64. JAE says:

    “Does oxygen out-gas at a similar rate to CO2 or is it faster or slower? I can’t find a definitive answer.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry's_law

  65. Jimbo says:

    Whenever I point warmists to millions of years ago they scoff and say conditions were different then. Yet they happily use geologic time to back their case. Odd that.

  66. SasjaL says:

    This was lost for some reason in my last response (May 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm):

    pat says:
    May 17, 2011 at 11:13 am

    … the volcanic CO2 is easily detected. …

  67. Jimbo says:

    I was led to believe that according to the ice cores co2 rise followed temperature rise.

  68. Sloan says:

    New study suggest that deepsea volcanoes and magma play a much greater role than previously beleived in the release of CO2…

    From a recent McGill University study:

    Study quote:
    <>

    McGill geology researchers’ discovery of high concentrations of CO2 at mid-ocean ridges
confirms explosive nature of certain volcanic eruptions

    Between 75 and 80 per cent of all volcanic activity on Earth takes place at deep-sea, mid-ocean ridges. Most of these volcanoes produce effusive lava flows rather than explosive eruptions, both because the levels of magmatic gas (which fuel the explosions and are made up of a variety of components, including, most importantly CO2) tend to be low, and because the volcanoes are under a lot of pressure from the surrounding water.

    Over about the last 10 years however, geologists have nevertheless speculated, based on the presence of volcanic ash in certain sites, that explosive eruptions can also occur in deep-sea volcanoes.

    But no one has been able to prove it until now.

    By using an ion microprobe, Christoph Helo, a PhD student in McGill’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, has now discovered very high concentrations of CO2 in droplets of magma trapped within crystals recovered from volcanic ash deposits on Axial Volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, off the coast of Oregon.

    These entrapped droplets represent the state of the magma prior to eruption. As a result, Helo and fellow researchers from McGill, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, have been able to prove that explosive eruptions can indeed occur in deep-sea volcanoes. Their work also shows that the release of CO2 from the deeper mantle to the Earth’s atmosphere, at least in certain parts of mid-ocean ridges, is much higher than had previously been imagined.

    Given that mid-ocean ridges constitute the largest volcanic system on Earth, this discovery has important implications for the global carbon cycle which have yet to be explored…

    http://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/news/item/?item_id=173335

  69. Girma says:

    ON ADMITTING AND CORRECTING MISTAKES

    What is the OBSERVED exponential carbon emission growth rate that Hansen forecasted to be 1.5% in Hansen et al., 1988?

    Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially.

    The carbon emission curve is shown in the following graph.

    http://bit.ly/mT56Fc

    From the above data, the approximate annual global carbon emission in G-ton from 1900 to 2007 = 0.53*e^(0.0267*(year-1900))

    As a result, the annual exponential growth rate is 2.67%, much higher than the 1.5% assumed by Hansen et al, 1988.

    If we substitute the Hansen’s growth rate of 1.5%, the carbon emission for 2007 = 0.53*e^(0.015*(2007-1900)) = 0.53*e^(1.605)=0.53*4.978=2.63 G-ton, which is obviously wrong.

    If we substitute the actual approximate growth rate of 2.67%, the carbon emission for 2007 = 0.53*e^(0.0267*(2007-1900)) = 0.53*e^(2.857)=0.53*17.409=9.23 G-ton, which is much closer to the actual carbon emission of 8.4 G-ton for 2007.

    CONCLUSION:

    The OBSERVED exponential carbon emission growth rate is about 2.67%, which was forecasted to be 1.5% in Hansen et al., 1988. As a result, among the three scenarios, scenario A is closer to the reality.

    Here is the comparison of the three forecasted scenarios with observation.

    http://bit.ly/iyscaK

    When is this mistake going to be admitted and corrected?

  70. Mike Jonas says:

    James Schrumpf says:”Why isn’t the CO2 level averaged from remote sites around the world, as is attempted with temperature?

    Some time ago, I downloaded data from a number of sites, to check. It appears that CO2 mixes pretty well worldwide within a year or less.
    http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/CO2AtVariousStations.jpg
    12-month changes tend to show up at Mauna Loa and the South Pole at about the same time, but a bit later at Barrow (in the Arctic).
    http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/CO212MthChanges.jpg
    The data was all from “Carbon Dioxide Research Group , Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) , University of California” – I think this is the link:
    http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/data/atmospheric_co2.html

  71. Ken Harvey says:

    Too many of these scientists are as worthy of our regard as the cleric who is predicting the end of the world come Saturday.

  72. Lonnie E. Schubert says:

    Perhaps I missed the point, but what is the significance of 85mya? I don’t recall any significant extinction or catastrophic event then. A quick Google didn’t help. Why did they pick 85mya? Can’t read now, but I see Bill pasted the paper’s link above.

    Anyone who knows something about such geological maters care to read and comment? A quick scan of it doesn’t convince me the paper supports the assertions in the press release. I agree with Bill, but I’ll try to read the paper later. I could not find a reference to 85mya in the paper, just late Cretaceous .

  73. Mark says:

    Sean says:

    “They found a significant amount of organic material – marine life – buried within deoxygenated layers of the sediment.” does not necessarly mean they die due to the deoxygenate. It could mean the area was so fertile and full of life, more died there. It could also mean the same number died as usual but were just better preserved.

    Maybe they were better preserved due to the environment they ended up in. Since only anaerobic saphrotrophic organisms can live there.

  74. Pompous Git says:

    What I want to know is who was causing the agricultural chemicals runoff in the Cretaceous. I’m a Doctor Who fan since the first episode in 1963 :-)

  75. Pompous Git says:

    Lonnie E. Schubert said @ May 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    “Perhaps I missed the point, but what is the significance of 85mya? I don’t recall any significant extinction or catastrophic event then. A quick Google didn’t help. Why did they pick 85mya?”

    That’s when New Zealand split from the supercontinent Gondwana. I thought everyone knew that! ;-)

  76. Don K says:

    Jeff in Calgary says:
    May 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    “I just looked up the cause of dead zones. Guess what, they are caused primarily by chemical fertalizers.”

    Well, ehr … yeah. But I’m pretty sure that the consensus of expert opinion is that usage of chemical fertilizers was minimal in the Cretaceous when the rocks in question were deposited. Likewise in the Upper Ordovician and Middle and Upper Devonian of the Appalachian region when extensive organic rich muds were deposited under apparently anoxic conditions. There apparently can be other causes of dead zones.

    ———–

    James Schrumpf says:
    May 17, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Could someone explain why Mauna Loa is the go-to for the atmospheric CO2 measurement? Being as it’s very close to active volcanoes, it seems to be a possibly biased source. Why isn’t the CO2 level averaged from remote sites around the world

    ———–

    Basically, they wanted to establish a CO2 observatory at a high altitude someplace at low latitude away from industrial/vehicle CO2 sources but with reasonable access. Almost anyplace that meets those conditions is going to be on a volcano. The “continuous” monitoring at Mauna Loa is cross checked with less frequent (weekly?) observations from other stations ranging from the South Pole to the high Northern latitudes. I think most people who look seriously at CO2 measurements — including many who are very unhappy with climate science — believe that the CO2 measurements are pretty much a model of how climate science should be, but too often is not, conducted.

  77. P. Solar says:

    “Their research points to a mass mortality in the oceans at a time when the Earth was going through a greenhouse effect.”

    Not only can’t these knumbskulls work out “double” means multiplied by two they refer to the Earth “going through a greenhouse effect” as if were some unusual doom laden event. They seem unaware that there has been a strong greenhouse effect since well before we climbed out of the slime and onto dry land.

    Mark this page, I guarantee you this will become a new media cliché like “the science”, which is used to imply science is one whole, unified and indivisible certitude.

    It also appears that the authors have never actually *seen* sledge hammer. Maybe they imagine it’s a little tool Eskimos use for breaking icicles off their sledges.

    Normally hitting something with a sledge hammer makes a violent and rapid change to it’s kinetic energy and structure. 0.7C in a hundred years hardly qualifies.

    “What’s alarming to us as scientists …”

    What is alarming to me a scientist is that a crock like this can get published in a major journal. Did not any of the stern and strick peer reviewers point out what the word “double” means in science?

  78. kwik says:

    Maybe it would be for the best to put Kennedy in an asylum.

  79. Christopher Hanley says:

    According to this: http://files.abovetopsecret.com/uploads/ats41378_image277.gif ,
    the CO2 level was falling and the temperature was constant at about 8 – 10 °C above the present during the Cretaceous.

  80. DesertYote says:

    ROTFLMAO, this is science?

    “My neighbors bought some powder blue paint the other day. They must be expecting a little girl.”

  81. Bob_FJ says:

    If you think that is bizarre, try this:
    Antarctic penguin colonies threatened by changing climate
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2010/3065125.htm

    It’s an interview on Australian radio “The Science Show”, and the source paper is cited at the bottom

  82. Hoser says:

    Tips and Notes full.
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_UN_SOLAR_STORMS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-05-17-07-57-46
    US official: growing threat from solar storms

    Looks like AGW is losing steam, so time to crank up the new scare tactics.

  83. Bruce Cobb says:

    “What’s alarming to us as scientists is that there were only very slight natural changes that resulted in the onset of hypoxia in the deep ocean,” said Professor Kennedy.
    I think what is actually alarming to them is the prospect of the CAGW gravy train reaching the end of the line, and having to actually do some real work, instead of fantasy scaremongering.

  84. Christopher Hanley says:

    This story was covered by News Limited publications in Australia http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/scientist-warns-of-mass-marine-extinction/story-e6frf7jx-1226057626282, but a ‘journalist’ or subeditor couldn’t resist the temptation for a little subtle embroidery viz. “The team went back 85 million years to analyse ocean rock from the Late Cretaceous Period, which experienced greenhouse conditions similar to those predicted in 2050″ — an average global temperature of 22°C and CO2 concentration of 1000 + ppm by 2050?

  85. rbateman says:

    CO2 taxes and regulations will be an economic sledgehammer. They are still at it trying to pound us into the Dark Ages.

  86. P.G. Sharrow says:

    I wonder if the area where they drilled was in the Great South Bay of the Atlantic river that separated the east and west continuits. pg

  87. Mac the Knife says:

    CO2 increase is “like hitting our ecosystem with a sledge-hammer”

    Now that is one really strange, twisted, convoluted analogy. No… it isn’t an analogy…. maybe a syllogism? Nah, that’s not right either. Metaphor? Nope.

    What the hell is that????

  88. Brian H says:

    I have a wee problem with the surplus of wee critters buried in the de-oxygentated era sediment.

    That’s not a single-burst, overnight de-oxygenation; it lasted at least hundreds of thousands of years. They must have been growing DURING that time period; the sediments are surely not just the graveyard of the previous regime’s leftovers. So the correct conclusion must be that the critters were flourishing DURING the late Cretaceous.

  89. Steve Frankes says:

    Perhaps if all mankind jumped up and down at once we can push the earth to a cooler climate. The absurdity that we can either warm or cool a planetary body is rediculous. Only by massive deforestation could this occur but sadly in the rush to make money from green carbon schemes this is the one true evidence of c02 increase never discussed.

  90. F. Ross says:

    If we are able to learn more about this effect and its feedbacks
    , we may be able to manage it, and reduce the present rate of warming threatening our oceans.”

    AGW-ese for send more money.

  91. TimTheToolMan says:

    “Their research points to a mass mortality in the oceans at a time when the Earth was going through a greenhouse effect. High levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising temperatures led to a severe lack of oxygen (hypoxia) in the water that marine animals depend upon.”

    I’d be interested to see how they attribute cause and effect here. Surely the obvious sequence of events is that something (possibly a meteor) kills off most of the life on earth and so O2 production stops as life very quickly dies off and rots and CO2 increases as a direct result. Dead stuff in the water sinks and layers of sediment are increasingly deoxified at this time.

  92. Mr Green Genes says:

    ShrNfr says:
    May 17, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Adelaide? Perhaps he is the present holder of the Barrie Harrop chair at that august university.

    Or possibly the Barry Humphries chair?

  93. Smoking Frog says:

    Bob Diaz said:
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but several hundred million years ago, wasn’t the level around 1,000 PPM? If you go back even longer, wasn’t it around 5,000 PPM?

    If that’s not right, something like it is.

    Why is it OK for the Earth back then, but not now?

    Life was much different then. For example, there were no land animals, to speak of. Things like this don’t prove that we wouldn’t be OK with 1,000 or 5,000 ppm, but they make it silly to assume that we would be OK.

  94. Rob MW says:

    Anthony,

    This same theory is highlighted in the documentary “Crude”, shown recently here in Australia.

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/crude/

    The theory goes that in that period, there was extreme volcanic activity which created a massive amount of CO2 which catastrophically warmed the globe by producing extreme amounts of algae (etc) which in-turn depleted oxygen levels in our oceans and ultimately mass-extinction of organic life on earth and finally created the oil (crude) producing layers exploited today from this very same decayed organic material.

    At first glance I thought, well ok, however on later reflection I’m thinking; What happened to all that volcanic “Ash + Dust”, because in this doco they don’t even mention volcanic dust & ash ??

    Wouldn’t it (the dust & ash) have created a layer around the globe, and actually in the first instance, cooling the globe by preventing sunlight and warmth from reaching the land surface, and along with a thick coating of this volcanic dust & ash, killed all plant-life and as an ultimate result, killed all animal life leaving absolutely nothing at all for any and all forms of CO2 sequestration.

    Then I’m thinking, what may have happened then??

    Eventually wouldn’t the dust & ash have to have had settled allowing sunlight and warmth to again hit the surface ??

    “But” because of the time lag in getting the earth’s plants and animals going again, to sequester all that CO2, big amounts of algae form in the oceans lapping up all that CO2 “But” (again) the consequence of large algal blooms are that the algae depletes the oceans of most or all of its oxygen killing all the fish and such life creating the ocean sediment layer and any land based sediment layer referred by Professor Martin Kennedy from the University of Adelaide (School of Earth & Environmental Sciences) and Professor Thomas Wagner from Newcastle University, UK, (Civil Engineering and Geosciences).

    So my last question is; in the AGW sense, does the dog wag the tail, or does the tail wag the dog ???????????

  95. John R. Walker says:

    For sledge hammer read toffee hammer…

  96. Wondering Aloud says:

    Given that the oceans have survived numerous episodes of wildly higher CO2 concentrations it appears that the entire catastrophic theme is rediculous and self contradictory.

    It makes me wonder if the other claims in the article like that of expanding “dead zones” are of similar quality? It is actually pretty bad chemistry really. The oceans are not saturated by any dissolved gas nor are they close so a bit more CO2 dissolved would not even necessairily imply that there is less oxygen available. Furhter while significant warming could do this, there is no evidence of any such warming in the sea surface data.

  97. Taphonomic says:

    Bill Illis says:

    “Pretty hard to write that news release based on this rather esoteric paper.”

    Agree. The paper is discussing precession-based climate change influence on
    clay mineral properties and runoff from the African continent. They point out that organic material “burial and related CO2 sequestration results in a negative
    feedback to global warming.”

    But I suppose saying negative feedback to global warming is verboten in a press release so they had to amp up the hyperbole. These Eurekalert articles can contain some of the shoddiest science reporting I’ve seen.

  98. D. J. Hawkins says:

    SandyInDerby says:
    May 17, 2011 at 10:29 am
    “These are areas of water that are lacking in oxygen and are suffering from increases of CO2, rising temperatures, nutrient run-off from agriculture and other factors.”

    Does oxygen out-gas at a similar rate to CO2 or is it faster or slower? I can’t find a definitive answer.

    At 20C the solubility of O2 in water is about 3x that of CO2 see:

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/gases-solubility-water-d_1148.html

    for more information on everything from Argon to Sulfur Dioxide. At these very low concentrations, the driving force for dissolution will be pretty linear with the delta from the equilibrium concentration (the slope of the difference between the two concentrations). Using the Mark 1 eyeball, it looks like the mass molar flow rate for O2 is about a third higher than CO2 for the same delta “T”, assuming identical starting temps in the range 10C-30C.

  99. Mike says:

    Dear Mike,

    Thanks for pointing that out.

    Martin was misquoted and you are correct about the CO2 increase over the past decades. He was actually talking about one of the projected IPCC scenarios that if there is a 50% rise in CO2 it will be a comparatively strong influence. An unfortunate misunderstanding. We have talked to the person that wrote the piece and it has been corrected.

    Best Regards
    Tom

    ________________________________
    From: Mike …
    Date: Tue, 17 May 2011 21:32:39 +0100
    To: Prof Thomas Wagner …
    Subject: press release error

    Thomas,

    In the press release on Professor Kennedy’s work you said:

    “Professor Kennedy said that the doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere over the past 50 years is “like hitting our ecosystem with a sledge-hammer” compared to the very small changes in incoming solar energy (radiation) which was capable of triggering these events in the past.”

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/nu-gos051711.php

    The 50 year number cannot be correct. I suggest you contact Kennedy and straighten out what he went. I bring this up because [word you don't like deleted] blogs are using this mistake for their own ends.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/17/co2-increase-is-like-hitting-our-ecosystem-with-a-sledge-hammer/

    Have good day,
    Mike
    ——————————-
    Note added: It hasn’t changed on eurekalert. I think he means it was changed on the university’s site, but I haven’t tracked that down.

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