Fizzing out with Rutgers

From a Rutegers press release

Rutgers researchers find a ‘great fizz’ of carbon dioxide at the end of the last ice age

Relevance for geo-engineers: What fizzed once, can fizz again

Imagine loosening the screw-top of a soda bottle and hearing the carbon dioxide begin to escape. Then imagine taking the cap off quickly, and seeing the beverage foam and fizz out of the bottle. Then, imagine the pressure equalizing and the beverage being ready to drink.

Rutgers marine scientist Elisabeth Sikes and her colleagues say that something very similar happened on a grand scale over a 1,000 year period after the end of the last ice age – or glaciation, as scientists call it.

According to a paper published recently in the journal Nature, the last ice age featured a decrease in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide and an increase in the atmospheric carbon 14, the isotope that guides scientists in evaluating the rate of decay of everything from shells to trees.

In recent years, other researchers have suggested that some of that carbon dioxide flowed back into the northern hemisphere rather than being entirely released into the atmosphere in the southern hemisphere.

Sikes and her colleagues disagree. Their data, taken from cores of ocean sediment pulled up from 600 meters to 1,200 meters below the South Pacific and Southern Ocean, suggest that this “de-gassing” was regional, not global. This has important implications for understanding what controls where and how CO2 comes out of the ocean, and how fast – or, to put it another way, what tightens or loosens the bottle cap.

Carbon dioxide and carbon 14 in the atmosphere and ocean are on opposite ends of an environmental pulley. When the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, the level of carbon 14 drops, and vice versa. That’s chemistry and ocean circulation. Biology also helps, because photosynthesizing organisms use carbon dioxide, then die and take it with them to the bottom. During the last ice age, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was lower because much of it was trapped in the bottom of the oceans.

The ventilation of the deep Southern Ocean – the circulation of oxygen through the deep waters – slowed considerably during the last ice age, causing carbon dioxide to build up. Sikes and her co-authors report that, as the ice began to melt, the oceanic bottle cap began to loosen, and the carbon dioxide began to leak back into the atmosphere. Then, as warming intensified, the cap came off, and the carbon dioxide escaped so quickly, and so thoroughly, that Sikes and her colleagues could find very little trace of it in the carbon 14 they examined in their samples.

Kathryn Rose

Kathryn Rose, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, conducted the stable isotope and carbon-14 analysis for this project during her master's thesis at the University of California-Davis. Howard J. Spero, also a co-author of this paper, was her major advisor. She is a Rutgers alumna.

Eventually, just like the carbonated drink in a bottle, equilibrium was established between the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the carbon dioxide in the ocean. Today, the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere has been rising in the past 200 years pushing the levels in the ocean up. Human activity is responsible for that rise and the rise of other “greenhouse gases.” Some people have suggested we can pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and force it back down to the bottom of the oceans by manipulating the biology – growing algae, for instance, which would increase photosynthesis and send carbon dioxide to the bottom when the organisms die. But Sikes’ results suggest that global warming could eventually result in another great fizz.

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60 thoughts on “Fizzing out with Rutgers

  1. So the ice melt increased the circulation; or did the same set of conditions that led to ice melt also contribute to increased circulation?

  2. Unfortunately I do not buy the warmist claim that CO2 has been historically low (for 100s of years) and only rising due to human activities. Direct chemical bottle data has been discounted by the IPCC solely because it did not suit their agenda. I think it is time to recognize that CO2 has been higher than present during three periods in the last 200 years, making this paper essentially meaningless as far as any implications regarding the present. The IPCC pretended that the CO2 bottle data was too variable, as it was erratic, but when plotted over time, the data describes periods of increases and decreases.

  3. Ok, so the good news is that the oceans won’t “acidify” and the corals and jelly fish will be saved. The bad news is that all that additional CO2 is gonna be a tipping point, temperatures will soar, and we’re all gonna die. I get it.

  4. Is this just another story about how cold water holds CO2 better than warm water? Was AGW responsible for “removing the bottle cap” (whatever the h*** THAT means) back at the end of the ice age? How do they relate this to AGW?

  5. Maybe someone should test the theory. Get a ship to dump several tons of iron Mentos into the ocean and see what happens to local CO2 levels.

  6. Somebody has been thinking way too hard about this matter.
    So, once again: What happened when the CO2 got higher than now?
    Right: Plants grew.
    And, what happened when it got less than now?
    Right: It got darned cold.
    In both cases, the TEMPERATURE preceded the matter.
    Guess what? It’s getting colder …

  7. Fascinating.
    It ties back into other theories. One being, did Antarctica ice fields and sheet block the circulation of the Atlantic and the Pacific?
    It also answers the latest big worry brought up at the Congressional Hearing in which Lord M. Was pitted agains four members of the IPCC, and that is the acidification of the oceans by CO2.
    Their discovery does more than pop the cap on the bottle. It now provides an insight into the stages of pre-global glaciation.
    As the oceans dropped to 400 feet below today’s sea levels, topography was moving towards the Equator how much carbon dioxide was needed to sustain plant and animal life?
    How much carbon dioxide was stored in glaciers and ice sheets and fields at different states of the glacial periods?
    Good job!
    Paul

  8. So we have a theory that matches the data that C02 increases follow temperature changes, not drive them. New measurements reaffirm the phase relationship.
    Okay. I’m not seeing a problem here.

  9. “Carbon dioxide and carbon 14 in the atmosphere and ocean are on opposite ends of an environmental pulley. When the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, the level of carbon 14 drops, and vice versa.”
    I suspect what they mean is the amount of C14 in the atmosphere as CO2 is fairly constant and as the amount of CO2 increases, the proportion of C14 CO2 decreases.
    “something very similar happened on a grand scale over a 1,000 year period after the end of the last ice age ”
    So over the next 1,000 years or so we’ll have to worry about, disappearing Greenland icecaps, Florida flooding AND a gradual degassing of CO2 from the oceans (assuming of course a new ice age “– or glaciation, as scientists call it” doesn’t start)?

  10. I can do differential and integral calculus, but I cannot figure out this article. Does the fizz mean that CO2 went up or C14? Or an equilibrium? Can someone explain the analogy because I’m seeing an explosion of CO2 being released in that pic of the Coke bottle.
    The following confuses me as well.

    the last ice age featured a decrease in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide and an increase in the atmospheric carbon 14

    Ok, so cold oceans at the onset of an ice age absorb more CO2 just like cold pop drinks. Got it. But then, it’s followed up with this.

    In recent years, other researchers have suggested that some of that carbon dioxide flowed back into the northern hemisphere rather than being entirely released into the atmosphere in the southern hemisphere.

    Wait, what? Did it not go into the oceans? Or is this talking about the end of the ice age? Whatever the case may be, do they know if temperature precedes change in CO2 levels or vice versa?

  11. Interesting findings that form another piece of the puzzle. Unfortunately we do not yet know how to fit this and the other identified puzzle pieces together yet. I strongly suspect until science gets off its fixation with deterministic models, that predict nothing except white noise, we won’t know either.

  12. So, if the planet does not warm back up, the CO2 is ‘on ice’.
    Out of sight, out of mind, out of the ecosystem.
    When the planet cools, bye-bye goes the CO2.
    CO2 is at the mercy of the planet’s temperature, not the other way around.

  13. Vorlath: C14 forms a component of the carbon in CO2. C14 is produced naturally in the atmosphere by cosmic radiation and is a radioactive isotope of carbon.
    Ray, Natural processes do not separate C12 from C14. The concentration of C14 is determined by atmospheric processes that are to do with cosmic radiation.

  14. Interesting.
    So these results agree with the cosmic ray theory for atmospheric cooling??
    Less sun activity = more cosmic rays = more C14
    And also
    Less sun activity = more cosmic rays = more cloud = cooler conditions
    Opposite ends of the same pulley, as they said.

  15. During the recent Australian election I got into an argument with a warmist over CO2, but armed with the logic of Steven Goddard (WUWT ’09) I was on a winner.
    ‘Consider the earth 14,000 years ago. CO2 levels were around 200 ppm and temperatures, at 6C below present values, were rising fast. Now consider 30,000 years ago. CO2 levels were also around 200 ppm and temperatures were also about 6C below current levels, yet at that time the earth was cooling. Exactly the same CO2 and temperature levels as 14,000 years ago, but the opposite direction of temperature change. CO2 was not the driver.’
    Steven Goddard ’09

  16. “Today the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere has been rising in the past 200 years pushing the levels in the ocean up. Human activity is responsible for that rise and the rise of other greenhouse gases.”

    Such statements have become commonplace, even in Science and Nature. Does anyone have any cites for research showing that 19th C industry caused most of that century’s increase in CO2? Ditto for the first half of the 20th C?

  17. >>>Rhoda
    >>>Was AGW responsible for “removing the bottle cap”
    >>>(whatever the h*** THAT means)
    The warming of the earth. A warmer ocean cannot hold as much CO2, so it out-gasses.
    But this assumes, of course, that the warming is prior to, and independent of, the CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
    .

  18. Addition to my last.
    Warming and cooling are therefore independent of CO2 levels ….. but CO2 levels are wholly dependent on warming or cooling. So CO2 is a temperature gauge, much more than it is a greenhouse gas (which is why it mimics the role of a greenhouse gas so well – it follows temperature).
    Warmer = more atmospheric CO2.
    Cooler = less atmospheric CO2.
    The warmer or cooler is probably determined by the sun and the resultant levels of cloud.

  19. So, now they need to go back two “ice ages” and find out if the same relationship holds true.

  20. Layne Blanchard says:
    August 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm
    ‘……as another 10M of our money is spent to study a pointless issue….’
    I disagree. The more we know what drives the climate, the better we can prepare for future condition.
    We know we will have another ice age, we just don’t know when.

  21. Ray says:
    August 25, 2010 at 10:09 pm
    How can natural processes separate C12 from C14 ? Isn’t that just a question of dilution?
    Richard Steckis says:
    August 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm
    Vorlath: C14 forms a component of the carbon in CO2. C14 is produced naturally in the atmosphere by cosmic radiation and is a radioactive isotope of carbon.
    Ray, Natural processes do not separate C12 from C14. The concentration of C14 is determined by atmospheric processes that are to do with cosmic radiation.
    Ray and Richard,
    Natural processes do separate the isotopes of carbon. Photosynthesis preferentially absorbs 12C, thereby raising the relative concentration of 13C and 14C. Richard is quite correct in stating that 14C is created in the upper atmosphere by cosmic rays and is radioactive, therefore decays at a steady (?, but see the post of a couple of days ago which suggests that solar neutrinos just might have an influence) rate. Nonetheless some 14C is absorbed, allowing us to date organic material pretty accurately.
    This research goes some way to confirming that the CAGW hypothesis is flat wrong by several pathways:
    1)

  22. Further to my last (when I get these dam’ fingers recalibrated):
    This research goes some way to confirming that the CAGW hypothesis is flat wrong by several pathways:
    1) If the southern oceans outgassed suddenly at the end of the last Ice Age (ca. 11000 ya) and CO2 is the major controlling factor of Earth’s surface temperature we should see a sudden precipitous jump in temperatures – we don’t.
    2) Ralph has it right when he says CO2 indicates temperature, not vice versa. The hypothesis I see gently building up here is that as Earth cools down (due to lower solar output, decreased cosmic rays inhibiting cloud formation, orbital variations – pick any or all of the above and add several more that we haven’t thought of yet) tundra and peat bogs melt/dry out less and plant material doesn’t rot so fast, building up fossil carbon stores. Simultaneously, as the seas cool they absorb more CO2. There may be a tiny effect of lower CO2 allowing more heat loss, but the data don’t show it.
    Then the Earth starts to warm again. Permafrost starts to melt, peat bogs dry out and, sometimes, burn, and the good old processes of putrefaction get into high gear. Gradually, the seas warm, resetting the equilibrium point for CO2 content with the atmosphere, and atmospheric CO2 levels rise. Simples, tchh? and not a computer model in sight!

  23. There was, of course, less ocean to hold CO2 in. In any calculations about the oceans and the ice age you need to remove the top 400 feet of the ocean, all over the Earth, and plop it down as ice a mile thick in Northern Europe and Canada, and to a lesser degree in other places.
    I have always been fascinated by how different the shorelines were, back then. Siberia was attached to Alaska; England to France; and so forth. Simply draw a line along the edge of the continental shelf, and you get a rough idea of the ice age shorelines. In some places, where the continental shelf is wide, the shoreline was hundreds of miles farther out to sea from its current location.
    There had to be some major changes in the Earth’s currents, the most major being that no Pacific water could enter the Arctic Sea.
    Fisheries had to be greatly altered, with so much less continental shelf. (Lower the sea level 400 feet, and see what happens to the Grand Banks.)
    Deltas that are now silting up were subject to erosion, coral atolls thrust 400 feet higher above the oceans, and most places where humans were likely to leave traces of their coastal activities are now buried under 400 feet of water. One can go on and on, filled with wonder.
    One thing I’m wondering concerns atmospheric pressure. Currently the atmospheric pressure at the few places on Earth 400 feet below sea level is higher than that of places at sea level. When the sea level of the entire earth was lowered 400 feet, did the air pressure of the entire earth increase at sea level? Or did the atmosphere itself lower by 400 feet?
    This would make a difference in how much gas the seas could absorb, because water can absorb more gas at a higher pressure.
    Is there any grant money available, so I can continue to sit here and wonder? I’d do it for free, but when I sit here wondering for free for too long my wife develops a certain quirk to her eyebrow.

  24. WAGTD! EU Referendum has this little gem:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1305929/Ancient-skeleton-prehistoric-child-removed-Mexican-underwater-cave.html
    Endorses the 400ft lower sea-levels reasonably, although as Richard North points out, was it really exactly 488ft lower? Rather like those lovely cave paintings in northern France which were only discoverd underwater by accident. When will they get off this obsession of measuring these things to the nearest foot or thousanth part of a degree Celsius when unless they were actually there, they cannot possibly know for certain? It’s all pretty meaningless from where I am standing. Would not the shear weight of miles of ice depress the land theoretically pushing sea-levels up again elsewhere?

  25. All this depends on the assumed atmospheric CO2 levels which are proxy measured, and we all know how accurate proxy measurements are.
    We are bombarded nearly every day with alarmist insistence that atmosphe2ric CO2 levels have been 300ppmv or less for thousands of years and we have pushed this level through 385ppmv. This theory is complete rubbish when old scientific papers are ecxamined which show that measured CO2 levels were up to 500 ppmv on several occasions throughout the last 200 years. It is also vital to remember that plants start to die at CO2 levels of 200 ppmv and all will die at levels of 185ppmv so spouting on about such low levels as being ‘ideal’ is complete rubbish. I think that we have to think again about atmospheric CO2 levels and its proxy measurement.
    There was a large scale anoxic event during the Cretaceous caused by a clathrate breakdown exolving methane into the atmosphere. Methane oxidises into CO2 and water using up atmospheric oxygen. Temperatures did not rise during this event.

  26. old construction worker says:
    August 26, 2010 at 12:03 am
    Layne Blanchard says:
    August 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm
    ‘……as another 10M of our money is spent to study a pointless issue….’
    I disagree. The more we know what drives the climate, the better we can prepare for future condition.
    We know we will have another ice age, we just don’t know when.
    I totally agree with your sentiment here BUT rubbish science like this will get us nowhere. Too many assumptions and not enough real science for my taste.

  27. Caleb
    Interesting question. Keep in mind that the 400ft of ocean that went away actually became ice mountains at either end of the globe – so the earth became more “mountainous” in a way. This ice had more or less the same volume as the ocean water that “went away” and so displaced the same volume of atmosphere. To my mind this means that the top of the atmosphere remained the same so ocean surface air pressure would be increased by the equivalent of going down 400 ft – a small but noticeable increase?

  28. >>>When the sea level of the entire earth was lowered 400 feet,
    >>did the air pressure of the entire earth increase at sea level?
    >>Or did the atmosphere itself lower by 400 feet?
    The atmosphere will lower. There is no more atmosphere to add to the pressure.
    Interesting the amount of sea reduced by the ice caps. The colder water would have to be absorbing much more CO2 to counteract that reduction on volume. What percentage reduction, I wonder. I would not know where to start with that one.
    .

  29. “Is there any grant money available, so I can continue to sit here and wonder? I’d do it for free, but when I sit here wondering for free for too long my wife develops a certain quirk to her eyebrow.”
    I know that quirk.

  30. Caleb: August 26, 2010 at 12:32 am
    Is there any grant money available, so I can continue to sit here and wonder?
    Here’s our pitch for the grant money — based on two recent press releases (birds on the US East Coast and oxyaenid creodonts in Eocene Wyoming) that critters get smaller when it gets warmer, we intend to prove that warming causes *mountains* get smaller, too, and base it on the fact that the Earth’s orogenous features were over 400 feet higher (factoring in both erosion and tectonic rise) above sea level 14,000 years ago than they are today!
    Whaddya think? Is ten million too much to ask for on the initial application?

  31. Charles Higley,
    You say, “The IPCC pretended that the CO2 bottle data was too variable, as it was erratic, but when plotted over time, the data describes periods of increases and decreases.”
    This is interesting. Do you have any cites for that? It’s new to me.
    Mark

  32. I’m confused, and it’s likely over how terms like “carbon” and “carbon dioxide” are misused.

    Some people have suggested we can pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and force it back down to the bottom of the oceans by manipulating the biology – growing algae, for instance, which would increase photosynthesis and send carbon dioxide to the bottom when the organisms die.

    Okay, given that photosynthesis converts CO2 to sugar, and other processes convert it to other insoluble forms and that’s what goes to the bottom, we end up with a layer of dead plant stuff in the sediment.
    Next,

    Then, as warming intensified, the cap came off, and the carbon dioxide escaped so quickly, and so thoroughly….

    Is this trying to imply anaerobic bacteria converted the dead plant stuff into CO2 (or maybe methane as in methane clathrate) and that hung around until increased water currents (okay, “circulation of oxygen”) moved cold CO2-rich bottom waters up to warmer levels where they outgassed gradually? Or did oxygen allow aerobic decay and CO2 production? Or did the impact of comet Mentos release the Great Fizz and splashed foam all over Antarctica?
    Sometimes press releases are pretty good. This one, this time (barely after 1st cup of coffee) is not so good.
    ——
    Minor typo: From a Rutegers press release -> … Rutgers …, though perhaps Rutgers would appreciate the press release being due to someone else.
    Totally OT: Last weekend I put a 12 oz plastic bottle of Coca Cola in the freezer and went out to pick blackberries. I came back later than I expected, but was relieved to see the Coke still liquid. Hoping for a little supercooling and slush formation upon opening, I opened it and watch with great satisfaction as a mesh of ice spread from the surface down to the bottom in about 15 seconds. It was dense enough to trap the remaining liquid. (It was very definitely not solid ice, that would require a starting temperature of -80°C.)
    All in all, very neat. I’m still not sure if the Coke was supercooled while under pressure or exactly what triggered the ice formation. That it started at the top suggests bubbles or a little splashing created nuclei for the ice. Needs more experimentation.

  33. A citation of the Nature paper under discussion:
    Rose, K.A., et. al., Upper-ocean-to-atmosphere radiocarbon offsets imply fast deglacial carbon dioxide release, Nature 466, 1093-7, doi:10.1038/nature09288

  34. Is this it? As the Ice and Coke at the Poles formed during the last Ice Age more Ice and Coke froze and sank to the bottom of the ocean; when the Earth’s climate changed and grew warmer, then more Ice and Coke melted and the carbination of the atmosphere increased because more deep sea frozen CO2 escaped and more plants grew and etc..; over the past 14K years most of the Ice and Coke has melted and more deep sea frozen CO2 has escaped into the atmosphere; when the climate changes again and things get colder again and the Ice and Coke at the Poles start to freeze again, then more CO2 will fall frozen to the bottom of the ocean and the process will start again.
    Is that it?
    I just can’t figure where all that Coke came from, did Pepsi go bankrupt?

  35. Now if CO2 where spread evenly across the globe, then that would suggest that CO2 where shot way up there into the atmosphere to be able to reach across the globe from the western polluting societies, and China, to the rest of the planet.
    If the imagery is true that shows that CO2 isn’t spread evenly across the globe, and their is warming from CO2, then that warming is local and regional, not global. Yet most everyone calculates, and/or projects, it like the CO2 where spread evenly across the globe and temperature changes to be global.
    I’ would now like to call all such bogus crap calculation statistical fizz. Hey, like juicing the stat to get a fizz perhaps?

  36. The press release doesn’t tell the whole story. What they appear to have done is study the perturbations on an expected exponential decay curve during the period of transition between the last ice age and our present extended warm period. They suggest that because C14 concentrations were higher than expected at deeper levels, they conclude much older CO2 must have been released into the atmosphere and sequesterd back into the oceans faster than C14 could be formed in the atmosphere. They don’t clearly explain how this occured. One possibility is that the vast amount of sea ice acted as both an insulator and “bottle cap” and geothermal heating caused the “fizz” and the sea ice kept it in the bottle where C14 could not be produced. In any case it was natural and not CAGW.

  37. Without yet having the entire paper, the summary of it sounds really wacky, like the authors don’t really understand the relationship between 12C and 14C. 14C is produced in the upper atmosphere by cosmic radiation knocking a neutron out of nitrogen atom. The rate at which that occurs is a function of the amount of radiation. Although the rate is fairly constant it does vary a bit and 14C production was high during the last glaciation. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is controlled by temperature of the oceans (cold=oceans take in CO2, warm give it up), so CO2 was low during the last glaciation. Increase in atmospheric CO2 follows ocean warming after deglaciation and that takes hundreds of years. All this makes the Coca Cola fizzing story sound like a fairy tale. Will be interesting to read the whole paper and find out how they determined CO2 levels from a deep sea core. You can measure the ratio of 14C to 12C in calcium carbonate, but that doesn’t tell you anything about CO2 levels (that comes from ice cores where you measure the amount of CO2 in air trapped in bubbles in the ice–no air in deep sea cores).

  38. I don’t see why the atmosphere would lower as a result of an increase in surface ice. The ice consumes more volume than it did as water, so displaces more air. But in any event, moving water from from one container and placing it in another container in the same constrained system is not a displacing activity. Freezing that displaced water is.
    If the altitude of the air column’s top is preserved by virtue of there being no displacement, and in fact, it seems it must actually be taller because of freezing water, then the surface pressure would be higher because the base of the column is 400′ lower. The atmosphere is now 400′ taller, no? This is a bit circular as this would result in some compression, lowering the column. Just not 400′. And local gravity comes in to play, as well.
    Who’s up to doing the math?

  39. The press release doesn’t tell the whole story. What they appear to have done is study the perturbations on an expected exponential decay curve during the period of transition between the last ice age and our present extended warm period. They suggest that because C14 concentrations were higher than expected at deeper levels, they conclude much older CO2 must have been released into the atmosphere and sequestered back into the oceans faster than C14 could be formed in the atmosphere. They don’t clearly explain how this occured. One possibility is that the vast amount of sea ice acted as both an insulator and “bottle cap” and geothermal heating caused the “fizz” and the sea ice kept it in the bottle where C14 could not be produced. In any case it was natural and not CAGW.
    I would like to know if their data have good enough resolution to pick up perturbations associated with the Younger Dryas event.

  40. Pascvaks
    You reminded me of a popular action movie I was watching recently, that had a science-related mistake that just drove me nuts. In the ending climax, the heroes have to escape in their submarines as the ice cap above them breaks apart and huge chunks of ice fall all around them. That’s right, chunks of ice falling through water…. There is no hope for science education.
    I can’t really comment on this research paper because the press release is so horrible. Hopefully the paper makes some sense.

  41. old construction worker says:
    August 25, 2010 at 11:44 pm
    “So, now they need to go back two “ice ages” and find out if the same relationship holds true.”
    If you are able to detect C14 in proxies older than 60,000 years old, its an artifact such as contamination with modern air. The previous interglacial was around 115,000 years ago.

  42. From the article: “Carbon dioxide and carbon 14 in the atmosphere and ocean are on opposite ends of an environmental pulley. When the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, the level of carbon 14 drops, and vice versa.”
    I tried to do an online search to either refute or support this statement. (I’m skeptical and wondering how the atmospheric quantity of CO2 can affect the N14C14 equilibrium) I went looking for the underlying mechanism of N14 being kicked into C14, as I am familiar with the Beta decay of C14 back to N14.
    By far the most articles on C14 and carbon dating belong to “creation science” and those who claim that the planet is only 6000 years old.
    Doesn’t anyone think critically anymore?

  43. Human activity is responsible for that rise and the rise of other “greenhouse gases.”
    Well, that puts that little fairy tale to bed.

  44. Except they have no way of knowing that current CO2 levels are caused by natural outgassing from stored CO2 under the oceans or not. When will science start separating GUESSWORK from well formed extrapolations again??

  45. Well, now I have actually read the paper. This is a beautiful example of “press-release science” where the actual science is mangled until it is unrecognizable.
    The paper is fairly technical and rather speculative, and concerned with how changes in wind and currents during deglaciation in the Southern Ocean may have caused release of CO2 by causing CO2-rich deep water to upwell to the surface. Parts of the argument seem plausible, but there isn’t really enough data to tell much for sure.
    The relevance for AGW and “geoengineering” is approximately zero.

  46. Bill Illis says:
    “It took 7,000 years for CO2 to increase from 185 ppm to 270 ppm. There are no sudden spikes upward.”
    How do you know that? That far back each ice-core measurements is “averaged” over many centuries. As a matter of fact stomatal index measurements suggests that there was rather sharp changes e. g. at the beginning and end of Dryas 3.

  47. @tty
    ‘Bill Illis says:
    “It took 7,000 years for CO2 to increase from 185 ppm to 270 ppm. There are no sudden spikes upward.”
    How do you know that? That far back each ice-core measurements is “averaged” over many centuries. As a matter of fact stomatal index measurements suggests that there was rather sharp changes e. g. at the beginning and end of Dryas 3.’
    He obviously think the smoothing is the norm and that all the spots on the plot is on that line. I’d just call him to be like retarded and be done with ‘im.

  48. I thought the standard theory for the end of the ice-age was that CO2 built up until the world warmed. Now its that the world warmed and caused a build-up of CO2.
    For some reason, I keep seeing a vision of dragster race track, with the cart in one lane, and the horse in the other, both revving up waiting for the light…

  49. RE: Main Article: Fizzing out with Rutgers “Some people have suggested we can pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and force it back down to the bottom of the oceans by manipulating the biology – growing algae, for instance, which would increase photosynthesis and send carbon dioxide to the bottom when the organisms die.”
    This may be a major ‘be careful what you wish for’ situation. If some specially bred, super CO2 consuming organism ever gets out of control, and spreads throughout the ocean, we could end up facing a global crop suffocation event. I sure hope no one is in a bio-lab right now happily working away on his own little project to stop global warming.

  50. Layne Blanchard says:
    August 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm
    ……as another 10M of our money is spent to study a pointless issue….

    You just cut to the chase. NOM!

  51. tty says:
    August 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm
    Bill Illis says:
    “It took 7,000 years for CO2 to increase from 185 ppm to 270 ppm. There are no sudden spikes upward.”
    How do you know that? That far back each ice-core measurements is “averaged” over many centuries. As a matter of fact stomatal index measurements suggests that there was rather sharp changes e. g. at the beginning and end of Dryas 3.
    ——-
    I’m just using the actual numbers. I did not make the measurements myself.
    I have ALL the CO2 and temperature estimates going back in time at the highest resolution that is available. When I say ALL, I mean ALL of the published ones going back hundreds of millions of years.
    The Dryas Events are interesting . What is most unsual is that the Climatologists focus on the Younger Dryas event while the earlier Older Dryas event was far more important in terms of the temperature change and reversal of the trend. In neither case, however, does CO2 make a sharp turn upwards or downwards despite the rapid-significant change in the temperature trends.

  52. Ref – Tamara says:
    August 26, 2010 at 8:36 am
    Very interesting.. do you suppose that perhaps most of the problems the scientific community is experiencing, to include various ‘scientific’ publications and comic books, can be laid at the feet of PR types who don’t know what they’re talking about and are writing PR’s that make scientists sound like idiots? I’ll bet with a big grant someone could take 10 years and come up with a three page study on this.
    But then there’s the same problem again, the PR twit that types up the PR on the study would blow it and no one would understand what the study said. Catch -22!

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