CURRENT MOON

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Write This Off As A Freak Heat Wave And Go Back To Business As Usual


ABC is reporting that: Whatever climate scientists may currently disagree about (and good scientists are always disagreeing about something) virtually all of them have long since agreed that human activity -- burning fossil fuels -- has been making the global temperature go up. And now they have two very sobering, visual ways to explain how.

Describing how new supercomputers make it possible to show on a globe how hot the Eart will be in a given number of years, ABC explains that: A number of these spheres are now being installed in museums around the United States and the world, so the world can see what it's in for.

With green and blue for cooler temperatures, scientists and regular folks can watch the digitized projectors paint the globe, starting in 1870. Along about 1990, the globe grows yellower -- warmer -- and is entirely yellow by 2001.

Then comes the sobering part. Red, for much warmer, starts to appear in North America -- and other continents -- and by 2051 the United States is almost entirely red.

That's only 45 years from now, when today's toddlers will barely be in middle age.


And, Even scarier is the other sight, about 20 meters down off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif.: bubbles, millions of bubbles of methane -- 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

The methane is bubbling up naturally from some of the enormous natural undersea reservoirs of the gas mostly locked into the frozen mud under the sea floor.

Scientists have just released video showing how, for the first time, they have been able to measure these natural up-wellings to tell whether, if large amounts of this methane ever thawed out from its deep sea beds, it would reach the atmosphere, rather than being absorbed in the water, and thus make the earth even hotter.

The findings of oceanographer Ira Leifer et al, published in a strictly peer-reviewed scientific journal, are that it would do just that.

In other words, all that undersea methane is a potential "positive feedback" of catastrophic proportions.

If warming currents, such as those already detected by scientists at depth, begin to thaw these methane beds, it will make the atmosphere, and consequently the sea currents, even warmer, and melt out more methane.

A number of scientists tell me that would take the Earth up into temperatures humankind has never experienced -- and probably could not survive.

They believe it's happened for natural reasons before -- before, for example, the Jurassic age, when dinosaurs, but no humans, roamed the earth.

That's why they insist we must stop the unnatural burning of fossil fuels -- oil, coal and gas -- which risks giving such a methane mega-burp an artificial kick that could -- hard as this is to take in -- end civilization.

2 comments:

Trucker Bob said...

Very informative post.

meret said...

There is also the methane created from Siberia melting. :(

"A vast expanse of western Sibera is undergoing an unprecedented thaw that could dramatically increase the rate of global warming, climate scientists warn today.

Researchers who have recently returned from the region found that an area of permafrost spanning a million square kilometres - the size of France and Germany combined - has started to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

The area, which covers the entire sub-Arctic region of western Siberia, is the world's largest frozen peat bog and scientists fear that as it thaws, it will release billions of tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere...."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,12374,1546824,00.html