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Doyle writes: "The rate of carbon emissions is higher than at any time in fossil records stretching back 66 million years to the age of the dinosaurs, according to a study on Monday that sounds an alarm about risks to nature from man-made global warming."

Environmentalists burn a symbol of carbon dioxide during a 2008 demonstration in front of the Klingenberg power plant in Berlin. (photo: Theo Heimann/AFP/Getty Images)
Environmentalists burn a symbol of carbon dioxide during a 2008 demonstration in front of the Klingenberg power plant in Berlin. (photo: Theo Heimann/AFP/Getty Images)


Carbon Emissions Highest They Have Been in 66 Million Years

By Alister Doyle, Scientific American

27 March 16

 

Outpouring of CO2 is 10 times higher than it was when the dinosaurs lived

he rate of carbon emissions is higher than at any time in fossil records stretching back 66 million years to the age of the dinosaurs, according to a study on Monday that sounds an alarm about risks to nature from man-made global warming.

Scientists wrote that the pace of emissions even eclipses the onset of the biggest-known natural surge in fossil records, 56 million years ago, that was perhaps driven by a release of frozen stores of greenhouse gases beneath the seabed.

That ancient release, which drove temperatures up by an estimated 5 degrees Celsius (9 Fahrenheit) and damaged marine life by making the oceans acidic, is often seen as a parallel to the risks from the current build-up of carbon in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels.

"Given currently available records, the present anthropogenic carbon release rate is unprecedented during the past 66 million years," the scientists wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The dinosaurs went extinct about 66 million years ago, perhaps after a giant asteroid struck the Earth.

Lead author Richard Zeebe of the University of Hawaii said geological records were vague and "it's not well known if/how much carbon was released" in that cataclysm.

Current carbon emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, are about 10 billion tonnes a year, against 1.1 billion a year spread over 4,000 years at the onset of the fast warming 56 million years ago, the study found.

The scientists examined the chemical makeup of fossils of tiny marine organisms in the seabed off the New Jersey in the United States to gauge that ancient warming, known as the Paleoeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).

U.N. studies project that temperatures could rise by up to 4.8C this century, causing floods, droughts and more powerful storms, if emissions rise unchecked. Carbon dioxide forms a weak acid in seawater, threatening the ability of creatures such as lobsters or oysters to build protective shells.

"Our results suggest that future ocean acidification and possible effects on marine calcifying organisms will be more severe than during the PETM," Zeebe said.

"Future ecosystem disruptions are likely to exceed the relatively limited extinctions observed at the PETM," he said. During the PETM, fish and other creatures may have had longer time to adapt to warming waters through evolution.

Peter Stassen, of the University of Leuven who was not involved in the study, said the study was a step to unravel what happened in the PETM.

The PETM "is a crucial part of our understanding of how the climate system can react to carbon dioxide increases," he told Reuters.


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-24 # nice2bgreat 2016-03-27 17:17
.
"Carbon Emissions Highest They Have Been in 66 Million Years"

Fuckin' Obama.
.
 
 
-3 # nice2bgreat 2016-03-27 17:20
.
But seriously, all-of-the-abov e energy policies, including deference to the most polluting of them, are certainly contributing to methane gas and CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

The gulf spill is directly attributable to the Obama administration' s waiving of the acoustic valve -- Dead-man's Switch -- because of the cost-prohibitiv e $500,000 dollar price-tag.

Jerry Brown was governer of California at the time of removal -- without replacement -- of the emergency shut-off valve at the Southern California Gas Co. facility, the location of the Porter Ranch gas leak.

And if not for the victims -- Earth and its inhabitants -- 3 months of methane gas spewing into the San Fernando Valley/Los Angeles atmosphere because of Jerry Brown's negligence in the 1970's might be comically ironic, in that, that chicken came home to roost during his next tenure.

Who could possibly have known?
.
 
 
+3 # LeeBlack 2016-03-28 09:50
Quote: The gulf spill is directly attributable to the Obama administration' s waiving of the acoustic valve -- Dead-man's Switch -- because of the cost-prohibitiv e $500,000 dollar price-tag.

So - ignoring the billions the oil well would bring them and the ultimate cost $18.7 BILLION accident they avoided in the cost of dead man's switch? Isn't self-regulation the mantra of the capitalists?
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2016-03-28 09:26
Quoting nice2bgreat:
.
"Carbon Emissions Highest They Have Been in 66 Million Years"

Fuckin' Obama.
.


O' fer Gawd's sake!!!
You'll be saying next that the emissions 66m years ago is because Dinosaurs farted continuously and killed themselves off!!!
 
 
+2 # Dust 2016-03-28 11:17
No no - it was only 6,000 years ago, and Jaybus killed off the dinosaurs with the Winchester repeating rifle, which was invented by God on the Eighth Day.
 
 
0 # nice2bgreat 2016-03-28 14:31
Quoting reiverpacific:
O' fer Gawd's sake!!!
You'll be saying next that the emissions 66m years ago is because Dinosaurs farted continuously and killed themselves off!!!

Well, it didn't help.
.
 
 
-3 # Dust 2016-03-27 18:24
Before the usual suspects chime in and say that since the planet has been warmer than it is now, and the article headline states that CO2 emissions are the highest they have been in 66 million years, that is clear proof that CO2 does not affect temperature, I will point out that, imprecise headline notwithstanding , the article states that the RATE of emissions is the highest it has been in 66 million years, NOT that the level of atmospheric CO2 is the highest in 66 million years.
 
 
+7 # Texas Aggie 2016-03-28 08:14
You kind of missed the whole point of the article. What it is saying is that we are doing as much damage in 100 years as what happened when the earth's temperatures reached their highest point and there was an inland sea in the Midwest in almost 1000 years. In other words, at the rate we're going, we'll be back to that situation in only a few more generations.

The fossil fuel industry is winning the battle to shut down wind and solar power through their servants in state and national legislatures. The fracking industry and the coal industry are winning their regulatory battles although the coal industry is losing the economic battles. The only time that the rate of increase in greenhouse gas productions decreases (which means that it is still increasing but just not as fast) is when there is some sort of economic upheaval like the recession that most people are still mired in.
 
 
+2 # Dust 2016-03-28 09:31
I think you completely misunderstood my post. :-p
 
 
# Guest 2016-03-27 22:03
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
 
 
+15 # Thomas Martin 2016-03-27 22:13
Look, anyone actually doing the work on human caused global warming is saying that it's now our serious problem to deal with ... Obama didn't cause it - how childish and naive can you get? ... Jerry Brown didn't cause it - ditto ... and the rate, the rate, of CO2 emissions is very important!!!
 
 
+1 # lfeuille 2016-03-28 17:06
Obama was not the source of the problem which has been going on for over 100 years, but he could have done more to counter it. The all-of-the-abov e policy was a sellout to fossil fuel companies.
 
 
+5 # newell 2016-03-28 07:36
The only people that didn't cause increased CO2 are maybe the homeless--you can't find humans with a much smaller footprint. The only ones to blame are the ones that tell us that we are not overpopulated. That is usually the 1%--because the more humans there are, the more cars and dog-food they can sell.
 
 
+4 # Texas Aggie 2016-03-28 08:18
Actually population is only tangentially associated with carbon release. The vast majority of third world countries that are much more densely populated than the US are producing only a small fraction of the greenhouse gases that the US does. The problem is how people maintain their standard of living. If each person in one country is using 50 times the fossil fuel as each person in another country, then the first country needs to get its act together before it complains about anyone else. Even China is producing a LOT less greenhouse gas than the US does on a per person basis, and given their investment in renewable energy, that differential will increase.
 
 
+1 # lfeuille 2016-03-28 17:07
But population does play a part in global warming in third world countries. It leads directly to deforestation.
 
 
+1 # newell 2016-03-29 07:12
Actually, yes. By your own admission the U.S. is overpopulated. Population is not how many people you can pack in, it is-- what a given ecosystem can support to maintain diversity and balance. Any country that is generating excessive CO2 is overpopulated. Any country that is depleting resources including clean air and water is overpopulated. Any country whose population is high enough to effect the balance of nature, resulting in mass extinctions is overpopulated. We need population controls and sustainability controls for all nations......ye sterday.
 
 
+7 # Texas Aggie 2016-03-28 08:27
When you read accounts of how the US is such a hotbed of innovation and then read how other countries are taking the US inventions and actually innovating, you shake your head in wonder. The US had the initiative when they developed transistors. Then the Japanese took the invention and ran with it. The same thing is now happening with China and renewable energy in the form of wind and solar power. The internet was developed in the US, but now the US is way down on the list of countries where people have affordable access to rapid connections.

Thanks to the reactionary elements of our society who are so insistent on returning to the "Golden years of yesteryear," the US is becoming more and more irrelevant to the world. If you don't keep up with progress, you get left behind. The US is presently going through the same process that medieval Islam went through from a center of technological innovation and of civilization to a backwater.
 
 
+1 # ginnym 2016-03-28 18:12
We have been co-opted by those who profit from war and they use war to transfer tax money into their pockets by the trillion.
 

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