Wednesday, February 07, 2007

fresh rotten eggs scent


The Arctic shelf is currently undergoing dramatic thermal changes caused by the continued warming associated with Holocene sea level rise. During this transgression, comparatively warm waters have flooded over cold permafrost areas of the Arctic Shelf. A thermal pulse of more than 10°C is still propagating down into the submerged sediment and may be decomposing gas hydrate as well as permafrost. A search for gas venting on the Arctic seafloor focused on pingo-like-features (PLFs) on the Beaufort Sea Shelf because they may be a direct consequence of gas hydrate decomposition at depth. Vibracores collected from eight PLFs had systematically elevated methane concentrations. ROV observations revealed streams of methane-rich gas bubbles coming from the crests of PLFs. We offer a scenario of how PLFs may be growing offshore as a result of gas pressure associated with gas hydrate decomposition.

The above abstract is an interesting data point. Earlier this year I referenced an intriguing rumor which was unsubstantiated, yet suggestive:

Fuel tankers reporting increased methane venting from sea beds.
According to U.S. maritime industry sources, tanker captains are reporting an increase in onboard alarms from hazard sensors designed to detect hydrocarbon gas leaks and, specifically, methane leaks. However, the leaks are not emanating from cargo holds or pump rooms but from continental shelves venting increasing amounts of trapped methane into the atmosphere.

Oceanic methane can get powerful warm when unfrozen, trapping atmospheric heat left and right. The cows will be proud. However, do not become unduly alarmed.

If we stand on the cusp of a new thermal maximum, a pesky die-off, be assured that there is hope. Look to the humble Lystrosaurus, a hard charging reptile which survived where many others failed:

Lystrosaurus is notable for dominating land during the Early Triassic, found on every continent, for millions of years. This genus survived the end-Permian mass extinction and went on to thrive, becoming the most common group of terrestrial vertebrates during the Early Triassic. It is the only time a single species of animal dominated the Earth to such a degree. Why Lystrosaurus survived the Permian-Triassic extinction event may possibly be due to blind chance, however, adaptations to surviving on more resiliant plant material may have contributed to this genus' survival.

Blind chance? You be the judge.

It isn't just the handsome tusks, suitable for ripping carrion flesh from the backs of Exxon executives and their mercenary army of paid deniers / elephant gropers.

Look where the nose of the Lystrosaurus is pointed. Inches from the ground.

That is where the breathable oxygen will be if we fail.

Take a good look.


At 2:45 PM, February 17, 2007, Blogger IDT said...

Love the articles. Could you check
out our new blog and add as a link?

Thanks in advance!


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