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Bask like a frying pan

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Global warming is twice stronger than expected

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New evidence obtained during the last few months, show that global warming may be much more serious problem than we imagine. Detailed analysis by drilling a 4-kilometer Antarctic and Greenland ice, shows that almost one year there was a catastrophic change in temperature at 8-14 ° C.

In the past 15 years climatologists have drilled five wells, traveling deep into the Earth's history for 900 thousand years ago, passing through eight full glacial periods, determining the temperature of those days, the weather, the composition of the dust, plant pollen, bacteria, and the actual atmospheric gases preserved in the ice layers as the annual rings of a tree - all of this is the most detailed description of the history of the Earth, ever existed. One of the most comprehensive studies of Antarctic ice report was submitted in 2004 (EPICA).

Temperature peaks in the last million years (determined by measuring the amount of heavy oxygen O18) coincide exactly with the peaks and downs of the content of oxygen and methane concentrations, but the current CO2 levels are outside of any tables that are 36% higher than in pre-industrial period, and 25% higher than it was during the last million years.

The unprecedented rise of the level of carbon dioxide began with 1750, ie after the official start of emission of gases causing the greenhouse effect. It is believed that 100-thousand-year cycles of ice ages are related to different constant changes the Earth's orbit (changes from circular to more elliptical closer to the sun the earth's rotation during the interglacial warming), but the powerful greenhouse gases may increase or modify these oscillations of the Earth's orbit.

The figure is very misleading average warming, as the warming effect increases dramatically, depending on latitude. Thus, the average warming of 0,8 ° C over the past 100 years at the time of the last in 2006 may mean 0,4 ° C - warming in the tropics, 1-1,6 ° - warming in Europe and 3-6 ° - rise in temperature in the Arctic , especially in night temperature minima, which reduces ice formation. "Tropical and northern latitudes differ from each other three times in terms of warming - says climatologist Gavin Schmidt, NASA Goddard. - Some places are "warmed up" much more the norm over the past 50 years. Very strong warming occurred in Siberia and Alaska, but if you go to the Labrador coast, there is very little change. "

We throw away 8 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, and this figure increased by 2.5% annually. Indicator of pollution, is now equal to 380 ppm, rising each year by 2-3 ppm. Emissions of carbon dioxide economically developing China and India are growing as the blast wave. In China, coal-fired power plant - the worst possible fuel. Each ton of coal burned is 3 tons of carbon dioxide! China now uses 10 times less electricity per capita than America. It is not yet.

Still, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide, or, - not the worst acting factor. Methane gives a greenhouse effect 62 times greater than carbon dioxide. For 250 years, methane has increased by two and a half times. Fortunately, its concentration in air is less than carbon dioxide - 1.7 parts per million, but this could change quickly. Less than half of the methane is naturally produced - in volcanoes, in peat bogs, organic fertilizers. All this is about 500-700 Mt per year, but the data are approximate. followed by nitric oxide. It is three hundred times more powerful than carbon dioxide, and it does not decay within 114 years, appearing from fertilizers from agricultural activities, deforestation, and from vehicle exhaust. And finally, the worst thing that can be - it is CFC and halocarbon artificially created by man and used in refrigeration and in aerosol cans. They have thousands of times stronger than carbon dioxide, and the period of their existence is a few thousand years. These gases, significantly affecting the warming effect is practically not taken into account. All the talk is usually of a high content of carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, methane can be a time bomb. About 900 billion tons of carbon exists in the form of organic matter in peat bogs and in the permafrost of Siberia, Greenland, Canada and Alaska. The most annoying thing for the world is warming in the Arctic, 3-60 at night, and this contributes to the melting of the old (115,000 years) in the frozen tundra in the territory equal to France and Germany combined, transforming it into a mixture of mud and lakes, causing active decomposition of organic matter and turn it into methane. Russian scientist Sergey Kirpotin called it an "ecological landslide that was inevitable and, indeed, linked to global warming ... which happened in the last 3 or 4 years."

"When this area and is a semiflooded nizkokislorodnuyu environment, you get methane, and if it is ventilated and not swampy, the carbon dioxide" - says a hydrologist from the University of California, Larry Smith, who has studied the long Siberian lakes and rivers. His study showed that Siberia dries because the barrier of the permafrost melts slowly, resulting in a loss of 6% of the lake area. The water escapes through the porous sediments, just as when we go down the water in the bathroom. The formation of "greenhouse gases" in these dry areas is greatly accelerated, since the presence of a larger amount of oxygen the bacteria get more energy points Katie Walter of the University of Alaska.

For three and a half years of joint team of Russian and American scientists led by Walter found several hot spots of methane, in which the lake water does not freeze even in winter, indicating a much more organic matter than previously thought. Scientists believe that this is the result of biodegradation of the rich pastures Pleistocene, which were grazing mammoths and bison. It was rich in organic terrain, and all this grass, and the remains of those animals still continue to decompose. The water in these hot spots are constantly bubbling, as if boiling.
In his report to the U.S. Senate, made ​​in 2006, Walter estimated that the carbon deposits in the Siberian ice together make up a huge number of 500 gigatons, this is almost equal to the whole mass of the current vegetation of the earth 650 megatons! Worst of all, according to Walter, is that most of this entire mass can decompose under the present conditions in less than one century. The thickness of the layer of decomposing it is 25 meters, and all this in more than Texas.

Large sections of 8-tysyachemilnoy weakened coastal tundra exposed to destruction, and gradually disappearing under the Arctic Ocean, thus freeing them are in the gases (including a hitherto unknown quantity of clathrate, which will be discussed below). The potential danger of methane is huge. If only half a percent per year from a total of 500 gigatons of carbon from the organic matter of the Siberian Ice Complex will turn into methane (forming, thus thousands of gigatons of methane 2.5), the greenhouse effect, which occurs over a century, is the widow of higher than one who was called to this day as a result of industrial emissions in the world today.

End of the material read in the January issue of the "Centaur"

Michael Hammershlag


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Bask like a frying pan

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(Continued in "Centaur» № 7 )

Huge amounts of methane are at the bottom of the ocean in the form of crystalline (or clathrate) in sediments at depths of 500 meters (or 204 meters in the Arctic). They are formed only under high pressure and at very low temperatures. Tim Collette, an expert from the U.S. Geological Survey, optimistically declares that if the U.S. will be able to produce gas from only one per cent of these crystal hydrates, then this gas will last for 170,000 years. The amount of methane in the form of clathrate allegedly exceeds all other fossil fuels combined. The Japanese have funded the development of wells in the Mackenzie River Delta in northern Canada and found a clathrate (they call it hydrated gas) at a depth of 1000 meters. They were able to successfully remove it, and now the Japanese and Indians have already drilled their coast. The fact that methane gas hydrate contains 168 times more than the solid volume.

Colette said that the clathrate was also detected at a depth of 300 m beneath the permafrost in the Canadian part of Alaska. Calculations Coleta show that theoretically clathrate can be found at depths of 80 meters. There are huge deposits of the Caroline Islands, the Arctic Lowlands, the Western Central America, Japan and 50 other locations. The idea is that the solid hydrate ice should go up, but for a few hundred yards to the surface of the methane gas has a tendency to dissolve in the ocean, after which bacteria consume methane and produce carbon dioxide, says Walter.

If the oceans warm up so that all of these stocks will go out, you get that "greenhouse terror", which is believed to have been on Earth 55 million years ago during the Paleocene-Neocene thermal maximum, when the Earth warmed to 15 degrees more than it is today. In North America, while the tropics have been in Greenland rose wood mahogany, and the North Pole could safely swim. The whole ocean was then warmed to 80 C to the bottom, and 40% of species of small crustaceans have died from lack of oxygen. It is believed that methane emission was due to a lack of heavy carbon-13 in all living limestone deposits, as its content is lowered in the clathrates. Gavin Schmidt believes that today it is impossible, because the ocean is too vast and require too much energy to heat it.

Jim, Kenneth University of California at Santa Barbara, author of the hypothesis of "clathrate gun," believes that the clathrates lower continental shelf have been the cause of sudden temperature jumps in the middle of the ice ages.

Another striking fact is similar to the truth of the conclusion of the shading of sunlight, made by scientists who have shown that air pollution in the stratospheric heights of blocks 10% of the sunlight that we would have to get over the past 50 years. The most powerful agent here are the contrails of jet aircraft that leave the air reflecting particles (especially sulfur), which circulate in the lower stratosphere.

The amazing fact was recorded within 4 days after the tragedy of September 11 when all flights over U.S. territory are prohibited. The average temperature in the country was higher by one degree only as a result of this measure. A deeper analysis of the global forecast shows that the cooling caused by the Earth as a result of contamination of the lower stratosphere, at half the numbers warming. That is, if you completely stop pollution of the lower stratosphere, the warming will increase the actual numbers more than doubled. Thus, all figures and calculations based on observations of warming that we see, are too low.

This finally explains why the temperature rise numbers are lower than expected, and clearly demonstrates the enormous risk if suddenly cooled, the stratospheric pollution caused by a sudden stop (for example, in the case of mass bankruptcies of airlines sharp rise in fuel prices, economic recession or war). Many U.S. and international major airlines teetering on the brink of closure. Only one "Delta" was losing up to $ 8 billion a year. If the stratospheric cooling effect of a sudden stop, we have to deal with increasing temperature at 30 ° C by 2050 and 5-100 C - by the end of the century that will be enough to to melt ice caps and a full environmental changes on Earth.

In January and February 2006 Europe and Russia, Italy and up the Urals, have experienced the strongest effect of the cold waves from all recorded earlier, when about a thousand people were killed in 5 days. Who knows, maybe the beginning of a new ice age will happen very quickly. But let's not speculate.

Michael Hammershlag


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