Earth Burps

How do you spell relief?

Did the Earth need Alka Seltzer 18,000 years ago?  According to this article from Science Daily there might have been a need (snicker-snicker). Must have been a “plop plop fizz fizz” moment.

Scientists have found the possible source of a huge carbon dioxide ‘burp’ that happened some 18,000 years ago and which helped to end the last ice age.

Note the word “possible,” which always seems to be one of the key words in these scare-a-rama reports we get.

If there was a large carbon burp 18,00o years ago, I’d like to know where it is, because I sure don’t see one on the below graph of carbon and temperature taken from the Antarctic Ice Core. Sure there’s an increase in CO2,  but a burp? I think not. I see a gradual rise, not a sudden burp.

The results provide the first concrete evidence that carbon dioxide (CO2) was more efficiently locked away in the deep ocean during the last ice age, turning the deep sea into a more ‘stagnant’ carbon repository — something scientists have long suspected but lacked data to support.

Yet, they tout “concrete evidence” as being in this alleged “proof” they’re providing.  So how did they arrive at this conclusion?

By measuring how much carbon-14 (14C) was in the bottom-dwelling forams’ shells, and comparing this with the amount of 14C in the atmosphere at the time, they were able to work out how long the CO2 had been locked in the ocean.

By linking their marine core to the Antarctic ice-cores using the temperature signal recorded in both archives, the team were also able compare their results directly with the ice-core record of past atmospheric CO2 variability.

Sorry but I still don’t see a burp in that graph of the Antarctic Ice Core sample. Here is further explanation from the article.

Throughout the past two million years (the Quaternary), the Earth has alternated between ice ages and warmer interglacials. These changes are mainly driven by alterations in the Earth’s orbit around the sun (the Milankovic theory).

But changes in Earth’s orbit could only have acted as the ‘pace-maker of the ice ages’ with help from large, positive feedbacks that turned this solar ‘nudge’ into a significant global energy imbalance.

Changes in atmospheric CO2 were one of the most important of these positive feedbacks, but what drove these changes in CO2has remained uncertain.

Excuse me? “Uncertain?” I thought this was “CONCRETE?” Talk about bi-polar science. Note how they highlight the importance of CO2 and try to minimize the solar effect. Just couldn’t be some other reason, could there be? Has to be CO2.  They state “These changes are mainly driven by alterations in the Earth’s orbit around the sun” then turn around and claim CO2 was more of a cause and the orbit change was only a “pace-maker” more bi-polar science.

Let’s read some more and see what else they have to say.

Scientists think more CO2 was locked up in the deep ocean during ice ages, and that pulses or ‘burps’ of CO2 from the deep Southern Ocean helped trigger a global thaw every 100,000 years or so. The size of these pulses was roughly equivalent to the change in CO2 experienced since the start of the industrial revolution.

So they “think.”  I guess that’s “concrete” evidence, too. Note how they try and tie this in with the CO2 increase since the 1850’s. My how convenient is that?

I never would have guessed the Earth was a serial burper.  So, if we have a large burp every 100,000 years, and our last burp was 18,000 years ago, doesn’t that mean we won’t have another one for about 82,000 years? So why worry? (It’s their theory, not mine!)

Here’s some other comments on the subject, this one from this article on ABC Australia.

Geolgist Professor Mike Standiford, director of the Melbourne Energy Institute at the University of Melbourne says the result is “interesting but controversial.”

Recent radiocarbon analyses from Chilean sites failed to find evidence of the missing Southern Ocean CO2, he says.

This comment makes it rather obvious that only using the limited data they did and have doesn’t seem to really be “concrete evidence” does it? So why the “alarmist” scare again?  Sounds like more desperation to prove there’s anthropogenic global warming to me.

By measuring how much carbon-14 (14C) was in the bottom-dwelling forams’ shells, and comparing this with the amount of 14C in the atmosphere at the time, they were able to work out how long the CO2 had been locked in the ocean.

Sorry but I have to question this process because there are other sources of -14 such as soil and plants for example.  So how can one tell what the source is? It could have come from elsewhere. (If you can find the “burp” they refer to, sure isn’t in the graph!)

If this theory is correct, we would expect to see large transfers of carbon from the ocean to the atmosphere at the end of each ice age. This should be most obvious in the relative concentrations of radiocarbon (14C) in the ocean and atmosphere; 14C decays over time and so the longer carbon is locked up in the deep sea, the less 14C it contains.

I find this interesting, too.  The highlighted above reads to me like the claim is that it only decays in the ocean, or perhaps infers that it decays faster in the ocean.  I can’t fathom either one because it’s going to decay at the same rate regardless of where it’s located.  I’ve seen information that environmental factors will cause 0.1% or less variation on decay rates.  So, what’s the deal?

Sounds like another episode of CO2 Insanity to me. That’s the deal.

Source:  Science Daily

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