C Africa wrote: ↑
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:12 am
Wingnutter wrote: ↑
Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:28 am
C Africa wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:22 am
Maybe my post was misinterpreted.
I am simply saying that the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are not increasing by nearly as much as the amount of CO2 that gets spewed into the atmosphere because large amounts of that gets dissolved into the oceans.
So simply put, the reservoir of CO2 is much larger than just the atmosphere.
Which is why the percentage in the atmosphere is so VERY VERY low despite the billions of tons we pump into the air every year.
I am NOT saying that the oceans actually add to the CO2, I am saying the oceans are our buffer delaying the increase in the atmosphere!
From the American Chemical Society website;
Current concentrations of CO2 are about 390 ppm and CH4 levels exceed 1,770 ppb. Both numbers are much higher than at any time during the last 650,000 years.
"Data for the past 2000 years show that the atmospheric concentrations of CO2, CH4, and N2O – three important long-lived "greenhouse gases – have increased substantially since about 1750. Rates of increase in levels of these gases are dramatic. CO2, for instance, never increased more than 30 ppm during any previous 1,000-year period in this record but has already risen by 30 ppm in the past two decades."
But what would they know?
Wingnutter, read what I said.
In simple terms, if it wasn't for the buffer effect of the ocean, CO2 levels should have been at least 10 (or maybe a 100 times, I'm not sure of the exact equation) times higher than that by now (based on the amounts of CO2 we pump into the air).
That does not change the crisis at hand, it is like putting a bunch of aircraft in the air and simply forgetting about them feeling relieved that there is now more space on the ground for new aircraft. But those aircraft up in the air needs to come down some or other time. And they Will !
Same with the so called co2 buffer, you can fill the ocean with co2, but the effect at the end of the day is just making things worse, at some stage the ocean will turn completely acidic which in itself will be devastating to animals and humans, and the absorption will then stop entirely.
Four of the “big five” mass extinctions, and several more minor environmental crises in Earth’s past, were associated with abrupt global warming and ocean acidification
Lets look at the buffer effect in more detail:
The oceans are important because they act as a buffer; that is, they absorb much of the effects of greenhouse gases. In fact, the oceans absorb a lot of human carbon pollution. This is a big help for us because without the oceans, the climate would change much faster.
BUT Since the oceans absorb so much of our carbon pollution and the resulting heat (93% of the extra heat), they turn a short-term problem into a long-term problem.
Just like a fly wheel can be used to store rotating energy in a machine, the oceans store heat energy and chemical energy that can later manifest itself.
The pollution we emit today will have effects for many years We cannot just stop emitting pollution and think this problem will immediately go away. We have to plan ahead. And, importantly, we have to stop emitting before most of the effects are evident ! ! !
There were four key findings the authors of the buffer article cited. First, as I mentioned, they report that the oceans are absorbing almost all the heat from greenhouse gases. Over the past six decades, the amount of heat at all levels of the ocean has increased. This heating will continue into the future.
When oceans warm, sea levels rise (warming water expands). Warm water also evaporates much faster to the air so that the atmosphere becomes more humid, resulting in more heavy rainfalls and flooding.
A second conclusion is that the heat may lead to major changes in the ocean currents. There is a really important flow of ocean waters called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. It is a stream of water that passes from the warm tropics up toward Europe. Then the water gets cold and dense, sinks, and flows back towards the equator. This current is responsible for the warm wet weather in England, for example (compared with other locations with the same latitude). The report discusses a potential weakening of this current. If the current were to weaken (or stop altogether), there would be major effects to the weather in Europe and North America.
So what made some LIPs destructive and others not? And, you may be asking, what possible relevance do these ancient events have for us today?
The answer is that they confirm what scientists have modelled from ocean chemistry: CO2 emission rates mattered back then just as they do now. In fact they are key.
Lets go into the science for those wanting exceptional detail:
In a time of rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, the surface layer of the ocean absorbs most (but not all) of that excess CO2 to regain balance with the atmospheric levels (Henry’s Law). Once dissolved in seawater, that CO2 reacts with water to make carbonic acid, a process that takes about a minute to achieve equilibrium, and then the fun starts.
That formation of carbonic acid triggers a cascading set of reactions called the “carbonate pH stat” that produces some free hydrogen ions (protons), bicarbonate ions, and an exchange between bicarbonate ions and carbonate ions. These relatively quick reactions enable the oceans to absorb 10 times more CO2 than pure water could without them.
Normal seawater is alkaline, which means it has a relatively low concentration of hydrogen ions, so normally the balance of the reactions is tilted in favor of carbonate production. But as more and more CO2 is absorbed, the proportion of hydrogen ions (pH) increases, tilting the reactions away from carbonate and generating more bicarbonate.
That imbalance is “ocean acidification.”
The pH balance can be restored by adding more carbonate, but that’s where we hit a snag.
You will see that the CO2 side of the balance is quick, but on the other side of the balance the processes that replenish carbonate are much, much slower.
Since the atmosphere is in contact with the surface of the ocean (not the deep ocean),
it is this smaller reservoir of carbon that is most immediately affected. It increases in acidity and reduces its carbonate levels.
The surface ocean layer is slowly replaced by water from the deep ocean, but that is a process that takes about a thousand years. Carbonate from the land washes in from rivers as a result of rock weathering – but that process is even slower at replenishing carbonate.
The result is that for continued large CO2 emissions on a timescale of centuries, the surface ocean bears the brunt and gets ever more depleted in carbonate, and becomes increasingly acidic. Many shell-building marine organisms need water that is highly saturated in carbonate for them to be able to make their shells. As acidification increases, and carbonate saturation decreases, it becomes harder for those organisms to make calcium carbonate shells as their biochemistry has to fight against ocean chemistry increasingly tilted towards dissolving shells, not making them.
As CO2 emissions continue at high rates, it creates a domino effect of ocean chemistry and climate:
1. As carbonate is depleted (as oceans acidify) the oceans get progressively less efficient at absorbing CO2 (technically the “uptake factor” decreases) …
2. … so CO2 builds in the atmosphere, faster than before, even if emission rates are unchanged, resulting in worsening greenhouse warming.
3. As sea temperatures rise, the solubility of CO2 in water decreases (see 2 above)
4. Warming oceans may slow the major ocean currents, slowing the replenishment of surface waters by deep waters, allowing the CO2 uptake factor to decrease even further.
5. Warming oceans hold less oxygen, stressing marine life, which combines with acidification to make a hostile environment for complex life in the surface layer of the ocean. As plankton suffers and the food web collapses, the efficiency of the “biological pump” that exports carbon from the surface ocean to the deep via a snow of tiny dead bodies, organic molecules and fecal pellets, slows down. This leaves the surface ocean even more saturated in carbon, (see 2 above).
6. Bacteria thrive in the warmer oceans, increasing their metabolic rate and their digestion of the remains of other life, further slowing the export of carbon from the surface ocean to deep water.
All these act in concert to saturate the surface ocean with CO2 and so exacerbate the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere, accelerating global warming.