Notes on Carbon Dioxide in Global Warming, Acidified Oceans, and Weathered Rocks

Like CO2 (carbon dioxide), H2O (water vapor) is a strongly heteropolar molecule — having one end with a positive electrical charge, and another end with a negative electrical charge — and absorbs outgoing Infrared Radiation (IR) from Earth’s surface, thus capturing heat in the atmosphere. Homopolar molecules like N2 (nitrogen) and O2 (oxygen) are transparent to IR. Inelastic molecular collisions redistribute that heat (as kinetic energy) to other atmospheric molecules (N2, O2, mainly) and atoms (Ar, He, trace components).

Most of Earth’s surface heat eventually diffuses into the oceans. Heat flows along the heat gradient in the negative direction from warmer air to colder water. The heat capacity (storage ability) of the oceans is IMMENSE (this is where ‘global warming’ ends up), and their heat content takes centuries to diffuse into a stable stratified distribution, rearranged by thermo-haline currents (a solar forcing effect) and by geometry (oceans as a spherical shell with warm equator and cold poles, so ocean heat diffuses poleward).

The fundamental problem of global warming is the ‘excess’ capture of outgoing IR (infrared radiation), reducing the rejection of Earth heat (originally delivered by incoming

— source | Manuel Garcia Jr | Sep 13, 2021

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Long-term consequences of CO2 emissions

The life of almost all animals in the ocean depends on the availability of oxygen, which is dissolved as a gas in seawater. However, the ocean has been continuously losing oxygen for several decades. In the last 50 years, the loss of oxygen accumulates globally to about 2% of the total inventory (regionally sometimes significantly more). The main reason for this is global warming, which leads to a decrease in the solubility of gases and thus also of oxygen, as well as to a slowdown in the ocean circulation and vertical mixing. A new study published today in the scientific journal Nature Communications shows that this process will continue for centuries, even if all CO2 emissions and thus warming at the Earth’s surface would be stopped immediately.

The long-term decrease in oxygen takes place primarily in deeper layers. this also has an impact on marine ecosystems. A so-called ‘metabolic index’, which measures the maximum possible activity of oxygen-breathing organisms, shows a widespread decline by up to 25%, especially in the deep sea (below 2000 metres). This is likely to lead to major shifts in this habitat, which was previously considered to be very stable, explains the oceanographer. These changes have already been initiated by our historical CO2 emissions and are now on their way to the deep ocean.

In the upper layers of the ocean, the model shows a much faster response to climate action. There, a further expansion of the relatively near-surface oxygen minimum zones can be stopped within a few years if the emissions were stopped. An ambitious climate policy can therefore help to prevent at least the near-surface ecosystems from being put under further pressure by a progressive decrease in oxygen.

— source Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR) | Apr 16, 2021

Sucking CO2 from the Air Would Not Halt Effects of Global Warming

As nations repeatedly fail to make major cuts in their greenhouse gas production, scientists and others have begun to wonder if climate change might be halted not by emissions cuts but by technology that removes those gases from the atmosphere. The approach is called geoengineering. Unfortunately, a recent simulation of its effects on the oceans found that even extreme methods would not be able to completely rehabilitate the ocean environment. The work was published in Nature Climate Change on August 3. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

The experiments focused on carbon dioxide removal (CDR), the process of extracting excess CO2 directly from the atmosphere. In theory this could help oceans because they become dangerously acidic when they absorb too much atmospheric CO2. One CDR idea is to plant trees that consume large amounts of CO2 and then burn the trees in facilities where the emissions can be captured and stored underground. But no one has ever tested this or similar carbon removal schemes on a large scale.

The next-best thing to large-scale testing is a large-scale simulation. In the new study researchers led by Sabine Mathesius, an environmental scientist at the Potsdam Institute

— source | Maria Temming | Aug 12, 2015

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Three Americans create enough carbon emissions to kill one person

The analysis draws upon several public health studies to conclude that for every 4,434 metric tons of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere beyond the 2020 rate of emissions, one person globally will die prematurely from the increased temperature. This additional CO2 is equivalent to the current lifetime emissions of 3.5 Americans. Adding a further 4m metric tons above last year’s level, produced by the average US coal plant, will cost 904 lives worldwide by the end of the century, the research found. Air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels is also directly killing people, with a landmark Harvard University study published in February finding that more than 8 million globally are dying each year from the health effects of toxic air. While it takes just 3.5 Americans to create enough emissions in a lifetime to kill one person, it would take 25 Brazilians or 146 Nigerians to do the same, the paper found.

The social, or financial, cost of carbon has become a widely-used metric after its creation by economist William Nordhaus, who subsequently won a Nobel prize, in the 1990s. The measurement calculates the damage caused by a ton of emissions, factored with the ability to adapt to the changing climate. Under Nordhaus’ DICE model the 2020 social cost of carbon is $37 a metric ton but Bressler’s addition of the mortality cost brings this figure up to $258 a ton.

— source | 29 Jul 2021

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Carbon Capture: Five Decades of False Hope, Hype, and Hot Air

At the turn of the century, Big Oil faced increasing pressure to respond to the climate crisis. One typical response was BP rebranding itself ‘Beyond Petroleum’. It created a bright yellow and green Helios logo based on a Greek sun god. But the company remained focused, as did the rest of the industry, on new ways to extract oil and gas. The industry’s decade became defined by ultra-deepwater drilling and fracking.

Meanwhile, U.S. oil giant Chevron had started to study how to capture and store the carbon dioxide (CO2) associated with the fossil gas in a giant Australian gas field called Gorgon. It would later be joined in the project by Exxon and Shell.

It had taken the oil industry 25 years to arrive at this point. Although the first Carbon, Capture and Storage (CCS) project had actually gone onstream in 1972, the first international CCS conference had only been held in the Netherlands in 1992. It was not until the late nineties that Australia became a key global advocate of the technology.[1] Not least because some of Australia’s recent big gas finds, Gorgon being one of them, contain a lot of CO2.

— source | Andy Rowell, Lorne Stockman | Jun 17, 2021

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Carbon dioxide levels reflect COVID-19 risk

Tracking carbon dioxide levels indoors is an inexpensive and powerful way to monitor the risk of people getting COVID-19, according to new research from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the University of Colorado Boulder. In any given indoor environment, when excess CO2 levels double, the risk of transmission also roughly doubles. Infectious people exhale airborne viruses at the same time as they exhale carbon dioxide. That means CO2 can serve as a “proxy” for the number of viruses in the air. researchers around the world have been searching for a way to continually monitor COVID-19 infection risk indoors. but commercially available carbon dioxide monitors, which can cost just a few hundred dollars can do the same indirectly.

— source University of Colorado at Boulder | Apr 7, 2021

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Do high levels of CO2 in the past contradict the warming effect of CO2?

The Ordovician glaciation was a brief excursion to coldness during an otherwise warm era, due to a coincidence of conditions. It is completely consistent with climate science.
Climate Myth…

CO2 was higher in the past
“The killer proof that CO2 does not drive climate is to be found during the Ordovician- Silurian and the Jurassic-Cretaceous periods when CO2 levels were greater than 4000 ppmv (parts per million by volume) and about 2000 ppmv respectively. If the IPCC theory is correct there should have been runaway greenhouse induced global warming during these periods but instead there was glaciation.”
(The Lavoisier Group)

Geologists refer to ancient ice-cap formations and ice-ages as “glaciations.” One such glaciation that occurred during the Late Ordovician era, some 444 million years ago has captured the attention of climate scientists and skeptics alike. To get some perspective on timing, that’s just over 200 million years before

— source | 6 Jul 2015

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Small lakes and temporary ponds release CO2 into the atmosphere even when they are dry

Temporary lakes and ponds emit CO2 all year –- even when they are dry — and dry areas actually emit a larger amount of carbon into the atmosphere. This phenomenon could have an impact on the global carbon cycle that controls Earth’s climate, according to a study led by the lecturer Biel Obrador, form the Faculty of Biology of the University of Barcelona, and Núria Catalán, from the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA).

The new article, published in the journal Scientific Reports, changes the classic paradigm on the role of temporary lakes and ponds as emitters of carbon to the

— source Universidad de Barcelona | Feb 14, 2018

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Arctic permafrost releases more CO2 than once believed

Rising global temperatures are causing frozen Arctic soil — permafrost — in the northern hemisphere to thaw and release CO2 that has been stored within it for thousands of years. The amount of carbon stored in permafrost is estimated to be four times greater than the combined amount of CO2 emitted by modern humans.

Research results from an international team, which includes a researcher from the University of Copenhagen among others, suggests that the newly discovered phenomenon will release even larger quantities of CO2 than once supposed from organic matter in permafrost — a pool of carbon previously thought to be bound tightly and safely sequestered by iron.

The amount of stored carbon that is bound to iron and gets converted to CO2 when released is estimated to be somewhere between two and five times the amount of carbon released annually through anthropogenic fossil fuel emissions.

Iron doesn’t bind organic carbon after all

Researchers have long been aware that microorganisms play a key role in the release of CO2 as permafrost melts. Microorganisms activated as soil thaws convert dead plants and other organic material into greenhouse gases like methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide.

What is new, is that the mineral iron was believed to bind carbon even as permafrost thawed. The new

— source University of Copenhagen – Faculty of Science | Feb 9, 2021

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Locked greenhouse gases in submarine permafrost are emerging

Something lurks beneath the Arctic Ocean. While it’s not a monster, it has largely remained a mystery.

According to 25 international researchers who collaborated on a first-of-its-kind study, frozen land beneath rising sea levels currently traps 60 billion tons of methane and 560 billion tons of organic carbon. Little is known about the frozen sediment and soil — called submarine permafrost — even as it slowly thaws and releases methane and carbon that could have significant impacts on climate.

To put into perspective the amount of greenhouse gases in submarine permafrost, humans have released about 500 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, said Sandia National Laboratories geosciences engineer Jennifer Frederick, one of the authors on the study published in IOP Publishing journal Environmental Research Letters.

— source DOE/Sandia National Laboratories | Feb 10, 2021

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