The elephant in the sky (11 Dec, 2019)

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The elephant in the sky (11 Dec, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:39 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2019/1211.shtml

Just what effect will the Aussie bushfires have on this year's total carbon/greenhouse-gas emissions planet-wide?

Do we need to keep our fingers crossed that, despite our best efforts, mother nature will exercise her far more powerful hand and disrupt the climate beyond repair -- through volcanic erruption, variance of the sun's output or some other natural disaster?

Have events such as the Mt St Helen's and Pinatubo erruptions been net warming or net cooling events? How many of these type of events would it take to overwhelm our own attempts to manage climate change?

Is it a worrying omen that the Iceland ice-sheets are melting at a far greater rate than was predicted?

Or should we just ignore all the things we can't change and have a festive Christmas whilst humming the tune to Que Sera Sera?
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Re: The elephant in the sky (11 Dec, 2019)

Postby 4765656B » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:26 am

In terms of net cooling/particulates effect, not sure, but this article I read in relation to CO2 answers (roughly) the effect of volcanic CO2 vs man made:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/06/06/how-much-co2-does-a-single-volcano-emit/#7a0aaae45cbf

0.645 billion tons of CO2 per year – compared to humanity’s 29 billion tons per year
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Re: The elephant in the sky (11 Dec, 2019)

Postby Necrotic Kingdom » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:58 am

aardvark_admin wrote:Have events such as the Mt St Helen's and Pinatubo erruptions been net warming or net cooling events? How many of these type of events would it take to overwhelm our own attempts to manage climate change??
You need to distinguish between two very different things, the short term carbon cycle and the long term carbon cycle. Good introduction in this online high school textbook:
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/High_School_Earth_Science/The_Carbon_Cycle
I can supply more in-depth articles if you are genuinely interested, or is this one of those "only kidding" blogs where you later claim you were only trying to provoke discussion and didn't actually believe what you were writing?
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Re: The elephant in the sky (11 Dec, 2019)

Postby Necrotic Kingdom » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:09 am

4765656B wrote:https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/06/06/how-much-co2-does-a-single-volcano-emit/#7a0aaae45cbf
0.645 billion tons of CO2 per year – compared to humanity’s 29 billion tons per year

Good article, another quote from it for those who don't want to turn off their adblockers
It would take three Mount St. Helens and one Mount Pinatubo eruption every day to equal the amount that humanity is presently emitting.
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Re: The elephant in the sky (11 Dec, 2019)

Postby Kiwiiano » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:20 am

The Aussie bushfires are bad, undoubtedly, but their carbon release is not fossil. It’s already part of the natural cycle, not imposed on top of it. It could be argued that the avgas burnt by the firefighting aircraft is a greater threat.

Another apparent problem is that some fires are burning forests not well adapted to regular fires, that will struggle to regrow (especially in the Amazon, Borneo, and part of Australia) reducing their future ability to absorb and sequester carbon. Ditto for peat and permafrost fires in the Arctic.
Last edited by Kiwiiano on Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The elephant in the sky (11 Dec, 2019)

Postby phill » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:24 am

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... or-humans/
https://skepticalscience.com/volcanoes- ... arming.htm
for those with ad blockers

bushfires are a natural event, part of the Aussie ecosystem. Even before man arrived and started developing the landscape, bushfires were a regular occurrence

jury is still out on that one
it is based on early estimates on when man arrived and when the continent changed ( they thought there was a 20-40 k year gap between the two .. now its about the same time ) so it may possibly have changed by the kuri hunting method of burn and eat

despite our best efforts, mother nature will exercise her far more powerful hand and disrupt the climate beyond repair

if we have dragged the planet near to a tipping point its quite possible the last mile will be done by something out of our control
the scale of "our best efforts " to avoid the situation .. is at this point in practice almost zero

Is it a worrying omen that the Iceland ice-sheets are melting at a far greater rate than was predicted

it was always a very likely scenario .. they just didnt have enough proof to ad it to the reports ( the deniers have great media traction for anything even marginally speculative )
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )

i might live and eat in a sewer .. but hey look how many of these shiny things i have got
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Re: The elephant in the sky (11 Dec, 2019)

Postby Malcolm » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:46 am

When the Iceland volcano erupted a couple of years ago it was reported it lead to a decrease in carbon emissions as the emissions from all of the cancelled flights around Europe was much greater than the emissions from the volcano itself. Another unexpected flow on from it was when the ash landed on the ocean it fertilsed a massive plankton growth which lead to more carbon being absorbed, for a short while at least.
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Re: The elephant in the sky (11 Dec, 2019)

Postby graymond » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:56 am

However did the Earth evolve with all the volcanic activity that it started with.
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Re: The elephant in the sky (11 Dec, 2019)

Postby hagfish » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:59 am

There was never any argument where the resulting answer was "ok, let's just burn all the coal". But we never got off the sauce. Several 'tipping points' and feedback loops have now been crossed/activated (melting permafrost, drying of rainforests etc), so we can expect CO2 levels to romp away. Cognitive impairment starts kicking in at around 600ppm. By 2000ppm we're struggling. Oh well. We can't say we weren't warned.
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Re: The elephant in the sky (11 Dec, 2019)

Postby Necrotic Kingdom » Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:31 pm

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LDWdH9YlfJY CLIMATE CHANGE: Why we are heading for extinction and what to do about it
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