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Laughing Gas Is Major Threat To Ozone Layer

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the damn-you-street-racers-damn-you dept.

Earth 306

Hugh Pickens writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that according to new research, nitrous oxide, the colorless, sweet-smelling gas with a long history as a medical and dental anesthetic is the next big threat to Earth's protective ozone layer. Its role in destroying ozone has long been recognized, as well as its role as a heat-trapping greenhouse gas but the new study puts nitrous oxide's ability to deplete ozone into numbers comparable to those used for other ozone-depleting gases covered by the 1987 Montreal Protocol. The researchers note that the health of the ozone layer has been improving since the adoption of the protocol and that nitrous oxide looms large today as an artificial destroyer of the ozone layer, in part because the emissions of other harmful chemicals have been so sharply reduced." (Continues.)"Globally, Earth's ozone layer has thinned by 5 to 6 percent since 1980, before CFCs and their ilk came into wide use, according to Akkihebbal Ravishankara, who led the study. He and his colleagues note that 6 percent may appear to be a small number, but it still can lead to significant effects on organisms at Earth's surface. The researchers did not make any policy recommendations in light of their finding. 'It is not for us to gauge how much risk there is,' says Ravishankara. In any event, Ravishankara says, at the moment researchers could not say with confidence 'how much nitrous oxide comes from where.'"

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306 comments

April Fools (2, Funny)

BryanL (93656) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253081)

Did April 1st come early this year?

Ozone depletion... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253105)

Turns out it *is* a laughing matter.

Re:Ozone depletion... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253135)

Mod Parent Funny! Oh my god, please mod the parent funny! Okay, once you are done modding the parent funny, you can mod me offtopic.

Re:Ozone depletion... (1)

Donkey_Hotey (1433053) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253201)

No joke?

Re:Ozone depletion... (4, Funny)

TriZz (941893) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253383)

It's ok, it balances out since laughter is the best medicine!

(pointing at the sky) (3, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253581)

Ha-Ha!

Re:Ozone depletion... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253803)

Only Americans use it nowadays, it has not been used nowhere in Europe for ages to my knowledge.
What about the rest of the planet?

Re:Ozone depletion... (4, Interesting)

Bake (2609) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254025)

European here,

I've had a couple of minor procedures requiring anaesthesia for the past 8 years, last one this spring.

I have resistive trypanophobia, a fancy term for a fairly extreme phobia towards needles and restraint (if I know there's a needle heading my way to inject me with something my heart starts racing and my body goes into "fight or flight" mode), which happens to be rather inconvenient when you're about to get a needle stuck in your hand to administer anaesthesia.

So in order to prevent me from entering this basic survival mode my anaesthesiologists have given me a nice and healthy dose of laughing gas which leaves me without a care in the world.

The fact that it seemed fairly routine for the anaesthesiologist to give me laughing gas seemed to indicate that they do use it fairly often for situations like my own.

Re:Ozone depletion... (3, Funny)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254265)

I have never used nor been on any type of "mind altering" drug in my life (yes, that includes alcohol, recreational drugs, etc) with the exception of once when a dentist used N2O on me to extract four teeth in preparation for braces..

What a *horrible* experience. I fell into a type of paranoid dilution and was absolutely sure they were trying to kill me. I remember it vividly, even though it was 25 years ago. It did do its main job, however... what little pain there was, was kind of "removed" and happening to someone else, in my mind.

Anyway, based on that experience, I fail to understand why ANYONE would call it "laughing gas". To me, "hell gas" or "paranoid gas" would be a better likening. Seems that my experience, while not common, is not all that unusual, either. One thing is for sure, I will never let them use that stuff on me again. I would much rather have the risks carried with being knocked out completely (and that is what was later done when I had my wisdom teeth extracted).

Re:Ozone depletion... (4, Insightful)

tirefire (724526) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254583)

No mind-altering drugs? Ever? Really?

You've never drunk coffee? You've never taken a prescription or OTC sleep aid? Never taken an antihistamine allergy medication?

What are you, amish?

Re:Ozone depletion... (1)

PReDiToR (687141) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254521)

Maternity wards in the UK use it.

Sorry for the short response.

Re:Ozone depletion... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29254061)

Turns out it *is* a laughing matter.

At least we will all die laughing......

helicopters, omg! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29254251)

oh shit, hear those helicopters...? oh shit...hahahahahahaha!!!1

Re:Ozone depletion... (4, Insightful)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254439)

So if I've read the summary correctly (RTFA? What?), laughing gas isn't becoming an increasing problem, it's just becoming an increasing proportion of the problem because we're reducing the use of other harmful gases. In fact, the situation is actually improving. We've drastically reduced our use of CFCs in recent years, so the 5-6% thinning of the ozone layer is actually being reversed.

Therefore the suggestion that this is actually a problem is laughable.

The scientists concluded their statement saying (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253107)

This is no laughing matter.

This is no laughing matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253129)

I'm super serial, guys.

only one solution (2, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253139)

we must attach bottles of nitrous oxide to our automobiles and burn it up ASAP!

Re:only one solution (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253165)

Are you sure you want your car to suddenly start laughing when driving on a highway at 100 mph in the rush hour?

Re:only one solution (1)

Donkey_Hotey (1433053) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253343)

100 mph? During rush hour? Where?

Re:only one solution (1)

kill-1 (36256) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253373)

On a German autobahn?

Re:only one solution (1)

Donkey_Hotey (1433053) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253415)

I need to get a job in Germany.

Re:only one solution (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253521)

You don't need a job for that. My German grandpa was happily driving 120 mph after he had retired.

Re:only one solution (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253583)

"You don't need a job for that. My German grandpa was happily driving 120 mph after he had retired." - [Emphasis Added]

I guess you don't need a very active imagination to imagine how "is" got conjugated to "was" ;-)

Re:only one solution (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254307)

I think that gets tied to the old joke.....

    My grandfather died peacefully in his sleep. Much unlike the passengers in his car who were screaming the whole time. :)

    But if grandpa needs NOS to do 120, he needed a better car. It must be a bit late to review his other options. I was watching crash test videos of the "G-Whiz" electric car. I don't think there's a better suicide machine on the road. Even a 40mph front end impact is sure to be fatal.

Re:only one solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253585)

Much to the dismay of the rest of his awake and screaming family, right before they died?

Re:only one solution (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253817)

Grrr... Modding overrated as opposed to funny is super annoying...

Re:only one solution (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253855)

No, all of us have survived. People in that part of the world just live like that. :-)

Re:only one solution (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253649)

Don't worry, it's perfectly safe: German made cars are immune to the laughter-inducing effects of nitrous oxide.

Re:only one solution (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253853)

Of course. Because it comes from Germany, and you know the Germans make good stuff.

Just like that ShamWow thing.

Re:only one solution (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29254425)

Don't worry, it's perfectly safe: German made cars are immune to the laughter-inducing effects of nitrous oxide.

More to the point, German drivers are more immune than Americans to having serious accidents. Getting a driver's license in Germany is, I believe far more serious business that over here. As I understand it, there is required rigorous (and expensive) training than we require.

I've even heard it said that, when there's an accident on the autobahn, they don't send ambulances -- they send the meat wagon. High speed accidents are rare, but devastating when they do occur.

Haha (1)

Bangmaker (1420175) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253143)

This is almost funny. You know, the gas and all. Whatever. Anyway, what other gasses do we have to do the same job(s)? I would think this might not go to well with the people who use it, given how common and likely (comparatively) inexpensive it is.

Re:Haha (5, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253191)

I am quite sure that the use in the medical and racing field are of no threat to the ozone layer. Those are intentionally created sources. The major threat is from general pollution that creates N2O. It is interesting to note, also, that according to Wikipedia, 70% of N2O is created naturally in soil and in/from the ocean.

Re:Haha (5, Insightful)

Donkey_Hotey (1433053) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253257)

Of course, the political response will be to pass a bill that places it on a restricted-chemicals list. Industry has a blanket exemption, but no personal/recreational use allowed...

Re:Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253687)

fuck dont do this... please ......... I am addicted to that stuff dont ban it.....

funny my captch is memories

Re:Haha (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253917)

If I had mod points I'd fix your Score to Insightful.

RIP my 2-stroke friends.

and natural CO2 production is 20x mans (2, Funny)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253693)

but it damn well won't stop the "consensus" train.

The only good thing about N2O is that its not something you can tax the population over, at least directly. Can't wait to see who the N2O bogeymen are going to be.

Re:and natural CO2 production is 20x mans (3, Funny)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253937)

Natural absorption is also 20x man's production

bad argument (-1, Offtopic)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253981)

Let's take your numbers at face value.

Natural CO2 production has to be balanced because otherwise we'd already have a nearly pure CO2 atmosphere. It's balanced because it's mostly based on a cycle of decay and photosynthesis in plants and animals.

Now, you say that humans add an extra 5% of that total production each year. That comes from burning oil and gas. Unlike the natural production, which is balanced by photosynthesis, human production is all excess CO2, since there is no photosynthesis or absorption to balance it.

Adding 5% of the total natural CO2 production each year as excess to the atmosphere is a huge deal. It's roughly like turning off all photosynthesis on earth several weeks each year.

So, thanks, your "20x" argument shows actually how severe human CO2 production actually is.

Re:bad argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29254593)

So, thanks, your "20x" argument shows actually how severe human CO2 production actually is.

So, thanks yourself, asshole. "Bad argument" is the perfect title for your mindless posting. If you are too fucking stupid to understand that the discussion here is about nitrous oxide (N2O) and not about carbon dioxide (CO2), then maybe you should just pop your head back up your asshole and spend the rest of your life in abject ignorance.

All the things you talked about -- plants, animals, etc. -- apply to CO2, not N2O. Guess what -- it's not enough to read TFS and/or TFA, assuming you did either -- you have to read with comprehension.

Re:and natural CO2 production is 20x mans (4, Interesting)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254495)

and natural CO2 production is 20x mans ... but it damn well won't stop the "consensus" train. The only good thing about N2O is that its not something you can tax the population over, at least directly. Can't wait to see who the N2O bogeymen are going to be.

I got tired of repeating myself on Slashdot, so I wrote an article [dumbscientist.com] showing that abrupt climate change is a matter of serious concern. There seem to be an endless number of internet ninjas promoting claims like this, despite the fact that CO2 hasn't risen above 300ppm in the last 650,000 years. But then we come along and the concentration skyrockets [www.ipcc.ch] to 380ppm in a matter of decades, which is 35x faster [wordpress.com] than any increase in the last 650,000 years.

As other posters have remarked, natural CO2 production and absorption aren't relevant to the current CO2 problem because they balance each other. Our emissions and volcanoes are the only sources of CO2 that aren't balanced, and humans emit 100x more CO2 [newscientist.com] than volcanoes.

Re:Haha (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253785)

The CARB and EPA both regulate NOx so that cars only emit a few thousandths of a gram per mile. Their main concern is not the ozone layer, but the effects of ground-level pollutants on human lungs.

Re:NOx is not N2O (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29254273)

NOx == nitric oxide - this stuff, when hit with sunlight, causes smog - or low level ozone.

N2O == Nitrous oxide - the stuff we are talking about

Re:Haha (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253859)

--that according to Wikipedia, 70% of N2O is created naturally in soil and in/from the ocean.--

Damn that's a funny story.

Re:Haha (1)

Linzer (753270) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253233)

Anyway, what other gasses do we have to do the same job(s)?

We can always replace gaseous anesthetics with injectable ones, like propofol. Heard of that one?

Re:Haha (4, Interesting)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253279)

propofol is already one of the most widely used anesthetics (if i remember correctly, its actually a hyponotic, but thats beside the point). Using a mixture of gases and injection reduces the dosage required for any individual drug drastically, meaning less of a reaction to any given drug. It spreads it around so to speak.

I'm not sure how much medical usage really can effect the ozone layer, because it is contained by the anesthesia machine and metabolized by the body, meaning it isnt released into the atmosphere. I don't know a lot about its other uses though. I'm just familiar with it in the operating room.

Re:Haha (2, Interesting)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253477)

One of the things about nitrous oxide as a anesthetic is that it's barley metabolized by the body at all. So like 99% of the nitrous you breath in, you end up breathing back out (which is why you gotta use it in a well ventilated room... can't have your operating staff getting woosy can we?). On the other hand, nitrous is almost totally consumed when used in racing. But, it's also used as a propellant in aerosols, as well as an gas to displace oxygen/air in sealed food containers. Those will just let the gas go nillywilly when used.

Re:Haha (2, Informative)

treat (84622) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253533)

So like 99% of the nitrous you breath in, you end up breathing back out

You waste your $5 that way. Take small breaths, mix it with some air so you can hold it it in longer. SIT DOWN before you fall down. Wrap the balloon end around your finger so you don't slip and lose any. Don't breathe out until you have to.

Re:Haha (2, Informative)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253549)

I'm not sure how much medical usage really can effect the ozone layer, because it is contained by the anesthesia machine and metabolized by the body, meaning it isnt released into the atmosphere

Nope, it appears it's barely metabolized [wikipedia.org]

Re:Haha (4, Interesting)

treat (84622) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253561)

propofol is already one of the most widely used anesthetics (if i remember correctly, its actually a hyponotic, but thats beside the point). Using a mixture of gases and injection reduces the dosage required for any individual drug drastically, meaning less of a reaction to any given drug. It spreads it around so to speak.

Not why. In surgery, some drugs are "background" drugs to keep you always anesthesized. Some are stronger and shorter-acting, and are meant to keep you actually half-dead, requiring closer monitoring. But the background drugs ensure that you're still on something when they back off of the serious ones.

Nitrous and Propofol are in the 'background' drug category. Longer acting and less strong.

Re:Haha (2, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254203)

Actually both nitrous and Propofol are valued because they are fast acting and clear very quickly once stopped. Nitrous is generally used pre-mixed 50:50 with oxygen making it quite safe for use in a dentists or doctor's office. Propofol requires much closer monitoring and has higher potential for adverse reactions.

Re:Haha (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254639)

Not sure how your measuring 50:50 but most Dentists typically administer at 5L/Min O2 and 2L/Min N2O. occasionally kick it up to 4L/minO2:3L/minN2O for induction then back down to 5:2 for maintenance.

Re:Haha (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253511)

Desflurane, sevoflurane, and isoflurane.

Re:Haha (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254243)

All of which are more difficult to use, have more serious potential side effects, and are more dangerous so require much more involved monitoring. Fine for an OR (where deeper anesthesia is necessary anyway), but not at all acceptable for a dentist's office.

And actually, those are liquids at STP.

Pickups (1)

s4m7 (519684) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253153)

Does this mean racing games will have to use some kind of different pickups for speed boosts?

Research dilemma (3, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253199)

...at the moment researchers could not say with confidence 'how much nitrous oxide comes from where.'

That would probably be because it isn't regulated. It's actually legal to own despite its recreational properties. As an oxidizer it has many industrial uses. And like all oxidizers, yes, when it gets into the upper atmosphere Bad Things Happen(tm). We may need better methods of containing it (it is a gas at room temperature, of course) when used in an industrial setting, but that's about the extent of what we can do to contain the problem -- it's a very basic chemical with a wide range of applications, many of which aren't amiable to being changed to using another agent.

Re:Research dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253299)

"it's a very basic chemical with a wide range of applications, many of which aren't amiable to being changed to using another agent."

I think better comedians could offset some of it'sÂuses.

Re:Research dilemma (1)

treat (84622) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253571)

...at the moment researchers could not say with confidence 'how much nitrous oxide comes from where.'

That would probably be because it isn't regulated.

It's regulated. It's not scheduled or listed.

Re:Research dilemma (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254117)

It's regulated. It's not scheduled or listed.

That would be because the DEA doesn't regulate it, so it's under the auspices of the FDA.

Re:Research dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253771)

I'm pretty sure there was a law made here in New Zealand a couple of years to restrict NO2 usage since the were a heap of bars
that specialised in it.

OTOH we only just started controlling BZP use.

I blame Starbucks. (1)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253223)

After all, where else does a sudden uptick in nitrous oxide emissions come from?

The ricers and rocketry enthusiasts burn it up in their engines. The hippies and dental patients metabolize it. So where else would more nitrous in the environment be coming from except from the relatively recent proliferation of gourmet coffee shops?

Re:I blame Starbucks. (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253287)

McDonald's?

Always one more... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253235)

This article doesn't really matter. Any amount of numbers can be thrown around, quoted, refuted, or postulated. There will always be something that's the "next big threat" to our planet. It will always be our fault no matter what.

Re:Always one more... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253271)

This article doesn't really matter. Any amount of numbers can be thrown around, quoted, refuted, or postulated.

Yeah, like Homer said "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true".

Re:Always one more... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254341)

Homer is amazingly wise. Mmmmmm... doughnuts...

    Unfortunately, cherry picking facts will prove almost anything. Statistical information is a wonderful use of it. I'd cite references, but 98% of all statistics are made up, including this one. :)

sweet smelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253273)

It's never smelled sweet to me. Weird. Never inhaled it through my nose I guess, but still..

The sad, empty lives of liberals (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253297)

Even laughing gas is no fun.

Oblig (2, Funny)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254555)

Why so serious?

To the Global Warming naysayers (-1, Troll)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253345)

To all those who decry Cap and Trade (or a Carbon Tax) and shout out either that

a) Climate Scientists don't know what they are talking about, neither does the UN, NASA, EU... FoxNews knows what it is talking about
b) Even if true we can't do anything anyway.

Here is a case where a threat to the health of people on the planet as a result of pollutants was identified by Scientists who also identified the causes and then the political will was there to fix this global problem.

So seriously, these guys are batting 1.000 on both their predictions and their causes and have demonstrably been right in both.

But with Global Warming they are just shouting "Fire" in a theatre for their own nefarious ends to destroy the American Way of Life(tm)*?

* - "American Way of Life" is a registered trade mark of the Petroleum industry and cannot be used to describe any other action than the driving very large cars.

Re:To the Global Warming naysayers (5, Insightful)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253565)

Any global agenda behind which there is a "political will" is innately corrupt, bullshit, or something that they stand to benefit or gain personally from. Our politicians aren't trying to fix world hunger are they? No? But we care SO MUCH about a prediction that at our current use something which will kill off life on this planet in hundreds of thousands of years?

You can't honestly stand here and believe that the most corrupt people in the world give a shit about the ozone layer or global warming -- before anything "bad" happens as a result of any man-made climate problems (even if they are true -- though largely unproven), they, their children, and children's great great grandchildren will be all dead and gone. All they care about right now is having power and getting wealthy. "Cap and Trade" is not a constructive tax -- it is destructive. We have technologies other than coal and oil to produce energy, but it is far too expensive to implement privately, we NEED a $1 TRILLION bill to kick-start it, but congress isn't willing to toss that one down, but they'll gladly punish us for using the only cheap and available technology that will keep this country running. Why do you think that is? Because they can sit here and tax the US citizens for using oil, and quite dramatically at that, to get lots and lots of money -- but do you honestly think any of that money will come back to us? $2 Trillion in deficit spending already has gone *poof*... the trillions to come trickling out of our GDP from this tax will disappear just as well, and with absolutely no liability to anyone in congress while they kick back and enjoy the gold linings in their pockets.

It's just the next buzz-word in politics: "omgs, it might destroy human life on the earth in a few hundred years in a worst case scenario!!"... As far as self-preservation goes, these politicians ought to be worried more about disrespecting and angering the citizens that give them power, after all, if they continue down this path, it'll be the French Revolution all over again, and I'll bring my guillotine with me.

Re:To the Global Warming naysayers (1, Troll)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254039)

Any global agenda behind which there is a "political will" is innately corrupt, bullshit, or something that they stand to benefit or gain personally from. Our politicians aren't trying to fix world hunger are they? No? But we care SO MUCH about a prediction that at our current use something which will kill off life on this planet in hundreds of thousands of years?

You sir are an idiot, a class A idiot. In an article that talked about the successful resolution to the Ozone problem as a result of joint political will you claim that anything from politics is always wrong.

Politics is about getting the leaders you vote for, and quite clearly I can guess who you'd vote for out of Bush (an idiot) and Obama (not an idiot).

Re:To the Global Warming naysayers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29254303)

Oh dear. Boy are you an idiot. The whole point of Science is that everyone should believe in Science without question.

Where the hell would we be if scientists went around asking questions and challenging orthodoxies?

Re:To the Global Warming naysayers (2, Insightful)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254655)

... But we care SO MUCH about a prediction that at our current use something which will kill off life on this planet in hundreds of thousands of years? ... before anything "bad" happens as a result of any man-made climate problems (even if they are true -- though largely unproven), they, their children, and children's great great grandchildren will be all dead and gone. ...

I got tired of repeating myself on Slashdot, so I wrote an article [dumbscientist.com] showing that abrupt climate change is a matter of serious concern. Climate change is already have negative effects, and they'll get worse over the next century. Hundreds of thousands of years is wishful thinking according to the best scientific evidence available today.

... "Cap and Trade" is not a constructive tax -- it is destructive. We have technologies other than coal and oil to produce energy ...

I've directly addressed [dumbscientist.com] cap and trade, which seems like a very constructive, capitalistic approach that will jumpstart a new industrial revolution. My hope is that the United States invests heavily [dumbscientist.com] in nuclear fission technology, preferably using waste reprocessing and newer designs like pebble bed reactors [wikipedia.org] .

... It's just the next buzz-word in politics: "omgs, it might destroy human life on the earth in a few hundred years in a worst case scenario!!" ...

As I've stressed [dumbscientist.com] , the existence of abrupt climate change is a scientific topic. It's a good idea to ignore [dumbscientist.com] politicians and their ridiculous claims, and focus on the science [www.ipcc.ch] .

Oh no (2, Funny)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253353)

Dear Planet Earth:

I'm really sorry for all those whip-its I did in college.

Re:Oh noes (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253527)

Dear Planet Earth:

I'm really sorry for all those whippets [wikipedia.org] I did in college.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Oh noes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253697)

Um, yeah. Those too. Damn! I mean.... Damn!

Re:Oh no (2, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254429)

    But, those were for scientific purposes. You were observing the expansion of gasses into a flexible container. You observed when a compressed gas is released rapidly, it causes dramatic cooling of the container. You observed the freezing effects will burn your skin. You also observed the anesthetic effects of inhalation of a readily available product when applied in off-label uses.

    If you should apologize for anything, it would be for using your parents money to pay for your tuition and living expenses; to the planet for the trees that were used in the production of your books; and the massive amounts of energy wasted in keeping the universities running. :) This NOS you released is trivial in comparison to the cars, buses, or whatever internal combustion vehicle you may have used to get to school and travel while you were there.

Oh wow... (0, Redundant)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253379)

aaahahahhahhahahahhhahahahaha... HA!

Re:Oh wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29254501)

No more Nitrous Oxide for you.

that sounds like (-1, Flamebait)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253417)

I read "Christian Science Monitor" and was thinking that's about as sensible as the "MIT Fairy Tailes Quarterly"?

Re:that sounds like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253489)

We covered this on the previous Christian Science Monitor article, idiot.

Re:that sounds like (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253727)

Isn't it funny how thoroughly someone can expose their ignorance, with one stupid sentence?

Re:that sounds like (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253963)

Naming a magazine after a superstition should be insightful?

Re:that sounds like (0)

xous (1009057) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254119)

Sorry, but I have a hard time believing anything that is the result of /research/ from something titled "Christian Science".

Christian Science is a religious belief system founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1866 and is practiced by members of the Church of Christ, Scientist. Christian Science asserts that humanity and the universe as a whole are spiritual rather than material in nature and that truth and good are real tangible things, therefore, evil and error are unreal. Christian Scientists believe that only through prayer and fully knowing and understanding God will this be demonstrated.

Borrowed from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Science [wikipedia.org]

In other news.... Christian Scientists discover that atheists a 66.6% more responsible for global warming than Christians. This was meticulously researched by Pastor Mark Mathewson during several hours of prayer and days of fasting.

Re:that sounds like (1)

Big Smirk (692056) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254475)

Since you found the wikipedia article, do a bit more and look at "Christian Science Monitor". Just because the religion sponsors the paper, doesn't mean the papers articles are influence by the religion. I have found at least the political reporting to very very balance. Never thought to get my 'science' from it though.

Mislead much? (5, Informative)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253495)

Hate to break into the hilarity fest, but the post makes a propaganda point and a lame joke by leaving out the core of the report:

Nitrous oxide has a range of natural and human-made sources. The largest man-made source is agriculture, where the gas gets emitted after bacteria in soil break down the nitrogen in chemical fertilizers as well as in manure-based fertilizers. Nitrous oxide also comes from burning fossil fuels and from burning biomass.

Nobody's talking about laughing gas, the anesthetic and geek enhancer. They're talking about artificial and natural shit -- let the new round of hilarity begin.

Re:Mislead much? (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253601)

So, tell me the difference between N2O, the Laughing Gas, and N2O, the nitrous oxide created for instance in internal combustion engines by while burning gas with air at high temperatures.

They are actually exactly the same stuff.

Re:Mislead much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253983)

One kills you when you stick your nose in the tail pipe!

Re:Mislead much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29254357)

The same product, a different magnitude of impact on the environment. There is the difference.

Re:Mislead much? (2, Interesting)

Big Smirk (692056) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254411)

I'm not sure what Perp is refering to... but

N2O, aka laughing gas, is used as an oxidizer on some racing engines (curiously, AFAIK, mostly allowed only by amateur level drag). When it enters a hot combustion chamber, the N separates from the O and the O is then available to support the burning of more fuel. N2O is typically injected as a high pressure liquid - almost immediately turning to gas when it his warm engine parts. This is Nitrous Oxide
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrous_oxide [wikipedia.org]

NOx is a smog forming emission from internal combustion engines (among other sources). High heat, availability of oxygen - perhaps some pressure (from engine compression) cause it to form. NOx emissions were first controlled in the late 60s by managing ignition timing and adding exhaust gas recirculation and/or lowering compression ratio (efficiencies) of engines. This is Nitric Oxide
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitric_oxide [wikipedia.org]

The EPA articles seem to use the terms interchangeably - moving back and forth. Not sure how much I can trust their analysis.

Re:Mislead much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29254435)

We're not talking about NOS or Laughing Gas.

We're talking about naturally-emitted N2O from chemical fertilizers and natural means.

There's no way to really prevent it, whereas your ricer we can just throw in the junkyard.

Whoever gave you a +1 Underrated didn't read a thing you said. Perp is the man with the plan here.

Re:Mislead much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29254481)

The problem with combustion engines is actually what is called NOx, a mixture of different Nitrogen/Oxygen molecules, some of which are toxic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOx

Re:Mislead much? (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254519)

Nitrous Oxide is N2O
Nitrogen Oxide is NOx

Not the same thing.

You raff, You Rose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253661)

A meme becomes the defacto threat to humanity?

There goes the whip its! (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253751)

Better stock up now!

hahaha (0, Troll)

LeonN (1534989) | more than 3 years ago | (#29253759)

Hahahahahahahahahaahahaha we are destroying our ozone layer, hahahahahahahaaha

oxymoron (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253877)

"Christian Science"...an oxymoron if there ever was one.

hippie crack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29253973)

It's interesting that something so dear to so many hippies is destroying something so dear to so many hippies.

Now where did i put that whip-it balloon and Grateful Dead CD ...

Not a problem. No action required. (5, Insightful)

Morty (32057) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254105)

TFA says that the ozone layer is improving anyway. So it appears that NO, while bad for the ozone layer, is not present in sufficient quantities to actually be causing a problem. No action should be required.

Or in different terms, it may be the most significant cause of damage to the ozone layer, but it is not a cause of significant damage to the ozone layer.

New Tag: ONOZWEREALLGONNADIE (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254181)

At this point, we need to start tagging stories with such doom and gloom scenarios as "ONOZWEREALLGONNADIE," (Ticker symbol: ONOZ) or perhaps in this case, "OZONEWEREALLGONNADIE."

I'm beginning to wonder if armageddon science isn't becoming more appealing because it gets the big grants, and we are looking more frequently at doomsday scenarios as a function of marketing.

This is not to belittle the work. This may well be the big one. CFCs were certainly a problem, but I'm just about worn out by all the dire warnings lately. I'm wondering if there's a good paying job in figuring out how to survive all the plagues we keep discovering.

--
Toro

(Who would like his tags to start working again so he can just tag stories instead of typing up a manifesto! ;^) )

Congrats, humanity! (1)

Korey Kaczor (1345661) | more than 3 years ago | (#29254493)

I just want to give a heartfelt congratulations to humanity for being the cosmic equivalent of a giant canister of whipped cream. Excellent job! *claps*

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