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Global Anoxia Ruled Out As Main Culprit In the P-T Extinction

timothy posted about a year ago | from the take-a-deep-breath-and-relax dept.

Earth 158

Garin writes "The late Permian saw the greatest mass extinction event of all-time. The causes for this extinction are hotly debated, but one key piece of the puzzle has recently been revealed: while the deep-water environments were anoxic, shallower waters showed clear signs of being oxygenated. This rules out global anoxia, and strongly suggests that other factors, such as the Siberian Traps vulcanism, must have played a dominant role. From the article: 'Rather than the direct cause of global extinction, anoxia may be more a contributing factor along with numerous other impacts associated with Siberian Traps eruption and other perturbations to the Earth system.' See the full research article (behind a paywall) here."

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Siberian Traps (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281449)

To this day, we're all still very wary of Siberian Traps.

Re:Siberian Traps (0)

noh8rz8 (2716593) | about a year ago | (#44281511)

we all know that it was the meteorite that landed in the yucatan. the kamkuska anti-matter one was in 1910, but obv wasn't big enoght to wipe out all life!

Re:Siberian Traps (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281635)

The meteorite in the Yucatan was at the end of the Cretaceous period, they are referring to a proposed impact over 400 million years earlier due to some discoveries of a potential 300 mile wide impact crater in Antarctica... The Cretaceous extinction even only killed off about 75% of species as compared to 90% being killed off in the extinction that this article is about.

Apparently, the super volcano in this case erupted for nearly a million years, warmed the oceans to 100 degrees F and forced all organic growth (as measured by coal deposits) to the poles. Whether caused by an impact or mantle event, it would be incredibly destructive to any 'society' living on the planet

Re:Siberian Traps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44282001)

The P-T extinction event was about 252 MYO.

Global Anoxia? (1, Troll)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#44285643)

Just eat a sammich, Girl!

Re:Siberian Traps (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44281537)

Racism and LGBTism, all in one succinct post. You must be so proud of yourself.

Re:Siberian Traps (1)

noh8rz8 (2716593) | about a year ago | (#44281857)

i dont get it? "siberian" i suppose but I would argue that it's a nationality or ethnicity rather than a race, and so is more aptly described as xenophobia rather than racism. but the lgbt? idungedit.

Re:Siberian Traps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281909)

but the lgbt? idungedit.

You know, a "trap"... like girlintraining. Or a Thai ladyboy.

Also, don't miss the fact that the poster paranoiacally accusing you of anti-trannyism has ironically caused you to learn a new epithet for this particular type of person. So really, that person is to blame for spreading these terms.

The More You Know!(tm)

Re:Siberian Traps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44282479)

You know, a "trap"... like girlintraining. Or a Thai ladyboy.

Oh that explains the weird angry serial posting, all those hormone injections.

Re:Siberian Traps (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44282905)

Ooookay, maybe I'm just old and haven't kept up on my lingo but I thought "trap" wasn't considered an insult while tranny is? Maybe i heard wrong but the way i was told a "trap' was one that looked so much like a female that you honestly couldn't tell without doing the bit from Crocodile Dundee , which if their goal is to transition logically one would think not being able to tell that they weren't born that sex would be a pretty nice compliment? But since I'm not one and don't know anybody in that community maybe I'm wrong.

As for TFA I thought it was pretty much decided it wasn't ANY one thing but a BUNCH of things over a geologically short period of time that created a "perfect storm" that wiped nearly everything out?

Re:Siberian Traps (1)

noh8rz8 (2716593) | about a year ago | (#44281931)

OK I did some research... i think the best terms are xenophobia and transphobia.

Re:Siberian Traps (2)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about a year ago | (#44281733)

Russian cross dressers can be rather intimidating.

Re:Siberian Traps (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44282761)

Vodka and thigh-highs - what's not to love..?

Anoxia misread (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281451)

I read anoxia as anorexia.

Re:Anoxia misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281469)

Anorexic Siberian Traps? This could get interesting.

Re:Anoxia misread (1)

bidule (173941) | about a year ago | (#44281581)

I read anoxia as anorexia.

ditto!

OTOH, I can how falling for traps would lead to extinction.

Re:Anoxia misread (1)

stillnotelf (1476907) | about a year ago | (#44281611)

I also misread anorexia. Anorexia is, of course, what led to mass extinction...although I guess there's a difference between "no food is available to eat" (starvation/malnutrition) and "I won't eat food" (anorexia).

Re:Anoxia misread (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about a year ago | (#44281701)

So did I. I was thinking "No shit Sherlock" until I went back and re-read the title.

LK

Re:Anoxia misread (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44281719)

I read anoxia as anorexia.

At least you didn't read it as dyslexia.

Re:Anoxia misread (4, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about a year ago | (#44281897)

I read anoxia as anorexia.

90% of all species died... but they were looking very stylish right up to that point...

Re:Anoxia misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44282423)

Lol, I did the same. All those species pushed to extinction by fashion magazines.

Re:Anoxia misread (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#44282203)

I read it as anxiety. Should I worry about that?

WTF?! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about a year ago | (#44281499)

Gorilla glass, what's that?

Re:WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281535)

A monocle for a myopic ape.

Re:WTF?! (0)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#44281941)

Proof that Google's Marketing Department are unmitigated genii, that's what it is!

A Breathtaking Report!! (4, Funny)

NEDHead (1651195) | about a year ago | (#44281525)

or not...

Re:A Breathtaking Report!! (1, Insightful)

jaymzter (452402) | about a year ago | (#44281727)

Well WTH, I have to pass half the terms in the summary through Wikipedia to figure out what the heck they're talking about? This is supposed to be a self-selecting site for smart folk, but being smart in one area doesn't make you knowledgeable in another.

It would probably help if the editors required more than just copypasta from the original article. I don't think I'm being dumb, just acknowledging that I'm ignorant of certain topics.

Re:A Breathtaking Report!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281801)

and yet you spent some time educating yourself... excellent, excellent...

Re:A Breathtaking Report!! (4, Informative)

Garin (26873) | about a year ago | (#44281877)

Well, ok. Though there's not much more that I could have written in that short of a space that can teach the subject.

I linked the Calgary Herald / Postmedia News article because it's an astonishingly well-written bit of science journalism that lays it all out superbly – kudos to Randy Boswell. He didn't put *exactly* the same emphasis on exactly the same things that Proemse (the principal author) would have, but it's minor. That's the "public" piece, and it's full of tons of great information.

I also linked the official research article. Unfortunately it's behind a paywall. However, if that's the kind of thing that really turns your crank you probably already have access to it one way or another (in the worst case: via a physical trip to your local university). If you can't, well, correspondence with an author is a time-honored method for obtaining your own copy.

Re:A Breathtaking Report!! (3, Informative)

Garin (26873) | about a year ago | (#44281903)

Actually, I'll take that back about the emphasis bit. Boswell pretty well nails it right on the head. Now I'm looking through some of his other articles, and they're excellent.

Re:A Breathtaking Report!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44284083)

Yes. That article struck me as 'astonishingly good' for a general publication science article. Unfortunately rare, but thank you for bringing it up.

And I agree - it's hard to come up with a one paragraph, generically interesting and specifically accurate Fine Summary. You did a pretty good job.

And further Kudos to the poster who actually, you know, looked something up and learned something. I thought that was most of the reason this site exists.

Re:A Breathtaking Report!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44285305)

Okay, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the Permian extinction about at the time of the rifting of the Atlantic? I don't the kimberlites -- which represent an extremely rare supervolcanic explosion -- largely align in two great 850-mi-radius rings around the Hudson Bay and the African Karoo, back in the permian? And wasn't the Hudson, at that time, nearly over the New England Plume, where the Atlantic rifted?

And wasn't there a theory, checked out with negative conclusions, by the Smithsonian's chief paleontologist (U of Az, IIRC), that the Siberian traps were related to an asteroid strike on the opposite side of the globe in Patagonia, just as the Deccan traps would have been from Chixclub?

But... isn't there also a huge iridium layer all over southern Pangea? And don't the Pangean Hudson Bay and African Karoo align in shape, size, and structure, with the Pangean Carribean and Scotia Plates, respectively?

So I'm still thinking... asteroid strike, followed by 2 huge De Meijer /Van Westrenen blasts, one triggered by the astroid hitting a collection of georeactors down at the Karoo, and then the other, under the Hudson, triggered by the shock waves. The nuclear contamination of the 2 De Meijer / Van Westrenen blasts would have played havoc with the zircon dating as you approached the blast sites, thus throwing a huge spread into -- for example -- the record of the fungal burst.

Re:A Breathtaking Report!! (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a year ago | (#44282731)

I don't think I'm being dumb, just acknowledging that I'm ignorant of certain topics.

You are doing more than acknowledging said ignorance: you are implying that other people, rather than you, should take some action about this. You are not being dumb, you are being lazy and entitled, which is much worse.

Also, if the summary truly was incomprehensible to you, your level of general knowledge is rather pathetic. Not that that's surprising with that attitude.

Re:A Breathtaking Report!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44283661)

I don't think I'm being dumb, just acknowledging that I'm ignorant of certain topics.

You are doing more than acknowledging said ignorance: you are implying that other people, rather than you, should take some action about this. You are not being dumb, you are being lazy and entitled, which is much worse.

Also, if the summary truly was incomprehensible to you, your level of general knowledge is rather pathetic. Not that that's surprising with that attitude.

Someone forgot their meds this morning.

Re:A Breathtaking Report!! (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44283129)

Well WTH, I have to pass half the terms in the summary through Wikipedia to figure out what the heck they're talking about?

  1. There are not many "terms" to even be "passed" "through" Wikipedia. Which is not a goddamned algorithm.
  2. You didn't know what anoxia means? And "while the deep-water environments were anoxic, shallower waters showed clear signs of being oxygenated. This rules out global anoxia" didn't explain the word by context? Because otherwise you must be complaining about either "volcanism" (pathetic) or "perturbations" (even more pathetic) and you need to spend a fuck of a lot more time reading and less time writing comments with only very short words.

Re:A Breathtaking Report!! (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44282583)

or not...

It turns out that the reports of anoxia in the Permian were actually full of hot air.

The largest *known* extinction event (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281563)

Since we do not know much about extinction events prior to multicellular life, we should not be calling P-T extinction as largest ever. It's just just the largest (so far) in the last ~500 million years.

We are also living though another great extinction which is caused by ourselves, directly. And this extinction is quickly accelerating.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction [wikipedia.org]
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/05/0515_030515_fishdecline.html [nationalgeographic.com]

Who knows. Maybe by the time we are done with this planet, P-T will look like a cakewalk in comparison.

Re:The largest *known* extinction event (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44281595)

Look at the brigth side. Maybe thanks to that, in some millons years could evolve intelligence in this planet at last.

Re:The largest *known* extinction event (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44282945)

Maybe by the time we are done with this planet, P-T will look like a cakewalk in comparison.

Well, our "mass extinction" has already resulted in a global, industrial society so it's well ahead of the P-T extinction already.

Re:The largest *known* extinction event (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44284079)

The return of Twinkies slows the mass extinction of engineers in the USA and may lead to reduction of H-1B's. It would have been worse had pizza be banned in NYC by the mayor as a cause of obesity.

Gasping (1)

numdig (2932431) | about a year ago | (#44281573)

Anoxia, something to teach to our kids so that they at least know what they are going to die from. Once all trapped CO2 will be released, the tropical lungs of the planet devastated, and the ocean saturated in co2 (and acid)... Making us struggling for water and gasping for air, in the name of progress, will be the great achievement of mankind : in just about 3 centuries doing as much damages as one huge volcanic activity.

Re:Gasping (-1, Flamebait)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44281681)

This is why people laugh at Warmists. The Hyperbole is ridiculous. The Earth's climate was warmer before than now as little as 12,000 years ago. Before that it was mostly uninhabitable by humans for 100,000 years except for some equatorial regions because: ice.

Re:Gasping (4, Insightful)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44281699)

And this is why people laugh at Deniers as they have no idea of the science or the problem.

Re:Gasping (0)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44281785)

Look up at the GP and see if it meets your idea of the science or the problem. If it does then you are equally guilty of overselling the issue because it is ridiculous to the absurd.

Anoxia, something to teach to our kids so that they at least know what they are going to die from

Really? 400 PPM and our kids are going to die of anoxia?

Making us struggling for water and gasping for air

Oh please.

Re:Gasping (2)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44281821)

How does "Once all trapped CO2 will be released" [in the future] equate to "400 PPM" which we have already past.

Perhaps your reading skills need a polish.

Re:Gasping (1)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44281825)

and btw, i am not suggesting we will all die of Anoxia but people who say "The Earth's climate was warmer before than now as little as 12,000 years ago" clearly are not following the science and are just spouting denier rubbish.

Re:Gasping (0)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44282137)

Let me get this straight. Are you denying that Earth's climate was warmer than now 12,000 years ago? Do you have some proof?

Re:Gasping (5, Informative)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44282191)

Sure, read Skeptical Science [skepticalscience.com] . Those quoted figures are from one single location and may not reflect what was happening elsewhere. This site is an excellent example of good science and they have extensive responses to the common denier arguments. I would recommend spending some time there.

Also, keep in mind that the issue is what is forcing the increase. The 400PPM is not going away in our lifetime nor our grandchildren's lifetime. This problem will get worse not better. And of course 12,000 years ago the population was a lot smaller. The total world population probably never exceeded 15 million inhabitants before the invention of agriculture [wikipedia.org] so with 7 Billion people alive today the impact of a warmer environment is likely to be higher than it was 12,000 years ago.

Re:Gasping (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44282233)

This problem will get worse not better.

The assumption here is that the current state is a "problem" and that getting warmer than this is "worse". These are two assertions I would dispute. Have you some evidence to support these two claims?

Re:Gasping (1)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44282289)

That is a fair question and the answer is not completely known. But the indications are not great [skepticalscience.com] . I can turn this around, why are you confident that all will be fine?

Re:Gasping (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44282655)

I did not assert that all will be fine. Why do you put that on me when I did not say it? Are you seeking some consensus with me?

I would assert that a return to ice age conditions is not desirable. On this I hope we can agree. In this we can set the outer bound of acceptable conditions on the colder end to -0.8c below 20th century norms because any lower than that and glacial forcings push the average temp down to -8c rather abruptly. That evolution is suboptimal for agriculture and animal husbandry, and my heating bill.

Between 0C and 8C above historical norms I don't have a position either way. I just don't know whether the net result is good or bad. Certainly at +6C vast swaths of terrain in Russia and Canada are opened for agriculture, but is that good? I don't know.

Re:Gasping (1)

Maow (620678) | about a year ago | (#44282855)

Certainly at +6C vast swaths of terrain in Russia and Canada are opened for agriculture, but is that good? I don't know.

Plants need light as least as much as they need warmth.

And vast swaths of terrain in Russia and Canada have very poor light levels during large amounts of the year.

Maybe lettuce and other greens can be grown a 2nd season. Perhaps moss salad will become haute cuisine.

But don't overlook the fact that a lot of the water to irrigate current agriculture comes from snow pack that melts all summer long... So - warmer weather = less snow pack / faster melt might just mean less agricultural productivity. Subterranean aquifers will not capture it all - it'll run off or require a whole lot of dams and new reservoirs.

But the Deniers are too dangerous and short-sighted to laugh at; the very real possibility that things won't magically resolve themselves and serious impacts on humanity can, just maybe, occur.

Re:Gasping (0)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44282909)

But the indications are not great [skepticalscience.com] .

The title of the linked article is "Can animals and plants adapt to global warming?" It is worth noting here that most existing animals and plants already have adapted to the considerable global warming that followed the end of the last glacial period. What is different this time is the widespread habitat destruction of a global human presence.

So my view is that we already know that the answer to the question is a qualified "yes" (some organisms don't have other places to go). The existing plants and animals can for the most part adapt to global warming, if they have some options of long term migration. In that light, I think this particular alleged harm of global warming could be substantially mitigated by creating connected zones of wild areas.

Also, there's no discussion of harm to human society which IMHO should be valued higher than species preservation. Here, I think the argument is far weaker because the usual proposed solutions (radically cutting back on carbon emissions) would cause substantial harm to poor people throughout the world. It also has little support in the developing world which is currently responsible for most greenhouse gas emission increases.

It's also worth noting that we're on track to fail to achieve even the low end of the temperature range increase (2C by 2100) claimed by that link. There has been a consistent bias to overestimate the effects of global warming. I think it has to do with the considerable public spending that can be released if it is considered a significant and urgent danger.

Re:Gasping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44284275)

You're not incorrect. Might not be correct either, but mostly you (and the vast majority of people) miss the point.

You are certainly correct that the current planetary ecology can handle reasonably wide variations in a number of growth parameters and survive. The planet has thrown life a impressive salad of rocks, magma, liquid, solid and gaseous poisons that nature has handled with aplomb and given thousands of field scientists ample excuse to stay outside and not wipe their shoes. All is well and good in terms of the planet.

For mankind, if you give a rat's ass about that miserable apex predator, perhaps not so much. At 7+ billion annoying human beings (that number must give some marketing people prolonged orgasms) we're crammed up at the edge of carrying capacity of the environment. So it's not going to take much more change to get some (billions) of people in significant trouble.

This bothers a lot of tender souls, especially those persons who wonder what happens when large swaths of the equatorial band on the planet become less habitable. You know, that large band where 70% of the planet's human infestation resides. That group of people who might resent being starved and dehydrated to death. Some of those people have heard of the aphorism 'the veneer of civilization is thin, indeed' and wonders what happens when the coating gets scraped off.

Much of the rest of the planet's humans are too busy being politicians or watching Jersey Shore but some folks feel like they need a somewhat larger purpose in their lives, so they worry about these sorts of things.

Re:Gasping (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44283161)

The current state is obviously a problem because we already know it's driving weather which we find inconvenient.

We know that getting warmer than this will be a problem because it leads to more of the same.

Evidence to support these claims? Are you fucking serious? That's all that this science does.

Re:Gasping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44285169)

Let's see... 12000 years ago, was the extinction of the clovis point people, wasn't it? And it coincides, doesn't it, with an iridium layer and ash all over North America? It also coincides with a flash-frozen mammoth in Siberia, doesn't it? It also coincides with great jumbled up masses of bones in Alaska, doesn't it?

So I reckon they probably had global cooling back then, from a serious asteroid strike, possibly against a glaciated mountain in Alaska, and a reflected plasma blast into the North American continent.

Way to go, cherry picking your point 12000 years ago.

Re:Gasping (0, Flamebait)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44282121)

First, when we passed 400 PPM you were not the guy that submitted the news to /. That was me [slashdot.org] . Where were you then, that you could not be bothered?

It's a really big thing, but it isn't the thing you're making it to be. You are trying to twist it to your own purpose. When big things happen charlatans appear on the periphery to reap profits from fear and uncertainty. Is that you? What's your angle?

Re:Gasping (1, Flamebait)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44282199)

No i didn't post it. You did. You are confused about that?

No i am not a charlatan planning to reap profits from fear and uncertainty. Why, are you giving lessons?

Re:Gasping (0)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44282277)

You're trying to paint me as a denier when I'm here in the trenches fighting the good fight - but doing it the right way with science and reason, not rhetoric and emotion, engaging the audience with mutual honest respect. Yes, maybe I'm giving lessons. Do you want to save the planet? It doesn't require being a stupid ass. At least not here. If you want to post context-free propaganda take that shit to CNET where they like it.

Re:Gasping (1)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44282291)

Well sounds like you are jumping at shadows. I am all for focusing on the science. So i take it from this that all your other responses are just trolls. Back under the bridge with you!

Re:Gasping (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44282969)

How does "Once all trapped CO2 will be released" [in the future] equate to "400 PPM" which we have already past.

How can we release all trapped CO2? Most of it is locked in stone - limestone. As I recall, toxicity problems start appearing around 5,000 ppm which is still a bit away, especially if plant life starts hovering up that excess CO2.

Re:Gasping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44283461)

How can we release all trapped CO2?

The GP's narrative has bigger problems than not knowing how to release the CO2. The GP seems to assume if we ever release CO2, it's done as a part of some super villain plot to blow up the world, because well... that's what super villains do.

In reality, we'll probably release the CO2 because some capitalist figured out how to make CO2 profitable. And they'll do it without killing too many people (dead people can't enjoy profits after all)

So to answer your question: we'll release all the CO2 by extracting it, and we'll extract it the same way we extracted coal, oil, and other stuff from the ground throughout history: with capitalism and profit-driven motives

So if we ever figure out how to release all the CO2 in the ground, I wouldn't lament. I'd cheer at the triumph of humanity's ingenuity and science.

Re:Gasping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281839)

It's a bit over the top but not totally unrealistic. There has been a measurable decline in oxygen in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil carbon but it's not declining fast enough to worry about. It would take (tens of?) thousands of years to bring oxygen at sea level down to Tibet levels.

12,000 years ago the orbital forcings may have been higher but I doubt the climate was warmer than now. The great ice sheets of the past glaciation were still retreating and they covered a lot of the northern hemisphere. The was the time of the Younger Dryas [wikipedia.org] where temperatures actually chilled significantly. dfw

Re:Gasping (2)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44281945)

First: you might have logged in for this post and given it your cred, even if it was your first post.

Children asphyxiating at 400 ppm CO2 is completely unrealistic. It is hyperbole. It is absurd. At 40,000 ppm it might become credible, but 40K ppm is not plausible if we cooked off every potential fossil fuel including methane clathrates, every bit of limestone and every bit of granite on the surface of the Earth two miles down. It's not going to happen unless the kid is asthmatic, and then pollen or mold is more likely his issue. Bringing children into it at all is "think of the children" emotional escalation.

If you're going to fight the good fight, bring a real problem. If you don't have a real problem to bring you might reexamine the basis of your religion. Ah, who am I kidding? You will find a way to rationalize your position. You're already excusing people who would describe 400 PPM of CO2 as "asphyxiating children". You'll probably find a way to compare me to Hitler.

Re:Gasping (1)

jbengt (874751) | about a year ago | (#44283755)

Children asphyxiating at 400 ppm CO2 is completely unrealistic. It is hyperbole. It is absurd. At 40,000 ppm it might become credible, but 40K ppm is not plausible if we cooked off every potential fossil fuel

It's actually plausible at around 2,000 to 4,000 ppm CO2, more likely at 5,000 to 10,000 ppm, 30,000 ppm will kill you. (5,000 ppm is OSHA's [osha.gov] 8-hour TWA limit, some people feel symptoms at lower exposures) It's not the lack of oxygen that would be the issue, it's the body's respiratory/metabolic feedback mechanisms which can't cope with that much CO2. And the Earth has had CO2 levels above 5,000 ppm in the distant past, so it's not completely beyond concern.

Re:Gasping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44284675)

I was logged on when I posted but I posted AC to preserve the mod points I'd already spent (and no, I didn't mod you). As I explained anoxia from burning fossil fuels is not an issue any time soon (and probably never). "Struggling for water and gasping for air" as I said is over the top but not totally inaccurate in the poetic sense. Ocean acidification is a real problem. Saying the world was warmer 12,000 years ago than now is just plain wrong. If you had said "120,000 years ago" it might have been about as warm as now back then. dfw

Re:Gasping (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44281863)

Oh, don't worry. Humanity will survive. Unless we kill each other in the attempt to stay dry.

The main reason why this wasn't a big deal about 12,000 years ago is simply that there was plenty of room and very little in terms of population. Moving inland when your coastal area was being flooded wasn't that big a deal (not to mention that the gods were to blame for it and who could argue that people have to move when their gods tell them to?).

It just MIGHT be a bit different today when I really don't feel like sharing my apartment with people who don't wanna live under water.

Re:Gasping (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44281985)

If sea level increased 100 meters, or 1000 meters I still wouldn't have oceanfront property. All of Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, and every glacier could melt, and the shore would still not lap at my door. Apparently I'm confused about where I should build my home. I should pay premium prices for the waterfront properties soon to be eaten by the sea and then demand that the inevitable not happen.

Re:Gasping (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44282141)

Well, some people do care whether other people can survive. The point is simple: People will want to survive. If necessary, by floating on your corpse.

Re:Gasping (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44282213)

At the current rate of sea level rise if you can't walk to safety you should ask somebody to carry you. If you can get two extra meters of elevation you should be good for a human lifespan.

Re:Gasping (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44282445)

Hope you have no problem moving your house accordingly. Or finding someone dumb enough to buy that beach estate.

Re:Gasping (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44282687)

I was not stupid enough to buy a house in south Florida, nor in New Orleans. People have bought swampland for all of the history of real estate, and suffered for it as they ought. If your house is at sea level or below: learn to swim.

Re:Gasping (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44282917)

Well, that's also a position to take, but the problem is that people who built their houses there for whatever dumb reason won't simply go "oh well, I was dumb, here I sink, farewell dear world".

They'll come to YOU and want YOUR home. Whether they get it and kick you out or die trying doesn't really matter much, considering that they have no real option.

And somehow I don't feel like fighting someone who cannot back down.

Re:Gasping (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44283145)

If you can get two extra meters of elevation you should be good for a human lifespan.

The sea has risen nine feet in the last hundred years and is projected to rise nine feet in the next fifty. But ice melt rate is exceeding all propositions. Even if it weren't, though, you'd still be wrong.

Re:Gasping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44284845)

Um... sea level has risen about 9 inches in the last hundred years and is forecast to rise about 3 feet by 2100.

Re:Gasping (1)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#44285519)

Umm no it hasn't.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise [wikipedia.org]

The longest running sea-level measurements are recorded at Amsterdam, in the Netherlands—part of which (about 25%) lies beneath sea level, beginning in 1700.[44] Since 1850, the rise averaged 1.5 mm/year.

Since when does 1.5mm X 163 = 9 feet

Re:Gasping (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44282641)

he Earth's climate was warmer before than now as little as 12,000 years ago.

No, it wasn't. 12,000 years ago was just after the end of the last glacial.

Before that it was mostly uninhabitable by humans for 100,000 years except for some equatorial regions because: ice.

No, it wan't. Glacials certainly don't make "non-equatorial regions" uninhabitable. At the height of the last one, most of the US and more than half of Europe were certainly inhabitable.

Don't care actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44284215)

I don't care actually, I just bought a new car with a big engine.

Why?

Because I don't have children and I don't love your kids or your grand-kids.

And I am laughing and you ignorant deniers, because you're the ones whose kids are going to suffer.

Re:Gasping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281707)

That's real retarded, sir. That's real retarded to do that, sir.

Re:Gasping (1, Informative)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44281787)

Once all the carbon is released, the globe will be roughly where it was during the Eocene. That means: lush vegetation, lots of mammals and primates, forests in the Antarctic and Sahara, far less temperature differences between high and low latitudes, and generally a warmer and wetter climate.

Re:Gasping (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44281885)

That's true. Provided you can move a few continents to where they were back then, else it might be a wee bit different in the outcome.

Re:Gasping (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44281943)

The continents weren't in hugely different positions. Ocean currents have changed somewhat. But on the whole, there is no evidence that Eocene-like CO2 concentrations would result in very different effects now than they did during the Eocene. They would certainly not result in "anoxia".

Re:Gasping (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44281955)

It's rather doubtful indeed. Still, I kinda doubt it will be a pleasant life.

Re:Gasping (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44282029)

For the last few million years, we have had severe glacial periods every 100000 years and brief interglacials. That kind of harsh climate may have forced the evolution of H. sapiens, but by any objective standard, it is "not pleasant". Without AGW, we'd probably be starting another deep glaciation within a couple of thousand years. Human carbon emissions may be putting that off, and I don't see why that's a bad thing.

Re:Gasping (1, Interesting)

KeensMustard (655606) | about a year ago | (#44282459)

Ah - so you have a model that shows that the earths climate will remain amenable to human life, causing neither hardship nor any form of mass migration?

And indeed, that current levels of biodiversity will be maintained - that global warming will not result in the loss of bio-diversity?

You have a model that discounts the 20% hit to global GDP evident in other published works?

Whereabouts might we find your model - I assume it's been published?

Re:Gasping (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44282679)

And indeed, that current levels of biodiversity will be maintained - that global warming will not result in the loss of bio-diversity?

Human involvement has already destroyed a vast portion of Holocene biodiversity even without the global warming, and will continue to do so for quite some while. Even if the biosphere were completely immune to temperature changes, how's this trend supposed to reverse? (We can't clone most of the species we've destroyed.)

Re:Gasping (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#44282833)

I'm peer reviewing it for him right now, only I'm very busy. Remind me again, is it `heat bad, cold good` or is it the other way around.

Re:Gasping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44284927)

On major difference in the Eocene (and until around the the current ice age began) was the Isthmus of Panama had not risen yet and there was a connection between the central Pacific and Atlantic oceans. That had profound effects on the climate. dfw

Re:Gasping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281947)

Something else I've often suspected would happen along with those lush forests is much MUCH bigger insects. It's been pretty conclusively established that the reason pre-historical insects were so much bigger is that there was a higher oxygen pressure, allowing their non-lung breathing systems to support bigger bodies.
Thus; you have large releases of CO2, which warms the planet and causes flora of all sorts to florish. Shortly after that, the increased plant life consumes a lot of CO2 and releases O2 as the waste gas. Result: higher atmospheric pressures overall, and I'm guessing roughly the same O2:CO2 ratio as now.

Up here, we joke that mosquitos in cottage country are big enough to require landing lights and I know that in equatorial areas, they have cockroaches big enough to not only survive a foot, but possibly fight back. Also, I can't stand the more alien, spiky looking centipedes . Imagining us having to co-exist with Paleozoic sized insects is the stuff of nightmares in my book!

Re:Gasping (2)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#44283335)

Comparing the Eocene with modern AGW is like comparing parking your car at the mall with crashing your car into a tree: They both involved trips where the car reduced its speed from 60 to 0 MPH.

Damn Vulcans! (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | about a year ago | (#44281695)

I knew Dr. Spock was the one that killed the dinosaurs, "Captain, these giant bird-lizards are highly illogical and must be disposed of."

Re:Damn Vulcans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44281773)

Quick, ready the red black hole material!

Re:Damn Vulcans! (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#44282225)

Dr. Spock was the one that killed the dinosaurs

Over-zealous potty training can be lethal.

Re:Damn Vulcans! (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#44283021)

Spock dropped out of graduate school to join Starfleet and never completed his Ph.D. Therefore it is illogical to call him Dr.

Re:Damn Vulcans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44283591)

Spock completed his thesis on the Enterprise: Handsome Human Starship Captains and the Aliens who Love them.

He went a long way for his research.

Re:Damn Vulcans! (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about a year ago | (#44284313)

Yes. When he starting reccomending dino parents quit spanking [nospank.net] as a punishment, they were forced to do "timeouts" instead. However, lacking wristwatches, they didn't know to let the kids back up, and they all starved to death.

Planet-wide Hydrogen Sulfide poisening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44283067)

Search Amazon for the book "Hubris Ark" by William Bradford Cushman

This is relatively good news. (4, Insightful)

dr2chase (653338) | about a year ago | (#44283811)

Given that we show every sign of running the CO2-enhancement experiment to completion, it is reassuring to know that this low-probability but extremely-high-cost outcome is that much more unlikely. (To my warmist comrades -- given a choice between losing a toe, a leg, or a life, we know which choice we would most want to avoid, but that does not mean the remaining choices are good. Anoxia is among the worst of the outcomes, far worse than the middle of the US becoming uninhabitable or the seas rising 100 feet. And to you denier bozos -- greenhouse science is cut-and-dried stuff, with only the detailed outcomes unclear, but it's also clear that between natural human greed and your foolish efforts, we will almost certainly burn all the fossil fuels we can until something truly alarming occurs. Perhaps we have overestimated the effects of the current CO2 levels -- but that's okay, we're just going to keep on burning it till we see an effect, and a big and unambiguous one.)

Re:This is relatively good news. (1, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#44285281)

we're just going to keep on burning it till we see an effect, and a big and unambiguous one.

No, we're seeing effects already. We're going to keep burning it until the devil is knocking at the door, then the skeptics will be the ones screaming the loudest about how they're new solution is the best.

Read the headline too fast ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44284465)

Thought it said "Global Anorexia Ruled Out ..." and thought, "The late Permian has fashion models?"

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