Sunday, May 24, 2015


Methane, lots & lots of methane, generated by a nickel loving organism called methanosarcina, may have caused the Permian Extinction, AKA The Great Dying with assistance from the nickel producing volcanic Siberian Traps.

End result.

250,000,000 years later, circa the 21st century, an ongoing 6th extinction is happening before our very eyes  but this time, it's happening 1000 times faster than the original, a notion disquieting to say the least.

In the same way, and for many of the same reasons, many today find it inconceivable that we could possibly be responsible for destroying the integrity of our planet’s ecology. There are psychological barriers to even imagining that what we love so much could be lost — could be destroyed forever. As a result, many of us refuse to contemplate it. Like an audience entertained by a magician, we allow ourselves to be deceived by those with a stake in persuading us to ignore reality.

For example, we continue to use the world’s atmosphere as an open sewer for the daily dumping of more than 90 million tons of gaseous waste. If trends continue, the global temperature will keep rising, triggering “world-altering events,” Kolbert writes. According to a conservative and unchallenged calculation by the climatologist James Hansen, the man-made pollution already in the atmosphere traps as much extra heat energy every 24 hours as would be released by the explosion of 400,000 Hiroshima-class nuclear bombs. The resulting rapid warming of both the atmosphere and the ocean, which Kolbert notes has absorbed about one-third of the carbon dioxide we have produced, is wreaking havoc on earth’s delicately balanced ecosystems. It threatens both the web of living species with which we share the planet and the future viability of civilization. “By disrupting these systems,” Kolbert writes, “we’re putting our own survival in danger.”

To read more, click Something to Consider, a blurb done back in November of 2011 talking about the same thing with phase transitions added in for good measure.

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