[extropy-chat] Global warming news
robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Sat Mar 25 19:53:31 UTC 2006
Interesting Hal. I magnified the charts and if I'm reading them right the
higher CO2 concentrations are in the spring and the lower concentrations are
in the fall. Hawaii is at 20 deg. N latitude, so this would fit with
increases in oceanic plankton in the N hemisphere tracking with increasing
sunlight in the spring & summer which would then draw down the CO2
(producing the lowest CO2 levels in the fall).
I'd love to see graphs for the S. hemisphere -- perhaps Tahiti or Fiji --
they are almost as far south as Hawaii is North. Sydney or Cape Town might
be good alternatives but they are a little further south than Hawaii is
If the plankton in the arctic & antarctic is causing the annual fluctuation
you would expect them to be relatively inverted (with a big caveat for N/S
hemisphere atmosphere mixing) on a seasonal basis.
Other than solar energy energy availability, the limits are micronutrients
(which I've already discussed) and CO2 disolving into the ocean, which tends
to be a function of wave, spray & rainfall action. Other than ships to
distribute the iron & phosphorus over the ocean surface the other thing one
might like is "sprayer" ships to take large volumes of ocean water & spray
it into the atmosphere to increase its surface area and allow greater
quantities of CO2 to be moved from the atmosphere into the oceans (in case
the phytoplankton are carbon source limited). I suppose there may also be a
nitrogen source limit as well but I haven't investigated that.
But *until* one reaches a point where all of the oceans are a thick green
"pea soup" or perhaps a red "tomato soup" you can generally assume that
there is solar energy being wasted just heating the water rather than being
harvested to produce useful biomass. If we were managing the planet
properly we would be worried about an atmosphereic CO2 shortage decreasing
land plant growth rates and excess atmospheric O2 increasing things like
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