Friday, May 11, 2007

Massive Carbon Dioxide Burps Came From Ocean At End Of Last Ice Age

A University of Colorado at Boulder-led research team tracing the origin of a large carbon dioxide increase in Earth's atmosphere at the end of the last ice age has detected two ancient "burps" that originated from the deepest parts of the oceans.

The new study indicated carbon that had built up in the oceans over millennia was released in two big pulses, one about 18,000 years ago and one 13,000 years ago

"This is some of the clearest evidence yet that the enormous carbon release into the atmosphere during the last deglaciation was triggered by abrupt changes in deep ocean circulation,"

There are proposals to "solve" the problem of increasing amounts of greenhouse gases by storing them in the ocean or underground. Of course, they will eventually come out, perhaps in large quantities at one time. Eg., the earth gets hit more than rarely by asteroids of various sizes. I would think that an asteroid which was not big enough to harm the earth as a whole, might be enough to free a large quantity of stored gases, causing catastrophe.

This sudy indicates another mechanism that has already caused the sudden release of gas that was stored in the oceans by natural processes.

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