11 August, 2005

The "real" Big One

About 55 million years ago, after a long period of slowly warming global temperatures, a major jolt in the global temperature occurred over the period of a few thousand years. Why? Methane hydrates in the ocean warmed, releasing their trapped methane, which rose to the atmosphere, becoming a greenhouse gas, resulting in warmer temperatures and more released methane. Many species, in the ocean and on land became extinct; those that remained became dwarfs of their ancestors. (Earth's residents at the previous super-massive extinction event which might have been caused by released methane weren't so lucky.)

Why am I telling you this? Because methane is now leaking from the melting Siberian no-longer-a-permafrost. Not as much as when the methane hydrates melted, but then, we're still releasing greenhouse gases of our own volition, enough to cover the difference. Oil is $66/barrel tonight and rising fast. If only this could have happened 30 years ago, it might have been in time.


Ah, you beat me too it. I never believe in giving up. We should burn it. Seriously.  

Posted by Saheli

The methane, not the bog!

Well, you know, there's always the possibility that deep-ocean warming could lead to giant fart-bubbles of methane rising up again. Jesus, looks like I'm not going to live to be 250 after all. 

Posted by saurabh

I saw this on the BBC yesterday and 1) felt queasy and 2) immediately assumed that no U.S. news station would cover this as a truly major story.

Am I right or did I do wrong by not giving them a chance? 

Posted by Saurav

Here  is the google news cluster for the story. Some of the top media outlets on the story are from: Taipei, Sydney, UK, UK, Moscow, UK, China. The US outlets are mostly blogs. :( 

Posted by Dan


(this has been your gratuitous Wayne's World reference for the day) 

Posted by Saurav

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