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Where on Earth will we store all that captured CO2? Try the U.S. east coast

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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basalt-outcropCarbon capture and storage—sucking the CO2 from power plant or industrial smokestack emissions—has been cited by everyone from the Bush administration to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a key technology in any effort to combat climate change. That’s because the world—particularly China, India and the U.S.—burns a lot of coal.

Deep saline aquifers or nearly empty oil wells are a few of the possibilities for where to put carbon dioxide, but what might be even better is a volcanic rock known as basalt. That’s because the rock both stores CO2 and, over a relatively short period of years, forms carbonate minerals with it—in other words, limestone.

Already, several pilot projects to inject CO2 into basalt and see how successfully it stores the greenhouse gas are under way, including off the coast of Oregon and beneath Iceland. In fact, the Iceland project has already begun to inject trace amounts of CO2 dissolved in water to form carbonic acid, which speeds the reaction with the volcanic rock, according to physicist Klaus Lackner of Columbia University. "They want to understand the plumbing," he told me this past November. "Drill back there 20 years from now, you shouldn’t find any CO2 because it’s all carbonate."

Now new research from Lackner’s colleagues at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory led by geophysicist David Goldberg, shows that vast deposits of basalt lie off the coast of Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina. Even better, the risk of leakage from such storage is low since the overlying ocean forms a second barrier of protection for the injected greenhouse gas. Along these lines, the Sleipner natural gas project in the North Sea has successfully stored more than 10 million metric tons of CO2 for more than a decade. Just one of the formations identified in Monday’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Goldberg et al. off the coast of New Jersey could hold as much as 1 billion metric tons of CO2. Of course, the nations of the world emit more than 30 billion metric tons of CO2 per year.

Ultimately, the key will be determining that the CO2 can be safely stored for the long-term. Already, a proposed coal-fired power plant proposed in Linden, N.J. includes plans to pump captured CO2 emissions into an offshore sediment, albeit not a basalt one.

If CO2 emissions end up being captured at power plants, factories and other sources, the U.S. coasts in the East and Pacific Northwest might be well-placed to serve as repositories based on Goldberg’s research—in lieu of the atmosphere, where the gas is currently wreaking havoc with the global climate. "The Siberian basalt traps, the Deccan flats in India," Lackner added, "there are enormous amounts of basalt [globally]."

Image: Basalt in Nova Scotia, Canada. Courtesy Paul Olsen / Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory





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  1. 1. lakota2012 12:57 pm 01/7/2010

    natedog: "so like it or not, we only have one option…"
    —————–

    Not so…..although I do agree with all the green technology, needed energy conservation and more efficiency, and a smart-grid for the 21st century, newer nuclear technology must be added to the mix if we are to replace all these nasty coal-fired energy plants, and lower our GHG emissions.

    Here’s some interesting IFR Q&A:
    http://skirsch.com/politics/globalwarming/ifrQandA.htm

    Link to this
  2. 2. lakota2012 1:17 pm 01/7/2010

    natedog: "there already is a huge shortfall of U-235…"
    ———————–

    As sethdayal pointed out previously, how about thorium?

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes

    Link to this
  3. 3. lakota2012 1:51 pm 01/7/2010

    sethdayal, how utterly ironic that Weinberg, the father of the thorium reactor, was forced out of atomic energy program in 1973, "the most pivotal year in energy history" — the year of the first Arab OIL embargo — "setting in motion the petroleum-fueled conflicts that roil the world to this day!

    Thanks for the link:

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes

    Link to this
  4. 4. pv0612 2:05 pm 01/7/2010

    It’s better to make it mandatory that every industry which is flaring CO2, should convert it as methanol and resuse it.

    Link to this
  5. 5. IanGun 3:18 pm 01/7/2010

    "Just one of the formations identified in Monday’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Goldberg et al. off the coast of New Jersey could hold as much as 1 billion metric tons of CO2. Of course, the nations of the world emit more than 30 billion metric tons of CO2 per year."

    I think this quote is what people who are excited about carbon sequestration should focus on. The discovered site could only hold 1/30th of a single year’s (current) emissions. I am highly skeptical that there is enough suitable storage capacity underground to safely hold CO2 in an ECONOMICAL way.

    That is the key factor here, the reason we use carbon based fuels is as much their inexpensive nature, if you start some elaborate process of capturing, refining, transporting and the injecting CO2 it seems that cost advantage would evaporate and you would be better off using renewables. This is why CCS is just smoke and mirrors for the most part and obstructionism on the part of the fossil fuel industry.

    Link to this
  6. 6. lakota2012 4:00 pm 01/7/2010

    Yep, trying to "hide" the enormous quantities of CO2 that the world produces each and every year is simply ludicrous. At least the idea of growing OIL-rich algae from the CO2 to produce a byproduct of biofuel makes better sense, but just phasing-out fossil fuel use is much better. The newer generation nuclear reactors could be retrofitted in place of the coal-fired heaters, and the GHG emissions would drop to zero.

    Link to this
  7. 7. Dr. Strangelove 2:12 am 01/8/2010

    Biofuel is not a good idea. It would compete with food and it also leads to more CO2 as youre using plants, which absorb CO2, as fuel. Lets just eat plants. CO2 sequestration is wrongheaded. I say the solution is simple but not easy:
    1.Stop population growth worldwide.
    2.Conserve energy. Use energy efficient devices.
    3.Ban fossil fuel power plants. Use nuclear, hydropower, geothermal, solar, wind.
    4.Ban internal combustion engine cars. Replace with electric cars.
    5.Stop forest destruction and plant trees.

    Thats it! Btw, I dont believe AGW but I think it would be good to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

    Link to this
  8. 8. Sisko 9:59 am 01/8/2010

    Dr Strange and others in this movement once again miss several really key points.
    1. The real key problem is the rate of growth of the human population on earth
    2. When looked at over the longer term, ocean levels at currently very near their all time LOW LEVELs! The ocean levels will rise regardless of human actions and therefore is is essential than humanity be ready to adjust to a different environment with higher ocean levels.
    To pretend that we can keep the earth static and preserve our favorate shoreline or iceflow over any long term is simply stupid.

    Link to this
  9. 9. Sisko 10:08 am 01/8/2010

    lakota2012–You are an example of many of those who do not seem to like to be questioned regarding your positions and then group people into your silly groups you do not agree.

    I have not stated that global warming is not happening. I no not ignore the science, I have simply looked at the longer term data. This data points out that the worlds ocean levels are currently near all time low levels (when looked at over the last 500 M years, and not the last 150 years as you seem to perfer. This would seem to indicate to any reasonable person than ocen levels MUST rise significantly in the future, and humanity would be simply be wasting resources to attempt to stop this long term situation. Additionally, humanity has an outstanding record of adjusting to changes that happen to our environment. It is not the end of the world coming!

    Link to this
  10. 10. lakota2012 11:56 am 01/8/2010

    doc, I agree with all your points except the biofuels, since not all biofuels are food crops. Obviously, corn subsidies have been wrong, for both biofuel and food additives like corn syrup.

    Do you eat switchgrass or algae? My point about OIL-rich algae being fed the CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants, which would produce the byproduct of biofuel, certainly would contain unnecessary GHG emissions much better than CO2 sequestration underground. This should be required of all coal-fired plants until they can be retrofitted with newer generation IFR or LFTR nuclear means, that either use waste products of the current nuclear reactors or thorium instead of uranium.

    How do you suggest we curb our planet’s population growth?

    We currently have 6.8 billion people on Earth, with a huge explosion in growth after WWII peaking at 2.2% in 1963, and almost cut in half currently. Even so, estimates of 8 billion by 2020 and possibly doubling again before the end of the century is not good news. There are many projections of the decline in world agricultural capability, and obviously the carrying capacity of the planet, of which there are several reasons including the looming world water crisis. Another is the agricultural soil depletion through inorganic fertilizers, and the intrusion of salt water in lower-lying areas due to the rise in sea level. There is bound to be major changes during this century, and it just might be the reduction in carrying capacity that finally stunts our population growth on Earth.

    Link to this
  11. 11. Sisko 1:06 pm 01/8/2010

    Please look up what is called the "Exxon Sea Level curve". It is the most respected data I have found showing what our ocean levels have been over the last 500 million years. What this data shows is that we currently are at, or near to; the lowest ocean levels ever over that period.

    Given this as a fact…..isn’t it reasonable to think that, regardless of human activity; ocean levels will undoubtedly raise in the future??? Isn’t the idea of maintaining the current ocean levels very similar to a child building a moat around their sand castle at the beach, and thinking it will protect it from the high tide???

    The world is warming……the world will change…….humanities best attribute is it’s ability to adapt. Accept and embrace the changes and worry more about real problems like controlling the number of people on the planet. That is a real problem we should do something about.

    CO2 levels are not that big of a real concern in my opinion. Climate change will force people to move over a 10 to 50 year timeframe….so what??? Climate change will adjust the productivity of various farmlands, some becoming more productive, while others become less so……so what?? On the whole, a warmer planet is simply different and not worse. Climate alarmists stupidly say that "millions or even billions will be killed due to climate change"…….how is that going to happen exactly????

    Link to this
  12. 12. lakota2012 1:23 pm 01/8/2010

    sisko: "human population growth is increasing at a rate similar to that of a virus and cannot be sustained…"
    ——————

    Not true, since human population growth reached its peak in 1963 at 2.2% growth per year, and the current human growth rate has almost been cut in half from the peak to 1.14% in 2000.

    Since neither of us will be around at the end of this century, it is foolish, but I’d still make a wager that the carrying capacity of Earth will slow the growth rate even further during the second half of this century. You seem to have the affinity to DENY quite a bit of scientific predictions which even points to a Chinese shortage of both food and water this century, putting more demands on worldwide supplies.

    Your hysterics about the "end of the Earth" and the "sky is falling," only make you look like more of a shrill partisan propagandist, especially when you wrongly accuse others of living in a 150-year bubble. Although, I did say that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have increased 30% in the past 150 years, it certainly doesn’t mean that we should not take into account the other 4.5 billion years of a changing Earth. Your ludicrous statement of destroying carbon sinks simply because we can and it’s a cheap source of energy, certainly will not help plant growth with more carbon dioxide since de-foresting places like the Amazon, New Guinea and Madagascar cannot be equaled.

    Link to this
  13. 13. Sisko 2:06 pm 01/8/2010

    lakota2012 – If you are going to insult people, please try to be fair and accurate. I made no statements about destroying heat sinks or even anything similar. I am not a republican, Christian, or even classified as a conservative. Please try to read and respond to my comment immediately adjacent to yours.

    Link to this
  14. 14. Quinn the Eskimo 1:07 am 01/9/2010

    Two questions:

    1. Has carbon capture worked, anywhere?

    2. Has sequestration happened, successfully anywhere?

    Thot not.

    Link to this
  15. 15. lakota2012 11:21 am 01/9/2010

    Sisko:
    Please look up what is called the "Exxon Sea Level curve".
    ——————-

    Sorry, but since I proved your population "virus" growth was very inaccurate, especially since growth has almost halved since the peak in 1963, there is no reason to get nasty when somebody can prove your statements completely ludicrous.

    ExxonMobil, the kings of the Manufactured Doubt industry, would be the very last source I would ever use for any scientific analysis or research data, since they have funded way too many conservative stink tanks and their propaganda!

    Link to this
  16. 16. lakota2012 1:13 pm 01/9/2010

    Sisko:
    "This data points out that the worlds ocean levels are currently near all time low levels (when looked at over the last 500 M years, and not the last 150 years as you seem to perfer. This would seem to indicate to any reasonable person than ocen levels MUST rise significantly in the future"
    ——————–

    Ridiculous, since sea levels are lowest during glacial periods, like the one that ended 18,000 years ago, and the Earth has experienced a post-glacial sea level rise ever since. We’re currently in the Holocene inter-glacial period, where sea level has increased steadily between 18,000 years ago to about 6,000 years ago, and much slower during the past 6,000 years, but nonetheless still rising albeit quicker since 1993.

    The time of lowest sea level is more or less equivalent to the last glacial maximum approximately 22,000 years ago, and has risen approximately 130 meters since then.

    Link to this
  17. 17. pokerplyer 4:04 pm 01/9/2010

    lakota– The curve referenced by Sisko seems to support the comment. Your comment chooses to only look at very short term data vs. looking at the last 500 M years of data

    Link to this
  18. 18. pokerplyer 4:06 pm 01/9/2010

    lakota–did you look at the data sisko referenced??? It does show the worlds oceans are at near to all time low levels. It shows that sea levels have been as much as 500 meters higher

    Link to this
  19. 19. pokerplyer 4:14 pm 01/9/2010

    woops….typo 200m not 500m. It does seem to show that sea levels on average over the last 500 million years have been 100 meters higher than they are now

    Link to this
  20. 20. pokerplyer 6:09 pm 01/9/2010

    In looking up the referenced curve, the Exxon curve and data from a completely different source (Hallam curve) seem to mirror almost the exact same curves of ocean level over the last 500 million years. When I looked up the curves on google it appears the data is accepted as accurate.

    Isn’t that pretty important information to consider? the planets history over 500 million years vs any shorter timespan? If you find something recent that disputes the curves please let me know. I am not comitted to any position, but that seems critical.

    Link to this
  21. 21. jtdwyer 7:12 am 01/10/2010

    A couple of miscellaneous observations:

    1. Even biofuels developed from non-edible crops would be economically competing with edible crops for arable land. I believe it was Indonesia that was suffering high prices and food shortages after committing to palm oil for biofuel manufacture.

    2. I agree that the long term data is most informative, but if recent ocean levels are extremely low, it begs the question: what condition or process is causing this? Without understanding this it is impossible to infer whether it will rise or fall in the short term. The only model I’m aware of presumes that it rises and falls as a function of the amount locked up in ice. Since this is not a period of glaciation, what could be responsible for producing currently low ocean levels??

    3. I agree that the primary factor in human contribution to CO2 levels is population: that will be rectified in the long term, one way or another. Keep in mind that statistical correlations do not directly infer causal relationships: just because atmospheric CO2 levels vary in conjunction with global temperatures does not prove that one actually causes the other in the global (not laboratory) environment. Variations in both could very likely be caused by yet another factor, perhaps not even yet identified… Statistics would be so useful if results did not require human interpretation.

    Link to this
  22. 22. pokerplyer 12:29 pm 01/10/2010

    The information seems to suggest that the total melting of the ice caps would account for something like a varition in ocean levels of 10 meters. They suggest the balance is due to the changes in the sea floor itself over time.

    I just wonder if it is foolish to expect humans to alter the longer term trend. Other than forcing people to change where they live over say a 50 to 100 year basis…..why is a warmer planet necessarily bad? I’ll agree it will be different and that the changes will force humans to adjust, but given the longer term data……thinking we can keep the current conditions seems impossible

    Link to this
  23. 23. pokerplyer 12:30 pm 01/10/2010

    sorry…another typo. Ice cap melt would effect 100 meters not 10

    Link to this
  24. 24. lakota2012 5:30 pm 01/10/2010

    jtdwyer:
    "Even biofuels developed from non-edible crops would be economically competing with edible crops for arable land."
    ———————

    Try to ‘think’ outside the box for once, and forget everything you’ve heard from the usual propagandists getting paid to push more and more finite fossil fuels.

    How about OIL-rich algae grown in salt water tanks beside a coal-fired electricity plant?

    Link to this
  25. 25. lakota2012 5:34 pm 01/10/2010

    Here’s a short 8 minute video showcasing the extreme glacial melt at 19,000 feet ASL on the north face of Mt. Everest.

    On Thinner Ice: Melting Glaciers on the Roof of the World

    http://www.asiasociety.org/onthinnerice

    Link to this
  26. 26. pokerplyer 7:07 pm 01/10/2010

    If change to the environment is inevitable, then it is wasteful to implement costly policies in a vain attempt to think we can counteract long term trends. Feeling bad about individuals harmed by the trend is natural, does not change the long term trend.

    Link to this
  27. 27. jtdwyer 7:59 pm 01/10/2010

    So, if fossil fuels are the carbon fixed by photosynthesis over billions of years which, as I understand, also produced all of the atmospheric oxygen, wouldn’t the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels (reoxidation of carbon) result in a corresponding depletion of atmospheric oxygen? I haven’t heard of any concerns about running out of oxygen. Just a dumb question…

    Link to this
  28. 28. Sisko 10:29 am 01/11/2010

    The issue of global warming seems like one that many people are very opinionated about and become unwilling to discuss based on facts.

    It appears that Lakota argues the position that the world is getting warmer and that human action can prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, Lakota will only discuss facts or data that are consistant with the position he already supports, and not the truth

    Link to this
  29. 29. lakota2012 5:50 pm 01/11/2010

    pokerplyer:
    "Isn’t that pretty important information to consider? the planets history over 500 million years vs any shorter timespan? If you find something recent that disputes the curves please let me know. I am not comitted to any position, but that seems critical."
    ——————

    Unfortunately, you will need much more knowledge about geology and sequence stratigraphy to understand changes in sea level over the Earth’ long history, since the configuration of the continents and seafloor have changed due to plate tectonics. This affects global sea level by determining the depths of the ocean basins and how glacial-interglacial cycles distribute ice across the Earth.

    For instance, while the Mediterranean was forming during the past 100 million years, the average ocean level was generally 200 meters above current levels. However, the largest known example of marine flooding was when the Atlantic breached the Strait of Gibraltar at the end of the Messinian Salinity Crisis about 5.2 million years ago. This restored Mediterranean sea levels at the sudden end of the period when that basin had dried up, apparently due to geologic forces in the area of the Strait.

    Over most of geologic time, long-term sea level has been higher than today. Only at the Permian-Triassic boundary about 250 million years ago was long-term sea level lower than today. Long term changes in sea level are the result of changes in the oceanic crust, with a downward trend expected to continue in the very long term.

    During the glacial/interglacial cycles over the past few million years, sea level has varied by somewhat more than a hundred meters. This is primarily due to the growth and decay of ice sheets (mostly in the northern hemisphere) with water evaporated from the sea.

    This is why I said that sea level was lower 22,000 years ago during the last glacial maximum by about 130 meters, and since coming out of that glacial period about 18,000 years ago, sea level rose quite rapidly until about 6,000 years ago when the Holocene Climatic Optimum ended. Since then, it has risen, albeit much slower for the past 6,000 years. Since 1993, till the present, sea level rise has almost doubled to 3.2 mm/year from last century’s 1.8 mm/year.

    Study your geology of plate tectonics and sequence stratigraphy to understand changes in sea level over the Earth’ long history, if you desire to understand the past 500 million years of sea level changes.

    Link to this
  30. 30. lakota2012 6:05 pm 01/11/2010

    Sisko:
    "The issue of global warming seems like one that many people are very opinionated about and become unwilling to discuss based on facts."
    ——————-

    I agree, since you surely resemble that fact.

    Going back 500 million years for a sea level discussion like you did, is completely ridiculous without taking the geology of plate tectonics and sequence stratigraphy into account.

    The fact still remains that you refuse to understand that sea level was 130 meters lower 22,000 years ago during the last glacial maximum, due to the large amount of sea water that had evaporated and been deposited as snow and ice, mostly in the Laurentide ice sheet. The majority of this had melted by about 8,000 years ago.

    Your habit of stuffing other people’s mouths with your words is beyond ludicrous. Quote me like I do you, or I will just accept it as another one of your needs to just make it up as you go along since you don’t need any "stinkin’ facts."

    Link to this
  31. 31. lakota2012 6:18 pm 01/11/2010

    pokerplyer:
    "If change to the environment is inevitable, then it is wasteful to implement costly policies in a vain attempt to think we can counteract long term trends."
    ———————

    You’re probably correct as the world has been dragging their feet on this subject for decades now, and we’re no closer to cutting greenhouse gas emissions today after Copenhagen, than we were 30 years ago, so we might as well just plan for a warming planet and rising seas in the future.

    No matter what you ‘think,’ it’s been mankind’s burning of fossil fuels that has increased our atmospheric carbon dioxide by 36% since 1832, tipping the natural balance created by a variety of natural sources. In 2009, the CO2 global average concentration in Earth’s atmosphere was about 0.0387% by volume, or 387 parts per million by volume. This is 103 ppmv (36%) above the 1832 ice core levels of 284 ppmv. Despite its relatively small concentration overall in the atmosphere, CO2 is an important component of Earth’s atmosphere because it absorbs and emits infrared radiation at wavelengths of 4.26 µm (asymmetric stretching vibrational mode) and 14.99 µm (bending vibrational mode), thereby playing a role in the greenhouse effect.

    Link to this
  32. 32. jtdwyer 8:45 am 01/12/2010

    lakota2012 – Algae may offer the ability to produce biofuel without economically competing with food production resources. However, while not following this situation closely, I expect that much of the biofuel enthusiasm comes from farmers who understandably see benefit in improving the economics of agricultural production.

    Link to this
  33. 33. lakota2012 9:34 am 01/12/2010

    jtdwyer:
    ——–

    Of course the nonsense of subsidizing farmers for so long, many years before any biofuels were made, is utterly ridiculous, and led to so many food additives like corn syrup that has added to the obesity of America. I certainly agree that using valuable agricultural land to grow biofuels while subsidizing those corporate farmers is a practice that should have been stopped long ago, but the congresscritters did not.

    On the other hand, using areas of poor soil to grow valuable sources of biofuels like switchgrass, which gives more than one harvest a year with minimal water is an intelligent use of land, just like growing OIL-rich algae in salt water tanks adjacent to coal-fired energy plants for the CO2.

    We have to be much smarter in the future and amend our very energy inefficient ways while using technology to our benefit, and using the same old arguments without offering any solutions to our energy problems, does not help anyone.

    Link to this
  34. 34. Sisko 10:38 am 01/12/2010

    Lakota- You state: Long term changes in sea level are the result of changes in the oceanic crust, with a downward trend expected to continue in the very long term.– Can you reference ANY data to support this statement about a downward trend continuing, since it is in conflict to any published studies I am aware exsist. Isn’t it a fact both sea floor changes and ice cap changes have both effected sea level….and we do not have good data to determine which had the greater effect in a specific period?

    You also never responded to how people are going to starve due to long term climate change.

    Link to this
  35. 35. lakota2012 1:58 pm 01/12/2010

    Sisko:
    "Isn’t it a fact both sea floor changes and ice cap changes have both effected sea level…."
    —————-

    Of course, that was the point I was trying to get across to you, where much of the sea level change was due to movement of the Earth’s crust, which is fractured into 13 major and approximately 20 total lithospheric plates. It was the movement of these lithospheric plates creating supercontinents like Pangaea 300 million years ago when sea level was low, and rose rapidly to maxima during Ordovician and Cretaceous times, when the continents were dispersed. This is because the age of the oceanic lithosphere provides a major control on the depth of the ocean basins, and therefore on global sea level. Oceanic crust is continuously being created at mid-ocean ridges. At these ridges, magma rises into the upper mantle and crust, as the plates diverge. As this happens, it conductively cools and shrinks. This cooling and shrinking increases the thickness and density of the oceanic lithosphere, and the result is the general lowering in elevation of the seafloor away from mid-ocean ridges, thus a downward trend expected to continue in the very long term.

    I see you expect references from others that go against your beliefs, but fail to reference your "since it is in conflict to any published studies I am aware exsist," statement.

    Link to this
  36. 36. lakota2012 2:16 pm 01/12/2010

    Sisko:
    "You also never responded to how people are going to starve due to long term climate change. "
    ————–

    Sure I did, since the general consensus is both a water and food shortage for the 2 billion people relying upon the Himalayan glaciers that are disappearing. You just said they will move and adapt, but scientists disagree with you.

    Where are those 2 billion people going to move?

    Disappearing Himalayan glaciers are also causing the thinning of river systems in China. Western China is already experiencing extreme-velocity desertification, in part due to land-use mis-steps and in part to broader climate phenomena; the depletion of its river systems could be catastrophic. The world’s two most populous nations face drinking-water and irrigation scarcity from glacial melt, threatening the stability of the global food supply.

    India’s Gangotri Glacier, one of the largest Himalayan glaciers and a major source of fresh water for the Ganges River, is receding at extremely accelerated rates, more than three times the historic average over the last 6 years.

    Dr. Vandana Shiva says the glacier “looks like a war zone, as more and more of the glacier retreats”, leaving behind the scarred mountain terrain underneath. Shiva says the disappearance of the Gangotri is a story of human devastation and the very real ongoing emergence of water-based conflict and economic hardship.

    http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/516/index.html

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  37. 37. Sisko 2:19 pm 01/12/2010

    Lakota–You appear to be one of the AGW zealots that likes to quote science, but then gets angry and hurls insults when someone mentions scientific facts that do not seem to fit your predetermined conclusions. So in conclusion:
    1 .Yes, the world’s oceans have been over 200 meters higher in the past and today they are at near to the all time low historical levels and will, in all likelihood; rise in the future regardless of human actions. There is no scientific information suggesting that ocean levels should fall dramatically from today’s levels.

    2. There is no supporting data for your statements that global warming will lead to millions or more starving. Global rainfall will not be lower in the future due to rising oceans. Farm productivity will change, but humanity can adjust.

    Link to this
  38. 38. Sisko 2:20 pm 01/12/2010

    and my only belief is to determine the truth based upon logic and facts not emotion

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  39. 39. lakota2012 4:10 pm 01/13/2010

    Sisko, thanks for proving my point that you can only parrot the same exact rhetoric on a daily basis, and continue asking the same exact questions when the answer you’re given doesn’t fit your narrow and emotional pre-conceived ideology!

    No matter how many times I explain to you that sea level was 130 meters LOWER than today before the Holocene during the last glacial maximum, and that the current inter-glacial has caused the frozen water to melt raising sea level, you continue to spew the same idiotic notion that we are at the historical LOW in relation to sea level.

    I truly didn’t think you would understand any lithospheric geology proving the general lowering in elevation of the seafloor away from mid-ocean ridges, thus a downward trend expected to continue in the very long term; but you certainly couldn’t provide any proof of your "conflict to any published studies I am aware exsist."

    Your juvenile attacks have gotten very boring, and you have failed to produce even one citation proving your religious DENIALISM — only repetitious ideology through emotional propaganda I’ve come to expect from the manufactured doubt industry. The "sky is falling," but only on you!

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  40. 40. Sisko 10:38 am 01/14/2010

    Lakota

    One thing that is certain is that you are a zealot and a jerk who wrongly tries to categorize people to fit your preconceived notions.

    You wrote:" you continue to spew the same idiotic notion that we are at the historical LOW in relation to sea level".

    My response: the Hallam curve (not the data from Exxon that your prejudice does not allow you to accept) absolutely shows that ocean levels are near (not at) their all time low levels and that they were 70 meters higher less than 10 million years ago. Ocean levels have fluctuated by over 400 meters over the last 500 million years due to both changes in the sea floor and ice cap changes. Blaming the current rising of sea levels solely on rising CO2 levels is not proven by any means.

    You wrote: I truly didn’t think you would understand any lithospheric geology proving the general lowering in elevation of the sea floor away from mid-ocean ridges, thus a downward trend expected to continue in the very long term

    My response: If you had actually read the papers and not just the google headlines regarding the decrease in the total rate of lithosphere production, you would have found that there is no corollary to the depth of the ocean levels overall. There is absolutely NO DATA showing that the sea floors overall are expected to be lower over the long term.

    You wrote: the general consensus is both a water and food shortage for the 2 billion people relying upon the Himalayan glaciers that are disappearing. You just said they will move and adapt, but scientists disagree with you.

    My response- I agreed that the climate will change, simply not solely due to increased carbon in the atmosphere. I stated that humanity will adapt and that climate change is inevitable. The changes in climate will not happen in months, but over decades/centuries. As the environment changes people will need to adjust. Overall planet wide rainfall will not decrease and food will be produced in different areas. Sorry if someone’s favorite glazier slowly melted…boo hoo. Move somewhere else. You have many years to adjust.

    You wrote: you have failed to produce one citation proving your religious DENIALISM

    My response: I cited highly accepted curves showing 500 million years of data on the levels of the sea floor. (as opposed to some quote by someone as you referenced with no substance to support the conclusion) Since I personally do not think any religion is worthwhile…..your comment is not only 100% wrong, but is prejudicial and shows your utter stupidity.

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  41. 41. PhilJourdan 12:50 pm 01/14/2010

    Sisko,
    Do you have a link to the study on ocean levels you reference? I did a quick scan back through the posts and did not see it. I have some questions, but they may be answered in reading the study. Thanks

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  42. 42. lakota2012 1:27 pm 01/14/2010

    Sisko:
    "Lakota–You appear to be one of the AGW zealots…then gets angry and hurls insults…"

    "One thing that is certain is that you are a zealot and a jerk"

    "…..your comment is not only 100% wrong, but is prejudicial and shows your utter stupidity."
    ————————–

    Thanks for proving my point yet again with your ad hominem attacks, labels and misconceptions about others’ feelings as well as any preconceived ideas that can possibly fit in your world divorced from reality.

    Still……no citations in your rant……just your OPINION.

    Give it a rest!

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  43. 43. bertwindon 4:53 am 01/22/2010

    Why is that ? Are you saying the "greenhouse effect" is ‘Baloney’ ? – what a happy little world you must enjoy, with your high-tech blinkers to keep out the sights of dissappearing forest, ice-sheets etc. etc.
    What are your credentials to site something as "bad science" ?
    Or are we just supposed to think "well if this bloke who we haven’t a clue about, says so, and offers no explanation – stupid or otherwise- then it must be so"
    What sort of "science" is a comment like that !?

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  44. 44. bertwindon 5:09 am 01/22/2010

    Why is it that nowhere has anyone described – for slow people like myself – any means to collect this CO2 and transport it to the "storage receptacle" ??
    There used to be things called "trees". These were part of what some may remember as "The living world" – or "biosphere". We are thought to be a part of it ourselves, allthough in many cases it has yet to be proven. Anyway, these "Tree" things "grew" out of the ground – believe it or not – I’m serious about this ! – they grew by absorbing CO2 from the air !. This was split by Sunlight on their "leaves" – (green, flattish, flappy things, usually) and re-combined into into carbohydrates with which the "tree", thing, somehow built itself !
    The Oxygen from the C O2 was released into the atmosphere.
    It was a very useful thing, the Tree. You could build houses and furniture with the material from its bulk – known as "wood" – and it even burned very pleasantly in the cold weather. This, sadly was the tree’s undoing, and they were all slaughtered mercilessly to cook, and keep warm.
    So now, when the oil, or weather, runs-out/goes too crazy, we can all sit arounmd a nice electric fire run by a nice clean heap of "fissioning Uranium". Drink our cider and eat out iodine pills and vote. Utopia has arrived !

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  45. 45. bertwindon 5:14 am 01/22/2010

    And for those who like to feel that things are "green and eco", we can make despoil hundreds – no Thousands ! – of square miles of countryside with "Windfarms" with a bit of the output from these stations. Utopia is so close ! (Much better than "Arm-gheddon" – I saw the trailer.)

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  46. 46. eco-steve 6:02 pm 01/25/2010

    Now I’m no expert in geochemistry, but there is a big mistake in this article. Adding CO2 to basalt will never convert it into limestone!
    I suspect that the author somehow got confused, meaning to say CO2 and dolomite….but I doubt if there is much dolomite on the US continental shelves either…
    Come on Scientific American… your explanations please!

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  47. 47. bertwindon 6:06 am 01/27/2010

    Nice point. I wondered about it, but "laymen" tend to belive such statements. I think that’s Serious.

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  48. 48. bertwindon 6:18 am 01/27/2010

    Sorry to but in, it’s not millions of year time-scales that concern global warming researchers, it is decades and hundreds. And on that time scale, and in that scale the various 22, 11 and 60 ? year oscillations, are, I believe, masking what would otherwise be an even bigger warming than that which is being observed. In these timescales ocean floor mevel changes must be a total irrelevance, and quite obviously the brainchild of Exxon’s brain-dead business "acumen"

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  49. 49. bertwindon 6:22 am 01/27/2010

    "CO2 gases" ?? – what sort of science is that ?. CO2 is a simple molecule. A gas at liveable temperatures and pressures. One Carbon, two Oxygens. It absorbs long-wave infra red.
    No-one "blames" it for that. It’s just a physical fact. It can never change.

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  50. 50. bertwindon 6:34 am 01/27/2010

    Sorry if I’m a bit slow, but can you explain how "ending fossil fuel emissions" generates cash, or energy, with which to do things ?

    Link to this

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