The climate change dimwits did get one thing right. The dinosaurs were killed off by rapid and extreme climate change and global warming – with the blasted asteroid hit in the Gulf of Mexico and basically roasted anything over the size of a mouse.
Now that’s global warming and climate change. The Pink Flamingo must ask a very serious question, here. Do you see anything about dinosaur flatulence causing the mass extinction of the dinosaurs – here?
“...Scientists have previously argued about whether the extinction was caused by the asteroid or by volcanic activity in the Deccan Traps in India, where there were a series of super volcanic eruptions that lasted approximately 1.5 million years. These eruptions spewed 1,100,000 km3 of basalt lava across the Deccan Traps, which would have been enough to fill the Black Sea twice, and were thought to have caused a cooling of the atmosphere and acid rain on a global scale.
In the new study, scientists analysed the work of palaeontologists, geochemists, climate modellers, geophysicists and sedimentologists who have been collecting evidence about the KT extinction over the last 20 years. Geological records show that the event that triggered the extinction destroyed marine and land ecosystems rapidly, according to the researchers, who conclude that the Chicxulub asteroid impact is the only plausible explanation for this…”
One of the reasons The Pink Flamingo advocates more than a working knowledge of science is for times like these. I’ve seen some really dumb idiotic scientific theories, but we’re being treated to the dumbest, stupidest, and most idiotic of all times.
No, these were viable theories who met their fate at the hand hand of the killer asteroid. They are about real science, not dino flatulence.
This should get the Flying Fickle of Fate Award.
David Wilkinson of Liverpool John Moores University has suggested that dinosaurs contributed to a Jurassic style greenhouse effect. He also thinks their flatulence is one of the reasons for their demise.
“...It’s also wrong to suggest the study blames dinosaur flatulence for their extinction, Holtz said. He noted that the sauropods started showing up – and getting gassy – around 200 million years ago and didn’t die off until 65 million years ago….”
Lord have mercy!
Wilkinson’s theory is based on real science done on a real paper by real scientists. You read the arguments and make a few rational decisions, which is much more than our gasbag did.
“…Now for the Paleocene, it is unlikely that changes in ice sheets were very relevant (there weren’t any to speak of). But changes in vegetation, ozone, methane and aerosols (of various sorts) would certainly be expected. Estimates of the ESS taken from the Pliocene, or from the changes over the whole Cenozoic imply that the ESS is likely to be larger than the Charney sensitivity since vegetation, ozone and methane feedbacks are all amplifying. I’m on an upcoming paper that suggests a value about 50% bigger, while Jim Hansen has suggested a value about twice as big as Charney. That would give you an expected range of temperature increases of 2-5ºC (our estimate) or 3-6ºC (Hansen) (note that uncertainty bands are increasing here but the ranges are starting to overlap with the observations). ALl of this assumes that there are no huge non-linearities in climate sensitivity in radically different climates – something we aren’t at all sure about either.
But let’s go back to the first key assumption – that CO2 forcing is the only direct impact of the PETM event. The source of all this carbon has to satisfy two key constraints – it must be from a very depleted biogenic source and it needs to be relatively accessible. The leading candidate for this is methane hydrate – a kind of methane ice that is found in cold conditions and under pressure on continental margins – often capping large deposits of methane gas itself. Our information about such deposits in the Paleocene is sketchy to say the least, but there are plenty of ideas as to why a large outgassing of these deposits might have occurred (tectonic uplift in the proto-Indian ocean, volcanic activity in the North Atlantic, switches in deep ocean temperature due to the closure of key gateways into the Arctic etc.).
Putting aside the issue of the trigger though, we have the fascinating question of what happens to the methane that would be released in such a scenario. The standard assumption (used in the Zeebe et al paper) is that the methane would oxidise (to CO2) relatively quickly and so you don’t need to worry about the details. But work that Drew Shindell and I did a few years ago suggested that this might not quite be true. We found that atmospheric chemistry feedbacks in such a circumstance could increase the impact of methane releases by a factor of 4 or so. While this isn’t enough to sustain a high methane concentration for tens of thousands of years following an initial pulse, it might be enough to enhance the peak radiative forcing if the methane was being released continuously over a few thousand years. The increase in the case of a 3000 GtC pulse would be on the order of a couple of W/m2 – for as long as the methane was being released. That would be a significant boost to the CO2-only forcing given above – and enough (at least for relatively short parts of the PETM) to bring the temperature and forcing estimates into line.
Of course, much of this is speculative given the difficulty in working out what actually happened 55 million years ago. The press response to the Zeebe et al paper was, however, very predictable.
The problems probably started with the title of the paper “Carbon dioxide forcing alone insufficient to explain Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum warming” which on it’s own might have been unproblematic. However, it was paired with a press release from Rice University that was titled “Global warming: Our best guess is likely wrong”, containing the statement from Jerry Dickens that “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models”….”
Wilkinson, apparently, blames dino flatulence, (much like Hitler’s flatulence) on their demise. Wilkinson is not a paleontologist. He’s an idiot. But – that doesn’t stop the science of climate change, or the fact that the conservative world has a real distaste for real science. If you don’t comprehend geological science and evolution, how are you going to fend off idiocy like this? Then again, if you are a liberal, you believe in climate change so much that you will believe any stupidity.
“...They used a mathematical model to determine how much gas these plant-eating giants would have eaten. They extended data on methane production by modern mammals, based on size, up into the reaches of the sauropods.
In their calculations the researchers used middle-of-the-road numbers: 10 sauropods, each weighing 20,000 pounds (9,071 kilograms), could have roamed 1 square kilometer of lush Mesozoic habitats. “We’ve taken a middle-ground value,” Wilkinson said. “We tried to be reasonably conservative.”
They found that these 10 sauropods would have contributed 7.6 tons (6.9 tonnes) of methane every year. Expanding this number to cover the amount of land estimated to be hospitable habitat for these animals (about half the land on Earth at the time), the researchers end up with more than 550 million tons (500 million tonnes) of methane produced every year.
“I was expecting a number like that produced by cows, so the size of the number really surprised me,” Wilkinson said. “It’s way, way, way ahead of the estimated methane production by modern livestock.” (Cows produce 55 to 110 million tons (50 to 100 million tonnes) of methane each year, he estimated.)…”
Republicans, at times, will mangle science to dispute climate change, and make even a greater mess of things.
“…The most extreme change in Earth surface conditions during the Cenozoic Era began just after the temporal boundary between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs around 55.0 million years ago. This event, the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, alternatively “Eocene thermal maximum 1″ (ETM1), and formerly known as the “Initial Eocene” or “Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum”, (IETM/LPTM)), was associated with rapid (in geological terms) global warming, profound changes in ecosystems, and major perturbations in the carbon cycle.
Global temperatures rose by about 6 °C (11 °F) over a period of approximately 20,000 years. That is a 0.0003 °C (.00055 °F) increase per year. Many benthic foraminifera and terrestrial mammals became extinct, but numerous modern mammalian orders emerged. The event is linked to a prominent negative excursion in carbon stable isotope (δ13C) records from across the globe, and dissolution of carbonate deposited on all ocean basins. The latter observations strongly suggest that a massive input of 13C-depleted carbon entered the hydrosphere or atmosphere at the start of the PETM. Recently, geoscientists have begun to investigate the PETM to better understand the fate and transport of increasing greenhouse-gas emissions over millennial time scales….”