NEW Old Climate News

A wide array of regional arctic volcanoes created an explosion of energy (heat) in the arctic, from 1997 through 2008, with aftershocks continuing.

Yes, of course they knew this in 1998 and 1999. They didn’t talk about it until now, because they had to devise a way to incorporate several million tons of TNT equivalent into the “anthropogenic mix.” That’s right, it had to fit with “man made global warming.” Evidently, it took 20 years to work out their strategy, because those arctic “heat bombs” are just now being introduced to the public. This is tongue in cheek, but only partly. It is frighteningly plausible.

But even that isn’t the problem. I watched a few shows about the “catastrophic release of methane from ice bubbles in the arctic” recently. For laughs. It was presented as truth.  Claims of “whole truth and nothing but truth” were not offered.

You see, this “catastrophe” of methane is natural. normal, predictable, and well known. Bacteria produce methane when it’s too cold or if there is a conspicuous lack of oxygen. Normally, CO2 is the product of bacteria, but if it gets really cold, they use four hydrogen molecules instead of the two oxygen molecules to expel their waste as methane, CH4. It’s a balancing act. Nature uses CH4 and lots of water to produce CO2 + H2. The H2 mixes with oxygen or ozone in the air to form water.  Overall, methane lasts a total of nine or 10 years in the atmosphere.

The chemistry is important.  First, whether carbon dioxide or methane, it is 100% naturally produced.  Second, the amount of carbon is the same whether it mixes directly with oxygen or hydrogen. When warm and flowing, CO2. When cold and frozen, CH4. 

Methane always turns into CO2, because CO2 is the “normal” product.  When it can’t “burn” yet, the methane allows the bacteria to live, storing the energy in the molecule.  The natural “burn” of methane ultimately equals the alternative production of carbon dioxide, but it allows it in an exposed environment, up high in the atmosphere where more of the heat can dissipate into space when it reacts with ozone, O3. (God stuff, I tell you!  It is always beyond remarkable how it works!)

Generally, released methane determines how much O3 is in the atmosphere.  We get “ozone holes” after a lot of methane (and other reactive gases) are released quickly . . . like immediately after the hot summer of 1998. The thermal release from the volcanic activity started the melting arctic that released methane from the thawing ice.  Right now, and always, ozone is high in cold areas, where it is waiting for the methane release of cold bacterial production.  Of course there are more factors, but you get the idea.

Ozone is considered a greenhouse gas, but it is really quite different.  Ozone protects us from UV radiation while the methane is low. and reflects heat back to earth while it stays cold. (More God stuff.)

Notice that cold decreases CO2 production.  CO2 follows the temperatures.  That is no new discovery, either.  CO2 has always followed temperature.

The science is very fun and interesting, but this is past 500 words already.  How much CO2 is produced from burning natural gas (methane) in a machine, furnace, or engine?  The same amount as having it boil from the ice, which is the same amount as skipping it and producing carbon dioxide directly.  The only real, notable difference is that there is more CO2 produced when it’s warm.  That is not a catastrophe.  It is from nature, and from nature’s God.

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Carbohydrates (Climate series)

Carbon is a hero.  It is great stuff.  Here it is in the short and sweet.  While this is too simple for college bio-chemistry, you can understand global warming lies a little easier once you get this stuff.  Living things take carbon out of the air, dead things give it back.  (It’s not entirely that simple, though, because living things like bacteria and fungus give it back from the dead things.)

Carbohydrates (actually, hydrated carbons) are the foundation of all plant materials, made up entirely of carbon (mostly from carbon dioxide) and water.  Plants and trees grab CO2 from the air and water from the soil to form carbohydrates.  When carbohydrates respire (breath, or mix with oxygen) the process releases carbon dioxide and water.  Glucose, for instance, the simplest carbo- breaks down like this: C6H12O6 + 6O2  -->  6CO2 + 6H2O.  It’s just a reverse situation of growing.  Exactly the same thing happens when carbohydrates burn: carbon dioxide and water.

CO2 is not a poison, it is not toxic, won’t give you lung disease or kill plants or other animals.  Like water, too much causes drowning, not “water poisoning.” Similarly, too much carbon dioxide causes asphyxiation, not “CO2 poisoning.”

The only significant (and certainly the easiest) way to reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere is to “grow them out.”  Plants sequester CO2.  Sometimes those plants are in the water.  The oceans are great and massive places to grow seaweeds and algae, so you might hear discussion of “sequestering CO2 in the oceans.”  That is what “sequestering” means in those examples: growing carbohydrates in salt water and foam that drop and mix with other stuff (like Calcium, sodium, and aluminum) to make coal, or oil, or rocks.

Low carb dieting, though, will not harm the environment.  Fats come from carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, just like carbs.  The difference is where you put the hydrogen. Carbo-(n)-hydrates (OH) are basic. Fats (H) are acids.  Put them together, H+OH --> H2O.  Protein are just fats (acids) and carbs (bases) with nitrogen attached.  Sometimes sulfur, too — that’s why some rotting proteins smell like farts while the bacteria eat them.

If you followed the 362 words above, you understand the basics of CO2 and global warming.  If you don’t understand that relationship, stay tuned. There might not be one.  But we do need trees.

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