Skip to comments.Southern Winds Help Stash Earth's Carbon Dioxide
Posted on 01/07/2010 5:24:50 PM PST by neverdem
In and out. Driven by winds, the Southern Ocean's currents (blue globe) transport CO2 (red) northward.
Credit: T. Ito et al., Nature 463 (2010)
Much of the carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere goes south, literally. Researchers using new supercomputer models have described for the first time how the Southern Ocean sucks the greenhouse gas out of the air and then shuttles it into the deep sea far from the Antarctic. The findings should give climate scientists a better understanding of this critical component of Earth's carbon cycle.
The carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the atmosphere ends up several places. Some is absorbed by green plants, which turn it into food. Some CO2 remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years, where it absorbs solar radiation. And some eventually works its way into the oceans and exits the carbon cycle. Oceans capture CO2 because wind-driven waves churn the surface, mixing the gas into the water. Then ocean currents carry the carbon into the deep sea and away from the atmosphere.
Scientists have known about this process for decades. They've also known that the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica and stretches to the tips of South America, Africa, and Australia, pulls in far more than its share of CO2. The strong winds there blow almost continuously, making the region an excellent absorber of the gas. The Southern Ocean accounts for only about 6% of the world's ocean area, but scientists estimate that it absorbs as much as 40% of the CO2 taken in by the seas. There's a mystery, however: The Southern Ocean retains only about 9% of the CO2 it absorbs. What happens to the rest of it?
The answer has proven elusive because the Southern Ocean's remoteness and severe weather have made it extremely difficult to collect the necessary data. Satellite sensors have helped, and now researchers have plugged satellite measurements--along with available surface readings on CO2 absorption, wind patterns, and water currents in the Southern Ocean--into a new high-resolution supercomputer model. Using data for 2005 and 2006, the first years that included these satellite observations, the team was able to pinpoint the wind patterns and currents that distribute ocean CO2. As the team reports in today's issue of Nature, instead of sinking in place, almost all of the CO2 is carried away from the Antarctic and toward the subtropics--hence the missing CO2 in the Southern Ocean.
The researchers also found that "the atmosphere overlying the Southern Ocean is undergoing significant climate change," says oceanographer and lead author Takamitsu Ito, of Colorado State University, Fort Collins. It's possible, he says, that "changing the atmospheric wind pattern in the region could alter the rate at which the Southern Ocean absorbs CO2," possibly reducing the ocean's ability to consume the gas and leading to further global warming.
Oceanographer Michael Follows of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, says the finding is significant because it demonstrates the dominant role that wind-driven currents play in transporting and storing carbon in the Southern Ocean. And it "reinforces how important changes in Southern Hemisphere winds can be for Earth's carbon cycle and its climate," he says.
These guys just won't give it up.
Sounds like some attempt at trying to rationalize record low temps all over the world. When will they stop lying?
I wish we could get some tof hese idiots either put behind bars for ripping us off or having their careers deservedly trashed so they end up driving cabs instead. Anything to just be done with this nonsense.
“Some CO2 remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years, where it absorbs solar radiation.”
A misleading sentence if ever there was one. Must be hot in that CO2 that absorbs all that solar radiation.
I thought it was going to become an ocean acidification rant.
I bet this means we need global governance.
The article says: Some CO2 remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years, where it absorbs solar radiation.
See Kondis on the word “absorbs.”
“Advocates misuse the term “absorption” of photons by substances as being analogous to water sopped up by a sponge, unchanged, implying physical entrapment. Actually, it means that the photon smoothly transfers its radiant energy to kinetic form. Absorption is an energy transition, not a trap; photons don’t occupy molecular cages. Similarly, emission is the reverse kinetic to radiant transfer.
An absorbed photon disappears as its discrete packet (quantum) of radiant energy dissipates into a diverse kinetic assortment of motion, vibrations or collisions involving atoms and molecules of the absorbing substance. Imagine one shot of your metabolic energy, through cue stick and cue ball, scattering a rack of balls on a pool table. These transfers obey the second law of thermodynamics, popularly stated as the spontaneous downhill flow from high to low energy, or hot to cold. Inside a greenhouse, visible photons define the hilltop from which this flow begins. IR photons, when emitted, are near the bottom of a typical greenhouse energy hill.”
Didn't check but I don't think the guy mentioned "sequesterization" ~
Of note, since the first few articles a month and a half ago there's not been anymore news about those specially modified blue-green algae that can ramp up to dispose of 5% more CO2 ~ I told you it was kind of a SUPER WEAPON and DOD would probably dispose of leaks immediately.
Which gets us back to the deal where they're using older CIA data from temperature/wind/etc monitoring satellites to supplement the climatological record ~ or maybe to see if SOMEONE has beaten us to developing the weapon capabilities of the enhanced blue-green algae.
I suspect the climate aspects are just part of a smokescreen.
I’d go for global governance ... of those pesky winds.
CO2 only holds onto that IR photon for between a picosecond and a few milliseconds before it is re-emitted or transferred through collision to another atmospheric molecule. Global warming theory needs to be re-established in a framework of Quantum Physics before I will accept it.
Wow...they knows thats too? These are smart peoples.
“Id go for global governance ... of those pesky winds.”
If he can make the seas stop rising, then I’m sure Obama can quiet the wind. Let’s see if he’d be willing to be global king.
“CO2 only holds onto that IR photon for between a picosecond and a few milliseconds before it is re-emitted or transferred through collision to another atmospheric molecule. Global warming theory needs to be re-established in a framework of Quantum Physics before I will accept it.”
That seems to me to be the very best argument and I don’t understand why it is not presented.
“GREENHOUSE EFFECT IN SEMI-TRANSPARENT PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES
Dr. Ferenc M. Miskolczi
Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Society, 2007
(Any imbalance our CO2 emissions caused [is] effectively countered by about 1 per cent decrease in the water vapor amount, and the system still fluctuates around its theoretical equilibrium value. His calculations on the NASA / NCAR atmospheric database proved that the Earth’s greenhouse effect does not show any steady increase, regardless of our CO2 emissions.)
Summaries of the paper:
THE ACQUITTAL OF CARBON DIOXIDE
by Jeffrey A. Glassman, PhD
(Carbon dioxide does not accumulate in the atmosphere.)
The Great Global Warming Hoax?
James A. Peden
(Man’s contribution to Greenhouse Gasses is relatively insignificant. We didn’t cause the recent Global Warming and we cannot stop it.)
by Tom Kondis
(speculators blame IR absorption by carbon dioxide, approximately 0.035% of the atmosphere, for changing our climate. They haven’t verified their unique viewpoint by utilizing IR radiation, synthetic gas mixtures and temperature measurements independent from the influences of poorly understood and incompletely considered natural forces that do control earth’s climate and weather. Their arguments lack substance and veracity.)
Greenhouse Gas Facts and Fantasies
by Tom Kondis
May 21, 2008
(advocates of man-made global warming have intermingled elements of greenhouse activity and infrared absorption to promote the image that carbon dioxide traps heat near earth’s surface like molecular greenhouses insulating our atmosphere. Their imagery, however, is seriously flawed.)
Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics
Authors: Gerhard Gerlich, Ralf D. Tscheuschner
(Submitted on 8 Jul 2007 (v1), last revised 4 Mar 2009 (this version, v4))
Abstract: The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that many authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier (1824), Tyndall (1861), and Arrhenius (1896), and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation. In this paper the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarified. By showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33 degrees Celsius is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.