So we already know this...it still makes me fume!
monty said:Several worrisome things could happen if greenhouse gasses and global warming hit a certain threshold: Disolved CO2 in the oceans could be released to the air as the water temperature goes up, increasing the atmospheric greenhouse gasses further, raising the temperature more, releasing more CO2, ad infinitum. Also, as the glaciers shrink, there is less sunlight reflected by the white snow, and more absorbed by the dark ground and water, so the amount the planet is heated by the sun goes up.
main_board said:I saw a documentary on an airplane that said instead of global warming, we should be worried about global cooling. Apparently, there is a reliable trend in the past that as CO2 emmissions increased and the temperature appeared to increase, it suddenly brought on a great cooling, similar to an ice age. The evidence they presented appeared strong and valid. Definitely took me by surprise. Just some more food for thought.
CapnNemo said:It all does not bode well!
I remember reading a fascinating book called Mapping the Deep which was the story of Ocean Science. A scientist in there suggested we could stave off Global Warming (I think) by feeding iron to Plankton or something, but unfortunately it might trigger an ice age.
Euprymna said:Great cooling of parts of the planet will be the result of initial global warming!
It's a succession of events that may appear contridactory...i.e. starts as an increase in temperature but may cause an iceage!
First melting icesheets will greatly reduce salinity of the water, which will stop this normally cold hypersaline water to sink---the driving factor of the thermohaline circulation the regulator of the climate of europe!
I think the increasing acidity of the oceans due to increased CO2 imight be more worrying...at least for our mollusc friends...let's see
DHyslop said:More worrisome IMO are methane hydrates, which are stable only in a narrow P/T zone below the seafloor. If the oceans warm up substantially some of these hydrates could melt and make their way into the ocean/atmosphere system. Methane itself is another big fun greenhouse gas, but it would probably oxidize quickly in the atmosphere.
This particular model is purely theoretical and has been invoked for the rapid warming at the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (an interesting hypothesis, albeit one that is untestable from what I've read).