Saturday, December 22, 2007
Positive Feedback Releasing Methane Drove Global Warming 55 Million Years Ago
When climate scientists say that global warming will become unstoppable if we fail to soon reduce greenhouse emissions what they mean is that positive feedback mechanisms will kick in which will make our future actions to limit emissions basically irrelevant. Science Daily reports that there is now evidence from a warming period 55 million years that warming was amplified by a release of methane from icy methane hydrates in sediments below the sea. A team of researchers reported in a letter published in Nature that evidence of such an event was found in sediments in the ocean floor off New Jersey. During this global warming period of the past global temperatures rose 6 C (almost 11 F). This research seems to provide yet more evidence that unless measures are quickly adopted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally we are headed for a catastrophic future.