Global Warming

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Mind Over Matter, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, and it points out that every area is unique such that what might be a problem in NZ is not necessarily as much of a problem in the US.

    While ~25% of our population rely on septic systems they only account for ~10% of our waste water and so given the vast size of the US they have not been found to be a major issue to our Dead Zones (not saying they don't contribute, or that in some areas their biological load might be significant).

    By far the most significant of our dead zones is in the Gulf of Mexico and though a hypoxic zone at the end of a river is a natural phenomena caused by stratification of nutrient rich fresh water over colder bottom water cutting it off from surface O2, the much expanded size of our dead zone is predominately caused by Agricultural run off, so that's where we need to focus our efforts on in the US.

    While in the urban North East atmospheric nitrogen pollution from fossil-fuel combustion is dominant.

    Arthur
     
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  3. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    @Trippy, Read-Only & adoucette

    All to often Global warming topics never include the oceans of the world in the discussion. After listening to you three, I have to wonder why not. The oceans are as important to us as any other part of our over all biosphere and it looks like they are in big trouble and in need of world cooperation to solve the problem. If you have any ideas on promoting world cooperation I'm all ears. Other than that I'd like to thank you for providing some much needed education to this thread.
     
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  5. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Well they do, but because the mass of the oceans is so much greater than the atmosphere that temperature effects and decreases in alkalinity take so long to happen, that when one is examining impacts over 100 year time horizons which is typical in climate discussions, it's much more difficult to make a convincing case for significant negative impacts.

    IMHO the much more pressing issue to the oceans is severe overfishing and pollution, not temperature.
    If we don't solve those problems, will it really matter that the dead oceans warm up a bit over the next century?

    Arthur
     
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  7. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    Yes you are right, but they are both biosphere problems, that can and will feed off each other. Why shouldn't they be considered in the same conversation?
     
  8. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Because as I said, if we don't solve the much more immediate problems of overfishing and pollution, the much longer range problems to the oceans won't matter.

    Overfishing can be dealt with via regulation and treaty, and isn't this massive issue involving use of energy that AGW is.

    Arthur
     
  9. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Just trying to quantify this a little: overfishing is an immediate problem, it won't take a century to kill off most of the major fisheries. If sharks get wiped out (after > 300 million years) the oceans will be in more trouble. If we wipe out parts of the food chain it could collapse altogether.

    Pollution is also immediate, and we have a nice big collection of plastic in the oceans, dating back to the 50's when plastic products first appeared and we started adding them to our waste output. Agriculture and high-density populations tend to produce anoxic zones in coastal regions or lakes and rivers.

    But the biggest "immediate" problem is AGW and ocean surface warming. There is thought to be sufficient CO2 in the atmosphere now that a rise in sea levels at least as large as in the Eemian is fairly likely, sometime over the next three centuries. This will most likely cause mass extinctions.

    Hansen says that this scenario is "guaranteed", and talking about 450 ppm as an acceptable limit is dreamland. But of course, Hansen is an alarmist, and 300 years is a long time. So given that we are overfishing and over-supplying nutrients all over the place, there probably is less than 300 years left to worry about, after which "the longer range problems won't matter".
     
  10. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    For Pete's sake.

    Yes, I'm getting just a little frustrated at the moment.

    Both of you, take a step back and read what I originally said:

    I've hilighted the salient points, seeing as how people seem to be having some difficulty following them.

    This was followed by:
    In otherwords, the discussion had moved from the broad causes of deadzones - including agriculture runoff, and poor agricultural practices, which, I might add, INCLUDES an element of effluent management and disposal, to one of the more specific points being discussed. A method of remediation was suggested, one which I have also suggested would benefit some municipal wastewater discharges - bioremediation, however, as I pointed out, that would do nothing for non point sources discharges, such as septic tanks, which, like roof runoff, are a source of pollution which is routinely overlooked and underestimated, especially in situations where the tank and disposal fields are poorly maintained or designed.

    Now, can we move on?
     
  11. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    They're even more important than most people realize.

    Even if we burn all of our fossil fuels, and turn the planet into a desert, in about 200,000 years, all that extra carbon will be sequestered on the ocean floor, and only about 6-8% of what we dicharged will remain in the atmosphere.
     
  12. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    300 years, you must be an optimist? We will be in a world of hurts long before 300 years goes by. World population is still growing and the entire populations of China and India are trying to catch up to our standard of living. If that isn't ringing any alarm bells I don't know what will.

    I'm betting most have heard the term “Tipping Point” before. I think we will hit that point this century. I want to be wrong in the worst way. So maybe one of you optimist out there can try and convince me. I'm not going to hold my breath though.
     
  13. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    As far as food sources go, what we really need is someone to take the lead with some innovative aquaculture - I have some ideas in that regard as well.
     
  14. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    Yes I agree, but think we should get our above water farming in order as well

    I'm a big fan of high rise farming. Uses less water and puts the crops closer to the end consumer. Much easier to grow food without pesticides and all nutrients can be controlled and recycled. Climate controlled all year round and modular so can easily be adjusted for changes in local populations. Not subject to drought or pest predation. What more could you want?
     
  15. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Lighten up Trippy, I was just providing some specific info on the US situation, not challenging anything you had said.

    Arthur
     
  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    I know.

    And I was just pointing out that I had already raised those specific points at the start of the discussion.
     
  17. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    What did you have in mind?

    Right now, I believe aquaculture mostly involves taking nonsalable fish, grinding them up, and feeding them to farmed salable species.

    Not so good, that.

    Being a vegan and nori fan, I thought in therms of edible seaweeds sucking up carbon, giving us some food, and giving fish stocks somewhere to hang out and not be scooped by trawlers.
    Growing plants for food in the ocean and trawling's completely incompatible, such that we'd actually have to get international law to protect sea farmers from trawlers.
     
  18. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Vat farming. More or less.
    Hell, I'm also a fan of the idea of vat grown meat.
     
  19. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    If it can be done without the land-use burden of meat and if Petrimeat doesn't feel pain-I'll be absolutely ecstatic when it comes on the market! If it won't make me fat again I might actually eat it.

    (According to this quite preachy page, meat use roughly quarters the amount of protein you get out of an acre of cropland: http://www.rosenlake.net/er/Lugenbehl.html)
     
  20. Rocks Registered Member

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    EXACTLY. This is pretty much what all of the coal and oil we are digging up is really made of - plant matter. The composting process is the crux of the carbon cycle!
     
  21. tomhanks Registered Member

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    I hate global warming,we should together protect environment
     
  22. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    I'm going to quote liberaly from a 2006 publication called:
    PHOSPHORUS GEOCHEMISTRY IN SEPTIC TANKS, SOIL ABSORPTION SYSTEMS, AND GROUNDWATER.
    Published by Lombardo Associates Inc in April 2006.
    Where the columns are, in order: Water body type, % Assessed, % Nutrient Impaired, % Impaired by agricultural sources, % impaired by WWTP discharges.
    Based on USEPA 1997

    (based on Gianessi and Peskin 1984)

    The point here being that the nutrient loading contributed to water ways by septic tanks, and non point discharges other than agricultural practices is far from being insignificant, and far from being insignificant compared to municipal WWTP's.
     
  23. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    And no, I didn't go looking for the one report that could prove my point, heh.

    I was actually looking for some information on Polyphosphates in the environment to try and make sense of some anlytical results of field (stream) samples that almost make sense, but not quite.
     

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