Sunday, June 24, 2012

I don't want to get sucked into the Global Warming issue

But, it could happen. I have read a lot about methane chemistry since it is realted to the origin of life in the late Hadean.

I just wrote what was to be a short comment on the marine retention, and recyling of carbon. It was kicked out by the Real Climate nannybot as "spam." While Real Climate seems to me to be one of the best climate blogs, their nannybot is a piece of shit.

I'll just post here, and use a link at Real Climate.

Several comments in this thread have been related to ocean retention of volatiles, and ocean mixing times. In coastal archaeology we have a problem radiocarbon dating materials derived from marine carbon. Marine upwelling brings sequestered carbon in the form of carbonate, and CO2 which is incorporated into littoral fish and especially mollusk shells. We can even see a difference in contemporaneous shells from brackish water and open shore habitats. For example, Mytilus and Chione can significantly vary. When contrasted with softwood charcoal, or collagen from terrestrial animals, upwelling carbon from southern California is about 450 RC years old.

Ocean/atmospheric equilibrium of carbon 14 generated in atmospheric atomic weapons tests demonstrated a rapid mixing of surface waters of just a few years. This gives an estimate of the mixing, and retention time for the Humboldt, and California currents. Marine releases of methane might leave sooner as CO2, and carbonate are obviously heavier, and could have even undergone repeated cycles of consumption and decay.

The potential significance of marine methane releases is obviously moderated by carbon retention times. A fairly simple experiment would be to measure the C14 in modern open-coast organisms (eg Mytilus sp.), and grasses, or non-riparian soft-wood species just slightly in-land.

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