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Monday, February 24, 2014


If you're new to this blog site, you might not know about The Venus Syndrome:
Chapter 6 of my SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth provides all the details.

If you did not click on any of the above:

     The Venus Syndrome is this catastrophic cascade converting the atmosphere of Planet Earth into Planet Venus-like conditions, where the temperature is at 863 F.

The doomsday gas is methane (right), and there are at least two cataclysmic periods in the history of this planet where this condition almost made life extinct.  Will the third time be the charm, or real end?  

Carbon dioxide (left) is of course the most dangerous of current greenhouse gases, but the following compares this molecule with methane:

Note that methane is increasing a lot faster than carbon dioxide.  Worse, when released into the atmosphere, it is 70 times worse for climate warming per molecule than carbon dioxide.  Over a 100-year cycle, the factor is still a very high 20, but recently the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warned that this multiplier is 34, and 86 over a 20-year time frame.  The priority given to methane is minimal today because the amount of methane in the atmosphere is only one half of one percent that of carbon dioxide.  Yet, the effect is becoming serious (methane is CH4):

While Arctic sources are beginning to worry scientists, my biggest concern has to do with marine methane hydrates at the bottom of the ocean throughout the world.  Worse, there is twice the abundance of energy in this deposit as the rest of the fossil fuel reserves combine.  As the oceans slowly warm, there will come a time when these resources will come to surface, for what happens to gas in ice?  The hydrates will float if not stuck to the bottom.  The Ring of Fire in the Pacific is a particular worry because a good portion of these methane clathrates are positioned close to this natural anomaly, and earthquakes and volcanic eruptions can jiggle the methane loose.  Here are locations where methane hydrates are located:

Note that the sites mirror the Ring of Fire.

Now comes fracking, where the underground is hydraulically fractured to release methane, which will only exacerbate the escape of this gas into the atmosphere.  Here is a methane escape map in the Boston area:

Global warming with carbon dioxide will "merely" warm our climate and slowly raise the level of our oceans.  A sudden release of methane into the atmosphere could swiftly convert Planet Earth to Planet Venus, which is at 863 F.

What can we do to prevent The Venus Syndrome?  Not much, except fracking can only accelerate the potential.  My next publication could be a novel entitled:  THE VENUS SYNDROME.  Quoting James Hansen:

The Venus syndrome is the greatest threat to the planet, to humanity's continuing existence... In my opinion, if we burn all the coal, there is a good chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse effect. If we also burn all the tar sands and tar shale (aka oil shale), I think it is a dead certainty.

Hmmm....I wonder who came up with "The Venus Syndrome" first?

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