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Saturday, November 12, 2016

SIGNS OF THE VENUS SYNDROME?

I've tried to be fair about Donald Trump's ascendancy to POTUS #45, and have been neutral for days now.  However, those nation-wide protests I think are symptoms of future social turmoil.  It's clear that mostly the younger generation is involved and the fear has to do with immigration, LGBT rights and the environment.  These protests will decline with cold weather, but much depends on what the Congress and new president do with regard to these issues over the next few months.  It's easy to predict that there will be renewed demonstrations this summer.

Worse, if the policies Trump has been spouting become inflammatory executive rulings or gain legislative traction, transformative mutinies could well occur in the early summer of 2018.  If this occurs, Democrats will regain control of at least one house of Congress, and the Republican Party will be in real trouble for the 2020 presidential election.

My largest fear has to do with global warming.  I may now be motivated to complete my novel on THE VENUS SYNDROME.  That particular article which I did not write, has more to do with worries that some of our man-made solutions could worsen the Greenhouse Effect.  Several years before this term--The Venus Syndrome--began to be used, I wrote about this danger in the final chapter of my SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth.    But you don't need to buy the book, for I began serializing this topic in this blog site from  25 August 2008.    Better yet, summaries of this concept can be found in The Huffington Post:
In short, The Venus Syndrome is a phenomenon where methane, this simplest of fossil fuels mostly comprising natural gas, escapes into the atmosphere in sufficient amounts that global warming is accelerated.    The danger of methane is that one molecule can be from 20 to 100 times more absorbent  of sunlight than one of carbon dioxide to heat our globe.  If a runaway cascade effect occurs, could, then, Planet Earth become like Planet Venus, which has a temperature of 863 F and a surface pressure 92 times greater?

But, you say, the atmosphere  of Venus is 96% carbon dioxide, so what's the connection?  Well, methane within several decades oxidizes into carbon dioxide, so the logic prevails.

One more aside before I delve into why I'm even treating this subject today is that we have been told that trees are good and we should plant as many as possible.  Maybe not:
  • A German study (which seems to have been quashed) is that trees might be deleterious to our environment, for the net balance could be a higher global warming coefficient.
  • European forests tend to be dark, and these absorb sunlight.
  • Yes, trees capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but they eventually die and, while they return most of the carbon dioxide, a dangerous fraction under certain conditions becomes methane.  We save some time when we hope technologies will be developed to cure this problem.  However, what if we never find a solution?  All that carbon dioxide, plus methane, returns into the atmosphere.
Anyway, just this past week, Robert Ballard (here on the Nautilus), of Titanic fame, discovered that the entire coast of Washington, Oregon and California was a giant methane seep.  His researchers reported on 500 bubbling methane vents:

 Methane traps heat 40 times more efficiently than carbon dioxide, so scientists want to find out how much of it is seeping from the vents, making its way into the atmosphere, and having an impact on global warming.

Why is this announcement significant?  Here is an excerpt from TVS Part 2:

It had to take the Global Warming equivalent of a Perfect Storm to catalyze an expedited Venus Syndrome: portions of the ocean surface at critical positive feedback temperature; cessation of the cooling currents thus warming the marine methane hydrate (MMH) deposits; a major subsea earthquake combined with a cataclysmic undersea volcanic eruption; resultant tsunami which slightly lowered the sea level over the MMH deposits near the coastlines; and, most importantly, crossing over of the dynamic equilibrium pressure-temperature condition allowing marine methane to explode to the surface.

Will this ever happen.  Frankly, I wouldn't be too concerned, but these graphs provide evidence that these terrible things happened several times in our geological history, and marine methane hydrates (MMH) were  the likely cause:

  • 55.5 million years ago during the end of the Eocene and beginning of the Paleocene epochs our atmosphere warmed by 14 F, mostly because methane hydrates were perturbed.  Just today the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported that University of Hawaii scientists (Tobias Friedrich, right, and Axel Timmermann--I shared the same floor in the Pacific Ocean science and Technology Building with them for several years--we are still in the same structure, but I moved back to the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute) foresaw a 10.5 degree temperature rise by 2100.  Note also that since that peak, the temperature of Planet Earth has stayed relatively low, until the past few years.
  • The Permian-Triassic extinction event, known as the Great Dying, occurred around 252 million years ago, when 96% of all marine species expired.  Again a sudden release of methane from the ocean floor is mostly blamed.  There are several whole books on this extinction event, When Nearly Died is just one of them.  How long ago was this?  Well, our continents were all on one continent called Pangaea:

I've long been storyboarding a novel to be entitled THE VENUS SYNDROME.  I was waiting for some inspiration to find a simple solution, and, maybe, Donald Trump just gave me the clue and motivation to publish it.  Perhaps I'll start by serializing the book in this blog site.

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