Klima Abruptus (1): Introduction

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 4:16 AM GMT on December 16, 2013

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Klima Abruptus (1): Introduction

I have been waiting for some time for the new National Academy Report on abrupt climate change (Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises, there is a free PDF download). I am interested in how those most expert in the field would frame the problem. In 2007 I wrote a short blog on abrupt climate change, and in late 2012 I wrote a couple of long blogs about why I think climate change is moving fast rather than slowly and incrementally. A major difference between this and an earlier Academy Report is that this report discussed impacts on ecosystems services and built infrastructure more thoroughly. I expect to come back to this document several times in the next few months.

In this report abrupt means that the changes “come faster than expected, planned, or budgeted for, forcing more reactive, rather than proactive, modes of behavior” (old blog adaptive vs reactive). The length of time that is considered as abrupt is years to decades.

I am going to start with the table in the document’s summary, which you can page through starting with this link. The report lists a set of potential abrupt changes and a near-term outlook. The near-term outlook is whether or not there is likely to be an abrupt change in current trends that will need to be incorporated into planning and management during the next century. The likelihood is listed as low, moderate and high. The list of moderate includes, decrease in ocean oxygen; increase in intensity, frequency and duration of heat waves; increase in frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events (droughts / floods / hurricanes / major storms); and rapid state changes in ecosystems, species range shifts and species boundary changes. Listed as high likelihood are late-summer Arctic sea ice disappearance and increases in extinctions of marine and terrestrial ecosystems (earlier blog on extinction). In this short-term, 100 years, the panel has concluded that rapid destabilization of ice sheets leading to greatly accelerating sea level rise is of low likelihood.

I have seen the conclusion on ice sheets and sea level rise listed as “good news.” However, if you look at the time horizon beyond a hundred years, many of those abrupt changes that are listed as low, move to high. And, for things such as heat waves, abrupt means a rapid acceleration of current trends. There will be significant disruption from the present trends. Therefore, this report should not be viewed as one of good news allowing us to lessen our concern about climate change.

Ocean oxygen? I like seeing this in the report. The loss of ocean oxygen, leading to rapid ecosystem changes, comes from the combination of nitrogen pollution from runoff, ocean acidification and rising temperatures (a blog with nitrogen and acidification). Too often these environmental problems are treated separately and disconnected.

I was surprised that the “changes of patterns of climate variability (e.g., ENSO, annular modes)” was listed as low likelihood. Aside from the fact that I am currently intrigued by this particular form of climate change, the document lists a couple of other changes that might have significant impacts on circulation - notably all that is going on in the Arctic.

As a final piece of this introduction, at the American Geophysical Union there was a session introducing the National Academy Report. The abstracts are there now, and I think that the talks might show up there as well. I’ll pick out some highlights over the next few weeks.

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Klima Abruptus: OK, In my family I would be accused of mixing my Greek and my Latin. I know. So I did it on purpose.

Glaciers and Global Warming by Jeremy Bassis. Give it some hits!

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Quoting 848. cyclonebuster:


Sounds like the snow pack is a sponge...






" We estimate, using a regional climate model, aquifer area at about 70,000 km2 and the depth to the top of the water table as 5–50 m. "

2 more hot summers like 2012 , and this could all just flow right into the ocean.
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4919
Quoting 846. cyclonebuster:


Air Sea interaction...

Yep, water vapor leaving Gulf of Mexico looking for a condenser North of Svalbard. Except now it falls as drizzle at the top of Norway because the sea isn't frozen anymore.
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4919
Quoting 838. goosegirl1:




It was 75 yesterday in eastern WV, a few hundred miles north of Alabama. It is unusual, but after last week's highs in the low 20's I think I can handle it :)


So can the pine beetles...
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Quoting 847. ColoradoBob1:
Extensive liquid meltwater storage in firn within the Greenland ice sheet



Mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet contributes significantly to present sea level rise1. High meltwater runoff is responsible for half of Greenland’s mass loss2. Surface melt has been spreading and intensifying in Greenland, with the highest ever surface area melt and runoff recorded in 20123. However, how surface melt water reaches the ocean, and how fast it does so, is poorly understood. Firn—partially compacted snow from previous years—potentially has the capacity to store significant amounts of melt water in liquid or frozen form4, and thus delay its contribution to sea level. Here we present direct observations from ground and airborne radar, as well as ice cores, of liquid water within firn in the southern Greenland ice sheet. We find a substantial amount of water in this firn aquifer that persists throughout the winter, when snow accumulation and melt rates are high. This represents a previously unknown storage mode for water within the ice sheet. We estimate, using a regional climate model, aquifer area at about 70,000 km2 and the depth to the top of the water table as 5–50 m. The perennial firn aquifer could be important for estimates of ice sheet mass and energy budget.

Link


Sounds like the snow pack is a sponge...
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Extensive liquid meltwater storage in firn within the Greenland ice sheet



Mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet contributes significantly to present sea level rise1. High meltwater runoff is responsible for half of Greenland’s mass loss2. Surface melt has been spreading and intensifying in Greenland, with the highest ever surface area melt and runoff recorded in 20123. However, how surface melt water reaches the ocean, and how fast it does so, is poorly understood. Firn—partially compacted snow from previous years—potentially has the capacity to store significant amounts of melt water in liquid or frozen form4, and thus delay its contribution to sea level. Here we present direct observations from ground and airborne radar, as well as ice cores, of liquid water within firn in the southern Greenland ice sheet. We find a substantial amount of water in this firn aquifer that persists throughout the winter, when snow accumulation and melt rates are high. This represents a previously unknown storage mode for water within the ice sheet. We estimate, using a regional climate model, aquifer area at about 70,000 km2 and the depth to the top of the water table as 5–50 m. The perennial firn aquifer could be important for estimates of ice sheet mass and energy budget.

Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4919
Quoting 845. ColoradoBob1:


These are rivers of warm wet air , not the Gulf Stream .


Air Sea interaction...
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Quoting 843. overwash12:
Gulf stream has a big effect!


These are rivers of warm wet air , not the Gulf Stream .
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4919
Quoting 843. overwash12:
Gulf stream has a big effect!


Yep we are heating that up too with fossil fuel GHG's...
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Quoting 842. ColoradoBob1:


I've been watching from Greenland to Norway that feed coming up the East coast goes all the way Svalbard .

It's very warm all the way up. There are no freezing numbers on the coast of Norway. It's 35F in Moscow. 41F in Stockholm.
Gulf stream has a big effect!
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Quoting 834. Neapolitan:
There's certainly a southwesterly flow of warmer air riding up the front of many advancing cold fronts--but if it this weekend's situation were that normal, there wouldn't be hundreds of high and high minimum temperature records being set, now would there? NOTE: no on is implying that this is anything but weather--but it is unusual.


I've been watching from Greenland to Norway that feed coming up the East coast goes all the way Svalbard .

It's very warm all the way up. There are no freezing numbers on the coast of Norway. It's 35F in Moscow. 41F in Stockholm.
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4919
Quoting 834. Neapolitan:
There's certainly a southwesterly flow of warmer air riding up the front of many advancing cold fronts--but if it this weekend's situation were that normal, there wouldn't be hundreds of high and high minimum temperature records being set, now would there? NOTE: no on is implying that this is anything but weather--but it is unusual.
Well you are right,it should have been like in the 60's,but if you factor in AGW you have to add 20 degrees! LOL
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Thanks. I was watching everything I knew how, at the time, and never saw that go by and have never seen it mentioned since. A hugely significant reading if it's anything like credible, but 889mb at 5:01AM in Guiuan would have been almost 'too perfect'...
Quoting 839. ColoradoBob1:


I think it was some local report I came across as the storm was coming ashore. I've watching typhoons for several years. I'm sure it wasn't from the JTWC.

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Quoting 827. no1der:
ColoradoBob - I've been meaning to ask you:

http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/h aiyan-explodes-into-190-mph-monster-now-worlds-str ongest-hurricane-since-1980/

Included this update:
"Unconfirmed pressure reading at 889 mb via handheld near Guiuan at 5:01 AM. US Navy data showing 196 mph storm with 235 mph gusts and maximum significant wave heights of 50 feet 6 hours ago (H/T to Colorado Bob)."
I'd love to know more about the source of that 889mb reading... or did the hat-tip to you refer only to the Navy data?


I think it was some local report I came across as the storm was coming ashore. I've watching typhoons for several years. I'm sure it wasn't from the JTWC.
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4919
Quoting 831. cyclonebuster:


No... What would be normal temps before a cold snap this time of year would be high 50's low 60's not 75 in Northern Alabama....Come on winter....




It was 75 yesterday in eastern WV, a few hundred miles north of Alabama. It is unusual, but after last week's highs in the low 20's I think I can handle it :)
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Quoting 826. Physicistretired:
Neopolitan?

We crossed paths a few years ago (don't know if you remember).

For some reason, this strikes me as your most powerful piece to date. But your new 3Ds are extremely well done. Kudos.


Add me to these comments.
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4919
Quoting 832. DonnieBwkGA:
Or 72--at 8 a.m.--in Washington DC!


Or 73 at midnight in Northern Alabama prior to the front...
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Quoting 829. overwash12:
Actually it's quite normal before a major cold snap. I bet there is something lurking from our good friends up North!
There's certainly a southwesterly flow of warmer air riding up the front of many advancing cold fronts--but if it this weekend's situation were that normal, there wouldn't be hundreds of high and high minimum temperature records being set, now would there? NOTE: no on is implying that this is anything but weather--but it is unusual.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14456
Quoting 831. cyclonebuster:


No... What would be normal temps before a cold snap this time of year would be high 50's low 60's not 75 in Northern Alabama....Come on winter....
Oh,It's coming. I just talked to my sister in Iowa,high in the single digits there!
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Quoting 829. overwash12:
Actually it's quite normal before a major cold snap. I bet there is something lurking from our good friends up North!


No... What would be normal temps before a cold snap this time of year would be high 50's low 60's not 75 in Northern Alabama....Come on winter....
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Quoting 827. no1der:
ColoradoBob - I've been meaning to ask you:

http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/h aiyan-explodes-into-190-mph-monster-now-worlds-str ongest-hurricane-since-1980/

Included this update:
"Unconfirmed pressure reading at 889 mb via handheld near Guiuan at 5:01 AM. US Navy data showing 196 mph storm with 235 mph gusts and maximum significant wave heights of 50 feet 6 hours ago (H/T to Colorado Bob)."
I'd love to know more about the source of that 889mb reading... or did the hat-tip to you refer only to the Navy data?
It amazes me when a storm gets that strong. We can expect them from time to time,same as it ever was.
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Quoting 828. Neapolitan:
Was that in this forum, or some other? And what was your handle at the time? Anyway, thanks!

In the meantime, I find this map pretty startling in its own right, and no something one would normally expect to see a few days before Christmas:

huh?
Actually it's quite normal before a major cold snap. I bet there is something lurking from our good friends up North!
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Quoting 826. Physicistretired:
Neopolitan?

We crossed paths a few years ago (don't know if you remember).

For some reason, this strikes me as your most powerful piece to date. But your new 3Ds are extremely well done. Kudos.
Was that in this forum, or some other? And what was your handle at the time? Anyway, thanks!

In the meantime, I find this map pretty startling in its own right, and no something one would normally expect to see a few days before Christmas:

huh?
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14456
ColoradoBob - I've been meaning to ask you:

http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/h aiyan-explodes-into-190-mph-monster-now-worlds-str ongest-hurricane-since-1980/

Included this update:
"Unconfirmed pressure reading at 889 mb via handheld near Guiuan at 5:01 AM. US Navy data showing 196 mph storm with 235 mph gusts and maximum significant wave heights of 50 feet 6 hours ago (H/T to Colorado Bob)."
I'd love to know more about the source of that 889mb reading... or did the hat-tip to you refer only to the Navy data?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Neopolitan?

We crossed paths a few years ago (don't know if you remember).

For some reason, this strikes me as your most powerful piece to date. But your new 3Ds are extremely well done. Kudos.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Would everybody here wish it was sub-freezing for the holidays? I'm enjoying the 75 degree temps!
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Quoting 816. ColoradoBob1:


And it ain't the Sun


Schurer's been doing a lot of good work in that area, Bob. Here's another (excellent) piece he published last March in the American Meteorological Journal (note the co-authors):

Separating Forced from Chaotic Climate Variability over the Past Millennium

Abstract

Reconstructions of past climate show notable temperature variability over the past millennium, with relatively warm conditions during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and a relatively cold Little Ice Age (LIA).

Multimodel simulations of the past millennium are used together with a wide range of reconstructions of Northern Hemispheric mean annual temperature to separate climate variability from 850 to 1950 CE into components attributable to external forcing and internal climate variability.

External forcing is found to contribute significantly to long-term temperature variations irrespective of the proxy reconstruction, particularly from 1400 onward. Over the MCA alone, however, the effect of forcing is only detectable in about half of the reconstructions considered, and the response to forcing in the models cannot explain the warm conditions around 1000 CE seen in some reconstructions.

The residual from the detection analysis is used to estimate internal variability independent from climate modeling, and it is found that the recent observed 50- and 100-yr hemispheric temperature trends are substantially larger than any of the internally generated trends even using the large residuals over the MCA.

Variations in solar output and explosive volcanism are found to be the main drivers of climate change from 1400 to 1900, but for the first time a significant contribution from greenhouse gas variations to the cold conditions during 1600–1800 is also detected.

The proxy reconstructions tend to show a smaller forced response than is simulated by the models. This discrepancy is shown, at least partly, to be likely associated with the difference in the response to large volcanic eruptions between reconstructions and model simulations.

Open access version here.
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Quoting 819. Neapolitan:
I promised these the other day, and here they (finally) are; holiday duties have tended to interfere...

Anyway, I spent parts of the last few weeks putting together a trio of graphs some of you may (or may not) like and may (or may not) find useful. They are interactive, three-dimensional graphs showing PIOMAS sea ice volume in different ways:Just click and drag to move any of the graphs around in 3D space. You can also use your mouse’s scroll wheel to zoom into and out of any of the graphs.

You can get to any of the graphs via the direct links above, or by visiting the 3D Graphs page at my climate graphs site.

Depending on how well these are received, I plan to post a few more over the next couple of weeks. The new ones will deal with Cryosat and extent data, as it seems CT’s sea ice area measurements are pretty much obsolete at this point. I also have a handful of global temperature data versions in the works. And, I plan to make most/all of them animated, though at the moment I’m having a bit of trouble with that part of the code. But I’ll get it…

Anyway,let me know what you guys think. Thanks...


Beautiful, and quite startling. I love the 3 dimensional perspective and rotation.
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Quoting 819. Neapolitan:
I promised these the other day, and here they (finally) are; holiday duties have tended to interfere...

Anyway, I spent parts of the last few weeks putting together a trio of graphs some of you may (or may not) like and may (or may not) find useful. They are interactive, three-dimensional graphs showing PIOMAS sea ice volume in different ways:Just click and drag to move any of the graphs around in 3D space. You can also use your mouse’s scroll wheel to zoom into and out of any of the graphs.

You can get to any of the graphs via the direct links above, or by visiting the 3D Graphs page at my climate graphs site.

Depending on how well these are received, I plan to post a few more over the next couple of weeks. The new ones will deal with Cryosat and extent data, as it seems CT’s sea ice area measurements are pretty much obsolete at this point. I also have a handful of global temperature data versions in the works. And, I plan to make most/all of them animated, though at the moment I’m having a bit of trouble with that part of the code. But I’ll get it…

Anyway,let me know what you guys think. Thanks...



I like it superimpose the Tasmanian Devil in it.....
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Quoting 818. tramp96:

Baiting comments here


I took a break, maybe you need one.
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I promised these the other day, and here they (finally) are; holiday duties have tended to interfere...

Anyway, I spent parts of the last few weeks putting together a trio of graphs some of you may (or may not) like and may (or may not) find useful. They are interactive, three-dimensional graphs showing PIOMAS sea ice volume in different ways:Just click and drag to move any of the graphs around in 3D space. You can also use your mouse’s scroll wheel to zoom into and out of any of the graphs.

You can get to any of the graphs via the direct links above, or by visiting the 3D Graphs page at my climate graphs site.

Depending on how well these are received, I plan to post a few more over the next couple of weeks. The new ones will deal with Cryosat and extent data, as it seems CT’s sea ice area measurements are pretty much obsolete at this point. I also have a handful of global temperature data versions in the works. And, I plan to make most/all of them animated, though at the moment I’m having a bit of trouble with that part of the code. But I’ll get it…

Anyway,let me know what you guys think. Thanks...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14456
Quoting 814. tramp96:

You are probably a little late to the conversation
but as I have stated before a lot of "science" articles John posts have the words "may, maybe or might".


I'm not late, just trying to help you make the distinction between journalism and science, which seems not to be working.
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Quoting 812. Physicistretired:
no1der,

We actually have good data on Artic sea ice extent going back 1,450 years (Kinnard et al, 2011)

It looks like this:



Tamino did an excellent write-up of it a few years ago.


And it ain't the Sun -

Sun's role in climate change 'minimal'

22 December 2013, by Alex Peel


The Sun's influence on changes in Earth's climate throughout the past millennium has been minimal, and it's unlikely to play an important role in the coming centuries, according to a new study.
The paper, published in Nature Geoscience, says volcanic eruptions and greenhouse gases were the dominant factors behind the substantial shifts in Earth's climate since 1,000 AD.


Link
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Quoting 808. Naga5000:


Right there in a big ole graph shows current sea ice almost 2 standard deviations below the average. Neat, huh?
Very neat,thanks for appreciating!
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Quoting 811. tramp96:
.
Taking wild stabs at everything is not science.


News organizations do not publish science, they report things. News organizations are not scientists. Scientists, especially in the realm of research often use statistical probability, most often seen in confidence intervals, to discuss research findings, there are no 100%'s.

I would highly suggest taking a free online statistics course as a refresher before making accusations such as "wild stabs". You are woefully incorrect.
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no1der,

We actually have good data on Artic sea ice extent going back 1,450 years (Kinnard et al, 2011)

It looks like this:



Tamino did an excellent write-up of it a few years ago.
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Quoting 807. tramp96:

Here again we have a AWG article with the word "may"


Now I get it, when a news organization uses the term "may", it makes climate change not real. Thanks for that impeccable logic.
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Quoting 805. overwash12:
Here Link is a site that seems to be un-biased .


Right there in a big ole graph shows current sea ice almost 2 standard deviations below the average. Neat, huh?
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Quoting 791. JohnLonergan:


Right, I was thinking of adding limestone which has been proposed and I had seen some back of the envelope numbers. I just asked the google thhe question and found this:

This process would take a long time: According to Harvey, it could take several decades (and many hundreds of billions of tons of limestone) before the limestone accomplishes its objective -- and that's assuming everything goes according to his predictions.


Well we burn hundreds of billions of tons of fossil fuels to create the mess so why not make the industry pay for this to clean up the mess? It would be cheaper than the 60 trillion we will have to pay before 2050 due to damages...
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Here Link is a site that seems to be un-biased .
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Quoting 789. no1der:
that heat term represents enough (fossil fuel) energy to get to around 1400C... cement making currently accounts for around 7-8% of global CO2 emissions, directly and indirectly.
But 'lime' is an ambiguous term. It can mean CaO (quicklime), Ca(OH)2 (slaked lime), or CaCO3 generally as limestone (an agricultural usage). Whether as CaO as I meant, or as CaCO3 as JohnL meant, it can't help.






Use solar energy or just crush the limestone to a fine powder...
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Quoting 788. Xulonn:
Could you show us your calculations, including the heat energy and costs required to produce and transport the necessary amount of lime (CaO or calcium oxide), which is normally made by heating limestone?%uFFFD

The current net annual flow of CO2 into the oceans is about 2,425,084,884 tons.%uFFFD My chemistry days are long gone, and this is just a WAG.%uFFFD A quick look at the molar masses of CaO, CO2 and CaCO3 tells me that close to 3 billion tons of lime would be required per year to offset the net inflow of CO2 into the oceans assuming 100% dissociation and creation of carbonic acid.

Anyone with current chemistry knowledge have a better idea of the processes and quantities involved here?

(Could they use the limestone that underlies Florida, which is going to be underwater soon, anyway?%uFFFD They won't be needing it in a few decades due to sea level rise!)%uFFFD

/snark




Normally but not always a lot of the time all you need to do is just crush it... Yes some of the coral reefs in South Florida are above sea level and are exposed limestone.... Crush it to a fine powder...
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It's already in limestone just crush it and the acidic ocean should dissolve it thus making the ocean more caustic..
Quoting 783. JohnLonergan:


Riddle me this, do the comps and tell us all how many tons of lime you'll need and the time it will take for the carbonate-bicarbonate reaction to reach equilibrium.



Well that's just the price we have to pay for our stupidity for burning fossil fuels when we should be using green energy in the first place so our oceans don't become so acidic....We have billions of tons of lime down in South Florida...
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Quoting 784. Naga5000:


CaCO3 heat --> CaO CO2 would be my guess.


It's already in limestone just crush it and the acidic ocean should dissolve it thus making the ocean more caustic..
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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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