[Vision2020] June 21, 2011 IPSO Report: Extinction Event Inevitable If Current Trajectory of Damage Continues.

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Tue Jun 28 14:33:34 PDT 2011

My study of climate science revealed years ago that the PETM
(Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum), about 55 million years ago, is an
important focus of climate science modeling to predict what may happen
to the Earth's climate and biosphere due to anthropogenic climate

I was surprised in a November 2010 statement on climate change when
the Geological Society of London referred to the PETM as a reference
for the time scale (100,000 years) of the Earth's recovery from
potential anthropogenic global warming, as you can read below at

And again, the June 21, 2011 report, referred to in the subject
heading, from the  International Program on the State of the Ocean
(IPSO), refers to the PETM, as the following statement indicates:



Text below from second website above:

"Increasing hypoxia, and anoxia... combined with warming of the ocean
and acidfication are the three factors that have been present in every
mass extinction event in Earth's history.

There is strong evidence that these three factors are combining in the
ocean again, exacerbated by multiple severe stressors.  The scientific
panel concluded that a new extinction event was inevitable if the
current trajectory of damage continues.

As examples, the panel pointed out:

The rate at which carbon is being absorbed by the ocean is already far
greater now than at the time of the last globally significant
extinction of marine species, some 55 million years ago, when up to
50% of some groups of deep sea animals were wiped out.""
Another scientific work focusing on the PETM and potential impacts of
methane hydrate breakdown, one of the intense possilbe positive
feedbacks from antropogenic climate warming, I think from 2004:


"The climatic response to a massive methane release from gas hydrates:
Numerical experiments with a coupled climate model"

"The Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum (PETM, ~55.5 Million years ago)
is a well-known example from the past of a period with drastic climate
change due to massive releases of methane from hydrates5-6. Carbon
isotope measurements in ocean cores with sediments from the PETM
suggest that 1500-2000 Gt of methane carbon was released within a few
thousand years5,7-9. This massive methane release had a profound
effect on climate. Paleoceanographical evidence from ocean cores
indicates that ocean temperatures increased abruptly by 1°C to up to
8°C, depending on the location10-11. It has also been suggested that
large temperature swings during the last glacial have been caused by
abrupt releases of methane hydrates12-13. In addition, there is
growing concern that the expected future global warming may lead to
hydrate instability and thus to an enhanced emission of methane,
imposing a strong positive feedback that amplifies anthropogenic
warming. It is thus very important to quantify the impact of such a
methane hydrate scenario on the climate system."
Another study referencing the PETM, and anthropogenic atmospheric
carbon emissions, published in the journal "Nature," January 2008:

An Early Cenozoic Perspective on Greenhouse Warming and Carbon-Cycle Dynamics:

November 2010 statement from the Geological Society of
London on human impacts on climate pasted in below, mentioning the


"About 55 million years ago, at the end of the Paleocene, there was a
sudden warming event in which temperatures rose by about 6ºC globally
and by 10-20ºC at the poles22. Carbon isotopic data show that this
warming event (called by some the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or
PETM) was accompanied by a major release of 1500-2000 billion tonnes
or more of carbon into the ocean and atmosphere. .... Similar sudden
warming events are known from the more distant past, for example at
around 120 and 183 million years ago23,24. In all of these events it
took the Earth’s climate around
100,000 years or more to recover, showing that a CO2 release of such
magnitude may affect the Earth’s climate for that length of time25."
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett

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