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Fwd: CC: Volcanoes Caused Global Warming 55 Million Years Ago

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  • patneuman2000
    ... NHNE News List Current Members: 1101 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... VOLCANOES CAUSED GLOBAL WARMING By Steve Connor
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2005
      --- In nhnenews@yahoogroups.com, NHNE <news@n...> wrote:

      NHNE News List
      Current Members: 1101
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      By Steve Connor
      The New Zealand Herald
      January 1, 2005 / 06.06.2004


      A cataclysmic change in the world's climate occurred when undersea
      released stupendous amounts of greenhouse gases about 55 million years
      scientists have found.

      The researchers warn that the dramatic climate change during this
      could be a model for a similar disaster in the coming centuries as a
      of man-made global warming.

      The earth 55 million years ago was already a warmer place than it is
      when it suddenly became much warmer - by between 5C and 10C - for some
      unknown reason.

      Henrik Svensen and his colleagues from the University of Oslo in
      believe they have found the cause of the sudden release of greenhouse
      into the atmosphere which caused global surface temperatures to soar.

      They have identified thousands of volcanic vents under the Atlantic
      which they believe erupted 55 million years ago and in the process
      massive amounts of methane gas buried under the sea.

      In a study published in the journal Nature they say that the vents
      the melting of solid deposits of methane which released carbon dioxide
      the atmosphere and caused a dramatic increase in the amount of solar
      trapped by the atmosphere.

      It is known that vast quantities of methane are still trapped under
      the sea
      in the form of a semi-solid substance called gas hydrates. These are
      individual molecules of methane surrounded by a "cage" of water
      which behave like ice.

      Although these methane deposits represent a huge untapped reservoir of
      potential energy they are known to be highly unstable and their sudden
      melting could trigger a runaway greenhouse effect.

      This is what happened 55 million years ago when the volcanic vents
      under the
      Atlantic Ocean released at least 1500 billion tonnes of carbon in a
      geological instant - triggering one of the hottest periods in the
      history of
      life on Earth.

      Gerald Dickens, an earth scientist from Rice University in Houston,
      said that this past event should be studied more, given that it is
      that man-made emissions of carbon over the coming centuries amount to
      between 3000 billion and 4000 billion tonnes.


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