Constraining climate sensitivity and continental versus seafloor weathering using an inverse geological carbon cycle model

by J. Krissansen-Totton and D.C. Catling, May 22,  2017, in Nature


The relative influences of tectonics, continental weathering and seafloor weathering in controlling the geological carbon cycle are unknown. Here we develop a new carbon cycle model that explicitly captures the kinetics of seafloor weathering to investigate carbon fluxes and the evolution of atmospheric CO2 and ocean pH since 100 Myr ago.

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CHINA CLAIMS METHANE HYDRATES BREAKTHROUGH MAY LEAD TO GLOBAL ENERGY REVOLUTION

by CNN Money, May 21, 2017 in GWPF


The fuel-hungry country has been pursuing the energy source, located at the bottom of oceans and in polar regions, for nearly two decades. China’s minister of land and resources, Jiang Daming, said Thursday that the successful collection of the frozen fuel was “a major breakthrough that may lead to a global energy revolution,” according to state media.

Experts agree that flammable ice could be a game changer for the energy industry, similar to the U.S. shale boom. But they caution that big barriers — both technological and environmental — need to be cleared to build an industry around the frozen fuel, which is also known as gas hydrate.

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Claim: Dams are major driver of global environmental change

by University of Waterloo, May 17, 2017


Water reservoirs created by damming rivers could have significant impacts on the world’s carbon cycle and climate system that aren’t being accounted for, a new study concludes.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Waterloo and the Université libre de Bruxelles, appears in Nature Communications. It found that man-made dam reservoirs trap nearly one-fifth of the organic carbon moving from land to ocean via the world’s rivers.

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Everything You Think You Know About Coal in China Is Wrong

by Melanie Hart et al., May 15, 2017


The United States has a broader array of energy options than China does. However, China is innovating and investing heavily in what it has, and some of the transformations it is achieving already are truly impressive.

China’s leaders have made a strategic choice about the direction of the country: They are aiming to shift from an economy based on heavy, polluting industries to one driven by technology and innovation. The political will for this upgrade has roots in both international geostrategic ambitions and domestic popular grievances about lagging standards of living—and it is beginning to bear fruit. In the process, however, vested interests and technical stumbling blocks have wasted resources and acted as a ballast against Chinese progress. China has the potential to do much more, and the international community should push it to achieve that potential.

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Porewater salinity reveals past lake-level changes in Lake Van, the Earth’s largest soda lake

by Yama Tomonaga et al., March 22, 2017, Nature


In closed-basin lakes, sediment porewater salinity can potentially be used as a conservative tracer to reconstruct past fluctuations in lake level. However, until now, porewater salinity profiles did not allow quantitative estimates of past lake-level changes because, in contrast to the oceans, significant salinity changes (e.g., local concentration minima and maxima) had never been observed in lacustrine sediments. Here we show that the salinity measured in the sediment pore water of Lake Van (Turkey) allows straightforward reconstruction of two major transgressions and a major regression that occurred during the last 250 ka.

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