Posted by: ericgrimsrud | February 20, 2014

Tipping Points – are they for real?

When we consider the undesirable effects of global warming, the one that is by far the most alarming is the possibility of reaching a major “tipping point” beyond which Mother Nature’s response to the effects of man will be to drive our planet to such an extremely warm state that most forms of life will be driven to near or even full extinction.  A most distressing aspect of reaching that state is that future generations would not even have any hope whatsoever for future corrections and improvements.  The “game” of life, as we have come to know and love it, would, indeed, be over.

Wow!   That is truly an alarming statement is it not?  But is there any basis to it other than conjecture?  Unfortunately, there is, indeed, a great deal of historical basis for it.  Our planet has gone through several of these so called “extinction” events before and most occurred for exactly the same reason that we think another is in the works today.  That is, rising levels of carbon dioxide will eventually (and possibly even soon) warm the Earth enough to cause the release massive amounts of solid-phase methane that has been made and stored over the last several tens of millions years under our ocean floors.  An additional boost to methane and carbon dioxide levels will be provided by the melting of our tundra’s permafrost.

My statement above is superbly illustrated in a recent video that can be seen at    Please do have a look and when you do, try to remember that this is not science fiction.  It is based on geologists’ studies of the Earth’s crust.  Also recall that measurements of atmospheric CO2 levels have clearly shown that mankind is already pulling very hard on that “CO2 trigger” required for the onset of another extinction event and is capable of doing so in a “geological second”.   Our atmospheric level of CO2 is currently increasing – due mainly to fossil fuel combustion – at a rate thousands of times faster than all previous rate increases naturally caused by volcanoes. Again, have a look at and note the great resemblance of what is starting to happen today to the history lesson provided there.

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