Earth Out Of Oxygen: GLOBAL HYPOXIA

Move over, “Global Warming” and “Climate Change”! You meek, obsolete euphemisms have been paid by your fossil fuel masters to occupy the front stage, in a masquerade of objectivity. These euphemisms pretend, in the very description they entail, that we are just going to change to a warmer state… No big deal then. Actually the real full consequences of the CO2 emission crisis, are much more catastrophic. We could run out of oxygen.

Indeed, let me introduce, instead of a “warm change”, the radical notion of GLOBAL HYPOXIA“. Yes, no less. That, running out of oxygen is the real ultimate danger in the enfolding man-made CO2 crisis. There are basically three known threats converging on global hypoxia: killing the oxygen making plankton, killing the oxygen making forests… and, even more pernicious, the oxidation of 1,600 gigatons of permafrost (that’s twice the mass of CO2 in the atmosphere…) That will suck oxygen out of the atmosphere…

I have explained that I do not believe in the Impact theory of previous mass extinctions. Instead I believe in what I call (Earth) Core Volcanism. Core Volcanism would have erupted with huge quantities of CO2, hence would have devastated the seas. Hint: at the time when the dinosaurs died, mammals and birds (a type of dinosaur) survived handsomely. Yet the devastation in the ocean was total.

Kill Seas With Acid,  Kill Oxygen Production

Kill Seas With Acid, Kill Oxygen Production

Krugman wrote an editorial “Cutting Back On Carbon“, that explained the obvious, namely that switching to a non carbon economy would not cost much, if at all:

“Next week the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new rules designed to limit global warming. Although we don’t know the details yet, anti-environmental groups are already predicting vast costs and economic doom. Don’t believe them. Everything we know suggests that we can achieve large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at little cost to the economy…

You might ask why the Chamber of Commerce is so fiercely opposed to action against global warming, if the cost of action is so small. The answer, of course, is that the chamber is serving special interests, notably the coal industry — what’s good for America isn’t good for the Koch brothers, and vice versa — and also catering to the ever more powerful anti-science sentiments of the Republican Party.”

I sent an approving comment. However, it was censored. With my approach on this particular subject, it’s systematic. It seems that the censors at the New York Times are either very well paid by very clever supervisors, or so stupid that they believe that those who believe in GLOBAL HYPOXIA are genuinely mad.

Out of charity, I decided to operate under the later hypothesis, and to make even more efforts to educate those ignorant little Wall Street sycophantic tyrants.

Oceans Warming Globally, But Acidity Concentrating Locally

Oceans Warming Globally, But Acidity Concentrating Locally

This is a (boosted) version of what the New York Times censored:

Agreed to all, well analyzed. Now to add a few points
Cutting carbon burning to zero is not just a question of cost, but a matter of survival. The present Green House Gases concentrations already guarantee that the planet’s climate will be brought back to the Jurassic. That guarantees flooding where billions of people are presently living: the Jurassic was characterized by shallow seas.

But that’s not all. Because this is the most violent eruption of CO2 in at least 65 million years, at least a third of the CO2 created by man’s folly goes straight in the ocean. It does so at a rate at least one hundred times faster than at any times in the last tens of millions of years (as ice core studies for the last 650,000 years have confirmed).

Once in the ocean, the carbon dioxide chemically reacts with water to create carbonic acid. The acidity has already climbed by 30%, globally. However, it concentrates mostly in some surface layers… Where sea life is also the most concentrated.

Not Just Global Warming: GLOBAL ACID too.

Thus the CO2 crisis is not just about Global Heating: It is also causing another crisis, a GLOBAL ACID environment too.

If the acidity rises too much, the phytoplankton will die and half of the oxygen supply will be lost.

Now add to this that the forests will burn, and that the permafrost will met and oxidize… and so will many mineral in the ground exposed to higher temperatures. So the Green House Gases pollution is not just a question of changing climate, like one changes clothes. What we have now is a programmed destruction of the biosphere…. and even of the oxygen it breathes!

The fact the US Congress wants to prevent the Pentagon to be well armed for climate change (in particular having as much carbon free fuel as needed), shows indeed that all what the Congress of the USA cares about is preserving the existing power structure. Well, it may be paid for that, but that’s a fatal disposition.

Patrice Aymé


Hypoxia Censored: The preceding comment I made of the Krugman editorial was censored by the New York Times, as all previous comments of mine alluding to running out of oxygen, Global Hypoxia, have also been. This shows the hypocrisy of the Times: it pretends to be worried about the climate, but it does not want its readership to be aware of the ultimate danger we are facing: not just sea level rise, and crocodiles in the Arctic, but a lowering of global oxygen levels. It’s simple, yet radical science.

Scientific Background, From Anthropogenic Decline in High-Latitude Ocean Carbonate by 2100 : “The surface ocean is everywhere saturated with respect to calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Yet increasing atmospheric CO2 reduces ocean pH and carbonate ion concentrations, and thus the level of saturation. Reduced saturation states are expected to affect marine calcifiers even though it has been estimated that all
surface waters will remain saturated for centuries.

Here we show, however, that some surface waters will become undersaturated within decades. When atmospheric CO2 reaches 550 ppmv, in year 2050 under the business-as-
usual scenario, Southern Ocean surface waters begin to become undersaturated
with respect to aragonite, a metastable form of CaCO3.

By 2100… undersaturation extends throughout the entire Southern Ocean and… Pacific. These changes will threaten high-latitude aragonite secreting organisms including cold-water corals, which provide essential fish habitat, and shelled pteropods, an abundant food source for marine predators.”

That was published ten years ago, in 2004. Ever since the CO2 injections from human industry have accelerated considerably.

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21 Responses to “Earth Out Of Oxygen: GLOBAL HYPOXIA”

  1. Paul Handover Says:

    Well if I can’t get my mind around European myths and history, I most certainly can understand how we are endangering the future. The next few years are critical – if we are ever so lucky.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      We are endangering it, because our minds are propelled by lethal myths. It’s not just Islam, Joan of Arc. Reagan’s trickle down, or the hidden mental strategy the USA leadership used to help bring havoc to Europe.

      BTW, as I already asked you, do you think I ought to explain more the reason why the Jehanne d’Arc is important? Certainly Hermann/Armenius of 2,000 years ago, another real story turned into a vicious myth, loomed large in the viciousness of Germany 1853 to 1945…


  2. Ian Miller Says:

    I am not so sure that the oxygen supply is under threat from ocean acidification because algae may well take over – we don’t know. However, the inability of aragonite to precipitate will have unknown but disastrous effects on the ocean’s food chains, and since most things are the food of something else, we can assume serious extinctions of marine life. Unfortunately, I do not believe the modern nations are prepared to do anything about this, but if we continue to burn 9 Gt/a of fossil carbon, ocean acidification is inevitable.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well, OK, some algae produce acid. And they are green, and they kill whoever passes by.

      The most obvious peril is that marine organisms like coral, clams and sea snails either can’t build their calcium carbonate shells or find their housing harder to maintain. Acidifying ocean conditions could cause toxic algae to become nastier and more abundant. Conversely, the organisms might simply adapt without becoming more poisonous. Ultimately, their numbers would be reduced.

      Not much is understood between growth rates, toxin production and ocean conditions for toxic algae. Some species are known to ramp-up toxin production as a defense against predators, others react to low supplies of nutrients.

      Right now more than 30 Gigatons of CO2 are produced per year… As I said, acidification is already up by 30%…


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      BTW, like other plants, algae grows through photosynthesis using sunlight and carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Yet at night, algae perfidiously reverse this process and consume oxygen while continuing to grow. One can go to bed and wake up with a pond full of algae. This rapid growth and continued utilization of oxygen at night can result in dangerously low dissolved oxygen levels, that can result in fish kills…. As any pond owner will certify.


  3. gmax Says:

    Obama could have done more, long ago… what a waste of a perfectly good planet…


    • Paul Handover Says:

      Obama and many other leaders! But the President of the USA, as leader of the most powerful nation in the world, has a unique role in changing attitudes and behaviours. To my way of thinking that is the greater waste.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes. It’s funny how he is waking up now, through the EPA, whereas, when he could have done everything in the first two years, when he controlled Senate and Congress… Supposing he ever controlled anything in his life, and is not just a remotely controlled drone.


  4. Benign Says:

    Life will go on, we may not, or very many of us.

    We’ll see if Mother Gaia has any tricks up her sleeve, or cares. Maybe it’s time for humankind to go away, we’ve messed up the planet sufficiently as to piss off the “gods of the system.”

    Humans are adapted to solve short-run problems, not ones like this. I’ll be gone, I’ll let my great-grandchildren deal with it, should I be so lucky as to have some.

    I do have hope that the meek will inherit the Earth when this is all over, and live peacefully and mindfully ever after. But it is our distinct privilege to witness the leading edge of the Mother of All Crises.



    • Paul Handover Says:

      Well said!


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The leading and CAUSATIVE edge of the Mother of All Crises.

      What’s simply happening, superficially, is that the ruling systems of thought are not adapting fast enough. And the worst is that this is not happening by accident. As I have insisted, sadism, cruelty, love of mayhem, the Dark Side, in other words, is a black hole of the mind: one gets sucks in it, and it creates huge energy, when one falls into it.

      Hitler killed a few dozen millions, and stressed billions (still is, apparently). The obsolete systems of thought, and moods are preparing the death of billions. Hence the interest.

      The meek will inherit oblivion. The strongest will thrive.


  5. John Michael Gartland Says:

    “Did Obama control anything, ever? Or is he just someone who never controlled anything in his life, being just a remotely controlled drone.”

    The latter.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Real plutophiles, such as Obama, get embarrassed by nothing. As long they can fill up their pockets, enjoy the perks, and bask in popularity, it’s even on Earth for them.


  6. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent in support of Krugamn’s editorial 6/6/14.]

    Imposing a carbon intensity tax (CIT) would be easy to do, and devastating on China’s free will.

    Europe, and, in particular France, have been trying, for years, to impose a worldwide carbon tax. (First we do that, then we are ready for a worldwide financial transaction tax, so that the financial pollution can be cut down too!)

    A point about GDP. Clearly, augmenting sustainable energy would augment jobs, in quality and quantity. This is what happened in Germany: the “energy change” there has brought in 500,000 jobs. Scale up to the USA population, that would be two million jobs.

    Many of the jobs are local. For example, the entire housing sector of the USA has to be rebuilt, so houses can become energy efficient. These are jobs inside the USA, not China.

    This is actually well known. Hydrocarbons create actually few jobs: a few oligarchs can control all the faucets at the top, and the money flows in as the fossil fuels flow out. That’s why all oil and gas intensive countries, with the exception of Norway, and, arguably (wait…) the USA, are more or less dictatorships.

    As I keep on insisting, this is not just about “climate change”. It’s about biosphere destruction. Nearly half the CO2 goes into the sea, where it makes carbonic acid. At some point small organism (say phytoplankton) will dissolve, and the food chains in the sea will collapse. Already in some places, the ocean has no more oxygen.

    If we don’t do something drastic, drastic things will be done to us.


  7. lightscientist66 Says:

    Patricia, the pteropod, an important link in the ocean-food webs, has been having problems with dissolving shells for at least a decade already.

    I’ve been trying to research papers on ocean-acidification solutions but I don’t have the institutional passwords so I get stuck in front of the paywall. I have some ideas that I want to test but it would be nice to see what’s been tried as well.

    There’s one paper, from 2010, that’s freely available, “NOAA Ocean and Great Lakes Acidification Research Plan” but it’s comprehensive and detailed, however it’s too early in the approach to do anything but suggest solutions while there’s already a few papers on management. The NOAA paper mentions the pterpods from sampling cruises.

    In addition, oyster farmers in Oregon & Washington State began to lose juvenile and larval oysters in the middle of the last decade and I’ve seen reports of millions of scallops lost of British Columbia as well.

    California is showing signs of losses from ocean acidification already too, but the research hasn’t been released yet, or I’ve not found it.

    There are things that can be done to mitigate ocean acidification as long as we cut the burning of fossil fuels. Scientific American had a link and a summary of one article today, but that’s the one that I’ve not been able to read yet. Macroalgae culture is one approach. Habitat restoration is another. California lags behind because tourism and ignorance have held too much power here for too long.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Lightscientist66: All scientific research is publicly funded, directly, or indirectly, so it ought to be publicly accessible, now that it cost very little to do so.
      It’s not just a question of fairness (people getting what they pay for), but it would improve the discovery of new science. Much of the important mental progress of the past millennia originated in amateurs, those who love, rather than from those who are paid by the powers that be.

      Acidity has already augmented 30%, and dead oceanic zones, even more.


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