Greatest mass extinction driven by acidic oceans, study finds

April 9, 2015
Field work in the United Arab Emirates. Credit: D.Astratti

Changes to the Earth's oceans, caused by extreme volcanic activity, triggered the greatest extinction of all time, a study suggests.

The event, which took place 252 million years ago, wiped out more than 90 per cent of marine species and more than two-thirds of the animals living on land.

It happened when Earth's oceans absorbed huge amounts of from volcanic eruptions, researchers say.

This changed the chemical composition of the oceans - making them more acidic - with catastrophic consequences for life on Earth, the team says.

The study, co-ordinated by the University of Edinburgh, is the first to show that highly acidic oceans were to blame.

The findings are helping scientists understand the threat posed to marine life by modern-day . The amount of carbon added to the atmosphere that triggered the mass extinction was probably greater than today's fossil fuel reserves, the team says.

However, the carbon was released at a rate similar to modern emissions. This fast rate of release was a critical factor driving acidification, researchers say.

The Permian-Triassic Boundary extinction took place over a 60,000 year period, researchers say. Acidification of the oceans lasted for around 10,000 years.

Ocean acidification was the driving force behind the deadliest phase of the extinction, which dealt a final blow to an already unstable ecosystem, researchers say. Increased temperatures and widespread loss of oxygen in the oceans had already put the environment under pressure.

The team conducting field work in United Arab Emirates Credit: D.Astratti

Oceans can absorb some carbon dioxide but the large volume released - at such a fast rate - changed the chemistry of the oceans, the team says.

The mass extinction of both marine and land-based animals demonstrates that extreme change took place in all of Earth's ecosystems, the team says.

The team analysed rocks unearthed in the United Arab Emirates - which were on the ocean floor at the time - to develop a climate model to work out what drove the extinction. The rocks preserve a detailed record of changing oceanic conditions at the time.

The study, published in the journal Science, was carried out in collaboration with the University of Bremen, Germany, and the University of Exeter, together with the Universities of Graz, Leeds, and Cambridge.

Field locality in United Arab Emirates. Credit: M.O.Clarkson

Funding was provided by the International Centre for Carbonate Reservoirs, Natural Environment Research Council, The Leverhulme Trust, German Research Foundation and the Marsden Fund.

Dr Matthew Clarkson, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, who co-ordinated the study, said: "Scientists have long suspected that an ocean acidification event occurred during the greatest of all time, but direct evidence has been lacking until now. This is a worrying finding, considering that we can already see an increase in ocean acidity today that is the result of human ."

Professor Rachel Wood, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said: "This work was highly collaborative and the results were only possible because we assembled a unique team of geochemists, geologists and modellers to tackle an important and long-standing problem."

Explore further: Oxygen-depleted toxic oceans had key role in mass extinction over 200 million years ago

More information: Ocean acidification and the Permo-Triassic mass extinction, Science, www.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/science.aaa0193

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verkle
Apr 09, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Vietvet
4.8 / 5 (19) Apr 09, 2015
@verkle

Congratulation!

You've won the award for the biggest bullshit comment of the year, so far anyway.
greenonions
4.8 / 5 (19) Apr 09, 2015
Yes verkle - this event occurred 252 million years ago. 90 % of marine life - and 2/3 of land animals were killed (guess the other 1/3 of all land animals hung out on the ark). The event took 60,000 years (was Noah really that old?)

sounds exactly like the bible version of the flood (sarcasm).
classicplastic
3.8 / 5 (17) Apr 09, 2015
So, where are all the "ocean acidification" deniers?

I can't wait to see how they try to spin this away, when all one has to do to prove it exists is to dip a simple pH test strip into the nearest salt water. And, "this isn't our fault" doesn't count. The impact on today's ecosystem and economy is clear and well-understood: https://fortress....1002.pdf (Only two pages, with large type and pictures.)

Or, talk to any shellfish farmer: http://www.taylor...ity.aspx

jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (12) Apr 09, 2015
Sounds a lot like Noah's flood. Science is proving the Bible more and more, just as has happened in archaeology.

No. A flood covering the entire world and killing all humans but a handful and all but 2 of each creature and a mass extinction due to ocean acidity are very different things.

It does no such thing. Any info the bible got right on science is a coincidence and/or what the bible says is twisted by believers to make it sound like what they are trying to match it too.

Archaeology has also disproven much more than proven bible stories.
gkam
3.1 / 5 (15) Apr 10, 2015
Typical response I expect: "So what? Humans didn't do it, did they?"

Answer to give: "Not that time."
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (13) Apr 10, 2015
Sounds a lot like Noah's flood. Science is proving the Bible more and more, just as has happened in archaeology.

I would like to know how, exactly, does this article in any way sound like a flood scenario?
Mike_Massen
3.5 / 5 (16) Apr 10, 2015
verkle claimed
Sounds a lot like Noah's flood
No, stop with the naive immature & emotionally driven confirmational bias, especially u with 3 claimed college degrees stated here:-
http://phys.org/n...hip.html

Floods are a common theme in almost all cultures, do u want to know why, well its obvious to those that think it through & observe just where people mostly form communities.

Near sea, easy fish access & river deltas as good water availability & plant nutrients - doh !

Bear in mind there is no absolutely stable environment, there is immense diversity & chaos & climate shifts, storms, tsunamis, tidal waves, conjunctive phenomena eg glacial collapses whilst at high tide etc.

Primitives attributed those events to a punishing deity, sound familiar ?

verkle claimed
Science is proving the Bible more and more..
No way. Opposite far more evident !

@verkle
How was Moses trained to recognise a god vs a devil cheat ?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (10) Apr 10, 2015
A flood covering the entire world and killing all humans but a handful and all but 2 of each creature

...weeeell. God only killed the non-pious kinds of animals. Fish, it seems, were all totally pious.
(Oh, and no mention of kangaroos in the bible account. You'd think that such a weird creature would get a mention instead of all the mundane ones on the list.)
Bongstar420
1 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2015
Really, you think it was CO2 and not SO2?

That sounds pretty retarded
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2015
Or, talk to any shellfish farmer
I really miss abalone steaks. Nowadays you get like four or five little teeny strips of abalone for a hundred bucks.
Da Schneib
4.8 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2015
Really, you think it was CO2 and not SO2?
Ummm, maybe you missed the part where they did chemical analysis of the rocks. That's pretty retarded if you ask me.
gkam
3.2 / 5 (13) Apr 12, 2015

Good thing we are not acidifying the oceans now!!!

Oh, . . . we ARE?
viko_mx
1 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2015
What oracles and shamans have taken over academia. But the myths must go on;)
Returners
not rated yet Apr 12, 2015
A flood covering the entire world and killing all humans but a handful and all but 2 of each creature

...weeeell. God only killed the non-pious kinds of animals. Fish, it seems, were all totally pious.
(Oh, and no mention of kangaroos in the bible account. You'd think that such a weird creature would get a mention instead of all the mundane ones on the list.)


The text is not meant to be exhaustive.

Its probably related to the black sea flood or one of the floods on the Tigris and Euphrates.
Returners
1 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2015
@verkle
How was Moses trained to recognise a god vs a devil cheat ?


An infinite consciousness can presumably do things that a finite, created being, however powerful, cannot do.

God does not need a starship.

Then again, I don't need a tuxedo, but it's nice to have one anyway.
Mike_Massen
3.2 / 5 (11) Apr 12, 2015
Returners offered
An infinite consciousness (IC) can presumably do things that a finite, created being, however powerful, cannot
Indeed, generally my view & if that IC did actually care equally about all humans & had desire to communicate then we wouldn't have Moses' book badly distributed as any sort of proof that the IC cares & especially so the book describes unequivocally Moses' god is a; punisher of the innocent, causes suffering, kills for looking in a box, does not educate anything AT ALL to help/alleviate suffering, logic of the type in a dream.

Returners added
God does not need a starship...
My view too

Question arises; "If one wanted to arrive at the essential truth of the nature of existence in terms of if there were a supreme being, how would one determine the being's attributes?"

I'd start with putting all claims of men in the basket of "prove it" because its clear for millennia humans do craft unprovable claims gaining Authority !

cont
howhot2
5 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2015
Interesting article that confirms what has been speculated at for a while. The P/T extinction boundary was probably caused by events causing the massive release of CO2 causing ocean acidification and the great extinction. The source of the CO2 was massive and quick, causing CO2 levels to spike to 2000ppm (compared to our current 400ppm heading to 500 in the next 5 years). The source of the CO2 was obviously volcanism with the cause being either plate tectonics or a large asteroid strike or super-volcano. The extent and reach of the extinction is mind bending.

Someone can calculate what the pH would have reached with that much CO2 being infused into the ocean. From our modern day CO2 spike of 280ppm to 401.52ppm some damage can already be seen from ocean acidification at current levels.

It's amazing our forefathers generations prior survived the P/T extinction and look where man is today!

gkam
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 12, 2015
"It's amazing our forefathers generations prior survived the P/T extinction and look where man is today!"
----------------------------------------------------

WHAT???
howhot2
5 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2015
"It's amazing our forefathers generations prior survived the P/T extinction and look where man is today!"
----------------------------------------------------

WHAT???

Haha.. tongue-in-cheek comment Gkam. Our forefathers before the P/T boundary where probably close to snail slime. But none the less, they survived. If snail slime can survive 2000ppm CO2, and the heat, so can the modern human race!
Vietvet
5 / 5 (7) Apr 14, 2015
@howhot

Cockroaches will probably survive 2000ppm but I wouldn't count on humanity lasting.
howhot2
5 / 5 (5) Apr 14, 2015
I'm just joking guys. Humanity is pretty cunning but when 90% of the human nutrition is gone from acidic oceans... not much will survive past a few generations. Except for the cock-roaches of course. Give them a million years and they may be first life from Earth to land on Mars!
Mike_Massen
2.7 / 5 (7) Apr 14, 2015
FWiW, from my last post grad in Food Science at Curtin University 2010, additives - so called ;'E' numbers have various uses Eg triacetin, many completely benign.

One such food additive is used for anti-knock in engines ie Added to fuel & has been studied by Nasa as an edible base to eat & manufacture recycle foods for long term space flight. Its fairly easy to make from common waste products and along with mineral recycling can get us by for long periods. Its polymerisation into more complex carbs can be sustained long term with negligible health effects. That and bacteria/fungi to generate proteins can get us by for several years in a closed system as long as we have energy to run the chemistry as well as for respiration etc.

http://ntrs.nasa....5022.pdf

I get impression approx 3% CO2 is where problems start to occur, so 2000ppm being 0.2% isnt likely to be much re our respiration though sure, it will affect our food.
howhot2
5 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2015
Your probably right Mike. Humans probably wouldn't have physical health issues with CO2 until 3000ppm (as a wild-ass-guess). Earth is currently registering 401.58ppm CO2 with exponential growth in concentrations from 280ppm pre-industrial. So with an increase of 121ppm we already have a average global average temp rise of +1.2C above the 280ppm average. So the correlation is roughly 1C = 100ppm. Civilization won't survive a past 3C in my opinion; Not in the normal sense of things.

classicplastic
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 14, 2015
Earth is currently registering 401.58ppm CO2 with exponential growth in concentrations from 280ppm pre-industrial. So with an increase of 121ppm we already have a average global average temp rise of +1.2C above the 280ppm average. So the correlation is roughly 1C = 100ppm. Civilization won't survive a past 3C in my opinion; Not in the normal sense of things.


Agreed.

Of course, that's assuming that the Chinese don't clean up their air pollution. According to the experts on Global Dimming, Chinese pollution as it works east across the Pacific raises the cloud albedo by providing more nucleus material upon which to form small droplets that reflect solar energy back into space. Without Asian pollution, they expect that the impacts of rising CO2 levels would be twice what they already are.

So, the actual the correlation is probably closer to 1C for every 50ppm increase. Talk about your Catch 22. Makes me glad that I'm old and will be dead by then. I hope. :-)
gkam
2.6 / 5 (10) Apr 14, 2015
"Makes me glad that I'm old and will be dead by then. I hope. :-)"
-------------------------------------

If not, then soon after, apparently.
classicplastic
3 / 5 (8) Apr 14, 2015
"Makes me glad that I'm old and will be dead by then. I hope. :-)"
-------------------------------------

If not, then soon after, apparently.


Well, I've usually been about five years ahead of the crowd. Hopefully, that will be early enough to miss out on the worst of the global resource wars. 11 billion hungry humans are not going to go quietly and peacefully off to their quiet dignified deaths.

At least, not as long as there is something left to steal in order to live for one more day. None of us are more than nine meals away from savagery, and some of us are a lot closer to it than that.
howhot2
5 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2015
Well, I've usually been about five years ahead of the crowd. Hopefully, that will be early enough to miss out on the worst of the global resource wars. 11 billion hungry humans are not going to go quietly and peacefully off to their quiet dignified deaths.

I see that future too, and its a very predictable end result of human over consumption (what is typical of a modern lifestyle). I'm guilty of ir. Almost everyone is. This is were we need to change!

Buy a Chevy Volt, or a Nisan Leaf or a ... add solar to your house, etc etc. Just a small change or two can collectively make a impact on the issue. It certainly beats savagery!
classicplastic
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 15, 2015
I see that future too, and its a very predictable end result of human over consumption (what is typical of a modern lifestyle). I'm guilty of ir. Almost everyone is. This is were we need to change!

Buy a Chevy Volt, or a Nisan Leaf or a ... add solar to your house, etc etc. Just a small change or two can collectively make a impact on the issue. It certainly beats savagery!


Much as I hate to disagree with a fellow AGW cultist, but conservation alone, even if it was global, isn't going to save the planet. It's WAY too late for that option. Too many of us cultists fixate on conservation, which seems to scratch some sort of itch, and then we stop seeking functional solutions that will actually pull our fat out of the fire. Conservation fantasies are the philosophical equivalent to potato chips: food-like and tasty, but you won't live long if that's all you eat..
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2015
Gotta kinda agree with you there, classic. My pet peeve is people who fuss about global warming but are against nuclear electric plants. The worst ones are against fusion, too. That's just plain nuts.

I advocate just about anything that reduces or eliminates coal burning, because that's where most of the CO₂ comes from. Electric cars are a great idea, but if you're burning coal to make the electricity, it's not helping.
gkam
2 / 5 (8) Apr 17, 2015
"My pet peeve is people who fuss about global warming but are against nuclear electric plants."
--------------------------------
That's me.

Can we send you some waste? They can't seem to keep it at Hanford or WIPP.

I think it is a Faustian Bargain.

classicplastic
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 17, 2015
"My pet peeve is people who fuss about global warming but are against nuclear electric plants."
--------------------------------
That's me.

Can we send you some waste? They can't seem to keep it at Hanford or WIPP.

I think it is a Faustian Bargain.



Ordinarily, I'd agree. But, there's new technology and now we can send the waste to Bill Gates and he'll recycle it into even more carbon-free electricity. Say what you will about him, but his business partner Nathan Myhrvold is one scary-smart SOB.

TerraPower's Traveling Wave Reactor design uses inexpensive depleted uranium as fuel with great efficiency, creating a cost-competitive nuclear energy technology and the technology is a lot safer. It also means that it's not necessary to refine the materials up to weapon's grade strength. http://terrapower...benefits

What's sad is that he's having to go to China to find anyone who's interested in this breakthrough technology.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 17, 2015
Yes, I know, and it is perfectly safe, and absolutely cannot hurt us, and will be too cheap to meter.
classicplastic
2.7 / 5 (7) Apr 18, 2015
Yes, I know, and it is perfectly safe, and absolutely cannot hurt us, and will be too cheap to meter.


With all respect, are we being a wee bit kneejerk cynical? Have you done enough research into Traveling Wave Reactor design to be qualified to have an opinion and then made an informed choice or have you been hanging out with verkle too long?

From Wiki: "A deal with the devil or pact with the devil is a cultural motif, best exemplified by the legend of Faust and the figure of Mephistopheles, but elemental to many Christian folktales. " Don't look now, but you seem to be singing from his hymnal.

If I'm wrong, I'm more than willing to be convinced with Science and rational argument. But, we're in deep poo and it serves no one to automatically stand in the way of any possible salvation, even it it isn't a panacea, by throwing up an Aunt Sally just because it conflicts with our prejudices. If you can't change your mind, are you sure that you still have one? :-)
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Apr 18, 2015
Traveling Wave Reactor design
I can see we're on the same page. TWRs even burn nuclear waste. It's a solution to the waste problem as well as a solution to the energy problem.
Gkam has been told this but has chosen through prejudice to ignore it. I have him on ignore for that.

There are significant technical challenges to making it work, but no breakthroughs are required; just solid engineering. We already know how this works; it's just a matter of implementing it.

How sorry that the US government can't get their shit together to do something about it.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 18, 2015
plastic and schneib, thanks for the responses. How about if you get my reasons?
Look into the cycles of thermal power production and for efficiency, and see nuclear is the lowest, for the same reason as always - danger. If they increase the Delta T, they risk killing us. Not a good way to boil water, is it?

No, I am not being knee-jerk cynical, I am being professionally cynical. Having served in the utility business, I understand all the production technologies. Your traveling wave device is just another promise, like free electricity.

Being part of the team which tested parts of the safety systems of GE Mark I & II BWR's, I learned their weak points, the ones non-professionals are not aware. I saw the duplicity in the Nuclear Priesthood, where reactor explosions from fast fissions are not carried as nuclear, but as "steam explosions".
cont.
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 18, 2015
contd.
We need a Police State if we are to to stay a nuclear nation. Maybe you folk like Big Brother, but I learned to not trust those owned by Big Money.

Most of you do not have any experience in that field, and are ripe for manipulation. Where are you going to put the waste? Not at WIPP, they can't even store gloves there, without contaminating Carlsbad. Not at Hanford, where babies are born without complete brains.

They keep the spent fuel rods in pools of water, kept cool with electricity for decades. If the power goes out and the pool boils dry, we are REALLY in for it. Almost every one of our reactors and former reactors are stuck with this liability. Once you touch this stuff, you are cursed forever, in human terms, since it must be kept isolated for tens of thousands of years. Are you going to guarantee that?
classicplastic
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 18, 2015
gkam-

Thanks for your thoughtful input. It sounds like you're more qualified to have opinions than most of us. My goal has always been to initiate some serious discussions on the buffet of sustainability challenges that has been served to us. Ultimately, we're going to have to find a way to take this mega-problem out of government hands, and that seems feasible, with some original ideas.

I'm well-aware of Hanford: I live about 300 miles from it, thankfully upwind. Running out of cooling pond power doesn't worry me nearly as much as the many leaking underground storage tanks. That's where the brainless babies are coming from. I won't drive within 100 miles of the place.
classicplastic
1 / 5 (4) Apr 18, 2015
-Continued

First question: Could you please explain Delta T within this context? What I know about it is in relation to real time vs. terrestrial time. For instance, when glaciers in the poles melt, the land rebounds and the earth spins faster, thereby shortening the crop year. How does this relate to the boiling of water?

Second question: Am I wrong, or are you basing your conclusions and distrust about the NextGen TerraPower TWR design on your extensive experiences with the old school reactors? I could be wrong, but it seems like you're comparing apples to oranges.

Some differences: Current 5% light water reactors need enriched uranium, which must be replaced every 18-24 months. This is literally the nuclear version of the steam engine.
classicplastic
1 / 5 (4) Apr 18, 2015
-Continued

By contrast, TWR uses a liquid sodium bath, it uses depleted uranium for fuel and keeps it in place for a minimum 10 years.

If you want to come up to speed on TWR, you'll find a good gateway at http://terrapower...er-world From there are links to harder data. We, at least, all share the same goal of creating a better world for all. The only issue is how.

It seems to me that we ought to be building a lot of TWR's at Hanford. Use the onsite waste as fuel and fund it with the budget for millennial-scale containment that will no longer be required. At the end of the day, there should be a lot less radioactive waste and a whole lot of coal that hasn't been burned to generate power for a huge region. That strikes me as progress in a world of severely limited practical options.
classicplastic
1 / 5 (4) Apr 18, 2015
-Continued

As for the personal corruption within the nuke industry, that's just government snufflers-at-the-public-trough doing what they always do: Protecting their paychecks. We shouldn't ever expect any differently.

Ultimately, we need to take this whole mess out of the hands of government, which is what Bill Gates has done, multiple times. That's also possible with global-scale carbon capture and biosequestration, which is my field.

FWIW, I've lived in the same town as Gates since before Microsoft stock went public, decades ago. So, I've had a lot of time to watch him in action, both as he made his $ billions and as he's giving them away. He's either the con man of all time with an unbreakable veneer or the real deal. If anyone doesn't need to do anything just for the money or power, it's him.

Personally, I trust him and wish that I could find a way to sit down with him for an hour. Are you listening, Bill? :-)
gkam
2 / 5 (8) Apr 18, 2015
Classic, wow, thanks for the dialogue and genuine questions, which I will try to satisfy.

One, my discussions of Delta-T regards the extraction of energy from the process. The larger the temperature differential, or delta-T, the more energy we can extract from the process. Fossil plants can run at the absolute limit of metallurgy, in the supercritical area of steam, but nuclear reactors are limited in temperature rise.

Two, yes my opposition is mainly from the systems we have now, but it is really the mental set, the groupthink of those who have taken the hard classes, who worked to save us, but who now find it questionable, and are being backed into a corner.
Mike_Massen
2.2 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2015
@classicplastic
Think gkam was referring to temperature differential re Delta T, ie the higher the greater "risk assessment issue" re probability of some sort of unplanned/chaotic like failure which big money tries to ameliorate emotively etc...

If we MUST have nuclear, I am in favour of Thorium bases reactors, essential unweaponisable and much cheaper with various options to consume/burn existing high level nuclear waste and depending upon configuration will not produce long lived waste either.

Also, afaik, Thorium is almost everywhere, common in mineral sands around Australia and in other parts of the world so no issue of control anywhere as problematic as with Uranium.

However, we should not forget Sol (our Sun) produces immense Solar Power we just need to craft ways to harness it and for gods sake not increase our background radiation (some 2% since start of WW2) any more and have a nice clean future with oil only used for lube and coal only used for fossils !
gkam
2 / 5 (8) Apr 18, 2015
Classic, contd,

A story, a real one: I was a Research Engineer helping to conduct tests on GE Mark I & II specific problems in the Safety Relief Valve system. We worked long hours running simulations, analyzing the information, modifying the systems and running more with high-speed cameras and data retrieval.

I came home one night, wrung out, and my wife suggested we go out to a movie. Unfortunately, it was China Syndrome, and when Jack Nicholson ripped that graph off the printer, I saw the same graphs I had been looking at for weeks, of pressure waves in the Suppression Pool.

I did not sleep well after that late-night drive-in movie, and a few hours later my wife stirred me with the statement "There is a nuclear emergency on Pennsylvania". I responded that was in the movie. Nope. It was real - Three Mile Island.

We stopped work to follow it, and knew early the first morning the core had melted, by the readings of a helicopter-towed scintillator flown over containment.
classicplastic
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 18, 2015
gkam-

Wow! Spending a hard day analyzing Safety Relief Valve systems, then "The China Syndrome," and THEN 3 Mile Island? That'll leave a mark. :-)

One of the main focuses of TWR research is improving the containment materials technology to withstand higher temps and, therefore, deliver higher Delta T (if I understand that right).

Do you know or have you heard of Roger Reynolds. He's TerraPower's Senior Technology Advisor. Said he, about a month ago: "I've been in the nuclear fuel business for a long time and TerraPower's research and development continues to stand out."

They're making progress, too. He also wrote, "We succeeded this year with the fabrication of the first fast reactor fuel assembly for the traveling wave reactor (TWR). This full-sized proof is five meters long and is specially designed to hold TWR fuel. We're incredibly proud of this accomplishment, as it marks a significant milestone in our journey to a prototype."
classicplastic
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2015
-Continued

I understand the groupthink issue: You've got people who climbed up a huge learning curve in order to learn the now-old technology, but are basically one trick ponies. Since they perceive that their very survival depends on the old system, they hang on for all they're worth. We can't change them, but we can leave them obsolete and sitting in the dust of their shut-down GE's.

I was trained in the Navy in electronics. But, that was so long ago that most electronics systems still used vacuum tubes and transistors were the size of your little fingernail. So, by the end of my three year tour, most of what I had learned had little use in the real world.

I also learned about super-heterodyning positive feedback loops and it appears that this is what's happening to our climate.

The fundamental question is, "How are we going to get from where we are to where we need to be?" All I know for sure is that it will be a suite of solutions, not a panacea.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2015
classic, I hope you are right, but it cost us more than most people know to get there, if we are really "there".

I think we are not, and the great ideas die in their exposure to Reality.

BTW, Does the Comm world still run at 455kHz?
classicplastic
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2015
@Mike_Massen

I can see the immense attraction to thorium. There's bad news and good news here:

The Bad:

We in the US and elsewhere gave thorium the old college try, starting in the late 50's, for nearly 50 years at Oak Ridge. We spent billions of dollars on experimenting and havve spent billions more cleaning up the mess from the experiments. The startup costs were incredibly high.

Especially troubling is that the end product of thorium fission is uranium 233, which has incredibly high radiation output. U-233 does not require complex implosion technology to turn it into a bomb. If terrorists could get their hands on just six kilos of it, they could easily craft a crude "improvised nuclear device." You wouldn't want this going of in a suitcase left by a martyr in Times Square. Somehow or other, the government seems to have lost 96 kilos of U-233. Much of this info comes from http://thebulleti...asnt7156 and seems credible.
classicplastic
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2015
@Mike_Massen - Continued

The Good News:

According to http://www.zdnet....eactors/ back in 2013, TerraPower is indeed exploring thorium, along with whatever else seems to hold promise as an atomic fuel. But, this is happening quietly behind the scenes, which is not uncommon with Gates projects:

Intellectual ventures used to have a lot of info on their site about climate geoengineering and their patented Salter Sink, but that all disappeared a couple of years ago. The links that I bookmarked now go to the main page, instead of the articles. Since climate stabilization was a very high priority at the time and they referred to the knee-jerk societal pushback on anything to do with geoengineering, my guess is that they just stopped being a target by removing the info. Half the battle in life is learning when to duck.

Thorium seems to have more very high hurdles to cross than we have time left..
classicplastic
1 / 5 (4) Apr 18, 2015
@gkam

BTW, Does the Comm world still run at 455kHz?


I have no idea. I was an AX: "Aviation Anti-submarine Warfare" technician, though I spent most of my tour in man-hour accounting data analysis and running the base theater. I still know how to find and tag submerged submarines from airplanes, but there wasn't much call for that skill in civilian life. :-)
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2015
classic, we adopted your sonobuoys into ground acoustic and seismic sensors for Igloo White, the Electronic Battlefield.

I referred to the IF, or Intermediate frequency used by all Superhet sets since Armstrong invented it. Jam that sucker, and you've made a mess.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Apr 18, 2015
http://phys.org/n...ate.html

Read the comments. Apparently gkam's first name is Grace.
classicplastic
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 18, 2015
classic, we adopted your sonobuoys into ground acoustic and seismic sensors for Igloo White, the Electronic Battlefield.

I referred to the IF, or Intermediate frequency used by all Superhet sets since Armstrong invented it. Jam that sucker, and you've made a mess.


You got the technology right. Can you name the system? Igloo White started just as I went on active duty in '68 and ran three more years after I got out in late '70. That would explain why people kept telling me that the AX rating was being closed out and that, if I wanted to advance, I'd have to switch to the related AT (Aviation Electronics). I never knew the reason. But, I didn't want to advance, I wanted OUT back to civilian life! :-)

(Don't tell the Taliban about the 455kHz deal.)

Do we get a prize for straying so far off the ocean acidification topic?
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Apr 18, 2015
I particularly enjoyed the part about Grace going to bed with her wife after doing nuclear engineering. In the 1970s. Honesty would have compelled the use of a term other than "wife," assuming this anecdote is anything but pure fabrication. It's not 1970 any more. And that's assuming Grace was ever a nuclear engineer which I see reason to seriously doubt. And that's why Grace is on ignore by me; I can smell dishonesty, and I despise it.

Please don't bother with the ones who make up lies. Otherwise we'll never get rid of them.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2015
I was not a nuclear engineer. You are sounding like otto.

And it was years later that my buddies at Bechtel (they were right next to us at PG&E), showed me the photos of the inner reactor vessel.

"I can smell dishonesty "
-------------------------------------
It all depends on where you have your nose.

You are certainly free to doubt whatever you want, in order to appease your own psychological needs, but I suggest you stop accusing others of lying just because you do not like the information.

None of what I said is untrue. None of it,. And I challenge you to prove me wrong.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2015
classic, I was an original BatCat, helping to put the systems together and building the equipment we would need overseas. We deployed in late 1967.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Apr 18, 2015
We had a boatload of ARR-52's, crypto, digiplexers, sonic analyzers, Lockheed 417 instrumentation recorders, FM-622, the Wilcox 807, the VHF-101, ARA-25, ARC-27 and ARC-51X/BX, all with backups. We later added the ARC-89. I have a very interesting story about that one, still denied offically.
classicplastic
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2015
We had a boatload of ARR-52's, crypto, digiplexers, sonic analyzers, Lockheed 417 instrumentation recorders, FM-622, the Wilcox 807, the VHF-101, ARA-25, ARC-27 and ARC-51X/BX, all with backups. We later added the ARC-89. I have a very interesting story about that one, still denied offically.


And yet, Charlie still fought us to a standstill.... "Charlie didn't get much USO. He was dug in too deep or moving too fast. His idea of great R&R was cold rice and a little rat meat. He had only two ways home: death, or victory."

Those were some crazy times and I'm glad that I was stationed at NAS Brooklyn, NY. 1967 was the year that I established a lifelong policy of staying at least 3,000 miles away from war zones. So far, that's worked out very well.

Now, 48 years later, we're friends and just wrapping up the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement, along with 10 other Pacific Rim countries. I'd call that Progress.

Mike_Massen
3 / 5 (8) Apr 19, 2015
@Da Schneib

I've been around long enough to see how prejudice grows from misunderstanding, becoming quite vitriolic when not challenged early, if I recall even you claimed I had a go at you for something odd I recall nothing but, despite my politely asking you to show me, nothing eventuated, maybe you took a holiday or sick leave & forgot. Point is we should be VERY sure of our facts before we malign anyone as it grows into prejudice which can be damaging, surely we should focus on the Science ?

So when you quoted
http://phys.org/news/2015-04-obama-greater-threat-planet-climate.html
Read the comments. Apparently gkam's first name is Grace
I looked for "Grace" all I saw is a line from a post by AGreatWhopper which includes a line "Grace Kam @saygraceee · Sep 7", without context, not email address, nothing useful, what is the point ?

To claim someone has first name "Grace" does what ?

Da Schneib, we are both engineering trained, what does any of it achieve ?
gkam
2 / 5 (8) Apr 19, 2015
Mike, I already identified myself, so otto could go sulk. I am George Kamburoff, "and not a mere device", to quote Thurber.

Sorry to irritate all of you, but what I said is real. Yeah, it is full of ridiculous experience, but true. I was hoping we could discuss it all, the real world, and compare and debate, but too many folk here are playing some kind of game. otto even crows about it, his "sock puppets", and the "games" he plays with others.

But I am here to learn and teach, too. Why are you folk here?
classicplastic
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 19, 2015
Why are you folk here?


I'll repeat the answer that I recently gave to a similar question in a different thread:

"Never get into a wrestling match with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it."

Trolling is a way to get attention. The solution is not unlike how one tortures a masochist: DON'T hurt them. Don't play into the righteous indignation that gives them their high. :-)
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2015
classicplastic claimed
I'll repeat the answer that I recently gave to a similar question in a different thread:"Never get into a wrestling match with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.
Not helpful to lower this to a level to try & fit bad cliche'.

Scientists/engineers are smarter & as such we should have NO tolerance for false claims going unchallenged eg Water_Prophet, there is evidence he changed his position previously, although he shows signs of Pathological lying, it is in response to psychiatric need for acceptance ie doesnt fit narrow view of a (generalised) troll, overall situation subject to review.

classicplastic stated
..DON'T hurt them. Don't play into the righteous indignation that gives them their high
No. Your characterization doesn't help AND leaves idiots their means to spread obfuscation & of all places a Science site for all to see

Consider please consequences as the young/naive read these posts, what example do you set ?
classicplastic
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 19, 2015
Consider please consequences as the young/naive read these posts, what example do you set ?


You make some good points, Mike. I hadn't considered the impact of bad Science on our young people, whom the Deniers seem so bent on killing with a dying world.

But, I do contend that not sparring with trolls is also excellent wisdom to learn, and my offering to gkam was intended to share some psychological clarity and management mechanisms. Since there wasn't room to write a dozen pages, I distilled the concept down to what you despairingly refer to as a "cliche," which I see as the intellectual version of a math formula. Not all Science is hard Science.

Other tidbits that I wish that I'd learned much earlier in life are "Don't feed the psychic vampires," and "You can't fix stupid." My life became a lot more pleasant once I started practicing these.
classicplastic
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 19, 2015
- Continued

I would think that the best environment for serious learners on phys.org would be one in which the idiots do not contribute. As long as you keep swallowing the troll's bait, they're not going to go away. You're giving them what they seek, so why would they pull the needle out of their arms? I train animals, including cats, so I understand this stuff fairly well.

If you ignore them, they'll get bored and go away. Isn't that sort of a clean environment better for the children? If it really bothers you, that's why god made the Ignore button. If everyone hits that, problem solved.

The thing to ask yourself is, "Is this strategy working to clean up phys.org?" If it isn't, it wouldn't hurt to do some rethinking of your assumptions. Just sayin'...
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2015
To claim someone has first name "Grace" does what ?
If you choose to ignore reality there's little I can suggest you do.

Da Schneib, we are both engineering trained, what does any of it achieve ?
Telling the truth always achieves something. That you choose to ignore it tells something else.

Choose to do better.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2015
I was not a nuclear engineer.
Then you lied, because you claimed to be, in this thread.

Being part of the team which tested parts of the safety systems of GE Mark I & II BWR's, I learned their weak points
Quote endquote.

It's time you either left, or confessed the lying you've been doing. Your call.

You what, got them coffee? That's all women were allowed to do in the 1970s on engineering teams.

I don't approve of it, and I think it was wrong, and I'd have women on MY team, but that's the way it was then and the question isn't about whether it was right, it's about whether it was true- and there was no one named "Grace" doing nuclear engineering on emergency pressure relief valves on GE reactors in the 1970s.

You're lying, and you're obvious. I have asked you to stop before now and have you on ignore because you would not. Pathological lying does not help the cause of global warming response.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2015
And Grace, that you'd lie makes me sad.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 19, 2015
Hey,Toots, I have never said I was a Nuclear Engineer. Read the statement. Research Engineers test those systems, because Nuclear Engineers would "find" what they want. It is part of the NRC procedures.

We also tested graphitic fiber composites for NASA, and wrote the Industrial Hardening Manual for DCPA.

What were you doing in 1978-79?

Are you otto??
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 19, 2015
Da s did not know about the separation of interest in nuclear matters, I guess. Like otto, he assumed everybody was a Nuclear Engineer, not a Mechanical or Electrical, or Instrumentation, or Safety Engineer, nope, they are all Nuclear Engineers to get through the gate.

Please stop playing your games, and learn something, . . such as humility and honesty.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Apr 20, 2015
Busted. And whining.

Disgusting. And typical.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Apr 20, 2015
I already debated you on the merits, Gracie, and you started lying so I put you on ignore.
Mike_Massen
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 20, 2015
Da Schneib uttered with slanted hypocrisy
If you choose to ignore reality there's little I can suggest you do.
Telling the truth always achieves something.That you choose to ignore it tells something else.
Choose to do better
Isn't it better to focus on claims re Science & addressing them accurately

Bickering about; someones name, pedantic re worked on project implying status as male or female vs outright statement of status are thin basis on which to waste posts, better to focus on Science, agree ?

I despise dishonesty & proselytizing even tangentially but, there is no point wasting posts on a misread or 1/2 remembered implication. As I despise dishonesty I will NOT put idiots on 'ignore', I will address their claims, so obviously if they are dumb enough to put me on ignore they don't see my refutation but others do, its straightforward.

Question arises

"Isn't it far smarter to NOT put those who make claims about Science & those details on 'ignore' ? "
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2015
Point is, she lied about it- and about a lot more, too. It seems pretty hypocritical to me to rant about lying about science and ignore lying about experience.

This is a version of the fallacy of appeal to a false authority, in this case oneself.

I just want to deal with people on an honest, forthright basis, and that seems pretty rare here, and on the 'Net generally. It's pretty sad.

I hate to see you wasting your time on people who aren't here to actually learn anything. Hey, it's your time, but you're not going to fix the 'Net. Better to reach the ones who will listen than rant at the ones who don't, IMV.

I'd a lot rather talk about the science, but these folks don't seem to be interested. Just sayin'.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Apr 20, 2015
gkam, you need to get over the fact that China needs to build thousands of electric plants, and currently plans to make them coal-fired, and this needs to be stopped any way it can be. If they build nuclear plants, they won't be contributing nearly as much to global warming. If you're genuinely concerned about global warming, and genuinely concerned about China's need for a billion of their people not to die, you'd be in favor of this. It's great that they're working on renewables, and it's great that they appear to be considering nuclear, but the fact of the matter is that they haven't abandoned their plan to build thousands of carbon-spewing electricity plants, and they won't until they stop denying global warming.

And by advocating against nuclear power and satellite power, you are not helping. They need real alternatives that they can make work, not political posturing in favor of solutions that will leave their people to die because you're afraid of technology.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Apr 20, 2015
Oh, stop it! My advocacy does not change what we do, and neither does yours.

Are you folk REALLY real? I want to know, because real folk do not stoop to silly "Gracie" games. Once again, you sound more and more like otto.

Now, if you want to debate the issues, we can do that. If you want to descend to the level of otto, go ahead.

I told you I am against increasing the electromagnetic smog in which we have immersed ourselves. You do not care. So you live there, not me. Go beam somebody else.

I explained my opposition to nuclear power. Having been in the field testing gave me the opportunity to get into their libraries, to see the coverups. That led to a study of the field, and my work in Industrial Hardening against Nuclear Weapons gave me the knowledge of what it means to pollute the world with radioactive products.

Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (4) Apr 20, 2015
Da Schneib replied
.. It seems pretty hypocritical to me to rant about lying about science and ignore lying about experience
Not at all for one simple comparative aspect. Science is evidentiary, (claims of) experience are not able to be qualified without resorting to third parties & that wastes time. I've been accused elsewhere of not having lived in Sabah in 1998 for 3 months to install upgrades to a Remote Area Power System (RAPS) at Mendulong

ie. Science claims efficient to address whereas experience not efficient & "messy"
http://members.ii...s/Power/

Despite incontrovertible evidence its pointless overall. It makes NO difference to observers interested in Science not some disagreement about experience WITHOUT requiring officials from the Rural Electrification program or Sabah Foundation getting involved & it wouldn't be polite to even ask, consequently attending to Science claims HERE is far more appropriate, direct & has leverage.

cont
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (4) Apr 20, 2015
Da Schneib added
I just want to deal with people on an honest, forthright basis, and that seems pretty rare here, and on the 'Net generally
Inclined to agree, at this since 1977 re WARCC @ UWA Perth, Western Australia. I learned that, other than oddball psychology experiments, focusing on the person cannot be resolved easily. Instead set traps (some subtle) & when it suits offer this up as fait accompli ;-)

Da Schneib continued
I hate to see you wasting your time on people who aren't here to actually learn anything. Hey, it's your time, but you're not going to fix the 'Net'
Not wasted, I take wider view, others come here, read posts, overall its NOT about us & our interactions over items not resolved easily.

Da Schneib
Better to reach the ones who will listen than rant at the ones who don't, IMV
Only if we ignore those that come later, ie focus Science beyond our (local) tussles.

Science lasts, tangential disputes re experience don't enhance that.

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