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God this sort of shit annoys me

Think of this part of the Mediterranean as a cake made of liquid, essentially. Fierce sunlight heats the top layer of water that sits on cooler, deeper layers below. Out in the open ocean, where water temperatures are lower, CO2 dissolves in saltwater—which is what allows Earth’s seas to collectively absorb a quarter of the carbon emissions that humans pump into the atmosphere. But as the eastern Mediterranean Sea heats up in the summer, it can no longer absorb that gas and instead starts releasing it.


In the Eastern Mediterranean, this dynamic is rather more consequential for the climate than a sticky car interior, as the sea begins burping up great quantities of CO2 that the water can no longer hold. And Bialik and his colleagues have discovered that these warming, stratifying waters teem with a second carbon problem: The team recently caught aragonite crystals in sediment traps. Aragonite is a form of calcium carbonate, which oceanic creatures like snails use to build their shells. Except in the increasingly hot Eastern Mediterranean, the aragonite is forming abiotically. That’s another sign that the water is getting so warm that it’s releasing its carbon load.


As the sea warms up and loses its CO2, both from the water belching it up and from the proliferating crystals, its acidity actually goes down. This is the opposite process from the one that’s causing widespread ocean acidification: As humans spew more CO2 into the atmosphere, the oceans absorb more of it, and the ensuing chemical reaction raises acidity. Acidification makes it harder for organisms like corals and snails (which are known collectively as calcifiers), to build shells or exoskeletons out of calcium carbonate. But as the Mediterranean warms and releases its absorbed carbon back into the atmosphere, it gets more basic, reversing that acidification.

And there’s the bollocks.

Aragonite is CaCO3. Yep, chalk. Which, umm, sinks top the bottom, becomes seabed and in the fullness of time rock. And, umm, all those vast beds of chalk which make up the White Cliffs and all that were created in warm and shallow waters and……you get the picture.

This is part of the process that locks away – some portion – of atmospheric CO2 into rock where we really don’t give a shit about it. The more of this that happens the more interested we are in fact. It’s one of those feedback processes which reduces the problem we face. If more of this happened then things would get better.

And yet the fuckers present this as yet another reason why the world’s going to pot.

They describe a process of carbon sequestration and say that’s a problem? They idiots or malevolent?

13 thoughts on “God this sort of shit annoys me”

  1. Too, too harsh. They are just honest grifters trying to make a few bucks.

    Modern academic life, eh? I repeat my call: Dissolution of the Universities!

  2. It’s one of those cases where “Narrative” comes in..

    The actual scientific article is interesting, does actually research the process because there has been little actual quantification of the process, and actually is properly non-committal in its conclusions.

    What Matt Simon, the WiReD *ahem* “Journalist”, makes of it is ….. well… pure Narrative.
    Which, given it’s WiReD, his bio, and the rest of his output isn’t too surprising.
    The wired article, compared to the scientific article, is actually a good study reference regarding “Bad Journalism, And What To Look For”.
    My impression is that Matt Simon secretly yearns for a job as writer for B-grade disaster movies, but didn’t make the grade. And takes out his frustration by writing for WiReD.

    This one doesn’t require Lions, but something more drastic, like the Carthagenian solution. The rot is simply too deep.
    To answer the question of our host: The scientists did a proper job. It’s the Journalist that’s both malicious and stupid. As can be expected of someone making the grade at WiReD…

  3. BiFR

    The imply naught for sea levels. Taking that path would be to fall into the minefield of patriarchal so-called ‘science’.

    Rather, it confirms the existence of wise pre-Christian subterranean gnomes (all dark of complexion, despite their dwelling far from the unsafe fusion reactor) with ecologically-safe hydraulic jacks, lifting the cliffs – and, indeed, the entire sceptr’d isle of Albion, above the waves, the gap infilled with old scrap from the gnomes’ used car lots and landfills.

  4. Americans capitalise after a colon or semi-colon. It’s in the AP style book – that reason that so much American writing reads so damn boringly.

  5. The White Cliffs of Dover are above sea level today because they’ve been uplifted. The cliffs rose, not the sea sank.

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