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Friday, November 02, 2012

致命炎热导致赤道生态系统崩溃... Broken World


..., or "Mortal Hot Ecology Failure"as I stumble over it; a headline from China which is not about islands in the Pacific, nor is it about the change in the leadership of the Communist Party, nor about US debt and economic slowdowns-accelerations.
More intelligent and able translators get it as "Tropical Collapse Caused By Lethal Heat"

It is about climate.

To make sure I got everyone's attention, I was going to say that it was written on an ancient palimpsest of the Book of Changes discovered in a very secluded spot of the Tibetan Plateau, where there is an old monastery perched precariously in the mountains, overlooking a peaceful valley of green..., and its warning was an extremely aged prophetic warning to mankind that some in the valley say was given to them thousands of years ago by strange beings who traveled through the sky...

However, it is merely the result of research. As such, about one-third of the modern day American population can either ignore it or can find an alternative explanation in Scripture somewhere.

Nevertheless, it is an important story:
Release Date October 18, 2012

The end-Permian mass extinction, which occurred around 250 million years ago in the pre-dinosaur era, wiped out nearly all the world's species. Typically, a mass extinction is followed by a 'dead zone' during which new species are not seen for tens of thousands of years. In this case, the dead zone, during the Early Triassic period which followed, lasted for a perplexingly long period: five million years.
A study jointly led by the University of Leeds and China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), in collaboration with the University of Erlangen-Nurnburg (Germany), shows the cause of this lengthy devastation was a temperature rise to lethal levels in the tropics: around 50-60°C on land, and 40°C at the sea-surface.

Lead author Yadong Sun, who is based in Leeds while completing a joint PhD in geology, says: "Global warming has long been linked to the end-Permian mass extinction, but this study is the first to show extreme temperatures kept life from re-starting in Equatorial latitudes for millions of years."

It is also the first study to show water temperatures close to the ocean's surface can reach 40°C – a near-lethal value at which marine life dies and photosynthesis stops. Until now, climate modellers have assumed sea-surface temperatures cannot surpass 30°C. The findings may help us understand future climate change patterns.

The most interesting points that bear on future climate are underlined. I may assume that "Until now..." means "Until this paper's publication in October 2012..." and indicates that climate models may have to be revised in some ways.

Illustration of the Tropical Dead Zones around the equator:

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