Please visit our sponsor!

Bookmark and Share

Oops There Goes A Billion Kilowatt Dam
By Ernest Stewart

"The human race has no future if it doesn't go to space." ~~~ Stephen Hawking

The good folks over at Washington State University say the world's reservoirs are an under-appreciated source of greenhouse gases, producing the equivalent of roughly 1 gigaton of carbon dioxide a year, or 1.3 percent of all greenhouse gases produced by humans.

Writing in the journal BioScience, the WSU researchers say reservoirs are a particularly important source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide over the course of a century. Reservoir methane production is comparable to rice paddies or biomass burning, both of which are included in emission estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading international authority on the subject.

John Harrison, co-author and associate professor in the WSU Vancouver School of the Environment, said:
"We had a sense that methane might be pretty important; but we were surprised that it was as important as it was. It's contributing right around 80 percent of the total global warming impact of all those gases from reservoirs. It's a pretty important piece of the budget."

"The BioScience analysis, which drew on scores of other studies, is the largest and most comprehensive look to date at the link between reservoirs and greenhouse gases.

"Not only does it incorporate the largest number of studies, it also looks at more types of greenhouse gases than past studies.

"Acre per acre, reservoirs emit 25 percent more methane than previously thought.

"While reservoirs are often thought of as 'green' or carbon neutral sources of energy, a growing body of work has documented their role as greenhouse gas sources."
Unlike natural water bodies, reservoirs tend to have flooded large amounts of organic matter that produce carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide as they decompose. Reservoirs also receive a lot of organic matter and "nutrients" like nitrogen and phosphorous from upstream rivers, which can further stimulate greenhouse gas production.

But wait, there's more bad news!

Atmospheric CO2 levels have remained above 400 ppm for the first time in history!

New readings of the Earth's CO2 levels continue to show that Global Warming is real. Agencies that regularly monitor CO2 levels, like NASA, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Mauna Loa Observatory, have noticed that we have reached a crucial point.

Normally, towards the end of September, CO2 levels reach their lowest point of the year - as plants grow and take in CO2 over the summer. Except this time around, despite reaching counts comparatively lower then any for this year, CO2 levels haven't gone below the 400 parts per million benchmark.

Experts say that the safest CO2 levels in the atmosphere should be about 350 ppm, a level we have long since passed. This year alone, we've already reached the 400 ppm mark and it's not getting any lower. Scripps scientist Ralph Keeling believes there'll be the occasional daily dip, a little below 400 ppm due to certain conditions, like typhoons. However, "it already seems safe to conclude that we won't be seeing a monthly value below 400 ppm this year - or ever again for the indefinite future."

NASA's chief climate scientist expressed the same concerns: "At best, one might expect a balance in the near term; and so CO2 levels probably wouldn't change much - but would start to fall off in a decade or so. In my opinion, we won't ever see a month below 400 ppm."

Ever since Man altered the levels of CO2, thanks to the Industrial Revolution - to rates plants cannot cope up with, there's been a steady rise in CO2 levels, warming the Earth about 1.8 F. And, 2016 might be that time when we cross another threshold -- since we went past the safe 350 ppm levels.

To be clear, this benchmark isn't an apocalyptic tipping point. Essentially, 399 ppm was not "safe;" and reading beyond 400 now spells immediate and certain doom for life on the planet. As Extreme Tech puts it, "Four hundred was a place that some optimistic folks thought, if we all really pulled together, we could get our carbon emissions to level off."

I'm sure you've seen some Bozo set a thousand mousetraps and put a ping pong ball on each trap, then lob another ping ball ball at the center? Chaos is what happens, and that's what's going to happen to us if we don't take global warming as the serious threat to Humanity that it is. Every week it gets worse; and, you'd have to be a blind man, or just plain stupid (see Donald Trump supporters) not to see it! If you do nothing about it, you and your children and your grandchildren will have to face the nightmare that's surely coming -- no matter what the 1% and their crooked politicians tell you!


02-07-1920 ~ 09-30-2016
Thanks for the music!

09-23-1934 ~ 10-02-2016
Thanks for the artwork!

10-09-1947 ~ 10-05-2016
Thanks for the music!


We get by with a little help from our friends!
So please help us if you can...?


So how do you like Bush Lite so far?
And more importantly, what are you planning on doing about it?

Until the next time, Peace!
(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 14 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

The Gross National Debt

Iraq Deaths Estimator

The Animal Rescue Site

Issues & Alibis Vol 16 # 41 (c) 10/07/2016