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Re: Dinosaur rise linked to end-Triassic methane carbon release?

On Thu, 21 Jul 2011, bh480@scn.org wrote:
Did Greenhouse Gasses Unleash the Dinosaurs?

Micha Ruhl, Nina R. Bonis, Gert-Jan Reichart, Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté, &
Wolfram M. Kürschner (2011)
Atmospheric Carbon Injection Linked to End-Triassic Mass Extinction.
Science 333(6041): 430-434  (22 July 2011):
DOI: 10.1126/science.1204255

The end-Triassic mass extinction (~201.4 million years ago), marked by
terrestrial ecosystem turnover and up to ~50% loss in marine biodiversity,
has been attributed to intensified volcanic activity during the break-up of
Pangaea. Here, we present compound-specific carbon-isotope data of
long-chain n-alkanes derived from waxes of land plants, showing a ~8.5 per
mil negative excursion, coincident with the extinction interval. These data
indicate strong carbon-13 depletion of the end-Triassic atmosphere, within
only 10,000 to 20,000 years. The magnitude and rate of this carbon-cycle
disruption can be explained by the injection of at least ~12 × 103 gigatons
of isotopically depleted carbon as methane into the atmosphere. Concurrent
vegetation changes reflect strong warming and an enhanced hydrological
cycle. Hence, end-Triassic events are robustly linked to methane-derived
massive carbon release and associated climate change.

It could happen again ;)


Geologists have discovered underwater deposits of hydrates icy deposits of frozen methane gas at far shallower depths under the ocean floor than expected. The finding suggests that, in a globally warmed world, the hydrates could melt suddenly and release their gas into the atmosphere, thus warming the planet even more.


ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2007) Drilling is complete on an Alaskan North Slope well, cofunded by the Department of Energy, that could prove to be an important milestone in assessing America's largest potential fossil energy resource: gas hydrate.
The size of the global gas hydrate resource is staggering, holding more ultimate energy potential than all other fossil fuels combined...