Norwegians may have solved climate riddle
In addition to presenting ground breaking theories regarding the earths climate changes, Henrik Svensen, researcher at Physics of Geological Processes (PGP) at the University of Oslo, said the research may be a contribution to solving the mystery of why the dinosaurs became extinct approximately 65 million years ago.
Svensen and his colleague, Researcher Sverre Planke at Volcanic Basin Petroleum Research (VBPR), occupy most of the magazines cover.
According to the researchers, several times during the earths history enormous emissions of greenhouse gases from the subsoil have occurred. Some of the emissions equalled the same amount as if we were to burn all the known existence of oil, gas and coal during a single day.
«We were lucky enough to borrow the database from seismic company TGS-NOPEC which we during other circumstances would have had to pay several 100 million for,» Svensen explained. «We studied seismological pictures for five years and have among other things found a volcanic complex of the size of Portugal on the seabed outside the coast of central Norway.»
The collaboration between Norwegian researchers and the Norwegian oil industry contributed, among other things, to the fact that it has been revealed that such a massive emission of greenhouse gases occurred about 55 million years ago outside the coast of central Norway.
The greenhouse gasses methane and carbon dioxide were pressed to the surface after large gas explosions under the seabed. This contributed to a global heating of five to ten degrees, an effect which lasted for approximately 200,000 years. There have been similar emissions other places in the world previously and these occurrences are also connected to climate changes. PGP has already started new research in South Africa and Siberia.
Even if Svensen stressed that there will most likely not be any emissions of this scale in the near future, the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) has calculated that the earths temperature will increase with five degrees during the next hundred years as a result of human emissions of greenhouse gases.
«This means that the emissions are as large or greater than the earth has made itself, emissions which has contributed to large climate changes,» Svensen said.
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