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Did the Romans produce greenhouse gases ?


Posted on Saturday, 6 October, 2012 | Comment icon 16 comments | News tip by: questionmark


Image credit: CC 3.0 R N Marshman

 
A new study has revealed that the production of greenhouse gases was not limited to the modern age.

When we think of global warming we tend to think of factories churning out greenhouse gases in to the atmosphere, but now it seems that the production of such gases was prevalent long before industrialization and long before anyone knew anything about climate change. The ancient Roman and Chinese empires would have been prime contributers, burning large amounts of plant matter and releasing millions of tons of methane gas in to the atmosphere.

"The quantities are much smaller, because there were fewer people on Earth," said study leader Celia Sapart. "But the amount of methane emitted per person was significant."

"Sapart's conclusions were based on an analysis of ice core samples from Greenland."

  View: Full article |  Source: LA Times

  Discuss: View comments (16)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Bavarian Raven on 6 October, 2012, 21:03
I would dispute this contention. Man has been changing land use extensively for the last 8000yrs and this will have had a significant perturbing influence on the climate. It is highly likely that the Roman Warm period and Medieval warm period were at least partly attributable to land use change of burning of extensive areas of forest for agriculture. The collapse of the Roman Empire probably directly caused the decline in climate associated with the Dark Ages - as cultured agriculture was abandoned and large areas of forest regrew. But the carbon released from the burning of wood doesn't alter... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by newsoul on 7 October, 2012, 1:51
Well we homo sapiens have as of last year over took and passed the cow as the most flatulent animal on the planet producing the most methane ass gas ever. Now who says farts are funny?
Comment icon #9 Posted by questionmark on 7 October, 2012, 7:22
But the carbon released from the burning of wood doesn't alter the global climate in a significant way (for carbon trapped in trees/released from burning/decomposition is carbon that was trapped recently). You need to be burning coal or oil or the such, which was created from carbon stored away at a time the atm. had a larger CO2 concentration. That being said, if you removed enough trees you could change the albedo and things like that, altering the climate and the such. But that's not the same as green house gas related climate change. That depends, if you are burning those plants that ultim... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Br Cornelius on 7 October, 2012, 8:33
But the carbon released from the burning of wood doesn't alter the global climate in a significant way (for carbon trapped in trees/released from burning/decomposition is carbon that was trapped recently). You need to be burning coal or oil or the such, which was created from carbon stored away at a time the atm. had a larger CO2 concentration. That being said, if you removed enough trees you could change the albedo and things like that, altering the climate and the such. But that's not the same as green house gas related climate change. The soil under trees is the main sequestering mechanism ... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by Little Fish on 10 October, 2012, 22:32
so now the realisation that the Roman Warm Period is a problem for the alarmists hockey stick so they try and "blame" it on man, surprised they didn't try and just delete it, like they tried to with the Medieval Warm Period. Did it occur to anyone that warm periods make food more bountiful which itself leads to prosperity and empires, colder periods lead to lack of food and thus political instability. reversal of cause and effect (again). this story is nonsense based on pseudoscience. getting desperate.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Doug1o29 on 11 October, 2012, 14:51
But the carbon released from the burning of wood doesn't alter the global climate in a significant way (for carbon trapped in trees/released from burning/decomposition is carbon that was trapped recently). You need to be burning coal or oil or the such, which was created from carbon stored away at a time the atm. had a larger CO2 concentration. The problem isn't the burning of wood as fuel; it's the changes in soil biota, particularly fungi, that result from cutting the tree. Soil organics decay into CO2 without anything there to replace them. In America, the east side of the Great Plains were... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by Doug1o29 on 11 October, 2012, 14:53
so now the realisation that the Roman Warm Period is a problem for the alarmists hockey stick so they try and "blame" it on man, surprised they didn't try and just delete it, like they tried to with the Medieval Warm Period. Did it occur to anyone that warm periods make food more bountiful which itself leads to prosperity and empires, colder periods lead to lack of food and thus political instability. reversal of cause and effect (again). this story is nonsense based on pseudoscience. getting desperate. In what way is the Roman Warm Period a problem? Or the Medieval Warm Period, either? Doug
Comment icon #14 Posted by Br Cornelius on 11 October, 2012, 16:49
In what way is the Roman Warm Period a problem? Or the Medieval Warm Period, either? Doug I've maintained this position for a few years now - based on my understanding of the data. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #15 Posted by BFB on 12 October, 2012, 14:59
In what way is the Roman Warm Period a problem? Or the Medieval Warm Period, either? Doug I think what LF is referring to is that our great Mann didn't find any significant RWP(No RWP actually) or MWP when he made his 2000yr temperature reconstruction, some years ago(If remember right its his 2003 paper).
Comment icon #16 Posted by Doug1o29 on 12 October, 2012, 16:02
I think what LF is referring to is that our great Mann didn't find any significant RWP(No RWP actually) or MWP when he made his 2000yr temperature reconstruction, some years ago(If remember right its his 2003 paper). I have that paper right here in front of me. There are four chronologies developed from 41 proxies. These extend from about 200 AD to 2000 AD. The Medieval Warm Period shows up in the Southern Hemisphere, Global and combined Northern-Southern chronologies. It is present in the Northern Hemisphere Chronology too, but very faint. The Roman Warm Period shows up in the combined Northe... [More]


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