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Earth Is Killing Itself With Laughing Gas

From the unreconstructed ‘Warmers’ at the New York Times:

New Culprit Seen in Ozone Depletion

By CORNELIA DEAN

August 28, 2009

Government scientists who study the depletion of Earth’s protective ozone layer are pointing to a previously unheralded culprit: nitrous oxide.

Most of the nitrous oxide in the atmosphere emerges naturally, through the action of bacteria in the soil, the researchers say. But the gas is also produced by human activity, through the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers, the application of livestock manure to fields, the burning of biofuels and in other ways.

Though nitrous oxide is not regulated under the Montreal Protocol, the 1987 agreement to limit emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals, the researchers say it is emerging as the leading artificial cause of ozone loss.

The researchers, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, report their findings in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.

They note that the health of the ozone layer has been improving since the adoption of the protocol and that nitrous oxide looms large today as an artificial destroyer of the ozone layer, in part because the emissions of other harmful chemicals have been so sharply reduced. But major chemical targets of the Montreal agreement, chlorofluorocarbons, inhibit the ozone-destroying actions of nitrous oxide, the researchers said. So as their levels fall, the harmful influence of nitrous oxide increases.

The Environmental Protection Agency is already contemplating action on nitrous oxide because it is a heat-trapping gas linked to global warming. In April, the agency declared it and five other gases, including carbon dioxide, to be pollutants that endanger public health, making them subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act

The researchers did not make any policy recommendations in light of their finding.

“It is not for us to gauge how much risk there is,” said A. R. Ravishankara, who led the work. In any event, he said, at the moment researchers could not say with confidence “how much nitrous oxide comes from where.”

“The uncertainties are significant,” Dr. Ravishankara said

Just last week we learned that arctic sea beds are releasing huge amounts of methane into the environment. And now this.

As we noted before, if the earth is determined to commit suicide, would it not be terribly presumptuous of us to try to stop it?

So to hell with it.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, August 28th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Earth Is Killing Itself With Laughing Gas”

  1. GL0120 says:

    Let me be the first with the pun – this article was a gas!!
    Seriously, first it was Chlorofluorocarbons from air conditioners, then it was the propellant in aerosol cans, then we moved to carbon dioxide, now it’s nitrous oxide.
    I think I see a pattern; anything made with carbon or that has oxygen in it is dangerous.
    There can be but one solution – anything with those ingredients must be banned.
    It is my duty to inform the world, everyone and everything on it, that it is now illegal. All activity must end and the earth must be destroyed if it is to be saved.

  2. proreason says:

    Co2 is so yesterday.

    Fortunately, there are many other perils out there that can kill us all.

    So we need an omnipotent and all-powerful government all the more.

    Thank God we have Harvard-trained geniuses who dedicate their lives to taking care of us. (and when they aren’t doing that, they keep a sharp eye for heretofore unknown perils like Laughing Gas)

    And for such a sacrifice, who can blame them for all becoming, in a totally coincidental way, gazillionaires in the process.

    And it is only right, in our gratitude, that we exempt them from the strict defensive measures they are forced to impose on us, their humble debtors.

  3. crosspatch says:

    Heh, you would think there was some piece of important legislation pending in the Congress or something.

  4. MinnesotaRush says:

    “The uncertainties are significant,” Dr. Ravishankara said…”

    No sh_t, Sherlock! “The uncertainties are significant” with every piece of this Al Gore “climate change” charade!

    These baked nitwits must stay up late at nite smokin’ their joints and dreamin’ this crap up!

  5. Jen Kuznicki says:

    “..the earth is determined to commit suicide,” That is a great line.


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