May 10, 2012

Climate of Haze

I'm a journalist, sort of, which means I have to keep a rigorous eye on the big issues confronting the world today, as well as the big issues that confronted the world going back millions of years. Basically, journalists like me know everything about everything, so you should sit back and believe anything I write.

Deal? Deal.

Of course, one of the biggest issues that has the collective world's undies in a bunch is global warming, or global climate change, or unpredictable weather, or scientific malfeasance, or whatever it's being called on any given week. Whatever it's called, it's generally believed to be a pretty big deal.

How big of a deal is it? It's such a big deal, even dinosaurs had to deal with it. In fact, they may have caused it.

According to a May 7, Reuters news item out of Washington, "in a major new climate finding, researchers have calculated that dinosaur flatulence could have put enough methane into the atmosphere to warm the planet during the hot, wet Mesozoic era."

Because I'm me, I'm going to sit here for a minute and adequately absorb the awesomeness of a "news" lede that includes "flatulence," "hot" and "wet."

“'A simple mathematical model suggests that the microbes living in sauropod dinosaurs may have produced enough methane to have an important effect on the Mesozoic climate,' researcher Dave Wilkinson of Liverpool John Moores University said in a statement."

I have it on good authority, mine--and remember, I'm a journalist, so you have to believe me--dinosaurs were keenly aware of their emissions, much like humans today, and the Mesozoic political climate very strongly reflected that.

It's a little known fact that Mesozoic carnivores were extremely environmentally conscious, and they recognized their herbivore counterparts were far more egregious methane contributors due to their high vegetation diets. One carnivore in particular, Algoreasaurus, are known to have been staunch spokesreptiles for the global warming phenomenon, going so far as saying herbivores were emitting an inconvenient fume.

Mezozoic herbivores, understandably, objected to being singled out simply because they chose to live a more sustainable vegetarian lifestyle. Thus, the battle lines were drawn, much as they are today. Carnivores accused herbivores of being in the bag for Big Methane, while herbivores responded by pointing out increased temperatures had helped Mezozoic dinosaurs flourish. Further, herbivores insisted the carnivores were misrepresenting the available data, while the carnivores simply took big, exaggerated breaths through their noses and roared "PHEW!! How can we misrepresent THAT?!!"

The Mezozoic political landscape was made all the more partisan due to the carnivores' propensity for killing and eating herbivores, which the herbivores insisted was obvious evidence of extreme prejudice on the part of the carnivores. The carnivores responded by saying the herbivores were blatantly advocating carnivore extermination through starvation.

Now, I'm not going to draw too many parallels or conclusions about the dinosaur's Mezozoic climate debate and the human climate debate of today, because this post is running long.

I will say this: dinosaurs went extinct.

Think about it.

Or don't.

Posted by Ryan at May 10, 2012 11:49 AM | TrackBack
StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!