You have probably seen this video where the duchess Kate Middleton rolls her eyes after being told “keep wrapping” during a charity visit within the US. Since it is the holiday season randform now proudly presents the exclusive footage on WHAT the duchess was actually told to wrap.
The attentive randform reader knows that since quite some time randform is concerned about the O2 levels in the world (see e.g. the post O2 or not O2 and
How much O2 will there be left?, or about ocean O 2 and
phytoplankton decline). Today I found out that there seems to be even a book about this issue which was already mentioned by Peter Tatchell in 2008 together with the comment:
What is needed is an authoritative evidence-based investigation to ascertain current oxygen levels and what consequences, if any, there are for the long-term wellbeing of our species – and, indeed, of all species.
So randform is definitely not alone in getting this question into its mind.
I haven’t yet found a map, which displays the different world air oxygen levels, but one can have a look at the ocean oxygen “concentration”. I am not sure how much this says something about the air oxygen concentration, since finally as the phytoplankton post shows there are complex processes going on in the ocean). But if you have a look at the oxygen saturation ocean maps from 2009 and 2013, then you see that it displays (I hope I interpret the figures rightly, I haven’t checked back the documentation) a rather dramatic decrease in ocean oxygen especially in regions which seem to be the Kara sea around Dikson Island the Canadian Archipelago and the Beaufort sea.
In this context I would like to mention for the german speaking readers that there is a nice german radio documentation about the life at some gas fields in north western Siberia (via Fefe). In this documentation Tatjana Borisova (which seems as I guessed to be a nursery teacher or administrator at the preschool Morozka in the northern part of Novy Urengoy) says:
Wir hier im Norden kämpfen mit Sauerstoffmangel. Und deshalb bekommen unsere Kinder einen Sauerstoffcocktail, um das, was fehlt, zu ergänzen.
this is a translation from russian to german and here the translation from that translation without guarantee into english:
We here in the north are fighting with a lack of oxygen. And therefore our children get an oxygen cocktail, in order to supplement that, what is missing.
The reporters interpreted this action as being probably a scoop for making the preschool (which is already considered as being one of the best in Russia) more attractive, but I am not so sure about wether this is just a scoop or wether this information is not just plainly the truth.
update Dec. 25, 2014:
In this context I would like to point out that burning processes as described in the article:
Methane is leaking from permafrost offshore Siberia:
What is less known, is that there is a lot of greenhouse gas methane released from the seabed offshore the West Yamal Peninsula. Gas is released in an area of at least 7500 m2, with gas flares extending up to 25 meters in the water column. Anyhow, there is still a large amount of methane gas that is contained by an impermeable cap of permafrost. And this permafrost is thawing.
use up oxygen.
Furthermore I would like to link to an older article on randform about clathrates. Some of the links are meanwhile broken or outdated. Like the link to the MH21 consortium can meanwhile be replaced e.g. by a link to a report about the latest successful drilling tests of methane hydrates by MH21.
It should also be pointed out that one can argue that exploiting the ressources under ice which is already too thin to keep the methane underneath or which already melted away completely may prevent or diminish uncontrolled release. I haven’t heard though of projects where the drilling is made with respect to this aspect, moreover in that context I asked around on the Azimuth forum, wether there do not exist methods to capture released methane.
So what about duchess Kate Middleton’s gift wrapping footage?