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The Methane Thread pt. 2

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dissident » Mon 06 Nov 2017, 20:28:38

The ocean anoxia CH4 cannon is going to go off this century. Due to the area coverage of the anoxic zones and the volume of biogenic carbon cycling through them, we are looking at massive amounts of CH4 pumped from the oceans. All the attention is on the crysophere CH4. The non-cryosphere CH4 will make sure that most of the cryosphere CH4 is released.

People have no instincts about ocean biochemistry. It is a very sensitive system and the assumption that the current chemical regime will stay intact until 2100 or later is simply wrong. Now that we have direct evidence of a major error in the estimate of past ocean temperatures (on the high side), the ocean anoxia regime is guaranteed and the trends seen in observations are not to be dismissed.

The trend that will lead to a tipping point by around 2035, is the progressive shallowing of the ocean surface mixed layer together with increased O2 depletion at its base. The surface waters will still be oxic, but near subsurface waters will be anoxic and the detritus rain that today is remineralized in association with CO2 release will be remineralized with CH4 and H2S release.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 063957.htm

H2S possibly contributed as the primary agent to the largest mass extinction 251 million years ago. I am going to go out on a limb and say that it would be physically impossible for it not to have been a prime factor.

H2S is a greenhouse gas:

H2S absorption intensity

but it is not as potent as CH4. Nevertheless, a layer of H2S above the ocean surface will only hammer in the last nail into the coffin.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 07 Nov 2017, 16:23:53

For those, unlike dis, who are a bit shaky on the science of it all I recommend the following article by Jenny Griffin.

https://www.climateemergencyinstitute.c ... ethane.pdf

There is a really good section on the basic science of what methane hydrates are and how they are formed, and then it goes on to discuss methane hydrate stability, and what happens when hydrates melt. Note the crucial importance of bacteria.

Most of the methane that is released is expected to be broken down by
bacteria as it rises up through the ocean sediments and through the water column before it
reaches the surface of the ocean. The decomposition of methane occurs at the result of
two biological processes:
• anaerobic oxidation of methane by bacteria in the sediments of the ocean floor
• aerobic oxidation of methane by bacteria in the water column. "

In particular aerobic decomposition involves the same chemical reaction as burning methane, i.e.

CH4 + 2 O2 → CO2 + 2 H2O

The result is not good ;-

"Aerobic Oxidation: When methane is broken down aerobically by bacteria in the water
column they use oxygen to facilitate the process, producing carbon dioxide which
dissolves in the seawater. This process negatively impacts marine environment in two
ways:
1. Carbon dioxide promotes ocean acidification.
2. Aerobic oxidation of methane utilizes oxygen within the water column which could
result in the expansion of oxygen depleted zones across the ocean. Oxygen
depletion can result in mass mortalities of marine organisms – oxygen poor zones
are unable to support animals that need oxygen for survival and are thus typically
devoid of marine life.


The article then refers to rapid methane release in shallow water - i.e. the ESAS scenario.

One final quote ;-
Mass Extinction Event

Even more alarming is that if ocean acidification is left unchecked it could potentially
initiate a Great Mass Extinction Event, as there is increasing evidence pointing to high
atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and rapidly acidifying oceans having triggered
four of the previous five Great Mass Extinctions.
Based on geological records it can be assumed that hydrates have broken down on a
large scale numerous times in the Earth’s history, leading to extreme global warming and
massive extinctions of organisms on the sea floor and beyond.


Thanks to ger at asif for links and text
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 21 Nov 2017, 11:06:05

The evidence is overwhelming that natural gas has no net climate benefit in any timescale that matters to humanity.

In fact, a shocking new study concludes that just the methane emissions escaping from New Mexico’s gas and oil industry are “equivalent to the climate impact of approximately 12 coal-fired power plants.” If the goal is to avoid catastrophic levels of warming, a recent report by U.K. climate researchers finds “categorically no role” to play for new natural gas production.

Sadly, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has just published a “Commentary” on “the environmental case for natural gas,” that ignores or downplays key reasons that greater use of natural gas is bad for the climate.

In the real world, natural gas is not a “bridge” fuel to a carbon-free economy for two key reasons. First, natural gas is mostly methane (CH4), a super-potent greenhouse gas, which traps 86 times as much heat as CO2 over a 20-year period.

That’s why many, many studies find that even a very small leakage rate of methane from the natural gas supply chain (production to delivery to combustion) can have a large climate impact  —  enough to gut the entire benefit of switching from coal-fired power to gas for a long, long time.

Second, other studies find  —  surprise, surprise  —  natural gas plants don’t replace only high-carbon coal plants. They commonly replace very low carbon power sources like solar, wind, nuclear, and even energy efficiency, which is often overlooked as a major alternative to fossil fuels. That means even a very low leakage rate wipes out the climate benefit of fracking.

Indeed, researchers confirmed in 2014 that  —  even if methane leakage were zero percent  — “increased natural gas use for electricity will not substantially reduce US GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions, and by delaying deployment of renewable energy technologies, may actually exacerbate the climate change problem in the long term.” Exactly. In fact, a 2016 study found that natural gas and renewables are competing directly with each other to replace coal plants in this country.

So it’s no surprise that the new analysis by researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research finds that “there is categorically no role for bringing additional fossil fuel reserves, including gas, into production.” The scientists explain that we have simply dawdled too long, and if we are to have any plausible chance of staying below 2°C, carbon dioxide emissions need to be driven to near zero levels by mid-century, particularly for the industrialized countries who have historically generated the most cumulative carbon pollution.

The IEA analysis, however, essentially ignores the possibility that any significant amount of new natural production will go toward replacing carbon-free sources, even though it’s already clear in this country that natural gas competes most directly with renewables. It’s also clear that some of the power from the money-losing nuclear power plants that have been shut down recently was replaced by natural gas.

Equally surprising, the IEA analysis uses an untenable leakage rate for methane of 1.7 percent. In a webinar detailing its findings, the IEA explains that it used the official EPA estimates of methane leakage as a starting point — supposedly because the U.S. has the best data — and then factored in industry estimates. But the EPA estimate (which was 1.2 percent and is now 1.5 percent) has been widely criticized.

Back in 2014, a comprehensive Stanford study published in Science concluded “A review of more than 200 earlier studies confirms that U.S. emissions of methane are considerably higher than official estimates. Leaks from the nation’s natural gas system are an important part of the problem.”

The Stanford analysis found a leakage rate of 5.4 percent (plus or minus 1.8 percent) — enough to give natural gas no net climate benefit for decades, even if it only replaced coal (which it doesn’t).

These conclusions have been confirmed by data and observations from a later 2014 study as well as 2016 satellite data and surface observations analyzed by Harvard researchers. Certainly there is not complete agreement between every study, but there is little doubt that U.S. methane leakage rates are considerably higher than the official numbers from the EPA, which themselves are mostly based on industry-provided estimates, not actual measurements.

So it’s indefensible to use EPA numbers and industrial estimates to estimate methane leakage, as the IEA does.


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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby GHung » Tue 21 Nov 2017, 11:22:48

Bottom line: We have to stop burning stuff except, perhaps, to make things that produce energy without burning stuff. We'll either learn to live within those constraints, or we'll be forced to live within those constraints.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 21 Nov 2017, 11:53:45

Good catch, T.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 21 Nov 2017, 11:56:09

Ghung - I don't see where "learning" has anything to do with the problem. Consumers are not "forced" to burn fossil fuels. They not only chose to burn fossil fuels but demand the right to do so. And they'll remove anyone from the conversation that tries to take that "right" away without replacing it with an ACCEPTABLE alternative.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby GHung » Tue 21 Nov 2017, 11:59:01

ROCKMAN wrote:Ghung - I don't see where "learning" has anything to do with the problem. Consumers are not "forced" to burn fossil fuels. They not only chose to burn fossil fuels but demand the right to do so. And they'll remove anyone from the conversation that tries to take that "right" away without replacing it with an ACCEPTABLE alternative.


That's where the 'or we'll be forced to live within those constraints' part comes in.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 21 Nov 2017, 12:17:51

Forced by politicians or by Mother Earth? While Mother does limit resources she doesn't not care one bit if we make the climate uninhabitable for mankind. After all she made fossil fuels in the first place. LOL.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 21 Nov 2017, 12:22:11

Steetcars were once ubiquitous in North American cities. Now they are pretty much all gone, outside ones for tourists in San Fran and New O.

So yeah, consumers basically were in fact forced to use inefficient fossil-death-fuel cars, and this was often planned and orchestrated by ff companies as well as some other bad actors looking for fast profit.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby jesus_of_suburbia » Tue 21 Nov 2017, 13:26:59

It was that bastard Robert Moses.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 21 Nov 2017, 13:37:13

The US has actually been doing a pretty good job recently of building out new light rail and electrical tram lines. Its a tragedy that in the 1950s so many cities streetcar lines were decommissioned in favor of bus lines, but light rail and tram lines are having a bit of a renaissance in the USA today.

From Wikipedia: s of November 2016, there are a total of 48 operational light rail-type lines and systems (noting that some cities, such as Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle, have more than one light rail system) that offer regular year-round transit service in the United States: approximately 26 modern light rail systems,[8] 11 modern streetcar systems, and 11 heritage streetcar systems (including the San Francisco cable car system). These include the seven 'legacy' systems described above; the remainder are second-generation "modern" light rail (or streetcar) systems, or are "heritage" streetcar systems, opened since 1980.

The United States, with its 26 systems (as counted by the Light Rail Transit Association), has a much larger number of "true" light rail systems (i.e. not including streetcar and heritage streetcar systems), by far, compared to any other country in the world (the next largest are Germany with 10 light rail systems, and Japan with 7).


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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 21 Nov 2017, 13:50:06

Yes, at very great expense we are starting to reinstall a tiny fraction of what once was a vast and sprawling network of urban and interurban trams and passenger trains. Would have been much much cheaper not to rip them up in the first place. IIRC, some countries in Latin America are still making good use of some of those trolley cars.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 22 Nov 2017, 22:04:22

"The rapidity of the methane hydrate emission lasting from several years to thousands of years was tempered by the equally rapid oxidation of the atmospheric and oceanic methane that gradually reduced its warming potential but not before global warming had reached levels lethal to most life on land and in the oceans."

Brand et al. (2016), "Methane Hydrate: Killer cause of Earth's greatest mass extinction", Palaeoworld, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palwor.2016.06.002

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... 4X16300488

Abstract: "The cause for the end Permian mass extinction, the greatest challenge life on Earth faced in its geologic history, is still hotly debated by scientists. The most significant marker of this event is the negative δ13C shift and rebound recorded in marine carbonates with a duration ranging from 2000 to 19 000 years depending on localities and sedimentation rates. Leading causes for the event are Siberian trap volcanism and the emission of greenhouse gases with consequent global warming. Measurements of gases vaulted in calcite of end Permian brachiopods and whole rock document significant differences in normal atmospheric equilibrium concentration in gases between modern and end Permian seawaters. The gas composition of the end Permian brachiopod-inclusions reflects dramatically higher seawater carbon dioxide and methane contents leading up to the biotic event.

Initial global warming of 8–11 °C sourced by isotopically light carbon dioxide from volcanic emissions triggered the release of isotopically lighter methane from permafrost and shelf sediment methane hydrates.

Consequently, the huge quantities of methane emitted into the atmosphere and the oceans accelerated global warming and marked the negative δ13C spike observed in marine carbonates, documenting the onset of the mass extinction period. The rapidity of the methane hydrate emission lasting from several years to thousands of years was tempered by the equally rapid oxidation of the atmospheric and oceanic methane that gradually reduced its warming potential but not before global warming had reached levels lethal to most life on land and in the oceans. Based on measurements of gases trapped in biogenic and abiogenic calcite, the release of methane (of ∼3–14% of total C stored) from permafrost and shelf sediment methane hydrate is deemed the ultimate source and cause for the dramatic life-changing global warming (GMAT > 34 °C) and oceanic negative-carbon isotope excursion observed at the end Permian.

Global warming triggered by the massive release of carbon dioxide may be catastrophic, but the release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic. The end Permian holds an important lesson for humanity regarding the issue it faces today with greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and climate change."
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby GHung » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 10:56:30

Did someone say methane? Was 2017 an inflection point in methane releases?

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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Cog » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 11:18:55

dohboi wrote:Yes, at very great expense we are starting to reinstall a tiny fraction of what once was a vast and sprawling network of urban and interurban trams and passenger trains. Would have been much much cheaper not to rip them up in the first place. IIRC, some countries in Latin America are still making good use of some of those trolley cars.


And expose myself to the predatory urban youths who prowl the subway and light rail system? No thanks.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 12:10:56

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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 12:31:18


October 2017: 1858.5 ppb
October 2016: 1849.8 ppb
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M and Ms, Methane Monsters......

Unread postby Whitefang » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 17:03:26

Diss high on methane:

The ocean anoxia CH4 cannon is going to go off this century. Due to the area coverage of the anoxic zones and the volume of biogenic carbon cycling through them, we are looking at massive amounts of CH4 pumped from the oceans. All the attention is on the crysophere CH4. The non-cryosphere CH4 will make sure that most of the cryosphere CH4 is released.

People have no instincts about ocean biochemistry. It is a very sensitive system and the assumption that the current chemical regime will stay intact until 2100 or later is simply wrong. Now that we have direct evidence of a major error in the estimate of past ocean temperatures (on the high side), the ocean anoxia regime is guaranteed and the trends seen in observations are not to be dismissed.

The trend that will lead to a tipping point by around 2035


Is there a report on this trend tipping within 2 decades from now?

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 153608.htm

Methane-producing microbes may be responsible for the largest mass extinction in Earth's history. Fossil remains show that sometime around 252 million years ago, about 90 percent of all species on Earth were suddenly wiped out -- by far the largest of this planet's five known mass extinctions. It turns out that Methanosarcina had acquired a particularly fast means of making methane, and the team's detailed mapping of the organism's history now shows that this transfer happened at about the time of the end-Permian extinction.


The perpetrators, this new work suggests, were not asteroids, volcanoes, or raging coal fires, all of which have been implicated previously. Rather, they were a form of microbes -- specifically, methane-producing archaea called Methanosarcina -- that suddenly bloomed explosively in the oceans, spewing prodigious amounts of methane into the atmosphere and dramatically changing the climate and the chemistry of the oceans




MIT study/paper from 2014.

I do not know much on ocean Chemistry and I did indeed think that such a vast area could not change overnight, in a few decades that is.
I'll do my best to be more informed and keep up the good work, to want to know.

Thanks for all the links and info.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 19:07:31

Just so it is clear to those unfamiliar with the Science, like me haha. Here is wiki to explain that " Methanogens are microorganisms that produce methane as a metabolic byproduct in  ANOXIC  conditions. " https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanogen
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dissident » Sun 14 Jan 2018, 10:16:13

We already had posts on this board about how the growth of anoxic zones in the global ocean oceans is rapid and "worrying". By 2030 large parts of the global oceans will have reached anoxic conditions at the base of the euphotic zone. So where is this BS about "a few decades" is too short for anything to happen coming from? Looks like straight from the a** of the knee-jerk denier poster. Biochemical timescales are tiny fractions of a day. So any large scale regime change that can trigger a tipping point will see an instantaneous chemistry regime transition.

http://www.iflscience.com/environment/o ... ster-fish/

https://futurism.com/lack-oxygen-creati ... ead-zones/

https://robertscribbler.com/2015/05/05/ ... ish-kills/

Ocean anoxia is not about total lack of oxygenated waters. It is about the amplification of the oxygen minimum zones at the base of the euphotic surface layer (typically less than 50 meters deep). Warming induces both stratification of the surface waters (amplifying their warming) and intensification of detritus production. The peak reminerilzation (bacterial decomposition) of detritus is in the subsurface waters. Cranking up detritus production leads to anoxic conditions since there is less O2 available for a given mass of detritus. There is no O2 increase in the oceans that magically happens to offset extra detritus production. In fact, surface and subsurface O2 concentrations are decreasing due to warming of the water alone.

It is quite easy for the global ocean OMZ (oxygen minimum zones) which are ubiquitous to transition to full blown anoxic conditions. This will see a surge botch CH4 and H2S production. Even if part of the extra CH4 is consumed by aerobic organisms in the surface waters, there will be a large evasion flux anyway since CH4 has a poor water solubility. This low solubility will promote the formation of bubble plumes which are guaranteed not to be consumed en route to the surface.
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