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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Sat 22 Feb 2020, 16:30:18
by Tanada
asg70 wrote:This article says the methane bomb is unlikely. I wouldn't bank on it, but it's nice to know there's a less doomy model out there. ... e-gas.html

It seems rather obvious that as the ocean warms downward the progress is very slow. Methane Hydrate dissolution will take place gradually for many decades, perhaps even centuries. The so called Methane Bomb is more of a Methane Trickle, which means in effect the warming it causes will be sustained for a very long time as the methane will come out fast enough to overcome natural sinks.


Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Thu 27 Feb 2020, 00:01:39
by rockdoc123
New paper:
Dyonisius, M. N. et al, 2020. Old Carbon reservoirs were not important in the deglacial methane budget. Science, 21, V 367. Pp 907-910. DOI: 10.1126/science.aax0504


Permafrost and methane hydrates are large, climate-sensitive old carbon reservoirs that have the potential to emit large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as the Earth continues to warm. We present ice core isotopic measurements of methane (Δ14C, δ13C, and δD) from the last deglaciation, which is a partial analog for modern warming. Our results show that methane emissions from old carbon reservoirs in response to deglacial warming were small (<19 teragrams of methane per year, 95% confidence interval) and argue against similar methane emissions in response to future warming. Our results also indicate that methane emissions from biomass burning in the pre-Industrial Holocene were 22 to 56 teragrams of methane per year (95% confidence interval), which is comparable to today.

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Fri 06 Mar 2020, 12:15:07
by Tanada

November 2019: 1877.0 ppb
November 2018: 1866.2 ppb

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Tue 07 Apr 2020, 10:47:35
by Tanada

December 2019: 1874.7 ppb
December 2018: 1866.0 ppb

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Tue 07 Apr 2020, 14:34:41
by dohboi
Thanks, T

Methane Emissions Hit a New Record and Scientists Can’t Say Why

Airborne methane levels rose markedly last year, according to a preliminary estimate published today by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The results show a dramatic leap in concentration of the second most-powerful greenhouse gas, which is emitted from both industrial and natural sources.

“Last year’s jump in methane is one of the biggest we’ve seen over the past twenty years,” said Rob Jackson, professor of Earth system science at Stanford University and chair of the Global Carbon Project. “It’s too early to say why, but increases from both agriculture and natural gas use are likely. Natural gas consumption surged more than two percent last year.”

Methane levels have accelerated twice in the last 15 years, first in 2007 and again in 2014. Scientists have yet to pinpoint the exact cause (or causes). Virtually every contributor to the global methane problem may play a role, from the oil-and-gas industry to human agriculture to wetlands changing with the climate. ... -1.1418181

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Tue 07 Apr 2020, 15:15:40
by vtsnowedin
dohboi wrote: “It’s too early to say why, but increases from both agriculture and natural gas use are likely. Natural gas consumption surged more than two percent last year.”

Natural gas consumed ie. burned, would add to CO2 levels not methane levels. But perhaps there is enough leakage of unflared gas at the well heads to cause the problem.

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Tue 07 Apr 2020, 16:40:20
by dohboi
Good points, vt.

If memory serves, yes, lots of leakage at every stage of natural gas development, transport and usage.

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Tue 07 Apr 2020, 16:46:24
by vtsnowedin
dohboi wrote:Good points, vt.

If memory serves, yes, lots of leakage at every stage of natural gas development, transport and usage.

Also the aged inner city gas mains leak like a sieve some being 100 year old cast iron with oakum and lead joints. So a major infrastructure project that replaces old water, gas and sewer lines at the same time they reconstruct the street would be a major improvement by reducing pollution levels.

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Sat 11 Apr 2020, 09:47:50
by Azothius
Regarding the work done by Dyonisius, M. N. et al, as discussed in this article: ... e-gas.html

By comparing our current situation to "measuring the composition of air from the time of Earth's last deglaciation, 8,000-15,000 years ago", they conclude that:

Analyzing the carbon-14 isotope of methane in the samples, the group found that methane emissions from the ancient carbon reservoirs were small. Thus, Dyonisius concludes, "the likelihood of these old carbon reservoirs destabilizing and creating a large positive warming feedback in the present day is also low."

However, they also say:

"The time period is a partial analog to today, when Earth went from a cold state to a warmer state," Dyonisius says. "But during the last deglaciation, the change was natural. Now the change is driven by human activity, and we're going from a warm state to an even warmer state."

So there is a significant difference between the two time periods:
The former "went from a cold state to a warmer state".
In the current "we're going from a warm state to an even warmer state".

That seems to me to nullify the assumption that the former is a "partial analog" for the current. They are too very different situations, with the current holding the possibility that warmer waters could reach the hydrates which seems to not have occurred in the former era.

The article also states that,

"Their research, published in Science, indicates that even if methane is released from these large natural stores in response to warming, very little actually reaches the atmosphere."

However, that claim is called into question In this next article, quoting Peter Waddams (yes, the guy who has repeatedly made premature projections of an ice-free arctic).

The Rumbling Methane Enigma ... ne-enigma/

"Wadhams puts to rest the common criticism by many in the scientific community that say not to worry about ESAS starting a bout of dangerous runaway global warming (RGW) because subsea methane deposits oxidize and dissolve in the seawater as released and never make it into the upper atmosphere, to wit: “The East Siberian Arctic Shelf is exceptionally shallow — more than 75 per cent of its entire area of 2.1 million square kilometres is shallower than 40 metres — so most of the methane gas avoids oxidation in the water column and is released into the atmosphere.” (Wadhams, pg. 123)"

Is this supported by the following info?

"(3) Methane Observation – Dahr Jamail’s book The End of Ice (The New Press, 2019) relates an ominous story of methane bubbling at Barents Sea. In Barrow, Alaska, he met Ira Leifer, a scientist who studies the shallow seas of the Arctic and works with NASA on methane data. Leifer discovered wicked SOS signals coming from a 620 square mile area of the Barents Sea jam-packed with methane bubbles at the rate of 60 million plumes, which is almost impossible to fathom as the normal background rate should be thousands, not 60 million."

As for the belief that "as the ocean warms downward the progress is very slow", this next article suggests that warmer waters from the Atlantic are entering the Arctic ocean and disrupting its structure. Which raises the possibility that warmer waters could reach the hydrates sooner rather than later. Interesting to note that the very area of the Arctic ocean in which there are "hotspots" is the same area in which the methane plumes were detected.

In the seas above Scandinavia, there is a point where the Arctic Ocean collides with the warmer, saltier waters of the Atlantic. ... and-warmer


Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Sun 12 Apr 2020, 21:55:32
by dohboi
Methane Levels Reach an All-Time High

New NOAA analysis highlights an alarming trend; experts call for curbing pollution from oil and gas wells

A preliminary estimate from NOAA finds that levels of atmospheric methane, a potent heat-trapping gas, have hit an all-time high...

“Here we are. It’s 2020, and it’s not only not dropping. It’s not level. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growth rates we’ve seen in the last 20 years,” said Drew Shindell, a climate scientist at Duke University...

In 2019, the concentration of atmospheric methane reached nearly 1875 parts per billion, the highest level since record-keeping began in 1983.

Even more troubling, 2019 saw the second-largest single-year leap in two decades... ... time-high/

(Thanks to kassy at asif for this)

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Sat 06 Jun 2020, 16:08:20
by Tanada

January 2020: 1874.7 ppb
January 2019: 1873.3 ppb

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Sat 06 Jun 2020, 16:09:15
by Tanada

February 2020: 1873.7 ppb
February 2019: 1864.9 ppb

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Mon 22 Jun 2020, 22:49:46
by FamousDrScanlon
Dissecting Paleoclimate Change

Using a core sample from the Santa Barbara Basin, UCSB researchers decipher the history of paleoclimate change with surprising results
“One of the most astonishing things about our results is the abruptness of the warming in sea surface temperatures,” explained co-author Kennett, a professor emeritus in UCSB’s Department of Earth Science. “Of the 13 degree Fahrenheit total change, a shift of 7 to 9 degrees occurred almost immediately right at the beginning.”

“With this particular core, we hit it rich,” Kennett said. “We opened a really clear window to view one of these glacial-to-interglacial transitions, providing a unique opportunity to determine just how fast the climate operated. We discovered that the changes were much faster than we ever thought possible, especially for these large shifts between a full ice age and a full interglacial. These are big events.”

Kennett noted that this remarkable record of paleoclimate changes also raises an important question: What process can possibly push the Earth’s climate so fast from a glacial to an interglacial state? The researchers may have discovered the answer based on the core’s geochemical record: The warming associated with the major climatic shift was accompanied by simultaneous releases of methane — a potent greenhouse gas.

“This particular episode of climate change is closely associated with instability that caused the release of methane from gas hydrates at the ocean floor,” Kennett said. “These frozen forms of methane melt when temperatures rise or pressure decreases. Changes in sea level affect the stability of gas hydrates and water temperature even more so.

“The clear synchronism of this rapid warming and the onset of the destabilization of gas hydrates is important,” Kennett concluded. “It suggests that methane hydrate instability and the warming are somehow linked, which is an interesting and potentially important observation. The beauty of these paleoclimate records from the Santa Barbara Basin is that you can actually determine these relationships at high fidelity.” ... ate-change

Methane Monster Magnet

Unread postPosted: Fri 26 Jun 2020, 17:38:30
by Whitefang ... udy-warns/

Shakhova warned that a 50-gigaton — that is, 50-billion-ton — “burp” of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the ESAS is “highly possible at any time.”
This, Shakhova said, means that methane releases from decaying frozen hydrates could result in emission rates that “could change in order of magnitude in a matter of minutes,” and that there would be nothing “smooth, gradual or controlled” about it. She described it as a “kind of a release [that] is like the unsealing of an over-pressurized pipeline.”
In other words, we could be looking at non-linear releases of methane in amounts that are difficult to fathom.
A study published in the prestigious journal Nature in July 2013 confirmed what Shakhova had been warning us about for years: A 50-gigaton “burp” of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the East Siberian sea is highly possible.
Such a “burp” would be the equivalent of at least 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide. (For perspective, humans have released approximately 1,475 gigatons in total carbon dioxide since the year 1850.)
The UK’s Met Office considers the 50-gigaton release “plausible,” and in a paper on the subject added, “That may cause ∼12-times increase of modern atmospheric methane burden, with consequent catastrophic greenhouse warming.” ... index.html
A Siberian town that endures the world's widest temperature range has recorded a new high due to a heat wave that is contributing to severe forest fires.
(CNN)An unprecedented heatwave in one of the coldest places on Earth just reached a distressing milestone.
Temperatures in the small Siberian town of Verkhoyansk hit 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, according to public-facing weather data. It's a record-high temperature in one of the fastest-warming places in the world.

No proof or anything yet, but the insane temp. increase of the Taiga, forest between Norway and Alaska, could be methane related.
Or a step up passing the two degrees marker after corona madness, decline of our dirty shield, a half degree average temp increase.
If it is just the clean air effect, we humans can fix that by a return to normal asap.
If it is the start of the 50 Gton burb, complex life will be on the edge of everything we know by reason.
All those feedbacks will accelerate, huge Noctular Clouds…… ... acific-nw/

Sunday night featured sublime weather in London. The air was dry, temperatures fell into the 60s, and high pressure brought a pleasant evening. But shortly after sunset, the sky lit up with shimmering, electric-blue curtains. Then the same thing happened early this week over Canada and the Pacific Northwest, including Portland, Ore.
The culprit? Noctilucent clouds, unpredictable yet spectacular apparitions perched on the edge of space. Seeded by meteor smoke, they form mostly at high latitudes near the north and south pole. But emerging research suggests they may be venturing closer to the equator, a potential byproduct of climate change as changes unfold in the upper atmosphere.

In addition to the more widely-discussed carbon dioxide, human activity releases methane into the atmosphere. If it makes it high enough into the atmosphere, it can become oxidized — and, through a complex series of reactions, create water vapor. That extra water vapor then becomes available to create noctilucent clouds.

A couple of years to global food problems, speed up to one degree a year.
38 degrees C above the arctic circle, a full 8 degrees above previous record high's……
A ten degree average anomaly over a huge part of the 3 giant delta's, the rivers running into the arctic ocean.
The rebuilding of sea ice will be very slow.
And we still have sea ice to cool things down up North, imagine a blue ocean….a new world with new horrors for life in store.

Anyway, the location of the heat bubble makes the methane option more likely.
Sam C. on the issue:

Large abrupt methane releases will quickly deplete the oxygen in shallow waters, making it harder for microbes to break down the methane, while methane rising through waters that are shallow can enter the atmosphere very quickly.
The situation is extremely dangerous, given the vast amounts of methane present in sediments in the ESAS, given the high global warming potential (GWP) of methane following release and given that over the Arctic there is very little hydroxyl in the air to break down the methane.

High Ocean Temperatures

The heatwave is heating up the sea surface of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS), as illustrated by above image. The ESAS is quite shallow, making that heat can quickly reach the seafloor.
Additionally, the heatwave is heating up rivers that carry large amounts of hot water into the Arctic Ocean.
The image on the right shows sea surface temperatures in the Bering Strait as high as 18.9°C or 66.02°F on June 22, 2020.
The website shows that sea surface temperatures in the Bering Strait were as high as 16.1°C or 60.9°F on June 20, 2020, in the Bering Strait (in Norton Sound, Alaska), i.e. 15.1°C or 27.2°F hotter than 1981-2011.

Noctilucent clouds can form only under very restricted conditions during local summer; their occurrence can be used as a sensitive guide to changes in the upper atmosphere. They are a relatively recent classification. The occurrence of noctilucent clouds appears to be increasing in frequency, brightness and extent.

Data from the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere satellite suggests that noctilucent clouds require water vapour, dust, and very cold temperatures to form.[8] The sources of both the dust and the water vapour in the upper atmosphere are not known with certainty. The dust is believed to come from micrometeors, although particulates from volcanoes and dust from the troposphere are also possibilities. The moisture could be lifted through gaps in the tropopause, as well as forming from the reaction of methane with hydroxyl radicals in the stratosphere.[9]

Noctilucent clouds may be seen by observers at a latitude of 50° to 65°.[45] They seldom occur at lower latitudes (although there have been sightings as far south as Paris, Utah, Italy, Turkey and Spain),[39][46][47][48] and closer to the poles it does not get dark enough for the clouds to become visible.[49] They occur during summer, from mid-May to mid-August in the northern hemisphere and between mid-November and mid-February in the southern hemisphere.[39] They are very faint and tenuous, and may be observed only in twilight around sunrise and sunset when the clouds of the lower atmosphere are in shadow, but the noctilucent cloud is illuminated by the Sun.[49] They are best seen when the Sun is between 6° and 16° below the horizon.[50] Although noctilucent clouds occur in both hemispheres, they have been observed thousands of times in the northern hemisphere, but fewer than 100 times in the southern. Southern hemisphere noctilucent clouds are fainter and occur less frequently; additionally the southern hemisphere has a lower population and less land area from which to make observations.[14][51]

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Fri 26 Jun 2020, 21:16:55
by dohboi
Thanks, wf. there's a lot going on up in the far north that I haven't had time to post

methane fires are at their highest point ever for this time of year, which means it will be pretty f'n apocalyptic by fall ...

We'll see...2020 has been pretty ... interesting... so far, and it's not half over

We've had the pandemic like in 1918, the greater depression like in the 1930's, revolution in the street like in 1968...what other former years will pay visit before our blessed repetitive year is out?!

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Sat 27 Jun 2020, 05:35:07
by dohboi
Here's the article. Not necessarily methane fires, though...thawed and dried out 'permafrost' that can now burn through the entire year...

Extreme fires erupt in the Arctic Circle

For the second straight year, an unusually large number of intense fires have ignited in the Arctic Circle, the polar region atop Earth.

It's now been anomalously warm in Siberia for nearly six months, and temperatures likely eclipsed triple digits in a Siberian town last weekend — setting a heat record for the Arctic Circle. This streak of warm and hot conditions has set the stage for blazes to torch the dried-out region. Last year, unprecedented fires burned in the Arctic Circle, and new data from Copernicus, the European Union's earth observation agency, show the number and intensity of fires is similar in 2020.

The robust blazes are problematic because burned forests and vegetation release copious amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (CO2, for example, is a primary ingredient in smoke), particularly when thick mats of decomposed, carbon-rich vegetation, called peat, ignite.

Of the 18 years researchers have used satellites to closely monitor Arctic fires, 2019 and 2020 have emitted more CO2 into the atmosphere than the previous 16 years combined, said Thomas Smith, an assistant professor in environmental geography at the London School of Economics.

"The two years together is quite alarming," said Smith. "I don't use that word lightly."

As the Earth's climate continues to relentlessly warm, the recent fires could be a harbinger of substantially more burning in the Arctic Circle. Yet, the 18-year wildfire satellite record (started via NASA satellites in 2002) is still too short to conclude with certainty that these recent fire years are evidence that the fire regime in the Arctic Circle has dramatically changed. Still, there's growing evidence that change is afoot in forests and tundra atop the globe.

"With confidence, we can say that this does appear to be an increasing trend of fire," said Jessica McCarty, an Arctic fire researcher and assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Miami University. "There’s some shift occurring."

She emphasized that recent fire activity in the region "is an interesting finding," but it will take years of further observation to confirm if it's part of a big, sustained trend. Fire seasons are naturally cyclical, meaning there can be bigger fire years followed by less intense periods as the landscape recovers and vegetation regrows. Additionally, Siberia has been smothered by atypically warm temperatures for nearly six straight months. Some years will inevitably be cooler, which may mean less favorable conditions for flames.

There's a diversity of ecosystems burning in the Arctic right now, according to an analysis by Smith, including forested areas, shrublands, and tundra. Importantly, the ground in some of these burning areas is peat (though it's hard to precisely estimate how much), which means old, thick deposits of carbon are burning and releasing the potent greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane into the air.

An important takeaway from the last two extreme years of Arctic blazes isn't that there's bound to be such intense fire seasons each summer now, but that ever-warming environmental conditions allow for such atypical burning to be possible, or increasingly possible. "We don't expect these fires all the time," said McCarty. "But we know the landscape can burn."

During the spring, some of 2020's Arctic fires may have been zombie fires, or holdover fires, which survive underground during the winter and then reemerge the following year. But overall, some 85 to 95 percent of fires are ignited by humans, either intentionally or accidentally, explained McCarty. Yet lightning strikes often start the biggest Arctic fires, she said, and as the region incessantly warms and the air becomes more humid in the summer, this polar region could see more lightning.

"In the future, we expect more lightning strikes in the Arctic in a warmer climate — thus more potential for Arctic fires," said McCarty.

There will be more burning in the Arctic Circle this summer, as a stagnant, warm weather pattern continues to heat the region. And as with any heat wave today, particularly in the fast-changing Arctic, hot weather patterns are amplified by climate change. This means heat events today are warmer than they would have been without human-caused global warming.

Under these hot and dry conditions, Siberia is an expansive land that's primed to burn.

"You’ve got so much dried-out material," said Smith. "It can burn, and burn, and burn."

Zombie fires

Unread postPosted: Sat 27 Jun 2020, 09:50:47
by Whitefang
Thank you D,

Amazing these fires, no way to tackle them :shock: ... ium=onsite

Some fires won't die.
They survive underground during the winter and then reemerge the following spring, as documented in places like Alaska. They're called "overwintering," "holdover," or "zombie" fires, and they may have now awoken in the Arctic Circle — a fast-warming region that experienced unprecedented fires in 2019. The European Union's Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service is now watching these fires, via satellite.
Zombie fires smolder underground for months, notably in dense peatlands (wetlands composed of ancient, decomposed plants), and then flare-up when it grows warmer and drier. "Zombie" is fitting.
"It really does describe what these fires do," said Thomas Smith, an assistant professor in environmental geography at the London School of Economics. "They recover and they’re difficult to kill."

A phase change on the arctic ocean from solid ice to water, on land from wet permafrost to dried out carbon ready to burn night and day until depletion of the source. I hope the fires cannot go deep, I thought they need oxigen to burn….amazing they can make it through the winter.

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Sat 27 Jun 2020, 12:18:03
by waterpowerman1
Peat bog fires can go on for dozens of years underground. No way to put them out. The come to the surface and start blazing or just smoking. Some smoke gets bad enough to close the highway.

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Sat 27 Jun 2020, 12:38:48
by dohboi
Yup, we are tipping all sorts of tipping points that cannot be un-tipped, at least not any time scale anywhere close to human or even civilizational time scales.

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postPosted: Tue 30 Jun 2020, 08:47:45
by dohboi
And...the feedback just keep getting worse and worse...

The linked reference suggests that as the Earth warms natural ecosystems such as freshwaters will release more methane than expected from predictions based on temperature increases alone:

Yizhu Zhu, Kevin J. Purdy, Özge Eyice, Lidong Shen, Sarah F. Harpenslager, Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, Alex J. Dumbrell, Mark Trimmer.

Disproportionate increase in freshwater methane emissions induced by experimental warming.

Nature Climate Change, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41558-020-0824-y


Net emissions of the potent GHG methane from ecosystems represent the balance between microbial methane production (methanogenesis) and oxidation (methanotrophy), each with different sensitivities to temperature. How this balance will be altered by long-term global warming, especially in freshwaters that are major methane sources, remains unknown. Here we show that the experimental warming of artificial ponds over 11 years drives a disproportionate increase in methanogenesis over methanotrophy that increases the warming potential of the gases they emit. The increased methane emissions far exceed temperature-based predictions, driven by shifts in the methanogen community under warming, while the methanotroph community was conserved. Our experimentally induced increase in methane emissions from artificial ponds is, in part, reflected globally as a disproportionate increase in the capacity of naturally warmer ecosystems to emit more methane. Our findings indicate that as Earth warms, natural ecosystems will emit disproportionately more methane in a positive feedback warming loop.