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The Methane Thread pt. 2

Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 21:07:30

“Permafrost and wetland emissions could cut 1.5C carbon budget ‘by five years’”

--even if we were to get net emissions to zero in the next few decades, emissions would need to fall further in order to stabilise temperatures at 1.5C or 2C

https://www.carbonbrief.org/permafrost- ... five-years
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 22:57:57

Bill McKibben (@billmckibben)

7/16/18, 2:00 PM

“...We've swamped the atmosphere with so much methane that it is producing new cloud patterns. That seems a tad ominous ...”

https://twitter.com/billmckibben/status ... 5554228227

Methane Is Giving Noctilucent Clouds a Boost

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Metha ... ouds-Boost
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby M_B_S » Tue 17 Jul 2018, 00:56:10

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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 17 Jul 2018, 09:54:26

dohboi wrote:Bill McKibben (@billmckibben)

7/16/18, 2:00 PM

“...We've swamped the atmosphere with so much methane that it is producing new cloud patterns. That seems a tad ominous ...”

https://twitter.com/billmckibben/status ... 5554228227

Methane Is Giving Noctilucent Clouds a Boost

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Metha ... ouds-Boost



I remain in questioning mode over the influence the massive increase in polar air travel in the last 30 years. Up until 1989 high altitude jet aircraft rarely flew north of 80 degrees latitude because such actions were pointless. Starting in 1990 or 1991 the FSU opened air corridors between North America and South Asia through Siberia to civilian air travel. As a consequence there are now direct flights from central North American international airports, Detroit, Chicago, Saint Louis, Cleveland...that pass directly through the 80 North circle of air space at 25,000 to 35,000 feet on routes to India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, even Bangkok. Every one of those flights releases thousands of gallons of water equivalent as water vapor in the polar Stratosphere which is as low as 12,000 feet in the dead of winter. Sure, one or two flights is insignificant, but over the last 28 years there have been a dozen a day 365 days a year. The water vapor they release at altitude is quite hot at release which makes it buoyant compared to the surrounding air masses so it tends to rise even higher than the release altitude.

Normally water vapor in the Stratosphere meets one of two fates, if it encounters dust it will eventually accumulate on the dust thick enough to make the dust fall down into the troposphere where it rejoins the water cycle. However in clean air, something the Arctic is noted for, water vapor, H2O remains lighter than N2, Nitrogen molecules. Over long periods of time this means the water vapor can gradually rise and hang around for a very very long time. Noctiluscent clouds are what you get when some of that rare dust enters the Polar Stratosphere and encounters that very cold water vapor. Vapor condenses onto nearly microscopic dust making extremely small ice crystals that act like a rainbow for passing light, refracting the light in all colors of the visible spectrum. Typically these clouds only form very early in spring because once the sunlight starts refracting through the crystals it transfers a tiny percentage of its energy into heating the ice and the crystals turn back to vapor not long after the clouds form.

So we know Noctiluscent clouds formed even before jet travel existed and we know the numbers are increasing. We also know that methane which persists long enough in the atmosphere rises up into the Ozone layer where it is broken down into CO2 and H2O which is the most likely source of the moisture in pre-jet travel clouds in the polar stratosphere. However we also know that modern jet travel is dumping small quantities of persistent water vapor into the polar air mass daily, and they have been doing so for nearly three decades at an ever growing rate.

There are many opportunities for methane to break down long before it rises up into the ozone layer. However with modern jet travel humans are directly injecting water vapor into the mid and upper bounds of the polar stratosphere. So how do we determine which effect is the more significant? Both are part of the equation, you can't just ignore one and blame the other for the whole situation.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 17 Jul 2018, 13:34:34

Thanks for that insight.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 17 Jul 2018, 22:32:47

Yes, interesting points. I'm convinced that air travel in general is doing far more harm than is generally recognized, and probably, as T suggests, especially outsized harm in the Arctic.

But that doesn't mean that methane isn't also a big part of the problem.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Wed 01 Aug 2018, 16:34:16

38177018_10216822695138922_8519915337901146112_n.jpg
38177018_10216822695138922_8519915337901146112_n.jpg (35.25 KiB) Viewed 10497 times
Methane belching in progress near Barrow Alaska
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dissident » Wed 01 Aug 2018, 20:49:02

onlooker wrote:
38177018_10216822695138922_8519915337901146112_n.jpg
Methane belching in progress near Barrow Alaska


Really nothing to write home about. We are not even seeing a factor of 10 concentration increase locally. If serious CH4 emissions were in progress we would be seeing a systematic build up of CH4 levels in the Arctic near the emission sources. Increasing from 2,400 ppbv to 50,000-100,000 ppbv. Surges of concentration to 2,400 ppbv quickly followed by declines to around 2,000 ppbv are normal, yearly occurrences.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 12 Aug 2018, 14:42:18

Another feedback:

"Wildfire as a major driver of recent permafrost thaw in boreal peatlands"

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05457-1

"Permafrost vulnerability to climate change may be underestimated unless effects of wildfire are considered. Here we assess impacts of wildfire on soil thermal regime and rate of thermokarst bog expansion resulting from complete permafrost thaw in western Canadian permafrost peatlands. Effects of wildfire on permafrost peatlands last for 30 years and include a warmer and deeper active layer, and spatial expansion of continuously thawed soil layers (taliks). These impacts on the soil thermal regime are associated with a tripled rate of thermokarst bog expansion along permafrost edges.
Our results suggest that wildfire is directly responsible for 2200 ± 1500 km2 (95% CI) of thermokarst bog development in the study region over the last 30 years, representing ~25% of all thermokarst bog expansion during this period. With increasing fire frequency under a warming climate, this study emphasizes the need to consider wildfires when projecting future circumpolar permafrost thaw."
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Sat 18 Aug 2018, 23:58:26

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 143035.htm

‘Abrupt thaw’ of permafrost beneath lakes could significantly affect climate change models.


Aug16, 2018. University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The researchers found the release of greenhouse gases beneath thermokarst lakes is relatively rapid, with deep thawing taking place over the course of decades. Permafrost in terrestrial environments generally experiences shallow seasonal thawing over longer time spans. The release of that surface permafrost soil carbon is often offset by an increased growth in vegetation.

“Thermokarst lakes provide a completely different scenario. When the lakes form, they flash-thaw these permafrost areas,” said Walter Anthony, an associate professor with UAF’s Water and Environmental Research Center. “Instead of centimeters of thaw, which is common for terrestrial environments, we’ve seen 15 meters of thaw beneath newly formed lakes in Goldstream Valley within the past 60 years.”

Emissions from thermokarst lakes aren’t currently factored into global climate models
because their small size makes individual lakes difficult to include. However, the study’s authors show that these lakes are hotspots of permafrost carbon release. They argue that not including them in global climate models overlooks their feedback effect, which occurs when the release of greenhouse gases from permafrost increases warming. That feedback is significant because methane is about 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas.

Existing models currently attribute about 20 percent of the permafrost carbon feedback this century to methane, with the rest due to carbon dioxide from terrestrial soils. By including thermokarst lakes, methane becomes the dominant driver, responsible for 70 to 80 percent of permafrost carbon-caused warming this century.

Adding thermokarst methane to the models makes the feedback’s effect similar to that of land-use change, which is the second-largest source of human-made warming.


Unlike shallow, gradual thawing of terrestrial permafrost, the abrupt thaw beneath thermokarst lakes is irreversible this century.

Even climate models that project only moderate warming this century will have to factor in their emissions, according to the study.

You can’t stop the release of carbon from these lakes once they form,” Walter Anthony said.

We cannot get around this source of warming.”


Ref: Katey Walter Anthony, Thomas Schneider von Deimling, Ingmar Nitze, Steve Frolking, Abraham Emond, Ronald Daanen, Peter Anthony, Prajna Lindgren, Benjamin Jones, Guido Grosse. 21st-century modeled permafrost carbon emissions accelerated by abrupt thaw beneath lakes. Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05738-9
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 20 Aug 2018, 09:31:31

Here's a link to the paper:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05738-9

21st-century modeled permafrost carbon emissions accelerated by abrupt thaw beneath lakes

Abstract

Permafrost carbon feedback (PCF) modeling has focused on gradual thaw of near-surface permafrost leading to enhanced carbon dioxide and methane emissions that accelerate global climate warming.

These state-of-the-art land models have yet to incorporate deeper, abrupt thaw in the PCF.

Here we use model data, supported by field observations, radiocarbon dating, and remote sensing, to show that methane and carbon dioxide emissions from abrupt thaw beneath thermokarst lakes will more than double radiative forcing from circumpolar permafrost-soil carbon fluxes this century. Abrupt thaw lake emissions are similar under moderate and high representative concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5), but their relative contribution to the PCF is much larger under the moderate warming scenario.

Abrupt thaw accelerates mobilization of deeply frozen, ancient carbon, increasing 14C-depleted permafrost soil carbon emissions by ~125–190% compared to gradual thaw alone.

These findings demonstrate the need to incorporate abrupt thaw processes in earth system models for more comprehensive projection of the PCF this century.


(Thanks to miki at asif for this, who adds: "I've not even finished to read it and I'm already wondering what was I thinking, having two kids!?")
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 24 Sep 2018, 20:58:10

This Hissing, Bubbling Alaska Lake is Frightening Scientists
https://www.adn.com/arctic/2018/09/24/a ... use-gases/



ABOVE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE, ALASKA -
Katey Walter Anthony has studied some 300 lakes across the tundras of the Arctic. But sitting on the mucky shore of her latest discovery, the Arctic expert said she’d never seen a lake like this one.

The first time Walter Anthony saw Esieh Lake, she was afraid it might explode - and she is no stranger to the danger, or the theatrics, of methane.

At first, the sheer volume of gases at Esieh Lake was slightly terrifying...
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 04 Oct 2018, 08:32:17


June 2018: 1850.7 ppb
June 2017: 1842.9 ppb
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Subjectivist » Thu 04 Oct 2018, 12:01:09

I wish they included the decade level like they do with CO2 reports.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 04 Oct 2018, 16:45:07

dohoi - I hope she understands what the most dangerous concentration level of methane is. 100% isn't explosive. Might surprise some but the most explosive level is just 12%. At that point it has the max amount of oxygen. Why little wellhead leaks scare the crap out of oil patch hands.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 18 Oct 2018, 08:58:29


July 2018: 1850.5 ppb
July 2017: 1840.6 ppb
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: The Methane Thread pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 18 Oct 2018, 14:19:02

Thanks, Rock. Stay safe out there.

I'm pretty sure the scientist was freaked out because of the consequences of all that gas has for the larger picture, not for her personal safety at the site.

Of course, 100% methane atmosphere would be dangerous for humans and other living things for other reasons! 8O
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