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Author Topic: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015  (Read 19963 times)

viddaloo

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Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« on: November 07, 2014, 10:40:12 PM »
No new extent measurements from IJIS for yesterday yet, 18 hours after the usual release time, and also no PIOMAS data for October, means Volume estimates will likely be even more off and should be taken with a fair amount of salt grains. Extent and Volume remain low compared to the 2002–2013 average, though. CH₄ is also yesterday the highest it's been this November, but I don't have data for earlier years (or even weeks), as US Govt deletes all satellite data after just 3 days.

That means this is as good as it gets, folks!
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2014, 03:06:27 PM »
Quick comment: The mean CH4 level for the whole Planet is way up yesterday, but at the same time the MetOp2 satellite appears to have had a really bad day. Almost the entire world suffered a quality check error and is coloured grey on the plots. This will of course affect the global mean.

Apart from that, we see Extent continuing its slide towards 2013 levels. November 2014 already has the 2nd slowest refreeze for the month to date since at least 2007 in the IJIS data, IIRC.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2014, 07:24:29 PM »
I remembered correctly  ;)
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2014, 02:42:20 PM »
So far in November, the biggest CH4 release seems to be caused by low ice extent (and/or warmer and/or stormier water) and not the other way around.

We also notice 2014 has moved down to #6 on the Bottom Ten Gains table for extent.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 03:00:50 PM »
.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2014, 02:49:13 PM »
.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2014, 02:17:24 PM »
.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 02:30:49 PM »
Today's update is a special one, as some tuning's been done to the November 2014 PIOMAS estimate, hopefully making it more accurate, following comments from Steven. (Added are smoothed November 2009 extent and volume data, that are used for the current month 2014 estimates, and also smoothing of current month volume, as PIOMAS doesn't jump as much up and down from day to day as IJIS (the deltas are smaller for PIOMAS)).
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 02:56:36 PM by viddaloo »
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2014, 02:51:30 PM »
CH₄ peaks continue to appear undramatically about once a week, otherwise surfing around the zero % line. Volume gain anomalies twist like a snake, currently at –481 km³ since the November 2 peak, because volume figures are estimated. (Specifically, the 3 biggest deltas during the month are reduced by half by the algorithm, meaning that the graph may bounce back up where a previous Top 3 delta was reduced, when another more recent and bigger delta demotes the previous one to #4. I'll post the final version of the November graph when the real PIOMAS data are in.)

Extent gain anomalies have stopped falling, meaning the November 7—11 drop of –177470 km² will probably remain as this month's biggest.

I feel satisfied that I've been able to graph the methane in a meaningful way — as a sideshow to the fluctuations in sea ice data — and strangely feel 'safer', probably because I know more about their rhythm, even after just 23 days. I will however continue to include CH₄ records — and I'm also available for suggestions about maybe better and/or more relevant CH₄ data sources.

Winter is far from over yet, though, and I have a bad feeling for what may happen. Yearly Average Extent — the most relevant sea ice figures for CH₄ release risks — is 4th lowest, and 2014 looks set to be #1 warmest globally. Anything can happen here.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2014, 02:17:21 PM »
New CH₄ peak.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2014, 03:51:17 PM »
The bottom of the volume gain anomaly drop?
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2014, 02:29:11 PM »
Bottom extended to the 27th.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2014, 02:15:55 PM »
New CH4 peak; 2343 ppb.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2014, 02:30:48 PM »
Yet another CH4 peak, and the December extent gain for the first time under zero compared to the 2002–2013 average.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2014, 04:58:12 PM »
Another major CH₄ peak yesterday.

To put into perspective: This peak is slightly bigger than the 2nd biggest peak during November, but smaller than the main November peak. So probably nothing major will happen because of the recent peak either.

Also, I made an exception in the script making this graph earlier so that it would work even if IJIS felt like taking a day off. That came in handy today, as there was a repeat of this situation. Because of a hard–drive crash, I'm looking for other similar sources of sea ice extent data, your help will be appreciated!
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 05:31:44 PM by viddaloo »
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2014, 02:28:45 PM »
Today we see CH₄ is back to normal again, as expected. Volume, constantly adjusted by the smoothing algorithm, is down and increasing the gap to last year, which could mean that the race is on to go below daily 2013 volume and thus cause the annual average to turn downwards.

Currently, though, daily 2013 volume is 1377 km³ below 2014, so it won't happen this year.
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crandles

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2014, 03:32:11 PM »
I'm looking for other similar sources of sea ice extent data, your help will be appreciated!

The links at the top of Neven's graphs page are good for a lot of the data
https://sites.google.com/site/arcticseaicegraphs/

viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2014, 02:31:55 PM »
New CH₄ peak: 2404 ppb. 2nd highest in December.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2014, 02:59:16 PM »
Nothing much to say, except for the last 4 days of CH₄ maximums being higher on average than any other 4–day averages since the start of my records on November 1st.

Extent and volume graphs being down during the same 4–day period is not necessarily linked; I'm still leaning heavily to the 'common cause' explanation here. Perhaps some more 'expert amateurs' could chime in here?  ;D
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2014, 02:14:38 PM »
New CH₄ peak: 2360 ppb.

This is starting to get interesting: We now have all the three main peaks of the month in a 5–day sequence. Could this be the start of a more permanent higher methane level?
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crandles

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2014, 03:28:53 PM »
Could this be the start of a more permanent higher methane level?


Or maybe it is just normal for the level to be high at the end of the year?





Your figures are very high. Where do they come from (source, location and altitude) and is there any comparison to previous years?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 03:38:55 PM by crandles »

viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2014, 03:39:07 PM »
Please refer to the top post and chart heading for this info.
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lanevn

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2014, 06:37:40 PM »
What sence to draw only one month - which trends can be illustaited so?

viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2014, 06:46:22 PM »
Well, I know that some regard CH₄ as the taboo molecule, yet I don't believe in taboos or other religious dogma, and besides CH₄ plays an important role in the climate systems. That's why there is now one posting series on CH₄ on this forum. Just ignore it if you don't want to read reports on CH₄ levels.

With regard to the question of record length, I will have to refer you too to the top post.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2014, 06:01:45 PM »
New CH₄ peak: 2393 ppb.

Rise of CH₄ and simultaneous fall of the December sea ice gain anomalies at least seems related:

1) They have a common cause?
2) CH₄ levels causing smaller ice gains?
3) Thaw / open water causing increased CH₄ releases?
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crandles

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2014, 06:44:51 PM »
Re Metop2 data, I have found

http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/soundings/iasi/m2/rp/mrm_t2_D2.html
with 100 levels of data

levels 74
http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/soundings/iasi/m2/t2/D1/mr_ch4.074.gif

says 1430-2393 with mean of 1802. 2393 seems to agree to your max number.
level 78 to 80 show a mean of 1805.

are you scouring those images to get the data or is it in data format somewhere?

Layer 1 has a range 80-1056. That is a big difference to 2393. Can you be sure that you don't need the other level numbers because of a different height distribution in different seasons?

viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2014, 09:32:59 PM »
Whoa.... Pretty sure that a 7–day average CH₄ maximum of 2374 is unheard of on this planet. Please call on the US government to undelete that MetOp2 data older than 3 days to verify if this has ever happened before.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2014, 02:26:21 PM »
The weeklong methane event is over, and amazingly both the extent and volume go up again. Common cause?
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Bryantfinlay

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2014, 04:30:58 AM »
It seems the methane level has been more or less consistent. Hopefully it stays that way and the hydrates leak out gradually

Laurent

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2014, 10:38:20 AM »
If Shakova and Semiletov are right we are not in a steady state, we'll have to study that to be sure...

viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2014, 11:14:10 AM »
It seems the methane level has been more or less consistent. Hopefully it stays that way and the hydrates leak out gradually

Hi, Bryantfinlay! Welcome to the forum  ;D

We've just had the highest ever 7–day average, but other than that(!) you are of course right the level's been more or less consistent. Any major release from hydrates would certainly break the scale and be very visible in these charts. As long as it doesn't, we can sleep better at night.


[edit Neven: tsk tsk]

« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 02:35:06 PM by viddaloo »
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2014, 02:34:44 PM »
Nothing major to report, so I'll detail the (automated) choice of annotations for this chart.

1) The 2498 ppb, 2404 ppb and 2393 ppb marks are for the 3 highest peaks of the month. These are specifically designed to be just peaks, so for example if the 2498 peak had a 2450 non–peak on the day before the peak, and a 2460 the day after, 2404 og 2393 would still be peak #2 and #3.

2) The –87538 km² mark is for the biggest extent gain anomaly drop of the month, measured from the previous peak (on December 10th). The number designates the missed December extent gain compared to the alternative scenario of a straight line, i.e a horizontal line from the DEC10 peak to the DEC15 bottom.

3) The –248 km³ mark is for the biggest volume gain anomaly drop of the month, measured from the previous peak (on December 8th). The number designates the missed December volume gain compared to the alternative scenario of a straight line, i.e a horizontal line from the DEC8 peak to the DEC16 bottom.

PS: Neven, it's a standard greeting for new forum users.
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Bryantfinlay

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2014, 04:21:08 PM »
Thanks for the warm welcome! The Swerus-c3 team said that the methane leaks in the Laptev Sea could be the result of the hydrates starting to leak out. If that's true, then the relatively consistent levels in global mean methane and in the Arctic would suggest the hydrates are leaking out gradually, which would be good news. Fingers crossed

viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2014, 07:33:38 PM »
Christmas is quiet days for the clathrates.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2014, 02:50:34 PM »
Everything looking calm before Christmas  ;D
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Neven

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2014, 11:25:01 AM »
Bryantfinlay wrote this comment a couple of days ago (see above), but I didn't notice it and only approved it now. Sorry about that, Bryan, you should be able to comment directly now.

Thanks for the warm welcome! The Swerus-c3 team said that the methane leaks in the Laptev Sea could be the result of the hydrates starting to leak out. If that's true, then the relatively consistent levels in global mean methane and in the Arctic would suggest the hydrates are leaking out gradually, which would be good news. Fingers crossed
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2014, 05:03:33 PM »
Thanks for the warm welcome! The Swerus-c3 team said that the methane leaks in the Laptev Sea could be the result of the hydrates starting to leak out. If that's true, then the relatively consistent levels in global mean methane and in the Arctic would suggest the hydrates are leaking out gradually, which would be good news. Fingers crossed

Fingers stay crossed whenever I'm not writing!

I think the science is settled that hydrates are leaking already, but any major release obviously still hasn't happened. I'm trying to hunt down the alleged 'clathrate gun' pop of 2007 (in terms of timing and location), but there are also other and more likely explanations for the 2007 loss of ice.
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Bryantfinlay

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2014, 08:30:52 PM »
Thanks for that Neven. And I agree with you Vidaloo on the hydrate question. The Kara Sea study that just came out confirms that general area is leaking methane at a steady rate. It also said that explosive releases from that area could occur in the future, although of what size and when was not mentioned. As far as I'm concerned, it's nothing new at this point and pretty much confirms the status quo. The whole issue is an uncertain mystery.

viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2014, 09:01:28 PM »
Sometimes it's good to not know when stuff like that will happen. But it's also relaxing to know it hasn't happened just yet. In a way. Sort of....
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Bryantfinlay

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2014, 10:29:35 PM »
Hey Viddaloo, I was thinking maybe it's a better idea to save your tracking data and post it for the entire week instead of every few days. That way, we have a better idea of the overall trend. Far be it from me to tell you how to run things, but it's just an idea I had. Also, the graphic didn't show up.

viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #40 on: December 28, 2014, 10:35:23 PM »
Another case of a CH₄ peak with subsequent drops in extent (actual drop) and volume (lower refreeze).



Please tell me if you think such events are due to 1) a common cause, 2) mere coincidence or 3) low extent/melting causing CH₄ releases, or 4) the other way around. We can all learn from such an exchange of opinion.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 12:52:24 AM by viddaloo »
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #41 on: December 28, 2014, 10:58:03 PM »
Hey Viddaloo, I was thinking maybe it's a better idea to save your tracking data and post it for the entire week instead of every few days. That way, we have a better idea of the overall trend. Far be it from me to tell you how to run things, but it's just an idea I had.

Bryantfinlay, I think that's a brilliant idea, and I think you should definitely try that. If nothing else, such a weekly post of methane graphics from you would complement my posting of the most interesting highlights.

Also, the graphic didn't show up.

Thanks! Looking into that now. It seems attachments are being deleted (after a few hours) if you include the images in the text after posting them, and then check for them to not show up at the bottom of the post in addition. (The error is between the chair and the monitor, as they say.)
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Bryantfinlay

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #42 on: December 28, 2014, 11:51:08 PM »
I think it's better if you do that, man. You and A4REAL are much better at navigating and posting that stuff than me. I'm not good at going through and finding that methane data. I prefer to leave that to the more experienced people on here. However, I will respond to your earlier post about the peaks and drops. I think, based on the prior weeks that it's par for the course at this point. Do I think we're in danger of near-term extinction or civilization collapse? It's certainly a possibility, but I highly doubt it. With the agreement in Lima, the U.S. taking over the Arctic Council, and the increased attention and feasibility to use geoengineering to stall and perhaps reverse sea ice loss, (and it can be done. There are studies that conclude this, including ones by Robock, Hunt, Kravitz, Caldeira, and Keith, among others. And Beckwith and Wadhams also concur with this. Even Shakhova didn't completely rule it out, and I have a hunch she will probably support it as more data comes in) I believe there is a reasonable, perhaps even a good chance, that humanity will survive intact. It will be a rocky road, but I have hope that we'll be intact. Damaged, but intact nonetheless,

viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #43 on: December 29, 2014, 12:04:15 AM »
I think it's better if you do that, man. You and A4REAL are much better at navigating and posting that stuff than me. I'm not good at going through and finding that methane data. I prefer to leave that to the more experienced people on here. However, I will respond to your earlier post about the peaks and drops. I think, based on the prior weeks that it's par for the course at this point. Do I think we're in danger of near-term extinction or civilization collapse? It's certainly a possibility, but I highly doubt it. With the agreement in Lima, the U.S. taking over the Arctic Council, and the increased attention and feasibility to use geoengineering to stall and perhaps reverse sea ice loss, (and it can be done. There are studies that conclude this, including ones by Robock, Hunt, Kravitz, Caldeira, and Keith, among others. And Beckwith and Wadhams also concur with this. Even Shakhova didn't completely rule it out, and I have a hunch she will probably support it as more data comes in) I believe there is a reasonable, perhaps even a good chance, that humanity will survive intact. It will be a rocky road, but I have hope that we'll be intact. Damaged, but intact nonetheless,

Thanks for your thoughts! However, I'm merely asking about what's visible in the graph itself. To be precise: The fluctuations of the red, blue and orange, and how they relate to each other.

Let's just say at this point that such technical questions can (and should) be discussed independent of the larger question of human survival.
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Bryantfinlay

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #44 on: December 29, 2014, 12:20:51 AM »
I still can't see the graph, so I will refrain from commenting any more on it for the moment. And to your point about technical questions, that's fine. But I would like to know your thoughts on human survival.

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #45 on: December 29, 2014, 12:52:00 AM »
I promise you it's a technical issue and unrelated to the larger question of human long–term survival.
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viddaloo

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #46 on: December 29, 2014, 02:34:08 PM »
New CH₄ peak: 2441 ppb.

Note how the drop in extent and volume gets even more pronounced, and how the annotation for biggest extent drop during the month has now moved from mid–month to December 28th.
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Bryantfinlay

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #47 on: December 29, 2014, 08:14:57 PM »
Seems in line with the general trend. Nothing is happening with mean ch4 though

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #48 on: December 30, 2014, 12:54:14 AM »
It seems we've established a pretty clear correlation between the highest CH₄ peaks of the month, and slower refreeze (extent) at about the same time.

Now, in the interest of learning more about these correlations, I'm asking some questions, and I should probably add that I would want all of you to try and answer those questions. That is my purpose of asking them. I am not asking these questions because I know the answers, but to stimulate discussion so that we can learn more about the Arctic during winter:

Please tell me if you think such correlations are due to 1) a common cause, 2) mere coincidence or 3) low extent/melting causing CH₄ releases, or 4) the other way around. We can all learn from such an exchange of opinion.

I include the final chart for November with the official PIOMAS data for that month.
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Bryantfinlay

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Re: Arctic CH₄ Levels Winter 2014—2015
« Reply #49 on: December 30, 2014, 01:36:07 AM »
I would day there's a common cause there. Perhaps a combination of global and geothermal warming. Maybe having to do with shifts in geothermal warming to account for differential ch4 levels and varying extent and volume of the ice