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Author Topic: Arctic Methane Release  (Read 113133 times)

longwalks1

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #250 on: August 11, 2016, 12:46:28 AM »
I have gone through the paper once so far. 

 Free on the above site is the supporting information with illos of the land versus sea sector acquisition paths and a small graph with some topography information.  It is worth a glance if you are interested. 

"Near" continuous data.  The site went off line in 2012 after pretty standard gas chromatography was used for decades with one minor change to update and upgrade equipment.  I will have to look up the two latest technologies used, first was  "cavity ring-down spectrometer" and the second was an "off-axis integrated cavity output spectrometer".  So the recent new trend of a longer season of ground outgassing with slightly higher values, especially in the late fall is also accompanied by a gap in data and then different instrumentation and then another different instrumentation.   

The air intake sampling height is 16 meters.  Although the up wind slope of the Land Sector between 150 to 210 degrees is probably slight (via a cursory look at googlemaps) for about 100 km, it probably does rise.  Although my methane sampling experience was very different and much lower tech, using a hydrogen flame - I would not find a small leak of natural gas sampled from below a meter set as fast or reliably as from above.  I do believe that fairly valid data is possible, I will investigate diffusion and rise for methane for my own edification.  A higher sampling stack would probably be hard to maintain in that environment. 

I should look up whether or not they have other papers on emissions from the other directions. The oil and gas input might be tricky as looked at in the map.  However the sea values should be even easier to compile than the land values. 

My quibbles apart, it is good news.  Rare these days. 
 

AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #251 on: August 17, 2016, 11:22:56 AM »
The linked article indicates that more methane leaks from the permafrost during the cold months than previously thought:


http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/01/06/arctic-methane-emissions-greater-than-previous-estimates/


Extract: “The quantity of methane leaking from the frozen soil during the long Arctic winters is probably much greater than climate models estimate, scientists have found.
They say at least half of annual methane emissions occur in the cold months from September to May, and that drier, upland tundra can emit more methane than wetlands.
The multinational team, led by San Diego State University (SDSU) in the US and including colleagues from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University of Sheffield and the Open University in the UK, have published their conclusion, which challenges critical assumptions in current global climate models, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."
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longwalks1

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #252 on: August 18, 2016, 04:16:51 AM »

Here is what appears to be the original article for reply #251 concerning methane release during the cold season. 

http://www.pnas.org/content/113/1/40.abstract?sid=36140e33-589e-4e88-b08c-78fe9db33d7b

Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget

Arctic ecosystems are major global sources of methane. We report that emissions during the cold season (September to May) contribute ≥50% of annual sources of methane from Alaskan tundra, based on fluxes obtained from eddy covariance sites and from regional fluxes calculated from aircraft data. The largest emissions were observed at the driest site (<5% inundation). Emissions of methane in the cold season are linked to the extended “zero curtain” period, where soil temperatures are poised near 0 °C, indicating that total emissions are very sensitive to soil climate and related factors, such as snow depth. The dominance of late season emissions, sensitivity to soil conditions, and importance of dry tundra are not currently simulated in most global climate models.

Looking at one of the data sets web sites (from CARVE flights) shows a quite similar sample basin as in reply #249's article also about tundra emissions.  http://daac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/dsviewer.pl?ds_id=1300  They also used land based methane values from around Barrow including some from reply #249. 

My favourite quote from the article

Microbial consumption of CH4 in the near-surface soil layer (methanotrophy) can be very active in summer (28) but is inhibited by near-surface soil freezing (28, 29). Thus, the fraction of CH4 escaping to the atmosphere likely increases as the soil surface freezes in the fall.
 



AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #253 on: August 22, 2016, 06:18:33 PM »
The linked reference provides field evidence that aquatic plants in arctic tundra wetlands is a major source of methane emissions, and will likely serve as a positive feedback mechanism with continued global warming (the AR5 & CMIP5 projections do not account for this source of methane):

C G Andresen, M J Lara, C E Tweedie & V L Lougheed (19 August 2016) "Rising Plant-mediated Methane Emissions from Arctic Wetlands", Global Change Biology, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13469

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.13469/abstract

Abstract: "Plant-mediated CH4 flux is an important pathway for land-atmosphere CH4 emissions but the magnitude, timing, and environmental controls, spanning scales of space and time, remain poorly understood in arctic tundra wetlands, particularly under the long term effects of climate change. CH4 fluxes were measured in situ during peak growing season for the dominant aquatic emergent plants in the Alaskan arctic coastal plain, Carex aquatilis and Arctophila fulva, to assess the magnitude and species-specific controls on CH4 flux. Plant biomass was a strong predictor of A. fulva CH4 flux while water depth and thaw depth were co-predictors for C. aquatilis CH4 flux. We used plant and environmental data from 1971-72 from the historic International Biological Program (IBP) research site near Barrow, Alaska, which we resampled in 2010-13, to quantify changes in plant biomass and thaw depth, and used these to estimate species-specific decadal-scale changes in CH4 fluxes. A ~60% increase in CH4 flux was estimated from the observed plant biomass and thaw depth increases in tundra ponds over the past 40 years. Despite covering only ~5% of the landscape, we estimate that aquatic C. aquatilis and A. fulva account for two-thirds of the total regional CH4 flux of the Barrow Peninsula. The regionally observed increases in plant biomass and active layer thickening over the past 40 years not only have major implications for energy and water balance, but have significantly altered land-atmosphere CH4 emissions for this region, potentially acting as a positive feedback to climate warming."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #254 on: August 24, 2016, 09:26:09 PM »
The linked refer provides data of methane emissions from Arctic lakes:

Torben R. Christensen (2016), "Permafrost: It's a gas", Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2803

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2803.html

Summary: "Climate change is causing widespread permafrost thaw in the Arctic. Measurements at 33 Arctic lakes show that old carbon from thawing permafrost is being emitted as methane, though emission rates have not changed during the past 60 years."
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ghoti

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #255 on: August 26, 2016, 04:31:11 AM »
Also this paper:
Methane emissions proportional to permafrost carbon thawed in Arctic lakes since the 1950s
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2795.html


prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #256 on: September 07, 2016, 12:34:12 AM »
Made a video, about a recent related article

Climate Change, Arctic Security and Methane Risks #3DEdition
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8oFt6KRoBE

Also check this graph

Methane release around Barrow, AK, about 20% higher than recent summers.
https://twitter.com/Climatologist49/status/773263796265553920
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prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #257 on: September 25, 2016, 10:49:09 PM »
Not sure if this fits here but it seems this went a bit unnoticed, seabed craters of considerable size have been identified

Giant Seafloor Craters and Thriving Fauna: Methane Seepage in the Arctic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3JQ9a3apc8
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #258 on: December 09, 2016, 11:13:19 PM »
The linked AGU abstract B44D-08 is entitled: "Characterizing Methane Emission Response to the Past 60 Years of Permafrost Thaw in Thermokarst Lakes".  For those attending the AGU the associated talk will be on Dec 15 2016 from 17:36-17:48pm in Moscone West – 2020:


https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm16/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/197390
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logicmanPatrick

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #259 on: December 19, 2016, 10:06:18 AM »
Cross-posted here from 'stupid questions'

Global Methane Biogeochemistry, W S Reeburgh 2003

www.ess.uci.edu/~reeburgh/WSR%20TOG%202006.pdf

New from UK Met office:

A synthesis study of the global methane budget 2000-2012

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/2016/global-carbon-budget-ch4-2016
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frankendoodle

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #260 on: December 21, 2016, 07:46:03 PM »
Is under wet or dry conditions that melted permafrost will decay and release methane?
 
Wet and dry conditions; one will release CO2 and the other CH4 but I cannot remember which is which.

logicmanPatrick

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #261 on: January 03, 2017, 01:11:32 AM »
Frankendoodle

Dry conditions promote CO2 release.  Wet conditions promote methane release.

As organic matter decays, it gets eaten up and digested by microbes. The bacteria that eat it produce either carbon dioxide or methane as waste. If there is oxygen available, the microbes make carbon dioxide. But if there is no oxygen available, they make methane. Most of the places where methane would form are the swamps and wetlands. And there are many miles of wetlands in the Arctic. When you walk around in the Arctic tundra, it's like sloshing through a giant sponge.

Kevin Schaefer  NSIDC

https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/frozenground/methane.html


hth.
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longwalks1

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #262 on: February 12, 2017, 05:34:46 PM »
A new study from the USGS on ocean bed methane release.  Study was received Aug 2016 and is online now. 

The Physorg version
https://phys.org/news/2017-02-gas-hydrate-breakdown-massive-greenhouse.html

Gas hydrate breakdown unlikely to cause massive greenhouse gas release

From towards the end

"Our review is the culmination of nearly a decade of original research by the USGS, my coauthor Professor John Kessler at the University of Rochester, and many other groups in the community," said USGS geophysicist Carolyn Ruppel, who is the paper's lead author and oversees the USGS Gas Hydrates Project. "After so many years spent determining where gas hydrates are breaking down and measuring methane flux at the sea-air interface, we suggest that conclusive evidence for release of hydrate-related methane to the atmosphere is lacking."


The source study online at AGU "Review of Geophysics" - non paywalled. 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016RG000534/full

I am not sure, but I believe this is the first time I have seen the 84 times more potent than CO2 in the 20 year time frame (IPCC 2013) in a refereed journal.  Read in the first paragraph of the introduction. 

It is really large, large  and my shortest quick take away is that it is not disputing methane emissions from the ocean and especially the Arctic Ocean.  It ls laying some of the emissions onto submerged permafrost  - more research needed.

From the second paragraph of Conclusions.

At high latitudes, the key factors contributing to overestimation of the contribution of gas hydrate dissociation to atmospheric CH4 concentrations are the assumption that permafrost-associated gas hydrates are more abundant and widely distributed than is probably the case [Ruppel, 2015] and the extrapolation to the entire Arctic Ocean of CH4 emissions measured in one area. Appealing to gas hydrates as the source for CH4 emissions on high-latitude continental shelves lends a certain exoticism to the results but also feeds catastrophic scenarios. Since there is no proof that gas hydrate dissociation plays a role in shelfal CH4 emissions and several widespread and shallower sources of CH4 could drive most releases, greater caution is necessary.


From 6.3 Gas Hydrates in Glaciated areas. 

Figure 11 shows nominal conditions for permafrost evolution and gas hydrate stability beneath cold and warm-base ice sheets. Even where permafrost is lacking beneath warm-base ice, gas hydrate is stable at shallow depths in the sedimentary section for ice sheets a mere 500 m thick. Such shallow hydrates could form from microbial gas instead of the thermogenic gas thought to be sourcing many contemporary PAGH [Ruppel, 2015]. Anomalously shallow gas hydrates have been postulated for the Yamal Peninsula [Chuvilin et al., 2002] and invoked to explain some observations on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf [Shakhova et al., 2010a], as discussed above. Neither area was glaciated at the LGM, and the shallow gas releases on which the anomalous hydrate interpretation is based [Chuvilin et al., 2002] are common in permafrost areas during drilling and thought to be unrelated to gas hydrate dynamics. Even if proof for anomalous gas hydrates is eventually found, it remains uncertain how the pressure and temperature conditions at shallow depths (e.g., less than 100 m) could have been within the gas hydrate stability field absent recent glacial loading or a highly unusual mixture of hydrocarbons.


Intact arctic continental shelf gas hydrate certainly remains today within or beneath subsea permafrost, but distinguishing hydrate- from ice-bearing sediments based on geophysical data is nearly impossible without direct sampling.


Some will read this and think that the USGS is severely underestimating the methane emissions from the oceans and others will read the "conclusive evidence for release of hydrate-related methane to the atmosphere is lacking" and mentally black out "hydrate-related" and mentally scrub out methane impacts to CO2Equiv.  But for a quick read, my opinion is not a bad distillation. 

For me - it is not a counterpoint to the possibility of spiking methane emissions, but a caveat specific to methane hydrate emissions via the clathrate gun scenario.  Must read more..   



magnamentis

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #263 on: March 01, 2017, 06:48:10 PM »
just bringing this to everyone's, who is interested and did not know yet, attention:

one can use google to translate the page into english, else i'm ready to assist should translation fail and/or produce strange results :-)

https://weather.com/de-DE/wissen/klima/news/tor-der-unterwelt-wachst-alarmierend-batagaika-krater-gilt-als-klimatische?cm_ven=focus-online|referral|widget||batagaika-krater
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nicibiene

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #264 on: March 02, 2017, 09:27:33 AM »
just bringing this to everyone's, who is interested and did not know yet,

no need for translation here - interesting to read (not to write scary again)
those graphics of arcticnews- blog are impressive too

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Hefaistos

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #265 on: March 02, 2017, 10:20:13 AM »
Not good.
"... unless emissions of methane and black carbon are reduced immediately, the
Earth’s average surface temperature will warm by 1.5°C by about 2030 and by 2.0°C by 2045 to 2050 whether or not carbon dioxide emissions are reduced."

But absolutely nothing is done to reduce methane, AFAIK. On the contrary, natural gas continues to expand as a 'clean' substitute for other FF.

Quote from:
A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the
greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas
Robert W. Howarth


//attached file instead
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 02:36:19 PM by Hefaistos »

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #266 on: March 02, 2017, 12:16:29 PM »
Hef
Interesting quotes, but can't open the link.


Terry

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #267 on: March 02, 2017, 03:23:25 PM »
Not good.
"... unless emissions of methane and black carbon are reduced immediately, the
Earth’s average surface temperature will warm by 1.5°C by about 2030 and by 2.0°C by 2045 to 2050 whether or not carbon dioxide emissions are reduced."

But absolutely nothing is done to reduce methane, AFAIK. On the contrary, natural gas continues to expand as a 'clean' substitute for other FF.

Quote from:
A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the
greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas
Robert W. Howarth


//attached file instead

I could be wrong but I am thinking increased use of natural gas and flaring of shale oil fields is a relatively small piece of the increase in atmospheric CH4. While the current rise is slow, we are seeing reports of increasing permafrost degradation and methane hydrate contributions form shelves that I think are a more important cause. Worse still, these increased releases of stored CH4 are beyond our ability to reduce as they are a direct reaction to increases in temperature which will continue for the foreseeable future. I would expect the acceleration to continue even if we were to cease using natural gas entirely.

DrTskoul

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #268 on: March 02, 2017, 10:35:27 PM »
Not good.
"... unless emissions of methane and black carbon are reduced immediately, the
Earth’s average surface temperature will warm by 1.5°C by about 2030 and by 2.0°C by 2045 to 2050 whether or not carbon dioxide emissions are reduced."

But absolutely nothing is done to reduce methane, AFAIK. On the contrary, natural gas continues to expand as a 'clean' substitute for other FF.

Quote from:
A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the
greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas
Robert W. Howarth


//attached file instead

I could be wrong but I am thinking increased use of natural gas and flaring of shale oil fields is a relatively small piece of the increase in atmospheric CH4. While the current rise is slow, we are seeing reports of increasing permafrost degradation and methane hydrate contributions form shelves that I think are a more important cause. Worse still, these increased releases of stored CH4 are beyond our ability to reduce as they are a direct reaction to increases in temperature which will continue for the foreseeable future. I would expect the acceleration to continue even if we were to cease using natural gas entirely.

So far it has been measured that > 90% of released subsea methane is converted by micro organisms and never reaches the surface. So increase of Methane is not from either natural gas or clathrates.
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CognitiveBias

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #269 on: March 02, 2017, 10:40:21 PM »
DrT,
  I don't follow.  How can <10% of an unknown quantity be bounded?

Thanks,
  CB

...
So far it has been measured that > 90% of released subsea methane is converted by micro organisms and never reaches the surface. So increase of Methane is not from either natural gas or clathrates.

DrTskoul

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #270 on: March 02, 2017, 10:51:10 PM »
DrT,
  I don't follow.  How can <10% of an unknown quantity be bounded?

Thanks,
  CB

...
So far it has been measured that > 90% of released subsea methane is converted by micro organisms and never reaches the surface. So increase of Methane is not from either natural gas or clathrates.

There not that many clathrates with temperatures that are close enough to full release yet...
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nicibiene

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #271 on: March 03, 2017, 07:48:50 AM »
So far it has been measured that > 90% of released subsea methane is converted by micro organisms and never reaches the surface. So increase of Methane is not from either natural gas or clathrates.


I only ask myself: what will be the product of that micro organisms? Especially the anaerobic version would be not so nice...

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DrTskoul

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #272 on: March 03, 2017, 10:04:01 AM »
The products are CO2 mostly (methanotrophs) plus lipids etc.
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SteveMDFP

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #273 on: March 03, 2017, 06:31:19 PM »
The products are CO2 mostly (methanotrophs) plus lipids etc.
Yes, these days it's methane to CO2.  With slow de-oxygenation of the oceans, we'll see more and more of the methane going to hydrogen sulfide.  In maybe 200 years, we'll have "Canfield ocean." Most recognizable ocean life will die.  The Great Dying of 252 million years ago, revisited.

That process starts in earnest when the Arctic goes ice-free year-round.  It's formation of ice, after all, that sinks surface oxygenated waters to the depths.

Anne

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #274 on: March 04, 2017, 09:05:27 AM »
28 February. A roundup of permafrost degradation studies in Canada and Siberia.
Huge slabs of Arctic permafrost in northwest Canada are slumping and disintegrating, sending large amounts of carbon-rich mud and silt into streams and rivers. A new study that analyzed nearly a half-million square miles in northwest Canada found that this permafrost decay is affecting 52,000 square miles of that vast stretch of earth—an expanse the size of Alabama.

According to researchers with the Northwest Territories Geological Survey, the permafrost collapse is intensifying and causing landslides into rivers and lakes that can choke off life downstream, all the way to where the rivers discharge into the Arctic Ocean.

Similar large-scale landscape changes are evident across the Arctic including in Alaska, Siberia and Scandinavia, the researchers wrote in a paper published in the journal Geology in early February. The study didn't address the issue of greenhouse gas releases from thawing permafrost. But its findings could help quantify the immense global scale of the thawing, which will contribute to more accurate estimates of carbon emissions.
More at the link: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27022017/global-warming-permafrost-study-melt-canada-siberia

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #275 on: March 21, 2017, 09:02:59 AM »
'hatrack' at democratic-discussion forum keeps on finding 'delightful' newstories of everysort of environmental issue. This time it's about those permafrost bubbles of ice covered whatevers : http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0905-7000-underground-gas-bubbles-poised-to-explode-in-arctic/
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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #276 on: March 21, 2017, 11:30:58 AM »
Have any surveys been published that show the depth of actual bedrock that underlies the permafrost? Either in Canada/Alaska or Russia? Just how extensive can we expect the new arctic ocean to become? As far south as Great Bear lake? halfway to the Caspian sea?

Pmt111500

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #277 on: March 21, 2017, 11:41:13 AM »
Afaik, no systematic surveys of boggy areas have been done (or then they're in russian litterature or within oil companies working there)but some isolated measurement, IIRC, of thickness of some bog in permafrosted west siberia was 80 m. Yes the western siberia might shrink quite a lot.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #278 on: March 21, 2017, 11:53:32 AM »
I read an article years ago suggesting that the North Slope of Alaska could in theory become shallow ocean due to sea level rise combined with permafrost melting. Up to 200,000 km2 ?

Sorry but the article is lost in  cyberspace.

Andre

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #279 on: March 26, 2017, 01:29:45 PM »
Discovered: 200-plus Arctic lakes which bubble like jacuzzis from seeping methane gas


http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/discovered-200-plus-arctic-lakes-which-bubble-like-jacuzzis-from-seeping-methane-gas/

Abstract:

A feature of these thermokarst lakes are craters or funnels in the sediment on the floor through which they are haemorrhaging methane. These pockmarks are similar to those found on the floors of the great oceans. 

Scientists say these leaks are year round in lakes where carbon processing and methane emission occur even at temperatures close to zero degrees Celcius. Detailed study of satellite data from 2015-16 has identified more than 200 lakes which are seen as an active source of methane emissions.

The gas is of both a biochemical nature, the result of microbial activity released by permafrost thawing, and catagenesis, formed in deep ground layers.


Andre

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #280 on: March 26, 2017, 01:56:54 PM »

I only ask myself: what will be the product of that micro organisms? Especially the anaerobic version would be not so nice...


It looks like the heat generated by the decay process itself, could go a long way in sustaining itself, without necessarily needing all that much extra heat added to the process, once it gets going. Sounds less like permafrost and more like compost.

Permafrost thawing in organic Arctic soils accelerated by ground heat production

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n6/full/nclimate2590.html?message-global=remove

Abstract:
Decomposition of organic carbon from thawing permafrost soils and the resulting release of carbon to the atmosphere are considered to represent a potentially critical global-scale feedback on climate change1, 2. The accompanying heat production from microbial metabolism of organic material has been recognized as a potential positive-feedback mechanism that would enhance permafrost thawing and the release of carbon3, 4. This internal heat production is poorly understood, however, and the strength of this effect remains unclear3. Here, we have quantified the variability of heat production in contrasting organic permafrost soils across Greenland and tested the hypothesis that these soils produce enough heat to reach a tipping point after which internal heat production can accelerate the decomposition processes. Results show that the impact of climate changes on natural organic soils can be accelerated by microbial heat production with crucial implications for the amounts of carbon being decomposed. The same is shown to be true for organic middens5 with the risk of losing unique evidence of early human presence in the Arctic.

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #281 on: March 26, 2017, 04:54:40 PM »
Yes, @Andrew.  Also thought about the possible warming feedback of decomposition of the huge organic material reserve stored in the thawing permafrost. Maybe the growing siberian snowpack adds an effect more, to isolate the ground against the arctic winter cold and to make the process even continue during winter? I saw some graphics in the snowpack feedback thread here, showing a growing autumn and winter snowpack and lower spring snow amount. The question is, what makes the snow go earlier?  Only sun heat from above?

If I just think about the effects we use in our garden, to put wood on the ground of our raised beds to get that effect of warming reaction....found e.g. that article, that mentioned exactly both effects:

http://www.sciencepoles.org/interview/what-is-happening-to-carbon-in-arctic-tundra-permafrost

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” –“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #282 on: March 26, 2017, 07:15:38 PM »
The decomposition does indeed continue through the winter, at much higher rates than previously thought. There was a paper on this within the last year or so. I'll link if I can find it.

And yes, thicker snow would further insulate the ground below and allow for more and faster decomposition and hence larger quantities of methane and CO2 (mostly methane, I would think, in that closed off, moist environment).
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #283 on: March 26, 2017, 08:46:25 PM »
I recall a winter in the 1990s where Upstate New York (Adirondack Mtns., specifically) experienced normal mid-winter cold, but the usual snow cover was completely missing.  Many municipal water pipes buried 6 feet [1.8m] down (I think, but maybe only 4' - 1.2m) froze and broke, whereas during all other winters with some snow cover, they were fine. 

About 1970 (in northern New Mexico) we had some extreme cold (down to -32F [-26C]) (-5 to -10F [-10 to -20C] were normal extremes for winter's coldest nights) that killed many fruit trees where there was no snow cover but did no damage to ours as we had 4-6 inches [10-15 cm] of snow in our yard.

So yes, snow cover matters!
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

longwalks1

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #284 on: Today at 12:53:44 AM »
I took some notes on the Ruppel-Kessler review "interaction of climate change and methane hydrates"  mentioned much further above.  doi:10.1002/2016RG000534

Some of the acronyms are reused in the "Relic Gas Hydrate" article above   DOI: 10.2118/166925-RU   From my Ruppel-Kessler notes

GHSZ theoretical gas hydrate stability zone
BGHS  base of gas hydrate stability (BGHS)
AOM anaerobic oxidation methane   MOx aerobic oxidation methane
SRZ sulfate reducing zone
PAGH Permafrost Associated Gas Hydrates
D/O Dansgaard-Oeschger events warming of intermediate ocear waters.

Russian study
STGF South Tambey Gas Field

The Relic Gas Hydrate paper is from October of 2013. Nice work, Maybe I will use the authors and references  to finally get some decent kinetics disassociation of methane hydrates.