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Author Topic: Arctic Methane Release  (Read 123765 times)

Thomas Barlow

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #300 on: May 11, 2017, 05:21:34 AM »
"Are methane seeps in the Arctic slowing global warming?"
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/methane-slowing-global-warming-arctic

nicibiene

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #301 on: May 11, 2017, 04:28:13 PM »
"Are methane seeps in the Arctic slowing global warming?"


I already stumbled over that article and wondered about its sound full of hope...as if the methane hydrates problem could be no threat at all. And further it declares the methane even as a solution for the CO2-problem? I could imagine that there is some mixing going on by the upwelling bubbles-might bring a fertilizing effect for more algae growth and declining CO2 levels in water. But what effect brings that not normal mixing of polar ocean layers-especially for the ice growth in the dark times?

Just looked a little at the website of mentioned USGS institute https://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/pubsearch/year_list.php?year=2017

Found also that publication: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016RG000534/abstract;jsessionid=F9E3CA404D7ED75C5593ED4D7E25E928.f04t04

I´m not an expert in that, but it seems there are some nice people at work, that try to spread doubts in the basics of the methane hydrates threat many scientists clearly see:

In addition, large-scale gas hydrate dissociation is sometimes portrayed not only as a consequence of warming but also as a potential synergistic driver for enhanced warming if the CH4 released from gas hydrates reaches the atmosphere. These dual roles of gas hydrate dissociation—as both an effect and possible contributor to global warming—have led some to adopt a catastrophic perspective on the interaction of the climate system with the global gas hydrate reservoir


It is also doubted in the assumptions of methane growth included in the IPCC-reports (some also say they are much too low) - e.g it is doubted in Shakhovas research:

The values quoted by the various IPCC reports have never been based on observational evidence for CH4 emissions derived from gas hydrate dissociation since no such measurements exist. A few examples underscore this point: The clearly identified assumption of Cicerone and Oremland [1988] that 5 Tg yr−1 CH4 reached the atmosphere from gas hydrate dissociation has set the stage for the subsequent quarter century. The third IPCC [2001] cites the Fung et al. [1991] forward modeling study, which merely assigned a value for the contribution to atmospheric CH4 emissions from gas hydrate dissociation. This was also the case with Lelieveld et al. [1998], which assumed 10 Tg yr−1 CH4 emissions from gas hydrate for one scenario, a number that was then adopted by the third IPCC [2001]. The Wuebbles and Hayhoe [2002] study cited by the fourth IPCC [2007] is sometimes considered the observationally based source for the now oft-used 5 Tg yr−1 CH4 estimate for atmospheric CH4 flux from gas hydrates. That study in turn cites Judd [2000], which is a geologic methane seepage study that does not provide an independent estimate for emissions derived from gas hydrate dissociation. Cranston [1994], on which Judd [2000] relies for his hydrate-related flux discussion, estimates the sum of global diffusive and ebullitive fluxes from marine sediments to the atmosphere to be ~1.3 Tg yr−1 to 13 Tg yr−1 CH4 considering all sources, including shallow-water seeps and deepwater gas hydrates. The Denman et al. [2007] study cited in the fifth IPCC [2013] is the climate coupling chapter from the fourth IPCC [2007] and not an independent source of information. The fifth IPCC [2013] also refers to Dickens [2003b], which is a book review of Kennett et al. [2003] that did not provide an estimate for CH4 flux to the atmosphere from dissociating gas hydrates, as Dickens [2003a] also did not. Shakhova et al. [2010a], also given as a source for the hydrate-derived atmospheric CH4 flux in the fifth IPCC [2013], did not attribute the 7.98 Tg yr−1 CH4 flux that they calculated for the East Siberian Arctic shelf to gas hydrate degradation, rather considering a range of potential sources.


 ;D wish I would have some more time to dig in-but I think it is not worth it. Intention seems to be to spread doubts and to give the mainstream media with the Sciencemag article stuff to tell some good news about methane.
 
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 04:57:30 PM by nicibiene »
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Thomas Barlow

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #302 on: May 11, 2017, 11:57:14 PM »
;D wish I would have some more time to dig in-but I think it is not worth it. Intention seems to be to spread doubts and to give the mainstream media with the Sciencemag article stuff to tell some good news about methane.


That was my first reaction, but it seems legit science, and I doubt there is any "intention" here.
They are just doing a scientific experiment and getting it published, like any other scientists. They state that it is small-scale.
It's published in PNAS.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/05/02/1618926114
However, I do agree that it seems unlikely that this algae effect would slow the observed methane rise. Perhaps in the shallow ocean, yes, I could see that.
Perhaps "Slow the rise of global warming a little" should have been emphasized more. Especially since it is just one small experiment.
And I can't see it happening in the permafrost on land. However, there may be other factors at work in the permafrost that could slow the release from being 'catastrophic'.
Unlike many, I am open to being wrong about the dangers of methane (a view which I have supported for years) if more research is done, I will change with the science, if it is legit.
And the researcher did state that this only applies to daylight-time in the Arctic, not the night of winter.

There is no question in my mind that the increase in algae could naturally sequester CO2 and slow warming, but enough to make a real difference to global warming? ... I can't see that happening unfortunately.

Juries' out on this I think. Time, and more experiments will tell.
However, monitoring shows Arctic methane continues to rise:
https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=BRW&program=ccgg&type=ts(
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 12:57:31 AM by Thomas Barlow »

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #303 on: May 12, 2017, 08:39:50 AM »
That's a lot to get my head around. After years of worrying about methane seeps it will take a little more than this one article to turn the ship around.
Wonderful news if they are right.
Terry

prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #304 on: May 12, 2017, 01:48:11 PM »
Yesterday, professor of Geophysics Vladimir Romanovsky discusses the impact of Arctic permafrost thaw.
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Ajpope85

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #305 on: May 12, 2017, 02:53:16 PM »
What happens to the algae though? Does it actually sequester the carbon by dying and getting buried by silt at the bottom of the ocean or just die and decompose in the water column? If it does that, then this is just a roundabout way of adding carbon to the carbon cycle.

prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #306 on: May 12, 2017, 03:15:52 PM »
What happens to the algae though? Does it actually sequester the carbon by dying and getting buried by silt at the bottom of the ocean or just die and decompose in the water column? If it does that, then this is just a roundabout way of adding carbon to the carbon cycle.
What appears to be a seasonal negative factor may work to some extent for gradual release, but i doubt this would make a big impact if large scale release occurs, due to continued warming, or if this can be observed in other areas, with different conditions for algae growth. Also, the uptake will affect other organisms, CO2 uptake has detrimental effects for many ocean species https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120120184233.htm

And then there is this

Blooming Algae Could Accelerate Arctic Warming
Scientists have generally believed that more algae — more specifically, the type known as phytoplankton — would be good for the climate, since they thrive on CO2 while alive, then carry the carbon they’ve absorbed down to the sea bottom when they die. Some experts have even suggested that fertilizing the oceans to encourage algal growth would be one way to counteract global warming.

But Park and his co-authors point out that thicker layers of algae on the sea surface would prevent sunlight from penetrating deeper into the water.

“More heat is trapped in the upper layers of the ocean, where it can be easily released back into the atmosphere,” Park said. He and his team reached this conclusion by marrying computer models of how ocean ecosystems behave to models that simulate the climate. Then they ramped up levels of CO2 to see how the algae would respond to the resulting warming, the extra carbon dioxide itself, and changes in sea ice.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/algae-accelerate-arctic-warming-18929

If you combine findings on enhanced algae growth, and potential for increased surface layer warming, then you end up with something very much resembling another wildcard.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 03:21:30 PM by prokaryotes »

Thomas Barlow

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #307 on: May 13, 2017, 12:02:25 AM »
What happens to the algae though? Does it actually sequester the carbon by dying and getting buried by silt at the bottom of the ocean or just die and decompose in the water column? If it does that, then this is just a roundabout way of adding carbon to the carbon cycle.

I believe it sinks. Also, it takes bacteria with it. Other creatures will eat it and (later) die and sink.

PS.Whales are considered large carbon sinks too, both in their effect as they have to rise near the surface to deficate, which creates algae, and the same CO2 sequestration effect.
 Also, churning the lower and upper layers.
They also take on a large amount of carbon, and when they die. they (usually) take that to the bottom of the sea as well, and the rotting carcass acts to create more biological activity that sequesters carbon for decades.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_fall
Therefore ... Save the Whales.

johnm33

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #308 on: May 13, 2017, 10:37:26 AM »
Reminded me of this http://mtkass.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=whale+pump
His latest post is interesting too.

nicibiene

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #309 on: May 15, 2017, 01:16:52 PM »
As I was afraid of there are appearing the first press articles about the Sciencemag article....

It is interesting to read the german version of the GEOMAR institute press release: http://www.geomar.de/news/article/methanquellen-vor-spitzbergen-verringern-treibhauseffekt/

There is emphasized the relationship of 1:2000 - one part upwelling methane could trigger the photosynthesis uptake of 2000 parts CO2. (Sciencemag writes about 1:1900?) That the photosynthesis in the end is only doubled compared with the water enviroment is not said exactly.

I don´t believe the algae will be a real sink for carbon - most of them don´t sink down and as a lot of fishes and other marine life is extremely threatened, the foodchain is disrupted...(more algae means also warmer water...)

That the algae effect will not work in dark winter is also not told by GEOMAR-also it is transfered to areas with shallow waters... It is even told that methane is not proven to cause the upwelling of nutrisious waters-in contrast to Sciencemag article.

In the end the german press takes the german version - of course celebrating the large cooling effect and the relationship of 1:2000.

http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/klima-methan-quellen-verringern-ueberraschenderweise.2850.de.html?drn:news_id=742982

 
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TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #310 on: May 15, 2017, 01:38:07 PM »
If the science is sound it's good news, if it doesn't play out I'm not sure that giving the masses some relief is such a bad thing. This isn't like the release of CO2 or CH4 by humans. This is a natural process that's going to increase in a warming world, & there's not a thing we can do about it other than watch, wonder & worry.
Terry

nicibiene

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #311 on: May 15, 2017, 02:39:57 PM »
Indeed, Terry, it is nice to hear some good news at all-how tiny they might be in the end.

But on the other hand better sounding news than the real scientific results tell are produced by the german institute. And press takes them and makes them sound much more positive. All gets filtered and painted white.
 
There is a tendency in our press I really don´t like. There is all about a far terrorism, producing fear, let people call for control and observation. But you hear nothing about severe weather events. Nothing about US, no Canadian flood, not even somehing about flash floods or severe weather events here in Germany.

Nothing is done to let people think, how they could change their personal life, no perspectives, no solutions, no visions... All the German official climate politics is a big lie if you have a closer look at it.

Most people here are not really informed at all, or they ignore it. Don´t know. But I can´t explain myself why the green party in times of more floods, droughts and negative climate effects like the spring freeze gets results of 6%, while pro fossil coal parties win elections...

That leaves me with more fear than facing the truth about methane - the lethargy of the people.
Maybe it is all natural and human. And I´m an alien?  ;D
“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

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #312 on: May 15, 2017, 04:47:31 PM »
nicibiene


We have the same problem here in Canada. The Boogie men are hiding under the covers, but little mention of huge floods, droughts or a melting Arctic. We can't do a thing about the terrorist threats, but we could be motivated to lower our carbon footprint.


I don't mind however methane seeps are spun because that's ongoing & out of our control. The damage that GHG is doing to us now, and in the near future is what needs to be headlined. Prior to Harper's election in Canada they had regular programming aimed at lowering the average Canadian's carbon footprint, and how a person could lower his own. I think it was having some effect, and certainly kept the problem current in everyone's mind. It hasn't been repeated even though we got rid of the Conservative deniers some time ago.
A shame.
Terry

Bruce Steele

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #313 on: May 15, 2017, 05:11:18 PM »
The upwelling of nutrients would increase biological production if surface waters were low in nitrogen , iron , phosphorus , etc.  Increased biological production would increase atmospheric CO2 drawdown
as long as the surface water pCO2 remained lower than atmospheric levels. This is called the biological carbon pump. Much of that carbon would be quickly recycled as higher trophic levels utilized the increased productivity. The bacteria reminerization of that portion of the organic production that settled would consume and release much of the carbon back into the water as CO2 or methane depending upon oxygen availability.
 I haven't read the whole paper but the increased biological production would be spread by currents and getting some measure of the fate of that carbon would require study of much larger areas than the rather localized site of the bubble column and upwelling .
 There are other processes that will also increase upwelling as the surface ice continues to decrease but the notion that this increased production will result in a vastly increased carbon sink is dubious IMO.
Does darkening of surface water really result in "less" heat absorption? Does upwelling and surface mixing potentially increase water column heating via insolation ?  Does the increased biological production contain higher or lower percentages of carbonate forming phytoplankton as the Arctic water continues to acidify? Other studies have shown decreases of calcium carbonate forming phytoplankton as acidity continues to increase. This will negatively affect ballasting and settlement of calcium carbonate into sediments. Calcium carbonate lasts much longer than labile organic material that settles to the bottom because like I said before bacteria can quickly remineralize organic material.
 nicibiene, Maybe those of us interested enough to read and learn and worry are all a bit alien. I do appreciate that there are fellows travelers that frequent this site and give me things to think about. I appreciate your company and I wish I had more friends that kept up with what is happening but mainstream news is completely devoid of information that might inform the masses and somehow they bury their heads when the subject does get a little too close to home. It's sad, it's lonely and I fear for how this all turns out.  It pains me that the way you describe German media, the selling of terror fears etc. mirrors so much the American experiance. It is very difficult to get away from Trump nausea, I know there is a famine in Africa but you'd never know about it cause it's Trump, Trump, terror and lately North Korea. The marketing of fear but the complete vacuum of information on how we are collectively precipitating a climate disaster. And more importantly what we as individuals might do to reduce our contributions .



Thomas Barlow

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #314 on: May 15, 2017, 06:29:12 PM »
There is emphasized the relationship of 1:2000 - one part upwelling methane could trigger the photosynthesis uptake of 2000 parts CO2...That the photosynthesis in the end is only doubled compared with the water enviroment is not said exactly.
Doubling the photosynthesis causes 1:2000 ratio is the point I think.

I don´t believe the algae will be a real sink for carbon - most of them don´t sink down and as a lot of fishes and other marine life is extremely threatened
Fishes, seaweed, sharks, and whales take on carbon as cleaners of the oceans. That's their job. An extra bit of carbon won't hurt them, or anyone who eats them. The biggest problem there is the over-fishing of the ocean, and also plastic particle soup in the ocean, turning them acidic. Also Fukushima could be bad. Also pollution dumped directly into ocean by cities and international shipping. And, of course, the oceans do absorb carbon from the atmosphere, so become more acidic.

That the algae effect will not work in dark winter is also not told by GEOMAR-also it is transfered to areas with shallow waters... It is even told that methane is not proven to cause the upwelling of nutrisious waters-in contrast to Sciencemag article.
They did say it in the article about the dark winter (at the very end). The whole fear of melting icepack is that in the summer it could lead to more methane release. In the past, the large summer icepack would trap methane before it is released, and it was quickly absorbed by natural mechanisms. Now, that icepack is more and more open in summer, shallow seabed regions more likely to melt. As far as I know, winter is not as big an issue, due to icepack cover over the Arctic Ocean (except in land permafrost maybe).

The jury's out on this effect, maybe it needs to be included in modeling to see what happens, but if the methane sensors are correct, the methane is rising as far as I can tell.

Another interesting effect I saw ---> https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/biological-activity-found-affect-aerosols-produced-sea-spray

Maybe Gaia is real.


« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 06:40:27 PM by Thomas Barlow »

nicibiene

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #315 on: May 16, 2017, 08:58:59 AM »
Fishes, seaweed, sharks, and whales take on carbon as cleaners of the oceans. That's their job. An extra bit of carbon won't hurt them, or anyone who eats them. The biggest problem there is the over-fishing of the ocean, and also plastic particle soup in the ocean, turning them acidic. Also Fukushima could be bad. Also pollution dumped directly into ocean by cities and international shipping. And, of course, the oceans do absorb carbon from the atmosphere, so become more acidic.


 ;D maybe I expressed it a little unclear. I'm not afraid fishes could be harmed by some extra carbon.  ;D The problem is, that there are not so much fishes, sharks or whales left to let the biological carbon pump work.  There are more and more algae blooms that even kill fishes! Especially those algae that get along with nitrogen... So it would be also interesting what kind of algaes appeared at the methane spots?

As Bruce writes, it would be interesting, what was measured regarding phytoplankton driving the carbonate pump? As water gets more acidic that doesn't work well too. As far as I read (Rahmstorf book) phytoplankton is specialised on water temperatures. When suface water gets warmer it emigrates to lower, colder waterlevels - but there is less light, so it all has natural borders. And if there are algaes are darkening the water surface, catching sun energy, maybe it would have not that nice effect in the established ecosystem....and the foodchain that starts in cold Arctic waters.

They did say it in the article about the dark winter (at the very end).

Sciencemag does, but not the german GEOMAR version.

The whole fear of melting icepack is that in the summer it could lead to more methane release. In the past, the large summer icepack would trap methane before it is released, and it was quickly absorbed by natural mechanisms. Now, that icepack is more and more open in summer, shallow seabed regions more likely to melt. As far as I know, winter is not as big an issue, due to icepack cover over the Arctic Ocean


I think it is also a problem of growing ongoing release in winter, trapped under the ice...and what is happening with the methane there?

Very interesting read regarding methane seeps from ocean bed is this publication, from 2016:
https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lno.10307/full&ved=0ahUKEwj40eGu3fPTAhUsDZoKHamyAfsQFghJMAs&usg=AFQjCNHPWdTLBbJKsDl8Ok1BM9AIPh65sA&sig2=rJ80UrDKO9eOclaMA4JYOA


“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

nicibiene

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #316 on: May 16, 2017, 12:01:14 PM »
There are other processes that will also increase upwelling as the surface ice continues to decrease but the notion that this increased production will result in a vastly increased carbon sink is dubious IMO.
Does darkening of surface water really result in "less" heat absorption? Does upwelling and surface mixing potentially increase water column heating via insolation ?  Does the increased biological production contain higher or lower percentages of carbonate forming phytoplankton as the Arctic water continues to acidify? Other studies have shown decreases of calcium carbonate forming phytoplankton as acidity continues to increase. This will negatively affect ballasting and settlement of calcium carbonate into sediments. Calcium carbonate lasts much longer than labile organic material that settles to the bottom because like I said before bacteria can quickly remineralize organic material.]


I totally agree with you - I know about the importance of carbonate pump, producing calcium carbonate that sinks to the ground. But as all is getting more acidic that system gets problems too.

nicibiene, Maybe those of us interested enough to read and learn and worry are all a bit alien. I do appreciate that there are fellows travelers that frequent this site and give me things to think about. I appreciate your company and I wish I had more friends that kept up with what is happening but mainstream news is completely devoid of information that might inform the masses and somehow they bury their heads when the subject does get a little too close to home. It's sad, it's lonely and I fear for how this all turns out. 


 :-* for that reason I highly appreciate that kind of forum here, where you feel a little more normal and not so lonely when worrying about the future and asking question nobody else seems to be interested in. Sometimes it feels like looking straigt into hell ground-but somehow I´m more interested in facing that, than bury my head in the ground.  ;D

It pains me that the way you describe German media, the selling of terror fears etc. mirrors so much the American experiance. ... The marketing of fear but the complete vacuum of information on how we are collectively precipitating a climate disaster. And more importantly what we as individuals might do to reduce our contributions .


Maybe it is some kind of plan behind it? As the governments know about the mess we are going in (and I think even Trump knows exactly) it will be helpful to have people that are perfectly controlled and busy with their ordinary life of consumption. Feeling safe in illusion, as long as possible.... :o

It can not be said that information is hidden-you can learn anything you want--and thats it. Learn, see, ask and act hopefully preventing a crash OR believe, act hopefully blind and get crashed...? Or to say it with Mr. Hamlet: To be or not to be?

Even found a nice map about the current methane values in athmosphere. Seems there is getting a new colour scala necessary?

http://www.gmes-atmosphere.eu/d/services/gac/nrt/nrt_fields_ghg!Methane!Surface!00!Global!macc!od!enfo!nrt_fields_ghg!2017051400!!/
“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

nicibiene

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #317 on: May 16, 2017, 12:58:24 PM »
As I found that nice paper about "Effects of climate change on methane emissions from seafloor sediments in the Arctic Ocean"

Here, we review the principal physical and biogeochemical processes that regulate methane fluxes across the seabed, the fate of this methane in the water column, and potential for its release to the atmosphere. We find that, at present, fluxes of dissolved methane are significantly moderated by anaerobic and aerobic oxidation of methane. If methane fluxes increase then a greater proportion of methane will be transported by advection or in the gas phase, which reduces the efficiency of the methanotrophic sink. Higher freshwater discharge to Arctic shelf seas may increase stratification and inhibit transfer of methane gas to surface waters, although there is some evidence that increased stratification may lead to warming of sub-pycnocline waters, increasing the potential for hydrate dissociation.


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lno.10307/full

I get again confronted with a picture of one worrying mechanisms of methane in water:


And as the abstract tells-the ongoing reaction down there could warm up the ground and increase the hydrate dissociation... another positive feedback again. And if there is a stronger stratification due to more freshwater methane is trapped is lower water levels. Could that also lead to a loss of oxygen in ocean layers that usually contain oxygen, increasing AOM?

Since I read about AOM and I can´t find a map about the methane in athmosphere (I just found one very good data source, provided by Copernicus satelites -link in the post above) I watched a little at nullschool for possible remarkable SO2 traces, that could be a sign for increasing methane that is consumed by microbes, producing H2S.

And suddenly, in January/February 2017 I found more and more spots of SO2-especially in Eastern Siberia-in permafrost. They appear in a massive way-out from nowhere. There are also traces near Greenland, North Canada, Alaska.  I already mentioned that as the meltseason thread touched methane... now I waited a little-and crashed again into it.

So what do you mean about that strange spots? (BTW: I switch the actual date in Nullschool with jumping one day back and changing the date in url) 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 01:08:29 PM by nicibiene »
“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

Bruce Steele

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #318 on: May 16, 2017, 02:32:10 PM »
Nicibiene, Thanks for the new pictures. My eye was drawn to the high concentration of CH4 over Svalbard in the 4/5/17  picture. That is where the heat is being pulled up from the Atlantic and there appears to be more CH4 this year. Would be nice to have water temperatures and CH4 somehow superimposed. Many of the other sources seem to be terrestrial (?) except that area you circled Southwest Greenland. I don't know what the source of that CH4 is.
 I don't know if you follow Apocalyse 4 real. He was a regular contributor here and over on the ASIB back  ~ three or four years ago. His blog has extra methane info in his archives. He still watches and he knows much more about methane issues than I.
 I am fascinated by carbon cycle processes . Riverine to atmosphere transfers of terrestrial (land sinks)
CO2 in the Amazon and Siberian riverine sources are two places to watch closely. How CO2 or methane production from these riverine sources are affected by heat , fires, permafrost melt and even drought are complications I don't think we have a handle on . Those portions of organic carbon that aren't converted via bacterial processes in the rivers will of course dump into the oceans. What part those terrestrial sources of organic matter are  responsible  for the methane in the Southwest Greenland area
I don't know but increased terrestrial meltwater may carry organics into the ocean very differently there compared to the Amazon?



http://www.megiddo666.apocalypse4real-globalmethanetracking.com/2017/01/global-ch4-mean-for-october-2016-tops.html

FishOutofWater

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #319 on: May 21, 2017, 04:05:01 PM »
Surges of algae growth in the summer may be followed by high emissions of methane and CO2 in the fall. I don't dispute what this study observed but the scientists should be very careful not to extrapolate a summer bloom with reductions in CO2 and methane emissions. Several studies over the past several years have found unexpectedly high releases of CO2 and methane in the fall when sunlight is gone but temperatures are still pretty warm and ice is thin or not present.

There's a high amount of uncertainty how the Arctic's annual cycle in CO2 and methane is going to change in the coming years. We need studies of the annual cycle over regions of the Arctic. Short term local studies are fine science but beware of extrapolation errors.

Thomas Barlow

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #320 on: May 21, 2017, 06:27:55 PM »
Surges of algae growth in the summer may be followed by high emissions of methane and CO2 in the fall. I don't dispute what this study observed but the scientists should be very careful not to extrapolate a summer bloom with reductions in CO2 and methane emissions. Several studies over the past several years have found unexpectedly high releases of CO2 and methane in the fall when sunlight is gone but temperatures are still pretty warm and ice is thin or not present.
The jury's out, but would the high releases of CO2 and CH4 in the Fall be enough to cancel out the Summer's "1900 times more CO2 being absorbed than methane being emitted" as the study suggests? One would have to compare tonnage.
Although methane is a much worse GHG in the short-term, so then you would have to figure out if "1900x" is enough to compensate for any balance of the scales on year-round Arctic methane release to the atmosphere.

Maybe nature has its own 'carbon credits' system?
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 08:34:45 PM by Thomas Barlow »

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #321 on: May 23, 2017, 12:57:02 AM »
Shakhova and Semelitov published a new paper in Boogeosciences, May 5,  2017. Seems the methane in the ESAS is from microbial sources, not clathrate.

http://www.biogeosciences.net/14/2283/2017/bg-14-2283-2017.pdf


MrVisible

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #322 on: May 23, 2017, 05:44:49 AM »
The conclusion of the new Shakhova paper:

Our triple isotope dataset of CH 4 from the sediment and water of the shallow ESAS reveals the presence of CH 4 of microbial origin formed on old carbon with unexpectedly low stable carbon ( δ 13 C as low as − 108 ‰) and hydrogen ( δ D as low as − 350 ‰) isotope signatures down to about 50 m under the seabed in the thawed permafrost. These data demonstrate  that  at  locations  where  a  thick  marine  clay  layer  is present,  this  CH 4 is  partially  oxidized  before  reaching  the seawater.  However,  at  locations  where  ebullition  was  observed from the seabed, no oxidation was identified in the stable isotope surface sediment profile. In that case, and considering the very shallow water column ( < 10 m) in this area, this  microbial  gas  will  likely  reach  the  atmosphere  when sea ice is absent. Our results show that thawing subsea permafrost of the ESAS emits CH 4 with an isotopic signature that cannot be easily distinguished from Arctic wetland emissions when looking only at stable isotope data. This similarity might complicate recent efforts to quantify Arctic CH 4 source strengths on the basis of isotopicand back-trajectory analysis of atmospheric CH 4 . Further in situ work is necessary – specifically on the isotopic composition of CH 4 in gas bubbles  that  reach  the  atmosphere  –  to  better  quantify  the contribution of the ESAS to the global methane budget.

prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #323 on: May 23, 2017, 03:29:16 PM »

Also interesting
..anthropogenic nuclear contribution, e.g. from nuclear waste buried in the coastal permafrost, is the most likely explanation for these elevated radiocarbon levels.

Cid_Yama

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #324 on: May 23, 2017, 03:35:43 PM »
Shakhova and Semelitov published a new paper in Boogeosciences, May 5,  2017. Seems the methane in the ESAS is from microbial sources, not clathrate.

http://www.biogeosciences.net/14/2283/2017/bg-14-2283-2017.pdf


That is not what that paper says.

Diffusion through sediments is selective for lighter carbon isotopes, and in areas topped by clay, higher levels of lower isotopic methane is released which is virtually indistinguishable from methane being released by terrestrial permafrost, thus making it difficult to ascertain the contribution from the ESAS by means of isotopic analysis of atmospheric methane.

Methane releases by ebullition on the other hand, showed high isotopic values and released directly to the atmosphere without being subjected to oxidation.

All that was said was the contribution to the releases of methane subjected to microbial oxidation was higher than had been previously suspected, and being relatively indistinguishable from that released by terrestrial permafrost, estimations of ESAS contributions to the atmosphere based on atmospheric isotopic analysis underestimated the contribution from the ESAS.

         

prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #325 on: May 23, 2017, 06:28:47 PM »
All that was said was the contribution to the releases of methane subjected to microbial oxidation was higher than had been previously suspected...


Can you please quote the part of the study which makes this point? Thanks.

Or is it this:
Shakhova et al. (2010b) have shown that CH4 concentrations in the ESAS water were anomalously high (up to 500 nM) compared to CH4 values generally observed in ocean waters (∼ 5 nM, Damm et al., 2008). Vigorous bubbling events (1.5 to 5.7 bubbles per second) were observed at some sites (Shakhova et al., 2013) as well as seepages of thermogenic CH4 (Cramer and Franke, 2005) indicating that part of the water column supersaturation likely results from a seabed source.

Bussmann (2013) has investigated the distribution of CH4 in the estuary of the Lena, one of the largest Russian rivers draining into the ESAS. They reported high CH4 concentrations (up to 1500 nM) in the river and in the creeks draining from permafrost soil and a strong decrease in the Buor-Khaya Bay (down to 26–33 nM). They concluded that the CH4 contained in the rich waters of the river was, for the most part, not reaching the marine waters, but that it was released by diffusion into the atmosphere before reaching the bay. A large water source is therefore unlikely to explain the CH4 saturation we observe in the ESAS coastal waters


Related
Predicting the fate of methane emanating from the seafloor using a marine two-phase gas model in one dimension (M2PG1) - Example from a known Arctic methane seep site offshore Svalbard
This work presents the model's first application in an Arctic Ocean environment at the landward limit of the methane-hydrate stability zone west of Svalbard, where we observe substantial methane bubble release over longer time periods.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2017EGUGA..19.7004J

Widespread methane seepage along the continental margin off Svalbard - from Bjørnøya to Kongsfjorden
Numerous articles have recently reported on gas seepage offshore Svalbard, because the gas emission from these Arctic sediments was thought to result from gas hydrate dissociation, possibly triggered by anthropogenic ocean warming. We report on findings of a much broader seepage area, extending from 74° to 79°, where more than a thousand gas discharge sites were imaged as acoustic flares. The gas discharge occurs in water depths at and shallower than the upper edge of the gas hydrate stability zone and generates a dissolved methane plume that is hundreds of kilometer in length. Data collected in the summer of 2015 revealed that 0.02–7.7% of the dissolved methane was aerobically oxidized by microbes and a minor fraction (0.07%) was transferred to the atmosphere during periods of low wind speeds. Most flares were detected in the vicinity of the Hornsund Fracture Zone, leading us to postulate that the gas ascends along this fracture zone. The methane discharges on bathymetric highs characterized by sonic hard grounds, whereas glaciomarine and Holocene sediments in the troughs apparently limit seepage. The large scale seepage reported here is not caused by anthropogenic warming.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5322355/

Gas Hydrate Breakdown Unlikely to Cause Massive Greenhouse Gas Release https://www.usgs.gov/news/gas-hydrate-breakdown-unlikely-cause-massive-greenhouse-gas-release

Open access paper, recommended reading http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016RG000534/full

This last study does not mean that methane buildup specifically in the unique geological ESAS region under sea-ice and penetrated permafrost, couldn't release larger amounts. Thus, it remains
Our results show that thawing subsea permafrost of the ESAS emits CH4 with an isotopic signature that cannot be easily distinguished from Arctic wetland emissions when looking only at stable isotope data. This similarity might complicate recent efforts to quantify Arctic CH4 source strengths on the basis of isotopic- and back-trajectory analysis of atmospheric CH4. Further in situ work is necessaryspecifically on the isotopic composition of CH4 in gas bubbles that reach the atmosphere – to better quantify the contribution of the ESAS to the global methane budget.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 09:25:36 PM by prokaryotes »

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #326 on: May 23, 2017, 07:30:42 PM »
Possibly OT


Are the seepages off Svalbard possibly of a-biotic origin?


I believe it was near Svalbard where a Swedish team located hydrates in a region where biotic methane was deemed an impossibility. I look at seepage near the Mid-Atlantic Rift as possibly very different from ESAS, continental shelf, or delta seeps.


Terry

prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #327 on: May 23, 2017, 07:42:41 PM »
Possibly OT


Are the seepages off Svalbard possibly of a-biotic origin?


I believe it was near Svalbard where a Swedish team located hydrates in a region where biotic methane was deemed an impossibility. I look at seepage near the Mid-Atlantic Rift as possibly very different from ESAS, continental shelf, or delta seeps.


Terry
Related study NEW SOURCE OF METHANE DISCOVERED IN THE ARCTIC OCEAN
“It is estimated that up to 15 000 gigatonnes of carbon may be stored in the form of hydrates in the ocean floor, but this estimate is not accounting for abiotic methane. So there is probably much more


https://cage.uit.no/news/new-source-methane-discovered-arctic-ocean

The origin, source, and cycling of methane in deep crystalline rock biosphere
My summary, input is welcome...
There are two main routes for geological methane generation, organic (thermogenic), and inorganic (abiotic, meaning non-living). Thermally generated methane, is referred to as thermogenic, originating from deeper sedimentary strata. Thermogenic methane (CH4) formation occurs due to the break-up of organic matter, forced by elevated temperatures and pressures. This type of methane is considered to be the primary methane type in sedimentary basins, and from an economical perspective the most important source of natural gas. Thermogenic methane components are generally considered to be relic (from an earlier time). Generally, formation of thermogenic methane (at depth), can occur through organic matter break-up, or organic synthesis, both ways can involve microorganisms (methanogenesis) but may also occur inorganically. The involved anaerobic and aerobic processes can also consume methane, with and without microorganisms.The more important source of methane at depth (crystalline bedrock) is abiotic. Abiotic means that the methane formation took place involving inorganic compounds, without biological activity, magmatic or created at low temperatures and pressures through water-rock reaction


The abstract
The emerging interest in using stable bedrock formations for industrial purposes, e.g., nuclear waste disposal, has increased the need for understanding microbiological and geochemical processes in deep crystalline rock environments, including the carbon cycle. Considering the origin and evolution of life on Earth, these environments may also serve as windows to the past. Various geological, chemical, and biological processes can influence the deep carbon cycle. Conditions of CH4 formation, available substrates and time scales can be drastically different from surface environments.

This paper reviews the origin, source, and cycling of methane in deep terrestrial crystalline bedrock with an emphasis on microbiology. In addition to potential formation pathways of CH4, microbial consumption of CH4 is also discussed. Recent studies on the origin of CH4 in continental bedrock environments have shown that the traditional separation of biotic and abiotic CH4 by the isotopic composition can be misleading in substrate-limited environments, such as the deep crystalline bedrock.

Despite of similarities between Precambrian continental sites in Fennoscandia, South Africa and North America, where deep methane cycling has been studied, common physicochemical properties which could explain the variation in the amount of CH4 and presence or absence of CH4 cycling microbes were not found. However, based on their preferred carbon metabolism, methanogenic microbes appeared to have similar spatial distribution among the different sites.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4505394/

It is unclear to me what the authors mean with "the more important source of methane" (abiotic). Abiotic seems to originate from deeper in the crust?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 07:59:13 PM by prokaryotes »

prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #328 on: May 23, 2017, 11:25:37 PM »
Made a video based on recent Shakhova study and the recent review on hydrates (both 2017)

! No longer available


Feedback is welcome, thanks.

longwalks1

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #329 on: May 23, 2017, 11:35:34 PM »
About doi:10.5194/bg-14-2283-2017  The origin of methane in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf unraveled
with triple isotope analysis

A search of the pdf shows that the word clathrate is never mentioned.

prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #330 on: May 23, 2017, 11:50:10 PM »
About doi:10.5194/bg-14-2283-2017  The origin of methane in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf unraveled
with triple isotope analysis

A search of the pdf shows that the word clathrate is never mentioned.
The paper briefly refers to hydrates, basically the same as clathrates.

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #331 on: May 24, 2017, 03:34:10 AM »
As I understand it:


Biotic Methane(CH4) is produced in septic (anoxic, or without oxygen) conditions as organic material breaks down (rots). This is what The West always taught in their schools.
Abiotic CH4 is produced under conditions of very high temperature and pressure, but without the need for organic material. This was taught in Russian schools, and is only now being taught everywhere.


I believe that the ESAS contains vast amounts of both biotic and abiotic methane. The deepest origins would be abiotic, then biotic from plant life extant before the sea flooded the area as the ice age was ending. These are trapped beneath a permafrost cap that has been melting since the area was inundated. Finally more, newer, biotic gas from organic material deposited in the now 3 K deep continental shelf that has been capped by clathrates (now melting) formed by cool, pressurized seeps.
The permafrost cap also produces new methane as it thaws and rots.


Terry

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #332 on: May 24, 2017, 11:18:23 AM »
I knew the sedimentary layer was deep, but 20Km? That is what she said isn't it? 5min + 6:30
added, That begs the question, how far into Russia does this depth of sediment extend?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 12:05:18 PM by johnm33 »

nicibiene

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #333 on: May 24, 2017, 12:47:14 PM »
Guys...20 km thick organic material, additionally a new discovered source of methane from below, a LOT of methane in Siberian rivers... sometimes I think it is mentally healthier to get less curious...

I just was digging a little into the website of Copernicus, compairing maps and having a closer look at their graphics. Here the actual surface methane, compaired with 2006 and 2012 and a nice view on the alterations they made regarding the colour scales and the values that stand for a certain colour  :o:


“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

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #334 on: May 24, 2017, 12:54:19 PM »
I knew the sedimentary layer was deep, but 20Km? That is what she said isn't it? 5min + 6:30



When I listen at either point I may hear 20Km, when watching her lips at 6:30 I see 3Km. 3Km seems more reasonable, but I wonder if a transcript is available?


When the Storegga Slide's Tsunami smashed Scotland, (assuredly an accidental alliteration), was it the result of disassociating clathrates, or were the clathrates broken up because of temperature and pressure changes that the slide produced?


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026481720400193X


I believe S&S's most recent voyage on Polarstern? found the slopes of the ESAS to be relatively stable, and the large plumes to be further inland.   -not a lot of confidence in my memory WRT the last sentence -  If so, few worries of impending Arctic tsunamis, but increasing possibilities of a rapid release of large releases of CH4.


Terry

nicibiene

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #335 on: May 24, 2017, 01:20:22 PM »
I knew the sedimentary layer was deep, but 20Km? That is what she said isn't it? 5min + 6:30



When I listen at either point I may hear 20Km, when watching her lips at 6:30 I see 3Km. 3Km seems more reasonable, but I wonder if a transcript is available?


Listened to it several times-would guess too, she said 3 km-which seems more realistic-but still a lot of stuff.. and there is a lot of mud full of organic material, coming from thawing Siberian permafrost with the rivers. That water additionally contains a lot of methane and nice microbes-no oxygen, as there are no fishes in that rivers any more.

Recently I read about a earthquake near Greenland that triggered methane outbreak:
http://arctic-news.blogspot.de/2017/05/earthquake-east-of-greenland-triggers-methane-releases.html

Maybe the Storega tsunami was also caused by a chain reaction of several circumstances? There is a lot going on deep in earth (glacial rebound) when the ice masses of Greenland melt down in a geologically seen tiny period of time, like it never occured before?  :-\
“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

Shared Humanity

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #336 on: May 24, 2017, 02:30:51 PM »
I knew the sedimentary layer was deep, but 20Km? That is what she said isn't it? 5min + 6:30



When I listen at either point I may hear 20Km, when watching her lips at 6:30 I see 3Km. 3Km seems more reasonable, but I wonder if a transcript is available?


When the Storegga Slide's Tsunami smashed Scotland, (assuredly an accidental alliteration), was it the result of disassociating clathrates, or were the clathrates broken up because of temperature and pressure changes that the slide produced?


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026481720400193X


I believe S&S's most recent voyage on Polarstern? found the slopes of the ESAS to be relatively stable, and the large plumes to be further inland.   -not a lot of confidence in my memory WRT the last sentence -  If so, few worries of impending Arctic tsunamis, but increasing possibilities of a rapid release of large releases of CH4.


Terry


Thawing permafrost is causing landslides in the Alps. Can't imagine why this would not happen on sea slopes.