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Author Topic: This is not good (methane clathrates)  (Read 66607 times)

Vergent

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« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 10:55:34 PM by Neven »

Vergent

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2013, 03:58:16 PM »
The authors who so confidently dismiss the idea of extensive methane release are simply not aware of the new mechanism that is causing it.

NASA researchers have found local methane plumes as large as 150 kilometres across - far higher than previously anticipated.


In 2011, I started a thread "This is not good" at American Weather(edit: 801 replies, 29k views).

http://www.americanwx.com/bb/index.php/topic/30926-this-is-not-good/

I warned that while the observed methane release was local, the rate of change was potentially catastrophic.

Well, 1.0 km methane fountains have turned into 150 km fountains in 2 years. That is 0.78 km^2 fountains changing to 17,671 km^2 in two years. That is more than 100X per year. If it continues = clathrate bomb.

Snowlover123(a troll) reserected "This is not good" recently saying "I don't think the methane burst from the Arctic that Vergent was concerned about in 2011 had any detectable impact on the Global Temperature at all."

Could someone among the unbanned respond to him with a link to this article?

Vergent

Edit: Its like an itch in the middle of your back that you cannot scratch yourself.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 06:48:57 PM by Vergent »

TerryM

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2013, 08:20:55 AM »
Verg
I'll post your finding next time I'm over there. The 1km vents scared me. I don't know how to react to 150km vents 2 years later.


Terry

Vergent

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2013, 04:17:41 PM »
Terry,

Thanks! There must be some physical limit. But, continued >100x per year totally erases an alarmist label for the Arctic Methane Emergency Group. All we can do now is hope that the limit is somewhere south of 50GT.

Verg

Vergent

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2013, 04:21:01 PM »
In addition the 150km scale totally removes the argument that this was happening in the recent past, but was not observed.

V

edit; this elephant can not hide in the jelly bean dish.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 04:38:53 PM by Vergent »

Shared Humanity

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2013, 04:37:12 PM »
Verg
I'll post your finding next time I'm over there. The 1km vents scared me. I don't know how to react to 150km vents 2 years later.


Terry

And prior to discovering these emerging? 1km vents, they had discovered vents that were no larger than 10m.

Wouldn't this trend suggest the frozen cap in the ESS is failing dramatically?

Vergent

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2013, 04:42:18 PM »
Verg
I'll post your finding next time I'm over there. The 1km vents scared me. I don't know how to react to 150km vents 2 years later.


Terry

And prior to discovering these emerging? 1km vents, they had discovered vents that were no larger than 10m.

Wouldn't this trend suggest the frozen cap in the ESS is failing dramatically?

Yes! The scale of the observed venting has increased 100 fold for three years running, and we have not reached the point where this year will max out.

Vergent

Dromicosuchus

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2013, 08:19:46 PM »
Are we sure that these larger vents were not present in the previous decade or century?  I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not discounting the possibility of something being about to go dramatically wrong up-a-top, but I'd like to have more than three years of data before I pronounce doom.  The nearest thing I can find to hard data is this paper from 2006 (covering 2003 and 2004), and this from 2010 (covering 2003 through 2008, with sampling each year).  It seems to indicate an increase (2003 had an estimated annual diffusive (that is, not counting bubbles) ESAS flux of 0.5 Tg, 2004 yielded 0.15 Tg, and the 2003 through 2008 average (again, diffusive only) was 3.35 Tg (0.93 Tg summer flux added to 2.42 winter flux).  Note that the winter flux is described as being "accumulative potential flux," calculated based on the methane concentrations in the water beneath the seasonal coastal ice sheet, and may be an overestimate of the quantity of methane that actually makes it into the atmosphere unoxidized.

Which sure LOOKS like an increase.  All that said, though, I'm not sure that the first two measurements are at all comparable to the longer average.  For one thing, the 2003 and 2004 data is based on a much smaller sampling area, and sampling occurred during September only, with an extrapolation (as far as I can tell) from the emissions at that time to the yearly emissions.  There are some obvious issues with using that as a basis for deducing a trend (which is, lest I be misunderstood, not what Shakhova et al. claimed to do.  I'm the one trying to parse out if a trend is here or not, and my criticism of using the data that way is directed at myself.)

Vergent

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2013, 09:42:25 PM »

Apples and oranges.

The kilometer patches in 2011 were ebulation patches in the ESAS. The 150 km was airborn plumes, detected by aircraft. We will have to wait for more data from S&S to assess rate of change.

Vergent


TerryM

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2014, 11:28:53 PM »
With all of the excitement involving Russia, Europe & the US over the Ukrainian situation it's nice to hear that polar cooperation is proceeding as planned.

Igor Semiletov from the Russian Academy of Science and Natalia Shakhova of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks will be leading 80 scientists on a 100 day research cruise investigating Methane releases from aboard the Oden, Sweden's largest icebreaker.
As well as gathering more data related to the methane fluxes they have previously discovered, this expedition will also be researching Arctic currents and the role of clouds in the Arctic climate.


S&S have probably generated more heat with their ESAS methane research than any other team working in the Arctic. They've been studying methane under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf since the mid 1990's & warn of the possibility of a sudden release. It was one of their expeditions that confirmed the huge methane fluxes in the Arctic Ocean after crews transiting the Northern Passage reported that "the ocean is boiling".


http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/research/highlights/2014/swerus-c3-
has information about the first leg of the expedition that begins July 6th at Tromso, Norway and ends August 20th in Barrow, Alaska. A map of the proposed route is included.

A facebook site for the SWERUSC-C3 expedition:
https://www.facebook.com/swerusc3
That S&S could make this thing happen even in the face of the situation in the Ukraine indicates how important their work is. I'm hoping that the facebook site keeps us up to date.
Terry

SteveMDFP

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2014, 01:59:23 PM »
Can any of my fellow forum mates point me to satellite monitoring maps of atmospheric methane levels?  I expect the East Siberian Sea to become denuded of ice cover, and with those shallow waters then warming up, it would be interesting to follow the possible emissions of methane from those waters.

Laurent

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2014, 02:13:31 PM »
You know methane tracker ?
http://www.methanetracker.org/

SteveMDFP

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2014, 06:29:17 PM »
You know methane tracker ?
http://www.methanetracker.org/

Thanks.  At first I couldn't get Google Earth to install on my antique XP machine.  Fixed that, but it loads as slow as molasses in Greenland.  I was wondering if there were other convenient sources on the Web somewhere...

Laurent

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2014, 11:34:18 AM »
The methane tracker site use the metop datas :
http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/soundings/iasi/index.html
you may try that.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2014, 04:13:23 PM »
Thanks, Sleepy and Terry for posting the Shakhova interview and the expedition links. Kudos to Tenney Naumer and Nick Breeze for getting Shakhova on Skype for such a long interview! It's current, because it's after their winter expedition, while the paper presented in the fall was after last summer's.

Very interesting that she argues clearly against geoengineering, going so far as to joke about it. She said, what are we to do, flip the poles so we get the climate of Antarctica in the Arctic? I suspect she's succeeded in talking AMEG out of pushing this idea. I see all the links to their 'strategic plan' are dead now.

It all sounds seriously 'not good'.

Surprises to me (and I've been following her and Semiletov since 2010):

  • The part of the East Siberian Arctic Sea closest to shore has only been under water a geologically short time. On this winter's expedition they were surprised to find the permafrost there at the thawing point rather that at the expected minus 7. It should be more stable than the deeper areas.

    Shakhova and Semiletov were doing research on the ESAS in 1998 when they found a single highly concentrated plume of methane. This is what started their dogged search for the answers about the methane that's supposed to be sealed under permafrost.

    She seems to be frustrated that other scientists don't understand that methane hydrates in southern oceans release themselves through oxidation slowly and through a deep water column, where in the case of the ESAS the pure methane gas is released straight to the atmosphere thorough physical pathways (openings in the thawing permafrost) and a shallow water column over the shelf.

    There is a fault/rift that makes catastrophic release a possibility, which would immediately raise the global average temperature 3 degrees.

    They've been very conservative in their estimates of just how many gigatonnes of methane there may be trapped under the permafrost, basing it on the equivalent area on the land-based permafrost. It could go a few kilometers deep or MANY.

    The expedition this summer is making a single line across the arctic. She wishes the international scientific community would share in a project to continuously monitor the vast expanse with observation stations.


The gist of the interview is that things have been changing very fast.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 04:22:37 PM by Lynn Shwadchuck »
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SteveMDFP

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2014, 05:19:03 PM »
The methane tracker site use the metop datas :
http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/soundings/iasi/index.html
you may try that.

Thanks, Laurent!!  Quite a bit more usable.  These were the images A4R was posting and archiving for awhile.  Sadly, they're presented in Mercator projection, which distorts the polar regions horribly.  It's also not intuitively obvious what atmospheric layers to look at, nor why much of each map seems to have interference from, I guess, clouds.  Or why the highest concentrations of methane are not to be found at the lowest layers of the atmosphere.  I thought I knew a little bit about methane production, measurement, and chemistry.  Much to learn.

TerryM

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2014, 08:04:53 PM »
Lynn
That was a very good synopsis of the scariest analysis of the scariest interview I have seen. An additional, sudden increase of 3 C will be worse in the northern hemisphere and worse yet at higher latitudes. Not a question of if, rather when.
It is TEOCAWKI event that there is really no planning or mitigation for. Whenever the fetch along the ESAS lengthens and winds begin to blow I wonder if this will be the one that tears everything up.
Neither the informed nor the oblivious escape.
Terry

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2014, 08:47:03 PM »
Thanks, Terry.

I wanted to see a bit about said rift, so I found an article: http://www.evgengusev.narod.ru/canada/vin.html

"On the central and western part of the Laptevs Shelf, riftogenous processes were superimposed at the final stage of the Early Cretaceous deformation resulting in rather weakly deformed basement rocks being buried under rift formations. "

Not good at all.
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TerryM

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2014, 11:15:01 PM »
Following S&S with the interactive bathymetry product from NOAA should be exciting.
http://maps.ngdc.noaa.gov/viewers/bathymetry/


Terry



Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2014, 02:16:20 PM »
Terry, I don't understand what we'll be seeing on the bathymetry map (will the expedition add data to it in real time?), but I've bookmarked the icebreaker's route.

http://www.swerus-c3.geo.su.se/index.php/swerus-media
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TerryM

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2014, 09:13:54 PM »
Sorry Lynn, badly worded on my part.
I'm lacking much detailed knowledge of the bathymetry of the Arctic Ocean & felt that the interactive map would be a help when trying to understand the reports that S&S will hopefully be sending back. So far as I'm aware they won't be interacting with the NOAA site in any manner and my comment meant only that I will find it a helpful supplement as I attempt to follow the discussion.
Your bookmarked url that tracks the voyage in real time is great! I'm excited by their studies yet I fear the information they seek. Sometimes I prefer "if" to "when" & if "when" moves into the "soon" column I'm aghast.
Their last big expedition was followed by such a wall of silence that I'd assumed the results were too scary to disseminate. (How's that for a paranoid, conspiracy theory) With facebook & daily trackings this seems much more accessible, which is hopefully a good sign.
Terry

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2014, 01:57:45 AM »
I thought the video interview with Shakhova was post-winter expedition. Not silent at all. And they delivered a paper last fall, after the summer one, didn't they? So which expedition are you referring to?
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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2014, 09:57:53 AM »

Sorry about the distraction but:

When S&S returned from the late 2011 expedition they were strangely silent after a few remarks while disembarking.
http://voiceofrussia.com/2011/09/01/55512419/
Speaks of their coming voyage. They made use of the Academic Lavrentiev and departed Sept,2 returning October 18. This was a huge emergency expedition to determine if the reports of "boiling seas" could be real.
During September telephoned reports confirmed "hundreds of methane torches-fountains".


After they disembarked they report on October 18th that thousands of eruptions were sited, then silence until the AGU in December after which they "go on vacation". During the next few years Shakova investigates and reports on methane emissions from permafrost. Very important work, but hardly as earth shattering as the ESAS work she had been involved with.


Some of us were expecting a fuller, more timely, discussion about what they discovered. As I mentioned it's weird "conspiracy theory" stuff, not really suitable for a science thread. S&S have been sounding the alarm bells long and loud, I just found it strange that such an important subject, & one they were both so passionate about went from headline news to the back burner so rapidly. The most recent interview is the fullest since 2012 IMO. No new data to report on, but a much scarier interpretation.


I'll be following the upcoming expedition closely. S&S are THE EXPERTS regarding ESAS methane releases. Dmitrenko & others brought forward to muddle the message did their job but are forgotten.
Terry

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2014, 12:39:00 PM »
They seem to use some foreign resources now (thinking of Swedish icebreaker for the next expedition).Would not be surprise to know that they have been told to shut up by their government...so much drilling places everywhere...but sure some datas would be much better than just the emotions of madame Shakova.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2014, 02:23:09 PM »
Terry, you're right about her 'interpretation' of existing data in the video, with Semiletov off-camera being more dire. It hadn't occurred to me that Russian support had been cut off. I was more inclined to wonder why the rest of the world isn't really listening. My theory is that S&S's warnings constitute an all-bets-are-off situation like the sudden collapse of the WAIS, so IPCC risk management strategies etc. leave it right off their probability charts.

I think it's similar to those of us who have a giant old tree near our house. We're careful about fire prevention, we have the extinguishers, we lock the doors when we leave, keep the roof from leaking, etc. There's nothing we can do about the possibility that the tree will suddenly squash half the house flat, so we just enjoy its display in the fall and live as though it can never happen.
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Shared Humanity

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2014, 05:37:19 PM »

Their last big expedition was followed by such a wall of silence that I'd assumed the results were too scary to disseminate. (How's that for a paranoid, conspiracy theory) With facebook & daily trackings this seems much more accessible, which is hopefully a good sign.
Terry

I am inclined to think that, if they found scary stuff and the deafening silence might suggest this, they are going back this year for a more detailed look and possible confirmation of their fears before issuing a report. The last thing they would do is sound alarms without being certain.

(Adjusts foil cap.)  ::)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 08:57:09 PM by Shared Humanity »

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2014, 06:49:10 PM »
There are a lot of scientists on that icebreaker concerned about exactly the same thing, so this may be a bigger deal that it seems.
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TerryM

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2014, 04:33:43 PM »
S&S have left the building(s)
I'll be following the expedition from the great link that Lynn provided.
http://www.swerus-c3.geo.su.se/index.php/swerus-media


Terry


Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2014, 04:46:20 PM »
If I suspected that Russia had suppressed S&S's findings and concerns, so they had to go elsewhere to find support for expeditions, I was mistaken. All eighty scientists are on the same mission.

From the chief scientist's blog on Saturday,

"SWERUS-C3 has several objectives centered in the “C3” and we have good hopes to return massive new knowledge on central topics, including on the sources, fluxes and functioning of the extensive releases of the strong greenhouse gas methane from the thawing subsea permafrost and collapsing frozen methane (hydrates), which earlier findings of SWERUS-C3 scientists have documented."

So, this is a big international initiative. We can only hope what they do with the copious data makes waves.
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Adam Ash

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2014, 03:49:26 PM »
An expedition to look for methane plumes of indeterminate scale must present the team leaders with some interesting safety problems. 

Sailing into a decent plume could have explosive levels of methane ingested into plant and engines on board, or lower levels could displace breathable oxygen for the crew. 

Portable breathing apparatus for all?  Can they seal the ship so it can have a conscious crew to take it out of trouble?  Fingers crossed.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2014, 04:32:29 PM »
Well, Adam, that's a dark thought. I believe they send inflatable boats out. You can read lots of details in the blogs of crew on their site.
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wili

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2014, 12:48:36 AM »
That's not the only (and probably not the main) danger on these trips. This open ocean, and storms are common. Last year a research vessel got in trouble in a storm. They ended up getting through it ok, but the boat that was sent out to help them sunk and all on board dies, iirc.

This is truly heroic research these folks are engaging in. Another reason it cranks my gears when some dismiss or disparage them.  >:(
"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."

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2014, 02:04:24 AM »
Yes, this is sixteen years of single-minded seeking by S&S and this cruise makes me think more scientists than ever are on board, so to speak. Up until now we thought the worst fault line in the world would let LA and SF fall off the US. The ESAS fault line is truly scary.

My take is that this methane is being widely ignored because if the worst release should happen, none of our other plans would matter. So everyone carries on as if there was no possibility.
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jonthed

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2014, 08:35:29 AM »
My take is that this methane is being widely ignored because if the worst release should happen, none of our other plans would matter. So everyone carries on as if there was no possibility.

Interesting thought. Wouldn't rushing to limit future warming somewhat reduce the chances of a catastrophic release happening though? It would at least lead to a slightly slower pace of change and release, and given methane's short life in the atmosphere, could mean less of a catastrophe.

Is this methane release factor really one we should just be leaving to fate?

Shared Humanity

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2014, 01:42:29 PM »
Yes, this is sixteen years of single-minded seeking by S&S and this cruise makes me think more scientists than ever are on board, so to speak. Up until now we thought the worst fault line in the world would let LA and SF fall off the US. The ESAS fault line is truly scary.

My take is that this methane is being widely ignored because if the worst release should happen, none of our other plans would matter. So everyone carries on as if there was no possibility.

I don't believe we are ignoring it. The 1st part of your post would suggest the opposite. I believe the ESS methane releases occurring today and the potential for future releases have not yet become a larger part of the AGW conversation because there is still much science doesn't know. These efforts to measure and if they find rapidly expanding plumes, will get communicated.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2014, 02:16:39 PM »
SH, that's exactly what I'm hoping. Once the science is communicated, the urgency should spur more action that there has been to date.

Shakhova wishes there were an international initiative to dot the whole 2m sq.km. with observation stations.
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Adam Ash

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2014, 07:23:57 AM »
Well, Adam, that's a dark thought. ...

Lynn and Wili!  My concern for these noble souls arises from an experience I had years ago when I was inspecting sewer lines 4 m below ground.  My fellow worker and I nearly died from methane in the line. 

Methane is odorless, a non-irritant and we had no idea we were in the death zone until I realised my fellow worker was goughing and gasping, and my knees were crumbling.  We only just made it out and we never went back underground. 

Of course if the gas ignites (from an outboard motor on a rubber boat, for example) then all that remains is highly toxic carbon monoxide, which close to the fire source will kill you in a single breath.  Tidy.

I just hope they are taking care.

Laurent

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2014, 08:21:06 AM »
Are you sure it was methane ?
It is more likely to be H2S exposure.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_sulfide
Toxicity

Hydrogen sulfide is considered a broad-spectrum poison, meaning that it can poison several different systems in the body, although the nervous system is most affected. The toxicity of H
2S is comparable with that of hydrogen cyanide or carbon monoxide.[13] It forms a complex bond with iron in the mitochondrial cytochrome enzymes, thus preventing cellular respiration.

Since hydrogen sulfide occurs naturally in the body, the environment and the gut, enzymes exist in the body capable of detoxifying it by oxidation to (harmless) sulfate.[14] Hence, low levels of hydrogen sulfide may be tolerated indefinitely.

At some threshold level, believed to average around 300–350 ppm, the oxidative enzymes become overwhelmed. Many personal safety gas detectors, such as those used by utility, sewage and petrochemical workers, are set to alarm at as low as 5 to 10 ppm and to go into high alarm at 15 ppm.

Adam Ash

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2014, 08:58:21 AM »
Was it H2S? We did not stop around to ask!!! :)  H2S is toxic (blocks cellular absorption of O2) while methane 'merely' displaces 02 from the air.  Pick your poison.

Returning to the matter at hand, tho...  Have any of the sea ice photo watchers ever spotted circular polynya over geographically-fixed locations in the continental shelf zone which would be indicative of a persistent upwelling of gas from below?

It would seem to be a likely indicator of outgassing plumes, provided sea conditions are calm enough to let the outward movement of the ice in all directions persist.

I have worked with air lift pumps and they certainly induce a decent horizontal velocity at the surface.   I would have thought that a kilometre-scale hydrate emission would be visible among mobile pack ice.

Likewise, the plumes will be bringing up deeper 2 degree water from below and punching it through the ?cooler fresher surface water.  Would that show up in thermal imaging as a plume of higher temperature water in the passing current, with a distinct hot-spot as its origin above the plume?

Finally, the rising plume creates a spot of less-dense water.  This means the core of the plume will have a water surface which is higher than the surrounding sea.  Thus ice thickness / sea surface radars may be able to discern these upwellings, depending on the resolution of the sensors.

We really need to get a handle on this calthrate breakup issue don't we, and any way we can use existing sensor systems to re-look at the sea surface and detect these would be helpful, I would have thought.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 09:04:59 AM by Adam Ash »

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2014, 01:34:47 PM »
Adam, I'm glad you posed that question. I didn't find an answer, but I did find a blog post by Robert Scribbler, an ASI regular. My conclusion from this is it seems the real wild card is the fault line.

"A 17 megaton emission, though double previous estimates and outside the range projected by GCMs, represents about 2.8% of the global total methane emission from all sources (or 10% the total US emission). This puts ESAS on the map of very large single sources, but it does not yet provide enough methane to overwhelm the current methane balance. To do that, yearly rates would have to rise by an order of magnitude, reaching about 150 megatons a year or more.

"Ironically, about a 150 megaton per year emission, averaged over thousands of years, is what climate models currently project (although the models show larger emissions happening much later). So it is worth noting that even getting on this track would be a bad consequence while exceeding it by any serious margin this century would be a very, very bad consequence indeed.

"To put the size of the ESAS methane store into context it is worth considering that should the ESAS emit 1 gigaton of methane each year, it could continue that emission for more than a thousand years. Such a rate of emission would about effectively double the current forcing from human CO2 emissions and extend the time-frame of that forcing for up to 15 centuries."

http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/arctic-methane-monster-shortens-tail-shakova-semiletov-study-shows-esas-emitting-methane-at-twice-expected-rate/
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TerryM

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2014, 05:26:25 PM »
Adam
I'm not sure that the very shallow ESAS, >50 M, allows for much stratification. Also the ice there is FYI & a British team some years ago found that FYI melt caused mixing to greater depths due to the high brine content.
Pingo features might be the easiest way to locate the source of major plumes or blowouts. In Hudson Bay pingos have developed since the ice sheet melted as evidenced by iceberg keel scaring.
The current voyage may help pinpoint some of the plumes.
Terry

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #41 on: July 12, 2014, 07:32:37 PM »
Terry, what are pingo features?
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TerryM

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #42 on: July 13, 2014, 08:26:17 PM »
Terry, what are pingo features?

I was actually referring to the Pingo Like Features found in the ESAS.



True Pingos are caused by melt /freeze cycles similar to frost heaves found in the north.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pingo


Escaping methane creates Pingo Like Features in shallow seas all around the Arctic.


http://www.mbari.org/news/news_releases/2007/paull-plfs.html
http://www.ig.utexas.edu/outreach/ice-bound/pepperoni/pdfdocs/pongo%20paul.pdf


On page 18 of S&S's presentation Methane Release from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf 2010 they posit that undersea Taliks may terminate as Pingo Like Features venting CO2


https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDMQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FArctic_methane_release&ei=LsLCU8ryAoiHyASz84KYBQ&usg=AFQjCNGl47iW7FLJWpI5moFhPEESBG22Jg&sig2=Kh9lPnTsEJm6G94Gz9z91w




Canadian research has found Pingo Like Features in Hudson Bay that are younger than the iceberg scaring of nearby terrain indicating recent formation of the features must be <7.7 BP on age. I assume these to be evidence of CO2 venting in the not too distant past.


http://www.ismer.ca/IMG/pdf/Roger_et_al_2011_Open_File_6760.pdf


The huge venting events that S&S have reported on may be creating undersea Pingo Like Features that can be spotted by something similar to the multi-beam bathymetry used by the Canadians in Hudson Bay. Being able to pinpoint where the gas is emerging on the sea bed might indicate whether it's in the form of melting clathrates or free gas formerly capped by undersea permafrost.
Both possibilities are frightening although widespread melting of undersea permafrost seems, at least to me, to be the worst imaginable finding.


Terry

wili

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #43 on: July 13, 2014, 08:40:40 PM »
Oh goody! PLF's. Another acronym to throw into the rich alphabet soup we already have brewing here! :D This is actually my favorite obscure landscape feature. Here's the visual from Terry's second link, in case you missed it:

"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."

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #44 on: July 13, 2014, 09:16:11 PM »
Thanks for the homework, Terry. So, possibly the pressure of methane on a weak spot creates the PLF, or the PLF allows the escape of methane, whichever form it takes.

Either way it only reinforces my artist's mental image of the ESAS as a brewing abscess on the behind of our planet.

Since the numbers say arctic methane is a very long-term threat unless the worst happens – the rift opens up. But maybe that's not a separate risk. Maybe these PLFs caused by a warming bottom are to that catastrophic release S&S fear as horizontal drilling is to earthquakes.
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Adam Ash

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Re: This is not good. Either.
« Reply #45 on: July 14, 2014, 04:47:05 AM »
Argh me hearties!  So its Gas Escape Features ye'll be lookin' fer is it!  Rite then!  Try these!

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010GL045184/pdf

'...An estimated 10,000
features, ∼150 m in diameter, are observed at 500–700 m
water depth. In the latter depth range sub‐bottom profiles
show similar gas escape features (pockmarks) at
disconformities interpreted to mark past sea‐level low
stands. The amount of methane potentially released from
hydrates at each of the largest features is ∼7*10^12 g. If the
methane from a single event at one 8–11 km scale
pockmark reached the atmosphere, it would be equivalent
to ∼3% of the current annual global methane released from
natural sources into the atmosphere...'

And this follow up work too, with prettier pictures...
http://oceanrep.geomar.de/21515/1/geomar_rep7.pdf

jimbenison

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2014, 11:28:12 AM »
I'd like to share this resource as I think it could be very relevant to the discussion of how free methane in places like the ESAS might find its way out through a permafrost cap. It relates to nanomedicine but the physics are applicable.

Viscosity and Locomotion in Ice

An equally relevant but far more serious challenge is locomotion through solid water ice. Just below freezing, crystalline ice viscosity is ~1010 kg/m-sec, requiring a 1-micron nanorobot to expend on the order of ~200,000 pW to creep forward at 1 micron/sec (Eqn. 9.73) by viscoplastic flow in which ice crystals are deformed without breaking. Just halfway from freezing to liquid nitrogen temperature, at 164 K, viscosity has already risen to ~1021 kg/m-sec, roughly equivalent to solid mantle rock, and the power requirement has increased 100-billionfold, clearly prohibitive.


http://www.nanomedicine.com/NMI/10.5.2.htm

A bit more detail is in the publication. But the important take home message is that as the temperature of ice increases by even fractions of a degree the amount of energy needed to get through it via viscoplastic flow decreases by orders of magnitude.

The ice doesn't need to melt. It only needs to warm a tiny tiny little bit.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2014, 02:19:17 PM »
This is the sort of thing Natalia Shakhov meant in the video interview about how interdisciplinary the work on the ESAS methane is.
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Shared Humanity

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Re: This is not good. Either.
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2014, 02:54:35 PM »
Argh me hearties!  So its Gas Escape Features ye'll be lookin' fer is it!  Rite then!  Try these!

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010GL045184/pdf

'...An estimated 10,000
features, ∼150 m in diameter, are observed at 500–700 m
water depth. In the latter depth range sub‐bottom profiles
show similar gas escape features (pockmarks) at
disconformities interpreted to mark past sea‐level low
stands. The amount of methane potentially released from
hydrates at each of the largest features is ∼7*10^12 g. If the
methane from a single event at one 8–11 km scale
pockmark reached the atmosphere, it would be equivalent
to ∼3% of the current annual global methane released from
natural sources into the atmosphere...'

And this follow up work too, with prettier pictures...
http://oceanrep.geomar.de/21515/1/geomar_rep7.pdf


Fantastic links!

Shared Humanity

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2014, 03:29:38 PM »
Amazing links guys!

I've read them all and can't help but think that these PLF's and other evidence of methane leaks near New Zealand are suggestive of or similar to the manner that thermokarsts form and propagate on land permafrost. The initial thermokarsts are small but, as they go through seasonal fill and drainage cycles, they expand rapidly as the warmth of the melted water thaws adjacent permafrost. Thermokarst hydrology can also degrade areas of permafrost at some distance from the original thermokarst as the water that drains moves underground. With the massive heat content present in the seas above submerged PLF's, I would think this process could be much more rapid.

In the initial reports of methane seeps on the East Siberian Sea floor, I believe they reported very rapid expansions of individual seeps, 10's of meters to hundreds of meters to kilometer wide in just a few years. We may be much closer to unzipping these frozen hydrates than available  science suggests. Since we expect the ESS to be substantially seasonally ice free for decades going forward, it would seem we are past  the point of stopping this from happening. It is not if but when.