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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1000 on: June 17, 2019, 09:14:54 AM »
The reasonable response would be to research this topic in depth.

Shakhova observed an event and wants to know if it's a pattern. She knows we need to know.

Mankind doesn't give a fuck.

Shakhova cries once more. The only reasonable response.

Gray-Wolf

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1001 on: June 17, 2019, 02:44:20 PM »
The fact that Yamal has such extensive natural gas reserves would suggest that there is a reserve of 'free methane' under that region at least. The question has to be 'can it leak'? The blowouts in 2015 showed us some methane was close to the surface. The extensive faulting below the permafrost would also suggest there is opportunity for 'migration' of the gas if a pathway to atmosphere was created by surface melt of the cap?

Maybe some of those '7,000+' 'Pingo like structures',that heaved up over the summer of 2016,will erupt this year and bring us our answer?
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1002 on: June 18, 2019, 10:14:43 PM »

Understanding the Permafrost–Hydrate System and Associated Methane Releases in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf Natalia Shakhova 1,2,*, Igor Semiletov 1,3,4,5 and Evgeny Chuvilin

It is a very forceful paper in some ways, they raise questions about sampling methods of a couple papers and the early dismissal of outliers in another paper.

It seems that Shakhova and Semiletov have been banging their heads against the brick wall of consensus science for a long time. There seems to be little acceptance of the existence of vast quantities of CH4 under e.g. the ESAS or that large quantities could be released into the atmosphere from these shallow waters once warming compromises the frozen lid of gas hydrates.

Perhaps it is because if it happened as far as AGW is concerned all bets would be off.

The existence of vast quantities of CH4 under the ESAS and other areas currently covered by permafrost is well known.  The question is how much CH4 will be released and how quickly it will be released as the permafrost thaws.  And it appears that S&S vastly overestimate both the amount and timing of the release, as they assume that methane plumes they observed in 2014 will continue releasing methane at the same rate.  Other observers have noted that the amount and rate of methane released drops quickly.

In that special issue of Geosciences linked above, the article immediately below the S&S article makes that point.

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3263/9/2/67

Quote
Methane in Gas Shows from Boreholes in Epigenetic Permafrost of Siberian Arctic

Gleb Kraev 1,2,*, Elizaveta Rivkina 1, Tatiana Vishnivetskaya 1,3, Andrei Belonosov 4, Jacobus van Huissteden 2, Alexander Kholodov 1,5, Alexander Smirnov 6, Anton Kudryavtsev 4, Kanayim Teshebaeva 2 and Dmitrii Zamolodchikov 7,

Geosciences 2019, 9(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9020067

Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas and Gas Hydrate in Permafrost

Abstract
The gas shows in the permafrost zone represent a hazard for exploration, form the surface features, and are improperly estimated in the global methane budget. They contain methane of either surficial or deep-Earth origin accumulated earlier in the form of gas or gas hydrates in lithological traps in permafrost. From these traps, it rises through conduits, which have tectonic origin or are associated with permafrost degradation. We report methane fluxes from 20-m to 30-m deep boreholes, which are the artificial conduits for gas from permafrost in Siberia. The dynamics of degassing the traps was studied using static chambers, and compared to the concentration of methane in permafrost as analyzed by the headspace method and gas chromatography. More than 53 g of CH4 could be released to the atmosphere at rates exceeding 9 g of CH4 m−2 s−1 from a trap in epigenetic permafrost disconnected from traditional geological sources over a period from a few hours to several days. The amount of methane released from a borehole exceeded the amount of the gas that was enclosed in large volumes of permafrost within a diameter up to 5 meters around the borehole. Such gas shows could be by mistake assumed as permanent gas seeps, which leads to the overestimation of the role of permafrost in global warming.

Quote
On the other hand, we cannot exclude the escape of early-mature gas [24] through conduits of permeable sand to pingo in West Siberia, especially given that pingos were reported to be often located above the geological gas conduits [14,32]. If it is really connected to a deeper source, then it is a seep, but we observed that the methane emission from it, although at higher initial rate, ended after two days. This might be caused not only by a lack of methane in the source, but also by a constrained conduit.

Quote
Boreholes represent a very specific kind of permafrost disturbance, which has a very narrow conduit leading methane directly to the atmosphere, and is rare in natural types of disturbance. Natural conduits like faults usually are initially associated with depressions, which fill with water in the permafrost zone. Much of the gas passing through this environment must have dissolved, dissipated, become buried, or been microbially transformed, and thus did not reach the surface. Only young features related to gas emission such as boreholes, or gas explosion craters emit methane at the high rates that we observed. However, such types of emission are short-term. In our case, the emission did not exceed 10 days; for deeper boreholes, it may last for months. The Yamal crater emitted methane no longer than several months, because no signs of ebullition were detected on its surface when it was examined [10]. Features in permafrost zone that emit large amounts of gas usually do not do so at a time scale of years.

oren

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1003 on: June 19, 2019, 02:49:09 PM »
IIRC, what S&S found was that the methane plumes over the ESAS grew over time, rather than subside after a few days.

johnm33

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1004 on: June 19, 2019, 08:15:26 PM »
I think what bothers Shakova is that there's up to 22km thick overburden of sediment beneath the ESS with a thinning capping of permafrost, the overburden may all be permeated with methane hydrate deposits. We may have tapped only those deposits which are closest to the surface so far. Yamal is equally problematic with 65mt deep 'pingo' type features appearing on a wholly permafrost peninsular which does not reach 50mt above sea level anywhere.

prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1005 on: June 20, 2019, 03:13:09 PM »
The existence of vast quantities of CH4 under the ESAS and other areas currently covered by permafrost is well known.  The question is how much CH4 will be released and how quickly it will be released as the permafrost thaws.  And it appears that S&S vastly overestimate both the amount and timing of the release, as they assume that methane plumes they observed in 2014 will continue releasing methane at the same rate.  Other observers have noted that the amount and rate of methane released drops quickly.

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3263/9/2/67

I think what bothers Shakova is that there's up to 22km thick overburden of sediment beneath the ESS with a thinning capping of permafrost, the overburden may all be permeated with methane hydrate deposits. We may have tapped only those deposits which are closest to the surface so far. Yamal is equally problematic with 65mt deep 'pingo' type features appearing on a wholly permafrost peninsular which does not reach 50mt above sea level anywhere.

Perhaps, the smoking gun is increases in salinity?

New Mechanism for Methane Hydrate Dissociation Discovered http://climatestate.com/2019/06/19/new-mechanism-for-methane-hydrate-dissociation/

Includes Shakova 2017 & 2019 finds.
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1006 on: June 23, 2019, 03:46:38 PM »
Methane: The Arctic's hidden climate threat: Natalia Shakhova's latest paper.


SteveMDFP

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1007 on: June 23, 2019, 04:06:46 PM »
Methane: The Arctic's hidden climate threat: Natalia Shakhova's latest paper.


This season may give us a clue as to the magnitude of threat.  The shallow waters overlying the east siberian shelf are rapidly being denuded of ice.  These waters might then plausibly reach 6 degrees C.  Add a couple of cyclones and we might see a significant release.

There's an interesting phenomenon where a large mass of bubbles released in an area of the water column will actually reduce hydrostatic pressure significantly at the bottom of that water column.  Given the sensitive nature of hydrates to pressure and temperature, the results could be significant.

I do think, though, that the risk is only immediately catastrophic if the submerged, degrading permafrost caps large reserves of free methane.  An unknown issue.

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1008 on: June 23, 2019, 04:13:11 PM »
Yes, it's a wild card. There needs to be more research on the topic.

ArcticMelt2

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1009 on: June 23, 2019, 04:27:48 PM »
Today the ice area Laptev sea has been minimal since at least 2006 (NSDIC 4km data).


kassy

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1010 on: June 23, 2019, 09:25:47 PM »
Shakhova, N.; Semiletov, I.; Chuvilin, E. Understanding the Permafrost–Hydrate System and Associated Methane Releases in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. Geosciences 2019, 9, 251.

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3263/9/6/251
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ArcticMelt2

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1011 on: June 23, 2019, 09:48:06 PM »
I wonder how much ice there was in June 2005 in Laptev Sea (there was also little ice on the maps at that time). This June has much in common with the present. Unfortunately, NSDIC has data only since 2006.

https://nsidc.org/data/masie/masie_plots

Where can I see earlier?

gerontocrat

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1012 on: June 23, 2019, 10:09:52 PM »
As the years go by, the length of time that the Laptev Sea is mostly open water has greatly increased. Obviously that increases the chances of significant ocean warming, and being so shallow, warming of the sea floor.

Obviously this is likely to accelerate melting of the permafrost lid. After reading all the papers my own guess is yes, it will happen, but how much and how quickly....... ?
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ArcticMelt2

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1013 on: June 23, 2019, 10:46:20 PM »
Obviously, gas hydrates are very sensitive to temperature:



Now most of the gas fountains are registered near the Lena Delta. This is the warmest place (earlier it is cleared from ice). For example, in Tiksi, the warmest June was about 6 degrees, and on Kotelny Island, only 2 degrees (naturally, this year will significantly increase this records).

ArcticMelt2

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1014 on: June 23, 2019, 10:57:50 PM »
But in general, even in Tiksi, there have never been months when the average monthly temperature exceeded 11 degrees (on Kotel'ny Island, this limit is 8 degrees).
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 11:03:36 PM by ArcticMelt2 »

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1015 on: June 24, 2019, 06:52:58 PM »
Methane bomb? YES!:
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b_lumenkraft

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Pikk_Ax

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1017 on: June 25, 2019, 02:02:37 AM »
Here's a recent paper by S&S in case it has yet to be posted: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3263/9/6/251
Anyone else read the paper and cheer and crow at
"5. Discussion and Outlook
It has been two decades since investigations of CH4 emissions from the ESAS began [19,27] and slightly over a decade since the topic of the possible role of degrading subsea permafrost and Arctic shelf hydrates in CH4 emissions from the ESAS was introduced to the scientific community [16]. Since that time, only one group of scientists has been studying this topic on a regular basis. Over a 15-year period more than 40 annual expeditions were conducted, including marine cruises in summer and oceanographic expeditions/drilling from the fast ice in winter. Thousands of water, sediment, and gas, and countless air samples were collected and analyzed to evaluate the variability of dissolved and atmospheric CH4 in different areas of the ESAS and to assess the isotopic signature of contributing sources using triple-isotope analysis (13C, D, and 14C). As a result of this effort an unprecedented data set was accumulated; it provides the best coverage ever reported for any area of the WO (Figure 9)."
I felt for them for the crud they've had to put up with in the past few years.

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1018 on: June 25, 2019, 02:29:29 AM »
I do think, though, that the risk is only immediately catastrophic if the submerged, degrading permafrost caps large reserves of free methane.  An unknown issue.


Steve


IIRC this was the conclusion of S&S's initial presentation (back in 2010/2011?). The premise was that the "cap", consisting of frozen permafrost & clathrates showed evidence of thinning and leaking, and that the "large reserves of free methane" being released were creating the "boiling oceans" reported by commercial navigators throughout the ESAS region.


Are there now doubts that this large reservoir exists, or are the nay sayers convinced the permafrost/clathrate "cap" is actually as permanent as it's name implies?
Terry

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1019 on: June 25, 2019, 03:19:03 AM »
I do think, though, that the risk is only immediately catastrophic if the submerged, degrading permafrost caps large reserves of free methane.  An unknown issue.


Steve


IIRC this was the conclusion of S&S's initial presentation (back in 2010/2011?). The premise was that the "cap", consisting of frozen permafrost & clathrates showed evidence of thinning and leaking, and that the "large reserves of free methane" being released were creating the "boiling oceans" reported by commercial navigators throughout the ESAS region.


Are there now doubts that this large reservoir exists, or are the nay sayers convinced the permafrost/clathrate "cap" is actually as permanent as it's name implies?
Terry

Yes, S+S have raised concerns about reservoirs of free methane under the submerged permafrost.  Oddly, their detractors seem to ignore this unknown, and instead focus on how relatively stable the hydrates are likely to be.

I'm no expert.  But I think there have been inadequate studies to assess the amount of free methane.  As of some months back, it does seem that observed methane seeps were not (yet) adequate to yield significant regional increases in atmospheric methane levels.

I raised the matter again because of my suspicion that historically warm waters overlaying this submerged permafrost (perhaps combined with a low-pressure storm) could possibly have dramatic effects.  I can imagine how localized seeps could carry warmed water into permafrost cavities, possibly greatly accelerating release processes.  Rapid feedbacks leading to even faster release could be imagined.  Just a hunch. 

Archimid

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1020 on: June 25, 2019, 03:56:07 AM »
I'm not sure if this has been posted before, I just found this amazing site from NOAA's
Earth System Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Division.

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=ALT&program=ccgg&type=lg

In it you can find wonderful resources like the attached methane measurements across latitudes and time.

Edit: From the site.

These frames show the latitude distribution (from south-to-north) of average monthly values determined from network flask measurements. Circles are average monthly values from sampling locations thought to be regionally representative; pluses are average values from locations thought to be influenced by local sources and sinks. A smooth curve is fitted to the representative measurements when sufficient data exist. Data shown in ORANGE are preliminary. All other data have undergone rigorous quality assurance and are freely available from GMD, CDIAC, and WMO WDCGG.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 04:02:56 AM by Archimid »
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

kassy

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1021 on: June 25, 2019, 02:49:24 PM »
Steve and Terry have you read the article linked in #1010? It is a good summary of the science and very readible.

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ArcticMelt2

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1022 on: June 25, 2019, 03:03:43 PM »
Edit: From the site.

These frames show the latitude distribution (from south-to-north) of average monthly values determined from network flask measurements. Circles are average monthly values from sampling locations thought to be regionally representative; pluses are average values from locations thought to be influenced by local sources and sinks. A smooth curve is fitted to the representative measurements when sufficient data exist. Data shown in ORANGE are preliminary. All other data have undergone rigorous quality assurance and are freely available from GMD, CDIAC, and WMO WDCGG.

It is also interesting that near the Laptev Sea there is a maximum concentration of methane in the Arctic. The Laptev Sea is really the Achilles Plate of the Planet. In this regard, the current record warm June there is very alarming.

https://www.nature.com/articles/srep16179



Quote
The red circle encloses the region shown in Figure on the left where hydrographic transects 1 (red) and 2 (green) are displayed. Left, cruise track during R/V Polarstern cruise ARK-XXVI/3 (TransArc, 2011). The background image gives sea ice concentration on 15 September 2011. Dots represent sea ice stations along the track and red bars show methane concentrations (nM) in brine samples from core holes (sack holes). Methane equilibrium is 3.5 at temperature of −1 °C and salinity of 40 (see methods). Map and plots are generated with MATLAB 2013b.

ArcticMelt2

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1023 on: June 25, 2019, 03:12:50 PM »
Interestingly, last year was a record warm year on Kotelny Island. Perhaps this is due to a record high increase in methane concentration in Tiksi.

Also, the summer of 2018 on the island was very warm.

ArcticMelt2

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1024 on: June 25, 2019, 04:10:19 PM »
A map that shows how fast ice and early polynya affect the average temperature of summer and year (on the example of 2018).

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1025 on: June 25, 2019, 08:12:36 PM »
I do think, though, that the risk is only immediately catastrophic if the submerged, degrading permafrost caps large reserves of free methane.  An unknown issue.


Steve


IIRC this was the conclusion of S&S's initial presentation (back in 2010/2011?). The premise was that the "cap", consisting of frozen permafrost & clathrates showed evidence of thinning and leaking, and that the "large reserves of free methane" being released were creating the "boiling oceans" reported by commercial navigators throughout the ESAS region.


Are there now doubts that this large reservoir exists, or are the nay sayers convinced the permafrost/clathrate "cap" is actually as permanent as it's name implies?
Terry

There's lots of carbon in soil deposits all over the world.  It's distributed in pockets throughout the soil.  The bits under permafrost decompose and seep out continuously.  In permafrost areas, this has been happening since the end of the last ice age, even on the shallow Arctic coastal shelves.

When there are large pools of free oil and gas, oil and gas companies drill for it and sell it.  They conduct seismic studies to determine where the pools are large enough to make the drilling and distribution efforts profitable.  There aren't large enough pools of free methane in the shallow Arctic available to make such operations profitable.

The S&S review article repeats the claims they have been making for years.  Other scientists have doubted these claims for years, for good reasons published in scientific journals.  I've posted many links to the articles that demonstrate how S&S overestimate the current amount of methane being emitted from the Arctic and why the fears of the "methane time bomb" are overblown.

Here's a link to a site with six videos released earlier this year that summarize what we currently know about the emissions from the Arctic and the prospects for a "methane time bomb".

https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2019/02/methane-hydrates-what-you-need-to-know/

Quote
These six segments provide authoritative background on the “methane time bomb” and why experts may not “lie awake at night” fretting about it.

Watch Video Part 1 (Duration: 4:46)
 In this video, Ruppel explains the fundamentals of methane hydrates, where they are concentrated, and why. The areas of greatest concern are in the Arctic continental shelf, which during the last glaciation, when sea level was lower, were vast northern permafrost grasslands. This “Serengeti of the North,” as climate scientist Ben Abbott of Brigham Young University has called it, helped lay down massive layers of vegetation and living remains, now frozen in permafrost.  And in that frozen permafrost are isolated deposits of methane hydrate, a potent greenhouse gas.

As the glaciers retreated as a result of changes in Earth’s orbit, oceans rose and flooded large areas of permafrost coastal plain, forming an extended Arctic Ocean shelf. In that shelf area, relatively warm ocean waters may cause those hydrates to break down.

Ruppel explains, however, that because hydrates can concentrate only in certain types of soils, they are not as widespread as some people believe, and huge methane releases from hydrates have not been confirmed in these areas.

Watch Video Part 2 (Duration: 1:28)
 In this video, Ruppel discusses newly described areas in the Barents Sea where pockmarks have been discovered on the sea floor. These may be indications of methane releases from deposits that formed under an ice sheet that covered the area during the glacial maximum. “That is a new environment,” Ruppel says, “but that doesn’t mean we need to panic about the amount of methane that’s coming out.”

Watch Video Part 3 (Duration: 1:16)
 In this third video, Ruppel explains that deposits of methane hydrate in the Arctic typically coincide with areas of conventional oil and gas deposits, and leaks from those deposits may be the source of the hydrate deposits. “They are not ubiquitous,” she says, “and the amount may not be as large as people might think it is.”

Watch Video Part 4 (Duration: 1:11)
 Ruppel here explains that ocean waters are under-saturated with methane, meaning that for releases from waters more than 100 meters deep, methane tends to be absorbed in the water column before reaching the surface. “It’s not a freight train that this methane is going to wind up directly in the atmosphere.”

Watch Video Part 5 (Duration: 1:01)
 Ruppel here discusses what she calls a common “misconception” involving the risk of a “catastrophic trigger” of methane releases. The thermodynamic properties of methane hydrate render that fear “not a scientifically sound worry,” she says. “That is simply not how these deposits can function thermodynamically.” She explains that the reaction that releases methane is “endothermic.” The significance of that, she says, is that the methane absorbs heat from the surroundings, and the methane “keeps shutting itself down.”

Watch Video Part 6 (Duration: 1:47)
 Here Ruppel points out that “methane seepage is not new … in geophysics, the tools have changed quite a bit in the last decade … you can actually do this with your fish finder. Go out on a lake, turn your fish finder on, and you may find methane coming out. We have the tools to routinely image the water column, and that is why we are finding methane coming out everywhere.”

There isn't a huge pool of it under a thin layer of permafrost in the Arctic.  There are many small

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1026 on: June 25, 2019, 08:36:49 PM »
Note that in the videos above, the scientist states to methane released from depths greater than 100 meters is absorbed in the ocean.  This 2018 paper shows that this occurs in depths of 30m.

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/1/eaao4842

Quote
Limited contribution of ancient methane to surface waters of the U.S. Beaufort Sea shelf

Katy J. Sparrow1,2,*, John D. Kessler1,*, John R. Southon3, Fenix Garcia-Tigreros1, Kathryn M. Schreiner4

Abstract

In response to warming climate, methane can be released to Arctic Ocean sediment and waters from thawing subsea permafrost and decomposing methane hydrates. However, it is unknown whether methane derived from this sediment storehouse of frozen ancient carbon reaches the atmosphere. We quantified the fraction of methane derived from ancient sources in shelf waters of the U.S. Beaufort Sea, a region that has both permafrost and methane hydrates and is experiencing significant warming. Although the radiocarbon-methane analyses indicate that ancient carbon is being mobilized and emitted as methane into shelf bottom waters, surprisingly, we find that methane in surface waters is principally derived from modern-aged carbon. We report that at and beyond approximately the 30-m isobath, ancient sources that dominate in deep waters contribute, at most, 10 ± 3% of the surface water methane. These results suggest that even if there is a heightened liberation of ancient carbon–sourced methane as climate change proceeds, oceanic oxidation and dispersion processes can strongly limit its emission to the atmosphere.

gerontocrat

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1027 on: June 25, 2019, 09:11:05 PM »
Note that in the videos above, the scientist states to methane released from depths greater than 100 meters is absorbed in the ocean.  This 2018 paper shows that this occurs in depths of 30m.
It has also been demonstrated that this is a function of bubble size. Went through all this last year.

The Russkies showed that sudden release under pressure tended to produce larger bubbles. hey staed that decomposition works on the surface of the bubble. Simple arithmetic says the amount of gas in the bubble is proportional to the cube of the bubble size while surface area is proportional to the square of the bubble size. A larger bubble is more likely to reach the surface at least partly intact.

The Russkies suggested that rather than gentle slow release the methane releases they observed were more like eruptions.

We will see.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1028 on: June 25, 2019, 09:20:43 PM »
Don't like Dr. Ruppert's conclusions?  Try Dr. Mann and Dr. Hansen.

https://climatecrocks.com/2019/02/09/mike-mann-on-the-arctic-methane-bomb/


Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1029 on: June 25, 2019, 09:32:18 PM »
Popular science blogger Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy) sums it up well.

https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/no-methane-bombs-arent-a-catastrophic-climate-change-problem-unless-we-make-them-so

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Phil Plait

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A few years ago I was watching a documentary of some kind or another, and they were talking about something they said was a big concern: huge amounts of methane buried beneath the Siberian permafrost that was starting to leak out. I don’t remember much about the show, except they were clearly saying this was a catastrophe waiting to happen.

I’m not a climate scientist, but I have some science background, and could see this sounded like a big problem. Since that time I’ve seen more and more about this online, and every time I hear about it it seems to be bigger, more devastating, with more breathless coverage every time.

But … is it really a problem?

To my surprise (and tentative relief), it’s not nearly as bad as these shows claimed, though some folks still play it up.

So, what does the science say?

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Now, here is where our story diverges. Some folks — like ones who run less-than-scientifically-based YouTube channels, and some TV networks who love this sort of story, like the one I saw a few years ago — say this is a massive and inevitable catastrophe, even calling these deposits “methane bombs.” We’re doomed, they say, because this feedback loop will eat itself faster and faster, and in a few years we’ll have global warming ramping up so rapidly that there’s nothing we can do.

Other folks — scientists, for example, people who have dedicated their careers to studying this — have a slightly different story. Methane release from methane hydrates is a concern, they say, but not necessarily a catastrophic one. It depends on our own actions.

You can guess where I land with this now. Psssst: science.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1030 on: June 25, 2019, 09:41:25 PM »
The follow up to Peter Sinclair's post with the videos of Dr. Mann and Dr. Hansen disputing "the methane time bomb" is worth reading as well.

https://climatecrocks.com/2019/02/11/methane-bomb-row-continues/

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Methane Bomb” Row Continues

February 11, 2019

I posted a clip from my interview with Mike Mann over the weekend, in regard to the “methane bomb” madness – Mike agrees with mainstream science that this particular doomsday scenario is overblown – a lot of folks mad at me on the twitter machine.

But it’s not like this is a new idea.  Gavin Schmidt holds Jim Hansen’s old job at NASA – and it’s Gavin’s objections that gelled the issue for me several years ago.
 Nutshell: there have been warm periods in the recent past, long ones – where the methane hydrates did not come out, so it’s a high bar to prove they will be forced out under current conditions.  For example, the last interglacial, known as the Eemian, about 120,000 years ago – got warm enough to raise sea levels 15 or 20 feet above todays (now, that’s a problem..) – but no “methane bomb”.

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And, here’s the kicker: Nature, the same organization which published Wednesday’s commentary, published a scientific review of methane hydrates and climate change by Carolyn Ruppel in 2011 which suggests the scenario in said commentary is virtually impossible. The review states:

Catastrophic, widespread dissociation of methane gas hydrates will not be triggered by continued climate warming at contemporary rates (0.2ºC per decade; IPCC 2007) over timescales of a few hundred years. Most of Earth’s gas hydrates occur at low saturations and in sediments at such great depths below the seafloor or onshore permafrost that they will barely be affected by warming over even [1,000] yr.

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I emailed NOAA methane expert Ed Dlugokencky and asked him if he could reconcile what the climate science literature says about methane versus the assumptions guiding Wednesday’s Nature commentary. His response:

“…our lab measures CH4 [methane] in air samples collected from sites around the world, including the Arctic. So far, we do not detect a permanent increase in CH4 emissions from natural Arctic CH4 sources (wetlands in permafrost regions and ocean hydrates) from our data, despite Arctic warming over the past couple decades. I tend to agree with the conclusions of Carolyn Ruppel [see above] and USCCSP SAP 3.4 Chapter 5 [the abrupt climate change report mentioned above] that increases in emissions as large as those suggested in the Nature article are unlikely.”

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And this morning, I see a pointer to a new Nature paper that has relevance:

Nature:


Natural methane emissions are noticeably influenced by warming of cold arctic ecosystems and permafrost. An evaluation specifically of Arctic natural methane emissions in relation to our ability to mitigate anthropogenic methane emissions is needed. Here we use empirical scenarios of increases in natural emissions together with maximum technically feasible reductions in anthropogenic emissions to evaluate their potential influence on future atmospheric methane concentrations and associated radiative forcing (RF). The largest amplification of natural emissions yields up to 42% higher atmospheric methane concentrations by the year 2100 compared with no change in natural emissions. The most likely scenarios are lower than this, while anthropogenic emission reductions may have a much greater yielding effect, with the potential of halving atmospheric methane concentrations by 2100 compared to when anthropogenic emissions continue to increase as in a business-as-usual case. In a broader perspective, it is shown that man-made emissions can be reduced sufficiently to limit methane-caused climate warming by 2100 even in the case of an uncontrolled natural Arctic methane emission feedback, but this requires a committed, global effort towards maximum feasible reductions.

Archimid

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1031 on: June 25, 2019, 10:10:06 PM »
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Nutshell: there have been warm periods in the recent past, long ones – where the methane hydrates did not come out, so it’s a high bar to prove they will be forced out under current conditions.  For example, the last interglacial, known as the Eemian, about 120,000 years ago – got warm enough to raise sea levels 15 or 20 feet above todays (now, that’s a problem..) – but no “methane bomb”.

What a horrifying mistake from one of the world's leaders of climate science.

It is not the same a 10C temperature rise in the Arctic that takes ten thousand years than 10C over the arctic in just 100 years.

On top of that, unlike the modern quick thawing of the Arctic, the peak temperature during the eemian happened just as the continental ice sheets melted. This time around the natural peak temperature happened 10k years ago, most of the continental ice sheets melted and we are warming it back up in a geological instant. To draw a sense of safety from this analogy is simply wrong.

It is not even clear if the Arctic sea ice disappeared during summer at the peak of the eemian. For all we know, the Arctic has had ice on it during summers for millions of years and the NH hasn't been devoid of ice in all that time.

We do know however that warming causes more warming and warming melts permafrost and activates life, which in term causes more warming. In fact, that is the normal mechanism for global warming (coupled with M.cycles). The assumption they are making is that the CO2 and methane release will not release proportional to temperatures, instead it will release at a bit above  the geological pace even as temperatures are rising at human pace.

It may be, but there is no evidence for that and significant evidence against it.

From everything I've read a "methane bomb" that warms up the world by a few degrees in a few years is highly unlikely. A BOE with runaway warming is much more likely and makes the methane bomb much more likely.

WHat is almost a certainty tho, is that methane and CO2 will continue to be released with increased intensity in the NH at the pace of Arctic Amplification, not at the pace of global warming. Further more the more dangerous effect of methane will be concentrated in the north, doing maximum local damage. That is lost in global averages.
 
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oren

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1032 on: June 25, 2019, 11:18:20 PM »
Ken, while I don't subscribe to the methane bomb theory, your recent posts and especially that video you cited seem to be intentionally biased in the direction of complacency. IIRC S&S are concerned with free methane under the ESAS permafrost. So countering with methane hydrates at 100m depths is quite irrelevant. I am sure you recall that the average depth of the ESAS is 10m.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 04:11:37 AM by oren »

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1033 on: June 25, 2019, 11:46:31 PM »
Ken, while I don't subscribe to the methane bomb theory, your recent posts and especially that video you cited seem to be intentionally biased in the direction of complacency. IIRC S&S are concerned with free methane under the ESAS permafrost. So countering with methane hydrates at 100m depths is quite irrelevant. I am sure you recall that the average depth of the ESAS is10m.

Oren, No one is advocating complacency, quite the opposite.  We must stop using fossil fuels and decarbonize the economy as soon as possible.  If we do that, we can keep the temperature increase to well under the global 3C which is what the global temperatures were during long interglacial periods when that same shallow permafrost retained the methane that is still there today.

That said, it appears you skimmed through the videos too quickly.  While most of the methane hydrates in the world are in the oceans at depths of greater than 100 meters, the videos clearly address the hydrates in the shallow Arctic coastal areas, including the ESAS.

And I'm sure that you'll recall that while the average depth of the ESAS is 10m, 50% of the area of the ESAS is more than 50m deep.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1034 on: June 25, 2019, 11:59:37 PM »
Quote
Nutshell: there have been warm periods in the recent past, long ones – where the methane hydrates did not come out, so it’s a high bar to prove they will be forced out under current conditions.  For example, the last interglacial, known as the Eemian, about 120,000 years ago – got warm enough to raise sea levels 15 or 20 feet above todays (now, that’s a problem..) – but no “methane bomb”.

What a horrifying mistake from one of the world's leaders of climate science.

It is not the same a 10C temperature rise in the Arctic that takes ten thousand years than 10C over the arctic in just 100 years.

On top of that, unlike the modern quick thawing of the Arctic, the peak temperature during the eemian happened just as the continental ice sheets melted. This time around the natural peak temperature happened 10k years ago, most of the continental ice sheets melted and we are warming it back up in a geological instant. To draw a sense of safety from this analogy is simply wrong.

Archimid, that's the view of most of the scientists who study climate change, not just one.  That's why the UNFCCC agreed to the 2C temperature limit increase in 1992 and reaffirmed it under the Paris Treaty in 2015 and in the IPCC 2018 report.

Keep in mind that the long interglacials (thousands of years long) were caused because the axial tilt of the Earth meant much higher solar radiation in the Arctic than we are seeing now.  So the forcing on the Arctic was much higher than the we are seeing through global forcing of greenhouse gases, even with polar amplification (which also occurred during the interglacial periods as ice melted and the albedo decreased).  And the Arctic did not release the methane currently sequestered in the permafrost and hydrates during those interglacials.

The Arctic temperature was up to 4C higher than today during the "Holocene Climate Optimum" just 5,000 to 9,000 years ago when there were no continental ice sheets.  And still the methane did not explode out of the Arctic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1035 on: June 26, 2019, 12:56:02 AM »
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And I'm sure that you'll recall that while the average depth of the ESAS is 10m, 50% of the area of the ESAS is more than 50m deep.
I'm confused:  If 50% of an area is 50 m deep and the other 50% is 0.0 m deep, the average will be 25 m deep.  So how can the two halves of what I quoted be true?

To add to the discussion (maybe), I recall reading some permafrost is melting some 70 years before it was expected to (by some scientists).  I expect some things, like methane release from various natural environments, will be faster than 'expected'.  Bomb?  Hope not; but I'll let actual experts tease out the truth.  There will be lots of different types of truths revealed!
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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1036 on: June 26, 2019, 01:14:03 AM »
Archimid, that's the view of most of the scientists who study climate change, not just one.  That's why the UNFCCC agreed to the 2C temperature limit increase in 1992 and reaffirmed it under the Paris Treaty in 2015 and in the IPCC 2018 report.

Keep in mind that the long interglacials (thousands of years long) were caused because the axial tilt of the Earth meant much higher solar radiation in the Arctic than we are seeing now.  So the forcing on the Arctic was much higher than the we are seeing through global forcing of greenhouse gases, even with polar amplification (which also occurred during the interglacial periods as ice melted and the albedo decreased).  And the Arctic did not release the methane currently sequestered in the permafrost and hydrates during those interglacials.

The Arctic temperature was up to 4C higher than today during the "Holocene Climate Optimum" just 5,000 to 9,000 years ago when there were no continental ice sheets.  And still the methane did not explode out of the Arctic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum

Ken,

Here is the good early holocene temperature reconstruction.  It was indeed several degrees warmer in the Arctic than it is today, though we will very likely surpass those temps by 2050.  https://www.pnas.org/content/114/23/5952

However, the rate of permafrost emissions release are not just a function of temperature but rather also a function of time.  The MIS-5 and MIS-7 interglacials were not good approximations to today's current interglacial due to this time factor.  However, the 350Ky interglacial called MIS-9e is a good approximation.

here is the definitive reconstruction:  https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/2015RG000482

Note the 200 ppb increase above previous interglacials that happened during the MIS-9e event (figure 6)

The temperature reconstruction of 9e is found at figure 8.

I note that only a small change in temperature from the EPICA core produced a large swing in CH4 values.  This implies a tipping point potential.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 03:12:00 AM by jai mitchell »
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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1037 on: June 26, 2019, 01:15:02 AM »
Ken Feldman is why I left this thread. He is a toxic clown either trying to pass some hopium agenda or is he to scared of these kind of topics. Ken, I recommend you go back to rambling on about electric cars, because at least there you’re not annoying.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1038 on: June 26, 2019, 02:00:39 AM »
Quote
And I'm sure that you'll recall that while the average depth of the ESAS is 10m, 50% of the area of the ESAS is more than 50m deep.
I'm confused:  If 50% of an area is 50 m deep and the other 50% is 0.0 m deep, the average will be 25 m deep.  So how can the two halves of what I quoted be true?

To add to the discussion (maybe), I recall reading some permafrost is melting some 70 years before it was expected to (by some scientists).  I expect some things, like methane release from various natural environments, will be faster than 'expected'.  Bomb?  Hope not; but I'll let actual experts tease out the truth.  There will be lots of different types of truths revealed!

I accepted Oren's 10m average depth rather than looking it up.  My bad.

According to this 2002 paper, the average depth of the East Siberian Sea is 52 m.

This website about the work of Drs. Shakhova and Semiletov shows that the ESAS is composed of the parts of the Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas closest to Siberia.  It states that the average depth of the ESAS is 50 m.

https://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/nick-breeze/203-subsea-permafrost-on-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-now-in-accelerated-decline

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What is the East Siberian Arctic Shelf?

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) is the largest and the shallowest shelf in the worlds ocean with a mean depth of  around 50m. The total area of the ESAS is 2,000,000 sq Km’s with a seabed of frozen organic matter called subsea permafrost. This coastal permafrost (ground that remains less than or equal to 0ºC for 2 or more years) developed when the northern hemisphere cooled  around 2.5 million years ago.

As the glaciers eventually melted, the sea-level rose submerging the permafrost. Inundation of the shelf with seawater has changed the permafrost properties due to an increase in temperature of as much as 17ºC.

Warming of the ESAS began about 12-13 thousand years ago when the entire shelf area was exposed above sea level. When the inundation occurred, numerous thaw lakes underlain by taliks, existed on the surface of the permafrost. A talik is a layer within the permafrost that is above 0ºC.


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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1039 on: June 26, 2019, 02:37:48 AM »
From what i get from scientists who have worked in ESAS and elsewhere at the Byrd center agrees with consensus. An interesting titbit is that they are more worried about fossil carbon release (methane and CO2) from permafrost than buried methane hydrate.

But most of all they are worried about the world proceeding with BAU, much more than putative natural tipping points.

sidd

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1040 on: June 26, 2019, 02:42:51 AM »
Thanks, Ken.
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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1041 on: June 26, 2019, 03:47:00 AM »
Archimid, that's the view of most of the scientists who study climate change, not just one.  That's why the UNFCCC agreed to the 2C temperature limit increase in 1992 and reaffirmed it under the Paris Treaty in 2015 and in the IPCC 2018 report.

I know. That is the consensus.  But the consensus is wrong. I know that is quite a claim, but I honestly believe it is true. I believe scientists have too many forces that stop them from laying out the true risks of climate change. I think I know the reason why I can see the truth and they can't (it is most certainly not that I'm smarter than they are), but I rather keep it to myself. It could just be madness. Time will tell.

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Keep in mind that the long interglacials (thousands of years long) were caused because the axial tilt of the Earth meant much higher solar radiation in the Arctic than we are seeing now.
 

I don't believe that is true. What causes interglacials? Last time I checked it is unknown. M. cycles and GHG's are not enough to start them, however, M. cycles and CO2 are the main drivers of interglacials and without them, there are no interglacials.

M.cycles and GHG's reinforce each other over 10k-20k years to reach the interglacial maximum and then temperature precipitously drops, except this last interglacial.

Our interglacial differ from the ones of the past in that the peak wasn't as high ( Younger Dryas  probably caused this) and Temperatures remained high for 10k years after the peak temperatures, instead of dropping fast to match the decreased solar radiation.

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So the forcing on the Arctic was much higher than the we are seeing through global forcing of greenhouse gases, even with polar amplification (which also occurred during the interglacial periods as ice melted and the albedo decreased).

 The forcing on the Arctic at Holocene Maximum was not higher than today because there was a big chunk of Laurentride ice sheet left until about 5k years ago. Even when M. cycle forcing was greater than today the Laurentide ice sheet an other remnants of the last ice age served the function to protect the cryosphere during summer, much like snow and the Greenland ice sheet protects the ASI today. It melted in the long, 15k years process.

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And the Arctic did not release the methane currently sequestered in the permafrost and hydrates during those interglacials.

It certainly did release part of it. That's part of the reason we came out of the last ice age. As glacier retreated and exposed carbon and life to warmth, that life lifted carbon up in the atmosphere re-enforcing the M. cycles.

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The Arctic temperature was up to 4C higher than today during the "Holocene Climate Optimum" just 5,000 to 9,000 years ago when there were no continental ice sheets.  And still the methane did not explode out of the Arctic.

 The  "today" used in your study means 2009 and the max was not 5,000 to 9,000 years ago, it was 10,000 .



There were massive ice sheets at that time that gave ASI protection.

Methane did not explode because there was plenty of ice for the higher temperatures to melt and warming took place over thousands of years, not decades.

Will it explode now? I don't care. A BOE is a much more immediate and evident threat.
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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1042 on: June 26, 2019, 04:17:18 AM »
I accepted Oren's 10m average depth rather than looking it up.  My bad.

According to this 2002 paper, the average depth of the East Siberian Sea is 52 m.

This website about the work of Drs. Shakhova and Semiletov shows that the ESAS is composed of the parts of the Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas closest to Siberia.  It states that the average depth of the ESAS is 50 m.
Thanks Ken. I also accepted Oren's 10m number, rather than looking it up... My bad!

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1043 on: June 26, 2019, 05:05:05 AM »
From what i get from scientists who have worked in ESAS and elsewhere at the Byrd center agrees with consensus. An interesting titbit is that they are more worried about fossil carbon release (methane and CO2) from permafrost than buried methane hydrate.

But most of all they are worried about the world proceeding with BAU, much more than putative natural tipping points.

sidd


sidd & Ken
Your responses concern clathrate loss as opposed to the melting/leaking permafrost "cap" that S&S believe has caused the "Boiling Ocean" phenomena.


Ken
The fact that "boiling oceans" were witnessed and photographed precludes the possibility that these methane bubbles were "absorbed in the water column".
When a permafrost layer is hundreds or thousands of feet in depth, it may survive multiple melting events. Once "Boiling Oceans" are observed, it seems reasonable to assume that the cap has thinned, and that a broader collapse is possibly eminent.


While extreme endothermic reactions are inevitable as the CH4 changes phase, the same is not applicable to the CH4 simply capped over.


Your argument re. the exploitation of large fields reminds me of the Yamal field so recently opened. With sanctions in place & the low price for gas, I'm unsure that the Russians can afford a similar project, or that they have any need to explore additional sites at this time.


BAU is a problem that theoretically can be solved. The ESAS's possibly catastrophic out-gassing, if S&S are correct, is something that has been building since the oceans inundated the shelf as the last ice age waned. We may be speeding the process up a bit, but without another ice age in the near future, the out-gassing will occur.
Terry

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1044 on: June 26, 2019, 06:02:58 AM »
Steve and Terry have you read the article linked in #1010? It is a good summary of the science and very readible.
Thanks!


At one time here there was almost a competition to be the first to link to Natalia's latest musings.


I'm slowly reading the extended version of your link and savoring every word. Thus far they don't seem to have veered too far from their initial position despite the legions of voices raised in opposition.


Thanks again for the link.
Terry

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1045 on: June 26, 2019, 02:23:27 PM »
YW!

Some good points made in 1041, 1043.

Quote
From what i get from scientists who have worked in ESAS and elsewhere at the Byrd center agrees with consensus. An interesting titbit is that they are more worried about fossil carbon release (methane and CO2) from permafrost than buried methane hydrate.

But most of all they are worried about the world proceeding with BAU, much more than putative natural tipping points.

sidd

We can change BAU not the feedbacks so that is a sensible position.

And whatever your (=any poster here) position on the methanes debate we all agree we don't want to see this in action. Even those believing we won't see it because IPCC are in favor of doing anything we can to safe the ice and the other thing....oh yeah humanity.

It's on of those heated discussion points that actually don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

I don't think either side will convince the other but just provide the best evidence you have with links and any third party can read both and make up their mind.
 
In the long run time will tell and in the mean time the debate will flare up occasionally.
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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1046 on: June 26, 2019, 02:47:29 PM »
Ken always provides valid evidence for his views.

You can clearly see he's arguing in good faith.

Calling him a troll is by no means proportional or justified.

I would suggest, at least when you attack someone, try to use words accurately.

Quote
... a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community ...

Words have meaning. Try to remember the real meaning. Look it up if you are unsure. There is no shame in using a search engine.

This will 1) calm you down a bit, and 2) is just fair on a human level.


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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1047 on: June 26, 2019, 03:30:25 PM »
TROLL
Try to remember the real meaning. Look it up if you are unsure.

There is no shame in using a search engine.
So I did, and look what I got..

http://worldstories.org.uk/stories/three-billy-goats-gruff/
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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1048 on: June 26, 2019, 04:03:58 PM »
I do think, though, that the risk is only immediately catastrophic if the submerged, degrading permafrost caps large reserves of free methane.  An unknown issue.


Steve


IIRC this was the conclusion of S&S's initial presentation (back in 2010/2011?). The premise was that the "cap", consisting of frozen permafrost & clathrates showed evidence of thinning and leaking, and that the "large reserves of free methane" being released were creating the "boiling oceans" reported by commercial navigators throughout the ESAS region.


Are there now doubts that this large reservoir exists, or are the nay sayers convinced the permafrost/clathrate "cap" is actually as permanent as it's name implies?
Terry

There's lots of carbon in soil deposits all over the world.  It's distributed in pockets throughout the soil.  The bits under permafrost decompose and seep out continuously.  In permafrost areas, this has been happening since the end of the last ice age, even on the shallow Arctic coastal shelves.

When there are large pools of free oil and gas, oil and gas companies drill for it and sell it.  They conduct seismic studies to determine where the pools are large enough to make the drilling and distribution efforts profitable.  There aren't large enough pools of free methane in the shallow Arctic available to make such operations profitable.
I don't think this is remotely accurate for the ESAS.  Nobody builds permanent extraction platforms in open arctic waters.  Wintertime moving floes would destroy them.
If permanent platforms can't be erected in an area, who is going to go prospecting for such deposits?

Seismic sounding for undersea fossil fuels has been done by Russia, but not in arctic seas.  Sakhalin, yes.  I can't find evidence of similar prospecting having been done in open arctic waters.

And no, submerged permafrost isn't permeable to gas deposits until it degrades.  Cold permafrost freezes water that seeps into it, sealing any gaps.

Presence of very large free methane gas under the submerged permafrost remains a very large unknown.

All the rest of your post only "debunks" concerns about methane hydrates.  Free methane gas is the matter I raised, and has also been raised as a concern by Drs S+S.

I can't find methane mapping images more recent than 2013.  One interesting map does show a dramatic local increase over waters that have warmed in autumn:


https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2012/05/striking-increase-of-methane-in-arctic.html?m=1

My original point is that we may see a more dramatic version of these changes as likely unprecedented expanses of shallow ESAS waters become denuded of ice and plausibly will then warm to unprecedented levels.

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1049 on: June 26, 2019, 04:19:57 PM »

So I did, and look what I got..

Nah, the other real meaning!  ;)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 06:33:44 PM by b_lumenkraft »