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Freegrass

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1150 on: August 20, 2020, 11:56:07 AM »
Is there any information available yet on the release of methane in the ESS this year? All those storms in the ESS these last few weeks must be mixing up all that hot water there and causing a massive amount of methane to be released, no?

You can see it daily from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.  Here's today's forecast (North Pole view):

https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/charts/cams/methane-forecasts?facets=undefined&time=2020081800,3,2020081803&projection=classical_north_pole&layer_name=composition_ch4_totalcolumn

And then compare that view to the NOAA globally averaged measurement.

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends_ch4/

ESAS methane emissions are less than the global average.  Areas with large concentrations of people and lots of agricultural and industrial activity are more than global average.
Thank you Ken. I bookmarked it.
I think India really need to cut down on their cows. Holy Cow! But I guess some of that must also come from oil and gas exploitation in the middle east?

The arctic looks surprisingly void of Methane. That's interesting. I didn't expect that...
Now let's pray...

If the science don't fit our beliefs, we pray to God and cuddle up in our own delusional fantasy where everything makes sense again...

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1151 on: August 20, 2020, 06:38:23 PM »
Thank you Ken. I bookmarked it.
I think India really need to cut down on their cows. Holy Cow! But I guess some of that must also come from oil and gas exploitation in the middle east?

The arctic looks surprisingly void of Methane. That's interesting. I didn't expect that...

A lot is from oil and gas production in the Middle East.  I think the Himalayan Mountains probably block some of the airflow and increase the concentrations.  And don't forget, most of the population in south Asia rely on rice as their main staple crop, and rice paddies produce methane.  There are also a lot of wetlands in the coastal areas, which also produce a lot of methane.

The methane seeps and bubbles get a lot of hype in the media, but when you compare the amount of methane produced, the Arctic Ocean doesn't really contribute a lot of methane to the atmosphere.  Most of the methane from the subsea permafrost is eaten by microbes before it gets to the ocean floor and then a lot of it is absorbed by the ocean as it bubbles toward the surface.

Estimates for methane emissions for all of the oceans are around 5 to 10 million tons annually.  Total global emissions are around 576 million tons of which  359 million tons are from anthropogenic sources.

https://essd.copernicus.org/articles/12/1561/2020/

Quote
The Global Methane Budget 2000–2017
Saunois et. al 2020

Abstract
Back to top

Understanding and quantifying the global methane (CH4) budget is important for assessing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change. Atmospheric emissions and concentrations of CH4 continue to increase, making CH4 the second most important human-influenced greenhouse gas in terms of climate forcing, after carbon dioxide (CO2). The relative importance of CH4 compared to CO2 depends on its shorter atmospheric lifetime, stronger warming potential, and variations in atmospheric growth rate over the past decade, the causes of which are still debated. Two major challenges in reducing uncertainties in the atmospheric growth rate arise from the variety of geographically overlapping CH4 sources and from the destruction of CH4 by short-lived hydroxyl radicals (OH). To address these challenges, we have established a consortium of multidisciplinary scientists under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project to synthesize and stimulate new research aimed at improving and regularly updating the global methane budget. Following Saunois et al. (2016), we present here the second version of the living review paper dedicated to the decadal methane budget, integrating results of top-down studies (atmospheric observations within an atmospheric inverse-modelling framework) and bottom-up estimates (including process-based models for estimating land surface emissions and atmospheric chemistry, inventories of anthropogenic emissions, and data-driven extrapolations).

For the 2008–2017 decade, global methane emissions are estimated by atmospheric inversions (a top-down approach) to be 576 Tg CH4 yr−1 (range 550–594, corresponding to the minimum and maximum estimates of the model ensemble). Of this total, 359 Tg CH4 yr−1 or ∼ 60 % is attributed to anthropogenic sources, that is emissions caused by direct human activity (i.e. anthropogenic emissions; range 336–376 Tg CH4 yr−1 or 50 %–65 %). The mean annual total emission for the new decade (2008–2017) is 29 Tg CH4 yr−1 larger than our estimate for the previous decade (2000–2009), and 24 Tg CH4 yr−1 larger than the one reported in the previous budget for 2003–2012 (Saunois et al., 2016). Since 2012, global CH4 emissions have been tracking the warmest scenarios assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Bottom-up methods suggest almost 30 % larger global emissions (737 Tg CH4 yr−1, range 594–881) than top-down inversion methods. Indeed, bottom-up estimates for natural sources such as natural wetlands, other inland water systems, and geological sources are higher than top-down estimates. The atmospheric constraints on the top-down budget suggest that at least some of these bottom-up emissions are overestimated. The latitudinal distribution of atmospheric observation-based emissions indicates a predominance of tropical emissions (∼ 65 % of the global budget, < 30∘ N) compared to mid-latitudes (∼ 30 %, 30–60∘ N) and high northern latitudes (∼ 4 %, 60–90∘ N). The most important source of uncertainty in the methane budget is attributable to natural emissions, especially those from wetlands and other inland waters.

Some of our global source estimates are smaller than those in previously published budgets (Saunois et al., 2016; Kirschke et al., 2013). In particular wetland emissions are about 35 Tg CH4 yr−1 lower due to improved partition wetlands and other inland waters. Emissions from geological sources and wild animals are also found to be smaller by 7 Tg CH4 yr−1 by 8 Tg CH4 yr−1, respectively. However, the overall discrepancy between bottom-up and top-down estimates has been reduced by only 5 % compared to Saunois et al. (2016), due to a higher estimate of emissions from inland waters, highlighting the need for more detailed research on emissions factors. Priorities for improving the methane budget include (i) a global, high-resolution map of water-saturated soils and inundated areas emitting methane based on a robust classification of different types of emitting habitats; (ii) further development of process-based models for inland-water emissions; (iii) intensification of methane observations at local scales (e.g., FLUXNET-CH4 measurements) and urban-scale monitoring to constrain bottom-up land surface models, and at regional scales (surface networks and satellites) to constrain atmospheric inversions; (iv) improvements of transport models and the representation of photochemical sinks in top-down inversions; and (v) development of a 3D variational inversion system using isotopic and/or co-emitted species such as ethane to improve source partitioning.



Quote
The production of methane at the seabed is known to be significant. For instance, marine seepages emit up to 65 Tg CH4 yr−1 globally at seabed level (USEPA, 2010b). What is uncertain is the flux of oceanic methane reaching the atmosphere. For example, bubble plumes of CH4 from the seabed have been observed in the water column, but not detected in the Arctic atmosphere (Fisher et al., 2011; Westbrook et al., 2009). There are several barriers preventing methane from being expelled to the atmosphere (James et al., 2016). From below the seafloor to the sea surface, gas hydrates and permafrost serve as a barrier to fluid and gas migration towards the seafloor; microbial activity around the seafloor can strongly oxidize methane releases or production; further oxidation occurs in the water column; the oceanic pycnocline acts as a physical barrier towards the surface waters, including efficient dissolution of bubbles; and finally, surface oceans are aerobic and contribute to the oxidation of dissolved methane. However, surface waters can be more supersaturated than the underlying deeper waters, leading to a methane paradox (Sasakawa et al., 2008). Possible explanations involve (i) upwelling in areas with surface mixed layers covered by sea ice (Damm et al., 2015), (ii) the release of methane by the degradation of dissolved organic matter phosphonates in aerobic conditions (Repeta et al., 2016), (iii)  methane production by marine algae (Lenhart et al., 2016), or (iv) methane production within the anoxic centre of sinking particles (Sasakawa et al., 2008), but more work is still needed to be conclusive about this apparent paradox.

For geological emissions, the most used value has long been 20 Tg CH4 yr−1, relying on expert knowledge and literature synthesis proposed in a workshop reported in Kvenvolden et al. (2001); the authors of this study recognize that this was a first estimation and needs revision. Since then, oceanographic campaigns have been organized, especially to sample bubbling areas of active seafloor gas seep bubbling. For instance, Shakhova et al. (2010, 2014) infer 8–17 Tg CH4 yr−1 in emissions just for the Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS), based on the extrapolation of numerous but local measurements, and possibly related to thawing sub-seabed permafrost (Shakhova et al., 2015). Because of the highly heterogeneous distribution of dissolved CH4 in coastal regions, where bubbles can most easily reach the atmosphere, extrapolation of in situ local measurements to the global scale can be hazardous and lead to biased global estimates. Indeed, using very precise and accurate continuous land shore-based atmospheric methane observations in the Arctic region, Berchet et al. (2016) found a range of emissions for ESAS of ∼ 2.5 Tg CH4 yr−1 (range [0–5]), 4–8 times lower than Shakhova's estimates. Such a reduction in ESAS emission estimate has also been inferred from oceanic observations by Thornton et al. (2016b) with a maximum sea–air CH4 flux of 2.9 Tg CH4 yr−1 for this region. Etiope et al. (2019) suggested a minimum global total submarine seepage emission of 3.9 Tg CH4 yr−1 simply summing published regional emission estimates for 15 areas for identified emission areas (above 7 Tg CH4 yr−1 when extrapolated to include non-measured areas). These recent results, based on different approaches, suggest that the current estimate of 20 Tg CH4 yr−1 is too large and needs revision.

Therefore, as discussed in Sect. 3.2.2, we report here a reduced range of 5–10 Tg CH4 yr−1 for marine geological emissions compared to the previous budget, with a mean value of 7 Tg CH4 yr−1.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1152 on: August 20, 2020, 06:42:14 PM »
^^^
Continuing the quotes from Saunois et al 2020, they also discuss methane hydrates:

Quote
Among the different origins of oceanic methane, hydrates have attracted a lot of attention. Methane hydrates (or clathrates) are ice-like crystals formed under specific temperature and pressure conditions (Milkov, 2005). Methane hydrates can be either of biogenic origin (formed in situ at depth in the sediment by microbial activity) or of thermogenic origin (non-biogenic gas migrated from deeper sediments and trapped due to pressure–temperature conditions or due to some capping geological structure such as marine permafrost). The total stock of marine methane hydrates is large but uncertain, with global estimates ranging from hundreds to thousands of Pg CH4 (Klauda and Sandler, 2005; Wallmann et al., 2012).

Concerning more specifically atmospheric emissions from marine hydrates, Etiope (2015) points out that current estimates of methane air–sea flux from hydrates (2–10 Tg CH4 yr−1 in Ciais et al., 2013, or Kirschke et al., 2013) originate from the hypothetical values of Cicerone and Oremland (1988). No experimental data or estimation procedures have been explicitly described along the chain of references since then (Denman et al., 2007; IPCC, 2001; Kirschke et al., 2013; Lelieveld et al., 1998). It was estimated that ∼ 473 Tg CH4 has been released in the water column over 100 years (Kretschmer et al., 2015). Those few teragrams per year become negligible once consumption in the water column has been accounted for. While events such as submarine slumps may trigger local releases of considerable amounts of methane from hydrates that may reach the atmosphere (Etiope, 2015; Paull et al., 2002), on a global scale, present-day atmospheric methane emissions from hydrates do not appear to be a significant source to the atmosphere, and at least formally, we should consider 0 (< 0.1) Tg CH4 yr−1 emissions.

BornFromTheVoid

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1153 on: August 21, 2020, 12:02:25 PM »
I'm an author on a study that should be available online to view next week, that has some relevance to Arctic methane release, particularly from coastal erosion and thermokarst. Will hopefully have 2, possibly 3, more related studies out before the end of the year or early next year.
I recently joined the twitter thing, where I post more analysis, pics and animations: @Icy_Samuel

nanning

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1154 on: August 21, 2020, 05:04:54 PM »
Interesting.
What's the main topic BornFromTheVoid?
Please post the link here if you will :).
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"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

BornFromTheVoid

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1155 on: August 21, 2020, 06:04:00 PM »
Here's the title:
Massive Ice Control on Permafrost Coast Erosion and Sensitivity.

It will be in GRL. A lot of it is from my PhD research,though I'm further down the author list as more senior people take the main authorship positions:(. This one is primarily based on our use of passive seismics to detect and map out variations in subsurface layers of ice. This was used with DEMs and historical shoreline analysis to describe how these ice layers alter the variations in shoreline retreat rates and vertical mass loss at our field site. Being able to detect where and how thick these ice layers are is important for determining how much carbon is in the soil too. Lots of ice = less carbon. Little ice = more carbon.
I recently joined the twitter thing, where I post more analysis, pics and animations: @Icy_Samuel

nanning

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1156 on: August 21, 2020, 06:22:16 PM »
Thanks. Interesting. Looking forward to reading it (if I can understand it).
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1157 on: August 21, 2020, 11:34:28 PM »
Here's the title:
Massive Ice Control on Permafrost Coast Erosion and Sensitivity.

It will be in GRL. A lot of it is from my PhD research,though I'm further down the author list as more senior people take the main authorship positions:(. This one is primarily based on our use of passive seismics to detect and map out variations in subsurface layers of ice. This was used with DEMs and historical shoreline analysis to describe how these ice layers alter the variations in shoreline retreat rates and vertical mass loss at our field site. Being able to detect where and how thick these ice layers are is important for determining how much carbon is in the soil too. Lots of ice = less carbon. Little ice = more carbon.

Congratulations on being published!  I'm looking forward to reading it.

Hefaistos

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1158 on: August 22, 2020, 08:53:44 AM »
.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1159 on: August 22, 2020, 01:05:00 PM »
Hefaistos, all I have of your post above is a period.
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D-Penguin

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1160 on: August 22, 2020, 01:24:53 PM »
Here's the title:
Massive Ice Control on Permafrost Coast Erosion and Sensitivity.

It will be in GRL. A lot of it is from my PhD research,though I'm further down the author list as more senior people take the main authorship positions:(. This one is primarily based on our use of passive seismics to detect and map out variations in subsurface layers of ice. This was used with DEMs and historical shoreline analysis to describe how these ice layers alter the variations in shoreline retreat rates and vertical mass loss at our field site. Being able to detect where and how thick these ice layers are is important for determining how much carbon is in the soil too. Lots of ice = less carbon. Little ice = more carbon.
I would like to add my congratulations to your Published Work, regardless of your relative position in the 'pecking order' of authorship  ;D and look forward to reading the publication.

Also please continue with the refinement of your excellent graphics. A picture is worth a thousand words (or stastistics).
Remember...it's all about the Jet Stream you dummy...just a personal reminder!

nanning

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1161 on: August 22, 2020, 04:44:41 PM »
I piss on 'pecking order'  :)
One doesn't take it serious but deals with it.

And I second the graphics compliment above.
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Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

Juan C. García

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1162 on: September 12, 2020, 02:36:17 AM »
Quote
NEWS  10 SEPTEMBER 2020
The Arctic is burning like never before — and that’s bad news for climate change

Fires are releasing record levels of carbon dioxide, partly because they are burning ancient peatlands that have been a carbon sink.

Alexandra Witze

Wildfires blazed along the Arctic Circle this summer, incinerating tundra, blanketing Siberian cities in smoke and capping the second extraordinary fire season in a row. By the time the fire season waned at the end of last month, the blazes had emitted a record 244 megatonnes of carbon dioxide — that’s 35% more than last year, which also set records. One culprit, scientists say, could be peatlands that are burning as the top of the world melts.
...
A study published last month1 shows that northern peatlands could eventually shift from being a net sink for carbon to a net source of carbon, further accelerating climate change.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02568-y?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&utm_campaign=44f6a8b6bc-briefing-dy-20200911&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c9dfd39373-44f6a8b6bc-44556745

1.
Hugelius, G. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 117, 20438–20446 (2020).
https://www.pnas.org/content/117/34/20438
Which is the best answer to Sep-2012 ASI lost (compared to 1979-2000)?
50% [NSIDC Extent] or
73% [PIOMAS Volume]

Volume is harder to measure than extent, but 3-dimensional space is real, 2D's hide ~50% thickness gone.
-> IPCC/NSIDC trends [based on extent] underestimate the real speed of ASI lost.

glennbuck

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1163 on: October 14, 2020, 04:15:35 PM »
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/09/truly-terrifying-scientists-studying-underwater-permafrost-thaw-find-area-arctic

Scientists studying the consequences of methane emissions from underwater permafrost in the Arctic Ocean announced this week that they found a 50-square-foot area of the East Siberian Sea "boiling with methane bubbles."

"This is the most powerful seep I have ever been able to observe," lead scientist Igor Semiletov said Monday, using a term for methane gas bubbling up from the seafloor to the surface. "No one has ever recorded anything similar."

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1164 on: October 14, 2020, 06:10:18 PM »
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/09/truly-terrifying-scientists-studying-underwater-permafrost-thaw-find-area-arctic

Scientists studying the consequences of methane emissions from underwater permafrost in the Arctic Ocean announced this week that they found a 50-square-foot area of the East Siberian Sea "boiling with methane bubbles."

"This is the most powerful seep I have ever been able to observe," lead scientist Igor Semiletov said Monday, using a term for methane gas bubbling up from the seafloor to the surface. "No one has ever recorded anything similar."

Semiletov is regarded as having been on more Arctic expeditions looking for methane seeps than anyone.  The most powerful seep he has been able to observe in his decades of research is 50 square feet, or about 8 feet (less than 3 meters) in diameter. Please keep that in mind when reading about the Arctic thaw.

Humans release far more methane from leaking oil wells than the Arctic releases from permafrost thaw. 

Shared Humanity

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1165 on: October 14, 2020, 06:31:53 PM »
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/09/truly-terrifying-scientists-studying-underwater-permafrost-thaw-find-area-arctic

Scientists studying the consequences of methane emissions from underwater permafrost in the Arctic Ocean announced this week that they found a 50-square-foot area of the East Siberian Sea "boiling with methane bubbles."

"This is the most powerful seep I have ever been able to observe," lead scientist Igor Semiletov said Monday, using a term for methane gas bubbling up from the seafloor to the surface. "No one has ever recorded anything similar."

Semiletov is regarded as having been on more Arctic expeditions looking for methane seeps than anyone.  The most powerful seep he has been able to observe in his decades of research is 50 square feet, or about 8 feet (less than 3 meters) in diameter. Please keep that in mind when reading about the Arctic thaw.

Humans release far more methane from leaking oil wells than the Arctic releases from permafrost thaw.

Not the way to look at it.

Corrective action to reduce methane emissions due to extraction are feasible. There is no corrective action to reduce methane seeps caused by the melting of permafrost.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1166 on: October 14, 2020, 08:46:35 PM »
I'm just saying don't give up.  This isn't as bad as the media makes this out to be.  Semiletov has been on 45 cruises over several decades and this is the largest seep he has found.  The subsea permafrost beneath the Arctic has been thawing since the last ice age and it will continue to do so until the next ice age.  Don't worry about something we can't control.

In contrast, leaking oil and gas wells are emitting far more methane each and every day.  Here's a news story about the latest EU proposal to deal with them.

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/10/14/eu-considers-crackdown-methane-leaks-imported-oil-gas/

Quote
EU considers crackdown on methane leaks from imported oil and gas
Published on 14/10/2020

An EU methane emissions standard would put pressure on suppliers like Russia and Algeria to stop polluting gas leaks and venting, but proposals lack detail

By Isabelle Gerretsen

The European Union is considering imposing binding methane emissions standards on oil and gas imports, as well as making fossil fuel companies report and repair methane leaks.

In its methane strategy published on Wednesday, the European Commission declared a commitment to tackling emissions from methane, which is the second-largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide.

Quote
The oil and gas industry could achieve a 75% reduction in methane emissions by 2030 using current technology, according to the International Energy Agency.

Methane emissions are rising rapidly, with new satellite data from technology company Kayrros revealing that they have increased by 32% in the past year. According to Kayrros, there are around 100 high-volume leaks happening around the world at any one time. Half of these methane hotspots occur in regions with coal mining and oil and gas industries. One of the worst culprits is Russia – Europe’s largest supplier of natural gas.

Quote
The EU produces 5% of global methane emissions internally but as the world’s largest importer of gas it plays a major role in influencing the climate policies of other countries, the strategy notes.

The EU imports around 47% of internationally traded gas, Poppy Kalesi, director of global energy at the Environmental Defense Fund, told Climate Home. Companies including Shell and BP have set voluntary targets to curb methane emissions, but legislative action is needed to achieve global reductions, according to Kalesi.

vox_mundi

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kassy

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1168 on: October 15, 2020, 05:49:30 PM »
I'm just saying don't give up.  This isn't as bad as the media makes this out to be.  Semiletov has been on 45 cruises over several decades and this is the largest seep he has found.  The subsea permafrost beneath the Arctic has been thawing since the last ice age and it will continue to do so until the next ice age.  Don't worry about something we can't control.

On Robert Scribblers blog the simple line was if you are worried about Arctic Methane help reduce overall CO2 because that is the main driver.

The overall overshoot on our carbon budget will result in some global temperature rise X which will then provoke all kinds of consequences including some level of methane emissions which would not have been achieved if we had been ambitious and smart enough to aim for a 1C rise.

We do control it but can only effect it by meaningful carbon/methane cuts in our system.

45 cruises over several decades and this is the largest seep he has found

But how to interpret this? There are a number of known seep areas which they will probably visit every couple of years. If last years find is the biggest ever this also means they are growing over time as you would expect.
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BornFromTheVoid

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1169 on: October 28, 2020, 04:59:17 PM »
Wrt the importance of hydrate/clathrate destabilisation, Semiletov and Shakhova have been running field campaigns like this for over a decade. Every few years we hear dramatic reports of the most methane ever bubbling out of shallow Siberian seas, and social media is set off in a panic over the clathrate gun hypothesis.
So far though, the reality is that there has been no significant increase in methane emissions over the Arctic (at least up to 2017), and nearly every major study that's looked at the topic in detail disagrees with the clathrate gun hypothesis too.
That's not to say I'd personally rule the hypothesis or the significance of the current field observations, but they definitely require some context.

From here: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9ed2

Additional focus and monitoring is also needed to track the potential for rapid methane release from the Arctic (e.g. Post et al 2019, Zhang et al 2019). Average surface temperatures in the Arctic have risen twice as fast as the global average of 1.1 °C over the past two decades (compared to the period 1850–1900; WMO 2019). As a result of permafrost thaw and other changes in peatland ecosystems, many investigators and models predict a substantial increase in Arctic methane emissions this century. However, our latitudinal estimates from TD methods shows no evidence for the start of such a transition through year 2017

And from here: https://www.usgs.gov/news/gas-hydrate-breakdown-unlikely-cause-massive-greenhouse-gas-release

The review pays particular attention to gas hydrates beneath the Arctic Ocean, where some studies have observed elevated rates of methane transfer between the ocean and the atmosphere.  As noted by the authors, the methane being emitted to the atmosphere in the Arctic Ocean has not been directly traced to the breakdown of gas hydrate in response to recent climate change, nor as a consequence of longer-term warming since the end of the last Ice Age.

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

Killian

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1170 on: October 29, 2020, 10:54:25 PM »
Wrt the importance of hydrate/clathrate destabilisation, Semiletov and Shakhova have been running field campaigns like this for over a decade. Every few years we hear dramatic reports of the most methane ever bubbling out of shallow Siberian seas, and social media is set off in a panic over the clathrate gun hypothesis.
So far though, the reality is that there has been no significant increase in methane emissions over the Arctic (at least up to 2017)

Three years ago? You've noticed the extreme heat in the Arctic the last 2 years, no?

Quote
and nearly every major study that's looked at the topic in detail disagrees with the clathrate gun hypothesis too.

Not germane. We don't need a clathrate gun for very dangerous climate change.  Between the clathrates and the permafrost, I believe there is something like 4 to 5 times the amount of CO2 currently in the atmosphere. Everything is falling apart at a little over 400 and started falling apart, by my estimate, at just over 315. (The first signs of extent losses started in 1953 according to the graphs. Between lag time and CO2 ppm at that time, I estimate it started, or the effects were first triggered, just after 300ppm, around 1920-1930.) Say we lose 20% of that CH4/CO2, that's 250 to 300 more ppm, and perhaps a lot faster than most people think. And, I repeat, things are already at emergency levels on human time scales.

Quote
That's not to say I'd personally rule the hypothesis or the significance of the current field observations, but they definitely require some context.

In my opinion, the wrong context. I have been saying for a decade or so, the mid-range of the science is not what the scientists need to be talking to the public and policy people about, it's the risk. The focus has been on not saying what is not proveable rather than focusing on the risk of what is. And the risk, dear friends, is the collapse of society. We're already triggering a mass extinction (if the lack of bugs doesn't have you waking with the screaming meemies, you may not fully understand what's going on with the ecosystem.)

It does not matter exactly how much CH4 is getting released today; what matters is the risk that rapid emissions could doom us to a future where we just can't decarbonize at all.

It's all well and good to talk science, but it is not ok, at all, to ignore the risk of the results of the changes nor to claim a crystal ball that says, well, by golly, based on today, it's all still there! Should we worry so much? Nah... That the clathrates are almost certainly being perforated at all indicates they may become perforated extensively and that a rather rapid increase in CH4 is entirely plausible.

SteveMDFP

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1171 on: October 30, 2020, 03:08:26 PM »
So far though, the reality is that there has been no significant increase in methane emissions over the Arctic (at least up to 2017), and nearly every major study that's looked at the topic in detail disagrees with the clathrate gun hypothesis too.
That's not to say I'd personally rule the hypothesis or the significance of the current field observations, but they definitely require some context.

I agree, and I doubt anything has changed much since 2017.  I periodically check surface-level maps of methane concentrations from Copernicus.  So far arctic ocean emissions seem to be dwarfed by arctic landmass emissions:

Methane at surface [ ppbv ] (provided by CAMS, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service)
https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/charts/cams/methane-forecasts?facets=undefined&time=2020102900,3,2020102903&projection=classical_arctic&layer_name=composition_ch4_surface

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1172 on: October 30, 2020, 04:57:32 PM »
It's also important to remember that the East Siberian Arctic Shelf was permafrost at the end of the ice age and has been covered by above freezing water in the Arctic Ocean since the ice age ended.  The pockmark craters that spurred recent concern were first observed on the seafloor decades ago and methane seeps have been found all over the ocean.  Methane seeping from seafloor seeps is part of the natural carbon cycle.

While there is concern that more methane and carbon dioxide will enter the atmosphere as the Arctic warms, the amounts are small compared to what we emit by using fossil fuels.  More methane escapes from oil and gas drilling and pipelines than is emitted by the Arctic Ocean and permafrost.

Here's a link to a Real Climate posting from several years ago that discusses the issue in more depth.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/08/how-much-methane-came-out-of-that-hole-in-siberia/comment-page-2/

Quote
How much methane came out of that hole in Siberia?
Filed under:

    Arctic and Antarctic Carbon cycle Climate Science Greenhouse gases

— david @ 13 August 2014

Siberia has explosion holes in it that smell like methane, and there are newly found bubbles of methane in the Arctic Ocean. As a result, journalists are contacting me assuming that the Arctic Methane Apocalypse has begun. However, as a climate scientist I remain much more concerned about the fossil fuel industry than I am about Arctic methane. Short answer: It would take about 20,000,000 such eruptions within a few years to generate the standard Arctic Methane Apocalypse that people have been talking about. Here’s where that statement comes from:

How much methane emission is “a lot”? The yardstick here comes from Natalie Shakhova, an Arctic methane oceanographer and modeler at the University of Fairbanks. She proposed that 50 Gton of methane (a gigaton is 1015 grams) might erupt from the Arctic on a short time scale Shakhova (2010). Let’s call this a “Shakhova” event. There would be significant short-term climate disruption from a Shakhova event, with economic consequences explored by Whiteman et al Whiteman et al (2013). The radiative forcing right after the release would be similar to that from fossil fuel CO2 by the end of the century, but subsiding quickly rather than continuing to grow as business-as-usual CO2 does.

Quote
It is certainly believable that warming ocean waters could trigger an increase in methane emissions to the atmosphere, and that the time scale for changing ocean temperatures can be fast due to circulation changes (we are seeing the same thing in the Antarctic). But the time scale for heat to diffuse into the sediment, where methane hydrate can be found, should be slow, like that for permafrost on land or slower. More importantly, the atmospheric methane flux from the Arctic Ocean is really small (extrapolating estimates from Kort et al 2012), even compared with emissions from the Arctic land surface, which is itself only a few percent of global emissions (dominated by human sources and tropical wetlands).

In conclusion, despite recent explosions suggesting the contrary, I still feel that the future of Earth’s climate in this century and beyond will be determined mostly by the fossil fuel industry, and not by Arctic methane. We should keep our eyes on the ball.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1173 on: November 10, 2020, 12:44:25 AM »
A study using satellite measurements of methane releases from Siberian permafrost published on November 1, 2020 finds that methane emissions are on the lowest end of the range of estimates and might lead to less than 0.02 degrees of additional warming.

https://europepmc.org/article/med/33140207

Quote
Thawing permafrost and methane emission in Siberia: Synthesis of observations, reanalysis, and predictive modeling.
Anisimov O1, Zimov S2


Ambio, 01 Nov 2020,
DOI: 10.1007/s13280-020-01392-y

 Abstract
Permafrost has been warming in the last decade at rates up to 0.39 °C 10 year-1, raising public concerns about the local and global impacts, such as methane emission. We used satellite data on atmospheric methane concentrations to retrieve information about methane emission in permafrost and non-permafrost environments in Siberia with different biogeochemical conditions in river valleys, thermokarst lakes, wetlands, and lowlands. We evaluated the statistical links with air temperature, precipitation, depth of seasonal thawing, and freezing and developed a statistical model. We demonstrated that by the mid-21st century methane emission in Siberian permafrost regions will increase by less than 20 Tg year-1, which is at the lower end of other estimates. Such changes will lead to less than 0.02 °C global temperature rise. These findings do not support the "methane bomb" concept. They demonstrate that the feedback between thawing Siberian wetlands and the global climate has been significantly overestimated.

Alumril

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1174 on: November 14, 2020, 02:33:44 AM »
But there is a section within the paper,  Cherskiy case study, that does point to the possibility of significant carbon release:

Given that the upper 3 m of soil contains about 1024 Pg C (Tarnocai et al. 2009), hypothetically, up to 10 Pg C year-1 may be released if all Siberian permafrost is affected by abrupt thawing. This is roughly equal to all anthropogenic emissions.

The full paper can be downloaded free here:
http://www.permafrost.su/articles

Alumril

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1175 on: November 15, 2020, 07:02:33 PM »
New upload from JHAT covering the ISSS preliminary research on the current state of methane release from the ESAS.




https://www.aces.su.se/research/projects/the-isss-2020-arctic-ocean-expedition/

https://mobile.twitter.com/ISSSarctic2020

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1176 on: November 15, 2020, 10:57:11 PM »
For those who do not want to take the time to see the whole JHAT video, at about 8:20 he points out the potential to increase the planet's warming by 0.6ºC in just a few months!
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ArgonneForest

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1177 on: November 15, 2020, 11:50:13 PM »
New upload from JHAT covering the ISSS preliminary research on the current state of methane release from the ESAS.
I feel compelled to point out there's been substantial pushback on this. The words from Paul Overduin, who's led expeditions to the ESAS since 2005, are particularly noteworthy: https://climatefeedback.org/evaluation/guardian-article-on-arctic-methane-emissions-lacks-important-context-jonathan-watts/
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 02:50:22 AM by oren »

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1178 on: November 16, 2020, 02:51:29 AM »
Welcome ArgonneForest.

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1179 on: November 16, 2020, 02:55:07 AM »
A study
Quote
permafrost and non-permafrost environments in Siberia with different biogeochemical conditions in river valleys, thermokarst lakes, wetlands, and lowlands.
These findings do not support the "methane bomb" concept.
As far as my understanding goes, the methane bomb refers to methane emissions from marine sources, mainly the ESAS.

ArgonneForest

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1180 on: November 16, 2020, 04:42:55 AM »
Welcome ArgonneForest.

Thanks Oren. I made this account partly to give context to the last couple of posts on this thread about the "methane bomb".

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1181 on: November 21, 2020, 03:05:09 AM »
Bubbling methane craters and super seeps - is this the worrying new face of the undersea Arctic?

http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/bubbling-methane-craters-and-super-seeps-is-this-the-worrying-new-face-of-the-undersea-arctic/

   
Bubbling methane craters and super seeps - is this the worrying new face of the undersea Arctic?
By Valeria Sukhova, Olga Gertcyk
19 November 2020

Video and pictures from latest research mission show gas release in the Laptev and the East Siberian seas.

A team of 69 scientists from ten countries documented bubble clouds rising from a depth of around 300 metres (985ft) along a 150km (93 mile) undersea slope in the Laptev Sea, and confirmed high methane concentrations by hundreds of onboard chemical analysis. Picture: TPU

Scientists have shared the first results of a trip to the world’s largest deposit of subsea permafrost and shallow methane hydrates.

Fields of methane discharge continue to grow all along the East Siberian Arctic Ocean Shelf, with concentration of atmospheric methane above the fields reaching 16-32ppm (parts per million).

This is up to 15 times above the planetary average of 1.85ppm.

The preliminary results are from this year’s only international scientific expedition to the eastern Arctic.

Methane bubbling in the Eastern Arctic, video from this autumn international expedition to the Laptev and to the East Siberian Sea 

A team of 69 scientists from ten countries documented bubble clouds rising from a depth of around 300 metres (985ft) along a 150km (93 mile) undersea slope in the Laptev Sea, and confirmed high methane concentrations by hundreds of onboard chemical analysis.

A second discovery is pockmarks and craters sunk deep in shelf sediments of both the Laptev and East Siberian seas, actively venting bubbles and strong methane signals.

‘All previously discovered fields of methane discharge showed an increase to various degrees, now we need to figure out exactly how much they grew,’ said the head of the expedition Professor Igor Semiletov.

‘One of the new discoveries was a field of sea bottom craters in the shallow part of the Laptev Sea, some of them 30 metres (98 ft) in diameter.

‘They look like holes in the permafrost and, as our studies showed, they were formed by massive methane discharge.

‘Also two more powerful seeps emitting methane through iceberg furrows were discovered in the East Siberian Sea

For the first time the scientists managed to take samples of bottom sediments in a methane seep near the delta of River Lena, one of Siberia’s giant waterways.

ArgonneForest

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1182 on: November 21, 2020, 03:46:07 AM »
Bubbling methane craters and super seeps - is this the worrying new face of the undersea Arctic?

http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/bubbling-methane-craters-and-super-seeps-is-this-the-worrying-new-face-of-the-undersea-arctic/

   
Bubbling methane craters and super seeps - is this the worrying new face of the undersea Arctic?
By Valeria Sukhova, Olga Gertcyk
19 November 2020

Video and pictures from latest research mission show gas release in the Laptev and the East Siberian seas.

A team of 69 scientists from ten countries documented bubble clouds rising from a depth of around 300 metres (985ft) along a 150km (93 mile) undersea slope in the Laptev Sea, and confirmed high methane concentrations by hundreds of onboard chemical analysis. Picture: TPU

Scientists have shared the first results of a trip to the world’s largest deposit of subsea permafrost and shallow methane hydrates.

Fields of methane discharge continue to grow all along the East Siberian Arctic Ocean Shelf, with concentration of atmospheric methane above the fields reaching 16-32ppm (parts per million).

This is up to 15 times above the planetary average of 1.85ppm.

The preliminary results are from this year’s only international scientific expedition to the eastern Arctic.

Methane bubbling in the Eastern Arctic, video from this autumn international expedition to the Laptev and to the East Siberian Sea 

A team of 69 scientists from ten countries documented bubble clouds rising from a depth of around 300 metres (985ft) along a 150km (93 mile) undersea slope in the Laptev Sea, and confirmed high methane concentrations by hundreds of onboard chemical analysis.

A second discovery is pockmarks and craters sunk deep in shelf sediments of both the Laptev and East Siberian seas, actively venting bubbles and strong methane signals.

‘All previously discovered fields of methane discharge showed an increase to various degrees, now we need to figure out exactly how much they grew,’ said the head of the expedition Professor Igor Semiletov.

‘One of the new discoveries was a field of sea bottom craters in the shallow part of the Laptev Sea, some of them 30 metres (98 ft) in diameter.

‘They look like holes in the permafrost and, as our studies showed, they were formed by massive methane discharge.

‘Also two more powerful seeps emitting methane through iceberg furrows were discovered in the East Siberian Sea

For the first time the scientists managed to take samples of bottom sediments in a methane seep near the delta of River Lena, one of Siberia’s giant waterways.
This is a very interesting article from scientists who have experience studying CH4 concentrations in marine and terrestrial permafrost. The words of Frans-Jan Parmentier and Paul Overduin are key:
https://climatefeedback.org/evaluation/guardian-article-on-arctic-methane-emissions-lacks-important-context-jonathan-watts/
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 08:01:45 PM by oren »

Shared Humanity

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1183 on: November 21, 2020, 01:16:47 PM »
One of the new discoveries was a field of sea bottom craters in the shallow part of the Laptev Sea, some of them 30 metres (98 ft) in diameter.

‘They look like holes in the permafrost and, as our studies showed, they were formed by massive methane discharge.



I believe these are the sea based equivalent of the craters forming on the Yamal Penninsula.

I can give no informed opinion on the issue of a methane bomb but there is no question that the permafrost is melting which is releasing more methane.

kassy

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1184 on: November 21, 2020, 05:16:58 PM »
It will be interesting to see the growth rate.
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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1185 on: November 22, 2020, 08:41:05 PM »
It will be interesting to see the growth rate.

The fact that it's not affecting the atmospheric concentrations and most is getting dissolved in the water column leads me to think there will be an increase in methane emissions from the region, but far from the level of a "bomb"

Alumril

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1186 on: November 27, 2020, 03:18:18 AM »
Yes, it is far from the level of a bomb today, but it is getting steadily worse. Pingos started exploding in 2014, and we're a!ready up to 17. At some point arctic methane release rates will become significant.

https://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/giant-new-50-metre-deep-crater-opens-up-in-arctic-tundra/

The recently-formed new hole or funnel is the latest to be seen in northern Siberia since the phenomenon was first registered in 2014.
...
The 'crater' - these holes are called hydrolaccoliths or bulgunnyakhs by scientists - is given the number 17, and is seen as the most impressive of the large holes to suddenly appear in recent years as the permafrost thaws.

kassy

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1187 on: November 27, 2020, 02:09:06 PM »
Cool so someone is keeping count of them.

I suggest dropping the bomb metaphor because it is not accurate.
It´s a gas leak. And yes sometimes they explode as with these pingos.

The ones underwater don´t but it will be interesting how much they grow over time.

This won´t stop until it freezes over so rate of change is interesting.
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ArgonneForest

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1188 on: November 27, 2020, 08:37:31 PM »
Cool so someone is keeping count of them.

I suggest dropping the bomb metaphor because it is not accurate.
It´s a gas leak. And yes sometimes they explode as with these pingos.

The ones underwater don´t but it will be interesting how much they grow over time.

This won´t stop until it freezes over so rate of change is interesting.

The underwater sources are likely to increase in number and provide more emissions with further warming. However, the pycnocline, increased stratification, anaerobic/aerobic oxidation, and more productive phytoplankton are likely to result in more of a steady feedback than a huge pulse

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1189 on: November 28, 2020, 09:56:41 PM »
In the historical scale it is still a sudden pulse.
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ArgonneForest

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1190 on: November 29, 2020, 05:40:49 AM »
In the historical scale it is still a sudden pulse.

Are you referring to the tundra pingos or the marine emissions? If it's marine, I'm not sure the paleoclimate record supports the idea of it being anomalous

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1191 on: November 29, 2020, 01:40:04 PM »
I was referring to ArgonneForest's saying "more of a steady feedback than a huge pulse". On a timescale of centuries or millennia (much less geological Deep Time) it is still sudden.
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GoSouthYoungins

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1192 on: November 29, 2020, 08:01:32 PM »
I think we may have liftoff of the CH4 rocket. The annual cycle didn't really have a low point this year.
big time oops

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1193 on: November 29, 2020, 09:50:05 PM »
[The underwater sources are likely to increase in number and provide more emissions with further warming. However, the pycnocline, increased stratification, anaerobic/aerobic oxidation, and more productive phytoplankton are likely to result in more of a steady feedback than a huge pulse

The pycnocline/stratification means nothing to methane bubbles.
In really deep waters the methane gets dissolved but in shallow arctic waters the bigger bubbles go straight up.

There is no steady feedback there but the important question is how much can come out and what is actually happening inside. It´s a huge pile of ice and frozen and not so frozen organic matter combining with whatever bacteria and viri can do down there.

We do not actually know how big the problem is and it will grow with however much we will grow our carbon pulse.
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ArgonneForest

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1194 on: November 29, 2020, 11:29:40 PM »
I think we may have liftoff of the CH4 rocket. The annual cycle didn't really have a low point this year.

I think this is an incorrect conclusion

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1195 on: November 29, 2020, 11:33:53 PM »
[The underwater sources are likely to increase in number and provide more emissions with further warming. However, the pycnocline, increased stratification, anaerobic/aerobic oxidation, and more productive phytoplankton are likely to result in more of a steady feedback than a huge pulse

The pycnocline/stratification means nothing to methane bubbles.
In really deep waters the methane gets dissolved but in shallow arctic waters the bigger bubbles go straight up.

There is no steady feedback there but the important question is how much can come out and what is actually happening inside. It´s a huge pile of ice and frozen and not so frozen organic matter combining with whatever bacteria and viri can do down there.

We do not actually know how big the problem is and it will grow with however much we will grow our carbon pulse.

This is incorrect. The bubbles are for the most part dissolved/oxidized in the water column, even in the shallow Arctic waters. The atmospheric CH4 levels have not been affected by Siberian Shelf emissions, as a number of exhaustive studies have shown

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1196 on: November 30, 2020, 02:51:09 PM »
I was curious to see if the methane concentrations in the arctic, especially around the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, were increasing any faster than the rest of the world.

Turns out it's not.

Using the NOAA average monthly flask data from Tiksi (for the relatively short time it was running),
 comparing to Barrow, Mona Loa, and Antarctic. Looking at the difference between the sites.
And over a longer term, looking at the difference between Barrow and Mona Loa, and Antarctic.

Alumril

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1197 on: November 30, 2020, 03:45:37 PM »
The other thing to note from the data is the summer/winter cycle between northern and southern hemispheres.

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1198 on: Today at 03:54:15 AM »
I was curious to see if the methane concentrations in the arctic, especially around the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, were increasing any faster than the rest of the world.

Turns out it's not.

Using the NOAA average monthly flask data from Tiksi (for the relatively short time it was running),
 comparing to Barrow, Mona Loa, and Antarctic. Looking at the difference between the sites.
And over a longer term, looking at the difference between Barrow and Mona Loa, and Antarctic.

I'd like to know what the readings would say for 2019  and 2020. If it's more of the same, then that's a pretty powerful argument

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1199 on: Today at 02:35:41 PM »
Doesn´t methane mix too well to be able to show it that way? The gas does not aggregate locally.

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