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SteveMDFP

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1250 on: May 24, 2021, 07:46:29 AM »
Folks may find it illuminating to peruse arctic maps via Copernicus:
Methane at surface [ ppbv ] (provided by CAMS, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service)
https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/charts/cams/methane-forecasts?facets=undefined&time=2021052300,3,2021052303&projection=classical_arctic&layer_name=composition_ch4_surface

I check this maybe twice a month, irregularly.  It's usually like this--modest surface elevations of methane over the Arctic waters, with the finding being trivial in comparison to land-based sources.

One can conclude, I think, that the Arctic Sea floor is not a substantial source of atmospheric methane at present.  But sudden or increasing release in the future seems an open question to me.

Personally, I'm more concerned that all the methane getting dissolved in the water column consumes dissolved oxygen to produce CO2.  Ocean hypoxia is already a growing ocean problem globally, and the arctic waters are a major source of oxygenation for the Atlantic.  What happens when much of the oceans oxygen in the Arctic gets consumed before the waters leave the Arctic?

As for when atmospheric methane should be highest over the year, I believe it's during the Arctic night.  This is because sunlight facilitates breakdown of atmospheric methane, utilizing hydroxyl radicals.




oren

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1251 on: May 24, 2021, 09:53:19 AM »
Can you post the map for Oct 2020, when the Laptev lacked both ice cover and sunlight?

Shared Humanity

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1252 on: May 24, 2021, 03:55:40 PM »
It is agreed that a warming world threatens an increase in the release of stored CO2 and CH4, turning carbon sinks into carbon emitters. The science is clear, the processes are already in play and measured. Catastrophic changes have not yet occurred but the threat is there. Meanwhile atmospheric CH4 is growing exponentially.

https://www.methanelevels.org/

Unless someone here is able to explain to me the current processes that will reverse this exponential trend, we are in trouble.

ArgonneForest

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1253 on: May 24, 2021, 05:42:32 PM »
Exponentially? Now you're getting ahead of yourself. We don't even know what the main cause for the sizeable increase in 2020 was. I've talked to a number of scientists about it, including Roisin Commane, Leonid Yurganov, and Ed Dlugokencky, and they're all unanimous in that Arctic permafrost is not the main source. It's either due to increased anthropogenic emissions, increased wetland emissions, and/or lack of NOx emissions that usually accompany economic activity.
As far as processes that can slow it down or reverse it, that's very simple. Around 60% of methane emitted to the atmosphere comes from anthropogenic sources. Eliminate that and your CH4 problem is largely taken care of. So no, we are not doomed, and your panicking doesn't help anything

SteveMDFP

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1254 on: May 24, 2021, 06:24:28 PM »
Can you post the map for Oct 2020, when the Laptev lacked both ice cover and sunlight?
Sorry, that site doesn't seem to offer more than four near-current dates.  I even tried editing dates in the URL.  I haven't found any archives.

It might be worth an interested party's time to self-archive the daily maps.  It would be interesting to produce an (enormous) gif showing a year-long period of surface-level methane across the whole arctic over a year.

However, I'm not volunteering for the task, just pointing the way.


Shared Humanity

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1255 on: May 24, 2021, 09:21:16 PM »
Exponentially?

Did you look at the chart?

https://www.methanelevels.org/


So no, we are not doomed, and your panicking doesn't help anything

Not panicking at all. Just looking at the data with clear eyes.

Yes, if we dramatically work to quickly eliminate anthropogenic sources for greenhouse gases (CH4, CO2 etc.) we will avoid doom. Yet CO2 and CH4 emissions continue to climb rapidly.


Sciguy

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1256 on: May 24, 2021, 09:33:43 PM »
There's a growing body of scientific evidence that the cause of the increase in methane emissions since 2007 (concentrations were stable from 1999 through 2006) is due to increased oil and gas emissions.  This paper shows what has happened in Oman over the past two decades:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11027-021-09948-3

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Charabi, Y. Digging deeper into cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in the era of volatile prices. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change 26, 6 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-021-09948-3

Abstract

Although the Gulf Cooperation Council is the beating heart of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves, it remains behind the curve on a critical issue facing the industry—the nature and extent of methane (CH4) emissions and how to mitigate the same. This article uses Oman as a representative example of the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC) to uncover the CH4 emission from the oil and gas industry, explore potential reduction policies, and discuss the viability of these policies in the current volatile and falling environment prices. The present study uses the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines and methodology of 2006 to assess CH4 emission from the oil and gas supply chain. This paper contributes considerably to reducing knowledge gaps about Oman’s CH4 emissions through a detailed accounting of CH4 emissions from the supply chain for oil and gas. Overall, CH4 emission in Oman increased 1.86-fold from 288 Gg in 2000 to 825 Gg in 2015, while the CH4 emission from oil and gas operations rose 1.7-fold from 234.4 Gg in 2000 to 634.4 Gg in 2015. CH4 emissions from the supply chain of oil and gas are projected to add up to 30% to current emissions (2015) in the third decade of the 21st without a mitigation strategy. Curbing CH4 emissions calls for a robust abatement policy in tandem with a robust monitoring system to ensure accuracy and transparency. Policymakers’ efforts in Oman and other developing countries with similar hydrocarbon-based economies would be hampered by market mechanisms and fluctuations of oil and gas prices in enforcing CH4 reduction policies. Enforcing tangible reductions of CH4 from the oil and gas industry are a global dimension problem that cannot be addressed nationally. The UN Convention on Climate Change is an ideal frame of engagement for countries in negotiations to bridge the CH4 emission gap from petroleum and gas industries and to agree on a roadmap for deep and continuous oil and gas CH4 cuts. The United Nations agreement on reducing CH4 from oil and gas seems unavoidable in achieving climate neutrality by the second half of this century and staying below two degrees as decided in the Paris Agreement.

It's not just Oman of course.  Fracking in the US, expansion of gas production and pipelines in Russia, and increased emissions from new coal mines in China  have all increased methane concentrations.

On the other hand, there is very little evidence of increased emissions from natural sources, other than variations in emissions from wetlands during particularly rainy seasons.  The Arctic in particular, has not shown an increase in methane emissions.

TL,DR:  Cut human emissions and the methane concentrations will stablilize or decrease.

ArgonneForest

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1257 on: May 24, 2021, 09:34:57 PM »
Thank you, Sciguy

Sciguy

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1258 on: May 24, 2021, 10:26:22 PM »
Increased agricultural to support larger human populations is also contributing to the growth of methane concentrations.

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9ed2?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&utm_campaign=8a93e2b69c-briefing-dy-20200715&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c9dfd39373-8a93e2b69c-43248717&utm_source=ground.news&utm_medium=referral

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Increasing anthropogenic methane emissions arise equally from agricultural and fossil fuel sources
R B Jackson, et. al 2020

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Global average methane concentrations in the atmosphere reached ~1875 parts per billion (ppb) at the end of 2019, more than two-and-a-half times preindustrial levels (Dlugokencky 2020). The largest methane sources include anthropogenic emissions from agriculture, waste, and the extraction and use of fossil fuels as well as natural emissions from wetlands, freshwater systems, and geological sources (Kirschke et al 2013, Saunois et al 2016a, Ganesan et al 2019). Here, we summarize new estimates of the global methane budget based on the analysis of Saunois et al (2020) for the year 2017, the last year of the new Global Methane Budget and the most recent year data are fully available. We compare these estimates to mean values for the reference 'stabilization' period of 2000–2006 when atmospheric CH4 concentrations were relatively stable. We present data for sources and sinks and provide insights for the geographical regions and economic sectors where emissions have changed the most over recent decades.

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Increased emissions from both the agriculture and waste sector and the fossil fuel sector are likely the dominant cause of this global increase (figures 1 and 4), highlighting the need for stronger mitigation in both areas. Our analysis also highlights emission increases in agriculture, waste, and fossil fuel sectors from southern and southeastern Asia, including China, as well as increases in the fossil fuel sector in the United States (figure 4). In contrast, Europe is the only continent in which methane emissions appear to be decreasing. While changes in the sink of methane from atmospheric or soil uptake remains possible (Turner et al 2019), atmospheric chemistry and land-surface models suggest the timescales for sink responses are too slow to explain most of the increased methane in the atmosphere in recent years. Climate policies overall, where present for methane mitigation, have yet to alter substantially the global emissions trajectory to date.

Table 1 in the paper shows the sources and sinks for global methane budget in 2000- 2006 and 2017.  In 2017, total sources were 596 million tons per year and total sinks were 571 million tons per year.  Coal mining (44 million tons per year) and Oil and gas (84 million tons per year) increased by a combined 27 million tons per year over the 2000 - 2006 levels, or more than total difference between sources and sinks.

In other words, reducing emissions from coal mining and the oil and gas industry to 2006 levels would stabilize methane concentrations.  Reducing them further, by increasing deployment of renewables and electrifying transportation, would result in methane emissions that are lower than the sinks and the atmospheric methane concentration would decrease.
 

Shared Humanity

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1259 on: May 24, 2021, 10:52:53 PM »


TL,DR:  Cut human emissions and the methane concentrations will stablilize or decrease.

Exactly. When do you think we might want to start working on that?

ArgonneForest

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1260 on: May 24, 2021, 11:00:40 PM »

With Biden leading the charge, right now is good
TL,DR:  Cut human emissions and the methane concentrations will stablilize or decrease.

Exactly. When do you think we might want to start working on that?

Sciguy

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1261 on: May 24, 2021, 11:27:57 PM »


TL,DR:  Cut human emissions and the methane concentrations will stablilize or decrease.

Exactly. When do you think we might want to start working on that?

It's happening now.  Most of the new additions to electric grids are now renewables. 

https://www.iea.org/news/renewables-are-stronger-than-ever-as-they-power-through-the-pandemic 

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Renewables are stronger than ever as they power through the pandemic
11 May 2021

Renewable sources of electricity such as wind and solar grew at their fastest rate in two decades in 2020 and are set to expand in coming years at a much faster pace than prior to the pandemic, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency. The growth in Europe and the United States will be even brisker than previously forecast, compensating for China’s transitional slowdown after exceptional 2020 growth.

According to the IEA’s latest market update, the amount of renewable electricity capacity added in 2020 rose by 45% in 2020 to 280 gigawatts (GW), the largest year-on-year increase since 1999. That extra power is equal to the total installed capacity of ASEAN, a grouping of 10 dynamic South-East Asian economies.

The increase in 2020 is set to become the “new normal”, with about 270 GW of renewable capacity on course to be added in 2021 and almost 280 GW in 2022, despite a slowdown in China after an exceptional level of additions last year. Those forecasts have been revised upwards by more than 25% from the IEA’s previous estimates in November as governments around the world have auctioned record levels of renewable capacity and companies have signed record-level power purchase agreements, even as the pandemic spread macroeconomic uncertainties and supressed demand.

Sales of electric vehicles have increased while sales of gas and diesel vehicles have decreased.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210208005423/en/Canalys-Global-Electric-Vehicle-Sales-up-39-in-2020-as-Overall-Car-Market-Collapses

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Canalys: Global Electric Vehicle Sales up 39% in 2020 as Overall Car Market Collapses

 February 08, 2021

SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New research from Canalys shows that global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in 2020 increased by 39% year on year to 3.1 million units. This compares with a sales decline of 14% of the total passenger car market in 2020. Canalys forecasts that the number of EVs sold will rise to 30 million in 2028 and EVs will represent nearly half of all passenger cars sold globally by 2030.

Europe, the US, China and other countries are strengthening their carbon emissions goals, cracking down on fugitive emissions, increasing investments in renewable electricity and electric vehicles, plugging abandoned oil and gas wells, reclaiming abandoned coal mines and increasing investment in renewable agricultural.

oren

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1262 on: May 25, 2021, 12:05:20 AM »
We are veering off topic. This is the Arctic methane thread.

Also, someone is using a wrong definition here:
Quote
Overall, CH4 emission in Oman increased 1.86-fold from 288 Gg in 2000 to 825 Gg in 2015, while the CH4 emission from oil and gas operations rose 1.7-fold from 234.4 Gg in 2000 to 634.4 Gg in 2015.
"Increase two-fold" means: doubling or: growing by 100%.
From 288 to 825, increasing 2.86-fold, not 1.86-fold. From 234 to 634, increasing 2.7-fold, not 1.7 fold.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1263 on: May 25, 2021, 02:00:35 AM »
We are veering off topic. This is the Arctic methane thread.



My fault. Sorry.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1264 on: May 26, 2021, 04:45:06 PM »
As recent posts in this thread have focused on methane hydrates on Arctic continental shelves instead of on the Arctic continental slopes, I offer four images related to the risk of relatively large methane releases from submarine landslides triggered by the destabilization of metastable methane hydrates on the slopes due to the increasing Atlantification of Arctic Ocean waters along such slopes.  The first attached image shows that the methane hydrates beneath Arctic continental shelves are buried below both sediment and permafrost and thus are slow to respond to warming from Atlantic Ocean water; while the methane hydrates on the Arctic continental slopes are located near the seafloor an thus can respond relatively quickly to warm Atlantic Ocean water (shown on the first image).  Furthermore, the second image shows that methane hydrates near the seafloor (ala on the slopes) tend to be in a metastable condition and thus are subject to decomposition with relatively minor thermal activation from warm Atlantic Ocean water, which the third image shows has been project to reach deeper into the Arctic Ocean in coming decades when following the SRES A2 forcing scenario.  Finally, the fourth image show how decomposition of hydrates in the slope soil can weaken the shear strength of the soil leading to a local landslide that can rapidly release large bubbles of methane gas that can reach the water surface and can introduce a pulse of methane into the atmosphere.  Paleo-records confirm that such a sequence of events have occurred repeated in the past.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1265 on: May 26, 2021, 07:58:15 PM »
... due to the increasing Atlantification of Arctic Ocean waters along such slopes.

The linked article discusses the observed Atlantification of the Arctic.

https://earthsky.org/earth/arctic-sea-ice-succumbs-to-atlantification/

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Linus

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1266 on: May 27, 2021, 02:52:15 AM »
I found the reply #1250 above very interesting in regards to the linked Copernicus satellite observation site. I have a host of questions regarding the displayed data so I have spent some time reading on the website. It should be noted that the provided methane concentration maps are computer generated forecasts based on modeled input data from past scientific studies.
The forecasts are validated by observations made at key sites, which are listed on the website. It is interesting in that none of the validation sites are located near the locations suspected of potential methane releases such as the ESS.
The point I am making with this is that we do not have a eye in the sky which is able to give us real time observations of surface methane concentrations with enough accuracy to dispel any concerns about new sources of emissions. This leaves us with scientific expeditions to gather the necessary data. As we have seen, the expeditions are few and far between and significantly underfunded given the consequences of the data that they are gathering. This undoubtedly leaves us with significant holes in the picture of the current state of methane in the region and new problems could indeed bubble up without being noticed simply because there is no one around to see it when it happens. This is especially true if access to the region is constrained by ice.
Anyway, I would encourage readers to check out the forecast validation report that was published this month, just to see how the forecasts are evaluated.
https://global-evaluation.atmosphere.copernicus.eu/ch4/nrt/insitu-icos

ArgonneForest

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1267 on: May 27, 2021, 03:23:14 AM »
The METOP satellite readings are pretty good at detecting any big concentrations. If there's something brewing, they'll catch it.

As far as the slopes go, how much CH4 is stored there? I would tend to think much less than the shelves

AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1268 on: May 27, 2021, 10:47:18 PM »
...
As far as the slopes go, how much CH4 is stored there? I would tend to think much less than the shelves

The slope hydrates typically cap thermogenic natural gas (free conventional natural gas), so it is difficult to say how much methane might be released once the slope hydrate cap has been broken.

Edit: For clarity I attach the relevant image that shows that the thermogenic natural gas currently trapped below the slope hydrate cap may be in the 300 to 600 PgC range (where 1 petagram of carbon is 1015 gC, or 1 billion metric tons C, or 3.67 billion metric tons CO2).
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 03:23:41 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Alumril

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1269 on: May 28, 2021, 03:12:16 PM »
Interesting meeting discussing Bottom-up and Top-Down Observations of Arctic Methane posted to youtube, starting at 8 minutes Dr Varner discusses the latest research on arctic methane sources including the source of the 2020 methane spike.



ArgonneForest

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1270 on: May 30, 2021, 01:24:52 AM »
Really good stuff, Alumril. Thanks for the link

FishOutofWater

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #1271 on: June 07, 2021, 03:38:34 PM »
The recent methane spike was dominated by light, biogenic methane. That's a big clue to what probably caused it. There was a La Niña event in 2020 that brought heavier than normal rainfall to southern Africa, Indonesia and south and east Asia. Tropical biogenic methane emissions would be expected to increase with that increase in water flow into tropical wetlands and tropical soils.

The spike was likely natural, caused by the weather, not caused by human activities.