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Author Topic: NASA CARVE Mission - Methane Tracking  (Read 4738 times)

Apocalypse4Real

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NASA CARVE Mission - Methane Tracking
« on: June 11, 2013, 06:02:59 PM »
The NASA CARVE mission, that tracks CH4 release in the Alaskan permafrost is flying missions again this year.

According to the article, some findings from 2012:

"The CARVE science team is busy analyzing data from its first full year of science flights. What they're finding, Miller said, is both amazing and potentially troubling.

"Some of the methane and carbon dioxide concentrations we've measured have been large, and we're seeing very different patterns from what models suggest," Miller said. "We saw large, regional-scale episodic bursts of higher-than-normal carbon dioxide and methane in interior Alaska and across the North Slope during the spring thaw, and they lasted until after the fall refreeze. To cite another example, in July 2012 we saw methane levels over swamps in the Innoko Wilderness that were 650 parts per billion higher than normal background levels. That's similar to what you might find in a large city."

Ultimately, the scientists hope their observations will indicate whether an irreversible permafrost tipping point may be near at hand. While scientists don't yet believe the Arctic has reached that tipping point, no one knows for sure. "We hope CARVE may be able to find that 'smoking gun,' if one exists," Miller said."

Here is the links:

1) The NASA article link: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20130610.html

2) The NASA mission link: http://science.nasa.gov/missions/carve/

3) The JPL Mission Project home page: http://science.jpl.nasa.gov/projects/CARVE/

4) The CARVE Investigation Home page with a link to 2012 data (must register): http://ilma.jpl.nasa.gov/portal/


ritter

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Re: NASA CARVE Mission - Methane Tracking
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 07:22:31 PM »
I wonder if some of this is responsible for the increase in the rate of global CO2 concentrations during recession.

Any idea if they are conducting measurements over the oceans as well? I'm sure you are aware that the Semiletov/Shakhova team have been (well, up until 2012 anyway) reporting increased methane emissions in the oceans.

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: NASA CARVE Mission - Methane Tracking
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 09:40:42 PM »
Ritter,

CARVE is strictly surveying permafrost release over Alaska during spring thaw and refreeze.

A4R

ritter

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Re: NASA CARVE Mission - Methane Tracking
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 12:38:51 AM »
Thanks.

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: NASA CARVE Mission - Methane Tracking
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2013, 04:11:03 PM »
There is a media update on this summer's CARVE mission by Chris Miller, the mission PI.

Significant comments are:

"Ask Miller now if any trends are apparent, and he demurs, wanting to wait for more data. But he does say the airborne surveillance periodically encounter large “plumes of methane,” as much as 150 kilometers (90 miles) across.

"It turns out not all carbon compounds are created equal when it comes to effect on the atmospheric greenhouse. Methane, for example, has a much greater impact than carbon dioxide, as much as 100 times greater over a 20-year period, according to Miller.

What’s more, the climate itself can influence the type of carbon compounds thawing permafrost is more likely to release. Warm and dry is more favorable for carbon dioxide. Warm and wetter would be expected to produce more methane, and it would not take much of a shift to have a significant impact, Miller said.

“If the amount of methane to carbon dioxide shifts just a little bit in favor of methane, just one or two percent, then without increasing the amount of carbon that’s released from the soil tremendously you can actually double or even triple the amount of ‘radiative forcing’ and greenhouse gas warming," Miller said. "That’s why we’re really interested in -- whether the arctic is becoming warmer and drier or warmer and wetter.”

The video link is in the article.

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Vast-Reservoirs-of-Arctic-Carbon-Could-Affect-Global-Warming-213926781.html

Sigmetnow

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Re: NASA CARVE Mission - Methane Tracking
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2013, 08:10:20 PM »
More on CARVE:

"The scale of the problem is huge. It is estimated that by 2040 19-45 giga tonnes of CO2 will be released by thawing permafrost. Human activity since the industrial revolution has emitted 350 giga tonnes.

The UNEP Emissions gap report estimates that we are on track to fall 8-13 giga tonnes short of carbon targets that would keep us below the 2°C limit. The revised contribution from thawing permafrost could have serious implications on how we assess progress towards such goals."

http://www.rtcc.org/nasa-experiment-uncovers-arctic-climate-time-bomb/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: NASA CARVE Mission - Methane Tracking
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2013, 08:16:35 PM »
And here (lots of permafrost facts included):

"Over hundreds of millennia, Arctic permafrost soils have accumulated vast stores of organic carbon – an estimated 1,400 to 1,850 petagrams of it (a petagram is 2.2 trillion pounds, or 1 billion metric tons). That’s about half of all the estimated organic carbon stored in Earth’s soils. In comparison, about 350 petagrams of carbon have been emitted from all fossil-fuel combustion and human activities since 1850. Most of this carbon is located in thaw-vulnerable topsoils within 10 feet (3 meters) of the surface."

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/06/13/2138531/nasa-finds-amazing-levels-of-arctic-methane-and-co2-asks-is-a-sleeping-climate-giant-stirring-in-the-arctic/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.