Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

Cryosphere => Permafrost => Topic started by: Apocalypse4Real on February 17, 2013, 05:01:55 PM

Title: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 17, 2013, 05:01:55 PM
Welcome to the Arctic Sea Ice Forum - Arctic Methane Topic!

I will post observations and comments on methane release in the Arctic Basin and surrounding seas or land areas on this thread.

There is a website I maintain which tracks methane release for AIRS/AQUA/IASI methane imagery with the kind contribution of Dr. Leonid Yurganov. It is found at:

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4real/home/sea-ice-thickness

I also maintain a set of imagery for METOPS 2 IASI CH4 at this site:

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4real/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Artful Dodger on February 20, 2013, 11:58:56 PM
Hi A4R,

Do you follow JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) press releases for their Greenhouse gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT), called "IBUKI"? Here's the latest one, from Dec 5, 2012:

http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2012/12/20121205_ibuki_e.html (http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2012/12/20121205_ibuki_e.html)

Although the PR above concerns C02, JAXA has also previously published Arctic methane maps. JAXA also makes some data available for download to registered Users. It may be of some interest to you (indeed, to all of us here on the Arctic sea ice Forum).

Here's more:

What is GOSAT, "IBUKI"?
http://www.gosat.nies.go.jp/eng/gosat/info.htm (http://www.gosat.nies.go.jp/eng/gosat/info.htm)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: OldLeatherneck on February 21, 2013, 12:04:09 AM
A4R,

Thanks for beginning to start this topic.  It was my concerns about methane release from the ESAS that brought me to learning more about the ice-loss in the arctic ocean.

I don't have much to add today... just learning how to use this new forum.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 21, 2013, 05:23:38 AM
Artful,

Thanks for the link, I have looked for results and imagery from JAXA with no success. I will have a look this weekend, or when I get snowed in...tomorrow!

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 21, 2013, 05:26:42 AM
Old Leatherneck,

We ended up here for similar reasons. The ice was secondary to what was happening with potential methane release, which is why I track it.

I will post here each time I update the METOP 2, Giovanni or other methane imagery to keep you and others up to date.

A4R
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Artful Dodger on February 21, 2013, 07:46:53 AM
I have looked for results and imagery from JAXA with no success.

Hi, A4R

ESA makes the GOSAT data available here:
https://earth.esa.int/web/guest/data-access/browse-data-products?p_r_p_564233524_tag=gosat (https://earth.esa.int/web/guest/data-access/browse-data-products?p_r_p_564233524_tag=gosat)

JAXA provides a GOSAT portal here:
http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2009/10/20091030_ibuki_e.html (http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2009/10/20091030_ibuki_e.html)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 21, 2013, 01:27:06 PM
Lodger,

Thanks for the repost.

Also, there is a new report on Arctic Sea Ice decline and impact on green house gasses in the Arctic:

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1784.html

According to Dr. Parmentier, in a comment in Decoded Science:

“We have less data available for methane emissions; it is, therefore, more difficult to establish a connection between sea-ice extent and CH4 release. However, it is reasonable to think that, with a smaller sea-ice extent, an increase in CH4 emissions is likely; indeed some modelling studies predict this.”

http://www.decodedscience.com/arctic-sea-ice-level-effects-on-greenhouse-gases-exchange-and-the-environment/26042

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: OldLeatherneck on February 22, 2013, 12:05:59 AM
A4R,

In the last few weeks there have been many posts about the radiative forcing of CH4.  It's an issue that concerns me greatly, because I don't think it's a topic that is well understood.

If you want to keep this thread concentrated on the release of CH4, I/we/someone can open a separate thread on the topic of radiative forcing.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on February 22, 2013, 01:47:22 PM
A4R,

In the last few weeks there have been many posts about the radiative forcing of CH4.  It's an issue that concerns me greatly, because I don't think it's a topic that is well understood.

If you want to keep this thread concentrated on the release of CH4, I/we/someone can open a separate thread on the topic of radiative forcing.

Hope the topic I started addresses some of your concerns. What the real time effect of having a methane cloud overhead might be doesn't seem to have been fully addressed. - at least in the literature that I've been able to access.

Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 22, 2013, 01:53:36 PM
Let's do radiative forcing under methane cloud.

I have added a compilation of CH4 forcing to my webpage:

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4real/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

In regard to methane release, I have more imagery to post to the METOP 2, and will get to it over the weekend. I have 2 major projects today for work.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: idunno on February 23, 2013, 06:20:28 PM
New to me, and looking absolutely barking mad to me on the following site...

http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.co.uk/

...concern over growth of marine hydrogen sulphide emissions...

Anybody in a position to say whether this is a worry, or not?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on February 23, 2013, 08:09:23 PM
New to me, and looking absolutely barking mad to me on the following site...

http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.co.uk/

...concern over growth of marine hydrogen sulphide emissions...

Anybody in a position to say whether this is a worry, or not?

At least he's not an alarmist:

 More multiples of people will be found dead in their homes, as if they'd dropped dead.

If they're going to die in their homes, I'd personally prefer that they be found there dead. The alternatives such as being found as if they'd dropped alive bring to many bad Zombie flicks to mind.

Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on February 23, 2013, 08:10:15 PM
New to me, and looking absolutely barking mad to me on the following site...

http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.co.uk/

...concern over growth of marine hydrogen sulphide emissions...

Anybody in a position to say whether this is a worry, or not?

At least he's not an alarmist:

 More multiples of people will be found dead in their homes, as if they'd dropped dead.

If they're going to die in their homes, I'd personally prefer that they be found there dead. The alternatives such as being found as if they'd dropped alive bring to many bad Zombie flicks to mind.

Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Pierre-Andre Morin on February 24, 2013, 08:02:42 AM
I am pretty ignorant in this matter but there are a few things I do not understand.
Also this may not be the best board to post this...

They concern Methane which seems the be the unknown factor(at least for me ;) )

Almost all reports about CH4 are comparing the impact of Methane to 20 times the impact of CO2.
But I have read that this is only true after 100 years (actually I read 226 times on the short tem, 76 times after 20 years and 20 times after 20 years).

So I have a few questions:

BTW, Personnaly, the impact of CH4 in 100 years is not important when the impact is much greater in 20 years. I am pretty sure than in 20 years, we will be either in deep trouble or we will be adressing GHG very seriously.

Like fracking... If we loose 3% of it and the short term impact is 100X the CO2, then every ton of CH4 generates three tons of Co2 equivalent...
Add the burning of CH4 (generating CO2) we can say that every CH4 extracted with fracking generates 4X the CO2.
Given Petrol looks like C8H18...
This would mean that:

PS I think the BTU/Energy generated by Petrol is much higher than CH4... This would need to be adjusted in my calculationé
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Artful Dodger on February 24, 2013, 08:12:13 AM
I have a few questions:
  • What is the immediate impact of CH4 release compare to CO2?
  • What is the impact of Ch4 after 20 years?
  • Given our current situation, why should we focus on long term impact of CH4 instead of short term?

Hi Pierre-Andre, welcome and bienvenue!

The graph below is from a 2009 paper which is now out of sequester, for your reading pleasure :^)

D.T. Shindell et al., "Improved Attribution of Climate Forcing to Emissions". Science vol 326: pp. 716-718 (2009)

Find a copy with Google Scholar:
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=5198717999429845339&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5&as_vis=1 (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=5198717999429845339&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5&as_vis=1)

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 25, 2013, 04:59:17 AM
The only large hydrogen sulfide plumes I know of are of the coast of Namibia.
Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Along Namibian coast, off southwest Africa, a cold, deep current snakes northward past the Namib Desert carrying icy waters from deep in the Southern Ocean. Year-round southerly winds cause the warmer surface waters near the coast to be deflected westward away from shore, and the cold waters of the Benguela Current rise up from the depths to replace them.
In the ocean, the welling up of cold water has a positive influence on living organisms. As ocean organisms grow and reproduce in the surface waters of the ocean, they use up the nutrients there. Cold waters welling up from deep in the ocean replenish those nutrients and often result in a rapid increase in marine plant life, called a bloom. The individual, microscopic plants, called phytoplankton, live just a few days, and when they die their remains sink to the bottom of the ocean, where they build up in the mud on the coastal floor.
Bottom-dwelling bacteria chew through this rich belt of coastal mud, decomposing the phytoplankton remains. The result of this decomposition can be seen in this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Aqua satellite, acquired on October 16, 2003, in which the coastal waters appear milky-green.
Some bacteria consume oxygen as they break down the plant remains, giving off carbon dioxide and water as by-products. But eventually, all the oxygen is used up. At that point, other bacteria take over the decomposition. These bacteria use a form of sulfur when they decompose the organic matter, and give off hydrogen sulfide gas as a by- product. The hydrogen sulfide gas periodically bubbles up from the ocean bottom, and when it encounters more oxygen-rich water near the surface, a chemical reaction occurs that transforms the sulfide gas into pure sulfur. In the first stages of the reaction, the sulfur appears white, and in this image creates a milky-green green tinge to the water. When the transformation is more complete, the plume will look very green.a mixture of the yellow sulfur and blue water.
Ironically, the region’s high productivity is also one of its greatest threats, since the hydrogen sulfide gas resulting from such an explosion of life and its inevitable decay is highly toxic to the fish and other marine animals that feed off the phytoplankton. Periodic die-offs of whole populations of fish and other commercial seafood are ongoing concerns for the regional fishing industry.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 25, 2013, 05:35:07 AM
In general as the oceans warm they will stratify and this will reduce mixing of surface O2 rich waters. The bacterial decomposition of organic matter on the seafloor further reduces O2 at depth. The discovery of anoxic waters in the Arctic may not be a new development but more research is in order.“We were able to demonstrate for the first time that the warming and the associated physical changes in the Central Arctic cause fast reactions in the entire ecosystem down to the deep sea“, summarises lead author Boetius. The deep sea has so far been seen as a relatively inert system affected by global warming only with a considerable temporal delay. The fact that microbial decomposition processes fueled by the algal deposits can generate anoxic spots in the deep sea floor within one season alarms the researcher: “We do not know yet whether we have observed a one-time phenomenon or whether this high algal export will continue in the coming years.“ Current predictions by climate models assume that an ice-free summer could occur in the Arctic in the next decades. Boetius and her team warn: “We still understand far too little about the function of the Arctic ecosystem and its biodiversity and productivity, to be able to estimate the consequences of the rapid sea-ice decline.“
 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 25, 2013, 03:15:24 PM
Hi Bruce,

Let's keep this thread open for Arctic Methane and start a new thread for hydrogen sulfide.

I have updated the Arctic methane release through Febraury 19 2013 am. There was wide spread release or concentration in the Atlantic, Russia and Norwegian and Kara Seas.

See: https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 25, 2013, 04:08:23 PM
A4R, I knew I was a bit off topic but tried to answer the Hydrogen Sulfide question. Carbon Cycle is on tread title but does deserve it's own focus. I would like to ask a question re. methane. Are there studies which describe methanotroph  efficiency ?  I know the answer probably varies but Co2 produced contributes to acidification along with other processes. I have asked around but haven't found anything.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Artful Dodger on February 25, 2013, 10:57:19 PM
Are there studies which describe methanotroph  efficiency?

Hi Bruce,

Some good places to start reading are listed in the 'References' section of the Wikipedia article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanotroph (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanotroph)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 26, 2013, 03:59:34 AM
I have updated the METOP 2 IASI CH4 through Feb 20 2013 pm

There are significant areas of high methane, especially in the Pacific or Inner Mongolia.

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 27, 2013, 03:40:32 PM
I have updated the METOP2/B IASI CH4 Google Earth imagery through 22 Feb 2013 pm, and added the IASI imagery through 24 February 2013 pm. No time for more Google Earth till later this week.

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

Here is what the Google Earth imagery shows as of 22 Feb 2013 pm for methane release at 718 mb with concnetrations reading as high as 2145 PPBv.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Gray-Wolf on February 27, 2013, 05:52:39 PM
Thanks for the efforts here A4R!

Seeing as my PC is not 'modern' is there any way for you to give us your appraisal as to whether levels are high or low compared to what we have been seeing since 07'?

I know it means more work for your good self but I do feel that we are on the cusp of a pretty rapid CH4 release from the Arctic (Siberian shelf sea area) and ,as such, value your processing of current data.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 28, 2013, 06:18:07 AM
Gray-Wolf,

For CH4 comparisons see:

AIRS/AQUA/IASI 2008-2013

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4real/home/sea-ice-thickness


METOPS 2/B IASI 2013

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 28, 2013, 03:05:59 PM
I have updated the METOP 2/B images through febraury 26, 2013 pm. they reveal that there is high methane release over the Barents and Kara the last few days.

Also there is a significant area of high methane concentration over Antarctica.

See: https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Gray-Wolf on February 28, 2013, 07:02:03 PM
Thanks A4R!

Looking at all the shattered ice there I'm wondering if this shows us a leaking of the gas that was trapped at the surface below the ice?

If so I wonder if we ought to see increases over the shattered Beaufort ice?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Artful Dodger on March 01, 2013, 06:29:38 AM
If so I wonder if we ought to see increases over the shattered Beaufort ice?
Hi Gray-Wolf,

I think you'd need to overlay a continental shelf map with a sea ice concentration map. The 'at-risk' clathrates are the ones in warming, shallow water, for instance the East Siberian Arctic Shelf.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 01, 2013, 03:24:46 PM
I have added the METOP 2 IASI CH4 imgery through February 28, 2013 pm to the webpage. I will add Google Earth later, time for work!

On February 28 am, areas of the Barents and Kara had CH4 concentrations as high as 2229 PPBv.

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: AIRS/Giovanni 359 mb and IASI 600 mb CH4 update
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 03, 2013, 04:29:07 PM
I have updated the AIRS/Giovanni 359  mb and IASI 600 mb CH4 comparisons for February, 2013. There is a major drop in areas of high readings at 359 mb, but that is not true of the IASI imagery.

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2013/home/2012-vs-2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2013/home/iasi-2012-vs-2011-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2013/home/2012-Arctic-CH4-AIRS-359-hPa-vs-IASI-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 04, 2013, 02:47:45 PM
I have updated the METOP 2 IASI CH4 imagery for March 1 & 2. The Google Earth images are updated through Feb 24th pm.

On Feb 28 we had readings above 2200 PPBv at 586 and 718 mb, and the other days have often been above 2100 PPBV in some areas of the Arctic.

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 06, 2013, 03:23:14 PM
I have updated the METOP 2 IASI CH4 imagery from February 27 for March 4, 2013. The Google Earth images are updated through February 28, 2013 pm, when CH4 readings were as high as 2110 PPBv at 586 mb.

The Norwegian, Greenland, Barents, Kara, and Laptev Seas were all producing methane or had high concentrations of methane over them. See below, and more imagery at:

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 07, 2013, 03:26:22 PM
I have updated the METOP 2 IASI CH4 images through March 5, 2013 pm.

See: https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

Aslo, I jumped ahead with the Google Earth images to show what the current concentrations are in the Arctic as of March 5, 2013 pm. One image (586 mb) is below, with many areas above 1950 PPBv.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: ritter on March 07, 2013, 07:05:25 PM
One image (586 mb) is below, with many areas above 1950 PPBv.

When do they, like the Australian Bureau of Meteorology did for weather forecasting, change the color scale to address the new range? I wonder how high it actually is.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: johnm33 on March 07, 2013, 11:18:44 PM
Fwiw i'm slowly coming to the conclusion that much of the sub arctic ocean release of methane is caused by the overflow of base water from the arctic basins, principally the one beneath Beaufort. This body of water must[?] have warmed above a critical threshold perhaps even above 0deg and no longer serves to keep the fresher frozen water of the permafrost cold enough. This water flows out at the siberian end of the losmonov ridge and mounts the continental shelf somewhere west of there, being prevented from heading directly to Fram by the sheer pressure of Atlantic waters entering the arctic, it then wends its way slowly to just below Bear island below Svalbard and falls off the shelf where the persistent anomoly shows warm on.
The array across Fram shows very little base outflow and then rarely, and yet this basin water must be constantly replenished, and thus overflowing if it does not go through Fram or to the south of Bear island then where?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: johnm33 on March 07, 2013, 11:30:46 PM
Oops should have been
shows warm on http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ophi/color_anomaly_NPS_ophi0.png (http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ophi/color_anomaly_NPS_ophi0.png)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 08, 2013, 03:49:01 AM
Ritter,

Check my website, it has the daily maximum PPBv records.

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: OldLeatherneck on March 08, 2013, 04:26:54 AM
A4R,

Thanks for maintaining your website.  It is saving me the time I used to spend going to Dr. Yurganov's data.

In looking at your recent CH4 maps, it would appear that at 585mb, the CH4 concentrations of the Kara Sea have increased significantly.  Isn't this rather unusual this time of year??
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: werther on March 08, 2013, 02:50:36 PM
Last year early in spring I was intrigued by a dot-pattern on the Laptev fastice.

It's back visible on MODIS, the 'Laptev Scintillation':
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FArctic%2520ice%25202013%2FLaptevscintillationLMr05c05day67enhancedCADsmall_zps45b054b3.jpg&hash=4d73e5df1cac1483698d08b34f9ca3eb)

It has a different spread, I'll come back on that later.

I'm still puzzled what's the cause and 'fear' it may be caused by methane release. I've circled the main 'field', which has an area of env. 13000 km2.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: ritter on March 08, 2013, 06:35:11 PM
Ritter,

Check my website, it has the daily maximum PPBv records.

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

Yes, thanks! My concern is "Bright Yellow is approx 1950+ PPBv". What does the "+" entail?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 08, 2013, 10:42:28 PM
Werther...

I read an article earlier that last years exploration of the Laptev Sea found methane plumes, some a kilometer or more in diameter. I cannot find the article but this popped up in my search.

http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/arctic-methane/message/112 (http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/arctic-methane/message/112)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 08, 2013, 10:46:12 PM
Not surprising. I read it here.

http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2011/12/arctic-methane-russian-researchers-report.html (http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2011/12/arctic-methane-russian-researchers-report.html)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: OldLeatherneck on March 08, 2013, 11:00:39 PM
Werther...

I read an article earlier that last years exploration of the Laptev Sea found methane plumes, some a kilometer or more in diameter. I cannot find the article but this popped up in my search.

http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/arctic-methane/message/112 (http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/arctic-methane/message/112)

It would be interesting to know whether any of the regional navies with submarines, or submersibles, have been mapping any of these plumes at their source on the sea bed.  Of course, this would be held as classified information and not released to the general public.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: werther on March 08, 2013, 11:33:27 PM
Here's the Laptev scintillation modified through CAD on MODIS 13072012. The area was located about 100 km to the SW compared to this year.
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FArctic%2520ice%25202013%2FLaptevscintillationr05c05day7313032012enhancedsmallCAD_zpsb5e70784.jpg&hash=598a87194022419e92605130f98da3cf)
Any difference could be triggered by the complicated geomorphology in this part of the Laptev Sea. I'll post some info on this later.
For now, I suggest these punctures form during the refreeze, probably November, invisible in the dark. I doubt that they would be continuous methane vents during the whole winter season.
Specific subsurface temps in the rift/graben paleosoils pattern could be decisive which part is active.
I checked lots of Arctic shelve regions for comparable features during '12, but found only some near Ostrov Khrestovskyi, 850 km to the East.
I've been searching closely on MODIS during August to trap vents in that area, but the 250 m resolution is probably too low to cooperate. I wonder if I coul lure our friend A-Team into this quest. His work encouraged me to enhance some of these images by the simplest measures possible, then rescaling them in CAD. Maybe he could get more visual info here?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Artful Dodger on March 09, 2013, 12:06:52 AM
It would be interesting to know whether any of the regional navies with submarines, or submersibles, have been mapping any of these plumes at their source on the sea bed.  Of course, this would be held as classified information and not released to the general public.
Hi OLN,

Nuclear sharks don't swim in 80 m of continental shallows, not even Akulas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akula-class_submarine). ;)

A blue-force SSN would only go inshore for special ops or intel-gathering, and then only with access to deep water egress. It's just not worth risking the boat. I'm afraid CH4 doesn't count.

For more discussion, read this topic at Skeptical Science:
New observations find underwater Arctic Shelf is perforated and venting methane (http://www.skepticalscience.com/New-observations-find-underwater-Arctic-Shelf-is-perforated-and-venting-methane.html), posted on 6 March 2010 by John Cook

Also see Igor Semiletov's classic 1999 paper: (w. free PDF download)
Semiletov, I. P. "Aquatic sources and sinks of CO2 and CH4 in the polar regions (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0469%281999%29056%3C0286%3AASASOC%3E2.0.CO%3B2)." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 56.2 (1999): 286-306.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 09, 2013, 04:50:52 AM
Ritter,

In regard to the CH4 scale - anything above 1950 PPBv in any area is the "+". The current color range is set as high as 2950 PPBv, but readings are not nearly that high. Every 12 hours the highest reading is included on the image on the website.

For example, on the March 6 am image, the highest reading is 2181 PPBv. Thus anything above 1950 and below the 2181 will be bright yellow.

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: ritter on March 11, 2013, 06:43:04 PM
Ritter,

In regard to the CH4 scale - anything above 1950 PPBv in any area is the "+". The current color range is set as high as 2950 PPBv, but readings are not nearly that high. Every 12 hours the highest reading is included on the image on the website.

For example, on the March 6 am image, the highest reading is 2181 PPBv. Thus anything above 1950 and below the 2181 will be bright yellow.
Thanks for your explanation!
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on March 13, 2013, 12:30:57 AM
I thought that I would post some GCM model projections for nature methane hydrate emissions for SRES A1B until 2100: In a two-part study by scientists from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Los Alamos National Laboratory utilized a scenario based on a combination of two computer models of how climate change could impact the millions of tons of methane frozen in sediment beneath the Arctic Ocean.  In the initial phase of the project they found that buried deposits of methane hydrates, will decompose as the global temperature increases and the oceans warm. In the second phase, the scientists found that methane would then seep into the Arctic Ocean and gradually overwhelm the marine environment’s ability to break down the gas. Supplies of oxygen, nutrients, and trace metals required by methane-eating microbes would dwindle year-by-year as more methane enters the water. After three decades of methane release, much of the methane may bubble to the surface, where it has the potential to accelerate climate change.  The author's (Elliot et al. 2011) conclusions include:
"The vast Arctic shelf supports massive hydrate reservoirs, and many are close to the edge of stability [Archer, 2007].  Since these deposits are often located in the depth range of recently ventilated North Atlantic water masses, relatively small increases in temperature due to climate change may result in dissociation [Lamarque, 2008].  In the present study, methane flow from warming clathrates is calculated by porous-media simulation [Reagan and Moridis, 2008]."
The first image indicates the projected seafloor warming by 2100 using SRES A1B used in the first part of this study.  The second image shows representive output for the second phase of the study showing calculated hydrate released seawater methane concentrations, and saturation ratios, around the world.  Panel (b) of the second image shows that the methane saturation ratios of the Siberian Continental Shelf will dominate the Arctic's flux of sea-air methane emissions by 2100.  Based on measurements of methane emissions from Black Sea into the atmosphere, as measured by Schmale et al. (2005), for a methane saturation ratio of 1.43, the sea-air methane flux can be conservatively approximated as: 0.6 nmol m-2 s-1.  Taking the average methane saturation ratio for the East Siberian Continental Shelf (with an area of about 2 x 1012 m2) to be 1.43 from 2020 to 2100 (a period of approximately 2.6×109 sec), and given that one mole of methane equals 16 grams, this indicates that from 2020 to 2100 the East Siberian Continental Shelf  would cumulatively emit approximately 3 petagrams of CO2 equivalent, and it is estimated that the other sea-air methane emissions from the rest of the world (see the second image) would approximately equal this value for an estimated annual worldwide flux in 2100 of approximately 6 billion tonnes/year of CO2 equivalent [or as a carbon equivalent of: 1.2 GtC/yr].
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 13, 2013, 04:31:49 PM
Well, looking at the ESAS.jpg image, you don't need to be a rocket scientist (and I'm not) to observe that elevated concentrations of methane occur along the coasts and wherever the seas are relatively shallow in stark contrast to the deep water found in the center of CAB and other deep trenches.

Question. Does methane have the same blanketing effect in water that it has in the atmosphere? Does supersaturated water retain heat more readily?

And if the answer to this question is yes, (I hope it isn't) could releases of methane in the shallow seas result in regional runaway situations where methane releases accelerate the warming of the seas which then, in turn, trigger more methane releases?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 13, 2013, 11:43:15 PM
Shared Humanity,

I have not read anything that would suggest that methane in sea water increases temperature. It usually dissolves in water. However, high saturation can lead to release into the atmospere, thus concerns for warming of oceans in areas of methane hydrates that may cause them to melt and have the methane release into the atmosphere where it is a contributor to warming.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 14, 2013, 12:00:47 AM
I have updated the METOP 2 IASI CH4 imagery from March 5-12. Almost each 12 hour report has recorded concentration levels about 2100 PPBv, in some parts of the imagery.

There has been a significant amount of release activity, in the Norwegian, Barents and Kara Seas. As fracturing has occurred in the Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas, there aer spikes of methane as that trapped under the ice leaks through.

In the last few days, areas with thawing also reveal higher levels of methane for short periods of time.

Finally, Antarctica has a cloud of higher concentration of methane (above 1890 PPBv) that has been spreading over a larger areas.

I have attached three Google Earth overlays to give an idea of dispersion and concentration of CH4 during the last few days. These represent only one mb level of methane within a 12 hour period of concentration. The whole series will be added to my website by tomorrow.

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

First image: March 8 0-12 hr 718 mb
Second image: March 12 0-12 hr 718 mb
Third image: March 12 12-24 hr 742 mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 14, 2013, 04:26:11 PM
The METOP 2 IASI CH4 imagery is now completely updated through March 13, 12-24 hr. It reveals ongoing wide spread areas of methane release and concentration in the North Atlantic to the Kara Sea, well over 2150 PPBv in some locations.

In the Arctic, as fracturing of the ice occurs, it is showing higher concentrations in areas of the Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas, as well as the Beaufort.

For details. see: https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

I will update Dr. Yurganov's and the AIRS/Giovanni imagery shortly. Conversation with Dr. Yurganov reveals that the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea CH4 concentrations are the highest for March 1-10 ever recorded.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 14, 2013, 04:56:32 PM
The AIRS/Giovanni CH4 for March 1-10, 2013, and Dr. Yurganov's IASI 600 mb imagery have been updated.

According to Dr. Yurganov, the Norwegian and Barents CH4 readings are the highest for March 1-10 on record.

See: https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2013/home

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: werther on March 15, 2013, 08:55:17 PM
Harvesting methane clathrates…

I just watched one of the stupidest features ever produced on Dutch national broadcast news.

I hate to say this. For I always have this silent hope I didn’t get the message right… or I might be wrong.

What was the subject? Japanese scientists seem to have succeeded in extracting gaseous methane from seabottom deposits of methane clathrates.
So the news goes out… hurrah… the Japanese may be able to exploit this source of energy for at least a hundred years! So may we, eventually. It was only weeks ago the same critic less bragging was used when Wintershall found a new oilfield in the Dutch part of the North Sea.

Problem solved… we can continue our lifestyle.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Dromicosuchus on March 16, 2013, 03:07:04 AM
Werther:  Honestly, converting it to CO2 directly rather than allowing it to be emitted as methane is probably marginally better for the planet.  'Course, that's "better" in the sense that throwing gasoline on a fire is better than throwing liquid oxygen on a fire, but if we're irresponsible enough to allow global temperature to reach levels high enough to destabilize the clathrates, directly mining and burning them is probably the only thing we could possibly do to "limit" the effects.

That said, I agree that burning them before their destabilization is a foregone conclusion is unbelievably idiotic.  How can such a clever species be so stupid?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 16, 2013, 06:21:42 AM
Dromicosuchus....  How can such a clever species be so stupid?

It isn't easy. There is a lot of collective effort that goes into this.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 17, 2013, 02:57:35 PM
The METOP 2 IASI CH4 imagery has been updated through March 15 12-24 hrs.

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

The Greenland, Norwegian, Barents and Kara Seas continue to have record amounts of methane at 586-600 mb, as high as 2199 PPBv on March 15, 2013 -12-24 hrs.

Even more interesting are the areas of methane release in the Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas as the Arctic ice fractures. This is unusual for this time of year. Two Google Earth imagery samples are attached.

When one compares this with surface readings of approx. 1830 PPBv at Mauna Loa at the end of February, 1947 PPBv at Ny-Alesund in mid-February, or early March readings of 1930 PPBv at Barrow, we have a considerably higher set of readings over large portions of the North Atlantic and Arctic.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: OldLeatherneck on March 17, 2013, 03:40:03 PM
A4R,

In your opinion, will these elevated CH4 levels provide enough extra radiative forcing over the arctic regions and North Atlantic to significantly alter this year's melt season??
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 17, 2013, 04:34:03 PM
OLN,

These are record readings, but it is unknown how much contribution they will make to this year's melt. That may depend on how long into the melt season they continue to exist at high levels. They are a contributor to overall increase in the NH, and will affect temperatures with time.

A4R
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: fishmahboi on March 21, 2013, 12:20:28 AM
I wonder what the effect of this up-tick in methane release will have in the long term on the globe.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: dorlomin on March 21, 2013, 12:15:15 PM
A4R,

In your opinion, will these elevated CH4 levels provide enough extra radiative forcing over the arctic regions and North Atlantic to significantly alter this year's melt season??
No. It will probably be swamped by two or three orders of magnitude by the changes in albedo from the melt of sea ice. And come high summer, as happens every years, the methane over the artic will have fallen by markedly.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 21, 2013, 01:50:11 PM
Are there any scientists or groups that are tracking the trends in permafrost extent? I have seen snapshots of the current extent of permafrost and read reserach here indicating that the boundaries are moving north. Is there an historical record? Could this trend north be recreated to get an annual or by decade retreat picture? This would allow us to measure the square kilometers of melted permafrost that has and is being made available for CO2 and methane release.

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Artful Dodger on March 22, 2013, 04:20:58 AM
Are there any scientists or groups that are tracking the trends in permafrost extent?
Hi H/R,

These are EZ to find, c'est ça?

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=permafrost (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=permafrost)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 24, 2013, 05:43:14 PM
I have updated the AIRS/Aqua methane imagery for March 11-20, 2013. See the attached for the latest readings for the increased concentrations of methane at 359 mb in the CAB.

Also, based on Yurganov's date, the Norwegian and Barents Seas continue to show record methane at 600 mb, which substantiates the METOP2 imagery. There are also increases in the Laptev and ESS as the ice fractures.

See:
https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2013/home

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on March 24, 2013, 07:36:21 PM
I have updated the METOP 2 IASI CH4/methane imagery. There is significant widespread methane at 586 and 718-742 mb in the Arctic. An example is below for March 21, 2013  pm 586 mb.

See: https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

I still have to add the March 23 2013 pm images.

As far as I am aware, we are looking at record methane in the Northern/Arctic atmosphere for March.

The Antarctic also has high methane as well.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: frankendoodle on March 24, 2013, 08:32:11 PM
Seeing as Earth's Northern Hemisphere comprises ~70% of its land mass, it's more important to us terrestrial humans that the Southern hemisphere (no offense intended). I came across this Washington Post article while searching for info about how much the NH has warmed recently.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/the-unmistakable-increase-in-northern-hemisphere-summer-temperatures/2012/09/14/819b3cc0-fe72-11e1-8adc-499661afe377_blog.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/the-unmistakable-increase-in-northern-hemisphere-summer-temperatures/2012/09/14/819b3cc0-fe72-11e1-8adc-499661afe377_blog.html)
My question relating to methane is this: If an increase in CO2 has caused and will continue to cause temperature increases in the NH (along with other various positive feed back mechanisms); and these mechanisms have now started the release of CH4 in the form of thawing permafrost and methane clathrates (which is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2); then what negative feedback mechanism exists to stop the CH4 from causing a runaway greenhouse effect?
We have been the cause of excess CO2 and can possibly reduce/eliminate it. But the CH4 cannot be sequestered by flora/micro fauna, nor can we reduce its emissions because the cause of the emissions is heat itself. How can we stop the methane?!
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: OldLeatherneck on March 25, 2013, 03:15:17 AM
But the CH4 cannot be sequestered by flora/micro fauna, nor can we reduce its emissions because the cause of the emissions is heat itself. How can we stop the methane?!

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1269.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fjj597%2FOldLeatherNeck%2FGasHydrF6des3inLG.jpg&hash=2b2b9bc2c30a3223137b18d839e0f32d)

More than 60% of global methane emissions are anthropogenic in nature.  I found the above chart on the USGS website nearly a year ago, and it was dated at that time.

I would surmise that it would be more difficult to reduce mankind's dependence on rice than it would be to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.  The most obvious target for reducing anthropogenic methane would be to reduce the consumption of beef or capture the methane emitted from the feedlots.

In answer to your question, there are things we can do to reduce the release of methane, however, until we reduce GHGs globally, there is little we can do to stop the increasing rate of methane release due to melting permafrost.

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on April 06, 2013, 04:45:15 PM
I have updated the METOP 2 IASI CH4 through March 31. No Google earth images yet, but will post those later today.

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2iasich4co2/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on April 06, 2013, 04:48:24 PM
I have started posting the METOP2 IASI CH4 for April to June 2013  on a new website due to space constraints.

See: https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2ch4aprjun/
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Donna on April 07, 2013, 04:48:22 AM
It looks like the new site has different permissions - will you change them to be the same as the old site? 

Also,  at this time I'd like to thank you for all of your work on this. I've followed your posts for quite some time and deeply appreciate access to this information.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on April 07, 2013, 07:50:13 AM
Hi Donna,

Thanks for letting me know that the permissions had somehow not taken. They are now changed.

Also, welcome to the Forum!

I'm pleased this information is helpful to you. More updates will come through next week.

A4R
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Pmt111500 on April 07, 2013, 10:06:16 AM
Thanks A4R, for the methane images, it nice to follow the progress of spring on the ground level and the respective methane levels in the mid-troposphere. Temperatures here have been sawing between freezing nights and thawing days for the last week and the methane levels above seem to have gone up. No significant plant growth yet. Night/day variation has been c.15 degrees from -10 to +5C.

One minor request if I may... Could it be possible to change the color of the line of land to black, so it would be easier to see where the highest concentrations are amidst all that yellow methane...
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on April 07, 2013, 11:10:30 AM
Pmt,

I have no control over the image at this point. Here is an example of the increases at this late date.

The attached is from April 4, 2013 pm at 586 mb.

More later, off to a conference.

A4R
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on April 07, 2013, 11:12:06 AM
Oops!

Attached.

A4R
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: JimD on April 17, 2013, 07:54:57 PM
This seems like a good place to put Hansen's latest on a Venus like runaway possibility.

Titled:  Exaggeration, Jumping the Gun, and the Venus Syndrome
dated April 15th

link to his web location below.

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/ (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Anne on April 20, 2013, 12:22:25 AM
Oh dear. The Daily Mail (home of David Rose) gives its own weird spin (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2311699/Could-Earth-barren-Venus-Climate-change-scientist-warns-planet-ice-free-human-free.html[/url). Dr Hansen needs a comms person.

ETA: Try this link:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2311699/Could-Earth-barren-Venus-Climate-change-scientist-warns-planet-ice-free-human-free.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2311699/Could-Earth-barren-Venus-Climate-change-scientist-warns-planet-ice-free-human-free.html)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Laurent on April 20, 2013, 11:09:29 AM
Anne your link does not work for me, can you check that !?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Anne on April 20, 2013, 11:35:14 AM
Bonjour, Laurent. Sorry it doesn't work. I can't see what's wrong. Try this:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2311699/Could-Earth-barren-Venus-Climate-change-scientist-warns-planet-ice-free-human-free.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2311699/Could-Earth-barren-Venus-Climate-change-scientist-warns-planet-ice-free-human-free.html)

It's a pretty depressing attempt to mock Hansen by twisting what he says.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on April 21, 2013, 06:24:46 PM
I have updated the METOP 2 IASI Ch4 images through April 19, 2013 pm for 586 mb and 718 or 742 mb. High concentrations continued through April 1-10 and now are beginning to fall some in the Northern Hemisphere in the last few days. I have not updated the Google Earth imagery yet.

Additionally, the CH4 concentrations over Antartica have begun to increase as "fall/winter" comes to the SH.

I will begin a new ASIF thread for the Antarctic. I had not anticipated having such high concentrations there.

The link for the April to June images is:

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2ch4aprjun/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on April 21, 2013, 06:27:23 PM
I forgot I had already started the Antarctic thread. Here it is:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,73.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,73.0.html)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Lewis C on May 05, 2013, 05:39:17 PM
Can anyone provide an update on the work of Semiletov & Shakhova on the ESAS methyl clathrates observations ?

I hope I've missed the proper reporting of the 2011 joint Russian-American expedition, which was due to be published in May 2012 - but I saw nothing on it.

There was one guarded reference last autumn on a Russian site noting that still larger plumes had been seen that year, but nothing definitive by scientists from either country.

Given the stakes, this absence of news seems bizarre. Are we looking at proactive optimism bias (aka public information control), grossly deficient publishing routines, both, or something else ?

Regards,

Lewis
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Artful Dodger on May 06, 2013, 12:56:14 PM
Can anyone provide an update on the work of Semiletov & Shakhova on the ESAS methyl clathrates observations ?
Hi Lewis,

Google Scholar has it all under "Related Articles (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=2005&sciodt=1,5&as_vis=1&cites=18096385236134920244&scipsc=&q=&scisbd=1)"
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Lewis C on May 06, 2013, 01:21:55 PM
Artful - many thanks for the pointer. I found the 2011 paper below which I'd previously missed. It doesn't appear to have any authorship by the US scientists on the joint research trip, so if you happen across their take on the observations, could you post a link ?

Regards,

Lewis

Doklady Earth Sciences
September 2012, Volume 446, Issue 1, pp 1132-1137
The degradation of submarine permafrost and the destruction of hydrates on the shelf of east arctic seas as a potential cause of the “Methane Catastrophe”: some results of integrated studies in 2011

    V. I. Sergienko, L. I. Lobkovskii, I. P. Semiletov, O. V. Dudarev, et al
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on May 11, 2013, 04:16:26 PM
I have updated the METOP 2 IASI CH4 through April 26 2013 pm. There was an anomaly on April 26, 2013 am that resulted in CH4 concentrations above 2400 ppbv at a number of layers. I have included 4 on the site. I'll update more later.

https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2ch4aprjun/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on May 15, 2013, 02:03:39 AM
A4R,

As many times as I have looked at them, I still find it disturbing to see the relatively high methane concentrations over Antarctica that is even shown in your postings for April 26th.

ASLR
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on May 22, 2013, 04:45:09 PM
I have added the METOP 2 IASI images to the website through May 20, 2013 0-12hrs. I am still adding Google Earth images for April and May through this week.

One thing to note is that the higher methane readings are now generally occurring in Euro-Asia in Siberia, or other areas experiencing snow melt or ice thawing.

One exception is areas in Asia where agricultural production is begining. The May 20, 2013 am 586 mb CH4 Arctic view is attached.

The site is:
https://sites.google.com/site/a4r2013metop2ch4aprjun/home/2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa-vs-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 22, 2013, 06:31:24 PM
Am I mistaken or are these higher methane readings well aligned with the negative snow anomalies in Siberia?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on May 29, 2013, 07:21:09 PM
There is a major improvement coming - tracking methane in 3D.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Pmt111500 on May 30, 2013, 07:36:05 AM
Am I mistaken or are these higher methane readings well aligned with the negative snow anomalies in Siberia?

I think it's the standard theory (though I can't provide links) that the methane is produced by the soil bacteria. These can be active at lower temperatures than plants and algae, which in turn use up some of it. So it's natural to have the highest concentrations of methane during the thaw, before the plants become active.  On the other hand, methane has been on the rise even during summers, so the previous is not the whole story, there's likely much more to it. Could ask a friend who's done work on  taiga peatlands and natural N2O (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n3/abs/ngeo434.html), he should at least know where to look for detailed studies ( A4R and  AGWObserver  (http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/papers-on-atmospheric-methane-concentration/) have linked to some as well, but I haven't bookmarked).
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: rw langford on June 14, 2013, 02:12:51 AM
Here is a recent update from CARVE that is not good news.
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/ (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/)
The findings are frightening but not unexpected. Almost everything that I read on climate is happening faster than any model predicted.
Bob
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on June 14, 2013, 07:16:24 AM
Hi Bob,

Thanks for your comment and link. There is a thread for CARVE in this section, perhaps Neven will move it there.

A4R
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Lynn Shwadchuck on June 18, 2013, 04:59:50 AM
Isn't Avaaz.org's new petition too alarmist? "30 months to save the world!"
The articles cited at the bottom include one from the Independent mentioning Semiletov's latest take on the ESAS methane plumes, but I don't see anything online from him this month.
------------------------------
Dear Avaaz community,

This may be the most important email I’ve written to you. Arctic scientists have found gigantic plumes of Methane gas spewing into our atmosphere through melting ice, accelerating the destruction of our planet -- it could be a climate tipping point and we CAN stop it, if we act very fast, and all together. We have 30 months until the biggest climate summit ever. To win it, we need to blast out of the starting gate. Click below to pledge a donation to help us get there: 

 
This may be the most important email I've ever written to you.

Scientists mapping hundreds small plumes of dangerous Methane gas coming from the arctic ocean have been shocked to find they've suddenly grown to gigantic KILOMETER-wide towers of gas spewing into our atmosphere! NASA has just confirmed alarming patterns of arctic methane, a gas 20 times as damaging to our climate as carbon dioxide.

Investigations continue, but this could be what the experts warned us about. As the earth warms, it creates many "tipping points" that could accelerate the warming out of control. Warming thaws the Arctic sea ice and permafrost, releasing millions of tons of Methane, which massively accelerates warming, which warms the Arctic more, and so on. We spin out of control. Already -- storms, temperatures -- everything is off the charts.

We CAN stop this, if we act very fast, and all together. And out of this extinction nightmare, we can pull one of the most inspiring futures for our children and grandchildren. A clean, green future in balance with the earth that gave birth to us.

We have 30 months until the Paris Summit, the meeting that world leaders have decided will determine the fate of our efforts to fight climate change. It might seem like a long time - it's not. We have 30 months to get the right leaders in power, get them to that meeting, give them a plan, and hold them accountable. And it's us vs. the oil companies, and fatalism. We can win, we must, but we need to blast out of the starting gate with with 50,000 pledges of support -- we'll only process the donations if we hit our goal. For the world we dream of, let's make it happen:

Fatalism on climate change is not just futile, it's also incompetent. The hour is late, but it is still absolutely within our power to stop this catastrophe, simply by shifting our economies from oil and coal to other sources of power. And doing so will bring the world together like never before, in a deep commitment and cooperation to protect our planetary home. It's a beautiful possibility, and the kind of future Avaaz was born to create.

Facing this challenge will take heart, and hope, and also all the smarts we have. Here's the plan:

1. Go Political -- Elect Climate Leaders  - 5 crucial countries have elections in the next 30 months. Let's make sure the right people win, and with the right mandate. Avaaz is one of the only major global advocacy organizations that can be political. Charities can't be political because of the kind of tax breaks they get from governments, but we can. And since this fight will be won or lost politically, it could be at some points just us vs. the oil companies to decide who our politicians listen to.

2. Make Hollande a Hero  -- French President Francois Hollande will chair the Paris summit - a powerful position. We have to try every tactic and channel -- his personal friends and family, his political constituency, his policy advisors -- to make him the hero we need him to be to make the summit a success.

3. Take it to the Next Level  -- The scale of this crisis demands action that goes beyond regular campaigning. It's time for powerful, direct, non-violent action, to capture imagination, convey moral urgency, and inspire people to act. Think Occupy.


4. Out the Spoilers -- Billionaires like the Koch brothers and their oil companies are the major spoilers in climate change - funding junk science to confuse us and spending millions on misleading PR, while buying politicians wholesale. With investigative journalism and more, we need to expose and counter their horrifically irresponsible actions.

5. Define the Deal  -- Even in the face of planetary catastrophe, 195 governments in a room can be just incompetent. We need to invest in top quality policy advice to develop ingenious strategies, mechanisms, and careful compromises so that when the summit arrives, a critical mass of leaders are already bought in to a large part of the deal, and no one can claim that good solutions don't exist.

We need 50,000 of us to pledge small donations to blast out of the starting gate on this plan. The amount doesn't matter as much as much as the choice - to hope, and to act:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/30_months_h/?bBvxmab&v=25979 (https://secure.avaaz.org/en/30_months_h/?bBvxmab&v=25979)

At the last major climate summit in Copenhagen 2009, we played a pivotal role in German and Japanese 'climate' elections, in shifting Brazilian policy, and in helping win a major global deal on financing, with rich countries promising $100 billion per year to poor countries to help them address climate change. Back then, Avaaz was 3 million people. After Copenhagen, we reflected that we needed to be a lot bigger to meet the challenge posed by climate change. Now, we're 22 million, and growing by 1 million per month.

Climate change is the ultimate global collective action problem, requiring cooperation from every government in the world. And Avaaz is the ultimate collective action solution, with millions of us united in common vision across every nation. This is our time, to build a world for our children that’s beauty matches our dreams. Let's get started.

With hope and appreciation for this amazing community,

Ricken and the entire Avaaz team


MORE INFORMATION:

Scientists Close in on the Cause of Arctic Methane Leaks (Climate Central)
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/scientists-close-in-on-the-cause-of-arctic-methane-leaks-15090 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/scientists-close-in-on-the-cause-of-arctic-methane-leaks-15090)

NASA warns Arctic thaw could have huge impact on global warming (The Verge)
http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/12/4422078/nasa-arctic-permafrosts-carbon-emissions (http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/12/4422078/nasa-arctic-permafrosts-carbon-emissions)

Five Reasons We Need a New Global Agreement on Climate Change by 2015 (Switchboard NRDC)
http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jschmidt/five_reasons_we_need_a_new_glo.html (http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jschmidt/five_reasons_we_need_a_new_glo.html)

The Doha climate talks were a start, but 2015 will be the moment of truth (The Guardian)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/10/doha-climate-talks-global-warming (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/10/doha-climate-talks-global-warming)

Vast methane 'plumes' seen in Arctic ocean as sea ice retreats (The Independent)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/vast-methane-plumes-seen-in-arctic-ocean-as-sea-ice-retreats-6276278.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/vast-methane-plumes-seen-in-arctic-ocean-as-sea-ice-retreats-6276278.html)

Note -- there is a debate in the scientific community about the scale and significance of the methane plumes, as there is about a number of alarming developments in climate science, and has been in the past about issues like the loss of arctic sea ice. As it has for decades, the scientific community as a whole is moving conservatively, slowly embracing a gradually more and more alarming consensus as evidence rules out other possibilities. But the vast majority agree, with many desperately trying to the get our societies to understand, that we are facing catastrophic threats unless we act.



Avaaz.org is a 22-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. ("Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

To contact Avaaz, please do not reply to this email. Instead, write to us at www.avaaz.org/en/contact (http://www.avaaz.org/en/contact) or call us at +1-888-922-8229 (US).
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on June 18, 2013, 10:59:07 PM
Hi Lynn,

This is an alarmist approach to create activism. While the concern remains in regard to CH4 release, (and it should, given what we have seen through the winter), this is using quite a bit of hyerbole and not much science.

The Semelitov comments are from the Laptev and East Siberian Sea survey in 2011. There was little reported from the 2012 survey (I have quite a bit of that on my website), and I need to post more.

Take a look at my web pages for the actual science data - and I will be updating it, once I finish a major project.

A4R
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Anne on June 19, 2013, 12:48:50 AM
Hi Lynn

I got that email from Avaaz too and had a similar reaction to yours. Also, I wondered who would actually be using the money to lobby: Avaaz or a climate lobby or lobbies they are fronting for. They aren't climate specialists after all. They are not at all clear about that.

You might want to edit your post to delete personal details: an email address in there.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Lynn Shwadchuck on June 19, 2013, 04:25:24 AM
Thanks Anne, oops!

A4R, I've been following Semiletov & Shakhova for years and I knew there wasn't anything new, unless I'd missed something.

I find it so discouraging that activists (I hate to even say 'environmentalists') are so fragmented and often extremely emotional to the detriment of simple facts.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on June 21, 2013, 03:36:00 PM
Shouldn't we be alarmed? Is there something wrong with activism?

I would have said, "30 years ago we maybe could have saved the earth, but we didn't."

I guess some people would have harsher words for this position than 'alarmist.'

In a house on fire, it is everyone's moral obligation to ring as many alarms as they possibly can. It seems to me that the term "alarmist" needs to become a badge of honor, while "non-alarmists" should be seen as dangerously complicit in the general conflagration that is now upon us.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Laurent on June 21, 2013, 06:18:29 PM
I received a message from Avaaz (in French), it is not about methane but about arctic, it does begin like that :
Quote
This is perhaps the most important statement I've ever written email.

Scientific Julienne Stroeve observed Arctic sea ice since decades. Every summer, she went to the northern seas to measure the extent of melting. She knows that climate change is accelerating the melting ice, but she could not believe what she saw on his last trip. Vast expanses of ice disappeared, more than our worst expectations.

Though there is many reasons to be alarmist, I would be careful with avaaz and other alike. It is not to say that you should not sign (just sign) but there may be some over stories like they may collect email adresses for other purposes and at the end you dont really control what they do with the power of your signature, they may use it for their own political views (do you really know what do they think ?).
I do also receive some mails from a site called http://www.cyberacteurs.org/ (http://www.cyberacteurs.org/)
it is in French but I foster you to find this type of activist. They do act more locally (France), they do not play with the emotions of people, there statements are clear, You know who exactly the letter is sent to, you can choose to add something and the politicians of your area are targeted !
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on June 23, 2013, 09:41:55 AM
Thanks for the insights, L.

I mostly work locally myself. I wasn't really commenting on Avaaz itself, as I know nothing about them.

But the term 'alarmist' is often thrown around as a pejoritive n these contexts as if there isn't anything to be alarmed about with the climate and the planet. I would think that here, at least, most of us see that what we are witnessing is very alarming indeed.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Lynn Shwadchuck on June 23, 2013, 09:14:21 PM
What bothered me about the Avaaz message is that it takes one aspect of AGW – methane – from 2011 research and presents it as an immediate emergency – 30 months or else. I guess it's pretty much AMEG's message.

I don't know whether I believe there's any hope of using the ESAS methane plumes as a solo way to get political action. If it's presented as a clear and present danger and time goes by with 'only' the continuous extreme weather events we've been getting – so many people are glibly using the phrase, 'the new normal' – and there isn't a great leap in sea level in 30 months...

Anyway, Avaaz.org has accomplished some solid stuff with their petitions. I've been getting them since they started in 2007. But they've enabled members to start their own petitions. And I'm just not sure this one isn't too far over the top.

I wish more people would just educate themselves instead of requiring emotional talking points.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on June 28, 2013, 08:38:24 PM
I have updated my website that shows the comparisons of the AIRS/Giovanni methane concentrations at 359 hPA and Dr. Yurganov's CH4 concentrations at 600 mb.

NASA has discontinued the CH4 section of the Giovanni data as of Febraury 28, 2013. I posted what I had through March 20.

Dr. Yurganov's 600 mb imagery comparison has been updated through June 20, 2013.

The main CH4 page link is: https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2013/home

For the 600 mb methane, the link is:
https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2013/home/iasi-2012-vs-2011-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

I will be updating the IASI 2 methane imagery over the next few days. There is also a new methane imagery piece coming, more on that when it is ready.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on June 28, 2013, 09:02:40 PM
Thanks for your wonderful work, A4R. Any word on why NASA discontinued that CH4 section?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on June 29, 2013, 06:43:27 AM
Hi Wili,

I have no idea, I can speculate that it has to do with the focus on aerosols and other trace gases. The METOP IASI data is actually more accurate and dynamically tracked on a regular basis. That is why I have focused more on its observation.

A4R.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on July 11, 2013, 04:47:51 PM
I have updated the IASI 600 mb Arctic imagery through June 30, 2013.

For the main page, see: https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2013/home

For the 600 mb comparison, see:

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2013/home/iasi-2012-vs-2011-iasi-ch4-970-600-mb

The image below is the 600 mb IASI image produced by Dr. Yurganov.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on July 12, 2013, 05:06:36 AM
Thanks again, A4R. That image really suggests that the permafrost from much of Siberia is in the midst of some pretty serious melting.

Edit to add: Ah, I see that on the methanetracker blog, they are attributing it to widespread fires in Siberia.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on July 12, 2013, 06:53:19 AM
wili,

There is a mix of factors, forest fires, permafrost melt, and earlier this year, it was burning off wheat fields, as far as I could tell. Also, in one circumstance it was directly linked to energy production.

A4R
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on July 13, 2013, 03:57:14 PM
These two photos are being posted to document for dorlomin the freezing of methane in Arctic Sea ice.

For Semelitov's comments, see: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-03/vast-amounts-frozen-methane-escaping-atmosphere-leak-arctic-seafloor (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-03/vast-amounts-frozen-methane-escaping-atmosphere-leak-arctic-seafloor)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on July 13, 2013, 07:45:44 PM
Thanks again, for this, and for all your work.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Laurent on July 14, 2013, 09:36:57 PM
Lucky Dorlomin,

I store some links published here or on the ASIB.

Arctic Methane: Why The Sea Ice Matters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iSsPHytEnJM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iSsPHytEnJM)

Pale Blue Blobs Invade, Freeze, Then Vanish
http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/01/30/170661670/pale-blue-blobs-invade-freeze-then-vanish (http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/01/30/170661670/pale-blue-blobs-invade-freeze-then-vanish)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Steve Bloom on July 16, 2013, 08:27:15 AM
Someone may have seen and commented about this paper already, but since it's hard to tell I posted this in the current methane thread at the blog (and am repeating it here since AFAIK the spam filter still hates me):

<a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50735/abstract">Interesting times</a>:

<blockquote>Title:  Offshore permafrost decay and massive seabed methane escape in water depths >20 m at the South Kara Sea shelf

Abstract:  Since the Last Glacial Maximum (~19 ka), coastal inundation from sea-level rise has been thawing thick subsea permafrost across the Arctic. Although subsea permafrost has been mapped on several Arctic continental shelves, permafrost distribution in the South Kara Sea and the extent to which it is acting as an impermeable seal to seabed methane escape remains poorly understood. Here we use >1300 km of high-resolution seismic (HRS) data to map hydroacoustic anomalies, interpreted to record seabed gas release, on the West Yamal shelf. Gas flares are widespread over an area of at least 7,500 km2 in water depths >20 m. We propose that continuous subsea permafrost extends to water depths of ~20 m offshore and creates a seal through which gas cannot migrate. <b>This Arctic shelf region where seafloor gas release is widespread suggests that permafrost has degraded more significantly than previously thought.</b> (Emphasis added.)</blockquote>

I haven't read the paper yet, but the apparent consistency of the effect relative to depth would seem to point the finger at warm water encroaching onto the shelf. That interpretation seems consistent with the supplemental <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/grl.50735/asset/supinfo/2013GL056595pA01.jpg?v=1&s=3c371099de0b54a440e48b263ac66385950c54c5">map</a> of the surveyed area, the legend for which reads:

<blockquote>Map showing the distribution of gas flares (yellow lines), neotectonic faults (black lines), and sands/silty sands at the seafloor (grey areas). There appears to be no correlation between the presence of flares and the occurrence of faults and/or coarse-grained sediments at the seafloor. In fact, the majority of flares occur in regions of the seafloor where sediments are comprised mostly of silts and clays. This suggests that there is a different geological control on the distribution of gas flares in the area.</blockquote>
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Steve Bloom on July 16, 2013, 08:37:06 AM
And come to think of it, isn't Baydaratskaya Bay just about the last place on the Siberian coast such an effect would be expected?  It's about as far from the central basin as it's possible to get. 

Also, I wonder if the survey data the paper used is related to the intensive oil and gas development in the Yamal area.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on July 21, 2013, 07:02:30 PM
Currently the Kara Sea is getting a lot of high temps, and the sea surface temp anomalies are high.

In the METOP 2 IASI images, there are areas of methane release above 1950 ppb. See methanetracker.org for July 18 in the macro view

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on July 21, 2013, 07:07:08 PM
Also, we just hit another global CH4 average milestone. On July 11, 0-12 hr, at 565-586 mb we hit 1805 ppb global methane average for the first time in the METOP 2 IASI imagery.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on July 21, 2013, 07:19:53 PM
On July 19, 2013 0-12 hr am, we increased to a global CH4 average of 1806 ppb at 469 mb, with the highest CH4 reading of only 2177 ppb. The higher methane coverage in Russia is due to a mix of fires and permafrost methane release.

Antarctica continues to show high concentrations of methane over east Antarctica.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on July 21, 2013, 08:11:41 PM
Continuing the global CH4 methane average jump, on July 20, 2013 am, 0-12 hr, we hit a new high average of 1807 ppb.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 22, 2013, 05:02:06 AM
A4R,

Great posts!  I thought that I would attach the accompanying figure showing the assumed methane emissions for the RCP scenarios; which clearly shows that we are now exceeding the methane emissions assumed for RCP 8.5; which is a very disturbing trend.

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on July 22, 2013, 09:21:21 PM
Thanks for this AbruptSLR, it is something I have not researched. Take a look at methanetracker.org The Antarctic CH$ is continuing at high levels and seems to have spread in the last week.

A4R
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 23, 2013, 03:15:14 PM
A4R,

Thanks.  I do not have Chome while I am traveling, but I will visit methanetracker.org this weekend.

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on August 11, 2013, 11:46:40 PM
The following provides three perspectives of what is driving the increase of CH4 in Siberia this summer.

First, is the overlap of forest fires, the permafrost layer, land temperature anomalies and sea ice for August 9, 2013. This helps provide my perspective of how these are interrelated and feeding the bump in methane we have seen since July 31, 2013.

Source: NASA-NEO

The second visual drops permafrost and adds the MODIS true visual layer to show the the smoke blocked the temp anom readings.

Source: NASA-NEO,

The last visual reveals the interchange between drought and fires. The drought covers the period between April and July 15, 2013, in relation to the August 9 sea ice and fires.

Source: UCL and NASA NEO
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: prokaryotes on August 14, 2013, 11:19:50 PM
How different is the reading from the METOP-2 vs the recent tropospheric concentration  of "1874ppb" annual average? Can i assume that the METOP data is better reflecting human and terrestrial sources and AGAGE data includes more detailed atmospheric chemical reactions?



The 1874 figure is from here http://cdiac.ornl.gov/pns/current_ghg.html (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/pns/current_ghg.html)

AGAGE network data via http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ndps/alegage.html (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ndps/alegage.html)

Yesterday average METOP 1811 (469 mb)

I made a short post on this, based on 2 quotes by Apocalypse4Real and AbruptSLR (please let me know if you do not want to be quoted)  http://climatestate.com/2013/08/14/global-ch4-atmospheric-methane-average-1811ppbmetop-2/ (http://climatestate.com/2013/08/14/global-ch4-atmospheric-methane-average-1811ppbmetop-2/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on August 16, 2013, 06:12:39 AM
I'd say the METOP data is far more representative of a real global mean. The CDIAC data is based upon 2 data points, Mace Head and Cape Grimm.

METOP IASI is global scanning at 100 layers, and not two data points through time.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: MOwens on August 20, 2013, 10:56:02 PM
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fairfaxclimatewatch.com%2F.a%2F6a0176172a106b970c019104d90e7b970c-800wi&hash=c704a517012cc0e943cb02852297661b)

I've made a model that demonstrates the permafrost and hydrate feedbacks, which you can see some more examples of outputs at the bottom of this page: http://www.fairfaxclimatewatch.com/blog/2013/08/a-quick-and-clean-solution-to-the-climate-crisis-rationing.html (http://www.fairfaxclimatewatch.com/blog/2013/08/a-quick-and-clean-solution-to-the-climate-crisis-rationing.html)


I'm still adding more explicit elements, like sea level rise and wildfire, but as it stands now it shows a fairly decent representation of what we're looking at when these feedbacks are incorporated.

All functions of the model components are based on published research, and full citations will be included in a final draft. Some of the research papers used are cited in a previous article:

http://www.fairfaxclimatewatch.com/blog/2013/02/what-the-models-dont-show.html (http://www.fairfaxclimatewatch.com/blog/2013/02/what-the-models-dont-show.html)

-Matt Owens
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on August 22, 2013, 07:39:37 AM
Nice work, Matt. I've been a fan of yours for years. May I suggest putting temperature increases that will result from these various levels of CO2 on the right hand side of the graph (perhaps with short and long term values, or for various levels of sensitivity assumed).

Are you familiar with Kevin Anderson's work? Cabot Institute Annual Lecture 2012 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RInrvSjW90U#ws)

(Sorry, I didn't have time to follow all of your links to all of your sources.)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: MOwens on August 22, 2013, 07:58:29 PM
thanks Wili, I am familiar with Anderson and actually have that Cabot Institute lecture video on the top of the home page now.

I didn't want to add more to the graph for fear of visually overloading it, but a version with temperature is something I've thought about.
-Matt
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: prokaryotes on August 26, 2013, 03:14:47 PM
Methane release from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf and the Potential for Abrupt Climate Change http://climatestate.com/2013/08/26/methane-release-from-the-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-and-the-potential-for-abrupt-climate-change/ (http://climatestate.com/2013/08/26/methane-release-from-the-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-and-the-potential-for-abrupt-climate-change/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: fishmahboi on October 07, 2013, 11:08:41 PM
Arctic News discussing new Methane Releases over the Arctic, questioning the source of the Methane: http://arctic-news.blogspot.ie/ (http://arctic-news.blogspot.ie/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Pmt111500 on October 13, 2013, 09:51:50 AM
Temperatures at least here in Europe on 61N are starting to be that low that the annual spike of methane should be starting. Could someone post a map of some near surface layer to see the current levels? Or is the source of methane measurements also down because of the republicans?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Theta on October 25, 2013, 07:57:25 AM
Methane levels have been quite high over the Arctic Ocean, the below chart is for October 24th.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FJq0FE3k.png&hash=276a7cf7d979f3e56aa35cd4aefef1ca)

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: ritter on October 25, 2013, 05:50:38 PM
What's the ice cover for the Laptev and East Siberian Seas like right now? That scale of 1950+ ppb has always worried me. + what?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: ggelsrinc on October 26, 2013, 03:07:26 AM
Methane levels have been quite high over the Arctic Ocean, the below chart is for October 24th.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FJq0FE3k.png&hash=276a7cf7d979f3e56aa35cd4aefef1ca)

Theta, please permit me to put my two cents in. I try to look at the past to get a glimpse of a warmer Earth's future and the science behind doing so is very limited. I remember the reports of people actually finding and eating mammoth meat, but saw no proof, as if verbal communication could provide proof, which it certainly can't. Whether so or no, the evidence of HTM trees and elephant like species in the area near the Arctic Ocean are convincing. Our evidence painting a picture of the Eemian is of lower confidence. My thoughts that the prior thermal maximum, the Eemian would flush out methane from those high latitude areas could be lacking by my analysis. I looked back in time and asked, where could the methane originate. I can understand a glaciated area depositing methane near the surface, but thought the methane would escape during thermal maximums and little would be left after a thermal maximum or a large one like the Eemian. I was thinking in terms of shallow methane clathrates, because the discussions involved them, but there are other ways to get large amounts of methane.

Now, here is were the mass balance can get complicated. Glaciers during thousands of years accomplish something very obvious that isn't part of the normal equation considering glaciers represent the thought of what could be considered lifeless conditions. Glaciers also weather rocks producing nutrients necessary for rapid plant growth and parts or nearly all of the glacier can disappear with time, creating a very different kind of area in our world than what was there when it was glaciated. Instead of a picture of just mammoths and trees after glaciation, it becomes vast areas of fast growing Sphagnum or Phytoplankton during large intervals of time between glacial cover, sequestering carbon during a time it's increasing in the atmosphere in both methane and CO2. While it's true that the ancient atmospheres left their record in ice cores, the methane record is only a snapshot in time, without it's conversion to CO2. The evidence of periods of rapid plant growth are everywhere, if we look for them.

What that means in significance in our data of the past methane concentrations has to be viewed in it's entirety. It doesn't take that long for an area getting enough solar insolation to quickly change from lifeless to robust conditions, that can generate huge amounts of methane. The carbon has to come from somewhere and there are mechanisms to make more methane than it would seem it would or has occurred based on just the data. Methane in our atmosphere is so temporary, producing stratospheric water crystal clouds, that only data viewed over time can paint a true picture. Fast growing plants during thermal maximum times surely played major roles in the carbon cycle. Plant growth can be accelerated, so increases in methane and CO2 are masked, if just analyzed using raw data without comparison to very different conditions.

 

   
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on October 26, 2013, 05:36:11 PM
gge, I'm not sure I'm following what your main point is here. But I though I'd address one point you raise to the best of my meager abilities:

"My thoughts that the prior thermal maximum, the Eemian would flush out methane from those high latitude areas could be lacking by my analysis."

It may or may not have flushed out the methane we are talking about. Some of the methane is quite deep. The main thing is that much of the biological material that contains the methane has accumulated since the Eemian, iirc. Every year for the last hundred some thousand years, there have been brief seasons of vigorous growth on the surface, all of which is then frozen, much of it never to fully thaw again. This process can build up quite a bit of frozen plant matter--now estimated to be more carbon than in all other forms of life combined. Also note that parts of Siberia were not glaciated, so tundra formation continued throughout the last ice age.

It is certainly true that the precise amount of carbon in the permafrost is not exactly established. But I don't know of any estimates that are not quite enormous, as I said, more than in all other forms of life, and about twice as much as is in the entire atmosphere now, and some of it is a bout a mile deep. It is important to keep this in mind when people (like me :)) imagine that we may be able to mitigate some of the carbon from our emissions and from these feedbacks by planting trees and deep-rooted native grasses. It's hard to counterbalance the carbon equivalent of all life on the planet with a bit more life.

In any case, our warming is on track to be much hotter and faster than the Eemian.

Edit To Add: As it happens, there is some recent discussion right now over at RC on how long it has been since it was this warm in the Arctic--apparently at least 44,000 years.

http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=15781 (http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=15781)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on November 10, 2013, 09:22:47 PM
Since this has been a topic of (sometimes heated) discussion, I thought I might point out this section from the recent WMO GHG bulletin (as covered by SkSc):

"http://www.skepticalscience.com/GHG-Concentrations-New-Record_WMO.html#comments

"In a special section on methane, the bulletin said that there has not yet been a measurable increase in Arctic methane due to melting of the permafrost and hydrates. It said that the increase in global average methane levels was rather associated with increased emissions in the tropical and mid-latitude Northern Hemisphere. Attribution of this increase to anthropogenic (human-influenced) or natural sources requires better coverage and more sophisticated observations in the atmosphere which are currently not available."

How does this square with the fact the many of the highest levels of methane recorded on earth continue to be in the Arctic?

(Are prok or A4R still around anymore?)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on November 27, 2013, 03:49:49 PM


New study by Shakova shows more than a doubling of CH4 from the ESAS since 2010. Now pegged at 17 teragrams each year.
http://m.livescience.com/41476-more-arctic-seafloor-methane-found.html (http://m.livescience.com/41476-more-arctic-seafloor-methane-found.html)


Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TeaPotty on November 27, 2013, 10:30:21 PM
Not sure if this math makes any sense, so I welcome any correction.

Does 17tg of Methane release = 1.5 GtC of CO2?

This in the context of:

1) Methane 86x as warming as CO2 over 20 years
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/10/02/2708911/fracking-ipcc-methane/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/10/02/2708911/fracking-ipcc-methane/)
and...
2) 2011 fossil-fuel combustion: 31.6 gigatonnes of CO2
http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2012/may/name,27216,en.html (http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2012/may/name,27216,en.html)


Next, Shakhova's 2 data points (7 Tg in 2009, 17 Tg in 2012) can be used to extrapolate a linear trend.
That would mean a rate of increase of:
3.33 Tg CH4, or 0.286 gigatonnes of CO2, a year
33.33 Tg CH4, or 2.866 gigatonnes of CO2, a decade

Finally, this doesn't look good:
2023 would reach 50.3 Tg CH4 (4.3 Gt CO2)
2033 would reach 83.6 Tg CH4 (7.2 Gt CO2)
2043 would reach 116.9 Tg CH4 (10.1 Gt CO2)
 
Assuming even linear trends, this would only make it harder for us to remain under 4°C.
How can we reach zero carbon like this?
I hope I am wrong.


TeaPotty
@tea_potty
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on November 28, 2013, 04:48:51 PM
I'm not sure if the recent figure is and update or a recalibration. It sounds more like the latter to me. Schindell et alia have figures of 105 x CO2 at decadal levels, 35 x CO2 at century levels. I've asked Gavin Schmidt (a co-author on the paper) if he considers new data to have overturned these figures.

"Improved Attribution of Climate Forcing to Emissions“,
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/326/5953/716 (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/326/5953/716)

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on November 30, 2013, 12:15:42 PM
RC is now covering the Shakhova article: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/arctic-and-american-methane-in-context/ (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/arctic-and-american-methane-in-context/)

In one response (I think it was in the open forum there), one of the mods there pointed out that there are problems with the whole Global Warming Potential concept. Earlier, one of them said something like that we don't have an Organ Failure Death Potential that determines that kidney failure has X times the death potential of liver failure. They both kill you, just in different ways, ways that are better described qualitatively than (purely) quantitatively.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Steven on November 30, 2013, 08:06:52 PM
Re: doubling of the Shakhova et al. estimate of methane release from the ESAS.  The doubling doesn't mean that there is a detected trend.  Here is what one of the coauthors of the paper says about it (source (http://www.su.se/english/about/news-and-events/press/press-releases/methane-bubbling-from-thawed-subsea-permafrost-in-arctic-siberia-1.157230)):

Quote
The new estimate of some 17 million tons of methane escaping annually from the Shelf sediments to the Arctic atmosphere is now doubling a first estimate from the team published in the journal Science in 2010.  "While we had seen bubbles earlier, in the 2010 study we were only able to quantify the atmospheric release from methane dissolved in surface seawater", explains Örjan Gustafsson, a co-author of both studies, and a professor at Stockholm University, and continues, "the use of sonar equipment in the new study allowed us now to quantify also the bubble-transported methane fluxes".

So with the sonar equipment they estimated about 9 Tg/year of atmospheric methane release from gas bubbles, which combines with the 8 Tg/year from the 2010 paper to give the new total estimate of 17 Tg/year, if I understand it correctly.  But there seems to be no indication of a trend.

I think the RealClimate article in wili's post above does an excellent job of putting the results into context.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 09, 2014, 05:30:09 PM
I was wondering where A4R had gone. The Methane page has been kinda quiet without him. He linked his blog a couple days ago so I figured I would put the link over here.

http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2014-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=1 (http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2014-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=1)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 10, 2014, 12:07:20 AM
Hi Bruce,

Work got crazy, and I had to pull back. I missed posting, but that was the choice.

The actual blog link is: http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/ (http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/)

I will be doing a lot more on the blog and may cross post the links here.

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 10, 2014, 12:42:41 AM
A4R,  Good to see you back. I have been reading your old blog posts at your site. Thanks for the link.
With spring around the corner things will be getting busy soon. I hope the Eastern North Pacific high doesn't reform to soon. 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Laurent on March 31, 2015, 10:30:36 AM
UNH Geologist Identifies New Source of Methane for Gas Hydrates in Arctic
http://www.unh.edu/news/releases/2015/03/bp30gashydrate.cfm (http://www.unh.edu/news/releases/2015/03/bp30gashydrate.cfm)

Quote
This work shows there are parts of the Arctic where abiotic methane is coming up to the seafloor and instead of coming out, it is trapped in gas hydrates; it’s finding itself in a stable environment for millions of years,” says Johnson. Where climate change is concerned, he adds, “this is not the part of the gas hydrate system that is most susceptible to change in a warming Arctic Ocean.”
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on March 31, 2015, 07:07:56 PM
For what it is worth Sam Carana provided the first attached image indicating that atmospheric methane concentrations are currently increasing most rapidly in the 469 to 586 hPa altitude range (possibly due to a shortage of hydroxyl ions in this range).  Therefore, I downloaded the second, third & fourth plots respectively from the Metop IASI website (linked below), for March 302015 at 487, 565 & 650 hPa, respectively and I compared to the Nov 2014 values that A4R posted at his website (linked below).

I conclude that indeed the atmospheric methane concentrations in the 400 to 700 hPa altitude range are indeed increasing at an accelerating rate compared to the last year or two (see earlier posts in this thread), probably due both to hot-spot emissions (both natural & anthropogenic) and probably also due to an increasing rate of reduction of hydroxyl ions resulting in longer residence times for methane at high altitudes.

Metop IASI Satellite Mean Methane & CO₂
http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/soundings/iasi/index.html (http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/soundings/iasi/index.html)

See also:
http://megiddo666.apocalypse4real-globalmethanetracking.com/ (http://megiddo666.apocalypse4real-globalmethanetracking.com/)

Edit: I note that the relatively high atmospheric methane concentrations over Antarctica were also observed this time of year for the past two years, and that I previously suspected that the source of this methane was from marine hydrates that decomposed from the Southern Ocean shallow seafloor and concentrated over Antarctica due to wind directions and very cold upper atmospheric temperatures over Antarctica (that slow the chemical reactions with methane).
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: werther on April 02, 2015, 12:07:26 AM
Before the daily checks on the ice quality through MODIS starts for a new melt season, I surveyed the Laptev Sea for a weird scintillation pattern. I saw it first in ’12. The pattern returned in ’13.
For some reason, it wasn’t visible spring ’14. But this time it’s back.
I’ve found some geological survey maps that gave an idea of the interesting seabed in that region. After bringing a somewhat schematized version in CAD, I was able to locate the main scintillation zone. On the map below the ’12 pattern is contained within the complicated blue line. The hatched green swath shows the location on 31 March this year:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FClimate%25202015%2FScintillation%2520Laptev%252008032013%252031032015%2520small_zpskxxdqzbj.jpg&hash=57837f417eb0089a111c8535d22b3b32)

The orientation is taken from MODIS, with N in the lower left corner. In that corner the Gakkel Ridge is indicated. The continued tectonic force, originating in the diverging oceanbed plate boundary, stretches right into the Siberian mainland. A brush of rifts and horsts extends from Siberia into the deep Eurasian Basin.

A lot of these structures are covered by recent sedimentary deposits from the Lena and Yana rivers. Still, the scintillations seem to occur mainly over an old terrace that stretches right into the Yana river delta. The terrace is topped by a tundra soil about 12 to 15 m below present sea level. It was flooded some 9000 years ago.

My hypothesis is that, visible through the described geological situation, the scintillation indicates methane releases from the ancient tundra soil. The release is triggered by summer warming of the shallow sea. It continues right into the freezing season, scarring ice formation in ranges of circular features.

I won’t argue that the effect is anywhere close to the ‘burp’ that is at time to be expected from clathrate deposits along the continental slopes. It probably resembles the same process as tundra decomposition on land. It is an interesting detail within a larger phenomenon of methane release from most tundra areas.
Nevertheless, there’s a chance that the tectonic forces in this specific region may add to the loss of permafrost and might provide escape routes for deeper clathrate formations. That may be one of the origins for the methane vents that Semiletov and Shakhova have been reporting over the last couple of years.
I would welcome mapped information where they have actually seen these vents, as MODIS doesn't reveal them in ice free summer waters.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 02, 2015, 12:12:19 PM
werther,

There is a map in the linked 2013 RealClimate article below.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/arctic-and-american-methane-in-context/ (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/arctic-and-american-methane-in-context/)

Robert Scribbler has some general talk here:

https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/cause-for-appropriate-concern-over-arctic-methane-overburden-plumes-eruptions-and-large-ocean-craters/ (https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/cause-for-appropriate-concern-over-arctic-methane-overburden-plumes-eruptions-and-large-ocean-craters/)

Also, you can read about the 2014 SWERUS-C3 expedition here (with a map of the route):

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,932.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,932.0.html)

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 03, 2015, 04:32:27 PM
The linked reference provides evidence to support the position that with continued global warming methane emissions will increase from shallow Arctic lakes; which will result in a non-linear positive feedback mechanism:

P. B. Matheus Carnevali, M. Rohrssen, M. R. Williams, A. B. Michaud, H. Adams, D. Berisford, G. D. Love, J. C. Priscu, O. Rassuchine, K. P. Hand and A. E. Murray (2015), "Methane sources in arctic thermokarst lake sediments on the North Slope of Alaska", Geobiology, Volume 13, Issue 2, pages 181–197, DOI: 10.1111/gbi.12124

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gbi.12124/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gbi.12124/abstract)


Abstract: "The permafrost on the North Slope of Alaska is densely populated by shallow lakes that result from thermokarst erosion. These lakes release methane (CH4) derived from a combination of ancient thermogenic pools and contemporary biogenic production. Despite the potential importance of CH4 as a greenhouse gas, the contribution of biogenic CH4 production in arctic thermokarst lakes in Alaska is not currently well understood. To further advance our knowledge of CH4 dynamics in these lakes, we focused our study on (i) the potential for microbial CH4 production in lake sediments, (ii) the role of sediment geochemistry in controlling biogenic CH4 production, and (iii) the temperature dependence of this process. Sediment cores were collected from one site in Siqlukaq Lake and two sites in Sukok Lake in late October to early November. Analyses of pore water geochemistry, sedimentary organic matter and lipid biomarkers, stable carbon isotopes, results from CH4 production experiments, and copy number of a methanogenic pathway-specific gene (mcrA) indicated the existence of different sources of CH4 in each of the lakes chosen for the study. Analysis of this integrated data set revealed that there is biological CH4 production in Siqlukaq at moderate levels, while the very low levels of CH4 detected in Sukok had a mixed origin, with little to no biological CH4 production. Furthermore, methanogenic archaea exhibited temperature-dependent use of in situ substrates for methanogenesis, and the amount of CH4 produced was directly related to the amount of labile organic matter in the sediments. This study constitutes an important first step in better understanding the actual contribution of biogenic CH4 from thermokarst lakes on the coastal plain of Alaska to the current CH4 budgets."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 07, 2015, 12:15:37 AM
The linked reference (see also the associated attached image) characterizes the types of soil microbiomes in the permafrost, soil active layer and thermokarst bogs around the world that are becoming more active with increasing global warming.  This is a positive feedback factor that is not fully accounted for the AR5 projections.

J Hultman J, MP Waldrop, R Mackelprang, MM David, J McFarland, S Blazewicz, J Harden, MR Turetsky, AD McGuire, MB Shah, NC VerBerkmoes, L Lee, K Mavrommatis, and JK Jansson (2015), “Multi-Omics of Permafrost, Active Layer, and Thermokarst Bog Soil Microbiomes,” Nature, doi:10.1038/nature14238


http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature14238.html (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature14238.html)


Abstract: "Over 20% of Earth’s terrestrial surface is underlain by permafrost with vast stores of carbon that, once thawed, may represent the largest future transfer of carbon from the biosphere to the atmosphere. This process is largely dependent on microbial responses, but we know little about microbial activity in intact, let alone in thawing, permafrost. Molecular approaches have recently revealed the identities and functional gene composition of microorganisms in some permafrost soils and a rapid shift in functional gene composition during short-term thaw experiments. However, the fate of permafrost carbon depends on climatic, hydrological and microbial responses to thaw at decadal scales. Here we use the combination of several molecular ‘omics’ approaches to determine the phylogenetic composition of the microbial communities, including several draft genomes of novel species, their functional potential and activity in soils representing different states of thaw: intact permafrost, seasonally thawed active layer and thermokarst bog. The multi-omics strategy reveals a good correlation of process rates to omics data for dominant processes, such as methanogenesis in the bog, as well as novel survival strategies for potentially active microbes in permafrost."

See also:
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/climate-change-is-causing-arctic-microbes-to-be-more-active-and-increase-the-thawing-of-permafrost-2015-4 (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/climate-change-is-causing-arctic-microbes-to-be-more-active-and-increase-the-thawing-of-permafrost-2015-4)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bruce Steele on April 07, 2015, 09:03:28 PM
ASLR, Here is another piece on the permafrost microbe paper. It quantifies the change at some sites at 1 to 5 kilograms of carbon released per square meter without microbes to 20 to 52 kilograms carbon with microbes at work !

   http://www.popsci.com/microbes-arctic-are-heating-permafrost-1 (http://www.popsci.com/microbes-arctic-are-heating-permafrost-1)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 08, 2015, 09:15:51 PM
ASLR, Here is another piece on the permafrost microbe paper. It quantifies the change at some sites at 1 to 5 kilograms of carbon released per square meter without microbes to 20 to 52 kilograms carbon with microbes at work !

   http://www.popsci.com/microbes-arctic-are-heating-permafrost-1 (http://www.popsci.com/microbes-arctic-are-heating-permafrost-1)

Those results are devastating.  The paper indicates a 300% depth profile disassociation increase by 2100 due to microbial heating.  Lord knows that they used simple CMIP5 warming trends that don't show significant regional warming until the 2050s or so.

I wonder if a different analysis, say one that includes regional heating by July-August-September sea ice free conditions would produce enough residual microbe heating to maintain a sub-surface permanent ice free state by 2060?

Really, if the microbial heating is this extreme then it rivals all other forces involved.

paper here:
http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2590.html (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2590.html)

Quote
Decomposition of organic carbon from thawing permafrost soils and the resulting release of carbon to the atmosphere are considered to represent a potentially critical global-scale feedback on climate change1, 2. The accompanying heat production from microbial metabolism of organic material has been recognized as a potential positive-feedback mechanism that would enhance permafrost thawing and the release of carbon3, 4. This internal heat production is poorly understood, however, and the strength of this effect remains unclear3. Here, we have quantified the variability of heat production in contrasting organic permafrost soils across Greenland and tested the hypothesis that these soils produce enough heat to reach a tipping point after which internal heat production can accelerate the decomposition processes. Results show that the impact of climate changes on natural organic soils can be accelerated by microbial heat production with crucial implications for the amounts of carbon being decomposed. The same is shown to be true for organic middens5 with the risk of losing unique evidence of early human presence in the Arctic.


p.s. note that they are talking about CARBON decomposition, not methane release.  indications are that they mean production of carbon dioxide in a relative dry decomposition environment.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 09, 2015, 06:53:07 PM
The linked reference confirms that degradation of the permafrost represents a significant source of GHG and suggests means to reduce the uncertainties associated with the probably rate of GHG emissions for this source:

E. A. G. Schuur, A. D. McGuire, C. Schädel, G. Grosse, J. W. Harden, D. J. Hayes, G. Hugelius, C. D. Koven, P. Kuhry, D. M. Lawrence, S. M. Natali, D. Olefeldt, V. E. Romanovsky, K. Schaefer, M. R. Turetsky, C. C. Treat & J. E. Vonk (09 April 2015), "Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback", Nature, Volume: 520, Pages: 171–179, doi:10.1038/nature14338


http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v480/n7375/full/480032a.html (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v480/n7375/full/480032a.html)

http://www.nature.com/articles/nature14338.epdf?referrer_access_token=7mcwyeFv0nQKI3-dHxQxYdRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0MBajWxPZ_S49hnrDY3QOlWKF0_1ySsW5x20Ux6z7H4G1dqlrQvOa_aTmAZXrcBCpB6kdIqKd2YfrcxgFdpSARgu1soy5qqrsJArowpoOc8_t1AbELFGG4nIPLJsqrJ1rB-AFTX92rlIlXHJPTYarTyAoTmWZrLwIODXOQEQRO-8HwqbKvXw2Z3PZCt5psYvKI5tc67k0F8i_xN9CJsHmA0MTA20G17FbkPY64-mwKMUCc8Rb6p9xtOtyMxQ0X3CYA%3D&tracking_referrer=www.washingtonpost.com (http://www.nature.com/articles/nature14338.epdf?referrer_access_token=7mcwyeFv0nQKI3-dHxQxYdRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0MBajWxPZ_S49hnrDY3QOlWKF0_1ySsW5x20Ux6z7H4G1dqlrQvOa_aTmAZXrcBCpB6kdIqKd2YfrcxgFdpSARgu1soy5qqrsJArowpoOc8_t1AbELFGG4nIPLJsqrJ1rB-AFTX92rlIlXHJPTYarTyAoTmWZrLwIODXOQEQRO-8HwqbKvXw2Z3PZCt5psYvKI5tc67k0F8i_xN9CJsHmA0MTA20G17FbkPY64-mwKMUCc8Rb6p9xtOtyMxQ0X3CYA%3D&tracking_referrer=www.washingtonpost.com)


Abstract: "Large quantities of organic carbon are stored in frozen soils (permafrost) within Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. A warming climate can induce environmental changes that accelerate the microbial breakdown of organic carbon and the release of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. This feedback can accelerate climate change, but the magnitude and timing of greenhouse gas emission from these regions and their impact on climate change remain uncertain. Here we find that current evidence suggests a gradual and prolonged release of greenhouse gas emissions in a warming climate and present a research strategy with which to target poorly understood aspects of permafrost carbon dynamics."


See also:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/04/08/serious-climate-threat-from-arctic-permafrost-confirmed-by-new-research/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/04/08/serious-climate-threat-from-arctic-permafrost-confirmed-by-new-research/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bryman on April 09, 2015, 11:32:27 PM
ASLR, Here is another piece on the permafrost microbe paper. It quantifies the change at some sites at 1 to 5 kilograms of carbon released per square meter without microbes to 20 to 52 kilograms carbon with microbes at work !

   http://www.popsci.com/microbes-arctic-are-heating-permafrost-1 (http://www.popsci.com/microbes-arctic-are-heating-permafrost-1)

Those results are devastating.  The paper indicates a 300% depth profile disassociation increase by 2100 due to microbial heating.  Lord knows that they used simple CMIP5 warming trends that don't show significant regional warming until the 2050s or so.

I wonder if a different analysis, say one that includes regional heating by July-August-September sea ice free conditions would produce enough residual microbe heating to maintain a sub-surface permanent ice free state by 2060?

Really, if the microbial heating is this extreme then it rivals all other forces involved.

paper here:
http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2590.html (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2590.html)

Quote
Decomposition of organic carbon from thawing permafrost soils and the resulting release of carbon to the atmosphere are considered to represent a potentially critical global-scale feedback on climate change1, 2. The accompanying heat production from microbial metabolism of organic material has been recognized as a potential positive-feedback mechanism that would enhance permafrost thawing and the release of carbon3, 4. This internal heat production is poorly understood, however, and the strength of this effect remains unclear3. Here, we have quantified the variability of heat production in contrasting organic permafrost soils across Greenland and tested the hypothesis that these soils produce enough heat to reach a tipping point after which internal heat production can accelerate the decomposition processes. Results show that the impact of climate changes on natural organic soils can be accelerated by microbial heat production with crucial implications for the amounts of carbon being decomposed. The same is shown to be true for organic middens5 with the risk of losing unique evidence of early human presence in the Arctic.


p.s. note that they are talking about CARBON decomposition, not methane release.  indications are that they mean production of carbon dioxide in a relative dry decomposition environment.
I would stop short of calling it devastating, as this study appears to indicate: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/thawing-permafrost-climate-danger-18869 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/thawing-permafrost-climate-danger-18869)
Also, it would behoove you to tamp down on the exaggerated rhetoric, especially since you were way off on climate scientist thoughts on IPCC projections being too conservative, as Gavin Schmidt confirmed for me, and I can footnote that if you like. While I too am concerned about methane release, extreme projections that are anything but certain is not helpful
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bruce Steele on April 10, 2015, 05:45:10 AM
Bryman, the Climate Central piece you linked says that by 2100 arctic methane/CO2 equivalence may add 60-80 ppm to the atmosphere on top of the 800 ppm from ff emissions. The new microbe piece implies there may be extra CO2 emissions because of heat generated will at some point cause deeper permafrost to melt. I should be careful because I haven't read the article just the abstract and the graphs provided. I would say 880 ppm is a disaster . Mild language , reasonable assessment .
Different papers ... Same response .
 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bryman on April 10, 2015, 11:04:55 AM
Bryman, the Climate Central piece you linked says that by 2100 arctic methane/CO2 equivalence may add 60-80 ppm to the atmosphere on top of the 800 ppm from ff emissions. The new microbe piece implies there may be extra CO2 emissions because of heat generated will at some point cause deeper permafrost to melt. I should be careful because I haven't read the article just the abstract and the graphs provided. I would say 880 ppm is a disaster . Mild language , reasonable assessment .
Different papers ... Same response .
Bruce, I wasn't talking about your response, just Jai's. He has a habit of greatly exaggerating things, such as his claim that climate scientists think the IPCC temp estimate are conservative by up to 300-400%, which Gavin Schmidt confirmed as wildly too high. While I agree that 880 ppm would be bad, assuming BAU until 2100 is not realistic in my opinion. I think it very unlikely given current efforts to put a treaty in place and the amount of time till 2100 that PPM a will get that high.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bruce Steele on April 10, 2015, 04:47:25 PM
Bryman, I don't worry about inflammable language  so much and having spent much time in public process and meetings doesn't give me much hope for a meaningful treaty. I have a feeling that
800 ppm will be a little later arriving than BAU projections predict but I also think foot dragging ,ignorance and greed will allow enough CO2 emissions to kick in some nasty positive feedbacks. It doesn't really matter when we hit 800 ppm but if it is positive feedback that gets us there the long term consequences may be even more dire than our ff contributions alone feeding our planetary disaster.
 I was pushing acidification in the public arena as far back as 2006. People thought I was quite mad.
There have been plenty of examples of dire news being tamed for a public audience . Madmen have shown some fairly accurate prescience to date so I try to listen even if I don't like the message or the delivery. So when I say the current rate of emissions is greater than the one that caused the largest extinction event in the fossil record I may be correct , saying it however gets me unpleasantly labeled.
On balance I will accept the label.  Calm, calm now . Put them behind you .

Elsie B

Should a man
be the last one 
up before dawn
and down the docks
alone,
waiting for his turn too

The last turn of the rudder
No prize this

The chatter of gulls
An annoyed heron
hearing his passing
The ring of the rigging
and the first snap of the diesel

His company: 
Voiceless footsteps
Ten thousand dawns 
headed out
Red dull red glows 
an unlit cabin
The slow roll of open water

Calm, calm now
Put them behind you
Push the throttle up
and move into that which held
titans before you

What remains is the
patina of immortality 
granted an old fisherman
and a very tough old man

----------------------------
This is for a local legend, Ralph Hazard.
His boat was the Elsie B
I was asleep on my boat in the harbor. Ralph woke me as he headed down the dock at his typical 3:00 a.m. exit. 

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: viddaloo on April 10, 2015, 04:53:23 PM
Has anyone seen the mixing ratio for methane, layer 74, 469 mb for April 9th yet? The Obama administration has stopped the service on April 8th, and this follows the shut–down of Mauna Loa methane measurements earlier this winter, on February 7th.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bryman on April 10, 2015, 05:12:41 PM
Bryman, I don't worry about inflammable language  so much and having spent much time in public process and meetings doesn't give me much hope for a meaningful treaty. I have a feeling that
800 ppm will be a little later arriving than BAU projections predict but I also think foot dragging ,ignorance and greed will allow enough CO2 emissions to kick in some nasty positive feedbacks. It doesn't really matter when we hit 800 ppm but if it is positive feedback that gets us there the long term consequences may be even more dire than our ff contributions alone feeding our planetary disaster.
 I was pushing acidification in the public arena as far back as 2006. People thought I was quite mad.
There have been plenty of examples of dire news being tamed for a public audience . Madmen have shown some fairly accurate prescience to date so I try to listen even if I don't like the message or the delivery. So when I say the current rate of emissions is greater than the one that caused the largest extinction event in the fossil record I may be correct , saying it however gets me unpleasantly labeled.
On balance I will accept the label.  Calm, calm now . Put them behind you .

Elsie B

Should a man
be the last one
up before dawn
and down the docks
alone,
waiting for his turn too

The last turn of the rudder
No prize this

The chatter of gulls
An annoyed heron
hearing his passing
The ring of the rigging
and the first snap of the diesel

His company:
Voiceless footsteps
Ten thousand dawns
headed out
Red dull red glows
an unlit cabin
The slow roll of open water

Calm, calm now
Put them behind you
Push the throttle up
and move into that which held
titans before you

What remains is the
patina of immortality
granted an old fisherman
and a very tough old man

----------------------------
This is for a local legend, Ralph Hazard.
His boat was the Elsie B
I was asleep on my boat in the harbor. Ralph woke me as he headed down the dock at his typical 3:00 a.m. exit.
While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, I highly doubt scientists are being terribly low with their estimates. I will take the word of Gavin Schmidt, who I have talked to personally, over the words of some on this forum who seems to like their doomsday fix. I believe that a treat will be signed, as does AbruptSLR.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 10, 2015, 05:45:01 PM
Has anyone seen the mixing ratio for methane, layer 74, 469 mb for April 9th yet? The Obama administration has stopped the service on April 8th, and this follows the shut–down of Mauna Loa methane measurements earlier this winter, on February 7th.

If you wait until 12:00 noon pacific time you can give them a call and say "aloha".


    Contact Name: John Barnes
    Address: NOAA - Mauna Loa Observatory
    1437 Kilauea Ave. #102
    Hilo, Hawaii, 96720, United States
    Phone: (808)933-6965
    Fax: (808)933-6967
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: viddaloo on April 10, 2015, 05:50:57 PM
You think they're waiting for me, The User, as in The Only User, to telephone them and say their service hasn't been up for 2 full months?

Maybe you're right. How much is a 5–second phone call to Hawaii these days?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 10, 2015, 08:11:57 PM
you may want to contact Ed Dlugokencky over at the ESRL.  He is quite kind and will respond to an email.  Last I checked he was responsible for compiling the continuous monitor data.  I wouldn't be too concerned, there is often a time lag between collection and publishing of results, they are not done in real time as far as I can tell.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bryman on April 10, 2015, 08:14:58 PM
You know Jai, I find it curious you haven't responded to me yet.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: viddaloo on April 10, 2015, 08:28:51 PM
you may want to contact Ed Dlugokencky over at the ESRL.  He is quite kind and will respond to an email.  Last I checked he was responsible for compiling the continuous monitor data.  I wouldn't be too concerned, there is often a time lag between collection and publishing of results, they are not done in real time as far as I can tell.
Thanks for that advice, Jai. I'm mostly concerned that with the downfall of the MetOp2, we now have no updated reports for methane. Not sure I made that crystal–clear in my comment above. The service that stopped April 8th was the MetOp CH4 reporting. If it takes more than 3 days to get back up again, data will be lost forever, as per US Department of Commerce information policies.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Ned W on April 10, 2015, 09:44:08 PM
(Originally posted elsewhere on ASIF, moved here by the author.)

There is a new review paper in Nature on the greenhouse gas flux from permafrost.  ASLR mentioned it in passing on the previous page, but it deserves a bit more notice here.

Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v520/n7546/full/nature14338.html)

Abstract:

Press release from University of Alaska-Fairbanks here:

Scientists predict slower permafrost greenhouse gas emissions (http://news.uaf.edu/scientists-predict-gradual-permafrost-greenhouse-gas-emissions-embargoed/)

My take -- permafrost is melting and degrading rapidly, and will continue to provide CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere ... but at a modest rate, not in the form of a sudden "methane bomb".  This should not be a surprise to most people here, as I think the evidence against a "bomb" scenario has been clear for some time (see Gavin Schmidt's comments last year).

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: viddaloo on April 10, 2015, 10:01:30 PM
My take -- permafrost is melting and degrading rapidly, and will continue to provide CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere ... but at a modest rate, not in the form of a sudden "methane bomb".  This should not be a surprise to most people here, as I think the evidence against a "bomb" scenario has been clear for some time (see Gavin Schmidt's comments last year).
Logically, at least, it's very hard to provide 'evidence' for or against abrupt/sudden/surprising/unexpected CH4 releases of the scale associated with the 'bomb' scenario. 'Most people' have never heard of methane at all, much less that it could be catastrophic sometime in the near future. Rather than participating in a he said–she said about CH4, because what people say frankly isn't that interesting, because we don't know their reasons for saying it, I look at the condition of the barrier (thawing seafloor) between the CH4 hydrates and the warming Arctic ocean, and I apply some logic, like the ocean is just going to keep on warming, thawing more barrier seafloor.

Studied this way, the catastrophe scenario is just as relevant now as last year, as the ocean has not started cooling, and the only (scientific) reason one could have for dismissing it would be new revelations that abrupt releases did not happen in the geological past. We have not seen such reports from scientists, therefore a CH4 surprise cannot be ruled out, IMO.

PS: I'm still getting the 'you may only read the first page of this paper' treatment from Nature and ReadCube. Rest of the pages are intentionally blurred. What am I doing wrong?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 11, 2015, 07:27:27 AM
You know Jai, I find it curious you haven't responded to me yet.

sorry Bry I did not see your attack.

Gavin is completely off base in asserting that a methane pulse release is unsubstantiated in the paleo record.  this is because there has not been an a palaeo analog to our current global system conditions.  specifically we have not, in the entire EPICA dome C record, experienced a period where the arctic temperatures have been at interglacial values for > 10,000s years. 

Consequently, the ESAS has currently been inundated for over 8,000 years longer than at any time in the last 800,000 years.  This warm ocean disassociation has allowed a significantly greater warming precursor to achieve greater depths under the ESAS than ever before in the paleo record. 

as an aside note:

the reason that the ESAS has been allowed to warm at this length of time is explained by ruddiman.  Where early agriculture land-use and rice cultivation led to a 5,000 B.C.E. forcing value that prevented a re-emergence into North American ice age nucleation.  (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncdc.noaa.gov%2Fpaleo%2Ftaylor%2Find99nat_fig2.gif&hash=1c4ab5e9e293b4551006b728010e2e47)

Now that the ESAS has been allowed to experience a warming profile greater than that experienced in the previous 800,000 years we will now force it to experience a hothouse climate that will first be experience sometime around 2055 when the first June 21 ice free arctic condition will set in.  This will produce an 8-20C regional warming pulse and an extremely rapid subsea warming event.  This type of environment has not been experienced prior to 55 million years ago and the Eocene maximum. 

There is no paleoclimate analog that can rule out the potential for a massive methane release under these conditions.
_____________

more specifically, with regard to the recent publication of heat balance analysis of increased microbial activity in a rapidly thawing permafrost environment.  You must realize that the temperature profile curves show that the >1 Meter depth response is hindered by their climate model. 

Their sub 1 meter depth disassociation activity doesn't occur prior to 2085 due to their limited, gradually warming climate model, that only looks at relative forcing and does not include the bifurcation event that will occur under a total loss of summer sea ice.   In the real world environment, once that microbial activity does engage below 1 meter, and is fed on an annual basis by summer temperature spikes, the resident microbial heating will produce a self-sustaining reaction that drives a sub 3 meter disassociation response over the next 15 years.  This is blatantly obvious from the temperature profile charts.

The reason that this is devastating is that is shows when this warming is set below 2 meters, subsequent to the 10C warming that will take place in a mid summer sea ice loss environment, that the deeper permafrost will remain UNFROZEN even in the depths of winter, due to microbial heating.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Gray-Wolf on April 11, 2015, 02:29:59 PM
So , as a complete novice in all of this are you suggesting that the model is so 'basic' it just has a column of permafrost which is looked at over time as temps increase? The strata does not have 'features' like capped free methane reserves or ice lenses? Does the model allow for tectonic features like faulting?

When I look at the submerged permafrost I worry about the sea water percolating into the strata once features (chimneys) evolve and so gaining access to deeper layers ( to melt) well before the gradual 'top down' warming arrives?

Let gunpowder off unconstrained and you get a 'phoof' and some smoke. Constrain it inside something and you get a different result. Are we to expect similar from either pockets of free methane once the cap that constrains them becomes degraded enough to allow fracture?

And then what of that 'perfect', layered, modeled permafrost? Can it relate meaningfully to a strata riddled with imperfections (and the behaviours these 'imperfections' allow?)?

When we look at a Yamal crater we can see just how much more 'surface at depth' is exposed to warming. Expand this ( like we saw off shore with the growth of the 'chimneys' over a single year) and you begin to see disruption throughout the surface layers over single seasons........ not a steady top down event.

Each summer we see more 'lakes/pools' drain across the permafrost as they melt out the ice that holds them in place. Where does this 'free water' drain? What impact does this have on the strata it flows through?

So I'm asking just how 'realistic' are the promises we gain from folk enamored by such data?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bryman on April 11, 2015, 03:01:07 PM
Jai, I wasn't talking about permafrost. I was talking about your ridiculous claim that climate scientists think that IPCC projections are too low by up to 300-400%. Not only is there no evidence for that anywhere, Gavin haas also said it's way off. As far as the ESAS, an abrupt release cannot be ruled out, but it is far from certain, as Shakhova, Wadhams, Yurganov, and others have said.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Ned W on April 11, 2015, 03:14:02 PM
Quote from: jai mitchell
Gavin is completely off base in asserting that a methane pulse release is unsubstantiated in the paleo record.  this is because there has not been an a palaeo analog to our current global system conditions.  specifically we have not, in the entire EPICA dome C record, experienced a period where the arctic temperatures have been at interglacial values for > 10,000s years. 

Huh?  Where'd you get that from?  There have been longer interglacials.  MIS-11 lasted twice as long as the current interglacial has (so far), long enough for Greenland to lost virtually all its ice:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nature.com%2Fnature%2Fjournal%2Fv483%2Fn7390%2Fimages%2Fnature10891-f1.2.jpg&hash=087d4b94db3fe590e5b3d73ccd71271e)

The Eemian interglacial wasn't as long as MIS-11, but enough warmth accumulated to melt a large fraction of the ice in Greenland.

Greenland hasn't lost nearly that much ice in this interglacial.  So why assume that the ESAS has been subjected to so much more accumulated warming?  This whole claim about a bomb lurking under the ESAS that somehow survived previous interglacials -- when Greenland lost all or most of its ice -- is just untenable.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: viddaloo on April 11, 2015, 03:43:17 PM
Thanks for that advice, Jai. I'm mostly concerned that with the downfall of the MetOp2, we now have no updated reports for methane. Not sure I made that crystal–clear in my comment above. The service that stopped April 8th was the MetOp CH4 reporting. If it takes more than 3 days to get back up again, data will be lost forever, as per US Department of Commerce information policies.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bryman on April 11, 2015, 04:10:47 PM
So , as a complete novice in all of this are you suggesting that the model is so 'basic' it just has a column of permafrost which is looked at over time as temps increase? The strata does not have 'features' like capped free methane reserves or ice lenses? Does the model allow for tectonic features like faulting?

When I look at the submerged permafrost I worry about the sea water percolating into the strata once features (chimneys) evolve and so gaining access to deeper layers ( to melt) well before the gradual 'top down' warming arrives?

Let gunpowder off unconstrained and you get a 'phoof' and some smoke. Constrain it inside something and you get a different result. Are we to expect similar from either pockets of free methane once the cap that constrains them becomes degraded enough to allow fracture?

And then what of that 'perfect', layered, modeled permafrost? Can it relate meaningfully to a strata riddled with imperfections (and the behaviours these 'imperfections' allow?)?

When we look at a Yamal crater we can see just how much more 'surface at depth' is exposed to warming. Expand this ( like we saw off shore with the growth of the 'chimneys' over a single year) and you begin to see disruption throughout the surface layers over single seasons........ not a steady top down event.

Each summer we see more 'lakes/pools' drain across the permafrost as they melt out the ice that holds them in place. Where does this 'free water' drain? What impact does this have on the strata it flows through?

So I'm asking just how 'realistic' are the promises we gain from folk enamored by such data?
It looks likely that the Yamal craters may have had to do more with free methane deposits and pingos than hydrates. The pingos, according to satellite maps, are located right where the craters are.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 11, 2015, 06:48:52 PM
Jai, I wasn't talking about permafrost. I was talking about your ridiculous claim that climate scientists think that IPCC projections are too low by up to 300-400%. Not only is there no evidence for that anywhere, Gavin haas also said it's way off. As far as the ESAS, an abrupt release cannot be ruled out, but it is far from certain, as Shakhova, Wadhams, Yurganov, and others have said.

bryman,

If you do not wish to limit this exchange to "Arctic Methane Releases", then I recommend that you move this discussion to one of the following threads (you pick); as a rapid natural Arctic methane emissions is only one of many positive feedback mechanisms (e.g. deep atmospheric convection in the tropics that effect cloud cover, Arctic Amplification, rapid reductions of anthropogenic aerosols thus reducing the masking effects of such aerosols, etc.) that may accelerate global mean temperature increase beyond the AR5 projections (i.e. meaning that the effective climate sensitivity in the next century or so (including temporary methane emissions from hydrates, permafrost degradation, hydro-fracking, and other sources) may be two, three or four times greater than the approximately 3C ECS assumed by AR5).  Otherwise, it seems that we should limit our discussion here to methane releases (preferably in the Arctic).

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1020.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1020.0.html)

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.700.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.700.html)

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1091.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1091.0.html)

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bryman on April 11, 2015, 06:54:28 PM
Did you not see the post where I mentioned Yamal? Also, I highly doubt a 12 degree Celsius change is likely. Eight is possible but also not likely. And methane release is by far the biggest of the potential feedbacks. All others pale in comparison, and I'm calling out Jai on his extreme projections that are completely unsupported by any evidence.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 11, 2015, 07:38:05 PM
Ned,

Thanks for that fix.  You are right of course, I was specifically talking about Gavin's analog of the Eemian as a way to preclude future methane release from the ESAS later this century.  The warming of the ESAS occurs subsequent to inundation by rising sea levels.  The sea level highstand record for the Eemian indeed does provide a close analog to Holocene sea level records and inundation.  So in this my understanding was indeed incorrect.

Therefore, Gavin's analog is much better than I had thought and my skepticism of his assertions are significantly reduced. 

However, the Eemian was solar-driven and had much cooler arctic Winters and warmer Summers than present time.  In this environment then, it seems to me very unlikely that the Eemian summer arctic ice-free states happened prior to the summer solstice.  Therefore, the amount of arctic sea warming may have been less than what will be experienced when our arctic sea ice reaches <1,000 km^2 on June 1 later on this century.

another potential problem with the analog is that the sea level at end-Eemian was 9 meters +/- 1 meter higher than today which would have nearly doubled the surface pressure at the ESAS and helped to prevent clathrate disassociation under a warming scenario.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sott.net%2Fimage%2Fs9%2F188260%2Flarge%2Fimage_thumb75.png&hash=12c892bfb0b963485897030b05f1f7a2)

Finally,  the Eemian was 2-3 C warmer than pre-industrial temperatures on a globally averaged scale.  We will be hard pressed to prevent reaching this temperature by 2050 and we may reach it as soon as 2030 (see graphic:  http://www.scientificamerican.com/sciam/assets/Image/articles/earth-will-cross-the-climate-danger-threshold-by-2036_large.jpg (http://www.scientificamerican.com/sciam/assets/Image/articles/earth-will-cross-the-climate-danger-threshold-by-2036_large.jpg) ) , with the potential for significant overshoot and a release that could produce 6c of warming by 2080.

couple this with the complete loss of June 1st summer sea ice, significantly warmer arctic winters and only 2 meters of additional sea level rise by 2080 and the possibility of clathrate release under this scenario is still a moderate possibility.

However, if we do get to that level of warming by 2080 then there won't be very many lifeforms on planet earth to care if the clathrates do go.   :-\
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 11, 2015, 07:42:13 PM
Did you not see the post where I mentioned Yamal? Also, I highly doubt a 12 degree Celsius change is likely. Eight is possible but also not likely. And methane release is by far the biggest of the potential feedbacks. All others pale in comparison, and I'm calling out Jai on his extreme projections that are completely unsupported by any evidence.

Bry

In reading your response above, your own assertion of possible 8 and remotely likely 12C of warming is very much in line with my understanding of the matter.  Perhaps you can post a link to where I said what you think I said and we can discuss it there?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bryman on April 11, 2015, 08:06:07 PM
With pleasure: http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?topic=1053.msg40351#msg40351 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?topic=1053.msg40351#msg40351)
I don't know where you came up with that whopper, but Gavin thinks it's a load of crap, and so do I. Your numbers are completely unsupported at all by any climate scientists. No one has even hinted at an increase of 8 plus degrees, and if they have, they are completely in the minority.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on April 11, 2015, 08:34:13 PM
bryman, may I kindly suggest to you as a 'newbie' here that you lower the level of bile in your posts, please.

Your claim "No one has even hinted at an increase of 8 plus degrees" is not accurate (though I will refrain from calling it a 'load of crap') and there is a whole thread devoted to the topic here that you might want to peruse before opining about it further.

I don't know what Gavin has or hasn't said about the level of understatement by IPCC. He did co-author a paper with Schindell and others a few years ago that gives a GWP of methane that is about 30% higher than that given in the current IPCC. Yes, that's not 300%, but we are talking about matters of degree rather than sign, and there is no particular need to use profanity and bile to engage in such discussions. Just a friendly suggestion. :)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 11, 2015, 08:37:31 PM
With pleasure: http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?topic=1053.msg40351#msg40351 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?topic=1053.msg40351#msg40351)
I don't know where you came up with that whopper, but Gavin thinks it's a load of crap, and so do I. Your numbers are completely unsupported at all by any climate scientists. No one has even hinted at an increase of 8 plus degrees, and if they have, they are completely in the minority.

see you there.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 11, 2015, 09:02:36 PM
(Originally posted elsewhere on ASIF, moved here by the author.)

There is a new review paper in Nature on the greenhouse gas flux from permafrost.  ASLR mentioned it in passing on the previous page, but it deserves a bit more notice here.

Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v520/n7546/full/nature14338.html)

Abstract:
  • Large quantities of organic carbon are stored in frozen soils (permafrost) within Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. A warming climate can induce environmental changes that accelerate the microbial breakdown of organic carbon and the release of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. This feedback can accelerate climate change, but the magnitude and timing of greenhouse gas emission from these regions and their impact on climate change remain uncertain. Here we find that current evidence suggests a gradual and prolonged release of greenhouse gas emissions in a warming climate and present a research strategy with which to target poorly understood aspects of permafrost carbon dynamics.

Press release from University of Alaska-Fairbanks here:

Scientists predict slower permafrost greenhouse gas emissions (http://news.uaf.edu/scientists-predict-gradual-permafrost-greenhouse-gas-emissions-embargoed/)

My take -- permafrost is melting and degrading rapidly, and will continue to provide CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere ... but at a modest rate, not in the form of a sudden "methane bomb".  This should not be a surprise to most people here, as I think the evidence against a "bomb" scenario has been clear for some time (see Gavin Schmidt's comments last year).

Part of the problem of addressing the climate change issue is that its complexity does not readily lend itself to being addressed by the conventional reductionist scientific method that decision makers (& the public) have common to rely upon.  Earth systems have multiple fat-tailed feedback mechanisms (which are currently dominated by positive rather than negative feedbacks); and while it is correct that science must use a reductionist approach to sub-divide these various mechanisms (which have different degrees of non-linearity, on different time-scales; with different initial & boundary conditions; and at different forcing rates & forcing magnitudes) in order to study them; unfortunately, to date the various climate change computer models have not been capable of adequately re-integrating all the synergistic (frequently non-linear) mechanisms.  The US DOE has taken the lead in trying to re-integrate all of the reductionist inputs using Earth Systems Modeling, and which their state-of-the-art projections in CESM –High Resolution projections showed high climate sensitivity (see the third to last link at the end of this post), these preliminary findings (which did not rely on excessively high methane emissions) have been discounted as potentially being biased (due to uncertainties about non-linear responses) on the high-side (i.e. discounted for potentially erring on the side of greater drama). 

Thus we are left with individual scientists and reporters discussing their reductionist finding (like a blind man describing an elephant to be snake like while he feels its trunk); and no one presenting a coherent reliable, timely, integrated overview (& I include the AR5 projections and Gavin Schmidt modeling efforts).  A good example of this is the linked article by The Guardian focused on the recent Schuur et. al. (2015) paper (see second to last link at end of post), in which the researchers scale-back the rate of earlier (e.g. Schurr & Abbot, 2011) GHG emissions from permafrost degradation.  While the reporter (Karl Mathiesen) entitles this article "Permafrost 'carbon bomb' may be more of a slow burn, say scientists"; he does have the grace to point at the end of his article to the even more recent Danish report by Hultman et al (2015) paper (see last link at end of this post) implies that the Schuur et al (2015) findings may be erring on the side of least drama (see extract below). However, even this caveat at the end of The Guardian article, Karl Mathiesen ignores multiple other factors that could work synergistically to accelerate GHG emissions from permafrost degradation, including: (1) Arctic Amplification, (2) the discontinuous nature of the permafrost (see: http://innovations.coe.berkeley.edu/vol7-issue8-feb2014/studying-the-arctic-tundra.html (http://innovations.coe.berkeley.edu/vol7-issue8-feb2014/studying-the-arctic-tundra.html)), (3) invasion insect pests & invasion ground squirrel borrowing (see: https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm14/meetingapp.cgi#Paper/20090 (https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm14/meetingapp.cgi#Paper/20090)), (4) degradation of boreal forest in the taiga (see: http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0604-sutherland-taiga.html (http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0604-sutherland-taiga.html)), (5) wildfires & reduced albedo associated with the shrub growth on the tundra (see: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12852/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12852/abstract)), (6) penetration of warm surface water into the groundwater, (7) synergy between different soil microbes that have evolved to work together (see: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140214/ncomms4212/full/ncomms4212.html (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140214/ncomms4212/full/ncomms4212.html)), (8) a reduction in the masking effect of Asian anthropogenic aerosols that could quickly double the current Arctic Amplification of two times the global mean surface temperature increase, (9) reductions in atmospheric hydroxyl ions resulting in longer residence times for methane, (10) probable future Arctic oil & gas development, (11) increasing sea level rise will flood more permafrost leading to more degradation (see: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013JF002987/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013JF002987/abstract)), (12) the balance between CO₂ & CH4 emissions (see: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10533-014-0012-0#page-1 (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10533-014-0012-0#page-1)), (13) photochemical oxidation (see: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6199/925 (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6199/925)) and (14) the influence of soil chemistry (see: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/04/02/1314641111 (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/04/02/1314641111)).

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/09/arctic-carbon-bomb-may-never-happen-say-scientists (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/09/arctic-carbon-bomb-may-never-happen-say-scientists)

Extract: "The Danish study looked at several sites in Greenland and measured the amount of warming in the soil generated by microbial metabolism – the process that causes compost to generate its own heat. The amount of heat produced at sites with a lot of organic material in the soil, such as peat bogs, was 10 to 130 times higher than sites with more mineral soils.
“Results show that the impact of climate changes on natural organic soils can be accelerated by microbial heat production with crucial implications for the amounts of carbon being decomposed,” said the study. “Permafrost thawing in organic Arctic soils accelerated by ground heat production represent a potentially critical global-scale feedback on climate change.”
Gurney said this effect would be limited to regions further from the poles where the permafrost was warmer - allowing microbes to survive. He said it was in these areas that the extra warming from microbes could cause something approaching the carbon bomb effect. But the carbon contained in these regions was only a part of the total carbon stored in the permafrost.
“We are talking about a fraction, but not a tiny fraction. It is a considerable amount of carbon,” he said. “In Canada and the Yukon it might be around 20%.”"

R. Justin Small, Julio Bacmeister, David Bailey, Allison Baker, Stuart Bishop, Frank Bryan, Julie Caron, John Dennis, Peter Gent, Hsiao-ming Hsu, Markus Jochum, David Lawrence, Ernesto Muñoz, Pedro diNezio, Tim Scheitlin, Robert Tomas, Joseph Tribbia, Yu-heng Tseng, & Mariana Vertenstein, (December 2014), "A new synoptic scale resolving global climate simulation using the Community Earth System Model", JAMES, Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 1065–1094, DOI: 10.1002/2014MS000363

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/2014MS000363/ (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/2014MS000363/)

E. A. G. Schuur, A. D. McGuire, C. Schädel, G. Grosse, J. W. Harden, D. J. Hayes, G. Hugelius, C. D. Koven, P. Kuhry, D. M. Lawrence, S. M. Natali, D. Olefeldt, V. E. Romanovsky, K. Schaefer, M. R. Turetsky, C. C. Treat & J. E. Vonk (09 April 2015), "Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback", Nature, Volume: 520, Pages: 171–179, doi:10.1038/nature14338


http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v480/n7375/full/480032a.html (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v480/n7375/full/480032a.html)

J Hultman J, MP Waldrop, R Mackelprang, MM David, J McFarland, S Blazewicz, J Harden, MR Turetsky, AD McGuire, MB Shah, NC VerBerkmoes, L Lee, K Mavrommatis, and JK Jansson (2015), “Multi-Omics of Permafrost, Active Layer, and Thermokarst Bog Soil Microbiomes,” Nature, doi:10.1038/nature14238


http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature14238.html (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature14238.html)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 11, 2015, 09:13:54 PM
Ned,

Thanks for that fix.  You are right of course, I was specifically talking about Gavin's analog of the Eemian as a way to preclude future methane release from the ESAS later this century.  The warming of the ESAS occurs subsequent to inundation by rising sea levels.  The sea level highstand record for the Eemian indeed does provide a close analog to Holocene sea level records and inundation.  So in this my understanding was indeed incorrect.

In the way of color commentary, the linked reference suggests that permafrost thawing from the submergence of the ESAS about 14,600 years ago is a possible source of the both the abrupt carbon release and the associated abrupt increase in mean global temperature at the onset of the Bolling/Allerod, and that a similar occurrence could happen with continued global warming, as further sea level rise will flood substantial areas of currently un-submerged Arctic permafrost:

Peter Köhler, Gregor Knorr and Edouard Bard, (2014), "Permafrost thawing as a possible source of abrupt carbon release at the onset of the Bølling/Allerød", Nature Communications 5:5520; DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6520

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/141120/ncomms6520/full/ncomms6520.html (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/141120/ncomms6520/full/ncomms6520.html)

Abstract: "One of the most abrupt and yet unexplained past rises in atmospheric CO2 (>10 p.p.m.v. in two centuries) occurred in quasi-synchrony with abrupt northern hemispheric warming into the Bølling/Allerød, ~14,600 years ago. Here we use a U/Th-dated record of atmospheric Δ14C from Tahiti corals to provide an independent and precise age control for this CO2 rise. We also use model simulations to show that the release of old (nearly 14C-free) carbon can explain these changes in CO2 and Δ14C. The Δ14C record provides an independent constraint on the amount of carbon released (~125 Pg C). We suggest, in line with observations of atmospheric CH4 and terrigenous biomarkers, that thawing permafrost in high northern latitudes could have been the source of carbon, possibly with contribution from flooding of the Siberian continental shelf during meltwater pulse 1A. Our findings highlight the potential of the permafrost carbon reservoir to modulate abrupt climate changes via greenhouse-gas feedbacks."

See also:
http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/did-permafrost-melt-cause-abrupt-ice-age-co2-rise.html (http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/did-permafrost-melt-cause-abrupt-ice-age-co2-rise.html)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bryman on April 11, 2015, 09:50:25 PM
bryman, may I kindly suggest to you as a 'newbie' here that you lower the level of bile in your posts, please.

Your claim "No one has even hinted at an increase of 8 plus degrees" is not accurate (though I will refrain from calling it a 'load of crap') and there is a whole thread devoted to the topic here that you might want to peruse before opining about it further.

I don't know what Gavin has or hasn't said about the level of understatement by IPCC. He did co-author a paper with Schindell and others a few years ago that gives a GWP of methane that is about 30% higher than that given in the current IPCC. Yes, that's not 300%, but we are talking about matters of degree rather than sign, and there is no particular need to use profanity and bile to engage in such discussions. Just a friendly suggestion. :)
Crap is not profane. Using an f-bomb is profane, and there are others on this site, such as viddaloo, who use the same level of rhetoric as I do, yet they are not reprimanded. That being said, AbruptSLR, what you fail to mention is that the most substantial feedback is methane release from permafrost, terrestrial and marine. Those are the ones worth paying the most attention to.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 11, 2015, 10:10:22 PM
bryman
see response here:  http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.msg49903.html#msg49903 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.msg49903.html#msg49903)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on April 12, 2015, 02:03:39 AM
"viddaloo, who use the same level of rhetoric as I do, yet they are not reprimanded"

LOL

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1227.msg49891.html#msg49891 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1227.msg49891.html#msg49891)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: DungeonMaster on April 12, 2015, 06:52:32 AM
"viddaloo, who use the same level of rhetoric as I do, yet they are not reprimanded"

Bryman, by their definition, you can't read private messages on those topics.

Everybody, please focus on topics, stay polite, and remember that we might not know everything yet... so cautious words are always welcome.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 12, 2015, 05:28:57 PM
bryman, may I kindly suggest to you as a 'newbie' here that you lower the level of bile in your posts, please.

Your claim "No one has even hinted at an increase of 8 plus degrees" is not accurate (though I will refrain from calling it a 'load of crap') and there is a whole thread devoted to the topic here that you might want to peruse before opining about it further.

I don't know what Gavin has or hasn't said about the level of understatement by IPCC. He did co-author a paper with Schindell and others a few years ago that gives a GWP of methane that is about 30% higher than that given in the current IPCC. Yes, that's not 300%, but we are talking about matters of degree rather than sign, and there is no particular need to use profanity and bile to engage in such discussions. Just a friendly suggestion. :)
Crap is not profane. Using an f-bomb is profane, and there are others on this site, such as viddaloo, who use the same level of rhetoric as I do, yet they are not reprimanded. That being said, AbruptSLR, what you fail to mention is that the most substantial feedback is methane release from permafrost, terrestrial and marine. Those are the ones worth paying the most attention to.

I suppose you can hold whatever opinion you want about your word usage and I doubt your contributions, such as they are, will get you banned as Neven is not prone to doing this and I  would argue against banning anyone but I do believe you risk being placed on my ignore list. I must be getting more intolerant as it took viddaloo hundreds of comments to get this reaction from me. I come here to learn and the kinds of posts I enjoy provide me with these opportunities.  The most recent posts by AbruptSLR and Jai Mitchell are examples of the kinds of posts that I learn from.

Yours.......not so much.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bryman on April 12, 2015, 08:14:51 PM
bryman, may I kindly suggest to you as a 'newbie' here that you lower the level of bile in your posts, please.

Your claim "No one has even hinted at an increase of 8 plus degrees" is not accurate (though I will refrain from calling it a 'load of crap') and there is a whole thread devoted to the topic here that you might want to peruse before opining about it further.

I don't know what Gavin has or hasn't said about the level of understatement by IPCC. He did co-author a paper with Schindell and others a few years ago that gives a GWP of methane that is about 30% higher than that given in the current IPCC. Yes, that's not 300%, but we are talking about matters of degree rather than sign, and there is no particular need to use profanity and bile to engage in such discussions. Just a friendly suggestion. :)
Crap is not profane. Using an f-bomb is profane, and there are others on this site, such as viddaloo, who use the same level of rhetoric as I do, yet they are not reprimanded. That being said, AbruptSLR, what you fail to mention is that the most substantial feedback is methane release from permafrost, terrestrial and marine. Those are the ones worth paying the most attention to.

I suppose you can hold whatever opinion you want about your word usage and I doubt your contributions, such as they are, will get you banned as Neven is not prone to doing this and I  would argue against banning anyone but I do believe you risk being placed on my ignore list. I must be getting more intolerant as it took viddaloo hundreds of comments to get this reaction from me. I come here to learn and the kinds of posts I enjoy provide me with these opportunities.  The most recent posts by AbruptSLR and Jai Mitchell are examples of the kinds of posts that I learn from.

Yours.......not so much.
And I don't learn much from your posts either. AbruptSLR at least provides evidence to support his claims and doesn't presume certainty when making his points, which is more than I can say for Jai. And yet Viddaloo has the same type of rhetoric. Hypocrisy ring a bell to you? I'm not going to waste my time arguing with you. Put me on you ignore list, for I will do the same to you.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on April 13, 2015, 12:07:13 AM
Quote
I suppose you can hold whatever opinion you want about your word usage and I doubt your contributions, such as they are, will get you banned as Neven is not prone to doing this and I  would argue against banning anyone but I do believe you risk being placed on my ignore list. I must be getting more intolerant as it took viddaloo hundreds of comments to get this reaction from me. I come here to learn and the kinds of posts I enjoy provide me with these opportunities.  The most recent posts by AbruptSLR and Jai Mitchell are examples of the kinds of posts that I learn from.

Yours.......not so much.

+1
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on April 15, 2015, 07:08:23 AM
Everybody, please focus on topics, stay polite, and remember that we might not know everything yet... so cautious words are always welcome.

+1
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: GeoffBeacon on April 15, 2015, 09:09:48 PM
The awe with which some here regard Gavin Schmidt's views, I find a bit overdone.

All respect to Dr Schmidt for his knowledge and energy but has anyone here read Shakhova's letter to Sir Paul Nurse, when she and her team were not invited to present their empirical results to the Royal Society meeting last year ...

Quote
Our colleagues and we have been studying the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) for more than 20 years and have detailed observational knowledge of changes occurring in this region, as documented by publications in leading journals such as Science, Nature, and Nature Geosciences...

To date, we are the only scientists to have long-term observational data on methane in the ESAS...

To our dismay, we were not invited to present our data at the Royal Society meeting. Furthermore, this week we discovered, via a twitter Storify summary (circulated by Dr. Brandon), that Dr. G. Schmidt was instead invited to discuss the methane issue and explicitly attacked our work using the model of another scholar, whose modelling effort is based on theoretical, untested assumptions having nothing to do with observations in the ESAS. While Dr. Schmidt has expertise in climate modelling, he is an expert neither on methane, nor on this region of the Arctic. 

https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/ignoring-the-arctic-methane-monster-royal-society-goes-dark-on-arctic-observational-science/ (https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/ignoring-the-arctic-methane-monster-royal-society-goes-dark-on-arctic-observational-science/)

P.S. I hope Chris Reynolds will return to the subject. as in Arctic Methane: A Cause for Concern.
http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/arctic-methane-paleo-perspective.html (http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/arctic-methane-paleo-perspective.html)




Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: viddaloo on April 15, 2015, 11:43:16 PM
The awe with which some here regard Gavin Schmidt's views, I find a bit overdone.

All respect to Dr Schmidt for his knowledge and energy but has anyone here read Shakhova's letter to Sir Paul Nurse, when she and her team were not invited to present their empirical results to the Royal Society meeting last year ...

Quote
Our colleagues and we have been studying the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) for more than 20 years and have detailed observational knowledge of changes occurring in this region, as documented by publications in leading journals such as Science, Nature, and Nature Geosciences...

To date, we are the only scientists to have long-term observational data on methane in the ESAS...

To our dismay, we were not invited to present our data at the Royal Society meeting. Furthermore, this week we discovered, via a twitter Storify summary (circulated by Dr. Brandon), that Dr. G. Schmidt was instead invited to discuss the methane issue and explicitly attacked our work using the model of another scholar, whose modelling effort is based on theoretical, untested assumptions having nothing to do with observations in the ESAS. While Dr. Schmidt has expertise in climate modelling, he is an expert neither on methane, nor on this region of the Arctic. 

https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/ignoring-the-arctic-methane-monster-royal-society-goes-dark-on-arctic-observational-science/ (https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/ignoring-the-arctic-methane-monster-royal-society-goes-dark-on-arctic-observational-science/)

P.S. I hope Chris Reynolds will return to the subject. as in Arctic Methane: A Cause for Concern.
http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/arctic-methane-paleo-perspective.html (http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/arctic-methane-paleo-perspective.html)
Truly a disgrace, GeoffBeacon.

I get the feeling this story is being "don't panic"ed, meaning it's considered too scary for people to know about, so kept partly in the dark, *really* scaring those of us who can use the internet and a search engine.

I guess science in the Free West isn't what it used to be.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: crandles on April 15, 2015, 11:55:30 PM
Stoat's take on that was rather different:

Quote
[Update: this post was mainly about PW, so I missed:

“Consequently, we formally request the equal opportunity to present our data before you and other participants of this Royal Society meeting on the Arctic and that you as organizers refrain from producing any official proceedings before we are allowed to speak.”

from S (thanks m). If you’re not familiar with science, or the way meetings work, you may not realise how utterly risible this demand is. Its hard to know what S+S are thinking, in saying this: are they really the pompous asses that demand makes them out to be?]
http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2014/10/07/wadhams-and-the-mighty-shtwit-storm/ (http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2014/10/07/wadhams-and-the-mighty-shtwit-storm/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: GeoffBeacon on April 16, 2015, 12:09:36 PM
Well I'm glad I started this.

The point I was making is that we shouldn't make what some philosopher or other called "the argument from authority" too seriously.

It's not exactly a fallacy as the philosopher maintained: I do accept that some may know more than others and I'm not the most knowledgeable around or someone with the best judgment.

But I have seen the Last Hours video that features real scientists. It suggests we might be heading for another great dying caused by methane clathrate dissociation. (How does this connect with the latest in Science Magazine about a great dying from ocean acidification?). So if a great dying is on the cards we better be watching.

A few years ago I had a bit of a battle at Real Climate on the missing feedbacks in climate models. I got no answers and that made me think the modelers had a bit of "scientific reticence". It wasn't that their models were wrong (We all know models are wrong to some extent.) but  I felt a reluctance to admit their shortcomings.

Perhaps I shouldn't conflate the "science community" with "government departments" but I've decades of spin from them downplaying the climate issue. It's made me a low grade conspiracy theorist. Probably a bit more than Joe Romm.

What I want to hear/see is a calm discussion from people I recognise as open minded as well as knowledgeable. Sometime Gavin's a bit too forthright for my liking. It's one thing not to suffer fools gladly. It's another to think that nearly everyone else is a fool.

However, I rather liked Stoat's support of Gavin in "Wadhams and the mighty [sh|tw]it storm".
http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2014/10/07/wadhams-and-the-mighty-shtwit-storm/  (http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2014/10/07/wadhams-and-the-mighty-shtwit-storm/)

Good entertainment.  I hope Peter can see the funny side.

P.S. I did ask for judgments from people on this forum on Last Hours. I don't think there was much of a response.

P.P.S. Who is this Nick Breeze who was been interviewing Shakhova? And why is my local Wifi hotspot saying about his website

Quote
Sorry, you can’t access this page at XXXXXX
Access might be restricted to some websites where the content is considered unsuitable to view in a public family environment.



Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: crandles on April 16, 2015, 12:32:56 PM
P.P.S. Who is this Nick Breeze who was been interviewing Shakhova? And why is my local Wifi hotspot saying about his website

Quote
Sorry, you can’t access this page at XXXXXX
Access might be restricted to some websites where the content is considered unsuitable to view in a public family environment.

http://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/blogs/99-russian-scientists-excluded-from-presenting-important-research-as-nasa-goddard-director-tries-to-discredit-observational-scientific-research (http://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/blogs/99-russian-scientists-excluded-from-presenting-important-research-as-nasa-goddard-director-tries-to-discredit-observational-scientific-research)

works for me at the moment.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: viddaloo on April 16, 2015, 01:44:37 PM
P.S. I did ask for judgments from people on this forum on Last Hours. I don't think there was much of a response.
Where did you ask for that? URL?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: crandles on April 16, 2015, 04:49:41 PM
www.lasthours.org (http://www.lasthours.org)

Very doomish. No uncertainty, virtually no timescales just 'it is happening'.
Only timescale I remember is 'Arctic summer sea ice will be gone this decade'.

I doubt that though I admit I did think it did look likely a couple of years ago.

If you express such certainty and then are shown to be wrong it seems likely to have an effect like crying wolf, you just don't get believed. Is the term 'doomer porn' being used for this or is that just for people who like to scare themselves?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: GeoffBeacon on April 16, 2015, 05:45:15 PM
Crandles

I don't remember any timescales either. Just that if the Earth heats 6°C then 12°C will follow due to clathrate dissociation. But I'm interested in your judgment..

What odds do you put on the Earth reaching 6°C given BAU?

What odds do you put on the 12°C if the 6°C is reached?

I believe the LastHours scenario a bit so

6°C with BAU is a 60% chance.

If 6°C then 12°C from clathrate dissociation. That's a 60% chance too.

Timescale for a "clathrate great dying", say,  150 years, provided that the ocean acification great dying doesn't happen first.

P.S.I can get Nick Breeze's website in my office but not at XXXXX's wifi hotspot. But I can't get the campaigning site SumOfUs.org there either.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: crandles on April 16, 2015, 06:20:22 PM
>What odds do you put on the Earth reaching 6°C given BAU?

Very much depends on how 'BAU' plays out. If renewables become cheaper than fossil fuels then fossil fuels will be phased out over next 30 years or so. 30 years of 2.5ppm/yr at present tapering down to zero from energy would keep us to 440ppm CO2 which is under two thirds of a doubling. It would take climate sensitivity of over 9C to get us to a 6C rise from that. Nobody is considering that. While there is still concrete, land use change, methane and so on still increasing it is a lot slower without fossil fuel energy and a lot can happen in that time.

If renewables cost decreases suddenly stop so that fossil fuels stay cheaper then 6C could be reached eventually but I doubt it will happen until well after we reach 560ppm CO2 which is around 60 years away at 2.5ppm/yr. While action may seem slow, a lot can happen in less than 60 years.

>What odds do you put on the 12°C if the 6°C is reached?

I have no idea how much vunerable clathrates there are.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: GeoffBeacon on April 16, 2015, 06:35:33 PM
Crandles

Thanks. That helps (me at least)

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 16, 2015, 07:08:47 PM
>What odds do you put on the Earth reaching 6°C given BAU?

Very much depends on how 'BAU' plays out. If renewables become cheaper than fossil fuels then fossil fuels will be phased out over next 30 years or so. 30 years of 2.5ppm/yr at present tapering down to zero from energy would keep us to 440ppm CO2 which is under two thirds of a doubling. It would take climate sensitivity of over 9C to get us to a 6C rise from that. Nobody is considering that. While there is still concrete, land use change, methane and so on still increasing it is a lot slower without fossil fuel energy and a lot can happen in that time.

If renewables cost decreases suddenly stop so that fossil fuels stay cheaper then 6C could be reached eventually but I doubt it will happen until well after we reach 560ppm CO2 which is around 60 years away at 2.5ppm/yr. While action may seem slow, a lot can happen in less than 60 years.

>What odds do you put on the 12°C if the 6°C is reached?

I have no idea how much vunerable clathrates there are.

cradles,

While I very much appreciate your hopeful scenarios, the highest resolution CESM published to date (linked below) suggests that the Earth already has a relatively high climate sensitivity, which could increase nonlinearly as other positive feedbacks gain strength:

R. Justin Small, Julio Bacmeister, David Bailey, Allison Baker, Stuart Bishop, Frank Bryan, Julie Caron, John Dennis, Peter Gent, Hsiao-ming Hsu, Markus Jochum, David Lawrence, Ernesto Muñoz, Pedro diNezio, Tim Scheitlin, Robert Tomas, Joseph Tribbia, Yu-heng Tseng, & Mariana Vertenstein, (December 2014), "A new synoptic scale resolving global climate simulation using the Community Earth System Model", JAMES, Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 1065–1094, DOI: 10.1002/2014MS000363

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/2014MS000363/ (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/2014MS000363/)

Abstract: "High-resolution global climate modeling holds the promise of capturing planetary-scale climate modes and small-scale (regional and sometimes extreme) features simultaneously, including their mutual interaction. This paper discusses a new state-of-the-art high-resolution Community Earth System Model (CESM) simulation that was performed with these goals in mind. The atmospheric component was at 0.25° grid spacing, and ocean component at 0.1°. One hundred years of “present-day” simulation were completed. Major results were that annual mean sea surface temperature (SST) in the equatorial Pacific and El-Niño Southern Oscillation variability were well simulated compared to standard resolution models. Tropical and southern Atlantic SST also had much reduced bias compared to previous versions of the model. In addition, the high resolution of the model enabled small-scale features of the climate system to be represented, such as air-sea interaction over ocean frontal zones, mesoscale systems generated by the Rockies, and Tropical Cyclones. Associated single component runs and standard resolution coupled runs are used to help attribute the strengths and weaknesses of the fully coupled run. The high-resolution run employed 23,404 cores, costing 250 thousand processor-hours per simulated year and made about two simulated years per day on the NCAR-Wyoming supercomputer “Yellowstone.”"


Extracts: "The high-resolution CESM was run under “present-day” (year 2000) greenhouse gas conditions (fixed CO2 concentration of 367 ppm). This was chosen so that direct comparisons could be made with recent-era observations of fine-scale and large-scale phenomena. The prognostic carbon-nitrogen cycle was not used in this simulation.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: BengalBangles on April 16, 2015, 09:17:11 PM
cradles,

While I very much appreciate your hopeful scenarios, the highest resolution CESM published to date (linked below) suggests that the Earth already has a relatively high climate sensitivity, which could increase nonlinearly as other positive feedbacks gain strength:

R. Justin Small, Julio Bacmeister, David Bailey, Allison Baker, Stuart Bishop, Frank Bryan, Julie Caron, John Dennis, Peter Gent, Hsiao-ming Hsu, Markus Jochum, David Lawrence, Ernesto Muñoz, Pedro diNezio, Tim Scheitlin, Robert Tomas, Joseph Tribbia, Yu-heng Tseng, & Mariana Vertenstein, (December 2014), "A new synoptic scale resolving global climate simulation using the Community Earth System Model", JAMES, Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 1065–1094, DOI: 10.1002/2014MS000363

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/2014MS000363/ (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/2014MS000363/)

Abstract: "High-resolution global climate modeling holds the promise of capturing planetary-scale climate modes and small-scale (regional and sometimes extreme) features simultaneously, including their mutual interaction. This paper discusses a new state-of-the-art high-resolution Community Earth System Model (CESM) simulation that was performed with these goals in mind. The atmospheric component was at 0.25° grid spacing, and ocean component at 0.1°. One hundred years of “present-day” simulation were completed. Major results were that annual mean sea surface temperature (SST) in the equatorial Pacific and El-Niño Southern Oscillation variability were well simulated compared to standard resolution models. Tropical and southern Atlantic SST also had much reduced bias compared to previous versions of the model. In addition, the high resolution of the model enabled small-scale features of the climate system to be represented, such as air-sea interaction over ocean frontal zones, mesoscale systems generated by the Rockies, and Tropical Cyclones. Associated single component runs and standard resolution coupled runs are used to help attribute the strengths and weaknesses of the fully coupled run. The high-resolution run employed 23,404 cores, costing 250 thousand processor-hours per simulated year and made about two simulated years per day on the NCAR-Wyoming supercomputer “Yellowstone.”"


Extracts: "The high-resolution CESM was run under “present-day” (year 2000) greenhouse gas conditions (fixed CO2 concentration of 367 ppm). This was chosen so that direct comparisons could be made with recent-era observations of fine-scale and large-scale phenomena. The prognostic carbon-nitrogen cycle was not used in this simulation.


If it isn't too troublesome, could you point towards the sections of the CESM that point towards a high and nonlinear climate sensitivity? The abstract and summary did not seem to point towards that conclusion.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: crandles on April 16, 2015, 11:34:46 PM
>What odds do you put on the Earth reaching 6°C given BAU?

I rushed a little to finish that answer. While 1.5 or 2C may be dangerous particularly for undeveloped countries, I think ECS of 5C or warming of 5C is undoubtedly catastrophic. Just because I don't see much chance of getting to 6C warmer quickly doesn't mean I don't think 2C is dangerous and 4C will have major adverse effects. There is much more chance of getting to 4C and 2C looks hard to prevent.


Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Ned W on April 16, 2015, 11:42:31 PM
If it isn't too troublesome, could you point towards the sections of the CESM that point towards a high and nonlinear climate sensitivity? The abstract and summary did not seem to point towards that conclusion.
The paper ASLR cited doesn't mention climate sensitivity and is not about climate sensitivity.  It's just a description of a set of experiments using CESM.  I have no idea why ASLR thought that paper was some kind of rebuttal to crandles's post.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 17, 2015, 12:21:42 AM
Ned W,

When Earth System Model scientists publish papers they generally assume that the readers know that climate sensitivity parameters such as ECS, TCR, or TCRE are emergent values based on the global mean temperature rise projections as a function of the radiative forcing input.  In the case of the paper that I linked to the radiative forcing input was a fixed CO2 concentration of 367ppm, and per the attached output (i.e. panel b of Figure 1, where the thick line shows the CESM-H run while the thin line shows the standard CESM run) the global mean surface temperature rise in less than 30-years was over 1C temperature rise.

While I never said that this is solid proof that climate sensitivity is unexpectedly high, and I am not saying so now; I am very definitely saying that is not advisable to play brinksmanship to see how close to the carbon budget limit that we can get (if we have not already gone into the inadvisable range), when the ESM selected by the DOE to be the foundation of their state-of-the-art ACME program indicates such a strong response to such restricted forcing (particularly when the CO2-equivilant value is currently over 485ppm).
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: crandles on April 17, 2015, 01:24:32 AM
It looks to me like the thin grey line (standard resolution) indicates the model has not reached equilibrium at the start and levels out at just over 288K. Not quite clear where the thicker line (increased resolution) levels off but it looks like about 288.8 to 289K to me.

Both these increases are due to the model not being fully spun up to reach equilibrium. i.e. the upward drift and difference is due to the model being out of balance not due to change in CO2 level.

While it may be tempting to think that the higher resolution model goes up more therefore its sensitivity will be higher, I am not at all sure that that follows. You obviously have to correct such a difference to get a sensible hindcast.

Anyway the 1C rise in 30 years is clearly an artifact of the model not being fully spun up and it isn't realistic or any sort of projection.

> is not advisable to play brinksmanship
I agree with that.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 17, 2015, 09:15:07 AM
I concur that with such a complex, nonlinear run as for the reported CESM - H response that it can be difficult to distinguish between model bias, spin-up and true response.  Nevertheless, I believe that it is fair to say that the high resolution run is more responsive than the standard model run, and we are (society is) gambling that deep tropical atmospheric convection is not contributing more to a higher current value of ECS than AR5 assumes.

For further background on the risks that AR5 may well be erring on the side of least drama see the recent (& older) discussion on this topic in the following thread, beginning with my Reply #752:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.750.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.750.html)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Ned W on April 17, 2015, 11:53:34 AM
Ned W,

When Earth System Model scientists publish papers they generally assume that the readers know that climate sensitivity parameters such as ECS, TCR, or TCRE are emergent values based on the global mean temperature rise projections as a function of the radiative forcing input. 

Spare me the lecture, please.  I am fully aware that CS is an emergent property of models.  But the paper you linked to does not have any time-dependent change in CO2 and does not say anything about CS.  The graph you cite merely shows that for a given fixed CO2 concentration the higher-resolution model settles in at a slightly higher average T than a lower resolution model.  That does not mean that the higher model will respond to a change in CO2 by producing a larger change in T.   

You claimed that this paper was evidence that climate sensitivity is "high" and "non-linear".  The paper shows no such thing at all. 

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: GeoffBeacon on April 17, 2015, 02:00:06 PM
NedW

Quote
The graph you cite merely shows that for a given fixed CO2 concentration the higher-resolution model settles in at a slightly higher average T than a lower resolution model.
  and
 
Quote
You claimed that this paper was evidence that climate sensitivity is "high" and "non-linear".  The paper shows no such thing at all.

What about saying
Quote
the paper suggests that calculated climate sensitivities will be found to be higher when models ar run with higher resolution
?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Ned W on April 17, 2015, 02:17:14 PM
Geoff, does the paper actually suggest that?

Consider a situation where a model is run at lower and higher resolutions, and at various CO2 forcings F1, F2, F3.  It's possible that in each case 1, 2, 3, the higher resolution model produces an average temperature that's 0.8 C warmer than the lower-resolution model.  The higher resolution version looks "hotter" but its climate sensitivity is the same.

Now it's entirely possible that other research, elsewhere, suggests that across a wide variety of models, running the models at higher resolution consistently leads to a higher estimate of ECS.  That would be interesting.  But this particular paper doesn't say that.  It doesn't even say that for this one model (CESM) improved resolution leads to increased sensitivity.  It says nothing at all about climate sensitivity, as far as I can tell.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: crandles on April 17, 2015, 02:47:37 PM

Consider a situation where a model is run at lower and higher resolutions, and at various CO2 forcings F1, F2, F3.  It's possible that in each case 1, 2, 3, the higher resolution model produces an average temperature that's 0.8 C warmer than the lower-resolution model.  The higher resolution version looks "hotter" but its climate sensitivity is the same.

If it simply 'looks "hotter" ', what happens when you run a hindcast to see if it does well enough before running a hindcast, you adjust both to a best fit temperature and continue making such adjustments to any forecasts produced. That eliminates such a 'looks "hotter" ' difference.

Even if you did have cases Res 1, Res 2, and Res 3 where the sensitivities did increase with higher resolution, while suggestive, it wouldn't rule out even higher resolution Res 4 producing lower sensitivity.

From that paper alone we just don't know whether sensitivity is higher, lower or the same.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 17, 2015, 02:58:58 PM
From that paper alone we just don't know whether sensitivity is higher, lower or the same.

While I concur that this one paper by itself is not proof of anything; however, there are multiple lines of other evidence & I firmly believe that we need to maintain a margin of error when the future of society (and nature) is on the line.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 17, 2015, 08:02:23 PM
 ::)

I did not see any mention of aerosols in their paper.  So I guess they are looking at a response sans aerosols?  If so then this is not relevant to our discussion of real life.  It is clear that the effect of aerosol impacts in the arctic are producing about -10Watts per meter squared average daily forcing in the region.  The loss of these aerosols will produce a complete arctic sea ice melt out.

In other words, if all human activity suddenly ceased.  We would immediately experience a full summer sea ice melt out.  With intense regional warming and permafrost destabilization. 

We may get to see the range of these impacts this melt season as China is experiencing a slowdown of their economy and has stalled coal consumption as well as initiated the beginnings of pollution regulation which will become increasingly significant to the earth system dynamics.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Ned W on April 17, 2015, 08:50:46 PM
::)

I did not see any mention of aerosols in their paper. 

Which paper?  The one that the past few comments are referring to (about running a particular climate model at lower vs higher resolution)?  Or one that was discussed earlier?

The CESM study that ASLR linked to most definitely includes aerosols.  And there is no particular "response" since it's not looking at any kind of change or forcing.  It's just looking at how well the model can reproduce the existing climate system circa 2000.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 18, 2015, 12:06:25 AM
Yes; the CESM-H run included aerosols (and all other non-CO₂ GHGs); however, it was run for 100-years (see extracted summary below), and while there are questions of spin-up and model bias, it is a projection if the world had stopped emitting CO₂ at 367ppm.  However, to get a full ensemble projection we will likely need to wait another 2.5 years when the first phase of the ACME project ends)

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014MS000363/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014MS000363/full)

Extracted Summary:
"A new high-resolution CESM simulation has been performed for 100 years, the longest such simulation with CAM5. The main highlights of the run are as follows:
1.   Equatorial Pacific SST biases are small (mostly <0.2°C), and globally the SST bias relative to observations is quite low compared to a standard resolution case.
2.   The power spectrum of Niño3.4 SST time series reveals that the frequency and amplitude of ENSO is comparable to observations, with much less variance than previous CESM/CCSM runs. The typical generation and decay of El-Niño events compares well with the observed record, but the La-Niña events do not show the observed second-year reemergence.
3.   There is a notably small SST bias in the equatorial Atlantic where a realistic cold tongue in the eastern basin develops in JJA and the ITCZ keeps mostly north of the Equator. Most climate models (including the CMIP5 generation and CCSM4) have a weak cold tongue or even a reversal of the zonal SST gradient. In this case, much of the improvement is also seen in the lower-resolution version of the model indicating a fundamental change from CCSM4 to CESM.
4.   In the ocean, the model eddy field is very rich and comparable to observations in terms of SSH variability: however the SST variability is too high. Ocean fronts are quite well represented: long-standing issues of the Gulf Stream path overshooting at Cape Hatteras and being too zonal in its extension still exist, but the consequent SST biases are considerably reduced compared to standard resolution models.
5.   A consequence of having strong SST gradients is that the overlying atmospheric boundary layer and storm track is modified, such that some of the strongest near-surface wind variability in the Globe occurs over the warm side of ocean fronts. In addition, huge amounts of heat are passed from ocean to atmosphere as cold winter continental air passes over western boundary currents. The climatological latent heat flux is, however, too strong over the Gulf Stream in the coupled model. Comparison with an atmosphere-only model reveals that the SST bias of the coupled model leads to the error.
6.   Mesoscale Convective Systems over the Rocky Mountains, which contribute to many of the important summertime weather events in the central U.S. are also seen in this simulation, but tend to occur earlier in the year, in spring, and have slower propagation speeds than most observed systems.
7.   In common with some previous high-resolution runs [e.g., McClean et al., 2011; Sakamoto et al., 2012], Tropical Cyclones are permitted. The tracks of these extreme events are somewhat realistic except for a striking lack of storms in the N. Atlantic and E. Pacific basins, whilst there are too many strong systems in the western Pacific.
8.   The substantial overestimation of Southern Hemisphere summer sea-ice seen in previous CCSM/CESM models is not seen; however, there is a general underestimation of summer sea ice in both high-resolution and standard resolution CESM in the perpetual year 2000 conditions.
Despite these improvements, some limitations of the model simulations persist, such as substantial deep ocean model drift at both high and standard resolutions, excessive precipitation in the ITCZ and wind stress in the extratropical storm tracks, and an overdiffuse Equatorial thermocline. Current model development with CESM is aiming to address these issues.
Current and future plans with these simulations include (i) the analysis of Kuroshio Extension variability on interannual to decadal time scales, and the atmospheric circulation response, (ii) investigation of possible compensation between ocean eddy heat transport and atmosphere heat transport, (iii) Southern Ocean variability, including response of the ocean to changing wind stress in a high-resolution coupled system, (iv) ocean near-inertial wave response to strong winds, (v) relationship of extreme events to large-scale modes of variability, (vi) analysis of Tropical Atlantic climate, and (vii) improvement of regridding of winds onto coastal ocean cells for upwelling studies. In addition, different resolution models are being analyzed (including one with 0.25° resolution in atmosphere, 1° in ocean) to more clearly distinguish the role of resolving ocean features versus resolving atmosphere features in the model improvements seen in CESM-H."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 18, 2015, 12:21:07 AM
what do you suppose their 90-year surface temperature response would be if they allowed anthropogenic aerosol forcing to go to zero?  Would it be more than the 1.2C that they modeled? how much more?   This is a policy-relevant question since the necessary goal of zero emissions correlates with a significant reduction in aerosol forcing parameters.   
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 18, 2015, 03:59:54 AM
what do you suppose their 90-year surface temperature response would be if they allowed anthropogenic aerosol forcing to go to zero?  Would it be more than the 1.2C that they modeled? how much more?   This is a policy-relevant question since the necessary goal of zero emissions correlates with a significant reduction in aerosol forcing parameters.

In my prior post I made a misstatement, in that the CESM - H run did not stop CO2 emissions at the nominally 2000 value of 267ppm, but rather that assumed that the CO2 emissions dropped at that point to the same level as that absorbed by the Earth Systems, and they then held all of the other GHGs and aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere also at their nominal 2000 level.  I do not know what would happen if the aerosol levels were allowed to drop below their nominal 2000 concentrations, but I imagine that the global mean temperature rise projected (not predicted) by the run would have been higher than the extant run showed.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: GeoffBeacon on April 18, 2015, 10:22:09 AM
NedW ... just a small bit of semantics. You ask

Quote
Geoff, does the paper actually suggest that?

That depends whether you insist that "suggest" means "explicitly suggest" . i.e. by writing the words "This suggests that...". That wasn't my meaning.

Perhaps I will go to that public lecture on Wittgenstein after all.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 18, 2015, 06:19:45 PM
NedW ... just a small bit of semantics. You ask

Quote
Geoff, does the paper actually suggest that?

That depends whether you insist that "suggest" means "explicitly suggest" . i.e. by writing the words "This suggests that...". That wasn't my meaning.

Perhaps I will go to that public lecture on Wittgenstein after all.

Geoff,

As anthropogenic climate change is specifically due human behavior it seem very appropriate to attend a public lecture on Wittgenstein (a philosopher).  Denalists tend to treat the IPCC process as some type of business negotiation [e.g. "What's mine is mine, what's yours is negotiable"]; rather than as a process of discovering non-negotiable natural responses to anthropogenic radiative forcing input.  In this regards, it seems to me that denalists [like Nic Lewis, etc.] frequently carefully craft papers on climate sensitivity so that they are incomplete/biased but can survive peer review in order to inappropriately add more references citing low climate sensitivity as the denalists know that all references are given equal weight when determining the climate sensitivity (TCRE) used to calculate the Carbon Budget that influences policy makers.

In the future, I hope that computer programs such as ACME (& CESM-H can be considered a test trial to help guide the ACME refinement process) can give sufficiently accurate projections that the IPCC can base their recommendations to policy makers directly on the temperature projections form such state-of-the-art Earth System Models [which of course during their spin-up process would need to match past observed paleo responses as well as better calibrated instrument observations {e.g. China's projected reduction in aerosols should allow from a much better understanding/calibration of the negative radiative forcing from this masking factor by 2030}].

Best,
ASLR

Edit: As my last posting of the attached CESM-H 10-year average global mean surface temperature change plot was rather blurry (due to my work schedule), I re-post a slightly less blurry version here, and I note that questions of model bias and spin-up aside, this plot indicates that it is possible that society has already exceeded [as the plot shows a potential 1.2 C {due to stabilizing at 367ppm CO2} of temperature rise on top of the 0.8C temperature rise extant at 2000] our carbon budget; indicating that stabilizing at 440ppm CO2 at some point in the future could very likely be inadvisable, which was the point that I was making in my Reply #193.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 18, 2015, 08:16:46 PM


Quote
if the aerosol levels were allowed to drop below their nominal 2000 concentrations, but I imagine that the global mean temperature rise projected (not predicted) by the run would have been higher than the extant run showed.

according to the PIK Postdam RCP scenario data group  http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~mmalte/rcps/ (http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~mmalte/rcps/)

total anthropogenic forcing in 2000 is 1.84 Watts per meter squared but total greenhouse gas forcing is 2.65 watts per meter squared so anthropogenic aerosols account for at least 30% reduction in the modeled results (probably more since anthropogenic black carbon is a positive forcing factor).
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Ned W on April 19, 2015, 12:55:36 AM
NedW ... just a small bit of semantics. You ask

Quote
Geoff, does the paper actually suggest that?

That depends whether you insist that "suggest" means "explicitly suggest" . i.e. by writing the words "This suggests that...". That wasn't my meaning.

OK, whatever.  The paper does not say that "calculated climate sensitivities will be found to be higher when models ar run with higher resolution" and, also, the paper does not suggest or imply or otherwise formally or informally lead one to expect that calculated climate sensitivities will be found to be higher when models are run with higher resolution.

The high-resolution model run ends up at a certain temperature, with a certain radiative forcing from CO2.  But there is no way to tell from this single run of the model how different temperature would be at a different forcing.  The model drift in the first half of the time series does not tell you what ASLR thinks it is telling you.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Ned W on April 19, 2015, 01:08:59 AM
the plot shows a potential 1.2 C {due to stabilizing at 367ppm CO2} of temperature rise on top of the 0.8C temperature rise extant at 2000    [...]

No it doesn't. 

Quote
which of course during their spin-up process would need to match past observed paleo responses

The spin-up period for climate models is not about reproducing past history.  It's about getting the model to stabilize in a reasonably realistic configuration before proceeding with the actual simulation.  Model conditions during the spin-up period are probably going to be quite unrealistic when compared to any real climate, paleo or not.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 19, 2015, 01:38:34 AM
the plot shows a potential 1.2 C {due to stabilizing at 367ppm CO2} of temperature rise on top of the 0.8C temperature rise extant at 2000    [...]

No it doesn't. 

Quote
which of course during their spin-up process would need to match past observed paleo responses

The spin-up period for climate models is not about reproducing past history.  It's about getting the model to stabilize in a reasonably realistic configuration before proceeding with the actual simulation.  Model conditions during the spin-up period are probably going to be quite unrealistic when compared to any real climate, paleo or not.

current globally averaged temperature is 287.15 (or so)  how does the model run output not show additional warming from current temperatures?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 19, 2015, 02:38:13 AM

The spin-up period for climate models is not about reproducing past history.  It's about getting the model to stabilize in a reasonably realistic configuration before proceeding with the actual simulation.  Model conditions during the spin-up period are probably going to be quite unrealistic when compared to any real climate, paleo or not.

While it is true that during the spin-up period that the projected temperatures should not accurately track the observed record, nevertheless, the standard CESM run was spun-up & in equilibrium by 2000, and prior to 2014 the CESM-H run was already matching numerous observed observations better than the CESM-S run (just look at the paper).  This clearly indicates to me that the equilibrium condition of the CESM-H run is reasonable (but will errors as all models have) and likely more accurate than the AR5 projections (as the CESM is one of the CMIP5 contributing programs).  Therefore, while I am willing to wait for the end of the first phase of the ACME program (in another 2.5 years) before expecting policy makers to take note; I do find this paper to present findings for increasing levels of concern that climate sensitivity may well be greater than projected by CMIP5.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: crandles on April 19, 2015, 10:31:27 AM

current globally averaged temperature is 287.15 (or so)  how does the model run output not show additional warming from current temperatures?

The model run simply shows that the atmosphere of the model is out of balance with the ocean of the model at the start of the run. If it was in balance before the run started then with no changes to GHG over the period you would expect a steady global temperature.

By the end of the run it is much closer to being in balance.

(Year 2000 climate isn't in balance either we have had 0.8C warming and if GHG levels held steady now we would expect close to 2C warming. So a 1.2C increase suggest the model is about as out of balance as our year 2000 situation was.)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 19, 2015, 10:40:43 AM
While no model is truly correct, as an example of how well CESM-H performed can be seen in the attached image (with the following caption) comparing observed vs CESM-H vs CESM-S annual mean SST along the Equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Caption for Figure 7: "(a) Annual mean SST along the Equator, Pacific Ocean. Black line: CESM-H, red line: Reynolds et al. [2002] climatology. (b) As Figure 7a but for CESM-S. Data are averaged between latitudes 1.5°S and 1.5°N. (c) Seasonal cycle of SST at equator from (left) Reynolds et al. climatology, (middle) CESM-H, and (right) CESM-S."

See:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014MS000363/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014MS000363/full)

Furthermore, outputs from both the High Resolution and the Standard (including spin-up) CESM runs can be found here:

https://www.earthsystemgrid.org/dataset/ucar.cgd.asd.output.html (https://www.earthsystemgrid.org/dataset/ucar.cgd.asd.output.html)

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 19, 2015, 07:35:24 PM

current globally averaged temperature is 287.15 (or so)  how does the model run output not show additional warming from current temperatures?

The model run simply shows that the atmosphere of the model is out of balance with the ocean of the model at the start of the run. If it was in balance before the run started then with no changes to GHG over the period you would expect a steady global temperature.

By the end of the run it is much closer to being in balance.

(Year 2000 climate isn't in balance either we have had 0.8C warming and if GHG levels held steady now we would expect close to 2C warming. So a 1.2C increase suggest the model is about as out of balance as our year 2000 situation was.)

well, it BETTER have the oceans out of balance with the atmosphere!  Ricke and Caldeira showed that there is a 10 year temperature response time to a slug of emissions, primarily due to thermal inertia.  With a current (2015) top of atmosphere energy imbalance of about 1.2 Watts per meter squared (twice the Hansen and Sato 2007 mean estimate) and with between 30% and 50% of total forcing being offset by anthropogenic aerosols there is significantly more warming locked in, as you suggest with your 2C estimate, however, your estimate is the pure CO2 forcing based on a projected median 3.0C ECS and does not include albedo, carbon cycle, frozen soil and ocean acidification reductions in DMS production, all of which have significant positive inputs.

as a side note, have you seen

this V V V V  (source: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php (http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php)  )

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 19, 2015, 11:41:13 PM
With a hat-tip to jdallen & wili from their recent posts in the Arctic Wildfire thread, the following linked articles discuss early & severe wildfire raging in Siberia that will clearly accelerate the degradation of the permafrost effected by such wildfires.

https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/unprecedented-early-start-to-perma-burn-fire-season-deadly-wildfires-rage-through-siberia-on-april-12/ (https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/unprecedented-early-start-to-perma-burn-fire-season-deadly-wildfires-rage-through-siberia-on-april-12/)

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/news/article/russian-ecologists-warn-summer-could-see-repeat-of-devastating-2010-wildfires (http://www.themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/news/article/russian-ecologists-warn-summer-could-see-repeat-of-devastating-2010-wildfires)–or-worse/519338.html

http://www.king5.com/story/weather/2015/04/18/hazy-seattle-sky-is-from-siberia-wildfires/25998639/ (http://www.king5.com/story/weather/2015/04/18/hazy-seattle-sky-is-from-siberia-wildfires/25998639/)

Edit: For what it is worth, I note that the last time there was a comparable scale of wildfires in Russia was during the 2010 El Nino year; and now in 2015 we are projected to have a possibly stronger El Nino event (which can affect weather conditions in Russia).
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 20, 2015, 10:58:43 PM
http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/04/tiny-marine-plants-could-amplify-arctic-warming-by-20-percent-new-study-finds/ (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/04/tiny-marine-plants-could-amplify-arctic-warming-by-20-percent-new-study-finds/)

Tiny marine plants could amplify Arctic warming by 20%, new study finds

Quote
So how could algal blooms intensify sea ice decline? As the Arctic warms up and the sea ice melts, more sunlight can penetrate into the ocean surface, triggering more growth in the algae.

With more microalgae floating around in the surface waters of the ocean, they absorb an increasing amount of the sun's energy, which causes the water to warm up. A warmer ocean means more sea ice melts, boosting algal growth even further, and creating a positive feedback loop.

paper here:  Amplified Arctic warming by phytoplankton under greenhouse warming
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/04/14/1416884112.abstract (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/04/14/1416884112.abstract)

Park et. al. (2015)

abstract:  One of the important impacts of marine phytoplankton on climate systems is the geophysical feedback by which chlorophyll and the related pigments in phytoplankton absorb solar radiation and then change sea surface temperature. Yet such biogeophysical impact is still not considered in many climate projections by state-of-the-art climate models, nor is its impact on the future climate quantified. This study shows that, by conducting global warming simulations with and without an active marine ecosystem model, the biogeophysical effect of future phytoplankton changes amplifies Arctic warming by 20%. Given the close linkage between the Arctic and global climate, the biologically enhanced Arctic warming can significantly modify future estimates of global climate change, and therefore it needs to be considered as a possible future scenario.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 21, 2015, 11:35:50 PM
The linked reference provides field evidence that shifts in the location of the West Spitsbergen Current near Svalbard can abruptly reduce the amount of methane (released from seafloor hydrate decomposition) consumed by methanotrophic bacteria, thus leaving larger amounts of methane in the water column.  If similar events occur in shallow Arctic waters (now or in the future) then surplus methane in the water column could be released to the atmosphere.

Steinle, L., C. A. Graves, T. Treude, B. Ferré, A. Biastoch, I. Bussmann, C. Berndt, S. Krastel, R. H. James, E. Behrens, C. W. Böning, J. Greinert, C.-J. Sapart, M. Scheinert, S. Sommer, M. F. Lehmann, H. Niemann (2015), "Water column methanotrophy controlled by a rapid oceanographic switch", Nature Geoscience, DOI 10.1038/ngeo2420

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2420.html (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2420.html)

Abstract: "Large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane are released from the seabed to the water column, where it may be consumed by aerobic methanotrophic bacteria. The size and activity of methanotrophic communities, which determine the amount of methane consumed in the water column, are thought to be mainly controlled by nutrient and redox dynamics. Here, we report repeated measurements of methanotrophic activity and community size at methane seeps west of Svalbard, and relate them to physical water mass properties and modelled ocean currents. We show that cold bottom water, which contained a large number of aerobic methanotrophs, was displaced by warmer water with a considerably smaller methanotrophic community within days. Ocean current simulations using a global ocean/sea-ice model suggest that this water mass exchange is consistent with short-term variations in the meandering West Spitsbergen Current. We conclude that the shift from an offshore to a nearshore position of the current can rapidly and severely reduce methanotrophic activity in the water column. Strong fluctuating currents are common at many methane seep systems globally, and we suggest that they affect methane oxidation in the water column at other sites, too."

See also:

http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/currents-trigger-methane-release-from-arctic.html (http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/currents-trigger-methane-release-from-arctic.html)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 29, 2015, 10:17:21 PM
The linked reference indicates that due to the unique chemical signature of the ancient permafrost dissolved organic carbon (DOC), that these DOC's can be rapidly utilized by microbes (~ 50% DOC loss in less than 7 days):

Spencer, R. G. M., P. J. Mann, T. Dittmar, T. I. Eglinton, C. McIntyre, R. M. Holmes, N. Zimov, and A. Stubbins (2015), "Detecting the signature of permafrost thaw in Arctic rivers", Geophysical Research Letters, 42, doi: 10.1002/2015GL063498

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/2015GL063498/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/2015GL063498/abstract)

Abstract: "Climate change induced permafrost thaw in the Arctic is mobilizing ancient dissolved organic carbon (DOC) into headwater streams; however, DOC exported from the mouth of major arctic rivers appears predominantly modern. Here we highlight that ancient (>20,000 years B.P.) permafrost DOC is rapidly utilized by microbes (~50% DOC loss in <7 days) and that permafrost DOC decay rates (0.12 to 0.19 day−1) exceed those for DOC in a major arctic river (Kolyma: 0.09 day−1). Permafrost DOC exhibited unique molecular signatures, including high levels of aliphatics that were rapidly utilized by microbes. As microbes processed permafrost DOC, its distinctive chemical signatures were degraded and converged toward those of DOC in the Kolyma River. The extreme biolability of permafrost DOC and the rapid loss of its distinct molecular signature may explain the apparent contradiction between observed permafrost DOC release to headwaters and the lack of a permafrost signal in DOC exported via major arctic rivers to the ocean."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 30, 2015, 03:39:11 AM
The linked (open access) reference discusses advanced model results for estimating methane emissions from Arctic lakes, citing emission rates of up to 538 mg CH4 m−2 d−1

Zeli Tan, Qianlai Zhuang & Katey Walter Anthony (2015), "Modeling methane emissions from arctic lakes: Model development and site-level study", JAMES, DOI: 10.1002/2014MS000344View

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014MS000344/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014MS000344/full)

Abstract: "To date, methane emissions from lakes in the pan-arctic region are poorly quantified. In order to investigate the response of methane emissions from this region to global warming, a process-based climate-sensitive lake biogeochemical model was developed. The processes of methane production, oxidation, and transport were modeled within a one-dimensional sediment and water column. The sizes of 14C-enriched and 14C-depleted carbon pools were explicitly parameterized. The model was validated using observational data from five lakes located in Siberia and Alaska, representing a large variety of environmental conditions in the arctic. The model simulations agreed well with the measured water temperature and dissolved CH4 concentration (mean error less than 1°C and 0.2 μM, respectively). The modeled CH4 fluxes were consistent with observations in these lakes. We found that bubbling-rate-controlling nitrogen (N2) stripping was the most important factor in determining CH4 fraction in bubbles. Lake depth and ice cover thickness in shallow waters were also controlling factors. This study demonstrated that the thawing of Pleistocene-aged organic-rich yedoma can fuel sediment methanogenesis by supplying a large quantity of labile organic carbon. Observations and modeling results both confirmed that methane emission rate at thermokarst margins of yedoma lakes was much larger (up to 538 mg CH4 m−2 d−1) than that at nonthermokarst zones in the same lakes and a nonyedoma, nonthermokarst lake (less than 42 mg CH4 m−2 d−1). The seasonal variability of methane emissions can be explained primarily by energy input and organic carbon availability."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: GeoffBeacon on May 09, 2015, 08:48:27 PM
Anyone seen this in the Siberian Times

Quote
Expert says deadly gas released from melting permafrost region will lead to 'awful' consequences for global warming.

http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/opinion/features/f0099-new-warning-about-climate-change-linked-to-peat-bogs/ (http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/opinion/features/f0099-new-warning-about-climate-change-linked-to-peat-bogs/)

Quote
A leading Siberian scientist has delivered another stark warning about climate change and said melting peat bogs could speed up the process.

Professor Sergey Kirpotin, director of the BioClimLand Centre of Excellence for Climate Change Research in Tomsk, said he has concerns over the 'awful' consequences in Russia’s sub-Arctic region.

He said that a thaw of the frozen bogs, which take up as much as 80 per cent of the landmass of western Siberia, will release billions of tonnes of methane – a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide – into the atmosphere. That, he concluded, will greatly speed up the effects of global warming around the world with potentially devastating consequences.

And Professor Sergey Kirpotin has such a nice smile.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bill shockley on May 21, 2015, 02:49:36 PM
I hope I've chosen an appropriate forum to ask this question.

I first saw this image posted on Sam Carana's arctic-news blog:

https://robertscribbler.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/methane-jan21-31.jpg

It represents the same 10-day period in January from each of the years 2009-2013.

RobertScribbler described it in this post:

https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/cause-for-appropriate-concern-over-arctic-methane-overburden-plumes-eruptions-and-large-ocean-craters/ (https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/cause-for-appropriate-concern-over-arctic-methane-overburden-plumes-eruptions-and-large-ocean-craters/)

Quote
In the above image we see methane measurements at the 18,000 foot altitude above the Arctic and upper latitudes. The progression is from January of 2009 (furthest left) to January of 2013 (furthest right). Orange coloration represents methane readings in the range of 1850 to 1950 parts per billion. Deep red coloration is in the range of 2000 parts per billion. Note the shift from blues and yellows (1700-1800 ppb) to oranges and reds (1850-2000 ppb) during the five years from 2009 to 2013.

It's about the clearest, most compact argument I've seen for steady growth in methane emissions from the Arctic Ocean.

Are people reading too much into this? Is there any other top-down data that provides better evidence of growth?

Thanks for any help.

Also, I couldn't find any guidance on how to get images to embed. Any help would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: oren on May 24, 2015, 11:50:05 AM
Anyone seen this in the Siberian Times

Quote
Expert says deadly gas released from melting permafrost region will lead to 'awful' consequences for global warming.

http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/opinion/features/f0099-new-warning-about-climate-change-linked-to-peat-bogs/ (http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/opinion/features/f0099-new-warning-about-climate-change-linked-to-peat-bogs/)

Quote
A leading Siberian scientist has delivered another stark warning about climate change and said melting peat bogs could speed up the process.

Professor Sergey Kirpotin, director of the BioClimLand Centre of Excellence for Climate Change Research in Tomsk, said he has concerns over the 'awful' consequences in Russia’s sub-Arctic region.

He said that a thaw of the frozen bogs, which take up as much as 80 per cent of the landmass of western Siberia, will release billions of tonnes of methane – a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide – into the atmosphere. That, he concluded, will greatly speed up the effects of global warming around the world with potentially devastating consequences.

And Professor Sergey Kirpotin has such a nice smile.

I've read it already. This is the Joker in terms of runaway positive feedback.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: anotheramethyst on June 18, 2015, 09:55:31 AM
couldn't find a "arctic sea ice graphs page" topic so i put this video under its actual intended topic intead.

http://youtu.be/p2ckkxEnWpA (http://youtu.be/p2ckkxEnWpA)

paul beckwith on recent arctic methane readings.... but that's not the cool part.  it's REALLY a video of paul beckwith using, among other resources, neven's arctic sea ice graphs page.  i thought that was pretty cool.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Anne on June 18, 2015, 02:48:14 PM
He used to comment on here. In fact, I wondered if it was him voting zero in the polls.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: anotheramethyst on June 18, 2015, 09:08:04 PM
hahaha!!!!! that sounds like a reasonable guess :) now im gonna wonder if any other climate "celebrities" r on here.... richard alley would be cool.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 16, 2015, 11:37:14 PM
The attached image shows satellite measured methane atmospheric concentrations at 469mb on July 14, 2015, & indicates readings as high as 2229PPB in the Arctic regions:
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Nick_Naylor on August 20, 2015, 01:29:46 AM
Not quite sure what to make of this paper:
http://phys.org/news/2015-08-warmer-earth-arctic-methane.html (http://phys.org/news/2015-08-warmer-earth-arctic-methane.html)

The headline on phys.org is "On warmer Earth, most of Arctic may remove, not add, methane"

You can imagine what WUWT is making of this, and Andy Revkin has tweeted as though this changes everything. I have been unable to find any serious reaction to it.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: solartim27 on August 20, 2015, 05:37:16 AM
Yeah, we'll all have developed gills by then.
Quote
During a three-year period, a carbon-poor site on Axel Heiberg Island in Canada's Arctic region consistently took up more methane as the ground temperature rose from 0 to 18 degrees Celsius (32 to 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit). The researchers project that should Arctic temperatures rise by 5 to 15 degrees Celsius over the next 100 years, the methane-absorbing capacity of "carbon-poor" soil could increase by five to 30 times.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-08-warmer-earth-arctic-methane.html#jCp (http://phys.org/news/2015-08-warmer-earth-arctic-methane.html#jCp)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Nick_Naylor on September 02, 2015, 01:15:54 PM
Has anyone seen this paper, which suggests that the Arctic may actually become a net methane sink as it warms? Basically certain Arctic soils that are currently absorbing methane appear likely to become better sinks as the Arctic warms - especially if they are subject to dry conditions in the summertime.

Deniers are seizing it as though it overturns everything that came before it (big surprise), but it might actually be important even if the effect is smaller than that:

http://www.princeton.edu/geosciences/news/geochemistry/LauEtAl_2015_ISMEJ_methane_sink.pdf (http://www.princeton.edu/geosciences/news/geochemistry/LauEtAl_2015_ISMEJ_methane_sink.pdf)
http://www.princeton.edu/geosciences/news/archive/?id=14884 (http://www.princeton.edu/geosciences/news/archive/?id=14884)

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/08/19/the-arctic-methane-emergency-appears-canceled-due-to-methane-eating-bacteria/ (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/08/19/the-arctic-methane-emergency-appears-canceled-due-to-methane-eating-bacteria/)
https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2015/08/21/arctic-methane-scare-cancelled/ (https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2015/08/21/arctic-methane-scare-cancelled/)

Edit: I suspect that sharing to link of the actual full text of the paper might cause it to disappear. Every other link I found was paywalled.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on September 19, 2015, 01:15:46 AM
The linked open access reference shows that methane emissions from the tundra increase as Artic Sea Ice, ASI, extent decreases.  Thus we can expect a surge in methane emissions from the tundra if/when the ASI extent collapses.

Frans-Jan W. Parmentier, Wenxin Zhang, Yanjiao Mi, Xudong Zhu, Jacobus van Huissteden, Daniel J. Hayes, Qianlai Zhuang, Torben R. Christensen and A. David McGuire (2015), Rising methane emissions from northern wetlands associated with sea ice decline", Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065013

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL065013/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL065013/abstract)

Abstract: "The Arctic is rapidly transitioning toward a seasonal sea ice-free state, perhaps one of the most apparent examples of climate change in the world. This dramatic change has numerous consequences, including a large increase in air temperatures, which in turn may affect terrestrial methane emissions. Nonetheless, terrestrial and marine environments are seldom jointly analyzed. By comparing satellite observations of Arctic sea ice concentrations to methane emissions simulated by three process-based biogeochemical models, this study shows that rising wetland methane emissions are associated with sea ice retreat. Our analyses indicate that simulated high-latitude emissions for 2005–2010 were, on average, 1.7 Tg CH4 yr−1 higher compared to 1981–1990 due to a sea ice-induced, autumn-focused, warming. Since these results suggest a continued rise in methane emissions with future sea ice decline, observation programs need to include measurements during the autumn to further investigate the impact of this spatial connection on terrestrial methane emissions."


See also:
http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/melting-arctic-sea-ice-accelerates-methane-emissions (http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/melting-arctic-sea-ice-accelerates-methane-emissions)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on October 14, 2015, 07:11:06 PM
Woods Hole is an eminently qualified research center, and when they issue a policy brief (see linked pdf) stating that GHG emissions from permafrost could lead to out-of-control global warming within decades, such advice should not be ignored:

http://whrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/PB_Permafrost.pdf (http://whrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/PB_Permafrost.pdf)

Extract: "Carbon emissions from thawing arctic permafrost will become substantial within decades, likely exceeding current emissions from fossil fuel combustion in the United States. This will greatly complicate efforts to keep global warming below 2°C and adds urgency to limiting anthropogenic emissions. Unlike fossil fuel emissions, emissions from thawing permafrost build on themselves, because the warming they cause leads to even greater emissions. For this reason, emissions from permafrost could lead to out-of-control global warming."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: johnm33 on November 18, 2015, 12:18:10 PM
These look ready to pop
"Large mounds - described as pingos - have been identified on the seabed off the Yamal Peninsula, and their formation is seen as due to the thawing of subsea permafrost, causing a 'high accumulation' of methane gas."
http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/f0183-leaking-pingos-can-explode-under-the-sea-in-the-arctic-as-well-as-on-land/ (http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/f0183-leaking-pingos-can-explode-under-the-sea-in-the-arctic-as-well-as-on-land/)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpuu.sh%2FlpQgI%2F6aec350f4c.jpg&hash=2d8b0f5ac1eb63460211ebfe17ef933b)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 20, 2015, 08:10:23 PM
While the linked (open access) reference does not talk methane, it does talk about pingo formation, and as pingos can vent methane (see Reply #237), I am posting in this thread:

Samsonov, S. V., Lantz, T. C., Kokelj, S. V., and Zhang, Y.: Growth of a young pingo in the Canadian Arctic observed by RADARSAT-2 interferometric satellite radar, The Cryosphere Discuss., 9, 6395-6421, doi:10.5194/tcd-9-6395-2015, 2015.

http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/9/6395/2015/tcd-9-6395-2015.pdf (http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/9/6395/2015/tcd-9-6395-2015.pdf)

Abstract. Advancements in radar technology are increasing our ability to detect earth surface deformation in permafrost environments. In this paper we use satellite Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) to describe the growth of a previously unreported pingo in the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands. High-resolution RADARSAT-2 imagery (2011–2014) analyzed with the Multidimensional Small Baseline Subset (MSBAS) DInSAR revealed a maximum 2.7 cm yr−1 of domed uplift located in a drained lake basin. Observed changes in elevation were modeled as a 348 m × 290 m uniformly loaded elliptical plate with clamped edge. Model results suggest that this feature is one of the largest diameter pingos in the region that is presently growing. Analysis of historical aerial photographs showed that ground uplift at this location initiated sometime between 1935 and 1951 following lake drainage. Uplift is largely due to the growth of intrusive ice, because the 9 % expansion of pore water associated with permafrost aggradation into saturated sands is not sufficient to explain the observed short- and long-term deformation rates. The modeled thickness of permafrost using the Northern Ecosystem Soil Temperature (NEST) was consistent with the maximum height of this feature and the 1972–2014 elevation changes estimated from aerial photographs, suggesting that permafrost aggradation is resulting in the freezing a sub-pingo water lens. Seasonal variation in the uplift rate seen in the DInSAR data also matches the modeled seasonal pattern in the deepening rate of freezing front. This study demonstrates that interferometric satellite radar can successfully contribute to understanding the dynamics of terrain uplift in response to permafrost aggradation and ground ice development in remote polar environments, and highlights possible application of detecting deformation of Martian landscapes. However, our DInSAR data did not show clear growth at other smaller pingos in contrast with field studies performed mainly before the 1990s. Further investigation of this apparent discrepancy may help define limitations of our processing methodology and DInSAR data.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 30, 2015, 05:02:18 PM
"Global warming will progress faster than what was previously believed. The reason is that greenhouse gas emissions that arise naturally are also affected by increased temperatures. This has been confirmed in a new study from Linköping University that measures natural methane emissions":
http://www.liu.se/forskning/forskningsnyheter/1.661226?l=en (http://www.liu.se/forskning/forskningsnyheter/1.661226?l=en)

"Over the past two years the research team at Linköping University has contributed to numerous studies that all point in the same direction: natural greenhouse gas emissions will increase when the climate gets warmer. In the latest study the researchers examined the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from three lakes. The effects were clear and the methane emissions increased exponentially with temperature. Their measurements show that a temperature increase from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius almost doubled the methane level. The findings was recently published in Limnology and Oceanography."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Clare on December 23, 2015, 11:17:45 AM
I try to avoid reading about methane emissions if I can (head in the sand  :'( ), so not sure if this recent article has been posted already:
http://phys.org/news/2015-12-methane-emissions-arctic-cold-season.html (http://phys.org/news/2015-12-methane-emissions-arctic-cold-season.html)
"The amount of methane gas escaping from the ground during the long cold period in the Arctic each year and entering Earth's atmosphere is likely much higher than estimated by current climate change models, concludes a major new study led by San Diego State University."

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Sleepy on December 23, 2015, 02:53:03 PM
Thanks Clare, I haven't seen that study.
The supplementary:
http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2015/12/17/1516017113.DCSupplemental/pnas.201516017SI.pdf (http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2015/12/17/1516017113.DCSupplemental/pnas.201516017SI.pdf)
The graphs/readings from those different towers attached.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Pmt111500 on January 06, 2016, 04:27:51 AM
oops, I think it's time for me to look for a new place to add to favorites... http://methanetracker.org/ (http://methanetracker.org/) looks like being a finished project. (cats and plumbing warning)

Though f.e. http://euanmearns.com/the-methane-time-bomb/ (http://euanmearns.com/the-methane-time-bomb/) shows the seasonal cycle of methane concentrations has the high point in winter time, this is due to the lack or significant slowdown of the normal breakdown mechanism in the atmosphere during the winter. The highest inputs of methane to atmosphere occur in autumn and spring as seen on many years in the lowest graph in the article. When the amount of light increases in spring the volumes quickly drop. This makes me guess the autumn methane releases would be the most critical in the development of yearly increase in its concentrations.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 13, 2016, 04:42:19 PM
New study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, a publication of the American Geophysical Union, provides a comprehensive analysis of carbon flux on the tundra during the winter months.
Quote
Arctic tundra stores carbon during the summer and releases some of it during the winter. But a new study shows that carbon released during the winter now outweighs the summertime gains, resulting in a net loss of carbon to the atmosphere.

According to the study’s authors, these results suggest the northern tundra may be shifting from its historical role as a carbon sink to a carbon source. To date, the Arctic has warmed more than any other region globally and researchers expect this warming to continue in the coming decades. If the tundra becomes a carbon source, it could amplify global warming and accelerate climate change, according to the authors.
http://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2016/02/11/new-study-suggests-northern-tundra-shifting-from-carbon-sink-to-carbon-source/ (http://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2016/02/11/new-study-suggests-northern-tundra-shifting-from-carbon-sink-to-carbon-source/)
Title: New IASI Methane Spike Feb 20 2016
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 22, 2016, 03:09:50 PM
METOP 1-B IASI smashed through the last spike to hit 3096 PPB on Feb 20 2016 am.
http://megiddo666.apocalypse4real-globalmethanetracking.com/ (http://megiddo666.apocalypse4real-globalmethanetracking.com/)

My site has the images - not time to add here.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 01, 2016, 06:42:05 PM
The linked (open access) reference downplays the importance of the ESAS as a source for recent atmospheric methane concentration events in the Arctic:

Berchet, A., Bousquet, P., Pison, I., Locatelli, R., Chevallier, F., Paris, J.-D., Dlugokencky, E. J., Laurila, T., Hatakka, J., Viisanen, Y., Worthy, D. E. J., Nisbet, E., Fisher, R., France, J., Lowry, D., Ivakhov, V., and Hermansen, O.: Atmospheric constraints on the methane emissions from the East Siberian Shelf, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 4147-4157, doi:10.5194/acp-16-4147-2016, 2016

http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/16/4147/2016/ (http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/16/4147/2016/)

Abstract. Subsea permafrost and hydrates in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) constitute a substantial carbon pool, and a potentially large source of methane to the atmosphere. Previous studies based on interpolated oceanographic campaigns estimated atmospheric emissions from this area at 8–17 TgCH4 yr−1. Here, we propose insights based on atmospheric observations to evaluate these estimates. The comparison of high-resolution simulations of atmospheric methane mole fractions to continuous methane observations during the whole year 2012 confirms the high variability and heterogeneity of the methane releases from ESAS. A reference scenario with ESAS emissions of 8 TgCH4 yr−1, in the lower part of previously estimated emissions, is found to largely overestimate atmospheric observations in winter, likely related to overestimated methane leakage through sea ice. In contrast, in summer, simulations are more consistent with observations. Based on a comprehensive statistical analysis of the observations and of the simulations, annual methane emissions from ESAS are estimated to range from 0.0 to 4.5 TgCH4 yr−1. Isotopic observations suggest a biogenic origin (either terrestrial or marine) of the methane in air masses originating from ESAS during late summer 2008 and 2009.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: salbers on April 23, 2016, 06:27:12 PM
The question then is how this can be reconciled with the higher (though uncertain) estimates (e.g. by Shakhova et. al. in 2014,2015).

Ebullition and storm-induced methane release from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf.

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n1/full/ngeo2007.html (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n1/full/ngeo2007.html)

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf: towards further assessment of permafrost-related methane fluxes and role of sea ice.

http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/373/2052/20140451 (http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/373/2052/20140451)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 23, 2016, 06:39:29 PM
The question then is how this can be reconciled with the higher estimates (e.g. by Shakhova et. al. in 2015).

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf: towards further assessment of permafrost-related methane fluxes and role of sea ice.

http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/373/2052/20140451 (http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/373/2052/20140451)

The paper that I cited considers the case through 2012, while your reference cites more recent observations.  Methane emissions from ESAS likely will follow a non-linear (exponential) curve with warming of the Arctic Ocean bottom water temperatures; thus how much emissions you expect depends on the timeframe considered and the forcing pathway that we are all going to follow.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: salbers on April 23, 2016, 07:20:53 PM
Good point about the timing of the papers. The paper you cited does have some good suggestions in the conclusions, such as improving the observation network.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Ned W on August 10, 2016, 02:26:26 PM
From GRL:

No significant increase in long-term CH4 emissions on North Slope of Alaska despite significant increase in air temperature (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL069292/abstract)

Quote
Twenty-nine years of measurements show little change in seasonal mean land sector CH4 enhancements, despite an increase in annual mean temperatures of 1.2 ± 0.8°C/decade (2σ). The record does reveal small increases in CH4 enhancements in November and December after 2010 due to increased late-season emissions. The lack of significant long-term trends suggests that more complex biogeochemical processes are counteracting the observed short-term (monthly) temperature sensitivity of 5.0 ± 3.6 ppb CH4/°C. Our results suggest that even the observed short-term temperature sensitivity from the Arctic will have little impact on the global atmospheric CH4 budget in the long term if future trajectories evolve with the same temperature sensitivity.

As I understand it, at short time scales (monthly) increases in air temperature cause increases in CH4 emissions from the tundra, at least in August & September.  But over the long term, the ecosystem seems to be adjusting to the temperature rise (12C/century at Barrow), resulting in no increase in CH4 emissions despite a large increase in temperature.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: longwalks1 on August 11, 2016, 12:46:28 AM
I have gone through the paper once so far. 

 Free on the above site is the supporting information with illos of the land versus sea sector acquisition paths and a small graph with some topography information.  It is worth a glance if you are interested. 

"Near" continuous data.  The site went off line in 2012 after pretty standard gas chromatography was used for decades with one minor change to update and upgrade equipment.  I will have to look up the two latest technologies used, first was  "cavity ring-down spectrometer" and the second was an "off-axis integrated cavity output spectrometer".  So the recent new trend of a longer season of ground outgassing with slightly higher values, especially in the late fall is also accompanied by a gap in data and then different instrumentation and then another different instrumentation.   

The air intake sampling height is 16 meters.  Although the up wind slope of the Land Sector between 150 to 210 degrees is probably slight (via a cursory look at googlemaps) for about 100 km, it probably does rise.  Although my methane sampling experience was very different and much lower tech, using a hydrogen flame - I would not find a small leak of natural gas sampled from below a meter set as fast or reliably as from above.  I do believe that fairly valid data is possible, I will investigate diffusion and rise for methane for my own edification.  A higher sampling stack would probably be hard to maintain in that environment. 

I should look up whether or not they have other papers on emissions from the other directions. The oil and gas input might be tricky as looked at in the map.  However the sea values should be even easier to compile than the land values. 

My quibbles apart, it is good news.  Rare these days. 
 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on August 17, 2016, 11:22:56 AM
The linked article indicates that more methane leaks from the permafrost during the cold months than previously thought:


http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/01/06/arctic-methane-emissions-greater-than-previous-estimates/ (http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/01/06/arctic-methane-emissions-greater-than-previous-estimates/)


Extract: “The quantity of methane leaking from the frozen soil during the long Arctic winters is probably much greater than climate models estimate, scientists have found.
They say at least half of annual methane emissions occur in the cold months from September to May, and that drier, upland tundra can emit more methane than wetlands.
The multinational team, led by San Diego State University (SDSU) in the US and including colleagues from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University of Sheffield and the Open University in the UK, have published their conclusion, which challenges critical assumptions in current global climate models, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: longwalks1 on August 18, 2016, 04:16:51 AM

Here is what appears to be the original article for reply #251 concerning methane release during the cold season. 

http://www.pnas.org/content/113/1/40.abstract?sid=36140e33-589e-4e88-b08c-78fe9db33d7b (http://www.pnas.org/content/113/1/40.abstract?sid=36140e33-589e-4e88-b08c-78fe9db33d7b)

Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget

Arctic ecosystems are major global sources of methane. We report that emissions during the cold season (September to May) contribute ≥50% of annual sources of methane from Alaskan tundra, based on fluxes obtained from eddy covariance sites and from regional fluxes calculated from aircraft data. The largest emissions were observed at the driest site (<5% inundation). Emissions of methane in the cold season are linked to the extended “zero curtain” period, where soil temperatures are poised near 0 °C, indicating that total emissions are very sensitive to soil climate and related factors, such as snow depth. The dominance of late season emissions, sensitivity to soil conditions, and importance of dry tundra are not currently simulated in most global climate models.

Looking at one of the data sets web sites (from CARVE flights) shows a quite similar sample basin as in reply #249's article also about tundra emissions.  http://daac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/dsviewer.pl?ds_id=1300 (http://daac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/dsviewer.pl?ds_id=1300)  They also used land based methane values from around Barrow including some from reply #249. 

My favourite quote from the article

Quote
Microbial consumption of CH4 in the near-surface soil layer (methanotrophy) can be very active in summer (28) but is inhibited by near-surface soil freezing (28, 29). Thus, the fraction of CH4 escaping to the atmosphere likely increases as the soil surface freezes in the fall.
 


Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on August 22, 2016, 06:18:33 PM
The linked reference provides field evidence that aquatic plants in arctic tundra wetlands is a major source of methane emissions, and will likely serve as a positive feedback mechanism with continued global warming (the AR5 & CMIP5 projections do not account for this source of methane):

C G Andresen, M J Lara, C E Tweedie & V L Lougheed (19 August 2016) "Rising Plant-mediated Methane Emissions from Arctic Wetlands", Global Change Biology, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13469

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.13469/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.13469/abstract)

Abstract: "Plant-mediated CH4 flux is an important pathway for land-atmosphere CH4 emissions but the magnitude, timing, and environmental controls, spanning scales of space and time, remain poorly understood in arctic tundra wetlands, particularly under the long term effects of climate change. CH4 fluxes were measured in situ during peak growing season for the dominant aquatic emergent plants in the Alaskan arctic coastal plain, Carex aquatilis and Arctophila fulva, to assess the magnitude and species-specific controls on CH4 flux. Plant biomass was a strong predictor of A. fulva CH4 flux while water depth and thaw depth were co-predictors for C. aquatilis CH4 flux. We used plant and environmental data from 1971-72 from the historic International Biological Program (IBP) research site near Barrow, Alaska, which we resampled in 2010-13, to quantify changes in plant biomass and thaw depth, and used these to estimate species-specific decadal-scale changes in CH4 fluxes. A ~60% increase in CH4 flux was estimated from the observed plant biomass and thaw depth increases in tundra ponds over the past 40 years. Despite covering only ~5% of the landscape, we estimate that aquatic C. aquatilis and A. fulva account for two-thirds of the total regional CH4 flux of the Barrow Peninsula. The regionally observed increases in plant biomass and active layer thickening over the past 40 years not only have major implications for energy and water balance, but have significantly altered land-atmosphere CH4 emissions for this region, potentially acting as a positive feedback to climate warming."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on August 24, 2016, 09:26:09 PM
The linked refer provides data of methane emissions from Arctic lakes:

Torben R. Christensen (2016), "Permafrost: It's a gas", Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2803

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2803.html (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2803.html)

Summary: "Climate change is causing widespread permafrost thaw in the Arctic. Measurements at 33 Arctic lakes show that old carbon from thawing permafrost is being emitted as methane, though emission rates have not changed during the past 60 years."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: ghoti on August 26, 2016, 04:31:11 AM
Also this paper:
Methane emissions proportional to permafrost carbon thawed in Arctic lakes since the 1950s
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2795.html (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2795.html)

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: prokaryotes on September 07, 2016, 12:34:12 AM
Made a video, about a recent related article

Climate Change, Arctic Security and Methane Risks #3DEdition
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8oFt6KRoBE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8oFt6KRoBE)

Also check this graph

Methane release around Barrow, AK, about 20% higher than recent summers.
https://twitter.com/Climatologist49/status/773263796265553920 (https://twitter.com/Climatologist49/status/773263796265553920)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: prokaryotes on September 25, 2016, 10:49:09 PM
Not sure if this fits here but it seems this went a bit unnoticed, seabed craters of considerable size have been identified

Giant Seafloor Craters and Thriving Fauna: Methane Seepage in the Arctic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3JQ9a3apc8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3JQ9a3apc8)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 09, 2016, 11:13:19 PM
The linked AGU abstract B44D-08 is entitled: "Characterizing Methane Emission Response to the Past 60 Years of Permafrost Thaw in Thermokarst Lakes".  For those attending the AGU the associated talk will be on Dec 15 2016 from 17:36-17:48pm in Moscone West – 2020:


https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm16/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/197390
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: logicmanPatrick on December 19, 2016, 10:06:18 AM
Cross-posted here from 'stupid questions'

Global Methane Biogeochemistry, W S Reeburgh 2003

www.ess.uci.edu/~reeburgh/WSR%20TOG%202006.pdf (http://www.ess.uci.edu/~reeburgh/WSR%20TOG%202006.pdf)

New from UK Met office:

A synthesis study of the global methane budget 2000-2012

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/2016/global-carbon-budget-ch4-2016 (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/2016/global-carbon-budget-ch4-2016)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: frankendoodle on December 21, 2016, 07:46:03 PM
Is under wet or dry conditions that melted permafrost will decay and release methane?
 
Wet and dry conditions; one will release CO2 and the other CH4 but I cannot remember which is which.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: logicmanPatrick on January 03, 2017, 01:11:32 AM
Frankendoodle

Dry conditions promote CO2 release.  Wet conditions promote methane release.

Quote
As organic matter decays, it gets eaten up and digested by microbes. The bacteria that eat it produce either carbon dioxide or methane as waste. If there is oxygen available, the microbes make carbon dioxide. But if there is no oxygen available, they make methane. Most of the places where methane would form are the swamps and wetlands. And there are many miles of wetlands in the Arctic. When you walk around in the Arctic tundra, it's like sloshing through a giant sponge.

Kevin Schaefer  NSIDC

https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/frozenground/methane.html


hth.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: longwalks1 on February 12, 2017, 05:34:46 PM
A new study from the USGS on ocean bed methane release.  Study was received Aug 2016 and is online now. 

The Physorg version
https://phys.org/news/2017-02-gas-hydrate-breakdown-massive-greenhouse.html (https://phys.org/news/2017-02-gas-hydrate-breakdown-massive-greenhouse.html)

Gas hydrate breakdown unlikely to cause massive greenhouse gas release

From towards the end

Quote
"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."

The source study online at AGU "Review of Geophysics" - non paywalled. 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016RG000534/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016RG000534/full)

I am not sure, but I believe this is the first time I have seen the 84 times more potent than CO2 in the 20 year time frame (IPCC 2013) in a refereed journal.  Read in the first paragraph of the introduction. 

It is really large, large  and my shortest quick take away is that it is not disputing methane emissions from the ocean and especially the Arctic Ocean.  It ls laying some of the emissions onto submerged permafrost  - more research needed.

From the second paragraph of Conclusions.

Quote
At high latitudes, the key factors contributing to overestimation of the contribution of gas hydrate dissociation to atmospheric CH4 concentrations are the assumption that permafrost-associated gas hydrates are more abundant and widely distributed than is probably the case [Ruppel, 2015] and the extrapolation to the entire Arctic Ocean of CH4 emissions measured in one area. Appealing to gas hydrates as the source for CH4 emissions on high-latitude continental shelves lends a certain exoticism to the results but also feeds catastrophic scenarios. Since there is no proof that gas hydrate dissociation plays a role in shelfal CH4 emissions and several widespread and shallower sources of CH4 could drive most releases, greater caution is necessary.

From 6.3 Gas Hydrates in Glaciated areas. 

Quote
Figure 11 shows nominal conditions for permafrost evolution and gas hydrate stability beneath cold and warm-base ice sheets. Even where permafrost is lacking beneath warm-base ice, gas hydrate is stable at shallow depths in the sedimentary section for ice sheets a mere 500 m thick. Such shallow hydrates could form from microbial gas instead of the thermogenic gas thought to be sourcing many contemporary PAGH [Ruppel, 2015]. Anomalously shallow gas hydrates have been postulated for the Yamal Peninsula [Chuvilin et al., 2002] and invoked to explain some observations on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf [Shakhova et al., 2010a], as discussed above. Neither area was glaciated at the LGM, and the shallow gas releases on which the anomalous hydrate interpretation is based [Chuvilin et al., 2002] are common in permafrost areas during drilling and thought to be unrelated to gas hydrate dynamics. Even if proof for anomalous gas hydrates is eventually found, it remains uncertain how the pressure and temperature conditions at shallow depths (e.g., less than 100 m) could have been within the gas hydrate stability field absent recent glacial loading or a highly unusual mixture of hydrocarbons.

Quote
Intact arctic continental shelf gas hydrate certainly remains today within or beneath subsea permafrost, but distinguishing hydrate- from ice-bearing sediments based on geophysical data is nearly impossible without direct sampling.

Some will read this and think that the USGS is severely underestimating the methane emissions from the oceans and others will read the "conclusive evidence for release of hydrate-related methane to the atmosphere is lacking" and mentally black out "hydrate-related" and mentally scrub out methane impacts to CO2Equiv.  But for a quick read, my opinion is not a bad distillation. 

For me - it is not a counterpoint to the possibility of spiking methane emissions, but a caveat specific to methane hydrate emissions via the clathrate gun scenario.  Must read more..   


Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: magnamentis on March 01, 2017, 06:48:10 PM
just bringing this to everyone's, who is interested and did not know yet, attention:

one can use google to translate the page into english, else i'm ready to assist should translation fail and/or produce strange results :-)

https://weather.com/de-DE/wissen/klima/news/tor-der-unterwelt-wachst-alarmierend-batagaika-krater-gilt-als-klimatische?cm_ven=focus-online|referral|widget||batagaika-krater
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on March 02, 2017, 09:27:33 AM
just bringing this to everyone's, who is interested and did not know yet,

no need for translation here - interesting to read (not to write scary again)
those graphics of arcticnews- blog are impressive too

(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HKl8sIqahX4/WLPkihKL92I/AAAAAAAAW4g/FS4nRUJq0wIsOg0Fj1YeOI66LTcObPHCACLcB/s1600/Feb-27-2017-m.png)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Hefaistos on March 02, 2017, 10:20:13 AM
Not good.
"... unless emissions of methane and black carbon are reduced immediately, the
Earth’s average surface temperature will warm by 1.5°C by about 2030 and by 2.0°C by 2045 to 2050 whether or not carbon dioxide emissions are reduced."

But absolutely nothing is done to reduce methane, AFAIK. On the contrary, natural gas continues to expand as a 'clean' substitute for other FF.

Quote from:
A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the
greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas
Robert W. Howarth


//attached file instead
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on March 02, 2017, 12:16:29 PM
Hef
Interesting quotes, but can't open the link.


Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 02, 2017, 03:23:25 PM
Not good.
"... unless emissions of methane and black carbon are reduced immediately, the
Earth’s average surface temperature will warm by 1.5°C by about 2030 and by 2.0°C by 2045 to 2050 whether or not carbon dioxide emissions are reduced."

But absolutely nothing is done to reduce methane, AFAIK. On the contrary, natural gas continues to expand as a 'clean' substitute for other FF.

Quote from:
A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the
greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas
Robert W. Howarth


//attached file instead

I could be wrong but I am thinking increased use of natural gas and flaring of shale oil fields is a relatively small piece of the increase in atmospheric CH4. While the current rise is slow, we are seeing reports of increasing permafrost degradation and methane hydrate contributions form shelves that I think are a more important cause. Worse still, these increased releases of stored CH4 are beyond our ability to reduce as they are a direct reaction to increases in temperature which will continue for the foreseeable future. I would expect the acceleration to continue even if we were to cease using natural gas entirely.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: DrTskoul on March 02, 2017, 10:35:27 PM
Not good.
"... unless emissions of methane and black carbon are reduced immediately, the
Earth’s average surface temperature will warm by 1.5°C by about 2030 and by 2.0°C by 2045 to 2050 whether or not carbon dioxide emissions are reduced."

But absolutely nothing is done to reduce methane, AFAIK. On the contrary, natural gas continues to expand as a 'clean' substitute for other FF.

Quote from:
A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the
greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas
Robert W. Howarth


//attached file instead

I could be wrong but I am thinking increased use of natural gas and flaring of shale oil fields is a relatively small piece of the increase in atmospheric CH4. While the current rise is slow, we are seeing reports of increasing permafrost degradation and methane hydrate contributions form shelves that I think are a more important cause. Worse still, these increased releases of stored CH4 are beyond our ability to reduce as they are a direct reaction to increases in temperature which will continue for the foreseeable future. I would expect the acceleration to continue even if we were to cease using natural gas entirely.

So far it has been measured that > 90% of released subsea methane is converted by micro organisms and never reaches the surface. So increase of Methane is not from either natural gas or clathrates.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: CognitiveBias on March 02, 2017, 10:40:21 PM
DrT,
  I don't follow.  How can <10% of an unknown quantity be bounded?

Thanks,
  CB

...
So far it has been measured that > 90% of released subsea methane is converted by micro organisms and never reaches the surface. So increase of Methane is not from either natural gas or clathrates.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: DrTskoul on March 02, 2017, 10:51:10 PM
DrT,
  I don't follow.  How can <10% of an unknown quantity be bounded?

Thanks,
  CB

...
So far it has been measured that > 90% of released subsea methane is converted by micro organisms and never reaches the surface. So increase of Methane is not from either natural gas or clathrates.

There not that many clathrates with temperatures that are close enough to full release yet...
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on March 03, 2017, 07:48:50 AM
So far it has been measured that > 90% of released subsea methane is converted by micro organisms and never reaches the surface. So increase of Methane is not from either natural gas or clathrates.

I only ask myself: what will be the product of that micro organisms? Especially the anaerobic version would be not so nice...

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fworldoceanreview.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F02%2Fwor3_k3c_abb_3-15.jpg&hash=dcd9669bdf6c6298ed6f30db98b500dd)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: DrTskoul on March 03, 2017, 10:04:01 AM
The products are CO2 mostly (methanotrophs) plus lipids etc.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: SteveMDFP on March 03, 2017, 06:31:19 PM
The products are CO2 mostly (methanotrophs) plus lipids etc.
Yes, these days it's methane to CO2.  With slow de-oxygenation of the oceans, we'll see more and more of the methane going to hydrogen sulfide.  In maybe 200 years, we'll have "Canfield ocean." Most recognizable ocean life will die.  The Great Dying of 252 million years ago, revisited.

That process starts in earnest when the Arctic goes ice-free year-round.  It's formation of ice, after all, that sinks surface oxygenated waters to the depths.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Anne on March 04, 2017, 09:05:27 AM
28 February. A roundup of permafrost degradation studies in Canada and Siberia.
Quote
Huge slabs of Arctic permafrost in northwest Canada are slumping and disintegrating, sending large amounts of carbon-rich mud and silt into streams and rivers. A new study that analyzed nearly a half-million square miles in northwest Canada found that this permafrost decay is affecting 52,000 square miles of that vast stretch of earth—an expanse the size of Alabama.

According to researchers with the Northwest Territories Geological Survey (http://www.nwtgeoscience.ca/news/research-paper-published-geology-examines-permafrost-thaw), the permafrost collapse is intensifying and causing landslides into rivers and lakes that can choke off life downstream, all the way to where the rivers discharge into the Arctic Ocean.

Similar large-scale landscape changes are evident across the Arctic including in Alaska, Siberia and Scandinavia, the researchers wrote in a paper published in the journal Geology (http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2017/02/06/G38626.1.abstract?sid=3caa2535-8d09-4d60-9872-89ea658cd63b) in early February. The study didn't address the issue of greenhouse gas releases from thawing permafrost. But its findings could help quantify the immense global scale of the thawing, which will contribute to more accurate estimates of carbon emissions.
More at the link: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27022017/global-warming-permafrost-study-melt-canada-siberia (https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27022017/global-warming-permafrost-study-melt-canada-siberia)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Pmt111500 on March 21, 2017, 09:02:59 AM
'hatrack' at democratic-discussion forum keeps on finding 'delightful' newstories of everysort of environmental issue. This time it's about those permafrost bubbles of ice covered whatevers : http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0905-7000-underground-gas-bubbles-poised-to-explode-in-arctic/ (http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0905-7000-underground-gas-bubbles-poised-to-explode-in-arctic/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: johnm33 on March 21, 2017, 11:30:58 AM
Have any surveys been published that show the depth of actual bedrock that underlies the permafrost? Either in Canada/Alaska or Russia? Just how extensive can we expect the new arctic ocean to become? As far south as Great Bear lake? halfway to the Caspian sea?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Pmt111500 on March 21, 2017, 11:41:13 AM
Afaik, no systematic surveys of boggy areas have been done (or then they're in russian litterature or within oil companies working there)but some isolated measurement, IIRC, of thickness of some bog in permafrosted west siberia was 80 m. Yes the western siberia might shrink quite a lot.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on March 21, 2017, 11:53:32 AM
I read an article years ago suggesting that the North Slope of Alaska could in theory become shallow ocean due to sea level rise combined with permafrost melting. Up to 200,000 km2 ?

Sorry but the article is lost in  cyberspace.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Andre on March 26, 2017, 01:29:45 PM
Discovered: 200-plus Arctic lakes which bubble like jacuzzis from seeping methane gas


http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/discovered-200-plus-arctic-lakes-which-bubble-like-jacuzzis-from-seeping-methane-gas/ (http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/discovered-200-plus-arctic-lakes-which-bubble-like-jacuzzis-from-seeping-methane-gas/)

Abstract:

A feature of these thermokarst lakes are craters or funnels in the sediment on the floor through which they are haemorrhaging methane. These pockmarks are similar to those found on the floors of the great oceans. 

Scientists say these leaks are year round in lakes where carbon processing and methane emission occur even at temperatures close to zero degrees Celcius. Detailed study of satellite data from 2015-16 has identified more than 200 lakes which are seen as an active source of methane emissions.

The gas is of both a biochemical nature, the result of microbial activity released by permafrost thawing, and catagenesis, formed in deep ground layers.

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Andre on March 26, 2017, 01:56:54 PM

I only ask myself: what will be the product of that micro organisms? Especially the anaerobic version would be not so nice...

It looks like the heat generated by the decay process itself, could go a long way in sustaining itself, without necessarily needing all that much extra heat added to the process, once it gets going. Sounds less like permafrost and more like compost.

Permafrost thawing in organic Arctic soils accelerated by ground heat production

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n6/full/nclimate2590.html?message-global=remove (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n6/full/nclimate2590.html?message-global=remove)

Abstract:
Decomposition of organic carbon from thawing permafrost soils and the resulting release of carbon to the atmosphere are considered to represent a potentially critical global-scale feedback on climate change1, 2. The accompanying heat production from microbial metabolism of organic material has been recognized as a potential positive-feedback mechanism that would enhance permafrost thawing and the release of carbon3, 4. This internal heat production is poorly understood, however, and the strength of this effect remains unclear3. Here, we have quantified the variability of heat production in contrasting organic permafrost soils across Greenland and tested the hypothesis that these soils produce enough heat to reach a tipping point after which internal heat production can accelerate the decomposition processes. Results show that the impact of climate changes on natural organic soils can be accelerated by microbial heat production with crucial implications for the amounts of carbon being decomposed. The same is shown to be true for organic middens5 with the risk of losing unique evidence of early human presence in the Arctic.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on March 26, 2017, 04:54:40 PM
Yes, @Andrew.  Also thought about the possible warming feedback of decomposition of the huge organic material reserve stored in the thawing permafrost. Maybe the growing siberian snowpack adds an effect more, to isolate the ground against the arctic winter cold and to make the process even continue during winter? I saw some graphics in the snowpack feedback thread here, showing a growing autumn and winter snowpack and lower spring snow amount. The question is, what makes the snow go earlier?  Only sun heat from above?

If I just think about the effects we use in our garden, to put wood on the ground of our raised beds to get that effect of warming reaction....found e.g. that article, that mentioned exactly both effects:

http://www.sciencepoles.org/interview/what-is-happening-to-carbon-in-arctic-tundra-permafrost (http://www.sciencepoles.org/interview/what-is-happening-to-carbon-in-arctic-tundra-permafrost)

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on March 26, 2017, 07:15:38 PM
The decomposition does indeed continue through the winter, at much higher rates than previously thought. There was a paper on this within the last year or so. I'll link if I can find it.

And yes, thicker snow would further insulate the ground below and allow for more and faster decomposition and hence larger quantities of methane and CO2 (mostly methane, I would think, in that closed off, moist environment).
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Tor Bejnar on March 26, 2017, 08:46:25 PM
I recall a winter in the 1990s where Upstate New York (Adirondack Mtns., specifically) experienced normal mid-winter cold, but the usual snow cover was completely missing.  Many municipal water pipes buried 6 feet [1.8m] down (I think, but maybe only 4' - 1.2m) froze and broke, whereas during all other winters with some snow cover, they were fine. 

About 1970 (in northern New Mexico) we had some extreme cold (down to -32F [-26C]) (-5 to -10F [-10 to -20C] were normal extremes for winter's coldest nights) that killed many fruit trees where there was no snow cover but did no damage to ours as we had 4-6 inches [10-15 cm] of snow in our yard.

So yes, snow cover matters!
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: longwalks1 on March 27, 2017, 12:53:44 AM
I took some notes on the Ruppel-Kessler review "interaction of climate change and methane hydrates"  mentioned much further above.  doi:10.1002/2016RG000534

Some of the acronyms are reused in the "Relic Gas Hydrate" article above   DOI: 10.2118/166925-RU   From my Ruppel-Kessler notes

GHSZ theoretical gas hydrate stability zone
BGHS  base of gas hydrate stability (BGHS)
AOM anaerobic oxidation methane   MOx aerobic oxidation methane
SRZ sulfate reducing zone
PAGH Permafrost Associated Gas Hydrates
D/O Dansgaard-Oeschger events warming of intermediate ocear waters.

Russian study
STGF South Tambey Gas Field

The Relic Gas Hydrate paper is from October of 2013. Nice work, Maybe I will use the authors and references  to finally get some decent kinetics disassociation of methane hydrates.   

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: GeoffBeacon on March 30, 2017, 06:30:27 PM
Andre

I tweeted your "Sounds less like permafrost more like compost" and wrote a piece for one of my blogs, which I haven't made public because it lost its way. Summary: Arctic compost warming isn't in the climate models.

How bad is this effect? I'm confused. The Hollesen et. al "arctic composting" paper (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n6/full/nclimate2590.html) was mentioned in a Guardian article with another paper Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback (http://www.nature.com/articles/nature14338) by Schuur et. al.

The Guardian article was Permafrost 'carbon bomb' may be more of a slow burn, say scientists (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/09/arctic-carbon-bomb-may-never-happen-say-scientists).  Judging from its URL, it was originally titled "Arctic carbon bomb may never happen say scientists". I'm considering whether the change is evidence for any of my conspiracy theories.

The Shuur article says

Quote
Large quantities of organic carbon are stored in frozen soils (permafrost) within Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. A warming climate can induce environmental changes that accelerate the microbial breakdown of organic carbon and the release of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane...
Here we find that current evidence suggests a gradual and prolonged release of greenhouse gas emissions in a warming climate and present a research strategy with which to target poorly understood aspects of permafrost carbon dynamics.
That seems to say don't panic - too much anyway.

The Hollesen and Schurr papers were published in 2015. Last year, Environmental Research Letters published Biomass offsets little or none of permafrost carbon release from soils, streams, and wildfire: an expert assessment (http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/3/034014/meta) by Abbot and over a hundred other authors - but only 2 citations. The abstract includes

Quote
Results suggest that contrary to model projections, total permafrost-region biomass could decrease due to water stress and disturbance, factors that are not adequately incorporated in current models. Assessments indicate that end-of-the-century organic carbon release from Arctic rivers and collapsing coastlines could increase by 75% while carbon loss via burning could increase four-fold. Experts identified water balance, shifts in vegetation community, and permafrost degradation as the key sources of uncertainty in predicting future system response. In combination with previous findings, results suggest the permafrost region will become a carbon source to the atmosphere by 2100 regardless of warming scenario but that 65%–85% of permafrost carbon release can still be avoided if human emissions are actively reduced.
"factors that are not adequately incorporated in current models". That fits with what the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/carbon-budgets-a-straightforward-answer-from-decc/) told me just before the department was scrapped. Climate change is now the responsibility of the UK business department (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/will-the-new-government-department-sideline-new-climate-warnings/).

POSTSCRIPT

Vague memories made me search my correspondence and I found this from the UK Met Office over seven years ago

Quote
Although this is not related to atmospheric temperatures there is also a local feedback between methane/co2 formation in some permafrost (due to the oxidation of organic matter by bacteria to produce methane/co2) where by the production of methane/co2 generates more heat and hence melting. I think its called the Zimov effect.

It seems the topic of these feedbacks have been lying around for some time but still not in the models. Actually it may go back further. I was told a few years ago by a participant that government pressure kept scientists from mentioning these feedbacks in the IPCC's Second Assessment Report in 1996.




Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Andre on March 31, 2017, 04:57:52 AM
Personally, I wished that there were more detailed studies of the microbial response to additional warmth and thaw of permafrost.

I do, however, have a couple of additional papers to share:

(The common thread between all of them is that they seem to indicate that the microbial response to permafrost thaw has most likely been underestimated and might end up having a much larger effect than expected. I would also agree with your statement, GeoffBeacon, that none of these results seem to have been incorporated in any of the main models yet.)

1) Metagenomic analysis of a permafrost microbial community reveals a rapid response to thaw
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v480/n7377/abs/nature10576.html (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v480/n7377/abs/nature10576.html)

2) Vulnerability of permafrost carbon to global warming. Part I: model description and role of heat generated by organic matter decomposition
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2007.00333.x/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2007.00333.x/full)

3) Permafrost carbon-climate feedbacks accelerate global warming
http://www.pnas.org/content/108/36/14769.short (http://www.pnas.org/content/108/36/14769.short)

Abstract:
"Contrary to model results for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4), when permafrost processes are included, terrestrial ecosystems north of 60°N could shift from being a sink to a source of CO2 by the end of the 21st century when forced by a Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A2 climate change scenario. Between 1860 and 2100, the model response to combined CO2 fertilization and climate change changes from a sink of 68 Pg to a 27 + -7 Pg sink to 4 + -18 Pg source, depending on the processes and parameter values used. The integrated change in carbon due to climate change shifts from near zero, which is within the range of previous model estimates, to a climate-induced loss of carbon by ecosystems in the range of 25 + -3 to 85 + -16 Pg C, depending on processes included in the model, with a best estimate of a 62 + -7 Pg C loss. Methane emissions from high-latitude regions are calculated to increase from 34 Tg CH4/y to 41–70 Tg CH4/y, with increases due to CO2 fertilization, permafrost thaw, and warming-induced increased CH4 flux densities partially offset by a reduction in wetland extent."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on April 26, 2017, 05:29:22 PM
Just watched a nice documentation about a Russian Scientist and his tries to prevent the Permafrost from thawing by bringing animals to the Tundra. Unfortunately the video is in German, but maybe some of you understand it.

The film mentions several here discussed details, beside methane. Growing isolating snowcover, mud in rivers thats are getting warmer, methane in lakes, tons of undecayed  biomass:

http://www1.wdr.de/fernsehen/weltweit/sendungen/die-klimaretter-der-arktis-100.html (http://www1.wdr.de/fernsehen/weltweit/sendungen/die-klimaretter-der-arktis-100.html)

Here also a link to the website of the mad project called Pleistocene park: http://www.pleistocenepark.ru/en/news/25/ (http://www.pleistocenepark.ru/en/news/25/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on April 26, 2017, 06:33:24 PM
Just watched a nice documentation about a Russian Scientist and his tries to prevent the Permafrost from thawing by bringing animals to the Tundra. Unfortunately the video is in German, but maybe some of you understand it.

The film mentions several here discussed details, beside methane. Growing isolating snowcover, mud in rivers thats are getting warmer, methane in lakes, tons of undecayed  biomass:

http://www1.wdr.de/fernsehen/weltweit/sendungen/die-klimaretter-der-arktis-100.html (http://www1.wdr.de/fernsehen/weltweit/sendungen/die-klimaretter-der-arktis-100.html)

Here also a link to the website of the mad project called Pleistocene park: http://www.pleistocenepark.ru/en/news/25/ (http://www.pleistocenepark.ru/en/news/25/)


The documentary was shown a few months back with English subtitles on the DOC channel here in Canada. Don't know if it's available on the web.


Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: johnm33 on April 26, 2017, 08:14:52 PM
I assume it's this project?
http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/features/bison-and-yaks-soon-on-way-to-pleistocene-park-after-kickstarter-campaign-raises-110000/ (http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/features/bison-and-yaks-soon-on-way-to-pleistocene-park-after-kickstarter-campaign-raises-110000/)
https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/519000/the-russian-scientists-bringing-back-the-ice-age/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/519000/the-russian-scientists-bringing-back-the-ice-age/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Sebastian Jones on April 26, 2017, 08:45:07 PM
The Pleistocene Park experiment/project is interesting on a couple of levels. The first is to see if the mammoth steppe can be re-created through intensive grazing, purely for academic interest.
The next is, assuming the hypothesis is correct and placing bison, horses, yaks and other grazers on tussock tundra does indeed transform it into a more biologically productive, better drained and warmer soiled grassland, what effect does this have on permafrost resilience?  What is the net carbon budget of this transformation? What does this tell us about the climate and biosphere effects of the late pleistocene mega fauna extinctions? Perhaps we shall have to extend the anthropocene back to 50K BP...
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on April 26, 2017, 09:56:40 PM
Yes, @johnm33, that Project.  :D The video of theatlantic-link was also nice, although it was more heroic and did not tell about the difficulties in nourishing the animals, with always earlier and higher Siberian snowpack. Seems to be more a crowdfunding advertising trailer somehow.  ;D

I'm afraid there are only very few existing grassland adapted animals that could survive the Siberian winter... :'( Weren't North American bisons a kind of nomades? That might also be to main problem of the ambitious project. Human societies think in static territories that "belong" to a certain family, tribe, nation, state (a strange human logic, that seems not to work really good). Human society, as it exists, is not able to think in flexible moving living areas, a borderless, peacefull unity of all living things. The human idea of a static "park" doesn't match nature-and I think those are also the thoughts of the Russian scientist.... but fortunately in Russia there are not that borders, only a few people live there - so why not give it a try?

All in one very inspiring those people! The are so grounded, just doing the things their intuition tells them. Like it!!! Never thought about forest/grassland/wilderness that way before.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on May 08, 2017, 07:53:31 PM
Quote
This year, Far Eastern scientists are set to organize three Arctic expeditions for studying underwater permafrost melting processes that could lead to major climate change, Interfax reports, quoting the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

This research will be to evaluate the scale of underwater permafrost and hydrate degradation, as well as methane migration volumes in the eastern Arctic.

"Scientists are worried about the degradation of the underwater permafrost layer on the Eastern Siberian continental shelf. This process releases huge amounts of methane, an ancient organic compound, and could influence the global climate," reports the official website of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The first gas emissions were detected in 2011 in the northern part of the Laptev Sea, with methane accounting for up to 70 percent of these emissions. Several hundred gas emissions called mega-seeps were recorded over one square kilometer of the seabed.

The results of the 2012, 2014 and 2016 expeditions show that seabed methane emissions continue to increase in the vicinity of the mega-seeps, with the diameter of some "torches" reaching several hundred meters.

If the underwater permafrost layer continues to melt at an increasing rate, growing greenhouse gas emissions would lead to major climate change, scientists note. This, in turn, would change the ecological parameters of the Arctic seas and probably those of the entire World Ocean.
link (http://arctic.ru/environmental/20170427/597399.html)

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on May 09, 2017, 02:10:59 AM
Cid
Would you happen to know if this is another S&S (Shakhova & Semiletov) expedition?
AFAIK they're still the top experts in the field, but I've worried that the chilled relations between the US & Russia, as well as Mr. Pruitt's EPA might have quashed cooperation.


I hope the need for information trumps (unintentional) politics.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Archimid on May 09, 2017, 02:16:33 AM
Neither Trump nor Putin want cooperation on climate change. At least nothing public, that could hurt the big oil bucks.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on May 09, 2017, 06:52:59 AM
Neither Trump nor Putin want cooperation on climate change. At least nothing public, that could hurt the big oil bucks.


If you're right, and you very well may be, we really are screwed.


We know where Trump stands, and we've read horror stories about Putin's stance. Give me a few days and I'll do some research into what Putin has actually said on the subject.
I'll get back with whatever I find, nothing but first person quotes, in context.


Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: johnm33 on May 09, 2017, 12:31:15 PM
Nicibiene sorry for the tardy response, I agree it's a wonderful thing they're doing. Wildlife tend to create their own habitat, which cycles through various stages. Years ago i read about how an overpopulation of elephants were reducing a whole ecosystem to near desert, and in turn had caused their own population to start crashing. The same writer years later looking at he same area saw extensive grassland with lots of shrubs, ideal territory for grazers and their predators and so few elephants that they had no serious impact. As you suggest the size of the park and corridors for migration to winter feeding grounds will be needed. Deeper reading shows that north america and australia were both managed wildlife parks idealised for hunting before more advanced cultures overwhelmed them. 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on May 09, 2017, 07:56:13 PM
Cid
Would you happen to know if this is another S&S (Shakhova & Semiletov) expedition?
AFAIK they're still the top experts in the field, but I've worried that the chilled relations between the US & Russia, as well as Mr. Pruitt's EPA might have quashed cooperation.


I hope the need for information trumps (unintentional) politics.
Terry

Yep, this is headed up by Semiletov. 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: GeoffBeacon on May 10, 2017, 03:46:07 AM
Has this been discussed on the ASIF?

Ancient Methane Seeps Tell Tale of Sudden Warming (https://eos.org/articles/ancient-methane-seeps-tell-tale-of-sudden-warming)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on May 10, 2017, 10:07:25 PM
Has this been discussed on the ASIF?

Ancient Methane Seeps Tell Tale of Sudden Warming (https://eos.org/articles/ancient-methane-seeps-tell-tale-of-sudden-warming)


In the comment section they mention similar mounds in Colorado & Southern Utah. I've seen things similar to the third picture in your link, probably in the Mojave dessert, but possibly in Northern Quebec though I really can't recall the location.
Getting old sucks!
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on May 11, 2017, 05:21:34 AM
"Are methane seeps in the Arctic slowing global warming?"
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/methane-slowing-global-warming-arctic (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/methane-slowing-global-warming-arctic)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on May 11, 2017, 04:28:13 PM
"Are methane seeps in the Arctic slowing global warming?"

I already stumbled over that article and wondered about its sound full of hope...as if the methane hydrates problem could be no threat at all. And further it declares the methane even as a solution for the CO2-problem? I could imagine that there is some mixing going on by the upwelling bubbles-might bring a fertilizing effect for more algae growth and declining CO2 levels in water. But what effect brings that not normal mixing of polar ocean layers-especially for the ice growth in the dark times?

Just looked a little at the website of mentioned USGS institute https://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/pubsearch/year_list.php?year=2017 (https://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/pubsearch/year_list.php?year=2017)

Found also that publication: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016RG000534/abstract;jsessionid=F9E3CA404D7ED75C5593ED4D7E25E928.f04t04 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016RG000534/abstract;jsessionid=F9E3CA404D7ED75C5593ED4D7E25E928.f04t04)

I´m not an expert in that, but it seems there are some nice people at work, that try to spread doubts in the basics of the methane hydrates threat many scientists clearly see:

Quote
In addition, large-scale gas hydrate dissociation is sometimes portrayed not only as a consequence of warming but also as a potential synergistic driver for enhanced warming if the CH4 released from gas hydrates reaches the atmosphere. These dual roles of gas hydrate dissociation—as both an effect and possible contributor to global warming—have led some to adopt a catastrophic perspective on the interaction of the climate system with the global gas hydrate reservoir

It is also doubted in the assumptions of methane growth included in the IPCC-reports (some also say they are much too low) - e.g it is doubted in Shakhovas research:

Quote
The values quoted by the various IPCC reports have never been based on observational evidence for CH4 emissions derived from gas hydrate dissociation since no such measurements exist. A few examples underscore this point: The clearly identified assumption of Cicerone and Oremland [1988] that 5 Tg yr−1 CH4 reached the atmosphere from gas hydrate dissociation has set the stage for the subsequent quarter century. The third IPCC [2001] cites the Fung et al. [1991] forward modeling study, which merely assigned a value for the contribution to atmospheric CH4 emissions from gas hydrate dissociation. This was also the case with Lelieveld et al. [1998], which assumed 10 Tg yr−1 CH4 emissions from gas hydrate for one scenario, a number that was then adopted by the third IPCC [2001]. The Wuebbles and Hayhoe [2002] study cited by the fourth IPCC [2007] is sometimes considered the observationally based source for the now oft-used 5 Tg yr−1 CH4 estimate for atmospheric CH4 flux from gas hydrates. That study in turn cites Judd [2000], which is a geologic methane seepage study that does not provide an independent estimate for emissions derived from gas hydrate dissociation. Cranston [1994], on which Judd [2000] relies for his hydrate-related flux discussion, estimates the sum of global diffusive and ebullitive fluxes from marine sediments to the atmosphere to be ~1.3 Tg yr−1 to 13 Tg yr−1 CH4 considering all sources, including shallow-water seeps and deepwater gas hydrates. The Denman et al. [2007] study cited in the fifth IPCC [2013] is the climate coupling chapter from the fourth IPCC [2007] and not an independent source of information. The fifth IPCC [2013] also refers to Dickens [2003b], which is a book review of Kennett et al. [2003] that did not provide an estimate for CH4 flux to the atmosphere from dissociating gas hydrates, as Dickens [2003a] also did not. Shakhova et al. [2010a], also given as a source for the hydrate-derived atmospheric CH4 flux in the fifth IPCC [2013], did not attribute the 7.98 Tg yr−1 CH4 flux that they calculated for the East Siberian Arctic shelf to gas hydrate degradation, rather considering a range of potential sources.

 ;D wish I would have some more time to dig in-but I think it is not worth it. Intention seems to be to spread doubts and to give the mainstream media with the Sciencemag article stuff to tell some good news about methane.
 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on May 11, 2017, 11:57:14 PM
;D wish I would have some more time to dig in-but I think it is not worth it. Intention seems to be to spread doubts and to give the mainstream media with the Sciencemag article stuff to tell some good news about methane.

That was my first reaction, but it seems legit science, and I doubt there is any "intention" here.
They are just doing a scientific experiment and getting it published, like any other scientists. They state that it is small-scale.
It's published in PNAS.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/05/02/1618926114 (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/05/02/1618926114)
However, I do agree that it seems unlikely that this algae effect would slow the observed methane rise. Perhaps in the shallow ocean, yes, I could see that.
Perhaps "Slow the rise of global warming a little" should have been emphasized more. Especially since it is just one small experiment.
And I can't see it happening in the permafrost on land. However, there may be other factors at work in the permafrost that could slow the release from being 'catastrophic'.
Unlike many, I am open to being wrong about the dangers of methane (a view which I have supported for years) if more research is done, I will change with the science, if it is legit.
And the researcher did state that this only applies to daylight-time in the Arctic, not the night of winter.

There is no question in my mind that the increase in algae could naturally sequester CO2 and slow warming, but enough to make a real difference to global warming? ... I can't see that happening unfortunately.

Juries' out on this I think. Time, and more experiments will tell.
However, monitoring shows Arctic methane continues to rise:
https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=BRW&program=ccgg&type=ts( (https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=BRW&program=ccgg&type=ts()
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on May 12, 2017, 08:39:50 AM
That's a lot to get my head around. After years of worrying about methane seeps it will take a little more than this one article to turn the ship around.
Wonderful news if they are right.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: prokaryotes on May 12, 2017, 01:48:11 PM
Yesterday, professor of Geophysics Vladimir Romanovsky discusses the impact of Arctic permafrost thaw.
! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWOYyneKI9k#)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Ajpope85 on May 12, 2017, 02:53:16 PM
What happens to the algae though? Does it actually sequester the carbon by dying and getting buried by silt at the bottom of the ocean or just die and decompose in the water column? If it does that, then this is just a roundabout way of adding carbon to the carbon cycle.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: prokaryotes on May 12, 2017, 03:15:52 PM
What happens to the algae though? Does it actually sequester the carbon by dying and getting buried by silt at the bottom of the ocean or just die and decompose in the water column? If it does that, then this is just a roundabout way of adding carbon to the carbon cycle.
What appears to be a seasonal negative factor may work to some extent for gradual release, but i doubt this would make a big impact if large scale release occurs, due to continued warming, or if this can be observed in other areas, with different conditions for algae growth. Also, the uptake will affect other organisms, CO2 uptake has detrimental effects for many ocean species https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120120184233.htm (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120120184233.htm)

And then there is this

Blooming Algae Could Accelerate Arctic Warming
Quote
Scientists have generally believed that more algae — more specifically, the type known as phytoplankton — would be good for the climate, since they thrive on CO2 while alive, then carry the carbon they’ve absorbed down to the sea bottom when they die. Some experts have even suggested that fertilizing the oceans to encourage algal growth would be one way to counteract global warming.

But Park and his co-authors point out that thicker layers of algae on the sea surface would prevent sunlight from penetrating deeper into the water.

“More heat is trapped in the upper layers of the ocean, where it can be easily released back into the atmosphere,” Park said. He and his team reached this conclusion by marrying computer models of how ocean ecosystems behave to models that simulate the climate. Then they ramped up levels of CO2 to see how the algae would respond to the resulting warming, the extra carbon dioxide itself, and changes in sea ice.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/algae-accelerate-arctic-warming-18929 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/algae-accelerate-arctic-warming-18929)

If you combine findings on enhanced algae growth, and potential for increased surface layer warming, then you end up with something very much resembling another wildcard.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on May 13, 2017, 12:02:25 AM
What happens to the algae though? Does it actually sequester the carbon by dying and getting buried by silt at the bottom of the ocean or just die and decompose in the water column? If it does that, then this is just a roundabout way of adding carbon to the carbon cycle.

I believe it sinks. Also, it takes bacteria with it. Other creatures will eat it and (later) die and sink.

PS.Whales are considered large carbon sinks too, both in their effect as they have to rise near the surface to deficate, which creates algae, and the same CO2 sequestration effect.
 Also, churning the lower and upper layers.
They also take on a large amount of carbon, and when they die. they (usually) take that to the bottom of the sea as well, and the rotting carcass acts to create more biological activity that sequesters carbon for decades.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_fall
Therefore ... Save the Whales.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: johnm33 on May 13, 2017, 10:37:26 AM
Reminded me of this http://mtkass.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=whale+pump (http://mtkass.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=whale+pump)
His latest post is interesting too.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on May 15, 2017, 01:16:52 PM
As I was afraid of there are appearing the first press articles about the Sciencemag article....

It is interesting to read the german version of the GEOMAR institute press release: http://www.geomar.de/news/article/methanquellen-vor-spitzbergen-verringern-treibhauseffekt/ (http://www.geomar.de/news/article/methanquellen-vor-spitzbergen-verringern-treibhauseffekt/)

There is emphasized the relationship of 1:2000 - one part upwelling methane could trigger the photosynthesis uptake of 2000 parts CO2. (Sciencemag writes about 1:1900?) That the photosynthesis in the end is only doubled compared with the water enviroment is not said exactly.

I don´t believe the algae will be a real sink for carbon - most of them don´t sink down and as a lot of fishes and other marine life is extremely threatened, the foodchain is disrupted...(more algae means also warmer water...)

That the algae effect will not work in dark winter is also not told by GEOMAR-also it is transfered to areas with shallow waters... It is even told that methane is not proven to cause the upwelling of nutrisious waters-in contrast to Sciencemag article.

In the end the german press takes the german version - of course celebrating the large cooling effect and the relationship of 1:2000.

http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/klima-methan-quellen-verringern-ueberraschenderweise.2850.de.html?drn:news_id=742982 (http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/klima-methan-quellen-verringern-ueberraschenderweise.2850.de.html?drn:news_id=742982)

 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on May 15, 2017, 01:38:07 PM
If the science is sound it's good news, if it doesn't play out I'm not sure that giving the masses some relief is such a bad thing. This isn't like the release of CO2 or CH4 by humans. This is a natural process that's going to increase in a warming world, & there's not a thing we can do about it other than watch, wonder & worry.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on May 15, 2017, 02:39:57 PM
Indeed, Terry, it is nice to hear some good news at all-how tiny they might be in the end.

But on the other hand better sounding news than the real scientific results tell are produced by the german institute. And press takes them and makes them sound much more positive. All gets filtered and painted white.
 
There is a tendency in our press I really don´t like. There is all about a far terrorism, producing fear, let people call for control and observation. But you hear nothing about severe weather events. Nothing about US, no Canadian flood, not even somehing about flash floods or severe weather events here in Germany.

Nothing is done to let people think, how they could change their personal life, no perspectives, no solutions, no visions... All the German official climate politics is a big lie if you have a closer look at it.

Most people here are not really informed at all, or they ignore it. Don´t know. But I can´t explain myself why the green party in times of more floods, droughts and negative climate effects like the spring freeze gets results of 6%, while pro fossil coal parties win elections...

That leaves me with more fear than facing the truth about methane - the lethargy of the people.
Maybe it is all natural and human. And I´m an alien?  ;D
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on May 15, 2017, 04:47:31 PM
nicibiene


We have the same problem here in Canada. The Boogie men are hiding under the covers, but little mention of huge floods, droughts or a melting Arctic. We can't do a thing about the terrorist threats, but we could be motivated to lower our carbon footprint.


I don't mind however methane seeps are spun because that's ongoing & out of our control. The damage that GHG is doing to us now, and in the near future is what needs to be headlined. Prior to Harper's election in Canada they had regular programming aimed at lowering the average Canadian's carbon footprint, and how a person could lower his own. I think it was having some effect, and certainly kept the problem current in everyone's mind. It hasn't been repeated even though we got rid of the Conservative deniers some time ago.
A shame.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bruce Steele on May 15, 2017, 05:11:18 PM
The upwelling of nutrients would increase biological production if surface waters were low in nitrogen , iron , phosphorus , etc.  Increased biological production would increase atmospheric CO2 drawdown
as long as the surface water pCO2 remained lower than atmospheric levels. This is called the biological carbon pump. Much of that carbon would be quickly recycled as higher trophic levels utilized the increased productivity. The bacteria reminerization of that portion of the organic production that settled would consume and release much of the carbon back into the water as CO2 or methane depending upon oxygen availability.
 I haven't read the whole paper but the increased biological production would be spread by currents and getting some measure of the fate of that carbon would require study of much larger areas than the rather localized site of the bubble column and upwelling .
 There are other processes that will also increase upwelling as the surface ice continues to decrease but the notion that this increased production will result in a vastly increased carbon sink is dubious IMO.
Does darkening of surface water really result in "less" heat absorption? Does upwelling and surface mixing potentially increase water column heating via insolation ?  Does the increased biological production contain higher or lower percentages of carbonate forming phytoplankton as the Arctic water continues to acidify? Other studies have shown decreases of calcium carbonate forming phytoplankton as acidity continues to increase. This will negatively affect ballasting and settlement of calcium carbonate into sediments. Calcium carbonate lasts much longer than labile organic material that settles to the bottom because like I said before bacteria can quickly remineralize organic material.
 nicibiene, Maybe those of us interested enough to read and learn and worry are all a bit alien. I do appreciate that there are fellows travelers that frequent this site and give me things to think about. I appreciate your company and I wish I had more friends that kept up with what is happening but mainstream news is completely devoid of information that might inform the masses and somehow they bury their heads when the subject does get a little too close to home. It's sad, it's lonely and I fear for how this all turns out.  It pains me that the way you describe German media, the selling of terror fears etc. mirrors so much the American experiance. It is very difficult to get away from Trump nausea, I know there is a famine in Africa but you'd never know about it cause it's Trump, Trump, terror and lately North Korea. The marketing of fear but the complete vacuum of information on how we are collectively precipitating a climate disaster. And more importantly what we as individuals might do to reduce our contributions .


Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on May 15, 2017, 06:29:12 PM
There is emphasized the relationship of 1:2000 - one part upwelling methane could trigger the photosynthesis uptake of 2000 parts CO2...That the photosynthesis in the end is only doubled compared with the water enviroment is not said exactly.
Doubling the photosynthesis causes 1:2000 ratio is the point I think.

Quote
I don´t believe the algae will be a real sink for carbon - most of them don´t sink down and as a lot of fishes and other marine life is extremely threatened
Fishes, seaweed, sharks, and whales take on carbon as cleaners of the oceans. That's their job. An extra bit of carbon won't hurt them, or anyone who eats them. The biggest problem there is the over-fishing of the ocean, and also plastic particle soup in the ocean, turning them acidic. Also Fukushima could be bad. Also pollution dumped directly into ocean by cities and international shipping. And, of course, the oceans do absorb carbon from the atmosphere, so become more acidic.

Quote
That the algae effect will not work in dark winter is also not told by GEOMAR-also it is transfered to areas with shallow waters... It is even told that methane is not proven to cause the upwelling of nutrisious waters-in contrast to Sciencemag article.
They did say it in the article about the dark winter (at the very end). The whole fear of melting icepack is that in the summer it could lead to more methane release. In the past, the large summer icepack would trap methane before it is released, and it was quickly absorbed by natural mechanisms. Now, that icepack is more and more open in summer, shallow seabed regions more likely to melt. As far as I know, winter is not as big an issue, due to icepack cover over the Arctic Ocean (except in land permafrost maybe).

The jury's out on this effect, maybe it needs to be included in modeling to see what happens, but if the methane sensors are correct, the methane is rising as far as I can tell.

Another interesting effect I saw ---> https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/biological-activity-found-affect-aerosols-produced-sea-spray

Maybe Gaia is real.


Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on May 16, 2017, 08:58:59 AM
Fishes, seaweed, sharks, and whales take on carbon as cleaners of the oceans. That's their job. An extra bit of carbon won't hurt them, or anyone who eats them. The biggest problem there is the over-fishing of the ocean, and also plastic particle soup in the ocean, turning them acidic. Also Fukushima could be bad. Also pollution dumped directly into ocean by cities and international shipping. And, of course, the oceans do absorb carbon from the atmosphere, so become more acidic.

 ;D maybe I expressed it a little unclear. I'm not afraid fishes could be harmed by some extra carbon.  ;D The problem is, that there are not so much fishes, sharks or whales left to let the biological carbon pump work.  There are more and more algae blooms that even kill fishes! Especially those algae that get along with nitrogen... So it would be also interesting what kind of algaes appeared at the methane spots?

As Bruce writes, it would be interesting, what was measured regarding phytoplankton driving the carbonate pump? As water gets more acidic that doesn't work well too. As far as I read (Rahmstorf book) phytoplankton is specialised on water temperatures. When suface water gets warmer it emigrates to lower, colder waterlevels - but there is less light, so it all has natural borders. And if there are algaes are darkening the water surface, catching sun energy, maybe it would have not that nice effect in the established ecosystem....and the foodchain that starts in cold Arctic waters.

Quote
They did say it in the article about the dark winter (at the very end).

Sciencemag does, but not the german GEOMAR version.

Quote
The whole fear of melting icepack is that in the summer it could lead to more methane release. In the past, the large summer icepack would trap methane before it is released, and it was quickly absorbed by natural mechanisms. Now, that icepack is more and more open in summer, shallow seabed regions more likely to melt. As far as I know, winter is not as big an issue, due to icepack cover over the Arctic Ocean

I think it is also a problem of growing ongoing release in winter, trapped under the ice...and what is happening with the methane there?

Very interesting read regarding methane seeps from ocean bed is this publication, from 2016:
https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lno.10307/full&ved=0ahUKEwj40eGu3fPTAhUsDZoKHamyAfsQFghJMAs&usg=AFQjCNHPWdTLBbJKsDl8Ok1BM9AIPh65sA&sig2=rJ80UrDKO9eOclaMA4JYOA (https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lno.10307/full&ved=0ahUKEwj40eGu3fPTAhUsDZoKHamyAfsQFghJMAs&usg=AFQjCNHPWdTLBbJKsDl8Ok1BM9AIPh65sA&sig2=rJ80UrDKO9eOclaMA4JYOA)


Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on May 16, 2017, 12:01:14 PM
There are other processes that will also increase upwelling as the surface ice continues to decrease but the notion that this increased production will result in a vastly increased carbon sink is dubious IMO.
Does darkening of surface water really result in "less" heat absorption? Does upwelling and surface mixing potentially increase water column heating via insolation ?  Does the increased biological production contain higher or lower percentages of carbonate forming phytoplankton as the Arctic water continues to acidify? Other studies have shown decreases of calcium carbonate forming phytoplankton as acidity continues to increase. This will negatively affect ballasting and settlement of calcium carbonate into sediments. Calcium carbonate lasts much longer than labile organic material that settles to the bottom because like I said before bacteria can quickly remineralize organic material.]

I totally agree with you - I know about the importance of carbonate pump, producing calcium carbonate that sinks to the ground. But as all is getting more acidic that system gets problems too.

Quote
nicibiene, Maybe those of us interested enough to read and learn and worry are all a bit alien. I do appreciate that there are fellows travelers that frequent this site and give me things to think about. I appreciate your company and I wish I had more friends that kept up with what is happening but mainstream news is completely devoid of information that might inform the masses and somehow they bury their heads when the subject does get a little too close to home. It's sad, it's lonely and I fear for how this all turns out. 

 :-* for that reason I highly appreciate that kind of forum here, where you feel a little more normal and not so lonely when worrying about the future and asking question nobody else seems to be interested in. Sometimes it feels like looking straigt into hell ground-but somehow I´m more interested in facing that, than bury my head in the ground.  ;D

Quote
It pains me that the way you describe German media, the selling of terror fears etc. mirrors so much the American experiance. ... The marketing of fear but the complete vacuum of information on how we are collectively precipitating a climate disaster. And more importantly what we as individuals might do to reduce our contributions .

Maybe it is some kind of plan behind it? As the governments know about the mess we are going in (and I think even Trump knows exactly) it will be helpful to have people that are perfectly controlled and busy with their ordinary life of consumption. Feeling safe in illusion, as long as possible.... :o

It can not be said that information is hidden-you can learn anything you want--and thats it. Learn, see, ask and act hopefully preventing a crash OR believe, act hopefully blind and get crashed...? Or to say it with Mr. Hamlet: To be or not to be?

Even found a nice map about the current methane values in athmosphere. Seems there is getting a new colour scala necessary?

http://www.gmes-atmosphere.eu/d/services/gac/nrt/nrt_fields_ghg!Methane!Surface!00!Global!macc!od!enfo!nrt_fields_ghg!2017051400!!/ (http://www.gmes-atmosphere.eu/d/services/gac/nrt/nrt_fields_ghg!Methane!Surface!00!Global!macc!od!enfo!nrt_fields_ghg!2017051400!!/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on May 16, 2017, 12:58:24 PM
As I found that nice paper about "Effects of climate change on methane emissions from seafloor sediments in the Arctic Ocean"

Quote
Here, we review the principal physical and biogeochemical processes that regulate methane fluxes across the seabed, the fate of this methane in the water column, and potential for its release to the atmosphere. We find that, at present, fluxes of dissolved methane are significantly moderated by anaerobic and aerobic oxidation of methane. If methane fluxes increase then a greater proportion of methane will be transported by advection or in the gas phase, which reduces the efficiency of the methanotrophic sink. Higher freshwater discharge to Arctic shelf seas may increase stratification and inhibit transfer of methane gas to surface waters, although there is some evidence that increased stratification may lead to warming of sub-pycnocline waters, increasing the potential for hydrate dissociation.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lno.10307/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lno.10307/full)

I get again confronted with a picture of one worrying mechanisms of methane in water:
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fonlinelibrary.wiley.com%2Fstore%2F10.1002%2Flno.10307%2Fasset%2Fimage_n%2Flno10307-fig-0005.png%3Fv%3D1%26amp%3Bt%3Dj2rf353q%26amp%3Bs%3D7ab761ad29ca18a86f7a81531c16242804da9aec&hash=36b71f94c6e2f843f89d475e9ec20ec7)

And as the abstract tells-the ongoing reaction down there could warm up the ground and increase the hydrate dissociation... another positive feedback again. And if there is a stronger stratification due to more freshwater methane is trapped is lower water levels. Could that also lead to a loss of oxygen in ocean layers that usually contain oxygen, increasing AOM?

Since I read about AOM and I can´t find a map about the methane in athmosphere (I just found one very good data source, provided by Copernicus satelites -link in the post above) I watched a little at nullschool for possible remarkable SO2 traces, that could be a sign for increasing methane that is consumed by microbes, producing H2S.

And suddenly, in January/February 2017 I found more and more spots of SO2-especially in Eastern Siberia-in permafrost. They appear in a massive way-out from nowhere. There are also traces near Greenland, North Canada, Alaska.  I already mentioned that as the meltseason thread touched methane... now I waited a little-and crashed again into it.

So what do you mean about that strange spots? (BTW: I switch the actual date in Nullschool with jumping one day back and changing the date in url) 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bruce Steele on May 16, 2017, 02:32:10 PM
Nicibiene, Thanks for the new pictures. My eye was drawn to the high concentration of CH4 over Svalbard in the 4/5/17  picture. That is where the heat is being pulled up from the Atlantic and there appears to be more CH4 this year. Would be nice to have water temperatures and CH4 somehow superimposed. Many of the other sources seem to be terrestrial (?) except that area you circled Southwest Greenland. I don't know what the source of that CH4 is.
 I don't know if you follow Apocalyse 4 real. He was a regular contributor here and over on the ASIB back  ~ three or four years ago. His blog has extra methane info in his archives. He still watches and he knows much more about methane issues than I.
 I am fascinated by carbon cycle processes . Riverine to atmosphere transfers of terrestrial (land sinks)
CO2 in the Amazon and Siberian riverine sources are two places to watch closely. How CO2 or methane production from these riverine sources are affected by heat , fires, permafrost melt and even drought are complications I don't think we have a handle on . Those portions of organic carbon that aren't converted via bacterial processes in the rivers will of course dump into the oceans. What part those terrestrial sources of organic matter are  responsible  for the methane in the Southwest Greenland area
I don't know but increased terrestrial meltwater may carry organics into the ocean very differently there compared to the Amazon?



http://www.megiddo666.apocalypse4real-globalmethanetracking.com/2017/01/global-ch4-mean-for-october-2016-tops.html (http://www.megiddo666.apocalypse4real-globalmethanetracking.com/2017/01/global-ch4-mean-for-october-2016-tops.html)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: FishOutofWater on May 21, 2017, 04:05:01 PM
Surges of algae growth in the summer may be followed by high emissions of methane and CO2 in the fall. I don't dispute what this study observed but the scientists should be very careful not to extrapolate a summer bloom with reductions in CO2 and methane emissions. Several studies over the past several years have found unexpectedly high releases of CO2 and methane in the fall when sunlight is gone but temperatures are still pretty warm and ice is thin or not present.

There's a high amount of uncertainty how the Arctic's annual cycle in CO2 and methane is going to change in the coming years. We need studies of the annual cycle over regions of the Arctic. Short term local studies are fine science but beware of extrapolation errors.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on May 21, 2017, 06:27:55 PM
Surges of algae growth in the summer may be followed by high emissions of methane and CO2 in the fall. I don't dispute what this study observed but the scientists should be very careful not to extrapolate a summer bloom with reductions in CO2 and methane emissions. Several studies over the past several years have found unexpectedly high releases of CO2 and methane in the fall when sunlight is gone but temperatures are still pretty warm and ice is thin or not present.
The jury's out, but would the high releases of CO2 and CH4 in the Fall be enough to cancel out the Summer's "1900 times more CO2 being absorbed than methane being emitted" as the study suggests? One would have to compare tonnage.
Although methane is a much worse GHG in the short-term, so then you would have to figure out if "1900x" is enough to compensate for any balance of the scales on year-round Arctic methane release to the atmosphere.

Maybe nature has its own 'carbon credits' system?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on May 23, 2017, 12:57:02 AM
Shakhova and Semelitov published a new paper in Boogeosciences, May 5,  2017. Seems the methane in the ESAS is from microbial sources, not clathrate.

http://www.biogeosciences.net/14/2283/2017/bg-14-2283-2017.pdf (http://www.biogeosciences.net/14/2283/2017/bg-14-2283-2017.pdf)

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: MrVisible on May 23, 2017, 05:44:49 AM
The conclusion of the new Shakhova paper: (http://www.biogeosciences.net/14/2283/2017/bg-14-2283-2017.pdf)

Quote
Our triple isotope dataset of CH 4 from the sediment and water of the shallow ESAS reveals the presence of CH 4 of microbial origin formed on old carbon with unexpectedly low stable carbon ( δ 13 C as low as − 108 ‰) and hydrogen ( δ D as low as − 350 ‰) isotope signatures down to about 50 m under the seabed in the thawed permafrost. These data demonstrate  that  at  locations  where  a  thick  marine  clay  layer  is present,  this  CH 4 is  partially  oxidized  before  reaching  the seawater.  However,  at  locations  where  ebullition  was  observed from the seabed, no oxidation was identified in the stable isotope surface sediment profile. In that case, and considering the very shallow water column ( < 10 m) in this area, this  microbial  gas  will  likely  reach  the  atmosphere  when sea ice is absent. Our results show that thawing subsea permafrost of the ESAS emits CH 4 with an isotopic signature that cannot be easily distinguished from Arctic wetland emissions when looking only at stable isotope data. This similarity might complicate recent efforts to quantify Arctic CH 4 source strengths on the basis of isotopicand back-trajectory analysis of atmospheric CH 4 . Further in situ work is necessary – specifically on the isotopic composition of CH 4 in gas bubbles  that  reach  the  atmosphere  –  to  better  quantify  the contribution of the ESAS to the global methane budget.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: prokaryotes on May 23, 2017, 03:29:16 PM

Also interesting
Quote
..anthropogenic nuclear contribution, e.g. from nuclear waste buried in the coastal permafrost, is the most likely explanation for these elevated radiocarbon levels.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on May 23, 2017, 03:35:43 PM
Shakhova and Semelitov published a new paper in Boogeosciences, May 5,  2017. Seems the methane in the ESAS is from microbial sources, not clathrate.

http://www.biogeosciences.net/14/2283/2017/bg-14-2283-2017.pdf (http://www.biogeosciences.net/14/2283/2017/bg-14-2283-2017.pdf)

That is not what that paper says.

Diffusion through sediments is selective for lighter carbon isotopes, and in areas topped by clay, higher levels of lower isotopic methane is released which is virtually indistinguishable from methane being released by terrestrial permafrost, thus making it difficult to ascertain the contribution from the ESAS by means of isotopic analysis of atmospheric methane.

Methane releases by ebullition on the other hand, showed high isotopic values and released directly to the atmosphere without being subjected to oxidation.

All that was said was the contribution to the releases of methane subjected to microbial oxidation was higher than had been previously suspected, and being relatively indistinguishable from that released by terrestrial permafrost, estimations of ESAS contributions to the atmosphere based on atmospheric isotopic analysis underestimated the contribution from the ESAS.

         
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: prokaryotes on May 23, 2017, 06:28:47 PM
All that was said was the contribution to the releases of methane subjected to microbial oxidation was higher than had been previously suspected...

Can you please quote the part of the study which makes this point? Thanks.

Or is it this:
Quote
Shakhova et al. (2010b) have shown that CH4 concentrations in the ESAS water were anomalously high (up to 500 nM) compared to CH4 values generally observed in ocean waters (∼ 5 nM, Damm et al., 2008). Vigorous bubbling events (1.5 to 5.7 bubbles per second) were observed at some sites (Shakhova et al., 2013) as well as seepages of thermogenic CH4 (Cramer and Franke, 2005) indicating that part of the water column supersaturation likely results from a seabed source.

Bussmann (2013) has investigated the distribution of CH4 in the estuary of the Lena, one of the largest Russian rivers draining into the ESAS. They reported high CH4 concentrations (up to 1500 nM) in the river and in the creeks draining from permafrost soil and a strong decrease in the Buor-Khaya Bay (down to 26–33 nM). They concluded that the CH4 contained in the rich waters of the river was, for the most part, not reaching the marine waters, but that it was released by diffusion into the atmosphere before reaching the bay. A large water source is therefore unlikely to explain the CH4 saturation we observe in the ESAS coastal waters

Related
Predicting the fate of methane emanating from the seafloor using a marine two-phase gas model in one dimension (M2PG1) - Example from a known Arctic methane seep site offshore Svalbard
Quote
This work presents the model's first application in an Arctic Ocean environment at the landward limit of the methane-hydrate stability zone west of Svalbard, where we observe substantial methane bubble release over longer time periods.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2017EGUGA..19.7004J (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2017EGUGA..19.7004J)

Widespread methane seepage along the continental margin off Svalbard - from Bjørnøya to Kongsfjorden
Quote
Numerous articles have recently reported on gas seepage offshore Svalbard, because the gas emission from these Arctic sediments was thought to result from gas hydrate dissociation, possibly triggered by anthropogenic ocean warming. We report on findings of a much broader seepage area, extending from 74° to 79°, where more than a thousand gas discharge sites were imaged as acoustic flares. The gas discharge occurs in water depths at and shallower than the upper edge of the gas hydrate stability zone and generates a dissolved methane plume that is hundreds of kilometer in length. Data collected in the summer of 2015 revealed that 0.02–7.7% of the dissolved methane was aerobically oxidized by microbes and a minor fraction (0.07%) was transferred to the atmosphere during periods of low wind speeds. Most flares were detected in the vicinity of the Hornsund Fracture Zone, leading us to postulate that the gas ascends along this fracture zone. The methane discharges on bathymetric highs characterized by sonic hard grounds, whereas glaciomarine and Holocene sediments in the troughs apparently limit seepage. The large scale seepage reported here is not caused by anthropogenic warming.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5322355/ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5322355/)

Gas Hydrate Breakdown Unlikely to Cause Massive Greenhouse Gas Release https://www.usgs.gov/news/gas-hydrate-breakdown-unlikely-cause-massive-greenhouse-gas-release (https://www.usgs.gov/news/gas-hydrate-breakdown-unlikely-cause-massive-greenhouse-gas-release)

Open access paper, recommended reading http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016RG000534/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016RG000534/full)

This last study does not mean that methane buildup specifically in the unique geological ESAS region under sea-ice and penetrated permafrost, couldn't release larger amounts. Thus, it remains
Quote
Our results show that thawing subsea permafrost of the ESAS emits CH4 with an isotopic signature that cannot be easily distinguished from Arctic wetland emissions when looking only at stable isotope data. This similarity might complicate recent efforts to quantify Arctic CH4 source strengths on the basis of isotopic- and back-trajectory analysis of atmospheric CH4. Further in situ work is necessaryspecifically on the isotopic composition of CH4 in gas bubbles that reach the atmosphere – to better quantify the contribution of the ESAS to the global methane budget.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on May 23, 2017, 07:30:42 PM
Possibly OT


Are the seepages off Svalbard possibly of a-biotic origin?


I believe it was near Svalbard where a Swedish team located hydrates in a region where biotic methane was deemed an impossibility. I look at seepage near the Mid-Atlantic Rift as possibly very different from ESAS, continental shelf, or delta seeps.


Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: prokaryotes on May 23, 2017, 07:42:41 PM
Possibly OT


Are the seepages off Svalbard possibly of a-biotic origin?


I believe it was near Svalbard where a Swedish team located hydrates in a region where biotic methane was deemed an impossibility. I look at seepage near the Mid-Atlantic Rift as possibly very different from ESAS, continental shelf, or delta seeps.


Terry
Related study NEW SOURCE OF METHANE DISCOVERED IN THE ARCTIC OCEAN
Quote
“It is estimated that up to 15 000 gigatonnes of carbon may be stored in the form of hydrates in the ocean floor, but this estimate is not accounting for abiotic methane. So there is probably much more


https://cage.uit.no/news/new-source-methane-discovered-arctic-ocean (https://cage.uit.no/news/new-source-methane-discovered-arctic-ocean)

The origin, source, and cycling of methane in deep crystalline rock biosphere
My summary, input is welcome...
Quote
There are two main routes for geological methane generation, organic (thermogenic), and inorganic (abiotic, meaning non-living). Thermally generated methane, is referred to as thermogenic, originating from deeper sedimentary strata. Thermogenic methane (CH4) formation occurs due to the break-up of organic matter, forced by elevated temperatures and pressures. This type of methane is considered to be the primary methane type in sedimentary basins, and from an economical perspective the most important source of natural gas. Thermogenic methane components are generally considered to be relic (from an earlier time). Generally, formation of thermogenic methane (at depth), can occur through organic matter break-up, or organic synthesis, both ways can involve microorganisms (methanogenesis) but may also occur inorganically. The involved anaerobic and aerobic processes can also consume methane, with and without microorganisms.The more important source of methane at depth (crystalline bedrock) is abiotic. Abiotic means that the methane formation took place involving inorganic compounds, without biological activity, magmatic or created at low temperatures and pressures through water-rock reaction


The abstract
Quote
The emerging interest in using stable bedrock formations for industrial purposes, e.g., nuclear waste disposal, has increased the need for understanding microbiological and geochemical processes in deep crystalline rock environments, including the carbon cycle. Considering the origin and evolution of life on Earth, these environments may also serve as windows to the past. Various geological, chemical, and biological processes can influence the deep carbon cycle. Conditions of CH4 formation, available substrates and time scales can be drastically different from surface environments.

This paper reviews the origin, source, and cycling of methane in deep terrestrial crystalline bedrock with an emphasis on microbiology. In addition to potential formation pathways of CH4, microbial consumption of CH4 is also discussed. Recent studies on the origin of CH4 in continental bedrock environments have shown that the traditional separation of biotic and abiotic CH4 by the isotopic composition can be misleading in substrate-limited environments, such as the deep crystalline bedrock.

Despite of similarities between Precambrian continental sites in Fennoscandia, South Africa and North America, where deep methane cycling has been studied, common physicochemical properties which could explain the variation in the amount of CH4 and presence or absence of CH4 cycling microbes were not found. However, based on their preferred carbon metabolism, methanogenic microbes appeared to have similar spatial distribution among the different sites.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4505394/ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4505394/)

It is unclear to me what the authors mean with "the more important source of methane" (abiotic). Abiotic seems to originate from deeper in the crust?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: prokaryotes on May 23, 2017, 11:25:37 PM
Made a video based on recent Shakhova study and the recent review on hydrates (both 2017)

! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJfOWfaP6RI#)

Feedback is welcome, thanks.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: longwalks1 on May 23, 2017, 11:35:34 PM
About doi:10.5194/bg-14-2283-2017  The origin of methane in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf unraveled
with triple isotope analysis

A search of the pdf shows that the word clathrate is never mentioned.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: prokaryotes on May 23, 2017, 11:50:10 PM
About doi:10.5194/bg-14-2283-2017  The origin of methane in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf unraveled
with triple isotope analysis

A search of the pdf shows that the word clathrate is never mentioned.
The paper briefly refers to hydrates, basically the same as clathrates.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on May 24, 2017, 03:34:10 AM
As I understand it:


Biotic Methane(CH4) is produced in septic (anoxic, or without oxygen) conditions as organic material breaks down (rots). This is what The West always taught in their schools.
Abiotic CH4 is produced under conditions of very high temperature and pressure, but without the need for organic material. This was taught in Russian schools, and is only now being taught everywhere.


I believe that the ESAS contains vast amounts of both biotic and abiotic methane. The deepest origins would be abiotic, then biotic from plant life extant before the sea flooded the area as the ice age was ending. These are trapped beneath a permafrost cap that has been melting since the area was inundated. Finally more, newer, biotic gas from organic material deposited in the now 3 K deep continental shelf that has been capped by clathrates (now melting) formed by cool, pressurized seeps.
The permafrost cap also produces new methane as it thaws and rots.


Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: johnm33 on May 24, 2017, 11:18:23 AM
I knew the sedimentary layer was deep, but 20Km? That is what she said isn't it? 5min + 6:30
added, That begs the question, how far into Russia does this depth of sediment extend?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on May 24, 2017, 12:47:14 PM
Guys...20 km thick organic material, additionally a new discovered source of methane from below, a LOT of methane in Siberian rivers... sometimes I think it is mentally healthier to get less curious...

I just was digging a little into the website of Copernicus, compairing maps and having a closer look at their graphics. Here the actual surface methane, compaired with 2006 and 2012 and a nice view on the alterations they made regarding the colour scales and the values that stand for a certain colour  :o:


Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on May 24, 2017, 12:54:19 PM
I knew the sedimentary layer was deep, but 20Km? That is what she said isn't it? 5min + 6:30


When I listen at either point I may hear 20Km, when watching her lips at 6:30 I see 3Km. 3Km seems more reasonable, but I wonder if a transcript is available?


When the Storegga Slide's Tsunami smashed Scotland, (assuredly an accidental alliteration), was it the result of disassociating clathrates, or were the clathrates broken up because of temperature and pressure changes that the slide produced?


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026481720400193X (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026481720400193X)


I believe S&S's most recent voyage on Polarstern? found the slopes of the ESAS to be relatively stable, and the large plumes to be further inland.   -not a lot of confidence in my memory WRT the last sentence -  If so, few worries of impending Arctic tsunamis, but increasing possibilities of a rapid release of large releases of CH4.


Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: nicibiene on May 24, 2017, 01:20:22 PM
I knew the sedimentary layer was deep, but 20Km? That is what she said isn't it? 5min + 6:30


When I listen at either point I may hear 20Km, when watching her lips at 6:30 I see 3Km. 3Km seems more reasonable, but I wonder if a transcript is available?

Listened to it several times-would guess too, she said 3 km-which seems more realistic-but still a lot of stuff.. and there is a lot of mud full of organic material, coming from thawing Siberian permafrost with the rivers. That water additionally contains a lot of methane and nice microbes-no oxygen, as there are no fishes in that rivers any more.

Recently I read about a earthquake near Greenland that triggered methane outbreak:
http://arctic-news.blogspot.de/2017/05/earthquake-east-of-greenland-triggers-methane-releases.html (http://arctic-news.blogspot.de/2017/05/earthquake-east-of-greenland-triggers-methane-releases.html)

Maybe the Storega tsunami was also caused by a chain reaction of several circumstances? There is a lot going on deep in earth (glacial rebound) when the ice masses of Greenland melt down in a geologically seen tiny period of time, like it never occured before?  :-\
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 24, 2017, 02:30:51 PM
I knew the sedimentary layer was deep, but 20Km? That is what she said isn't it? 5min + 6:30


When I listen at either point I may hear 20Km, when watching her lips at 6:30 I see 3Km. 3Km seems more reasonable, but I wonder if a transcript is available?


When the Storegga Slide's Tsunami smashed Scotland, (assuredly an accidental alliteration), was it the result of disassociating clathrates, or were the clathrates broken up because of temperature and pressure changes that the slide produced?


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026481720400193X (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026481720400193X)


I believe S&S's most recent voyage on Polarstern? found the slopes of the ESAS to be relatively stable, and the large plumes to be further inland.   -not a lot of confidence in my memory WRT the last sentence -  If so, few worries of impending Arctic tsunamis, but increasing possibilities of a rapid release of large releases of CH4.


Terry

Thawing permafrost is causing landslides in the Alps. Can't imagine why this would not happen on sea slopes.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Forest Dweller on July 02, 2017, 12:44:31 PM
Not sure if this was already posted in another topic perhaps, but it is well worth reading;
Interview by Nick Breeze with Dr Natalia Shakhova and Dr Igor Semiletov, a very good job by all.

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

Shahkova deserves a lot of respect IMHO for her dedication to research.
My favourite quote being when she was asked about geo engineering:
"If you don't understand the climate situation, how can you engineer it?"
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Gray-Wolf on July 02, 2017, 03:58:29 PM
http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/big-bang-and-pillar-of-fire-as-latest-of-two-new-craters-forms-this-week-in-arctic/ (http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/big-bang-and-pillar-of-fire-as-latest-of-two-new-craters-forms-this-week-in-arctic/)

Sounds like some of those thousand 'hummocks' have begun to pop off?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Gray-Wolf on July 04, 2017, 02:36:30 PM
http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/warnings-of-new-arctic-explosions-at-some-700-plus-sites-in-yamal-due-to-thawing-permafrost/ (http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/warnings-of-new-arctic-explosions-at-some-700-plus-sites-in-yamal-due-to-thawing-permafrost/)

More on the Yamal explosions.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on July 04, 2017, 06:28:24 PM
It's interesting to me that fire actually seems to have been involved. What would the ignition source have been? Why would "charred" soil remain from a fire that would have raged above the surface where the needed percentage of oxygen would have been available?
Is there a source of oxygen somehow bubbling out in addition to the methane?
I observed the aftermath of a much smaller methane venting event here in Ontario, and although the amount of methane blown out over about a week was considerable, there was never an ignition.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: salbers on July 04, 2017, 08:26:25 PM
Not sure if this was already posted in another topic perhaps, but it is well worth reading;
Interview by Nick Breeze with Dr Natalia Shakhova and Dr Igor Semiletov, a very good job by all.

http://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/nick-breeze/203-subsea-permafrost-on-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-now-in-accelerated-decline (http://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/nick-breeze/203-subsea-permafrost-on-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-now-in-accelerated-decline)
Very interesting - lots of details in the article and in the paper. A quick note is that 3 kilograms in the hotspots is 6 orders of magnitude larger than 3 milligrams overall.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: magnamentis on July 04, 2017, 08:35:49 PM
It's interesting to me that fire actually seems to have been involved. What would the ignition source have been? Why would "charred" soil remain from a fire that would have raged above the surface where the needed percentage of oxygen would have been available?
Is there a source of oxygen somehow bubbling out in addition to the methane?
I observed the aftermath of a much smaller methane venting event here in Ontario, and although the amount of methane blown out over about a week was considerable, there was never an ignition.
Terry

heat induction is sufficient within a certain radius to char what's below
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on July 05, 2017, 02:43:15 PM
The only way I can see that there was fire would be if someone, no longer with us, built a campfire near seeping methane.

But the important thing was that previous craters formed in October after a long exceptionally hot summer.  This was formed supposedly on June 28th.

These things could be popping off all summer.   
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: johnm33 on July 05, 2017, 03:27:01 PM
It's no explanation but marsh lights, will-o-the wisp, jack-o-lantern is a familiar phenomenon to anyone who's lived near a bog. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will-o%27-the-wisp it seems some kind of spontaneous combustion can occur.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on July 05, 2017, 04:51:52 PM
It's interesting to me that fire actually seems to have been involved. What would the ignition source have been?

I had the same question pop up when I read this a couple of days ago. I simply cannot understand what the source of ignition would be.

Perhaps, it was some bored Yamal teenagers, out of school for the summer, playing with matches. ;)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: VeliAlbertKallio on July 07, 2017, 12:56:36 PM
Following Neven's suggestion* (copied below) I re-enclose here the two links that I originally posted on 27th June to "The 2017 Melt Season" thread. Which better fits this thread:

Once the Blue Ocean event materializes on the North Pole and the Arctic Ocean becomes ice-free in the summertime, this leads almost immediately to:

1) rapid acceleration of land-based snow and ice melting that begin to mop up the heat sea ice no longer takes for its melting. These will lead to the risk of very rapid sea level jump and other effects as per the evidence I gave at the UK Houses of Parliament in April: https://www.academia.edu/33000316/MPs_to_review_UKs_role_in_Arctic_sustainability_-_24th_April_2017.docx (https://www.academia.edu/33000316/MPs_to_review_UKs_role_in_Arctic_sustainability_-_24th_April_2017.docx)

2) massive acceleration of seabed based methane release risk like reported in this recent article which was since then re-posted here by others. This link: http://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/nick-breeze/203-subsea-permafrost-on-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-now-in-accelerated-decline (http://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/nick-breeze/203-subsea-permafrost-on-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-now-in-accelerated-decline)

3) I add a third effect to sea level and other land-based effects to these effects. Once there are no sea ice floes left at the Central Arctic Basin, the sea ice growth no longer advances from the North Pole to the South (towards the ocean's perimeter). Now the re-freeze must progress inversely from the perimeter in the south towards the North Pole at the centre of the ocean. This inversion of the direction in spreading of the sea ice's margin growth leads to 4-8 weeks' delay.
Since sea ice has a tendency to be packed against coastal barriers, it will be two delays:

(A) re-freezing must wait until the coastal margin reaches the freezing point (sea ice leads currently begin to cool down from 25th July onwards at CAB and are the first area to freeze)  - for the coastal margins to reach the point, a delay is up to two months (positive methane feedback).

(B) the churning of the ocean keeps waters in the Central Arctic and the North Pole increasingly open even in midwinter due to the open waters there mixing vertically. In addition, the growing temperature gradients between a stubbornly-warm ocean center in winter and the rapidly cooling continental landmasses in wintertime (around its perimeter) cause wind and wave actions. The waves break the ice and the winds then will push broken ice towards the Atlantic Ocean and the shorelines where newly formed ice accumulates along seasides. The center remains open and releases heat and snow storms: the Ewing-Dunne 'Lake Snow Effect' of the Arctic Ocean. (The 1950's idea of Maurice Ewing and William Donn that the Ice Ages were caused by the ice-free Arctic Ocean acts like snow cannon to accumulate so much precipitation that it could not possibly melt away during the subsequent short summers of high latitudes.) Even temporary ice shelves may be produced along the shorelines by intense storms piling up sea ice i.e. along the Ellesmere Island and the Queen Elizabeth Islands, topped up with massive snowfalls.

In other words (B) the Central Arctic winter hole will form that delay the onset of sea ice formation and makes it much thinner and volatile for breaking - hence further lowering of the spatial viscosity of the Arctic Sea ice. The warmer and wetter winters bode badly for methane clathrates and methane which can escape from the ocean unhindered by sea ice layer.

- - - - -
*Hi Albert, There are various threads to talk about consequences (check the Permafrost category, for instance, there are several threads on methane) or politics. I want to keep the melting season thread as uncluttered as possible, because that's the best-read thread at the moment, and long, off-topic comments are highly off-putting. So, either stay on-topic or keep it short. And if people reply to something off-topic, please invite them to a more appropriate thread and continue the conversation there. It will also make it easier to find at a later time. Thanks, Neven
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Archimid on July 07, 2017, 09:54:51 PM
Thank you VeliAlbertKallio. That a was a great post.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 08, 2017, 04:53:15 PM
It looks like Arctic Amplification may be reinforced by methane "dragon breaths" from Siberia:

"Thousands of bulging methane bubbles could explode in Siberia"

https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/blogs/thousands-bulging-methane-bubbles-may-soon-explode-siberia (https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/blogs/thousands-bulging-methane-bubbles-may-soon-explode-siberia)

Extract: "Scientists estimate more than 7,000 dangerous methane 'bumps' have formed in the region over the last couple of years."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on July 08, 2017, 08:52:58 PM
From the linked article....

"Besides the potential for rapidly forming sinkholes and explosions, these bulges also represent a significant addition to greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The release of methane from Siberian permafrost, a gas more than 25 times more potent than carbon in trapping heat in the atmosphere, rose from 3.8 million tons in 2006 to more than 17 million tons in 2013."

Given the rapid development of these methane bumps, combined with a nearly five fold increase of methane emissions in a mere 7 years, it sure looks like we are on an exponential trajectory for NH methane emissions, likely irreversible.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Gray-Wolf on July 09, 2017, 07:24:49 PM
I wonder if these 'bubbles' are the land based version of what have been measured off the Shore in the shelf Sea? Out there they are called 'chimneys' but is it the weight of water that allows them to form instead of the 'funnels' we see formed on land when they go POP?

The frightening speed of development ,off shore, may be a hint at just how fast the land based versions will grow?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Theta on July 17, 2017, 12:09:49 PM
From the linked article....

"Besides the potential for rapidly forming sinkholes and explosions, these bulges also represent a significant addition to greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The release of methane from Siberian permafrost, a gas more than 25 times more potent than carbon in trapping heat in the atmosphere, rose from 3.8 million tons in 2006 to more than 17 million tons in 2013."

Given the rapid development of these methane bumps, combined with a nearly five fold increase of methane emissions in a mere 7 years, it sure looks like we are on an exponential trajectory for NH methane emissions, likely irreversible.

Any idea of what that would mean for the long term trajectory of earth's temperature?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on July 17, 2017, 03:09:52 PM
From the linked article....

"Besides the potential for rapidly forming sinkholes and explosions, these bulges also represent a significant addition to greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The release of methane from Siberian permafrost, a gas more than 25 times more potent than carbon in trapping heat in the atmosphere, rose from 3.8 million tons in 2006 to more than 17 million tons in 2013."

Given the rapid development of these methane bumps, combined with a nearly five fold increase of methane emissions in a mere 7 years, it sure looks like we are on an exponential trajectory for NH methane emissions, likely irreversible.

Any idea of what that would mean for the long term trajectory of earth's temperature?

There are certainly regular contributors here who could provide some insight but I am not one of them. My very layman's fear is that all of the trends related to the chryosphere are growth trends. A five fold increase in methane emissions in 7 years suggests a doubling interval of about 3 years.

We see similar growth trends in the rate of shelf melt in the Antarctic and the expansion of individual methane seeps in the ESS. Once a process is identified and we begin to monitor and measure, we see growth rate increases.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: CalamityCountdown on July 19, 2017, 04:44:27 PM
From the linked article

Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese
Measurements over Canada's Mackenzie River Basin suggest that thawing permafrost is starting to free greenhouse gases long trapped in oil and gas deposits.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/18072017/arctic-permafrost-melting-methane-emissions-geologic-sources-study
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on July 19, 2017, 06:56:15 PM
From the linked article

Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese
Measurements over Canada's Mackenzie River Basin suggest that thawing permafrost is starting to free greenhouse gases long trapped in oil and gas deposits.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/18072017/arctic-permafrost-melting-methane-emissions-geologic-sources-study (https://insideclimatenews.org/news/18072017/arctic-permafrost-melting-methane-emissions-geologic-sources-study)


Thanks for the link.


I had no idea that such large releases of geologic methane were to be found so far north on this continent. S&S had found huge flares in the ESAS and issued warnings for that region, but as far as I know they hadn't determined if they were observing biologic or geologic methane, or a combination of both.


This doesn't bode well for the future.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: johnm33 on July 19, 2017, 07:54:26 PM
"This doesn't bode well for the future."
I've looked for a bedrock map for both continents surrounding the arctic, this is all I've found. Makes me wonder just how far south the ocean will reach. A transect from banks to hudson would be interesting.
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.coolgeography.co.uk%2FA-level%2FAQA%2FYear%252012%2FCold%2520environs%2FPeriglaciation%2FPermafrost%2520transect.jpg&hash=b07ca75906881f1a56eacb7440b329eb)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.coolgeography.co.uk%2FA-level%2FAQA%2FYear%252012%2FCold%2520environs%2FPeriglaciation%2FPeriglacial%2520transect%25202.png&hash=0f1698dea85e9aae7575fa8dde19d721)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on August 05, 2017, 12:33:43 AM
This research relates to my previous post about methane mitigation in the Arctic here ---> https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,12.msg113081.html#msg113081 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,12.msg113081.html#msg113081)
Also can be found here ---> ""Enhanced CO2 uptake at a shallow Arctic Ocean seep field overwhelms the positive warming potential of emitted methane""
---> http://www.pnas.org/content/114/21/5355.abstract (http://www.pnas.org/content/114/21/5355.abstract)

This newer study is in the Antarctic, but I think it is related material, and something to consider, that's why I'm posting it here:
---> http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v10/n8/full/ngeo2992.html?foxtrotcallback=true (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v10/n8/full/ngeo2992.html?foxtrotcallback=true)

So now, evidence from both poles is suggesting methane release (will of course be bad) but not perhaps as bad as previously thought (Shakhova, Wadhams, and others have strongly warned about methane danger).

(And this is one you may have seen already --->  https://www.usgs.gov/news/gas-hydrate-breakdown-unlikely-cause-massive-greenhouse-gas-release (https://www.usgs.gov/news/gas-hydrate-breakdown-unlikely-cause-massive-greenhouse-gas-release))
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Adam Ash on August 05, 2017, 03:27:35 AM
""Enhanced CO2 uptake at a shallow Arctic Ocean seep field overwhelms the positive warming potential of emitted methane""
-...
Will not higher CO2 uptake only persist until acidification of the water prevents any more?  Given the size of the available methane resource, and the ever-increasing atmospheric CO2 resource, I should think that the water will reach saturation quite quickly, especially given the minimum temperatures in Arctic waters.  I imagine too that there will be quite an 'interesting' CO2 signal in then near surface waters as winter sea ice reforms - driving both salt and dissolved gases back into the sub-ice waters.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on August 05, 2017, 03:45:58 AM
I imagine too that there will be quite an 'interesting' CO2 signal in then near surface waters as winter sea ice reforms - driving both salt and dissolved gases back into the sub-ice waters.
We've all seen the methane bubbles in lake ice. Why would sea ice react differently?
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on August 05, 2017, 03:54:23 AM
""Enhanced CO2 uptake at a shallow Arctic Ocean seep field overwhelms the positive warming potential of emitted methane""
-...

Will not higher CO2 uptake only persist until acidification of the water prevents any more? 

I don't think so, because there will be an explosion of life (algae and other organisms) and a new ecosystem (in summer months) that will absorb CO2 and CH4 like crazy. But there would need to be more studies.
I think the same is true of the tundra, and of Greenland. It seems like a no-brainer to me. When the ice recedes and the permafrost melts under sea and on land, there will be a massive explosion of life that will largely mitigate the methane that does get released to the atmosphere.
The only thing that could prevent that massive upsurge of a CO2-absorbing ecosystem is the mass of micro-plastics floating in the Arctic Ocean. However, I think most of that will be absorbed too. But who knows. These are just a few studies that suggest the methane bursts may not be as devastating as many believe, but more studies and time will be needed. I used to be more concerned about the methane, as much as anyone. Now I am less concerned (I am more concerned about other things around the planet due to global warming and other human activity that are just as dangerous)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 06, 2017, 02:57:11 AM
w/o comment
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Reallybigbunny on August 06, 2017, 03:36:18 AM
From a related Greenland thread, I wonder how much the fires surrounding the Arctic are methane related?


https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p=arctic&l=VIIRS_SNPP_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Aqua_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Terra_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor,VIIRS_SNPP_Fires_375m_Day,Graticule,VIIRS_SNPP_DayNightBand_ENCC(hidden),Reference_Labels,Reference_Features(hidden),Coastlines&t=2017-08-05&z=3&v=-7108278.893078247,-3843472.8594983755,4688201.106921753,3308143.1405016244
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 06, 2017, 03:10:30 PM
From a related Greenland thread, I wonder how much the fires surrounding the Arctic are methane related?


https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p=arctic&l=VIIRS_SNPP_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Aqua_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Terra_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor,VIIRS_SNPP_Fires_375m_Day,Graticule,VIIRS_SNPP_DayNightBand_ENCC(hidden),Reference_Labels,Reference_Features(hidden),Coastlines&t=2017-08-05&z=3&v=-7108278.893078247,-3843472.8594983755,4688201.106921753,3308143.1405016244

My guess? Not at all related to methane.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: salbers on August 06, 2017, 09:11:31 PM
Do these less alarming assessments consider fully the methane gas locked underneath the hydrates?

So now, evidence from both poles is suggesting methane release (will of course be bad) but not perhaps as bad as previously thought (Shakhova, Wadhams, and others have strongly warned about methane danger).

(And this is one you may have seen already --->  https://www.usgs.gov/news/gas-hydrate-breakdown-unlikely-cause-massive-greenhouse-gas-release (https://www.usgs.gov/news/gas-hydrate-breakdown-unlikely-cause-massive-greenhouse-gas-release))
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on August 07, 2017, 07:10:54 PM
That paper has been debunked repeatedly.  Firstly it is a bait and switch.  They are discussing SLOW methane seeps deeper than 100 meters.

The concern is about the ESAS which covers 2 million sq km with an average depth of 50 meters and a maximum depth of 100 meters.  Methane released from the ESAS does not interact with the water column but is released directly to the atmosphere.  It only takes a few minutes to reach the surface.

Second, they avoided discussing the seasonality of the plankton blooms, whereas, the methane is released year round.

Third, if plankton did offset methane releases, it would be evident in current real world data, which it isn't, as the rise in atmospheric methane concentrations in the Arctic is accelerating.     

Pohlman and Ruppel are petroleum geologists who work for the USGS gas hydrate project, promoting methane hydrate as an energy source in conjunction with the Oil and Gas industry.

Ruppel has been at the forefront of the methane hydrate disinformation campaign, attacking any papers suggesting methane hydrates are unsafe to extract, or may pose a danger to the environment.     

The conclusions in their paper is absolute nonsense.

As for the other paper, yes, methanatrophs evolved in the subglacial lakes as there is no sunlight to provide energy.  Duh.
       

       
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bill Fothergill on August 10, 2017, 03:48:08 PM
It can be quite a lengthy process finding the bit you're after in the IPCC publications. To save others the time, here is a relevant bit from Section 2.3.1 in the AR5 Synthesis Report...

"Carbon stored in the terrestrial biosphere is susceptible to loss to the atmosphere as a result of climate change, deforestation and ecosystem degradation (high confidence). The aspects of climate change with direct effects on stored terrestrial carbon include high temperatures, drought and windstorms; indirect effects include increased risk of fires, pest and disease outbreaks. Increased tree mortality and associated forest dieback is projected to occur in many regions over the 21st century (medium confidence), posing risks for carbon storage, biodiversity, wood production, water quality, amenity and economic activity. There is a high risk of substantial carbon and methane emissions as a result of permafrost thawing. {WGII SPM, 4.2–4.3, Figure 4-8, Box 4-2, Box 4-3, Box 4-4}"
{My emphasis added above.}

Woods Hole also issued a permafrost briefing note two years ago...
http://whrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/PB_Permafrost.pdf (http://whrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/PB_Permafrost.pdf)


As a newcomer to this thread, apologies if either of the above have already been posted in preceding pages.


A few comments upthread, "reallybigbunny" posed a question about wildfires. I am particularly interested in the Greenland outbreak, some comments on which were started on the ASIB by Susan Anderson.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2143159-largest-ever-wildfire-in-greenland-seen-burning-from-space/ (https://www.newscientist.com/article/2143159-largest-ever-wildfire-in-greenland-seen-burning-from-space/)

(NB I'm not suggesting Susan had anything to do with starting the fire.    ;))

I have emailed the Wildfire laboratory at Exeter University asking what impact the current peat-based fire might have upon permafrost locked carbon deposits. Will post any such response on this thread if/when it is forthcoming.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on August 16, 2017, 04:56:46 PM
That paper has been debunked repeatedly.
No it has not been debunked. Show your evidence please (not your non-peer-reviewed opinion)

Quote
They are discussing SLOW methane seeps deeper than 100 meters.
So now you are discussing what the paper shows, just after you said it was debunked.

Quote
Methane released from the ESAS does not interact with the water column but is released directly to the atmosphere. It only takes a few minutes to reach the surface.
That's not the point. Try reading the paper. Or should I explain it again?

Quote
Second, they avoided discussing the seasonality of the plankton blooms, whereas, the methane is released year round.
They did discuss the seasonality. Try reading the paper.
And again, not the point of the paper.

Quote
the rise in atmospheric methane concentrations in the Arctic is accelerating.
It doesn't say the methane would not be released. Try reading the paper.

Quote
Pohlman and Ruppel are petroleum geologists who work for the USGS gas hydrate project, promoting methane hydrate as an energy source in conjunction with the Oil and Gas industry.
I thought you just explained what the paper proves. Now you are saying it is fake-science. Make up your mind.
Besides, people quote USGS all the time here. I guess we'll have to ban NASA and NOAH being discussed as well?
Show your evidence for such outrageous claims about being in-league "with oil and gas industry".

Quote
Ruppel has been at the forefront of the methane hydrate disinformation campaign, attacking any papers suggesting methane hydrates are unsafe to extract, or may pose a danger to the environment.     
Show your evidence of such attacks by Ruppel please.
Besides, methane is safe to extract in and of itself, which I'm guessing is the point, but you didn't show the evidence so I don't know what Ruppel would be referring to.
The extraction methods may be unsafe.
But we don't need methane.

Quote
The conclusions in their paper is absolute nonsense.
You sound important.

Quote
As for the other paper, yes, methanatrophs evolved in the subglacial lakes as there is no sunlight to provide energy.  Duh.

You don't understand that paper either. Try reading it.
""We conclude that aerobic methanotrophy may mitigate the release of methane to the atmosphere upon subglacial water drainage to ice sheet margins and during periods of deglaciation.""

(PS. Condescension - arrogantly saying "duh" to people - is not appropriate here.)

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on August 16, 2017, 08:09:48 PM
Thomas
Is a link to this disputed paper available?


It's difficult to follow the discussion without having to page back through the thread. Wouldn't quoting the disputed passages be more productive than asking us to "read the paper", without at a minimum providing a link, then hinting at which sections are being parsed?


Terry

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on August 16, 2017, 09:51:46 PM
Is a link to this disputed paper available?
I posted it upthread, but here it is ---> http://www.pnas.org/content/114/21/5355.abstract (http://www.pnas.org/content/114/21/5355.abstract)

Quote
Wouldn't quoting the disputed passages
I already did quote some of it upthread.

From the paper:

""These areas of methane seepage may be net greenhouse gas sinks.""

""We found that CO2 uptake in an area of elevated methane efflux was enhanced relative to surrounding waters, such that the negative radiative forcing effect (cooling) resulting from CO2 uptake overwhelmed the positive radiative forcing effect (warming) supported by methane output.""

""Our work suggests physical mechanisms (e.g., upwelling) that transport methane to the surface may also transport nutrient-enriched water that supports enhanced primary production and CO2 drawdown. These areas of methane seepage may be net greenhouse gas sinks.""

""The negative radiative forcing expected from this CO2 uptake is up to 231 times greater than the positive radiative forcing from the methane emissions.""

""These findings challenge the widely held perception that areas characterized by shallow-water methane seeps and/or strongly elevated sea−air methane flux always increase the global atmospheric greenhouse gas burden.""

And From Science (journal)

"In fact, the study finds that in such zones, nearly 1900 times more CO2 is being absorbed than methane emitted. That’s a small but real consolation for those concerned about global warming, Pohlman says.""

---> http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/are-methane-seeps-arctic-slowing-global-warming (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/are-methane-seeps-arctic-slowing-global-warming)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on August 16, 2017, 10:40:35 PM
Thanx Thomas
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on August 18, 2017, 05:41:11 PM
The linked reference is not all bad news, as it points out that per their 1D models the Arctic continental shelf methane hydrate stability zone (HSZ) can take ~ 10 to 20 kyrs to respond to changes in initial temperature conditions associated with the end of the last ice age.  However, while it is pleasant to think of middle of the 10 to 20 kya range, as the attached image indicates the Holocene began about 11 kya and thus we should now start to see portions of the HSZ becoming unstable due to the global temperature increase leading to the beginning of the Holocene:

Valentina V. Malakhova & Alexey V. Eliseev (2017), "The role of heat transfer time scale in the evolution of the subsea permafrost and associated methane hydrates stability zone during glacial cycles", Global and Planetary Change, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.08.007 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.08.007)

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818117301273 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818117301273)

Abstract: "Climate warming may lead to degradation of the subsea permafrost developed during Pleistocene glaciations and release methane from the hydrates, which are stored in this permafrost. It is important to quantify time scales at which this release is plausible. While, in principle, such time scale might be inferred from paleoarchives, this is hampered by considerable uncertainty associated with paleodata. In the present paper, to reduce such uncertainty, one–dimensional simulations with a model for thermal state of subsea sediments forced by the data obtained from the ice core reconstructions are performed. It is shown that heat propagates in the sediments with a time scale of ∼ 10-20 kyr. This time scale is longer than the present interglacial and is determined by the time needed for heat penetration in the unfrozen part of thick sediments. We highlight also that timings of shelf exposure during oceanic regressions and flooding during transgressions are important for simulating thermal state of the sediments and methane hydrates stability zone (HSZ). These timings should be resolved with respect to the contemporary shelf depth (SD). During glacial cycles, the temperature at the top of the sediments is a major driver for moving the HSZ vertical boundaries irrespective of SD. In turn, pressure due to oceanic water is additionally important for SD ≥ 50 m. Thus, oceanic transgressions and regressions do not instantly determine onset s of HSZ and/or its disappearance. Finally, impact of initial conditions in the subsea sediments is lost after ∼ 100 kyr. Our results are moderately sensitive to intensity of geothermal heat flux."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: GeoffBeacon on August 19, 2017, 10:48:14 AM
Thomas Barlow quoting the PNAS paper that I can't get to load at the moment.

Quote
"We found that CO2 uptake in an area of elevated methane efflux was enhanced relative to surrounding waters, such that the negative radiative forcing effect (cooling) resulting from CO2 uptake overwhelmed the positive radiative forcing effect (warming) supported by methane output."

Hi Thomas

Any indication of how the relativity of CO2 and CH4 was assessed? (e.g. GWP, GTP instantaneous effect)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on August 21, 2017, 09:41:39 PM
Russian scientists deny climate model of IPCC
Massive emissions of methane in the Arctic become a significant source of greenhouse gases, a study reveals
Quote
The rate of vertical degradation of subsea permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) is 18 cm a year over the past 30 years, which is greater than previously thought. Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University received this data after the comprehensive study of subsea permafrost not only in the Russian Arctic but also in the Arctic as a whole.

TPU scientists and co-authors from Russia and Sweden have recently published findings of the study in Nature Communications.

Basing on the repeated drilling of four wells performed by the Institute of Permafrost Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences in 1982-1983, scientists have proved that the rates of vertical degradation of subsea permafrost amount to18 cm a year over the last 30 years (the average is 14 cm a year) which is greater than it was assumed before.

'New data obtained by complex biochemical, geophysical and geological studies conducted in 2011-2016 resulted in the conclusion that in some areas of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf the roof of the subsea permafrost had already reached the depth of hydrates' stability the destruction of which may cause massive releases of bubble methane.

According to our findings published earlier in Nature Geoscience, Science and Philosophical Transactions, Royal Society, the size of CH4 bubble flaw from the bottom sediments into the ESAS water can vary from milligrams to tens or hundreds of grams per square meter a day depending on the state of subsea permafrost, which leads to the concentration increase of atmospheric CH4 in the surface layer to values 2-4 times exceeding background concentrations measured in our planet,' says the first author of the paper Professor Natalia Shakhova, the TPU Department of Geology and Minerals Prospecting.

She notes that these findings were confirmed during the expedition to the East Siberian Arctic Self in 2016. The expedition was organized and conducted jointly with the scientists from the Pacific Oceanological Institute FEB RAS, with the participation of the Institute of Oceanology RAS and the Institute of Atmospheric Physics RAS. More data will be published in 2018.

link (https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/tpu-rsd081517.php)


Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf
Quote
It was shown that slight changes in seafloor erosion and sedimentation patterns that change the thermal and pressure regime below the seafloor could be viable mechanisms for unroofing underlying gas reservoirs, which can release CH4 in large quantities66. Once initiated, erosion could propagate further downward and migrate laterally to adjacent areas, driven by venting gas. Erosion of a few tens of seafloor metres could unroof over-pressured shallow gas reservoirs and buoyant hydrate-laden sediment accumulations beneath the seafloor, triggering rapid gas release66,67.

link (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15872)




Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on August 23, 2017, 01:15:44 PM
Cid
For shame!


Are you inferring that our perfectly good, (and comforting), Western models should be abandoned just because some Ruskies have proven them wrong by redundant drilling, seismic testing, and actually taking measurements?


When Russian facts dispute Western theories it should be obvious who is to be believed.


[/sarc] - (because of a previous misunderstanding)
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on August 24, 2017, 10:49:02 PM
Any indication of how the relativity of CO2 and CH4 was assessed? (e.g. GWP, GTP instantaneous effect)

This article from Phys.org describes it. It is pretty instantaneous.

""During the study, scientists continuously measured the concentrations of methane and carbon dioxide in near-surface waters and in the air just above the ocean surface. The measurements were taken over methane seeps fields at water depths ranging from 260 to 8530 feet (80 to 2600 meters).""

""Analysis of the data confirmed that methane was entering the atmosphere above the shallowest (water depth of 260-295 feet or 80-90 meters) Svalbard margin seeps. However, the data also showed that significant amounts of carbon dioxide were being absorbed by the waters near the ocean surface, and that the cooling effect resulting from carbon dioxide uptake is up to 230 times greater than the warming effect expected from the methane emitted.""

""If what we observed near Svalbard occurs more broadly at similar locations around the world, it could mean that methane seeps have a net cooling effect on climate, not a warming effect as we previously thought," said USGS biogeochemist John Pohlman, who is the paper's lead author. "We are looking forward to testing the hypothesis that shallow-water methane seeps are net greenhouse gas sinks in other locations.""


https://phys.org/news/2017-05-ocean-absorption-carbon-dioxide-compensates.html
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on September 24, 2017, 02:31:48 AM
More to add to the above.
We still have a chance. This methane scare is likely not as bad as many previously thought, including me.

https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/natural-methane-time-bomb-unlikely-wreak-climate-havoc
 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Capt Kiwi on October 05, 2017, 06:59:21 AM



""Analysis of the data confirmed that methane was entering the atmosphere above the shallowest (water depth of 260-295 feet or 80-90 meters) Svalbard margin seeps. However, the data also showed that significant amounts of carbon dioxide were being absorbed by the waters near the ocean surface, and that the cooling effect resulting from carbon dioxide uptake is up to 230 times greater than the warming effect expected from the methane emitted.""


https://phys.org/news/2017-05-ocean-absorption-carbon-dioxide-compensates.html


Nice to hear something positive Thomas! Thanks for that!
I would really appreciate a comment from you, or anyone else, on a couple of things that came to the mind of a layman when reading that.
1) Would the water at the ocean surface at some point become "saturated" or in some way altered in composition? For example the algae having other negative effects?
2) Are you aware that on their web site they say: "The USGS Gas Hydrate Project takes part in US and international programs to investigate the potential of deepwater marine and permafrost gas hydrates as an energy resource. Long-term production tests are the next step in this research."
Am I getting too cynical?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: longwalks1 on October 06, 2017, 04:53:29 PM
Nice, however photosynthesis is limited some times of the year.   
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 07, 2017, 04:34:52 AM
Subsea permafrost on East Siberian Arctic Shelf in accelerated decline
Quote
Dr. Shakhova: As we showed in our articles, in the ESAS, in some places, subsea permafrost is reaching the thaw point. In other areas it could have reached this point already. And what can happen then? The most important consequence could be in terms of growing methane emissions… a linear trend becomes exponential.

This edge between it being linear and becoming exponential is very fine and lays between frozen and thawed states of subsea permafrost. This is what we call the turning point. To me, I cannot take the responsibility in saying there is a right point between the linear and exponential yet, but following the logic of our investigation and all the evidence that we accumulated so far, it makes me think that we are very near this point. And in this particular point, each year matters.

Gas in the areas of hotspots is releasing from the seabed deposits, in which free gas has accumulated for hundreds of thousands, or even for a million years. This is why the amount of this gas and its power in releasing (due to its high pressure) is tremendous.

 Dr. Shakhova: The importance of hydrates involvement in methane emissions is overestimated. The hydrate is just one form of possible reservoirs, in which pre-formed methane could be preserved in the seabed if there are proper pressure/temperature conditions; it is just the layer of hydrates composes just few hundred of meters – this is a very small fraction compared to thousands of meters of underlying gas-charged sediments in the ESAS.

Dr. Semiletov added that the 5 billion tonnes of methane that is currently in the Earth’s atmosphere represents about one percent of the frozen methane hydrate store in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. He finishes emphasising  “…but we believe the hydrate pool is only a tiny fraction of the total.”

Dr. Shakhova: The second point is that the hydrates are not all of the gaseous pool that is preserved in this huge reservoir. This huge area is 2 million square kilometres. The depth of this sedimentary drape is a few kilometres, up to 20 kilometres at places. Generally speaking, it makes no difference if gas releases from decaying hydrates or from other free-gas deposits, because in the latter, gas also has accumulated for a long time without changing the volume of the reservoir; for that reason, gas became over pressurised too.

Unlike hydrates, this gas is preserved free; it is a pre-formed gas, ready to go. Over pressured, accumulated, looking for the pathway to go upwards.

In our observations, we have accumulated the evidence that this gas front is propagating in the sediments. To me as a scientist, these points are enough to be convinced that methane release in the ESAS is related to disintegration of subsea permafrost and associated destabilisation of seabed deposits whether it is hydrates or free gas accumulations.

There is no mechanism to stop permafrost disintegration in the ESAS besides shelf exposure above the sea level that would serve to freeze the gas migration paths so that they integrate with the permafrost. Before that, the amount of methane that is releasing will increase while the supply lasts.

As gas within the sedimentary basins of the ESAS have been accumulating for a million years with no way to be released earlier, the supply for currently occurring emissions is tremendous. Because the shelf area is very shallow (mean depth is less than 50 metres), a fraction of these emissions will reach the atmosphere. The problem is that this fraction would be enough to alter the climate on our planet drastically.
link (http://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/nick-breeze/203-subsea-permafrost-on-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-now-in-accelerated-decline)


When she says "each year matters", she is talking months to years, not decades, and there is no way to turn it off.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 07, 2017, 04:34:55 PM


""Analysis of the data confirmed that methane was entering the atmosphere above the shallowest (water depth of 260-295 feet or 80-90 meters) Svalbard margin seeps. However, the data also showed that significant amounts of carbon dioxide were being absorbed by the waters near the ocean surface, and that the cooling effect resulting from carbon dioxide uptake is up to 230 times greater than the warming effect expected from the methane emitted.""


https://phys.org/news/2017-05-ocean-absorption-carbon-dioxide-compensates.html
Nice to hear something positive Thomas! Thanks for that!
I would really appreciate a comment from you, or anyone else, on a couple of things that came to the mind of a layman when reading that.
1) Would the water at the ocean surface at some point become "saturated" or in some way altered in composition? For example the algae having other negative effects?
I'm no expert (and it's still an unfolding science - ie. I doubt anyone is an expert on all the nuances of what will happen), but I was thinking about that the other day, and I think that, yes, the mush caused by an explosion of algae and plankton could affect sea-ice quality (a lot of it falls to the bottom of the ocean though, taking carbon with it), and perhaps more importantly, all the plastic fragments floating in the Arctic ocean would add to that (as well as all the soot landing on the ice from above, due to increase in forest fires in N. hemisphere). So, in the end, mushy crap (natural, and pollution) all over the place would affect the ice quality I would think, maybe even ocean surface temps. in open water areas.
As far as I understand it, the main places where methane release will happen are in shallow coastal regions, so those areas tend to be ice-free for a longer period anyway, so how algae-mush, light sediments, or other microbes, affect ice-quality, and surface open-water temps, seems limited, since the ice melts away there anyway. Mushy stuff might make it melt a little faster in those peripheral seas (Beaufort, Laptev Sea, etc.) , and ice-free last longer, but not much I think.

Quote
2) Are you aware that on their web site they say: "The USGS Gas Hydrate Project takes part in US and international programs to investigate the potential of deepwater marine and permafrost gas hydrates as an energy resource. Long-term production tests are the next step in this research."
Am I getting too cynical?
I don't care about the fossil-fuel industry. I think they are an archaic dinosaur going out of the window, but old farts like Putin and Trump will try to keep it going, but it is going to fade (I hope).
I don't believe the research I posted is based on bias for that industry. I think it's a no-brainer that explosions of algae and life will absorb CO2, creating cooling at a faster rate than the methane can heat the atmosphere. Note: I have railed against industry involvement in research for decades, researching and writing about it, starting fledgling groups to counteract it - eg. GMO research twisted by industry interests, nuclear industry, pesticide industry, etc.
I just don't think this research is like that.
The researchers are at USGS (before Trump era), and Norwegian and German institutions -- Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR), and the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) at the University of Tromso, Norway, both of which have a track-record of good, straight science. The evidence for false data would have be pretty convincing for me to be worried it is not accurate. It's almost a no-brainer even without the research though.

However, there are plenty other things that are bad news, it's just the doomer memes going around about the methane release being the and of human existence are over-stated - I was on that side of the fence a couple of years ago, based on the evidence available at that time.
 (like I say, plenty other things almost as bad to concern ourselves with)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 07, 2017, 04:46:37 PM
Nice, however photosynthesis is limited some times of the year.
As is methane release.  :o
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 07, 2017, 04:54:32 PM

When she says "each year matters", she is talking months to years, not decades, and there is no way to turn it off.
Please limit your point to the bit you think is important, because I've read all that in the past. I'm not reading all of that again, because Shakhova's concerns were aired before a lot of the recent research came out, and I don't know if she has fully absorbed the new stuff yet.
If you understand the research I have been posting, then you would understand that with every degree of warming caused by methane release, there is a simultaneous CO2 absorption that is 200 times that ... in cooling effect. That means, if it's true. we dodge a bullet on this one - EVEN IF THE METHANE IS RELEASED.
It seems like a no-brainer to me. Shakova and others (eg. Wadhams) have not absorbed the new evidence yet. The methane effect will be bad, but nothing like as bad as the doomers have been saying (eg. human extinction).
It is actually one of the reasons I think the Arctic ice may be in slow decline (not super-fast), because of a net COOLING effect - in the Arctic - from methane release (due to algae and other simultaneous explosion of CO2-sequestering lifeforms).
However, we are still screwed for many other reasons, so continue as you were :D No need to get happy yet.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 07, 2017, 07:15:04 PM
I think it's a no-brainer that explosions of algae and life will absorb CO2 at faster rate than the methane can heat the atmosphere.

I refrain making such sweeping statements about anything. Yes, the research is interesting but, I suspect, hardly unassailable. Individuals who latch on to new research that presents some hope as absolute truth are no different than doomsdayers.

Here is what I know. Greenhouse gases of all types are rising rapidly. This simple fact means the planet will continue to warm. Do I believe that increased releases of methane due to permafrost degradation will change this growth trend? Call me skeptical.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 08, 2017, 12:39:03 AM
I think it's a no-brainer that explosions of algae and life will absorb CO2 at faster rate than the methane can heat the atmosphere.

I refrain making such sweeping statements about anything. Yes, the research is interesting but, I suspect, hardly unassailable. Individuals who latch on to new research that presents some hope as absolute truth are no different than doomsdayers.
Lol, you really have not been paying attention and do not understand the several studies I posted in this topic. Get back to me when you understand them instead of insulting people. It's a no-brainer, and you have no argument against it because you have no understanding whatsoever of the material. Stop responding with posts that show your complete ignorance of the research posted, and insulting people while you're at it. Whoever you are under that fake name of yours, you are just posting egoistic nonsense that shows a complete lack of understanding of the several research papers posted by me  in several posts on the last few pages. Get back to me when you've read all my posts on this and you actually start to understand it. Your post is completely irrelevant to the research posted, but you don't know that, because you are clueless what that research is, nor do you know anything whatsoever about it.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 08, 2017, 01:23:04 AM
You keep posting the same two papers, that have already been debunked, over and over again.  You stink of desperation.

I've avoided using the same assessment that Tillerson made of the President towards you, mainly because that desperation makes me feel sorry for you.  Like a rat trapped in a cage.

You don't have to live a long life to live a full one.  I know, it seems totally unfair.  But it is what it is.

Now you can waste what time you have left in desperate denials, or live each day as fully as possible as if you had a year to live.  You might have several.  But no matter how it works out, you will be able to say I lived a full life when it's over.

I hope you get the chance, to live like you were dying (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9TShlMkQnc).

     
   
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Neven on October 08, 2017, 10:24:09 AM
This stops here. I've sent PMs.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 08, 2017, 03:17:14 PM
You keep posting the same two papers, that have already been debunked, over and over again.  You stink of desperation.

They are not the same two papers, there are at least 5, and you need to stop saying they have been debunked. That is extremist science-denial.
I post 5 or 6 papers that report on a new set of studies, starting a few pages back, and I get called all sorts of things. You can't post science and reason on this forum without people like you coming out and insulting people - ie. Anti-rational. You and the flat-earthers. No brain.

IT'S SCIENCE.
IT HAS NOT BEEN DEBUNKED. I POSTED  5 or 6 STUDIES, NOT 2, YOU ARE LYING, JUST LIKE THE CLIMATE-SCIENCE DENIERS DO.

Quote
I've avoided using the same assessment that Tillerson made of the President towards you, mainly because that desperation makes me feel sorry for you.  Like a rat trapped in a cage.
So now you're calling me a moron, and Neven lets you stay on this forum.  Pathetic. What's your real name, we can discuss this over a cup of coffee, see how big your insults are then.

Quote
You don't have to live a long life to live a full one.  I know, it seems totally unfair.  But it is what it is.

Oh Doomer is it? Science-denier? Just like the climate-science deniers, you deny anything that goes against your paradigm, and are not worthy of this forum. A whole post of insults.

Quote
Now you can waste what time you have left in desperate denials, or live each day as fully as possible as if you had a year to live.  You might have several.  But no matter how it works out, you will be able to say I lived a full life when it's over.
 

We are not on this forum to discuss your one-sided doomer cult which won't listen to any other science. I have never said humans are not in trouble, but this new research is clear about how the methane doom you spread all over the internet is now questionable. Only a science-denier would not  take this FIVE or SIX papers I have posted, and re-think the science.

You are a fool, a science-denier, and a luddite. It's disgusting that Neven let's you, a fake-name guy stay on this forum., but I bet you've got a couple of other fake names.

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 08, 2017, 03:19:58 PM
This stops here. I've sent PMs.

I reread my comment and do understand that I started it. Won't happen again.

Here is what I should have typed.....

I refrain from making such sweeping statements about anything. Yes, the research is interesting but, I suspect, hardly unassailable.

Here is what I know. Greenhouse gases of all types are rising rapidly. This simple fact means the planet will continue to warm. Do I believe that increased releases of methane due to permafrost degradation will change this growth trend? Call me skeptical.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 08, 2017, 03:37:08 PM
This stops here. I've sent PMs.

I reread my comment and do understand that I started it. Won't happen again.

Here is what I should have typed.....

I refrain from making such sweeping statements about anything. Yes, the research is interesting but, I suspect, hardly unassailable.

Here is what I know. Greenhouse gases of all types are rising rapidly. This simple fact means the planet will continue to warm. Do I believe that increased releases of methane due to permafrost degradation will change this growth trend? Call me skeptical.


And I repeat.
Everyone knows that greenhouse gases are increasing. This is a specific discussion about a MAJOR theme in Arctic science, which previously many of us thought would spell the end for humans within 10-20 years. Including me. And climate-scientists Shakova and Wadhams hinted strongly the same or very similar. Now this new research shows nuances to the ecosystem that are new information, that could give more time, compared to a straightforward methane release linear equation. People like Cid-Yama are stuck in a sheeple paradigm in which he lashes out like a science-denier against anything that questions his cult,  instead of discuss actual science, so he just rants against anyone who talks about the NUANCES of climate-change.
This is a discussion about methane in the arctic, not wether we think there are other problems on planet Earth, or not. And how recent studies (at least 5 now) are showing that the mass methane release that would put us over 6 degrees in 10 years, is not as big a problem as scientists previously thought it was, because there is a 200 X balancing cooling effect from a simultaneous CO2 sequestration.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Neven on October 08, 2017, 06:55:36 PM
This stops here. I've sent PMs.

I reread my comment and do understand that I started it. Won't happen again.

Maybe you did start it, but that's no reason for Thomas Barlow to go bonkers like that.

Some think Arctic methane is an imminent threat, others don't. There's no need to get worked about this on some Internet forum. And Thomas also doesn't understand that his aggressive responses make his arguments look weaker. There's reason to think that someone who gets angry so easily, may also lack in reasoned judgement. It's not even anger from passion. It's a tantrum.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 08, 2017, 08:22:57 PM

And I repeat.
Everyone knows that greenhouse gases are increasing. This is a specific discussion about a MAJOR theme in Arctic science, which previously many of us thought would spell the end for humans within 10-20 years. Including me.

OK...so I have been visiting this site almost daily for over 4 years. My visits are spent primarily reading interesting posts by people who know far more than me in order to get a grasp of AGW. I certainly have not read every comment but cannot recall reading any comments that suggest the end of humans in 10-20 years and if such comments have been made, I am fairly certain they got laughed off the site as quickly as someone who has suggested that AGW is a Chinese hoax.

I still doubt that subsea permafrost degradation causing increases in the release of methane will be a net positive with regards to general warming of the planet. This is what I believe notwithstanding the research you have posted which I have not read. I believe this because of the same 4 years I have spent on this site and the volumes of research I have read here that indicates the role that methane has had in previous warming episodes.

I admit I am a scientific lightweight. I will assume that the research you reference is accurate. The researchers have identified a process where sub-sea methane releases can trigger an explosive growth in organisms which will increase carbon uptake. This may even mean that there can be specific time periods and locations where this results in a net reduction in atmospheric CO2e. It is one thing to scientifically demonstrate a process and then argue that this natural process should be assumed to absolutely operate continuously on a global scale. There are other things to consider such as growing seasons which will reduce the growth and carbon uptake of these organisms. It is quite incorrect to suggest that methane releases from areas of the sea floor have a similar seasonal periodicity. Once the permafrost in the ESS and Laptev has degraded and begun to release methane, this release occurs year round, no pause during the dark Arctic winter.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 08, 2017, 08:55:38 PM
Semiletov and Shakhova were not 'hinting' at anything.  They were telling you point blank.

The area of hotspots of methane are spreading, now encompassing a full 10% of the 2 million sq km of the ESAS. Which is 200,000 sq km.

Not only is the area of release spreading, the rate and volume of release is increasing, and they expect it to increase exponentially 3-5 orders of magnitude.

That there is no way to shut this off, short of sea level dropping and exposing the shelves to temperatures capable of refreezing the permafrost.  We know that isn't going to happen.

That the methane will continue to release until there is no more to release, and that just 1% of the available methane will be enough to cause catastrophic climate change.

The interview (http://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/nick-breeze/203-subsea-permafrost-on-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-now-in-accelerated-decline) with Semiletov and Shakhova was published 24 June 2017.  their paper,  Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15872), was published 22 June 2017.

You want to challenge their research, I've provided links.     
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 08, 2017, 08:56:55 PM
When faced with an intractable (difficult to understand or solve) problem, I will always retreat to mind games, artificial constructs or arguments that help me to illuminate and apply logic to arrive at a conclusion. (I would like to emphasize that the intractable nature of this problem is a direct result of my limited scientific acumen which I alluded to in a prior comment.)

What follows is an example of this.....

Assumptions:

1. Sub-sea methane releases cause an explosive growth of organisms which results in dramatic increases in carbon uptake.
2. The increased carbon uptake overwhelms any increases in atmospheric methane and therefore reduces GHG impacts in the atmosphere and subsequent warming.
3. This process and impact occurs wherever sub-sea methane is being released.

Therefore:

1. Sub-sea methane releases are a powerful negative feedback for global warming.

Conclusion:

We should immediately work to develop a process for increasing sub-sea permafrost degradation in a controlled manner so as to take advantage of this process.

This fails my logic test but I want to be clear that this is not science and should be questioned by anyone who cares to.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 08, 2017, 09:37:59 PM
Semiletov and Shakhova were not 'hinting' at anything.  They were telling you point blank.

The area of hotspots of methane are spreading, now encompassing a full 10% of the 2 million sq km of the ESAS. Which is 200,000 sq km.

Not only is the area of release spreading, the rate and volume of release is increasing, and they expect it to increase exponentially 3-5 orders of magnitude.

That there is no way to shut this off, short of sea level dropping and exposing the shelves to temperatures capable of refreezing the permafrost.  We know that isn't going to happen.

That the methane will continue to release until there is no more to release, and that just 1% of the available methane will be enough to cause catastrophic climate change.

The interview (http://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/nick-breeze/203-subsea-permafrost-on-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-now-in-accelerated-decline) with Semiletov and Shakhova was published 24 June 2017.  their paper,  Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15872), was published 22 June 2017.

You want to challenge their research, I've provided links.   

Began to read this paper only to realize why I leave science to the scientists.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: logicmanPatrick on October 08, 2017, 11:34:09 PM
Some thoughts on methane release and feedbacks.

Localised, I stress: localised methane release on land may incorporate a localised positive feedback.

In sunshine, the ground warms and releases methane.  Until dispersed, the methane will linger in the local atmosphere.  The atmosphere is only well-mixed in the larger scales of time, land area and gas volume.  In the short term and over a relatively small geographical area it is not well-mixed.  That is why leaks of LPG can be smelled over a relatively large area, sometimes for days.  It also accounts for the 'smell of the sea' ranging for miles inland.  (Actually the smell of rotting seaweed).

Given the fact that methane concentrations in the air above a seepage must be higher than the global average: it follows that the local air/ground temperature will be higher and will decay more slowly at night than the global average.

It seems to me that methane seepage rates on land are likely to increase over time as GHGs increase globally and are supplemented by methane seeps locally.

Any thoughts, comments, rebuttals?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Neven on October 09, 2017, 12:03:17 AM
That is why leaks of LPG can be smelled over a relatively large area, sometimes for days.

And here I was, thinking it was me.  ;)

*sorry, couldn't help self'
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: logicmanPatrick on October 09, 2017, 12:43:10 AM
That is why leaks of LPG can be smelled over a relatively large area, sometimes for days.

And here I was, thinking it was me.  ;)

*sorry, couldn't help self'

ROFL    ;D
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: miki on October 09, 2017, 04:37:49 AM
Thanks Cid_Yama, for the interview and the paper links. I had already read the interview. But I had yet not delved in all the implications of the paper. Again, thanks.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: GeoffBeacon on October 09, 2017, 05:00:36 AM
logicmanPatrick "Some thoughts on methane release and feedbacks."

I've just found a similar  question I asked on RealClimate in 2009. I didn't get an answer then.

Quote
Duae Quartunciae #2, reminds me of a question that climate experts have told me that the answer is “No”. They are probably right but on these topics it doesn’t hurt to be sure. The question is

    Does methane emitted in Arctic regions have any local heating effect before it becomes well-mixed?

I have read that

1. Weather over Siberia can have blocking patterns with little wind.

2. Tamino’s blog, if I remember correctly, mentioned that rises in methane levels can vary by several weeks at different measuring stations.

3. Concentrations of methane near the emitting sources can be hundreds of times greater than background levels. Clearly, if these concentrations reached any height there would be a local warming effect. If these concentrations reached one hundred metres above the emitting sources these concentrations would occupy about one percent of the atmosphere above the source. One hundred times a background level would double the warming effect of methane in the locality.

Warming areas where methane is emitted with methane that is not well-mixed is clearly some sort of feedback. Is it vanishingly small? I would be interested to know if anyone has done the work to dismiss it definitively.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 09, 2017, 06:09:06 AM
Yes, Gavin Schmidt was bought off with Hansen's job. A combination of persuasions were required with Archer.

I've known since 2004.  The logic is straightforward. Over a decade of research has only allowed us to know in greater detail how seriously we are f'd.

If you think our government hasn't known as long as I have, you are wrong.  That is why G.W. Bush commissioned IMPACTS, bringing all the national labs together to address this.

             
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Neven on October 09, 2017, 10:06:20 AM
Yes, Gavin Schmidt was bought off with Hansen's job. A combination of persuasions were required with Archer.

Don't. This forum wouldn't even be here, if it weren't for people like Gavin Schmidt.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 09, 2017, 06:21:37 PM
I still doubt that subsea permafrost degradation causing increases in the release of methane will be a net positive with regards to general warming of the planet. This is what I believe notwithstanding the research you have posted which I have not read.
Yes, after 5 or 6 studies I posted here, you are welcome to stick with your "beliefs", as you call them.

Quote
I admit I am a scientific lightweight. I will assume that the research you reference is accurate. The researchers have identified a process where sub-sea methane releases can trigger an explosive growth in organisms which will increase carbon uptake. This may even mean that there can be specific time periods and locations where this results in a net reduction in atmospheric CO2e. It is one thing to scientifically demonstrate a process and then argue that this natural process should be assumed to absolutely operate continuously on a global scale. There are other things to consider such as growing seasons which will reduce the growth and carbon uptake of these organisms. It is quite incorrect to suggest that methane releases from areas of the sea floor have a similar seasonal periodicity. Once the permafrost in the ESS and Laptev has degraded and begun to release methane, this release occurs year round, no pause during the dark Arctic winter.

No, it does not happen year-round.
That is the whole point of the 'ice cap' in this reguard. It caps the methane long enough for it to degrade in the ocean. Where there is no ice, and methane is released from the ocean floor, the methane is released immediately to the atmosphere, but the accompanying explosion of algae and life will sequester CO2 at a rate that is hundreds of times more than the warming effect of the methane being released into the atmosphere. It is like finding out the Earth is round, and then saying, "Yea, of course it is. It's a no-brainer. How come I never thought of that before? The evidence is everywhere. Kindof self-evident really" But people get stuck in their former paradigms, they can't shift, especially if it does't come from them, or someone they admire, or are in their clique. This is science. It is hard-core, and does not involve "belief" as you put it. It involves discussion of scientific findings, and evolving with those findings.

Humans may be screwed, but one thing that is unlikely to be the worst factor is methane release from arctic or tundra. You need to go back and read all my posts on this.

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on October 09, 2017, 06:28:23 PM
Rightly or wrongly, the decision was made early on to settle on the 2º
C-from-CO2-by-2100 narrative. I would say wrongly. Wadhams made a strong case for disappearing Arctic Ocean ice by 2020 but that did not fit the story line. Methane release from the ESAS researched so carefully by Semiletov and Shakhova was equally unwelcome. And the magnitude of cow-belched methane (even grass-fed) remains completely unmentionable.

https://cbmjournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s13021-017-0084-y

So here we are today with our heads still deep in the CO2 saturated sand. It's not going to work, kicking that particular can down the road. We need to lay out the real risks, a realistic timeline for them, and proportionate measures that need to be taken now, be they ever so inconvenient.

As time permits, I'll see about popularizing the S&S article. This one is largely about the largely unfamiliar evolution of submerged frozen land and whether built-up methane is safely trapped underneath or finding routes up and out. Or rather, they're explaining why the latter is happening in terms of cryo-geology widespread off Siberia, contrary to assumptions of mid-America modeling campaigns.

Methane itself is not so difficult but its politicization within certain segments of the scientific community has gotten very ugly: methane is a threat to the paradigm, therefore its threat to the climate has to be belittled. That's a poor way to go though on climate risk assessment.

The first thing I do with a methane article is skim through to what the authors take for CO2 equivalency (by itself often belittled). If it's 20, that's rubbish, I don't read further. Time is better spent on straight science than reading another biased blast from yet another paradigm defender.

Not wanting methane is a very different thing from not getting methane.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 09, 2017, 06:31:07 PM
Semiletov and Shakhova were not 'hinting' at anything.  They were telling you point blank.

The area of hotspots of methane are spreading, now encompassing a full 10% of the 2 million sq km of the ESAS. Which is 200,000 sq km.
Not only is the area of release spreading, the rate and volume of release is increasing, and they expect it to increase exponentially 3-5 orders of magnitude.
That there is no way to shut this off, short of sea level dropping and exposing the shelves to temperatures capable of refreezing the permafrost.  We know that isn't going to happen.
That the methane will continue to release until there is no more to release, and that just 1% of the available methane will be enough to cause catastrophic climate change.
The interview (http://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/nick-breeze/203-subsea-permafrost-on-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-now-in-accelerated-decline) with Semiletov and Shakhova was published 24 June 2017.  their paper,  Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15872), was published 22 June 2017.

You want to challenge their research, I've provided links.   

You still don't understand the studies I posted. Please explain them to me - even if you don't 'believe' them, so that I am sure you actually understand them. Otherwise there is no point discussing this with you, since you are technically discussing a completely different topic, focused on the amount of methane that could get released. That has nothing to do with the core finding of the studies I posted. You don't understand the studies.
 Shakova  et al do not in any way address the research I have been posting ( 5 or 6 studies, I lost count). They are ONLY talking about methane release. You are just name-dropping because you haven't read (or do not understand) the research I posted.
Please explain to me what you think the studies I posted are saying. I don't think you read them, because your answers do not address the core points at all.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Capt Kiwi on October 09, 2017, 07:57:36 PM
Rightly or wrongly, the decision was made early on to settle on the CO2-in-2100 narrative. I would say wrongly. Wadhams made a strong case for disappearing Arctic Ocean ice by 2020 but that did not fit the story line. Methane release from the ESAS researched so carefully by Semiletov and Shakhova was equally unwelcome. And the magnitude of cow-belched methane (even grass-fed) remains completely unmentionable.

Wow! Hearing that from somebody of the caliber of A- Team is a little scary!
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on October 09, 2017, 10:13:42 PM
From what I read it would seem that when local conditions favour slow release of ch4 this allows the ch4 bubbles to completely dissolve in the ocean thus encouraging algal blooms.

The studies by Semiltov and Shakhova seem to me to point to the possibility of rapid release of ch4 in the less than 50 m depth of large parts of the ESS as the permafrost cap over the hydrates weakens,  thus allowing much of the ch4 to be released as gas into the atmosphere. Shallow seas warm up quickly to sufficient depth to attack the permafrost.

Not only hydrates but there are also perhaps large amounts of free ch4 gas at greater depth formed from the decay over many thousands of years of carbon rich soil confined under pressure would be released as the hydrate layer thinned and broke. Rather like the classic geology of oil and gas under pressure trapped under a salt dome. Puncture the cap and whoosh! a gusher.

Different geomorphology and ocean depth and temperatures produce different results. The logic is too persuasive for comfort, especially if the Arctic ocean in the ESAS continues to warm.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on October 09, 2017, 11:19:42 PM
Thanks for the clarity, g.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: oren on October 10, 2017, 01:04:05 PM
Two idiot questions pertaining to all of the above:
TB - if the research shows that methane release causes explosions of algae blooms, thus saving us. Consider that S&S have discovered numerous methane hot spots above the ESAS, so ARE there explosions of algae blooms in the ESS? I mean, here's a real life test case, from the little I understand of the research.
S&S or whoever knows - if the methane has been building over a million years, over quite a few glacials and interglacials, what has changed recently to cause the release? Is AGW in its current level enough to cause such a profound change? Or is it the loss of ESS summer ice cover? In short, why now?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 10, 2017, 05:09:15 PM
You need to go back and read all my posts on this.

You'll need to forgive me since I won't.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 10, 2017, 05:19:51 PM
From what I read it would seem that when local conditions favour slow release of ch4 this allows the ch4 bubbles to completely dissolve in the ocean thus encouraging algal blooms.
Not only hydrates but there are also perhaps large amounts of free ch4 gas at greater depth formed from the decay over many thousands of years of carbon rich soil confined under pressure would be released as the hydrate layer thinned and broke. Rather like the classic geology of oil and gas under pressure trapped under a salt dome. Puncture the cap and whoosh! a gusher.
Yes, some big explosions into the atmo., but that is not the main issue, and they will cause MASSIVE algae blooms. The CO2 sequestration will be huge. It is nature's carbon-credit, just like businesses are encouraged to do.
The biological activity would be much larger than when just bubbles. It's a no-brainer. You all forget that the reason life evolved on Earth (in the ocean) is because it is the IDEAL place for an explosion of biological activity and diversity. It's what the ocean does. Linear thinking humans cannot really conceive of the biological powerhouse that is the ocean.
So when a mass of methane is released the activity will be bigger and last longer.
Quote
Different geomorphology and ocean depth and temperatures produce different results. The logic is too persuasive for comfort, especially if the Arctic ocean in the ESAS continues to warm.
Oh, it's not going to be good, but not a linear straight line effect without any nuance or gray areas.
And of course many other factors of climate-change make it almost a moot point, but there is a known balancing effect that was not known a few years ago, is now obvious (6 or 7 studies - science-denial and personal opinion is fast becoming irrelevant on this)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 10, 2017, 05:32:15 PM
Two idiot questions pertaining to all of the above:
TB - if the research shows that methane release causes explosions of algae blooms, thus saving us.
This balancing effect of methane to CO2 sequestration is not going to save us. It's just science, and science is always unfolding. It is somewhat good news in terms of massive global warming of over 6 degrees C over 10-20 years, which a linear, unbalanced, mass methane release would cause, and you'll all be dead at about 4 degrees. It provides a somewhat better scenario than that. Only some.
Quote
Consider that S&S have discovered numerous methane hot spots above the ESAS, so ARE there explosions of algae blooms in the ESS? I mean, here's a real life test case, from the little I understand of the research.
Yes, you can see them on satellite photos in shallow Arctic seas whenever there is a open water and a clear sky
Quote
Is AGW in its current level enough to cause such a profound change? Or is it the loss of ESS summer ice cover?
Both.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 10, 2017, 05:35:28 PM
You need to go back and read all my posts on this.

You'll need to forgive me since I won't.
OK, then please stay uninformed.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 10, 2017, 07:08:04 PM
OK...I decided to read the most recent link provided that takes me to research showing how CO2 uptake in areas where methane seeps are active overwhelms the warming effects of methane increases in the atmosphere which thus means that underwater methane seeps act as a powerful negative feedback. The more underwater methane released, the cooler the planet will be.

The link took me to an article as opposed to the research which is fortunate in that I would have struggled to understand it anyway. I have read the article and included some quotes from the researchers regarding their conclusions.

"If what we observed near Svalbard occurs more broadly at similar locations around the world, it could mean that methane seeps have a net cooling effect on climate, not a warming effect as we previously thought," said USGS biogeochemist John Pohlman, who is the paper's lead author. "We are looking forward to testing the hypothesis that shallow-water methane seeps are net greenhouse gas sinks in other locations."

It would appear that the lead author does not consider methane seeps as the planets refrigerator as a "no brainer".

The article includes this sentence...

"Photosynthetic algae (marine phytoplankton) appeared to be more active in the near-surface waters overlying the seafloor methane seeps, a phenomenon that would explain why so much carbon dioxide was being absorbed."

"Appeared" hardly seems to be a term used in rigorous research. What gave them that appearance?

I would also like to point out the water depths where these readings were taken...

"Analysis of the data confirmed that methane was entering the atmosphere above the shallowest (water depth of 260-295 feet or 80-90 meters) Svalbard margin seeps. "

It should be noted that in the exhaustive research regarding methane seeps in the ESS and Laptev, much of the sea floor is less than 20 meters deep and almost all of this methane rich shelf is less than 50 meters deep.

Even the author of this research does not consider it to be the final definitive research on the topic. I remain unconvinced that sub-sea methane seeps and the sub-sea permafrost degradation being documented in the ESS are not a significant risk.



Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on October 10, 2017, 07:12:00 PM
Hullo Oren.
Idiot qu.1. Not the faintest idea. Vague memory of a study on seas near Svalbard ?
Idiot qu. 2. Found a paper - them Russkies again. Suggests cause of quick increase in co2 from 190  to 270 ppm that happened soon after last inter glacial may have been triggered by permafrost exposed as ice sheet retreated. Hence lots of interest from scientists looking at NOW?

Found a paper that said most ch4 in the ESAS is Pleistocene. Also in other papers talk about greatly increased flow in Siberian rivers dumping big amounts from peatlands in the ESAS during the Holocene and accelerating now.
Northern sea route opens. Insolation. Shallow sea warms. Permafrost on sea floor melts. Many many gt of ch4 escapes. Climate stuffed.

Ps . Doing this on mobile so can't give you links. Your turn to get a headache first finding and then wading thru very very scientific abstracts.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on October 10, 2017, 07:26:52 PM
S&S or whoever knows - if the methane has been building over a million years, over quite a few glacials and interglacials, what has changed recently to cause the release? Is AGW in its current level enough to cause such a profound change? Or is it the loss of ESS summer ice cover? In short, why now?

At the risk of oversimplifying a complex issue, I believe that the primary answer to your question of 'why now?' is:
1. Over the past million years only two interglacial periods (MIS 11 & 5) have a reasonable combination of ocean temperature and sea level to both inundate and then begin to degrade the submerged permafrost in the ESAS (see the blue curve in the first attached image).
 2. However, during both the MIS 11-Holsteinian, and the MIS 5-Eemian, eras the duration of conditions equal or above modern conditions was less than 5,000 years which is short compared to the Holocene where modern condition have existed for almost 12,000 years (see the second attached image).
3. 5,000 years is too short of a period for the heat of the sea water inundating the ESAS to adequately degrade the submerged permafrost to release significant quantities of methane, while 12,000 years is very near to the duration necessary conditions to begin to release the least stable of the submerged methane regions.
4.  The rapid loss of Arctic sea ice extent has exposed the portions of the ESAS in less than 50m of water depth to storm wave mixing that has conveyed relatively warm sea water to the shallow regions of the ESAS which in certain susceptible regions (such as regions with high erosion of sediment overburden above the methane bearing layers, say due to currents and wave action during inundation 12,000 years ago) to cross their thresholds for releasing methane (as observed by S&S in localized areas).

Finally, I note that during both the MIS 11 and MIS 5 eras it is likely that the WAIS collapsed; which has not yet happen in modern times.  If/when the WAIS collapses before 2100, this event would both drive relatively warm Pacific waters into the Arctic Basin and would increase Arctic Amplification; both of which would significantly increase the risk of meaningful methane emissions from the ESAS before 2100.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 10, 2017, 07:27:05 PM
I thought I would point out that the primary mission of this research vessel from which this study was performed is to assess the viability of gas hydrates as an energy source.

I leave it to the reader to decide if this is relevant or whether it might suggest a research bias.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on October 10, 2017, 08:00:51 PM
I have read the article and included some quotes from the researchers regarding their conclusions.

"If what we observed near Svalbard occurs more broadly at similar locations around the world, it could mean that methane seeps have a net cooling effect on climate, not a warming effect as we previously thought," said USGS biogeochemist John Pohlman, who is the paper's lead author. "We are looking forward to testing the hypothesis that shallow-water methane seeps are net greenhouse gas sinks in other locations."

It would appear that the lead author does not consider methane seeps as the planets refrigerator as a "no brainer".

The article includes this sentence...

"Photosynthetic algae (marine phytoplankton) appeared to be more active in the near-surface waters overlying the seafloor methane seeps, a phenomenon that would explain why so much carbon dioxide was being absorbed."

"Appeared" hardly seems to be a term used in rigorous research. What gave them that appearance?

I would also like to point out the water depths where these readings were taken...

"Analysis of the data confirmed that methane was entering the atmosphere above the shallowest (water depth of 260-295 feet or 80-90 meters) Svalbard margin seeps. "

It should be noted that in the exhaustive research regarding methane seeps in the ESS and Laptev, much of the sea floor is less than 20 meters deep and almost all of this methane rich shelf is less than 50 meters deep.

Even the author of this research does not consider it to be the final definitive research on the topic. I remain unconvinced that sub-sea methane seeps and the sub-sea permafrost degradation being documented in the ESS are not a significant risk.

These topics are often complex, and it can be difficult to say what the net feedback will be until models are better calibrated to account for the possible positive feedback cited in the linked article and associated reference for algae blooms in the Arctic Ocean (I noted that methane fed algae would like contribute to this positive feedback thus at least partially offsetting any negative feedbacks associated with the CO₂ absorbed by the algae growth):

Title: "Blooming Algae Could Accelerate Arctic Warming"

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/algae-accelerate-arctic-warming-18929 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/algae-accelerate-arctic-warming-18929)

Extract: "There’s no question that algae blooms are on the increase as Arctic ice thins. Scientists have generally believed that more algae — more specifically, the type known as phytoplankton — would be good for the climate, since they thrive on CO2 while alive, then carry the carbon they’ve absorbed down to the sea bottom when they die. Some experts have even suggested that fertilizing the oceans to encourage algal growth would be one way to counteract global warming.

But Park and his co-authors point out that thicker layers of algae on the sea surface would prevent sunlight from penetrating deeper into the water.

“More heat is trapped in the upper layers of the ocean, where it can be easily released back into the atmosphere,” Park said. He and his team reached this conclusion by marrying computer models of how ocean ecosystems behave to models that simulate the climate. Then they ramped up levels of CO2 to see how the algae would respond to the resulting warming, the extra carbon dioxide itself, and changes in sea ice.

See also:

Jong-Yeon Park et al (2015), "Amplified Arctic warming by phytoplankton under greenhouse warming", PNAS, vol. 112 no. 19,  5921–5926, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1416884112

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/19/5921 (http://www.pnas.org/content/112/19/5921)

Abstract: "Phytoplankton have attracted increasing attention in climate science due to their impacts on climate systems. A new generation of climate models can now provide estimates of future climate change, considering the biological feedbacks through the development of the coupled physical–ecosystem model. Here we present the geophysical impact of phytoplankton, which is often overlooked in future climate projections. A suite of future warming experiments using a fully coupled ocean−atmosphere model that interacts with a marine ecosystem model reveals that the future phytoplankton change influenced by greenhouse warming can amplify Arctic surface warming considerably. The warming-induced sea ice melting and the corresponding increase in shortwave radiation penetrating into the ocean both result in a longer phytoplankton growing season in the Arctic. In turn, the increase in Arctic phytoplankton warms the ocean surface layer through direct biological heating, triggering additional positive feedbacks in the Arctic, and consequently intensifying the Arctic warming further. Our results establish the presence of marine phytoplankton as an important potential driver of the future Arctic climate changes."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 10, 2017, 08:27:35 PM
Thanks ASLR.  The system is so complex.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on October 10, 2017, 09:18:33 PM
From previous post by shared humanity the USGS study refers to seepage (slow release?) at 80-90 meters depth near Svalbard. The Russian study talks about rapid release at  max of 50 m depth in the ESAS.

Different local conditions produce different results ?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: longwalks1 on October 10, 2017, 09:35:47 PM
I do hope to see more of the Norsk womyn (and men) and any others from CAGE on EGU videos again about Svalbard. To hear the evolution of young field scientists after a couple years in a complex developing fields is instructive and fascinating.  From the 11:00 minute on is about deep seepage creating a biological oasis. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3JQ9a3apc8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3JQ9a3apc8)   It was previously posted. 

When I moved back south, I shredded many videos from before crossing border and did not back the big ones onto the cloud.  Off topic slightly, but I miss the video from a Pleistocence presentation where he goes into the data he has assembled and graph where he makes the case that a methane burp at the very beginning of agriculture can be shown and he pinpoints cattle and rice.  If anyone has it off the top of their head, I would like to review it.  Several years old.

This is the place to be looking at conflicting views in the science and scientists.  From the Ruppell paper I get that the ins and outs of the methane cycle has significant degrees of uncertainty, and they do their best.  And also that presently the largest methane emission by far today is cattle and rice production. 

From Semiltov and Shakhova etc. we now have a several year survey showing an increase and raw data to be applied to finding and making models  of the present day and models for the future. 
Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf 
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15872  previously posted here.

The CAGE survey around Svalvard is another example of raw data coming out, which is not at the caprice U.S. funding so much.  Yeah.

This is an evolving situation in the science and in the field.  I am reminded about the studies about winter pemafrost methane emissions and how they found a huge difference between wet and dry decaying permafrost emissions. 
Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget     doi/10.1073/pnas.1516017113           That is not so relevant for the previous discussion, it is just an example of how the studies on methane and methane emissions from the arctic is ongoing. 

Can we agree to disagree amicably.  I have not read the new stuff yet.  If anyone who has read it can post their opinions about differences that might occur with light versus dark with the photosynthesis portions;  what are the rate limiting presursors (sulfur compounds?) and what effects  these pathways would have on ph I would deeply appreciate.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: oren on October 11, 2017, 12:28:01 AM
At the risk of oversimplifying a complex issue
ASLR - thank you for your very good explanation. Simplification is what I was looking for, as sometimes understanding is lost among the details. And that you for all the other responses to my questions.
I too believe that the research in Svalbard is not necessarily applicable to the ESS, due to different conditions (rate of seepage and depth of seafloor), but hopefully the research will be extended to that area as well at some point.
TB - I was looking to see whether algae blooms have empirically appeared in greater numbers in areas of methane seeps, compared to areas with no seeps. If they appear over the whole arctic, then maybe they are not connected to methane.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 11, 2017, 03:52:08 PM
The reason I said people need to go back a few pages on this topic area and read my posts is because it is not just one study.  Focusing on one study is not enough. To me, in science, several studies, on a similar effect, showing similar results (eg. biological activity is a net cooling effect) is pointing to a growing body of evidence. Taking one study on its own and thinking that is how you are going to analyze the topic is not being informed on the topic. That's why, a few pages back here, I said that the first study I posted (for which I was given the derogatory charge or 'hopium' and "that study was debunked' with no citation to said debunking), I said that "it's just one study, the juries out on this one". But since then, I have posted several studies on similar or related effects, some published recently, and it is becoming a body of research. Just like you wouldn't pick apart one study on climate-change research (eg. saying "appeared" is not a scientific term), to ignore or trash all the others, is not a valid approach here. The overall effect is a growing body of research and needs to be taken as a whole. Every time methane is released (in small or large quantities) there will be a massive CO2 sequestration that causes a cooling effect that far outweighs the warming effect of methane released into the atmosphere.
And, no, I doubt any warming effect of algae or biological activity on the ocean amounts to much compared to the overall cooling balance. But let me know when someone does a full published study on it, and that will be a start.

However, the net cooling effect (that I think is one reason the Arctic ice is not disappearing super fast - just somewhat fast) will not be enough to reverse Arctic meltdown. Other problems, such as pollution and plastic in the Arctic ocean (because it seems to gather plastic from elsewhere), warming N. Atlantic which seeps under the Arctic, soot from more and more wildfires landing on the ice, and general global warming, mean that the net cooling effect may not be enough to slow the Arctic Ice melt. It may mitigate (not stop) global human disaster in general, giving time for a reprieve, but the state of the other oceans is so bad now (acidic, fished out, ecosystem out of balance - sure glad I've been vegetarian for 35 years), it's hard to see how dying oceans are not in our future. I hope nature has more surprises for us, because with the leaders we have in power, we are not going to do it.
This net cooling effect, will be a feature of the melting Arctic, and could slow some warming, but I doubt would reverse anything, just make the demise less abrupt.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 11, 2017, 06:13:03 PM
TB - I was looking to see whether algae blooms have empirically appeared in greater numbers in areas of methane seeps, compared to areas with no seeps. If they appear over the whole arctic, then maybe they are not connected to methane.
For methane, just in shallow peripheral seas at this point, I would think.
There's too much ice over the arctic ocean most of the time, and most methane would likely just be absorbed by other processes before it is emitted to atmosphere, is my understanding. So, effect can only be observed in shallow seas (ESS, Beaufort. etc.), because wider Arctic is covered, and we know methane would mostly be absorbed under ice (or even if there is some open water, it wouldn't be significant enough). The bottom of the Arctic Ocean emitting methane is not really the concern right now, but if it does emit in large quantities, and there is a large swathe of open water, I think you will sea the blooms. We are maybe years from that though.
I think it is mostly in the shallow seas that Shakova and Wadhams and others are talking about (and the tundra, which has other possible mitigating factors to mass methane release)
But, yes, there are many other things that cause algae blooms, as you know more about than me (river effluence, Ekman Flux, for example). It's not definitive, I was just suggesting that if there are methane releases going on (which we know there are), it would show up as algae blooms in the shallow seas where those releases are. To try to delineate in satellite photos which are river effluence, Ekman Effect, etc., and which are methane effects, will be more difficult, but I doubt anyone can point to an algae bloom in shallow seas yet (away from rivers) and definitively say that "methane did not have an impact".
Greenland will be interesting because there is so much iron and other minerals in the surface ice that when it melts, it will cause the same effects around Greenland, maybe not obvious algae blooms but other ecosystem activity. I've been thinking this for years now, so when studies showed it with methane (nutrient bursts), then it is a no-brainer to me. Like someone said "The Earth is round", and I say, "Wow, yes, of course it is. How come I never thought of that before?" Everyone is going to have to modify their viewpoint on this, including Wadhams and Shakova, etc.
(but like I say, it is likely just a mitigating factor, not a reversal of global warming or ice receding over time).
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Capt Kiwi on October 11, 2017, 07:45:51 PM
I can see how frustrated you are Thomas, and I can see your point of view.
I’m sure you could also understand however, the paradox of your argument, and that the idea is simply counter intuitive.
We all agree that the climate and environmental mess we are in is caused primarily by the excessive release of carbon and other gh gases, causing ocean warming and acidification. Yet... you are saying the way to fix or mitigate this is to release more carbon and methane into the ocean.
I’m not debating the science, just pointing at the very difficult challenge anybody would have in accepting this concept, especially when at least some of it is generated from research done to support commercial methane mining in that area.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 11, 2017, 09:43:15 PM
From 2015:

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf: towards further assessment of permafrost-related methane fluxes and role of sea ice
Quote
Our data show that at a shallow water depth, approximately 67–72% of CH4 remains in the bubbles when the bubbles reach the sea surface.

Dissolved CH4 in the outer ESAS requires 300–1000 days to be oxidized in the water column because CH4 oxidation rates are very low (mean±1 s.d.: 0.0988±0.1343 nM d−1, p=0.95, n=328). During this time, some of the aqueous CH4 inventory is likely to be released to the atmosphere during storms [10]. The remaining dissolved CH4, captured beneath the sea ice in winter, can spread further from the ESAS via currents (figure 4), and some can escape to the atmosphere through leads and breaks in the ice [34].

Sea ice serves as a natural physical barrier that restricts CH4 emissions from the ESAS during the ice-covered period. Because the temperature in the Arctic has increased at twice the rate as in the rest of the globe, and the region is expected to increase an additional 8°C (14°F) in the twenty-first century [3], longer periods of open water and shorter ice-covered periods [35,36] are occurring. Increasing periods of open water implies an increasing number of storm events, when wind speed increases to 15 m s−1 or more and the boundary between sea surface and air increases many times due to deep water mixing. Such events have the potential to rapidly ventilate bubble-transported and dissolved CH4 from the water column, producing high emission rates to the atmosphere. Because more than 75% of the total ESAS area is less than 50 m in depth, the water column provides bubbles with a very short conduit to the atmosphere. Storms enable more CH4 release because they destroy shallow water stratification and increase the boundary between sea surface and air, thus increasing gas exchange across phase boundaries. As a result, bubble-mediated, storm-induced CH4 ‘pulses’ force a greater fraction of CH4 to bypass aqueous microbial filters and reach the atmosphere [10].

In addition, about 10% of the ESAS remains open water in winter due to formation of flaw polynyas. It was shown that flaw polynyas provide pathways for CH4 escape to the atmosphere during the arctic winter [37]. Areas of flaw polynyas in the ESAS increased dramatically (by up to five times) during the last decades, and now exceed the total area of the Siberian wetlands (electronic supplementary material, figure S5). This implies that the ESAS remains an active source of CH4 to the atmosphere year-round.
link (http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/373/2052/20140451)



 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 12, 2017, 12:03:20 AM
Methane cycling in Arctic shelf water and its relationship with phytoplankton biomass and DMSP
Quote
Methane in situ production occurs frequently in the oxygenated upper ocean. A principal pathway by which methane can be formed is methylotrophic methanogenesis, while an important methylated substrate is DMSP (dimethylsulfoniopropionate) produced by marine phytoplankton. Here we report on an in situ methane production/consumption cycle during a summer phytoplankton bloom and a potential link to DMSP concentration in Storfjorden (Svalbard Archipelago) – a polar shelf region.
We propose that methane in situ production occurs during the summer phytoplankton bloom. The concentration of methane increases up to a certain threshold value, above which methane consumption begins. A methane production-removal cycle is established, which is reflected in the varying methane concentrations and δ13CCH4 values. DMSP and methane are inversely correlated suggesting that DMSP could be a potential substrate for the methylotrophic methanogenesis.

link (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/223884269_Methane_cycling_in_Arctic_shelf_water_and_its_relationship_with_phytoplankton_biomass_and_DMSP)

Appears Pohlman and Ruppel are describing half of a production-removal cycle.  And since surface waters release methane to the atmosphere, consumption can only take place on what's left in the water column.

Therefore, Algal blooms are not a sink, but rather a source.   

Methylphosphonate can also act as a substrate to methanogenesis.

Quote
Microbial methane production has traditionally been thought to be the exclusive purview of a specialized group of Archaea termed methanogens. These organisms are highly oxygen sensitive, and only produce methane in places where all the oxygen has already been consumed, like in lake and ocean sediments, or inside the guts of animals, including humans.

However, such traditional methanogenesis wasn’t enough to explain the large amount of methane coming out of the oceans, mostly because methane generated in ocean sediments has to travel a long way to get to the surface, and it usually gets eaten by other microorganisms termed methanotrophs (methane eaters) prior to being released into the atmosphere. Nevertheless, methane can be observed in high concentrations in surface waters worldwide, and this puzzle has been dubbed the “oceanic methane paradox.”

The first half of the marine methane puzzle was solved in 2009 by researchers at University of Hawaii and MIT. They discovered that microorganisms, frequently starved for phosphorous, would metabolize a phosphorous-containing compound called methylphosphonate, and in the process release a methane molecule. This was the first time that methanogenesis had been discovered occurring in water where oxygen was present, and importantly, happened in surface waters where the methane could make it to the atmosphere before being consumed by methanotrophs.

 

What remained a mystery was where all the methylphosphonate was coming from. In order for this “aerobic methanogenesis” to be able to explain 4% of the total methane in the atmosphere, there would have to be a huge amount of methylphosphonate in the ocean, but no one had observed that. In August, researchers from the University of Illinois working on soil microbes reported that microorganisms called Thaumarchaea create a large amount of methylphosphonate with a previously unknown set of genes. Now, it turns out that these Thaumarchaea are also one of the most abundant groups of microorganisms in the oceans, and surveys demonstrated these newly discovered genes in abundance throughout the world’s oceans, not only in Thaumarchaea, but also in other microbes that dominate the water column. The reason why methylphosphonate had not been previously observed was because it was bound to the microbial cells that make it, not freely dissolved in the water.  When these cells die, they have the potential to release that methylphosphonate which can be consumed by organisms that do aerobic methanogenesis, creating, as the authors describe, “a plausible explanation for the methane paradox.”
link (http://www.oneworldoneocean.com/blog/entry/scientists_unravel_the_ocean_methane_mystery)


Oxic water column methanogenesis as a major component of aquatic CH4 fluxes
Quote
The relationship between CH4 and phytoplankton observed here (Fig. 2) has been hypothesized before to explain both the presence of metabolically active methanogens, and the recurrent metalimnetic and near-surface CH4 peaks in oxic lake9,10,18,19 and marine13,14,15,16,17 environments. We confirm this link experimentally, and further show that it generates a significant out flux of CH4 from the mesocosms to the atmosphere (Fig. 1b). These results in turn imply that factors influencing phytoplankton standing stock and GPP, such as grazing, nutrient availability and the physical structure of the water column, will have a strong bearing on pelagic CH4 dynamics and resulting CH4 emissions.

There are potentially large global implications for algal-driven oxic-water methanogenesis. CH4 emissions from surface waters, particularly from freshwaters2,3,4, are a major element of the global atmospheric CH4 budget, and we suggest here that the algal-mediated baseline flux is not only a major contributor to these overall aquatic CH4 emissions, but also one that is particularly sensitive to environmental change. As such, widespread and intensifying human- and climate-driven changes in pelagic nutrient availability47,48,49, terrestrial DOC inputs50,51 and physical structure of the water column47,48,51, which strongly shape aquatic algal dynamics47,51,52,53,54, may have major, but previously unconsidered, consequences for oxic water methanogenesis and aquatic CH4 emissions.
link (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms6350)


 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 13, 2017, 12:54:53 AM
Yet... you are saying the way to fix or mitigate this is to release more carbon and methane into the ocean.
No. This is not what I am saying Captain Kiwi. Not even close.
Go back and read all my posts, <snip, N.>

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 13, 2017, 07:46:34 AM
That is not exactly what you said but you did, just recently, say this. And none of the articles and research you have referenced support this statement.

Every time methane is released (in small or large quantities) there will be a massive CO2 sequestration that causes a cooling effect that far outweighs the warming effect of methane released into the atmosphere.

You are essentially arguing that sub-sea permafrost degradation, regardless of how extensive, with the associated methane releases will serve to cool the planet.

Bollocks!
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 14, 2017, 04:23:52 PM
That is not exactly what you said but you did, just recently, say this. And none of the articles and research you have referenced support this statement.

Every time methane is released (in small or large quantities) there will be a massive CO2 sequestration that causes a cooling effect that far outweighs the warming effect of methane released into the atmosphere.

You are essentially arguing that sub-sea permafrost degradation, regardless of how extensive, with the associated methane releases will serve to cool the planet.

Bollocks!
i didn't say that.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Jim Pettit on October 14, 2017, 06:16:29 PM
i didn't say that.

Yeah, you kinda did. To repeat, here's what you wrote:

Every time methane is released (in small or large quantities) there will be a massive CO2 sequestration that causes a cooling effect that far outweighs the warming effect of methane released into the atmosphere.

Which can only be interpreted as a blanket statement that methane releases induce CO2 sequestration, which in turn cools the planet far more than the released methane warms it. But that conjecture seems to be based on only the Pohlman article from May, and even that article acknowledges that the net cooling effect may only occur during summer months, that faster seeps off East Siberia may be different, and that the ocean's ability to absorb CO2 is directly correlated to the amount of CO2-loving plankton present. IOW, the net cooling may be only a localized phenomenon.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 14, 2017, 06:49:02 PM
i didn't say that.

Yeah, you kinda did. To repeat, here's what you wrote:

Every time methane is released (in small or large quantities) there will be a massive CO2 sequestration that causes a cooling effect that far outweighs the warming effect of methane released into the atmosphere.

Which can only be interpreted as a blanket statement that methane releases induce CO2 sequestration, which in turn cools the planet far more than the released methane warms it. But that conjecture seems to be based on only the Pohlman article from May, and even that article acknowledges that the net cooling effect may only occur during summer months, that faster seeps off East Siberia may be different, and that the ocean's ability to absorb CO2 is directly correlated to the amount of CO2-loving plankton present. IOW, the net cooling may be only a localized phenomenon.

He did not simply say it will always have a net cooling effect, he stated that the cooling effect of the resulting "massive CO2 sequestration" will "far outweigh" the warming effect of the increase in atmospheric methane.

Given the links to articles that he has posted in support of this claim (I have now read them) do not, in fact, support his claim, he has now become a contributor to whom I will no longer look for insight as to what is happening or going to happen in the Arctic.

(Edit) Oooops. Sorry JP. Just reread your comment and realize you also mentioned the overwhelming nature of the cooling that TB claims will occur.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on October 14, 2017, 08:39:00 PM
Methane itself is not so difficult but its politicization within certain segments of the scientific community has gotten very ugly: methane is a threat to the paradigm, therefore its threat to the climate has to be belittled. That's a poor way to go though on climate risk assessment.

The first thing I do with a methane article is skim through to what the authors take for CO2 equivalency (by itself often belittled). If it's 20, that's rubbish, I don't read further. Time is better spent on straight science than reading another biased blast from yet another paradigm defender.

Not wanting methane is a very different thing from not getting methane.

I concur, and I note that the Obama Administration made much of the use of natural gas (largely from new fracking operations) as a bridge to a clean renewable energy economy (see the linked article).  However in addition to ignoring that the use of cheap natural gas can become a barrier to the use of clean energy, they also ignore both the natural gas leaks from such a natural gas dependent energy system and also the synergy between atmospheric methane from fossil fuel leaks and other reactive GHG in the atmosphere including natural methane emissions, N2O, upper atmospheric ozone etc.  Decision makers (and the AR5 scientists) all too often ignore, or underestimate) non-fossil fuel sources of atmospheric methane in over the next few decades, not only including from agricultural sources, but also from lakes, degrading permafrost (including from thermokarst lakes), degrading rainforests, wet lands and peat bogs, and methane hydrates.  Furthermore, they ignore the dangers that if we don't stay well below 2C, then numerous positive feedback mechanism will likely be triggered that will increase the effective equilibrium climate sensitivity this century in a non-linear manner with increasing temperature; so by ignoring that the GWP20 of methane may be as high as 105 (with a mean value of at least 85) they risk triggering multiple positive feedbacks before their dreams of negative emissions technology could ever hope to be implemented.  Finally, the life-span of methane in the atmosphere is extended the more concentration of chemically reactive GHG increase.

Title: "Natural Gas: Bridge or Barrier to a Clean Energy Future?"

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2016/06/natural-gas-bridge-or-barrier-to-a-clean-energy-future.html (http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2016/06/natural-gas-bridge-or-barrier-to-a-clean-energy-future.html)

Extract: "Does anyone honestly believe that natural gas interests are going to simply strand these investments—gradually or otherwise?

Remember that natural gas is not clean. What it has going for it is: domestic availability; currently low price; relative cleanliness as compared to the dirtiest fossil fuel; and compatibility with the existing power structure.

Today’s evidence overwhelmingly points to the fact that current domestic and global efforts to reduce carbon emissions are unlikely to do more than slow the drift towards catastrophic climate change. Recent domestic and international action, e.g. the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Accords, are to be commended; they should not, however, be counted on as anything other than a good start. Absent the emergence of some new transformative energy technology or a radical re-thinking of climate science—based on solid evidence—that the Earth’s climate is going through a phase that will quickly correct, greater reliance on renewables is inevitable.

What happens when 20 years from now the world is about to cross the threshold marking the difference between acceptable and unacceptable levels of atmospheric carbon and rising temperatures? Efforts will be made to reduce further the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gases attributable to the extraction, transport and combustion of the principal remaining fossil fuel. Inevitably these efforts will be resisted by the natural gas industry, just as efforts of the past decade have been resisted by the coal industry.

Why? Because a great deal of money has been invested in a resource the world can no longer afford. The seeds of resistance to tomorrow’s need for an energy economy principally powered by clean renewable energy technologies and sustainable practices are being planted today. Policies too encouraging of natural gas, e.g. natural gas exporting, continued subsidization or reducing support for renewables, will inevitably lead to an industry that is “too big to be easily replaced!”

If policy makers fail to give true meaning to the phrase “a bridge technology,” then today’s bridge will become tomorrow’s barrier. History will repeat itself if the proper balance between a cleaner today and a clean tomorrow is not struck."

Edit: The first attached image shows the risk of high methane emissions from thermokarst lakes within a few decades, while the second & third images (from Isaken et al 2011) show how the GWP (effective radiative forcing) of methane increases with increasing atmospheric burden.

Isaksen, I. S. A., Gauss M., Myhre, G., Walter Anthony, K. M.  and Ruppel, C.,  (2011), "Strong atmospheric chemistry feedback to climate warming from Arctic methane emissions", Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 25, GB2002, doi:10.1029/2010GB003845.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010GB003845/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010GB003845/abstract)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 14, 2017, 08:55:10 PM
ASLR.....

Thank you for this wonderful post.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on October 15, 2017, 09:04:21 PM
That is not exactly what you said but you did, just recently, say this. And none of the articles and research you have referenced support this statement.

Every time methane is released (in small or large quantities) there will be a massive CO2 sequestration that causes a cooling effect that far outweighs the warming effect of methane released into the atmosphere.

You are essentially arguing that sub-sea permafrost degradation, regardless of how extensive, with the associated methane releases will serve to cool the planet.

Bollocks!

Me saying "Every time methane is released (in small or large quantities) there will be a massive CO2 sequestration that causes a cooling effect that far outweighs the warming effect of methane released into the atmosphere" is completely different than someone saying "the way to fix or mitigate this is to release more carbon and methane into the ocean", which is what Captain Kiwi changed it to.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 16, 2017, 08:06:41 PM
Neither of those statements are true.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on October 16, 2017, 09:19:49 PM
ASLR.....

Thank you for this wonderful post.

For what it is worth, when S&S (Dr Natalia Shakhova and Dr Igor Semiletov) published their 2011 findings I performed what I call a 95% confidence level scenario based engineering hazard assessment, SBEHA, of maximum methane emissions by 2100 and I previously generated the attached list, as a correction to the methane emissions assumed in RCP 8.5 (which we are essentially following at the moment).  You can use this information together with the radiative forcings calculated by Isaksen et al 2011.

Edit: For reference the second attached image gives the assumed atmospheric methane concentrations thru 2300 per the different RCP scenarios.

Edit 2, the third image from Hansen et al 2017 shows the observed atmospheric concentrations to those assumed by the RCP scenarios, indicating that we are currently closest to the RCP 8.5 scenario w.r.t. methane concentrations.

Edit 3, the fourth image shows the Mauna Loa atmospheric methane concentration from 2006 thru early Oct 2017, and it makes it clear that Hansen et al 2017 observed data errs on the side of least drama as it appears that by mid-2017 the mean Mauna Loa ppb will be around 1870 (or slightly above the RCP 8.5 scenario for mid-2017).
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Avalonian on October 17, 2017, 01:39:19 AM
Just a quick observation on this methane-induced bloom malarky... carbon isn't the limiting nutrient. Yes, methane release will promote algal growth, but as in all oceans, blooms are limited by the availability of other nutrients. In the Southern Ocean it's largely iron, and in the Arctic it's thought to be nitrogen and phosphorus, depending on salinity and riverine input:
https://www.biogeosciences.net/7/3569/2010/bg-7-3569-2010.pdf (https://www.biogeosciences.net/7/3569/2010/bg-7-3569-2010.pdf)

So yes, methane ought to encourage carbon draw-down, but only up to a point. Once the blooms get big enough, they will reach a limit and exhaust the local nutrients, at which point I would expect to see a lot more methane and CO2 released through decay.

Got to run, but I hope that's a useful input!
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Bruce Steele on October 17, 2017, 02:00:26 AM
Avalonian, ++
The Arctic will exhibit nutrient limitations due to the lack of upwelling. Riverine inputs are seasonal.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 17, 2017, 05:48:46 AM
ASLR....

Does RCP 8.5 mean a 5C temperature rise over pre-industrial by 2100?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on October 17, 2017, 03:16:28 PM
ASLR....

Does RCP 8.5 mean a 5C temperature rise over pre-industrial by 2100?

The Recommended Concentration Pathways, RCPs, are assumed emission scenarios that result in the indicated amount of peak radiative forcing in the 2000 to 2100 timeframe (see the attached plot).  So RCP 8.5 means an assumed pathway of combined anthropogenic and natural feedbacks (assuming ECS around 3C), leading to 8.5 W/sq meter of radiative forcing by 2100.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Capt Kiwi on October 17, 2017, 08:04:27 PM
“And for the runaway emissions scenario (RCP 8.5) it is  3.7°C.”

http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/climate-science-beginners (http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/climate-science-beginners)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on October 17, 2017, 11:40:28 PM
Searching for 'methane' at AGU17 abstracts gets you 530 abstracts, some of more interest than others.

https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/SearchResults/0
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 18, 2017, 08:21:52 AM
Bear in mind the IPCC came out in 2013.  What a difference a few years make.

Methane 'deliberately left out' of IPCC projections - UN Pachauri say's time about to run out on man
Quote
There are some possibilities that are deliberately left out of the IPCC projections, because we simply don’t have enough data yet to model them. Jason Box, a visiting scholar at the Byrd Polar Research Center told me in an email interview that: “The scary elephant in the closet is terrestrial and oceanic methane release triggered by warming.” The IPCC projections don’t include the possibility — some scientists say likelihood — that huge quantities of methane will be released from thawing permafrost and undersea methane hydrate reserves. Box said that the threshhold “when humans lose control of potential management of the problem, may be sooner than expected.”

The head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, speaks for the scientific consensus when he says that time is fast running out to avoid the catastrophic collapse of the natural systems on which human life depends. What he recently told a group of climate scientist could be the most chilling headline of all for the U.N. report:

"We have five minutes before midnight."
link (http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/09/what-leading-scientists-want-you-to-know-about-todays-frightening-climate-report/280045/)


Recognizing this shortcoming, in the conclusions, the IPCC made this statement:

Quote
"The possibility of abrupt climate change and/or abrupt changes in the earth system triggered by climate change, with potentially catastrophic consequences, cannot be ruled out. Positive feedback from warming may cause the release of carbon or methane from the terrestrial biosphere and oceans."

 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 18, 2017, 08:31:47 AM
This paper is from 1998, almost 20 years ago, but it points to another potentially unrecognized feedback that could make things much worse.

Polar stratospheric clouds: A high latitude warming mechanism in an ancient greenhouse world
Quote
The formation of Type II PSCs may be linked to tropospheric methane concentrations because oxidation of methane in the troposphere is a significant source of stratospheric water vapor (Lelieveld et al., 1993). Methane oxidizes to water vapor in the troposphere, and current observations suggest that approximately 10% of that water vapor diffuses to the stratosphere (Lelieveld et al., 1993).

Increased tropospheric methane concentrations may have led to greater amounts of stratospheric water vapor, creating greater areal extents of PSCs, and/or higher emissitivity values of the clouds during the Eocene.

The PSC mechanism is a very appealing explanation for high latitude warming in a greenhouse world for several reasons.

First, PSCs produce a greater magnitude of high latitude warming than any other climate forcing factor tested to date. Second, the warming is concentrated at high latitudes, and tropical temperatures are not affected. Third the warming is preferential in the winter season, corresponding more closely to proxy records of high latitude Eocene temperature (se .g., Zachose t al., 1994; Greenwood and Wing, 1995). Fourth, the mechanism of PSC warming is clearly defined, unlike other hypotheses for high-latitude warming (e.g., poleward oceanic heat transport (Sloan et al, 1995)). Lastly, a positive feedback mechanism amplifies the warming, through the connection between tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling. As the troposphere warms in a greenhouse world, the corresponding increased cooling of the stratosphere could lead to larger areas with temperatures below ~ -190 K, leading to more extensive PSCs (Shine, 1988; Austin et al., 1992). This feedback makes PSCs an even more plausible explanation for high latitude warming during times of warm climate and high greenhouse gas concentrations, such as the middle Cretaceous (e .g., Huber et al., 1995), provided that atmospheric methane exists in sufficient concentrations.

The methane source for the PSCs originally was hypothesized to have been the greater area of wetlands that existed in the ancient greenhouse world (Sloan et al., 1992). Recent work has suggested that the release of methane clathrates to the atmosphere could provide another source of methane at times (Dickens et al., 1997; Bralower et al., 1997). Latest Paleocene marine and isotopic records suggest that an extreme warm "event" occurred, lasting less than 500,000 years and concentrated at high latitudes (Bralower et al., 1997).
Dickens et al. (1997) and Bralower et al. (1997) have suggested that the catastrophic release of methane clathrates could explain the latest Paleocene warming, via tropospheric greenhouse effects.

Not only would the clathrate-released methane have provided more of a source for PSCs, but a pulse of methane also might have increased either the residence time (Lelieveld et al., 1993; Lelieveld and Crutzen, 1992) and/or the amount of methane that diffused to the stratosphere to create PSCs. If so, extensive PSCs might have been an important climate modifier during such methanogenic "events".

Therefore we conclude that PSCs may have been an important climatic forcing factor during past warm climates, and that considering only the tropospheric effects of methane upon climate in paleoclimate studies omits significant mechanisms for potential modification of surface temperatures.
link (https://chemtrailsplanet.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/polar-stratospheric-clouds-a-high-latitude-warming-mechanism.pdf)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 18, 2017, 09:05:44 AM
Searching for 'methane' at AGU17 abstracts gets you 530 abstracts, some of more interest than others.

https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/SearchResults/0

This will be the year to go.  Wonder why it's in NO, it's always been in SF.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 18, 2017, 05:09:15 PM
Reading this article from 20 years ago drives home a point that I already tended to believe. We already know all we need to know about AGW and climate change. We are simply choosing to ignore it at our peril.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on October 18, 2017, 10:53:19 PM
Reading this article from 20 years ago drives home a point that I already tended to believe. We already know all we need to know about AGW and climate change. We are simply choosing to ignore it at our peril.
Are we choosing to ignore it at our peril, or are they choosing to ignore it at our peril. >:(
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 19, 2017, 03:16:18 AM
Terry, yes Exxon knew the connection between FF burning and global warming in the 1970s.  In that sense, they decided they would rather face the consequences rather than relinquish the reins.

But, the thawing of the relic permafrost on the ESAS began 8,000 years ago when it was first inundated.  A geological process out of our control.

That earlier extinction events were associated with methane releases was first proposed in the early 90's.  The term Clathrate Gun Hypothesis, was coined by James Kennett in a paper published in 2003.

That was also the year that Semiletov first noticed methane releases on the ESAS, he had been studying the shelf since the early 1990s.  It was 2008, that he first warned the science community at both the EGU and AGU.

In 2004, John Acheson wrote an article in Energy Bulletin titled, Methane Burps: Ticking Time Bomb in the Arctic Tundra, bringing it to the public attention.

But, the public debate did not begin until after the publication of  Shakhova, Natalia; Semiletov, Igor (November 30, 2010). Methane release from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf and the Potential for Abrupt Climate Change.

It has been almost exactly a decade since Semiletov made his first warning, at which time he made the comment, "We can do nothing about it, of course."  But he felt that people needed to know.

So it comes down to, even had we not found out so late in the game, there really was nothing we could have done to stop it.  By the time our great-great-grandparents were born, it was already heading towards us like a freight train. We just didn't know about it until recently.

Had the Industrial Revolution not happened, it still would have caught us eventually.  Our fate was sealed when the ESAS was inundated, and we invented water management and irrigation starting the rise of modern civilization.

At this point, there is no way that any major government on this planet does not know.  The manufactured doubt is for public consumption, all a part of keeping BAU going as long as possible.

Knowing what I now know, I'm all for keeping BAU going as long as possible. (But not the manufactured doubt. That violates my principles.)   No good would come from alerting the masses to the end of the world.  But if you are intelligent enough to get it, you have a right to know.




   

 


       

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: miki on October 19, 2017, 05:37:35 AM

Had the Industrial Revolution not happened, it still would have caught us eventually.


Yes... but it would have taken far more time. And, who knows...
We gave it a good acceleration and an inexorable outcome.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on October 19, 2017, 01:25:43 PM
One aspect of this which is not GAU (geology as usual), raised by both S&S and separately by Wadhams, concerns anthropogenic warming of Arctic Ocean water at the depth of the continental shelf, ie at the interface with submerged permafrost. This could provide an accelerant to loss of impermeable gas cap, not so much by plain thermal diffusion as by cryo-geological mechanisms described by S&S.

Recall here that about a third of this ocean, especially on the Siberian side, is very shallow, well within range of wind, wave and tidal turbulent mixing. Early and persistent seasonal loss of ice cover  attributable to anthropogenic Arctic amplification allows enhanced solar heat adsorption and provides much longer fetches for wind to mix up stratification.

Wadhams sees a significant difference between submerged permafrost meeting sea water near the latter's freezing point of -1.8ºC vs contacting sea water above its own melting temperature which is more like 0ºC (since permafrost ice is freshwater ice formed on land). Consequently, geology-as-usual may be going off the trolley tracks. In this view, the late timing within the Holocene cycle is being seriously supplemented by man-made effects.

IP Semiletov is a co-author on 3 papers at AGU17. I did not see abstracts for N Shakhova; her four 2017 papers are listed below.

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

PP51B-1069: Deglacial remobilization of permafrost carbon to sediments along the East Siberian Arctic Seas
J Martens et al

Current climate change is expected to thaw large quantities of permafrost carbon (PF-C) and expose it to degradation which emits greenhouse gases (i.e. CO2 and CH4). Warming causes a gradual deepening of the seasonally thawed active layer surface of permafrost soils, but also the abrupt collapse of deeper Ice Complex Deposits (ICD), especially along Siberian coastlines. It was recently hypothesized that past warming already induced large-scale permafrost degradation after the last glacial, which ultimately amplified climate forcing. We here assess the mobilization of PF-C to East Siberian Arctic Sea sediments during these warming periods.

We perform source apportionment using bulk carbon isotopes  together with terrestrial biomarkers (CuO-derived lignin phenols) as indicators for PF-C transfer. We apply these techniques to sediment cores  from the Chukchi Sea and the southern Lomonosov Ridge.

We found that PF-C fluxes during the Bølling-Allerød warming (14.7 to 12.7 cal ka BP), the Younger Dryas cooling (12.7 to 11.7 cal ka BP) and the early Holocene warming (until 11 cal ka BP) were overall higher than mid and late Holocene fluxes. In the Chukchi Sea, PF-C burial was 2x higher during the deglaciation (7.2 g m-2 a-1) than in the mid and late Holocene (3.6 g m-2 a-1), and ICD were the dominant source of PF-C (79.1%). Smaller fractions originated from the active layer (9.1%) and marine sources (11.7%).

We conclude that thermo-erosion of ICD released large amounts of PF-C to the Chukchi Sea, likely driven by climate warming and the deglacial sea level rise. This contrasts to earlier analyses of Laptev Sea sediments where active layer material from river transport dominated the carbon flux.

Preliminary data on lignin phenol concentrations of Lomonosov Ridge sediments suggest that the postglacial remobilization of PF-C was one order of magnitude higher (10x) than during both the preceding glacial and the subsequent Holocene. We will apply source apportionments between coastal erosion of ICD and river export of active layer material for the outer East Siberian Arctic Seas.

Our findings demonstrate remobilization of PF-C during past warming events and suggest that current climate change might cause a similar cascade of permafrost destabilization and, thus, accelerate climate warming.


PP54A-03: Late Holocene sea ice conditions in Herald Canyon, Chukchi Sea
C Pearce et al

Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has been in steady decline in recent decades and, based on satellite data, the retreat is most pronounced in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Historical observations suggest that the recent changes were unprecedented during the last 150 years, but for a longer time perspective, we rely on the geological record. For this study, we analyzed sediment samples from two piston cores from Herald Canyon in the Chukchi Sea, collected during the 2014 SWERUS-C3 Arctic Ocean Expedition.

The Herald Canyon is a local depression across the Chukchi Shelf, and acts as one of the main pathways for Pacific Water to the Arctic Ocean after entering through the narrow and shallow Bering Strait. The study site lies at the modern-day seasonal sea ice minimum edge, and is thus an ideal location for the reconstruction of past sea ice variability.

Both sediment cores contain late Holocene deposits characterized by high sediment accumulation rates (100-300 cm/kyr). Core 2-PC1 from the shallow canyon flank (57 m water depth) is 8 meter long and extends back to 4200 cal yrs BP, while the upper 3 meters of Core 4-PC1 from the central canyon (120 mwd) cover the last ~3000 years. The chronologies of the cores are based on radiocarbon dates and the 3.6 ka Aniakchak CFE II tephra, which is used as an absolute age marker to calculate the marine radiocarbon reservoir age.

Analysis of biomarkers for sea ice and surface water productivity indicate stable sea ice conditions throughout the entire late Holocene, ending with an abrupt increase of phytoplankton sterols in the very top of both sediment sequences. The shift is accompanied by a sudden increase in coarse sediments (> 125 µm) and a minor change in δ13Corg.

We interpret this transition in the top sediments as a community turnover in primary producers from sea ice to open water biota. Most importantly, our results indicate that the ongoing rapid ice retreat in the Chukchi Sea of recent decades was unprecedented during the last 4000 years.

PP54A-02: The Deglacial to Holocene Paleoceanography of Bering Strait: Results From the SWERUS-C3 Program (Invited)
M Jakobsson

The multi-disciplinary SWERUS-C3 Program was carried out on a two-leg 90-day long expedition in 2014 with Swedish icebreaker Oden. One component of the expedition consisted of geophysical mapping and coring of Herald Canyon, located on the Chukchi Sea shelf north of the Bering Strait in the western Arctic Ocean.

Herald Canyon is strategically placed to capture the history of the Pacific-Arctic Ocean connection and related changes in Arctic Ocean paleoceanography.

We provide a new age constraint of 11 cal ka BP on sediments from the uppermost slope for the initial flooding of the Bering Land Bridge and reestablishment of the Pacific-Arctic Ocean connection following the last glaciation. This age corresponds to meltwater pulse 1b (MWP1b) known as a post-Younger Dryas warming in many sea level and paleoclimate records.

High late Holocene sedimentation rates in Herald Canyon permitted paleo-ceanographic reconstructions of ocean circulation and sea ice cover at centennial scales throughout the late Holocene. Evidence suggests varying influence from inflowing Pacific water into the western Arctic Ocean including some evidence for quasi-cyclic variability in several paleoceanographic parameters,  such as micro-paleontological assemblages, isotope geochemistry and sediment physical properties.


U13B-13: Implementation of an acoustic-based methane flux estimation methodology in the Eastern Siberian Arctic Sea
EF Weidner et al

Quantifying methane flux originating from marine seep systems in climatically sensitive regions is of critically importance for current and future climate studies. Yet, the methane contribution from these systems has been difficult to estimate given the broad spatial scale of the ocean and the heterogeneity of seep activity.

One such region is the Eastern Siberian Arctic Sea (ESAS), where bubble release into the shallow water column (<40 meters average depth) facilitates transport of methane to the atmosphere without oxidation. Quantifying the current seep methane flux from the ESAS is necessary to understand not only the total ocean methane budget, but also to provide baseline estimates against which future climate-induced changes can be measured.

At the 2016 AGU fall meeting, we presented a new acoustic-based flux methodology using a calibrated broadband split-beam echosounder. The broad (14-24 kHz) bandwidth provides a vertical resolution of 10 cm, making possible the identification of single bubbles. After calibration using 64 mm copper sphere of known backscatter, the acoustic backscatter of individual bubbles is measured and compared to analytical models to estimate bubble radius. Additionally, bubbles are precisely located and traced upwards through the water column to estimate rise velocity. The combination of radius and rise velocity allows for gas flux estimation.

Here, we follow up with the completed implementation of this methodology applied to the Herald Canyon region of the western ESAS. From the 68 recognized seeps, bubble radii and rise velocity were computed for more than 550 individual bubbles. The range of bubble radii, 1-6 mm, is comparable to those published by other investigators, while the radius dependent rise velocities are consistent with published models. Methane flux for the Herald Canyon region was estimated by extrapolation from individual seep flux values.

1. Sonar gas flux estimation by bubble insonification: application to methane bubble flux from seep areas in the outer Laptev Sea
I Leifer, D Chernykh, N Shakhova…
https://www.the-cryosphere.net/11/1333/2017/tc-11-1333-2017.pdf open access

Sonar surveys provide an effective mechanism for mapping seabed methane flux
emissions, with Arctic submerged permafrost seepage having great potential to significantly
affect climate. We created in situ engineered bubble plumes from 40 m depth with fluxes ... seepage-mapped spatial patterns suggested subsurface geologic control attributing methane fluxes to the current state of subsea permafrost.

On a century timescale, methane (CH4) is the next most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas after CO2. However, on a decadal timescale comparable to its atmospheric lifetime, CH4 is more important to the atmospheric radiative balance than CO2 (Forster 2007; Fig. 2.21 https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf)

ESAS seepage is on a dramatically larger scale with∼ 30 000 plumes manually identified in just two transects. Seepage densities up to ∼ 3000 seep bubble plumes per km2 were found transecting
a single hotspot. Based on the hotspot size (18 400 km2), an order of magnitude estimate suggests 60 million seep plumes for the hotspot alone.


2. The origin of methane in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf unraveled with triple isotope analysis
CJ Sapart, N Shakhova, I Semiletov, J Jansen…
https://www.biogeosciences.net/14/2283/2017/bg-14-2283-2017.pdf open access

CH4 concentration and triple isotope composition were analyzed on gas extracted from sediment and water sampled at numerous locations on the shallow ESAS from 2007 to 2013. We find high concentrations (up to 500 µM) of CH4 in the pore water of the partially thawed subsea permafrost of this region.

For all sediment cores, both hydrogen and carbon isotope data reveal the predominant occurrence of CH4 that is not of thermogenic origin as it has long been thought, but resultant from microbial CH4 formation. At some locations, meltwater from buried meteoric ice and/or old organic matter preserved in the subsea permafrost were used as substrates.

Radiocarbon data demonstrate that the CH4 present in the ESAS sediment is of Pleistocene age or older... Our sediment data suggest that at locations where bubble plumes have been observed, CH4 can escape anaerobic oxidation in the surface sediment.


3. Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf
N Shakhova, I Semiletov, O Gustafsson…
https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15872 open access

Here we present results of the first comprehensive scientific re-drilling to show that subsea permafrost in the near-shore zone of the ESAS has a downward movement of the ice-bonded permafrost table of ∼14 cm year−1 over the past 31–32 years. Our data reveal polygonal thermokarst patterns on the seafloor and gas-migration associated with submerged taliks, ice scouring and pockmarks.


4. Discovery and characterization of submarine groundwater discharge in the Siberian Arctic seas: a case study in the Buor-Khaya Gulf, Laptev Sea
AN Charkin, MR van der Loeff, NE Shakhova 2017
https://www.the-cryosphere.net/11/2305/2017/tc-11-2305-2017.pdf open access

It has been suggested that increasing terrestrial water discharge to the Arctic Ocean
may partly occur as submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), yet there are no direct
observations of this phenomenon in the Arctic shelf seas... Another possible mechanism for preventing taliks from freezing and/or preventing talik formation could be groundwater flow through coastal sediments, especially in the areas underlain by faults
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on October 21, 2017, 09:57:03 AM
A-Team
That was a tome.
I need more time.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: oren on October 21, 2017, 10:39:34 AM
Thanks A-Team.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on October 21, 2017, 04:29:12 PM
A-Team
That was a tome.
I need more time.
Terry
Maybe time is the one thing we have not got?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on October 21, 2017, 07:48:50 PM

A-Team

Would English's studies of tree stumps ice ferried from Siberia to behind the Ellesmere ice shelf help at all with their Holocene timing and temperatures? IIRC he was able to date the most recent time that the ice shelf had not been in place with some accuracy. Ice flow rafting the logs across the Arctic ocean at that time might give some indication of ESAS temperatures near the Thermal Optimum.


Or not.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on October 21, 2017, 09:51:35 PM
A-Team
That was a tome.
I need more time.
Terry
Maybe time is the one thing we have not got?

Hopefully, readers appreciate that multiple positive feedback mechanisms contribute to the currently accelerating Arctic Amplification, and that Arctic Amplification will interact synergistically with Arctic methane releases as the decades go by.  This can result in a dynamical climate attractor that could progressively ratchet the effective ECS into the 5C range by 2100.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on October 22, 2017, 12:43:28 PM
I worked through all 530 AGU abstracts mentioning methane and found two more of interest. The underwater geology of Arctic Ocean continental shelf has a rich and complicated history mostly unfamiliar to mid-latitude climate scientists, leading to poorly-grounded objections to ESAS methane release that have to be tediously explained over and over.

The four N Shakhova papers from 2017 are all open access. The abstracts really don't capture what the best of what's in the articles; often the internal discussion provides much better background and explanations of the significance. Comments and questions of peer-reviewers are also available and instructive.

The April 2017 interview with Shakhova briefly summarizes responses to many asinine objections raised up over the years by CO2-oriented scientists who perceive methane as mainly a threat to the primacy of their preferred narrative. It's probably worth pulling together more detailed responses from these recent articles as well as excellent material scattered up-forum.

https://www.the-cryosphere.net/11/1333/2017/tc-11-1333-2017.pdf open access
https://www.biogeosciences.net/14/2283/2017/bg-14-2283-2017.pdf open access
https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15872 open access
https://www.the-cryosphere.net/11/2305/2017/tc-11-2305-2017.pdf open
http://envisionation.co.uk/index.php/nick-breeze/203-subsea-permafrost-on-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-now-in-accelerated-decline

OS43B-02: Relict thermokarst carbon source kept stable within gas hydrate stability zone of the South Kara Sea
A Portnov et al

Substantial shallow sources of carbon can exist in the South Kara Sea shelf, extending offshore from the permafrost areas of Yamal Peninsula and the Polar Ural coast. Our study presents new evidence for >250 buried relict thermokarst units. These amalgamated thawing wedges formed in the uppermost permafrost of the past and are still recognizable in today’s non-permafrost areas. Part of these potential carbon reservoirs are kept stable within the South Kara Sea gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ).

We utilize an extensive 2D high-resolution seismic dataset, collected in the South Kara Sea in 2005-2006 by Marine Arctic Geological Expedition (MAGE), to map distinctive U-shaped units that are acoustically transparent. These units appear all over the study area in water depths 50-250 m. Created by thermal erosion into Cretaceous-Paleogene bedrock, they are buried under the younger glacio-marine deposits and reach hundreds of meters wide and up to 100 meters thick.

They show the characteristics of relict thermokarst, generated during ancient episodes of sea level regression of the South Kara Sea. These thermokarst units are generally limited by the Upper Regional Unconformity, which is an erosional horizon created by several glaciation events during the Pleistocene.

On land, permafrost is known to sequester large volumes of carbon, half of which is concentrated within thermokarst structures. Based on modern thermokarst analogues we demonstrate with our study that a significant amount of organic carbon can be stored under the Kara Sea.

To assess the stability of these shallow carbon reservoirs we carried out GHSZ modeling, constrained by geochemical analyses, temperature measurements and precise bathymetry. This revealed a significant potential for a GHSZ in water depths >225 m. The relict thermokarst carbon storage system is stable under today’s extremely low bottom water temperatures ~ -1.7 °C that allows for buried GHSZ, located tens of meters below the seabed.

Noteworthy, vast parts of GHSZ do not expose on the seafloor, since both upper and lower GHSZ boundaries occur clearly sub-seafloor. Our findings show that under the deepest regions of the South Kara Sea, large areas of relict thermokarst may presently exist within the GHSZ of unique configuration, and therefore provide substantial methane source for gas hydrate.


B21C-1973: Methane fluxes from intense bubbling seep sites: Mapping and Quantification from the seafloor up to the atmosphere
J Greinert

Despite the ever increasing number of seep sites being discovered in shelf and continental slope areas, sites where dissolved or free gas fluxes at the seafloor fuel a significant sea surface gas flux into the atmosphere are rare. Here, we report on multi-year studies from a very active seep site in the Dutch North Sea that has been revisited several times since 2009, with large-scale surveys including multi-beam based bubble mapping, CTD water column sampling, direct ROV observations, sub-seafloor free gas mapping and CRDS-based sea surface flux and atmospheric measurements.

More than 800 individual flares in five main clusters were recorded and first approximations yield 280L of CH4 per minute being released from the seafloor in the entire area. These fluxes created sea surface anomalies even in the strongly stratified water column during the summer period.

Atmospheric concentrations increased by almost 1ppm above the strongest flare cluster in 42m water depth. Currently ongoing studies that aim at merging single-beam and multi-beam echosounder data on a meter scale will verify if the previously calculated seafloor gas flux estimates are correct, or if even higher fluxes occurred that explain the significant increase in the atmosphere. Spatial bubble dissolution modeling will be applied to calculate if the newly determined fluxes can support the measured sea surface concentrations and if ocean-atmosphere equilibration supports the observed atmospheric increase.

In any case, the clear spatial correlation between seafloor gas release, sea surface and atmospheric anomalies prove that the methane emanating from the seafloor is the source of the increased atmospheric CH4 concentration. Optical studies show that massive and constant gas release is needed to have such an effect. This study can be used as an ideal case study for comparison to other high intensity seeps and their potential for having local effects on CH4 budgets.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on October 22, 2017, 01:33:59 PM
Here's a start on listing the endless objections to ESAS methane, mostly taken from the 2017 Shakhova interview. It all bears an uncanny resemblance to a dysfunctional corporate leadership game called "bring me another rock".

The permafrost seal didn't have time to melt
The permafrost seal is melting but the time scale is millennia away
The permafrost seal melted during the Eemian and earlier inter-glacials
The taliks all froze after Holocene inundation
There are no mechanisms that could damage the permafrost layer
The migration routes for the methane are fairly minor so the volume is insignificant
The minor migration routes aren't degrading further into hotspots
The hotspots will soon deplete their underground reservoirs
The geological faults do not bypass the permafrost seal
The ice scours do superficial damage to subsurface permafrost
There's no methane down there
There's no methane left down there
The release of methane can't be proven to be accelerating
There wasn't any methane released during the Eemian
The previously accumulated methane was all released during the Eemian
There wasn't any build-up of methane during the Pleistocene
There's no massive groundwater incursion of freshwater
There's no coastal permafrost erosion of any significance in Siberia
Thermokarst only develops on land
The six rivers sediment does not lead to biogenic methane
The Holocene has been going on too long and peaked at 5 kyr
The shelf was all flooded at 11 kyr
There won't be wind disruption of ocean stratification until the ice is gone in 2050
The sunshine doesn't penetrate 10 m of clear water to warm the upper shelf
There are important lessons for shallow shelf from deep oceanic clathrate
The armchair models don't need observational calibration
There aren't any inter-glacial methane pulses found in Greenland ice cores
The methane gets consumed in bottom sediments
The bubbles lose their methane before reaching the surface
The bubbles dissolve in the water and are quickly consumed
The consumption of methane by bacteria leads to offsetting algal blooms
The methane doesn't reach the atmosphere
The methane reaching the atmosphere is quickly broken down
The half-life is too short for methane to have any effect
The only time scales that matter are 2100 and multi-millennial
The equivalence multiplier we should use for methane is 20
There'll always be enough hydroxyl radical
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on October 22, 2017, 06:39:53 PM
A-Team
Just want to clarify that my "tome" post was not a criticism. Some subjects require more extensive documentation to get us up to speed.


I've wondered if the pockmarked floor of Hudson Bay might hold answers for what the ESAS might look like in the not too distant future? Some portion of the pingo like structures are quite recent, but I don't know if there is evidence of a large number of them erupting almost simultaneously.
Hudson Bay might serve as an example of a basin that had been ice covered during most recent glaciation, but still held a large number of methane pockets that erupted when the ice sheet withdrew, and when the floating ice cleared seasonally.


AFAIK no gigantic plumes there because there was no massive methane buildup under frozen permafrost, but the pingo like structures do indicate a collapse of clathrate structures.


Terry


BTW
I'd like to know more about Foxe Basin with it's "dirty" ice.

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: miki on October 22, 2017, 10:11:24 PM
In the meanwhile, on land ... a little away from the Arctic, but I'll post it here :-)

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.est.7b03525

Comparisons of Airborne Measurements and Inventory Estimates of Methane Emissions in the Alberta Upstream Oil and Gas Sector.

Matthew R. Johnson, David R. Tyner, Stephen Conley, Stefan Schwietzke, and Daniel Zavala-Araiza


'This is a really big deal': Canada natural gas emissions far worse than feared
Pioneering peer reviewed study measured methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure in two regions in Alberta: ‘If we thought it was bad, it’s worse’
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/17/study-methane-emissions-from-alberta-oil-and-gas-wells-are-worse-than-thought#img-1
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on October 23, 2017, 05:25:17 PM
Quote
Terry: Methane requires extensive explanations ... wondered if the pockmarked floor of Hudson Bay methane pockets that erupted when the ice sheet withdrew and when  ice cleared  seasonally.
I'm looking forward to reviewing the whole ESAS methane business, where it stands as of 2017, one line at a time, starting from the beginning. The freeze season forum is getting trolled pretty bad; fall visitation is down 90%, not worth the effort.

Reading that last Shakhova interview is really harrowing, especially since she's been hearing the objections and misunderstandings for years but sees no reasoning there that to alter outcome expectations. People here can't conceptualize the vast Siberian permafrost lands nor how scientifically familiar the Russians are with them after some centuries. The ESAS alone is 3x the size of Texas or France.

The poster child for post-glacial methane rebound is more Barents Sea. I don't know if Hudson Bay has had the organic-rich sediment inflows that are needed for biotic methane, nor the erosion of the permafrost periphery, nor if the Canadian shield there holds much natural gas.

Sediments in the ESAS can be 20 km thick. Shakhova has shifted from thermal over to biotic methane after the isotope study. Says stable clathrates have been found by South Koreans despite shallow water but are an incidental component, all that matters is total capped reservoir (truly vast) and escape rates (not linear in time, instead accelerating).

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6341/948 (plus googScholar 'Alun Hubbard methane')
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on October 23, 2017, 05:45:38 PM
While this thread is about potential Arctic methane releases, Andreassen et al (2017, DOI: 10.1126/science.aal4500) concludes as follows:

Extract: "We propose that these processes were likely widespread across past glaciated petroleum provinces and that they also provide an analog for the potential future destabilization of subglacial gas hydrate reservoirs beneath contemporary ice sheets."

We should not forget that the only contemporary ice sheet comparable to the paleo marine ice sheet in the Barents Sea basis, that is at risk of being destabilized this century is the WAIS; which could make a significant contribution to methane emissions into the atmosphere give a sufficient abrupt collapse scenario.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on October 23, 2017, 09:34:11 PM
Quote
WAIS could make a significant contribution to methane emissions into the atmosphere give a sufficient abrupt collapse scenario.
I for one have relied on your most excellent coverage and assessment of this contingency over the years. I should have mentioned above that Barents methane release may have mostly happened already, that Greenland methane is improbable any time soon, that Laptev methane release is ongoing too, that the Beaufort shelf is too small to concern us (though interesting things have gone on there), and that the ESAS permafrost is degrading rapidly and perhaps transitioning shortly from near-term threat to outright existential problem.

The rate of degradation of the sub-sea permafrost is somewhat lost in the overly complex Fig.2 and its widely scattered caption in the NatComm Shakhova paper. Where they re-drilled previous boreholes, the ice-bonded permafrost table (IBPT) had dropped 4.5 meters, much much farther than hypothesized in next millennium models.

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15872 open access

Quote
The IBPT positions observed in 1982–1983 at sites 301, 303, 304 and 305 were at 3.3–4.2 m, 5.8–7 m, 8.3–8.6 m and 16–16.8 m b.s.l., correspondingly (Table 1). In 2012–2013, the IBPT positions were identified at 8.6 m, 11.4 m, 12.8 m, and 19.3 m b.s.l. at sites 4D-14 (former 301), 4D-13 (former 303), 3D-14 (former 304), and 2D-13 (former 305), correspondingly. IBPT deepening during the last 31–32 years varied from 9.3 to 18.3 cm year−1 with a mean rate of 14±3.1 cm (mean±s.e.m.) per year during the last 31–32 years.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 23, 2017, 09:56:44 PM
The freeze season forum is getting trolled pretty bad; fall visitation is down 90%, not worth the effort.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6341/948 (plus googScholar 'Alun Hubbard methane')

Happens every freeze season as traffic falls. Trolls can post without getting refuted as thoroughly as would happen in the melt season. They often arrive in pairs so as to appear to be engaged in a thoughtful probing discussion.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on October 23, 2017, 11:10:14 PM
Quote
Trolls can post without getting refuted as in the melt season. They often arrive in pairs
Or threesomes, adopting various levels of obviousness, some holing up in sleeper cell posts until the signal is given. They've been gotten wrist-slaps in the past for 2020 divinations but these same disruptors have been tolerated for years and years. Garbage is better intercepted en route before the forums are defaced.

In terms of Arctic methane, the situation is even worse: S&S get non-stop harassment, the trolls being influential scientists from the CO2 community rather than the ignoramuses we get here.

Look at the ASI blog, it's totally out of control, I never go there any more. The disrupters have moved on now to the forums, probing them to see if anyone is moderating. The agenda this week is to build a fake consensus that it's all a long long ways off, check back in five years time if then.

What becomes of the average joe trying to follow the issue and maybe get to the next level of understanding? It's not a climate change resource for them any more, too confusing.

The 'Recent Post' section most days, just angry people venting about politics. Hmmm, maybe someone could start a forum called Angry People Venting About Politics and all the conspiracies could be consolidated there. Some of these people had been really strong contributors.

Over time I've watched the better posters, one after the other, leave the site permanently to go off on their own, just to get a moderated environment. Which just scatters the effort thinner than ever. But I'm thinking about doing that too; I'm tired of these same trolls chasing me around from one forum to another. Too bad, there's a LOT of good people here.

Is Neven really not coming back until next May?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on October 24, 2017, 01:41:55 AM
A-Team


Prior to having taken some years off I'd followed S&S closely. I think I'll try to get up to date by reading the 6 Shakhova 2017 interviews papers you've listed above.
I doubt there's much biotic methane in the Canadian Shield. The Hudson Bay Lowlands however may be a very different story.
A guide once showed me his personal collection of fossils from the eastern James Bay/Hudson Bay region. Many indicated a shallow warm sea, and fossils that somehow didn't get crushed, ground up, or pushed south.
Was the " All that matters is the capped reservoir and escaped routes" yours or Shakhova's.


FWIW I've tried to steer politics to the "rest" section, not always successfully. Angry old men with keyboards can be a nasty thing to stumble across. An apology to all.


Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on October 24, 2017, 11:44:17 AM
Terry, I'm doing the same, revisiting the whole matter now that they've got more of their voluminous field data out into papers. So far, Cid_Yama's analysis up-forum has been spot-on.

Those words are my encapsulation of what Shakhova says in the N Breeze interview. Given a non-native speaker of English, with verbosely articulated concepts and awkwardly written scientific prose -- yet doing very important research in a very remote area -- I felt a short and pithy summary was worthwhile. The raw transcript or youtube can be consulted when there's any question what was actually said. 

People have wondered aloud why the most recent paper sat in peer review at NatComm for 11 months. Actually it is a minor miracle something still so jumbled ever got published, ie how awful was the paper when first submitted? And what took so long for 2014 field work to get written up? Actually long delays are not at all unusual and so-so communications skills are very common among scientists. Just read the AGU17 abstracts.

Here are the relevant sections. I read them as saying the methane hydrate objection is a double red herring. Clathrates are in fact present, contrary to trolling from the CO2 side, but irrelevant to the discussion, contrary to follow-on trolling. Bring me another rock.

With or without hydrates, there's an undisputed huge volume of over-pressurized methane gas under the permafrost seal that will bubble up the first narrow escape route that opens up and blowout with further seal failure. With a million disintegrating corks in a million bottles of champagne, what could possibly go wrong. The well blowouts clip from the paper makes the case for pressure containment (bottom).

I find this very troubling, that this GHSZ stability zone keeps getting brought up when it's both wrong and irrelevant. Especially by scientists who know better. It raises all sorts of red flags for me about motivations. Research should be discussed strictly on its merits.

Quote
Dr. Shakhova: We use an analogy where we compare the East Siberian Arctic Shelf to a bottle of champagne. So the gas produces within this bottle and it keeps accumulating as long as the cork serves as an impermeable lid.

This lid is subsea permafrost. Before it was just permafrost [on land] but after it was submerged it became subsea permafrost and served to preserve an increasing amount of gas produced from its release to the ocean and atmosphere above. While this lid is impermeable, there is nothing to worry about.

But when this lid loses its integrity, this is when we start worrying. This is where the methane is releasing and the amounts of methane currently releasing makes us think it will increase as a result of the disintegration of this permafrost body.

Nick Breeze: In relation to the ESAS, how do you know these hydrates are there and that they are a potential threat?

Dr. Shakhova: The importance of hydrates involvement in methane emissions is overestimated. The hydrate is just one form of possible reservoirs, in which pre-formed methane could be preserved in the seabed if there are proper pressure/temperature conditions; it is just the layer of hydrates composes just few hundred of meters – this is a very small fraction compared to thousands of meters of underlying gas-charged sediments in the ESAS.

Dr. Semiletov added that the 5 billion tonnes of methane that is currently in the Earth’s atmosphere represents about one percent of the frozen methane hydrate store in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. He finishes emphasising  “…but we believe the hydrate pool is only a tiny fraction of the total.”

Dr. Shakhova: The second point is that the hydrates are not all of the gaseous pool that is preserved in this huge reservoir. This huge area is 2 million square kilometres. The depth of this sedimentary drape is a few kilometres, up to 20 kilometres at places. Generally speaking, it makes no difference if gas releases from decaying hydrates or from other free-gas deposits, because in the latter, gas also has accumulated for a long time without changing the volume of the reservoir; for that reason, gas became over pressurised too.

Unlike hydrates, this gas is preserved free; it is a pre-formed gas, ready to go. Over pressured, accumulated, looking for the pathway to go upwards.

The point Shakhova and Semiletov are making is that the question of whether there are methane hydrates present beneath the permafrost is really not important. The estimated amount of hydrates, 1500 billion tonnes, is actually only a tiny proportion of the actual pressurised methane store beneath the gas hydrate stability zone.

Dr. Shakhova: The third point is that the hydrates, despite disbelief from some scientists, have already been found in the ESAS. We know from personal communication that the South Korean expedition was accomplished in 2016 and they sampled the hydrates. I believe, this data will be published soon. However, hydrates could only be sampled if they remain stable. After hydrates are destabilised, we can only sample gas releasing from these decaying deposits.

In our observations, we have accumulated the evidence that this gas front is propagating in the sediments. To me as a scientist, these points are enough to be convinced that methane release in the ESAS is related to disintegrationof subsea permafrost and associated destabilisation of seabed deposits whether it is hydrates or free gas accumulations.

The NatComm paper describes a drilling gas blowout that fountained up 10 meters over sea level:

Quote
Numerous gas blowouts followed by long-lasting gas flow have been reported from permafrost areas disturbed by exploratory drilling in Siberia, both on-land and offshore. Such gas blowouts were reported from shallow permafrost-related gas-hydrate accumulations at depths of only a few tens of metres, starting from 20 m depth.

Offshore, a particularly powerful gas discharge erupting from a well drilled through the subsea permafrost was documented in the Pechora Sea shelf; a gas–water fountain originating from 50 m beneath the sediment surface in 64 m-deep water reached 10 m above the ship. Echo sounding carried out at the drilling site 10 days after this event revealed an underwater fountain ∼10 m in diameter, with a height ∼40 m above the sea floor (ref 56)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on October 24, 2017, 01:50:53 PM
This is a quote from the oil and gas issues thread.

"Rosneft also plans to resume drilling in the Barents Sea next year and in the Kara Sea within two years, thus committing itself to conduct drilling works across the entire Russian section of the Arctic."

Methinks Rosneft is going to put a lot of holes into that impermeable sub-sea permafrost. But what could possible go wrong?

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: ivica on October 24, 2017, 03:07:16 PM
your "joe" reminds me on kids of articio. (can't find relevant post/thread - portfolio seems deleted. please, ignore it)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: salbers on October 29, 2017, 09:09:21 PM
This will be the year to go.  Wonder why it's in NO, it's always been in SF.
Interesting to see all the updates about AGU and S&S. The AGU Fall Meeting is in New Orleans this year and next due to subway construction in S.F.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 04, 2017, 12:29:37 AM
Paul Beckwith provides a convenient video summary associated with the recent Sharkhova & Semiletov et al paper, entitled "Thawing Open Pandora's Methane Box":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ1-2tVW4Qg

Extract: "Vast amounts of methane exists within ocean floor sediments on the Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf, in the form of methane hydrates & free methane gas. Up to recently, gas release to the shallow water column (50 meters deep) & atmosphere has been slow, with the subsea permafrost acting as a million corks on a million champagne bottles to contain the methane. Now, rapid thawing of the permafrost has released 10% of the corks, allowing rapid ongoing increases in methane release."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 04, 2017, 10:35:56 AM
Anybody got any idea how long it is until the rest of the corks pop?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: solartim27 on November 04, 2017, 03:31:21 PM
Anybody got any idea how long it is until the rest of the corks pop?
28 days... 6 hours... 42 minutes... 12 seconds. That... is when the world... will end.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 04, 2017, 04:12:45 PM
Anybody got any idea how long it is until the rest of the corks pop?
28 days... 6 hours... 42 minutes... 12 seconds. That... is when the world... will end.

gerontocrat,

I very much appreciate solartim27's response, in that the topic of abrupt release of methane from the ESAS is fertile ground for non-scientific speculation, while true scientific analysis requires models that are too complex for the current state of the art.

For example during super interglacial periods climate sensitivity and Arctic Amplification have been much higher than what is reflected in climate models for current conditions, but it is difficult to say how much of this higher climate sensitivity and higher Arctic Amplification came from progressive releases of methane from the ESAS.

Per the first image the ESAS contains about as much methane in hydrate form as from all the rest of the sources in the world combined, and the full release of all of this methane would take tens of thousands of years if we progress to super interglacial conditions and then stay there.

But until 2100, I would say that in addition to the shallow water releases that Paul Beckwith's video address, I list the follow three other possible feedback mechanisms that could contribute to the release of substantial amounts of methane from the ESAS before 2100:

1. The second image shows that some climate models (with BAU forcing) project that beginning around 2035 the AMOC could start reaching further into the Arctic Ocean Basin thus conveying significant new sources of heat to the seafloor (which would then take some decades to penetrate to the hydrate zone).
2. Advance climate models have shown that if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were to abruptly collapse this century, that this would push a lot of warm water from the Pacific Ocean thru the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean Basin, where again it would take some decades for the heat to migrate from the seafloor to the hydrate zone.
3.  The last image shows that under the classical Clathrate Gun Hypothesis most of the methane is release from the edge of the continental shelf/slope due to submarine landslides; which would occur much soon than the majority of the ESAS hydrate zones.

If you are old, none of these sources are likely to be a problem in your lifetime; however, if you are concerned about the young then I would be concerned.

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: mitch on November 04, 2017, 04:20:25 PM
The most important event to warm the Arctic shelves is not the present global warming but the flooding of the shelves, which ended at roughly 6000 BP. Average temperature then changed from roughly -15C to -1C. That temperature change must diffuse downward through the sediments to warm either the permafrost or the hydrate layer.   

If we wanted to see the current warming, we need to take temperature measurements in the upper 10 m of the sea floor. Once we do that, we can evaluate how fast heat is diffusing down. However, most of the response right now is caused by early Holocene shelf flooding.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on November 04, 2017, 04:24:01 PM
Am I the only one here who struggles to listen to Beckwith? There is something about his voice that causes me to grind my molars.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 04, 2017, 04:43:32 PM
However, most of the response right now is caused by early Holocene shelf flooding.

mitch,

The point that you make is correct; however, what one's beyond the state of the art climate model does with this information is just as critical (as all climate model projections assume the introduction of warming that you note).  First, one needs to get the hydrates in the correct zone to match the observed and historical record, then one needs to correct the overburden depth to account for the history of wave and current erosion and sediment deposition. 

The linked reference points out that per their 1D models the Arctic continental shelf methane hydrate stability zone (HSZ) can take ~ 10 to 20 kyrs to respond to changes in initial temperature conditions associated with the end of the last ice age.  However, while it is pleasant to think of middle of the 10 to 20 kya range, as the first attached image indicates the Holocene began about 11 kya and thus we should now start to see portions (especially in the shallow water zones with well mixes waters and along the edge of the continental shelf with 2D warming) of the HSZ becoming unstable due to the global temperature increase leading to the beginning of the Holocene:

Valentina V. Malakhova & Alexey V. Eliseev (2017), "The role of heat transfer time scale in the evolution of the subsea permafrost and associated methane hydrates stability zone during glacial cycles", Global and Planetary Change, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.08.007

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818117301273

Abstract: "Climate warming may lead to degradation of the subsea permafrost developed during Pleistocene glaciations and release methane from the hydrates, which are stored in this permafrost. It is important to quantify time scales at which this release is plausible. While, in principle, such time scale might be inferred from paleoarchives, this is hampered by considerable uncertainty associated with paleodata. In the present paper, to reduce such uncertainty, one–dimensional simulations with a model for thermal state of subsea sediments forced by the data obtained from the ice core reconstructions are performed. It is shown that heat propagates in the sediments with a time scale of ∼ 10-20 kyr. This time scale is longer than the present interglacial and is determined by the time needed for heat penetration in the unfrozen part of thick sediments. We highlight also that timings of shelf exposure during oceanic regressions and flooding during transgressions are important for simulating thermal state of the sediments and methane hydrates stability zone (HSZ). These timings should be resolved with respect to the contemporary shelf depth (SD). During glacial cycles, the temperature at the top of the sediments is a major driver for moving the HSZ vertical boundaries irrespective of SD. In turn, pressure due to oceanic water is additionally important for SD ≥ 50 m. Thus, oceanic transgressions and regressions do not instantly determine onset s of HSZ and/or its disappearance. Finally, impact of initial conditions in the subsea sediments is lost after ∼ 100 kyr. Our results are moderately sensitive to intensity of geothermal heat flux."

Furthermore, one would not expect past recent interglacial to have removed most of the paleo methane hydrates as:
1. Over the past million years only two interglacial periods (MIS 11 & 5) have a reasonable combination of ocean temperature and sea level to both inundate and then begin to degrade the submerged permafrost in the ESAS (see the blue curve in the second attached image).
 2. However, during both the MIS 11-Holsteinian, and the MIS 5-Eemian, eras the duration of conditions equal or above modern conditions was less than 5,000 years which is short compared to the Holocene where modern condition have existed for almost 12,000 years (see the third attached image).
3. 5,000 years is too short of a period for the heat of the seawater inundating the ESAS to adequately degrade the submerged permafrost to release significant quantities of methane, while the 12,000 years of warming, during the Holocene, is very near to the duration necessary conditions to begin to release the least stable of the submerged methane regions.
4.  The rapid loss of Arctic sea ice extent has exposed the portions of the ESAS in less than 50m of water depth to storm wave mixing that has conveyed relatively warm sea water to the shallow regions of the ESAS which in certain susceptible regions (such as regions with high erosion of sediment overburden above the methane bearing layers, say due to currents and wave action during inundation 12,000 years ago) to cross their thresholds for releasing methane (as observed by S&S in localized areas).

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on November 04, 2017, 08:12:25 PM
"Am I the only one here who struggles to listen to Beckwith? There is something about his voice that causes me to grind my molars."

That, and his science is sometimes...sketchy/speculative...
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on November 04, 2017, 08:46:37 PM
"Am I the only one here who struggles to listen to Beckwith? There is something about his voice that causes me to grind my molars."

That, and his science is sometimes...sketchy/speculative...
He is on our side, but....
I've been hoping for years that he would go back and complete his PHD, it might serve to mellow his rather abrasive tone.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: KeithAnt on November 05, 2017, 08:09:43 AM
An interesting discussion about methane release.

My question is, for those who down play the importance of methane release, how do they explain pingo explosions?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on November 06, 2017, 04:03:07 PM
I strongly recommend reading and re-reading the April 2017 Shakhova & Semiletov interview and going through the nine pictures in the NatComm paper until you get it. A lot of people posting here simply do not grasp the basic 1,2,3 of what's been observed nor the whats and whys S&S are proposing.

After assimilating the nine pictures, perhaps then opinionate on whether it is right or wrong or too soon to say. More work is needed, it always is; however the nine pictures in the NatComm paper show where it's headed: additional bubble and drill core-calibrated, repeat sonar surveys.

Essentially all observational data on the East Siberian shelf methane derives from field work by S&S and colleagues. Do you understand what that means? It means people pontificating on ESAS methane need to base off S&S data. Very few do. It means models have to be calibrated with S&S data. Very few are.

The vast majority of ESAS secondary coverage falls into psychological categories such as projection, competition, ignorance, misunderstanding, denial, and panic. Very little commentary is data-driven.

Cubicle-based, lower-latitude authorities seem to think the ESAS consists of a vast submerged tundra, with featureless even layers of permafrost and clathrates at depth warmed from below by a uniform geothermal gradient, extending out to the edge of the continental shelf under a unchanging near-frozen placid sea.

Inconveniently, the East Siberian shelf and its sedimentary drape are very heterogenous structurally because of a long complicated history of interaction with adjacent permafrost land, enormous sediment-laden rivers and paleo-rivers, ocean waters that advance and retreat with glacial cycles, with land exposed to very cold air at low stands, complicated by a 53m sill at the Bering Strait and a 1 km thick ice shelf at the last glacial maximum and thermokarst processes that still proceed even when permafrost is submerged.

Because submerged permafrost does not form a homogeneous lid, degradation of lid quality begins long before it thaws uniformly to its full thickness. Multiple escape routes have already developed in inhomogeneous regions such thawed or never-frozen taliks, thermokarst, glacial scours, pockmarks, convective salt fingering, groundwater intrusion, and geological faults. Not only that, the limited number of revisited escape routes are getting worse, fast. For the large volume of over-pressurized free methane gas that is already sitting there.

S&S are primarily concerned with this heterogeneity and its consequences. That's a good start in those nine pictures in the NatComm paper. There's more though: the special journal issue on the Oden's research and the 2018 papers now visible as AGU17 abstracts:

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15872
https://www.the-cryosphere.net/special_issue652.html special issue of The Cryosphere
https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/271328 Semiletov
https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/214305 Semiletov
https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/216749 Semiletov
https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/228715 Weidner
https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/214305 Jakobsson
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on November 06, 2017, 04:13:11 PM
I have read the entire interview and I have no doubt the ESAS represents a real danger and my biggest concern is that it is irreversible. What do we do if this is the case?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 06, 2017, 04:56:29 PM
I have read the entire interview and I have no doubt the ESAS represents a real danger and my biggest concern is that it is irreversible. What do we do if this is the case?

Shared Humanity,

As to what to do if this is the case, I believe that the most important step is to get 'consensus science' (including AR6 & CMIP6) to acknowledge, and to model, the ESAS as accurately as they can, including by calibrating their models to past super interglacial periods that exhibited high Arctic Amplification (see Wolfe et al 2017 and the first attached image).  Furthermore, 'consensus science' should more clearly state their assumptions and limitations of their projections, for example:

1. S&S only consider shallow water conditions (see the second image) and one dimensional heat flow (see the third attached image).  However, heat flow at the edge of the continental shelf leading to the slope presents a two dimensional heat flow situation (that has been transmitting 2D heat flux since the beginning of the Holocene) that may well become significant w.r.t. the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis in a few short decades time, as submarine landsides can release large volumes of methane buddle that can find their way to the atmosphere.

2. Current 'consensus science' radiative forcing scenarios (like the RCP scenarios) all ignore Hansen's ice-climate feedback mechanism that would drive large amounts of warm seawater into the Arctic Basin, particularly along the edge of the ESAS continental shelf.

Until decision makers are publically presented with 'consensus science' that honestly present such risks, they will not take appropriate action to deal with our situation.

For ease of reference see:

Alexander P. Wolfe, Alberto V. Reyes, Dana L. Royer, David R. Greenwood, Gabriela Doria, Mary H. Gagen, Peter A. Siver and John A. Westgate (May 2017), "Middle Eocene CO2 and climate reconstructed from the sediment fill of a subarctic kimberlite maar", GEOLOGY, July 2017; v. 45; no. 7; p. 619–622, doi:10.1130/G39002.1

http://www.geosociety.org/datarepository/2017/2017202.pdf

&

Shakhova et al (2017), "Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf", Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/ncomms15872

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15872

Very best,
ASLR

Edit: In order to better appreciate how 'consensus science' is still largely ignoring Hansen's numerous contributions to understanding climate change risks (such as his ice-climate feedback) this century, I provide the following linked open access draft paper:

Title: "Scientific Reticence: a DRAFT Discussion:

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2017/20171026_ScientificReticence.pdf
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on November 06, 2017, 05:03:52 PM
Quote
Assuming it's bad, getting worse and becoming significant soon: what to do?
That's a good question.

Better data: not nearly enough research resources are currently being allocated to the ESAS. This wouldn't affect outcome but would at least box in timing and magnitude better.

Shakhova makes a case for methane escape growing 'exponentially' rather than linearly. That could be a figure of speech or the solution to a differential equation: 'the rate of increase in methane release proportional to the current rate of methane release'.

Linear increases from slow thermal permafrost degradation could possibly be accommodated. However if the very establishment of a minor escape route leads to its physical enlargement to a major hotspot, and vigorous hotspot venting leads to explosive fountaining of regional pressurized gas stores, then the rate of methane release feeds on itself (by enlargement of the vent and conduit connectivity) and so goes up faster than linearly.

On the figure of speech side, Shakhova might just mean a whole lot more hotspots than last time they were out there. This might suggest permafrost degradation is crossing some kind of threshold across an ever-broader area. We may just happen to be here at an unfortunate one-off bad time in the late Holocene, perhaps compressed or partially brought on by anthropogenic warming.

Either way, modeling is delusional. It's all about the history and heterogeneity, for which sufficient detail will never be available. Nobody even has a talik count. Show me the scour map. Faults can be visualized at cm scale at km depth? Monitoring is all you can do.

Hope: there are a lot of steps between methane deep in the mud and methane in the greenhouse stratosphere, maybe some of them will slow or limit release to a rate that the atmosphere can accommodate.

Even in shallow water, only a fraction of the methane in bubbles actually reaches the atmosphere. That fraction rapidly increases with entrainment during rapid voluminous releases. The atmospheric half-life is fairly short, provided stratospheric hydroxyl radical supply is not overwhelmed.

Make room: reduce gratuitous greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible as soon as possible. That would include all the usual suspects such as coal and fugitive methane emissions.

The biggest single benefit with overnight effect and least societal inconvenience comes from cutting beef-belch methane (and its production-associated emissions). But banning beef because of emissions would about as popular as banning football because of concussions.

-/-/-/-/-/-/

There don't seem to be any remotely plausible geo-engineering options. Some of them seem so stupid, like laying down a giant tarp over a third of the Arctic Ocean, they aren't worth discussing. Drill and flare to CO2? How many decades have we been doing that without depleting Texas -- the ESAS is 3x the size. How much did Shell blow on just one Beaufort platform, five billion? Is there a single connected reservoir or a hundred thousand?

-/-/-/-/-/-/

Because IPCC dug themselves into such a hole with the slow CO2 narrative, they are in no position to pivot to methane. Methane is seen as a threat all right ... to their credibility. So 'policy-makers' will mainly hear methane being dissed, not that they would do anything if better informed.

Threat-proportionate action is not underway with CO2 today; even less will be done about methane as it touches two sacred western industries. Nothing can be done about ESAS methane emissions; it is wait-and-see how soon, how bad they'll get. We're not on track to make adequate headroom to accommodate even decadal-scale rapid release.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: sidd on November 06, 2017, 06:16:28 PM
"Hansen's ice-climate feedback mechanism that would drive large amounts of warm seawater into the Arctic Basin, particularly along the edge of the ESAS continental shelf."

Wait, what ? I am reading Hansen's papers right now, can tell me exactly where he says this ?

sidd
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on November 06, 2017, 06:23:31 PM
If a solution is possible it requires somehow lowering the pressure, and volume, of the free gas buried within the ESAS. At this stage of our technology the only way to lower this pressure is to drill baby drill, then flare baby flare.


Do I think it will work - No
Do I think it will be attempted - No
Do I know of a better plan - No


Lance the boil under controlled conditions, then neutralize the poisonous emission.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on November 06, 2017, 06:42:56 PM
Quote
Wait, what? tell me exactly where Hansen says this ?
No idea. That would have been a decade prior to the first actual data from Oden's traverses of the ESAS shelf edge. There is little methane to be found there any more. Warm water along the edge of the ESAS continental shelf could not trigger substantial methane release if it's not there to begin with. There's only so far you can go with models not grounded on observational data.

Quote
Continental slopes north of the East Siberian Sea potentially hold large amounts of methane (CH4) in sediments as gas hydrate and free gas. Although release of this CH4 to the ocean and atmosphere has become a topic of discussion, the region remains sparingly explored. Here we present pore water chemistry results from 32 sediment cores taken during Leg 2 of the 2014 joint  SWERUS-C3 expedition. The cores come from depth transects across the slope and ... north of Wrangel Island and the New Siberian Islands. ...

These are among the first pore water results generated from this vast climatically sensitive region, and they imply that abundant CH4, including gas hydrates, do not characterize the East Siberian Sea slope or rise along the investigated depth transects. This contradicts previous modeling and discussions, which due to the lack of data are almost entirely based on assumption.

Lots of other interesting stuff in that same special issue of The Cryosphere with potential relevance to ESAS methane:

https://www.the-cryosphere.net/special_issue652.html

Deglacial sea level history of the East Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea margins

Global sea level rise during the last deglacial flooded the Siberian continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean. Sediment cores, radiocarbon dating, and microfossils show that the regional sea level in the Arctic rose rapidly from about 12 500 to 10 700 years ago. Regional sea level history on the Siberian shelf differs from the global deglacial sea level rise perhaps due to regional vertical adjustment resulting from the growth and decay of ice sheets.


Post-glacial flooding of the Bering Land Bridge dated to 11 cal ka BP based on new geophysical and sediment records

The Arctic and Pacific oceans are connected by the presently ~53 m deep Bering Strait. During the last glacial period when the sea level was lower than today, the Bering Strait was exposed. Humans and animals could then migrate between Asia and North America across the formed land bridge. From analyses of sediment cores and geophysical mapping data from Herald Canyon north of the Bering Strait, we show that the land bridge was flooded about 11 000 years ago.


Ice-shelf damming in the glacial Arctic Ocean: dynamical regimes of a basin-covering kilometre-thick ice shelf

Recent data suggest that a 1 km thick ice shelf extended over the glacial Arctic Ocean during MIS 6, about 140 000 years ago. Here, we theoretically analyse the development and equilibrium features of such an ice shelf. The ice shelf was effectively dammed by the Fram Strait and the mean ice-shelf thickness was controlled primarily by the horizontally integrated mass balance. Our results can aid in resolving some outstanding questions of the state of the glacial Arctic Ocean.

The De Long Trough: a newly discovered glacial trough on the East Siberian continental margin

Ice sheets extending over parts of the East Siberian continental shelf have been proposed for the last glacial period and during the larger Pleistocene glaciations. The sparse data available over this sector of the Arctic Ocean have left the timing, extent and even existence of these ice sheets largely unresolved.

Here we present new geophysical mapping and sediment coring data from the East Siberian shelf and slope collected during the 2014 SWERUS-C3 expedition. Sub-bottom profiles reveal a set of glacial landforms that include grounding zone formations along the outer continental shelf, seaward of which lies a  >  65 m thick sequence of glacio-genic debris flows.

The glacial landforms are interpreted to lie at the seaward end of a glacial trough – the first to be reported on the East Siberian margin, here referred to as the De Long Trough because of its location due north of the De Long Islands. Stratigraphy and dating of sediment cores show that a drape of acoustically laminated sediments covering the glacial deposits is older than ∼ 50 cal kyr BP.

This provides direct evidence for extensive glacial activity on the Siberian shelf that predates the Last Glacial Maximum and most likely occurred during the Saalian, Marine Isotope Stage 6.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Forest Dweller on November 06, 2017, 07:13:03 PM
Quote
Assuming it's bad, getting worse and becoming significant soon: what to do?
That's a good question.

Better data: not nearly enough research resources are currently being allocated to the ESAS. This wouldn't affect outcome but would at least box in timing and magnitude better.

Shakhova makes a case for methane escape growing 'exponentially' rather than linearly. That could be a figure of speech or the solution to a differential equation: 'the rate of increase in methane release proportional to the current rate of methane release'.

Linear increases from slow thermal permafrost degradation could possibly be accommodated. However if the very establishment of a minor escape route leads to its physical enlargement to a major hotspot, and vigorous hotspot venting leads to explosive fountaining of regional pressurized gas stores, then the rate of methane release feeds on itself (by enlargement of the vent and conduit connectivity) and so goes up faster than linearly.

On the figure of speech side, Shakhova might just mean a whole lot more hotspots than last time they were out there. This might suggest permafrost degradation is crossing some kind of threshold across an ever-broader area. We may just happen to be here at an unfortunate one-off bad time in the late Holocene, perhaps compressed or partially brought on by anthropogenic warming.

Either way, modeling is delusional. It's all about the history and heterogeneity, for which sufficient detail will never be available. Nobody even has a talik count. Show me the scour map. Faults can be visualized at cm scale at km depth? Monitoring is all you can do.

Hope: there are a lot of steps between methane deep in the mud and methane in the greenhouse stratosphere, maybe some of them will slow or limit release to a rate that the atmosphere can accommodate.

Even in shallow water, only a fraction of the methane in bubbles actually reaches the atmosphere. That fraction rapidly increases with entrainment during rapid voluminous releases. The atmospheric half-life is fairly short, provided stratospheric hydroxyl radical supply is not overwhelmed.

Make room: reduce gratuitous greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible as soon as possible. That would include all the usual suspects such as coal and fugitive methane emissions.

The biggest single benefit with overnight effect and least societal inconvenience comes from cutting beef-belch methane (and its production-associated emissions). But banning beef because of emissions would about as popular as banning football because of concussions.

-/-/-/-/-/-/

There don't seem to be any remotely plausible geo-engineering options. Some of them seem so stupid, like laying down a giant tarp over a third of the Arctic Ocean, they aren't worth discussing. Drill and flare to CO2? How many decades have we been doing that without depleting Texas -- the ESAS is 3x the size. How much did Shell blow on just one Beaufort platform, five billion? Is there a single connected reservoir or a hundred thousand?

-/-/-/-/-/-/

Because IPCC dug themselves into such a hole with the slow CO2 narrative, they are in no position to pivot to methane. Methane is seen as a threat all right ... to their credibility. So 'policy-makers' will mainly hear methane being dissed, not that they would do anything if better informed.

Threat-proportionate action is not underway with CO2 today; even less will be done about methane as it touches two sacred western industries. Nothing can be done about ESAS methane emissions; it is wait-and-see how soon, how bad they'll get. We're not on track to make adequate headroom to accommodate even decadal-scale rapid release.

Excellent analysis A-Team.
How about not drilling the Arctic like a Swiss cheese as well?
As you quoted Shakova in your above post:
"Numerous gas blowouts followed by long-lasting gas flow have been reported from permafrost areas disturbed by exploratory drilling in Siberia, both on-land and offshore. Such gas blowouts were reported from shallow permafrost-related gas-hydrate accumulations at depths of only a few tens of metres, starting from 20 m depth.

Offshore, a particularly powerful gas discharge erupting from a well drilled through the subsea permafrost was documented in the Pechora Sea shelf; a gas–water fountain originating from 50 m beneath the sediment surface in 64 m-deep water reached 10 m above the ship. Echo sounding carried out at the drilling site 10 days after this event revealed an underwater fountain ∼10 m in diameter, with a height ∼40 m above the sea floor."

That sort of stuff is very Bermuda Triangle-ish is it not and i'm sure the IPCC has never heard of it either.
I've seen several reports and video of a Chinese rig that sank due to methane release but cannot re-find any info unfortunately.
That may wake up a few people dozing off from all the CO2 vented at climate conferences...a picture is worth a thousand words they say.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on November 06, 2017, 07:59:38 PM
https://youtu.be/UdYum6v48S8


A small, but violent CH4 eruption in Southern Ontario. No gas lines in the area. No landfill sites.


The gas pushed through >20' of heavy clay to make it's way to freedom. If we ever get another real winter here I'll check the ice for methane pockets.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 06, 2017, 08:09:10 PM
"Hansen's ice-climate feedback mechanism that would drive large amounts of warm seawater into the Arctic Basin, particularly along the edge of the ESAS continental shelf."

The statement above assumes that the WAIS might collapse abruptly this century.

In this regards, the following link leads to the University of Alaska Fairbank's website focused on Lake Elgygytgn research, and the extract following the link is from an article Posted on February 4th, 2014 by Laura Nielsen on "Inter-hemispheric climate coupling". The extract emphasizes that repeatedly paleo-collapses of the WAIS resulted in subsequent Arctic amplification, due both to changes in ocean currents (in keeping with Hansen's ice-climate feedback), and to increases in sea level pushing more warm Pacific water through the Bering St. into the Arctic Ocean.


http://frontierscientists.com/tag/lake-elgygytgyn/

Extract: "Antarctica and the Arctic
Climate at the North and South pole are connected. Sediment records from Antarctica show that the West Antarctic ice sheet melted at various times in history. Following many of those events, the Arctic warmed. These recurring intervals of paired warming show that climate in the two hemispheres is linked – it’s called inter-hemispheric climate coupling.

“When the West Antarctic ice sheet pulls back we see a corresponding warmth in the high latitudes again, probably affecting the size of the Greenland ice sheet with major implications for changes in sea level,” says Julie Brigham-Grette. “Our results mesh with what glaciologists are seeing today. Seven of the 12 major ice shelves around the Antarctic are melting or are gone. We suspect the tipping point for the gradual de-glaciation of Greenland and the Arctic may be lower than glaciologists once thought.”

Complex systems
Earth is a complicated place. We can’t explain past warming using only orbital dynamics or levels of Carbon Dioxide. Scientists affiliated with the project outlined some past events that might explain the rapid warming the sediment records show occurred in both Antarctica and the Arctic around similar times.

When you imagine Antarctica, the picture includes large ice shelves that hang off the rocky edge of the ice-covered continent. Normally that ice keeps nearby ocean water very cold. The cold water travels along currents toward the north Pacific where it wells up to the surface. Ocean circulation can be affected, though. If Antarctic ice sheets disintegrate or melt away, they no longer enforce cold water currents that journey to the Arctic. Instead, surface ocean waters in the Arctic become warmer.

When Antarctica’s ice sheets disintegrate the ocean gains more water and sea levels rise globally. The Bering Strait usually restricts how much warm surface water approaches the Arctic from the south, but higher sea levels would mean warm surface water didn’t have to squeeze through such a narrow space, letting more warm water past the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean.

Either way, a warmer ocean means higher temperatures and more rainfall for the Arctic, which impacts paleoclimatology and sea ice history. Grasping the climate connections between the hemispheres gives us insight into our near future."

Also, I seem to remember a reference with climate model results with freshwater hosing that also indicates that a collapse of the WAIS would push relatively warm Pacific water into the Arctic Basin, but I cannot remember where I posted this reference (after 13,000 plus posts my memory is getting jumbled).
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 06, 2017, 09:41:44 PM
That would have been a decade prior to the first actual data from Oden's traverses of the ESAS shelf edge. There is little methane to be found there any more. Warm water along the edge of the ESAS continental shelf could not trigger substantial methane release if it's not there to begin with. There's only so far you can go with models not grounded on observational data.

While not specifically related to the ESAS, the 2012 article entitled: "Locked greenhouse gas in Arctic sea may be 'climate canary'"; Nature, doi:10.1038/nature.2012.11988; which discusses methane hydrates observed in the Canadian Beaufort Seafloor in as little as 290m of water depth:

http://www.nature.com/news/locked-greenhouse-gas-in-arctic-sea-may-be-climate-canary-1.11988

See also the associated article (from which the first attached image was taken) entitled: "Expedition to study methane gas bubbling out of the Arctic seafloor"

http://www.mbari.org/expedition-to-study-methane-gas-bubbling-out-of-the-arctic-seafloor/

Extract: "Paull’s work in the Arctic started in 2003, with an investigation into the enigmatic underwater hills called “pingo-like features” (PLFs) that rise out of the continental shelf of the Beaufort Sea. (Pingos are isolated conical hills found on land in some parts of the Arctic and subarctic.)
Over time, the focus of the team’s research has moved farther offshore, into deeper water. Their second expedition in 2010 looked at diffuse gas venting along the seaward edge of the continental shelf. The 2012 expedition will focus on three large gas-venting structures on the continental slope, at depths of 290 to 790 meters (950 to 2,600 feet)."

The second images illustrates how a hypothetical submarine landslide on the continental slope could release sufficient methane gas to reach the surface.  Probably the shallow water methane hydrates in the ESAS is of more concern, but the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis cannot be ignored in the Arctic Basin.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 06, 2017, 09:56:31 PM
Also, I seem to remember a reference with climate model results with freshwater hosing that also indicates that a collapse of the WAIS would push relatively warm Pacific water into the Arctic Basin, but I cannot remember where I posted this reference (after 13,000 plus posts my memory is getting jumbled).

I believe that the linked reference was the one that that I was thinking of that discusses how the collapse of the WAIS can alter oceanic and atmospheric patterns, leading to Super Interglacial conditions including marked northward ocean heat transport via the Pacific Ocean.  Also, I note that as the sea surface is higher in the Pacific than in the Atlantic, water flows from the Pacific into the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Strait:

Flavio Justino, Douglas Lindemann, Fred Kucharski, Aaron Wilson, David Bromwich, and Frode Stordal (2017), "Oceanic response to changes in the WAIS and astronomical forcing during the MIS31 superinterglacial", Clim. Past, 13, 1081–1095, https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-1081-2017

https://www.clim-past.net/13/1081/2017/cp-13-1081-2017.pdf

Abstract: "Marine Isotope Stage 31 (MIS31, between 1085 and 1055 ka) was characterized by higher extratropical air temperatures and a substantial recession of polar glaciers compared to today.  Paleoreconstructions and model simulations have increased the understanding of the MIS31 interval, but questions remain regarding the role of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in modifying the climate associated with the variations in Earth’s orbital parameters. Multi-century coupled climate simulations, with the astronomical configuration of the MIS31 and modified West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) topography, show an increase in the thermohaline flux and northward oceanic heat transport (OHT) in the Pacific Ocean.  These oceanic changes are driven by anomalous atmospheric circulation and increased surface salinity in concert with a stronger meridional overturning circulation (MOC). The intensified northward OHT is responsible for up to 85% of the global OHT anomalies and contributes to the overall reduction in sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) due to Earth’s astronomical configuration. The relative contributions of the Atlantic Ocean to global OHT and MOC anomalies are minor compared to those of the Pacific.  However, sea ice changes are remarkable, highlighted by decreased (increased) cover in the Ross (Weddell) Sea but widespread reductions in sea ice across the NH."

Extract: "Based on coupled climate simulations performed under present day and boundary conditions representative of Marine Isotope Stage 31 (MIS31), our analyses provide evidence that under MIS31 climate conditions there was a remarkable reduction in sea ice distribution across the NH due to the astronomical configuration of that epoch. This contrasts with increases in sea ice area across the SH. The climate response to collapsing the WAIS is prominent in the vicinity of the Antarctic continent, whereas the effect of modification in the Earth orbital configuration extends worldwide.

It has furthermore been demonstrated that the MIS31 interglacial experienced significant changes in the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). In the Atlantic, increases in the MOC are related to an intensified westerly atmospheric flow in the northern North Atlantic, leading to strong convective mixing. The main convection sites in MIS31 have also been shifted poleward compared to the control simulation (CTR) in concert with changes in the position of the meridional thermal gradient."

Also, it would be nice if anyone attending the Fall AGU Meeting in New Orleans could report back on:

Julie Brigham-Grette, Robert M Deconto, Rajarshi Roychowdhury, Greg de Wet, Benjamin Andrew Keisling, Martin Melles and Pavel Minyuk (2017), "Too Warm, Two Poles: Super Interglacial Teleconnections and Possible Dual Pole Ice Sheet Stability", AGU Fall Meeting
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: sidd on November 06, 2017, 10:14:01 PM
I too have seen papers positing increased flow thru Bering with higher sea level. Now in Hansen(2016, doi:10.5194/acp-16-3761-2016 ) , the closest mention  I find is that his ocean model (Russell, 1995, nice paper) shows "Mixing reaching the ocean floor on the Siberian coast in our model (Fig 19) may be realistic as coastal polynya are observed on the Siberian continental shelf"  [in winter], but that is present day climate.  But i see nothing positing a surge of warm water into ESAS in future in the simulations where there is only freshwater hosing in the south. And his freshwater hosing suppresses meridonal overturning circulation so there is a difference between hs model and the Justino model for he says nothing about increased northward heat transport in the Pacific.

sidd
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: sidd on November 06, 2017, 10:57:33 PM
Upon reading the Justino paper (and the Justino 2015 paper) i see some reasons why he differs from Hansen. First off he doesnt change salinity due to WAIS collapse and he has no freshwater hosing.

" ... changes in the initial salinity field in response to the WAIS collapse have not been included."

Here he follows authors that argue that " ... an outflow rate associated with WAIS melting is
not realistically attainable ..."

I have some other quibbles with the Justino paper as well, but those can wait.

sidd

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 06, 2017, 11:50:09 PM
sidd,

It is not my intent to say that Hansen et al 2016 (doi:10.5194/acp-16-3761-2016) specifically cites that warm Pacific water will increasingly flow thru the Bering Strait to destabilize ESAS methane hydrates as part of his ice-climate feedback mechanism.  Nevertheless, as I understand this mechanism, during a potential collapse of the WAIS, this would cause an increase in Antarctic sea ice extent and a reduction in the production of AABW (Antarctic Bottom Water); which slows down the MOC, which increases the tropical sea surface temperature, which both increases the strength of El Ninos (which advects atmospheric heat from the tropical Pacific to both West Antarctica and the Arctic) but also increases the temperature of the Gulf Stream waters, which pushes more warm water via the AMOC into the North Atlantic.  With both the atmospheric advection and the Gulf Stream oceanic advection contributing to bipolar seesaw (i.e. a collapse of the WAIS would cool the Southern Ocean while warming the Arctic Ocean).

Regarding the bipolar seesaw mechanism inherent in Hansen's ice-climate mechanism, the Last Glacial Termination, LGT, occurred from 18,000 to 11,650 kya, and the following reference, reconstructs the dynamic response of the Antarctic ice sheets to warming in this period in order to better evaluate Hansen's ice-climate feedback mechanisms.  The abstract from the linked reference concludes: "Given the anti-phase relationship between inter-hemispheric climate trends across the LGT our findings demonstrate that Southern Ocean-AIS feedbacks were controlled by global atmospheric teleconnections.  With increasing stratification of the Southern Ocean and intensification of mid-latitude westerly winds today, such teleconnections could amplify AIS mass loss and accelerate global sea-level rise."

Fogwill, et. al. (2017), "Antarctic ice sheet discharge driven by atmosphere-ocean feedbacks at the last Glacial Termination", Scientific Reports 7, Article number 39979, doi:10.1038/srep39979

https://www.nature.com/articles/srep39979

See also the associated article entitled: "How Antarctic ice melt can be a tipping point for the whole planet’s climate"

https://theconversation.com/how-antarctic-ice-melt-can-be-a-tipping-point-for-the-whole-planets-climate-83776

Extract: "To explore how melting Antarctic ice might cause such dramatic change in the global climate, we used a climate model to simulate the release of large volumes of freshwater into the Southern Ocean. The model simulations all showed the same response, in agreement with our climate reconstructions: regardless of the amount of freshwater released into the Southern Ocean, the surface waters of the tropical Pacific nevertheless warmed, causing changes to wind patterns that in turn triggered the North Atlantic to warm too."

To me it seems clear that the bipolar seesaw mechanism incorporates major portions of Hansen's ice-climate feedback mechanism, and as the first attached image of the SLR fingerprint effect from the loss of the WAIS unit ice mass this includes a deepening of the water depth of the Bering Strait and increased flow of relatively warm Pacific Ocean water into the Arctic Ocean Basin (including in the ESAS area).

Best,
ASLR

Edit: For what it is worth, I attach the second image that illustrates the atmospheric bridge that advects heat from the Tropical Pacific to the North Pacific.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 07, 2017, 05:03:07 PM
For those, like me, who are very shaky on the science of it all I recommend the following article by  Jenny Griffin.

https://www.climateemergencyinstitute.com/uploads/Ocean_Acidification___Methane.pdf

There is a really good section on the basic science of what methane hydrates are and how they are formed, and then goes on to discuss methane hydrate stability, and what happens when hydrates melt. New to me was the crucial importance of bacteria.

"Most of the methane that is released is expected to be broken down by
bacteria as it rises up through the ocean sediments and through the water column before it
reaches the surface of the ocean.
The decomposition of methane occurs at the result of
two biological processes:
• anaerobic oxidation of methane by bacteria in the sediments of the ocean floor
• aerobic oxidation of methane by bacteria in the water column. "

In particular aerobic decomposition involves the same chemical reaction as burning methane, i.e.

CH4 + 2 O2 → CO2 + 2 H2O

The result is not good ;-

"Aerobic Oxidation: When methane is broken down aerobically by bacteria in the water
column they use oxygen to facilitate the process, producing carbon dioxide which
dissolves in the seawater. This process negatively impacts marine environment in two
ways:
1. Carbon dioxide promotes ocean acidification.
2. Aerobic oxidation of methane utilizes oxygen within the water column which could
result in the expansion of oxygen depleted zones across the ocean. Oxygen
depletion can result in mass mortalities of marine organisms – oxygen poor zones
are unable to support animals that need oxygen for survival and are thus typically
devoid of marine life.

Previous posts on this thread talked about bacterial decomposition of methane in shallow water near Svalbard. I wonder if oxygen depletion was noted.

The article then refers to rapid methane release in shallow water - i.e. the ESAS scenario.

One final quote ;-
"Mass Extinction Event
Even more alarming is that if ocean acidification is left unchecked it could potentially
initiate a Great Mass Extinction Event, as there is increasing evidence pointing to high
atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and rapidly acidifying oceans having triggered
four of the previous five Great Mass Extinctions.
Based on geological records it can be assumed that hydrates have broken down on a
large scale numerous times in the Earth’s history, leading to extreme global warming and
massive extinctions of organisms on the sea floor and beyond."

I have saved this article as it is just the sort of thing to educate those who want to know and those who do not.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 07, 2017, 06:29:29 PM
gerontocrat,

Thanks for raising some more examples of some of the right-tailed risk and consequence of potential future Arctic Methane Release.  While it is human nature (including that of reticent scientists) to limit (or to break-down) complex problems to ones of a more manageable degree of complexity; in the real world of climate consequences it is inappropriate for consensus climate science to ignore such right-tailed risks, therefore, I add discussion of two more right tailed risks associated with Arctic Methane Release (which is not limited to an abrupt release of methane from ESAS hydrates):

1. Synergy between different mechanisms supporting Arctic Amplification can accelerate the timing of Arctic Methane Releases, by progressively ratcheting up the regional climate state. In this regards, the linked article indicates that current climate models do not yet know how to correctly model the observed effects of local rapid warming (see the first attached image & the following extract):

Title: "Understanding Causes and Effects of Rapid Warming in the Arctic"

https://eos.org/project-updates/understanding-causes-and-effects-of-rapid-warming-in-the-arctic

Extract: "Although many individual consequences of changes in these Arctic climate parameters are known, their combined influence and relative importance for Arctic amplification are complicated to quantify and difficult to disentangle. As a result, there is not yet a consensus in the Arctic research community about the dominant mechanisms leading to the phenomenon of Arctic Amplification."

&

2. Furthermore, per the following reference circa 2050 methane emissions from thermokarst lake activity could become important (assuming continued aggressive warming), see the second attached image:

Schneider von Deimling, T., Grosse, G., Strauss, J., Schirrmeister, L., Morgenstern, A., Schaphoff, S., Meinshausen, M., and Boike, J.: Observation-based modelling of permafrost carbon fluxes with accounting for deep carbon deposits and thermokarst activity, Biogeosciences, 12, 3469-3488, doi:10.5194/bg-12-3469-2015, 2015.

http://www.biogeosciences.net/12/3469/2015/bg-12-3469-2015.html

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on November 07, 2017, 11:51:56 PM
My reading of S&S is that they see the free gas below the hydrates as by far the greater problem that faces us, hydrates or clathrates making up only a small percentage of the ESAS's sequestered methane.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 08, 2017, 04:27:20 PM
My reading of S&S is that they see the free gas below the hydrates as by far the greater problem that faces us, hydrates or clathrates making up only a small percentage of the ESAS's sequestered methane.
Terry

Terry,

Thanks for highlighting this important point.  While currently most free gas, and hydrate methane, seeps from the Arctic seafloor are absorbed by microbes near the seafloor and in the water (see the first image); this situation could markedly change before the end of this century due to local mechanisms some of which are illustrated in the second attached image.  Local breaches (or chimneys) through an impermeable hydrate cap over free gas reservoirs could release large volumes of methane gas (which may be too much for the microbes to consume) without fully decomposing the hydrate cap.  Such future breaches could be due to such mechanisms as: 1. local submarine landslides in the continental slope; 2. decomposition of local methane hydrate plugs over pre-existing chimneys; 3. Local erosion; etc.

Modeling such potential nonlinear behavior is difficult, but noting the possibility of such behavior in the executive summary to decision makers is not.

Best,
ASLR

Edit: I neglected to mention that subsea pingos (see the third image and linked article) can also serve as chimneys through a hydrate cap to release previously trapped free gas.

Title: "Methane feeds subsea ice mounds off Siberia"

Extract: "Pingos are spectacular landforms associated with permafrost in the Arctic. They are circular or elliptical formations protruding from the level ground of the tundra, and can be up to 60 meters high. In essence, they are huge lumps of ice covered with soil. Similar structures are now found strewn on the ocean floor in the Arctic shallow seas."
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151117092247.htm
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 09, 2017, 07:19:52 PM
Due to warmer spring conditions, methane from high latitude boreal peat landscapes should increase with continued global warming:

Manuel Helbig, William L Quinton and Oliver Sonnentag (8 November 2017), "Warmer spring conditions increase annual methane emissions from a boreal peat landscape with sporadic permafrost", Environmental Research Letters, Volume 12, Number 11,  https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa8c85

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa8c85/meta;jsessionid=BDEA4F6AFC6803F55D48309D93BFA2B5.c3.iopscience.cld.iop.org

Abstract: "About a fifth of the global wetland methane emissions originate from boreal peatlands, which represent an important land cover type in boreal landscapes in the sporadic permafrost zone. There, rising air temperatures could lead to warmer spring and longer growing seasons, changing landscape methane emissions. To quantify the effect of warmer spring conditions on methane emissions of a boreal peat landscape in the sporadic permafrost zone of northwestern Canada, we analyzed four years (2013–2016) of methane fluxes measured with the eddy covariance technique and long-term (1951–2016) meteorological observations from a nearby climate station. In May, after snowmelt was complete, mean air temperatures were more than 2 °C warmer in 2013, 2015, and 2016 than in 2014. Mean growing season (May–August) air temperatures, in contrast, differed by less than 1 °C over the four years. Warmer May air temperatures caused earlier wetland soil warming, with temperatures rising from ~0 °C to >12 °C 25 to 40 days earlier and leading to ~6 °C warmer mean soil temperatures between May and June. However, from July to August, soil temperatures were similar among years. Mean May to August and annual methane emissions (6.4 g CH4 m−2 and 9.4 g CH4 m−2, respectively) of years with warmer spring (i.e. May) temperatures exceeded emissions during the cooler year by 20%–30% (4.5 g CH4 m−2 and 7.2 g CH4 m−2, respectively). Among years with warmer springs, growing season methane emissions varied little (±0.5 g CH4 m−2). The observed interannual differences are most likely caused by a strong soil temperature control on methane fluxes and large soil temperature differences during the spring. Thus, in a warming climate, methane emissions from waterlogged boreal peat landscapes at the southern limit of permafrost are likely to increase in response to more frequent occurrences of warm springs."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 11, 2017, 01:23:41 AM
The Mid-Brunhes Event (MBE) coincides with MIS 11 (the Holsteinian) about 400,000 to 350,000 years ago, and marks a major transition to subsequent enhanced Arctic Amplification as discussed in the open access linked reference (see the first three attached images while the fourth image from another source help to clarify that after the MBE interglacial peak global mean peak temperatures have been higher).  Furthermore, the reference associates this change with the bipolar seesaw and episodic collapses of the WAIS.  This research clearly associates the bipolar seesaw mechanism with Hansen's ice-climate feedback and with Arctic Amplification.  This also implies that if the WAIS collapses this century (which DeConto and Pollard project will happen before the GMSTA gets to 2.7C), that warm Atlantic water will penetrate deep into the Arctic Ocean Basin, where it would likely have an impact on any shallow methane hydrates:

Cronin et al (2017), "Enhanced Arctic Amplification Began at the Mid-Brunhes Event ~400,000 years ago", Scientific Reports 7, Article No. 14475, doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-13821-2

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-13821-2

Extract: "Enhanced Arctic amplification at the MBE suggests a major climate threshold was reached at ~400 ka involving Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), inflowing warm Atlantic Layer water, ice sheet, sea-ice and ice-shelf feedbacks, and sensitivity to higher post-MBE interglacial CO₂ concentrations.

Southern Hemisphere ocean-atmosphere-sea ice processes are critical for understanding the MBE, specifically the idea that there is a bipolar seesaw operating between Northern and Southern Hemispheres on millennial timescales explain warmer interglacial condition in the Southern Hemisphere.  Barker et al. (2011) demonstrated that abrupt millennial-scale AMOC variability characterized the last 800 ka, albeit without the large amplitude shift seen in our Arctic records.  Holden et al. proposed a role for decreased stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet following the MBE, leading to AMOC slowdown during deglacials.  Thus, it is possible that ice sheet/ice shelf instability characterized both hemispheres providing the necessary non-linear dynamics to explain large amplitude temperature events in the Arctic Ocean.  However establishing the relationship between bottom temperature, sea ice and productivity during stadial and interstadial periods – require better sediment core resolution in the Arctic.  Nonetheless, the large shift in Arctic land ice, ice shelves and sea ice at the MBE, suggests an amplification of Arctic climate sensitivity related to higher interglacial CO₂ concentrations and associated feedbacks involving ice shelves and ice sheets, Heinrich-like events, AMOC-forcing Arctic Ocean temperature oscillations, and deeper submergence of Atlantic water in the central Arctic Basin."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Gray-Wolf on November 11, 2017, 02:51:00 PM
https://watchers.news/2017/10/28/shallow-m6-0-earthquake-hits-north-of-franz-josef-land-arctic-ocean/

Will these quakes cause any issues for the methane reserves on the continental slopes around Svalbard?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on November 13, 2017, 06:01:31 AM
Quote
My reading of S&S is that they see the over-pressurized free methane gas, never mind the hydrates, as by far the greater problem that faces us.
That's correct, Terry. Semiletov estimates the methane hydrates as less than 5% of total ESAS methane; because of this, Shakhova can say the decay timeline of the hydrate stability zone is completely irrelevant because there's already enough free methane gas to catastrophically affect global climate, should even a fraction of it reach the atmosphere.

In view of this, why do people keep bringing up off-site clathrate studies that have zero relevance to ESAS methane release over a 0-20 year time frame?

According to S&S, there do not exist any published studies to date showing ESAS methane hydrates even occurs, whereas we're real sure that methane is currently being released in volume. That methane, from triple isotope studies, is a waste product of archaeal decomposition of buried organic matter. It is not geothermal methane nor destabilized clathrate.

It would be more interesting to chase down the observational basis for S&S's estimate of pressurized free methane volume reserves. Is there really as much down there as they say? How is it distributed relative to the coastline, riverine sediment inputs, and shelf break? Would it really matter if the estimate were 50% too high (or too low)?

And how much pressure has built up under the (deteriorating) permafrost lid and what is its connectivity? That greatly affects the fraction of escaping methane that can reach the atmosphere because slow occasional bubbles have a very different fate -- dissolving into seawater -- from vigorously fountaining methane.

I'm not sure why people keeping throwing in off-ESAS studies of sulfate oxidizing bacteria breaking down the methane before it even leaves the sediment. Obviously that isn't happening to a sufficient extent here. The methane may be rising too rapidly or the sulfate supply was just not there or has been exhausted.

Along the ESAS shelf break, SWERUS core traverses showed MnO and FeO, rather than sulfate, were serving as the terminal oxidants. Landslides there won't matter since the methane is already exhausted.

The ESAS, especially the near-coastal regions rich in methanogenic sediment, is exceedingly shallow, much of it less than 10 m deep. Again, it's baffling why people keep referring to deep sea methane studies or inconsequential shelf areas like the Beaufort with very different histories. Sure, those bubbles will get swept aside by currents and dissolve in sea water, eventually getting metabolized before Henry's Law kicks in.

That isn't the case for over-pressurized methane in shallow water because high volume hotspot vents physically entrain seawater, bringing the methane rapidly near and to the surface where it can equilibrate with (ie raise) the currently low partial pressure of atmospheric methane.

In the interview, Shakhova says "a fraction" will inevitably reach the atmosphere, not specifying that fraction other than to say given the immense estimated methane reserves, its pressure, the erosion of permafrost lid, and beyond-linear rate of hotspot development, that this fraction is all that it would take to seriously disrupt global climate.

S&S have laid out plausible concerns based on decades of observational data. How events will actually play out in the near future depends on the numbers. For those, far more sonar surveys are needed, both of vent activity and subsurface structural changes. The ESAS is so vast and the season so short that it's time-consuming to sample its area with line surveys, much less repeat them to establish a time series.

However -- and this is the whole point of the 2017 NatComm paper -- they have been able to conduct repeat transects and repeat drill cores to a limited extent. Those don't indicate the worst case scenario (a massive one-time blowout) but support decadal-scale accelerating emissions that come close enough in effects.

It won't work to simply monitor atmospheric methane increase (though that's the final arbiter) because it's a lagging indicator for deterioration of the ESAS permafrost lid. As such, it wouldn't give enough time to 'make room' whereas better data might (see #482).
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 13, 2017, 01:02:11 PM
Quote
My reading of S&S is that they see the over-pressurized free methane gas, never mind the hydrates, as by far the greater problem that faces us.
That's correct, Terry. Semiletov estimates the methane hydrates as less than 5% of total ESAS methane; because of this, Shakhova can say the decay timeline of the hydrate stability zone is completely irrelevant because there's already enough free methane gas to catastrophically affect global climate, should even a fraction of it reach the atmosphere.

...far more sonar surveys are needed, both of vent activity and subsurface structural changes. The ESAS is so vast and the season so short that it's time-consuming to sample its area with line surveys, much less repeat them to establish a time series.


Who will fund the necessary multi-year surveys?
The Russians? Perhaps, due to their determination to exploit the fossil fuel reservoirs of the Arctic they might feel that this is a problem to be ignored?
Will the IPCC highlight this "known unknown" in the next round of reports (or will it be politically unacceptable due to Russian political objections - "get out of MY backyard" - and/or having to accept they missed it last time)  ?

ps:- Even if emissions are slow enough to allow decomposition in the water column, my understanding is this will be through aerobic decomposition by bacteria producing CO2 (acidification) and oxygen depletion possibly on a sufficient scale to result in wide-scale dead zones in the ocean and destruction of marine life. Any evidence anywhere?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Avalonian on November 13, 2017, 02:14:58 PM

ps:- Even if emissions are slow enough to allow decomposition in the water column, my understanding is this will be through aerobic decomposition by bacteria producing CO2 (acidification) and oxygen depletion possibly on a sufficient scale to result in wide-scale dead zones in the ocean and destruction of marine life. Any evidence anywhere?

That's basically what happens when productivity in an area is suddenly increased: increased draw-down of carbon, followed by benthic oxygen depletion. Added to that is a slow-down in thermohaline circulation due to the global temperature rise, which just makes any potential worse, and this is why the warmest periods of the Phanerozoic (e.g. Middle Ordovician and Cretaceous) are characterised by a lot of black mudstones with no benthic fossils.

My PhD was on the effects of volcanic ash-fall on Ordovician ecosystems, where the nutrient supply was from upwelling due to hyperpicnal surface waters laden with fine ash, which promptly sank on mass. (The same thing was seen after Pinatubo - a Steve Sparks paper, iirc). The result there was a mass bloom of plankton, followed by benthos, followed by a swift return to anoxia, and, as it happens, lots of exceptional fossil preservation through rapid replacement by pyrite (iron sulphide). And this was only dealing with a local scale, with lateral mixing ameliorating the effects significantly. This process is one of many reasons why CO2 capture by ocean fertilisation was such a spectacularly catastrophic idea; luckily the fish-farming element failed, so it seems to have been largely dropped.

Apologies for lack of reference - I'm currently in a small town in southern China, on fieldwork, and a long way from the literature I was using at the time!
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 13, 2017, 07:31:37 PM
As this thread is entitled: "Arctic Methane Release", I provide the following linked 2008 reference.

Kieran D. O'Hara (25 January 2008), "A model for late Quaternary methane ice core signals: Wetlands versus a shallow marine source", Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2007GL032317

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007GL032317/abstract;jsessionid=2A39482FA5ADB8E882067169E1F82526.f04t01

Abstract: "A three-reservoir model with first order kinetics for methane records in the Vostok (Antarctica) and GISP2 (Greenland) ice cores reproduces the sawtooth pattern and the maximum and minimum concentrations. The model also returns an atmospheric methane relaxation time of ∼10 years for both cores, which is the same as current estimates. The characteristics of the source reservoirs are long relaxation times (33.3 and 100 ky) and high initial methane concentrations (2500 and 7000 ppm) for GISP2 and Vostok, respectively. These characteristics are consistent with gas hydrate sources in shallow marine sediments, but not with wetland sources which have insufficient storage capacity and low source strength."

Also, see the associated 2008 article entitled: "Possible Origin of Methane in Ice Core Records"; which concludes that the methane in both Antarctic and Greenland ice cores for the Late Quaternary period (0.5-1.0 million years ago) is likely associated with methane emitted from marine hydrates

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080217093816.htm

The Storegga submarine landslide (see the first attached image) demonstrates that if an abrupt collapse of the WAIS were to trigger Clathrate Gun-type submarine landslides in the Arctic Ocean Basin, then the associate methane release would happen much too quickly for methane-eating microbes to have any meaningful impact on the amount of methane released (as may have been the case for the Late Quaternary Vostok ice core, which the second image indicates includes the Holsteinian, MIS 11c, period; which had a particularly high effective climate sensitivity):

https://phys.org/news/2017-07-methane-eating-microbes-gases-antarctic-ice.html

Extract: "These tiny microorganisms may have a big impact on a warming world by preventing methane from seeping into the atmosphere when ice sheets melt, said Brent Christner, a University of Florida microbiologist and co-author on the study."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on November 16, 2017, 03:19:54 PM
The graphic below (which expands upon a click) summarizes the effects of glaciation in the Arctic Ocean basin. It shows the most recently discovered glacial trough, the De Long, along with many others, summarizing work over many years by M Jakobsson and co-workers.

These troughs cut across the edge of the continental shelf and deposit sediment fans in the deep. The ESAS (resp. Beringia at low sea stand) is quite unusual in that its continental shelf edge was little affected by glaciers during the Pleistocene (because it received insufficient snowfall).

Since sediment fans provide an important organic substrates for archaeal methanogens, little methane is expected along the ESAS which largely lacks them and, while landslides could occur, there is no risk of a 'clathrate gun' for the ESAS. The real risk comes from vast near-shore deposits of free methane gas sitting under a deteriorating permafrost cap, as documented by Semiletov and Shakhova.

"... abundant CH4, including gas hydrates, do not characterize the East Siberian Sea slope or rise along the investigated depth transects. This contradicts previous modeling and discussions, which due to the lack of data are almost entirely based on assumption... metal oxide reduction appears to be the dominant geochemical environment affecting shallow sediment; there is no evidence for upward diffusing CH4. These results strongly suggest that gas hydrates do not occur on any of our depth transect [cores] spread across the continental slope in this region of the Arctic Ocean. This directly conflicts with ideas in multiple publications" Ouch!

https://www.biogeosciences.net/14/2929/2017/bg-14-2929-2017.pdf CM Miller et al 2017

Note the MacKenzie River is surprisingly not associated with a major trough or fan; the main feature in the CAA passes just east of Banks Island. Likewise, Petermann Glacier is not a dominant feature; it appears to have been block by a much larger glacier passing south through the Nares Strait.

These troughs today play an important role in oceanic circulation (ie mixing of incoming warm Atlantic Waters), notably in the Barents Sea and east of Svalbard.

https://www.clim-past.net/13/1269/2017/cp-13-1269-2017.pdf
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 20, 2017, 08:39:27 PM
The graphic below (which expands upon a click) summarizes the effects of glaciation in the Arctic Ocean basin. It shows the most recently discovered glacial trough, the De Long, along with many others, summarizing work over many years by M Jakobsson and co-workers.

These troughs cut across the edge of the continental shelf and deposit sediment fans in the deep. The ESAS (resp. Beringia at low sea stand) is quite unusual in that its continental shelf edge was little affected by glaciers during the Pleistocene (because it received insufficient snowfall).

Since sediment fans provide an important organic substrates for archaeal methanogens, little methane is expected along the ESAS which largely lacks them and, while landslides could occur, there is no risk of a 'clathrate gun' for the ESAS. The real risk comes from vast near-shore deposits of free methane gas sitting under a deteriorating permafrost cap, as documented by Semiletov and Shakhova.

While it is certainly good news that most of the continental shelf edge of the ESAS is not at risk of experiencing 'clathrate gun'-type mechanisms, and while I certainly concur that the near-shore free methane gas sitting under a deteriorating permafrost cap in the ESAS is the most important risk; nevertheless, the graphs in the Miller et al (2017) reference seem to indicate that up to about 50% of the continental shelf edges around the Arctic Ocean basin may be susceptible to a Storegga submarine landslide type methane release.  This is particularly of concern to me as the following Kandiano et al. (2017) reference confirms that during the MIS 11 event freshening of the North Atlantic (due to ice mass loss from the GIS) drove relatively warm intermediate ocean water into the Arctic Basin, and this same mechanism may reoccur in the coming decades.

Kandiano et al. (2017), "Response of the North Atlantic surface and intermediate ocean structure to climate warming of MIS 11" Scientific Reports 7, Article No. 46192, doi:10.1038/srep46192

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep46192

Extract: "Our results underscore the intricate interdynamic behavior of the North Atlantic climate system.  Furthermore, if the present-day rapid summer melting of the GIS continues, the resulting freshening of the surface ocean may well lead to fundamental structural changes in both ocean and atmospheric circulation as reconstructed for MIS 11."

Edit: Also, as cited in Reply #499, Cronin et al. (2017) provides both physical and model evidence that during MIS 11, warm intermediate water flowed from the Atlantic into the Arctic Ocean Basin.  Further, I note that the 12-month running average GMSTA per GISTEMP LOTI thru October 2017 was 1.159C above pre-industrial, which is near the MIS 11 peak.

Cronin et al (2017), "Enhanced Arctic Amplification Began at the Mid-Brunhes Event ~400,000 years ago", Scientific Reports 7, Article No. 14475, doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-13821-2

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-13821-2

Extract: "Enhanced Arctic amplification at the MBE suggests a major climate threshold was reached at ~400 ka involving Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), inflowing warm Atlantic Layer water, ice sheet, sea-ice and ice-shelf feedbacks, and sensitivity to higher post-MBE interglacial CO₂ concentrations."

Edit 2: For those not familiar with how close we are to the MIS 11 peak, I provide the attached image that also indicates where we may well be going to if we continue following a BAU pathway.  Also, I note that the 12-month running GISTEMP LOTI average thru October 2017, above pre-industrial, is currently +1.159C.

Edit 3: The second image shows a close-up of Friedrich et al (2016) projection for GMSTA thru 2100 using paleo-based estimates of ECS vs CMIP5 values.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on November 22, 2017, 12:47:38 PM
Quote
graphs in Miller 2017 indicate about 50% of the continental shelf edges around the Arctic Ocean basin may be susceptible to a Storegga submarine landslide type methane release. the Kandiano 2017 states that  ice mass loss from the GIS during the MIS 11 event freshened the North Atlantic, drove relatively warm intermediate ocean water into the Arctic Basin.
If you mean Fig.1 in CM Miller 2017, that refers to earlier data-free speculative models that the paper later rejects as totally erroneous at least for the long expanse of the ESAS edge, based on Swerus cores. There is no discussion of landslide susceptibility in this paper and no mention of Storegga, which might have but did not release sufficient methane at sufficiently rapid rates to significantly affect the atmosphere or warm the climate:

Storegga, while unquestionably an enormous marine landslide with a massive follow-up tsunami, has been accurately re-dated in two recent papers to the chilliest decades of the 8.2 ka cold event at 8120–8175 years before AD 1950. Hence its timing is completely off, in terms of the GISP2 methane records and hypothetical methane-induced warming. The JE Begat 2007 paper is thus completely wrong. Landslide-triggered clathrates guns may have occurred in the past but Storegga is not an instance of one.

Quote
Because sediment exposed at the base of the slide contained less methane hydrate 8200 years ago than exists today and because Greenland ice cores do not show an increase in methane at the time of the slide, the slide did not release significant volumes of methane to the atmosphere and did not contribute to any change in temperature during or after the 8.2 ka cold event.

The pore water sulphate analysis of Storegga Slide sediments provides a compelling case that the slide could not have released huge quantities of methane gas-hydrates sufficient to leave a detectable signature in the Greenland ice core methane concentration record.  A Dawson 2011 DOI: 10.1177/0959683611400467  See also S Bondevik 2012 doi10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.04.020
 
Quote
...pore water sulfate gradient measurements that are used as a proxy for the relative amounts of methane that exist in continental margin sediments associated with the colossal Storegga Slide. These measurements suggest that a considerable inventory of methane occurs in sediments adjacent to, and unaffected by, the Storegga Slide events, but indicate that methane is notably absent from sediments on the sole of the slide and distal deposits created by the slide events.

Either methane was lost during previous Pleistocene failure events or was never present in significant concentrations within the sediments that failed.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2006GL028331/full DK Paull 2017
For the Arctic Ocean perimeter we need to distinguish (1) landslides ongoing for 2.5 myr along the Arctic Ocean continental shelf edge, (2) from significant shelf-edge clathrate abundance/absence, (3) from warm Atlantic and North Pacific mixed incursions already ongoing for decades, (4) from possible large landslides perhaps triggering hypothetically massive and conceivably rapid releases of climate-affecting methane, (5) from real, worsening, non-speculative release of vast shallow ESAS methane gas reaching the atmosphere today.

As observed in the Swerus cores, the ESAS/Laptev margins lacks both clathrate and free methane gas because of ample MnO and FeO are available to methanotrophs (not to mention lower-down S04-2 anaerobic oxidation of methane). Only a small region by the New Siberian Islands has landslide topography. This is already 85% the Siberian shelf perimeter that has zero risk from landslide methane.

The Kara Sea has only near-coastal submerged permafrost and has too shallow a gradient for gravity-driven landslides, so it too is zero risk, regardless of its potential for methane release by other mechanisms. Like the crater-pockmarked Barents, loss of a massive Pleistocene ice sheet greatly reduced pressure needed to sustain clathrates below.

In the Alaskan Beaufort, since submerged permafrost does not extend beyond the 20 m isobath, any earlier free methane gas and clathrate nearer the shelf break was unroofed long ago. Thus the continuing history of mass wastage on outer slopes there poses no risk. Ongoing methane seeps nearer the coast coming from submerged Beringial permafrost might better be considered part of a Greater ESAS.

https://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2017/04/research.html  assumptions proven wrong off Alaska
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL052222/full

The CAA has an exceedingly meagre continental shelf that hasn't been accessible to study because of persistent thick ice. Looking at its bathymetry shows a steady incidence of small landslides, occasional sediment fans and only a tiny portion north of Banks Island submerged tundra permafrost. Since MnO and FeO terminal electron acceptors are ubiquitous in the basin, these observations add up to a very minimal risk of climate-affecting methane release along the CAA.

So we seem to be talking about landslide risk along the Svalbard-Severnaya Zemlya arc unless the Fram edge of the Barents Sea is considered part of the Arctic Ocean. While the former was long covered by a thick ice sheet, the latter constitutes barely a percent of the overall shelf perimeter.

The much-studied Vestnesa Ridge there has both thermogenic seeps and clathrate methane, stores that may have been depleted by earlier documented landslides. It could well have more induced in the future as it is the first to see currents of warming Atlantic Water.

However Vestnesa's location is not at all representative of Arctic Ocean continental shelf exposure to warming currents. It seems improbable that such a small area is capable of an abrupt climate-affecting methane release.

https://www.clim-past.net/11/669/2015/cp-11-669-2015.pdf prior Vestnesa methane releases

Thus if massive methane is not there to begin with along long reaches of the Arctic Ocean shelf edge, warmer ocean waters circulating decades from now will not raise the incidence of landslides, much less trigger climate-altering rapid releases of greenhouse gases.

The collapse of the Storegga story undercuts its extension to the Arctic Ocean, as do specifics of the shelf edge there. The risk level is remote, right in there with another Chicxulub or deadly virus escaping from frozen mammoths.

Meanwhile, substantial methane released in the Greater ESAS on a decadal time scale is real and worsening. Effects will be augmented by greenhouse gas emissions from land permafrost, loss of sea ice albedo and various ensuing runaway feedbacks.

By 2030, these three fallouts from Arctic Amplification will likely render null and void assumptions used in current climate model scenarios. We'll have to start all over with a new initial state. And it won't be modeling so much as coping with rapidly oncoming developments.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 22, 2017, 07:29:08 PM
If you mean Fig.1 in CM Miller 2017, that refers to earlier data-free speculative models that the paper later rejects as totally erroneous at least for the long expanse of the ESAS edge, based on Swerus cores. There is no discussion of landslide susceptibility in this paper and no mention of Storegga, which might have but did not release sufficient methane at sufficiently rapid rates to significantly affect the atmosphere or warm the climate:

It is not my intension to be argumentative, but the 2012 article entitled: "Locked greenhouse gas in Arctic sea may be 'climate canary'"; Nature, doi:10.1038/nature.2012.11988; discusses methane hydrates observed in the Canadian Beaufort Seafloor in as little as 290m of water depth, and I imagine that there are many other locations around the Arctic Basin that are comparable to that shown in the attached image:

http://www.nature.com/news/locked-greenhouse-gas-in-arctic-sea-may-be-climate-canary-1.11988

Furthermore, it is not my intension to suggest that the 'clathrate gun' mechanism needs to be the main source of past, or future, methane emissions from the Arctic, nor that one major submarine slide such as Storegga needs to fully account for atmospheric methane concentrations during the 8.2 kya event.  With continued warming there are likely to be multiple activated sources of natural methane emissions including shallow water sources from the ESAS, thermokarst lakes, tropical peatlands, etc.; and all work synergistally to increase the lifetime of methane in the atmosphere by competing for hydroxyl ions.  Thus I believe that possible methane emissions from multiple submarine landslides scattered around the Arctic Ocean Basin (but possibly not in the ESAS) should be more closely evaluated by climate scientists as one more possible positive feedback mechanism to include in their ESMs.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on November 23, 2017, 01:16:27 AM
If you mean Fig.1 in CM Miller 2017, that refers to earlier data-free speculative models that the paper later rejects as totally erroneous at least for the long expanse of the ESAS edge, based on Swerus cores. There is no discussion of landslide susceptibility in this paper and no mention of Storegga, which might have but did not release sufficient methane at sufficiently rapid rates to significantly affect the atmosphere or warm the climate:

It is not my intension to be argumentative,

Please, not to worry. I can't imagine anything more I'd rather witness than 2 ASIF heavy weights going toe to toe in the ring. I'm going to get me a ring side seat.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 23, 2017, 02:20:37 AM
My main point is that while it is relatively easy to dismiss one individual positive feedback mechanism at a time, when one properly evaluates the synergy between all Arctic methane emission sources together, they can results in significant Arctic Amplification with time.  Both of the linked articles note that the clathrate gun hypothesis merits more research, in the context of a larger picture of possible future impacts from atmospheric methane (of which the clathrate gun contribution may only be one of many different future sources of methane emissions), particularly if we move towards PETM-like conditions (as mentioned in the second article by Gavin Schmidt):

Title: "Early warnings of an out-of-control climate"

https://phys.org/news/2017-04-early-out-of-control-climate.html

Extract: ""The great concern is the rapid rise, over the last three years, in methane levels in the atmosphere. Methane is a gas with 28 times the planet-heating power of carbon dioxide. Scientists estimate there may be as much as 5 trillion tonnes of it locked in permafrost and seabed deposits.

"There is mounting evidence that, as the planet warms due to human activity, these vast reserves of greenhouse gas are now starting to melt and vent naturally. The Earth's past history shows this could unleash runaway global warming, driving up planetary temperatures by as much as 9 or 10 degrees Celsius.

"At such temperatures, some scientists consider there is a high risk the planet would become uninhabitable to humans and large animals," Mr Cribb says."

See also:
Surviving the 21st Century: Humanity's Ten Great Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them. www.springer.com/us/book/9783319412696

&

The second linked article is authored by Gavin Schmidt.

Title: "Methane: A Scientific Journey from Obscurity to Climate Super-Stardom"

https://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/features/200409_methane/

Extract: "Most importantly, clathrates can be explosively unstable if the temperature increases or the pressure decreases — which can happen as a function of climate change, tectonic uplift or undersea landslides.

The importance of these clathrates in climate change has only recently started to be appreciated. The first clue was some puzzling data from a period 55 million years ago. In the early 1990's, Jim Kennett of Scripps Institute of Oceanography and his colleagues noticed that during an extremely short amount of time (geologically speaking) at the transition between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, carbon isotope ratios everywhere (the deep sea, on land, at the poles and in the tropics) suddenly changed to favour the lighter 12C isotope of carbon at the expense of 13C. The rapidity and size of this change was unprecedented in the period since the demise of the dinosaurs, and this excursion was simultaneous with a short period of extreme global warming (around 3 to 4 degrees globally, more in the high latitudes).

In 1995, Jerry Dickens of Rice University suggested that the only conceivable perturbation to the global carbon cycle to fit these data was a massive input of light carbon that had been stored as methane clathrates, which are observed to be particularly high in 12C. Nothing else could be as fast-acting or have enough of the lighter isotope to have had the observed effects. Given that both CH4 and its oxidization product CO2 are greenhouse gases, this might explain the global warming as well.

Subsequent work, including atmospheric chemistry studies by myself and Drew Shindell of NASA GISS, have confirmed that this hypothesis is still the most likely candidate, although the initial triggering mechanism is unknown. Similar ideas have been proposed to explain short term events in the Jurassic, at the Permian-Triassic boundary and in the Neo-Proterozoic, although the evidence for a unique role of methane in these cases is much weaker than at the Paleocene/Eocene boundary.

With a plausible role for methane clathrates in the Paleocene, it is only natural to examine whether they played a similar role in more recent climate changes, such as rapid climate variability during the last ice age. There are some tantalizing clues. In ocean sediments offshore of California, Kai-Uwe Hinrichs and colleagues at Woods Hole recently found geochemical traces of clathrate releases coincident with warmings in the Greenland ice core records. In some records, there are coincident spikes in the carbon isotope record, reminiscent of the Paleocene/Eocene spike but of lower amplitude. This has led Jim Kennett to propose the so-called "clathrate gun hypothesis", that methane builds up in clathrates during cold periods, and as a warming starts it is explosively released, leading to enhanced further rapid climate warming. This idea is not yet widely accepted, mainly because the records of methane in the ice cores seems to lag the temperature changes, and the magnitudes involved do not appear large enough to significantly perturb the radiative balance of the planet. The more conventional explanation is that as the climate warms there is increased rain in the tropics and thus increased emissions from tropical wetlands which need to have been large enough to counteract a probable increase in the methane sink. There is, however, much that we don't understand about the methane cycle during the ice ages, and maybe hydrates will eventually be considered part of the rapid climate change story."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 23, 2017, 02:35:33 AM
Who knows whether we are headed towards PETM-like conditions anytime soon, but the linked article provides evidence from calcite that emissions from methane hydrates made a significant contribution to that event, and includes this statement:

"The rapidity of the methane hydrate emission lasting from several years to thousands of years was tempered by the equally rapid oxidation of the atmospheric and oceanic methane that gradually reduced its warming potential but not before global warming had reached levels lethal to most life on land and in the oceans."

Brand et al. (2016), "Methane Hydrate: Killer cause of Earth's greatest mass extinction", Palaeoworld, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palwor.2016.06.002

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871174X16300488

Abstract: "The cause for the end Permian mass extinction, the greatest challenge life on Earth faced in its geologic history, is still hotly debated by scientists. The most significant marker of this event is the negative δ13C shift and rebound recorded in marine carbonates with a duration ranging from 2000 to 19 000 years depending on localities and sedimentation rates. Leading causes for the event are Siberian trap volcanism and the emission of greenhouse gases with consequent global warming. Measurements of gases vaulted in calcite of end Permian brachiopods and whole rock document significant differences in normal atmospheric equilibrium concentration in gases between modern and end Permian seawaters. The gas composition of the end Permian brachiopod-inclusions reflects dramatically higher seawater carbon dioxide and methane contents leading up to the biotic event. Initial global warming of 8–11 °C sourced by isotopically light carbon dioxide from volcanic emissions triggered the release of isotopically lighter methane from permafrost and shelf sediment methane hydrates. Consequently, the huge quantities of methane emitted into the atmosphere and the oceans accelerated global warming and marked the negative δ13C spike observed in marine carbonates, documenting the onset of the mass extinction period. The rapidity of the methane hydrate emission lasting from several years to thousands of years was tempered by the equally rapid oxidation of the atmospheric and oceanic methane that gradually reduced its warming potential but not before global warming had reached levels lethal to most life on land and in the oceans. Based on measurements of gases trapped in biogenic and abiogenic calcite, the release of methane (of ∼3–14% of total C stored) from permafrost and shelf sediment methane hydrate is deemed the ultimate source and cause for the dramatic life-changing global warming (GMAT > 34 °C) and oceanic negative-carbon isotope excursion observed at the end Permian. Global warming triggered by the massive release of carbon dioxide may be catastrophic, but the release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic. The end Permian holds an important lesson for humanity regarding the issue it faces today with greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and climate change."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on November 23, 2017, 03:44:01 AM
Thanks for that piece, ASLR, as always. When you say "PETM-like" do you mean "PTME-like"?

I think the first usually refers to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum about 55 mya, which was really bad. But the near total wipe out that you seem to be referring to is End Permian, or Permian-Triassic Mass Extinction (or Great Dying...), right? I must confess getting those acronyms messed up myself quite often, though, so I may be getting confused here myself.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 23, 2017, 11:49:02 AM
wili,

As noted in the Wikipedia article below, both the PETM and the PTME are good examples of the current clathrate-gun hypothesis, where massive releases of methane occur as a result of an initial triggering abrupt climate change event (not as the triggering event itself).  Thus, when I wrote PETM-like I was referring to the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum 56 million years ago, as the first attached image shows that without considering either the collapse of the WAIS or a clathrate-gun event we could be at 5 to 6C GMSTA by 2100 (based on ECS calibrated to the paleorecord over the past 800,000 years).  However, per the second attached image Hansen et al (2016) indicates that the collapse of the WAIS (which Bakker et al 2017 indicates might happen during the 2040-2090 timeframe, see the third image) could increase the planetary energy imbalance by over 2 Watts/sq meter in a pulse.  While, the collapse of the WAIS leads to a cooling of the surface temperatures over the Southern Ocean, due to the bipolar seesaw mechanism it would result in a marked increase in Arctic Amplification (see the fourth image from Wolfe et al 2017, with data from the Middle Eocene, and I note that our current CO2e is over 530ppm which is comparable to that during the Middle Eocene); which in turn might trigger a clathrate gun event, maybe as early as 2100.

Title: "Clathrate gun hypothesis"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrate_gun_hypothesis
&
https://courses.seas.harvard.edu/climate/eli/Courses/global-change-debates/Sources/Methane-Clathrate-gun-hypothesis/1-Clathrate%20gun%20hypothesis-Wikipedia.pdf

Extract: "… there is stronger evidence that runaway methane clathrate breakdown may have caused drastic alteration of the ocean environment (such as ocean acidification and ocean stratification) and of the atmosphere of earth on a number of occasions in the past, over timescales of tens of thousands of years. These events include the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum 56 million years ago, and most notably the Permian–Triassic extinction event, when up to 96% of all marine species became extinct, 252 million years ago."

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 23, 2017, 12:04:15 PM
Just to reiterate my point that we are currently at an atmospheric CO2e of over 530ppm, which is not too different from Eocene conditions, I provide the following reference & associated image.  Under such conditions the Hadley Cell could expand to the Arctic before 2100:

Jagniecki,Elliot A. et al. (2015), "Eocene atmospheric CO2from the nahcolite proxy", Geology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G36886.1


http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2015/10/23/G36886.1

ftp://rock.geosociety.org/pub/reposit/2015/2015357.pdf

Abstract: "Estimates of the atmospheric concentration of CO2, [CO2]atm, for the "hothouse" climate of the early Eocene climatic optimum (EECO) vary for different proxies. Extensive beds of the mineral nahcolite (NaHCO3) in evaporite deposits of the Green River Formation, Piceance Creek Basin, Colorado, USA, previously established [CO2]atm for the EECO to be >1125 ppm by volume (ppm). Here, we present experimental data that revise the sodium carbonate mineral equilibria as a function of [CO2] and temperature. Co-precipitation of nahcolite and halite (NaCl) now establishes a well-constrained lower [CO2]atm limit of 680 ppm for the EECO. Paleotemperature estimates from leaf fossils and fluid inclusions in halite suggest an upper limit for [CO2]atm in the EECO from the nahcolite proxy of ∼1260 ppm. These data support a causal connection between elevated [CO2]atm and early Eocene global warmth, but at significantly lower [CO2]atm than previously thought, which suggests that ancient climates on Earth may have been more sensitive to a doubling of [CO2]atm than is currently assumed."

Extract: "These results show that [CO₂]atm may not have been as high as previously thought during the warmest interval of the Cenozoic, implying a climate sensitivity for CO₂ that is roughly twice as high as is currently assumed (Royer et al., 2012)."

See also:
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/eocene-temperature-spike-caused-half-much-co2-once-thought

Extract: "During the Eocene around 50 million years ago, climbing CO2 levels heated the planet by more than 5 degrees Celsius. By examining crystals grown in this “hothouse” climate, researchers discovered that Eocene CO2 levels were as low as 680 parts per million. That’s nearly half the 1,125 ppm predicted by previous, less accurate crystal experiments, the researchers report online October 23 in Geology."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on November 23, 2017, 03:48:23 PM
Ah, thanks for the clarification, and, as always for the great links and graphs!
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: sidd on November 24, 2017, 09:29:28 AM
Some time ago I had the privilege to have dinner with some from Byrd center at Ohio State. I recall discussing the clathrate methane issue. I was left with the impression that methane release from seabed was less troubling than release from wet decomposition of siberian peatlands as ice lenses melted.

sidd
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on November 24, 2017, 01:36:35 PM
Storegga, while unquestionably an enormous marine landslide with a massive follow-up tsunami, has been accurately re-dated in two recent papers to the chilliest decades of the 8.2 ka cold event at 8120–8175 years before AD 1950. Hence its timing is completely off, in terms of the GISP2 methane records and hypothetical methane-induced warming. The JE Begat 2007 paper is thus completely wrong.
As I understand it clathrates require both low temperatures and high pressure. During a rapid chill the Warm Atlantic Waters wouldn't be affected, but Sea Level would have dropped.


If the clathrate's temperature remained constant, but the pressure was reduced, even slightly, this would lead to the sudden destruction of any clathrate delicately balanced between stability and destruction.


If ASLR takes place prior to much warming of the clathrate itself, I'd expect the clathrate to remain stable, because of the additional pressure.


Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 24, 2017, 04:42:12 PM
Some time ago I had the privilege to have dinner with some from Byrd center at Ohio State. I recall discussing the clathrate methane issue. I was left with the impression that methane release from seabed was less troubling than release from wet decomposition of siberian peatlands as ice lenses melted.

sidd

sidd,

The first image shows a computer projection of methane emissions from thermokarst lakes (which form from the melted ice lenses particularly in the Siberian peatlands) in the Arctic, which shows the risk of large spike of methane emissions circa 2050 if we continue on a RCP 8.5 until that time.  Thus, I (very much) concur with the concerns of the Byrd Center scientists.

However, the issue that I keep raising, is that while it is efficient for scientists to work productively in their respective silos of expertise and to identify risks from individual feedback mechanisms; science demands that these individual mechanisms be brought together synergistically in the best ESMs available before we can understand what our truth risks are.  This is why I keep pointing-out that our current ESMs are not fully dynamical and they pick and choose what to focuses on and what to leave out of their models (such as hosing events).

Thus while I believe that methane emissions from hydrate decomposition will have a rather limited effect on climate change before say 2090; I still believe that it is valuable to include this mechanism with state-of-the-art ESMs because if we continued to follow SSP5 baseline (RCP 8.5) to 2050 and if ECS is currently say 4.5C, then the WAIS collapse would be unstoppable (even if we stop following SSP5 baseline then), which would likely trigger at least a 2 Watt/sq m pulse of planetary energy imbalance (for a few decades), which could trigger an abrupt expansion of the Hadley Cell in the NH if this trigger point is as low as an atmospheric CO2e concentration of about 680ppm (see my last post) caused by a short-term pulse of methane (say from thermokarst lakes and/or shallow ESAS methane sources).  Once triggered (say circa 2090), the second attached image shows that an expanded NH Hadley Cell would remain stable even after the short-term pulse had ended.  This is a brief explanation of why ESM projections past say 2090 should be capable of trying to model a clathrate-gun mechanism as they currently are incapable of matching the paleo-record of numerous Super Interglacial events.

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 24, 2017, 05:32:30 PM
Storegga, while unquestionably an enormous marine landslide with a massive follow-up tsunami, has been accurately re-dated in two recent papers to the chilliest decades of the 8.2 ka cold event at 8120–8175 years before AD 1950. Hence its timing is completely off, in terms of the GISP2 methane records and hypothetical methane-induced warming. The JE Begat 2007 paper is thus completely wrong.
As I understand it clathrates require both low temperatures and high pressure. During a rapid chill the Warm Atlantic Waters wouldn't be affected, but Sea Level would have dropped.


If the clathrate's temperature remained constant, but the pressure was reduced, even slightly, this would lead to the sudden destruction of any clathrate delicately balanced between stability and destruction.


If ASLR takes place prior to much warming of the clathrate itself, I'd expect the clathrate to remain stable, because of the additional pressure.


Terry

Terry,

Climate change is complex (to say the least), and while it is true that increasing pressure (say due to increasing sea level) helps to stabilize methane hydrates (see the first attached temperature-pressure phase diagram for methane hydrates from the linked Wikipedia article), which would have helped to limit methane emissions from hydrate decomposition during the last interglacial (MIS 5); this does not necessarily mean that we are all safe from a "… sudden release of natural gas from methane clathrate deposits in runaway climate change …" by the end of this century.

First, as noted in the extract below hydrates exhibit a metastable state at lower temperatures rather than by higher pressures (than indicated by the phase diagram); which may have contributed to relatedly low methane emissions from Arctic methane hydrate decomposition during MIS 5; but this metastable state could be abruptly over-come with the additions of small amounts of heat (say due higher Arctic Amplification than MIS 5 experienced, after 2090 if the WAIS collapses).

Second, it takes time for heat to migrate through mass (e.g. soil and ice) thus the fact that the Arctic during the Holocene has already had over 10,000 years for heat to migrate through the seafloor of submerged continental shelves, means that you can't just point at MIS 5 and say that the sub-seafloor thermal profiles are currently the same as that when MIS 5 approached its peak (see the second image)

Third, as I mentioned to sidd in my last post, current ESM models can't replicate the response of Super Interglacials, and thus they cannot say whether some synergistic combination of potential feedback mechanism (as methane emissions from thermokarst lakes, WAIS collapse, NH Hadley Cell expansion to the Arctic, etc) may trigger a runaway climate change situation driven by methane from hydrates after say 2100, even if humans stop GHG emissions all together.

Title: "Clathrate gun hypothesis"

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

Extract: "The sudden release of large amounts of natural gas from methane clathrate deposits in runaway climate change could be a cause of past, future, and present climate changes. The release of this trapped methane is a potential major outcome of a rise in temperature; some have suggested that this was a main factor in the planet warming 6 °C, which happened during the end-Permian extinction, as methane is much more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Despite its atmospheric lifetime of around 12 years, it has a global warming potential of 72 over 20 years, 25 over 100 years, and 33 when accounted for aerosol interactions. The theory also predicts this will greatly affect available oxygen and hydroxyl radical content of the atmosphere.

Another kind of exception is in clathrates associated with the Arctic ocean, where clathrates can exist in shallower water stabilized by lower temperatures rather than higher pressures; these may potentially be marginally stable much closer to the surface of the sea-bed, stabilized by a frozen 'lid' of permafrost preventing methane escape.

The so-called self-preservation phenomenon has been intensively studied by Russian geologists starting in the late 1980s. This metastable clathrate state can be a basis for release events of methane excursions, such as during the interval of the last glacial maximum. A study from 2010 concluded with the possibility for a trigger of abrupt climate warming based on metastable methane clathrates in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) region."

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 30, 2017, 08:09:35 AM
I would like to leave a link to my methane archive (https://cid-yama.livejournal.com/tag/methane) as I have been following this for over a decade.

Hopefully it will prove useful.

Metastable Hydrate can exist within the permafrost, which preserves it, well above the HSZ.  This appears to be responsible for the blowouts from the pingo-like formations.

One litre of fully saturated methane hydrate solid contains about 120 grams of methane (or around 169 litres of methane gas at 0°C and 1 atm).

When hydrates dissociate, the volume released is 169X that of the hydrate, creating pore pressure within the sediment that can literally blowout the above sediment like a champagne cork.

Hydrates don't melt.  They dissociate instantaneously when the phase transition is reached.

When an area of hydrates dissociates and releases, causing a blowout, it can relieve pressure on neighboring hydrates, which can lead to a chain reaction of release over a larger area.

If no blowout, it adds to the pressure within the sediments, seeking pathways of release.     

Sea level rise will be insufficient to preserve the hydrates.

The pressure at depth on the Siberian Shelf is around 1 Megapascal. The temperature of the hydrates per Semilitov in 2008 was at 272 Kelvins.

As can be seen by the chart (https://cid-yama.livejournal.com/352494.html), we would need to raise sea level 200 meters to restore stability pressure wise. Obviously, we can rule that out. Since the only other option would be to lower temperatures more than 20 K(also not possible), it's all over.

A-Team is correct in that the immediate danger isn't the hydrates, but the free gas within the sediments just looking for a way to escape.  But the metastable hydrates can be a threat multiplier.

After all, a blowout provides a pathway for escape.     
     

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 30, 2017, 09:56:06 AM
AbruptSLR, you may find this informative.

Warming the Fuel for the Fire: thermal dissociation of methane hydrate during the PETM
Quote
Dramatic warming and upheaval of the carbon system at the end of the Paleocene Epoch have been linked to massive dissociation of sedimentary methane hydrate. We present new highresolution stable isotope records based on analyses of single planktonic and benthic foraminiferal shells from Ocean Drilling Program Site 690 (Weddell Sea, Southern Ocean), demonstrating that the initial carbon isotope excursion was geologically instantaneous and was preceded by a brief period of gradual surface water warming. Both of these findings support the thermal dissociation of methane hydrate as the cause of the PETM carbon isotope excursion. Furthermore, the data reveal that the methane-derived carbon was slowly mixed from the surface ocean downward, suggesting that a significant fraction of the initial dissociated hydrate methane reached the atmosphere prior to oxidation.

The stratigraphic progression of single-specimen stable isotope changes, with the decrease in surface water δ18O values preceding the decrease in δ13C values, enables us to rule out several possible explanations of PETM carbon input. The onset of the CIE would have preceded the decrease in δ18O values if the PETM had resulted from erosion-induced hydrate dissociation (e.g., Katz et al., 2001) or from a carbonaceous impactor (e.g., Kent et al., 2001). Explosive volcanism (e.g., Bralower et al., 1997) would have resulted in an increase or no change in δ18O values at a high-latitude site. Thus, the only plausible mechanism to consider is the thermal dissociation of methane hydrates. The occurrence of specimens of surface-dwelling foraminifera that record transitional δ18O values and pre-CIE δ13C values (Level 1, Figure 3) suggests a ~2°C warming of surface waters prior to the onset of the CIE.

The top-down progression of the onset of the CIE suggests that a significant proportion of the methane from dissociated hydrates was rapidly transferred to the atmosphere and surface ocean. In order for calcifying organisms to record a methane-derived δ13C anomaly, the isotopically light methane must first be oxidized into CO2 and incorporated into the HCO3 - pool from which calcification occurs. Because the pattern of CIE propagation proceeded downward from surface waters, oxidation of methane must have taken place within the atmosphere/surface ocean. Had the initial release of methane been more gradual (enabling oxidation within the deep ocean), Site 690 planktonic foraminifera would have recorded transitional δ13C values at the onset of the event, and benthic individuals would have recorded the excursion prior to the planktonics.

We note that the top-down progression in carbon input observed at the PETM is strikingly similar to the recent changes in the atmospheric and surface ocean carbon reservoirs in response to release of anthropogenic CO2.

We propose the following scenario to explain the stratigraphic sequence of events in the new stable isotope data. Gradual warming occurred first in surface waters, then in waters at thermocline and intermediate depths. Subduction or downwelling of warmer intermediate waters in the region of water mass formation led to thermal dissociation of methane hydrates at a location with a significant sedimentary hydrate content. Methane gas from the dissociated hydrates reached the atmosphere prior to widespread oxidation.
link (http://www.es.ucsc.edu/~jzachos/pubs/D._Thomas_et_al._G18552A.pdf)

Release of free methane reservoirs in recently submerged relic permafrost sediments would also account for it.  Since such free gas reservoirs would be comprised of gas from previously dissociated hydrates, it would look the same.

As it is now believed that the methane was releases in 3 pulses,  the step-wise deepening of the HSZ would account for that. 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 30, 2017, 10:17:48 AM
And this Paper claims that the initial PETM CIE occurred over a 13 year period.

Evidence for a rapid release of carbon at the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (http://www.pnas.org/content/110/40/15908.full)

It is now recognized that methane excursions were involved in the Permian-Triassic, Triassic-Jurassic, and several other more minor extinction events, suggesting that this is not a rare event, but a repeating geological process.

   
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: A-Team on November 30, 2017, 11:09:07 AM
Quote
And this [2002 PNAS] Paper claims that the initial PETM CIE occurred over a 13 year period.
It appears that they got it wrong, or at least didn't persuade too many people in the field. When the data was reviewed in 2017, other scientists came up with <5,000 years as best estimate for PETM onset. The second 2017 paper, using boron isotopes, attributes the whole episode to volcanism:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Atlantic_Igneous_Province
http://www.geus.dk/departments/geol-mapping/projects/n-atlantic-ign-provin-uk.htm

In summary, there is currently no justification for attributing the PETM to methane clathrate release and, along with the collapse of the Storegga clathrate story, no established paleo precedent for climate impacts from this mechanism (though it is still an attractive one).

A probabilistic assessment of the rapidity of PETM onset
SK Turner et al
Nature Communications  2017
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00292-2 open access

Knowledge of the onset duration of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum—the largest known greenhouse-gas-driven global warming event of the Cenozoic—is central to drawing inferences for future climate change. Single-foraminifera measurements of the associated carbon isotope excursion from Maud Rise (South Atlantic Ocean) are controversial, as they seem to indicate geologically instantaneous carbon release and anomalously long ocean mixing.

Here, we fundamentally reinterpret this record and extract the likely PETM onset duration. First, we employ an Earth system model to illustrate how the response of ocean circulation to warming does not support the interpretation of instantaneous carbon release. Instead, we use a novel sediment-mixing model to show how changes in the relative population sizes of calcareous plankton, combined with sediment mixing, can explain the observations.

Furthermore, for any plausible PETM onset duration and sampling methodology, we place a probability on not sampling an intermediate, syn-excursion isotopic value. Assuming mixed-layer carbonate production continued at Maud Rise, we deduce the PETM onset was likely <5 kyr.

During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, ~56 Ma), the rapid injection of isotopically depleted carbon to the atmosphere (and/or ocean) was imprinted in the geological record as a prominent negative carbon isotope excursion. Associated with this is evidence for a ~5 °C global temperature rise, ocean acidification, and a variety of global biotic changes in marine and terrestrial archives.

The PETM is thus widely recognized as the best known analog to date for future greenhouse-gas-driven global warming. However, the timescale of the event is critical to the value of inferences that can be drawn regarding future climate change and ecosystem response—particularly with respect to the duration of main carbon release (PETM onset), which we define as the interval between pre-PETM carbon isotope values and the recorded carbon isotope minimum.

Existing estimates for the duration of PETM onset range from near instantaneous (refs 7,8,9) to tens of kyr (ref 10), with the lower-end estimates proving particularly contentious (ref 11,12,13,14).

Very large release of mostly volcanic carbon during the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum
Marcus Gutjahr et al
https://www.nature.com/articles/nature23646 paywalled

The PETM was a global warming event that occurred about 56 million years ago, and is commonly thought to have been driven primarily by the destabilization of carbon from surface sedimentary reservoirs such as methane hydrates. However, it remains controversial whether such reservoirs were indeed the source of the carbon that drove the warming.

Resolving this issue is key to understanding the proximal cause of the warming, and to quantifying the roles of triggers versus feedbacks. Here we present boron isotope data—a proxy for seawater pH—that show that the ocean surface pH was persistently low during the PETM. We combine our pH data with a paired carbon isotope record in an Earth system model in order to reconstruct the unfolding carbon-cycle dynamics during the event.

We find strong evidence for a much larger (more than 10,000 petagrams)—and, on average, isotopically heavier—carbon source than considered previously. This leads us to identify volcanism associated with the North Atlantic Igneous Province, rather than carbon from a surface reservoir, as the main driver of the PETM. This finding implies that climate-driven amplification of organic carbon feedbacks probably played only a minor part in driving the event.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 01, 2017, 05:08:07 PM
I find the evidence compelling that the a clathrate gun mechanism likely not occur during the PETM (in any significant way); however, the same cannot be said for the Permian–Triassic extinction event, when up to 96% of all marine species became extinct, 252 million years ago (see the linked reference); nor does this mean that isolated submarine landsides might emit relatively small (but not insignificant) amounts of methane from hydrates into the atmosphere this century (with sufficient continued warming):

Brand et al. (2016), "Methane Hydrate: Killer cause of Earth's greatest mass extinction", Palaeoworld, Volume 25, Issue 4, Pages 496-507, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palwor.2016.06.002

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871174X16300488

Abstract: "The cause for the end Permian mass extinction, the greatest challenge life on Earth faced in its geologic history, is still hotly debated by scientists. The most significant marker of this event is the negative δ13C shift and rebound recorded in marine carbonates with a duration ranging from 2000 to 19 000 years depending on localities and sedimentation rates. Leading causes for the event are Siberian trap volcanism and the emission of greenhouse gases with consequent global warming. Measurements of gases vaulted in calcite of end Permian brachiopods and whole rock document significant differences in normal atmospheric equilibrium concentration in gases between modern and end Permian seawaters. The gas composition of the end Permian brachiopod-inclusions reflects dramatically higher seawater carbon dioxide and methane contents leading up to the biotic event. Initial global warming of 8–11 °C sourced by isotopically light carbon dioxide from volcanic emissions triggered the release of isotopically lighter methane from permafrost and shelf sediment methane hydrates. Consequently, the huge quantities of methane emitted into the atmosphere and the oceans accelerated global warming and marked the negative δ13C spike observed in marine carbonates, documenting the onset of the mass extinction period. The rapidity of the methane hydrate emission lasting from several years to thousands of years was tempered by the equally rapid oxidation of the atmospheric and oceanic methane that gradually reduced its warming potential but not before global warming had reached levels lethal to most life on land and in the oceans. Based on measurements of gases trapped in biogenic and abiogenic calcite, the release of methane (of ∼3–14% of total C stored) from permafrost and shelf sediment methane hydrate is deemed the ultimate source and cause for the dramatic life-changing global warming (GMAT > 34 °C) and oceanic negative-carbon isotope excursion observed at the end Permian. Global warming triggered by the massive release of carbon dioxide may be catastrophic, but the release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic. The end Permian holds an important lesson for humanity regarding the issue it faces today with greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and climate change."

See also:

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/earth-permian-mass-extinction-apocalypse-warning-climate-change-frozen-methane-a7648006.html
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 05, 2017, 12:18:59 AM
The attached plot by NOAA shows atmospheric methane concentrations at Barrow, Alaska from 2005 thru Dec 4 2017.  Per the follow extract, the circle symbols are supposed to be representative data while the green + symbols are not supposed to be representative data.  It looks to me that the circle symbols are much higher at this time of year than in years past:

Extract: "Circle Symbols are thought to be regionally representative of a remote, well-mixed troposphere.

+ Symbols are thought to be not indicative of background conditions, and represent poorly mixed air masses influenced by local or regional anthropogenic sources or strong local biospheric sources or sinks."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 18, 2017, 09:56:06 PM
The linked reference about Arctic Ocean methane hydrate dissociation in the 21st century makes too many assumptions for me to comment on its finding, but I offer it for those who are interested:

Vadakkepuliyambatta, S., Skeie, R. B., Myhre, G., Dalsøren, S. B., Silyakova, A., Schmidbauer, N., Lund Myhre, C., and Mienert, J.: Climatic impact of Arctic Ocean methane hydrate dissociation in the 21st-century, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2017-110, in review, 2017.

https://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/esd-2017-110/

Abstract. Greenhouse gas methane trapped in sub-seafloor gas hydrates may play an important role in a potential climate feedback system. The impact of future Arctic Ocean warming on the hydrate stability and its contribution to atmospheric methane concentrations remains an important and unanswered question. Here, we estimate the climate impact of released methane from oceanic gas hydrates in the Arctic to the atmosphere towards the end of the 21st century, integrating hydrate stability and atmospheric modeling. Based on future climate models, we estimate that increasing ocean temperatures over the next 100 years could release up to 17 ± 6 Gt C into the Arctic Ocean. However, the released methane has a limited or minor impact on the global mean surface temperature, contributing only 0.1 % of the projected anthropogenic influenced warming over the 21st century.


Extract: "The mean present-day carbon reservoir within Arctic sediments is estimated to be ~2524 ± 1005 Gt."
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 26, 2017, 10:25:38 PM
According to the linked October 2017 article, there is still active discussion going on as to the source of the major carbon release during the PETM:

Title: "Hyperthermals: What can they tell us about modern global warming?"

https://www.carbonbrief.org/hyperthermals-what-can-they-tell-us-about-modern-global-warming

Extract: "Research suggests that, during the PETM, huge stores of carbon were released into atmosphere. This caused average global temperatures to rise by around 5C, which in turn led to huge shifts in the world’s ecosystems.

However, what could have sparked this carbon release is still being debated, says Sluijs:

“What we know for sure is that large masses of carbon came from below the ground. A recent heavily debated paper suggested that it was caused by volcanism in the North Atlantic, which at the time was very active in terms of volcanic activity. Most colleagues think that carbon input came from sources such as methane hydrates below the seafloor or buried terrestrial organic matter, which is buried peat essentially.”"

Edit: The attached image shows two smaller hyperthermal events that occurred millions of year later that the PETM.  It is not clear to me whether these events are triggered by the same mechanism (such as volcanism in the North Atlantic) or not.

Caption for the attached image: "Change in ocean temperature (C) during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and two later, smaller hyperthermal events. Source: Svensen (2012)"

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Avalonian on February 14, 2018, 06:12:43 PM
A new (open-access) dimension for sub-sea clathrate destabilisation - it seems to be tied to increased sedimentation rate, which is rather alarming.

http://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03043-z?WT.ec_id=NCOMMS-20180214&spMailingID=55983380&spUserID=NjA4ODQzNzEzMTMS1&spJobID=1342054107&spReportId=MTM0MjA1NDEwNwS2

Of course, one of the major impacts of melting permafrost is dramatically increased erosion rates and sediment transport onto the shelves. Not sure about you folks, but this is a potential feedback that hadn't even crossed my mind...
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Gray-Wolf on February 16, 2018, 04:38:48 PM
Me neither.
I had been lulled into assurances that the shelfs were stable so the chances of failure and slippage were far fetched at best........... apparently not.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Wherestheice on February 19, 2018, 09:50:35 PM
I think its important to really consider the methane release happening soon. If the methane starts going into runaway.... call it the end.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Archimid on February 20, 2018, 02:19:02 AM
When I see images of these hyperthermals I can't help but wonder if 50 million years from now an observer would consider our time frame a hyperthermal. 

I also can't help thinking that maybe these hypertermal were of biological origin. I like to imagine a creature similar to a beaver, who found itself in a perfect world and became the dominant species. These beaver like creatures took full advantange of a wet and warm world  to build "beaver dams" through the whole world. They probably developed  world economies and complex structures even without human technologies like currency or writing.

Unwittingly the beaver dams eventually produced too much methane and CO2 and precipitated  a carbon chain reaction like we might be activating now.

Who knows.

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Kate on February 20, 2018, 09:07:20 AM
When I see images of these hyperthermals I can't help but wonder if 50 million years from now an observer would consider our time frame a hyperthermal. 

I also can't help thinking that maybe these hypertermal were of biological origin. I like to imagine a creature similar to a beaver, who found itself in a perfect world and became the dominant species. These beaver like creatures took full advantange of a wet and warm world  to build "beaver dams" through the whole world. They probably developed  world economies and complex structures even without human technologies like currency or writing.

Unwittingly the beaver dams eventually produced too much methane and CO2 and precipitated  a carbon chain reaction like we might be activating now.

Who knows.
hahaha what a great idea :)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Avalonian on February 20, 2018, 11:19:13 AM
Nice idea... but that's why you've got palaeontologists to ask!  ;)

Alas, the answer is no. Such dramatic success of one species would leave a clear mark in the fossil record, especially in the case of a relatively large, semi-aquatic animal living next to sedimentary deposition zones (i.e. rivers and lakes, in this case). Complete skeletons would still be scarce in absolute terms, but relative proportions, especially of teeth, are a dead giveaway. Even if the beavers believed in cremation, or burial in outer space, we'd also see dramatic changes in drainage and sedimentation patterns; anything getting close to human levels of dominance leaves indelible marks in the rock record.

The only way I can see a biological cause for the hyperthermals would be for there to have been brief but absolute take-overs by methanogenic bacteria in the deep oceans. The scale of the methane release was enormous; I've heard it said that it was greater than converting all momentary global biomass into methane, but not sure if that's strictly true. Either way, we're not talking about a subtle ecological shift here.

Always good to speculate, though!  :)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Tor Bejnar on February 20, 2018, 06:00:33 PM
I'm reminded of the Great Oxygenation Event (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Oxygenation_Event) where cyanobacteria "were therefore responsible for one of the most significant mass extinctions in Earth's history." (2.45 billion years ago)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: aperson on February 22, 2018, 10:40:49 PM
Increased sedimentation rate coheres with one of my pet theories for how a positive methane feedback occurs:

- Increased meridional heat transport as we shift toward an equable climate results in stronger polar cyclones
- Loss of Arctic SIE results in increased Ekman transport along shallow areas of the Arctic shelf during cyclones
- Ekman transport results in upwelling and sedimentary turnover along the sea floor which in turn results in increased methane ebullition

As to the effect size of this, I have no idea.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Avalonian on February 22, 2018, 11:12:20 PM
Increased sedimentation rate coheres with one of my pet theories for how a positive methane feedback occurs:

- Increased meridional heat transport as we shift toward an equable climate results in stronger polar cyclones
- Loss of Arctic SIE results in increased Ekman transport along shallow areas of the Arctic shelf during cyclones
- Ekman transport results in upwelling and sedimentary turnover along the sea floor which in turn results in increased methane ebullition

As to the effect size of this, I have no idea.

Hmm. What do you mean by 'sedimentary turnover'?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: aperson on February 23, 2018, 12:40:50 AM
Hmm. What do you mean by 'sedimentary turnover'?

Sorry that was really unclear phrasing. Severe tropical cyclones have been documented to result in downslope and horizontal sediment transport in shallow regions, see: https://eatlas.org.au/content/impacts-severe-tropical-cyclone-inshore-and-offshore-coral-reefs

"Sediment transport: Sediment shifted down-slope or horizontally, often burying parts or whole coral colonies."

However this is strongly dependent on water depth and cyclone wind speed + duration.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Avalonian on February 23, 2018, 10:13:16 AM
Gotcha. Yes, that's wha's normally called sediment remobilisation or offshore transport, and is a normal result of increased storms, of whatever scale. Even the storms around the UK can result in complete reshaping of nearshore sediments, and even entire beaches vanishing (to the annoyance of local toursit boards) or coming back again overnight (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/irish-beach-reappears-storm-vanish-12-years-ago-ireland-republic-ashleam-bay-achill-a8066771.html).

I'm not sure how much role the Ekman pumping has in the situation; the storms will result in more erosion and more offshore transport on their own. However, upwelling and surface drift will make the finest (mud) particles more mobile over longer distances, so I guess it may indeed be a factor...
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: harpy on February 24, 2018, 06:45:16 AM
A new (open-access) dimension for sub-sea clathrate destabilisation - it seems to be tied to increased sedimentation rate, which is rather alarming.

http://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03043-z?WT.ec_id=NCOMMS-20180214&spMailingID=55983380&spUserID=NjA4ODQzNzEzMTMS1&spJobID=1342054107&spReportId=MTM0MjA1NDEwNwS2

Of course, one of the major impacts of melting permafrost is dramatically increased erosion rates and sediment transport onto the shelves. Not sure about you folks, but this is a potential feedback that hadn't even crossed my mind...

Oh, just another one of the hundreds of other positive feedback mechanisms related to abrupt climate change. 

This is one of the most fascinating yet terrifying threads I've ever read.  In the future I'm going to have to re read this thing a second time.  If only we could get every politician in congress to read through this thread at least once....
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Archimid on March 18, 2018, 03:46:51 AM
Permafrost Thaw Looks Alien What You Need to Know

https://youtu.be/FCoo8MA4eI8 (https://youtu.be/FCoo8MA4eI8)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on March 18, 2018, 03:09:04 PM
Permafrost Thaw Looks Alien What You Need to Know

Hullo Archimid - it is your fault for making me think. At the end of that great video from USGS, there is a single reference to increased precipitation affecting permafrost / methane.

There has been a lot of stuff about increased snowfall in the freezing thread, some about the season to come from this winter's large snow fall and some looking further ahead, all saying that the increased snow on the ground will inhibit sea ice melt. i.e. -ve feedback. I am still not convinced.

I've been looking at another consequence of increased snowfall with potential significant longer-term impacts on AGW and therefore the potential for an ice-free Arctic. It seems increased snowfall may well accelerate breakdown of permafrost and release of methane and CO2. i.e. +ve feedback. Two examples below.  (Also posted on ice-free arctic thread).

Example 1
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160302204625.htm

How permafrost thawing affects vegetation, carbon cycle
Study focuses on Toolik Lake area of Alaska's North Slope
Date: March 2, 2016
Source: University of Delaware
Summary:Scientists are exploring how the thawing of permafrost affects vegetation and the carbon cycle in the Toolik Lake area of Alaska's North Slope.

Climate models predict 25-50 percent more precipitation in the Arctic region by the end of the century, mostly as fall and winter snow. However, extra snow can also mean extra moisture during warmer seasons like spring and summer.

Snow fence experiment
During fieldwork, the scientists used an existing snow fence that had been in place for 18 years to explore what changes in average snow accumulation might mean for the Toolik Lake area.

Typical winter snowfall depth in the area is about one foot. The snow fence, which stands approximately 9 feet high by 200 feet long, was built perpendicular to the wind direction so that snowdrifts would form behind the fence. This allowed the researchers to mimic various snowfall accumulations for the region, from below normal to average to much higher levels of winter precipitation.

Snow blanket means longer growing season for plants
As they reviewed the data, the researchers discovered that in areas with increased winter precipitation, the ground didn't freeze as deeply because the snow acted like a blanket, keeping the ground warmer than normal.

Their findings showed that higher snow accumulations resulted in increased soil temperatures and a deeper thawing of the permafrost, which, in turn, resulted in increased microbial activity, increased melting depth and more water content in the soil that led to increased production of methane and more plant growth.

In areas with reduced snow accumulation, however, the soil acted as a methane sink because of enhanced activity of methane-oxidizing bacteria.

When the snow melted, scientists noted a longer growing season for plants and shrubs. In areas with higher snow, the soil also collapsed when the ice that was occupying the soil's pore space melted, causing depressions in the ground.

"It affected more than just the amount of methane produced, it changed the landscape and the types of plants that grew there. We started seeing woody plants -- dwarf trees like birch and other shrubs -- instead of just moss, lichens and grass."

Example 2
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/9/091004/pdf

Abstract
The dramatic shrinkage of Arctic sea ice is one of the starkest symptoms of global warming, with
potentially severe and far-reaching impacts on arctic marine and terrestrial ecology (Postet al 2013 Science 341 519–24) and northern hemisphere climate (Screen et al 2015 Environ. Res. Lett. 10 084006).
In their recent article, Alexeev et al (2016 Environ. Res. Lett. 11 074022) highlight another,
and unexpected, consequence of Arctic sea ice retreat: the thinning of lake ice in northern Alaska. This is attributed to early winter‘ocean effect’snowfall which insulates lake surfaces and inhibits the formation of deep lake ice. Lake ice thinning has important consequences for Arctic lake hydrology, biology and permafrost degradation......

....they show that impacts from an open Arctic Ocean in autumn are both direct, through
increased air temperature and precipitation, and indirect, through inhibiting bedfast ice formation in lakes leading to localised permafrost degradation and talik formation
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Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on March 20, 2018, 07:47:02 PM
Quote
"It affected more than just the amount of methane produced, it changed the landscape and the types of plants that grew there. We started seeing woody plants -- dwarf trees like birch and other shrubs -- instead of just moss, lichens and grass."

Which the snow piles up against, just like the snow fence in the experiment.

For those who live in New England, look outside and you will see what I mean.


Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on April 06, 2018, 02:14:11 PM
I don't think they measured the carbon-sequestration in the newly thawing tundra going on at the same time as the methane release, as that is a highly complex system, still not fully understood, but this is interesting in that it concretely observes the specific warming effect of methane on the atmosphere.

http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2018/04/02/methane-greenhouse-effect/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=socialwarfare
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on April 06, 2018, 03:05:58 PM
I don't think they measured the carbon-sequestration in the newly thawing tundra going on at the same time as the methane release, as that is a highly complex system, still not fully understood, but this is interesting in that it concretely observes the specific warming effect of methane on the atmosphere.

http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2018/04/02/methane-greenhouse-effect/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=socialwarfare (http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2018/04/02/methane-greenhouse-effect/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=socialwarfare)


Your link seems to refute what you've written.

"Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases, in large part because they absorb certain wavelengths of energy emitted by the Earth. As their atmospheric concentrations change, the scientific community expects the amount of energy absorbed by these gases to change accordingly, but prior to this study, that expectation for methane had not been confirmed outside of the laboratory."

Their experiments apparently verify what previous research had indicated. That CH4 is indeed a powerful greenhouse gas.

Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on April 07, 2018, 10:08:01 PM
Please explain to me which specific part(s) of my sentence your quote refutes?

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on April 09, 2018, 11:25:16 PM
Please explain to me which specific part(s) of my sentence your quote refutes?


I thought you were slanting things to make it appear as though CH4 from thawing tundra might not be a problem.


Apparently that was not your intent.
Sorry
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Thomas Barlow on April 10, 2018, 04:11:58 AM
Please explain to me which specific part(s) of my sentence your quote refutes?


I thought you were slanting things to make it appear as though CH4 from thawing tundra might not be a problem.
Apparently that was not your intent.
Sorry
Terry
No worries, I just try to temper the 'doomer' mentality. Though I totally understand that mentality.  A projection of unstoppable doom is often the conclusion from a linear interpretation of upcoming methane release. However, there may be other factors that compensate a little for the warming effect of methane, maybe gives more time for humans to change than many are saying.
I see a lot of possible mitigating factors that could occur.  While human pollution results in warming and thereby natural methane release heats the atmosphere, there may simultaneously be processes released that also cool the overall system some. No-one knows for sure yet. Melting tundra must quickly become a carbon-sink in my opinion, even as methane is heating the atmosphere. Maybe not a big enough balancing effect though.

I presume tundra becomes something like peat bogs when the permafrost melts? (even as it is releasing the methane). And there will be vast areas of it. I read somewhere years ago (in the 1990s I think) that peat bogs are more effective than even rain forests for CO2 sequestration. Here's some similar info.
""Peat bogs sequester (soak up) atmospheric carbon dioxide in perpetuity, when in good condition. Billions of tonnes have been removed from the atmosphere globally since the last ice-age.""
publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/94024


Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: binntho on April 23, 2018, 07:28:01 AM
Thought this new article at the Arctic News blogspot by geologist Dr. David Page might be of interest here.
http://arctic-news.blogspot.it/
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on April 23, 2018, 10:46:35 AM
Thought this new article at the Arctic News blogspot by geologist Dr. David Page might be of interest here.
http://arctic-news.blogspot.it/

Of interest ? Wow, I should say so.

His logic is a bit too compelling for comfort. For me, a must read and a must save.

I wonder what the next set of IPCC reports will have to say about methane?

Extract below.

Quote
A seemingly compelling counterargument, often reused in the media, is that none of the glacial-interglacial transitions of the past 400 kyr shows a sudden, large methane-spike, suggesting that abrupt, large-scale methane outbursts are unlikely. One might appeal to such abrupt events being below the temporal resolution of the rock record in explanation, but absent such spikes the safest answer is to say that large-scale interglacial outbursts did not occur during that time. This time, however, is different. Anthropogenic warming has interrupted the Glacial-Interglacial cycle of the Quaternary (Ganopolski et al., 2016; Haqq-Misra, 2014) and there will be no coming Ice-Age n-1000 years from now to reseal all of this volatile Carbon, as happened at the end of each previous interglacial. This now-broken cyclicity is one reason why catastrophic reservoir-collapse has never occurred in the past and we should not take any comfort from that lack of precedent as never before has an Interglacial period been combined with annual, planetary-scale thermal forcing.

While high CO₂ levels have been present in Earth's atmosphere before (e.g., during the Cambrian and Archaean) without initiating either the moist or runaway greenhouse state, never has the rate of warming been annual in scale as today. The question is not whether anthropogenic emissions could initiate these greenhouse states, but whether Arctic clathrate release could. The IPCC 3rd Assessment Report (2001) concluded that rapid increase in atmospheric methane from the release of buried clathrate reservoirs would be "exceptionally unlikely", at < 1% chance, a figure revised up to 10% by the following report in 2008. Yet the Mars observations show that abrupt, cascading devolatilisation occurs readily in nature, and there is nothing about these observations to suggest that this process is not portable or scalable to Earth. That ESAS lacks Mars' mound-density makes the scaling no less valid, the methane-supersaturation of 80% of ESAS bottom waters (Shakhova et al., 2010) showing that frost mounds are not the sole venting pathway, gas migration pathways growing in capacity annually in the areas of greatest emissions (Shakhova et al., 2017). Destabilisation of the shallow-marine clathrates of ESAS continues to be excluded from every global climate model
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Tor Bejnar on April 23, 2018, 03:29:13 PM
I like the ending in Dr. David Page's article (Mars Today - A 'Business-As-Usual' Model for Earth Tomorrow (http://arctic-news.blogspot.it/2018/04/mars-today-a-business-as-usual-model-for-earth-tomorrow.html)) as it speaks to the mental (and data) processing geologists use.
Quote
A Question and an Answer

 Q: Why should the reader pay any heed to the words of an 'off-world' geologist when it comes to Arctic methane, particularly one who mentions Uniformitarianism? A: Because the methodology employed is not his own but one grounded in the geometrical principles of that science, honed over 200 years of inquiry¹. Using that methodology, the volatile-hypothesis for genesis of the martian mounds has been testing its own predictions observationally for over a decade now and has yet to falter, leaving others to explain-away the resulting inconsistencies in the established model (e.g., Jaeger et al., 2008; Dundas et al., 2010). In 2007, I suggested that the methane detected over this region was related to decadal-scale thaw-destabilisation of permafrost mounds, providing a mechanism for clathrate dissociation, and that "...unless thaw and the local methane enhancement over this region are unrelated, release of methane from within the permafrost is a consistent explanation" (Page, 2007). Ten-years on, and this destabilisation-geology and -chronology have been borne out in the discovery of widespread explosive mass-devolatilisation of frost mounds in that same region, paralleling the identical but otherwise new-to-science explosive phenomena in the Yamal (Page, 2018).

 This successful prediction is not self-advertisement, and is stated here for one reason alone² – in providing the only analogue for what is beginning in Siberian permafrost now, this past event on Mars provides a unique guide to how such degassing plays-out for real. It is one that we must not ignore – scaling this event to Earth yields 10s-of-millions of explosions in the Arctic and a terminal mass-emission of methane that will make 50 Gt look modest.

 It is said that the greatest contribution that Geology has made to human knowledge is the discovery of 'Deep Time'. More significant Today is its unique capacity to reconstruct the Past, and to apply that understanding to anticipating the Future.
_________________
¹ When I consider the landforms and surfaces of other planets I do not do so in terms of models, morphology, or hypotheses of origin, but their geometrical relations with one-another vis-à-vis relative-age, a method of inquiry that goes back two centuries to the very inception of geology as a science. In a traverse across the Scottish Highlands, James Hutton (1788) was able to piece together the history of the various plutonic, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks based on the geometry of their intersections. He inferred that the Caledonian granites were younger than the “Primitive” (metamorphic) basement that they intrude, with the numerous faults and intrusive dykes younger than the Old Red Sandstone that they cut. By determining the age of one rock relative to another, Hutton produced a geological “history of events” for rocks whose origins he did not know, a history that remains unchanged to this day (Page, 2015). This directional, temporal logic is practiced by all geologists as a matter of course, whether they be determining the crystallization history of minerals under the microscope, the stratigraphy of an outcrop in the field, or the order of undefined events on a distant planetary surface. These relative-age relations are all defined geometrically, a straightforward reductio, such as Euclid's proof that two intersecting circles cannot share their centres, being the basis for much stratigraphical reasoning. By the same reasoning, two spatially coincident events (mound-formation and -explosion, in this case) cannot share the same point in time if they are separated by a third, intervening event of significant duration (e.g., dune-formation). This simple deposit geometry is what shows accepted explanation of the geology of mound-bearing terrain on Mars to be deficient, and something entirely different, the propositions of planar geometry matters of neither opinion nor interpretation.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: jai mitchell on April 23, 2018, 05:27:29 PM
A new (open-access) dimension for sub-sea clathrate destabilisation - it seems to be tied to increased sedimentation rate, which is rather alarming.

http://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03043-z?WT.ec_id=NCOMMS-20180214&spMailingID=55983380&spUserID=NjA4ODQzNzEzMTMS1&spJobID=1342054107&spReportId=MTM0MjA1NDEwNwS2

Of course, one of the major impacts of melting permafrost is dramatically increased erosion rates and sediment transport onto the shelves. Not sure about you folks, but this is a potential feedback that hadn't even crossed my mind...

A detailed offshore survey of the Lena Delta region by Dr. Igor Semiletov (around 2013) showed that the process was an extremely efficient carbon digester, with very little amounts of residual carbon remaining in the subsea deposits having been mixed with enough oxygen to allow for aerobic decomposition.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bbr2314 on April 29, 2018, 01:10:36 AM
Yikes

http://www.volcanocafe.org/the-goop-and-the-mudcano/
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on April 29, 2018, 11:01:43 AM
Yes, methane causes mud volcanoes around the world.  Anywhere the pressure finds a path to escape.  He appears to be unfamiliar with the current research regarding subsea methane release in the Arctic, though that is what he is describing.

Magmatic warming is not necessary.   ::)

Though geothermal flux warms sediments from below without it being a magmatic event.

Researchers tend to frame phenomena within their own discipline.

(Gerontocrat - I love your signiture)     
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on April 29, 2018, 12:52:02 PM
Yes, methane causes mud volcanoes around the world.  Anywhere the pressure finds a path to escape.  He appears to be unfamiliar with the current research regarding subsea methane release in the Arctic, though that is what he is describing.

Magmatic warming is not necessary.   ::)

Though geothermal flux warms sediments from below without it being a magmatic event.

Researchers tend to frame phenomena within their own discipline. 

 A quote from the article ( http://www.volcanocafe.org/the-goop-and-the-mudcano/ )

Quote
The good part of this is that you most likely have a deposit with hydrocarbons in the vicinity, either as natural gas, or as coal or oil.

The climate change / AGW / Methane release thing hasn't reached that geologist / volcanologist (yet) ?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: solartim27 on April 30, 2018, 04:08:42 PM
Quite a jump in the trend line.  From https://twitter.com/ZLabe/status/990802190913552384?s=20
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Archimid on April 30, 2018, 05:03:10 PM
I would love to see a graph like that but instead of global methane, NH methane or even better North of 60 methane.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: lurkalot on May 04, 2018, 11:30:13 PM
A newly-identified positive feedback loop for methane generated by rotting bulrushes (cat-tails):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43990403
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on May 05, 2018, 06:37:09 AM
A newly-identified positive feedback loop for methane generated by rotting bulrushes (cat-tails):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43990403 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43990403)
Ouch!
I don't think that there is a puddle around here not surrounded with cat-tails.
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: ArcticMelt1 on June 07, 2018, 11:50:34 PM
Map of Arctic wells by 2015 year. Well-seen absence of wells in the Kara Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea (major part of the Arctic shelf).

Consequently, all estimates of the stocks of frozen greenhouse gases in the Arctic are very inaccurate.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: ReverendMilkbone on July 04, 2018, 09:04:13 PM
93F in Northern Siberia this week (with an offshore windflow)

https://wxclimonews.com/2018/07/02/extreme-heat-event-in-northern-siberia-and-the-coastal-arctic-ocean-this-week/

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Gray-Wolf on July 04, 2018, 09:34:29 PM
It's the Yamal to the west that has me twitched. Those 'over 1,000 hillocks' that sprung up there will surely not want to see a similar heat incursion?

Sadly I think that if any one area of the reserve destabilised then it may well set off a chain reaction into the rest of the free methane atop of the reserves?

I suppose we'd find out soon enough.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on July 04, 2018, 09:46:26 PM
Map of Arctic wells by 2015 year. Well-seen absence of wells in the Kara Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea (major part of the Arctic shelf).

Consequently, all estimates of the stocks of frozen greenhouse gases in the Arctic are very inaccurate.
Pardon me but  am totally confused - Arctic wells? What exactly is referred to by this? A link to the origin of that map would help a lot.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: ReverendMilkbone on July 04, 2018, 10:02:02 PM
It's the Yamal to the west that has me twitched. Those 'over 1,000 hillocks' that sprung up there will surely not want to see a similar heat incursion?

Sadly I think that if any one area of the reserve destabilised then it may well set off a chain reaction into the rest of the free methane atop of the reserves?

I suppose we'd find out soon enough.

That too...

https://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/crater-formed-by-exploding-pingo-in-arctic-erupts-a-second-time-from-methane-emissions/
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: SteveMDFP on July 05, 2018, 12:24:59 AM
It's the Yamal to the west that has me twitched. Those 'over 1,000 hillocks' that sprung up there will surely not want to see a similar heat incursion?

Sadly I think that if any one area of the reserve destabilised then it may well set off a chain reaction into the rest of the free methane atop of the reserves?

I suppose we'd find out soon enough.

That too...

https://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/crater-formed-by-exploding-pingo-in-arctic-erupts-a-second-time-from-methane-emissions/

I share the concern, but I think the shallow East Siberian Sea may merit greater concern.  Early ice clearance and greater warmth of waters there may have the potential to release orders of magnitude more methane, and possibly faster.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: ArcticMelt1 on July 06, 2018, 05:23:57 PM
Map of Arctic wells by 2015 year. Well-seen absence of wells in the Kara Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea (major part of the Arctic shelf).

Consequently, all estimates of the stocks of frozen greenhouse gases in the Arctic are very inaccurate.
Pardon me but  am totally confused - Arctic wells? What exactly is referred to by this? A link to the origin of that map would help a lot.

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

Arctic Drilling Existing Wells - Royal Dutch Shell Investor Presentation

https://seekingalpha.com/article/3304575-royal-dutch-shell-is-arctic-drilling-the-best-idea
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Forest Dweller on July 08, 2018, 10:34:24 AM
Thanks for digging up that map ArcticMelt1, it's pretty mindblowing.
A lot of folks hearing the news about drilling plans in the Arctic aren't even aware it already happens on a massive scale, and it does release methane.
Enough to sink an entire Chinese platform in one case....
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Gray-Wolf on July 17, 2018, 01:00:50 PM
https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Methane-Giving-Noctilucent-Clouds-Boost

Maybe a way of tracking releases?

More noctilucents visible = more CH4 releases?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Lynn Shwadchuck on July 20, 2018, 08:28:46 PM
Hi all, Long time no comment. But in my quick search on news re: Siberian methane, I found this very recent paper about measuring methane flux. They've realized that there are short duration bursts that get eliminated from steady-state measurements as 'outliers', so they've adapted  software from another application to include bits of bubbling-out and sweeping-up of permafrost methane. My point is that this as-yet-unreviewed paper is only proposing that this new method be implemented on all the measuring stations. That this is an indication to me that we really have so little information about how bad things are today. (Sorry if this is old news. I'm out of touch here.)

Characterisation of short-term extreme methane fluxes related to non-turbulent mixing above an Arctic permafrost ecosystem

https://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/acp-2018-277/ (https://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/acp-2018-277/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on July 21, 2018, 07:15:31 PM
Very interesting paper, depicts the short term activity which may impact daily spikes in CH4 in permafrost areas. That helps support the idea that longer term - monthly - means give a better idea of longer term increase and methane source increases.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on August 19, 2018, 07:06:59 AM
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180816143035.htm

‘Abrupt thaw’ of permafrost beneath lakes could significantly affect climate change models.

Aug16, 2018. University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Quote
The researchers found the release of greenhouse gases beneath thermokarst lakes is relatively rapid, with deep thawing taking place over the course of decades. Permafrost in terrestrial environments generally experiences shallow seasonal thawing over longer time spans. The release of that surface permafrost soil carbon is often offset by an increased growth in vegetation.

“Thermokarst lakes provide a completely different scenario. When the lakes form, they flash-thaw these permafrost areas,” said Walter Anthony, an associate professor with UAF’s Water and Environmental Research Center. “Instead of centimeters of thaw, which is common for terrestrial environments, we’ve seen 15 meters of thaw beneath newly formed lakes in Goldstream Valley within the past 60 years.”

Emissions from thermokarst lakes aren’t currently factored into global climate models because their small size makes individual lakes difficult to include. However, the study’s authors show that these lakes are hotspots of permafrost carbon release. They argue that not including them in global climate models overlooks their feedback effect, which occurs when the release of greenhouse gases from permafrost increases warming. That feedback is significant because methane is about 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas.

Existing models currently attribute about 20 percent of the permafrost carbon feedback this century to methane, with the rest due to carbon dioxide from terrestrial soils. By including thermokarst lakes, methane becomes the dominant driver, responsible for 70 to 80 percent of permafrost carbon-caused warming this century. Adding thermokarst methane to the models makes the feedback’s effect similar to that of land-use change, which is the second-largest source of human-made warming.

Unlike shallow, gradual thawing of terrestrial permafrost, the abrupt thaw beneath thermokarst lakes is irreversible this century. Even climate models that project only moderate warming this century will have to factor in their emissions, according to the study.

“You can’t stop the release of carbon from these lakes once they form,” Walter Anthony said. “We cannot get around this source of warming.”

Ref: Katey Walter Anthony, Thomas Schneider von Deimling, Ingmar Nitze, Steve Frolking, Abraham Emond, Ronald Daanen, Peter Anthony, Prajna Lindgren, Benjamin Jones, Guido Grosse. 21st-century modeled permafrost carbon emissions accelerated by abrupt thaw beneath lakes. Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05738-9

This sounds...kinda...bad...  :-\
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: miki on August 19, 2018, 11:29:42 PM
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180816143035.htm

‘Abrupt thaw’ of permafrost beneath lakes could significantly affect climate change models.

Aug16, 2018. University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Quote
The researchers found the release of greenhouse gases beneath thermokarst lakes is relatively rapid, with deep thawing taking place over the course of decades. Permafrost in terrestrial environments generally experiences shallow seasonal thawing over longer time spans. The release of that surface permafrost soil carbon is often offset by an increased growth in vegetation.

“Thermokarst lakes provide a completely different scenario. When the lakes form, they flash-thaw these permafrost areas,” said Walter Anthony, an associate professor with UAF’s Water and Environmental Research Center. “Instead of centimeters of thaw, which is common for terrestrial environments, we’ve seen 15 meters of thaw beneath newly formed lakes in Goldstream Valley within the past 60 years.”

Emissions from thermokarst lakes aren’t currently factored into global climate models because their small size makes individual lakes difficult to include. However, the study’s authors show that these lakes are hotspots of permafrost carbon release. They argue that not including them in global climate models overlooks their feedback effect, which occurs when the release of greenhouse gases from permafrost increases warming. That feedback is significant because methane is about 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas.

Existing models currently attribute about 20 percent of the permafrost carbon feedback this century to methane, with the rest due to carbon dioxide from terrestrial soils. By including thermokarst lakes, methane becomes the dominant driver, responsible for 70 to 80 percent of permafrost carbon-caused warming this century. Adding thermokarst methane to the models makes the feedback’s effect similar to that of land-use change, which is the second-largest source of human-made warming.

Unlike shallow, gradual thawing of terrestrial permafrost, the abrupt thaw beneath thermokarst lakes is irreversible this century. Even climate models that project only moderate warming this century will have to factor in their emissions, according to the study.

“You can’t stop the release of carbon from these lakes once they form,” Walter Anthony said. “We cannot get around this source of warming.”

Ref: Katey Walter Anthony, Thomas Schneider von Deimling, Ingmar Nitze, Steve Frolking, Abraham Emond, Ronald Daanen, Peter Anthony, Prajna Lindgren, Benjamin Jones, Guido Grosse. 21st-century modeled permafrost carbon emissions accelerated by abrupt thaw beneath lakes. Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05738-9

This sounds...kinda...bad...  :-\

Link to the paper.
I've not even finished to read it and I'm already wondering what was I thinking, having two kids!?

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05738-9

21st-century modeled permafrost carbon emissions accelerated by abrupt thaw beneath lakes

Abstract
Permafrost carbon feedback (PCF) modeling has focused on gradual thaw of near-surface permafrost leading to enhanced carbon dioxide and methane emissions that accelerate global climate warming. These state-of-the-art land models have yet to incorporate deeper, abrupt thaw in the PCF. Here we use model data, supported by field observations, radiocarbon dating, and remote sensing, to show that methane and carbon dioxide emissions from abrupt thaw beneath thermokarst lakes will more than double radiative forcing from circumpolar permafrost-soil carbon fluxes this century. Abrupt thaw lake emissions are similar under moderate and high representative concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5), but their relative contribution to the PCF is much larger under the moderate warming scenario. Abrupt thaw accelerates mobilization of deeply frozen, ancient carbon, increasing 14C-depleted permafrost soil carbon emissions by ~125–190% compared to gradual thaw alone. These findings demonstrate the need to incorporate abrupt thaw processes in earth system models for more comprehensive projection of the PCF this century.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Tor Bejnar on August 20, 2018, 01:38:04 AM
...
I've not even finished to read it and I'm already wondering what was I thinking, having two kids!?
...
I don't know about you, but we were declaring hope in a nuclear world.  (Conveniently, my kids were born before '88 and the testimony that should have been heard around the world (https://climatechange.procon.org/sourcefiles/1988_Hansen_Senate_Testimony.pdf).  In '88, I was busy raising kids and teaching Algebra, and didn't know about the testimony for another 20 years or so.)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on August 20, 2018, 04:10:36 AM
Quote from: miki
Link to the paper.
I've not even finished to read it and I'm already wondering what was I thinking, having two kids!?

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05738-9

Sounds like a Star Trek NG Inner Light episode moment.

Picard's comment is that his grandchild deserves a full life but isn't going to get it.

My take is, you don't need a long life to have a full life.

I mean, look at his daughter, she already knew the soil was dead BEFORE she had the child.  Almost as if the child was an Affirmation of Life much like the tree in the square.

I feel fortunate that I had neither the time nor the inclination to have children.

But if you have children, help them have that full life regardless how long it lasts.  (And have one yourself, while you're at it.)

See this as an opportunity, as all the things that used to seem to matter fall away.

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5NtzB-voZo

   
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Tor Bejnar on August 20, 2018, 05:23:14 AM
Quote
But if you have children, help them have that full life regardless how long it lasts.  (And have one yourself, while you're at it.)
Yup.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Rod on August 20, 2018, 08:27:46 AM
I am glad this topic is finally being discussed.  I started following this forum to watch the ice over the ESAS where Natalia Shakova has conducted her research.  That area has been absolutely scorched this summer!  Potentially, it could be the biggest news of the melting season.

I say "potentially" because there is a lot of controversy over her findings.  But I have never found a legitimate scientific study that says she is wrong.

I also follow Katey Walter Anthony's research.  I love her youtube videos burning the methane from the ice.  Unfortunately, she gave an interview not long ago about the holes on the yamal peninsula that I thought was pretty weak and ignored a lot of the facts. 

However, I use to work in science and I understand the importance of being politically correct when you depend on grants to fund your research.   



Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: kassy on August 20, 2018, 06:47:47 PM
Well the thread itself dates back to 2013.  ;)

The problem with methane is that it is all about feedbacks (in the Arctic) so it is just watching consequences slowly unfold....which is interesting in itself. Why haven't we seen more Siberian blowholes this year?

To decrease the risk get rid of the CO2 firstand foremost.

Then go vegan (or vegetarian all little bits help). Ruminants are a source of methane and meat production is a waste of feed stocks and water (in scarce environments).

And then you can go hardcore and change out the rice in your diet since paddies are another big methane source but globally this is of course not an option.

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on August 21, 2018, 01:39:30 AM
Some Arctic Ground No Longer Freezing—Even in Winter
Quote
Cherskiy, Russia—Nikita Zimov was teaching students to do ecological fieldwork in northern Siberia when he stumbled on a disturbing clue that the frozen land might be thawing far faster than expected.

Zimov, like his father, Sergey Zimov, has spent years running a research station that tracks climate change in the rapidly warming Russian Far East. So when students probed the ground and took soil samples amid the mossy hummocks and larch forests near his home, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Nikita Zimov suspected something wasn't right.

In April he sent a team of workers out with heavy drills to be sure. They bored into the soil a few feet down and found thick, slushy mud. Zimov said that was impossible. Cherskiy, his community of 3,000 along the Kolyma River, is one of the coldest spots on Earth. Even in late spring, ground below the surface should be frozen solid.

Except this year, it wasn't.

Every winter across the Arctic, the top few inches or feet of soil and rich plant matter freezes up before thawing again in summer. Beneath this active layer of ground extending hundreds of feet deeper sits continuously frozen earth called permafrost, which, in places, has stayed frozen for millennia.

But in a region where temperatures can dip to 40 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, the Zimovs say unusually high snowfall this year worked like a blanket, trapping excess heat in the ground. They found sections 30 inches deep—soils that typically freeze before Christmas—that had stayed damp and mushy all winter. For the first time in memory, ground that insulates deep Arctic permafrost simply did not freeze in winter.

"This is a big deal," says Ted Schuur, a permafrost expert at Northern Arizona University. "In the permafrost world, this is a significant milestone in a disturbing trend—like carbon in the atmosphere reaching 400 parts per million."


Eleven miles downriver from where the Zimovs’ started their drilling, Mathias Goeckede with Germany's Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry spends weeks each summer traversing crumbling boardwalks over spongy Siberian ground. He tracks carbon exchange between the earth and the atmosphere.

Measurements at his site show that snow depth there has roughly doubled in five years. When excessive snow smothers the ground, warmth below the surface may not dissipate during winter. Data from a drill hole on Goeckede's site appears to capture that phenomenon: In April, temperatures 13 inches below ground there increased roughly 10 degrees Fahrenheit in that same five-year period.

Thousands of miles away, Vladimir Romanovsky saw something similar. Romanovsky, a permafrost expert at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, runs some of the most extensive permafrost monitoring sites in North America, with detailed records going back 25 years, and in some cases longer.

"For all years before 2014, the complete freeze-up of the active layer would happen in mid-January," he says. "Since 2014, the freeze-up date has shifted to late February and even March."

But this winter, Fairbanks, too, saw extremely heavy snow. And for the first time on record, the active layer at two of Romanovsky's sites didn't freeze at all.

"This is really a very important threshold," he adds.


"This really is astounding," says Max Holmes, an Arctic scientist with Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts.

"It's worrisome," says Sue Natali, a permafrost expert, also with Woods Hole, who saw an active layer not re-freeze recently during a research trip to Alaska's Yukon region. "When we see things happening that haven't happened in the lifetime of the scientists studying them, that should be a concern."




Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Avalonian on August 21, 2018, 09:13:26 AM
Was just about to post this as well, Cid_Yama. So, another feedback: increased snow cover blanket prevents permafrost formation. Lovely.  :P
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Juan C. García on August 21, 2018, 08:02:47 PM
Some Arctic Ground No Longer Freezing—Even in Winter
Quote
Cherskiy, Russia—Nikita Zimov was teaching students to do ecological fieldwork in northern Siberia when he stumbled on a disturbing clue that the frozen land might be thawing far faster than expected.
...
Hi Cid_Yama:
Seems that you did not put the link to the article:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/08/news-arctic-permafrost-may-thaw-faster-than-expected/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=crm-email::src=ngp::cmp=editorial::add=Science_20180820::rid=704973665 (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/08/news-arctic-permafrost-may-thaw-faster-than-expected/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=crm-email::src=ngp::cmp=editorial::add=Science_20180820::rid=704973665)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: kassy on August 22, 2018, 06:16:00 PM
So they are in the Kolyma area:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleistocene_Park

How much of Siberia got unusual snowfalls like these?
And how much has a similar profile (in the ground)?



Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: vox_mundi on September 18, 2018, 07:56:33 PM
Storegga submarine landslides may be more common than originally thought.

Scientists Closing In On Source of Shetland Tsunamis (https://nerc.ukri.org/planetearth/stories/1906/)
Quote
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7e/Scotland_relief_location_map.jpg/255px-Scotland_relief_location_map.jpg)

Shetland Island (north of Scotland) has been hit by at least two more tsunamis in the past 10,000 years than previously thought, and scientists are working to identify where the giant waves originated.

Around 8,200 years ago, the Storegga  off the coast of Norway caused a 20m-high tsunami to sweep across Shetland. Sands found at various points across the isles, and in mainland Scotland, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, proved the tsunami's towering height, and the event has been well-reported.

Scientists funded by NERC have identified sands on Shetland that they say prove additional tsunamis hit Shetland 5,000 and 1,500 years ago. This could mean that tsunamis are a more common occurrence than previously thought in the UK.
Quote
... We found sands aged 5,000 and 1,500 years old at multiple locations in Shetland, up to 13 meters (42 feet) above sea level. These deposits have a similar sediment character as the Storegga event and can therefore be linked to tsunami inundation.
... Submarine landslides can occur on slopes of just one or two degrees, and we still don't know exactly how they are set in motion, except that earthquakes are considered to be the most common trigger. It is critical that we learn more.

The research is part of the Landslide-Tsunami project (https://projects.noc.ac.uk/landslide-tsunami/), ongoing research that forms a key element of NERC's Arctic Research Programme. The project aims to discover what causes enormous submarine landslides, what the impact of slides in different locations and of different magnitude would be on the UK, and what the likelihood of such an event might be, given the significant scale of Arctic climate change.

(https://nerc.ukri.org/nerc/assets/images/photos/basta-voe.jpg)
https://nerc.ukri.org/planetearth/stories/1906/
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: vox_mundi on September 25, 2018, 01:47:21 AM
This Hissing, Bubbling Alaska Lake is Frightening Scientists
https://www.adn.com/arctic/2018/09/24/across-the-arctic-lakes-are-leaking-dangerous-greenhouse-gases/

(https://images.glaciermedia.ca/polopoly_fs/1.23440557.1537802058!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_804/arctic-lakes-04e97aa2-c009-11e8-9005-5104e9616c21-jpg.jpg)

ABOVE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE, ALASKA - Katey Walter Anthony has studied some 300 lakes across the tundras of the Arctic. But sitting on the mucky shore of her latest discovery, the Arctic expert said she’d never seen a lake like this one.

The first time Walter Anthony saw Esieh Lake, she was afraid it might explode - and she is no stranger to the danger, or the theatrics, of methane.

At first, the sheer volume of gases at Esieh Lake was slightly terrifying, but as Walter Anthony grew accustomed to the lake's constant spluttering, her fear gave way to wonder.

Her sounding devices picked up huge holes in the bottom of the lake. Pockmarks, she called them, “unlike anything I’ve ever seen in any Arctic lake.”

Most of Esieh is quite shallow, averaging only a little over three feet deep. But where the gas bubbles cluster, the floor drops suddenly, a plunge marked by the vanishing of all visible plant life.

Measurements showed that the lake dips to about 50 feet deep in one area and nearly 15 feet in another. When they first studied them, Walter Anthony and her graduate student Janelle Sharp named these two seep clusters W1 and W2, short for "Wow 1" and "Wow 2."

The next discovery came from the lab. ...
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Reallybigbunny on September 26, 2018, 03:34:39 AM
It is an interesting article, if it is found to be happening more widely... Doesn't methane break down into CO2 and water? If so even though the methane disperses relatively quickly compared to CO2 it then adds to the CO2 in the atmosphere!
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Tor Bejnar on September 26, 2018, 05:13:22 AM
RBB,
Yes methane 'breaks down into CO2', but with methane's atmospheric concentration being on the order of 2 ppm (wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane)), this source of CO2 is quite minor compared with CO2's 410 ppm that is growing by 2-3 ppm/year due mostly to more direct emissions (burning, cows and rice, etc.).  [At least, this is what I've learned on these threads.]
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Reallybigbunny on September 26, 2018, 09:03:40 AM
Thanks Tor, still seems to be a general belief that methane just disappears rather than continues to be a long term contributor to green house gases in the atmosphere. 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: morganism on September 27, 2018, 01:16:26 AM
Methane's effects on sunlight vary by region

https://phys.org/news/2018-09-jove-methane-effects-sunlight-vary.html

Their analysis showed that methane forcing is not spatially uniform whatsoever, and exhibits remarkable regional patterns. The most striking finding from the first comprehensive calculations of methane forcing is that because desert regions at low latitudes feature bright, exposed surfaces that reflect light upwards to enhance the absorptive properties of methane, there can be a 10-fold increase in the localized methane shortwave forcing.

This effect is most pronounced in locations such as the Saharan Desert or Arabian Peninsula. These regions receive the most sunlight due to their proximity to the equator and feature exceptionally low relative humidity, which helps to further enhance the effects of methane.

Cloud cover was also shown to influence the gas' radiative effects. Increased forcing for methane overlying clouds was found to be up to nearly three times greater than global annualized forcing, and were associated with the oceanic stratus cloud decks west of southern Africa and North and South America and with the cloud systems in the Intertropical Convergence Zone near the equator. High-altitude clouds can reduce the solar flux incident on methane in the lower troposphere, reducing its forcing relative to clear-sky conditions, but over nearly 90 percent of the Earth's surface, cloud radiative effects enhance methane radiative forcing."

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/9/eaas9593
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Juan C. García on September 28, 2018, 02:13:53 AM
Some news from the Washington Post:


https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/arctic-lakes-are-bubbling-and-hissing-with-dangerous-greenhouse-gases/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/arctic-lakes-are-bubbling-and-hissing-with-dangerous-greenhouse-gases/)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: litesong on September 28, 2018, 03:12:07 AM
Some news from the Washington Post:


https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/arctic-lakes-are-bubbling-and-hissing-with-dangerous-greenhouse-gases/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/arctic-lakes-are-bubbling-and-hissing-with-dangerous-greenhouse-gases/)
Good you posted this article, Juan! I'd seen the same article, but my computer decided to flip out for a while. Anyhow, from the article:
"Katey Walter Anthony has studied some 300 lakes across the tundras of the Arctic. But sitting on the mucky shore of her latest discovery, the Arctic expert said she’d never seen a lake like this one. (look at picture)
..... the lake, about 20 football fields in size, looked as if it were boiling. Its waters hissed, bubbled and popped as a powerful greenhouse gas escaped from the lake bed. Some bubbles grew as big as grapefruits, visibly lifting the water’s surface several inches and carrying up bits of mud from below.

This was methane."
///////
If Dr. Walter Anthony had used some of her methane concentrating techniques & ignited the gas, she might have created a 100 yard(greater?) methane fire-wall!
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Archimid on September 28, 2018, 04:33:58 PM
I saw this too but that little voice in my head told me: "nothing to see here, move along, I'll be fine"
and I did.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Sleepy on September 28, 2018, 09:06:11 PM
We on the other side of the pond sometimes have trouble reading sites over there thanks to GDPR.

Ah well, there's always science to read, even if it's a couple of years old.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871174X16300488 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871174X16300488)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on October 16, 2018, 04:22:40 PM
IPCC Admits End of the World as we know it
Quote
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just come out with its latest report on the Earth’s ecosystemic health, and even in its gussied up findings — what many are calling “hopium” these days — it is, if read carefully, a prediction of the end of civilization.

According to the U.N. report, the only way to avoid this disaster would require “rapid and far-reaching” changes in the capitalist system that is the substructure of civilization, East and West. What must be changed, it says, are energy systems, land use, urban design, transportation, and building design — at a minimum. Changed so they contribute no greenhouse gases to the atmosphere — and can you imagine a world where transportation, for example, doesn’t pollute the air and we get along without cars, airplanes and cargo ships?

Though “energy systems” looks like a mild phrase, it actually implies the end of coal, gas and oil in the near future, the very fuels upon which industrial capitalism is based. There is no way that so-called “renewable” sources (which of course are not renewable because solar panels, windmills and batteries have finite lives and must be replaced) could ever replace those carbon-based fuels.

No wonder that most scientists — and anybody else who knows how politics works — say that this sort of wholesale economic change will not come about. There’s not a political system of any stripe anywhere in the world that is prepared to, or even knows how to, transform a society out of our modern way of life. That’s why one scientist has said in response to the U.N. report that it is nothing more than an academic exercise in “what would happen if a frog had wings.”

Quote
A decade ago, the “father of global warming”—the first scientist to sound the alarm on climate change in the 1980s to the US Congress—announced that we were too late: the planet had already hit the danger zone.

In a landmark paper, James Hansen, then head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, along with seven other leading climate scientists, described how a global average temperature above 1°Celsius (C)—involving a level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere of around 450 parts per million (ppm)—would lead to “practically irreversible ice sheet and species loss.” But, they added, new data showed that even 1°C was too hot.

At the time the paper was issued in 2008, atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were around 385 ppm. This is “already in the dangerous zone,” explained Hansen and his colleagues, noting that most climate models excluded self-reinforcing amplifying feedbacks which would be triggered at this level—things like “ice sheet disintegration, vegetation migration, and GHG [greenhouse gas] release from soils, tundra, or ocean sediments.”

Such feedbacks constitute tipping points which, once triggered, can lead to irreversible or even runaway climate change processes.

According to Hansen and his co-authors, these feedbacks “may begin to come into play on time scales as short as centuries or less.” The only viable solution to guarantee a safe climate, they wrote, is to reduce the level of greenhouse gases to around 350 ppm, if not lower.

Today, we are well in breach of the 1°C upper limit. And we have breached this limit at a much lower level of atmospheric CO2 than Hansen thought would be necessary to warm this much—as of May 2018, the monthly average atmospheric CO2 had reached 410ppm (the August measurement puts it at 409ppm.) This is the highest level of CO2 the earth has seen in 800,000 years.

The IPCC says that this would just be the beginning: we are currently on track to hit 3-4°C by end of century, which would lead to a largely unlivable planet.

Quote
They STILL haven’t dropped the other shoe. The “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C” contains terrifying forecasts about what will happen when we reach an average global temperature 1.5 degrees C higher than the pre-industrial average. (We are now at +1C.) But it still shies away from talking about the feedbacks, the refugees and mass death.

The report is a bracing dose of realism in many ways. It effectively says we can’t afford to go anywhere near +2C. It talks bluntly about the need to end all fossil fuel use, reforest vast tracts of marginal land, and cut down on meat-eating. It even admits that we will probably have to resort to geoengineering — “solar radiation management,” in the jargon.

So far, so good. At least it’s being honest about the problem — but only up to a point. “Not in front of the children” is still the rule for governments when it comes to talking about the mass movements of refugees and the civil and international wars that will erupt when the warming cuts into the food supply. And they still don’t want to talk openly about the feedbacks.

The governments take climate change very seriously these days, but they worry that too much frankness about the cost in lives of going past 1.5C will create irresistible pressure on them to take radical action now. In the ensuing struggle between the scientists and the politicians, the executive summary always gets toned down.

What got removed from the summary this time was any mention of “significant population displacement concentrated in the tropics” at +2C (i.e. mass migrations away from stricken regions, smashing up against borders elsewhere that are slammed shut against the refugees, the real reason for Trump's wall).

Even worse, “tipping points” are barely mentioned in the report. These are the dreaded feedbacks — loss of Arctic sea ice, melting of the permafrost, carbon dioxide and methane release from the oceans — that would trigger unstoppable, runaway warming.

They are called “feedbacks” because they are self-reinforcing processes that are unleashed by the warming we have already caused, and which we cannot shut off even if we end all of our own emissions.

If you don’t go into the feedbacks, then you can’t talk about runaway warming, and going to 4, 5 or 6 degrees C higher average global temperature, and hundreds of millions or billions of deaths. And if you don’t acknowledge that, then you will not treat this as the emergency it really is.

Quote
Just two years ago, amid global fanfare, the Paris climate accords were signed — initiating what seemed, for a brief moment, like the beginning of a planet-saving movement. But almost immediately, the international goal it established of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius began to seem, to many of the world’s most vulnerable, dramatically inadequate; the Marshall Islands’ representative gave it a blunter name, calling two degrees of warming “genocide.”

The alarming new report you may have read about this week from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — which examines just how much better 1.5 degrees of warming would be than 2 — echoes the charge. “Amplifies” may be the better term. Hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, the report declares, should the world warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Nearly all coral reefs would die out, wildfires and heat waves would sweep across the planet annually, and the interplay between drought and flooding and temperature would mean that the world’s food supply would become dramatically less secure. Avoiding that scale of suffering, the report says, requires such a thorough transformation of the world’s economy, agriculture, and culture that “there is no documented historical precedent.”

If you are alarmed by those sentences, you should be — they are horrifying. But it is, actually, worse than that — considerably worse. That is because the new report’s worst-case scenario is, actually, a best case. In fact, it is a beyond-best-case scenario. What has been called a genocidal level of warming is already our inevitable future. The question is how much worse than that it will get.
 
Barring the arrival of dramatic new carbon-sucking technologies, which are so far from scalability at present that they are best described as fantasies of industrial absolution, it will not be possible to keep warming below two degrees Celsius — the level the new report describes as a climate catastrophe. As a planet, we are coursing along a trajectory that brings us north of four degrees. The IPCC is right that two degrees marks a world of climate catastrophe.

But the real meaning of the report is not “climate change is much worse than you think,” because anyone who knows the state of the research will find nothing surprising in it. The real meaning is, “you now have permission to freak out.”

At two degrees, the melting of ice sheets will pass a tipping point of collapse, flooding dozens of the world’s major cities.  Four hundred million more people will suffer from water scarcity, and even in the northern latitudes heat waves will kill thousands each summer. It will be worse in the planet’s equatorial band. In India, where many cities now numbering in the many millions would become unliveably hot, there would be 32 times as many extreme heat waves, each lasting five times as long and exposing, in total, 93 times more people. This is two degrees — practically speaking, our absolute best-case climate scenario.

At three degrees, southern Europe will be in permanent drought. The average drought in Central America would last 19 months and in the Caribbean 21 months. In northern Africa, the figure is 60 months — five years. The areas burned each year by wildfires would double in the Mediterranean and sextuple in the United States. Beyond the sea-level rise, which will already be swallowing cities from Miami Beach to Jakarta, damages just from river flooding will grow 30-fold in Bangladesh, 20-fold in India, and as much as 60-fold in the U.K. This is three degrees — better than we’d do if all the nations of the world honored their Paris commitments, which none of them are. Practically speaking, barring those dramatic tech deus ex machinas, this seems to me about as positive a realistic outcome as it is rational to expect.

Quote
Key dangers largely left out of the IPCC special report on 1.5C of warming are raising alarm among some scientists who fear we may have underestimated the impacts of humans on the Earth’s climate.

The IPCC report sets out the world’s current knowledge of the impacts of 1.5C of warming and clearly shows the dangers of breaching such a limit.

Tipping points merit only a few mentions in the IPCC report. Durwood Zaelke, founder of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, said: “The IPCC report fails to focus on the weakest link in the climate chain: the self-reinforcing feedbacks which, if allowed to continue, will accelerate warming and risk cascading climate tipping points and runaway warming.”

link (http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/10/un-says-climate-genocide-coming-but-its-worse-than-that.html)

link (https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/commentary/u-n-report-points-to-greenhouse-disaster-or-end-of/article_63c3d8ae-ce48-11e8-92bc-cff83bc8451e.html)

link (https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43e8yp/the-uns-devastating-climate-change-report-was-too-optimistic)

link (https://bangordailynews.com/2018/10/15/opinion/contributors/the-other-shoe/)

link (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/tipping-points-could-exacerbate-climate-crisis-scientists-fear/ar-BBO8ico?li=BBoPRmx)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 17, 2018, 02:56:34 AM
Thanks Cid_Yama. Not going to be able to sleep tonight.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Archimid on October 23, 2018, 04:57:27 AM
1. I'm everyday more convinced that the day of the first BOE will be the end of humanity. I don't think anyone will record it tho. By that time the humans that remain will be too busy fighting each other over scraps to even notice the BOE. The BOE will just mop up whoever is left on the surface of this beautiful rock. The Putins and Trumps living in underground bunkers will die in misery, kings of the mole people. 

2. Fear and Hope. The ultimate motivators. We should fear climate change with every fiber of our being. But there is hope. There is real hope, but it requieres much work and sacrifice, and doing some very risky tasks.

3. I'm everyday more convinced that humans could control the earth's climate and avoid the worst of climate change, maybe even take advantage of climate change, if we wanted to. It is obvious that we already have a huge influence on the climate but that influence is mostly incidental to modern human behavior and energy use.  If humans can have incidental influence over the climate system then that influence can be harnessed to exert the changes that we want.

 It can be done, but only if we take the threat serious.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: sark on October 29, 2018, 09:49:33 PM
http://tass.com/economy/1028373

Russian scientists find new greenhouse gas sources in the Arctic

MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. Russian scientists during an expedition on board the Akademik Keldysh research vessel found new sources of methane emissions in the Arctic, the Ministry of Education and Science’s press service said on Friday.
Experts say thawing of the Arctic Ocean’s underwater and coastal permafrost causes massive emissions of greenhouse gases - methane and carbon dioxide. The growing emissions may affect the planet’s climate system.
"Russian scientists have found a new big area in the East Arctic’s seas with big emissions of greenhouse gases," the press service said. "They also saw that emissions in earlier found areas had become more active."

no word on the investigators or where to find out more
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: RK on November 04, 2018, 09:15:25 PM
Professor Semiletov works from the Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) and they recently published 2 articles about the latest expedition that expands upon the TASS report. They can be found via the following weblinks:

(All credits are properly due to the TPU)

https://news.tpu.ru/en/news/2018/09/24/33719/

https://news.tpu.ru/en/news/2018/10/18/33829/

Significant amongst the notable takeaways is the indication that:
while on the one hand, the reduction of the Arctic Sea coverage might open up the wider Arctic sea route north of Russia;
on the other hand, the apparent instability of the more widely spread gas hydrates may give rise to "enormous material damage" and "geological catastrophes" and so limit the range of activity in the region?

It would be useful to monitor the literature for the papers/articles that should follow from this recent expedition. I commend Prof Semiletov and all his fellow scientists and colleagues who work in this  (vitally) important field. 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 04, 2018, 10:03:47 PM
http://tass.com/economy/1028373

Russian scientists find new greenhouse gas sources in the Arctic

no word on the investigators or where to find out more

Lots of posts in this thread around this time last year. e.g. from A-Team
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,12.msg132298/topicseen.html#msg132298

And a paper -
Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian
Arctic Shelf - Natalia Shakhova Igor Semiletov
file:///D:/Matt/Environment/CO2%20&%20Methane/ESAS%20Methane%20N%20Shakhova%20paper%20from%202017.pdf

Quite scary.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Serrara Fluttershy on November 11, 2018, 06:35:10 PM
So, I joined this forum due to a relevant subreddit about climatology, and recently many people over there are questioning Natalia's work.

Could someone give me a short summary of whether or not the ESAS is a threat, and if so, how urgent is it?

The sheer length and amount of discussion on this thread gives me a headache, even though I really do want to learn more. :/

Also: http://earth-chronicles.com/science/russian-scientists-have-discovered-new-sources-of-greenhouse-gas-emissions-in-the-arctic.html (http://earth-chronicles.com/science/russian-scientists-have-discovered-new-sources-of-greenhouse-gas-emissions-in-the-arctic.html)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: vox_mundi on November 11, 2018, 07:59:11 PM
More and Bigger Sinkholes on Yamal Tundra (https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2018/08/more-and-bigger-sinkholes-yamal-tundra)
https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2018/08/more-and-bigger-sinkholes-yamal-tundra
http://www.ikz.ru/yamalskaya-voronka-prirodnyj-fenomen

Quote
... One of the biggest formations is located only about four kilometers from a gas pipeline leading from the huge Bovanenkovo field, a project operated by Gazprom. This formation is now growing and has reached a diameter of more than 60 meter and a depth of about 200 meters.

The first sinkholes were discovered in 2014 and since then at least ten big-size holes have been mapped. In addition, there are indications that several more major holes are in the making. Researchers told RIA Novosti that they on the two Arctic peninsulas have discovered several small hills which they believe could be «gas bubbles» ready to burst.
https://ria.ru/science/20180124/1513201345.html (use google translate)

According to researchers at the Institute of Earth Cryosphere (http://www.ikz.ru/archives/3897) in Tyumen, there is methane gas seeping out from the formations.
Quote
"Tyumen scientists on the two peninsulas of the Arctic region - Yamal and Gydan - are investigating special tufts of heaving that precede the explosion and the appearance of the famous Yamal craters. But the gas release can be predicted," the university said.

According to Anatoly Gubarkov, an associate professor at the Department of Earth Cryology at Tyumen Industrial University, such hillocks "mature" for about three years.

At the same time, according to Tyumen scientists, the real risk of new explosions is only in the fields of the Bovanenkovo ​​group.

https://ria.ru/science/20180124/1513201345.html

(https://thebarentsobserver.com/sites/default/files/sinkhole-ikz.ru2_.jpg)

Saudi Aramco wants to buy 30% of Novatek’s Arctic LNG-2 (https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2018/10/saudi-aramco-wants-buy-30-novateks-arctic-lng-2)

Quote
Russia’s energy minister welcomes Saudi Arabia’s state energy company as key commercial partner to the second gas plant on the Yamal Peninsula.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: kassy on November 11, 2018, 10:31:24 PM
Welcome Serrara Fluttershy (big family you´ve got  ;) ) i suggest you read post 501 in this thread.



Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Serrara Fluttershy on November 11, 2018, 11:00:54 PM
Thanks, a girl like me needs to poke my head into communities across the world every once in a while. (And I knew you'd say that  ;) )
So to summarize; the threat in the ESAS is methane release from decomposed lifeforms across its seabed, in contrast to the media's common fingerpointing at the clathrates - and the entire plane of sediment is at risk of releasing catastrophic amounts of methane which has been building up below the surface for around 8 millennia?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: oren on November 11, 2018, 11:22:46 PM
Welcome.
I think that methane is already releasing as we speak. IMHO it's not a one-time catastrophe/gun/boom but an ongoing problem that will only grow over time. At some point stopping humanity's emissions will not help as much as we think it might.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: kassy on November 11, 2018, 11:54:46 PM
You summarize it pretty well. Would have made a damn fine executive summary...

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Serrara Fluttershy on November 12, 2018, 03:07:25 AM
For my first post on this forum that's really thoughtful of you...honestly I was expecting someone to say that I derived incorrect conclusions.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: solartim27 on November 21, 2018, 05:48:31 PM
The good news is that this is self limiting, in that as the glacier melts away, the conditions to release the methane break down.  As the current equivalent is cow's, this source equals 136,000.

https://phys.org/news/2018-11-volcanoes-glaciers-combine-powerful-methane.amp
Quote
At Sólheimajökull when the meltwater reaches the glacier bed, it comes into contact with gases produced by the Katla volcano. These gases lower the oxygen content of the water, meaning some of the methane produced by the microbes can be dissolved into the water and transported out of the glacier without being converted to CO2.

Dr. Hugh Tuffen, a volcanologist at Lancaster University and co-author on the study, said: "The heat from Katla volcano may greatly accelerate the generation of microbial methane, so in fact you could see Katla as a giant microbial incubator./quote]
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 22, 2018, 06:02:17 AM
During the Sangamon interglacial, rivers flowed north into the Arctic dumping organic material onto the shelves. At the start of the last glacial, ice dams formed, forcing the rivers to flow south. The sea level in the Arctic dropped exposing the shelves. The shelves remained exposed throughout the last glacial, and as the Holocene began, glacial meltwater turned the shelves first into a wetland, then with the rise of sea level, the shelves were submerged.

The permafrost that formed throughout the last glacial began to degrade even before the shelves were submerged as thermokarst lakes and rivers formed taliks. Much like is happening to terrestrial permafrost today.

Once submerged, the new warmer subsea environment, the salinity (think what happens when you put salt on a frozen doorstep), and geothermal flux from below, worked over the last 8,000 years to degrade the permafrost to the point that it now is pourous, and even totally gone in places, over an area of 2 million sq km.

Much of the methane hydrates that formed over the last 100,000 years since the Sangamon, dissociated, leaving a large reservoir of free methane gas under pressure, prevented from releasing only by the layer of permafrost which until now had acted as a cap.

Since the shelf is on average about 50 meters deep, any methane released does not interact with the water column, but releases directly to the atmosphere.

This is the end result of a geological process that has been going on for thousands of years and is a part of a natural cycle.

Over the last decade, the size of the areas releasing methane has increased and the amount being released has accelerated.

The release of just 1% of the available free methane on the shelf is enough to cause catastrophic warming.

Since there is no way to refreeze the degrading permafrost cap, the methane release is inevitable.  There is no way to shut it off.  And the methane will continue to release until there is no more left to release.   

Whoever is questioning the decades of observations and research conducted by Semiletov and Shakhova haven't got a clue.  Semiletov is the head of the far eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  Dozens of scientists have participated in this research.   

If you have research papers providing rebuttal to their work, post it.

Just saying "some people say" doesn't cut it around here.
 
Here, we present research papers and discuss them.         

   
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 22, 2018, 12:29:35 PM
Lovely post, Cid_Yama.

If it wasn't for ASIF I would not have followed the links to the papers and learnt that which before I knew nothing about at all.

Problem is, I gather that as far as IPCC is concerned, it is one of those "known unknowns". As a result, I understand it does not figure in the IPCC climate change projections (while cow-farts are?), even though I believe the methane release will, sooner or later, invalidate those projections.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Serrara Fluttershy on November 22, 2018, 12:58:48 PM
During the Sangamon interglacial, rivers flowed north into the Arctic dumping organic material onto the shelves. At the start of the last glacial, ice dams formed, forcing the rivers to flow south. The sea level in the Arctic dropped exposing the shelves. The shelves remained exposed throughout the last glacial, and as the Holocene began, glacial meltwater turned the shelves first into a wetland, then with the rise of sea level, the shelves were submerged.

The permafrost that formed throughout the last glacial began to degrade even before the shelves were submerged as thermokarst lakes and rivers formed taliks. Much like is happening to terrestrial permafrost today.

Once submerged, the new warmer subsea environment, the salinity (think what happens when you put salt on a frozen doorstep), and geothermal flux from below, worked over the last 8,000 years to degrade the permafrost to the point that it now is pourous, and even totally gone in places, over an area of 2 million sq km.

Much of the methane hydrates that formed over the last 100,000 years since the Sangamon, dissociated, leaving a large reservoir of free methane gas under pressure, prevented from releasing only by the layer of permafrost which until now had acted as a cap.

Since the shelf is on average about 50 meters deep, any methane released does not interact with the water column, but releases directly to the atmosphere.

How much methane would this end up releasing?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: oren on November 22, 2018, 01:47:47 PM
Great summary Cid_Yama. There is one thing that could refreeze the permafrost - a new ice age. Had humanity not affected the climate, the Earth might have been sliding into another cooling period which eventually might have stopped the ESAS methane release.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wdmn on November 22, 2018, 03:19:14 PM
Makes it sound like it doesn't matter what we do, we can't avoid the runaway greenhouse effect. All we can do is have a little bit of influence on how soon it happens.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 22, 2018, 04:18:16 PM
Great summary Cid_Yama. There is one thing that could refreeze the permafrost - a new ice age. Had humanity not affected the climate, the Earth might have been sliding into another cooling period which eventually might have stopped the ESAS methane release.

You are probably correct.  Since Semiletov only first noticed the releases in 2003, and had been studying the shelf since 1993, in the normal cycle there would probably have been only limited releases before we entered a new glacial. 

We deviated from the normal cycle with the advent of agriculture and irrigation.  In a sense, civilization itself, was the cause.

When we switched from nomadic hunter-gatherers, few in numbers, to sedentary farmers, producing surplus grain, we set the process in motion.

And yes, wdmn, this is an Extinction Level Event over which we have NO influence.  It is beyond our technological capability to do anything about it.

Which is why world leaders go through the motions, but put all their effort into maintaining BAU as long as possible.

If the world were going to end tomorrow, they would still want you to pay your bills and show up for work today.

The immediate threat is the day that stops happening.

 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 22, 2018, 06:28:39 PM
During the Sangamon interglacial, rivers flowed north into the Arctic dumping organic material onto the shelves. At the start of the last glacial, ice dams formed, forcing the rivers to flow south. The sea level in the Arctic dropped exposing the shelves. The shelves remained exposed throughout the last glacial, and as the Holocene began, glacial meltwater turned the shelves first into a wetland, then with the rise of sea level, the shelves were submerged.

The permafrost that formed throughout the last glacial began to degrade even before the shelves were submerged as thermokarst lakes and rivers formed taliks. Much like is happening to terrestrial permafrost today.

Once submerged, the new warmer subsea environment, the salinity (think what happens when you put salt on a frozen doorstep), and geothermal flux from below, worked over the last 8,000 years to degrade the permafrost to the point that it now is pourous, and even totally gone in places, over an area of 2 million sq km.

Much of the methane hydrates that formed over the last 100,000 years since the Sangamon, dissociated, leaving a large reservoir of free methane gas under pressure, prevented from releasing only by the layer of permafrost which until now had acted as a cap.

Since the shelf is on average about 50 meters deep, any methane released does not interact with the water column, but releases directly to the atmosphere.

How much methane would this end up releasing?

I've seen an estimate by Russian researchers that the release of 1% of the available free methane on the shelf would raise atmospheric methane concentrations to 6 ppm (we are currently at 1.8 ppm) and raise global temperatures by 6 C.

Since warm-blooded mammals (including us) are at the upper level of our ability to lose metabolic heat already, this would be fatal.  We won't be around to care about the rest of it.     
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wdmn on November 22, 2018, 07:17:56 PM
Quote
And yes, wdmn, this is an Extinction Level Event over which we have NO influence.  It is beyond our technological capability to do anything about it.

Which is why world leaders go through the motions, but put all their effort into maintaining BAU as long as possible.

If the world were going to end tomorrow, they would still want you to pay your bills and show up for work today.

The immediate threat is the day that stops happening.

Just wondering how much consensus there is on this, since accepting it as true changes everything. I gather that the catch is we have no idea when this will happen, or how quickly...

If this is true, then why are so many people on this forum talking about policy solutions, and how to get better politicians into office? Why are scientists publishing papers warning about climate thresholds, if there's no way to avoid a hothouse earth?

I find it all very disingenuous, and the result is that I don't want to trust anyone on anything, put my energy into advocating for anything, or really do anything other than to tell all humans to fuck off for being such pieces of shit.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: aperson on November 22, 2018, 08:04:57 PM
Quote
And yes, wdmn, this is an Extinction Level Event over which we have NO influence.  It is beyond our technological capability to do anything about it.

Which is why world leaders go through the motions, but put all their effort into maintaining BAU as long as possible.

If the world were going to end tomorrow, they would still want you to pay your bills and show up for work today.

The immediate threat is the day that stops happening.

Just wondering how much consensus there is on this, since accepting it as true changes everything. I gather that the catch is we have no idea when this will happen, or how quickly...

If this is true, then why are so many people on this forum talking about policy solutions, and how to get better politicians into office? Why are scientists publishing papers warning about climate thresholds, if there's no way to avoid a hothouse earth?

I find it all very disingenuous, and the result is that I don't want to trust anyone on anything, put my energy into advocating for anything, or really do anything other than to tell all humans to fuck off for being such pieces of shit.

I'm trying to find a relevant quote from Shakhova but not having luck atm (I think it may be video not print). Essentially, it comes down to methane releases from the gas hydrate stability zone having "exponential uncertainty" not linear uncertainty. e.g. we're not concerned about 100 vs 200 vs 300 MT of carbon released as methane, we're concerned with whether it's 100 MT or 1 GT or 10 GT etc.... This spread of uncertainty cannot currently be constrained with available methods and research, and it's hard to square away with IPCC's emission pathways when the uncertainty bounds are between "significant but manageable impacts to global mean surface temperature" and "dominating the overall warming fingerprint"
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 22, 2018, 08:05:20 PM
Quote
And yes, wdmn, this is an Extinction Level Event over which we have NO influence.  It is beyond our technological capability to do anything about it.

Just wondering how much consensus there is on this, since accepting it as true changes everything. I gather that the catch is we have no idea when this will happen, or how quickly...

If this is true, then why are so many people on this forum talking about policy solutions, and how to get better politicians into office? Why are scientists publishing papers warning about climate thresholds, if there's no way to avoid a hothouse earth?
How much consensus? There is not a lot amongst the scientific establishment. Back in the day the majority of scientists thought Hansen was talking rubbish. Back in the 50's/early 60's most geologists thought plate tectonics was impossible - continents moving? daft idea!".Heavier than air flying machines? Hrrrmph.

So what does one do? I encourage my daughter to learn how to survive in a world where BAU has crashed. She knows herbs and foods, she knows a lot of anatomy, physiology and pathology etc etc etc.
Being relatively poor helps - scratching around for a living is good practice for what is to come.

Off-topic, so I stop.



Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wdmn on November 22, 2018, 08:46:33 PM
Thank you gerontocrat and aperson.

Quote
how much consensus?

I guess I even just wonder around here. Obviously there are those on the forum who still think that it's worth doing whatever they can to try to bring about larger societal change. It just seems like that is a strange response if you know that even going to zero emissions tomorrow wouldn't be enough to avoid complete calamity.

Do you advise your daughter to be poor?

Edit: I know I'm going off topic here, but just to be clear, death is not the problem here, the problem is complete loss of trust, and therefore loss of truth, therefore loss of science.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: oren on November 22, 2018, 08:54:16 PM
Quote
I've seen an estimate by Russian researchers that the release of 1% of the available free methane on the shelf would raise atmospheric methane concentrations to 6 ppm (we are currently at 1.8 ppm) and raise global temperatures by 6 C.
Cid_Yama, this defies my intuition (an admittedly poor tool when discussing such stuff). A science reference would most welcome. Just off the cuff, as methane has a very short residence time, this 1% would have to be released in one huge burp, I would assume. Having it release over a thousand years will have much less of an effect, wouldn't it?
Also, can anyone here provide some calculation or number as to the radiative forcing should methane indeed rise to 6 ppm? Just to help figure if this makes any sense.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on November 22, 2018, 09:23:33 PM
Quote
And yes, wdmn, this is an Extinction Level Event over which we have NO influence.  It is beyond our technological capability to do anything about it.

Which is why world leaders go through the motions, but put all their effort into maintaining BAU as long as possible.

If the world were going to end tomorrow, they would still want you to pay your bills and show up for work today.

The immediate threat is the day that stops happening.

Just wondering how much consensus there is on this, since accepting it as true changes everything. I gather that the catch is we have no idea when this will happen, or how quickly...

If this is true, then why are so many people on this forum talking about policy solutions, and how to get better politicians into office? Why are scientists publishing papers warning about climate thresholds, if there's no way to avoid a hothouse earth?

I find it all very disingenuous, and the result is that I don't want to trust anyone on anything, put my energy into advocating for anything, or really do anything other than to tell all humans to fuck off for being such pieces of shit.
wdmn
Some of us here have been following S&S at least since 2010/2011 and have been convinced of the validity of their research for what seems like a very long time.


To the best of my knowledge there is no way to pinpoint when the ESAS releases begin in earnest, no way to halt or mitigate the damage, and no way to escape, nor a place to escape to. If civilization were a patient, palliative care is the best that can be hoped for.
While I don't believe that anything can be done to delay the coming catastrophe. I do believe that some paths will spur on the process, some paths will exacerbate the pain of this terminal phase of our society, and at least one other path could kill us off before the clouds of methane are released.


I prefer the drawn out uncertainty that S&S's research posits to the sudden blasts and subsequent nuclear winter offered by so many of the political establishment. I'd prefer to put off the inevitable for as long as possible, rather than rushing full tilt into the abyss.


I'm 72 and recently released from what could easily have been a terminal hospital stay. If I were a healthy 20 year old raising a child I might view things from a different perspective. - but I don't think so.


Despair is a necessary stage in arriving at acceptance, try to move through it as rapidly as possible.


All my Best
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: sidd on November 22, 2018, 09:37:44 PM
Re: methane

Archer treated the case of 200GT release, found it's roughtly equivalent to 750 ppm CO2, 5w/m^2

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/01/an-online-model-of-methane-in-the-atmosphere/

sidd
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: sidd on November 22, 2018, 10:57:46 PM
I think one of the biggest arguments against large scale methane spikes is the absence of isotopic evidence in the ice cores. Why don't we see evidence of methane in the Eemian (where we are, temperature wise, roughly) or MIS 11 ?

sidd
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: oren on November 22, 2018, 11:14:14 PM
Thank you sidd.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bbr2314 on November 22, 2018, 11:35:03 PM
I think one of the biggest arguments against large scale methane spikes is the absence of isotopic evidence in the ice cores. Why don't we see evidence of methane in the Eemian (where we are, temperature wise, roughly) or MIS 11 ?

sidd
I would think the answer to this is because when extant ice sheets are in existence, any rapid methane release triggers freshwater release / +warming / +H2O / higher albedo, which ends up resealing the beast before it can contribute any significant amount. I would think the same thing will happen with the current event, maybe it will be worse than normal, but we won't be around anyways because it isn't the 1% release of the area's methane that kills everything, it is rapid cooling due to the negative feedbacks associated with ^ which occurs as the release starts to get going in any substantial capacity (IMO). We have historical evidence for these very rapid drops in Greenland temperatures and coincidentally or not, 2018 has seen Greenland's coldest November temp on record (or was it October)?

In any case, the rapid warming due to methane release probably stops when sea ice is sufficient to re-stabilize the shelves, which probably happens when continental albedo begins spiraling. That may still be a decade or two from now, but IMO we are quickly heading there.

So, good news: it isn't the methane that will kill everyone!
Bad news: the negative feedbacks that result from methane release are more than sufficient to get the job done, and occur well before any substantial % of methane is released, giving us even less time than in a clathrate-gun scenario.

Doom!  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Wherestheice on November 23, 2018, 01:22:45 AM
I think one of the biggest arguments against large scale methane spikes is the absence of isotopic evidence in the ice cores. Why don't we see evidence of methane in the Eemian (where we are, temperature wise, roughly) or MIS 11 ?

sidd

Big methane burps might have happened very abruptly in the past. As most know, methane only lasts for about 13 years or whatever until it turns into co2. This could be a good explanation for why the evidence is lacking in ice cores. It happens so fast it becomes undectable. Silent killer, just like the old grandpa farting at the dinner table tonight
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Wherestheice on November 23, 2018, 01:26:07 AM
I think one of the biggest arguments against large scale methane spikes is the absence of isotopic evidence in the ice cores. Why don't we see evidence of methane in the Eemian (where we are, temperature wise, roughly) or MIS 11 ?

sidd
I would think the answer to this is because when extant ice sheets are in existence, any rapid methane release triggers freshwater release / +warming / +H2O / higher albedo, which ends up resealing the beast before it can contribute any significant amount. I would think the same thing will happen with the current event, maybe it will be worse than normal, but we won't be around anyways because it isn't the 1% release of the area's methane that kills everything, it is rapid cooling due to the negative feedbacks associated with ^ which occurs as the release starts to get going in any substantial capacity (IMO). We have historical evidence for these very rapid drops in Greenland temperatures and coincidentally or not, 2018 has seen Greenland's coldest November temp on record (or was it October)?

In any case, the rapid warming due to methane release probably stops when sea ice is sufficient to re-stabilize the shelves, which probably happens when continental albedo begins spiraling. That may still be a decade or two from now, but IMO we are quickly heading there.

So, good news: it isn't the methane that will kill everyone!
Bad news: the negative feedbacks that result from methane release are more than sufficient to get the job done, and occur well before any substantial % of methane is released, giving us even less time than in a clathrate-gun scenario.

Doom!  ;D ;D ;D

Can you provide some links to these negative feedbacks you speak of? That will usher in an ice age....
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: bbr2314 on November 23, 2018, 02:04:45 AM
I think one of the biggest arguments against large scale methane spikes is the absence of isotopic evidence in the ice cores. Why don't we see evidence of methane in the Eemian (where we are, temperature wise, roughly) or MIS 11 ?

sidd
I would think the answer to this is because when extant ice sheets are in existence, any rapid methane release triggers freshwater release / +warming / +H2O / higher albedo, which ends up resealing the beast before it can contribute any significant amount. I would think the same thing will happen with the current event, maybe it will be worse than normal, but we won't be around anyways because it isn't the 1% release of the area's methane that kills everything, it is rapid cooling due to the negative feedbacks associated with ^ which occurs as the release starts to get going in any substantial capacity (IMO). We have historical evidence for these very rapid drops in Greenland temperatures and coincidentally or not, 2018 has seen Greenland's coldest November temp on record (or was it October)?

In any case, the rapid warming due to methane release probably stops when sea ice is sufficient to re-stabilize the shelves, which probably happens when continental albedo begins spiraling. That may still be a decade or two from now, but IMO we are quickly heading there.

So, good news: it isn't the methane that will kill everyone!
Bad news: the negative feedbacks that result from methane release are more than sufficient to get the job done, and occur well before any substantial % of methane is released, giving us even less time than in a clathrate-gun scenario.

Doom!  ;D ;D ;D

Can you provide some links to these negative feedbacks you speak of? That will usher in an ice age....
Hansen's papers have a good link, but besides those, I would argue that 2018 anomalies illustrate these negative feedbacks quite well. It is interesting that the huge + anomalies over Siberia and over the methane traps are still intact and worse than ever this year while Greenland has plunged back below normal alongside Canada. I think there is a good chance we see this worsen next year but I'll hold off until spring to make that prediction.

Here are the last six months of temp anomalies. I think the melting permafrost in Siberia is becoming a major component as to its ever-increasing + temperature departures. Perhaps the negative feedbacks need to become substantially worse before Siberia begins to cool again and the traps re-stabilize, and if that is the case, then things will only get warmer and warmer over Siberia / Laptev / etc until that occurs.

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Wherestheice on November 23, 2018, 02:19:28 AM
I think one of the biggest arguments against large scale methane spikes is the absence of isotopic evidence in the ice cores. Why don't we see evidence of methane in the Eemian (where we are, temperature wise, roughly) or MIS 11 ?

sidd
I would think the answer to this is because when extant ice sheets are in existence, any rapid methane release triggers freshwater release / +warming / +H2O / higher albedo, which ends up resealing the beast before it can contribute any significant amount. I would think the same thing will happen with the current event, maybe it will be worse than normal, but we won't be around anyways because it isn't the 1% release of the area's methane that kills everything, it is rapid cooling due to the negative feedbacks associated with ^ which occurs as the release starts to get going in any substantial capacity (IMO). We have historical evidence for these very rapid drops in Greenland temperatures and coincidentally or not, 2018 has seen Greenland's coldest November temp on record (or was it October)?

In any case, the rapid warming due to methane release probably stops when sea ice is sufficient to re-stabilize the shelves, which probably happens when continental albedo begins spiraling. That may still be a decade or two from now, but IMO we are quickly heading there.

So, good news: it isn't the methane that will kill everyone!
Bad news: the negative feedbacks that result from methane release are more than sufficient to get the job done, and occur well before any substantial % of methane is released, giving us even less time than in a clathrate-gun scenario.

Doom!  ;D ;D ;D

Can you provide some links to these negative feedbacks you speak of? That will usher in an ice age....
Hansen's papers have a good link, but besides those, I would argue that 2018 anomalies illustrate these negative feedbacks quite well. It is interesting that the huge + anomalies over Siberia and over the methane traps are still intact and worse than ever this year while Greenland has plunged back below normal alongside Canada. I think there is a good chance we see this worsen next year but I'll hold off until spring to make that prediction.

Here are the last six months of temp anomalies. I think the melting permafrost in Siberia is becoming a major component as to its ever-increasing + temperature departures. Perhaps the negative feedbacks need to become substantially worse before Siberia begins to cool again and the traps re-stabilize, and if that is the case, then things will only get warmer and warmer over Siberia / Laptev / etc until that occurs.

A. Can you share the link to the Hansen paper? B. The climate system is a bit more complex than the way you present it. Do you have data going back 10 years to support your claim?? Do you really think an ice age is happening? Because i haven’t seen any evidence to support that. I have to disagree. But I would like to see that Hansen paper.

All the best,

WTI
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wili on November 23, 2018, 03:15:57 AM
As I understand it, the main path to methane breakdown involves the presence of OH. I'm not sure how much of that is in ice.

I also seem to have read that methane has a tendency to migrate through ice more than other, larger molecules, so a sharp peak in concentration is not really to be expected from ice core samples. If he were here still, I'm sure ASLR could come up with the relevant scientific articles, whether those supported my dim memory or set me straight. As it is, I'll have to ask others to see what they can come up with, as my mind is to tired for such a search tonight.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Martin Gisser on November 23, 2018, 03:55:41 AM
this is an Extinction Level Event over which we have NO influence.  It is beyond our technological capability to do anything about it.
If you want to reduce the problem to a mere technological one, we might indeed be at the end of the tether. "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." (Never trust an Einstein quote on the internet :) )

There are insultingly trivial solutions that don't require much technology. Just a change of mind and some concerted effort.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Serrara Fluttershy on November 23, 2018, 04:54:22 AM
Quote
And yes, wdmn, this is an Extinction Level Event over which we have NO influence.  It is beyond our technological capability to do anything about it.

Which is why world leaders go through the motions, but put all their effort into maintaining BAU as long as possible.

If the world were going to end tomorrow, they would still want you to pay your bills and show up for work today.

The immediate threat is the day that stops happening.

Just wondering how much consensus there is on this, since accepting it as true changes everything. I gather that the catch is we have no idea when this will happen, or how quickly...

If this is true, then why are so many people on this forum talking about policy solutions, and how to get better politicians into office? Why are scientists publishing papers warning about climate thresholds, if there's no way to avoid a hothouse earth?

I find it all very disingenuous, and the result is that I don't want to trust anyone on anything, put my energy into advocating for anything, or really do anything other than to tell all humans to fuck off for being such pieces of shit.

I'm trying to find a relevant quote from Shakhova but not having luck atm (I think it may be video not print). Essentially, it comes down to methane releases from the gas hydrate stability zone having "exponential uncertainty" not linear uncertainty. e.g. we're not concerned about 100 vs 200 vs 300 MT of carbon released as methane, we're concerned with whether it's 100 MT or 1 GT or 10 GT etc.... This spread of uncertainty cannot currently be constrained with available methods and research, and it's hard to square away with IPCC's emission pathways when the uncertainty bounds are between "significant but manageable impacts to global mean surface temperature" and "dominating the overall warming fingerprint"

An earlier post on this thread disagrees with you...S&S say that clathrates are a red herring; the actual problem is subsea permafrost.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Martin Gisser on November 23, 2018, 05:20:10 AM
As I understand it, the main path to methane breakdown involves the presence of OH.
In the atmosphere it is. On the ground there are methane consuming microbes. Dunno how much help they are. Tim Lenton said many years ago that permafrost thaw isn't such a bomb because of methanotrophs. I have no idea about the latest research here.

This is from 2011: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21130-thawing-microbes-could-control-the-climate/

Quote
I'm not sure how much of that {OH} is in ice.
None. It is very reactive with a lifetime of ca. 1s and needs constant replenishment via UV light. (David Archer, The Global Carbon Cycle (2010) has a nice section on OH chemistry.)

Will forest fires increase OH?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: aperson on November 23, 2018, 05:30:58 AM
Quote
And yes, wdmn, this is an Extinction Level Event over which we have NO influence.  It is beyond our technological capability to do anything about it.

Which is why world leaders go through the motions, but put all their effort into maintaining BAU as long as possible.

If the world were going to end tomorrow, they would still want you to pay your bills and show up for work today.

The immediate threat is the day that stops happening.

Just wondering how much consensus there is on this, since accepting it as true changes everything. I gather that the catch is we have no idea when this will happen, or how quickly...

If this is true, then why are so many people on this forum talking about policy solutions, and how to get better politicians into office? Why are scientists publishing papers warning about climate thresholds, if there's no way to avoid a hothouse earth?

I find it all very disingenuous, and the result is that I don't want to trust anyone on anything, put my energy into advocating for anything, or really do anything other than to tell all humans to fuck off for being such pieces of shit.

I'm trying to find a relevant quote from Shakhova but not having luck atm (I think it may be video not print). Essentially, it comes down to methane releases from the gas hydrate stability zone having "exponential uncertainty" not linear uncertainty. e.g. we're not concerned about 100 vs 200 vs 300 MT of carbon released as methane, we're concerned with whether it's 100 MT or 1 GT or 10 GT etc.... This spread of uncertainty cannot currently be constrained with available methods and research, and it's hard to square away with IPCC's emission pathways when the uncertainty bounds are between "significant but manageable impacts to global mean surface temperature" and "dominating the overall warming fingerprint"

An earlier post on this thread disagrees with you...S&S say that clathrates are a red herring; the actual problem is subsea permafrost.

I'm not talking about clathrates. I'm talking about the methane that is being capped by subsea permafrost that will naturally escape into the water column as permafrost degrades. S&S discuss the entire process from how CH4 migrates through taliks and weaknesses in permafrost up to the water column, then how it is mixed up the water column to the surface, and finally how it gets mixed into the atmosphere through upwelling created by low pressure systems. S&S argue that some regions of the Arctic ocean are more vulnerable to this process (like the East Siberian Arctic Shelf) and that the reserve of capped methane is large enough to vastly alter biogeochemical processes on the planet if even a small percentage is released.

There is of course exponential uncertainty in terms of the emissions pathway of the capped methane. Understanding the variance for emissions pathways requires understanding how permafrost degrades, how methane cycles in the water column, how it's upwelled from the surface into the atmosphere, and how methane cycles in the atmosphere.

See: https://doi.org/10.1029/2009JC005602

Quote
Arctic shallow hydrates, because of their inundation, have been exposed to temperatures about 5°C–10°C warmer than temperatures of terrestrial Arctic shallow hydrates for the past 5–10 kyr. On the basis of the heat transfer downward from relatively warmer ocean waters and upward from below, numerical models predict destabilization after ∼5–10 kyr of inundation [Romanovskii et al., 2005]. As a result, it is probable that large‐scale hydrate destabilization will occur first in the ESAS and other areas of submerged shallow permafrost. In fact, it is feasible that hydrate destabilization in the Arctic is currently creating free gas reservoirs trapped below the largely impermeable permafrost layer. In contrast to other areas of the Arctic Ocean, the ESAS water column provides a very short conduit for releasing CH4 to the atmosphere. This makes the ESAS a primary, important region for CH4 release, compared to other areas of the Arctic Ocean where the majority of CH4 passing through the water column is oxidized [Westbrook et al., 2009].

[53] Continued hydrate destabilization will lead to increasing pressure in these shallow reservoirs. In such case, fracturing and thawing of the permafrost will create pathways for deeper, hydrate‐derived CH4 deposits to escape to the sea surface, a process that we propose is currently occurring in the ESAS and is consistent with our data. Further, the shallowness of the ESAS implies hydrate‐derived CH4 here will affect atmospheric budgets much more than will most of the CH4 from deep‐sea hydrate deposits at lower latitudes [Kvenvolden, 1988, 2002].
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wdmn on November 23, 2018, 07:30:59 AM
@Terry

Thank you Terry for your empathic reply.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 23, 2018, 07:07:59 PM
Re: methane

Archer treated the case of 200GT release, found it's roughtly equivalent to 750 ppm CO2, 5w/m^2

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/01/an-online-model-of-methane-in-the-atmosphere/

sidd
I thought I would do a simple model of it all. I have used just 1 gigatonne of extra methane emissions each year. To put it in context I did find a figure of circa 0.6 gt per annum total methane emissions from all sources (2013).

Here are the assumptions:-
Simplified model of increased methane emissions effect as equivalent CO2 ppm                  
Assumptions:-                  
Methane degrades in the atmosphere to almost zero in 13   years
Methane degrades at the rate of    25%   of remaining balance, i.e. not linear      
Methane by weight greenhouse effect  is 25   times that of CO2      
                  
Business As Usual CO2 emissions are   40   gt per annum      
   Of which    50%   20gt remains in the atmosphere      
Business As Usual  CO2 emissions cause an annual 2.5   ppm increase in CO2 concentration

The results are attached.   A better profile of how methane degrades over time would help.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 23, 2018, 08:01:18 PM
Links to papers posted earlier in this thread, to save you the time of looking for them.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,12.msg130821.html#msg130821

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,12.msg126031.html#msg126031

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,12.msg131768.html#msg131768

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,12.msg132298.html#msg132298

Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, published 22 June 2017.

http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15872

And here is a link to my methane archive so you can see how this progressed over the years to where we are now.  Being able to see where we were 2 years ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago, provides an important perspective, allowing you to see just how fast and dramatically this has accelerated.

https://cid-yama.livejournal.com/tag/methane
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 23, 2018, 09:19:01 PM
Links to papers posted earlier in this thread, to save you the time of looking for them.

Thanks Cid_Yama

One good turn deserves another.

https://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/research/energy/downloads/methaneuk/chapter02.pdf
Chapter 2: Climate science of methane

A good article for the enthusiastic amateur that explains a lot of how it all works (or does not).

Also confirms that methane does not degrade in a linear fashion (degrades fast then slow)

EDIT and here is Chapter 1
https://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/research/energy/downloads/methaneuk/chapter01.pdf
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 24, 2018, 03:01:40 AM
That book is pretty old.  They were talking about how the Kyoto Protocol will work which was signed in 1997, and textbooks notoriously use information much older than that.

We have come a long ways in methane research in the last quarter century, especially in the last decade.

Here is an excellent interactive chart showing atmospheric methane concentrations across time.

https://www.methanelevels.org/       

 
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Serrara Fluttershy on November 24, 2018, 03:42:13 AM
Re: methane

Archer treated the case of 200GT release, found it's roughtly equivalent to 750 ppm CO2, 5w/m^2

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/01/an-online-model-of-methane-in-the-atmosphere/

sidd
I thought I would do a simple model of it all. I have used just 1 gigatonne of extra methane emissions each year. To put it in context I did find a figure of circa 0.6 gt per annum total methane emissions from all sources (2013).

Here are the assumptions:-
Simplified model of increased methane emissions effect as equivalent CO2 ppm                  
Assumptions:-                  
Methane degrades in the atmosphere to almost zero in 13   years
Methane degrades at the rate of    25%   of remaining balance, i.e. not linear      
Methane by weight greenhouse effect  is 25   times that of CO2      
                  
Business As Usual CO2 emissions are   40   gt per annum      
   Of which    50%   20gt remains in the atmosphere      
Business As Usual  CO2 emissions cause an annual 2.5   ppm increase in CO2 concentration

The results are attached.   A better profile of how methane degrades over time would help.
Could you put this in simpler terms? The sheer amount of numbers is kinda overwhelming. :(
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Sleepy on November 24, 2018, 06:45:11 AM
The Carbon Cycle: CO2 and Climate: Prof David Archer

https://youtu.be/sRDjsuA0oJc
Posted 20160608, 1,699 views now.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 24, 2018, 11:54:39 AM
That book is pretty old.  They were talking about how the Kyoto Protocol will work which was signed in 1997, and textbooks notoriously use information much older than that.

We have come a long ways in methane research in the last quarter century, especially in the last decade.

Here is an excellent interactive chart showing atmospheric methane concentrations across time.

https://www.methanelevels.org/       
Thanks for the chart. Yes, I am sure the science and the data collection systems and the modelling have all greatly improved since 1998 (the year that book uses for data).
BUT, the basics remain the same.

That book talks about how atmospheric methane in 1998 was 4,850 million tonnes, = 1,745 ppb (parts per billion). It also stated emissions are around 600 million tonnes per annum and decay in the atmosphere of around 575 million tonnes per annum giving a net increase per annum of just under 25 million tonnes.

Going forward to the levels in the graph at https://www.methanelevels.org/ and one finds that in the 20 years from 1998 to 2018 atmospheric methane increased by just under 300 million tonnes to 5,140 million tonnes, 1,850 ppb. i.e. an increase of 15 million tonnes per annum (a bit of a hiatus in early 2000's).  In the last 6 years the net increase per annum has gone up to about 21 million tonnes.

This would suggest one is still talking about small increases in emissions per annum from the 600 million tonnes in 1998. As yet my very over-simplified model still seems OK, as all I am trying to do is give a ballpark indication of the increase in the relentless rise in CO2e that would happen if, e.g. ESAS methane emissions, start to increase rapidly.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 24, 2018, 12:41:22 PM

Could you put this in simpler terms? The sheer amount of numbers is kinda overwhelming. :(

I will try.

There are vast deposits of carbon rich material in the Arctic, on land and under the sea. The question is, how many billion tonnes are we talking about? On Arctic land, estimated at 1,400 billion tonnes of carbon.Under the oceans, many times that.

Among most vulnerable of these deposits seems to be methane gas deposits trapped by a lid of permafrost in the shallow seas on the Russian side of the Arctic, especially the 2 million km2 of seas at least than 50 metres depth (mainly in the East Siberian Ice Shelf (ESAS). How much free methane is trapped there is not known - but it must be hundreds of billion of tonnes.

Methane emissions worldwide from all sources are quoted at 600 million tonnes per annum but my guess is a bit more than that. (As it is an old figure and atmospheric methane concentrations has increased since then).

So what effect would significant releases of methane have on global warming? Hence my simple model, which so far is still standing up.

The table attached has two examples.

Example #1. A small increase in year 1 of 100 million tonnes, growing by 10% per annum.

By year 15 the increased methane in the atmosphere is equivalent to increasing atmospheric CO2 by 4 parts per million, equivalent to 1.7 years "Business As Usual" CO2 annual increase.

But this is a release over 15 years of what must be far less than 1% of the free methane under the ESAS, let alone what is on land.

Example #2. An increase in year 1 of 1 billion tonnes, growing by 10% per annum.

By year 15 the increased methane in the atmosphere is equivalent to increasing atmospheric CO2 by 42 parts per million, equivalent to 17 years "Business As Usual" CO2 annual increase.

Put another way, the carbon budget often quoted as available to still avoid 2 degrees warming, disappears

But this is still a release over 15 years of what must be less than 10% of the free methane under the ESAS, let alone what is on land.

It is happening, but we do not know how quickly. And all we can do is wait - wait for the NASA data to tell us what is happening to methane in the atmosphere, because there is nothing, absolutely nothing, we can do about it.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 24, 2018, 02:30:57 PM
Thanks, Terry.  I sometimes forget we aren't just a bunch of old men here discussing this, and I've never known how to soften the blow, I've always been very direct and to the point.

The recent IPCC report, even though usually a conservative toned down product due to political input, was still a death sentence for civilization, since it's remedies are know to be both politically and technologically impossible.  And they still avoided talking about the ESAS.
 

IPCC Admits End of the World as we know it
Quote
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just come out with its latest report on the Earth’s ecosystemic health, and even in its gussied up findings — what many are calling “hopium” these days — it is, if read carefully, a prediction of the end of civilization.

According to the U.N. report, the only way to avoid this disaster would require “rapid and far-reaching” changes in the capitalist system that is the substructure of civilization, East and West. What must be changed, it says, are energy systems, land use, urban design, transportation, and building design — at a minimum. Changed so they contribute no greenhouse gases to the atmosphere — and can you imagine a world where transportation, for example, doesn’t pollute the air and we get along without cars, airplanes and cargo ships?

Though “energy systems” looks like a mild phrase, it actually implies the end of coal, gas and oil in the near future, the very fuels upon which industrial capitalism is based. There is no way that so-called “renewable” sources (which of course are not renewable because solar panels, windmills and batteries have finite lives and must be replaced) could ever replace those carbon-based fuels.

No wonder that most scientists — and anybody else who knows how politics works — say that this sort of wholesale economic change will not come about. There’s not a political system of any stripe anywhere in the world that is prepared to, or even knows how to, transform a society out of our modern way of life. That’s why one scientist has said in response to the U.N. report that it is nothing more than an academic exercise in “what would happen if a frog had wings.”

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A decade ago, the “father of global warming”—the first scientist to sound the alarm on climate change in the 1980s to the US Congress—announced that we were too late: the planet had already hit the danger zone.

In a landmark paper, James Hansen, then head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, along with seven other leading climate scientists, described how a global average temperature above 1°Celsius (C)—involving a level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere of around 450 parts per million (ppm)—would lead to “practically irreversible ice sheet and species loss.” But, they added, new data showed that even 1°C was too hot.

At the time the paper was issued in 2008, atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were around 385 ppm. This is “already in the dangerous zone,” explained Hansen and his colleagues, noting that most climate models excluded self-reinforcing amplifying feedbacks which would be triggered at this level—things like “ice sheet disintegration, vegetation migration, and GHG [greenhouse gas] release from soils, tundra, or ocean sediments.”

Such feedbacks constitute tipping points which, once triggered, can lead to irreversible or even runaway climate change processes.

According to Hansen and his co-authors, these feedbacks “may begin to come into play on time scales as short as centuries or less.” The only viable solution to guarantee a safe climate, they wrote, is to reduce the level of greenhouse gases to around 350 ppm, if not lower.

Today, we are well in breach of the 1°C upper limit. And we have breached this limit at a much lower level of atmospheric CO2 than Hansen thought would be necessary to warm this much—as of May 2018, the monthly average atmospheric CO2 had reached 410ppm (the August measurement puts it at 409ppm.) This is the highest level of CO2 the earth has seen in 800,000 years.

The IPCC says that this would just be the beginning: we are currently on track to hit 3-4°C by end of century, which would lead to a largely unlivable planet.

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They STILL haven’t dropped the other shoe. The “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C” contains terrifying forecasts about what will happen when we reach an average global temperature 1.5 degrees C higher than the pre-industrial average. (We are now at +1C.) But it still shies away from talking about the feedbacks, the refugees and mass death.

The report is a bracing dose of realism in many ways. It effectively says we can’t afford to go anywhere near +2C. It talks bluntly about the need to end all fossil fuel use, reforest vast tracts of marginal land, and cut down on meat-eating. It even admits that we will probably have to resort to geoengineering — “solar radiation management,” in the jargon.

So far, so good. At least it’s being honest about the problem — but only up to a point. “Not in front of the children” is still the rule for governments when it comes to talking about the mass movements of refugees and the civil and international wars that will erupt when the warming cuts into the food supply. And they still don’t want to talk openly about the feedbacks.

The governments take climate change very seriously these days, but they worry that too much frankness about the cost in lives of going past 1.5C will create irresistible pressure on them to take radical action now. In the ensuing struggle between the scientists and the politicians, the executive summary always gets toned down.

What got removed from the summary this time was any mention of “significant population displacement concentrated in the tropics” at +2C (i.e. mass migrations away from stricken regions, smashing up against borders elsewhere that are slammed shut against the refugees, the real reason for Trump's wall).

Even worse, “tipping points” are barely mentioned in the report. These are the dreaded feedbacks — loss of Arctic sea ice, melting of the permafrost, carbon dioxide and methane release from the oceans — that would trigger unstoppable, runaway warming.

They are called “feedbacks” because they are self-reinforcing processes that are unleashed by the warming we have already caused, and which we cannot shut off even if we end all of our own emissions.

If you don’t go into the feedbacks, then you can’t talk about runaway warming, and going to 4, 5 or 6 degrees C higher average global temperature, and hundreds of millions or billions of deaths. And if you don’t acknowledge that, then you will not treat this as the emergency it really is.

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Just two years ago, amid global fanfare, the Paris climate accords were signed — initiating what seemed, for a brief moment, like the beginning of a planet-saving movement. But almost immediately, the international goal it established of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius began to seem, to many of the world’s most vulnerable, dramatically inadequate; the Marshall Islands’ representative gave it a blunter name, calling two degrees of warming “genocide.”

The alarming new report you may have read about this week from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — which examines just how much better 1.5 degrees of warming would be than 2 — echoes the charge. “Amplifies” may be the better term. Hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, the report declares, should the world warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Nearly all coral reefs would die out, wildfires and heat waves would sweep across the planet annually, and the interplay between drought and flooding and temperature would mean that the world’s food supply would become dramatically less secure. Avoiding that scale of suffering, the report says, requires such a thorough transformation of the world’s economy, agriculture, and culture that “there is no documented historical precedent.”

If you are alarmed by those sentences, you should be — they are horrifying. But it is, actually, worse than that — considerably worse. That is because the new report’s worst-case scenario is, actually, a best case. In fact, it is a beyond-best-case scenario. What has been called a genocidal level of warming is already our inevitable future. The question is how much worse than that it will get.
 
Barring the arrival of dramatic new carbon-sucking technologies, which are so far from scalability at present that they are best described as fantasies of industrial absolution, it will not be possible to keep warming below two degrees Celsius — the level the new report describes as a climate catastrophe. As a planet, we are coursing along a trajectory that brings us north of four degrees. The IPCC is right that two degrees marks a world of climate catastrophe.

But the real meaning of the report is not “climate change is much worse than you think,” because anyone who knows the state of the research will find nothing surprising in it. The real meaning is, “you now have permission to freak out.”

At two degrees, the melting of ice sheets will pass a tipping point of collapse, flooding dozens of the world’s major cities.  Four hundred million more people will suffer from water scarcity, and even in the northern latitudes heat waves will kill thousands each summer. It will be worse in the planet’s equatorial band. In India, where many cities now numbering in the many millions would become unliveably hot, there would be 32 times as many extreme heat waves, each lasting five times as long and exposing, in total, 93 times more people. This is two degrees — practically speaking, our absolute best-case climate scenario.

At three degrees, southern Europe will be in permanent drought. The average drought in Central America would last 19 months and in the Caribbean 21 months. In northern Africa, the figure is 60 months — five years. The areas burned each year by wildfires would double in the Mediterranean and sextuple in the United States. Beyond the sea-level rise, which will already be swallowing cities from Miami Beach to Jakarta, damages just from river flooding will grow 30-fold in Bangladesh, 20-fold in India, and as much as 60-fold in the U.K. This is three degrees — better than we’d do if all the nations of the world honored their Paris commitments, which none of them are. Practically speaking, barring those dramatic tech deus ex machinas, this seems to me about as positive a realistic outcome as it is rational to expect.

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Key dangers largely left out of the IPCC special report on 1.5C of warming are raising alarm among some scientists who fear we may have underestimated the impacts of humans on the Earth’s climate.

The IPCC report sets out the world’s current knowledge of the impacts of 1.5C of warming and clearly shows the dangers of breaching such a limit.

Tipping points merit only a few mentions in the IPCC report. Durwood Zaelke, founder of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, said: “The IPCC report fails to focus on the weakest link in the climate chain: the self-reinforcing feedbacks which, if allowed to continue, will accelerate warming and risk cascading climate tipping points and runaway warming.”

link (http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/10/un-says-climate-genocide-coming-but-its-worse-than-that.html)

link (https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/commentary/u-n-report-points-to-greenhouse-disaster-or-end-of/article_63c3d8ae-ce48-11e8-92bc-cff83bc8451e.html)

link (https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43e8yp/the-uns-devastating-climate-change-report-was-too-optimistic)

link (https://bangordailynews.com/2018/10/15/opinion/contributors/the-other-shoe/)

link (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/tipping-points-could-exacerbate-climate-crisis-scientists-fear/ar-BBO8ico?li=BBoPRmx)
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 24, 2018, 03:32:36 PM
New science suggests methane packs more warming power than previously thought
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It’s long been known that methane is a major contributor to global warming, responsible for roughly a quarter of the warming we’re experiencing today and second only to carbon dioxide in its impact on the current climate.

But research suggests methane has an even more potent warming effect on the climate than scientists previously thought.

For example, a study in Geophysical Research Letters significantly revises estimates of the energy trapped by methane by including its previously-neglected absorption of near-infrared radiation (past research included only infrared absorption—a different part of the radiation spectrum).

Packing a bigger punch

The study finds that the radiative efficiency—how much energy is trapped in the climate system by unit mass of methane—is 23% higher than estimates used in the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).

Methane also impacts warming indirectly by creating more tropospheric ozone and stratospheric water vapor. Its global warming potential (GWP) accounts for both its direct and indirect warming effects. But the new research affects only the direct radiative properties. The net increase in methane’s GWP is 14% compared to their IPCC AR5 values (over both 20- and 100-year time horizons).

Implications for IPCC, science, and policy

What does the research mean for the generally accepted estimates used in the science to guide policymakers? The IPCC is generally regarded as having a relatively conservative outlook on evolving science, as its content needs to be agreed upon by hundreds of representatives from across the world. Further, it inherently lags the best and most current science because any research published after the writing deadlines cannot be included.

However, it is very likely that these findings will be included in the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, due in 2021, considering that some of the authors were also authors of the IPCC AR5.

In the meantime, scientific assessments of methane emissions should use the updated estimates of methane’s ability to trap heat (14% higher than the current IPCC estimate).
link (http://blogs.edf.org/energyexchange/2018/02/07/new-science-suggests-methane-packs-more-warming-power-than-previously-thought/)

Radiative forcing of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide: A significant revision of the methane radiative forcing (https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016GL071930)

Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 24, 2018, 04:52:58 PM
New science suggests methane packs more warming power than previously thought

In the meantime, scientific assessments of methane emissions should use the updated estimates of methane’s ability to trap heat (14% higher than the current IPCC estimate).
Thanks, Cid_Yama, I think
Excuse me while I try to raid your brain.

Qu1.
One day might we get a study that says the abyss over which we are teetering is shallower, not deeper ?

Qu2.
When amateurs like me do back of envelope calculations it helps to have a number to use.

E.g. the Greenhouse effect of CH4 c.f. CO2. When one looks around the various sources one finds multipliers of 25, 28, and 30 (for the troposphere) and 75 to 125 (for the stratosphere). I assume the troposphere is less significant?

Now we have a study that says CH4's GWP is 25% above the value used by the IPCC, and merely 0.5% for CO2's, and then an article that says add 14%.

If one is doing a simple spreadsheet just looking at the impact over the next few years of an increase in CH4 emissions measured in terms of increases in CO2 ppm, what multiplier do you think would be the least unreasonable?

Qu3. Has the so-called carbon budget just taken a significant hit?
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wdmn on November 25, 2018, 12:07:41 AM
Oh no! Not the GWP of methane question again!  :-\
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: gerontocrat on November 25, 2018, 12:39:32 AM
Oh no! Not the GWP of methane question again!  :-\
Yes, because the study referred to above says it is underestimated by 25%
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: wdmn on November 25, 2018, 01:09:19 AM
Oh no! Not the GWP of methane question again!  :-\
Yes, because the study referred to above says it is underestimated by 25%

Bad joke. Definitely a worthwhile discussion; like most of those it will be messy.
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: TerryM on November 25, 2018, 02:48:44 AM
Cid
I tried to raise some interest on the IPPC thread by linking to an earlier post of your's, but got no feedback.


About the same time as Neven opened this Forum there had been quite a discussion at his Blog re. S&S's research. The pictures they drew were horrific, and while I don't remember the facts and figures they arrived at, I do recall being totally convinced that they were correct and that we had little time left.


Worrying about whether the Evil Russians had stolen St. Hillary's election seems like a distraction when the real questions are. "Can my grandson expect to turn on the radio?, drive a car?, read after dark?, or vote in an election."


Should he study political science or flint knapping?
Terry
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 25, 2018, 03:15:11 AM
You don't have to live a long life to live a full one.  Focus on quality not quantity.

It is already happening.  The enhanced wildfires, the enhanced tropical storms, enhanced heat waves, crop failures, increasing water scarcity, climate refugees, insect migrations, ice losses at the poles, etc.

People are dying now by the thousands, just not in the western world just yet.  But global crop failures, inducing pandemics due to weakened immune systems, and wars, is just around the corner.  And diseases travel by airliner.

And this will not be linear.  Thus, linear progressions will be worthless.

As I said, this is an Extinction Level Event, and it is happening now.  No one is coming out the other end.  The planet will become uninhabitable for warm-blooded creatures, and what will come after that will rival the Permian mass extinction.

Live the best you know how, for however long you have.  If you won't reach retirement age within the next ten years, don't count on it.  You might want to put that money to better use.  Even 10 years seems optimistic.  The acceleration over the last 5 years doesn't bode well.  I expect major global crop failures within 2 years.

Massive emissions of methane in the Arctic become a significant source of greenhouse gases, a study reveals
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The rate of vertical degradation of subsea permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) is 18 cm a year over the past 30 years, which is greater than previously thought. Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University received this data after the comprehensive study of subsea permafrost not only in the Russian Arctic but also in the Arctic as a whole.

TPU scientists and co-authors from Russia and Sweden have recently published findings of the study in Nature Communications.

Basing on the repeated drilling of four wells performed by the Institute of Permafrost Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences in 1982-1983, scientists have proved that the rates of vertical degradation of subsea permafrost amount to18 cm a year over the last 30 years (the average is 14 cm a year) which is greater than it was assumed before.

'New data obtained by complex biochemical, geophysical and geological studies conducted in 2011-2016 resulted in the conclusion that in some areas of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf the roof of the subsea permafrost had already reached the depth of hydrates' stability the destruction of which may cause massive releases of bubble methane.

According to our findings published earlier in Nature Geoscience, Science and Philosophical Transactions, Royal Society, the size of CH4 bubble flaw from the bottom sediments into the ESAS water can vary from milligrams to tens or hundreds of grams per square meter a day depending on the state of subsea permafrost, which leads to the concentration increase of atmospheric CH4 in the surface layer to values 2-4 times exceeding background concentrations measured in our planet,' says the first author of the paper Professor Natalia Shakhova, the TPU Department of Geology and Minerals Prospecting.

She notes that these findings were confirmed during the expedition to the East Siberian Arctic Self in 2016. The expedition was organized and conducted jointly with the scientists from the Pacific Oceanological Institute FEB RAS, with the participation of the Institute of Oceanology RAS and the Institute of Atmospheric Physics RAS. More data will be published in 2018.

link (https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/tpu-rsd081517.php)


Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf
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It was shown that slight changes in seafloor erosion and sedimentation patterns that change the thermal and pressure regime below the seafloor could be viable mechanisms for unroofing underlying gas reservoirs, which can release CH4 in large quantities66. Once initiated, erosion could propagate further downward and migrate laterally to adjacent areas, driven by venting gas. Erosion of a few tens of seafloor metres could unroof over-pressured shallow gas reservoirs and buoyant hydrate-laden sediment accumulations beneath the seafloor, triggering rapid gas release66,67.

link (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15872)


     
Title: Re: Arctic Methane Release
Post by: Cid_Yama on November 25, 2018, 05:15:16 AM
From June 2017:

Subsea permafrost on East Siberian Arctic Shelf in accelerated decline
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Dr. Shakhova: As we showed in our articles, in the ESAS, in some places, subsea permafrost is reaching the thaw point. In other areas it could have reached this point already. And what can happen then? The most important consequence could be in terms of growing methane emissions… a linear trend becomes exponential.

This edge between it being linear and becoming exponential is very fine and lays between frozen and thawed states of subsea permafrost. This is what we call the turning point. To me, I cannot take the responsibility in saying there is a right point between the linear and exponential yet, but following the logic of our investigation and all the evidence that we accumulated so far, it makes me think that we are very near this point. And in this particular point, each year matters.

Gas in the areas of hotspots is releasing from the seabed deposits, in which free gas has accumulated for hundreds of thousands, or even for a million years. This is why the amount of this gas and its power in releasing (due to its high pressure) is tremendous.

Dr. Shakhova: The importance of hydrates involvement in methane emissions is overestimated. The hydrate is just one form of possible res