Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

Cryosphere => Permafrost => Topic started by: Peter Ellis on August 01, 2013, 10:46:24 PM

Title: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Peter Ellis on August 01, 2013, 10:46:24 PM
An article from Skeptical Science that seems to me to be pretty fair and balanced.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=2130 (http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=2130)

The clincher for me is the palaeoclimate argument: given that orbital forcings meant the Arctic was warmer (and quite possibly seasonally ice-free) several thousand years ago, with no runaway methane release, means the same likely applies to current warming.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Peter Ellis on August 01, 2013, 10:47:59 PM
(note the extensive references to the primary literature)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: SteveMDFP on August 01, 2013, 10:55:24 PM
An article from Skeptical Science that seems to me to be pretty fair and balanced.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=2130 (http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=2130)

The clincher for me is the palaeoclimate argument: given that orbital forcings meant the Arctic was warmer (and quite possibly seasonally ice-free) several thousand years ago, with no runaway methane release, means the same likely applies to current warming.

No, the same doesn't likely apply to current warming.  Methane released from seabed deposits slowly get oxidized in the water column, but bubble up to the air when release is rapid.  Methane released to the air slowly gets oxidized by atmospherice hydroxyl radicals.  But those hydroxyl radicals can be depleted by large releases, allowing methane to persist in the atmosphere.

In other words, RATE of release is likely to be critical.  Past warm periods got warm slowly.  Our current warming is happening fast.  It's certainly plausible (and in my mind very likely) that rate of methane release from shallow seabeds and permafrost is likely to be determined as much by rate of warming as absolute temperature.

A gigaton of methane released over centuries is going to have much less global impact than the same gigaton released over a decade.

In terms of methane, since we're in unprecedented rate of global warming, we're in unprecedented territory about methane releases.  We have no past road map of relevance for comparison.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: jonthed on August 02, 2013, 04:39:30 AM
I agree with Steve, and while i recognize my opinion and insight doesn't count for much, I have been disappointed with the scientists, and now skeptical science, who seem to keep saying that the historic record doesn't show such a spike, so it's 'unlikely' there will be one.

Firstly, despite what they have said about previous analogs, I don't see them as being the same as current warming, as the rate of warming, as Steve has pointed out, makes a huge difference to the effect of any methane thawing.

I'm not seeing any previous warming like we're seeing now, including where sea levels are over the shelf, what the arctic sea ice is doing, the injection of ghg we have seen, and the rate of warming we're seeing/going to see.

Regardless of the facts about the mechanism by which the ESAS methane is supposed to thaw according to Wadhams' new disputed paper, you'll probably see this in the news today: "Climate change on pace to occur 10 times faster than any change recorded in past 65 million years, Stanford scientists say"

see here:
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/august/climate-change-speed-080113.html (http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/august/climate-change-speed-080113.html)

and climate central's piece on it:
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/ecosystems-face-unprecedented-changes-in-the-next-century-16301 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/ecosystems-face-unprecedented-changes-in-the-next-century-16301)

If you read the articles, you'll note a quote from Diffenbaugh:
“The key difference is the rate of change,” said co-author Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, in an interview. “The combination of rate and magnitude over the next century is unprecedented. In the context of the geological record of the last 65 million years, this (change in the 21st century) is likely to be an order of magnitude, or two or three orders, more rapid.”

As if one order of magnitude wasn't enough already.
enough to be concerned.
enough to see there's no historic analog.

And yet people are still insisting the paleo-record means there's nothing to worry about: a large methane release is "unlikely".

I don't follow their logic at all.

The mechanism Wadhams is suggesting seems to be supported by observed data, including observed sea temperatures, perhaps it might need more years to be more certain, but it certainly shouldn't be dismissed based on not having seen anything like what he's suggesting in the paleo-record.

-

As for the mechanism:

How many years has sea ice been retreating so far and for so long over the ESAS? probably less than 20. (http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators#seaIce (http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators#seaIce))
How many years have summer sea surface temperatures over the ESAS been above zero in summer? well it used to be mostly ice so again, probably less than 20 (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/sst/sst.month.anom.hov.io.gif (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/sst/sst.month.anom.hov.io.gif))

Any previous retreat of sea ice would have been more gradual, and any thawing too.
Any previous warming of summer temps would also have been more gradual, and any thawing too.

Wadhams' mechanism does indeed appear to be a new one, only possible because of the retreating sea ice. coupled with the rate of change and rate of warming, and how critical to the impact of methane release the rate of thawing is, I can't see how the mechanism is unsound or comparable to previous warmings.

That leaves me convinced that there is definitely reason to be concerned.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: johnm33 on August 03, 2013, 12:46:37 AM
Oh boy, you're not going to like this. From a catastrophists point of view the east siberian shelf was further from the axis of rotation prior to about 5,200 years bp and even further away before about 11,500 years bp. The axis being before that pretty much where the geomagnetic pole is. This would put the whole area further south [Including that Siberian lake that was 8degC warmer than expected] and allow the possibility that the eye witness accounts/myths/legends, carried down the generations, about the area having a permanent spring climate, contain a grain of truth. Born out to some extent by the 'springtime vegetation' [typical of a black sea meadow] stomach contents of every frozen mammoth I've ever read about. Also check out 'Arctic home in the Vedas' by Tilak. Also IIRC there's an ethnic group in the Lena valley that recall a mass migration to the south [India] in prehistory, and a return after the Mongol conquest of the sub continent, with proven genetic connections to the Punjab. As to the dates of the shifts there are many guesses, my first relates to the time suggested in the Oera Linda, also by timing of the demise of the pygmy mammoths on the new siberian islands, and the massive floods that left 3m [?] mud deposits in mesopotamia, which were pretty much coincident.
 The older date is more speculative, but a comprehensive overview of the facts on the ground can be found in 'When the earth nearly died' Allan/Delair which also has an intimidating bibliography. I have to say I don't altogether share the views of the authors but there is a vast array of facts which should be accommodated by any realistic worldview.
Back to the shelf, the area was above sea level throughout the 'ice age' and also during that whole time we could expect the growth of peat beds, and to quite some depth. I'm too ignorant about the Eemian to speculate beyond that whatever methane event happened was gradual.
 Whatever befell the mammoths froze their stomach contents so quickly that, when defrosted, it was still identifiable and 'fresh', but the same event could be expected to form a serious frozen crust on the aforementioned peat beds.  Whatever process decayed this peat to methane should not have disguised it's provenance, but if/when they take samples I hope they reinstate long deep frozen plugs to reseal the holes, otherwise I'd expect a spreading collapse of the sealing layer.
The most convincing evidence, for me, of polar shift are the ancient agricultural terraces stretching past 18,000ft above lake Titicaca, taken with the ancient seashells, and the current apparently oceanic fauna in it's companion salt lake suggest that either there has been a massive uplifting of the whole area, by 12,600ft, or it previously lay quite close to the equator, and the oceanic bulge meant it was much closer to sea level. Of course if it was near the equator that would put large tracts of amazonia below sea level, and the rest in the arid zone so would explain the sandy nature of its soil. I've never come across any evidence pointing to a more Nilotic period for the Amazon but then who'd be looking. My guess is that the best way of deciding the likelyhood of this is to determine the genetic homeland of the equatorial species of the forest [nearer the Andes and the Mato Grosso?] and to look for candidates for the movement from the likely temperate rainforests to the north.
Actually there's a massive amount more evidence that supports this possible worldview, from all around the world, and it took me 20 odd years of stumbling across it before it undermined my confidence in the regular paradigm [and another 5 before I read what Velikovsky had to say]so I'm not expecting or trying to convince anyone, but as far as a catastrophic methane release goes, if there's any truth in all this, the past is no guide to the future.
 
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: johnm33 on August 03, 2013, 11:58:29 AM
As an introduction to catastrophism you could do a lot worse than follow the recommendations of the first reviewer here-  http://www.amazon.com/When-Earth-Nearly-Died-Compelling/product-reviews/1858600081/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 (http://www.amazon.com/When-Earth-Nearly-Died-Compelling/product-reviews/1858600081/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: GeoffBeacon on August 03, 2013, 01:27:50 PM
Peter

It would be good if you could explicitly address the "rate of change" argument.

Is there much "primary literature" on the subject? If there isn't does this mean it can't be an effect?

How do increases in wildfires come in? They produce methane and seem to be showing on the satellite images. (Are satellite maps "primary literature"?)

I saw a graph somewhere that showed that that John Mitchell has the most peer reviewed papers on climate change. He once replied to me saying increases in wildfires were not in climate models.

Perhaps you can find some "primary literature" that says "wildfires are missing from the models and so are ...."

OK, academics might want to be sure of their facts before they publish but I have been dismayed at how difficult it is to get them to answer straightforward questions.  Thanks to John Mitchell, for his candour.

See John Mitchell's comments at the end of Do you believe the European Commission on Climate Change? (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/do-you-belive-the-european-commission-on-climate-change/ (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/do-you-belive-the-european-commission-on-climate-change/))

I see "primary literature" as a form of regulation and it gives academics their edge in the competitive market of information. It can be used ruthlessly.

Read Tim Worstall's clear and short piece Of course big business loves regulation (http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/regulation-industry/of-course-big-business-loves-regulation (http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/regulation-industry/of-course-big-business-loves-regulation))

Big business attitudes shouldn't be in academia but increasingly they are -- but that should be a separate topic.


Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: GeoffBeacon on August 03, 2013, 01:45:54 PM
Peter,

And another thing...

What weight would you give to Peter Wadhams' quote in the Guardian

Quote
The rapid disappearance of offshore permafrost through water heating is a unique phenomenon, so clearly no 'expert' would have found a mechanism elsewhere to compare with this... I think that most Arctic specialists would agree that this scenario is plausible.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/jul/31/artic-methane-catastrophe-empirical-evidence]
[url]http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/jul/31/artic-methane-catastrophe-empirical-evidence (http://[url)[/url]

Also, is this "primary literature"?
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Dromicosuchus on August 03, 2013, 07:56:23 PM
There were some rapid warming incidents in the past that might be vaguely analogous to the present warming.  I don't know of any that occurred mid-interglacial, but as I understand it the Dansgaard-Oeschger events in the midst of the glacials were extremely abrupt, and involved temperature spikes around Greenland, at least, that were greater than the temperature changes that have occurred thus far.  On the other hand, that was starting from a far colder baseline, and as they occurred during low-water points for the global ocean, I would suppose that the submerged permafrost available would have been minimal compared to the present day.

Hm.  Another thought occurs to me; how long has the subsea permafrost on the ESAS and elsewhere been frozen?  Did it survive Eemian temperatures, or does it date only from the last glacial, and no further?  I can't find any information on the age of permafrost there (which is, quite possibly, just a result of insufficient diligence in searching), but I did find this (http://ipy.nwtresearch.com/Documents/Froese%20science%20permafrost%20Yukon.pdf), indicating that more southerly, marginal permafrost (never submerged, however, which is an important difference) has managed to last a good 740,000 years--which puts it comfortably pre-Eemian in age.  Again, though, it's the subsea permafrost which is particularly concerning, here, and it's that that we need information on.  I've read a few of Shakhova and Semilitov's papers, but I don't recall a specific age for the permafrost being mentioned.  Anyone else know of a source for that?
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: GeoffBeacon on August 04, 2013, 10:46:51 AM
Dromicosuchus

"Shakhova and Semilitov's papers"

What are the best ones?

Any recent news of Shakhova and Semilitov?
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on August 05, 2013, 06:09:55 PM
Geoff,

This paper gives the case for potential release:

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

ABSTRACT:
On the basis of the analysis of published data and in the course of the authors’ long-term geochemical and acoustic surveys performed in 1995–2011 on the East Siberian shelf (ESS) and aimed to research the role of the Arctic shelf in the processes of massive methane outbursts into the Earth’s atmosphere, some crucially new results were obtained. A number of hypotheses were proposed concerning the qualitative and quantitative characterization of the scale of this phenomenon. The ESS is a powerful supplier of methane to the atmosphere owing to the continued degradation of the submarine permafrost, which causes the destruction of gas hydrates. The emission of methane in several areas of the ESS is massive to the extent that growth in the methane concentrations in the atmosphere to values capable of causing a considerable and even catastrophic warning on the Earth is possible. The seismic data were compared to those of the drilling from ice performed first by the authors in 2011 in the southeastern part of the Laptev Sea to a depth of 65 m from the ice surface. This made it possible to reveal some new factors explaining the observed massive methane bursts out of the bottom sediments.

Original Russian Text © V.I. Sergienko, L.I. Lobkovskii, I.P. Semiletov, O.V. Dudarev, N.N. Dmitrievskii, N.E. Shakhova, N.N. Romanovskii, D.A. Kosmach, D.N. Nikol’skii, S.L. Nikiforov, A.S. Salomatin, R.A. Anan’ev, A.G. Roslyakov, A.N. Salyuk, V.V. Karnaukh, D.B. Chernykh, V.E. Tumskoi, V.I. Yusupov, A.V. Kurilenko, E.M. Chuvilin, B.A. Bukhanov, 2012, published in Doklady Akademii Nauk, 2012, Vol. 446, No. 3, pp. 330–335.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1134%2FS1028334X12080144 (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1134%2FS1028334X12080144)

Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: wili on August 05, 2013, 09:12:39 PM
Nafeez Ahmed at the Guardian directly addresses many of the points made by Chris Colose in the Skeptical Science piece:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/aug/05/7-facts-need-to-know-arctic-methane-time-bomb (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/aug/05/7-facts-need-to-know-arctic-methane-time-bomb)


[size=150]Seven facts you need to know about the Arctic methane timebomb[/size]

Dismissals of catastrophic methane danger ignore robust science in favour of outdated mythology of climate safety



Here's the short version of the seven points. Go to the article for the explanation of each:

Quote
1. The 50 Gigatonne decadal methane pulse scenario was posited by four Arctic specialists, and is considered plausible by Met Office scientists

2. Arctic methane hydrates are becoming increasingly unstable in the context of anthropogenic climate change and it's impact on diminishing sea ice

3. Multiple scientific reviews, including one by over 20 Arctic specialists, confirm decadal catastrophic Arctic methane release is plausible

4. Current Arctic methane levels are unprecedented

5. The tipping point for continuous Siberian permafrost thaw could be as low as 1.5C

6. Arctic conditions during the Eemian interglacial lasting from 130,000 to 115,000 years ago are a terrible analogy for today's Arctic

7. Paleoclimate records will not necessarily capture a large, abrupt methane pulse
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: opensheart on June 30, 2014, 08:18:14 PM
I had not seen the following article posted elsewhere, and thought it might fit best here.

http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2014/06/dr-natalia-shakhova-interviewed-by-nick-breeze-destabilized-subsea-permafrost-methane-emissions.html (http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2014/06/dr-natalia-shakhova-interviewed-by-nick-breeze-destabilized-subsea-permafrost-methane-emissions.html)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: johnm33 on July 01, 2014, 02:19:11 PM
Spotted this at nakedcapitalism http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/07/gaius-publius-arctic-seafloor-methane-release-double-earlier-estimates.html (http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/07/gaius-publius-arctic-seafloor-methane-release-double-earlier-estimates.html)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Lynn Shwadchuck on July 05, 2014, 04:37:35 AM
Open, good to post that link to the Shakhova interview in this thread. We've been discussing it on the 'This is not good' thread, too. http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,484.msg30626.html#new (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,484.msg30626.html#new)

I'm cross-posting my synopsis of the 45 minute interview here:

Thanks, Sleepy and Terry for posting the Shakhova interview and the expedition links. Kudos to Tenney Naumer and Nick Breeze for getting Shakhova on Skype for such a long interview! It's current, because it's after their winter expedition, while the paper presented in the fall was after last summer's.

Very interesting that she argues clearly against geoengineering, going so far as to joke about it. She said, what are we to do, flip the poles so we get the climate of Antarctica in the Arctic? I suspect she's succeeded in talking AMEG out of pushing this idea. I see all the links to their 'strategic plan' are dead now.

It all sounds seriously 'not good'.

Surprises to me (and I've been following her and Semiletov since 2010):

    The part of the East Siberian Arctic Sea closest to shore has only been under water a geologically short time. On this winter's expedition they were surprised to find the permafrost there at the thawing point rather that at the expected minus 7. It should be more stable than the deeper areas.

    Shakhova and Semiletov were doing research on the ESAS in 1998 when they found a single highly concentrated plume of methane. This is what started their dogged search for the answers about the methane that's supposed to be sealed under permafrost.

    She seems to be frustrated that other scientists don't understand that methane hydrates in southern oceans release themselves through oxidation slowly and through a deep water column, where in the case of the ESAS the pure methane gas is released straight to the atmosphere thorough physical pathways (openings in the thawing permafrost) and a shallow water column over the shelf.

    There is a fault/rift that makes catastrophic release a possibility, which would immediately raise the global average temperature 3 degrees.

    They've been very conservative in their estimates of just how many gigatonnes of methane there may be trapped under the permafrost, basing it on the equivalent area on the land-based permafrost. It could go a few kilometers deep or MANY.

    The expedition this summer is making a single line across the arctic. She wishes the international scientific community would share in a project to continuously monitor the vast expanse with observation stations.


The gist of the interview is that things have been changing very fast.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: ghoti on July 22, 2014, 06:09:11 PM
Meanwhile this week on the Oden people are measuring methane releases in the now ice-free Laptev. Today's blog reports they are seeing methane at levels 10 times higher than normal background in seawater. They are finding hundreds of methane seeps. See:

http://swerus-c3.geo.su.se/index.php/oerjans-blog-leg-1/170-observing-and-investigating (http://swerus-c3.geo.su.se/index.php/oerjans-blog-leg-1/170-observing-and-investigating)

Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: SteveMDFP on July 22, 2014, 06:47:51 PM
Meanwhile this week on the Oden people are measuring methane releases in the now ice-free Laptev. Today's blog reports they are seeing methane at levels 10 times higher than normal background in seawater. They are finding hundreds of methane seeps. See:

http://swerus-c3.geo.su.se/index.php/oerjans-blog-leg-1/170-observing-and-investigating (http://swerus-c3.geo.su.se/index.php/oerjans-blog-leg-1/170-observing-and-investigating)

People quite rightly worry about methane reaching the atmosphere, as a potentially powerful (or catastrophic) feedback to global warming.

I'm not sure methane in sea water is any less worrisome, but nobody seems to talk about that much.  Methane at depth depletes oxygen at depth by bacterial action (bacteria "eat" dissolved methane and "breathe" dissolved oxygen, producing relatively harmless CO2).  Methane is poorly soluble in water at surface pressures, but is much more soluble at higher pressures present at depth. (Oxygen is also more soluble at depth, but since oxygen is not produced down there, it never exceeds oxygen levels present in solution at the surface -- very low).

High methane concentrations in sea water, then, promote oxygen depletion.  When sea-floor oxygen levels approach zero (anoxic conditions), different anearobic bacteria "breath" dissolved sulfate, "eat" the same methane, and produce CO2 and toxic hydrogen sulfide.  Hydrogen sulfide, H2S, may have been the chief toxic culprit of the "great dying" of the End-Permian Extinction Event of 250 million years ago.

I brought this up before, and someone pointed out that current trends give us at least 200 years before widespread H2S toxicity become prevalent in the oceans (the technical term is "euxinic").

I'm highly skeptical that we have even that much time before the oceans are all essentially dead and we re-enter the extinction event ecology.

An interesting article here:
http://pangea.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Payne and Clapham 2012 Ann Rev.pdf (http://pangea.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Payne and Clapham 2012 Ann Rev.pdf)

(the spaces in that URL might make the link here choke.  Copy and paste into browser may be needed).
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on July 22, 2014, 11:30:11 PM
See my summary of SWERUS-C3 resources for following their progress and more:

http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/2014/07/major-arctic-methane-research-underway.html (http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/2014/07/major-arctic-methane-research-underway.html)

Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Laurent on August 11, 2014, 12:27:58 PM
Already posted but may be a little bit of information or link available for you ?
Scientists discover vast methane plumes escaping from Arctic seafloor
http://earthsky.org/earth/scientists-discover-vast-methane-plumes-escaping-from-arctic-seafloor (http://earthsky.org/earth/scientists-discover-vast-methane-plumes-escaping-from-arctic-seafloor)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Gray-Wolf on August 13, 2014, 02:06:49 PM
Is it me or did Oden fall silent about their science results after their first press release? They are now approaching the end of their survey and we have had but one science press release about methane plumes and then nothing? The blogs hint at the work going well and the data amassing but no hint at what the general trend in the findings is?

I kinda thought that once we got into the ESS they would be eager to share their results but it appears we will have to wait until the studies are all finished , written up and published before we get any idea of what they have been encountering at the sampling stations?

Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places? If so could someone give me a 'heads up'?
Title: Reddit thread on methane seeps off east coast
Post by: morganism on August 25, 2014, 11:34:21 PM
lotta fear, and no one brought up hydryoxl removal, or even noctilucent clouds

http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/2egga9/bbc_news_widespread_methane_leakage_from_ocean/ (http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/2egga9/bbc_news_widespread_methane_leakage_from_ocean/)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: ghoti on September 07, 2014, 09:59:56 PM
I stumbled onto a brief report about this year's methane related field work done by N.  Shakhova. It just reports on what field work they did and where. It will be interesting to see the results published.

http://www.ice-arc.eu/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2014/07/ICE-Tiksi-2014-submitted.pdf (http://www.ice-arc.eu/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2014/07/ICE-Tiksi-2014-submitted.pdf)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Laurent on October 21, 2014, 10:00:36 PM
Found that pdf very interesting :
http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/methanebudget/13/files/Global_Methane_Budget_2013_GCP.pdf (http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/methanebudget/13/files/Global_Methane_Budget_2013_GCP.pdf)

They say that the methane stays 10+/-2 years in the atmosphere...that's quite precise...so I have to forget about 20 years or even 50... Knowing that it disapear so easily and that it does continue to increase at a tremendous pace, that is quite stunning !
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: viddaloo on October 21, 2014, 10:26:22 PM
They say that the methane stays 10+/-2 years in the atmosphere..
If that's so, Laurent, then why does the IPCC use 100–year values for CH4 forcing? Pure BS?
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: wili on October 21, 2014, 10:55:34 PM
Like everything, it's a distribution curve. A majority is gone after 12 years or so*, but a declining residue remains, though I forget exactly what the curve looks like and how fat a 'tail' it has. The main thing is, though, that the 100 year effect is the average effect over that whole hundred years, including the 100 or so times CO2 GW potential of the first decade or so. So average that in, and consider that there is residue, and that the result methane oxidation is CO2, and you see that its GWP could never go below 1 ever after 1000 years.

(*This is of course given that it has the right conditions, especially access to HO, the hydroxyl radical.)

At least, that is my rather foggy understanding of the thing.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: viddaloo on October 21, 2014, 11:07:00 PM
OK. So in a truly catastrophic CH4 release, there won't be enough HO around to remove it, and the extreme forcing will continue past the 10 years?
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: AbruptSLR on October 21, 2014, 11:44:59 PM
In order to learn what happens to methane's chemical reactions during a large release event see the linked Isaksen et al (2011) reference (with an open access pdf):

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)

Abstract: "The magnitude and feedbacks of future methane release from the Arctic region are unknown. Despite limited documentation of potential future releases associated with thawing permafrost and degassing methane hydrates, the large potential for future methane releases calls for improved understanding of the interaction of a changing climate with processes in the Arctic and chemical feedbacks in the atmosphere. Here we apply a “state of the art” atmospheric chemistry transport model to show that large emissions of CH4 would likely have an unexpectedly large impact on the chemical composition of the atmosphere and on radiative forcing (RF). The indirect contribution to RF of additional methane emission is particularly important. It is shown that if global methane emissions were to increase by factors of 2.5 and 5.2 above current emissions, the indirect contributions to RF would be about 250% and 400%, respectively, of the RF that can be attributed to directly emitted methane alone. Assuming several hypothetical scenarios of CH4 release associated with permafrost thaw, shallow marine hydrate degassing, and submarine landslides, we find a strong positive feedback on RF through atmospheric chemistry. In particular, the impact of CH4 is enhanced through increase of its lifetime, and of atmospheric abundances of ozone, stratospheric water vapor, and CO2 as a result of atmospheric chemical processes. Despite uncertainties in emission scenarios, our results provide a better understanding of the feedbacks in the atmospheric chemistry that would amplify climate warming."
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Laurent on October 22, 2014, 12:07:09 AM
They say that the methane stays 10+/-2 years in the atmosphere..
If that's so, Laurent, then why does the IPCC use 100–year values for CH4 forcing? Pure BS?
I think it  is because of the big priests of the IPCC (the old one, I know you like them ;)). They were (some are still) preaching that the CO2 will remain in the atmosphere 100 years or so (and we don't have to worry).
That is because they had some graph that were showing a 100 year decaying, a bit like the joined graph, except that this one show more than 10.000 years up to 100.000 I think.
From : http://www.roperld.com/science/globalwarmingprediction.htm (http://www.roperld.com/science/globalwarmingprediction.htm)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: viddaloo on October 22, 2014, 12:07:47 AM
As expected, but extremely scary nevertheless. I'm beginning to see why it's a taboo subject now.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: wili on October 22, 2014, 12:16:39 AM
Thanks, ASLR. I keep forgetting that crucial study. In case anyone missed it, here's the takeaway:

if global methane emissions were to increase by factors of 2.5 and 5.2 above current emissions, the indirect contributions to [radiative forcing] would be about 250% and 400%, respectively, of the RF that can be attributed to directly emitted methane alone.

So instead of a global warming potential of 105 times that of CO2 over decadal time scales, methane released at these rates would have GWPs of about 250 to over 400 times that of CO2 (unless I'm reading that incorrectly).

At the higher end of that scale, at something like current ratios, I believe methane would become the main forcing in GW, rather than CO2 (but someone with more time and brains than I should check the numbers).
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: AbruptSLR on October 22, 2014, 12:36:50 AM
Don't forget that Isaksen et al 2011, was published before Shindell determined that the 100-GWP for methane is about 34. 

Edit: The above statement is in error, as Shindell published the 34 GWP for methane in his 2009 paper, which of course was before the 2011 Isaksen et al paper.

Also, for those who do not want to download the free access pdf of the Isaksen et al 2011 paper, I provide the attached key table with the following caption:

Caption: "Resultant Radiative Forcing for Assumed Cases of CH4 Emissions from Isaken et al 2011"
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Pmt111500 on October 22, 2014, 04:54:53 AM
OK. So in a truly catastrophic CH4 release, there won't be enough HO around to remove it, and the extreme forcing will continue past the 10 years?

I wouldn't use 'truly catastrophic' in a scientific context here, but essentially, yes, I think this is why AMEG and others are concerned of this. Beginning of such a release would likely mean this is out of our collective hands.

Hence it also could be the methane spikes seen in the paleorecord (f.e. D-O events such as B/A period) are only of the times when methane emmissions exceed the capability of HO-removal pathway, how much of the CO2 in the paleorecord was methane to begin with?
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: bligh8 on November 24, 2014, 03:57:23 PM

In the linked article is a interesting read about
METHANE, METHANE HYDRATES, AND GLOBAL CLIMATE

The Dickens Achievement

"Dickens and his fellow scientists provided a realistic scenario as to how hydrate methane could account for the significant negative carbon isotopic change found at the time of the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. Their calculations also showed that there was no other credible scenario that could produce that change. Subsequently, evidence from ODP drilling showed that underwater slumping was involved in at least one hydrate release event, and that that event involved deep-sea extinctions and a slow process of recovery."

http://www.killerinourmidst.com/MH%20and%20global%20climate.html#anchor361517 (http://www.killerinourmidst.com/MH%20and%20global%20climate.html#anchor361517)


Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Laurent on January 11, 2015, 07:41:46 PM
(Already posted but a tiny bit of information more ?)
Trapped Methane Escapes as Pacific Depths Warm Up
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/trapped_methane_escapes_as_pacific_depths_warm_up_20150111 (http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/trapped_methane_escapes_as_pacific_depths_warm_up_20150111)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Laurent on April 21, 2015, 04:05:50 PM
What if the methane release is not only driven by temps but also by life activity...(that's my thought...)

Five Things The Gulf Oil Spill Has Taught Us About the Ocean
Energy and Life Surround Deep-Sea Seeps
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/five-things-gulf-oil-spill-has-taught-us-about-ocean-180955036/?no-ist (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/five-things-gulf-oil-spill-has-taught-us-about-ocean-180955036/?no-ist)

Ocean currents impact methane consumption
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-04/hcfo-oci042015.php (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-04/hcfo-oci042015.php)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: salbers on June 27, 2015, 12:01:24 AM
Oh boy, you're not going to like this. From a catastrophists point of view the east siberian shelf was further from the axis of rotation prior to about 5,200 years bp and even further away before about 11,500 years bp. The axis being before that pretty much where the geomagnetic pole is.
The Earth's axis doesn't change that fast from as far as I know.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: anotheramethyst on June 29, 2015, 08:39:58 PM
Oh boy, you're not going to like this. From a catastrophists point of view the east siberian shelf was further from the axis of rotation prior to about 5,200 years bp and even further away before about 11,500 years bp. The axis being before that pretty much where the geomagnetic pole is.
The Earth's axis doesn't change that fast from as far as I know.

i'm not great at math so can't calculate these things, but i know today's north star wasn't the north star when the egyptians built the pyramids.  so the earth's axis changes in historical human timescales. 

http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/thuban-past-north-star (http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/thuban-past-north-star)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: jai mitchell on July 03, 2015, 05:10:43 AM
13,000 years to go from one extreme to the other, with a 26,000 year rotational period.

http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/time/precession.html (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/time/precession.html)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: salbers on July 05, 2015, 11:37:08 PM
There may be some confusion in the context of the Earth Axis discussion. I think the original implication was that the geographic latitude of Siberia or other places changes significantly in just a few millenia. This is not the case. Precession is a wobbling motion that does cause the Earth's axis to move relative to the "fixed" stars. However the distance of any particular landform from the rotational pole isn't changing significantly.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: anotheramethyst on July 06, 2015, 08:05:41 PM
The issue is not whether landmasses move from the rotational adis, they don't (except by tectonic movements which is totally different).  the rotational axis itself shifts, tilting or wobbling its position relative to the sun.  this is a historical cycle that normally does affect the cycle of glacial and interglacial periods.  however, climate change is progressing far more rapidly than any recent period, so i don't think any major earth changes that happen over a thousand years from now are particularly relevant today.  i DO think it's important to understand this in the context of paleoclimate data.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 07, 2015, 02:30:15 AM
The linked reference (with an open access pdf) provides a somewhat conservative assessment of methane emission cycles, permafrost & hydrology of the Siberian continental margin:

Archer, D.: A model of the methane cycle, permafrost, and hydrology of the Siberian continental margin, Biogeosciences, 12, 2953-2974, doi:10.5194/bg-12-2953-2015, 2015.

http://www.biogeosciences.net/12/2953/2015/bg-12-2953-2015.html (http://www.biogeosciences.net/12/2953/2015/bg-12-2953-2015.html)

Abstract: "A two-dimensional model of a sediment column, with Darcy fluid flow, biological and thermal methane production, and permafrost and methane hydrate formation, is subjected to glacial–interglacial cycles in sea level, alternately exposing the continental shelf to the cold atmosphere during glacial times and immersing it in the ocean in interglacial times. The glacial cycles are followed by a "long-tail" 100 kyr warming due to fossil fuel combustion.

The salinity of the sediment column in the interior of the shelf can be decreased by hydrological forcing to depths well below sea level when the sediment is exposed to the atmosphere. There is no analogous advective seawater-injecting mechanism upon resubmergence, only slower diffusive mechanisms. This hydrological ratchet is consistent with the existence of freshwater beneath the sea floor on continental shelves around the world, left over from the last glacial period.

The salt content of the sediment column affects the relative proportions of the solid and fluid H2O-containing phases, but in the permafrost zone the salinity in the pore fluid brine is a function of temperature only, controlled by equilibrium with ice. Ice can tolerate a higher salinity in the pore fluid than methane hydrate can at low pressure and temperature, excluding methane hydrate from thermodynamic stability in the permafrost zone. The implication is that any methane hydrate existing today will be insulated from anthropogenic climate change by hundreds of meters of sediment, resulting in a response time of thousands of years.

The strongest impact of the glacial–interglacial cycles on the atmospheric methane flux is due to bubbles dissolving in the ocean when sea level is high. When sea level is low and the sediment surface is exposed to the atmosphere, the atmospheric flux is sensitive to whether permafrost inhibits bubble migration in the model. If it does, the atmospheric flux is highest during the glaciating, sea level regression (soil-freezing) part of the cycle rather than during deglacial transgression (warming and thawing).

The atmospheric flux response to a warming climate is small, relative to the rest of the methane sources to the atmosphere in the global budget, because of the ongoing flooding of the continental shelf. The increased methane flux due to ocean warming could be completely counteracted by a sea level rise of tens of meters on millennial timescales due to the loss of ice sheets, decreasing the efficiency of bubble transit through the water column. The model results give no indication of a mechanism by which methane emissions from the Siberian continental shelf could have a significant impact on the near-term evolution of Earth's climate, but on millennial timescales the release of carbon from hydrate and permafrost could contribute significantly to the fossil fuel carbon burden in the atmosphere–ocean–terrestrial carbon cycle."

Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: sidd on April 18, 2017, 09:50:17 PM
Nice paper in PNAS point to decline in OH- ions rather than increase in CH4 emission as the cause for recent rising methane concentrations. I suspected as much, but this is the first hard evidence i have seen.

doi: 10.1073/pnas.1616426114

sidd
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: longwalks1 on April 27, 2017, 01:41:46 AM
From DeSmog Canada via David Suzuki foundation and St. Francis Xavier University

Scientists Find Methane Pollution from B.C.’s Oil and Gas Sector 2.5 Times What B.C. Government Reports
https://www.desmog.ca/2017/04/26/scientists-find-methane-pollution-b-c-s-oil-and-gas-sector-2-5-times-what-b-c-government-reports (https://www.desmog.ca/2017/04/26/scientists-find-methane-pollution-b-c-s-oil-and-gas-sector-2-5-times-what-b-c-government-reports)
Quote
Using infrared cameras and gas detection instruments at over a thousand oil and gas sites during a three-year period, scientists from the David Suzuki Foundation in partnership with St. Francis Xavier University recorded fugitive methane emissions being released from facilities directly into the atmosphere on a perpetual basis.

The study estimates methane pollution from industry in B.C. is at least 2.5 times higher than the B.C. government reports. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with the warming potential 84 times that of carbon dioxide over a 20 year period

Original paper in process
http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/acp-2017-109/ (http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/acp-2017-109/)
Mobile measurement of methane emissions from natural gas developments in Northeastern British Columbia, Canada

doi:10.5194/acp-2017-109                   Open source   Primarily focused on the Peace Area of British Columbia, Canada.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: TerryM on April 27, 2017, 02:03:19 AM
From DeSmog Canada via David Suzuki foundation and St. Francis Xavier University

Scientists Find Methane Pollution from B.C.’s Oil and Gas Sector 2.5 Times What B.C. Government Reports
https://www.desmog.ca/2017/04/26/scientists-find-methane-pollution-b-c-s-oil-and-gas-sector-2-5-times-what-b-c-government-reports (https://www.desmog.ca/2017/04/26/scientists-find-methane-pollution-b-c-s-oil-and-gas-sector-2-5-times-what-b-c-government-reports)
Quote
Using infrared cameras and gas detection instruments at over a thousand oil and gas sites during a three-year period, scientists from the David Suzuki Foundation in partnership with St. Francis Xavier University recorded fugitive methane emissions being released from facilities directly into the atmosphere on a perpetual basis.

The study estimates methane pollution from industry in B.C. is at least 2.5 times higher than the B.C. government reports. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with the warming potential 84 times that of carbon dioxide over a 20 year period

Original paper in process
http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/acp-2017-109/ (http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/acp-2017-109/)
Mobile measurement of methane emissions from natural gas developments in Northeastern British Columbia, Canada

doi:10.5194/acp-2017-109                   Open source   Primarily focused on the Peace Area of British Columbia, Canada.


Suzuki is a Canadian icon. His popularity here as "The Voice of Science" is unmatched.
A National Treasure
Terry
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Cid_Yama on April 27, 2017, 08:53:54 PM
Nice paper in PNAS point to decline in OH- ions rather than increase in CH4 emission as the cause for recent rising methane concentrations. I suspected as much, but this is the first hard evidence i have seen.

doi: 10.1073/pnas.1616426114

sidd

What do you think caused the decline in hydroxyls?  It is a predicted response to rising methane emissions.

They can't measure Hydroxyls directly so they used reaction time of 1,1,1-trichloroethane to infer Hydroxyl loss. 

Yes, there is both a rise in methane concentrations AND hydroxyl loss, as a result of increasing methane emissions.  Better stated, Hydroxyl production can't keep up with rising methane emissions.

It's not rather than, it's because of.

And that should scare your socks off.  A few years ago they found a 'Hydroxyl Hole' over the Western Tropical Pacific allowing unchecked rise of methane to the stratosphere.

  http://www.climatecentral.org/news/huge-hole-in-earths-detergent-layer-found-over-pacific-17302 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/huge-hole-in-earths-detergent-layer-found-over-pacific-17302)

         
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Bruce Steele on April 29, 2017, 06:37:36 AM
Sidd and Cid-Yama, I looked at the location of the OH hole and consequent ozone hole and immediately had some questions about how UV might contribute to the coral bleaching events that we all know are
co-located. I don't have much to contribute except questions but apparently yes increased UV can be a contributing factor in Coral bleaching events. Why is it we haven't heard more about these combinations of what I agree should " scare your socks off" events. More stratospheric methane , less OH, less ozone, more UV at surface, and massive coral bleaching?

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232770403_Ultraviolet_radiation_and_coral_bleaching (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232770403_Ultraviolet_radiation_and_coral_bleaching)

I draw the co-location from the 2014 climate gate piece linked by Cid-Yama
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Bruce Steele on April 29, 2017, 06:51:49 AM
Sidd, I looked up the PNAS article you cited "Role of atmospheric oxidation in recent methane growth"

Abstract
The growth in global methane (CH4) concentration, which had been ongoing since the industrial revolution, stalled around the year 2000 before resuming globally in 2007. We evaluate the role of the hydroxyl radical (OH), the major CH4 sink, in the recent CH4 growth. We also examine the influence of systematic uncertainties in OH concentrations on CH4 emissions inferred from atmospheric observations. We use observations of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (CH3CCl3), which is lost primarily through reaction with OH, to estimate OH levels as well as CH3CC3 emissions, which have uncertainty that previously limited the accuracy of OH estimates. We find a 64–70% probability that a decline in OH has contributed to the post-2007 methane rise. Our median solution suggests that CH4 emissions increased relatively steadily during the late 1990s and early 2000s, after which growth was more modest. This solution obviates the need for a sudden statistically significant change in total CH4 emissions around the year 2007 to explain the atmospheric observations and can explain some of the decline in the atmospheric 13CH4/12CH4 ratio and the recent growth in C2H6. Our approach indicates that significant OH-related uncertainties in the CH4 budget remain, and we find that it is not possible to implicate, with a high degree of confidence, rapid global CH4 emissions changes as the primary driver of recent trends when our inferred OH trends and these uncertainties are considered.

Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: SCYetti on May 04, 2017, 05:33:35 PM
I am curious about the CO2 equivalency of methane. I find it stated as the 100 year equivalent of anywhere between 20 and 34. The 20 year equivalent of between 75 and 86. IIRC the one year equivalent was once given as about 170.

Since I started following the subject 5 years ago the presence of methane has increased only slightly but seems to have been consistently above 1700 parts per billion. If we were to use the 1 year CO2 equivalent of 170 at 1.7 parts per million total CO2 we would get equivalence of over 700 parts per million CO2. Is that possible? What would climate models look like using similar numbers?
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: longwalks1 on May 04, 2017, 06:52:39 PM
I have been going with the 5 year as 86 (20 year 70?) for my cursory look.  So for a ball park figure of 1700ppm methane using 20 year models,, that would be 1.7 ppt methane time 70 yields 120  added to the CO2e.  I do go with the view that a large part of todays values is still highly influenced by rice farming and ruminants (cattle).  I saw some graphs of the last 10,000 years and the advent of rice farming and domestication of ruminants did cause a rise. 

I really can't speak for the models.  My hunch is that anything over a 20 year model for CO2e is not well grounded. 
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: salbers on May 06, 2017, 05:20:08 PM
It may help to consider the baseline values of CO2 and CH4 being compared against. In addition the forcing from CO2 is logarithmic, and from CH4 is approximately a square root dependence (and also dependent on N2O).

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi.html (https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi.html) (see Table 1)

If we use the year 1750 as a reference for methane it would be 700ppb. Good question about the earlier farming impact. Prior to that the average over the past million years is about 500ppb, with variations up to about 700ppb.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane#/media/File:Atmospheric_Concentrations_of_Methane_Over_Time.png (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane#/media/File:Atmospheric_Concentrations_of_Methane_Over_Time.png)

The total CO2e from the non-CO2 gases is about 90ppm. CH4 has about 25% the radiative forcing of CO2 at present, compared with the year 1750 reference amounts of each. However a new study has this fraction closer to one third, when shortwave IR absorption features are accounted for.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL071930/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL071930/full)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: salbers on May 06, 2017, 10:53:35 PM
The issue is not whether landmasses move from the rotational adis, they don't (except by tectonic movements which is totally different).  the rotational axis itself shifts, tilting or wobbling its position relative to the sun.  this is a historical cycle that normally does affect the cycle of glacial and interglacial periods.  however, climate change is progressing far more rapidly than any recent period, so i don't think any major earth changes that happen over a thousand years from now are particularly relevant today.  i DO think it's important to understand this in the context of paleoclimate data.
Indeed the Milankovitch cycles are important in the paleoclimate context. More specifically there are changes in the Earth axis tilt. Precession will also change which hemisphere is closest to the sun during a particular season. For example presently Antarctica has its summer when the Earth is near perihelion, so there is more reflection by the ice sheet. The lowers the Earth's overall temperature. A third cycle is changes in the eccentricity, so this would modulate the precession effect.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: VaughnAn on May 10, 2019, 06:44:21 AM
Paul Beckwith recently posted a video where he describes the short term effects of methane being about 150 times that of carbon dioxide.  With methane concentrations being about 1.8ppm if we multiply 1.8 X 150 we get a short term co2e of 270ppm.  The standard conversion is about 25 times over a 100 year time span which gives us a CO2e of 45ppm CO2e over a 100 year time span.  However since we are dumping so much methane into the atmosphere it seems we should be using the 270 CO2e number when discussing the very short term effects of methane; such as the next 3 years.  Along with Nitrous oxide being at about 0.33 ppm with a multiplier of 296 we get a nitrous oxide CO2e of about 97ppmCO2e  If we add the short term CO2e of these 2 gasses to the 411ppm of CO2 we get a total short term CO2e of 778 CO2e. 
This number seems more compatible with what is happening in the atmosphere concerning climate change right now or are these numbers giving me a false sense of alarm?
Paul Beckwith talks about these 2 gasses in his video and the is a part 2 to this linked video:

https://paulbeckwith.net/2019/04/21/arctic-emissions-of-nitrous-oxide-worse-than-expected-radio-ecoshock-mention-on-counterpunch/ (https://paulbeckwith.net/2019/04/21/arctic-emissions-of-nitrous-oxide-worse-than-expected-radio-ecoshock-mention-on-counterpunch/)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Laurent on May 16, 2019, 09:45:09 AM
Only the instantaneous global warming potential is consistent with honest and responsible greenhouse gas accounting

https://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/esd-2018-22/esd-2018-22.pdf

...
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: oren on May 16, 2019, 10:14:07 AM
I agree. As atmospheric methane is constantly replenished and its level is in fact even going up, it makes absolutely no sense to assume it will follow its 100 year removal curve. Current forcing sees current methane. When (IF) all anthropogenic methane emissions stop, then we can talk about the rate of atmospheric removal of methane, adjusted by the rate of natural/feedback methane emissions that will continue.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Rich on May 16, 2019, 10:15:04 AM
If we add the short term CO2e of these 2 gasses to the 411ppm of CO2 we get a total short term CO2e of 778 CO2e. 


I think you need to go through the same exercise at the beginning of the industrial revolution for an apples to apples comparison.

782 ppm CO2 equivalent seems reasonable. What was the number 200 years ago. Methane and nitrous oxide existed back then as well.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Tor Bejnar on May 16, 2019, 03:09:17 PM
Laurent and Oren, I'm so glad to see your posts.  It matches my sense from a year or so ago, but I doubt I wrote anything, figuring that I must be missing something.

A similar 'argument' can be made for H2O forcing.  Even as increasing atmospheric H2O is a consequence of global warming and any H2O molecule has a short stay in the air, its "instantaneous global warming potential" is what matters, not the half-life of the airborne-ness of a molecule.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: VaughnAn on May 17, 2019, 05:59:15 AM
Thanks for your input Lauren, Oren, and Tor.  That confirms my thinking.  So, we are really facing a much worse mess based on this reasoning.  This also helps explain why other climate scientists are claiming that the rate of change in the climate system is happening "much faster than expected."  I think my cause for alarm is more than justified.  we really should be using the "immediate" methane CO2e of 150x instead of the 100 year methane CO2e of about 28x.

Yes, this is on the back or more water vapor as well.  Time to get out the waders. 
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: sidd on May 17, 2019, 09:33:56 AM
Climate models already do use the "immediate" impact of methane and everything else. They use the modtran codes and derivatives to calculate instantaneous radiative imbalance. Then they integrate over time to get the long term results. And thats the right way to do it.

sidd
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Tor Bejnar on May 17, 2019, 07:16:10 PM
I'm sure Sidd is correct.  For laypersons like me, the formula to predict/forecast how much methane will be contributing to CO2e goes something like: Current-methane - Decayed-into-CO2 methane + New-methane.  I'll leave it to the atmospheric chemists to discern if the removal rate (or half life) is 22 years or 88 years or whatever, and a more accurate representation of the formula (to boot)!  [For CO2, the formula is something like:  Current-CO2 + New-CO2 - CO2-taken-up-by-nature-quickly [oceans, plants] - CO2-taken-up-by-geological-processes [not a humankind-friendly component in the formula]].

The 'thing' that has bothered me has been how frequently 'the press' talks about the removal rate of a methane molecule, which I consider to be a side issue until the day we seriously (I mean really do it) reduce methane emissions. 
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: VaughnAn on May 18, 2019, 05:16:16 AM
According to what I am understanding about the numbers I am seeing used for the Paris Agreement and IPCC Protocol a 28x number to determine CO2e is being used.  This is a far cry from the immediate 150x for methane being discussed.  Maybe the models sidd is referring to use the 150x multiplier but it appears that the IPCC discussions must use the 28x multiplier per the agreement.  This would underestimate immediate effects thusly:
Current concentration of methane = 1.88ppm.
1.88ppm methane x 28CO2e/methane = 53ppmCO2e
1.88ppm methane x 150CO2e/methane = 282ppmCO2e
This is a difference of 229CO2e which should have an immediate effect from methane greater than 50% of current CO2 concentration.  This would seem to have a significant effect on calculations of the immediate effects of methane.


https://www.ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/ghgp/Global-Warming-Potential-Values%20%28Feb%2016%202016%29_1.pdf (https://www.ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/ghgp/Global-Warming-Potential-Values%20%28Feb%2016%202016%29_1.pdf)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: sidd on May 18, 2019, 06:17:43 AM
Re: " Maybe the models sidd is referring to use the 150x multiplier "

Grr, I have not made myself clear. Models have no concept of "multipliers." They use a representative concentration pathway (RCP, CMIP5) or a shared socioecoconomic pathway (SSP, CMIP6) and use the concentration at a given time to calculate the instantaneous radiative forcing using the MODTRAN/successor codes. Then they integrate this calculation in time for the cumulative heating. This implicitly includes everything that is simplistically called a "multiplier." They also have the atmospheric chemistry modules that calculate decay of methane and other unstable greenhouse gases, and they have fluxes for water vapour, and CO2 and CH4 and many other fluxes in/out of the atmosphere/ocean/land.

The Paris agreement for 2.0C was done using RCPs and CMIP5. That used a straight scaling of RCP2.5 .  I dont know what the hell the 1.5 C target uses.

"Multipliers" are a hopelessly simplistic concept to use for the incredibly varied gamut of radiative forcing by greenhouse gases. Use the models instead.

sidd
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: oren on May 18, 2019, 06:49:08 PM
While the models use the correct fomulas as explained by sidd, multipliers and CO2eq are used in simplified communications about the issue, and are important as well when trying to educate the masses. I think the CO2eq numbers communicated should be higher.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Steven on May 18, 2019, 08:34:29 PM
Current concentration of methane = 1.88ppm.
1.88ppm methane x 28CO2e/methane = 53ppmCO2e
1.88ppm methane x 150CO2e/methane = 282ppmCO2e
This is a difference of 229CO2e which should have an immediate effect from methane greater than 50% of current CO2 concentration.

That calculation is nonsense.

You are using global warming potential (GWP), which is defined for emissions rather than concentrations.  It makes no sense to multiply those numbers by the atmospheric methane concentration. 

Moreover, GWP is defined in terms of mass rather than volume.  You are using parts per million volume, but you didn't take into account that a CO2 molecule is almost 3 times heavier than a methane molecule.

I think it's more instructive to look directly at radiative forcing rather than GWP.  Radiative forcing is about 3 times higher for carbon dioxide than for methane (since preindustrial), and in the past few years it is rising almost 10 times faster for carbon dioxide than for methane:

(https://i.imgur.com/q0kccha.png)
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/2016GL071930

See also this thread: https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2383.0.html
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on May 29, 2019, 09:42:40 PM
Unexpected surge in methane levels:
https://climatenexus.org/climate-change-news/methane-surge/
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: be cause on May 29, 2019, 10:05:27 PM
 .. well Frack me .. b.c.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Susan Anderson on June 13, 2019, 09:10:07 AM
Unexpected surge in methane levels:
https://climatenexus.org/climate-change-news/methane-surge/

"Freedom gas" "molecules of freedom" - ugh!!!
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: bligh8 on June 18, 2019, 06:08:43 PM
Rising methane may thwart efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change

"If the world were on track to meet the Paris Agreement goal of less than 2 degrees Celsius of global warming, methane levels in the atmosphere would theoretically be dropping. Instead, they have been rising since 2007, and shooting up even faster since 2014. A perspective published in the journal Science discusses the potential causes and consequences of our planet's out-of-control methane.

"Methane decays in the atmosphere faster than carbon dioxide does, but it is a far more powerful greenhouse gas. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a molecule of methane will cause 28-36 times more warming than a molecule of carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. Recent data shows that methane concentrations in the atmosphere have risen from about 1,775 parts per billion in 2006 to 1,850 parts per billion in 2017."

https://phys.org/news/2019-06-methane-thwart-efforts-catastrophic-climate.html
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: vox_mundi on June 18, 2019, 06:14:59 PM
Good post bligh8 - I was in the process of posting the same thing - further info on the subject

Rising Methane May Thwart Efforts to Avoid Catastrophic Climate Change
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-methane-thwart-efforts-catastrophic-climate.html

... Scientists aren't sure why methane levels are rising. A 2017 study attributes about half of the increase to cows and other ruminant livestock, which burp methane as they digest food. Another contributing factor could be that people are releasing more fossil fuel emissions while burning less wood and other biomass.

In Mikaloff Fletcher's view, the most alarming possibilities are the ones we have little control over. Rising temperatures could be triggering wetlands to release more methane, and changes in atmospheric chemistry could be slowing the rate at which methane breaks down.

(https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/364/6444/932/F1.medium.gif)

Open Access: Sara E. Mikaloff Fletcher et al. Rising methane: A new climate challenge (https://phys.org/news/2019-06-methane-thwart-efforts-catastrophic-climate.html), Science (2019)

----------------------------

Seaweed Feed Additive Cuts Livestock Methane; Questions Remain
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-seaweed-additive-livestock-methane-poses.html

.. If seaweed feed supplement is a viable option to make a difference globally, the scale of production would have to be immense, Hristov noted. With nearly 1.5 billion head of cattle in the world, harvesting enough wild seaweed to add to their feed would be impossible. Even to provide it as a supplement to most of the United States' 94 million cattle is unrealistic.

"To be used as a feed additive on a large scale, the seaweed would have to be cultivated in aquaculture operations," he said. "Harvesting wild seaweed is not an option because soon we would deplete the oceans and cause an ecological problem."

"We know that it is effective in the short term; we don't know if it's effective in the long term," Hristov explained. "The microbes in cows' rumens can adapt to a lot of things. There is a long history of feed additives that the microbes adapt to and effectiveness disappears. Whether it is with beef or dairy cows, long-term studies are needed to see if compounds in the seaweed continue to disrupt the microbes' ability to make methane."

There are also questions about the stability over time of the active ingredients—bromoforms—in the seaweed. These compounds are sensitive to heat and sunlight and may lose their methane-mitigating activity with processing and storage, Hristov warned.

Palatability is another question. It appears cows do not like the taste of seaweed—when Asparagopsis was included at 0.75 percent of the diet, researchers observed a drop in the feed intake by the animals.

... "But methane from animal agriculture is just 5 percent of the total greenhouse gases produced in the United States—much, much more comes from the energy and transportation sectors," Hristov said.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Tor Bejnar on June 18, 2019, 06:48:54 PM
Quote
Palatability is another question. It appears cows do not like the taste of seaweed—when Asparagopsis was included at 0.75 percent of the diet, researchers observed a drop in the feed intake by the animals.
When doing field geology on the coast of New Zealand, there were 'always' cows eating seaweed at low tide, walking among the slippery boulders to get to their food-of-choice. (stock picture attached)

For decades there were cows who at lakeweed in the St. Marks River - again, this was these cows preferred diet.  (The cows were evicted due to cow rear-end 'water pollution'.)
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3035/2282145039_494ba45b18.jpg)
(reference (https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&id=E275B331402185F3A115D89E6F593DD34C501206&thid=OIP.rRgsaZjCiOKCU1mm0LIr3gHaFj&mediaurl=http%3A%2F%2Fc1.staticflickr.com%2F4%2F3035%2F2282145039_494ba45b18.jpg&exph=375&expw=500&q=cows+in+st.+marks+river&selectedindex=0&ajaxhist=0&vt=0&eim=0,1,2,6))
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: vox_mundi on June 18, 2019, 07:50:55 PM
Quote
Palatability is another question. It appears cows do not like the taste of seaweed—when Asparagopsis was included at 0.75 percent of the diet, researchers observed a drop in the feed intake by the animals.
When doing field geology on the coast of New Zealand, there were 'always' cows eating seaweed at low tide, walking among the slippery boulders to get to their food-of-choice. (stock picture attached)

For decades there were cows who at lakeweed in the St. Marks River - again, this was these cows preferred diet.  (The cows were evicted due to cow rear-end 'water pollution'.)
...

Comparing the taste of the two is like comparing a barrel cactus and watermelon..

The Bull Kelp the cows appear to be eating is in the Ochrophyta phylum; the methane suppressing seaweed, Asparagopsis, is in the Rhodophyta phylum. Also, it doesn't share the relevant enzymes. Though, it appears to taste better.

Edit: My bad; cactus and watermelon are in the same phylum, (Magnoliophyta- flowering plants ). A better comparison would be cactus and club moss
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Tor Bejnar on June 18, 2019, 08:03:12 PM
Bummer!  :'(
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Ken Feldman on July 17, 2019, 01:49:38 AM
This linked study from April 2019 finds that shale gas (from fracking), is lighter in 13C than traditional natural gas and that fracked natural gas may be the cause of the increasing methane levels in the past decade.

https://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/bg-2019-131/bg-2019-131.pdf (https://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/bg-2019-131/bg-2019-131.pdf)

Quote
Is Shale Gas a Major Driver of Recent Increase in Global Atmospheric Methane?

Robert W. Howarth

Abstract. Methane has been rising rapidly in the atmosphere over the past decade, contributing to global climate change. Unlike the late 20th  Century when the rise in atmospheric methane was accompanied by an enrichment in the heavier carbon stable isotope (13C) of methane, methane in recent years has become more depleted in 13C.  This depletion has been widely interpreted to indicate a primarily biogenic source for the increased methane.  Here we show that the change may instead be associated with emissions from shale gas and shale oil development.  While methane in conventional natural gas is enriched in 13C relative to the atmospheric mean, shale gas is depleted in 13C relative to this atmospheric level.   Correcting for this difference, we conclude that emissions from shale gas production in North America over the past decade may well be the leading cause of the increased flux of methane to the atmosphere.   Increased fluxes from biogenic sources such as animal agriculture and wetlands are far less important than indicated by some other recent papers using 13C data.

Quote
3. What is shale gas?

Shale gas is a form of unconventional natural gas (mostly methane) held tightly in shale rock formations.  Conventional natural gas, the dominant form of natural gas produced during the 20th Century, is composed largely of methane that migrated upward from the underlying sources such as shale rock over geological time, becoming trapped under a 10 geological seal (Fig. 2-A). Until this century, shale gas was not commercially developable. The use of a new combination of technologies in the 21st century – high precision directional drilling, high-volume hydraulic fracturing, and clustered multiwall drilling pads -- has changed this. In recent years, global shale gas production has exploded 14-fold, from 31 billion m3 per year in 2005 to 435 billion m3 per year in 2015 (Fig. 2-B), with 89% of this production in the United States and 10% in Canada (EIA 2016). Shale gas accounted for 63% of the total increase in natural gas production globally over the past decade 15 (EIA 2016, IEA 2017). The US Department of Energy predicts rapid further growth in shale gas production globally, reaching 1,500 billion m3 per year by 2040 (EIA 2016; Fig. 2-B).

Several studies have shown that theδ13C signal of methane from shale gas is often lighter (more depleted in 13C) than that from conventional natural gas (Golding et al. 2013; Botner et al. 2018). Here, we use the data from Figure 1 in the review 20 by Golding et al. (2013) that were explicitly identified as shale gas. The samples are from the New Albany shale (Martini et al. 1998), the Antrim shale (McIntosh et al. 2002), and an organic-rich shale in the northern Appalachian basin (Osborn and McIntosh 2010). Note that these studies appear to be the only ones included in theδ13C methane data repository published by Sherwood et al. (2017), which is the data set underlying the analysis by Schwietzke et al.(2016). Out of 61 data points for shale gas in the Golding et al. (2013) figure, only 5 had δ13C values similar to those for conventional natural gas, while many 25 samples more closely resembled the signal for biogenic gas. From the 61 values, we calculate a mean value δ13C for shale gas of -51.4 o/oo , with a 95% confidence limit of ± 1.2 o/oo. Thus, emissions of methane from shale gas are on average depleted in 13C relative to atmospheric methane, while methane from conventional natural gas is more 13C-enriched than atmospheric methane.

It should perhaps not be surprising that the δ 13C of methane from shale gas tends to be lighter than for conventional natural gas. In the case of conventional gas, the methane has migrated over geological time frames from the shale and other source rocks through permeable rocks until trapped below a seal (Fig. 2-A). During this migration, some of the methane is likely oxidized by bacteria, perhaps using iron (III) or sulfate as the source of the oxidizing power (Whelan et al. 1986; Rooze et al. 2016). Partial consumption of methane by bacteria would fractionate the methane by preferentially consuming the lighter 12C isotope and so, gradually enriching the remaining methane in 13C (Baldassare et al. 2014), resulting in a δ13C signal that is
less negative. The methane in shales, on the other hand, is tightly held in the rock formation and therefore less likely to have been subject to bacterial oxidation and the resulting fractionation. The expectation, therefore, is that methane in conventional natural gas should be heavier and less depleted in 13C than is the methane in shale gas.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: vox_mundi on August 15, 2019, 05:53:17 PM
Offshore Oil and Gas Rigs Leak More Greenhouse Gas Than Expected
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-offshore-oil-gas-rigs-leak.html

Using a laser-based instrument mounted on small fishing boats, the researchers estimated methane emissions from eight North Sea production platforms off the coasts of England and Scotland. Contrary to current expectations, they found that all the sampled offshore installations leaked even when they were not conducting operations expected to cause methane emissions. On average, methane leakage occurring during normal operations more than doubles each installations' reported emissions to the U.K."s National Atmospheric Emission Inventory.

In an article published Aug. 2 in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, the researchers noted that previously reported leakage from operating oil and gas platforms appear low: 0.13 percent of production by U.K. government estimates. However, the researchers found that an additional 0.19 percent occurred during normal operation. For the U.K., this additional 0.19 percent corresponds to an additional 330,000 cars on the road (an increase of 1 percent in registered U.K. vehicles), the researchers said. ...  Riddick said the .19 percent was a conservative estimate and the actual leakage could be greater.

... The researchers said the most recent findings raise concern that policymakers might not be receiving accurate estimates for methane leakage from off-shore oil and gas rigs. (... ya think)

Open Access: Stuart N. Riddick et al. Methane emissions from oil and gas platforms in the North Sea (https://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/19/9787/2019/), Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2019)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 01, 2019, 12:45:51 AM
The Trump Administration Just Loosened Methane Emissions Rules. Here's What To Know
https://time.com/5664449/epa-methane-emissions-rule/
Quote
Mann says the rollback is just a part of “a total full-frontal attack on environmental regulation under the current Administration.” He points to the EPA’s loosening of limits on carbon emissions, and the Administration’s desire to provide subsidies to the coal industry.

Other environmental experts and advocates also worry about the consequences of Thursday’s announcement.

“Today’s actions will create a tremendous amount of additional pollution we didn’t need to have, both from existing wells and new wells,” Siegel tells TIME.

“You cannot curb the climate change problem, you cannot avoid catastrophic warming, if you don’t curb methane along with carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases,” says NRDC’s Doniger.

“This is an unnecessary leap backwards,” adds Rob Jackson, an environmental scientist at Stanford. “Very few people in the public or the industry want this rollback.”
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 04, 2019, 07:01:54 PM
Will Antarctic Ice Doom Us All?
https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/will-antarctic-ice-doom-us-all-methane
Quote
For years, scientists have struggled to figure out exactly how much methane is trapped under the ice at the north and south poles and what it would mean for global temperatures if climate change melted enough ice to release that methane into the atmosphere. A new study published in Nature Communications provides the most comprehensive estimate to date: a staggering 80 to 480 gigatons. That’s a wide range, but even at the low end, it’s astonishing. For context, all the cattle and other domestic animals around the world produce an estimated .08 gigatons of methane annually. Eighty gigatons is 1,000 times that amount.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Ken Feldman on September 04, 2019, 09:32:41 PM
Methane emissions from the Permian oil field (in Texas, USA) have tripled in the past few years.

https://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Permian-methane-emissions-back-on-the-rise-after-14412700.php (https://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Permian-methane-emissions-back-on-the-rise-after-14412700.php)

Quote
Methane emissions and pollution in the booming Permian Basin likely hit a new record high in the second quarter after taking a small, but surprising, dip early this year, according to a new study.

The report estimates that the volumes of methane from natural gas burned off or vented into the atmosphere averaged of 663 million cubic feet per day in the second quarter, which is more than triple the amount of pollution and waste from just two years ago, according to the Norwegian research firm Rystad Energy.

The Permian has undergone a massive increase in natural gas flaring and venting in recent years, driven by higher activity and a lack of gas pipelines near the oil wells. Companies mostly only drill for the more valuable crude oil in the Permian, but associated gas comes out of the wells. Many companies opt to simply burn much of the gas away at the wellhead rather than possibly lose money transporting and selling the cheap gas.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 18, 2019, 08:30:43 PM
Pa. environmental board will vet proposed rules restricting potent greenhouse gas emissions
https://www.penncapital-star.com/blog/pa-environmental-board-will-vet-proposed-rules-restricting-potent-greenhouse-gas-emissions/
Quote
Three years after they were first announced, new regulations restricting methane emissions from existing natural gas wells will get a hearing before a statewide rulemaking body this year, Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said Tuesday.

The move comes as Republican President Donald Trump rolls back restrictions on the potent greenhouse gas.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Ken Feldman on October 02, 2019, 12:06:17 AM
The linked paper is an open-access pre-print for discuss survey of global methane emissions for the decade ending in 2017.

https://climatehomes.unibe.ch/~joos/papers/saunois19essddis.pdf (https://climatehomes.unibe.ch/~joos/papers/saunois19essddis.pdf)

Quote
The Global Methane Budget 2000-2017 Marielle Saunois, et.al 2019

Abstract. Understanding and quantifying the global methane (CH4) budget is important for assessing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change. Atmospheric emissions and concentrations of CH4 are continuing to increase, making CH4 the second most important human-influenced greenhouse gas in terms of climate forcing, after carbon dioxide (CO2). Assessing the relative importance of CH4 in comparison to CO2 is complicated by its shorter atmospheric lifetime, stronger warming potential, and atmospheric growth rate variations over the past decade, the causes of which are still debated. Two major difficulties in reducing uncertainties arise from the variety of geographically overlapping CH4 sources and from the destruction of CH4 by short-lived hydroxyl radicals (OH). To address these difficulties, we have established a consortium of multi-disciplinary scientists under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project to synthesize and stimulate new research aimed at improving and regularly updating the global methane budget. Following Saunois et al. (2016), we present here the second version of the living review paper dedicated to the decadal methane budget, integrating results of top-down studies (atmospheric observations within an atmospheric inverse-modelling framework) and bottom-up estimates (including process-based models for estimating land surface emissions and atmospheric chemistry, inventories of anthropogenic emissions, and data-driven extrapolations).  For the 2008-2017 decade, global methane emissions are estimated by atmospheric inversions (top-down approach) to be 572 Tg CH4 yr-1 (range 538-593, corresponding to the minimum and maximum estimates of the ensemble), of which 357 Tg CH4 yr-1 or ~60% are attributed to anthropogenic sources (range 50-65%). This total emission is 27 Tg CH4 yr-1 larger than the value estimated for the period 2000-2009 and 24 Tg CH4 yr-1 larger than the one reported in the previous budget for the period 2003-2012 (Saunois et al. 2016). Since 2012, global CH4 emissions have been tracking the carbon intensive scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Gidden et al., 2019). Bottom-up methods suggest larger global emissions (737 Tg CH4 yr-1, range 583-880) than top-down inversion methods, mostly because of larger estimated natural emissions from sources such as natural wetlands, other inland water systems, and geological sources. However the strength of the atmospheric constraints on the top-down budget, suggest that these bottom-up emissions are overestimated. The latitudinal distribution of atmospheric-based emissions indicates a predominance of tropical emissions (~65% of the global budget, <30°N) compared to mid (~30%, 30°N-60°N) and high northern latitudes (~4%, 60°N-90°N). Our analyses suggest that uncertainties associated with estimates of anthropogenic emissions are smaller than those of natural sources, with top-down inversions yielding larger uncertainties than bottom-up inventories and models. The most important source of uncertainty in the methane budget is attributable to natural emissions, especially those from wetlands and other inland waters. Some global source estimates are smaller compared to the previously published budgets (Saunois et al. 2016; Kirschke et al. 2013), particularly for vegetated wetland emissions that are lower by about 35 Tg CH4 yr-1 due to efforts to partition vegetated wetlands and inland waters. Emissions from geological sources are also found to be smaller by 7 Tg CH4 yr-1, and wild animals by 8 Tg CH4 yr-1. However the overall discrepancy between bottom-up and top-down estimates has been reduced by only 5% compared to Saunois et al. (2016), due to a higher estimate of freshwater emissions resulting from recent research and the integration of emissions from estuaries. Priorities for improving the methane budget include: i) a global, high-resolution map of water-saturated soils and inundated areas emitting methane based on a robust classification of different types of emitting habitats; ii) further development of process-based models for inland-water emissions; iii) intensification of methane observations at local scales (e.g., FLUXNET-CH4 measurements and urban monitoring to constrain bottom-up land surface models, and at regional scales (surface networks and satellites) to constrain atmospheric inversions; iv) improvements of transport models and the representation of photochemical sinks in top-down inversions, and v) development of a 3D variational inversion system using isotopic and/or co-emitted species such as ethane.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: wili on October 02, 2019, 12:18:43 AM
Thanks, Ken. Are there any specific findings in there that particularly stand out to you?
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Ken Feldman on October 02, 2019, 12:41:30 AM
The findings that stand out to me are that the increases are mostly from anthropogenic sources.  With all the hype that's given to "the permafrost is melting" or "methane craters are exploding in Siberia", that seems surprising.  However, if you follow what's been happening with fracking for natural gas and increased coal mining in China, it's not surprising.

Here's the summary on anthropogenic sources.

Quote
Based on the ensemble of databases detailed above, total anthropogenic emissions were 366 [348-392] Tg CH4 yr-1 for the decade 2008-2017 (Table 3, including biomass and biofuel burning) and 334 [325-357] Tg CH4 yr-1 for the preceding decade 2000-2009.

Quote
Global emissions of methane from fossil fuels, other industries and transport are estimated from four global inventories yielding 127 [111-154] Tg CH4 yr-1 for the 2008-2017 decade (Table 3), but with large differences in the rate of change during this period across inventories. The sector accounts on average for 35% (range 30-42%) of the total global anthropogenic emissions.

An average increase of 32 Tg methane emissions per year this decade compared to the previous decade.

By contrast, estimates of emissions from the ESAS have gone down.

Quote
For geological emissions, the most used value has long been 20 Tg CH4 yr-1, relying on expert knowledge and literature synthesis proposed in a workshop reported in Kvenvolden et al. (2001), the author of this study recognising that this was a first estimation and needs revision. Since then, oceanographic campaigns have been organized, especially to sample bubbling areas of active seafloor gas seep bubbling. For instance, Shakhova et al. (2010; 2014) infer 8-17 Tg CH4 yr-1 emissions just for the Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS), based on the extrapolation of numerous but local measurements, and possibly related to thawing subseabed permafrost (Shakhova et al., 2015). Because of the highly heterogeneous distribution of dissolved CH4 in coastal regions, where bubbles can most easily reach the atmosphere, extrapolation of in situ local measurements to the global scale can be hazardous and lead to biased global estimates. Indeed, using very precise and accurate continuous land shore-based atmospheric methane observations in the Arctic region, Berchet et al. (2016) found a range of emissions for ESAS of ~2.5 Tg CH4 yr-1 (range [0-5]), 4-8 times lower than Shakhova’s estimates. Such a reduction in ESAS emission estimate has also been inferred from oceanic observations by Thornton et al. (2016a) with a maximum sea-air CH4 flux of 2.9 Tg CH4 yr-1 for this region.
...
Therefore, as discussed in Section 3.2.2, we report here a reduced range of 5-10 Tg CH4 yr-1 for marine geological emissions compared to the previous budget, with a mean value of 7 Tg CH4 yr-1.

Thawing permafrost on land also gets a lot of attention.  Here's how it contributes the current global methane budget.

Quote
The thawing permafrost can generate direct and indirect methane emissions. Direct methane emissions rely on the release of methane contained in the thawing permafrost. This flux to the atmosphere is small and estimated to be at maximum 1 Tg CH4 yr-1 at present (USEPA, 2010a). Indirect methane emissions are probably more important. They rely on: 1) methanogenesis induced when the organic matter contained in thawing permafrost is released; 2) the associated changes in land surface hydrology possibly enhancing methane production (McCalley et al., 2014); and 3) the formation of more thermokarst lakes from erosion and soil collapsing. Such methane production is probably already significant today and could be more important in the future associated with a strong positive feedback to climate change (Schuur et al., 2015). However, indirect methane emissions from permafrost thawing are difficult to estimate at present, with very few data to refer to, and in any case largely overlap with wetland and freshwater emissions occurring above or around thawing areas. For instance, based on lake and soil measurements (Walter Anthony et al., 2016) found that methane emissions (~4 Tg CH4 yr-1) from thermokarst areas of lakes that have expanded over the past 60 years were directly proportional to the mass of soil carbon inputs to the lakes from the erosion of thawing permafrost. Here, we choose to report only the direct emission range of 0-1 Tg CH4 yr-1, keeping in mind that current wetland, thermokarst lakes and other freshwater methane emissions already likely include a significant indirect contribution originating from thawing permafrost. For the next century, it is estimated that 5-15% of the terrestrial permafrost carbon pool is vulnerable to release in the form of greenhouse gases, corresponding to 130-160 Pg C (Koven et al., 2015). The likely progressive release in the atmosphere of such an amount of carbon as carbon dioxide and methane may have a significant impact on climate change trajectory (Schuur et al., 2015). The underlying methane hydrates represent a substantial reservoir of methane, estimated up to 530 000 Tg of CH4 (Ciais et al., 2013). Although local to regional studies are conducted (e.g. Kuhn et al., 2018; Kohnert et al., 2017), present and future emissions related to this reservoir are difficult to assess for all the Arctic at the moment and still require more work.

So if we can decrease the use of fossil fuels, we can greatly reduce the methane concentrations in the atmosphere.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: morganism on January 13, 2020, 11:08:07 PM
A "diamond" cage of carbon and boron create a new type of clathrate.

https://carnegiescience.edu/news/superdiamond-carbon-boron-cages-can-trap-and-tap-different-properties

"The result is a 3D, carbon-based framework with diamond-like bonding that is recoverable to ambient conditions. But unlike diamond, the strontium atoms trapped in the cages make the material metallic—meaning it conducts electricity—with potential for superconductivity at notably high temperature.

What’s more, the properties of the clathrate can change depending on the types of guest atoms within the cages.

“The trapped guest atoms interact strongly with the host cages,” Strobel remarked. “Depending on the specific guest atoms present, the clathrate can be tuned from a semiconductor to a superconductor, all while maintaining robust, diamond-like bonds. Given the large number of possible substitutions, we envision an entirely new class of carbon-based materials with highly tunable properties.”
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: TerryM on January 14, 2020, 12:04:26 AM
^^
Superconducting semiconductors at high temperatures!


If it can be made to work it will tip technology on it's side. From batteries to computers it will change the world.


I hope it comes in before we're ushered out.
Terry
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on January 15, 2020, 01:41:02 PM
We have high temperature superconductors. What we need is room temperature superconductors.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: TerryM on January 17, 2020, 06:05:45 AM
We have high temperature superconductors. What we need is room temperature superconductors.


Room temp is the holy grail, but at least one of the articles mentioned very high temperatures.
If this process is cheap and easily reproducible it's a gigantic game changer, if they can raise the temperature to 0C, the world changes damn near overnight.


Terry
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: sidd on January 17, 2020, 08:44:15 PM
Being a once and sometime fizicist, I was at the 1987 APS meeting when the first hi-T superconductors were coming out. I have colleagues who were working on the early development, and some in the field today.  I know some of the people that started American Superconductor.

That said, I have been watching developments in the field for decades, and I fear that room-T and room-Pressure (very important) supercon is stilll very far away, if in fact it is even possible. Sorta like fusion.

sidd
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: morganism on January 17, 2020, 10:05:32 PM
and out today in Science...

"With strange metals, there is an unusual connection between electrical resistance and temperature," said corresponding author Silke Bühler-Paschen of TU Wien's Institute for Solid State Physics. "In contrast to simple metals such as copper or gold, this does not seem to be due to the thermal movement of the atoms, but to quantum fluctuations at the absolute zero temperature."

"The hallmark of the quantum critical point that they were advancing with co-workers is that the quantum entanglement between spins and charges is critical.

"At a magnetic quantum critical point, conventional wisdom dictates that only the spin sector will be critical," he said. "But if the charge and spin sectors are quantum-entangled, the charge sector will end up being critical as well."

DOI: 10.1126/science.aag1595

https://phys.org/news/2020-01-strange-metals.html
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: morganism on January 17, 2020, 10:16:14 PM
These "strange metals" clathrates, really are going to be interesting to crustal geology too. If these materials can push phonons along on the 2D surface, it could change some basic theory of seismic signals, heat transfer, and even planetary magnetism.

Seems like the "filler" materials in the "cages" could also be usefull for tracking blobs and plumes across boundries too. Signatures of volcanic emissions may be better grouped than the micro glass structures they are using now too.

who knew clathrates were going to end up being classed as "strange metals"?

Gonna be interesting how it works out....
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: nanning on January 18, 2020, 05:44:09 AM
Thanks sidd, I completely agree but was reluctant to break Terry's dream.

Plasmonics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_plasmon) (plasmon/polariton) is much closer I think. I have done a bachelor project at Amolf (https://amolf.nl/) (see profile photo) and their plasmonic research groups are advanced (in my understanding) in developing plasmonic science, techniques, equipment and controls. This was in 2012.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: TerryM on January 18, 2020, 11:52:15 AM
Thanks sidd, I completely agree but was reluctant to break Terry's dream.

Plasmonics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_plasmon) (plasmon/polariton) is much closer I think. I have done a bachelor project at Amolf (https://amolf.nl/) (see profile photo) and their plasmonic research groups are advanced (in my understanding) in developing plasmonic science, techniques, equipment and controls. This was in 2012.


I'm way out of my depth here, but...


They seem to be emphasizing that they've succeeded in synthesizing sp3 (diamond like bonding) for the "exoskeleton" of a clathrate, while stuffing it with materials that are superconductors at greater than the boiling point of liquid Nitrogen.


If superconductivity continues (because of the enormous pressures within the sp3 "cage"), even as temperatures increase this might be reported as "superconductivity at very high temperatures"?


Room temperature superconductivity (00C) is probably a long way off, but if high temperature (>BP of Nitrogen) superconductors could be mass produced economically the world will change in ways I can't imagine.


I'll bow to your collective expertise in these fields, but it is something I will be following.
Clathrates have fascinated me since the days of the Glomar Explorer, and her purported mission. ???
Terry
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: nanning on January 18, 2020, 04:00:56 PM
Hi Terry, I have no expertise in this but know a bit about physics and time tables of roll-out of really new technology to get an idea.
Thanks for the Glomar Explorer but perhaps you mean "Glomar Challenger (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glomar_Challenger)"?

I am curious about why and how you think the world will change in ways unimaginable by this potentially new superconductor. And I am also curious why and how you think this will be effective 'over night'. I know you a bit so you must have some arguments for those statements I think.

Non-expert me thinks it'll take decades for this potentially new technology to find its way into consumer/non-scientific/non-military equipment.
I know the crystal form of diamond (http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_cubic) but don't know sp3. I've found this on wikipedia: "Orbital hybridisation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_hybridisation)", is that what you mean? Having completed several Atomic Physics (but hardly any condensed matter (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condensed_matter_physics)) courses I understand that a bit but not in the context of a carbon clathrate with diamond-like bonding (http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond-like_carbon). There must be some constraints on the type of atoms to be captured in that clathrate. Perhaps I should just read the original article if there is one.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: TerryM on January 19, 2020, 05:45:54 AM
nanning
Glomar Challenger indeed proved challenging. ;)

"Overnight" encompases ~7 years according to some that have studied the matter, though with flat screens, EV's and transistors it felt sooner.

Carbon-boron clathrates as a new class of sp3-bonded framework materials
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/2/eaay8361 (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/2/eaay8361)

"The limited number of 3D sp3 carbon-based structures includes diamond, lonsdaleite (a hexagonal diamond allotrope) (5 (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/2/eaay8361#ref-5)), B-doped diamond (6 (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/2/eaay8361#ref-6)), SiC (7 (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/2/eaay8361#ref-7)), and BC2N (8 (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/2/eaay8361#ref-8)). These materials all have several attractive properties for applications that include hardness, strength, thermal conductivity, and electron mobility. Boron carbide also contains sp3-hybridized carbon, but these atoms serve as dopants within or linkages between B icosahedra (9 (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/2/eaay8361#ref-9), 10 (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/2/eaay8361#ref-10)), rather than establishing the overall structural framework. Of broader interest are 3D covalent organic frameworks (COFs), which are formed by linking sp2-hybridized molecular building blocks, that have attracted attention for gas storage and separations (11 (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/2/eaay8361#ref-11)). Compared with the exquisite synthetic control over porous COF materials, the experimental progress in denser sp3 carbon-based structures lags far behind."

As sidd pointed out, superconductivity at room temp. & room pressure may prove a chimera. It may be that the strength of sp3 clathrate bonds has solved the pressure problem. 100,000 PSI is 6.9 kpa, so 50 GPa ain't small potatoes!

It hasn't been getting much ink, which isn't a good sign, but if it does prove out I think it's akin to the world before the transistor and the world after.

Next month I'll be seeing some guys from the Perimeter Institute at a dinner. If they blow it off that will cool my ardor. :)
Terry
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: nanning on January 19, 2020, 09:34:31 AM
OK, thanks, I'd thought that it was a really new discovery but there has been some research on it for some time, I now understand. This is way beyond my understanding of physics. Still, there seem to be many barriers to overcome before a prototype stage is reached. This high pressure requirement and optimal configuration need to be solved first I guess. Too bad real quantum computing is still in its infancy otherwise it would make finding solutions easier I think (my very limited educated guess).
Thanks for the article link, I'll read it.

You may have seen in my earlier postings that I think high tech is the completely wrong path, even though it is extremely interesting and dreamy. What consumer applications could come from it? Do we need that? And who is 'we'? The military? We know how these new technology things will go from empirical evidence (nuclear, administrative computers for Nazi Germany, AI mil. robots, Internet profiling and influencing - Cambridge Analytica, loss of real social functions, tasers, more division and inequality, more control by the billionaires, more resources and more production for the happy few etc.). Has a faster Internet and the private car and the TV improved the human race and the Earth they live and depend upon? Please think about it.

Reality greetings from nanning-the-luddite.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: morganism on January 19, 2020, 11:35:42 AM
Graphene is a wonder material, and turns out edges control whether semi or full conductors. Likewise, adding strain, by twisting ribbons, allows you to attach conducting leads.

In ASTRO-geo, it's been found that 10% off all IDP's are nano diamond, and most stony meteorites appear to have same. And in those same dust particles, they have watched graphite re-shuttle molecules across their own structure to rebuild damaged portions, that they disrupted in experiments. They think that the graphite is also converted to diamond from cosmic ray hits.

2d surfaces, and carbon in particular, are pretty amazing.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: morganism on January 19, 2020, 12:01:56 PM
nanning,

Your familiar with the quote that " sufficiantly advanced sciences appear to be magic".

The newer one is that sufficiantly advanced technology appears to be biology.

Check out Helion Energy for a simple and modular fusion engine is in buildout phase. Fits in a boxcar, and uses magneto accelerated plasmas to impact with each other. They then use thermoelects to pull off electricity. You could mount one in a ship. Or a spaceship. 

Luddism is only for 20 something's. Baby's, adults, and old folks need healthcare, lights, heat or cooling. And we will need bio reactors and 3D printing to offset material shipping, and manufacuring foods from algae.

If you want simple tech, change your focus to get rid of patents, and turn to asteroid mining for materials. People will keep inventing tech and med, but we need to optimize on best design, modular construction, and recyclable materials. Asteroid mining and lunar ISRU, can teach us to shovel in mine waste, or river siltation, or even landfill waste, and get back separated base materials.

There is a great group doing open source, simple design, robust and modular farm tech, think it's Open Source Tech, or something. Tech can multiply horsepower, and reduce damage to ecosystems more than simply reducing population back to 500k humans...
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: nanning on January 19, 2020, 05:30:05 PM
I agree morganism, '2D' surfaces are pretty amazing. As are meta materials. What the heck, all of nature is amazing, especially living nature.

And yes if you look at living nature through a technology lens, it is magic. We still copy and modify living nature and call it human high tech. COPY IT BUT AT THE SAME TIME FEEL SUPREME OVER LIVING NATURE. Insanely inconsistent and blind to it.

We need children and old people to die like in the old days, and all diseases and vulnerabilities from before we started messing with living nature's death rates. Why do you think there is overpopulation? Civilisation humans have a deep fear of reality.

We don't need any of those things you mentioned.
People won't keep inventing tech and med. Soon it is all over and Earth can lick its wounds. Civilisation is at the very end of the total destruction phase because of its supremacy over living nature and the (destructive) insanity that follows from it. Civilisation brains don't work naturally and are therefore faulty. Total destruction will only end when civilisation ends.

It won't break your dreams because you'll find this absurd and stupid.
And I don't care. I know enough of the strength of the 'bubbles'. There's no job to do for me. It is like yelling at a wall.
I don't mean that personal and I mean no offence. I have no more function in this life after finding all the answers. I am just living.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: morganism on January 23, 2020, 10:41:49 AM
Another clathrate ? of the "strange metal" superconductors. This one is nickle oxide based, with doping of neodyminium. The Nd donates extra charge from its place in the lattice. Pretty cool, and these structures are starting to look like may be common in the lithosphere.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200121113028.htm

"Furthermore, the intervening layers actually contribute electrons to the nickelate sheets, creating a three-dimensional metallic state that is quite different from what's seen in the cuprates."

This is an entirely new type of ground state for transition metal oxides such as cuprates and nickelates, the researchers said. It opens new directions for experiments and theoretical studies of how superconductivity arises and how it can be optimized in this system and possibly in other compounds."

and  https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-019-0585-z

"the electronic structure of LaNiO2 and NdNiO2, while similar to the cuprates, includes significant distinctions. Unlike cuprates, the rare-earth spacer layer in the infinite-layer nickelate supports a weakly interacting three-dimensional 5d metallic state, which hybridizes with a quasi-two-dimensional, strongly correlated state with \(3d_{x^2-y^2}\) symmetry in the NiO2 layers. Thus, the infinite-layer nickelate can be regarded as a sibling of the rare-earth intermetallics13,14,15, which are well known for heavy fermion behaviour, where the NiO2 correlated layers play an analogous role to the 4f states in rare-earth heavy fermion compounds. This Kondo- or Anderson-lattice-like ‘oxide-intermetallic’ replaces the Mott insulator as the reference state from which superconductivity emerges upon doping."

edit. SLAC news release with diagram

https://www6.slac.stanford.edu/news/2020-01-20-first-detailed-electronic-study-new-nickelate-superconductor.aspx
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Ken Feldman on June 27, 2020, 01:33:10 AM
Satellites are showing that leaks from operating oil and gas infrastructure are responsible for much higher methane emissions than previously estimated.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-methane-satellites-insi/satellites-reveal-major-new-gas-industry-methane-leaks-idUSKBN23W3K4 (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-methane-satellites-insi/satellites-reveal-major-new-gas-industry-methane-leaks-idUSKBN23W3K4)

Quote
June 25, 2020
Satellites reveal major new gas industry methane leaks
Shadia Nasralla

LONDON (Reuters) - Last fall, European Space Agency satellites detected huge plumes of the invisible planet-warming gas methane leaking from the Yamal pipeline that carries natural gas from Siberia to Europe.

Energy consultancy Kayrros estimated one leak was spewing out 93 tonnes of methane every hour, meaning the daily emissions from the leakage were equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide pumped out in a year by 15,000 cars in the United States.

Quote
Up to now, estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from industries have relied mainly on paper-based calculations of what’s pouring out of tailpipes and smokestacks, based on the amount of energy consumed by people and businesses.

But as satellite technology improves, researchers are starting to stress test the data - and the early results show leaky oil and gas industry infrastructure is responsible for far more of the methane in the atmosphere than previously thought.

Quote
A study in February’s Nature magazine reinforced the idea that the oil and gas industry produces far more methane than previously thought as it suggested emissions of the gas from natural causes have been significantly overestimated.

Quote
A year later, Canadian greenhouse gas monitoring company GHGSat found another major leak at pipeline and compressor infrastructure near the Korpezhe field in Turkmenistan.

In an October report, GHGSat estimated the leak released 142,000 tonnes of methane in the 12 months to the end of January 2019 and said then it was the biggest on record.

For comparison, a large Siberian methane crater was estimated to have released 3,000 tonnes of methane and when it initially exploded.  See the RealClimage article here:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/08/how-much-methane-came-out-of-that-hole-in-siberia/ (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/08/how-much-methane-came-out-of-that-hole-in-siberia/)
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Ken Feldman on July 15, 2020, 01:30:51 AM
An update to the global methane budget comparing 2017 (latest year with full data available) to the period when methane concentrations weren't increasing (2000 to 2006) was just published.  The good news is that the Arctic permafrost isn't a major source (yet).  The bad news is that much of the anthropogenic increase is from agriculture, which will be really hard to reduce.

https://scitechdaily.com/global-methane-emissions-soar-to-record-high-even-as-pandemic-has-reduced-carbon-emissions/ (https://scitechdaily.com/global-methane-emissions-soar-to-record-high-even-as-pandemic-has-reduced-carbon-emissions/)

Quote
Global Methane Emissions Soar to Record High, Even As Pandemic Has Reduced Carbon Emissions
By Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences July 14, 2020

The pandemic has tugged carbon emissions down, temporarily. But levels of the powerful heat-trapping gas methane continue to climb, dragging the world further away from a path that skirts the worst effects of global warming.
Global emissions of methane have reached the highest levels on record. Increases are being driven primarily by growth of emissions from coal mining, oil and natural gas production, cattle and sheep ranching, and landfills.

Quote
Globally, fossil fuel sources and cows are twin engines powering methane’s upward climb. “Emissions from cattle and other ruminants are almost as large as those from the fossil fuel industry for methane,” Jackson said. “People joke about burping cows without realizing how big the source really is.”
Throughout the study period, agriculture accounted for roughly two-thirds of all methane emissions related to human activities; fossil fuels contributed most of the remaining third. However, those two sources have contributed in roughly equal measure to the increases seen since the early 2000s.

Quote
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, carbon emissions plummeted as manufacturing and transportation ground to a halt. “There’s no chance that methane emissions dropped as much as carbon dioxide emissions because of the virus,” Jackson said. “We’re still heating our homes and buildings, and agriculture keeps growing.”

Quote
Tropical and temperate regions have seen the biggest jump in methane emissions. Boreal and polar systems have played a lesser role. Despite fears that melting in the Arctic may unlock a burst of methane from thawing permafrost, the researchers found no evidence for increasing methane emissions in the Arctic – at least through 2017.

And here's a link to the scientific study:

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9ed2 (https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9ed2)

Quote
ncreasing anthropogenic methane emissions arise equally from agricultural and fossil fuel sources

R B Jackson, M Saunois, P Bousquet, J G Canadell, B Poulter, A R Stavert, P Bergamaschi, Y Niwa, A Segers and A Tsuruta
Published 15 July 2020
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 15, Number 7

Quote
Global average methane concentrations in the atmosphere reached ~1875 parts per billion (ppb) at the end of 2019, more than two-and-a-half times preindustrial levels (Dlugokencky 2020). The largest methane sources include anthropogenic emissions from agriculture, waste, and the extraction and use of fossil fuels as well as natural emissions from wetlands, freshwater systems, and geological sources (Kirschke et al 2013, Saunois et al 2016a, Ganesan et al 2019). Here, we summarize new estimates of the global methane budget based on the analysis of Saunois et al (2020) for the year 2017, the last year of the new Global Methane Budget and the most recent year data are fully available. We compare these estimates to mean values for the reference 'stabilization' period of 2000–2006 when atmospheric CH4 concentrations were relatively stable. We present data for sources and sinks and provide insights for the geographical regions and economic sectors where emissions have changed the most over recent decades.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: P-maker on July 15, 2020, 05:23:32 AM
Thanks Ken for your solid work on covering this important issue.

The paper is easily read, and despite the ongoing "battle" between fossil fuel and agriculture, gives a credible and global perspective.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: gerontocrat on July 15, 2020, 06:46:02 PM
Methane is a menace...
Article + links to research letter below

Something that could be fixed but won't be?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/14/livestock-farming-and-fossil-fuels-could-drive-4c-global-heat-rise
Methane rises to highest level on record
Livestock farming and fossil fuels are main causes of rise in gas, which is 28 times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat

Quote
Since 2000 discharges of the odourless, colourless gas have risen by more than 50m tonnes a year, equivalent to 350m cars or double the total emissions of Germany or France, according to the latest Methane Budget study by a global team of scientists.

The findings, published in Earth System Science Data and Environmental Research Letters, show that more than half of the methane in the atmosphere now comes from human sources. Of this share, ranching, agriculture and landfills account for about two-thirds, while the fossil fuel industry, composed of oil, gas and coal, makes up the rest.

In 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, the planet’s atmosphere absorbed almost 600m tonnes of methane, up 9% from the early years of the century when concentrations were relatively stable.

Rob Jackson, a professor at the Stanford University School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, in California, chairs the Global Carbon Project and led one of the papers. He said human activities since the industrial revolution had increased the amount of methane in the atmosphere by 2.6 times, compared with 1.7 times for carbon dioxide.


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As methane is more potent then CO2 and shorter-lived in its climate effects, it should be a focus of efforts to cut emissions, said Jackson.

“CO2 is still the beast to slay but warming from methane is the next most important. Acting aggressively on methane can buy us time to address CO2 and shave half a degree off the peak temperature,” he said. “I am optimistic about opportunities to find methane super-emitters, using drones and satellites. But it is harder to cut emissions from a billion burping cows and a billion sheep, where dietary choices and manure management matter.”

The change is markedly different by sector and location. Agricultural methane emissions rose nearly 11% in the study period, while those from fossil fuels rose 15%.

Regionally, the biggest increases – of 10m to 15m tonnes a year – were in Asia, Africa and Oceania, largely due to farming. In the US most of the 4.5m-tonne rise over the past decade has been attributed to fracking and others forms of oil and gas drilling, piping and consumption.

Europe was the only continent to register a decline thanks to strong measures to reduce emissions from manure and industry. The Arctic also saw little change, suggesting fears of methane being released from melting permafrost had not been realised up to 2017.

The authors said there could not be a worldwide stabilisation in methane emissions unless governments took rapid action.


https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9ed2
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9ed2/pdf
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: GoSouthYoungins on July 15, 2020, 07:15:39 PM
[Methane] is 28 times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat[/b]

That's at least a 4x underestimation.  An "improved discussion of methane and climate" might want to start with a GWP1 for CH4.
Title: Re: Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
Post by: Simon on July 15, 2020, 08:57:46 PM
Radiative forcings of CO2, CH4 and other greenhouse gases are given towards the bottom of this page

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi.html

CH4 is about a 1/4 that of CO2