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Author Topic: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.  (Read 14150 times)

dorlomin

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Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« on: October 15, 2014, 06:38:22 PM »
http://climatecrocks.com/2014/10/15/calling-the-methane-bomb-squad/


Interview with Dr. Carolyn Ruppel.

Meanwhile Peter Wadhams is threatening to sue scientists who criticise him, namely Simon Lewis of UCL.

Nice bunch of chaps,  8) sounds familiar.

Still its exciting to think you are one of the few people clever enough to see something that sounds kewl like an "extinction level event" or so and easy to find an audience online.

And if people disagree with you, threaten to sue. 
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viddaloo

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2014, 07:09:25 PM »
If that kind of bully rhetoric impressed me the slightest, I wouldn't be worried about the methane scenarios. Sadly, it takes more than a joke and an attitude to make them go away.
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ChrisReynolds

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2014, 07:28:39 PM »
Stoat on Wadhams and the Royal Society Arctic meeting.
http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2014/10/07/wadhams-and-the-mighty-shtwit-storm/

Gave me quite a laugh.

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 10:01:24 PM »
Note that the Arctic Sea Ice Blog has been mentioned in the official dispatches (on page 11):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzOmEySKhRVOc1prYUNLQXhoa3c/view

No credit or citation by Wadhams was given to the originator of the graph

i.e. Wipneus

There's a familiar looking "Arctic Death Spiral" pictured on page 13 also.

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viddaloo

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2014, 10:26:25 PM »
The Royal Society for Bullying Scientists We Don't Like also failed to invite participants of this Summer's SWERUS voyage, if I'm not mistaken. That's excellent bullying, chaps!
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Neven

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2014, 10:57:08 PM »
Note that the Arctic Sea Ice Blog has been mentioned in the official dispatches (on page 11):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzOmEySKhRVOc1prYUNLQXhoa3c/view

No credit or citation by Wadhams was given to the originator of the graph

i.e. Wipneus

There's a familiar looking "Arctic Death Spiral" pictured on page 13 also.

I wrote a blog post about it 2 years ago: Use of graphs. It's too bad Wadhams again didn't properly reference something that came out of the ASIB community.

WRT this whole thing with Wadhams: on the one hand I find that he has gone increasingly overboard in recent years, and associating with AMEG just isn't a good thing to do IMO (something I considered at one point), especially for a scientist.

On the other hand, he is one of the few people who sounded the alarm at a very early moment, avant la lettre I would even say. And the danger of throwing him under the bus, which is now understandably, but perhaps too eagerly done to show how objective climate scientists are, detracts from the seriousness of the situation in the Arctic.

So, by all means throw him under the bus, but at the same time emphasize that things in the Arctic are serious and risky business, even if Wadhams is too alarmist. I miss that a bit.
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viddaloo

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2014, 12:59:18 AM »
"Cool" schoolkids bullying hard working scientists, that's my first (and second) impression of this.

Just because you can be childish and think of a joke about something or someone, doesn't necessarily mean that said thing or person is silly. We may call this the Americanization of science, where throwing eggs at scientists will probably be the next step.
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ChrisReynolds

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2014, 09:18:33 AM »
"Cool" schoolkids bullying hard working scientists, that's my first (and second) impression of this.

Just because you can be childish and think of a joke about something or someone, doesn't necessarily mean that said thing or person is silly. We may call this the Americanization of science, where throwing eggs at scientists will probably be the next step.

Your impression is wrong because you haven't used the available evidence (as usual).

e.g. Gavin Schmidt tweeted jokingly just before Wadhams came on that the audience were in tears in anticipation of Wadham's presentation. Wadhams objected to this. But the joke was that just before Wadhams came on a baby started crying. People are however getting sick of unphysical curve extrapolation, and the way that Wadhams accepts he is using this, yet still relies on it.

I agree with Neven that "he has gone increasingly overboard in recent years", IMO it all started after the Bryden et al fiasco.

Gray-Wolf

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2014, 12:44:33 PM »
I'd noted the vids ( from the top of the page) and was not too impressed with the omissions they appeared to contain esp. the Siberian shelf and how the initial scientist dealt ( or not) with the unique properties/problems associated with that region?

And why focus on Beaufort for methane searches? surely the McKensie's outflow is very different in nature to the rivers flowing into Laptev? Surely water depth is also very different in both regions?

Shakhova always highlights why the shallow sea permafrost may bring issues compared to the rest of the worlds oceans esp. the potential for millenia of slow release methane having 'pooled' beneath ice 'caps'. To me it is this that I find a worry. i remember my A level Geography noting the submerged permafrost but also that it would not be an issues for many hundreds of years being 'protected' beneath year round sea ice. this was only in 82' so the vids highlighting temps over it being up 16 degrees warmer than those on land again do not paint the correct image of rapid changes swinging 'safe' deposits into a concern since sea ice retreated from the area in the noughties.

It was almost like watching a discussion from the 80's that took no account of the changes we have seen or the data we have read from the ESS?
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jai mitchell

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2014, 09:33:18 PM »
1. Wadhams shows Wipneus' 2011 October monthly PIOMAS chart with exponential decay projections and Sept. ice loss as early as 2015.

2.  Gavin Schmidt asks him, (roughly) "do you have a basis in physics for the utilization of that projection".

3.  Wadhams states succinctly, "no"

4.  Gavin tweets, (again roughtly) "Wadhams once again using bad charts with no physical basis in his presentation.


--------

let's look at this for a second.

Wadhams posts Wip's chart, he uses and older one because it fits his previous projections.  In other words, he wants to explain his "as early as 2015" statement.  Remember, in 2011 this is exactly what the data showed. 

Aside for a moment why he didn't use more recent data or if he is shortsighted in using the exponential projection, let us first understand the following.

Wipneus's graphic is based on a satellite confirmed model (PIOMAS)  the monthly data is robust and a much better indicator than SIE (by at least an order of magnitude).  The scientific community is still stuck on SIE as a primary indicator.  They are first pushing back against the Use of PIOMAS as a primary predictor.

Second.  The Piomas data is ROBUST.  it is an indication of the actual events of the arctic.  To challenge the "basis in physics" of the use of this chart is to ask, "do you have a physical explanation for (the actual events of the arctic).  or to put it another way.  "Do you have the absolute solution to what is causing the rapid sea ice loss that has been observed by all forms of scientific study of the region.

If he had, quite magically, said "yes it is . . .and gave the correct answer" then they could have all just packed up and gone home because he would have superseded all remaining presentations and discussion of the science of arctic sea ice.

it was an impossible question, and a gratuitous one.  It was an impossible one to answer and to challenge it is to challenge the proven piomas data.  (which is what wadhams should have said.)  "I don't need to have a function model for this, this is real, historical data." 

To then attach significance on the word "imminent" with regard to a fifty gigatone release of methane and to disallow a 50-year window of potential under RCP 8.5 is not only doing a disservice to climate and arctic science.  It is doing a disservice to all of humanity.

In my opinion, Gavin Schmidt should be ashamed.  But maybe I am misinterpreting the exchange and the dialogue since I have not been a participant.

Ultimately, the implications of the PIOMAS data, as interpreted by Wadhams is absolutely defensible, especially when considered under a 50 (or even 100 year) time scale. 

AND

Gavin's dismissal of it as "imminent" is shortsighted, to say the least as his comparisons with paleoclimate data (methane signal smoothing in the 800 ka EPIC-A core record) would not reveal a slower release (say over a 500 year period) that the milankovitch forcing time scales would most likely produce.

 
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viddaloo

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2014, 07:51:49 AM »
It was almost like watching a discussion from the 80's that took no account of the changes we have seen or the data we have read from the ESS?

Gray-Wolf, that's politics for you. Subsea release of CH₄ from hydrates is a far more 'inconvenient truth' than Gore's presentation of mainstream Greenhouse Effect theory, and so the noise transmitters are activated (ridicule, bullying, exclusion) while censorship is applied to the media. It will be interesting to see how far they can go with these tactics in the age of the Internet.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 09:32:10 AM by viddaloo »
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Gray-Wolf

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2014, 11:11:34 AM »
I just feel I've been pushed into a position of holding 'extreme/catastrophic' views on what I believe to be occurring and that the 2012 'wake up call' from the E.S.S. ( ships captains reporting boiling seas and hastily assembled international study teams rushing to the area) was a 'nothing'?

Were the likes of myself too hasty in accepting the words of Shakhova above 'experts' with no experience in the area or should we pay more mind to the likes of the folk putting out the above video?

Yes I think the methane emergency group push thing out to the very extreme and so put more 'serious' folk away from them ( I've been called a 'doomsayer' for speaking my truth so I'm more cautious these days!) but surely the risks for rapid destabilisation of the East Siberian Sea deposits is as real as Shakhova and folks portray?
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viddaloo

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2014, 01:27:10 PM »
I'm sorry for not answering you directly here, Gray–Wolf, but you said something very interesting there: The bubbling seas of 2012. I'm trying very hard to find out what days/months this happened in 2012. Do you have any info on that?
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TeaPotty

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2014, 09:21:33 PM »
Robert Scribbler has well documented the bullying and disregard for the observational research that mainstream scientists have joined in on, like a boy's club of conservatives:
http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/ignoring-the-arctic-methane-monster-royal-society-goes-dark-on-arctic-observational-science/

I have lost hope for our future. Mainstream scientists today are mostly corporate salesmen, often defending the individualist "infinite growth" behavior that got us into this mess. You will find more scientists and science communicators engaging climate deniers than the so-called "alarmists" who base their arguments mostly on observational evidence that models are getting wrong. In fact, mainstream scientists never have and I doub ever will apologize to the public or acknowledge to themselves Just how wrong her underestimations have been. The public will never be notified of our current extinction path, and scientists seem mostly as content as the 1% in keeping this info to themselves.

Even the People's Climate March was an embarrassing political show, with many of those responsible for our continues destruction and apathy able to join in with more Greenwashing and pictures for the media PR. I asked at one of the meeting before the March why we can't bring attention to our extinction crisis or our failure to keep below 2C. But alas, the corporate sponsors who paid for all the subway advertisements must not have approved.

viddaloo

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2014, 09:56:32 PM »
TeaPotty,

I have very mixed feelings here. On the one hand, a clinically insane panel will finish us off earlier, and thus leaving the globe to the neobiology at an earlier date to conquer. On the other hand I feel deeply sorry for the trees, the animals and the kids. What did they do to deserve this fate?
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Gray-Wolf

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2014, 11:56:10 AM »
Hi Vid! Got my year wrong , it was 2011 at the end of aug and Neven ended up doing a piece over in the other place on the results that came from the 'hastily arranged expedition'?

Thanks for the link to R. Scribblers piece T.P., esp. the letter Shakhova wrote to the Royal society dismayed that her team was not invited to bring factual evidence to the meeting. Seems my earlier post was pretty close to the truth of the matter and my opinion is duly reinforced on the subject.

It would appear that I've turned into both a CAGW'er and a conspiracy nut over night!!!! 
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SCYetti

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2014, 08:55:48 PM »
I don't comment much because while I am interested I don't have a lot to add. As regards Peter Wadhams I don't think his opinions are misinformed or ignorant. Those scientists that have ventured  into the Arctic and studied generally seem more concerned about methane than those who have studied maybe less intensely and from afar.

I only began following Neven's blog since April or May 2012 so I missed the blog entry on the bubbling methane. I think it's found here: http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2011/12/arctic-methane-russian-researchers-report.html

Pmt111500

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2014, 08:02:40 AM »
intended to post this to http://climatecrocks.com/2014/10/20/methane-bomb-squad-part-5-shakhova-schmidt/ but the sign in procedure is too much for me.

Maybe a relevant picture here:

http://royalsocietypublishing.org/content/roypta/369/1943/2133/F5.large.jpg?width=800&height=600

ACR - Antarctic Cold Reversal
B/A - Bölling-Alleröd period
YD - Younger Dryas.

deltaD - Deuterium proxy of temperature (antarctic core)
CO2 - carbon dioxide
CH4 - methane

what's lacking here is of course deltaD or deltaO from Greenland, which would likely show a clearer connection to methane levels than to the CO2 levels. then we might wonder what's the next level of CO2 that triggers such a spike in methane, and if is there one.
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jai mitchell

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2014, 09:21:43 PM »
PMTs Picture

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jai mitchell

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2014, 06:45:16 PM »


The Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf became submerged only 7 thousand years ago.  The decomposition profile of the subsea permafrost could not have occurred before temperatures declined to our pre-industrial averages only 2 thousand years later. 

In addition, the accumulation of massive amounts of carbon-laden sediments (is some places over 15m deep on the sea floor) is new material posed to release GHG to the atmosphere from this region.

There would naturally be no massive methane eruption from this region until sufficient decomposition and subsequent anthropogenic temperature spike (8-20C) regionally winter-summer deviations from pre-industrial norms.
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Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2014, 03:28:56 AM »
I concur with the dialing back on methane scare stories. The recent 2666 ppb spike on October 26, 2014 triggered an AMEG post that was also commented on by Robert Scribbler.

After some thought, I felt it time to respond. In reality, hype about spikes "dragon's breath" sensationalize rare events over the methane increase trends that matter. The spike was a 12 hour event, that barely makes a blip in the 10 day (dekadal) mean.

I blogged on this issue in response to Scribbler: http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/2014/11/methane-spikes-lots-of-hype-no-long.html

I think we have to stay closer to solid science and data.

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AbruptSLR

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2016, 12:06:55 AM »
Apparently Peter Wadhams feels that Arctic marine methane hydrate decomposition remains a worrisome feedback w.r.t. Arctic Amplification:

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/as_arctic_ocean_ice_disappears_global_climate_impacts_intensify_wadhams/3037/


Extract: "But the most worrisome feedback, which could lead to catastrophic effects in the near future, involves the release of seabed methane — a potent greenhouse gas — from the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean.

 The Arctic Ocean is unusual in that, while its abyssal depths are great (13,000 feet or more), it is surrounded by wide continental shelf seas only 150 to 300 feet deep. Most of these — the East Siberian, Kara, Laptev, and Barents seas — lie to the north of Siberia. Until this century, most of these Arctic continental shelves were covered with sea ice even in summer, and this prevented the water temperature from rising above 32 degrees F. During the last decade, however, the summer sea ice has retreated from the shelves, allowing the water to warm up into the high 30s. The warmer water, extending to the seabed, thaws the offshore permafrost that has been in place since the last Ice Age. Underneath it is a thick layer of sediment containing large amounts of methane in the form of solid methane hydrates; these have a cage-like crystal structure in which methane molecules are surrounded by ice.

 The release of the overlying pressure allows the hydrates to disintegrate and turn into gaseous methane, which bubbles up through the water column in intense plumes and is released to the atmosphere. This release is already causing global methane levels to rise after being flat through the early years of this century. The fear is that a larger portion of the methane will be released from the sediments. And although methane only remains in the atmosphere for a decade or so (unlike CO2, which can linger for centuries), it traps heat 23 times more efficiently per molecule than carbon dioxide.

The Russian scientists investigating the offshore plumes (joined recently by German and Swedish expeditions) fear that a pulse of up to 50 gigatons of methane — some 8 percent of the estimated stock in the Arctic sediments — could be released within a very few years, starting soon. If this happened, model studies show that there would be a virtually immediate warming of 1 degree F, with accompanying massive costs to the planet.

 What is the risk of such an outbreak? Many scientists say it is low, although those who regard it as high are the very scientists who have actually done the observational work in the East Siberian Sea. The IPCC ignores this risk, but does go into the likely result of the thawing of permafrost on land, which would itself set off a total methane emission of a similar magnitude, albeit spread over decades."

See also:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/19/loss-of-planet-reflectivity-an-impending-catastrophe/

&

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2016/09/12/0200000000AEN20160912010900320.html
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 01:05:10 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Neven

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2016, 11:12:12 AM »
Here's a Siberian Times article from last week you have probably seen, ASLR:

Arctic methane gas emission 'significantly increased since 2014' - major new research
By The Siberian Times reporter
04 October 2016

New expedition in Laptev Sea suggests increase in the rate of underwater permafrost degradation.


'The area of spread of methane mega-emissions has significantly increased in comparison with the data obtained in the period from 2011 to 2014.' Picture: TPU

The findings come from an expedition now underway led by Professor Igor Semiletov, of Tomsk Polytechnic University, on the research vessel 'Academic M.A. Lavrentyev' which left Tiksi on 24 September on a 40 day mission.

The seeping of methane from the sea floor is greater than in previous research in the same area, notably carried out between 2011 and 2014.

'The area of spread of methane mega-emissions has significantly increased in comparison with the data obtained in the period from 2011 to 2014,' he said. 'These observations may indicate that the rate of degradation of underwater permafrost has increased.'

Detailed findings will be presented at an international conference in Tomsk on 21 to 24 November. The research enables comparison with previously obtained data on methane emissions.

Read the rest here.
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wili

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2016, 01:27:20 PM »
It's frustrating that they didn't go into more detail about exactly by how much the methane emissions have increased now. "Significant" is all we have to go on, for now, it seems.
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A-Team

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2016, 06:06:18 PM »
While sympathetic to the concerns here, it doesn't seem like there's been much of a change in pressure over the continental shelves in recent years as both fresh and salt water are denser than (floating) ice.

Wadhams would not be talking about piled-up landfast ice here, so it's unclear what causes the "release of the overlying pressure", surely not 10-20 cm of freeboard. A lot of this area never had ice sheets during the Pleistocene, notable Wrangel. Similarly, melting of sub-sea permafrost again just substitutes water for ice, though more importantly reducing the solid physical barrier to chimney formation thus allowing methane escape, 

Warming of capped gaseous methane would indeed increase its pressure which has a comparable effect to lowering overburden pressure (ie escape is easier); warming of the predominant methane hydrate form does not notably increase pressure until instability criteria are met (hydrate decomposes to methane and water, methane comes out of solution).

Whether the temperature reaches the "high 30s" at any depth for any length of time over a large region of the Siberian continental shelf remains to be established; presumably Russian scientists measured temperature profiles to the bottom during CTD-methane casts but that data would be exceedingly spotty in space and time; satellites see only surface water temperature. Mixing -- now that has changed markedly for the worse with less ice coverages and longer fetches.

There's also a question much of the methane coming up through sediments ever reaches the bottom of the ocean because of sulfate oxidizing methanotrophs there. Methane that does reach the sea water but dissolves there can also be consumed. Yes, some is seen bubbling into the atmosphere but the recent rise in atmospheric methane has been assigned (via isotope studies) to tropical wetlands.

On the other hand, it makes more sense to go out just a couple of half-lives of atmospheric methane (~17 years) during which it is something like 113 times worse than carbon dioxide because so much damage will be done in that time frame considering knock-on effects that methane's later contributions (as CO2) over a hundred or thousand year time frame are totally moot.

We frequently hear the 'Holocene' argument (not to worry, the methane didn't break out before)  but this is monumentally unconvincing -- there is next to nothing known about ice and temperature profile of the Arctic Ocean and its bottom sediments during this period. Each era has to build on what came before.

Finally, this is a case where other scientific parties (people consumed with carbon dioxide) have captured the narrative, with the rest mostly afflicted with Stockholm (or Patty Hearst) Syndrome though not Wadhams. This is the explanation for the nastiness that greets every exploration of Siberian methane. No one is factual positioned to lecture us about risk likelihood here. More observational work would be most welcome.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 06:11:20 PM by A-Team »

AbruptSLR

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2016, 07:37:45 PM »
... so it's unclear what causes the "release of the overlying pressure

The following is a re-post of a reply that I made last November (2015) in the "Conservative Science and Its Consequences" thread on how overlying pressure could be rapidly relieved by submarine landslides as mechanical stress reduces the shear strength of hydrate saturates seafloor near Arctic continental shelves:

"The linked (open access) reference provides evidence that methane hydrate crystals with sizes smaller than 15 to 20 nm (say within a soil matrix) become unexpected and rapidly weak (when subjected to mechanical stress) as the grain size gets smaller.  This behavior has significant climate change implications as it should make Clathrate Gun failures easier to trigger by earthquakes, sea-level-fluctuations and human activities, than previously realized.  Thus if sea level actually does increase by 2 to 5m by 2100, the associated seismic, and hydrostatic, stress changes should promote much more frequent methane hydrate gas emissions associated with marine land slide along continental slopes around the world (but particularly in the polar regions):

Jianyang Wu, Fulong Ning, Thuat T. Trinh, Signe Kjelstrup, Thijs J.H. Vlugt, Jianying He, Bjørn H. Skallerud and Zhiliang Zhang (2015), "Mechanical instability of monocrystalline and polycrystalline methane hydrates", Nature Communications; DOI: 10.1038/NCOMMS9743

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/151102/ncomms9743/full/ncomms9743.html

Abstract: "Despite observations of massive methane release and geohazards associated with gas hydrate instability in nature, as well as ductile flow accompanying hydrate dissociation in artificial polycrystalline methane hydrates in the laboratory, the destabilising mechanisms of gas hydrates under deformation and their grain-boundary structures have not yet been elucidated at the molecular level. Here we report direct molecular dynamics simulations of the material instability of monocrystalline and polycrystalline methane hydrates under mechanical loading. The results show dislocation-free brittle failure in monocrystalline hydrates and an unexpected crossover from strengthening to weakening in polycrystals. Upon uniaxial depressurisation, strain-induced hydrate dissociation accompanied by grain-boundary decohesion and sliding destabilises the polycrystals. In contrast, upon compression, appreciable solid-state structural transformation dominates the response. These findings provide molecular insight not only into the metastable structures of grain boundaries, but also into unusual ductile flow with hydrate dissociation as observed during macroscopic compression experiments."


See also:
http://phys.org/news/2015-11-key-properties-methane-hydrates-permafrost.html

Extract: "In both tensile and compression stress simulations, the surprising finding was that as the grain size got smaller, the hydrates first got stronger, able to tolerate both compression and tensile stress—but only until they reached a certain grain size. If the researchers conducted simulations on grain sizes smaller than those identified as the turning point, the hydrate actually got weaker.
The maximum capacity of the hydrates appears when the grain size is around 15 to 20 nm. This resembles the behaviour of polycrystalline metals, such as copper. However, this is the first time that researchers have seen this type of behaviour in methane hydrates as a material. The grain size-dependent strength and maximum capacity that the researchers found can be used in predicting and preventing the failure of hydrates in the future.

Instability can be triggered

This unexpected rapid weakening of the crystal structure as the grain size gets smaller has important implications for any work in areas where hydrates are found.
The researchers reported that the dissociation of methane hydrates can be triggered by the ground deformation caused by "earthquakes, storms, sea-level fluctuations or man-made disturbances (including well drilling and gas production from hydrate reservoirs)."
"This has an impact on these big issues," Zhang said. "Here we have taken one step forward, but of course there is a lot more work to be done." "
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2016, 09:35:42 PM »
While DeConto has estimated that the WAIS will initiate cliff failure & hydrofracturing behavior well before the GMST anom reaches 2.7C; it is not clear at what rate the WAIS might, or might not, collapse at; further, it is not clear that an abrupt increase in SLR would increase the frequency of earthquakes leading to a possible triggering of the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis on a decadal-time-scale.  Nevertheless, the linked Wikipedia article discusses the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis and references Obata & Shibata (2012), that indicates the consequences of such a "fat-tailed" risk (that is speculated to have occurred during the PETM):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrate_gun_hypothesis


Atsushi Obata; Kiyotaka Shibata (June 20, 2012), "Damage of Land Biosphere due to Intense Warming by 1000-Fold Rapid Increase in Atmospheric Methane: Estimation with a Climate–Carbon Cycle Model", J Climate. 25: 8524–8541, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00533.1.

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00533.1

Abstract: "Decadal-time-scale responses of climate and the global carbon cycle to warming associated with rapid increases in atmospheric methane from a massive methane release from marine sedimentary methane hydrates are investigated with a coupled climate–carbon cycle model. A 1000-fold methane increase (from <1 to 1000 ppmv) causes surface air temperatures to increase with a global warming of >6°C within 80 yr. The amount of carbon stored in the land biosphere decreases by >25%. This is mostly due to a large decrease in tropical net primary production during the first few years (~−40%), which is caused by a decrease in photosynthesis and an increase in plant maintenance respiration with the early warming of ~3°C, leading to tropical forest dieback (>20%) and the largest decrease in vegetation carbon of >50% (~80% of the decrease in global vegetation carbon). The decrease in global land carbon is also partly due to forest diebacks (mainly boreal forest dieback by heat stress) at northern middle latitudes. In contrast, vegetation increases by >50% at northern high latitudes because of the amelioration to warm and wet conditions. Sensitivity experiments show that the warming of >6°C consists mainly of >5°C by the 1000-fold atmospheric methane and an additional increase of 1°C by the atmospheric CO2 increase due to the land CO2 release and that the CO2 fertilization of land plants prevents further warming of 1°C by limiting the atmospheric CO2 increase. The large decrease in land biomass estimated in this study suggests a critical situation for the land ecosystem or agricultural production, especially in the tropics. Because global methane content of marine methane hydrates is estimated at ~10 000 Gt, more intense warming leading to greater damage to the land biomass than the authors’ experiment (~2000 Gt) is possible in the future methane release event that would be caused by the ongoing anthropogenic warming."

Edit The linked article discusses various triggers for submarine landslides.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_landslide
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 01:16:16 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2016, 12:51:59 AM »
My main issue with Wadhams is this
During the last decade, however, the summer sea ice has retreated from the shelves, allowing the water to warm up into the high 30s. The warmer water, extending to the seabed, thaws the offshore permafrost that has been in place since the last Ice Age.
The extending part looks more like an assumption than a scientific statement. As A-Team noted:
Whether the temperature reaches the "high 30s" at any depth for any length of time over a large region of the Siberian continental shelf remains to be established; presumably Russian scientists measured temperature profiles to the bottom during CTD-methane casts but that data would be exceedingly spotty in space and time; satellites see only surface water temperature. Mixing -- now that has changed markedly for the worse with less ice coverages and longer fetches.
If they did measure it, such profiles should be compared over time, and  published somewhere. Otherwise Wadhams' claim is problematic. Admittedly the risk is there, but the expected timeframe of warming at depth is very hard to estimate with no data.

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2016, 04:04:37 AM »
further, it is not clear that an abrupt increase in SLR would increase the frequency of earthquakes leading to a possible triggering of the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis on a decadal-time-scale.  Nevertheless, the linked Wikipedia article discusses the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis and references Obata & Shibata (2012)
I've added this simulation to the article, what about it? What do you mean it is not clear. It is a pretty robust conclusion that mass displacement results in isostatic adjustments.

Great introduction to the topic
Waking the Giant: Climate Force and Geological Hazards


some more stuff http://climatestate.com/2016/09/10/san-andreas-2-will-dwayne-the-rock-johnson-discover-climate-earthquakes/

.. increase the frequency of earthquakes leading to a possible triggering of the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis
Never heard of this before, can you link to it. Impacts will be regional, unless there is an eruption. Timescales can be small or very large.

A recent talk on subsea methane research from CAGE. They found large structures, some still active.


Methane hydrate destabilisation is clearly a real worry, particularly in the context of warming ocean waters in the East Siberian Continental Shelf. It is also a concern around Greenland, where uplift as the ice continues to melt seems likely to raise submarine deposits around the margins more rapidly than sea level increases, thus having the potential to cause destabilisation of methane hydrates contained therein as a consequence of reduced pressures. I don’t think, however, that warming is likely to directly affect the operation of any tectonic faults within the East Siberian Shelf itself. If anything, as sea levels continue to rise, submarine faults – in general – will become more stabilised beneath the increasing load.
http://climatestate.com/2014/10/16/methane-hydrate-destabilisation-is-clearly-a-real-worry-particularly-in-the-context-of-warming-ocean-waters-in-the-east-siberian-continental-shelf/
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 04:11:55 AM by prokaryotes »

AbruptSLR

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2016, 04:52:45 AM »
What do you mean it is not clear.

Climate change responses and seismic activity are chaotic in nature, thus deterministic projections for them are not clear; as if their projection were simple climate models would include this response.

My prior post provided a link to a Wikipedia article on submarine landslides, indicating that earthquakes can frequently act as a trigger.

See also:
http://phys.org/news/2015-11-key-properties-methane-hydrates-permafrost.html

Extract: "The researchers reported that the dissociation of methane hydrates can be triggered by the ground deformation caused by "earthquakes, storms, sea-level fluctuations or man-made disturbances (including well drilling and gas production from hydrate reservoirs)." "
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 05:55:32 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2016, 04:40:51 PM »
Per the following linked reference the entire WAIS contains tens of billions of tonnes of carbon in the form of methane hydrates (see also the first attached figure).  Thus a collapse of the WAIS this century might not only cause methane hydrate gas emissions from submarine landsides but also from methane hydrate decomposition from beneath the collapsed marine portions of the WAIS. 

J. L. Wadham, S. Arndt, S. Tulaczyk, M. Stibal, M. Tranter, J. Telling, G. P. Lis, E. Lawson, A. Ridgwell, A. Dubnick, M. J. Sharp, A. M. Anesio & C. E. H. Butler (30 August 2012), "Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica", Nature, Volume: 488, Pages: 633–637, doi:10.1038/nature11374


http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v488/n7413/full/nature11374.html


Abstract: "Once thought to be devoid of life, the ice-covered parts of Antarctica are now known to be a reservoir of metabolically active microbial cells and organic carbon. The potential for methanogenic archaea to support the degradation of organic carbon to methane beneath the ice, however, has not yet been evaluated. Large sedimentary basins containing marine sequences up to 14 kilometres thick and an estimated 21,000 petagrams (1 Pg equals 1015 g) of organic carbon are buried beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. No data exist for rates of methanogenesis in sub-Antarctic marine sediments. Here we present experimental data from other subglacial environments that demonstrate the potential for overridden organic matter beneath glacial systems to produce methane. We also numerically simulate the accumulation of methane in Antarctic sedimentary basins using an established one-dimensional hydrate model3 and show that pressure/temperature conditions favour methane hydrate formation down to sediment depths of about 300 metres in West Antarctica and 700 metres in East Antarctica. Our results demonstrate the potential for methane hydrate accumulation in Antarctic sedimentary basins, where the total inventory depends on rates of organic carbon degradation and conditions at the ice-sheet bed. We calculate that the sub-Antarctic hydrate inventory could be of the same order of magnitude as that of recent estimates made for Arctic permafrost. Our findings suggest that the Antarctic Ice Sheet may be a neglected but important component of the global methane budget, with the potential to act as a positive feedback on climate warming during ice-sheet wastage."


See also:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/120831-antarctica-methane-global-warming-science-environment/

Furthermore, per the following reference circa 2050 methane emissions from thermokarst activity could become important (assuming continued aggressive warming), see the second attached image:

Schneider von Deimling, T., Grosse, G., Strauss, J., Schirrmeister, L., Morgenstern, A., Schaphoff, S., Meinshausen, M., and Boike, J.: Observation-based modelling of permafrost carbon fluxes with accounting for deep carbon deposits and thermokarst activity, Biogeosciences, 12, 3469-3488, doi:10.5194/bg-12-3469-2015, 2015.

http://www.biogeosciences.net/12/3469/2015/bg-12-3469-2015.html

Abstract. High-latitude soils store vast amounts of perennially frozen and therefore inert organic matter. With rising global temperatures and consequent permafrost degradation, a part of this carbon stock will become available for microbial decay and eventual release to the atmosphere. We have developed a simplified, two-dimensional multi-pool model to estimate the strength and timing of future carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes from newly thawed permafrost carbon (i.e. carbon thawed when temperatures rise above pre-industrial levels). We have especially simulated carbon release from deep deposits in Yedoma regions by describing abrupt thaw under newly formed thermokarst lakes. The computational efficiency of our model allowed us to run large, multi-centennial ensembles under various scenarios of future warming to express uncertainty inherent to simulations of the permafrost carbon feedback.

Under moderate warming of the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6 scenario, cumulated CO2 fluxes from newly thawed permafrost carbon amount to 20 to 58 petagrams of carbon (Pg-C) (68% range) by the year 2100 and reach 40 to 98 Pg-C in 2300. The much larger permafrost degradation under strong warming (RCP8.5) results in cumulated CO2 release of 42 to 141 Pg-C and 157 to 313 Pg-C (68% ranges) in the years 2100 and 2300, respectively. Our estimates only consider fluxes from newly thawed permafrost, not from soils already part of the seasonally thawed active layer under pre-industrial climate. Our simulated CH4 fluxes contribute a few percent to total permafrost carbon release yet they can cause up to 40% of total permafrost-affected radiative forcing in the 21st century (upper 68% range). We infer largest CH4 emission rates of about 50 Tg-CH4 per year around the middle of the 21st century when simulated thermokarst lake extent is at its maximum and when abrupt thaw under thermokarst lakes is taken into account. CH4 release from newly thawed carbon in wetland-affected deposits is only discernible in the 22nd and 23rd century because of the absence of abrupt thaw processes. We further show that release from organic matter stored in deep deposits of Yedoma regions crucially affects our simulated circumpolar CH4 fluxes. The additional warming through the release from newly thawed permafrost carbon proved only slightly dependent on the pathway of anthropogenic emission and amounts to about 0.03–0.14 °C (68% ranges) by end of the century. The warming increased further in the 22nd and 23rd century and was most pronounced under the RCP6.0 scenario, adding 0.16 to 0.39 °C (68% range) to simulated global mean surface air temperatures in the year 2300.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2016, 06:37:08 PM »
The linked articles & references indicate that large amounts of methane were released during the PETM; however, the timing, triggers, sources and rates of emission are all uncertain:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11713254

Extract: "There are strong reasons to believe that what we are doing to the climate today could trigger a re-run of a climate catastrophe that occurred not many millions of years after the demise of the dinosaurs.

Fifty-six million years ago global temperatures rose several degrees over about 20,000 years (a geological instant).

The beginning of the PETM was marked by a massive injection of methane into the atmosphere.

At the low temperatures and high pressures on the ocean floor this gas combines with water to form solid methane hydrate, which is on the seabed in huge amounts - many times more than all the known deposits of coal, oil and natural gas.

Above a critical temperature it breaks down to release methane, a far more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2.

If this were to happen to all the methane hydrate, the quantity of methane released would cause a massive increase in global temperatures.

Many climate scientists think something like that happened at the PETM.

A small rise in global temperature triggered the breakdown of some methane hydrate, causing a further rise in temperature, and the release of more methane, which caused a further rise in temperature, and so on, in a vicious cycle.

This kind of self-accelerating process is called "positive feedback".

Global temperatures are rising far faster than in the PETM, and many climate scientists think we are in great danger of triggering a re-run of the PETM."

See also:

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/09/comet-may-have-struck-earth-just-10-million-years-after-dinosaur-extinction

Extract: "If accepted, and that's a big if, the strike could join a list of events associated with the PETM's carbon injection. Many scientists believe the spike could have come from a chain reaction of events, starting with ocean volcanism cooking organic carbon out of rocks and into the atmosphere. Rising temperatures may have then released seafloor methane or thawed permafrost, driving up temperatures further."

Furthermore, the linked reference indicates that seafloor hydrates dissociated during the PETM, but the rate of dissociation is open to discussion:
 
T. A. Minshull, H. Marín-Moreno, D. I. Armstrong McKay, P. A. Wilson. Mechanistic insights into a hydrate contribution to the Paleocene-Eocene carbon cycle perturbation from coupled thermohydraulic simulations. Geophysical Research Letters, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069676

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL069676/abstract

Abstract: "During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), the carbon isotopic signature (δ13C) of surface carbon-bearing phases decreased abruptly by at least 2.5 to 3.0‰. This carbon isotope excursion (CIE) has been attributed to widespread methane hydrate dissociation in response to rapid ocean warming. We ran a thermohydraulic modeling code to simulate hydrate dissociation due to ocean warming for various PETM scenarios. Our results show that hydrate dissociation in response to such warming can be rapid but suggest that methane release to the ocean is modest and delayed by hundreds to thousands of years after the onset of dissociation, limiting the potential for positive feedback from emission-induced warming. In all of our simulations at least half of the dissociated hydrate methane remains beneath the seabed, suggesting that the pre-PETM hydrate inventory needed to account for all of the CIE is at least double that required for isotopic mass balance."


See also:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160901102730.htm

Extract: "The release of methane from the seafloor was much slower than previously thought during a rapid global warming event 56 million years ago, report scientists.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 07:13:44 PM by AbruptSLR »
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prokaryotes

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2016, 05:04:55 AM »
Thanks AbruptSLR for the explanation.

Just remembered i made a post on Greenland methane the other day

http://climatestate.com/2016/07/21/ice-sheet-deglaciation-and-methane-emissions-with-the-scope-on-greenlands-melt-season/


AbruptSLR

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2016, 04:27:37 PM »
In the linked The Guardian article Bill McGuire explains how climate change is currently triggering earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/16/climate-change-triggers-earthquakes-tsunamis-volcanoes

Extract: "The bottom line in all of this is that as climate change tightens its grip, we should certainly contemplate more and bigger Hurricane Matthews. However, when it comes to the manifold hazardous by-blows of an overheating planet, and especially those involving the ground we stand on, we must also be prepared to expect the unexpected."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2016, 04:44:38 PM »
The linked article is entitled: "Scientists find 500 U.S. seabed vents of powerful greenhouse gas":

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-environment-methane-idUSKCN12J2MG

Extract: "Scientists have found 500 seabed vents bubbling methane into the Pacific Ocean off the United States, roughly doubling the number of known U.S. seeps of the powerful greenhouse gas, a study showed on Wednesday.

Methane naturally escapes from the sea floor in many places around the world and can stoke global warming if it reaches the atmosphere. Worldwide, scientists are trying to see if rising ocean temperatures cause more leaks.

"It appears that the entire coast off Washington, Oregon and California is a giant methane seep," Robert Ballard, who is famed for finding the wreck of the Titanic and has now discovered the 500 new seeps, said in a statement."
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OrganicSu

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2016, 05:55:59 PM »
If I understand the recent posts correctly it seems there's plenty scary stuff when it comes to methane. Time for a rename on this thread? Something like "Is methane the scariest story?" or "Methane - the scary information and the even more scary information"...

AbruptSLR

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2016, 07:00:38 PM »
If I understand the recent posts correctly it seems there's plenty scary stuff when it comes to methane. Time for a rename on this thread? Something like "Is methane the scariest story?" or "Methane - the scary information and the even more scary information"...

I guess that conventional thinking goes something like this:

"As decision makers do not intend to make any more effort than they are currently making globally, why point out scary stories that will just frighten people without making the situation any better."

To me such thinking is denialist thinking; which should not surprise anyone as it is denialist thinking that got us into our current situation so why should we be surprised that such denialist thinking will keep us on our current path.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2016, 07:39:53 PM »
The linked reference discusses research to better delineate methane emission risks from Arctic permafrost vulnerable to thermokarst formation:

Olefeldt et al (2016), "Circumpolar distribution and carbon storage of thermokarst landscapes", Nature Communications 7, Article No. 13043, doi:10.1038/ncomms13043.

http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13043


See also the following associated article & image (& Reply #31):
The linked article is entitled: "Map Reveals Hot Spots for Arctic Greenhouse Gas Emissions",

Wendel, J. (17 October 2016), "Map reveals hot spots for Arctic greenhouse gas emissions", Eos, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO061233.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 08:09:10 PM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2016, 05:06:00 PM »
Per the linked article limiting methane emissions is the most cost effective single step in partially addressing climate change; if decision makers had the public's best interest at heart.  However, in reality methane emissions have accelerated since 2007 (see NOAA plot of recent emission source percentages & in short tons per year):

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/methane_riddle_what_is_causing_the_rise_in_emissions/3047/

Extract: "The cause of the rapid increase in methane emissions since 2007 has puzzled scientists. But new research finds some surprising culprits in the methane surge and shows that fossil-fuel sources have played a much larger role over time than previously estimated."
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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2016, 08:04:09 PM »
If I understand the recent posts correctly it seems there's plenty scary stuff when it comes to methane. Time for a rename on this thread? Something like "Is methane the scariest story?" or "Methane - the scary information and the even more scary information"...

Indeed.  There's a piece of this methane picture that concerns me greatly.  Whenever I see a comparison of the potency of atmospheric methane to carbon dioxide, it seems everyone seeks to compare the effect of a given molecule of methane to one of carbon dioxide over a period of decades to a century, so multiplies the current methane level by about 20-30 to add to CO2 to come up with CO2-equivalent warming effect.

I think this is conceptually wrong.  We're not in a situation with a discrete large bolus of methane being emitted, we have ongoing and increasing methane emissions.  We also have fast feedbacks in which warming which exists today will lower global albedo and even accelerate methane emissions, potentially over just a couple of years. 

It seems to me we should be looking at short-term potency of methane, not long-term.  The multiplier over a 2-3 year time frame is closer to 100.  We have no prospect of future methane levels ever dropping lower than today's (not within a century, likely), so looking at an instantaneous effect might be more relevant to assessing the effects of today's methane levels.

I suspect we're grossly underestimating the importance and effect of methane levels we're measuring now.

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Re: Dialling back on the methane scare stories.
« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2016, 08:54:20 PM »
I suspect we're grossly underestimating the importance and effect of methane levels we're measuring now.

Advanced Earth System Models (like ACME) include the correct global warming potential for methane (on all time scales), so that leaves proper calibration of feedback mechanisms, and correct radiative forcing scenarios.
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