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Author Topic: Arctic Methane Release  (Read 143890 times)

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #100 on: June 29, 2013, 06:43:27 AM »
Hi Wili,

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

A4R.

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #101 on: July 11, 2013, 04:47:51 PM »
I have updated the IASI 600 mb Arctic imagery through June 30, 2013.

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

For the 600 mb comparison, see:

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

The image below is the 600 mb IASI image produced by Dr. Yurganov.

wili

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #102 on: July 12, 2013, 05:06:36 AM »
Thanks again, A4R. That image really suggests that the permafrost from much of Siberia is in the midst of some pretty serious melting.

Edit to add: Ah, I see that on the methanetracker blog, they are attributing it to widespread fires in Siberia.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 05:13:44 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #103 on: July 12, 2013, 06:53:19 AM »
wili,

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

A4R

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #104 on: July 13, 2013, 03:57:14 PM »
These two photos are being posted to document for dorlomin the freezing of methane in Arctic Sea ice.

For Semelitov's comments, see: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-03/vast-amounts-frozen-methane-escaping-atmosphere-leak-arctic-seafloor

wili

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #105 on: July 13, 2013, 07:45:44 PM »
Thanks again, for this, and for all your work.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Laurent

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #106 on: July 14, 2013, 09:36:57 PM »
Lucky Dorlomin,

I store some links published here or on the ASIB.

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

Pale Blue Blobs Invade, Freeze, Then Vanish
http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/01/30/170661670/pale-blue-blobs-invade-freeze-then-vanish

Steve Bloom

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #107 on: July 16, 2013, 08:27:15 AM »
Someone may have seen and commented about this paper already, but since it's hard to tell I posted this in the current methane thread at the blog (and am repeating it here since AFAIK the spam filter still hates me):

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

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

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

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

<blockquote>Map showing the distribution of gas flares (yellow lines), neotectonic faults (black lines), and sands/silty sands at the seafloor (grey areas). There appears to be no correlation between the presence of flares and the occurrence of faults and/or coarse-grained sediments at the seafloor. In fact, the majority of flares occur in regions of the seafloor where sediments are comprised mostly of silts and clays. This suggests that there is a different geological control on the distribution of gas flares in the area.</blockquote>

Steve Bloom

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #108 on: July 16, 2013, 08:37:06 AM »
And come to think of it, isn't Baydaratskaya Bay just about the last place on the Siberian coast such an effect would be expected?  It's about as far from the central basin as it's possible to get. 

Also, I wonder if the survey data the paper used is related to the intensive oil and gas development in the Yamal area.

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #109 on: July 21, 2013, 07:02:30 PM »
Currently the Kara Sea is getting a lot of high temps, and the sea surface temp anomalies are high.

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


Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #110 on: July 21, 2013, 07:07:08 PM »
Also, we just hit another global CH4 average milestone. On July 11, 0-12 hr, at 565-586 mb we hit 1805 ppb global methane average for the first time in the METOP 2 IASI imagery.

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #111 on: July 21, 2013, 07:19:53 PM »
On July 19, 2013 0-12 hr am, we increased to a global CH4 average of 1806 ppb at 469 mb, with the highest CH4 reading of only 2177 ppb. The higher methane coverage in Russia is due to a mix of fires and permafrost methane release.

Antarctica continues to show high concentrations of methane over east Antarctica.

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #112 on: July 21, 2013, 08:11:41 PM »
Continuing the global CH4 methane average jump, on July 20, 2013 am, 0-12 hr, we hit a new high average of 1807 ppb.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #113 on: July 22, 2013, 05:02:06 AM »
A4R,

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

Best,
ASLR
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Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #114 on: July 22, 2013, 09:21:21 PM »
Thanks for this AbruptSLR, it is something I have not researched. Take a look at methanetracker.org The Antarctic CH$ is continuing at high levels and seems to have spread in the last week.

A4R

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #115 on: July 23, 2013, 03:15:14 PM »
A4R,

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

Best,
ASLR
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Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #116 on: August 11, 2013, 11:46:40 PM »
The following provides three perspectives of what is driving the increase of CH4 in Siberia this summer.

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

Source: NASA-NEO

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

Source: NASA-NEO,

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

Source: UCL and NASA NEO

prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #117 on: August 14, 2013, 11:19:50 PM »
How different is the reading from the METOP-2 vs the recent tropospheric concentration  of "1874ppb" annual average? Can i assume that the METOP data is better reflecting human and terrestrial sources and AGAGE data includes more detailed atmospheric chemical reactions?



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

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

Yesterday average METOP 1811 (469 mb)

I made a short post on this, based on 2 quotes by Apocalypse4Real and AbruptSLR (please let me know if you do not want to be quoted)  http://climatestate.com/2013/08/14/global-ch4-atmospheric-methane-average-1811ppbmetop-2/
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 11:26:33 PM by prokaryotes »

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #118 on: August 16, 2013, 06:12:39 AM »
I'd say the METOP data is far more representative of a real global mean. The CDIAC data is based upon 2 data points, Mace Head and Cape Grimm.

METOP IASI is global scanning at 100 layers, and not two data points through time.

MOwens

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #119 on: August 20, 2013, 10:56:02 PM »


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


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

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

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

-Matt Owens

wili

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #120 on: August 22, 2013, 07:39:37 AM »
Nice work, Matt. I've been a fan of yours for years. May I suggest putting temperature increases that will result from these various levels of CO2 on the right hand side of the graph (perhaps with short and long term values, or for various levels of sensitivity assumed).

Are you familiar with Kevin Anderson's work?
Cabot Institute Annual Lecture 2012


(Sorry, I didn't have time to follow all of your links to all of your sources.)
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

MOwens

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #121 on: August 22, 2013, 07:58:29 PM »
thanks Wili, I am familiar with Anderson and actually have that Cabot Institute lecture video on the top of the home page now.

I didn't want to add more to the graph for fear of visually overloading it, but a version with temperature is something I've thought about.
-Matt

prokaryotes

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #122 on: August 26, 2013, 03:14:47 PM »
Methane release from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf and the Potential for Abrupt Climate Change http://climatestate.com/2013/08/26/methane-release-from-the-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-and-the-potential-for-abrupt-climate-change/

fishmahboi

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #123 on: October 07, 2013, 11:08:41 PM »
Arctic News discussing new Methane Releases over the Arctic, questioning the source of the Methane: http://arctic-news.blogspot.ie/

Pmt111500

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #124 on: October 13, 2013, 09:51:50 AM »
Temperatures at least here in Europe on 61N are starting to be that low that the annual spike of methane should be starting. Could someone post a map of some near surface layer to see the current levels? Or is the source of methane measurements also down because of the republicans?
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Theta

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #125 on: October 25, 2013, 07:57:25 AM »
Methane levels have been quite high over the Arctic Ocean, the below chart is for October 24th.



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ritter

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #126 on: October 25, 2013, 05:50:38 PM »
What's the ice cover for the Laptev and East Siberian Seas like right now? That scale of 1950+ ppb has always worried me. + what?

ggelsrinc

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #127 on: October 26, 2013, 03:07:26 AM »
Methane levels have been quite high over the Arctic Ocean, the below chart is for October 24th.




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

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

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

 

   

wili

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #128 on: October 26, 2013, 05:36:11 PM »
gge, I'm not sure I'm following what your main point is here. But I though I'd address one point you raise to the best of my meager abilities:

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=15781
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 06:40:02 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wili

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #129 on: November 10, 2013, 09:22:47 PM »
Since this has been a topic of (sometimes heated) discussion, I thought I might point out this section from the recent WMO GHG bulletin (as covered by SkSc):

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

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

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

(Are prok or A4R still around anymore?)
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #130 on: November 27, 2013, 03:49:49 PM »


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


Terry

TeaPotty

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #131 on: November 27, 2013, 10:30:21 PM »
Not sure if this math makes any sense, so I welcome any correction.

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

This in the context of:

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


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

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


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« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 10:37:03 PM by TeaPotty »

wili

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #132 on: November 28, 2013, 04:48:51 PM »
I'm not sure if the recent figure is and update or a recalibration. It sounds more like the latter to me. Schindell et alia have figures of 105 x CO2 at decadal levels, 35 x CO2 at century levels. I've asked Gavin Schmidt (a co-author on the paper) if he considers new data to have overturned these figures.

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

"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wili

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #133 on: November 30, 2013, 12:15:42 PM »
RC is now covering the Shakhova article: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/arctic-and-american-methane-in-context/

In one response (I think it was in the open forum there), one of the mods there pointed out that there are problems with the whole Global Warming Potential concept. Earlier, one of them said something like that we don't have an Organ Failure Death Potential that determines that kidney failure has X times the death potential of liver failure. They both kill you, just in different ways, ways that are better described qualitatively than (purely) quantitatively.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Steven

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #134 on: November 30, 2013, 08:06:52 PM »
Re: doubling of the Shakhova et al. estimate of methane release from the ESAS.  The doubling doesn't mean that there is a detected trend.  Here is what one of the coauthors of the paper says about it (source):

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


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

I think the RealClimate article in wili's post above does an excellent job of putting the results into context.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #135 on: February 09, 2014, 05:30:09 PM »
I was wondering where A4R had gone. The Methane page has been kinda quiet without him. He linked his blog a couple days ago so I figured I would put the link over here.

http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2014-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=1

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #136 on: February 10, 2014, 12:07:20 AM »
Hi Bruce,

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

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

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


Bruce Steele

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #137 on: February 10, 2014, 12:42:41 AM »
A4R,  Good to see you back. I have been reading your old blog posts at your site. Thanks for the link.
With spring around the corner things will be getting busy soon. I hope the Eastern North Pacific high doesn't reform to soon. 

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #138 on: March 31, 2015, 10:30:36 AM »
UNH Geologist Identifies New Source of Methane for Gas Hydrates in Arctic
http://www.unh.edu/news/releases/2015/03/bp30gashydrate.cfm

This work shows there are parts of the Arctic where abiotic methane is coming up to the seafloor and instead of coming out, it is trapped in gas hydrates; it’s finding itself in a stable environment for millions of years,” says Johnson. Where climate change is concerned, he adds, “this is not the part of the gas hydrate system that is most susceptible to change in a warming Arctic Ocean.”

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #139 on: March 31, 2015, 07:07:56 PM »
For what it is worth Sam Carana provided the first attached image indicating that atmospheric methane concentrations are currently increasing most rapidly in the 469 to 586 hPa altitude range (possibly due to a shortage of hydroxyl ions in this range).  Therefore, I downloaded the second, third & fourth plots respectively from the Metop IASI website (linked below), for March 302015 at 487, 565 & 650 hPa, respectively and I compared to the Nov 2014 values that A4R posted at his website (linked below).

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

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

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

Edit: I note that the relatively high atmospheric methane concentrations over Antarctica were also observed this time of year for the past two years, and that I previously suspected that the source of this methane was from marine hydrates that decomposed from the Southern Ocean shallow seafloor and concentrated over Antarctica due to wind directions and very cold upper atmospheric temperatures over Antarctica (that slow the chemical reactions with methane).
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 07:13:35 PM by AbruptSLR »
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werther

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #140 on: April 02, 2015, 12:07:26 AM »
Before the daily checks on the ice quality through MODIS starts for a new melt season, I surveyed the Laptev Sea for a weird scintillation pattern. I saw it first in ’12. The pattern returned in ’13.
For some reason, it wasn’t visible spring ’14. But this time it’s back.
I’ve found some geological survey maps that gave an idea of the interesting seabed in that region. After bringing a somewhat schematized version in CAD, I was able to locate the main scintillation zone. On the map below the ’12 pattern is contained within the complicated blue line. The hatched green swath shows the location on 31 March this year:



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

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

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

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

AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #141 on: April 02, 2015, 12:12:19 PM »
werther,

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

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

Robert Scribbler has some general talk here:

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

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

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

Best,
ASLR
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #142 on: April 03, 2015, 04:32:27 PM »
The linked reference provides evidence to support the position that with continued global warming methane emissions will increase from shallow Arctic lakes; which will result in a non-linear positive feedback mechanism:

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

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


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

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #143 on: April 07, 2015, 12:15:37 AM »
The linked reference (see also the associated attached image) characterizes the types of soil microbiomes in the permafrost, soil active layer and thermokarst bogs around the world that are becoming more active with increasing global warming.  This is a positive feedback factor that is not fully accounted for the AR5 projections.

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


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


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

See also:
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/climate-change-is-causing-arctic-microbes-to-be-more-active-and-increase-the-thawing-of-permafrost-2015-4
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #144 on: April 07, 2015, 09:03:28 PM »
ASLR, Here is another piece on the permafrost microbe paper. It quantifies the change at some sites at 1 to 5 kilograms of carbon released per square meter without microbes to 20 to 52 kilograms carbon with microbes at work !

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

jai mitchell

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #145 on: April 08, 2015, 09:15:51 PM »
ASLR, Here is another piece on the permafrost microbe paper. It quantifies the change at some sites at 1 to 5 kilograms of carbon released per square meter without microbes to 20 to 52 kilograms carbon with microbes at work !

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


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

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

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

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

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


p.s. note that they are talking about CARBON decomposition, not methane release.  indications are that they mean production of carbon dioxide in a relative dry decomposition environment.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #146 on: April 09, 2015, 06:53:07 PM »
The linked reference confirms that degradation of the permafrost represents a significant source of GHG and suggests means to reduce the uncertainties associated with the probably rate of GHG emissions for this source:

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


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

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


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


See also:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/04/08/serious-climate-threat-from-arctic-permafrost-confirmed-by-new-research/
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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #147 on: April 09, 2015, 11:32:27 PM »
ASLR, Here is another piece on the permafrost microbe paper. It quantifies the change at some sites at 1 to 5 kilograms of carbon released per square meter without microbes to 20 to 52 kilograms carbon with microbes at work !

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


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

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

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

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

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


p.s. note that they are talking about CARBON decomposition, not methane release.  indications are that they mean production of carbon dioxide in a relative dry decomposition environment.

I would stop short of calling it devastating, as this study appears to indicate: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/thawing-permafrost-climate-danger-18869
Also, it would behoove you to tamp down on the exaggerated rhetoric, especially since you were way off on climate scientist thoughts on IPCC projections being too conservative, as Gavin Schmidt confirmed for me, and I can footnote that if you like. While I too am concerned about methane release, extreme projections that are anything but certain is not helpful

Bruce Steele

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #148 on: April 10, 2015, 05:45:10 AM »
Bryman, the Climate Central piece you linked says that by 2100 arctic methane/CO2 equivalence may add 60-80 ppm to the atmosphere on top of the 800 ppm from ff emissions. The new microbe piece implies there may be extra CO2 emissions because of heat generated will at some point cause deeper permafrost to melt. I should be careful because I haven't read the article just the abstract and the graphs provided. I would say 880 ppm is a disaster . Mild language , reasonable assessment .
Different papers ... Same response .
 

bryman

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #149 on: April 10, 2015, 11:04:55 AM »
Bryman, the Climate Central piece you linked says that by 2100 arctic methane/CO2 equivalence may add 60-80 ppm to the atmosphere on top of the 800 ppm from ff emissions. The new microbe piece implies there may be extra CO2 emissions because of heat generated will at some point cause deeper permafrost to melt. I should be careful because I haven't read the article just the abstract and the graphs provided. I would say 880 ppm is a disaster . Mild language , reasonable assessment .
Different papers ... Same response .
Bruce, I wasn't talking about your response, just Jai's. He has a habit of greatly exaggerating things, such as his claim that climate scientists think the IPCC temp estimate are conservative by up to 300-400%, which Gavin Schmidt confirmed as wildly too high. While I agree that 880 ppm would be bad, assuming BAU until 2100 is not realistic in my opinion. I think it very unlikely given current efforts to put a treaty in place and the amount of time till 2100 that PPM a will get that high.