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Author Topic: Arctic Methane Release  (Read 143988 times)

Gray-Wolf

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #350 on: July 09, 2017, 07:24:49 PM »
I wonder if these 'bubbles' are the land based version of what have been measured off the Shore in the shelf Sea? Out there they are called 'chimneys' but is it the weight of water that allows them to form instead of the 'funnels' we see formed on land when they go POP?

The frightening speed of development ,off shore, may be a hint at just how fast the land based versions will grow?
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Theta

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #351 on: July 17, 2017, 12:09:49 PM »
From the linked article....

"Besides the potential for rapidly forming sinkholes and explosions, these bulges also represent a significant addition to greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The release of methane from Siberian permafrost, a gas more than 25 times more potent than carbon in trapping heat in the atmosphere, rose from 3.8 million tons in 2006 to more than 17 million tons in 2013."

Given the rapid development of these methane bumps, combined with a nearly five fold increase of methane emissions in a mere 7 years, it sure looks like we are on an exponential trajectory for NH methane emissions, likely irreversible.

Any idea of what that would mean for the long term trajectory of earth's temperature?
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Shared Humanity

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #352 on: July 17, 2017, 03:09:52 PM »
From the linked article....

"Besides the potential for rapidly forming sinkholes and explosions, these bulges also represent a significant addition to greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The release of methane from Siberian permafrost, a gas more than 25 times more potent than carbon in trapping heat in the atmosphere, rose from 3.8 million tons in 2006 to more than 17 million tons in 2013."

Given the rapid development of these methane bumps, combined with a nearly five fold increase of methane emissions in a mere 7 years, it sure looks like we are on an exponential trajectory for NH methane emissions, likely irreversible.

Any idea of what that would mean for the long term trajectory of earth's temperature?

There are certainly regular contributors here who could provide some insight but I am not one of them. My very layman's fear is that all of the trends related to the chryosphere are growth trends. A five fold increase in methane emissions in 7 years suggests a doubling interval of about 3 years.

We see similar growth trends in the rate of shelf melt in the Antarctic and the expansion of individual methane seeps in the ESS. Once a process is identified and we begin to monitor and measure, we see growth rate increases.

CalamityCountdown

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #353 on: July 19, 2017, 04:44:27 PM »
From the linked article

Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese
Measurements over Canada's Mackenzie River Basin suggest that thawing permafrost is starting to free greenhouse gases long trapped in oil and gas deposits.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/18072017/arctic-permafrost-melting-methane-emissions-geologic-sources-study

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #354 on: July 19, 2017, 06:56:15 PM »
From the linked article

Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese
Measurements over Canada's Mackenzie River Basin suggest that thawing permafrost is starting to free greenhouse gases long trapped in oil and gas deposits.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/18072017/arctic-permafrost-melting-methane-emissions-geologic-sources-study


Thanks for the link.


I had no idea that such large releases of geologic methane were to be found so far north on this continent. S&S had found huge flares in the ESAS and issued warnings for that region, but as far as I know they hadn't determined if they were observing biologic or geologic methane, or a combination of both.


This doesn't bode well for the future.
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johnm33

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #355 on: July 19, 2017, 07:54:26 PM »
"This doesn't bode well for the future."
I've looked for a bedrock map for both continents surrounding the arctic, this is all I've found. Makes me wonder just how far south the ocean will reach. A transect from banks to hudson would be interesting.


Thomas Barlow

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #356 on: August 05, 2017, 12:33:43 AM »
This research relates to my previous post about methane mitigation in the Arctic here ---> https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,12.msg113081.html#msg113081
Also can be found here ---> ""Enhanced CO2 uptake at a shallow Arctic Ocean seep field overwhelms the positive warming potential of emitted methane""
---> http://www.pnas.org/content/114/21/5355.abstract

This newer study is in the Antarctic, but I think it is related material, and something to consider, that's why I'm posting it here:
---> http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v10/n8/full/ngeo2992.html?foxtrotcallback=true

So now, evidence from both poles is suggesting methane release (will of course be bad) but not perhaps as bad as previously thought (Shakhova, Wadhams, and others have strongly warned about methane danger).

(And this is one you may have seen already --->  https://www.usgs.gov/news/gas-hydrate-breakdown-unlikely-cause-massive-greenhouse-gas-release)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 12:42:27 AM by Thomas Barlow »

Adam Ash

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #357 on: August 05, 2017, 03:27:35 AM »
""Enhanced CO2 uptake at a shallow Arctic Ocean seep field overwhelms the positive warming potential of emitted methane""
-...
Will not higher CO2 uptake only persist until acidification of the water prevents any more?  Given the size of the available methane resource, and the ever-increasing atmospheric CO2 resource, I should think that the water will reach saturation quite quickly, especially given the minimum temperatures in Arctic waters.  I imagine too that there will be quite an 'interesting' CO2 signal in then near surface waters as winter sea ice reforms - driving both salt and dissolved gases back into the sub-ice waters.

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #358 on: August 05, 2017, 03:45:58 AM »
I imagine too that there will be quite an 'interesting' CO2 signal in then near surface waters as winter sea ice reforms - driving both salt and dissolved gases back into the sub-ice waters.
We've all seen the methane bubbles in lake ice. Why would sea ice react differently?
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Thomas Barlow

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #359 on: August 05, 2017, 03:54:23 AM »
""Enhanced CO2 uptake at a shallow Arctic Ocean seep field overwhelms the positive warming potential of emitted methane""
-...

Will not higher CO2 uptake only persist until acidification of the water prevents any more? 

I don't think so, because there will be an explosion of life (algae and other organisms) and a new ecosystem (in summer months) that will absorb CO2 and CH4 like crazy. But there would need to be more studies.
I think the same is true of the tundra, and of Greenland. It seems like a no-brainer to me. When the ice recedes and the permafrost melts under sea and on land, there will be a massive explosion of life that will largely mitigate the methane that does get released to the atmosphere.
The only thing that could prevent that massive upsurge of a CO2-absorbing ecosystem is the mass of micro-plastics floating in the Arctic Ocean. However, I think most of that will be absorbed too. But who knows. These are just a few studies that suggest the methane bursts may not be as devastating as many believe, but more studies and time will be needed. I used to be more concerned about the methane, as much as anyone. Now I am less concerned (I am more concerned about other things around the planet due to global warming and other human activity that are just as dangerous)

Shared Humanity

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #360 on: August 06, 2017, 02:57:11 AM »
w/o comment



salbers

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #363 on: August 06, 2017, 09:11:31 PM »
Do these less alarming assessments consider fully the methane gas locked underneath the hydrates?

So now, evidence from both poles is suggesting methane release (will of course be bad) but not perhaps as bad as previously thought (Shakhova, Wadhams, and others have strongly warned about methane danger).

(And this is one you may have seen already --->  https://www.usgs.gov/news/gas-hydrate-breakdown-unlikely-cause-massive-greenhouse-gas-release)

Cid_Yama

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #364 on: August 07, 2017, 07:10:54 PM »
That paper has been debunked repeatedly.  Firstly it is a bait and switch.  They are discussing SLOW methane seeps deeper than 100 meters.

The concern is about the ESAS which covers 2 million sq km with an average depth of 50 meters and a maximum depth of 100 meters.  Methane released from the ESAS does not interact with the water column but is released directly to the atmosphere.  It only takes a few minutes to reach the surface.

Second, they avoided discussing the seasonality of the plankton blooms, whereas, the methane is released year round.

Third, if plankton did offset methane releases, it would be evident in current real world data, which it isn't, as the rise in atmospheric methane concentrations in the Arctic is accelerating.     

Pohlman and Ruppel are petroleum geologists who work for the USGS gas hydrate project, promoting methane hydrate as an energy source in conjunction with the Oil and Gas industry.

Ruppel has been at the forefront of the methane hydrate disinformation campaign, attacking any papers suggesting methane hydrates are unsafe to extract, or may pose a danger to the environment.     

The conclusions in their paper is absolute nonsense.

As for the other paper, yes, methanatrophs evolved in the subglacial lakes as there is no sunlight to provide energy.  Duh.
       

       
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 07:54:10 PM by Cid_Yama »

Bill Fothergill

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #365 on: August 10, 2017, 03:48:08 PM »
It can be quite a lengthy process finding the bit you're after in the IPCC publications. To save others the time, here is a relevant bit from Section 2.3.1 in the AR5 Synthesis Report...

"Carbon stored in the terrestrial biosphere is susceptible to loss to the atmosphere as a result of climate change, deforestation and ecosystem degradation (high confidence). The aspects of climate change with direct effects on stored terrestrial carbon include high temperatures, drought and windstorms; indirect effects include increased risk of fires, pest and disease outbreaks. Increased tree mortality and associated forest dieback is projected to occur in many regions over the 21st century (medium confidence), posing risks for carbon storage, biodiversity, wood production, water quality, amenity and economic activity. There is a high risk of substantial carbon and methane emissions as a result of permafrost thawing. {WGII SPM, 4.2–4.3, Figure 4-8, Box 4-2, Box 4-3, Box 4-4}"
{My emphasis added above.}

Woods Hole also issued a permafrost briefing note two years ago...
http://whrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/PB_Permafrost.pdf


As a newcomer to this thread, apologies if either of the above have already been posted in preceding pages.


A few comments upthread, "reallybigbunny" posed a question about wildfires. I am particularly interested in the Greenland outbreak, some comments on which were started on the ASIB by Susan Anderson.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2143159-largest-ever-wildfire-in-greenland-seen-burning-from-space/

(NB I'm not suggesting Susan had anything to do with starting the fire.    ;))

I have emailed the Wildfire laboratory at Exeter University asking what impact the current peat-based fire might have upon permafrost locked carbon deposits. Will post any such response on this thread if/when it is forthcoming.

Thomas Barlow

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #366 on: August 16, 2017, 04:56:46 PM »
That paper has been debunked repeatedly.
No it has not been debunked. Show your evidence please (not your non-peer-reviewed opinion)

They are discussing SLOW methane seeps deeper than 100 meters.
So now you are discussing what the paper shows, just after you said it was debunked.

Methane released from the ESAS does not interact with the water column but is released directly to the atmosphere. It only takes a few minutes to reach the surface.
That's not the point. Try reading the paper. Or should I explain it again?

Second, they avoided discussing the seasonality of the plankton blooms, whereas, the methane is released year round.
They did discuss the seasonality. Try reading the paper.
And again, not the point of the paper.

the rise in atmospheric methane concentrations in the Arctic is accelerating.
It doesn't say the methane would not be released. Try reading the paper.

Pohlman and Ruppel are petroleum geologists who work for the USGS gas hydrate project, promoting methane hydrate as an energy source in conjunction with the Oil and Gas industry.
I thought you just explained what the paper proves. Now you are saying it is fake-science. Make up your mind.
Besides, people quote USGS all the time here. I guess we'll have to ban NASA and NOAH being discussed as well?
Show your evidence for such outrageous claims about being in-league "with oil and gas industry".

Ruppel has been at the forefront of the methane hydrate disinformation campaign, attacking any papers suggesting methane hydrates are unsafe to extract, or may pose a danger to the environment.     
Show your evidence of such attacks by Ruppel please.
Besides, methane is safe to extract in and of itself, which I'm guessing is the point, but you didn't show the evidence so I don't know what Ruppel would be referring to.
The extraction methods may be unsafe.
But we don't need methane.

The conclusions in their paper is absolute nonsense.
You sound important.

As for the other paper, yes, methanatrophs evolved in the subglacial lakes as there is no sunlight to provide energy.  Duh.

You don't understand that paper either. Try reading it.
""We conclude that aerobic methanotrophy may mitigate the release of methane to the atmosphere upon subglacial water drainage to ice sheet margins and during periods of deglaciation.""

(PS. Condescension - arrogantly saying "duh" to people - is not appropriate here.)

« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 06:12:13 PM by Thomas Barlow »

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #367 on: August 16, 2017, 08:09:48 PM »
Thomas
Is a link to this disputed paper available?


It's difficult to follow the discussion without having to page back through the thread. Wouldn't quoting the disputed passages be more productive than asking us to "read the paper", without at a minimum providing a link, then hinting at which sections are being parsed?


Terry


Thomas Barlow

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #368 on: August 16, 2017, 09:51:46 PM »
Is a link to this disputed paper available?

I posted it upthread, but here it is ---> http://www.pnas.org/content/114/21/5355.abstract

Wouldn't quoting the disputed passages

I already did quote some of it upthread.

From the paper:

""These areas of methane seepage may be net greenhouse gas sinks.""

""We found that CO2 uptake in an area of elevated methane efflux was enhanced relative to surrounding waters, such that the negative radiative forcing effect (cooling) resulting from CO2 uptake overwhelmed the positive radiative forcing effect (warming) supported by methane output.""

""Our work suggests physical mechanisms (e.g., upwelling) that transport methane to the surface may also transport nutrient-enriched water that supports enhanced primary production and CO2 drawdown. These areas of methane seepage may be net greenhouse gas sinks.""

""The negative radiative forcing expected from this CO2 uptake is up to 231 times greater than the positive radiative forcing from the methane emissions.""

""These findings challenge the widely held perception that areas characterized by shallow-water methane seeps and/or strongly elevated sea−air methane flux always increase the global atmospheric greenhouse gas burden.""

And From Science (journal)

"In fact, the study finds that in such zones, nearly 1900 times more CO2 is being absorbed than methane emitted. That’s a small but real consolation for those concerned about global warming, Pohlman says.""

---> http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/are-methane-seeps-arctic-slowing-global-warming
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 03:26:47 PM by Thomas Barlow »

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #369 on: August 16, 2017, 10:40:35 PM »
Thanx Thomas

AbruptSLR

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #370 on: August 18, 2017, 05:41:11 PM »
The linked reference is not all bad news, as it points out that per their 1D models the Arctic continental shelf methane hydrate stability zone (HSZ) can take ~ 10 to 20 kyrs to respond to changes in initial temperature conditions associated with the end of the last ice age.  However, while it is pleasant to think of middle of the 10 to 20 kya range, as the attached image indicates the Holocene began about 11 kya and thus we should now start to see portions of the HSZ becoming unstable due to the global temperature increase leading to the beginning of the Holocene:

Valentina V. Malakhova & Alexey V. Eliseev (2017), "The role of heat transfer time scale in the evolution of the subsea permafrost and associated methane hydrates stability zone during glacial cycles", Global and Planetary Change, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.08.007

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818117301273

Abstract: "Climate warming may lead to degradation of the subsea permafrost developed during Pleistocene glaciations and release methane from the hydrates, which are stored in this permafrost. It is important to quantify time scales at which this release is plausible. While, in principle, such time scale might be inferred from paleoarchives, this is hampered by considerable uncertainty associated with paleodata. In the present paper, to reduce such uncertainty, one–dimensional simulations with a model for thermal state of subsea sediments forced by the data obtained from the ice core reconstructions are performed. It is shown that heat propagates in the sediments with a time scale of ∼ 10-20 kyr. This time scale is longer than the present interglacial and is determined by the time needed for heat penetration in the unfrozen part of thick sediments. We highlight also that timings of shelf exposure during oceanic regressions and flooding during transgressions are important for simulating thermal state of the sediments and methane hydrates stability zone (HSZ). These timings should be resolved with respect to the contemporary shelf depth (SD). During glacial cycles, the temperature at the top of the sediments is a major driver for moving the HSZ vertical boundaries irrespective of SD. In turn, pressure due to oceanic water is additionally important for SD ≥ 50 m. Thus, oceanic transgressions and regressions do not instantly determine onset s of HSZ and/or its disappearance. Finally, impact of initial conditions in the subsea sediments is lost after ∼ 100 kyr. Our results are moderately sensitive to intensity of geothermal heat flux."
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #371 on: August 19, 2017, 10:48:14 AM »
Thomas Barlow quoting the PNAS paper that I can't get to load at the moment.

"We found that CO2 uptake in an area of elevated methane efflux was enhanced relative to surrounding waters, such that the negative radiative forcing effect (cooling) resulting from CO2 uptake overwhelmed the positive radiative forcing effect (warming) supported by methane output."

Hi Thomas

Any indication of how the relativity of CO2 and CH4 was assessed? (e.g. GWP, GTP instantaneous effect)
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Cid_Yama

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #372 on: August 21, 2017, 09:41:39 PM »
Russian scientists deny climate model of IPCC
Massive emissions of methane in the Arctic become a significant source of greenhouse gases, a study reveals
The rate of vertical degradation of subsea permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) is 18 cm a year over the past 30 years, which is greater than previously thought. Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University received this data after the comprehensive study of subsea permafrost not only in the Russian Arctic but also in the Arctic as a whole.

TPU scientists and co-authors from Russia and Sweden have recently published findings of the study in Nature Communications.

Basing on the repeated drilling of four wells performed by the Institute of Permafrost Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences in 1982-1983, scientists have proved that the rates of vertical degradation of subsea permafrost amount to18 cm a year over the last 30 years (the average is 14 cm a year) which is greater than it was assumed before.

'New data obtained by complex biochemical, geophysical and geological studies conducted in 2011-2016 resulted in the conclusion that in some areas of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf the roof of the subsea permafrost had already reached the depth of hydrates' stability the destruction of which may cause massive releases of bubble methane.

According to our findings published earlier in Nature Geoscience, Science and Philosophical Transactions, Royal Society, the size of CH4 bubble flaw from the bottom sediments into the ESAS water can vary from milligrams to tens or hundreds of grams per square meter a day depending on the state of subsea permafrost, which leads to the concentration increase of atmospheric CH4 in the surface layer to values 2-4 times exceeding background concentrations measured in our planet,' says the first author of the paper Professor Natalia Shakhova, the TPU Department of Geology and Minerals Prospecting.

She notes that these findings were confirmed during the expedition to the East Siberian Arctic Self in 2016. The expedition was organized and conducted jointly with the scientists from the Pacific Oceanological Institute FEB RAS, with the participation of the Institute of Oceanology RAS and the Institute of Atmospheric Physics RAS. More data will be published in 2018.

link


Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf
It was shown that slight changes in seafloor erosion and sedimentation patterns that change the thermal and pressure regime below the seafloor could be viable mechanisms for unroofing underlying gas reservoirs, which can release CH4 in large quantities66. Once initiated, erosion could propagate further downward and migrate laterally to adjacent areas, driven by venting gas. Erosion of a few tens of seafloor metres could unroof over-pressured shallow gas reservoirs and buoyant hydrate-laden sediment accumulations beneath the seafloor, triggering rapid gas release66,67.

link




« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 09:56:02 PM by Cid_Yama »

TerryM

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #373 on: August 23, 2017, 01:15:44 PM »
Cid
For shame!


Are you inferring that our perfectly good, (and comforting), Western models should be abandoned just because some Ruskies have proven them wrong by redundant drilling, seismic testing, and actually taking measurements?


When Russian facts dispute Western theories it should be obvious who is to be believed.


[/sarc] - (because of a previous misunderstanding)
Terry

Thomas Barlow

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Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Reply #374 on: August 24, 2017, 10:49:02 PM »
Any indication of how the relativity of CO2 and CH4 was assessed? (e.g. GWP, GTP instantaneous effect)

This article from Phys.org describes it. It is pretty instantaneous.

""During the study, scientists continuously measured the concentrations of methane and carbon dioxide in near-surface waters and in the air just above the ocean surface. The measurements were taken over methane seeps fields at water depths ranging from 260 to 8530 feet (80 to 2600 meters).""

""Analysis of the data confirmed that methane was entering the atmosphere above the shallowest (water depth of 260-295 feet or 80-90 meters) Svalbard margin seeps. However, the data also showed that significant amounts of carbon dioxide were being absorbed by the waters near the ocean surface, and that the cooling effect resulting from carbon dioxide uptake is up to 230 times greater than the warming effect expected from the methane emitted.""

""If what we observed near Svalbard occurs more broadly at similar locations around the world, it could mean that methane seeps have a net cooling effect on climate, not a warming effect as we previously thought," said USGS biogeochemist John Pohlman, who is the paper's lead author. "We are looking forward to testing the hypothesis that shallow-water methane seeps are net greenhouse gas sinks in other locations.""


https://phys.org/news/2017-05-ocean-absorption-carbon-dioxide-compensates.html
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 10:57:25 PM by Thomas Barlow »