Confirmed: Siberian methane oozing up

This scares me shitless.

Methane gas oozing up from Siberian seabed: Swedish researcher

1 hour ago

STOCKHOLM (AFP) — Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is leaking from the permafrost under the Siberian seabed, a researcher on an international expedition in the region told Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter on Saturday.

“The permafrost now has small holes. We have found elevated levels of methane above the water surface and even more in the water just below. It is obvious that the source is the seabed,” Oerjan Gustafsson, the Swedish leader of the International Siberian Shelf Study, told the newspaper.

The tests were carried out in the Laptev and east Siberian seas and used much more precise measuring equipment than previous studies, he said.

Methane is more than 20 times more efficient than carbon dioxide in trapping solar heat.

Scientists fear that global warming may cause Siberia’s permafrost to thaw and thereby release vast amounts of methane into the atmosphere. The effects of global warming are already most visible in the Arctic region.


Here’s
the Dagens Nyheter article, in Swedish. The Swedish team had better instruments than earlier Russian researchers whose findings were mostly ignored.

If I ever have kids it’s going to be fairly late in life, when I can better gauge the chance that they or my possible grandchildren will live through an apocalypse.

19 thoughts on “Confirmed: Siberian methane oozing up

  1. There is something darkly comic about humanity perishing by a giant fart, though. If Vonnegut didn’t write a book about that he should have.

  2. Oh man, this is really not good. I heard of this possibility about two years ago, and was scared then. 20 times more efficient at trapping in heat than co2?

    Where am I going? And why am I in this handbasket?!

    Nait

  3. David:

    You better quit reading into “me too” climate science.

    Global temperatures of lower troposphere are stable for 10 years, and are actually falling precipitously for two last years. Atmospheric concentration of methane stabilized 10 years ago and are on decline. Melting permafrost increases vegetation and hence fixing of atmospheric carbon dioxide, with minuscule emissions of anaerobically digested thawing organics. Methane hydrates (real danger of GHG-induced heating) are trapped kilometers under surface, and nothing less of gigantic volcanic activity could liberate it (try to affect volcanoes by recycling of beer cans).

    More info for interested here, and go to “permafrost”:

    http://www.co2science.org/subject/p/subject_p.php

  4. Here are two more of this weekend’s cheerful headlines, suggesting that the Arctic may now have reached a “tipping point” – with little or no chance of reversing the warming trend:

    Arctic ice melting and not coming back: scientist

    The North Pole becomes an ‘island’ for the first time in history as ice melts

    Robert Frost gets the last word:

    SOME say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To know that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    ###

  5. Sea Ice in Arctic this year is way more robust than last year 30-years record summer melt:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3463

    Surprisingly, sea ice and Antarctic glaciers are at all-time record high due to pronounced cooling of South hemisphere.

    As I said before, global temperatures as measured by satellites in lower 5 km of troposphere are on decline for two years in the row, and already wiped out all warming of 20 century.

    In a nutshell, “global warming” is neither global nor warming.

  6. David, this isn’t going to be Permian-bad: after all, the same sort of thing undoubtedly happened in earlier periods of high global temperature. Humanity will undoubtedly survive – we’re adaptable critters.

    Heck, I’m quite bullish on human civilization surviving, although things may get hairy for a while if climate change is faster than we currently expect(whether it gets US Great-Depression hairy or Stalinist Russia-hairy depends on just how stupid and shortsighted our leadership is – check back with me after the next election).

    Al, cool antarctica is actually predicatable with global warming:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/02/antarctica-is-cold/#more-529

    That took me a 20-sec look to find at Realclimate.

    I wonder how long it would find out that your troposphere claim is another bullshit denialist talking point?

  7. Alex, I think you’re being a little harsh on AL. Sure, his links are all to rubbish pseudo-science sites (to put it kindly), but how many trolls know how to spell “minuscule” correctly?

  8. David, what is your basis for believing that you will have better knowledge of the next 100 years of human history 20 years from now than you do today?

  9. RealClimate is a false propaganda Website for NASA’s James Hansen, one of the leading Alarmist hoaxers. RealClimate has a bad habit of censoring anyone who disputes its claims and disproves its faux science. Hansen, the IPCC leadership, and a host of others also have been systematically censoring and smearing the reputations of even more distinguished scientists having the timidity to dispute their falsified research. Many of the scientists being censored and demonized are even more accomplished scientists than the Alarmists who are censoring them.

    See: http://www.climateaudit.org and a variety of other websites who are willing to openly discuss the pros and cons of the science.

    Outgaassing of the methane and clathrates is a perfectly natural and routine event. Alarmists have totally failed to address the fact that changes in the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have never been correlated with changes in atmospheric temperature during the past 600+ million years of the Phanaerozoic. On the contrary, changes in carbon dioxide and temperature have been highly uncoordinated and most often exactly contrary in changes. Rather than address these fatal contradicitons to their alarmism, they have instead denied and suppressed discussion of the science and facts.

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  11. It does appear that methane is a concern and could be reduced; however, it’s not the methane oozing from the permafrost of Siberia. It has to be controlled and curbed where we can do it. It is best done where man’s activities are a source (e.g. animal operations, landfills, wastewater facilities, etc.). It will cost money. Siberian, Alaskan, Canadian, and other arctic counties can’t do anything about defrosting permafrost.
    Methane is not the only culprit. I saw this in the New York Times today:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/02/science/02nitr.html
    Good Luck with those trolls Alex! It appears like you’re getting lucky indeed.

  12. Pingback: Not Just Oozing | afoe | A Fistful of Euros | European Opinion

  13. Current climate models don’t take into consideration melting methane hydrate emissions.

    There is an area six times the size of Germany containing about 540 billion tons of carbon off the Siberian coast. That submarine permafrost is perilously close to thawing. Three to 12 kilometers from the coast the sea sediment is just below freezing. The permafrost has grown porous, there is a loss of rigor in the frozen sea floor, and the surrounding seawater is highly oversaturated with solute methane.

    “If the Siberian (submarine) permafrost-seal thaws completely and all the stored gas escapes, the methane content of the planet’s atmosphere would increase twelve fold. The result would be catastrophic global warming.” –“A Storehouse of Greenhouse Gases Is Opening in Siberia,” Spiegel, 17 April ’08

    Luckily, there is a new clean energy technology that is one tenth the cost of coal. LENR using nickel. Incredibly: Ni+H(heated under pressure)=Cu+lots of heat.

    This phenomenon (LENR) has been confirmed in hundreds of published scientific papers: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJtallyofcol.pdf

    “Over 2 decades with over 100 experiments worldwide indicate LENR is real, much greater than chemical…” –Dennis M. Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

    “Energy density many orders of magnitude over chemical.” Michael A. Nelson, NASA

    “Total replacement of fossil fuels for everything but synthetic organic chemistry.” –Dr. Joseph M. Zawodny, NASA

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