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Temperature changes in the Gulf Stream are "rapidly destabilizing methane hydrate along a broad swathe of the North American margin," the experts said in a study published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature.
Using seismic records and ocean models, the team estimated that 2.5 gigatonnes of frozen methane hydrate are being destabilized and could separate into methane gas and water.
It is not clear if that is happening yet, but that methane gas would have the potential to rise up through the ocean and into the atmosphere, where it would add to the greenhouse gases warming Earth.
"It is unlikely that the western North Atlantic margin is the only area experiencing changing ocean currents," they noted. "Our estimate ... may therefore represent only a fraction of the methane hydrate currently destabilizing globally."
"We may approach a turning point" from a warming driven by man-made carbon dioxide to a warming driven by methane, Jurgen Mienert, the geology department chair at Norway's University of Tromso, told NBC News.
"The interactions between the warming Arctic Ocean and the potentially huge methane-ice reservoirs beneath the Arctic Ocean floor point towards increasing instability," he added.
"Multiple events can play a factor, such as changing sea level or an addition of cold/fresh water from the north," Phrampus said, adding he was hopeful that the changes might be "reversible under their own influence."
How the Gulf Stream changes with time and what effect these changes have on methane hydrate stability is unclear. Here, using seismic data combined with thermal models, we show that recent changes in intermediate-depth ocean temperature associated with the Gulf Stream are rapidly destabilizing methane hydrate along a broad swathe of the North American margin.
Our analysis suggests that changes in Gulf Stream flow or temperature within the past 5,000 years or so are warming the western North Atlantic margin by up to eight degrees Celsius and are now triggering the destabilization of 2.5 gigatonnes of methane hydrate (about 0.2 per cent of that required to cause the PETM). This destabilization extends along hundreds of kilometres of the margin and may continue for centuries.
Originally posted by Northwarden
Ah, the Global Warming Hoax arises again.
What is carbon good for? Plant Growth.
What is methane good for? Fertilizer for plant growth.
should we be so concerned by this?
Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released...
Global Warming agenda
AGW Anthropogenic Global Warming
AGW Anti-Global Warming
AGW Access Gateway
AGW Art Gallery of Windsor (Ontario, Canada)
AGW Accelerated Global Warming
AGW All Going Well
AGW Atmospheric Gravity Waves
AGW Actual Gold Weight
AGW A Girl's World (online magazine)
AGW Alt.Games.Warbirds (forum)
AGW Application Gateway (telecom)
AGW Actual Gross Weight
AGW Automatic Girth Welder
AGW Autonomous Guided Weapon
AGW Acoustic Gravity Wave
AGW Angelgeschäft Wehnemann (German angling equipment retailer)
AGW Anganwadi Worker (India)
AGW Allowable Gross Weight
AGW Accident Generated Water
AGW Andrée Gérard Wolff (French clothing retailer)
AGW Agendus for Windows (software)
AGW Art Gallery Worldwide
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Is the global warming scare the greatest delusion in history?
By Christopher Booker
The scare over man-made global warming is not only the scientific scandal of our generation, but a suicidal flight from reality.
To grasp the almost suicidal state of unreality our Government has been driven into by the obsession with global warming, it is necessary to put together the two sides to an overall picture – each vividly highlighted by events of recent days.
On one hand there is the utterly lamentable state of the science which underpins it all, illuminated yet again by “Climategate 2.0”, the latest release of emails between the leading scientists who for years have been at the heart of the warming scare (which I return to below). On the other hand, we see the damage done by the political consequences of this scare, which will directly impinge, in various ways, on all our lives.
Methane, in the form of natural gas, is used in a variety of industries. It's a common fabric, plastic, anti-freeze and fertilizer ingredient. Industrial natural gas consumers include companies that make pulp and paper. Food processors, petroleum refineries and companies that work with stone, clay and glass, use the energy it releases. Methane-based combustion helps businesses dry, dehumidify, melt and sanitize their products. The use of methane natural gas in commercial settings also resembles home uses.
Natural gas is cheaper than electricity, according to the Natural Gas Supply Association. They affirm it is the "lowest-cost conventional energy source available for residential use." Home uses vary. Some consumers use the methane in natural gas as a source of energy while cooking. Others use it to heat and cool their homes.
Through a process called distributed generation, the methane in natural gas can create electricity. Microturbines (heat engines) and natural gas fuel cells can produce enough electrical energy to power a home. While distributed generation technology remains in its infancy, it has a promising future. The Natural Gas Supply Association predicts that distributed generation will offer homeowners energy independence. The first system of this kind was installed in a Latham, New York, home. The home strictly relies on a fuel cell and its natural gas line for its energy needs.