reply to post by Phage
Sure, I can explain that. Obviously methane is being released because the frozen clathrate deposits are receiving heat that they previously did not.
Thus the 'frothing' at the hundreds or thousands of kilometer-wide seeps in the north. Hotter waters ALSO results in anoxia, and the ancient anaerobic
bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide need low-oxygen or NO-oxygen waters. You will see that a lot of these fish deaths are blamed on low oxygen
levels. This means that the environment for those bacteria- from their perspective - is improving, so they are obviously going to be expanding their
territory as the environment becomes more to their liking. That problem may have begun quite some time ago, with the growing and spreading of the
'dead zones', as scientists have mentioned over the past several decades.
Also, as the Harvard and German geology team confirmed, in the past when the ice has melted, volcanism is a result. There are a lot of volcanoes
erupting, now. And the ice IS melting. I mentioned the two subsurface volcanic eruptions, but those are just the ones we know about. But even ONE
volcanic eruption will add large quantities of heat to the nearby waters, and if there are any clathrate deposits near there, they will dissociate.
There was the pumice raft near Australia last year, from a subsurface volcanic eruption. And at the same time, scientists said that sharks were
closing in because the ocean had heated up by 5 degrees Celsius. That is a HUUUUGE amount of heat. It's not like a 5-degree temp diff for AIR. Air is
gas, the ocean is liquid, so it takes waaaay more heat to raise the ocean temps 5 degrees than it does air.
So, volcanic eruptions are obviously occurring, underwater. At least two. How many more, who knows, but the ice keeps melting, so there will be more,
and there are surely others right now, but nobody has a camera on them 20,000 feet down on every square mile of the Earth. That heat will both enhance
the growth environment for those ancient anaerobic bacteria AND help augment the melting of the methane. It doesn't have to happen in every area of
the ocean to poison the atmosphere either. In fact, I did the math once, and it would take 528 cubic miles of GASEOUS hydrogen sulfide to create a
1000 ppm (lethal to humans) cover over the planet 8 feet thick and kill mostly everything. Around 90% of species went extinct in the Permian-Triassic
extinction (95%+ died in the oceans). In liquid form, it would take just a fraction of that (liquid being denser). Biological processes can do that.
Bacterial growth rates. As that Scientific American article I have linked shows, it appears they have done just that a number of times now.
Also, the methane will simply heat the planet up ITSELF. The hotter it gets, the less oxygen water holds, and the better the environment for those
ancient anaerobic bacteria. One problem reinforces the other, and that problem then reinforces the other one, and on and on. Where's it end? I dunno.
I guess once the bacteria have eaten everything they can possibly eat (and they will eat methane too, by the way), then their population will crash
and oxygen-using life will restart. Could be a few million years for that though. I'd say 'don't hold your breath waiting for recovery' but, all
things considered, maybe you should. Heh.
edit on 9-3-2013 by JonnyMnemonic because: (no reason given)