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Arctic Ocean leaking methane at an alarming rate.

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posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 01:59 PM

Their article, which appeared last week in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Geoscience, states that the Arctic Ocean is releasing methane at a rate more than twice what scientific models had previously anticipated.
Shakhova, the lead author of the most recent report, said the methane release rate likely is even greater than their paper describes.
"We decided to be as conservative as possible," Shakhova said. "We're actually talking the top of the iceberg."
The submerged East Siberian Arctic Shelf contains much of the same stored carbon as the dry-land tundra just to its south but it also contains at least 17 teragrams of methane, the study states. A teragram is equal to 1 million tons.
The UAF researchers also concluded the Arctic methane release creates a positive feedback loop. As temperatures increase, more methane is released, and as more methane is released, temperatures increase.

I have been following this for awhile now. I posted on the boards a few years ago that this methane release from the Arctic is likely to become self sustaining, and this is what seems to be happening.

They are not trying to predict doom, but they are calling for more studies on the issue, and that is the smart move.

What we don't know is how fast extreme global climate change can happen.

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 02:09 PM
Sadly, only when something catastrophic occurs and affects the 'wealthy' nations will the MSM or indeed general public sit up and demand action...... By which time, of course will be too late...!

Call me pessimistic if you wish but whilst the x-factor, the need for the latest phone, the latest celebrity shagging another, the score from one bunch of millionaires kicking a ball against the other bunch of millionaires, the politicians bickering over who is going to pay their bar bills, the latest episode of TV drama that after 36 episodes leaves you feeling empty, the countless conflicts going on, the latest pollution to destroy the environment occurs etc etc etc etc.............nothing will change...



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 02:10 PM
reply to post by poet1b

Whops, seems the russian (or american. Or canadian. ) will have more gas than they were expecting when drilling the Arctic as if it's a bloody chocolate cake.

Thanks for the info! S&F.

edit on 1-12-2013 by swanne because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 02:12 PM
I posted this in one of Rezlooper threads to give everyone a idea of how much methane
is defrosting in the arctic.

edit on 1/12/2013 by skuly because: spelling

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 02:15 PM

I posted this in one of Rezlooper threads to give a idea of how much methane
is defrosting.

Is it me, or the methane emission is concentrated along the tectonic separation line? I also note there is less methane defrosting over Greenland than over Russian's sea.

edit on 1-12-2013 by swanne because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 02:37 PM
reply to post by skuly

Beautiful link, thanks.

I expected more methane deposits all along the huge continental shelf off of Siberia.

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 02:40 PM
reply to post by swanne

Doesn't that sound like the mother of all ecological disasters waiting to happen.

The Arctic Ocean is already boiling methane, lets move some massive machinery into the area and see what happens.

What a great idea.

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 02:47 PM
reply to post by PurpleDog UK

If world leaders had any brains, they would be taking constructive action.

As in constructing harvesting equipment to harvest these methane deposits, before they get released into the atmosphere. We could solve our planets energy problems in a far more effective way. Japan is already working on this

The problem is that it looks like world leaders, those who run the International Banking Corporations/Cartels, are greedy power mad idiots.

We need a Man on the moon type effort to take action to prevent what is, from all evidence, a massive ecological disaster in the making.
edit on 1-12-2013 by poet1b because: change verb form.

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 03:01 PM
So what should we do? put up a giant solar shade!

The forces of mother nature are such that we can only react and change to its cycles as done for hundreds of thousands of years.

I would agree we have our localized effects on climate such as urban heat islands but overall we could cease all emission and not have a pipsqueak of an effect globally.

Its hubris and folly to think we humans make overall change on that scale - sorry not a believer in that respect.

I don't think on the other hand that industrialization should be unbridled either when and where practical.

Adaption can be made for mostly natural changes, ones I'm concerned with is radiation pollution from Japan and unchecked air pollution from Countries like China who could reign it in except for they are to cheap to do so even though the technology exists.

A Bangladesh may not be able to afford proper environmental controls but I find no excuse using China for instance which has the money to do so.

The reasons they should be doing so are quality of life issue rather than its miniscule climate change potential.

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 03:05 PM
reply to post by poet1b

I agree, if methane going to release anyway then it would be good replacement for other energy sources.

Its better than deep ocean oil wells and their associated risks.

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 03:21 PM
reply to post by poet1b

Seeing you had posted on this awhile back and this is a new study you must have been using data from a different source .I find it peculiar that they claim that its worse than they thought .So do you have a link to your source you used to report on this ? thanks
edit to add ...if you think its more money to study this thing than can you tell me how much money we have thrown at all the climate studies to date and how much of that studying has resulted in degrees of climate change ..
edit on 1-12-2013 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 03:30 PM
reply to post by Phoenix

Becoming more energy efficient, putting out less pollution, becoming more green simply makes good sense.

The thing is, if there is a chance, and most of the evidence does point in that direction, that our wasteful industrial practice might bring a massive ecological disaster that has the potential to eliminate our civilization, possibly our species, it is foolish of humanity not to act to prevent such an occurrence.

The only purpose our current massively wasteful system serves is to enrich the people who control the ICBs, at a tremendous cost to the rest of humanity.

We could all be consuming less, working less hours, and spending more time with our families, and be living quality lives with as much material possessions as we currently enjoy, without planned obsolescence. Without making the goods on one side of the planet where slave labor and low environmental standards, in order to sell on the other side of the planet, so that the greedy can get even more filthy rich, alone we would be far more efficient.

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 03:34 PM
reply to post by the2ofusr1

The source is on the Op.

There has been a large increase in the study of Arctic Methane since large releases were discovered a few years ago. This current, recently released, study reports that things are even worse than expected. Methane releases are far greater than predicted.

I have been following this for awhile now. The purpose of the thread is to report this most recent study.

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 03:38 PM
Every year.


From 2003 to 2008, an international research team led by University of Alaska-Fairbanks scientists Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov surveyed the waters of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, which covers more than 772,200 square miles (two million square kilometers) of seafloor in the Arctic Ocean.

"This discovery reveals a large but overlooked source of methane gas escaping from permafrost underwater, rather than on land," the study said.

"More widespread emissions could have dramatic effects on global warming in the future."


Here is the contribution from Semiletov and Shakhova:

We would first note that we have never stated that the reason for the currently observed methane emissions were due to recent climate change. In fact, we explained in detail the mechanism of subsea permafrost destabilization as a result of inundation with seawater thousands of years ago. We have been working in this scientific field and this region for a decade. We understand its complexity more than anyone. And like most scientists in our field, we have to deal with slowly improving understanding of ongoing processes that often incorporates different points of views expressed by different groups of researchers.

We found that the temperatures of the sediments were from 1.2 to 0.6 degrees below zero, Celsius, yet they were completely thawed.


There have been observations of bubbles emanating from the sea floor in the Arctic (Shakhova, 2010; Shakhova et al., 2005) and off Norway. The Norwegian bubble plume coincides with the edge of the hydrate stability zone, where a bit of warming could push the surface sediments from stable to unstable. A model of the hydrates (Reagan, 2009) produces a bubble plume similar to what’s observed, in response to the observed rate of ocean water warming over the past 30 years, but with this warming rate extrapolated further back in time over the past 100 years.

The response time of their model is several centuries, so pre-loading the early warming like they did makes it difficult to even guess how much of the response they model could be attributed to human-induced climate change, even if we knew how much of the last 30 years of ocean warming in that location came from human activity.


Ruppel et al. 2011

Catastrophic, widespread dissociation of methane gas hydrates will not be triggered by continued climate warming at contemporary rates (0.2ºC per decade; IPCC 2007) over timescales of a few hundred years. Most of Earth's gas hydrates occur at low saturations and in sediments at such great depths below the seafloor or onshore permafrost that they will barely be affected by warming over even 103 yr. Even when CH4 is liberated from gas hydrates, oxidative and physical processes may greatly reduce the amount that reaches the atmosphere as CH4.

The CO2 produced by oxidation of CH4 released from dissociating gas hydrates will likely have a greater impact on the Earth system (e.g., on ocean chemistry and atmospheric CO2 concentrations; Archer et al. 2009) than will the CH4 that remains after passing through various sinks.


posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 04:13 PM
reply to post by talklikeapirat

From your source

Could there be a methane runaway feedback?.

The “runaway greenhouse effect” that planetary scientists and climatologists usually call by that name involves water vapor. A runaway greenhouse effect involving methane release (such as invoked here) is conceptually possible, but to get a spike of methane concentration in the air it would have to released more quickly than the 10-year lifetime of methane in the atmosphere.

Guess what, reports from the scientist up in the Arctic are reporting that Methane is releasing much more quickly.

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 04:25 PM
reply to post by poet1b

Good points, I prefer to separate social, economic, environmental and government policy otherwise solutions could become utopian like and have little chance of ever happening.

No grand unified theories there.

I can remember the shudders I had when some decades ago free trade was bandied about as a good thing that would lift the third world out of its poverty and promote freedom.

You're right that so called free trade gave world bankers a ready vehicle to enrichen themselves as the middle-men for massive wealth transfers.

That's good example of government policy couched in social policy with a detrimental economic result that has impacted the environment - no argument there.

I would argue that any combination of the above has what I consider dangerous results due the injection of corruption on massive scales. Its a combination I consider a dirty word, Globalism.

I certainly agree that it insensible to manufacture an automobile or other products in Asia and ship then to continents far away - just the concept is wasteful.

I agree were that not the case then there would be a measurable effect on the environment somewhere.

What I am saying is environmental policy should stand its own ground and be done because its sensible.

Using power of the gun through government politically is not something I agree with, nor should tax systems be used that way. I don't agree with economic policies that amount to wealth transfer guised as social policy, nor trade policy that allow skimming of peoples labor and treasure.

I certainly don't agree that a focus on consumer items is healthy for anyone.

Mainly I agree doing smart targeted solutions that result in positive outcome without penalizing one group over another.

I saw tax incentives as good for energy conservation. Now we get a fee on solar power sponsored by utilities in Arizona because they foresee loss of revenue? So much for decentralizing huh and at same time spanking those who'd be independent.

Free Trade, another 1984ish term like Affordable Care or Patriot Act that's had poor results worldwide by inducing more greed than productivity.

I'd be very careful mixing the various issues into an environmental answer. They are not mutually exclusive and can compliment each other by default, not by coercion.

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 04:44 PM
reply to post by poet1b

How much more quickly to have a measurable effect on the climate, if any?

Please quantify.

Or you could read on.

The realclimate folks are not exactly non-alarmist, but the methane article is a quite level-headed summary of recent research.

It wouldn’t be a methane runaway greenhouse effect, it would be more akin to any other carbon release as CO2 to the atmosphere. This sounds like semantics, but it puts the methane system into the context of the CO2 system, where it belongs and where we can scale it.

So maybe by the end of the century in some reasonable scenario, perhaps 2000 Gton C could be released by human activity under some sort of business-as-usual scenario, and another 1000 Gton C could come from soil and methane hydrate release, as a worst case. We set up a model of the methane runaway greenhouse effect scenario, in which the methane hydrate inventory in the ocean responds to changing ocean temperature on some time scale, and the temperature responds to greenhouse gas concentrations in the air with another time scale (of about a millennium) (Archer and Buffett, 2005). If the hydrates released too much carbon, say two carbons from hydrates for every one carbon from fossil fuels, on a time scale that was too fast (say 1000 years instead of 10,000 years), the system could run away in the CO2 greenhouse mode described above. It wouldn’t matter too much if the carbon reached the atmosphere as methane or if it just oxidized to CO2 in the ocean and then partially degassed into the atmosphere a few centuries later.

The fact that the ice core records do not seem full of methane spikes due to high-latitude sources makes it seem like the real world is not as sensitive as we were able to set the model up to be. This is where my guess about a worst-case 1000 Gton from hydrates after 2000 Gton C from fossil fuels in the last paragraph comes from.

From the Shakhova et al. press release.

The melting of the subsea permafrost in the Arctic Ocean can't be blamed on modern humans—it's been slowly warming down there for thousands of years—it's just recently however, reached the point where it melts in the summer just enough to allow the methane in it to seep out and bubble up into the sea column above.

The researchers note that their measurements contradict predictions by others that a massive "pulse" of methane will very soon add as much as 50 billion tonnes of methane to the atmosphere, causing a dramatic spike in global air temperatures. Instead, they suggest, it appears more likely that the methane will continue to bubble up slowly, contributing to greenhouse gases much as is happening currently—though they do caution that its possible global warming could cause more or bigger storms in the Arctic Ocean, releasing methane on a bigger scale.

Read more at:

edit on 1-12-2013 by talklikeapirat because: 3.5 & 8 microns

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 04:59 PM
reply to post by poet1b

If world leaders had any brains, they would be taking constructive action.

As in constructing harvesting equipment to harvest these methane deposits, before they get released into the atmosphere. We could solve our planets energy problems in a far more effective way. Japan is already working on this

Sounds like a sensible idea to me. btw - Is anyone evaluating the possible dangers beyond greenhouse effects? Does methane explode in the open? Burn? Is there enough there to explode or burn? Could a fire source get into the underground deposits?

posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 06:05 PM
here again will be another reason for the TPTB to enforce agenda 21
when it is just simply a part of the cycle the earth goes into.
Look at the climate history,. there is NOTHING humans can do about this
nor is it our doing,. Yeah the Co2 is higher but think about this, If the methane
release is coming from the bottom of the oceans then the earths core must be heating up
and surly not a cause of human habitation, but a solar interaction.

posted on Dec, 2 2013 @ 12:04 AM
Excellent posts from all


Life seems meaningless to me, unless we endeavor to do better.

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