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Arctic methane a 'ticking time bomb'


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#1    Saru

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 09:45 AM

The release of large quantities of methane gas could have dire environmental and economic consequences.

BBC News said:

Scientists say that the release of large amounts of methane from thawing permafrost in the Arctic could have huge economic impacts for the world.

Posted Image Read more...



#2    Br Cornelius

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 09:48 AM

This has been known for some time now. Its why the reactively sedate rise in global temperatures so far is no source of comfort to those who understand this methane threat.

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#3    Rolci

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:50 AM

This has been in almost every BBC documentary for the past I don't know how many years, and it's become common knowledge among those that are receptive to this kind of info. Why exactly this is published in the 'News' section after all these years/decades beats me, but then I guess raising awareness among the ignorant, unsuspecting masses can't hurt, right?


#4    Rafterman

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:37 PM

Gavin Schmidt, one of NASA's leading climatologists disagrees:

http://dotearth.blog...lity-bomb/?_r=0

Perhaps the pro-climate change folks would find less skepticism among the general public if they spent more time explaining what is happening and less time on chicken little/sky is falling scenarios.

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#5    Br Cornelius

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:41 PM

"Gavin Schmidt is nothing of the sort. He's a bit of a loon."

Correction "Gavin Schmidt is not the loon in question , that is another retired NASA engineer of a very similar name who denies that CO2 is a greenhouse gas at all"

Harrison H Schmitt is the loon I was thinking of.


.............

On the matter of your comment regarding Schmidt, thats called debate and he freely admits that a sudden methane release is a very real possibility - just that he is more conservative in his assessment of the threshhold point.

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Edited by Br Cornelius, 26 July 2013 - 02:01 PM.

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#6    Doug1o29

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 02:01 PM

View PostSaru, on 26 July 2013 - 09:45 AM, said:

The release of large quantities of methane gas could have dire environmental and economic consequences.
We've had several scares from this source already.  The process is a vicious circle:  the climate warms; that warms the oceans; that warms the methane deposits; that melts the methane; that bubbles to the surface and mixes with the air; that increases greenhouse warming and that warms the climate.  Once this cycle runs away, we can't stop it.  We don't know for sure that we haven't crossed the threshold already.  If global warming destroys the planet, rendering us and most other life forms extinct, this is how it will do it.

I suspect that what will happen is a series of small methane blowouts.  If we're lucky, that will do enough damage to the ecosystem that many humans will die off, the economic system will collapse and those who are left won't be able to support an industrial economy.  That will stop the pollution in time to save the planet - we hope.  There are no guarantees.  At the current rate, we may have three to five centuries left before that happens.  But those won't be pleasant centuries; the climate will become increasingly hostile; there will be food and other shortages as the production systems fail.  It's a slow death.

Plan B is a sudden large release that overpowers the climate system in one blow.  After that, all we can do is wait for the climate to kill us.

I think we're going to be lucky.  The process will shift slowly enough that we can react in time - if we choose to.
Doug

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#7    Aggie

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 03:05 PM

Dr. Schmidt is not the only one who disagrees:

Dr Vincent Gauci, a researcher at the Open University and director of the MethaneNet research network explained to Carbon Brief:

"It's not a given all the methane will end up in the atmosphere. Some could be oxidised [broken down] in the water by bacteria, and some could remain in the sediments on the seafloor."

Dr Gauci told us that the authors had made an "enormous leap" assuming that the entire 50 billion tonnes of frozen methane trapped in ocean sediments would end up in the atmosphere over a ten-year period.

Those sentiments were mirrored by Professor David Archer from the University of Chicago, who researches ocean sediments and methane. He told us even if the ocean warms, most of the methane released by thawing permafrost could stay in the seabed or dissolve in seawater. Professor Archer, who blogs at Realclimate , described the scenario as "totally unjustified", saying:

"No one has proposed any mechanism for releasing methane that wouldn't take centuries, not just a few years."

http://www.carbonbri...ngst-scientists


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#8    and then

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 04:21 PM

I'm no scientist so I will not attempt to hold forth on these matters except to ask - why is it that in all these scenarios it is the US and western nations (primarily) that are expected to pay the freight?  China and India as 2 examples, are not doing anything to help with emissions and we in the west are expected to tax our struggling economies to death to save the planet because of science that half the globe doesn't believe or at least is unwilling to believe.  If the science is accurate on the climate change side of the argument then we are already screwed because "people - to quote Lex Luthor in Superman - are no damned good"!

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#9    Rafterman

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:06 PM

View Postand then, on 26 July 2013 - 04:21 PM, said:

I'm no scientist so I will not attempt to hold forth on these matters except to ask - why is it that in all these scenarios it is the US and western nations (primarily) that are expected to pay the freight?  China and India as 2 examples, are not doing anything to help with emissions and we in the west are expected to tax our struggling economies to death to save the planet because of science that half the globe doesn't believe or at least is unwilling to believe.  If the science is accurate on the climate change side of the argument then we are already screwed because "people - to quote Lex Luthor in Superman - are no damned good"!

Because we already got ours and now it's only right that they can get theirs while we foot the bill.

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#10    Rafterman

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:11 PM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 26 July 2013 - 01:41 PM, said:

"Gavin Schmidt is nothing of the sort. He's a bit of a loon."

Correction "Gavin Schmidt is not the loon in question , that is another retired NASA engineer of a very similar name who denies that CO2 is a greenhouse gas at all"

Harrison H Schmitt is the loon I was thinking of.


.............

On the matter of your comment regarding Schmidt, thats called debate and he freely admits that a sudden methane release is a very real possibility - just that he is more conservative in his assessment of the threshhold point.

Br Cornelius

Much more conservative to the point that it probably won't happen.

That's kind of like saying that the sun MIGHT go supernova tomorrow because we know that it's going to happen at some point in the next few million years.

And I hold to my ascertain that the entire discussion needs less scare tactics such as this because it erodes the credibility of climate change supporters in the eye of the general public and just gives more ammunition to deniers.  Look how the media exploded when it came out last week that many of the doom and gloom predictions of the past 15 years probably aren't going to happen.

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#11    Capt Amerika

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:13 PM

It would be easier to list things that weren't a ticking time bomb anymore.
Fear mongering and the sky is falling mentality at every turn in today's society.
I promise you this, when the planet has had enough, it will heal itself even if it means making humans extinct.


#12    pallidin

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:51 PM

View PostCapt Amerika, on 26 July 2013 - 05:13 PM, said:

It would be easier to list things that weren't a ticking time bomb anymore.
Fear mongering and the sky is falling mentality at every turn in today's society.
I promise you this, when the planet has had enough, it will heal itself even if it means making humans extinct.

How so? Planet Earth is big rock in space. You speak as if the Earth itself is some type of living creature, ready and able to "dust-off" the parasites that live on it.


#13    Zaphod222

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:59 PM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 26 July 2013 - 09:48 AM, said:

This has been known for some time now. Its why the reactively sedate rise in global temperatures so far is no source of comfort to those who understand this methane threat.

Br Cornelius

Yes!! Let us impose massive new government programs, so that our government can regulate the planetary climate and save us from the Manbearpig monster.

One thing is for sure: government nomenclatura all over the world just *love* the gullible.

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#14    Br Cornelius

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:35 PM

View PostRafterman, on 26 July 2013 - 05:11 PM, said:

Much more conservative to the point that it probably won't happen.

That's kind of like saying that the sun MIGHT go supernova tomorrow because we know that it's going to happen at some point in the next few million years.

And I hold to my ascertain that the entire discussion needs less scare tactics such as this because it erodes the credibility of climate change supporters in the eye of the general public and just gives more ammunition to deniers.  Look how the media exploded when it came out last week that many of the doom and gloom predictions of the past 15 years probably aren't going to happen.
Wrong, he says it will take a few centuries to happen. that is his informed opinion.
There is ample paleogeological evidence to say that beyond a certain temperature it has happened previously - and will happen again.

The only scenario which is all but impossible is that if we continue warming the planet "it probably won't happen".
You should go to Schmidts Twitter page and read what he said in full.

Br Cornelius

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Robert Anton Wilson

#15    Br Cornelius

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:39 PM

View PostZaphod222, on 26 July 2013 - 05:59 PM, said:

Yes!! Let us impose massive new government programs, so that our government can regulate the planetary climate and save us from the Manbearpig monster.

One thing is for sure: government nomenclatura all over the world just *love* the gullible.
You seem to be threatened by the possibility that your lifestyle might be a problem. Is your bubble bursting :tu:
You seem to have a religious belief (faith - belief without evidence) that man can never effect his environment - despite all the evidence to the contrary. Its that conservative certainty thing ain't it :w00t:

Br Cornelius

I believe nothing, but I have my suspicions.

Robert Anton Wilson




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