Evidence Methane Climate Bomb is Bursting

Methane hydrate is combustible iceClimate scientists have long warned methane hydrates [search] stored in the Arctic ocean floor — hard clumps of frozen ice and methane at high pressure — could become unstable due to global heating. This would free massive amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere. Researchers have found preliminary alarming evidence that methane hydrate thawing has started [ark] in the Russian Artic and methane gas stores are being released.
If confirmed, this positive feedback could increase the atmosphere's methane [search] concentration by twenty times and has the potential to dramatically accelerate climate change. Again ecological science shows it is way past time for governments and individuals to commit to personal and social change sufficient to solve climate change and related global ecological crises.

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16 Responses

  1. rakshya says:

    it is not good to free methane into atm.
    it will more create problem…

  2. R. Gates says:

    I've been following the methane situation for a number of years, and pointed out in a previous post how its atmospheric levels have suddenly begun skyrocking over the past year.
    This is the worst of all possible positive feedback loops…and sadly, governments will act far too late (if they can act at all before civilization begins to collapse).
    The food riots going on around the world are just the beginning. Things are unwinding and the center cannot hold…

  3. Dave Moore says:

    Its the math. Methane is 9 times more effective as a greenhouse gas than CO2. And there is far more carbon stored as methane than other hydrocarbons. Time for some houseboats and growing more grain in Canada and Russia and way less in areas headed for desertification.

    Press release19-04-2008
    Fisher people demand justice for climate refugees
    South Indian fishing community conference on Climate change and
    Fisherpeople's livelihood was held on 17th April 2008 at Rotary Community
    hall,Nagercoil, Kanyakumari district. This event was organized by
    TamilnaduFisher workers Union (TFU), Kerala Independent Fish workers
    Federation(KSMTF) and Voices from the Margins (VFM).
    Mr. T. Peter Dass, President,Tamilnadu Fish workers Union (TFU) delivered
    welcome address and he pointed out that fisher people are facing sea erosion
    as a result ofclimate change. This public event is recognized as the first
    one organized by the affected community against Climate Change and fisher
    people have decided to launch public protest for their sufferings as a
    result ofclimate change.
    Mr.M.Pakkirisamy, district revenue officer inaugurated this workshop and in
    his Chief Guest address said that sea level is rising in the last pastdecade
    at an unimaginable rate of increase. Sea level is expected raise 5 meters in
    the next 50 years and it is going to affect the fisher people.There is a
    need to change the consumption pattern to avoid the expansion of the hole in
    ozone layer.
    Mr. K.P. Sasi, activist film maker wondered what the government is doing to
    stop the carbon emission? There is a need to change the production process
    of the industries, agriculture and the energy systems. Nothing is done so
    far to the people affected by climate change and marginalized people who are
    becoming refugees as a result of ecological impacts thrustupon them.
    Dr. A.D.Shobana Raj, ecological researcher highlighted the factthat the
    coastal Kanyakumari district has 56 km long coast with apopulation density
    of 1500 per sq.km; and the coast line is vanishing. 80% of the water
    resources in the coastal area have become saline and peopleare facing water
    crisis because of the intrusion of sea water. 132 coastal sea weeds have
    disappeared in the last 10 years. If the global temperature rises 2 degree
    Celsius then it will have impact on micro organisms leadingto several
    contagious diseases affecting coastal people.
    Dr. S.P.Udayakumar social activist demanded that our energy consumption
    pattern should change. The solution for climate change lies in shifting our
    energy sector from fossil fuel dependent sector to renewable energy. Our
    transportation pattern should move towards effective and efficientpublic
    transport system rather than promoting cars which will lead toincrease in
    carbon emission and vehicular pollution.
    Mr. Sathya Sivaraman,journalist & film maker stressed the need to pinpoint
    who emits more carbon and who should pay for carbon credit. USA is
    responsible for 25% ofcarbon emission and it should take the responsibility
    in compensation to the victims of carbon emission and climate change. The
    relationship of Human species to Earth should be the equivalent to child and
    mother, but this species has taken up the role of the destroyer of the earth
    and other species. Carbon emitting industries should be changed and if this
    is not possible all such industries should be closed.
    After the people's response, Mr. T.Peter president KSMTF demanded that
    chemical farming practices, polluting industries and carbon emitting
    lifestyle should be stopped since the fisher people are the most affected
    bythe climate change. Today, this public event is organized with the
    conviction that the affected communities can not remain in halls but there
    is a need to launch mass public protest not just for their survival alonebut
    for the entire humanity locally, nationally and internationally.
    In the concluding session Mr. S.M.Prithiviraj, Convener, Voices from the
    Margins explained how the marginalized farmers of the Tamilnadu are affected
    by climate change in recent heavy rains as a result unusual low pressure in
    Arabian Sea. Fisher people are affected by changes in pattern of fish catch,
    reduction in fish wealth, and loss of working days as a result of climate
    change and tidal waves and their houses are washed away by intruding sea in
    many places of South India. Why should the fisherpeople pay for the impacts
    of climate change entirely created by other vested interests? The conference
    ended with a resolution questioning the polluting industries, chemical
    farming practices, non-renewable energy sectors,carbon emitting life style
    and the need for taxing the polluters to paythe price for ecologically
    affected fisher people and other marginalized communities.
    Press release issued byTamilnadu Fisher workers Union (TFU)
    Kerala Independent Fish workers Federation (KSMTF)
    Voices from the Margins

  5. Roger says:

    Hello Glen.
    I hope all goes well for you. It has long been my suspicion that occult forces are protecting Humanity from “worst case scenarios”. This has led me to predict, for example, that there will not be a human “bird flu” epidemic, and that the consequences of our financial folly (the “credit crunch” ) will be less serious than the pessimists think. Now however, we have an interesting development on the climate change front — I hear reports (unconfirmed) that the latest winter in the northern hemisphere has been the coldest since 1981-82. This cold snap may, of course, be the temporary result of a combination of La Nina and the solar minimum. But it will certainly give ammunition to those sceptics who argue against action.
    I am not about to change my opinion on the seriousness of climate change. — while CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere ( no sign of a change in trend here ) then sooner or later this will have consequences. Furthermore, the Kyoto process is good in itself with its emphasis on energy efficiency, renewables and forest conservation. Nevertheless, the capriciousness of climate emphasises the dangers of Greens placing too many eggs in the global warming basket. Meanwhile, pray for warmer weather!
    Best wishes, Xanten

  6. Dr. Glen Barry says:

    Hi Roger,
    Thanks for the email. There is quite a difference between climate and weather. Global dimming is also a likely explanation. The strongest evidence of warming comes from the oceans which have unequivocally warmed significantly. If that much more energy is held there, there is no doubt that the trend for the atmosphere will continue to be warming as well. It is becoming much more clear that the change is going to be primarily one of more extremes. I think what is emerging is the realization that this really is climate change rather than global warming — chaotic breaking down of historical patterns. I agree that we are witnessing widespread ecological decline, not just climate change which is but one, albeit important, component.
    Dr. Glen Barry

  7. R. Gates says:

    Not sure precisely what you mean by “occult forces” protecting humanity, though I have my suspicions…at any rate, indeed, the solar minimum combined with La Nina, have led to a colder, and in some places, wetter winter (except for N. Europe for example). Northern sea ice recovered from the extreme loss we saw last summer, though this ice is very very thin compared to multi-year ice that it replaced, and this summer will be a true telling of what is in store for the arctic sea ice. This summer may not see such a great loss of ice, but really all bets are off.
    Finally, I'm not sure why you'd want to “pray” for warmer weather. Hundreds of millions are facing starvation because of the warmer world we live in. This may be inevitable, but to “pray” for it seems more than cold hearted.

  8. Dimitri says:

    “Meteo France”, the French state weather organization, has officially said 2007/2008 was the warmest winter for decades. And I experienced it first hand since I live in Paris. I spent almost no money on heating this last winter.

    A particularly pernicious disturbance exists in the human community. ELECTIVE MUTISM is one of the great, clear and present dangers to human and environmental health. It is a worldwide “plague” in our time from which many too many in the vast community of science suffer egregiously. That elective mutism has afflicted so many in the social sciences is one thing. The family of humanity can understand, I suppose, how social scientists do not possess the most adequate expertise to speak out loudly and clearly regarding the emerging and converging global challenges derived from the human overpopulation of Earth.
    On the other hand, what I find reprehensible and unbelievable is the way scientists with appropriate expertise in the physical and biological sciences, whatever their excuses, are choosing not to fullfil their professional responsibilities and not to discharge duties only they can perform. Their willful refusal to comment on good scientific evidence of the human species' overpopulation of the planetary home God blesses us to inhabit is as unacceptable as it is perverse.
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001

  10. tony says:

    R. Gates: Please link to atmospheric increase of methane this year. I've been reading about stabilizing or decreasing levels in recent years. I guess same question to Dr. Barry. Also, since methane is short lived in the atmosphere, how big of an increase would be critical to pushing that positive feedback loop. Second, does methane convert to CO2,under what conditions? Thank you.

  11. Rich Lawrence says:

    Regarding the atmospheric lifetime of methane and the different things that can effect that lifetime, I found an interesting article at:
    The part in there that concerns me is:
    “More important than its sleep-inducing qualities would have been two other effects of atmospheric hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide readily combines with the hydroxyl (OH^

  12. Lani Williamson says:

    The climate has only gone up LESS than 1 degree in the past few DECADES, if not century…We don't not have a problem.

  13. Dave Farcas says:

    Lani: Do yourself a favor and do some serious reading about the subject before you make such assertions. We are way beyond the realm of manageable problems, we are in the realm of unprecedented crises.

  14. Bill says:

    Below are some articles that point to changes in Arctic ocean circulation and explore the trigger mechanism for these changes. Combined with the major reduction of albedo due to Arctic ice disappearance off Northern Asia, submarine methane hydrates are facing a double whammy. Last summer 2007, average sea-surface temperature in the Arctic ran 1.5*C over the previous high, and 3.5*C over the historical average ([url=http://www.geotimes.org/apr08/article.html?id=nn_arctic.html]Geotimes[/url]). Change is happening fast.
    [url=http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/186402,german-scientists-warn-of-changes-in-arctic-ocean-circulation.html]German scientists warn of changes in Arctic Ocean circulation[/url]
    Warmer Gulf Stream waters melt fjord ice on Svalbard[/url]
    Massive Salinity Changes in Oceans[/url]
    Ocean salinity linked to climate changes during Ice Age[/url]
    [url=http://www.jhu.edu/~jhumag/496web/icyengma.html]Icy Enigma[/url]

  15. ewoc says:

    Apparently Lani actually agrees with us – if we “don't not have a problem,” we actually do have a problem.
    Remember also, Lani, that the difference in time scale between a few decades and a century is somewhat statistically significant. Which did you mean?
    By the way, fellow readers of this blog, I had the unfortunate fate of having to watch Fox News last night at a restaurant, for only the second or third time in years. Karl Rove was offering his sage opinion on the Democrats. Fair and balanced, n'est pas? It's no wonder that so many Americans spew out misinformation on a range of important topics, including global warming – remember the adage, “garbage in, garbage out?” It applies quite well here.

  16. Bill says:

    More evidence of bursting methane bubble?
    Last year alone global levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the primary driver of global climate change, increased by 0.6 percent, or 19 billion tons. Additionally methane rose by 27 million tons after nearly a decade with little or no increase. NOAA scientists released these and other preliminary findings today as part of an annual update to the agency's greenhouse gas index, which tracks data from 60 sites around the world.

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