Sunday, November 27, 2016

The methane monster has dragon's breath

Spring!
Here's some sobering research on the topic of climate change.

Start with this Guardian article from Dec. 12, 2016 about spike in atmospheric methane and how it's so diffuse it is hard to track.

The scientists speculate that agriculture may be the main source of the additional methane that has been recorded. However, they cannot be sure of all the sources, owing to a lack of monitoring. ... For instance, the melting of the Arctic tundra releases methane as the vegetation underneath is gradually and sometimes suddenly exposed. This has been regarded by scientists as a potential “tipping point” whereby warming of the Arctic leads to greater releases of methane, therefore greater warming, in a runaway and uncontrollable cycle.
Blog post from Robert Scribbler (pseudonym),dated March 9, 2015. IMHO this is a calm overview of the issue and new research. The AIRS/AQUA satellite sensor images of the Arctic methane "overburden" are show stoppers. The methane is escaping quickly from the shallow Siberian sea.

This blog post from Jason Box, dated July 27, 2014. His "dragon's breath" charts show that the instruments agree with the satellite measurements of significant methane release.

There's also this 2013 video from Yale Climate Connections, about 6 minutes long.

This 2010 webpage from the National Science Foundation about methane escaping from the Siberian continental shelf shows this is a long term concern.

This Department of Energy summary confirms some of my worst fears...