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Old 03-06-2010, 03:21 AM   #1
Rocky_Shorz
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Default Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane, Threatens Climate, Scientists Say

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By Alex Morales

March 4 (Bloomberg) -- The Arctic Ocean seabed off eastern Siberia has destabilized and is leaking methane, threatening to add to global warming, scientists in Russia, the U.S. and Sweden said today.

About 8 teragrams (8 million metric tons) of the greenhouse gas is leaking yearly from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, the researchers said in a study in the journal Science. That’s as much as is emitted from the rest of the oceans, they said.

Methane leaks are important to scientists studying climate change because it is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas. While the researchers said the leakage doesn’t “alarmingly” alter estimates for global emissions, it may be a precursor to larger venting of the gas.

“Subsea permafrost is losing its ability to be an impermeable cap,” said Natalia Shakhova, a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who led the research. “If it further destabilizes, the methane emissions may not be teragrams, it would be significantly larger.”

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 estimated some 582 teragrams of methane are emitted yearly. The atmospheric concentration of the gas in 2008 rose to a record 1,797 molecules per billion molecules of air, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization said Nov. 24.

Shakhova said in a Science podcast interview that her team’s measurements are the first taken in the area, which was never before considered a source of methane. The research can now serve as a reference point for further study, she said. The leakage estimate is conservative because it only includes background venting and not sudden outbursts that may occur, Shakhova said

The research team also included scientists with the Russian Academy of Sciences and Stockholm University. They made their findings after taking measurements of methane in the atmosphere and dissolved in seawater from 2003 to 2008.

Businessweek
These measurements are from back in 2008, it is just now making it into the news. I'm searching for more current data...
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

The Siberian tundra has a lot of methane locked up in it also.
Some scientists believe that the Siberian tundra actually exploded millions of years ago.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

wasn't one of the Clive Cussler books about a frozen pocket of Methane that the evil Villain was going to explode and wipe out the eastern coast of the US?

And that was a tiny pocket compared to the size they are talking in the arctic
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

There is enormous amounts of this stuff all over the world, and they keep finding more.

Methane Hydrate

http://marine.usgs.gov/fact-sheets/g...tes/title.html
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

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Current average methane concentrations in the Arctic average about 1.85 parts per million, the highest in 400,000 years, said Shakhova.

Concentrations above the East Siberian Arctic Shelf are even higher, and scientists are concerned because the undersea permafrost "has been showing signs of destabilization already," she added.

"If it further destabilizes, the methane emissions... would be significantly larger."

Geological records indicate that atmospheric methane concentrations have varied between about .3 to .4 parts per million during cold periods to .6 to .7 parts per million during warm periods.

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so the levels are 3 times higher than any "warm" period over the last 400,000 years?

let me guess... that's bad
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:46 AM   #6
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Default on a brighter note

Kangaroo-ifying Cows to Fight Global Warming

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Carbon dioxide may be the greenhouse gas we hear about most often, and with good reason: It’s by far the most abundant heat-trapping culprit produced by human sources, and it’s also one that individuals can do a lot to reduce.

But methane is actually 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and about 18 percent of methane from human activities is produced in the guts of our livestock (released mostly via belching, not the back end).

Kangaroos, on the other hand, don’t produce the stuff. So now, researchers in Australia want to reduce methane from cattle and sheep by introducing digestive bacteria from kangaroo guts into livestock. They say they’re still a few years away from a successful transfer. Meanwhile, other options under investigation for cutting cow methane include garlic supplements in feed (yum, pre-seasoned beef), or just using feed plants that are easier to digest.

Discovery

Last edited by Rocky_Shorz; 03-06-2010 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

Rocky,

Normally I don't post this sort of stuff since I believe Avalon already has more than its share of gloom and doom paranoia. However, this Wikipedia article has a direct bearing on what you have brought up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrate_gun_hypothesis

I am guessing it is even discussing the same area of the seabed in this section:

"One exception, however, may be in clathrates associated with the Arctic ocean, where clathrates can exist in shallower water stabilized by lower temperatures rather than higher pressures; these may potentially be marginally stable much closer to the surface of the sea-bed, stabilized by a frozen 'lid' of permafrost preventing methane escape. Recent research carried out in 2008 in the Siberian Arctic has shown millions of tons of methane being released, apparently through perforations in the seabed permafrost,[11] with concentrations in some regions reaching up to 100 times normal.[12][13]."
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

There is a theory among some scientists that the sudden release of the gas contained in these hydrates may have been a trigger mechanism for warming periods in the long distant past.

Some scientists fear that rising global temperatures may cause some of the permafrost to start melting releasing large amounts of methane into the atmosphere.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas so yes, this is potentially a bad thing.

This is part of the natural cycle of the earth.

Climatology as a science still in its infancy, there is much we do not understand.
Volcanoes spew millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, far more than humanity ever has.
The sun has a far greater effect on the climate of the planet than either.
When studying climate change or global warming (which ever you choose to call it) all of these factors must be taken into consideration to construct an accurate model.
We have a long way to go before we can even begin to understand the how's and why's of climate change.

At some point in the future we will be harvesting these methane hydrates as a fuel source and chemical feedstock.
This will result in even more carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere.
What the effect will be nobody truly knows.
Anybody that claims they do know either doesn't understand/appreciate the complexity of our climate or very clearly has an agenda.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

Well when I found out a cow put out more harmful emissions to the climate than a Hummer that travels 15,000 miles a year it opened my eyes to quite a bit that we are being fed.

But when I see news reports coming out saying the planet isn't warming they just have been tossing out all the coldest points when doing calculations to make it look that way.

It confuses all of us into not knowing what the real story is, if releases from methane gas is a bigger threat to global warming that anything we are doing then tell us the truth and let us work on finding an answer into tapping it for a fuel resource instead of letting it escape into the atmosphere.

that is one reason I tossed in the story from the Aussies, they are looking for answers everywhere they can Kudos to them!!!
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

The global warming movement isn't about science it is political and all about money and control.

Many graphs I have seen trying to support global warming start around 1800 AD or so.
That conveniently coincides with the end of the little ice age.
So in that context it make sense that the global temperatures have risen, they have.
From an abnormally cold period.

One other thing, the effect of the carbon emissions from volcanoes is always left out.
The effects of the solar cycle is usually ignored also.

Just bad science all the way around.

There is geological evidence that shows that the earth warms and cools over time, vast periods of time.
Humans have nothing to do with it.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:07 AM   #11
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Default Re: Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss humans. I see that as people refusing to take at least SOME responsibility for the damage that humans have caused to Gaia.

Fess up and stop avoiding responsibility. I look at this warming as 50/50, 50% natural changes and 50% man-made.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:40 AM   #12
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Default Re: Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

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Originally Posted by Humble Janitor View Post
I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss humans. I see that as people refusing to take at least SOME responsibility for the damage that humans have caused to Gaia.

Fess up and stop avoiding responsibility. I look at this warming as 50/50, 50% natural changes and 50% man-made.
The earth wouldn't have cows if we didn't eat them...

if there were grassy fields instead of slabs of concrete asphalt and rooftops... there wouldn't be such warming

when you have 5 Million air conditioners running in a city and their exhaust is pumping into the air that alone brings a city up several degrees...

What I am saying is we need to concentrate on what is really causing the warming and fix it...

we have polarized sunglasses to reflect sun from our eyes, with all of our brilliant Scientists we can come up with the same for surfaces to keep them cool?

you can compress air for a cooling system without pumping out enough heat exhaust to warm up a stadium in the winter...

These aren't even mentioned... it's all about automobile emissions, they can't get much cleaner than what is rolling out now...

If they can't clean up power plants then allow simple free energy generators to replace them...

700 Million years ago there was an enormous release of Methane gas, lightning struck and the whole world burned killing off the dinosaurs and setting them back 50 Million years...

It is very serious...
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Siberia Seabed Leaks Methane

Air conditioners don't create very much heat, they simply move heat from one place to another.
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