The Atlantic is leaking methane – but researchers say there’s no cause for alarm

methane_bubbles[1]We’ve seen all this before, but there is a twist this time, the authors of the paper are dialing back the alarm a bit.

“…authigenic carbonates observed imply that emissions have continued for more than 1,000 years at some seeps.”

From the BBC – 24 August 2014 ‘Widespread methane leakage’ from ocean floor off US coast
Researchers say they have found more than 500 bubbling methane vents on the seafloor off the US east coast.

The unexpected discovery indicates there are large volumes of the gas contained in a type of sludgy ice called methane hydrate.

There are concerns that these new seeps could be making a hitherto unnoticed contribution to global warming.

The scientists say there could be about 30,000 of these hidden methane vents worldwide.

Previous surveys along the Atlantic seaboard have shown only three seep areas beyond the edge of the US continental shelf.

Here is the sonar image:

Atlantic_methane_plumes

………..
There are concerns that these new seeps could be making a hitherto unnoticed contribution to global warming……..

The scientists say that the warming of ocean temperatures might be causing these hydrates to send bubbles of gas drifting through the water column….

But it is important to say we simply don’t have any evidence in this paper to suggest that any carbon coming from these seeps is entering the atmosphere.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28898223

h/t to reader “Jimbo” in Tips and Notes

The paper:

Widespread methane leakage from the sea floor on the northern US Atlantic margin

Sharke et al. Nature Geoscience (2014) doi:10.1038/ngeo2232

Methane emissions from the sea floor affect methane inputs into the atmosphere1, ocean acidification and de-oxygenation2, 3, the distribution of chemosynthetic communities and energy resources. Global methane flux from seabed cold seeps has only been estimated for continental shelves4, at 8 to 65 Tg CH4 yr−1, yet other parts of marine continental margins are also emitting methane. The US Atlantic margin has not been considered an area of widespread seepage, with only three methane seeps recognized seaward of the shelf break. However, massive upper-slope seepage related to gas hydrate degradation has been predicted for the southern part of this margin5, even though this process has previously only been recognized in the Arctic2, 6, 7. Here we use multibeam water-column backscatter data that cover 94,000 km2 of sea floor to identify about 570 gas plumes at water depths between 50 and 1,700 m between Cape Hatteras and Georges Bank on the northern US Atlantic passive margin. About 440 seeps originate at water depths that bracket the updip limit for methane hydrate stability. Contemporary upper-slope seepage there may be triggered by ongoing warming of intermediate waters, but authigenic carbonates observed imply that emissions have continued for more than 1,000 years at some seeps. Extrapolating the upper-slope seep density on this margin to the global passive margin system, we suggest that tens of thousands of seeps could be discoverable.

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2232.html

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66 thoughts on “The Atlantic is leaking methane – but researchers say there’s no cause for alarm

  1. What´s collision between Tectonical plates? What’s to be found in re. chemical elements under tectonical plates? Is it possible that “researchers” never ever learnt what an ordinary school’s 8th grader should know?

    • There are two subduction zones in the Atlantic, one in the eastern Caribean the other in the Southern Oceanic part of the Atlantic. There are no subduction zones off the American east coast. The west coast yes.

  2. Global Warming is causing methane. Ocean temperatures are rising. Let’s not forget ocean acidification.

    Hundreds of ‘toxic’ methane vents discovered in the Atlantic’s depths – and they could be caused by global warming
    A large number of methane vents have been found off the US East Coast
    Suggests such leakage is far more widespread in the Atlantic than thought
    Previously only three seepage areas had been known of in this area
    Increased levels of methane can make water more acidic and deadly to life
    The vents could be caused by a warming ocean linked to climate change

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2733719/Hundreds-methane-vents-Atlantic-Discovery-570-seepage-areas-stuns-scientists.html

    • Ocean pH levels have remained within their natural levels 7.6-8.4 ever since it has been measured. Even with the current SLIGHT rise of CO2. In no way can the oceans be called acid. They are all alkal.

  3. “But it is important to say we simply don’t have any evidence in this paper to suggest that any carbon coming from these seeps is entering the atmosphere.”

    Could it be due to the Methane-Consuming Archaea?

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/293/5529/484.short

    …….but authigenic carbonates observed imply that emissions have continued for more than 1,000 years at some seeps. Extrapolating the upper-slope seep density on this margin to the global passive margin system, we suggest that tens of thousands of seeps could be discoverable.

    Could it be the seeps were always there? Just asking.

  4. For any passers by who are wondering: methane seeps are nothing new. They have been around for such a long time that there are methane eating bacteria – as well as natural oil seep eating bacteria.

    Eocene deep-sea communities in localized limestones formed by subduction-related methane seeps, southwestern Washington

    http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/18/12/1182.short

  5. Any mention from anyone that this has been going on forever, and will continue to go on forever? (or at least within the time of Man’s presence here)

    They act like a thousand plumes just started up yesterday, because Climate Change or something.

  6. Cam_S,

    You didn’t read the article abstract did you?
    Global warming is not “causing” the methane. The abstract clearly says that based on the deposits, some of these vents have been releasing methane for more than a 1000 years.

    And, no ocean temperatures may be technically rising, but due to the vast heat capacity of water compared to the atmosphere, the temperature rise on average is hundredths and even thousandths of a degree ! Not enough to change methane processes.

    Refresh my chemistry, how does a neutral hydrocarbon molecule like CH4 make water acidic?

    The link you cite blames bacteria for generating the methane not humans.

  7. MattS
    August 25, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    If only we could capture that methane for energy? Hmmm.

    The work on that energy source has already begun.

    BBC – 12 March 2013
    Japan extracts gas from methane hydrate in world first

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-21752441

    ==================

    HuffPo – 04/16/2013
    Arctic’s Methane Hydrate Supply May Be Tested For Energy Use In New Study
    The DOE; ConocoPhillips; and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. completed field work on a nearly $29 million experiment to extract methane hydrate. The research focused on an extraction technique developed by ConocoPhillips and the University of Bergen in Norway in which researchers injected carbon dioxide into methane hydrate. The carbon dioxide molecules swapped places with methane molecules, freeing the methane to be harvested but preserving ice in the reservoir.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/17/arctic-methane-hydrate-alaska-energy-study_n_3096426.html

    Carbon capture does have its uses after all. ;-)

    • If methane hydrate is economical, the Big Oil will be scrambling to put pipelines under the sea. The concentration is too low. It’s more economical to extract methane from toilets, sewage, cow and pig manure. There’s energy in shit.

  8. they are dialing down the alarmism because Man cannot be blamed for this, this would in some way detract with their goal.

  9. It’s nice that someone has some more number on this, but it’s hardly surprising. Many hydrocarbon deposits are known in eastern states, so it’s quite likely that similar formations extend under the coast. Also, the underwater terrain has ongoing erosion, although a different type of erosion than during the glacial eras when much coastal land (which is presently underwater) was exposed to rainfall erosion. The continental shelf certainly is not a sealed reservoir area, so of course there is leakage there.

  10. This is when the nutters show up, claim this is proof of abiotic oil, point to Thomas Gold’s The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels, and further claim there is an endless supply of energy from methane available as the planet itself is constantly making it which completely ignores the replenishment versus the potential removal rates while not noting all the other critters and natural processes that consume the methane.

    What more proof do you need these people are raving loonies than Amazon saying this book is Frequently Bought Together with The Great Oil Conspiracy: How the U.S. Government Hid the Nazi Discovery of Abiotic Oil from the American People by Jerome R. Corsi (2012)?

  11. saw something a while back that indicated large volume outbursts of a gas from the ocean floor could rise and foil the bouyancy of ships, causing them to sink rather instantly. It was being proposed as a Burmuda Triangle ’cause’. At the time the rising gas was indicated (to me) to be well known, the theory part at that point was the large volume aspect as if it could collect/’pool’ under sediment and then burst forth once the overburden was lifted. Like a large belch. A large, flammable belch.

  12. Quick, the Beano!

    If these methane leaks aren’t new, but were only recently discovered, or if they a new only because they are cyclic, then that means that released methane doesn’t make it up to the upper atmosphere, where its incidence hasn’t been rising much.

  13. :-)

    Step 1) 2 NaCl (Salt) + 2 H2O -> 2 NaOH + H2 + Cl2 (Chlorine Gas)
    Step 2) CH4 (Methane) + 4 Cl2 → CCl4 (Carbon Tetrachloride) + 4 HCl (Hydrochloric Acid)

    In Step 2 Carbon Tetrachloride escapes the oceans to make the Ozone holes at the poles and becomes the nemesis of the Montreal Protocol and we get ocean acidification from Hydrochloric Acid.

    Voilà!

  14. Jimbo is more right than he chooses to claim.

    If methane vents change then all the microbes that live because of the natural release of that simple, natural compound will be affected. They will boom! Or they will decline!

    Remember the BP muck-up in the Gulf of Mexico. Aquatic microbes fixed that.
    Environmentally stabilising feedbacks are preferred by Darwinian selection.

    As Douglas Adams wrote, “Don’t Panic”.

  15. I read an interesting theory many decades ago, probably in ‘Omni’
    where the bermuda triangle mysteries were explained by methane hydrates

    I sort of remember reading at the same time, that a quarter of human CO2 was being produced by peat burning underground in Indonesia, set alight by forest clearance and subsequent drying of the peat.

    I would have paid more attention if I had known about the lunacy that has been foisted upon us since

  16. I just looked back and realised it said “no cause for alarm”. It had me worried there for a minute you know methane and all that. Thank god for that.

  17. “But it is important to say we simply don’t have any evidence in this paper to suggest that any carbon coming from these seeps is entering the atmosphere.”

    So that’s OK then, we can sleep easy……But ! but ! it’s worse than we though, methane is deadlier than CO2 (there must be an algore-rhythm) that’s why 97% if ill-informed people want to kill all the cows.
    The scientists say there could be about 30,000 of these hidden methane vents worldwide…….it’s mixing with the hidden heat!!!!!

    (Thinks – must have a panic attack & run around waving hands in air & screaming “It’s a tipping point, we’re doomed )

  18. J
    August 25, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Cam_S,

    You didn’t read the article abstract did you?
    ###

    You didn’t read the AWG spinning BBC piece did you?

    That is what Cam_S was quoting, via the daily mail.

  19. kadaka (KD Knoebel)
    August 25, 2014 at 1:47 pm
    “This is when the nutters show up, claim this is proof of abiotic oil,..[blah blah blah] “
    = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Thanks for the poisoning the wells of abiotic petroleum. Awesome!

    But now be honest with yourself and everyone else: What could be more nutty than cheerfully violating the 2nd thermodynamic law just for the sake of the fantastical fossil fable?

    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/17/10976.long

  20. So one sees a very nice structure the top of which is releasing methane. DUH! I saw an estimate of technically recoverable fossil fuels dated 2006 from the Minerals Management Service MSS that estimated 37 trillion cubic feet of recoverable off shore gas just off New England alone .(Beaufort Sea is 27 tcf) Of course we are gagged. the Mesozoic sediments are hard to find on any map( but the Canadians are smiling just on the other side of the Hague line) and we are just pretending these essentially proven ( by the Canadians ) reserves don’t exist. We can’t even look as the far East blows up in front of our eyes. Putin makes his move in the Crimea and controls the pipelines to Western Europe. I call this policy a stupidity,…. criminal stupidity.. No natural oil leaks in the Gulf of Mexico either for these people who live in a fantasy world. Fantasy world, fantasy data, fantasy solutions and real world disasters because of fantasy decisions based upon someone’s wild imagination and ability to control the information that the public gets in order to make political decisions.. There should be a punishment for knowingly feeding the public fantasy information. AARGH! Just thinkin’

  21. Here’s a quote from Singer in today’s TWTW thread:

    One, methane has a short lifetime in the atmosphere. Two, atmospheric water vapor absorption of infrared radiation overlaps partly with that of methane – and you can’t absorb the same radiation twice. And, three, methane’s infrared absorption is in a region of the spectrum where the earth normally emits little energy– unlike for CO2.

  22. In AUS land there was a building prevented being constructed because the methane reading was too high. This was in the centre of a large town next door to a service station. The problem is, what is too high and what about the surrounding area which included the town!? No comment!

  23. Isn’t it obvious? If they say this methane is entering the atmosphere they have the problem of another natural source stealing some of the warming attributed toCO2. It would diminish their anthropological evidence. They might shy away from any climate connection. Doing the right thing for perhaps the wrong reason.

  24. Shallow as this is, my first guess is it is from biotic debris accumulated in the ocean bottom sediments.

    The abiotic hydrocarbons are under the basement rocks, way way deeper. The determination that there are huge amounts of water bound up in the rocks at that level makes the formation of hydrocarbons an inevitability.

  25. Step 1) 2 NaCl (Salt) + 2 H2O -> 2 NaOH + H2 + Cl2 (Chlorine Gas)

    SIGINT EX – this is an electrolysis process, please explain how this can happens in situ.

  26. Kadaka,

    I am one of the nutters to whom you refer. It is not fossil fuel.

    Hydrocarbons have seeped to the surface for hundreds of million years.

    200 million years of layers of carbonate rock are on display in the Grand Canyon to testify to the large amount of carbon continuously emitted from deep in the earth (the same place diamonds originate), and stored as rock by the oceans,to be recycled by tectonic action approximately 100mi down, rising back to the surface as hydrocarbons.

    Upland topsoil, in the presence of adequate moisture, owe its richness to the amount of methane up welling through it.

    This is not a theory. I have proved it.

    I challenge you to find a plot of rich soil, dig a hole through the top soil, well into the subsoil, take an inverted stainless steel bowl into which you have drilled a hole and attach a copper tube which is long enough to extend above the topsoil. Attach a closed gas valve and refill the hole, using water to help reconsolidate the soil. Allow the gas to accumulate for a couple of days and attach the sniffer hose from a combustible gases tester available from Amazon for about $170.

    I have done this test many times and it is always positive for natural gas.

    The Russians became the worlds largest producer of hydrocarbons following the abiotic theory.

    Thomas Gold was one of the great original thinkers of the 20th century.

    Among other things, he was responsible for the theory describing the workings of the inner ear, the earth’s magnet polls reversing, and telling NASA that the moon would would be coated in fine dust.

    Read the results of NASA’ orbiting of Titan. The oceans are all abiotic hydrocarbons.

    All of the extra-solar system planets which I have read about which have has their atmosphere analysed contain atmospheric hydrocarbons.

    Hydrocarbons have been created abioticly in a diamond press on the bench.

    When I last checked, no one had made oil out of kerogen on the bench.

  27. EternalOptimist
    August 25, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    “I read an interesting theory many decades ago, probably in ‘Omni’
    where the bermuda triangle mysteries were explained by methane hydrates”

    You are probably correct. If the bubbles become abundant enough, the buoyancy of the water declines..and ships go down. There was also the mystery of five fighter aircraft that took off from Florida in the 1940s and disappeared. They were a few years ago found all within a mile of each other on the sea floor in the B. Triangle. A likely theory is that a puff of methane dense enough caused the engines to starve of oxygen and down they went. This theory was tested by “mythbusters” on a program and they concluded it highly probable. Of course there are other theories that the pilots got disoriented and didn’t know where they were – maybe they were gassed with methane – likely not wearing oxygen for low level flying.

    http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20115230,00.html

  28. 1) It is a natural source of fossil carbon. Human inpact may be minimal.
    2) Depletion of C-13 in surface sea waters is not anymore exact indicator of human fossil burning.
    3) You have changed the layout of the blog. I must say that’s fine even I am agains all changes including climate change.

  29. So how long until someone says, “It’s worse than we thought” and “This is more ‘proof’ of ‘Global Warming'”?

  30. Fossil carbon or new carbon? Is this another source of fossil carbon that reduces human/fossil fuel carbon?

    Just wondering. It does seem that each advance in knowledge reduces the amount of impact humans and fossil fuel have on the current CO2 input to the atmosphere …..

  31. Methane is nothing to worry about.

    The most extreme scenario I’ve seen discussed is Shakhova et al (2008) (which is the abstract of a presentation, rather than a peer-reviewed paper), which reported that “we consider release of up to 50 Gt of predicted amount of hydrate storage as highly possible for abrupt release at any time…with consequent catastrophic greenhouse warming.'”

    (Note: I’ve not found a longer version of the Shakhova (2008) presentation, but Chris Reynolds [who's very much in the AGW camp] has an analysis here.)

    The atmosphere currently contains about 1.8 ppmv of methane (CH4), with a mass of about 5.3 Gt. 50 Gt of methane is nearly 10 times the total amount of methane currently in the atmosphere. A sudden release of that much methane is highly implausible.

    But, just for the sake of argument, let’s see what it would do if it happened.

    Adding that much methane all at once would bump methane from 1.8 ppmv to 18.8 ppmv. I plugged that into U.Chicago’s NCAR Radiation Code web interface (with insolation 500, const rel hum 70%, CH4 1.8 ppm, N2O 0.3 ppm, low cloud 30%, high cloud 25%). It calculates that increasing CH4 from 1.8 ppmv to 18.8 ppmv would raise the equilibrium temperature by 1.6°C, after the amplifying effect of water vapor feedback is added.

    But the actual temperature rise would certainly be much less, because temperatures would never reach equilibrium, because the CH4 spike would be of very short duration. The half-life of CH4 in the atmosphere is only about 7 years. So after seven years the CH4 level would be back down to about 10 ppmv, and NCAR-calculated equilibrium temperature increase down to just +1°C, and falling.

    The U.Chicago’s MODTRAN interface calculates even less effect. MODTRAN tropical atmosphere (cumulus 0.66km-2.7km, const rel humidity, Iout=260.714) calculates only +0.92°C of warming at equilibrium, as the result of boosting CH4 from 1.8 ppmv to 18.8 ppmv.

    (Note that “constant relative humidity” effectively incorporates the amplifying effect of water vapor.)

    In other words, even an impossibly gigantic 50 Gt sudden methane release, which spiked CH4 levels to 10x their current level, would cause only a slight, brief bump in temperatures.

  32. From Jerry Henson on August 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm (out of sequence):

    When I last checked, no one had made oil out of kerogen on the bench.

    Heating crushed oil shale in a sealed retort without oxygen to produce oil from the contained kerogen is a very old technique. This source has making oil from kerogen for lamps occurring commercially way back in 1830.

    http://www.westernresourceadvocates.org/land/oilshalebasics.php

    All I had to do was Google “kerogen” to find out how to make oil out of kerogen on the bench.

    Upland topsoil, in the presence of adequate moisture, owe its richness to the amount of methane up welling through it.

    This is not a theory. I have proved it.

    You have proved that moist topsoil which is rich enough to support multitudes of methane-producing bacteria and other critters, owes its richness to the byproduct of the richness. Which has truth in it, good soil is a complex symbiotic interaction, critters that produce methane support critters that eat methane which do things that support the methane producers.

    You captured some methane from below the topsoil. Whoopee. Bacteria that produce methane have existed for millions of years down to miles underground. Why wouldn’t they be under your topsoil and even under your subsoil?

  33. I’m surprised that they are surprised, the earth has been degassing since day one. Another taxpayers grant that really does not tell us anything new, just a set-up for the next grant. Maybe launch a OCO-2 type satellite just to study methane.

  34. From Khwarizmi on August 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm (copied without the formatting):

    But now be honest with yourself and everyone else: What could be more nutty than cheerfully violating the 2nd thermodynamic law just for the sake of the fantastical fossil fable?

    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/17/10976.long

    Good example! This is clearly a non-peer-reviewed “pass through” member submission, not meant to be taken seriously. Look at the “scientific terms”:

    The bean-eater’s reaction is:

    The octane-enhanced bean-eater’s reaction is:

    However, no biochemical investigation has ever observed a molecule of any hydrocarbon heavier than methane resulting from the decomposition of biological detritus. After a meal of, e.g., Boston baked beans, one does experience biogenic methane, but not biogenic octane.

    Hilarious stuff! It says near the top of the page:

    Communicated by Howard Reiss, University of California, Los Angeles, CA (received for review April 3, 2002)

    Somebody mailed this in for an April Fools Day prank, likely assisted by biotic ethanol, yes? Clearly this was never intended for serious scientific discussion.

    Good find, Khwarizmi, that’s some real funny biotic material!

  35. Kadaka

    The reason to dig through the topsoil is to get below the biological material from which methanogens could produce methane. In the topsoil, methanatropes ingest the methane, use the hydrogen for energy and excrete the carbon.

    Very rich topsoil requires a very large amount of energy input to continue to be rich.
    It does not “owe its richness to the byproduct of the richness”.

    Richness of topsoil is not spontaneously generated. If it were, then areas such as the soil around Atlanta would be rich, but it is not.The granite shield is just under the surface, blocking most of the up welling methane and thus the energy supply which is required to build rich topsoil .

    The deep life that you describe does not exist because it exists. It requires a food source. That original source is hydrocarbons.

    Just as deep ocean “smoker” ecosystems are powered by up welling methane, so is topsoil.

    I am new to blogs and it appears that I must learn how to post links on a blog. Please google “Deep-Sea Methane Ecosystem Found In Atlantic.

    I believe that “spontaneous generation” has previously been disproved.

    When you crush and heat kerogen bearing shale, you get kerogen, not oil.

  36. It is obvious proof that someone is herding cattles in giant caves under the seabed. As we know, the methan comes from cattle farts. How else could one explain methane coming from down there? Hence this is proven now.

    I guess it is Blofield, known from the James Bond movies. He had a liking for underwater establishments.

  37. From Jerry Henson on August 26, 2014 at 1:07 am (out of sequence):

    I am new to blogs and it appears that I must learn how to post links on a blog.

    Here you can just drop URLs in your comment, WordPress will automatically convert them to a click-able link. I’ll show you in a second.

    The deep life that you describe does not exist because it exists. It requires a food source. That original source is hydrocarbons.

    URL:

    http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2008/10/09/bold-traveler/

    Bold Traveler’s Journey Toward the Center of the Earth
    News Release • October 9, 2008

    BERKELEY, CA – The first ecosystem ever found having only a single biological species has been discovered 2.8 kilometers (1.74 miles) beneath the surface of the earth in the Mponeng gold mine near Johannesburg, South Africa. There the rod-shaped bacterium Desulforudis audaxviator exists in complete isolation, total darkness, a lack of oxygen, and 60-degree-Celsius heat (140 degrees Fahrenheit).

    One question that has arisen when considering the capacity of other planets to support life is whether organisms can exist independently, without access even to the sun. The answer is yes, and here’s the proof.

    D. audaxviator survives in a habitat where it gets its energy not from the sun but from hydrogen and sulfate produced by the radioactive decay of uranium. Living alone, D. audaxviator must build its organic molecules by itself out of water, inorganic carbon, and nitrogen from ammonia in the surrounding rocks and fluid. During its long journey to the extreme depths, evolution has equipped the versatile spelunker with genes – many of them shared with archaea, members of a separate domain of life unrelated to bacteria – that allow it to cope with a range of different conditions, including the ability to fix nitrogen directly from elemental nitrogen in the environment.

    Deep life whose energy derives from radioactive decay, not hydrocarbons, which eats rock and makes organic molecules from scratch. Found the paper:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/322/5899/275

    Environmental Genomics Reveals a Single-Species Ecosystem Deep Within Earth

    Very rich topsoil requires a very large amount of energy input to continue to be rich.

    Diligent scientific researchers working tirelessly have discovered an amazing energy source, sunlight. It fuels the growth of plants by an amazing process known as photosynthesis. This results in energy being stored in organic matter such as leaves and stems which eventually fall to the ground and decompose, releasing the stored energy for use by organisms within the topsoil. The large amount of energy provided by sunlight thus leads to the production of very rich topsoil, with the proper addition of necessary minerals of course.

    When you crush and heat kerogen bearing shale, you get kerogen, not oil.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/315502/kerogen

    kerogen, complex waxy mixture of hydrocarbon compounds that is the primary organic component of oil shale. Kerogen consists mainly of paraffin hydrocarbons, though the solid mixture also incorporates nitrogen and sulfur. Kerogen is insoluble in water and in organic solvents such as benzene or alcohol. Upon heating under pressure, however, the large paraffin molecules break down into recoverable gaseous and liquid substances resembling petroleum. This property makes oil shale a potentially important source of synthetic crude oil.

    Crushed oil shale into sealed retort, heat, kerogen becomes oil and gases.

  38. From PeterF on August 26, 2014 at 2:08 am:

    It is obvious proof that someone is herding cattles in giant caves under the seabed.

    You know what happens when cattle raised in a high-pressure environment under the seabed are quickly brought to the surface?

    Physics happens!

    First we assume a spherical cow…

  39. Kadaka,

    You don’t like the Kenney et. al. paper, so you portray it as a non-peer reviewed submission that slipped through in error, evading all of its substance by ridiculing a single phrase employed with a description of how methanogens — “bean eaters” — produce methane. Ridiculing that phrase doesn’t undermine the validity of the paper; it doesn’t undermine the enthalpy calculations, the conclusion, or the implications flowing from the reproducible experiment producing abiotic hydrocarbons from marble and water in a diamond anvil (duplicated in several laboratories since, btw).

    “Deep life whose energy derives from radioactive decay, not hydrocarbons, which eats rock and makes organic molecules from scratch. Found the paper: [...]“

    I found a better paper:

    Life discovered in deepest layer of Earth’s crust
    November 19, 2010 (DiscoveryOnline)
    “… One key difference was that archaea were absent in the gabbroic layer. Also, genetic analysis revealed that unlike their upstairs neighbours, many of the gabbroic bugs had evolved to feed off hydrocarbons like methane and benzene. This could mean that the bacteria migrated down from shallower regions rather than evolving inside the crust.
    “This deep biosphere is a very important discovery,” said Rolf Pedersen of the University of Bergen, Norway. He added that the reactions that produce oil and gas abiotically inside the crust could occur in the mantle, meaning life may be thriving deeper yet.

    And another:

    Serpentinisation
    …hydrothermal activity at Lost City is driven by chemical reactions between seawater and mantle rocks that make up the underlying basement. [...]
    The formation of magnetite during the serpentinization process involves the oxidation of ferrous iron (Fe2+) in olivine to form ferric iron (Fe3+) in magnetite and leads to what is called reducing conditions. As a consequence, reduced gas species, such as hydrogen gas (H2), methane (CH4) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), can be produced during serpentinization. – NOAA

    No nuclear reaction there at all. Same chemicals as you claim fro nuclear reactions, except I also get hydrocarbon. Much better, as I said.

    1) Titan has methane seas, replenished by serpentisation. Not biological.
    2) Comet Haley is approximately 1/3 kerogen, a.k.a. “oil shale.” Not biological.
    3) All crude all contains deep-earth diamondoids. Not biological.
    4) low-energy reactants don’t react spontaneously to yield high energy products. 2nd thermodynamic law applies to chemistry. (see the paper you ridiculed)
    4) “The capital fact to note is that petroleum was born in the depths of the earth, and it is only there that we must seek its origin.” — Dmitri Ivanovitch Mendeléev, 1877 (“Nutty” Table of Elements Guy)
    5) Life comes from petroleum, not vice versa:

    http://living-petrol.blogspot.com/ncr

    (that’s my multi-disciplinary meta study of sorts (for meta students) presenting convergent evidence from Earth and the heavens, including some magnificent pictures and video from NOAA/Marum/WHOI/NASA & ESA, plus brief guest appearance by David Attenborough to explain the geochemical origin of methane in the Gulf of Mexico. It is recommend for study by a highly-qualified expert.)

  40. From Khwarizmi August 26, 2014 at 5:22 am

    http://living-petrol.blogspot.com/ncr

    Khwarizimi, your link goes to a wonderful collection of publications, photos and videos, thank you!

    I must say, if I don’t find at least 97% of fossilollogists to support my theory that the reason for the ocean’s methane seeps is James Bond’s Blofield who is doing underwater cattle herding, I might resort back to abiotic carbohydrogens as an explanation ;-)

    So now we have a situation that basically wherever we drill – or even only look – on the ocean floor or on land we find methane, ethane, and higher carbohydrogens coming up from below. I am sure it can all be explained in fossil theory; all we need to do is explain how everywhere on land and ocean the dinosaurs were able to dig themselves into some 1000 meters of soil and rock, lay themselves to rest, cover with algae sauce, cover with removed 1000m of soil, and let them rot to become oil.

    As soon as we have found a skeleton of a drill dinosaur, this theory can be considered proven!/sarc

  41. From Khwarizmi on August 26, 2014 at 5:22 am:

    Kadaka,

    You don’t like the Kenney et. al. paper, so you portray it as a non-peer reviewed submission that slipped through in error (…)

    YOU ARE MISREPRESENTING MY WORDS FROM THE START! I clearly said “This is clearly a non-peer-reviewed “pass through” member submission, not meant to be taken seriously.” That does not indicate it slipped through in error, but that it was slipped through deliberately.

    You are a bad person. You fib.

    I found a better paper:

    Life discovered in deepest layer of Earth’s crust
    November 19, 2010 (DiscoveryOnline)

    Again with the fibbing! Your mother should have washed your filthy mouth out with lye soap to teach you to stop fibbing!

    That is clearly an article somewhere online, might only be a press release. You did not provide the link to it. It is not a paper. It might have been a press release about a paper. But you did not provide the link to the paper, and you did not provide a link to the article that may have been only a press release, thus obfuscating the trail to the paper.

    Since including the link to the article is such a simple thing, you only have to paste it, it seems likely you deliberately withheld the link to prevent me from examining the truth of your claim about a paper.

    As it is, you have nothing.

    And you finish up with two blog links as your concluding proof? Haven’t you been told you can’t find scientific proof on blogs?

  42. SIGINT EX

    Step 1) 2 NaCl (Salt) + 2 H2O -> 2 NaOH + H2 + Cl2 (Chlorine Gas)
    Step 2) CH4 (Methane) + 4 Cl2 → CCl4 (Carbon Tetrachloride) + 4 HCl (Hydrochloric Acid)

    In Step 2 Carbon Tetrachloride escapes the oceans to make the Ozone holes at the poles and becomes the nemesis of the Montreal Protocol and we get ocean acidification from Hydrochloric Acid.

    I was wondering about a natural process since there was a report last week about there being too much tetrachloromethane in the atmosphere. Though wouldn’t such a process produce a mixture of chloromethanes? (Not that any of the others appear to be banned.)

    Also undersea vulcanism can produce HCL (and other mineral acids.)

  43. I always thought this was the most plausible explanation of “The Devil’s Triangle” mystery. An enormous methane “burp” would give a ship instant negative buoyancy. Likewise, an aircraft flying through it would lose lift and I suspect the engine would start running strangely. The claim is that there are copious quantities of methane hydrates in that area. Just a theory, but more credible than aliens.

  44. Mark and SIGINT EX

    Do you seriously think that these reactions can take place ? If so you are seriously deluded.

    Step 1 can only occur as an electrolysis process – it needs electrodes and a supply of electricity.

    Salt and water produce salt water/ saline ONLY i.e seawater

    Step 2 is a free radical chain reaction and occurs only in the presence of sunlight/UV light

    Sunlight is in short supply in the ocean depths.

    Stop posting rubbish.

  45. Kadaka,

    That is clearly an article somewhere online, might only be a press release. You did not provide the link to it. It is not a paper. It might have been a press release about a paper. But you did not provide the link to the paper, and you did not provide a link to the article that may have been only a press release, thus obfuscating the trail to the paper.
    Since including the link to the article is such a simple thing, you only have to paste it, it seems likely you deliberately withheld the link to prevent me from examining the truth of your claim about a paper. As it is, you have nothing.

    That’s a lot of mean-spirited and mostly redundant words for which a simple “do you have a link?” would have done the job:
    First Investigation of the Microbiology of the Deepest Layer of Ocean Crust

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.001539

    If you don’t like the findings, just claim that the paper was published for the purpose of ridicule by enlightened folks like you: “not meant to be taken seriously.” I will happily dismiss the rest of your desultory “argument” on the basis of your own fallacious “reasoning,” being that you presented it here … on a mere “blog.”
    This is the published peer-reviewed paper that takes up most of the home page on Martin Hovland’s “blog,” btw:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025322712000564

    It’s rather pertinent.

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