Defusing the Arctic Methane Time Bomb

Guest Post by David Middleton

The Arctic methane time bomb keeps tickingFrom Scientific American

Climatewire

More Arctic Methane Bubbles into Atmosphere

A new study suggests more than twice as much of the potent greenhouse gas is bubbling out of the rapidly warming Arctic Ocean, speeding climate change

By Stephanie Paige Ogburn and ClimateWire

Arctic Ocean: A new study reports that methane releases from one part of the Arctic Ocean are more than twice what scientists previously thought.

[…]

SciAm

If the Arctic Methane Time Bomb is really twice as bad as “scientists previously thought,” one of two things must be happening:

  1. The Arctic methane time bomb is about to go off and turn Earth into Venus.
  2. “Scientists” preconceptions about the climatic hazards of Arctic methane are very wrong.

Arctic methane is currently trapped in permafrost and in methane hydrate deposits. Some methane from these traps escapes to the atmosphere every year, particularly during warm summer months. However, there is absolutely no indication that this represents some sort of Arctic methane time bomb, ticking its way to some sort of carbon Apocalypse.

Permafrost

Permafrost is ground that is frozen below the active layer (~30-100 mm) for multi-year periods. Some Arctic permafrost has been frozen for at least several thousand years. The active layer may thaw seasonally; however the permafrost substrate remains frozen year-round. The frozen nature of the soil below the active layer prevents it from adequately draining. This results in a very boggy active layer with abundant decaying plant matter. As such, permafrost is generally very methane-rich.

A rapid and extensive thawing of Arctic permafrost could theoretically release a lot of methane into the atmosphere. There’s just very little reason to think that this is even a remote possibility now or in the foreseeable future.

News in Brief: Warming may not release Arctic carbon

Element could stay locked in soil, 20-year study suggests

By Erin Wayman

Web edition: May 15, 2013

Print edition: June 15, 2013; Vol.183 #12 (p. 13)

Researchers used greenhouses to artificially warm tundra (shown, in autumn) for 20 years. They found no net change in the amount of carbon stored in the soil.

Sadie Iverson

The Arctic’s stockpile of carbon may be more secure than scientists thought. In a 20-year experiment that warmed patches of chilly ground, tundra soil kept its stored carbon, researchers report.

[…]

Science News

In the Alaska experiment, they warmed the permafrost by 2°C over a 20-yr period (10 times the actual rate of warming since the 1800s) and there wasn’t the slightest hint of an accelerated methane release.

There is no evidence of widespread thawing of Arctic permafrost since Marine Isotope Stage 11 (MIS-11), approximately 450,000 years ago. None of the subsequent interglacial stages indicate widespread permafrost thawing, above 60°N, not even MIS-5 (Eemian/Sangamonian), which was about 2°C warmer than present day, possibly as much as 5°C warmer in the Arctic.

The last interglacial stage (MIS-5, Sangamonian/Eemian) was considerably warmer than the current interglacial and sea level was 3-6 meters higher than modern times. It was particularly warmer in the Arctic. Oxygen isotope ratios from the NGRIP ice core indicate that the Arctic was approximately 5°C warmer at the peak of MIS-5 (~135,000 years ago).

It also appears that it was significantly warmer in the Arctic during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (~7,000 years ago) than modern times. The Arctic was routinely ice-free during summer for most of the Holocene up until about 1,000 years ago. McKay et al., 2008 demonstrated that the modern Arctic sea ice cover is anomalously high and the Arctic summer sea surface temperature is anomalously low relative to the rest of the Holocene…

Modern sea-ice cover in the study area, expressed here as the number of months/year with >50% coverage, averages 10.6 ±1.2 months/year… Present day SST and SSS in August are 1.1 ± 2.4 8C and 28.5 ±1.3, respectively… In the Holocene record of core HLY0501-05, sea-ice cover has ranged between 5.5 and 9 months/year, summer SSS has varied between 22 and 30, and summer SST has ranged from 3 to 7.5 8C (Fig. 7).

McKay et al., 2008

Vaks et al., 2013 found no evidence of widespread permafrost thawing above 60°N since MIS-11, not even during MIS-5…

The absence of any observed speleothem growth since MIS 11 in the northerly Lenskaya Ledyanaya cave (despite dating outer edges of 7 speleothems), suggests the permanent presence of permafrost at this latitude since the end of MIS-11. Speleothem growth in this cave occurred in early MIS-11, ruling out the possibility that the unusual length of MIS-11 caused the permafrost thawing.

[…]

The degradation of permafrost at 60°N during MIS-11 allows an assessment of the warming required globally to cause such extensive change in the permafrost boundary.

[…]

There is clear evidence that the Arctic was at least 5°C warmer during MIS-11 than it is today…

Several so-called “superinterglacials” have been identified in the Quaternary sediment record from LakeEl’gygytgyn (Melles et al.,2012). Among these “superinterglacials”, marine isotope stage (MIS) 11c and 31 appear to be the most outstanding in terms of their temperature, vegetation cover, in-lake productivity, and in the case of MIS11c also duration (Melles et al.,2012). Quantitative climate reconstructions for MIS11c and 31 at Lake El’gygytgyn imply that temperatures and annual precipitation values were up to ca. 5°C and ca. 300mm higher if compared to the Holocene (Melles et al.,2012)

Vogel et al., 2013

The best geological evidence for the Arctic methane time bomb being a dud can be found in the stratigraphy beneath Lake El’gygytgyn in northeastern Russia. The lake and its mini-basin occupy a 3.58 million year old meteor crater. Its sediments are ideally suited for a continuous high-resolution climate reconstruction from the Holocene all the way back to the mid-Pliocene. Unlike most other Arctic lakes, Lake El’gygytgyn, has never been buried by glacial stage continental ice sheets. Melles et al., 2012 utilized sediment cores from Lake El’gygytgyn to build a 2.8 million year climate reconstruction of northeastern Russia…

The data from Melles et al., 2012 are available from NOAA’s paleoclimatology library. And it is clearly obvious that Arctic summers were much warmer than either the Eemian/Sangamonian (MIS-5e) and the Holocene (MIS-1)…

MIS-11 peaked a full 5°C warmer than the Holocene Climatic Optimum, which was 1-2°C warmer than the present.

Referring back to Vaks et al., 2013, we can see that there is no evidence of widespread permafrost melting above 60°N since the beginning of MIS-11…

Since we know that the Arctic was about 5°C warmer during the Eemian/Sangamonian (MIS-5e) than it currently is and that there is no evidence of widespread permafrost melt above 60°N, it’s a pretty good bet that the MIS-11 Arctic was 6-10°C warmer than the Holocene Climatic Optimum.

The lack of evidence of permafrost melt during MIS-5 tends to indicate that MIS-11 may have been more than 5°C warmer. So, the notion that we are on the verge of a permafrost meltdown is patently absurd.

Methane Hydrate Deposits

Methane hydrates (or gas hydrate) are composed of molecules of methane encased in a lattice of ice crystals. These accumulations are fairly common in marine sediments.

Gas hydrate is an ice like substance formed when methane or some other gases combine with water at appropriate pressure and temperature conditions. Gas hydrates sequester large amounts of methane and are widespread in marine sediments and sediments of permafrost areas.

USGS

99% of methane hydrate deposits are thought to be in deepwater environments. The only way that climate change could destabilize these deposits would be through a sudden drop in sea level. The thermocline of the deepwater deposits changes very little (not at all at depth) even with 20 °C of surface warming over a 1,000-yr period.

Methane Hydrates and Contemporary Climate Change

By: Carolyn D. Ruppel (U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole, MA) © 2011 Nature Education

Citation: Ruppel, C. D. (2011) Methane Hydrates and Contemporary Climate Change. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):29

Methane Hydrate Primer

Methane hydrate is an ice-like substance formed when CH4 and water combine at low temperature (up to ~25ºC) and moderate pressure (greater than 3-5 MPa, which corresponds to combined water and sediment depths of 300 to 500 m). Globally, an estimated 99% of gas hydrates occurs in the sediments of marine continental margins at saturations as high as 20% to 80% in some lithologies; the remaining 1% is mostly associated with sediments in and beneath areas of high-latitude, continuous permafrost (McIver 1981, Collett et al. 2009). Nominally, methane hydrate concentrates CH4 by ~164 times on a volumetric basis compared to gas at standard pressure and temperature. Warming a small volume of gas hydrate could thus liberate large volumes of gas.

A challenge for assessing the impact of contemporary climate change on methane hydrates is continued uncertainty about the size of the global gas hydrate inventory and the portion of the inventory that is susceptible to climate warming. This paper addresses the latter issue, while the former remains under active debate.

[…]

Fate of Contemporary Methane Hydrates During Warming Climate

The susceptibility of gas hydrates to warming climate depends on the duration of the warming event, their depth beneath the seafloor or tundra surface, and the amount of warming required to heat sediments to the point of dissociating gas hydrates. A rudimentary estimate of the depth to which sediments are affected by an instantaneous, sustained temperature change DT in the overlying air or ocean waters can be made using the diffusive length scale 1 = √kt , which describes the depth (m) that 0.5 DT will propagate in elapsed time t (s). k denotes thermal diffusivity, which ranges from ~0.6 to 1×10-6 m2/s for unconsolidated sediments. Over 10, 100, and 1000 yr, the calculation yields maximum of 18 m, 56 m, and 178 m, respectively, regardless of the magnitude of DT. In real situations, DT is usually small and may have short- (e.g., seasonal) or long-term fluctuations that swamp the signal associated with climate warming trends. Even over 103 yr, only gas hydrates close to the seafloor and initially within a few degrees of the thermodynamic stability boundary might experience dissociation in response to reasonable rates of warming. As discussed below, less than 5% of the gas hydrate inventory may meet these criteria.

Even when gas hydrate dissociates, several factors mitigate the impact of the liberated CH4 on the sediment-ocean-atmosphere system. In marine sediments, the released CH4 may dissolve in local pore waters, remain trapped as gas, or rise toward the seafloor as bubbles. Up to 90% or more of the CH4 that reaches the sulfate reduction zone (SRZ) in the near-seafloor sediments may be consumed by anaerobic CH4 oxidation (Hinrichs & Boetius 2002, Treude et al. 2003, Reeburgh 2007, Knittel & Boetius 2009). At the highest flux sites (seeps), the SRZ may vanish, allowing CH4 to be injected directly into the water column or, in some cases, partially consumed by aerobic microbes (Niemann et al. 2006).

Methane emitted at the seafloor only rarely survives the trip through the water column to reach the atmosphere.

[…]

Global Warming and Gas Hydrate Type Locales

Methane hydrates occur in five geographic settings (or sectors) that must be individually evaluated to determine their susceptibility to warming climate (Figure 1). The percentages assigned to each sector below assume that 99% of global gas hydrate is within the deepwater marine realm (McIver 1981, Collett et al. 2009). Future refinements of the global ratio of marine to permafrost-associated gas hydrates will require adjustment of the assigned percentages. Owing to the orders of magnitude uncertainty in the estimated volume of CH4 trapped in global gas hydrate deposits, the percentages below have not been converted to Gt C.

[…]

Conclusions

Catastrophic, widespread dissociation of methane gas hydrates will not be triggered by continued climate warming at contemporary rates (0.2ºC per decade; IPCC 2007) over timescales of a few hundred years. Most of Earth’s gas hydrates occur at low saturations and in sediments at such great depths below the seafloor or onshore permafrost that they will barely be affected by warming over even 103 yr. Even when CH4 is liberated from gas hydrates, oxidative and physical processes may greatly reduce the amount that reaches the atmosphere as CH4. The CO2 produced by oxidation of CH4 released from dissociating gas hydrates will likely have a greater impact on the Earth system (e.g., on ocean chemistry and atmospheric CO2 concentrations; Archer et al. 2009) than will the CH4 that remains after passing through various sinks.

Contemporary and future gas hydrate degradation will occur primarily on the circum-Arctic Ocean continental shelves (Sector 2; Macdonald 1990, Lachenbruch et al. 1994, Maslin 2010), where subsea permafrost thawing and methane hydrate dissociation have been triggered by warming and inundation since Late Pleistocene time, and at the feather edge of the GHSZ on upper continental slopes (Sector 3), where the zone’s full thickness can dissociate rapidly due to modest warming of intermediate waters. More CH4 may be sequestered in upper continental slope gas hydrates than in those associated with subsea permafrost; however, CH4 that reaches the seafloor from dissociating Arctic Ocean shelf gas hydrates is much more likely to enter the atmosphere rapidly and as CH4, not CO2. Proof is still lacking that gas hydrate dissociation currently contributes to seepage from upper continental slopes or to elevated seawater CH4 concentrations on circum-Arctic Ocean shelves. An even greater challenge for the future is determining the contribution of global gas hydrate dissociation to contemporary and future atmospheric CH4 concentrations.

[…]

Nature Knowledge

The infamous photos, often posted by alarmists, of methane bubbling up from the Arctic sea floor and lake beds account for less than 1% of global methane hydrate deposits. These deposits are unstable in any temperature regime at depths of less than 200 m. They were already bubbling long before Al Gore invented CAGW.

Arctic Methane Time Bomb Defused

A substantial permafrost thaw above 60° N would require the Arctic to warm by more than 5°C relative to current conditions

A substantial destabilization of methane hydrate deposits is highly unlikely even with 20°C of warming relative to current conditions.

Arctic methane time bomb defused… QED.

References

McKay, J. L.; de Vernal, A.; Hillaire-Marcel, C.; Not, C.; Polyak, L.; Darby, D. (2008) Holocene fluctuations in Arctic sea-ice cover: dinocyst-based reconstructions for the eastern Chukchi Sea. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Volume 45, Number 11, 2008 , pp. 1377-1397(21)

Miller, K.G., et al. (2005) The Phanerozoic Record of Global Sea-Level Change. Science. Vol. 310 no. 5752 pp. 1293-1298 DOI: 10.1126/science.1116412

Melles, M., J. Brigham-Grette, P.S. Minyuk, N.R. Nowaczyk, V. Wennrich (2012) 2.8 Million Years of Arctic Climate Change from Lake El’gygytgyn, NE Russia. Science. Vol. 337 no. 6092 pp. 315-320. DOI: 10.1126/science.1222135

Ruppel, C. D. (2011) Methane Hydrates and Contemporary Climate Change. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):29

Vaks, A., et al. (2013) Speleothems Reveal 500,000-Year History of Siberian Permafrost. Science. Vol. 340 no. 6129 pp. 183-186. DOI: 10.1126/science.1228729

Vogel, H., Meyer-Jacob, C., Melles, M., Brigham-Grette, J., Andreev, A. A., Wennrich, V., Tarasov, P. E., and Rosén, P.: Detailed insight into Arctic climatic variability during MIS 11c at Lake El’gygytgyn, NE Russia, Clim. Past, 9, 1467-1479, doi:10.5194/cp-9-1467-2013, 2013.

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David Middleton: My favorite hobby is debunking the junk science of the radical environmentalists…Particularly the junk science of anthropogenic global warming.
—————–
A noble pursuit – thank you Sir!

knr

Giggle bells , giggle bells , giggle all the way on what fun it is to ride in a dead horse open model.
Dear Santa , for Christmas this year a like model that actual works , all the other scientists make fun of me becasue their do and mine never does . I been a good boy this year , I lied,smeared and BS with the best to support ‘the cause ‘ So could you please , please see your way to given me a ‘working climate model ‘
Yours
Sad Jonny , Climate ‘scientist’

So where is the proof that the net effect of more CH4 is warming rather than cooling?

Owen in GA

So why haven’t we started mining these formations for the plentiful natural gas they represent?

Alan Robertson

About David Middleton
I have been a geoscientist in the evil oil and gas industry for almost 30 years. My favorite hobby is debunking the junk science of the radical environmentalists…Particularly the junk science of anthropogenic global warming.
____________________
You and others of like mind are having an effect. Just scan through the comments of any online article regarding climate or weather and see that the warmists are subjected to overwhelming ridicule. The chicken littles are having a hard time. It shouldn’t be too much longer until the politicians start to realize that the electorate has moved on.
Here’s one example: http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-fg-wn-snow-israel-egypt-20131213/10?page=2

In other words, if IGrandson, swings around the sun and makes a mad dash to earth crashing into the planet and setting the atmosphere ablaze – we have to worry about the methane time bomb?
I think we would have bigger problems in that case.

Golly gosh, the only option to me is to mine the methane hydrate, and burn it, to reduce the harm – CO2 is a far less potent greenhouse gas than methane.
Perhaps Greenpiss should send a ship to the arctic to demand the Russians do more to exploit their methane hydrate resources.

false dilemma
###############
If the Arctic Methane Time Bomb is really twice as bad as “scientists previously thought,” one of two things must be happening:
“The Arctic methane time bomb is about to go off and turn Earth into Venus.
“Scientists” preconceptions about the climatic hazards of Arctic methane are very wrong”
#####################

Henry Clark

It also appears that it was significantly warmer in the Arctic during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (~7,000 years ago) than modern times.
And, during the 20th century, the bulk of decline in arctic ice extent occurred near 1920 A.D., not when human CO2 emissions were quite a number of times greater later on, as illustrated in a chart and reference about 3/4ths of the way down in in http://img176.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=81829_expanded_overview_122_424lo.jpg
99% of methane hydrate deposits are thought to be in deepwater environments.
The thermocline of the deepwater deposits changes very little (not at all at depth) even with 20 °C of surface warming over a 1,000-yr period.
Yes. Part of the reason that the naive believe in CAGW methane release hype is mathematical illiteracy, having no quantitative understanding of the distinction between the time it takes to warm the depth of a puddle versus that of the oceans, not understanding how even specific heat alone (let alone all other considerations) prevents seawater hundreds to thousands of meters down from warming by multiple degrees on the timescales they envision. (The probable future this century is cooling of at least the Little Ice Age kind, not global warming anyway, but why that is so is another topic).

funny the article doesnt say anything close to what the post about it claims
“While the quantity of methane being released may sound alarming, scientists are not sure whether this methane escape is new, or whether it has been happening for a long time. Until 2003, when Shakhova’s team started studying this part of the Arctic Ocean, no one had measured how much methane was being released from it.”

MarkW

If the permafrost truely is melting, where did all of that methane go. It didn’t make it to the atmosphere. Methane concentrations have been pretty much constant for more than a decade.

Dave

Great article. But keep in mind that some people are not interested in facts or data that get in the way of what they want to believe.

thisisnotgoodtogo

remembering the study that showed that life forms around the sea methane vents accommodated to refix the methane released

Jim Cripwell

Owen, you write “So why haven’t we started mining these formations for the plentiful natural gas they represent?’
We have, or rather the Japanese have. There is an overproduction of natural gas on the North America continent at the moment, and the technology to successfully mine the methane hydrates is only now being worked out, by the Japanese. Until shale gas starts to run out, methane hydrates are simply too expensive. I would not be surprised if the US does not do some work at Prudhoe Bay, where there are large deposits, and the infrastructure to proceed slowly and comparatively cheaply is already in place. I don’t know of any other nation that has the know how, and the deposits near at hand, that can do this sort of work successfully.

Its worse than we thought, the climate cult is still alive….

thisisnotgoodtogo

Mosher the fake scientist gives another evidence-free post.

Teddi

@ thisisnotgoodtogo says:
December 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm
I agree. Won’t miss his Climate Etc. posts……….

DocMartyn

” Some Arctic permafrost has been frozen for at least several thousand years”
Which would mean that several thousand years ago the are was much, much, warmer and supported a thriving ecosystem.

thisisnotgoodtogo

teddi, it’s all good to advertise that you are a scientist when your definition for “scientist” is non-standard and potential customers have no idea.

Bill Illis

One of the links is called “The $60-trillion Arctic methane time bomb”
http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/the-60-trillion-arctic-methane-time-bomb-1.1553430#.UquHNLKA3aR

There are literally unlimited scenarios that a chicken little could come up with to claim the sky is falling. This is just one more of them. At some point, after moving the goal posts and changing the story time after time after time, the public will finally get disgusted and stop their believing in the lame heifer dust. I do hope that time draws nigh.

Stephen Pruett

Mosher, I think this is the type of statement from the article that the post addresses, “More Arctic Methane Bubbles into Atmosphere. A new study suggests more than twice as much of the potent greenhouse gas is bubbling out of the rapidly warming Arctic Ocean, speeding climate change”
Notice the key words: Potent, Bubbling, Rapidly Warming, Speeding Climate change. Which, as noted by Mr. Middleton, are not justified.

Peter Miller

Sadly the important subjects of ocean acidification and its effect on methane hydrate release, plus the amplification of this gas release caused by polar bears swimming nearby, is not discussed here.
Sarc off/
I had not realised the much warmer last interglacial period (the Eemian) would be able to unravel so much of today’s climate alarmism.

Bill Illis

The new NEEM ice core from Greenland has Arctic temps in the Eemian at 125,000 years ago at +7.5C.
http://s12.postimg.org/9ctilkusd/NGRIP_NEEM_EDC_Global_135kya.png
Methane in the Antarctic ice cores only got to 700 ppb at 125,000 years ago versus today’s 1900 ppb so Methane time bomb diffused (as David said).

jones

Oh my Lord, Van Allen belts discovered….

jones

If one were to discover tectonic plates would it be analogous to conclude that the earth was cracking up?

timetochooseagain

Funny, one would think if there were any significant Methane feedback from a warming Arctic, we’d see Methane increasing at an exponential rate as human emissions combine with the emissions of nature.
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi_2013.fig2.png
Er…Well that doesn’t work.

more than twice as much
“Twice nothing is still nothing.” – Cyrano Jones

Joe

Steven Mosher says:
December 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm
funny the article doesnt say anything close to what the post about it claims
“While the quantity of methane being released may sound alarming, scientists are not sure whether this methane escape is new, or whether it has been happening for a long time. Until 2003, when Shakhova’s team started studying this part of the Arctic Ocean, no one had measured how much methane was being released from it.”
——————————————————————————————————–
Bad Mosh, naughty Mosh 🙁
You’re clearly intelligent, and you can’t honestly claim not to see what the whole slant of the article is.
As an intelligent person, you should also be well aware that a great number of readers of that article won’t appreciate the importance of that paragraph you’ve quoted and will come away with an impression of yet another study confirming the apocalypse, as undoubtedly intended by the author.
As a scientist you should be outraged that publishers are still misusing valid scientific work in this way, but instead you seem content to peddle alarism by (clear) implication as long as they’ve left themselves an “out” to say “that’s not what we said” when challenged. In other words, “everything we’ve just told you in the name of science doesn’t mean what we’ve let you think it means, we’re banking on you not noticing that, but we’ve left a get-out in case you do”.
It’s as dishonest as those liability exclusion notices you see with a footnote saying they “don’t affect your statutory rights”.

Walter Allensworth
TimO

… like we would have the technology or ability to do anything about a runaway Venus effect. That ranks right up there with ‘just move the Earth a little farther away from the Sun to cool it more.’ People watch too much Star Trek.

thisisnotgoodtogo

“You’re clearly intelligent, and you can’t honestly claim”
That kinda makes it that you’re not actually addressing the intended fake scientist recipient.

thisisnotgoodtogo

Has Steve McIntyre stated billing himself as a climate scientist ?

Brian H

So twice as much as thought has been entering the atmosphere all along, we didn’t notice, and it still has had no discernable effect. (Nor has anything else, most especially including CO2). Default conclusion: Both CO2 and CH4 are ineffective in warming the atmosphere at all prospective levels.

thisisnotgoodtogo

To go the other extreme, John Cook, climate scientist working out of University of …!

Alan Robertson

thisisnotgoodtogo says:
December 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm
“You’re clearly intelligent, and you can’t honestly claim”
That kinda makes it that you’re not actually addressing the intended fake scientist recipient.
__________________________
I suppose that now you’ll be wanting the Thread Gold Star next to your name.

Debunking some myths about oceanic methane in permafrost and deep ocean sediments:
1) Because of the latent heat effect, these systems are more-or-less self preserving.
2) When gas hydrates, due to pressure release or slight warming start to dissociate, they actually freeze up, and preserve themselves. This is because the realeased gas expands and cools the system adiabatically.
3) This is one of the reasons why it is very hard to produce methane from hydrates formed in Natural systems. The moment you get a flow going, the same moment it freezes up and self repairs (a self-sealing system, like most seeps).
4) This was wonderfully demonstrated recently, when JAMSTEC touted that they had started producing methane from deep in the Nankai Trough off Japan – big News, and a small flame that could be photographed. However, don’t tell the press: they did’t only produce by depressurization, i.e., passively – oh no – they had to heat up the formation to get the stuff out of the ground….
This paper explains more about the cryogenetics of gas hydrates in confined reservoirs:
Clennell, MB, Hovland, M, Booth, JS, Henry, P, Winters, WJ., 1999. “Formation of natural gas hydrates in marine sediments. Part 1: Conceptual model of gas hydrate growth conditioned by host sediment Properties”, J. Geophys. Res. 104, B 10, 22985-23003.

Beta Blocker

Alan Robertson says: December 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm You and others of like mind are having an effect. Just scan through the comments of any online article regarding climate or weather and see that the warmists are subjected to overwhelming ridicule. …. Here’s one example: http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-fg-wn-snow-israel-egypt-20131213/10?page=2

Reading the kind of commentary the article is generating, it appears the LA Times has rescinded its previous decision not to publish the comments of climate skeptics. Is that what’s happened there at the LA Times?

DirkH

David Middleton says:
December 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm
“Natural gas prices would have to rise to about $20/MCF and remain at least that high for about 50 years to make gas hydrates economic.”
Given that technology does not cut down the costs of gas hydrate mining, relative to other mining activities.

DirkH

Martin Hovland says:
December 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm
“3) This is one of the reasons why it is very hard to produce methane from hydrates formed in Natural systems. The moment you get a flow going, the same moment it freezes up and self repairs (a self-sealing system, like most seeps).”
Very interesting! That explains how BP’s efforts at capping the Macondo well failed initially due to hydrate buildup.
And here’s an idea to exploit this nasty effect: Pump a bunch of Methane hydrate into a storage hall. Siphon off released Methane. Now you have
a) a low-flow source of Methane
b) a long lasting refridgeration facility that stays cool until it has released all its Methane.

u.k.(us)

David Middleton says:
December 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm
@Steve Mosher,
It would be a false dilemma fallacy if it was a serious argument. I was clearly being facetious, prefacing the serious part of the post with some sarcastic humor. I thought the humor was so obvious that I didn’t need to use /sarc off notation.
===============
A noble thought, that underestimates the stupidity of this reader.

Alan Robertson

Beta Blocker says:
December 13, 2013 at 5:15 pm
http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-fg-wn-snow-israel-egypt-20131213/10?page=2
“Reading the kind of commentary the article is generating, it appears the LA Times has rescinded its previous decision not to publish the comments of climate skeptics. Is that what’s happened there at the LA Times?”
_____________________________
If the Times had that policy, then…

Alan Robertson

Oops!
I meant to add to reply to Beta Blocker:
…this would be further evidence that the walls are tumbling.

Jimbo

In the Alaska experiment, they warmed the permafrost by 2°C over a 20-yr period (10 times the actual rate of warming since the 1800s) and there wasn’t the slightest hint of an accelerated methane release.

Check out the treelines further north than now during parts of the Holocene. Methane didn’t play ball or if she did she was eventually defeated. 1-0.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/24/claim-last-100-years-may-be-warmest-in-120000-years-in-the-arctic-but-not-so-fast/#comment-1457628
Just how damned hot do Warmists imagine it’s going to get this century? I say imagine because so far it doesn’t look like runaway carbonoxious / methane induced thermal meltdown. The Arctic was bloody freezing this summer, Arctic sea ice extent up on last year by 50%, Antarctica record highs, no global warming for over 16 years, snow in Jerusalem and Cairo, USA frigid. Brrrrrrrrrr.

Jimbo

Here is Dmitrenko who Shakhova cited some time back via Revkin of the New York Times.

Dec. 29, 9:28 a.m. | Addendum |
Igor Dmitrenko, whose paper is cited above, disputes the interpretation of his work by Semiletov and Shakhova. He sent this comment, starting with a quote from their statement:

“The model in the Dmitrenko paper [link] assumed a thaw point of zero degrees. Our observations show that the cornerstone assumption taken in their modeling was wrong. The rate at which the subsea permafrost is currently degrading largely depends on what state it was in when recent climate change appeared. It makes sense that modeling on an incorrect assumption about thaw point could create inaccurate results.”

This assessment of the model we used is completely wrong! The model takes into account that water can remain unfrozen at temperature below 0 degrees – “…the simulated temperature of sediments down to 25 m is below 0°C (dark blue line in Figure 6). Note that the sediments can still remain unfrozen because of the salt contamination”, page 7, right column, first paragraph.
This comment by Dr. Semiletov clearly demonstrates that he even didn’t carefully read our paper. Figure 6 shows simulated temperature profiles below the seafloor as a function of depth with unfrozen sediments at temperature below 0°C in the upper 30 m layer.
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/27/leaders-of-arctic-methane-project-clarify-climate-concerns/?_r=0

When are these nuts going to let go of the Arctic methane horse dung?

Well, there is another climate scare put to sleep for a few months. If the methane clathrate release was likely, it seems that it would have happened earlier. We seem to need a new terror or a recycled older terror about impending climate doom. I wonder what’s next.

Jimbo

Methane timebomb runaway warming has never occurred. It didn’t happen during the warmer Eeimian interglacial. it didn’t happen during the warmer Holocene Climate Optimum. It has NEVER happened otherwise……….

ossqss

I must say that I almost thought I am watching a monty python video for the first minute. Between the first sound through the young lady butchering names and the long pause……
Looking forward to the remainder and Leif too !

Jimbo

The poor penguins have to walk further now to reach the sea. It’s actually caused by global warming. The Arctic September extent bounce on 2012 was also caused by global warming. Jerusalem’s children knowing what snow is is also caused by global warming. Record cold in Antarctica is also caused by global warming. No surface temperature rise for over 16 years is as a direct result of increased co2 and no global warming. This is science.

http://nypost.com/2013/12/12/beneath-yellowstone-a-volcano-that-could-wipe-out-u-s/
Will methane end the world before the Yellowstone super volcano does us in?