Claim: A groggy climate giant: subsea permafrost is still waking up after 12,000 years

New research suggests slow but substantial greenhouse gas release from submarine permafrost

IOP PUBLISHING

Research News

IMAGE
IMAGE: ARTISTIC DIAGRAM OF THE SUBSEA AND COASTAL PERMAFROST ECOSYSTEMS, EMPHASIZING GREENHOUSE GAS PRODUCTION AND RELEASE. view more CREDIT: ORIGINAL ARTWORK CREATED FOR THIS STUDY BY VICTOR OLEG LESHYK AT NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY.

In the far north, the swelling Arctic Ocean inundated vast swaths of coastal tundra and steppe ecosystems. Though the ocean water was only a few degrees above freezing, it started to thaw the permafrost beneath it, exposing billions of tons of organic matter to microbial breakdown. The decomposing organic matter began producing CO2 and CH4, two of the most important greenhouse gases.

Though researchers have been studying degrading subsea permafrost for decades, difficulty collecting measurements and sharing data across international and disciplinary divides have prevented an overall estimate of the amount of carbon and the rate of release. A new study, led by Ph.D. candidate Sara Sayedi and senior researcher Dr. Ben Abbott at Brigham Young University (BYU) published in IOP Publishing journal Environmental Research Letters, sheds light on the subsea permafrost climate feedback, generating the first estimates of circumarctic carbon stocks, greenhouse gas release, and possible future response of the subsea permafrost zone.

Sayedi and an international team of 25 permafrost researchers worked under the coordination of the Permafrost Carbon Network (PCN), which is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation. The researchers combined findings from published and unpublished studies to estimate the size of the past and present subsea carbon stock and how much greenhouse gas it might produce over the next three centuries.

Using a methodology called expert assessment, which combines multiple, independent plausible values, the researchers estimated that the subsea permafrost region currently traps 60 billion tons of methane and contains 560 billion tons of organic carbon in sediment and soil. For reference, humans have released a total of about 500 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. This makes the subsea permafrost carbon stock a potential giant ecosystem feedback to climate change.

“Subsea permafrost is really unique because it is still responding to a dramatic climate transition from more than ten thousand years ago,” Sayedi said. “In some ways, it can give us a peek into the possible response of permafrost that is thawing today because of human activity.”

Estimates from Sayedi’s team suggest that subsea permafrost is already releasing substantial amounts of greenhouse gas. However, this release is mainly due to ancient climate change rather than current human activity. They estimate that subsea permafrost releases approximately 140 million tons of CO2 and 5.3 million tons of CH4 to the atmosphere each year. This is similar in magnitude to the overall greenhouse gas footprint of Spain.

The researchers found that if human-caused climate change continues, the release of CH4 and CO2 from subsea permafrost could increase substantially. However, this response is expected to occur over the next three centuries rather than abruptly. Researchers estimated that the amount of future greenhouse gas release from subsea permafrost depends directly on future human emissions. They found that under a business-as-usual scenario, warming subsea permafrost releases four times more additional CO2 and CH4 compared to when human emissions are reduced to keep warming less than 2°C.

“These results are important because they indicate a substantial but slow climate feedback,” Sayedi explained. “Some coverage of this region has suggested that human emissions could trigger catastrophic release of methane hydrates, but our study suggests a gradual increase over many decades.”

Even if this climate feedback is relatively gradual, the researchers point out that subsea permafrost is not included in any current climate agreements or greenhouse gas targets. Sayedi emphasized that there is still a large amount of uncertainty about subsea permafrost and that additional research is needed.

“Compared to how important subsea permafrost could be for future climate, we know shockingly little about this ecosystem,” Sayedi said. “We need more sediment and soil samples, as well as a better monitoring network to detect when greenhouse gas release responds to current warming and just how quickly this giant pool of carbon will wake from its frozen slumber.”

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abcc29

This research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and by BYU Graduate Studies.

Summary of the key scientific points:

  • Subsea permafrost has been thawing since the end of the last glacial period (~14,000 years ago) when it began to be inundated by the ocean
  • An international team of 25 permafrost researchers estimate that the subsea permafrost region currently traps 60 billion tons of methane and 560 billion tons of organic carbon in sediment and soil. However, the exact amount of these carbon stocks remains highly uncertain.
  • This carbon is already being released from the subsea permafrost region, though it remains unclear whether this is a natural response to deglaciation or if anthropogenic warming is accelerating greenhouse gas production and release.
  • The researchers estimate that currently, the subsea permafrost region releases approximately 140 million tons of CO2 and 5.3 million tons of CH4 to the atmosphere each year. This represents a small fraction of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions–approximately equal to the greenhouse gas footprint of Spain.
  • Experts predict a gradual increase in emissions from subsea permafrost over the next three hundred years rather than an abrupt release.
  • The amount of greenhouse gas increase depends on how much human emissions are reduced. Experts estimate that approximately ¾ of the extra subsea emissions can be avoided if humans actively reduce their emissions compared to a no mitigation scenario.
  • This climate feedback is still virtually absent from climate policy discussions, and more field observations are needed to better predict the future of this system.

Quotes from other co-authors:

“I think there are three important messages from this study. First, subsea permafrost is probably not a climate time bomb on a hair trigger. Second, subsea permafrost is a potentially large climate feedback that needs to be considered in climate negotiations. Third, there is still a huge amount that we don’t know about this system. We really need additional research, including international collaboration across northern countries and research disciplines.”

Dr. Ben Abbott, senior researcher on the project, Brigham Young University

“This work demonstrates the power of science synthesis and networking by bringing together experts across a range of disciplines in order to assess our state of knowledge based on observations and models currently available. While scientific work will continue to be done to test these ideas, bringing knowledge together with this expert assessment provides an important baseline for shaping future research on subsea permafrost greenhouse gas emissions.”

Dr. Ted Schuur, Lead investigator of the Permafrost Carbon Network, Northern Arizona University

“This expert assessment is a crucial contribution to the scientific literature in advancing our knowledge on subsea permafrost and potential greenhouse gas emissions from this so far understudied pool. Bringing together scientists from multiple disciplines, institutions, and countries has made it possible to move beyond individual datapoints or studies providing a much more comprehensive estimate of subsea permafrost. “

Dr. Christina Schädel, Co-Investigator of the Permafrost Carbon Network, Northern Arizona University

###

From EurekAlert!

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Scissor
December 22, 2020 6:18 pm

Give each researcher $600 and tell them to go to town.

OldCynic
December 22, 2020 6:43 pm

I am confused. Leaving aside the obvious fact that the science cannot be settled if “difficulty collecting measurements and sharing data across international and disciplinary divides have prevented an overall estimate of the amount of carbon (sic) and the rate of release

Do I read this correctly?

  • there is no component in current models that includes the CO2 and CH4 that are apparently being liberated by the melting permafrost
  • the permafrost has been melting since the end of the ice-age; 14,000 years ago
  • “Experts estimate that approximately ¾ of the extra subsea emissions can be avoided if humans actively reduce their emissions compared to a no mitigation scenario”

Questions
1 who are the “experts”?
2 by how much must anthropogenic emissions be reduced to avoid the “3/4 extra subsea emissions” Will 1% be enough or will it require a reduction of more than 100% of human emissions, to generate a new ice age and reverse the increase in emissions?

In short, to me this seems to be no more than some guys claiming new reasons why the sky is falling, and pleading for money for research.

Ron Long
Reply to  OldCynic
December 23, 2020 2:11 am

Yea, Old Cynic. And add this to your question list: how does “Using a methodology called expert assessment…” differ from Wild Ass Guess (WAG)?

OweninGA
Reply to  Ron Long
December 23, 2020 5:37 am

Easy, this is actually known in the business as a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) because people in white lab coats with pencils in their pockets are involved.

John Tillman
Reply to  OldCynic
December 23, 2020 4:09 am

Just how much has the Arctic Ocean over continental shelf warmed, theoretically to accelerate this process? Wasn’t it warmer during the Holocene Climate Optimum and Egyptian, Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Tillman
December 23, 2020 4:33 am

Yes, it’s been warmer during many periods in history and the world was not destroyed by carbon dioxide and methane then,or even inconvenienced.

Any source of carbon dioxide means doom to the alarmists. Even though the same circumstances have existed in the past and no doom happened.

They are seeing what they want to see, not what is really there. This is a common failing among alarmists, and other religious fanatics.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  OldCynic
December 23, 2020 4:22 am

carbon (sic)”

Yes, that’s the best way to characterize this stupidity.

Reply to  OldCynic
December 23, 2020 10:12 am

I like this method. There is no need to measure anything, just ask experts to guess and use the ‘expert assessment’ instead. No need of expensive measurement apparatus, no need of labs, no need of anything else. Perhaps some expensive computer though and some ‘model’ software to compute the ‘expert assessment’ out of the guesses and that’s it. Great science!

MarkW
December 22, 2020 6:48 pm

The sunken perma frost can’t be as thick as land based perma frost since it could only have formed when those areas were uncovered during the last glacial phase.

tty
Reply to  MarkW
December 23, 2020 7:51 am

Glacial phases are about 90% of the last million years. And the Laptev sea was never flooded during the previous interglacial.

John F Hultquist
December 22, 2020 7:05 pm

The ocean level was low for many thousands of years.
Landscapes formed with soil, plants, and animals.
Then, apparently climate changed happened.
Then between 20K to 6K years before current time, sea level rose.
Since then the still exposed land experienced temperature changes,
but under the water “a groggy” landscape continued waking up.
CREDIT: ORIGINAL ARTWORK CREATED FOR THIS STUDY BY VICTOR OLEG LESHYK AT NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY.
That’s cool. Send them more money.

Wescom
December 22, 2020 7:53 pm

Using a methodology called expert assessment, which combines multiple, independent plausible values, the researchers estimated that the subsea permafrost region currently traps 60 billion tons of methane and contains 560 billion tons of organic carbon in sediment and soil.”

So this is all based upon the average of a what a bunch of guys guessed?

Reply to  Wescom
December 23, 2020 1:53 am

I couldn’t bring myself to read all of this crap, but thank you for catching “Using a methodology called expert assessment…” I am laughing so hard I accidentally farted.

Ron Long
Reply to  Wescom
December 23, 2020 2:13 am

Good catch, Wescom. I added “WAG” above. Cheers, paranoid goy.

TonyG
Reply to  Wescom
December 23, 2020 9:05 am

Good to see I’m not the only one who found that troublesome.

paul courtney
Reply to  Wescom
December 23, 2020 12:43 pm

Wescom: No, not a bunch of guys, a bunch of climate experts. We are not climate experts, and are not qualified to question any climate scientist, never mind a bunch. And yes, it’s an average, so the error bars can be tossed- Mr. Stokes can explain that last part. Anyway, the science is way above us, we’re not climate scientists.

mikebartnz
December 22, 2020 8:20 pm

I think that I will go and throw another dart at my dartboard

fred250
December 22, 2020 8:33 pm

What are they yabbering on about?/

Human emissions don’t have any effect on the atmospheric temperature.

Oh, and I thought we had been told that humans were responsible for 110% of the highly beneficial rise in atmospheric CO2

Yet they just keep adding/finding new sources of NATURAL CO2 emissions.

These people are very very confused. ! 😉

Editor
December 22, 2020 8:42 pm

Grrrr … I posted a comment on this thread, a long one, only to have it disappear. Now I must reconstruct it.

First, they say that this is a novel and unconsidered issue. Then they say are using “expert assessment” to figure out how much carbon is down there … yeah, like there are so many people with PhDs in subsea permafrost.

Then they say that despite the “expert assessment”, that “However, the exact amount of these carbon stocks remains highly uncertain.” … that being the case, what use is the “expert assessment”.

Next, the experts say that they can predict the effects of temperature on the subsea permafrost out 300 years … and their conclusion is that if the temperature rises by 4°C, it will be twice as bad as if it rises by 2°C. Some heavy lifting on that one. However, they say that “more field observations are needed to better predict the future of this system.”

Gotta love experts.

Next, current rates of sea level rise in the Arctic Ocean are about 3 mm per year. The sea levels since the last glaciation have risen by about 120 metres over the last 12000 years or so. That’s about 10 mm/year. The world has merrily gone along with that 10mm/year rate of sea level rise for 12,000 years with no adverse events from that.

But a rise of 3mm/year is somehow going to break the bank?? …

Finally, there were no less that 32 “experts” listed as authors of this paper, which further proves the truth of Willis’ Rule Of Authors, which states that:

V ≈ 1 / A

where V is the value of the study, and A is the number of authors.

Now, I’ll copy all of this in case it disappears … which will likely guarantee that it doesn’t.

Best Xmas wishes to all,

w.

noaaprogrammer
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 22, 2020 9:26 pm

I would say it’s more like an inverse square law:

V ≈ 1/A²

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 23, 2020 5:25 am

Willis,
You left out the most important line:
“Sayedi emphasized that there is still a large amount of uncertainty about subsea permafrost and that additional research is needed.”
Or, in other words, “this is so scary that you need to send us lots more money!”

Fight Climate Fear. Warmer is Better.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 23, 2020 5:38 am

Willis,
These jokers seem to have piled up a rather impressive stack of guesstimates and WAGs! With a little editorial pruning it could become a Babylon Bee article.
Are there any signs of freedom being restored in the People’s Republic of Commifornia? Why do you suppose the AMA just reversed it’s stance on HCQ?
Have a very, Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

Reply to  Abolition Man
December 23, 2020 12:52 pm

These jokers seem to have piled up a rather impressive stack of guesstimates and WAGs! With a little editorial pruning it could become a Babylon Bee article.”

And these jokers got someone to paint up a colorful fanciful graphic highlighting their notes of doom…
Apparently in their graphic “expert” image, hydrates include a melt phase change…

Amazing that none of their experts bothered to check if ocean sea floor depths were actually warming. Instead, their opinionated guesstimates were all they needed to shout doom from treetops.

Richard G.
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 23, 2020 12:22 pm

climate negotiations“.!?
Are they too arrogant to understand that the climate never negotiates?

I like Willis’ Rule Of Authors”.
I will place that along side “Fudd’s First Law Of Opposition: If you push something hard enough it will fall over.” -Firesign Theater, We Are All Bozos On This Bus
A heart felt thanks to Anthony, Willis, Charles and all the others that make this site go. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

RoHa
December 22, 2020 8:43 pm

“The researchers found that if human-caused climate change continues, the release of CH4 and CO2 from subsea permafrost could increase substantially. “

But this won’t happen with natural climate change?

December 22, 2020 9:00 pm

We really need additional research, including international collaboration across northern countries and research disciplines.

No! Surely not!

H. D. Hoese
December 22, 2020 9:13 pm

There are 32 ‘authors, ’ maybe instead of consensus they need to break up into member groups of different persuasions, surely they all have a diversity mandate, with however the numbers work out one vote for each group.
From the Introduction–“Effective mitigation of climate change requires knowledge of human climate forcing and the ecosystem feedbacks that could amplify or stabilize the response of the Earth system…”
From Methods—
“Expert assessment has long been used to synthesize the best available information to inform policy and decision making ,,,. It is particularly useful when the published scientific knowledge is not adequate for making decisions and the necessary research cannot be done before the decision must be made…After testing with an initial group of ‘lead experts,’ we distributed the final questionnaire ….”
From the Results–“When calculated for each expert individually…”
From the Discussion—“Based on expert comments, the primary contributor to uncertainty in the subsea permafrost domain is insufficient field observations….” [Saved them from an F]
From the Conclusions—“Additionally, experts agreed that subsea permafrost will degrade faster and contribute more emissions under RCP8.5 compared to RCP2.6, suggesting that this system is still responsive to short-term anthropogenic forcing. Therefore, ignoring this system in climate change policies exacerbates the risk of underestimating ecosystem feedbacks and overshooting climate targets.” [Maybe they still deserve it] D—–

Have to look at it this way, that is 32 experts that didn’t go to Medical School.

Editor
December 22, 2020 9:16 pm

Problems:

First, they are quite clear that the current situation is the result of coming out of the ice age. During that time, the ocean rose 125 METRES … and they’re worried about 3 mm per year current rise?

Then they are using “expert assessment” to estimate how much subsea permafrost exists.
Call me crazy, but any time I see “expert assessment” I start to worry … particularly when they say that the exact amount of these carbon stocks remains highly uncertain”. If so, what good are the “experts”?

Next, they actually have the hutzpah to make a prediction for what will be happening 300 years from now. Say what?

Next, they say this is a newly discovered issue … if so, how can we have “experts” on it? Is there a PhD in subsea permafrost?

Finally, the fact that there are 32 authors is more proof of Willis’ Rule of Authors, which states;

V ≈ 1 / A

where A is the number of authors on a study and V is the value of the study …

Best of Christmas to all,

w.

Editor
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 22, 2020 10:43 pm

Around the time of the ending glaciation phase, the Permafrost had been south as far as the Latitude 42 in Europe, now it is far to the North today, yet all that melting for 12,000 years somehow didn’t cause anything clearly horrible.

Ray Boorman
December 22, 2020 9:52 pm

This has got to be excellent research – not!

According to the research paper, for the last 10,000 years, raised global sea levels have been ever so slowly melting permafrost that is now up to 120 metres underwater, such that emissions similar to that of Spain are released every year.

Also according to the research paper, as a result of human emissions, that permafrost will all be turned into atmospheric gases within the next 300 years (causing the end of life on earth forever, presumably).

How does that work?

John Andrews
December 22, 2020 10:31 pm

I thought methane hydrate was unstable and could suddenly disassociate. Of course it is only present when the temperature and pressure allow it to form. In the arctic the temperature is unlikely to change significantly at the depths and conditions where this stuff is found. Pressure change would depend on lowering of the sea level relative to the location of the methane hydrate. This is unlikely if the sea level continues to rise slowly a few centimeters per century. However, some land rise may occur based on geological decompression with the loss of ice mass on the surface land. I am surprised that there was no discussion of this process.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  John Andrews
December 23, 2020 5:41 am

Methane hydrates are not unstable per se. If you change their environment, they’ll outgas. However, at the usual temperatures you’ll find in the Arctic seas, you won’t find hydrates above 350 meters depth. So any portions of the permafrost above this limit will just release CO2 and CH4 via relatively slow microbial digestion. Not that I’m worried in any event.

tty
Reply to  John Andrews
December 23, 2020 8:01 am

There is no methane hydrates in these recentl flooded areas. Pressure is to low.

And land in permafrost areas doesn’t rise as ice melts. It sinks as the ice disappears. Several largish islands in the Laptev Sea (Sannikov’s land, Andereyev land) has completely disappeared since the 18th century:

http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/27189/1/2003_Gavrilov-etal-Reconstruction_PerPerProc-14.pdf

Martin A
December 22, 2020 11:52 pm

<em>Using a methodology called expert assessment… </em>

Oh yes.

Rod Evans
December 23, 2020 1:20 am

A rather long report that basically says, show me the grant, and I will show you the result you desire. It finishes up with. “We need more grants to study this very important but much ignored climate change sump of opportunity”.

Peta of Newark
December 23, 2020 2:29 am

Why do they guess, think, estimate, ‘study’ and use sooooo many Weasel Words?

(Silly question, because they don’t know and even worse, cannot be arsed to even do any real thinking or work)

No matter, here are my assumptions and calculation.

1) Take Earth as being covered by dense lush forest
2) That forest has been growing a long time and has created an organic-rich layer of soil one metre deep. (Conservative, it goes 3 metres deep sometimes)
3) Include the continental shelves as being full of organics also – the mud down is where Fracked Gas now comes from. Are the shelves 10% of Earth’s surface?
Thus we get 40% of 5E14 square metres at 1 metre deep = 2E14 cubic metres
4) Take that buried dirt to be 50% by volume organic material with a density of 700kg per cube for the organic part

So that gives 7E13 tonnes of organics.
Just in the dirt and the mud – NOT including standing trees/plants etc

One might oxidise that(##) – 1kg of Dry Peat gives just shy of 2kg CO2 so yielding 1.4E14 tonnes CO2

## Humans do that sort of thing, they think that burning organic stuff is good and is gonna ‘Save Them’. They could NOT be more wrong. It will condemn them to a very cold place.

One Hundred and Forty Thousand Gigatonnes

And these micro-brains are worried about 140 mega-tonnes, how many orders of magnitude off are they?

Do you maybe ‘guess‘ ‘study‘ ‘estimate‘ ‘think‘ ‘model‘ ‘ask our friends‘ or get paid to say there might be twice that much if soil goes to 3 metres deep sometimes – average depth = 2 metres?

That does not include standing plants OR methane trapped in boggy ground, soon-to-be-shale mud.

At which point. The Enquiring Mind enters the fray asking…

Where is all that ‘soil’ now?

Last edited 11 months ago by Peta of Newark
Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 23, 2020 2:46 am

Groan. Didya see my Executive Function go down the pan there – put the 2 multiplier in too early.

https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/ss/slideshow-executive-function-problems-symptoms

Interesting eh not?

Peter W
December 23, 2020 4:17 am

Yesterday I checked my weather app which gives me the forecast for 10 days, along with other data such as average highs, lows. So I decided to calculate the average for the forecast highs and lows of the 10 days and compare that with the historical averages. The forecast averages were three degrees colder than the historical ones.

Give me MORE warming! I need it!

Abolition Man
Reply to  Peter W
December 23, 2020 5:59 am

Peter W,
How can you be so selfish when millions are dying and being displaced from their homes due to the terrors of climate change! Just look at the thousands of refugees fleeing to Siberia, northern Canada and Antarctica due to increasing extreme weather events! And what about all the poor Pacific Islanders that were being deluged with tourists? Thank God, the ChiCom virus put an end to that disaster!
We really need to reserve space for all the wise and benevolent leaders of the climate change movement on Antarctica; let’s start moving them there right now, before it’s too late!

Tom Abbott
December 23, 2020 4:18 am

From the article: “Sayedi and an international team of 25 permafrost researchers worked under the coordination of the Permafrost Carbon Network (PCN), which is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation.”

They start out by distorting reality. That is not a good sign.

It’s carbon dioxide, not “carbon”. Your network should be called the Permafrost Carbon Dioxide Network (PCDN). Get it?

John Bell
December 23, 2020 5:26 am

But of course all these experts themselves use fossil fuels every day as if there were no problem at all, and there is no problem, they just want your money.

Notanacademic
Reply to  John Bell
December 23, 2020 6:08 am

Sorry John I meant to give a plus one, small keys on my phone and fat sausage fingers, not a good combo. Again very sorry.

Notanacademic
Reply to  Notanacademic
December 23, 2020 6:09 am

Corrected it

ResourceGuy
December 23, 2020 6:27 am

The next billionaires will be those politically connected investors who can harvest the most federal spending programs in carbon storage, biofuels, and permafrost protection schemes. It beats swampland sales promotions.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
December 23, 2020 8:26 am

We don’t know where are we heading. With all current industrialization, I don’t think emissions of CH4 and CO2 are going to reduce.
Nature will take its own course of action.

December 23, 2020 7:52 am

Third, there is still a huge amount that we don’t know about this system. We really need additional research, …”

My Expert Assessment, as a guy who writes big checks, this means: “please send money, lots of money, in a long term international structure that provides me financial security like the tenured clowns over in the literature department …”

Editor
December 23, 2020 7:53 am

One more study that uses the generally acknowledged as “nearly impossible” RCP8.5 as “business-as-usual”.

Thus, nonsensical.

John F Hultquist
December 23, 2020 8:57 am

WOW!
The negativity of the comments is astounding.

This is how science works.
Get an idea.
Make a guess. {herein called “expert assessment”}
Look for data.
Continue . . .

I think there is a video of Richard Feynman saying this,
better than I have, but you know that. Right?

_ _ _ _
Tis the Season, ya know!

Paul Penrose
Reply to  John F Hultquist
December 23, 2020 10:23 am

The “make a guess” part is where you are supposed to postulate a theory which makes specific predictions which can be tested. Then you test it (collect data), and then after all that, you publish. They just stopped at the the guess part, not even bothering to put together a testable theory, and published their “study” as a way to put their hands out for more money. Rubbish.

John F Hultquist
Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 23, 2020 10:28 am

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
Neither Feynman nor I can claim this one.

Reply to  John F Hultquist
December 23, 2020 4:23 pm

Yes, John, but in this case, “A journey of a thousand miles doesn’t end with a single step”.

w.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  John F Hultquist
December 23, 2020 1:14 pm

Step 2/3 is “Collect data via observation/measurement”, not “make guesses about what would be measured if you made any”.

TonyG
December 23, 2020 8:58 am

“Using a methodology called expert assessment, which combines multiple, independent plausible values, the researchers estimated…”

Am I missing something?

“Expert assessment” as a methodology suggests to me that their “methodolgy” is asking people for their opinions (informed or not), not an analysis of emperical data. The next phase seems to say that’s correct, as they are using “plausible” values – plausible, not measured or confirmed.

If I’m not drastically missing something, this is some very remarkable psuedoscience.

KenB
Reply to  TonyG
December 23, 2020 11:05 pm

Funny that many fire experts gave their assessments as to the known and oft in the past ignored reduction of fuel load targets that culminated in terrible bushfires so intense due to the known tinder dry fuel loads all across Australia. The Green extremists also blockaded some fuel reduction efforts and of course we had extreme loss of life and property. Seems these real experts can be ignored just as their credentials and experience was ignored even by our recent Royal Commission that was set up to help politically put “Climate Change” back on the agenda as we deal with swollen rivers and heavy cold rainstorms that make this summer in Australia far from our usual hot dry summer. But these guessers want to be sent more money… sign of the times.. I guess.

beng135
December 23, 2020 9:03 am

Make-work for pencil-neck carbon-bureaucraps.

Notanacademic
Reply to  beng135
December 23, 2020 9:59 am

My amateur assessment is this is a crock of sh*t.

Alberta Ed
December 23, 2020 9:16 am

Google “Methane: the Irrelevant Greenhouse Gas”, an excellent explanation of how more CO2 and CH4 will have little to no measurable impact on climate.

David F Mayer
December 24, 2020 9:03 am

“CO2 and CH4, two of the most important greenhouse gases”

There are NO important greenhouse gasses except for water vapor.

Reply to  David F Mayer
December 24, 2020 9:40 am

David, I fear that’s not true. I would encourage you to play with the online MODTRAN calculator. It lets you set things like CH4, CO2, or H20 to various values, including zero, and see the amount of atmospheric absorption with various combinations of variables or with single variables.

Bear in mind that some of the absorption bands overlap, like say CO2 and H20. As a result, you can’t just add the absorptions together to get the absorption of the combination.

Best of Xmas,

w.

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