Methane Hydrate melting

Not good news, I am afraid, and these bad tidings may be simply a precursor of worse tidings to come. First I should explain the background. Methane is a pernicious greenhouse gas. There is no doubt that atom for atom methane is a more pernicious greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide or water vapour, but not as long lasting in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

Methane is the gas that is used for heating in most places in the world. People gather it from deposits underground and are now beginning to collect it by exploding shale underground. Then they burn it for fuel and in burning it they release carbon dioxide as a by product. No one, as far as I know deliberately leaks methane into the air, but nature does.

One of the fears of scientists is that as the planet warms (and warming it is) sub surface ice in tundra regions will melt and in melting will release copious quantities of methane, making the greenhouse effect stronger.

Up until recently there were three places in the North Atlantic US seaboard, between the coats and the deep ocean, from which methane was leaking. Now, having made a special specific study led by Mississippi State University, we know that there are now at least 570 places under the sea from which methane is leaking.

It is dissolving into the sea, oxidising into carbon dioxide, making the sea more acidic, but there is no evidence that it is seeping into the air.

The methane is leaking from icy sludge, methane hydrate, hundreds of metres under the sea. The bad news is that if methane hydrate is warming sufficiently to release methane hundreds of  meters under the sea it bodes badly for the methane hydrate deposits which are not under water and is bad tidings for humanity.

4 Responses

  1. I think you might want to study in some detail how a freezer actually works Rob, it requires heat or a conversion of one type of energy, usually heat, and converts it into another form of energy, IE cold is the end result.

    But there is more, that many of the ancient scientist also knew, like Ptolemy for instance, and the best of the old Greeks like yourself.

    At present the summer ecliptic is sitting at ascension on 21 June @ 23.4 degrees, and is declining at the vernal equinox, the 21 March, at a rate of around 1-1.6 minute in every hundred years.

    And in around 140,000, one hundred and forty thousand years the ecliptic will be at equilibrium with our equator, giving the whole planet an equal length of day and night all year round, this is when we get our ice ages and the populous has to move towards the middle of the planet in order to survive.

    It has happened many times before, and is controlled by the march of the precession of the earths axis across the heavens.

    Simply find all the species that lived in fossil form today right across the planet, like corals and other animals and you can map the line of the ecliptic quite accurately.

    But don’t take my word for it, do your own research, and stop worrying about gasses, which we could never do anything about anyway.

    • Your view may be 100% true but is perfectly consistent with greenhouse gases making relevative short term climatic changes (over periods of decades and a few hundred years).

  2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2738653/Stunning-satellite-images-summer-ice-cap-thicker-covers-1-7million-square-kilometres-MORE-2-years-ago-despite-Al-Gore-s-prediction-ICE-FREE-now.html

    • Yes and the Antarctic is melting so that the ice melt has raised sea level by 2 mm.

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