Russia May Make A Huge Methane Release From Its Bottom Regions

Russia’s vast permafrost may shrink by a third by the middle of the century due to global warming, the government’s disaster monitoring department said Friday.

The report also described the risk of a massive gas release. Permafrost traps methane and the thawing soil would release methane into the atmosphere. The release has no reported serious health effects, though it is an asphyxiant at high levels. The gas does however pose combustion risks.

http://www.businessinsider.com/russian-permafrost-melting-2011-07

Yea, I had a fraternity brother who used to do that.

 

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30 Responses to Russia May Make A Huge Methane Release From Its Bottom Regions

  1. A K Haart says:

    They’ll have to make the no-smoking rules pretty rigorous. They’ll be wide open to attack from people with swords and spears too, because firearms will obviously be a no-no.

  2. mkelly says:

    An innovation: Place large upside down funnels with small pumps attached to them and to pipelines or acculmulation vessels over areas of the tundra where the methane will release and get a fuel. Should not let things go to waste.

  3. Ill wind blowing says:

    • glacierman says:

      Wow, thats really cool. Fuel in a survival situation would really come in handy.

      Neat to see that methane is building up under a frozen lake. What is the temperature under that ice? Proof that it is not caused by warming of the atmosphere.

  4. Ill wind blowing says:

  5. Grumpy Grampy ;) says:

    Just part of the natural biological cycle that is happening all over the world. it is part of the digestive and decomposition process!

    • glacierman says:

      No, it’s caused by CO2 and will force the world over a tipping point. Then it will be worse then we thought and we will make Venus look like Siberia in winter.

      • Grumpy Grampy ;) says:

        The tipping point passed about four hours ago at my location and the earth is growing colder as the sun sets. if this rate continues I will have ice on my pond and frozen water lines tomorrow because the temperature is currently dropping at 5 degrees per hour. I have less than 12 hours left before freezing starts!!

    • Ill wind blowing says:

      Grumpy Grampy; could I call you Grump for short? 🙂

      At least you said something meaningful but there’s some missing facts.

      Normal decomposition anywhere but Siberia is quick and releases CO2 which is quickly absorbed by vegetation. A simple cycle with no accumulation of CO2 in the long term. This makes for a minimal amount of CO2 in the atmosphere at any one time.

      In Siberia the situation is different; leading to an accumulation of a huge amount of Carbon buried in the soil with virtually no decomposition. This allows for a massive accumulation of plant matter. So long as the permafrost stays frozen everything is fine with this accumulation.

      If the permafrost were to melt, then the accumulated plant matter will start decomposing. If its decomposition were to merely release CO2 we would be screwed because the massive accumulation of such plant matter would release a large amount of greenhouse gases.

      However, most of the greenhouse gas released will be methane. This is because when plant material decomposes underwater a different kind of microbe called methanogens are involved. Methane is even worse than CO2 as a green house gas.

      Such an accumulation of plant material, throughout the millenniums, is comparable to a person accumulating explosives in his garage; one ounce at a time, every single day. The explosive is safe until it reaches 120 degrees but the highest temperature in that location has gone no higher than 90 degrees. After twenty years of accumulating explosives there is a freak heat wave which pushes the temperature up to 120 degrees. Several hundred pounds of explosives blow up.

      • If Methane increased 10X it would have almost no effect on temperature. Methane concentration in the atmosphere is tiny.

      • Ill wind blowing says:

        “If Methane increased 10X it would have almost no effect on temperature. Methane concentration in the atmosphere is tiny.”

        Where is the quanfication? Where are the equations?

        The “teensy weensy amount” argument is totally irrelevant that it is not the percentage of the gas in the atmosphere that count but the ability it has to absorb heat.

        Here is where your logic leads to:

        1 ounce of alcohol is a small amount therefore, 10 ounces of alcohol should not have a major impact.

      • Normal decomposition anywhere but Siberia is quick and releases CO2 which is quickly absorbed by vegetation.

        Really? You actually have some kind of research to back up your assertion that Siberian decomposition is universally unique? Can you string together more than two sentences without resorting to childish, unscientific distortions and outright lies?

      • DirkH says:

        Ill wind blowing says:
        August 1, 2011 at 11:21 pm
        “Normal decomposition anywhere but Siberia is quick and releases CO2 which is quickly absorbed by vegetation.”

        I must refer you to the IPCC AR4 – the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is 1,000 years at least; as consensus climate science has proven. You are a denialist.

  6. Ill wind blowing says:

    Paul H; you respond to the situation that I posed with another issue that is irrelevant and distorted.

    • IWB, you respond to Paul H’s question with insipid, impotent name calling. Perhaps you shouldn’t be such a diminutive pillock.

      • Ill wind blowing says:

        “IWB, you respond to Paul H’s question with insipid, impotent name calling.”

        Stark Dickflussig, where on this thread, have I responded to Paul H “with insipid, impotent name calling.”?

      • IWB, where on this thread has Paul H responded with something “irrelevant and distorted”?

        Or are you the only one allowed to say untrue things?

    • gator69 says:

      “We have to get rid of the Mediæval Warm Period”

      Or ignore it.

      • Ill wind blowing says:

        Gator; your statement is a red herring.

      • J Calvert N says:

        Gator69: I think your question could be relevant. How much of the Russian permafrost melted during the MWP? And how much methane was sequestered there between then and now? That stuff is not the same as fossil fuels being re-released after 100 millions of years. It’s more like part of the natural cycle.

      • Precisely. If the Midæval Warm Period was warmer than the as yet 0% accurate models predict for the coming century (which everyone besides James Hansen & Michael Mann would most certainly accept as true), then the supposed dreadful doom awaiting us is probably a pipe-dream of a few crackpots with hyperactive imaginations.

  7. Unfortunately, someone here (who has a rather pathetic history of quite literally confusing fact & fiction) seems to think that John Barnes is something other than a science fiction author. I suppose we’ll get to hear next how a massive methane release in Siberia will inevitably lead to supersonic wind speeds within hurricanes.

    The stage is yours, IWB. 🙂

  8. Ill wind blowing says:

    J Calvert:

    “How much of the Russian permafrost melted during the MWP? And how much methane was sequestered there between then and now?”

    Don’t you think that your question can be answered through ice core analysis?

    Furthermore, how many gigatons of sequestered carbon are in the present permafrost with what potential effect? That’s a much more relevant question.

    • Grumpy Grampy ;) says:

      It does not matter how much Carbon is in the permafrost because this situation has come up many times in the past 30 some million years since the current Ice Age started with year round ice cover on Antarctica. If the CO2 is released into the biosphere it will be used and become part of the carbon cycle. Releasing CARBON in the form of CARBON has no effect. Charcoal briquettes are carbon and carbon is used as a filter to filter impurities out of water. The substance in your body that has the second highest concentration is Carbon, 18% by mass! Get your story straight. Plants remove the Carbon from CO2 and return Oxygen to the atmosphere and they use Carbon to build Carbohydrates and their cellular structure. The sugar you put in your coffee is: C6H12O6 6 Carbon atoms. Should we be concerned if sugar is released into the atmosphere because it contains Carbon!

      • Ill wind blowing says:

        “If the CO2 is released into the biosphere it will be used and become part of the carbon cycle. Releasing CARBON in the form of CARBON has no effect.”

        I do not need to be told how much Carbon permeates our biosphere. You need to be told that you have not quantified anything, specifically the amount of Carbon in the biosphere versus the mount buried in the tundra.

        How can you assume that all the CO2 can be magically absorbed within the short period of time in which it will be released?

        The amount of Carbon stored in the permafrost is double that in our atmosphere. It is impossible for the biosphere to absorb that much Carbon (dioxide) in . If it were, then why has the increase of 100 ppm of CO2 since 1960 not been absorbed?

        If we have 100 ppm more of CO2 now than we had just 50 years ago, without absorption into our biosphere, why do you assume that we can take 800 ppm more of CO2 let alone CH4, in a century’s worth of time?

        It did not happen in the PETN when CO2 rose to 1,000 ppm within a 20,000 year period, and it sure will not happen when it rises past 1,000 ppm within a 100 years.

        We’ll be toast if such a large reserve were to be released as CO2. We’ll be fried if only half of that were to turn into the much more powerful Methane.

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080903134309.ht

  9. Ill wind blowing says:

    ““IWB, you respond to Paul H’s question with insipid, impotent name calling.””

    “Stark Dickflussig, where on this thread, have I responded to Paul H “with insipid, impotent name calling.”?”

    “Irrelevant and distorted” is not name calling. Why do you assume that a judgment as to the relevancy of a statement is an attack on the person? It’s an attack on the argument, not the person.

    He simply did not respond to those videos.

    • Grumpy Grampy ;) says:

      That would be the same as responding to one of the music videos I post which add no value to the discussion.
      I saw what you posted and my response would have been: BFD or SOOOO WHAT!

  10. Ill wind blowing says:

    Dirk H:

    “I must refer you to the IPCC AR4 – the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is 1,000 years at least; as consensus climate science has proven. You are a denialist.”

    Residence time is not relevant when you’re talking about a continuous cycle. I was juxtaposing that steady cycle, in which there is no accumulation of stored carbon, to a release of gases from massive stores of CH4 and CO2. This “carbon sink” which have been accumulating for thousands of year.

    That is what I illustrated with the analogy about small amounts of explosives accumulating over a long period of time.

  11. gator69 says:

    “Gator; your statement is a red herring.”

    BS. I am not trying to divert attention from the issue at hand. Pay attention. The claim is that modern warming will release methane and that it could be hazardous. I contend we have seen this before and it was not. Please do keep up.

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