Arctic Ocean gives up more methane than scientists predicted

Here’s another point of science that will give rational people concern, and which cannot in any way be explained as “no problem” by stolen e-mails:  Methane releases from the floor of the East Siberian Arctic are much larger than predicted.

Methane hydrates releasing methane gas in bubbles in the ocean - i.treehugger image

Underwater methane gas plumes, Photo: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013

Methane is a more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.  Frozen forms of methane dot the bottoms of our oceans.  Warming of the oceans might be able to trigger an explosive thawing of the methane hydrates, as the frozen forms are known, seriously adding to our worldwide greenhouse gas problems.

Story here at Global ChangeScience article on which that post is based, here.

Cool SONAR pictures of methane bubbling up from the floor of the Arctic Ocean, but scary once you realize what they are, at this vintage post at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub.

Is there any chance this research will merit a mention at the climate denialist blogs?

11 Responses to Arctic Ocean gives up more methane than scientists predicted

  1. […] the issue of carbon pollution. Maybe a blog named for a political hoax should take an interest in hot air. The post in question deals with one of the “tipping points” in the downhill slide the […]


  2. mark says:

    But if we’re lucky, sea level will rise quickly enough for the increased hydrostatic pressure to counter release by warming weather.


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Thanks for the tip, John. Which reminds me — I need to post at least some pointers to your study of the political tentacles involved in climate change denial.

    So much hoax, so little time to expose it.


  4. John Mashey says:

    See Catalog of Reasons and how they fit with Organizations and Individuals.

    From my study of the APS2009 petition, it would appear that politics and ideology are among the motivators, but look at the catalog and see what fits.
    I conjecture that most people who do climate anti-science aren’t paid for it, and they are located towards the bottom of thischart.

    Those getting paid tend to be in middle, those paying at the top.


  5. Ed Darrell says:

    The mystery, Beem, is what motivates those denialists who are not paid. There are thousands of them. Christopher Monckton makes good money at it, and with his advertising revenue, I suspect Anthony Watts pulls in a few coins. Joanne Nova works to make denialism a career in speaking an other presentations.

    A handful of scientists think their data negates everything else, a sort of delusion of grandeur if they are in error (we see much the same in evolution denialism). An influential handful of scientists do it for political purposes.

    What’s up with people like “Jeff Id?” What’s up with a nominally reputable newspaper like The Australian, which, in journalistic terms and tradition, has a duty to get the facts for its readers?

    Meanwhile, the methane bubbles keep rising.


  6. Beem says:

    Denialists will say whatever they are paid to say, I expect outbreaks of denialism and denialist blogs aimed at any research that threatens any industry.


  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Offhand I can’t think of any discussion from scientists which ignores natural contributions. In this case, it’s a major problem. Warming of the oceans releases methane. So human pollution that helps warm oceans is a cause of these methane releases, and there is a chance of runaway feedback.


  8. bloggerandy says:

    This is yet another example of facts left out of the picture when they talk about how much people pollute the environment. I’m not saying that we might not be helping it out, but there are a lot of things on this planet that naturally release methane and CO2. Now if we could start harnessing more of these methane-producing natural phenomena, not only could be generate a little more renewable energy, but we’d be helping out the planet a little too.


  9. Ed Darrell says:

    As I noted, it will give rational people concern.


  10. Zach says:

    Hurry! Run for the hills.. LOL

    Sorry, I just ain’t buying this anymore!


  11. As the oceans warm this is going to happen more and cause the polar ice caps to melt adding millions of gallons of fresh water into our oceans changing the salinity levels therefore changing the density of the Sea. When this happens the “ocean conveyor belt” shuts down and plunges earth into another ice age.
    Welcome to your future!


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