July 13, 2014 at 10:27 am #14019
The Mystery of Earth’s Oxygen
To Donald E. Canfield, there’s something astonishing in every breath we take. “People take oxygen for granted because it’s just there and we breathe it all the time,” said Dr. Canfield, a geochemist at the University of Southern Denmark. “But we have the only planet we know of anywhere that has oxygen on it.”July 15, 2014 at 7:56 pm #14072
The cause of the hole’s sudden appearance in Yamal – which translates as ‘the end of the world’ – in the far north of Siberia is not yet known.
There has been web speculation about the crater indicating ‘the arrival of a UFO craft’.
But one Russian expert says the cause is more likely to be global warming releasing gases under the surface, which then explode like a champagne cork.
Experts say that the darkening around the inner rim of the crater indicates ‘severe burning’ which scorched its edges.July 23, 2014 at 8:53 pm #14152
WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 2014July 29, 2014 at 8:01 pm #14201
Is the climate dragon awakening?July 30, 2014 at 5:05 pm #14210July 31, 2014 at 1:37 pm #14220
Methane hydrates in South AtlanticAugust 3, 2014 at 2:29 pm #14271August 4, 2014 at 4:35 am #14277
Permafrost Fires Advancing Toward Arctic Ocean ShoresAugust 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm #14301August 8, 2014 at 7:53 am #14324
SWERUS-C3: First observations of methane release from Arctic Ocean hydratesAugust 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm #14420
Horrific Methane Eruptions in East Siberian SeaAugust 16, 2014 at 5:29 pm #14459August 18, 2014 at 11:24 pm #14515
NTE, methane geysirs, WW3, whatnot is just so yesterday. The new, hip scare:
BARDARBUNGA!August 19, 2014 at 9:41 am #14529August 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm #14594
For the first time, scientists are now able to measure how much surface and groundwater is lost during droughts by measuring how much the land rises as it dries. Those are the conclusions of the new study published Aug. 21 in the journal Science by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the the University of California-San Diego.
The drought that is devastating California and much of the West has dried the region so much that 240 gigatons worth of surface and groundwater have been lost, roughly the equivalent to a 3.9-inch layer of water over the entire West, or the annual loss of mass from the Greenland Ice Sheet, according to the study.August 25, 2014 at 9:04 am #14639September 22, 2014 at 2:41 am #14933
To Fear Peak Oil, Or to Pursue it? That is the Essential Limits to Growth QuestionSeptember 22, 2014 at 11:51 am #14935
The movement of tectonic plates that created the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps also sparked the drying of the Sahara some 7 million years ago, according to the latest computer simulations of Earth’s ancient climate.
Though North Africa is currently covered by the world’s largest non-polar desert, climate conditions in the region have not been constant there for the last several million years. Subtle changes in Earth’s tilt toward the sun periodically increase the amount of solar energy received by the Northern Hemisphere in summer, altering atmospheric currents and driving monsoon rains. North Africa also sees more precipitation when less of the planet’s water is locked up in ice. Such increases in moisture limit how far the Sahara can spread and can even spark times of a “green Sahara”, when the sparse desert is replaced by abundant lakes, plants and animals.
Before the great desert was born, North Africa had a moister, semiarid climate. A few lines of evidence, including ancient dune deposits found in Chad, had hinted that the arid Sahara may have existed at least 7 million years ago. But without a mechanism to explain how it emerged, few scientists thought that the desert we see today could really be that old. Instead, most scientists argue that the Sahara took shape just 2 to 3 million years ago. Terrestrial and marine evidence suggest that North Africa underwent a period of drying at that time, when the Northern Hemisphere started its most recent cycle of glaciation.September 28, 2014 at 6:29 pm #14976
Dr Peter Ward 2013 Lectures on Global Warming & Mass ExtinctionsSeptember 28, 2014 at 6:33 pm #14977
OK, pie chart #1-
Methane is being released at a constant or increasing rate. Methane lost to oxidation will be more than made up for by new methane, released over that 30 year period. The pie chart is misleading, because it tells us only what we already knew – that methane lifetime is less than CO2 lifetime. The pie chart says nothing about the relative contributions of methane caused warming to CO2 caused warming 30 years from now, because it neglects methane released during that interval.
Pie chart #2-
This chart also tells us something we already knew. Current contributions from Arctic methane hydrates are small. It’s the huge size of the enormous hydrate reservoir combined with its potential for spontaneous dissociation under continued global heating that concerns many of us. So, it’s future emissions from the hydrates that concern many of us, not the current emissions.
Pie chart #3-
This pie chart is misleading because it draws a false equivalence between CO2 and methane – methane has a much greater short term greenhouse potency, added to its long term greenhouse impact after it is oxidized into CO2. Draw the same chart with reasonable assumptions for methane GWP, in terms of total cumulative radiative forcing, and the methane hydrate and Arctic permafrost methane slices could take up 95 percent of the pie.
This chart also neglects the different volatility of the carbon in the different reservoirs. It’s not likely that a worldwide coal fire will release all of the carbon in coal without human intervention, for example. But the Arctic methane hydrates could spontaneously dissociate under the impact of global heating without direct human intervention. The Arctic is warming the fastest of all regions on the earth, so the impact of the Arctic hydrates could be the greatest. Also, the size of the methane hydrate reservoir is not well known, and it could in fact be several times as large as is shown.
Draw the chart in terms of total cumulative radiative forcing, and take into account worst case scenarios about the global methane hydrate inventory, and the methane hydrate total cumulative radiative forcing could take up as much as 99% of the area of the pie.September 30, 2014 at 11:06 am #14990
“If all the models agree with the observations, uncertainty is probably pretty low. If they wildly disagree, uncertainty is pretty high,” Fisher said. “The models were all over the board.”
Fisher stressed that all of these models “are perfectly valid representations of what’s going on in the Arctic.” Without more real-world measurements, it’s not possible to be sure which comes closest to reality.
Scientists urgently want to understand the state of Arctic carbon because there are huge stores of carbon from dead vegetation locked in permafrost — and permafrost is turning out not to be as permanently frozen as its name implies. With the Arctic warming much faster than the rest of the planet, permafrost is thawing. Those carbon stores could be released into the atmosphere either slowly or in a giant burst, further accelerating the pace of climate change.
“We’re opening Pandora’s box by warming the permafrost,” Fisher said. “In the Amazon, if you cut down a tree and release carbon to the atmosphere, you can plant another tree that will reabsorb that lost carbon. In the Arctic, the carbon stored in permafrost represents millennia of accumulated dead vegetation. If you lose that carbon to the atmosphere, you can’t get it back that easily.”September 30, 2014 at 11:14 am #14992
When it Comes to The Arctic Methane Monster, What We Don’t Know Really Could Kill Us — NASA Model Study Shows Very High Carbon Release UncertaintyOctober 1, 2014 at 11:13 pm #15024
29 Sep 2014 at 10:22 PM
email reply from Prof Peter Ward, working in the field at a fossil dig site.
Quote: “Staring at the five methane pies not getting it.”October 28, 2014 at 4:43 pm #15105November 25, 2014 at 3:16 am #15203November 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm #15219December 6, 2014 at 2:36 am #15254
It is known that carbon dioxide emissions cause the Earth to warm, but no previous study has focused on examining how long it takes to reach maximum warming following a particular CO2 emission. Using conjoined results of carbon-cycle and physical-climate model intercomparison projects (Taylor et al 2012, Joos et al 2013), we find the median time between an emission and maximum warming is 10.1 years, with a 90% probability range of 6.6–30.7 years. We evaluate uncertainties in timing and amount of warming, partitioning them into three contributing factors: carbon cycle, climate sensitivity and ocean thermal inertia. If uncertainty in any one factor is reduced to zero without reducing uncertainty in the other factors, the majority of overall uncertainty remains. Thus, narrowing uncertainty in century-scale warming depends on narrowing uncertainty in all contributing factors. Our results indicate that benefit from avoided climate damage from avoided CO2 emissions will be manifested within the lifetimes of people who acted to avoid that emission. While such avoidance could be expected to benefit future generations, there is potential for emissions avoidance to provide substantial benefit to current generations.December 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm #15302December 22, 2014 at 10:20 pm #15346
Methane is leaking from permafrost offshore SiberiaDecember 29, 2014 at 7:44 am #15368
The rate at which carbon emissions warmed Earth’s climate almost 56 million years ago resembles modern, human-caused global warming much more than previously believed, but involved two pulses of carbon to the atmosphere, University of Utah researchers and their colleagues found.
The findings mean the so-called Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM, can provide clues to the future of modern climate change. The good news: Earth and most species survived. The bad news: It took millennia to recover from the episode, when temperatures rose by 5 to 8 degrees Celsius (9 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit).
“There is a positive note in that the world persisted, it did not go down in flames, it has a way of self-correcting and righting itself,” says University of Utah geochemist Gabe Bowen, lead author of the study published today in the journal Nature Geoscience. “However, in this event it took almost 200,000 years before things got back to normal.”
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