Thursday, November 15, 2012

Arctic methane: Why the sea ice matters



Arctic methane: Why the sea ice matters 
a new film by Envisionation.co.uk
Interviews with:
James Hansen - NASA
Natalia Shakhova - IARC
Peter Wadhams - Cambridge University, UK
David Wasdell - Apollo-Gaia Project



Arctic Methane: Why The Sea Ice Matters

James Hansen: If it begins to allow the Arctic Ocean to warm up and warm the ocean floor, then we'll begin to release methane [from] hydrates, and if we let that happen, that's a potential tipping points that we don't want to pass. There are now observations that methane is beginning to be released by both melting tundra on the land and bubbling up in the Arctic Ocean, indicating some warming of the Arctic Ocean.

Natalia Shakhova: The total amount of methane in the current atmosphere is about 5 Gt. The amount of carbon preserved in the form of methane in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is ~ from hundreds to thousands Gt. What divides this methane from the atmosphere is a very shallow water column and a weakening permafrost, which is losing its ability to serve as a seal. This area is very seismically and tectonically active and there was some investigation that the tectonic activity is increasing.

Peter Wadhams: At the rate we're going, it will bring us to an ice-free Arctic in about four years time. [The Arctic Ocean] now warms up to about 5 degrees [5oC or 41oF, i.e.] enough to start warming up the seabed. The seabed at the moment is frozen, but it's now starting to melt. That's allowing a lot of methane which is trapped under the permafrost to be released. That's a large boost to global warming, because methane is an extremely powerful climatically-active gas. 

David Wasdell: The warm water from the surface is now being mixed down to those areas that it never reached when the whole area was covered in sea ice. As soon as the area is open water, you have a process of heating that goes right down to those clathrate deposits on the seabed. The more the methane is released into the atmosphere, the faster the heating goes. It's probably the greatest threat we face, as a planet. We're already in a mass extinction event.

2 comments:

  1. The solution is to manage somehow to get ahead of the thing enough to have room to work or maneuver and to have margin for error so the experiment can realistically succeed.. The natural tendency of humans by a long shot is not to come together like that though or anything close. But we have to and it could be great fun and give purpose like nothing else could to try and to do so with great heart together..
    This is a call to action for all peoples of the world, and a situation that fully warrants change on the order of something that the late date of starting and the handicap or compounding complications like weapons proliferation and simmering war that have built up would seemingly preclude -But on the other hand what a great opportunity to change, to actually use the threat upon us as fuel to unite the world in common purpose and to zoom up chances for hope..
    I imagine getting a jump on the situation in order to bring things under control involves, in fact I know it involves framing of an open system to mimic Nature in it's ability to heal. To create by warranted dangerous alteration to monetary valuation, with sudden application while maintaining peace at the same time to expressly link value of Earth alive to money's worth. Sudden application to hold can of world worm of money bags and sly dealings at bay.. And to do so by leaving not one person stranded or without means of hope,, absolutely and as bravely as we can.. The project success depends on getting ahead of the game and doing so quick.
    As quickly as possible in a similar way as Einstein described the difference between making a thing simple versus simple as possible.

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    Replies
    1. Concentrating power on key items instead of story telling of Perky the fish and of things like having fun making electric bikes or something..
      Can't rightly say what I'm thinking at the moment up to now but I know that disjointed thought goes like no where if like a windmill jouster I were to set off.. So there has to be room made for those who are not allowed to go crazy and do as they wish.. There has to be room made to control those who I know also are out there who would destroy all cruelly.
      This is like a yikes moment that I don't think I can justify publishing..
      But I made a promise to protect to a stream with clear little fish in forest..

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