methane plumes

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Old Rocks, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    It's been predicted for years, and now it's happening. Deep in the Arctic Ocean, water warmed by climate change is forcing the release of methane from beneath the sea floor.

    Over 250 plumes of gas have been discovered bubbling up from the sea floor to the west of the Svalbard archipelago, which lies north of Norway. The bubbles are mostly methane, which is a greenhouse gas much more powerful than carbon dioxide.

    The methane is probably coming from reserves of methane hydrate beneath the sea bed. These hydrates, also known as clathrates, are water ice with methane molecules embedded in them.

    The methane plumes were discovered by an expedition aboard the research ship James Clark Ross, led by Graham Westbrook of the University of Birmingham and Tim Minshull of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, both in the UK.

    Warm gas
    The region where the team found the plumes is being warmed by the West Spitsbergen current, which has warmed by 1 °C over the past 30 years

    As Arctic Ocean warms, megatonnes of methane bubble up - environment - 17 August 2009 - New Scientist
     
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  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Uh oh!

    Really nothing else comes to mind to say about this.

    If the methane deposits in the seafloor start releasing the massive amount of the stuff tht's been trapped there for eons, then the victious cyle of greenhouse heating is going to speed up dramatically.

    And ya know, it's not the change that kills ya, it's the rapid change that you cannot repond to in time that we've got to worry about.
     
  3. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    Holy Crap

    I had viewed a few programs on the History Channel, National Geographic Chanel, and the Discovery Channel on the consequences if this did start to happen and guess what....there is no going back once that starts for at least another 10,000 years....we could be heading for an ice age....this will melt the northern ice and the conveyor belt warmth of the gulfstream for us in the northeast and britain, could go by the wayside.... :(

    Unless of course, along with this comes the Polar shift that some scientists see happening and Maine could turn out like the Bahamas, who knows? :D (wishful thinking)

    We should be capturing the methane from these holes and use it for energy instead of letting it be released in to our atmosphere!

    Honestly, this is pretty dim news...any kind of action on our part as humans to slow this down is too late, if it has already begun....i;m afraid to say....
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  4. JBeukema
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    JBeukema BANNED

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    For some treason I thought this thread's title was 'methamphetamine plumes'... :eek:
     
  5. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    "water warmed by climate change is forcing the release of methane from beneath the sea floor."

    I LOL'ed out loud at that. That's pretty funny.

    We should have been drilling for the past 15 years and this would not be happening.

    Good thing you Libruls saved the planet

    LOL:lol:
    :lol::lol:.:lol:
    :lol::lol:
    :lol::lol::lol::lol:
     
  6. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Crusader Frank;

    water warmed by climate change is forcing the release of methane from beneath the sea floor."

    I LOL'ed out loud at that. That's pretty funny.

    Redundent. However, a major methane outgassing will be anything but funny.

    We should have been drilling for the past 15 years and this would not be happening.

    Well, if you have the technology to drill and recover methane from the clathrates, you damned well better be quick about patenting it. There is a little point here that you might want to consider. Should you destabalize a clathrate on a slope, you not only get a major methane 'burp', but also one hell of a tsunami.

    Good thing you Libruls saved the planet

    Given your mental abilities, I would not expect you to understand what the dangers are concerning clathrate outgassing.
     
  7. JohnStOnge
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    JohnStOnge Member

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    Take a look at this quote from the article:

    "Almost none of the Arctic has been surveyed in a way that might detect a gas release like this."

    If that is the case, how does anybody know that what's being observed is unusual? How do they know it hasn't been happening routinely for a very long time?
     
  8. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Only a few parts of the Arctic Ocean have been observed for any length of time. However, the areas that have are showing some very disturbing developments;

    SOS Global Warming - Melting Arctic Ocean Raises Threat of ‘Methane Time Bomb’

    Scientists have long believed that thawing permafrost in Arctic soils could release huge amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Now they are watching with increasing concern as methane begins to bubble up from the bottom of the fast-melting Arctic Ocean.
    by susan q. stranahan

    30 Oct 2008: Report

    For the past 15 years, scientists from Russia and other nations have ventured into the ice-bound and little-studied Arctic Ocean above Siberia to monitor the temperature and chemistry of the sea, including levels of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Their scientific cruises on the shallow continental shelf occurred as sea ice in the Arctic Ocean was rapidly melting and as northern Siberia was earning the distinction — along with the North American Arctic and the western Antarctic Peninsula —of warming faster than any place on Earth.

    Until 2003, concentrations of methane had remained relatively stable in the Arctic Ocean and the atmosphere north of Siberia. But then they began to rise. This summer, scientists taking part in the six-week International Siberian Shelf Study discovered numerous areas, spread over thousands of square miles, where large quantities of methane — a gas with 20-times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide — rose from the once-frozen seabed floor.

    These “methane chimneys” sometimes contained concentrations of the gas 100 times higher than background levels and were so large that clouds of gas bubbles were detected "rising up through the water column," Orjan Gustafsson of the Department of Applied Environmental Science at Stockholm University and the co-leader of the expedition, said in an interview. There was no doubt, he said, that the methane was coming from sub-sea permafrost, indicating that the sea bottom might be melting and freeing up this potent greenhouse gas.
     
  9. elvis
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    elvis BANNED Supporting Member

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    by limited mental abilities, you mean refusing to swallow Al Gore's semen.
     
  10. elvis
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    elvis BANNED Supporting Member

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    I don't think a carpenter is qualified to talk about clathrate outgassing either.
     

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