Thursday, January 24, 2013

High methane levels persist in January 2013

Below a combination of images produced by Dr. Leonid Yurganov, comparing methane levels between January 1-10, 2012 (below left), and January 1-10, 2013 (below right).

The 2013 image shows worryingly high levels of methane between Norway and Svalbard, an area where hydrate destabilization is known to have occurred over the past few years. Even more worrying is the combination of images below. Methane levels came down January 11-20, 2012, but for the same period in 2013, they have risen. 

On January 21, 2013, as shown on the image below, methane levels of up to 2234 ppb were recorded at 892 mb. Further examination indicated that this was caused by large releases of methane above North-Africa, apparently associated with the terrorist attack on the natural gas plant in Algeria.  An image without data is added underneath, to better distinguish locations on the map. 

It didn't take long for even higher methane levels to be reached above the Arctic. The NOAA image below shows methane levels of up to 2241 ppb above the Arctic at 742 mb on January 23, 2013. 

Below a NOAA image with temperature anomalies for January 7, 2013, when a huge area of the Arctic experienced anomalies of over 20 degrees Celsius, including a large area close to Svalbard. 

Temperatures change daily, as the wind changes direction and as sea currents keep the water moving around the Arctic Ocean. For an area close to Svalbard, the recent 30-day temperature anomalies is over 20 degrees Celsius, as shown on the NOAA image below, and this indicates persistently high temperature anomalies for that area. 

Below, a NOAA image showing sea surface temperature anomalies up to 5 degrees Celsius close to Svalbard.


High methane levels persist in December 2012
- Methane contributes to accelerated warming in the Arctic


  1. From the looks of it a huge Methane release occurred around new year and a ton of CH4 released on edge of continental shelve and then sustained release over the whole of Barents shelf which is not ice covered. Measurement by sounding satellite indicates methane quickly rose upward in atmosphere once breaking out of the the Sea from massive release on sea floor.. Surface temperature anomaly of 20C over a huge lateral spread measured on January 7th indicates effect of CH4 trapping heat downward and the type of smooth flow expected of winds by gas which reached the stratosphere where it Proceeds to form a heat trapping lid likely to cook Earth on the whole..
    Mankind; we better not be blowing up Algerian gas installations in the desert and ignoring the tell tale story of the ever louder spoken beginnings of the year by year CH4 increase and heat because runaway is something I think the Devil himself wouldn't wish on us.

  2. Damn! I've been watching those NOAA temp anomalies charts for a few years, and although theres been week long arctic 20degC anoms before, thats the first month long one I've seen.
    Ditto the SSTs, never been so high for so late in the winter, and for so far around the top of europe.
    The methane concs downwind of Svalbard are very scary, particularly the suddeness of the rise thru january. Guess its what you'd expect after 8mths of warm water over the seabed there.
    Sam there's mobilisation strategies I need to discuss with you. Is your google profile email a good one to use? sent you a message earlier on it, if theres a better one please send it to me.

    1. Google profile or Facebook is fine, Aaron, I just saw your message.

  3. Sam, have you seen:
    Large methane releases lead to strong
    aerosol forcing and reduced cloudiness
    T. Kurt ´en1,2, L. Zhou1, R. Makkonen1, J. Merikanto1, P. R¨ais¨anen3, M. Boy1,
    N. Richards4, A. Rap4, S. Smolander1, A. Sogachev5, A. Guenther6, G. W. Mann4,
    K. Carslaw4, and M. Kulmala1

    "Our modeling suggests that in a scenario where methane concentrations increase
    by a factor of 10, the total aerosol-related radiative forcing may be around 80% of the
    direct CH4 forcing."

    methane reduces cloud formation and cloud brightness and increases water vapour greenhouse.

    You gonna have to multiply all your predictions by 1.8.