|[ Earthquake indicated by orange dot - click on image to enlarge ]|
For a long time, huge sea surface temperature anomalies have shown up in the area where the earthquake hit. The image below compares the situation before and after the earthquake hit.
|[ click on image to enlarge ]|
These huge sea surface temperature anomalies were discussed before, in the September 19, 2013, post Is the North Pole now ice-free?
This post mentions that sea surface temperatures in some spots close to Svalbard are far higher than even in the waters closer to the Atlantic Ocean. In some of these spots, sea surface temperatures are well over 10°C (50°F).
The post continues: Where does this heat come from? These hot spots could be caused by undersea volcanic activity; this is the more dangerous as this area has seen methane bubbling up from destabilized hydrates before; the dangers of this situation have been discussed repeatedly, e.g. in the April 2011 post Runaway Global Warming.
Indeed, the big danger is large abrupt release of methane from destabilized hydrates. At the moment, the amount of methane entering the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean is already huge, as illustrated by the image below that shows high methane readings over the past few days.
|[ click on image to enlarge ]|
We'll keep monitoring the situation.
Not looking good Sam , What's a good site to have a look at the seismic activity in the artic region be interesting to see how long the tremors go on for. Keep up the good work. stuartReplyDelete
Sam, the next step is to use the past methane emissions to project the future emissions. This could be done very easily using basic exponential functions in a matlab type of program. With the starting point of your current arctic maps, an emission estimate can be made for the last few years, then using the IPCC approximate heating curves for the arctic, and a methane driven positive feedback factor, a family of curves can be generated using the matlab program. The "correct" feedback curve can be guessed by figuring the amount of warming potential from the given methane level, and a winter dilution factor. This "correct" curve will tell us when the drop dead date is, instead of the the simplistic 2047 date given in the September issue of Nature magazine. Anyone care to get going on this?ReplyDelete
Thanks for all your hard work.ReplyDelete
I am reading all this stuff.
Many thanks must go to Arctic News generally for all the work done so far.
I have been dropping the Arctic News link into papers comments sections ,in the hope that it will spread debate,maybe even more.
Maybe there's a way to neutralise the methane, it seems like that'd be the only practical option left once the arctic ice goes away. Maybe engineer bacteria that metabolise methane?ReplyDelete
Some methods to enhance decomposition of methane have been suggested, such as decomposition in the water, described at Oxygenating the Arctic, and Decomposing atmospheric methane. Sadly, testing of such methods currently receive little or no funding. Further action will also help, as described at the Climate Plan blog.Delete
I agree about funding; I was asked to participate in a GA to engineer bacteria that would metabolise methane somehow (some reverse engineering of methanogens). That didn't go anywhere but I'd be open to it (see http://compbio.washington.edu for contact info). It has other implications beyond global warming.ReplyDelete
Anyways, I found the rest of your blog quite interesting. It's the first time I have seen it. I was looking for direct evidence of climate change on the effect of typhoon hainan and I found a nice image correlating the water temperatures in the ocean at 100m depth and the path of the typhoon. I'm looking forward (in a curios manner) to the day the arctic ice completely disappears and the methane release ends up being more aggressive than it has been. I see this as being inevitable --- humanity doesn't seem to have it takes to be proactive and instead will always be reactive.
Thanks for the link, Ram. I think responding to climate change now, after decades of evidence, shouldn't be seen as proactive, but as responsible and justified.Delete
Such bacteria (methanotrophs) already exist. One could use synthetic biology to make the process more efficient. It would be just one step among many that could be taken, but it's something we have resources to do. The comprehensive image to deal with methane is, well, very comprehensive. Again, I think people wouldn't fund it unless they realised the emergency for what it is.ReplyDelete
Yes, the key is to show how dire the situation is. That's what this blog is doing. Funding could be obtained in many ways, e.g. by imposing extra fees on internation flights. Aviation causes huge amounts of pollution and calls for compensation for the damage are justified. Actually, some flights should stop altogether, such as commercial flights crossing the Arctic.Delete