Showing posts with label levels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label levels. Show all posts

Monday, September 24, 2018

Looking the climate abyss in the eye!

Growth of CO₂ in the atmosphere is accelerating. The image shows the growth rate in parts per million (ppm), based on annual Mauna Loa data (1959-2017), with a 4th-order polynomial trend added.

While no data are yet available for the year 2018, the trend on above image points at 2.65 ppm. The image below shows the level for the most recent week, which is 2.53 ppm above the corresponding week a year ago.

Carl Rasmussen calculates that the de-seasonalised growth rate has now (at the middle of 2018) reached ±2.3 ppm/y. Carl adds: "the rate of growth is itself growing, [it is] the highest growth rate ever seen in modern timesThis is not just a 'business as usual' scenario, it is worse than that, we're actually moving backward, becoming more and more unsustainable with every year. This shows unequivocally that the efforts undertaken so-far to limit green house gases such as carbon dioxide are woefully inadequate."

Even more alarming is the growth in methane.

Peak methane levels were as high as 3.37 ppm on August 31, 2018, an ominous warning of the threat of destabilization of methane hydrates at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.

Mean global methane levels were as high as 1.91 ppm on the morning of September 20, 2018, at 293 millibar.

This is a level unprecedented in human history and it far exceeds the WMO-data-based trend (added on the right of above image).

Temperatures look set for a steep rise within years, as we now are fully in the danger zone.

Meanwhile, the IPCC seeks to downplay the amount of global warming that has already occurred and that looks set to eventuate over the next decade or so.

The image on the right shows the full extent of the climate abyss that we’re facing.

Have a look at the Extinction page for more details on the full extent of the threat.

How many people and species will survive the coming temperature rise? We don’t know.

The best we can do is to support climate action, i.e. action that starts immediately, and that is transformative, comprehensive and effective, as described in the Climate Plan.

Have a look at the lines of action depicted in the image below.


• Blue Ocean Event

• Can we weather the Danger Zone?

• How much warmer is it now?

• 100% clean, renewable energy is cheaper

• Feedbacks

• How much warming have humans caused?

• IPCC seeks to downplay global warming

• The Threat

• Extinction

• Aerosols

• How extreme will it get?

• Climate Plan

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Methane levels as high as 2845ppb

Methane levels as high as 2845 parts per billion (ppb) were recorded on April 25, 2015, as illustrated by the image below.

This is an extremely high peak. The average daily peak in 2015 until May 1 was 2371 ppb, while the highest daily mean ranged from 1807 ppb (January 10) to 1829 ppb (April 22). Daily peaks and daily highest mean levels in 2015 are shown on the image below.

These peaks are much higher than they were in previous years, as illustrated by the image below, from an earlier post and showing the average highest peak readings in 2013 and 2014 at selected altitudes..

Peak readings in above image are averages over April 2013 and April 2014. On specific days, peak readings could be much higher, e.g. on April 28, 2014, methane levels were recorded as high as 2551 ppb at 469 mb. As said, methane levels as high as 2845 ppb were recorded on April 25, 2015, while the average peak for the first four months of 2015 was 2371 ppb, and this average was calculated from peaks across altitudes.

The table below shows the altitude equivalents in mb (millibar) and feet.
56,925 ft44,689 ft36,850 ft30,569 ft25,543 ft19,819 ft14,383 ft8,367 ft1,916 ft
74 mb147 mb218 mb293 mb367 mb469 mb586 mb742 mb945 mb

Peak levels in April appear to be rising strongly each year, following higher peak readings during previous months, especially at higher altitudes, i.e. especially the Arctic Ocean. It appears that much of the additional methane originating from the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere has moved closer to the equator over the past few months, and is now accumulating at higher altitudes over the continents on the Northern Hemisphere, i.e. Asia, Europe, North America and north Africa.

Further analysis of the rise in global mean methane levels appears to confirm the above. The image below shows methane levels on April 22, over three years. While there appears to be little or no rise in mean methane levels at low altitudes, the rise is quite profound at higher altitudes.  

[ click on image to enlarge ]
Things look set to get worse. As shown by the image below, from an earlier post, global methane levels have risen sharply from a low of 723 ppb in 1755. Mean methane levels were as high as 1839 ppb in 2014. That's a rise of more than 254%.
As that post concluded a year ago, it appears that the rise of methane in the atmosphere is accelerating. What can we expect? As temperatures can be expected to continue to rise and as feedbacks start to kick in, this may well constitute a non-linear trend. The image below shows a polynomial trend that is contained in IPCC AR5 data from 1955 to 2011, pointing at methane reaching mean global levels higher than 3000 ppb by the year 2030. If methane starts to erupt in large quantities from clathrates underneath the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, this may well be where we are heading. 

The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed at the Climate Plan.

The 2845 ppb recorded on April 25, 2015, is an extremely high peak. The average daily peak in 2015 until now was 2372...
Posted by Sam Carana on Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday, August 4, 2014

Warm waters threaten to trigger huge methane eruptions from Arctic Ocean seafloor

The evidence of abrupt high methane releases in the Arctic Ocean is accumulating. The graph below shows in situ methane measurements taken at the Barrow Observatory, including recent levels as high as close to 2200 parts per billion (ppb).

Satellite data picture a similarly dire situation. Global mean methane levels as high as 1831 ppb were recorded on the morning of July 30, 2014, while peak methane levels as high as 2330 ppb were recorded that morning. More recently, peak methane levels as high as 2522 ppb were recorded (on August 2, 2014).

IPCC/NOAA figures suggest that methane levels were rising by some 5 to 6 ppb annually, reaching 1814 ppb in 2013. While methane levels at lower altitudes have indeed shown little rise, much larger rises have been recorded at higher altitudes, as illustrated by the image below.

These high methane levels recorded at higher altitudes appear to be caused by the huge quantities of methane released from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean during the period from end 2013 to early 2014. This methane has meanwhile risen to higher altitudes, while also descending to lower latitudes, wreaking havoc on weather patterns around latitude 60° North.

The releases of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean were caused by water that had warmed up strongly off the east coast of North America from June 2013. It took some months for this warm water to be carried by the Gulf Stream into the Arctic Ocean.

Meanwhile, very high sea surface temperatures are recorded in the Arctic Ocean, as above image shows, while warm water is carried into the Arctic Ocean by the Gulf Stream, as illustrated by the image below.

As said, the situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed at the Climate Plan blog.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Methane buildup in the atmosphere

Levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere are now firmly above the 400 parts per million (ppm) level, as illustrated by the graph below, from
As above graph shows, levels of CO2 go up and down with the seasons. Even higher levels are expected to be reached in May 2014. Importantly, 400 ppm is 143% its pre-industrial peak levels of 280 ppm.

Levels of methane (CH4) in the atmosphere are rising even faster. According to IPCC AR5, methane levels were 1798 ppb in 2010 and 1803 ppb for 2011. A graph included in an earlier post shows historic levels of CH4, CO2 and N2O levels, highlighting methane's steep rise (now some 250% its pre-industrial level). The graph below, based on a plot by NOAA, shows the rise of methane over the past few decades and also shows that methane levels similarly go up and down with the seasons.

Globally, IPCC/NOAA figures suggest that abundance of methane in the atmosphere did reach 1814 ppb in 2013 and is rising with some 5 to 6 ppb annually. IASI data show that - at the hight of the northern summer, in August 2013 - mean methane levels rose strongly, to levels well above 1800 ppb, as also discussed in posts such as this one.

Next to seasonal variations, methane levels also differ depending on altitude. Often, when mean methane values are given, readings at 14,383 feet altitude are used, as methane typically reaches its highest levels at this altitude.

The image on the right compares methane levels for 2013 and 2014 at this altitude over six recent days, with a.m readings and p.m. readings for each day.

Around this time of year in 2013, as the graph shows, methane levels went through the 1800 ppb mark. The same thing occurred this year, while levels have meanwhile increased with a few ppb, so at first glance methane's rise appears to continue as anticipated by the IPCC.

While the above is very worrying, the situation may be even more dire than this. The graph below compares methane levels in 2013 and in 2014, averaged over the same six-day period (April 5 through to April 10) and at six different altitudes.

Above image indicates that, while the difference between 2013 and 2014 at lower altitudes (8,367 feet and 14,383 feet) may seem relatively small, increases at higher altitudes may be much stronger. In other words, rather than rising in a similar way across all altitudes, methane may in fact be building up much more strongly at higher altitudes.

This frightening possibility was raised a few times at this blog, such as in the altitude analysis in January 2014 and in the post Quantifying Arctic Methane, which noted that IPCC-estimates of global methane levels may rely too much on low-altitude data collected over the past few decades. Indeed, the total methane burden may already be rising much more rapidly than the IPCC is anticipating, also because methane is rising in the atmosphere, increasing the burden especially at higher altitudes, as evidenced by increasing occurence of noctilucent clouds.

The above analysis uses a limited dataset, just like the previous one, but if verified by further analysis, it could be that a dramatic rise in the presence of methane in the atmosphere is occuring without showing up at lower altitudes. This could also explain how earlier releases of methane from hydrates could have been ignored by many, i.e. relatively small increases in methane levels at relatively low altitudes may have given a false reassurance that such releases were not adding much methane to the atmosphere. Further analysis, comparing satellite data at different altitudes over the years, could give more clarity on these points.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Methane Man

At the 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama said that the all-of-the-above energy strategy he announced a few years ago is working, describing natural gas as the bridge fuel that can power our economy.

Just do NOT tell them the monster exists
President Obama said: "Businesses plan to invest almost $100 billion in new factories that use natural gas. I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas."

President Obama added: "And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did."

Methane levels going through the roof
Sadly, President Obama doesn't. President Obama missed yet another opportunity to articulate a plan to shift to genuinely clean energy, and instead chose to persist supporting all types of energy, in particular natural gas.

As the U.S. shifts to natural gas, more methane is entering the atmosphere. At the same time, methane eruptions from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean continue to contribute to the temperature rises in the Arctic that are making the weather ever more extreme. The image below shows surface temperature anomalies above 20°C in the Arctic, while anomalies below -20°C feature at lower latitudes.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

High Methane Levels over Arctic Ocean continue in 2014

The high methane levels over the Arctic Ocean, the biggest story of 2013, continue in 2014, as illustrated by the image below.

As above image shows, high methane readings (as high as 2301 ppb on January 6, 2014) continue in 2014. High methane concentrations continue to enter the atmosphere where the sea ice is thin and where the sea ice is carried by currents outside of the Arctic Ocean.

The inset shows ice thickness on January 6, 2014. The inset highlights the huge amounts of sea ice that are carried by the sea current from the north of Greenland into the Atlantic Ocean.

What is the impact of these high methane releases over the Arctic Ocean on global methane levels? The image below shows the most recent global methane levels available from NOAA.

The image below shows readings from surface flask at Mauno Loa, Hawaii, with two recent readings (in the top right corner) reaching levels close to 1880 ppb.

Clearly, methane levels are rising globally and high releases over the Arctic Ocean are contributing to the global rise. The images below show recent data from stations in the Arctic, i.e. the image below showing readings from in situ measurements at the station at Barrow, Alaska, and the image further below showing flask samples taken at Tiksi, Russia.

Note that the above images reflect land-based measurements taken at altitudes that are typically too low to capture the extent at which methane is rising in the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean. Nonetheless, the wind can at times carry along some of the methane from the Arctic Ocean, as is apparent in a number of readings in above images showing levels of over 2100 ppb.

The image below shows high methane releases over the Arctic Ocean, as recorded on (part of) January 7, 2014, when levels were reached as high as 2381 ppb.

The image below shows methane levels on (part of) January 8, 2014, when levels as high as 2341 ppb were recorded. The inset confirms indications that these high levels originate from the Arctic Ocean.

These high methane concentrations over the Arctic are contributing to high temperature anomalies that further accelerate warming in the Arctic, as illustrated by the image below.

For a more detailed description of the kinds of warming and feedbacks that are hitting the Arctic, see the post The Biggest Story of 2013.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Methane Levels going through the Roof

On November 9, 2013, methane readings well over 2600 ppb were recorded at multiple altitudes, as illustrated by the image below.

[ click on image to enlarge ]
On November 9, 2013, p.m., methane readings were recorded as high as 2662 parts per billion (ppb), at 586 millibars (mb) pressure, which corresponds with an altitude of 14384.6 feet or 4384.4 meters.

Where did these high levels occur? Methane levels were low on the southern hemisphere and, while there were some areas with high readings over North America and Asia, there were no areas as wide and bright yellow as over the Arctic Ocean (the color yellow indicating readings of 1950 ppb and higher on above map).

As discussed in a previous post, huge amounts of methane are now escaping from the seabed of the Arctic Ocean, penetrating the sea ice, and entering the atmosphere, in a process that appears to be accelerating, resulting in huge amounts of methane in the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean.

The image below gives an idea of the height of this level, compared to historic levels, and how fast levels of methane (CH4) have been rising compared to levels of two other greenhouse gases, i.e. carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

Recent peak levels of methane over the Arctic Ocean may well have been even higher, since NOAA didn't release any readings for November 5-7, 2013.

Meanhwile, sea ice extent has stopped growing, as illustrated by the NSIDC graph below.

Data from the Cryosphere Today show that the area covered by sea ice has actually fallen over the past few days, as illustrated by the image below.

[ click on image to enlarge ]
There are several reasons why sea ice isn't growing, including high temperature anomalies in the Arctic, as illustrated by the NOAA image below, showing surface temperature anomalies of over 20 degrees Celsius on November 7, 2013.

High methane levels are contributing to temperature anomalies, by trapping additional sunlight in the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean.

Furthermore, strong winds have hit the sea ice, as the recent post Methane, Faults and Sea Ice warned. Strong winds are pushing sea ice inward in the Kara Sea and in the Chukchi Sea, while pushing sea ice - up to 5 meters thick - out of the Arctic Ocean along the coast of Greenland, as illustrated by the Naval Research Laboratory animation below.

The Naval Research Laboratory image below shows ice speed and drift on November 9, 2013.

So, could Arctic sea ice collapse and totally disappear in September 2014? Posts at this blog have repeatedly warned about this, e.g. in this post. The image below, created by Wipneus, shows an exponential trendline pointing at zero volume sea ice in September 2016.
All data over the past two decades have fallen within the 95% confidence limits of an exponential trendline that points at imminent loss of all Arctic sea ice within years. September 2013 may have been "only" the 4th lowest on record, but such variability can be expected and may well cause sea ice to disappear completely as early as September 2014.

Strong winds can speed up such a collapse. On this point, it's good to remember what Prof. Peter Wadhams warned about in 2012:
". . apart from melting, strong winds can also influence sea ice extent, as happened in 2007 when much ice was driven across the Arctic Ocean by southerly winds (not northerly, as she stated). The fact that this occurred can only lead us to conclude that this could happen again. Natural variability offers no reason to rule out such a collapse, since natural variability works both ways, it could bring about such a collapse either earlier or later than models indicate.

In fact, the thinner the sea ice gets, the more likely an early collapse is to occur. It is accepted science that global warming will increase the intensity of extreme weather events, so more heavy winds and more intense storms can be expected to increasingly break up the remaining ice, both mechanically and by enhancing ocean heat transfer to the under-ice surface."
Guy McPherson lists 26 feedbacks that speed up warming, and many of these feedbacks occur in the Arctic, as described in the post Diagram of Doom.

Soon, calculates Prof. Peter Wadhams, the albedo loss due to decline of snow and ice in the Arctic will effectively more than double the net radiative forcing resulting from the emissions caused by all people of the world. Additional warming caused by methane releases from the Arctic seabed could be even more devastating.

Hopefully, more people will realize the urgency of the situation and realize the need for a comprehensive and effective plan of action as described here.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Locating sources of the world's highest methane levels

Above image shows IASI methane readings end October 2013 on the Northern Hemisphere. Clearly, high methane levels are very prominent over the Arctic. Over this period, the following peak methane readings have been recorded:
- October 28 - 2369 ppb
- October 29 - 2303 ppb
- October 30 - 2480 ppb
- October 31 - 2332 ppb

[ click on image to enlarge ]
Above image shows methane readings of 1950 ppb and higher in yellow, but only on October 31, 2013, pm.

This image is easier to analyze, since there are only a few areas where high methane readings show up, such as:
  • Last but not least, there's a huge area with high methane readings over the Arctic Ocean.
The image below again shows methane readings of 1950 ppb and higher in yellow on October 31, 2013, pm, but this time only for 3 altitudes, i.e. 451 mb, 469 mb and 487 mb. These levels were selected for their proximity to the altitude of 469 mb, where typically the highest mean global methane levels are recorded, i.e. from 1809 ppb to 1812 ppb for the period from October 28 to 31, 2013. Not surprisingly, the image below looks much the same as above image.

Things look rather different, though, when 3 altitudes are selected closer to sea level. The image below again shows methane readings of 1950 ppb and higher in yellow on October 31, 2013, pm, but this time only at 718 mb, 742 mb and 766 mb. These altitudes showed the highest methane readings that day, of 2322 ppb, 2332 ppb and 2316 ppb, respectively.

Ominously, high methane readings at these lower altitudes show up mostly in the Laptev Sea. In conclusion, some of the world's highest methane levels show up over the Laptev Sea, a huge area most prone to abrupt release of huge amounts of methane from the seabed.

This is further evidence in support of the looming threat of Abrupt Climate Change leading to extinction of many if not all species (i.e. including humans) within decades. It disproves the efforts of the IPCC, as discussed in the post Just do NOT tell them the monster exists, and further organizations to downplay the threat by spreading myths.

Monday, October 21, 2013

High Methane Levels over Laptev Sea

A major fault line crosses the Arctic Ocean, forming the boundery between two tectonic plates, the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate. These plates slowly diverge, creating seismic tension along the fault line.

From where the Mid-Atlantic ridge enters the Arctic Ocean, it is called the Gakkel Ridge. The fault continues as the Laptev Sea Rift, on to a transitional deformation zone in the Chersky Range in Siberia, then the Ulakhan Fault between the North American Plate and the Okhotsk Plate, and then continues as the Aleutian Trench to the end of the Queen Charlotte Fault system.

Above map shows the location of some of the main points of interest, i.e. the Laptev Sea Rift and the Gakkel Ridge, where high methane readings have been recorded recently, as shown in the image below. Indicated in yellow are all methane readings of 1950 ppb and over, for a period of just over one day, October 19 - 20, 2013.  

To pointpoint more closely where methane is venting along the Laptev Sea Rift, the image below gives readings for October 20, 2013, pm, at just three altitudes (607 - 650 mb). 

This is a very dangerous situation, since high levels of methane have been recorded over the Arctic Ocean for more than a month now. Furthermore, large amounts of methane have vented in the Laptev Sea area in previous years. Added below is an edited part of a previous post, Unfolding Climate Catastrophe

In September 2005, extremely high concentrations of methane (over 8000 ppb, see image on the right) were measured in the atmospheric layer above the sea surface of the East Siberian Shelf, along with anomalously high concentrations of dissolved methane in the water column (up to 560 nM, or 12000% of super saturation).

The authors conclude: "Since the area of geological disjunctives (fault zones, tectonically and seismically active areas) within the Siberian Arctic shelf composes not less than 1-2% of the total area and area of open taliks (area of melt through permafrost), acting as a pathway for methane escape within the Siberian Arctic shelf reaches up to 5-10% of the total area, we consider release of up to 50 Gt of predicted amount of hydrate storage as highly possible for abrupt release at any time".

In 2007, concentrations of dissolved methane in the water column reached a level of over 5141 nM at a location in the Laptev Sea. For more background, see the previous post, Unfolding Climate Catastrophe

Satellite measurements show methane readings of up to 2411 ppb on October 20, 2013. Sadly, no current data are available from measurements in the Laptev Sea, neither methane levels in the water, nor atmospheric methane levels just above sea level. Perhaps in time, some data will become available from expeditions.