Global Warming: Arctic Storms Releasing Methane

global warming, artic storms, methane, science

 Arctic storms may be speeding up global warming due to a faster release of methane gas into the environment.  Large quantities of methane gas are being released off of the east Siberian shelf due to submarine permafrost that is slowly disappearing.

All of this was found at a great cost during August 2010. 11 sailors on board of a tug boat drowned, while trying to save a fishing boat in the arctic waters of Siberia.  What they did not know, was that they were trying to save Russian researchers that were trying to figure out if arctic storms that unsettle the ocean waters will increase the methane gas released from the ocean floor, thus causing trouble with global warming.

The researchers were drilling into a methane gas hot spot in the Laptev Sea from their fishing boat and trying to measure how much gas was released with their sonar.  The scientists discovered that the once solid permafrost was no longer frozen under the sea and was releasing 500 tonnes of methane gas into the atmosphere for every square kilometers of sea bottom every day.

Plumes of methane were found along the whole coastline of the research area, the East Siberian Arctic Shelf and off Norway’s coast at Svalbard.  The researchers also measured how two storms, one from 2009 and the other from 2010, would affect the levels of methane released into the sea.  They found the sea storms made the methane gas release faster into the earth’s atmosphere.

It was determined that global warming was linked to how the sub-sea permafrost was melting off the sea floor and that it is uncomfortably close to the thaw point of terrestrial permafrost.  The findings make things all the more scarier in what is happening with global warming.  It was found that if a massive “pulse” of 50 billion tonnes of methane gas were released at once, it could warm the earth by a degree or more.

Although, the data did not wholly show if a major pulse is going to happen.  The amount of methane gas is still quite small, but it helps the science community to understand how these arctic storms speed up the release of the methane gas that can cause global warming to accelerate.  Although, the release of these gases is small, it still is a time bomb ready to go off.  There is about 17 teragrams of methane released from the sea floor each day from the Ease Siberian Arctic Shelf, making one teragram equal to about 1.1 million tons.  And the Earth emits 500 million tons of natural and man-made methane into the Earth’s atmosphere each year.

These researchers risked their lives to show us proof of global warming and that Arctic storms are releasing methane into such desolate and dangerous areas of the earth, and that the chances are high that this problem will affect the whole planet. While the researchers where observing the second storm, they had to radio in for help because it became so dangerously strong.  So when the rescue tug boat was sent to the researchers, the boat then sunk before they were able to reach them, all of the researchers did survive unscathed. To share the bravery of one crew, the researchers dedicated their research paper “to the memory of the crew of Russian vessel RV Alexei Kulakovsky”.

By Tina Elliott

Sources

NewScientist
livescience
ClimateScience

 

 

5 Responses to Global Warming: Arctic Storms Releasing Methane

  1. Dale Lanan December 20, 2013 at 9:05 am

    News worldwide should show respect for the brave Russian crew of the lost tug RV Alexei Kulakovsky and also to the brave scientists and others involved in rescue of all.
    I didn’t know the tug had sunk but I do know there are some pretty serious Russian crew of nuclear icebreakers.. All things considered it looks like the Arctic Sea is getting dangerous, too dangerous to study by drilling test bore into sediments.
    It seems remote sensing satellite technology capable of watching progression of Methane into the upper Stratosphere where it accumulates in a swath around Earth. Merlin Lidar Satellite isn’t set for launch by French till 2014. https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/m/merlin -What I’d like to know is why the US and Russia along with China didn’t get this technology flying long before this.
    Remote sensing in real time of Methane concentrations is critical to understanding how to stop the rise of wildcat storms and the destruction of the Polar Jet that guides weather.
    Double checking spectral reflection of methane specific infrared laser beam by near Earth orbiting telescope that doesn’t at least have the jitters is something that can give insight..
    Multiple source full coverage technology is needed to get information on what’s working to regain margin for error so efforts to save HZ don’t go in vain.
    Thermodynamically Earth is destabilized by price on all things undercutting of ecosystem.
    That needs a bit of a alteration involving the largest entropy reduction effort ever, bar the swamping of effort by Runaway CH4 and extinction hysteresis..
    Knowledge is power and if the proper framework change is made to the value of money then the full potential of world enterprise can be aligned with the Open systems of Nature in a grand effort not constrained to failure.
    I’m guessing Russian intelligence at least understands the seriousness of the situation but that the world banking cartel controlling futures so profits keep rolling in won’t relent.

    Reply
  2. Trent Rogue November 28, 2013 at 6:35 am

    There’s also a good chance that the resulting climatological adjustments (catastrophic or not) will lead to the ice age that’s past due rather than an overly hot earth.

    Reply
  3. SarK0Y November 24, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Actually, it’s gradually speeding-up process: Methane heats Atmosphere & the rising temperature kicks off more upon more Methane. However, at critical point, the’re great chance of sudden/explosive acceleration of its emission.

    Reply

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