Archives par mot-clé : CH4

Oceans Retain Methane: New ‘Nature’ Study Finds Very Little Danger Of Methane Reaching Surface

by P. Gosselin, Aug 11,2023 in WUWT

Global warming alarmists have often used the scenario of increased methane in the atmosphere accelerating warming and climatic change.

But a recent study appearing in NatureNegligible atmospheric release of methane from decomposing hydrates in mid-latitude oceans, dumps a lot cold water on this scenario. This is good news, which unfortunately the media refused to report.

At the bottom of the sea, there are large deposits of naturally occurring methane hydrate. There’s a fear that these ice-like deposits could melt and be released into the atmosphere if the oceans warmed. Methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. The researchers looked at the concentration and natural radiocarbon content of methane dissolved in the water column from the seafloor to the sea surface at seep fields along the US Atlantic and Pacific margins.

No methane reached the surface

Their measurements revealed no evidence of seep CH4 reaching surface waters when the water-column depth is greater than 430 ± 90 m. “Gas hydrates exist only at water depths greater than ~550 m in this region, suggesting that the source of methane escaping to the atmosphere is not from hydrate decomposition,” the authors add.

Dissolves in the ocean

In 2016, a paper published in the Reviews of Geophysics concluded that the annual emissions of methane to the ocean from degrading gas hydrates are far smaller than greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere from human activities and that most of the methane released by gas hydrates never even reaches the atmosphere. The methane often remains in the undersea sediments, dissolves in the ocean, or is converted to carbon dioxide by microbes.

Methane Spikes !

by Kip Hansen, Feb 10, 2022 in WUWT

Scientists raise alarm over ‘dangerously fast’ growth in atmospheric methane

Our ever benevolent and protective scientist class has come to our rescue by raising the alarm – if they didn’t, we might not be adequately alarmed by this dangerous situation.

Seriously, the Nature punchline is, as you may have already guessed:  “some researchers fear that global warming itself is behind the rapid rise.” 

Yes, that’s right.  Global Warming (itself!) may be behind the rapid rise.

The author of the Nature article, Jeff Tollefson, calls this a “grim milestone” (however, no reason for this being either grim or a milestone is given).

Those interested in this trivial issue should read the Nature article.  There are some interesting points in it concerning suspected and hypothesized sources of the methane and the reason for the rather odd pattern of rise and fall seen in multi-year data.

However, here is:

The Bottom Line

1.  Always look at the units attached to any numerical data.

1900 ppb (parts per billion) is 1.9 ppm (parts per million)

Or, in percentage of the atmosphere:

0.000 19 Percent [%]

2.  What that means in the Real World™ is that the amount of methane in the atmosphere is so small — there is more neon and helium in the atmosphere than methane — that if you searched for a molecule of methane, and individually sorted through a BILLION molecules, you might find one or two.  You might find none in your first billion, but if you sorted enough billions, your find would average out at just under 2 per billion. (Good Luck!)

3. As the Earth continues to warm and green as it comes out of the Little Ice Age, we see more life which means more methane.  More life is a Good Thing.

4.  Atmospheric Methane has spiked! — to almost zero.

# # # # #h

Author’s Comment:

Almost Zero is an important issue.  Many of the most popular dangers and harms touted in the popular press are about the crisis of “things” being discovered at levels which are best described as “Almost Zero”.  This is the nutty misapplication of the precautionary principle, where the mere existence —  the mere detection —  of a thing is automatically equated with harm.

Barrels of ancient Antarctic air aim to track history of rare gas

by University of Washington, December 13, 2019 in ScienceDaily

An Antarctic field campaign last winter led by the US and Australia has successfully extracted some of the largest samples of air dating from the 1870s until today. Researchers will use the samples to look for changes in the molecules that scrub the atmosphere of methane and other gases.

“It’s probably the most extreme atmospheric chemistry you can do from ice core samples, and the logistics were also extreme,” said Peter Neff, a postdoctoral researcher with dual appointments at the UW and at the University of Rochester.

But the months the team spent camped on the ice at the snowy Law Dome site paid off.

“This is, to my knowledge, the largest air sample from the 1870s that anyone’s ever gotten,” Neff said. His 10 weeks camped on the ice included minus-20 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures and several snowstorms, some of which he shared from Antarctica via Twitter.

Air from deeper ice cores drilled in Antarctica and Greenland has provided a record of carbon dioxide and methane, two greenhouse gases, going back thousands of years. While carbon dioxide has a lifetime of decades to centuries, an even more potent gas, methane, has a lifetime of just nine or 10 years.

Volcanoes and glaciers combine as powerful methane producers

by Lancaster University, November 20, 2018 in ScienceDaily

The Lancaster university-led research, which is featured in Scientific Reports, is the first published field study to show methane release from glaciers on this scale.

“This is a huge amount of methane lost from the glacial meltwater stream into the atmosphere,” said Dr Peter Wynn, a glacial biogeochemist from the Lancaster Environment Centre and corresponding author of the study. “It greatly exceeds average methane loss from non-glacial rivers to the atmosphere reported in the scientific literature. It rivals some of the world’s most methane-producing wetlands; and represents more than twenty times the known methane emissions of all Europe’s other volcanoes put together.”