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Methane Release
(updated w report all injuries)
h/t eyo
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Microbes might be gatekeepers of the planet’s greatest greenhouse gas reserves.
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Massive greenhouse gas reserves, frozen deep under the seabed, are alarmingly now starting to thaw. … let’s suppose for a moment that these latest findings are real and that methane frozen below the seabed really is being released. What does this mean?

Methane is not as common as carbon dioxide, but it also contains carbon and is a potent greenhouse gas. Many people have heard of methane being stored in Arctic permafrost, but few realise that there are also massive and much larger deposits of the gas locked beneath the seabed.

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Frozen methane is starting to destabilize. High levels have been detected in the Laptev Sea near Russia.

Methane entrapped in their icy jail cells of hydrates underground ought to stay there for millions of years, accumulating over the aeons. … However, it increasingly seems that other less predictable factors are also relevant.

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Methane Hydrate Occurrences Around the World
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The magnetic field may destabilize methane deposits.

One unexpected influence is the Earth’s fluctuating magnetic field which, as we discovered in a study published last year can potentially destabilise the methane deposits. There’s even the possibility that this same effect could eventually lead to mass extinction: global gas-hydrate destruction may have caused the great end-Permian extinction event which wiped out 90% of species on Earth some 250 million years ago.

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Microbes may be stabilising these methane deposits.

What if these microbes also stabilise their “food source”? Our research teams have recently shown that marine methane-using bacteria can easily produce simple proteins or “bio-molecules” that do just that. Furthermore, in laboratory experiments and computer simulations we demonstrated the accelerated formation of gas hydrates by such bio-molecules so that we can now conclude that microbes will indeed coordinate these reserves in the real-world conditions found under our seas and oceans.

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These two factors may work together.

These two factors appear to complement each other, so that microbes growing on hydrates in the presence of the Earth’s relatively weak, but changing, magnetic field could have adapted and evolved – no doubt over geological timescales – to control adeptly the massive methane-hydrate deposits that are found below the seabed and in the permafrost.

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The above is preliminary research and is not peer reviewed. Still, it is food for thought.

So how long would it be...

However, we are not talking about doomsday in 5 or 10 years. Just think of how climate and weather have changed (gotten worse) since, say, the 1970s, and imagine a similar rate of degradation for another few decades, and you can then guess that sometime near the end of this century (maybe the 2070s) that Earth will really be at the edge of environmental collapse: if humanity had continue to do nothing about curbing its greenhouse gas emissions since this moment, and continues heedlessly emitting fossil fuel exhaust fumes beyond that point.

The geophysical reality is that it takes the climate system hundreds of years (I once estimated 240 years) to BEGIN to shift in response to new atmospheric conditions. This is like a huge thermostat lag to a heating system of global scale, or like the lag between turning the rudder on a large ship and then actually having the ship begin to veer in a new direction.

It is because of this inertia that it is essential to stop our emissions as soon as possible (ASAP).

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More here…
Giant new 50-metre deep 'crater' opens up in Arctic tundra

More than 400 sealed ‘craters’ are ticking time bombs from a total 7000+ Arctic permafrost mounds

Eight-Year Estimates of Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations in Western Canada Are Nearly Twice Those Reported in Inventories

And just for fun…
With methane as a food source, bacteria release toxic arsenic
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REPORT ALL INJURIES
report all injuries under water.jpg
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It's your open thread, now...

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magiamma's picture

‘Beyond what our instruments can tell us’: merging Indigenous knowledge and Western science at the edge of the world -Residents of remote Tuktoyaktuk: which may become the first community in Canada to relocate due to coastal erosion and sea level rise — are taking climate data gathering into their own hands

Anikina and Lugt are a part of the local climate change monitoring team working under the umbrella of the Tuktoyaktuk Community Climate Resilience Project, launched in 2018 by Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation.

The project, currently funded by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, is an inter-agency effort to establish a community-based monitoring program that would allow for long term, continuous measurements of climate change indicators.

That’s where the berries come in. The warming climate is moving ecological borders, changing and endangering unique plant life in the tundra.

The monitoring program is a method of monitoring the easily overlooked ways the world is being altered by a new climate reality.

But it’s also designed to act as a knowledge-sharing platform in which Western science-based research and traditional knowledge can compliment each other. Community participation is built into the program to ensure the needs and values of local Indigenous people are recognized and integrated in the monitoring and field work.

What type of forest to choose for better CO2 storage?

"Having more species may not always be what is needed to achieve greater carbon storage in forests," states Dr. Madrigal-Gonzalez. Instead, this relation only seems to prevail in the most productive forest regions of the planet that are basically restricted to equatorial and tropical rain forests, and some temperate forests -- in regions where deforestation and human-induced forest fires have ravaged pristine environments lately. On the contrary, in the forests located in the coldest or driest regions on Earth, it is seemingly the abundance, promoted by productivity, that determines the diversity. Here, any increase in the number of species will not necessarily result in more trees and will not therefore have a big contribution to carbon storage. The findings of these studies are of substantial practical relevance as they will aid decision makers identifying nature-based climate change mitigation strategies and to successfully use forests and their sequestration

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Lookout's picture

Methane is indeed the ticking bomb. Those who caution about the speed of change always underestimate because the increasing rate of change is like rolling downhill...faster and faster we go.

We've had a lovely but dry November. Off to take advantage of the dry weather and get another load of manure today. That will finish up the garden and sites of new winter tree plantings too. Garden still going great guns...lettuce, greens, broccoli, and cabbage all productive. Keeps us busy and provides enjoyment too...especially in these COVID isolation times.

It is difficult for folks like my almost 90 YO Mom. She is in an independent living center, and wisely they are not allowed to gather. But she is very social and misses her bridge groups, happy hours, and gatherings. Two people in the facility have died of COVID. I'm sorry she has to deal with it at her end life years. But maybe the vaccines will bring some sort of new normal by summer. I hope so for the many people who are struggling with the isolation.

Well thanks for the OT. Stay cool!
10 min

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

magiamma's picture

@Lookout
Sorry to hear about your mom. It is so hard now for people who are not introverts. And even for us. And the numbers keep going up. They are now taking about opening schools here. All of them. As the numbers go up. Our county is red. But some parents want to move on. Ucsc is talking of opening as well. Maybe in January.

Amazing that you are getting food still. Good news. Here of course people have winter gardens. My swale survived and thrived after our first two rains. But they were not from atmospheric river dumps. Kurapia is growing.

Take good care.

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thanks magi

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magiamma's picture

@QMS
Thx buddy. Lol

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California King Tides Project
https://www.coastal.ca.gov/kingtides/gallery.html

I can't get my browser software to view the image gallery archives there, but wow the collection of county photos on that page are shocking (not really). So what is the California plan for Highway 101 and Route 1 along the coast? Move 'em? LOL! I didn't even look down south at the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).

I'll be dead before The Narrows in Novato gets widened, after a lifetime of voting YES WTF? for trains and public transport, the "Three lanes the whole way" people won. It was the commuter cry from Marin to Mendocino and it is still the same, project not finished but soon now. Heh, by the time it's complete the freeway will be underwater at high tide every day right there in Novato, but 3 lanes! LOL

If you commute to San Francisco, how are you going to get past the low spot at Richardson Bay? Go around? What about freight? LOL this isn't funny. good luck

Report All Injuries
punt

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RantingRooster's picture

@eyo Three lanes man, three lanes!

I'm so glad I got out of California (1990), the traffic was horrendous, absolutely horrendous. 30 years to get 3 lanes, absolutely ridiculous.

I think back to all the electrified public transport systems they had back in the early 20th century, until GM, Firestone, Standard Oil and some others, came in, bought up all the electric system, then ran them into the ground so they could sell buses to the cities, and more cars to the public.

Mr. Foot, meet Mr. 9mm. Bang..., bang, bang, bang!

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C99, my refuge from an insane world.

magiamma's picture

@RantingRooster
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RantingRooster's picture

@Lookout @magiamma Afternoon Magiamma

Drinks

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C99, my refuge from an insane world.

@RantingRooster
They kept getting detached from the wires and stalled in the street. Needed some better engineering there. Or better maintenance (Chicago the land of ghost payrollers).

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We are so screwed.

earthling1's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
remember the electric trollys in Huntington Park, Calif. all the way up into the 50's.
Studebaker marketed no less than three electric vehicles before the turn of the century (c1895 iirc).
Imagine what 125 years of battery research would have brought us today if it began back then.
The same scoundrels that deep sixed the electric car back then are at it again today.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

magiamma's picture

@earthling1
but the tracks are still there. Same push from the same people.

The public transportation was just too efficient for some. According to the documentary, General Motors, in partnership with Standard Oil and Firestone Tires, traveled round the Bay Area in the 1930s, bought the trolleys and destroyed them in order to create a market for their products.

Take good care.

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magiamma's picture

@eyo
Dayum just had a great idea for -report all injuries from you post. Will add it in a bit. Heh. Thx for the punt. Lol. 101 bay shore is six feet above. And much of that part of the Silicon Valley is built on land fill. The three little piggies much? Oh who cares now that many of the buildings are sitting empty. Vaccine will not find people coming back. Working at home works. Thinking things are unraveling faster and faster. Hold onto your socks. Take good care.

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usefewersyllables's picture

@magiamma
Foster City, all on landfill. The elevation of our living room floor was maybe ~3 feet above mean high tide, and we had a tidal slough literally right behind the house, 40 feet away. They had to cut down a lot of the trees they'd planted when doing the development, because the salt from the brackish bay water was saturated throughout the landfill the town was built on, and stopped the development of the root systems as soon as they grew down just a few feet. So the trees would blow over in a fresh breeze.

We always said that all it'd take was a 5+ on any of the faults with an epicenter within 4 or 5 miles, and we'd wake up swimming. It was a very happy day indeed when we sold that place and moved out of state. That was over 20 years ago- the boat wakes have to be licking at the front door by now...

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

magiamma's picture

@usefewersyllables
Were y’all there for the 89 earthquake. I was working at Sun which was built on landfill. The floor was literally rolling. I was under my desk on my knees and rocking. Too much fun.

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usefewersyllables's picture

@magiamma

a few months later, after most of the aftershock sequence was done with- had to plaster over the cracks in the walls. I still got to have the unique joy of a bowl of chile verde from Senor Jalapeno's down in Sunnyvale being deposited in my lap by a 5.5 on the Alum Rock a few years later: the table, dish, and I moved west 6" all at once with the P-wave, but the chile verde stayed put. Plop. Luckily, it had cooled off enough by then that it just stung a bit, but didn't burn. Too much fun, indeed.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

enhydra lutris's picture

methane hydrates over the last couple of years. Possibly another HUGE issue, unless it is the same, is methane Clathrates. The sea floor is littered with deposits of these. There is no bonding of hydrogen or hydroxy to the methane. At a certain range of temperatures and pressures, water can form a cage-like quasi-crystalline structure that can entrap gas molecules. and there are huge quantities of it with entrapped methane down there. As temperatures change ...

I first heard about them maybe 5 to 7 years ago and they were, of course, a major concern about which the consensus was that there was nothing we could do other than prevent the temperature rise that would release it all.

be well and have a good one.

edited to fix many typos

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

usefewersyllables's picture

@enhydra lutris
are very worrisome, as I understand it. In addition to being thermally sensitive, they are also shock sensitive: give them a good whack mechanically, and they let go. Which is why some underwater earthquakes followed by underwater landslides have resulted in huge releases of methane. The process is mechanically noisy, so once it is started, it is unclear when it will stop.

The resulting reduction of water density can scuttle shipping: suddenly the water (diluted with uncountable trillions of small bubbles of methane) is no longer dense enough to support the vessel, and it sinks abruptly, as if driving off a cliff. There is an underwater volcano off the coast of Grenada (poetically named "Kick 'em, Jenny", at 12.30N,61.64W) that has swallowed several fishing vessels in this manner over the years during one of its periodic burps, and some of the deep offshore drilling platforms have inadvertently kicked off releases.

Anyway, when you can light the sea on fire, it is generally considered to be A Bad Day.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

magiamma's picture

@enhydra lutris
Started this reply sometime this afternoon and got distracted.

It will be interesting to see the results of this research team. (Looked for and cant' find an item about a big methane clathrate landslide. They think there was one near Norway. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storegga_Slide )

The 60-member team on the Akademik Keldysh believe they are the first to observationally confirm the methane release is already under way across a wide area of the slope about 600km offshore.

At six monitoring points over a slope area 150km in length and 10km wide, they saw clouds of bubbles released from sediment.

At one location on the Laptev Sea slope at a depth of about 300 metres they found methane concentrations of up to 1,600 nanomoles per litre, which is 400 times higher than would be expected if the sea and the atmosphere were in equilibrium.

Igor Semiletov, of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who is the chief scientist onboard, said the discharges were “significantly larger” than anything found before. “The discovery of actively releasing shelf slope hydrates is very important and unknown until now,” he said. “This is a new page. Potentially they can have serious climate consequences, but we need more study before we can confirm that.”

Take good care.

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mounds that blew up into craters are amazing. There's 7,000 of them...talk about a minefield.

Thanks magi, hope you're doing well, have a good one.

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magiamma's picture

@randtntx
All those holes are pretty amazing. All good on the western front. My bioswale survived two rain storms. Have a bigly huge load of chips that are getting put around in various places. Thinned a big stand of bamboo and now building mounds at the edge of my world. Many chips will be atop them. Good to not read too much about the current events. Too cray cray. Hope all is well with you and yours. Take good care.

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