The Arctic Methane Monster and the Methane Time Bomb – Are They Real Or Are They Imaginary?
The image above illustrates underwater methane releases and provides a link to one of our most favourite articles on Nature.com, an excellent methane primer.
Recently, methane has appeared in the forefront as a possible climate game-changer. It has referred to as a ‘methane monster’ and ‘methane timebomb’ within social media and by a number of websites, news sources and blogs from around the world.
Hidden away beneath melting permafrost and warming seabeds, methane is an extremely powerful and dangerous greenhouse gas, capable of retaining heat in the atmosphere at a much higher rate than CO2, thus accelerating the possibility of catastrophic global warming.
Is it hype or is methane a real threat, capable of accelerating the 6th greatest extinction, including that of mankind? Below is an unbiased collection of source material from respected and accredited sources that present explore these very questions.
Today, current evidence cannot categorically be sued to determine future emissions and impact of Arctic methane releases with a degree of certainty. It is important to diligently study the Arctic permafrost and shallow seabeds for any activity and carefully monitor the methane clathrate melt rates.
Arctic Emergency: Noted Climate Scientists Speak On Melting Ice and Global Impacts, Including Methane Release (1080p HD)
What Is Methane?
Methane (CH4) is a common, flammable, colorless and odorless gas and is the main component of what many may know as natural gas. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 on climate change is over 20 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.
Methane is derived from the breakdown of organic matter in a low to zero oxygen environment. The greatest sources of atmospheric methane are:
* Industry via production, transportation, storage, distribution * Livestock via digestion and waste management * Waste dumps * Waste water treatment * Permafrost melt * Undersea eruptions * Peat bogs, wetlands * Volcanos, fires
Methane and Global Warming
Is methane a serious cause of global warming? Why is there so much concern about methane by a number of climate scientists? How serious of a threat is it to our future? Can methane emissions be reduced? What is the concern with Arctic releases? These and other questions are addressed in the links below. The links have been chosen for non-bias, respected source material and peer review.
10.14.2014 Methane-breathing microbes that inhabit rocky mounds on the seafloor could be preventing large volumes of the potent greenhouse gas from entering the oceans and reaching the atmosphere, according to a new study by Caltech researchers…
08.08.2013 ‘The [methane time bomb] scenario they used is so unlikely as to be completely pointless talking about,” says Gavin Schmidt, a noted climate researcher at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York’…