THEY look like massive bomb craters. Do the huge craters pockmarking Siberia herald a release of underground methane that could exceed our worst climate change fears? The “methane time bomb” is the popular shorthand for the idea that the thawing of the Arctic could at any moment trigger the sudden release of massive amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane, rapidly accelerating the warming of the planet. This results in negative effects, as methane is itself a powerful greenhouse gas. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. Melting Arctic’s methane timebomb could cost trillions July 25, 2013 9.04am EDT. Our carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause of the warming, but methane is a significant player. If the Arctic thaws, some 50 gigatonnes (Gt) of methane could be abruptly released at any time from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf area alone. As permafrost melts, methane is released from deeper layers, especially from the sub-seabed permafrost of the East Siberian Sea. (Picture credit: Getty), Many areas of the developing world, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa such as the semi-arid Sahel, are already under extreme water stress, making crop cultivation extremely precarious. That scenario is the so-called “methane time bomb.” The idea terrified Juliana Musheyev, a Florida-based climate activist featured in the video, produced by independent videographer Peter Sinclair. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Share: Updated: Jul 25, 2013, 09:16 AM IST. “Huge plumes of methane gas have been detected by a series of experiments every summer. This time bomb is rarely reported in mainstream media. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. “We are looking at a big effect, possibly a catastrophic effect on global climate that has been a consequence of this extremely fast sea-ice retreat we’ve seen in recent years,” Professor Wadhams said. Using the same computer models employed by the 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, the researchers found that the effects on the global climate of a relatively sudden release of methane over a period of a decade or so could be catastrophic in terms of drought effects on crops, rising sea levels, coastal flooding and extreme weather. Arctic methane release is the release of methane from seas and soils in permafrost regions of the Arctic. A rapid break up of sea ice in the summer months could occur within the next decade. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. But as soon as the ice is removed it exposes the ocean to intense radiation and the water warms up,” Professor Wadhams said. The mean impacts of just this one effect – $60tn – approaches the $70tn value of the world economy in 2012,” said Professor Whiteman, the lead author of the study published in the journal Nature. The Arctic might be a methane time bomb—or not Ula Chrobak 3/13/2020 US coronavirus: New York City's spike in cases shows the virus is still 'a force to be reckoned with,' governor says The early warning signs for us today include Arctic sinkholes that suddenly appear as methane-containing permafrost melts, mile-long sheets of methane bubbles forming in the sea around Siberia, and continuously-increasing methane levels across the … (Picture credit: Getty). Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. “Scientists” preconceptions about the climatic hazards of Arctic methane are very wrong. Russian scientists have calculated that there may be as much as 50 billion tonnes of methane locked away beneath the permafrost of the East Siberian Sea. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. All nations will be affected, not just those in the far north, and all should be concerned about changes occurring in this region,” they say. As the sea ice retreats, the sea beneath it begins to warm and the seabed permafrost melts, said Professor Peter Wadhams, an Arctic ice specialist at Cambridge University who was part of the study. Published. “The water above the continental shelf of the Arctic has been warming up to several degrees during the summer months and because the water here is very shallow, especially over the East Siberian Sea, the melt has led to a warming of the seabed as well,” he said. Methane and the Global Warming Potential numbers are a text book example of misdirection. Chris Hope The Arctic Methane Timebomb By David Millar on March 25, 2015. rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/ Climate pessimists have long postulated an arctic global warming catastrophe scenario that goes like this: trillions of tonnes of methane are locked up in the arctic permafrost in the form of hydrates, also known as clathrates. Some refer to it in more dramatic terms: the Arctic methane catastrophe. The Arctic methane time bomb is about to go off and turn Earth into Venus. “We calculate that the costs of a melting Arctic will be huge, because the region is pivotal to the functioning of Earth systems such as oceans and the climate,” the researchers say. Arctic methane leakage an `economic time bomb` Massive leakage of methane from thawing shoreline in the Arctic would devastate the world`s climate and economy, a trio of scientists warned on Wednesday. Sea ice Satellites have recorded a dramatic decline in the extent of the floating sea ice in the Arctic, where the loss has accelerated rapidly in recent years. What we hear from the media is how many more times powerful methane is at trapping heat than CO2. Hosted by Arctic Research Foundation, stories of science, discovery, culture, conservation and innovation converge to explain one of the most critical, understudied and unknown regions of the world. Estimates of how much methane could be released from the Arctic were based on joint Russian-American expeditions to the East Siberian Sea where scientists have measured vast plumes of methane bubbling to the sea surface from underground deposits stored beneath the permafrost of the seabed, which extends under the sea because the continental shelf here is relatively shallow. 5. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. (Picture credit: Rex), Greenland ice sheet The ice sheet covering Greenland is two miles thick in places and it will take many centuries before it disappears. This is an economic time-bomb that at this stage has not been recognised on the global stage,” said Professor Gail Whiteman of Erasmus University in Rotterdam. So far seven of these gaping chasms have been discovered in Siberia, apparently caused by pockets of methane exploding out of the melting permafrost. Sign up to read our regular email newsletters. Levels started rising very slowly around 5000 years ago, possibly to due …. The Arctic sea floor contains a rich, decayed layer of vegetation from earlier eras when the continental shelf was not underwater. That methane, 25 times as potent a heat-trapping gas as carbon dioxide, would then cause a catastrophic, rapid rise in the planet’s temperature. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? The economic and health costs of extreme weather are incalculable. “We have an area of the world that used to be covered with sea ice all year round and which is now in the summer months becoming ice free. Others, though, think that while we are on course for catastrophic warming, the one thing we don’t need to worry about is the so-called methane time bomb. Methane is about 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 100 year period and its sudden release could change the global climate significantly faster than current predictions, the scientists say. Arctic methane 'time bomb' could have huge economic costs. Science with Sam explains. About 10 million people a year are currently affected by coastal flooding, and that figure is likely to triple even without further rises in sea level as more people migrate to coastal megacities, such as Dhaka in Bangladesh. These methane plumes are increasing the methane in the atmosphere…We’ve seen methane increases in the atmosphere, the overall methane curve has started to rise and the place where this increase is happening most is in the Arctic,” Professor Wadhams said. The “methane time bomb” is the popular shorthand for the idea that the thawing of the Arctic could at any moment trigger the sudden release of massive amounts of …

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