Potent gases flame controversy

Spiegal Online International carries this article on Arctic research. I immediately thought of Global warming clearing house and methane production, with affection.

Researchers have found alarming evidence that the frozen Arctic floor has started to thaw and release long-stored methane gas. The results could be a catastrophic warming of the earth, since methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. But can the methane also be used as fuel.

It’s always been a disturbing what-if scenario for climate researchers: Gas hydrates stored in the Arctic ocean floor — hard clumps of ice and methane, conserved by freezing temperatures and high pressure — could grow unstable and release massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Since methane is a potent greenhouse gas, more worrisome than carbon dioxide, the result would be a drastic acceleration of global warming. Until now this idea was mostly academic; scientists had warned that such a thing could happen. Now it seems more likely that it will.

Russian polar scientists have strong evidence that the first stages of melting are underway. They’ve studied largest shelf sea in the world, off the coast of Siberia, where the Asian continental shelf stretches across an underwater area six times the size of Germany, before falling off gently into the Arctic Ocean. The scientists are presenting their data from this remote, thinly-investigated region at the annual conference of the European Geosciences Union this week in Vienna.

Note the fact that undersea methane is only a little below freezing by about 1.5 degrees C, and Arctic tundra methane may be 12.5 or so below freezing. Something new to think about regarding my property on the Hudson Bay.

Can I sell the methane as fuel fast enough to avert sea level rise as the southwest passage stays open longer? What is forcing, trend, and noise? Is there an inverse relationship between scientificly expressed noise and political noise, and does it have anything to do with climate and weather?

Science Daily reported more increases as well globally in gasses after a quiet period of a few years for unknown reasons.

Real Climate article and comments especially between Pielke and Gavin are worth the time and thought to consider. There is a good list to be gleaned on thoughts regarding model(s) verification and use, forcast verification, and data series.

‘AGW’ is not a fundamental theory in and of itself, it is the conclusion of many different lines of evidence and basic physics. There aren’t going to be any major revisions of HITRAN or radiative transfer theory that will make any difference to forcing related to GHG increases, but there’s plenty of uncertainty in cloud feedbacks or aerosol-cloud interactions or the impact of unresolved ocean dynamics when it comes to the climate response. Come up with a specific hypothesis that you think we should be testing and we can discuss. – gavin]comment #169 response to general skeptic rejection of climate science.

It is my impression there is no scientific ‘neutral’ or more accurately (news wise) ‘natural’ trend lines established to be argued about, period. And predictions of forty years ago are hardly relevant to the scientific interest of today involving so many different areas of interest and discovery as methodologies of measurement are refined, much less discovering new things to measure to begin with.

Update: I re-arranged paragraph order for clarity.