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Methane Bomb

The phrase “Methane Bomb” or sometimes “Arctic Methane Bomb” refers to a huge risk for an event that we can't accurately forecast. It has the opportunity to rip control away from humans and finish heating the planet past supporting life as we know it. As the video clip below puts it; If nature starts putting out global warming gasses as fast as humans are, now, then it will no longer save the situation for humans to stop putting their share out. It is a real risk, and should bring an urgency to attempts to stop CO2 emissions that has not been in anyone's serious planning, yet.

The issue is that a huge amount of methane has been stored in the arctic over millions of years. This was necessary to switch life on earth from anaerobic life (organisms for which oxygen is a poison) to aerobic life (organisms like us that breath oxygen). Almost all current animal life forms are aerobic, and they depend on the oxygen-tolerant plants on land and in the ocean to resupply the oxygen that we breath.

A good article appears here: “How Much Should You Worry About an Arctic Methane Bomb?”
““Recent warnings that this greenhouse gas could cost us $60 trillion have received widespread publicity. But many scientists are skeptical.””

The following video addresses this issue, but is quite long because of background material and following motivational material.

Expand the outline here (click on 2 arrows), and see if it lets you comfortably look at the video clip, below it. This issue is one of many examples of climate tipping points.

(Click to expand) If you can start out with the idea that we know:
  • CO2-driven climate change is real, but also:
  • climate change can itself produce climate change, for example:
(Click to expand)
  • Loss of forests releases CO2 to the atmosphere and climate change damages many forests, so climate change produces something that produces climate change.
  • Loss of snow and ice cover reduces the reflection of sunlight and therefore allows increased heating of the earth, so again, climate change produces something that produces climate change.
  • Then, consider that if warming causes melting permafrost it releases methane to the atmosphere, and methane is a much worse global warming blanket than CO2
  • Rising arctic ocean temperatures is starting to release methane from methane-hydrate deposits at the floor of the arctic ocean. There is some debate about this, and it's possible rate of change. The amount of methane-hydrate stored is believed to be enormous - larger than any other stored fossil fuel source.
  • Any system where the problem can itself cause the problem to get worse is a feedback system that can get out of control

So, the following excerpt from the above movie covers the possibility of released methane-hydrates from the arctic ocean producing a catastrophic worsening of global warming at some undetermined time in the upcoming decades. (A bit like asking when the “Big One” (9.0 Earthquake and Tsunami) is coming).

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methane_bomb.txt · Last modified: 2018/08/21 03:55 by admin