Possibility of a Major Methane Release Triggered by Melting Arctic Ice Constitutes a "Planetary Emergency".

by sizemik 30 Replies latest social current

  • sizemik

    Climate 'tech fixes' urged for Arctic methane

    By Richard Black - Environment correspondent, BBC News

    An eminent UK engineer is suggesting building cloud-whitening towers in the Faroe Islands as a "technical fix" for warming across the Arctic.

    Scientists told UK MPs this week that the possibility of a major methane release triggered by melting Arctic ice constitutes a "planetary emergency".

    The Arctic could be sea-ice free each September within a few years.

    Wave energy pioneer Stephen Salter has shown that pumping seawater sprays into the atmosphere could cool the planet.

    The Edinburgh University academic has previously suggested whitening clouds using specially-built ships.

    At a meeting in Westminster organised by the Arctic Methane Emergency Group (Ameg), Prof Salter told MPs that the situation in the Arctic was so serious that ships might take too long.

    "I don't think there's time to do ships for the Arctic now," he said.

    "We'd need a bit of land, in clean air and the right distance north... where you can cool water flowing into the Arctic."

    Favoured locations would be the Faroes and islands in the Bering Strait, he said.

    Towers would be constructed, simplified versions of what has been planned for ships.

    In summer, seawater would be pumped up to the top using some kind of renewable energy, and out through the nozzles that are now being developed at Edinburgh University, which achieve incredibly fine droplet size.

    In an idea first proposed by US physicist John Latham, the fine droplets of seawater provide nuclei around which water vapour can condense.

    This makes the average droplet size in the clouds smaller, meaning they appear whiter and reflect more of the Sun's incoming energy back into space, cooling the Earth.

    On melting ice

    The area of Arctic Ocean covered by ice each summer has declined significantly over the last few decades as air and sea temperatures have risen.

    For each of the last four years, the September minimum has seen about two-thirds of the average cover for the years 1979-2000, which is used a baseline. The extent covered at other times of the year has also been shrinking.

    What more concerns some scientists is the falling volume of ice.

    Analysis from the University of Washington, in Seattle, using ice thickness data from submarines and satellites, suggests that Septembers could be ice-free within just a few years.

    That's a wow . . .


  • glenster
  • dozy

    Nothing worse than a major methane release............

  • Knowsnothing

    So, this is proof the end is near, right?

  • strymeckirules

    geo engineering = chemtrails = planet cooling = no more direct sunlight = unknown consequences = we're not getting off oil anytime soon.

  • Poztate

    The big scare used to be cows farting... We needed to all be vegetarians or we were all going to die

    Pumping sea water in to the atmosphere would be like pissing during a hurricane.

    It would make you feel beter but wouldn't affect the storm..

  • Low-Key Lysmith
    Low-Key Lysmith

    There will undoubtedly be a giant methane release in major US cities tomorrow, like Boston, Chicago, & NYC as a result of all the consumption of beer and cabbage.

  • ziddina


    Well, the human race is long overdue for another "culling". On the individual scale it will be a global nightmare...

    In the long run, anything that will cause a large-scale "die-off" of the most populous and most polluting species on the planet, will be GOOD for the planet - and the species...

    The human race will HOPEFULLY get it thru their thick, Bronze-Age Middle-Eastern male god-worshipping heads, that OVERPOPULATION will lead to THE DEATHS of millions of INDIVIDUALS...

    It appears that the Middle-Eastern-god worshippers are bringing their own "Armageddon" upon themselves.

  • Broken Promises
    Broken Promises

    I agree with Ziddina

  • Razziel

    Well if it becomes an existential threat, we always have a few billion tons of sulfur dioxide in our back pocket to release to the atmosphere to drop the temperature a few degrees.

  • Botzwana

    This is why Wifey and I decided to not have children. Among many reasons...hell in Mexico kids are wandering the streets. If we ever wanted one we just reach our hand outside and take a couple.

  • Glander

    Seed the clouds with 'Beano'

  • ohiocowboy
    In the long run, anything that will cause a large-scale "die-off" of the most populous and most polluting species on the planet, will be GOOD for the planet - and the species...

    Very true! My Partner and I just discussed this yesterday. When it happens, the only thing that will be heard worldwide is the sound of Animals who will be breathing a huge sigh of relief. Even though we have made many strides and accomplishments for ourselves, we generally haven't given the Earth the respect that it deserves, and it will lead to our eventual downfall.

    That's a very eye opening article, Sizmik. Thank you for posting it.

  • Razziel

    The sad thing, ohiocowboy, is that unless our end is too quick to react, I fear we would take the planet down kicking and screaming with us. There are several extreme measures we can take if our existence is at stake that might buy us another hundred years, but would eventually lead to mass extinctions of animal and plant life.

  • Qcmbr

    Viewed geologically - as long as something survives (be it a microbe or a cockroach) then a mass extinction caused by humans is no more harmful than a direct , large scale, asteroid hit - which statistically should happen regularly. Mankind however, has a fantastic trait of enlightened self interest and will work hard to adapt (rather than animals simply who move, evolve or die).

    In short mankind is the best hope this planet has ever had of making it long term without an extinction event. We gravely underestimate our ability and just as Malthus predicted doom but was beaten by tech so will we beat and overcome the challenges that weather change will give (indeed a warmer planet may have some awesome benefits overall - certainly beats a global ice age in my book.)

  • sizemik

    @glenster ... thanks for the link. The voices are growing louder. Interesting quote from article . . .

    "Science assessments indicate that human activities are moving several of Earth's sub-systems outside the range of natural variability typical for the previous 500,000 years," wrote the authors in the opening of "Navigating the Anthropocene: Improving Earth System Governance."

    Here's another interesting article.

    . . . "by conservative estimates, 9,000 species are going extinct each year, most of them from the rainforests."

    . . . "we are presently experiencing the largest mass extinction since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago; only this time it’s occurring at a much faster rate."

    @dozy ... LOL ... stay away from naked flames.

    @@Knowsnothing ... no, not the end, just major changes.

    @strymeckirules ... addiction to fossil fuel burning is a hard one to break. Shell is heading for the Arctic. Fracturing rigs are popping up like freakin mushrooms.

    @Poztate ... seems like a band-aid on a hemorrhage. Going at the cause might be more productive.

    @Low-Key Lysmith ... All heil St Paddy!

    @Ziddina & Broken Promises ... agreed.

    @Razziel ... existential threat? . . . hmmm. One man's floor is another man's ceiling I guess.

    @Botzwana ... that's a courageous decision IMO. If I knew then what I know now . . .

    @ohiocowboy ... you're welcome. Seems a lot more folks are daring to look over the other side of the mountain. It can be daunting, but from the courage to do so, comes the motivation for change.

    @Razziel ... mass extinctions are already unavoidable IMO. Human impact goes beyond climate change. Major species losses are already ocurring. Marine ecosysystems are being hammered like never before. A periodic absence of arctic ice has obvious and dire implications for an entire and large ecosystem. One estimate says we have increased extinction rates by 10,000% since 1900.

    @Qcmbr ... I agree with what you say but with less optimism. Humankind will likely come through the future crisis . . . hopefully better for it in a few centuries from now. This will not be without a major attrition IMO. Tech has helped create the very problems we seek to mitigate. As Einstein once said; It's like an "axe in the hands of a madman." I no longer have the faith in science as our saviour I once had . . . not in the immediate context.

    What we sometimes see as a future possibility is in reality our present. I don't believe in the "end of the world" or some doomsday event . . . but I do believe we're heading for change . . . massive change. The next 2-3 decades will see things deteriorate markedly. If you aren't prepared for it it'll hit you like a train.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • Glander

    This entire thread is a crock of horseshit. Didn't you guys get your fill in the JW cult?

    Never mind, have your wallow in "oooo, scary!" and then get up in the mrning, eat your oatmeal (hopefully with pleanty of stewed prunes) and go your diverse ways. See you tomorrow.

  • Night Owl
    Night Owl

    Blah, blah, blah.


  • Night Owl
    Night Owl

    As long as they can keep finding ways to tax your ass out of the universe, they will make this crap up. The only increase in methane is coming out of the researchers asses.


  • sizemik

    Hmmm . . . When you don't touch a mind you touch a nerve LOL.

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