04 Jan '12, 10pm

Dot Earth Blog: 'Much Ado About Methane'

The possibility of a catastrophic release is of course what gives methane its power over the imagination (of journalists in particular it seems). A submarine landslide might release a Gigaton of carbon as methane (Archer, 2007), but the radiative effect of that would be small, about equal in magnitude (but opposite in sign) to the radiative forcing from a volcanic eruption. Detectable perhaps but probably not the end of humankind as a species. What could happen to methane in the Arctic? The methane bubbles coming from the Siberian shelf are part of a system that takes centuries to respond to changes in temperature. The methane from the Arctic lakes is also potentially part of a new, enhanced, chronic methane release to the atmosphere. Neither of them could release a catastrophic amount of methane (hundreds of Gtons) within a short time frame (a few years or less). There is...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/much-ado-abo...

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"Much Ado About Methane" (by Dave Archer) just up at #RealClimate #climate #climatechange

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