Will 2024 be the tipping point for Methane Hydrates?

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The world is warming faster than scientists expected
Yet when it comes to the physical state of the climate, we have not been here at all. To an extent not widely appreciated, the world is now warming at a pace that scientists did not expect and, alarmingly, do not fully understand.

At a Financial Times conference this month, Jim Skea, the chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said last year’s spike in temperatures was “quicker than we all anticipated”.

“It was a surprise,” he said. “Ocean temperatures were just off the scale in terms of historic records. It was completely unusual and we still need to do more work to explain it.” The unnerving implications of these findings were spelt out last week by Gavin Schmidt, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

Writing in the journal Nature, Schmidt warned that the data could imply that a warming planet was already “fundamentally altering how the climate system operates”. The surprising heat in 2023 had “come out of the blue”, he said, and revealed that “an unprecedented knowledge gap” had opened up for the first time since satellite data began to give scientists a real-time view of the climate system about 40 years ago.

This gap may mean we have a shakier grasp of what lies ahead — which is worrying when it comes to forecasting drought and rainfall patterns that are already aggravating food shortages. Theories for the unexpected warming range from a rise in solar activity ahead of a predicted solar maximum to new rules on cleaner shipping fuel that aim to cut sulphur emissions. Sulphur compounds in the atmosphere have a cooling effect.

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But a full explanation remains elusive.

My fear and my concern is that what we are seeing methane hydrates melting and that is what is driving temperatures…

Seafloor methane tipping point crossed in 2024?

The heat in December 2023 was felt most strongly in the Arctic, as illustrated by the NASA image below, showing anomalies above 1951-1980 as high as 9.9°C. 
The image below further illustrates heat striking the northern latitudes in 2023, showing that the temperature anomaly in 2023 was 2.19°C above 1880-1920 in between 24°North and the North Pole. 

The danger is that ocean heat could abruptly be pushed from the North Atlantic into the Arctic Ocean, temporarily raising temperatures at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, as discussed in earlier posts such as this one

Terrifying rise of Northern Hemisphere ocean temperature anomalies

The image shows the terrifying rise of Northern Hemisphere ocean temperature anomalies from 1901-2000, illustrating crossing of two tipping points, i.e. the Latent Heat Tipping Point and the Seafloor Methane Tipping Point.

This threatens to cause rapid destabilization of methane hydrates at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean and lead to explosive eruptions of methane, as its volume increases 160 to 180-fold when leaving the hydrates. 

…I just don’t think understand how serious the most recent temperatures are telling us things have become.

If we start seeing Methane Hydrates reaching melting points, that will herald an explosion of methane that will be able to push the temperature up globally by 10 degrees within. decade.

Such a heat spike would see Greenland lose all it’s ice, which would desalinate the Labrador Sea which will shut down the Atlantic Current which will plunge the Northern Hemisphere into an ice age.

Good times, good times.

I do not believe that we are ready for this Jelly.

 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. https://youtu.be/kx1Jxk6kjbQ?si=ssY9L_UkZHR2-ECt

    This is a ten year old video of a Russian expert scientist on methane. Watch the 6:35 minute area when she talks about the worst might happen. She is visibly scared.

    We are all in hospice now. Deep history of the planet shows climate change is non-linear, so why did everyone say and think it was. It’s abrupt. That’s why extinction events are linked to them. Peter Wadhams has a great book called The End Of Ice, A Report From The Arctic.

  2. But you would be a communist to suggest this “anomaly” could be global warming. It is just an unusual coincidence eh?

    Business as usual – nothing to see here.

    Except – business as usual appears to no longer exist, and it appears that planning is virtually impossible because of unexpected changes such as this one. What is the solution of the right – no change, infact roll back changes that may have impacted positively on the issue, carry no, nothing to see here.

    It seems the Earth will need to be a flaming ball of rock before the right can “see” the issue.

    Those who voted for these clowns need to consider getting themselves committed to get the treatment they clearly need.

  3. ” The world is warming faster than scientists expected ” Link without a paywall: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/09/world/global-climate-change-report-un-ipcc/index.html

    The World’s ice is a buffer delaying disastrous heating but it is disappearing. Once the Ice is gone we’ll be in a new ” hot world ” alien to our current biosphere. The energy that was melting the ice will be heating the Oceans. ” and the Planet. Latent Heat Tipping Point :

    There is a point where the ice gets so thin that, instead of consuming most heat, it will consume virtually no heat anymore, so from that point, most further heat that is flowing from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and overhead Sun into the Arctic Ocean will go into raising the temperature of the water.

    Latent heat is energy associated with a phase change, such as the energy consumed when solid ice turns into water (i.e. melts). During a phase change, the temperature remains constant. Sea ice acts as a buffer that absorbs heat, while keeping the temperature at zero degrees Celsius.

    As long as there is sea ice in the water, this sea ice will keep absorbing heat as it melts, so the temperature will not rise at the sea surface and remain at zero°C. The amount of energy that is consumed in the process of melting the ice is as much as it takes to heat an equivalent mass of water from zero°C to 80°C. ”
    With Ice no temperature change once melted a dramatic capture of heat occurs from zero to 80c in the melted water

  4. Massive Methane Hydrate Destabilization in the Past with Profound Implications for Today’s Climate

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiJs6k6KMfo

    @BBirke1337
    5 months ago
    Prehistoric Heinrich and Dansgaard-Oeschger events took many centuries to over 1000 years, in which released methane would decay in the atmosphere, so there was no “methane bomb” or “clathrate gun” going off. I wonder if our rapidly rising CO2 levels and temperatures will be enough to trigger such a chain reaction, where more methane accumulates in the atmosphere than decays, leading to an extreme heat pulse.

  5. Approaching the Collapse Threshold: Extreme Melting and Instability Measured in NE Greenland Glacier

    ” Ground based on-ice measurements, airborne survey measurements, and satellite measurements are verified against each other, and show how fast this 79NG glacier is thinning, moving, and melting.

    This glacier is quickly withering away due to the onslaught of extremely high air temperatures melting the surface of the glacier creating numerous glacial lakes on the surface, which are drilling through the ice draining the water to the bedrock below and into the ocean.

    Just as significant for the ice melt, the warming oceans below are greatly accelerating the basal ice melt (ice at the bottom of the floating parts of the glacier in contact with ocean water). In fact, near the center line longitudinal cross section of the ice, a 500 meter high cavity has been melted into the bottom of the glacier, and this cavity of upside down crevice has come to within 190 meter of the glacier surface.

    When it penetrates through the surface, the glacier will likely cleave into two parts, and what often happens is the whole thing shatters into a multitude of smaller pieces that quickly cascade out into the ocean and quickly melt out.

    Overall, the thickness of the glacier has decreased by 160 meters, but that is outside of the 500 meter cavity region, but it seems to me that the ice over the cavity region is by far the weakest spot or Achilles Heel of the whole thing.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr6pXUrJZH8&t=523s

    @alfredadrianjr.4702
    16 hours ago
    We are screwed! After or during blue ocean event sometime this decade, I wouldn’t be surprised if current methane emissions go thru the roof. This could very well spell the end of agriculture as we know it.

    Andrew Glikson notes in his book: ” THE EVENT HORIZON: Homo Prometheus and the Climate Catastrophe ”
    We are at 2c above the preindustrial baseline of 1750 when a cooling climate trending to another glaciation was turned around towards heating by fossil fuel burning. refer page 31 paragraph 1 of the Anthropocene Hyperthermal.

    We are in an open ended exponential warming to a new hot house stable equilibrium.

  6. This gap may mean we have a shakier grasp of what lies ahead — which is worrying when it comes to forecasting drought and rainfall patterns that are already aggravating food shortages. Theories for the unexpected warming range from a rise in solar activity ahead of a predicted solar maximum to new rules on cleaner shipping fuel that aim to cut sulphur emissions. Sulphur compounds in the atmosphere have a cooling effect.

    Unfortunately all this indicates how arrogant we as a sentient, living animal are. We have just shown that we can’t handle present structures eg demolished bridge* by long ship that seemed to an observer to be trying to back up while under the bridge and one wonders about the authenticity of credentials of shipboard management. There is no room for arrogance about human advancement for anyone who applies an open and objective mind. My personal joke on this is that We all require humility to keep us centred and I consider I have more humility than anyone else I know.
    *https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/512746/baltimore-bridge-collapses-after-being-struck-by-ship-six-presumed-dead

    Further observation, we have gone beyond the bounds of usefulness of our present politics as in the Westminster style. Also we have looked up to universities to add to the sum of specialist knowledge, and to mass education to advance the masses (ie me and the others).
    Then we have placed relentlessly self-serving materialist pollies in charge of the unis under neo-lib. We have attempted to bring unis and pollies under the influence of national religions. We have released neo-lib materialist drives over everything (I notice the accountants to the fore in religion and methods of volunteer charities as well). There seems no moral compass, the scientists are ‘lost in space’ so where are the clear, practical and kind heads to run our flighty planet?

    At present, am reading a post-WW2 novel written by a busy man who after wide experiences went as an Indian admin then a Magistrate there, returned to old Brit and went to ground at the Foreign Office. Later he wrote under the name of William Haggard. ‘Closed Circuit’ is about this little South American state that secedes in a quiet way and becomes a Brit enclave. The story is partly personal with the malign admin sleeping with the colonist’s wife. I checked the ending and the admin’s death from opposition figures is unpleasant involving lighted cigarettes, judicious bone breaking and a blackjack, then being found alive giving some useful info to the FO before passing away. They’re not sorry and express relief he could pass some vital info and ‘it was lucky he lived a little’ – just long enough for their purposes. All rather chilling and there seems a possible element of fact in the background.

    Summarised excerpt: [The Masons] were the last of these Anglo-Candoran families to trace their descent to the original grant-holder, and…suspicious of those who had replaced them. Not all these newcomers were British by blood, for life…was changing. But whatever their race they were men who had bought their estates as going concerns; men who had taken in the process a new and better title to them. They hadn’t, as had the Masons, built their first house with their own hands, building again later in a solid modesty. On the contrary some of them had replaced what they had found … with Scottish baronial castles or [newer styles]…importations…and suspect of a certain decadence. [Mason] knew a man in Argentina, a cripple, who ran his ranch from a jeep!

    There is an uncomfortable lingering taste of the NZ experience in reading this 1960 book and what we experience and see now. It might be very timely to work out an amicable and practical co-governance with Maori. The actors in the drama here are becoming more like mechanical toys; the people are bewitched, bothered and bewildered, as the song goes. The middle class feel like fully developed butterflies who are enjoying their time in the sun and feel that they have achieved the long-held aims and promise held out to the modern citizen. They may feel monarchs of it all, but must be uneasy about climate change though will still articulate the cliches against change to avoid the worst.

    Their reluctance is understandable; who would have thought truth and fiction would come together, align, when Douglas Adams wrote about – What was the big mistake in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

    Hence: Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
    Quote by Douglas Adams: “Many were increasingly of the opinion that …
    goodreads.com https://www.goodreads.com › quotes › 753438-many-we…

  7. This is a serious topic and you are dealing with it seriously Martyn. Lynn over at TS has a strong interest and education in climate change etc. Can you co-operate and confer FTTT on the subject of NZ and we can work out which hill we should/could shift to. Whether we should hire a cruise ship for extra accommodation; if houseboats moored in quiet estuaries might be beneficial…

    The Councils and planners worry me, making their 30, even 50 year projections. They are forcing us to be gamblers and borrow money on unwise investments from a system that is just really ‘running a book’ on bets and will beat you up if you don’t pay probably!

    to run a book
    WordReference Forums https://forum.wordreference.com › … › English Only
    26 Hān 2015 — To take bets; to take money and pay out more to those who correctly predicted the outcome.

    Running a book – definition
    Encyclo.co.uk https://www.encyclo.co.uk › … Whakamāoritia tēnei whārangi
    1) Firms who are buying and selling stock for themselves hoping to profit from price differences are said to run a book in that stock.

    What about running some sort of betting system on what the temperature will be highest that week, or which will be the driest area etc? It would be a good way to catch the fleeting thoughts and some funding from the busy sophisticate or physical worker who is so hard at work that life passes by unnoticed.

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