Mar 06 2010

Lefties Once Again Showing Off Their Scientific Ignorance Over Methane Gas

Published by at 9:31 am under All General Discussions,Global Warming

Update: Steve Hawyward has a must read compendium up at the Weekly Standard, not to mention the above excellent artwork showing the high priest of AGW has no clothes. H/T Powerline.

Update: added link to source article – my bad! – end update

When you have drunk the AGW Kool Aid you see human made global warming everywhere – its like hallucinating on LSD spiked in the Kool Aid. All of sudden winters without much snow are a sign of AGW, winters with record snow are AGW, increased rainfall is AGW, reduced rainfall is AGW, ice falling off one side of Antarctica (near its volcanoes) is AGW, ice growing on the other side is AGW. Earthquakes and tsunamis are AGW, disease and war. It’s quite pathetic really.

Recently a Russian report on methane gas in Siberia came out, and all the Kool Aid drinkers were claiming it was all AGW!

But if one knew what the science was reporting one would see that what we have is more evidence  recent warming is a natural part of the normal Earth cycle. Moreover, much of what we are seeing is the world coming out of the recent Little Ice Age, which supposedly “ended” right before the global temperature record began. I say ‘supposedly’ because no one knows when or if we passed ‘the end’. If we assume the ‘end’ was the return to the prior Medieval Warm Period, then we may not have passed ‘the end’ yet. Yes, it is getting warmer since the Little Ice Age – so what?

What we do know is that as the Earth warms from these cold spells it out-gasses. Gases once frozen in the Earth and colder oceans are released as temperatures rise, and that alters the chemical make up of our water and air. Basic chemistry at work here. Why this is a shock to so many PhDs puts into question the quality of some PhDs.

So this study in Siberia discovered one of these geological out-gassing sites producing massive amounts of methane – a much more powerful Green-House Gas (GHG) than little old CO2.

The research results, published in the March 5 edition of the journal Science, show that the  under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, long thought to be an impermeable barrier sealing in , is perforated and is leaking large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.

Or it could not trigger warming. Ice cores show how green house gas production lags temperature increases (click to enlarge):

The blue line is temperature, and the CO2 is clearly rising after the temp rises, sometime 100’s of years after. Again, basic chemistry at work here.

This is not the first time the Earth has warmed and outgassed, it won’t be the last. The report goes on to note some interesting facts that need to be understood:

Methane is a greenhouse gas more than 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. It is released from previously frozen soils in two ways. When the organic material—which contains carbon—stored in permafrost thaws, it begins to decompose and, under oxygen-free conditions, gradually release methane. Methane can also be stored in the seabed as methane gas or methane hydrates and then released as subsea permafrost thaws. These releases can be larger and more abrupt than those that result from decomposition.

The reasons for my highlights are as follows. The report goes on to show the Siberian Shelf is producing more methane than all the world’s oceans combined. With methane being 30 times stronger than CO2 combined with the theory that GHG is driving the warming (and satellite measurements of heat radiation into space do NOT support this) one has to ponder the role of this large area of methane deposits on climate. Is it the cause of the warming in Eurasia which does not show up in North America (thus not being global)?

There is no proof shown in any of this that the sea-bed has warmed (unless its due to local volcanic action). We don’t have any measurements of the seabed temperature or sea surface anomalies, this study was performed from the air. There is no way to prove this is due to recent warming or has been going on for decades, centuries or millenia.

What we do know from chemistry and physics is this (and why I emphasized the ‘oxygen-free’ note above):

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf, in addition to holding large stores of frozen methane, is more of a concern because it is so shallow. In deep water, oxidizes into carbon dioxide before it reaches the surface. In the shallows of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, methane simply doesn’t have enough time to oxidize, which means more of it escapes into the atmosphere.

This statement is inaccurate. When the ice covers the region the methane is trapped and produces large amounts of CO2, which moves with ocean currents to open water and escapes. For this region of the word ice cover is clearly a common state (just ask the 1,000 or so people now stuck n the arctic ice).

What we have is a newly discovered geological phenomena of outgassing. It happened before when this region warmed to these temperature levels (which are not unique in historic time). The fact it is happening again is NOT another sign from Al Gore’s Green God that humanity has sinned and must repent its fossil fuels.

Anymore than the Yellowstone giant volcano (which also is out gassing) is due to AGW.

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “Lefties Once Again Showing Off Their Scientific Ignorance Over Methane Gas”

  1. momdear1 says:

    The claims that carbon dioxide is a danger to human existance is a ploy to promote reducing the world’s population to 2 billion people , the number Malthus opined was the limit that the earth could sustain back in the 1800’s. We now have over 6 billion people. So they figure 4 billion of us have to go. Unfortunately, those with the intelligence and common sense to benefit society are limiting their number of offspring while the “eaters” are mass producing. If these planners, who think they know what is best for everybody, and have institutionalized government charity for the under achievers, would get out of the way, nature would right itself by eliminating those who will not or cannot take care of themselves. By mandating free healthcare, food, housing, et al for the chronically ill, underprivileged, handcapped, and otherwise unproductive classes, we are now spending more on those who either cannot or will not take care of themselves than on those who are productive. If Governments would get out of the way, nature would take care of itself.

  2. Paul from Boston says:

    Have you ever figured out where this claim of methane being 30 times more potent than CO2 comes from? I looked at the methane ir spectrum and it’s at rather short wavelengths that overlap with the H2O spectrum, which diminishes its effect.

  3. AJStrata says:


    Hate to say it, but since I don’t buy the GHG theory (because it neglects the cooling by convection. etc) I never sweat the details. Just keep pointing out the mistakes.

  4. tarpon says:

    Swamp gas … Something you find in, well swamps and jungles. Remember when ‘jungles’ were a cool word.

    I wonder how lefties figure the Arctic tundra was formed.

    Of course there is this tiny problem of methane hydrates …

  5. Arno Arrak says:

    The current arctic warming is real but has nothing to do with the greenhouse effect. It started at the turn of the twentieth century when a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system set the Gulf Stream on its present northerly course. That’s more than a century of warming, enough to allow basic chemistry to take its course. See “What Warming?” available on

  6. crosspatch says:

    “So this study in Siberia discovered one of these geological out-gassing sites producing massive amounts of methane ”

    Ok, so you either capture the methane or if that is not possible, you use some really high technology that might be beyond them … it is called the “match”. You light the methane and flare it off so that it is converted to CO2 which is not as bad.

  7. ajh1492 says:

    First . . .

    The thing about the Methane out-gassing in Siberia – Is this an indication of the “missing” magma hotspot that created the Traps in the first place. Please note that the current leading theory proposes that the creation of the Siberian Traps, approximately 250 Myr ago, was the vent that caused the Permian-Triassic Extinction.

    Most other non-plate boundary volcanic “hotspots” have been identified (Yellowstone, Hawaiian island chain, central Italy/ Sicily, etc.) with one major exception of the hotspot that created the Traps.

    Second . . .

    The same crowd of people proclaim that the Methane Hydrates in the permafrost-seabed will all melt at once. FAH! It’s the Solar Cycles (note deliberate use of plural on cycles). The Sun’s output varies over time – day, month, year, decade, century, millennium, eon – this is the most significant factor in the amount of energy that is added into the system (i.e. the Earth).

  8. AJStrata says:


    Please add a link if you can. That was my suspicion but I could not find anything linking the Traps to the Siberian shelf.

  9. […] AJ Strata has an excellent article on that methane release in Russia issue. Sphere: Related Content […]