Climate change Global Warming

Ocean Methane Production is Ubiquitous

Spread the love

From a PNAS article:

The conditions of methane (CH4) formation in olivine-hosted secondary fluid inclusions and their prevalence in peridotite and gabbroic rocks from a wide range of geological settings were assessed using confocal Raman spectroscopy, optical and scanning electron microscopy, electron microprobe analysis, and thermodynamic modeling. Detailed examination of 160 samples from ultraslow- to fast-spreading midocean ridges, subduction zones, and ophiolites revealed that hydrogen (H2) and CH4 formation linked to serpentinization within olivine-hosted secondary fluid inclusions is a widespread process.

And this from a paper in Nature:

Methane (CH4) is an important greenhouse gas because it has 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide (CO2) by mass over a century. Recent calculations suggest that atmospheric CH4 emissions have been responsible for approximately 20% of Earth’s warming since pre-industrial times. Understanding how CH4 emissions from ecosystems will respond to expected increases in global temperature is therefore fundamental to predicting whether the carbon cycle will mitigate or accelerate climate change.

So, “abiotic” methane production is “ubiquitous,” and methane is 25 times the greenhouse gas that CO2 is, and none of this has even begun to be entered into climate models.

Certainly some of this methane ends up in our oceans as a condensed gas; but, how much more, over this equilibrium position, does this methane get itself up to the surface and into our atmosphere?

From the accompanying Phys.Org Press Release:

Of 160 rock samples analyzed from across the world’s oceans, almost all contained pockets of methane. These oceanic deposits make up a reservoir exceeding the amount of methane in Earth’s atmosphere before industrialization, estimates Frieder Klein, a marine geologist at WHOI and lead author of the study.

We were totally surprised to find this massive pool of abiotic methane in the oceanic crust and mantle,” Klein said.

For the first two decades in the atmosphere, methane is 84 times greater a greenhouse gas than CO2. And, guess what, they found this methance coming out of the mid-Atlantic Ridge. IOW, they can’t begin to know the extent that these methane emissions affect climate.

Anyone ready to spend 50 trillion dollars to effect changes that won’t change temperatures one twit?

But, you can become a trillionaire if you’re at the receiving end of all of this. Isn’t that good news? NOT!

12 Replies to “Ocean Methane Production is Ubiquitous

  1. 1
    aarceng says:

    However since this has apparently been going on for a long time and should have stabilised it would already be taken into account as measured atmospheric methane and is not a new source contributing to increasing levels.

  2. 2
    tjguy says:

    OK, so CH4 is 84 times more potent during the first two decades after it’s release than CO2, but on the other hand, CO2 is 200 times more plentiful in the atmosphere than CH4. And I read somewhere that some of it will never really disappear.(but I cannot vouch for the accuracy of that claim) That said, I do agree with the premise that that lowering levels of CO2 will probably not have much if any effect on global warming.

  3. 3
    PaV says:

    Tjguy:

    Where do you get the figure for CO2 being 200 times the concentration of methane?

    At Wikipedia, for “Atmospheric Methane,” they show methane as being around 500 ppm for the last two millenia. Levels of CO2 is actually less than that. I’ve seen something elsewhere that says methane is 170 ppm, which is about less than half that of CO2.

    N.B. I just saw that the graph is in ppb–parts per billion, not million.

    However, this level–500 ppb over the last 800,000 years, has, in our current time frame, jumped to 1,700 ppb, or 1.7 ppm. Multiply this by 84 and you get, as an equivalent to CO2 greenhouse effects, 143 ppm. This means that CO2 has increased from about 180 ppm to around 380 ppm. That’s a ‘doubling’ while methane has more than tripled from an almost constant value of 500 ppb over the last million years. All of this increase is recent, and never been seen before.

    Is our warming due to a tripling of methane concentration in modern times? And, is this release of methane due to increased seismic/volcanic activity?

    These are questions deserving attention.

  4. 4
    ET says:

    CO2 only absorbs/ emits in 3 different wavelengths/ frequencies. Only 2 of which are in the thermal IR range. And only 1 of those 2 is significant. That means CO2 is invisible to 92% of what the earth radiates. And less than half of that 8% is directed back towards the earth.

    We will die of CO2 poisoning before CO2 causes any significant change in temps.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    TJGuy @ 2 CO2 outnumbers methane 5 to 1 “this comparatively smaller amount of methane is still 19 times greater a problem for climate change over a 5 year period, and 4 times greater over a 100 year period.”

  6. 6
    ET says:

    OK- time out: If we look at the image of GHG spectra, methane is barely a blip on the screen. The same with this image.

    Methane allegedly fills in the gaps left by CO2 and H2O. That doesn’t make it more potent than CO2, though.

  7. 7
    Bob O'H says:

    PaV @ 3 – you might want to actually read the Wikipedia page on atmospheric methane. It explains what the sources (and sinks) are. It even has an absolutely apalling 3D pie chart.

  8. 8
    PaV says:

    Bob O’H:

    Does this Wikipedia page include methane coming from the mid-Atlantic Ridge? No. That’s the point here.

    Methane levels have gone up 250% in recent times, even within the last ten years. CO2, meanwhile, has gone up 150%. When you weight methane and CO2, you can easily make the case that temperatures are rising because of methane production. This is why the “alarmists” tell us we can’t eat meat.

    Insanity. Can anyone explain why CO2 levels were rising in the early 1900’s, a time when man-made CO2 was a fraction of late 20th Century production? No. Can anyone explain why methane levels have risen? No.

    But, let’s spend trillions of dollars. (Now, if you were at the receiving end of these trillions, would you be anxious to get politicians under your influence so that taxpayers can make you rich? You bet.)

  9. 9
    Mimus says:

    Does this Wikipedia page include methane coming from the mid-Atlantic Ridge? No. That’s the point here.

    Yeah, methane seeps from the sea floor have been measured are part of this accounting. This study is talking about methane locked up inside rocks.
    Can anyone explain why CO2 levels were rising in the early 1900’s, a time when man-made CO2 was a fraction of late 20th Century production?

    Well, CO2 levels have risen more or less exponentially. So shouldn’t we expect older emissions to be a fraction of current ones?

    . Can anyone explain why methane levels have risen?

    Intensification of farming (including rice paddy and ruminates), natural gas, deforestation and landfill for a start.

  10. 10
    Brother Brian says:

    So, “abiotic” methane production is “ubiquitous,” and methane is 25 times the greenhouse gas that CO2 is, and none of this has even begun to be entered into climate models.

    Atmospheric methane is included in climate models. And abiotic sources of methane, such as the thawing of permafrost, are considered to be one of the biggest risks to global warming. A source that speeds up as the earth warms.

  11. 11
    jstanley01 says:

    BREAKING: Global warming conman, Michael E. Mann, loses law suit, on the hook for litigation costs.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/08/22/breaking-dr-tim-ball-wins-michaelemann-lawsuit-mann-has-to-pay/

  12. 12
    ET says:

    This image shows that one of methane’s two absorption/ emission wavelengths is covered by nitrous oxide. If we pump up the volume on the N2O no one will be worried about climate change. 😎

Leave a Reply