For updated global info & data on COVID-19, please click HERE.For updated global data & graphs on COVID-19, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases and death counts in USA by state, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases in Florida via Florida COVID Action, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases in Florida, via Florida state government, please click HERE.Despite a difficult 2020, there is some good climate change science news at the end of 2020 to help us usher in a happier and healthier 2021, in the discussion between the American biologist and evolutionary theorist Bret Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying, American biologist and zoologist, at the DarkHorse Podcast, about the debunked Clathrate gun hypothesis, in the video “Hopeful climate change news on frozen methane release (from Livestream #60)“, below:
Like oil, , methane or CH4, is a carbohydrate: with one carbon atom bounded to four hydrogen atoms. Oil is liquid while methane is gaseous. Methane, being the main constituent of natural gas, is very abundant and is produced biologically by microorganisms living in sediments, peat bogs, and cow intestines, in addition to geological methane reserves. Atmospheric methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. Each molecule of methane traps up to 100 x as much heat as a molecule of CO2. Atmospheric methane is now responsible for about 20% of global warming. The largest reservoir of methane is under the seafloor in the form of methane clathrates; these methane molecules, trapped in lattice of ice, frozen water, resulting in “burning ice”. Put a lighter to a block of such ice, it will burn. One cubic meter of clathrate ice holds about 180 cubic meters of compressed methane gas inside it. Melting clathrates would release a large amount of methane. Clathrates are stable when under pressure and when cold enough. Most clathrate reserves are deep in the ocean, underneath a water column high enough, heavy enough and cold enough, to keep the lid on. But near Siberia, in the East Antarctic Siberian shelf, clathrates are stored at shallow depths, held not by depth pressure, but only by the cold and permafrost.
Geophysicist Michael Mann tells 60 Minutes one encouraging bit of news from today’s climate models: “If we stop burning carbon now, we stop the warming of the planet.” in the video “The “bit of good news” on climate change“, below:
To better understand the Clathrate gun hypothesis, please refer to the excerpt from wikipedia, in italics, below:
The clathrate gun hypothesis refers to a proposed explanation for the periods of rapid warming during the Quaternary. The idea is that changes in fluxes in upper intermediate waters in the ocean caused temperature fluctuations that alternately accumulated and occasionally released methane clathrate on upper continental slopes, these events would have caused the Bond Cycles and individual interstadial events, such as the Dansgaard–Oeschger interstadials.The hypothesis was supported for the Bølling-Allerød and Preboreal period, but not for Dansgaard–Oeschger interstadials,although there are still debates on the topic.
A paper published in 2018 on clathrate gun hypothesis remains controversial and better understanding of this hypothesis is important. Since the actual measurements of atmospheric methane do not show any sudden, accelerating spike, climate scientists do not believe “clathrate gun” scenario is underway, nevertheless, they cannot completely rule out its possibility. Paul Beckwith asks “will the clathrate gun fire only blanks” in the video below, discussing the USGS paper on this issue.
Will a huge burst of methane gas be released from hydrates/clathrates in the Arctic as abrupt climate change takes out the sea-ice and snow cover? In the video “Will Methane Clathrate Gun Only Fire Blanks?” below:
The visualization presented here shows the complex patterns of methane emissions produced globally between January 2018 and November 2018 from different sources. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that traps heat 28 times more effectively than carbon dioxide over a 100-year timescale. Concentrations of methane have increased by more than 150% since industrial activities and intensive agriculture began. After carbon dioxide, methane was responsible for about 23% of climate change in the 20th century. Methane is produced under conditions where little to no oxygen is available. About 30% of methane emissions are produced by wetlands, including ponds, lakes, and rivers. Another 20% is produced by agriculture, due to a combination of livestock, waste management and rice cultivation. Activities related to oil, gas, and coal extraction release an additional 30%. The remainder of methane emissions come from minor sources such as wildfire, biomass burning, permafrost, termites, dams, and the ocean. Scientists around the world are working to better understand the budget of methane with the ultimate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving prediction of environmental change. For additional information, see the Global Methane Budget: https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/m… and NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4799. in the video “Sources of Methane“, below:
Temperatures across the Arctic are increasing two to four times faster than the global average. The dramatic consequences that are already apparent include reduction of sea-ice cover, accelerating loss of land ice from glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet, proliferating wildfires, and—the topic of this panel—ongoing heating and thawing of the permafrost that underlies most of the land area of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions across the globe. Permafrost thaw is a direct threat to buildings, roads, and pipelines, and it can greatly accelerate erosion along rivers and coastlines with severe consequences for communities located there. But an impact with much wider consequences is the release of carbon dioxide and methane by the decomposition of previously frozen organic matter, affecting the rate of growth of global warming and all of its impacts everywhere. (There is estimated to be something like 2.5 times as much carbon in the as in the entire global atmosphere; the key question is how fast it will come out.) The panelists, leading Arctic experts all, explain the complex science of thawing permafrost and elucidate the implications both regionally and globally, in the video “science Session: Thawing Arctic Permafrost-Regional and Global Impacts“, below:
A massive crater in Siberia, known as the ‘gate to hell’, is getting bigger. Now it’s helping scientists to understand more about the current climate crisis and Earth’s past environments, in the video “Siberia’s ‘gate to hell’ is getting bigger – BBC REEL“, below:
A Giant 165ft deep crater has appeared in the Russian Arctic after a massive explosion in the Tundra following a hot summer. It is believed the blast was sparked by “a methane gas buildup in the thawing permafrost.” The giant hole is the 17th large crater to appear in the region over the past six years. Previous mega-holes have sparked oddball conspiracy theories about everything from UFO launch sites to Kremlin nuke tests. Blocks of soil and ice were thrown “hundreds of metres” from the epicentre by a “colossal force” caused by the blast, say scientists. It’s thought gas was released in soil which has been frozen for thousands of years but is now starting to defrost. The new hole was spotted by chance from the air by a Vesti Yamal TV crew heading to an unrelated assignment. A group of scientists then made an expedition to examine the large cylindrical crater estimated to be at least 165 ft deep. Scientist Dr Evgeny Chuvilin, a leading researcher at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, said it was “striking in its size and grandeur”. The crater came about from “colossal forces of nature”, he said. Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky, of the Russian Oil and Gas Research Institute in Moscow, told the TV station the hole was unusual. “It holds a lot of additional scientific information, which I am not yet ready to disclose,” he said. These craters appear because “gas-saturated cavities are formed in the permafrost,” he said. Some, but not all the explosions, have occurred in swelling pingos – or mounds – in the tundra when the gas builds up under a thick cap of ice. Bogoyavlensky has previously claimed that drilling for natural gas in Yamal – a key supplier for Europe – may be a factor in the eruptions. He is also concerned at the risk of ecological disasters if the explosions occur under gas pipelines, production facilities or residential areas. “In a number of areas, pingos – as we see both from satellite data and with our own eyes during helicopter inspections – literally prop up gas pipes,” he said previously. “In some places they jack up the gas pipes….they seem to begin to slightly bend these pipes.” Russian scientists call the holes hydrolaccoliths or bulgunnyakhs and say study of the bizarre phenomenon is at an early stage, in the video “Gas Explosion Leaves 165ft Deep New Crater In Russia’s Arctic Tundra“, below:
These are speculated by scientists, from “Mysterious Siberian crater attributed to methane” of Nature, in italics, below:
Hubberten speculates that a thick layer of ice on top of the soil at the Yamal crater site trapped methane released by thawing permafrost. “Gas pressure increased until it was high enough to push away the overlying layers in a powerful injection, forming the crater,” he says. Hubberten says that he has never before seen a crater similar to the Yamal crater in the Arctic.Larry Hinzman, a permafrost hydrologist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and director of the International Arctic Research Center, says that such craters could become more common in permafrost areas as the region heats up.In Siberian permafrost, large deposits of methane gas are trapped in ice, forming what is called a gas hydrate. Methane remains stable and frozen at certain temperatures, but as the permafrost warms, and its internal strength decreases, it may be less able to withhold the build-up of sub-surface gases, he says, leading to a release.
Presented by Woodwell Climate Research Center’s Dr. Sue Natali, Dr. John P. Holdren of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences , Union of Concerned Scientist’s Senior Fellow Joel Clement, US Arctic Research Commission’s Chair Fran Ulmer, and Woodwell Climate Research Assistant Darcy Peters. Moderated by Woodwell Climate’s Dr. Heather Goldstone, Chief Communications Officer, in the video “Climate Week NYC Webinar: Arctic Permafrost Thaw: Science & Policy“, below:
I am a mother/wife/daughter, math professor, solar advocate, world traveler, yogi, artist, photographer, sharer of knowledge/information, and resident of Windermere, FL. I've worked professionally in applied math, engineering, medical research, and as a university math professor in IL and FL for about 20 years. My husband and I loved Disney and moved down to Central Florida initially as snowbirds. But we've come to love the warmth and friendly people offered by this community and decided to move down to Windermere, FL full time in 2006. I am now spending time sharing information/ knowledge online, promoting understanding of math and solar energy (via http://www.sunisthefuture.net ), and developing Windermere Sun (http://www.WindermereSun.com) as an online publication, sharing and promoting Community ABC's (Activities-Businesses-Collaborations) for healthier/happier/more sustainable living. In the following posts, I'll be sharing with you some of the reasons why Windermere has attracted us to become full-time residents of Central Florida region. Please feel free to leave your comments via email at "Contact Us" in the topbar above or via info.WindermereSun@gmail.com.
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