Retreating Ice Sheet Spurred Massive Methane Blowouts on the Seafloor

By Carl Engelking | June 1, 2017 1:00 pm

Methane still seeps from these craters on the Barents Sea floor, formed some 12,000 years ago when pent-up methane burst from sediment. (Illustration Credit: Andreia Plaza Faverola/CAGE)

A massive reserve of methane — a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide — is trapped deep within the seafloor.

In northern latitudes, thick ice sheets act as a lid sequestering gases at the right temperature and pressure. But when that ice melts, it’s akin to popping a cork on a pressurized bottle of champagne, rapidly releasing large volumes of the pent-up gas.

For proof that warmer conditions can spur violent belches, a team of scientists based in Norway looked to the Barents Sea, where high-resolution bathymetry — water depth measurements — revealed a seafloor pockmarked with giant craters, some more than a half-mile wide and nearly 100 feet deep. In a study published this week in Science, the researchers say methane gas blowouts formed these scars some 12,000 years ago after a major glacial retreat in the Arctic.

As thawing continues at Earth’s poles, what happened here long ago may be a harbinger of what’s to come.

Under Pressure

At the seafloor, methane exists as a hydrate, an icy mixture of gas and water that is stable within a narrow range of pressures and temperatures. Methane hydrates represent a vast store of untapped energy, though they aren’t currently being exploited for production.

Roughly 23,000 years ago, glaciers in the Barents Sea sat atop the sedimentary bedrock and provided pressure that kept chunks of methane hydrate at equilibrium.


The swathe of the Barents Sea seafloor researchers studied, roughly 270 square miles, contains 100 sizable craters. (Illustration Credit: K. Andreassen/CAGE)

But the ice melted over thousands of years, reducing the glaciers’ stabilizing pressure. This caused chunks of methane hydrate to melt and allowed gases from deeper within the bedrock to bubble up, forcing seafloor sediments upward. Eventually, this formed dome-shaped mounds bloated with gases, called pingos. But they wouldn’t last very long.

Decomposing methane hydrates and bubbling gases carved channels in the pingos and weakened their structural integrity. Eventually, the pingos collapsed, quickly expelling large volumes of methane and forming the craters that scientists observed in their study.

“These mounds were over-pressured for thousands of years, and then the lid came off. They just collapsed releasing methane into the water column” says Karin Andreassen, lead author of the study and professor at the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate.

An Ice Sheet Harbinger?

Still today, methane steadily seeps from some 600 gas flares scattered around the field of craters researchers studied. Throughout the world’s oceans, much of the gas that seeps from flares never reaches the atmosphere; instead, methane often dissolves in the ocean, or is converted to carbon dioxide by microbes in the sediments or water column.

However, Andreassen says levels of gas trickling from these flares doesn’t compare to the massive volume of methane that can burst into the ocean following a major blowout. Still, it’s unclear if such a voluminous release of methane would in any way affect levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In February, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Rochester concluded that the breakdown of gas hydrates on the seafloor is unlikely to lead to a major uptick in levels of methane in the atmosphere.


One of the many mysterious craters in Siberia. (Credit: Yamal Governor’s Press Office)

Andreassen and colleagues say their work simply provides a conceptual model for a thaw-blowout cycle, and could serve as a framework to forecast what will happen in years to come in another period of glacial retreat.

Interestingly, a similar process might be playing out on land in Siberia’s Yamal and Gydan peninsulas. There, scientists say they have discovered thousands of pingos on land swollen with methane gas, according to The Siberian Times. It’s believed that Siberia’s mysterious craters form when these pingos blow.

It’s quite clear that Earth belches from time to time, but how these gases ultimately affect the atmosphere, and in turn climate, remains a lingering question.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts
  • Cliff Clavin

    Global warming/cooling/climate change has been going on for billions of years and will continue to go on for billions of years. Get used to it.

    • Sven_Golly

      And big creatures have been eating smaller ones. Should we refrain from stopping that bear eating you and your family?

      • RalphCramden

        That is a really poor analogy.

        • Sven_Golly

          Not really. The point is, if something is a danger to you it needs to be dealt with.

          If I have a .40 gun and the bear is chewing on my leg I won’t think “This isn’t serious yet, let’s see if it goes away.” I also won’t argue that bears have always eaten people and I should surrender to my fate.

          I will use all tools at my disposal to stop the danger. If I drove it off I would still try and kill the damn thing because it is a danger to others.

      • Uncle Al

        Does it vote Democrat?

        • CB

          “Does it vote”

          No, sweetheart.

          Bears don’t vote.

          If they did, would it change the fact that CO₂ has been the primary driver of the Earth’s temperature for all 4.5 billion years of its existence?

          (New Scientist, “Climate myths: Human CO2 emissions are too tiny to matter”, Catherine Brahic, 16 May 2007)

    • JWrenn

      Think of it this way then we have messed with the cycle. Yes the temp/climate has gone up and down and will continue to whether we are here or not. We just nudged it up because we are new to the system and we burn a lot of stuff. so now instead of it fluctuating up 6 degrees and down 6 degrees from standard…it goes up 8 degrees and down 4. We nudged it up 2. Not the real numbers but that is the idea.
      That is all science is saying right now. No scientist is saying that there were not drastic temperature changes before.

      • RalphCramden

        Think of all the volcanoes and unobstructed forest fires in the past. Those two events produce way more “pollution” and warming that us measly humans. Volcanism has been increasing for the last 200 years which coincides with the so called anthropologic global warming data. Volcanoes have been known to cause global climate change for billions of years.

        Then there is the positives of global warming which will open up more land for plant growth that will help feed the increased population. Already the snow melt has revealed ancient year round settlements in once fertile areas that were somehow buried under tons of snow. Maybe the Earth is just getting back to what it was before the Little Ice Age in the 1700’s.

        Folks that think that mere humans can cause the Earth to heat up or cool down have no ideal how puny we are compared to the power of nature. And humans have had a very poor record when they interfere with nature and try to override the natural cycles. It all ends in disaster with nature beating us every time.

        If you want to worry then worry about the superbugs that can, and will, kill millions in the near future. Already there are bugs that are totally immune to all of the current antibiotics available today. And those bugs are getting stronger and more prevalent. That is something that will have an immediate impact on you and is easily measurable with no doubt among anyone with a modicum of intelligence.

        • JWrenn

          My responses one paragraph at a time.

          1st paragraph–compared to when? Volcanoes are part of the natural system, we are piling on top of that. This argument if true…and I don’t think the data agrees with you…but if true it means we need to be more careful about adding greenhouse gasses not less.

          2nd paragraph–as long as you are not on an island or close to the sea…also we will lose just as much if not more fertile land from temp changes in addition to land lost to sea level rise. This is also not the major issue, the issue is we are going to upset the world balance drastically and people will start to do horrible things. Either way…why do it at all?

          3rd paragraph– wait so now we shouldn’t interfere with the natural cycle….which we are doing by polluting so…you are against pollution and we should change things? I am confused.

          4th paragraph– we can worry about more than one thing, and really should

          • RalphCramden

            I don’t worry about any of it. I live my life like I want to and won’t be making any changes. The Earth will warm/cool/change with or without us. I am actually excited to see what is under all that ice especially in Antarctica.

          • JWrenn

            Thought you just said we should worry about superbugs? Ah whatever man, people are free to do what they want but it doesn’t make your ideas on climate right because you don’t want to worry about it. Most things in the world are ignored by the public at large and solved by the few who actually pay attention. Hope you have fun though.

          • RalphCramden

            No, I said if YOU want to worry then worry about superbugs. I don’t worry about anything.

        • P.Mathivanan

          Hi Ralph, how global warming will open up more land for plant growth. Global warming increases sea level and probably the increased rain fall cause water logging, effectively reduces the availability of land for agriculture

          • Cliff Clavin

            The sea will rise, and the only thing at the shore is rich folks blocking the view of us commoners. With more land opening up and more rain to irrigate the crops will be a good thing. Plus the world is running out of fresh drinking water so maybe this will help solve that issue.

            At any rate it’s a wild guess as to what will happen.

          • P.Mathivanan

            I don’t get the logic- with more land opening up….

          • Cliff Clavin

            More land opening up as glaciers and snow pack retreat. And that is some rich soil that will grow lots of food. There are very few crops near the oceans so no loss there.

  • Uncle Al

    The fun part is a huge methane flare striking a static spark near its periphery, concentration in air between methane’s LEL and HEL. That rapidly and efficiently removed the methane.

    Pingos suggest petroleum reserves underneath, North Sea or Arctic Ocean, Drill.

    • Andrew Worth

      Why should there be petroleum underneath? Petroleum is from organic ocean matter trapped hundreds of millions of years ago, these deposits would only be hundreds of thousands to a few million years old.

      • Not_that_anyone_cares, but…


        Why do we think they can only come from petroleum?

        • Andrew Worth

          Why do we think what can only come from petroleum? You’re not making sense.

      • Uncle Al

        Yup – there are no traditional oil or gas deposits worth developing in the North Sea or Arctic Ocean. Let’s not explore ANWAR, either. 15 elephants known in the 1970s would deeply depress the cost of oil in the US for decades, making America great again. making Kathy Griffin a VICTIM!

        • JWrenn

          I don’t think he was talking about oil being drilled for or not at all….just saying the gas doesn’t have anything to do with oil

  • OWilson

    We should not anticipate yet another ‘doomsday scenario’ from these natural events.

    The fact is that 12,000 years ago, the last time these bubbles exploded was roughly the start of civilization.

    No harm, no foul? :)

    • Uncle Al

      It sounds like a good thing! Perhaps another massive methane blow will elevate the Third World into Dreamers.

      • OWilson

        Or some guy from Texas (not DC, Cal. or NY) will say, “Why lookee here. we have free energy bubblin” up from the ground! Works even when the sun don’t shine, and the wind don’t blow!

        “Come and listen to my story about a man named Jed
        A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
        And then one day he was shootin’ at some food…….;…”

        The rest is history!

        Question for the Snowflakes:

        Is YOUR computer, car, TV, water supply, natural gas, cell phone, electricity, hot water shower, cable, telephone, fresh water, sewage disposal, powered by 14th century windmills? :) Why not? It’s just a”choice”!

        So why don’t YOU go first Alphonse, and get back to us?

    • Mike Richardson

      Problem is, 12,000 years ago we were coming out of an ice age, not already dealing with warmer than average temperatures and rising sea levels. Now we have an established civilization, with most of our major cities along coastal areas that will feel the greatest impact from sea level rise. To think that this additional input of greenhouse gases would not be harmful to civilization is the height of folly.

      • OWilson

        We’ll leave you to obsess about it then!

        We “deniers” will be having a beautiful spring, sunny weekend, with our loved ones!

        • Mike Richardson

          That’s the beauty of living in an alternate reality with no concern for the future, I suppose. But at least you acknowledge your denial of reality. That’s progress. :)

          • OWilson

            Folks like you, who “rebuild” their homes on the same low lying land in Louisiana, that they got flooded out of, after Official Government Flood Warnings, should indeed fear the future.

            That is your reality!

          • Mike Richardson

            Our reality is we live in a world with science -denying fools, who are just as susceptible to natural selection as everyone else. They just lack the intelligence to realize how they, too, can be affected.

          • Erik Bosma

            Hey, we don’t call each other “fools” or any other such name-calling. OW has his opinions as do you. Please show him some respect.

          • Mike Richardson

            I’m showing him all the respect he’s earned with his own posting history. Feel free to eat him up with a spoon, until you make the mistake of ever contradicting him. Then you’ll find just how respectful Ol’Wilson can be. Respectfully yours. :)

          • OWilson

            Now that’s not nice! :)

            Eric and I differ (respectfully) on a wide range of issues!

            But he shares my interest in true science, and we respect each other opinions.

            You seem more at home with the assorted radical trolls that pop in from time to time, even if they don’t stick around very long! :)

            That’s why I call you “Me too Mikey”! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            You are a hypocrite who slings insults yourself at virtually everyone else who disagrees with you (including moderators), as you demonstrated with your trademark lack of irony awareness in your last statement. And you’re about the most radical troll around here, constantly dragging almost every discussion into a far right diatribe. At the end of the day, you value political rhetoric over “true science,” and enjoy trolling science sites with poorly-supported contrarian talking points. You just happen to be much more persistent than the others you label as trolls, kinda like a bad fungal infection. If someone else wants to coddle your nonsense, that’s their prerogative. I prefer to call things as I see them, and get a good laugh at the lack of self awareness in the usual responses full of self-righteousness hypocrisy. I expect I’ll be getting another one before long. 😉

          • OWilson

            I’m always here for you Mikey!

            Feel better now? :)

          • OWilson

            I do worry about your kids being exposed to an unnecessary risk of floods, when you rebuild a flooded out house in exactly the same location that got flooded out before (and after Official Government warnings, too)

            Apparently more than you do!

            I also worry about any taxpayer government subsidy to help you do that, on top of your present taxpayer government salary and pension.

            You see Mikey, I would like to drain the Swamp, literally and figuratively, of expensive and dangerous drains on the economy of fools like you!

            (And of course your rebuilt home has it’s own renewable energy supply, so you you are not using fossil fuels to kill our planet and poison yer own chillun’ ) :)

          • Mike Richardson

            I worry about children living in neighborhoods with demented old right-wing extremists who probably should be in institutions where they can get the help they need. Nobody likes the idea of putting gramps in a home, but sometimes it’s the best solution for everyone, right? 😉

          • JWrenn

            We saw the first major effects of sea level rise recently here in Hawaii. We had a king tide and Waikiki beach pretty much went away…flooding in some downtown streets…scary stuff. Even in paradise it is starting to hit the fan.

          • OWilson

            Beaches are sand bars, eminently shifting and moving all the time.

            Waikiki beach is mostly artificially man made, and folks choose to live on the very edge.

            Natives never built THEIR lodges and houses on beaches.

            Even they knew better! :)

            But don’t worry your politicians are passing a new Bill Government Bill, that will solve your problem, they say!

            Government can do anything, don’t you know! :)

            You won’t have to worry your little head about Earthquakes, and Tsunamis anymore.

            You just have to “believe”!

          • JWrenn

            Uhm…the water came up to the sidewalks…and over them and out into the streets in many places. After the tide went down the beach was still there. I have lived here for 30 years and it has never done that….nowhere near it. This is the highest tide I have ever scene here. It has absolutely nothing to do with the sand shifting.

          • OWilson

            In 1953, the East Coast of England and the coast of Holland were inundated by a high spring tide and a severe windstorm, that reached 20 feet above normal. 10% of their farmland was washed away.

            Today they have reclaimed it all and more, and have engineered a defense that allows people to live in beautiful towns that are actually below natural sea level.

            All coastal areas are at risk. You may have heard of Louisiana, New Jersey, and the Carolina’s. Unpredictable tsunamis which are also a threat to low lying land, can strike with little warning, and are relatively common, compared to marine asteroid impacts which occur from geologic time to time.

            But as I tell the folks here, satellites show that all the world’s major waterfront cities are expanding and gaining land, recreational, ports, industrial, commercial, residential, nature wetlands, even airports.

          • JWrenn

            Sometimes floods don’t have to do with sea level rise…like when there is a storm. We had floods from sea level rise…according to NOAA. Nice try though.

          • OWilson

            I’m not “trying” anything! :)

            Do you have a cite for that?

            You have to be careful with the tenuous association with causes, and the resulting proposition. Everything in life is “associated”, “correlated”, but not necessarily “caused”.

            If I pee in the sea, I am contributing to sea level rise. That is settled science going back to Archimedes.

            But how responsible am I for the latest flood in Louisiana?

          • JWrenn

            Well when I mention a king tide and you mention a storm surge + a king tide it seems like you are trying. Sorry but it does. Won’t get into the pee in the sea thing…no thanks.
            Noaa is saying it was caused by sea level rise and a king tide and that they expect in the next 15 years or so that this will be the effect during a normal high tide. 3mm per year over 70 years can do that.

          • OWilson

            Only if you discount human progress and adaptablity (see the Holland “Flood of the Century” -1953))

            What a government agency “expects” in the coming years, is worth about as much as the projection” from the IPCC 1990 FAR.

            It usually means a bigger budget.

            And they tell us that was the greatest scientific collaboration the world has ever known, involving thousands of scientists and the best from at least 120 countries :)

            The ones trying to scare you into paying more taxes and higher energy costs, are the very same folks that are running up your National Debt to impossible levels, and who will be long out of office drawing their own fat pensions, before the bills become due!

            NOAA’s satellite data says we have a 0.27 anomaly over the entire 38 years of the record, and that is scientifically statistically insignificant, indistinguishable from background noise, if you allow for margin of error :)

          • JWrenn

            Wait…..0.27 anomaly of what? You are saying NOAA is claiming there has been no sea level rise over the last 38 years?

          • OWilson

            That would be the global warming anomaly, the culprit, the cause, they tell us, of every drought, flood, wars in the Middle East, and fairy rings :)

            (We know that major floods are caused by higher than usual spring tides (a function of natural planetary alignment) together with stronger than usual persistent winds (another natural occurrence) found in tropical storms and hurricanes.)

          • JWrenn

            Please link where you are getting that number so I can read this for myself….not a I do t believe it is real request I just don’t understand what you are talking about. No clue what you mean by a global warming anomoly and especially how you get 0.27 of then.
            I found the margin of error for the mm sea level rise by the way it is 3 to 4mm. Tides don’t effect world wide sea levels. The water for a high tide is always pulled from somewhere else on the planet.
            This is completely separate from how the climate is changing. Sea levels are rising…we can agree on that right? Or is this another bit of science you think is a hoax?

          • OWilson

            You can find my chart in the the recent blog:

            “The heat goes on: This past April was second warmest in records dating back to 1880”

            The article was referring to terrestrial instrumentation, with fill in proxies, tree rings, ancient ice cores, ancient tidal gauges and such.

            The chart I posted was NOAA’s satellite record since 1979. showing an anomaly of 0.27 degrees with my reasons why this satellite record should not be so readily dismissed by the “true believers”.

          • JWrenn

            Gotcha…that makes no sense though…sorry. I am not talking about the why of sea level rise. So you bringing up temperature variance when talking about sea level rise is a bit confusing. Sea level rise and temperature may well be tied because of ice melt…but let’s leave that out of it. The point is sea level is rising according to all documented measurements I have seen…there is a 3 to 4mm variance in the world wide level according to NOAA. Why bring up the temperature variance?

          • OWilson

            Surely you jest?

            I explained it above, “That would be the global warming anomaly, the culprit, the cause, they tell us, of every drought, flood, wars in the Middle East, and fairy rings :)”

            You seem to be missing a lot of our conversation here, so at this point I’ll close, and wish you:


          • JWrenn

            Wow ok. This conversation is pretty silly. here is what I am seeing. I say an item…lets say a tree is 6 feet tall. You say, global warming doesn’t exist. I say, ok well maybe, but the tree is still 6 feet tall right? You say, no that tree is not 6 feet tall because of scientific bias caused by global warming conspiracies. I point to a tape measure. You tell me I am not reading your messages.

            I don’t get it.

          • OWilson

            You said it perfectly. Silly indeed!

          • JWrenn

            I gotta ask…do you not believe the sea levels are rising?

          • OWilson

            About 3 mm per year, so they say. (They don’t give any margin of error)

            We are in an Interglacial Epoch.

            Manhattan was once under a mile of ice!

          • JWrenn

            That 3mm is average across the planet using real data from buoys that have been collected for a long long time. Some back to the 20s, so the data is pretty solid and uses real measurements not polling….I think that is why they don’t include a margin of error.

          • JWrenn

            Oh and quit with the snarkiness. Just because someone disagrees with you and you are frustrated it doesn’t make it alright to demean them.

          • OWilson

            Sorry, I thought you were telling us that your beach went away!

          • JWrenn

            Wasn’t even responding to you. Was agreeing with Mike and you decided to tell me I was wrong. The beach went away for a day…during the king tide.

  • Erik Bosma

    I can’t understand why people can’t have opposing opinions without getting ignorant about it. It just affects how I regard your opinion.
    “And up from the ground came a bubbling Pingo!”

  • Thlh

    Watch “The pyramid code” on netflix for a different perspective on the age of human civilization.

  • Erik Bosma

    I just think we should start learning to take the high road in our discussions. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. It’s much easier to take in information when your defensive ramparts aren’t in the full up position.

  • Andrew Worth

    Annually 40 billion tons of CO2 is released through the burning of fossil fuels, far more than the figure you have for volcanic activity.

    • OWilson

      As the other poster mentioned, and my own cite pointed out, the precise amount of Co2, produced naturally is presently unknown, because it has not been adequately studied.

      • JWrenn

        When will it be adequately studied in your mind?

        • OWilson

          Not for a while, you can bet.

          There is very little research on anything that could throw doubt into the “settled science” “97% consensus” of catastrophic man-made Global Warming.

          There’s no money in it, and no interest since Big Oil has jumped on board so the dupes will continue to fill up their cars at Esso, BP and Texaco and actually feel good about it! :)

          None of those inconvenient boycotts!

  • JWrenn

    That actually says that we were not measuring right but that the emissions have not increased.

    “These inflating figures, I hasten to add, don’t mean that our planet is suddenly venting more CO2. Humanity certainly is; but any changes to the volcanic background level
    would occur over generations, not years. The rise we’re seeing now,
    therefore, must have been there all along: As scientific progress is
    widening our perspective, the daunting outline of how little we really
    know about volcanoes is beginning to loom large.”

    • OWilson

      I would agree with you there.

      • JWrenn

        If I came across with the idea that it has not changed at all I am sorry…that is not my point or position. My point is that nobody is saying it has increased as much as you originally claimed.

        • OWilson

          For the record, I did not claim any amount of vented Co2. I don’t know where you got that from.

          The whole point of my post and cite was that is is impossible to know how much, because we all agree it has not been adequately studied yet!

          • JWrenn

            Sorry you are right…that was Ralph, but you responded to my response to him so I got confused. My response that started this whole thread between us was a rebuttal of the idea that as Ralph said “Volcanism has been increasing for the last 200 years which coincides with the so called anthropologic global warming data”. I feel my citations clearly show that as not being accurate. Sorry that I attributed that to you but you seemed to be defending his position.

            I agree that we do not know exactly how much there of anything and never will. We will always get more and more accurate reading on everything. We need to use the best information we have, otherwise we are just guessing. If we don’t believe our best people in the fields we are discussing and we don’t follow their advise when it doesn’t fit our views then we are just winging it. Saying we don’t know enough yet could go on forever. Listen to the experts and if they are proven….PROVEN…wrong then we change course. The issue here is reasonable doubt in the field. There is no reasonable doubt according to our experts. So why are we second guessing them?

          • OWilson

            Unscrupulous politicians will point to them and say “the science is settled” as the excuse for imposing their own particular long tern political and economic goals on an apathetic populace.

            And waging political and social war against all who would question their “settled science”? :)

            That’s NOT my beloved science! It has been co-opted.

          • JWrenn

            So you think when the scientists say it has been adequately proven they are lying on behalf of politicians?

          • OWilson

            Not at all.

            Most individual scientists (as opposed to their lobbying “Organizations” and “Associations” throw in some qualifiers, like “if”, “could”, “likely” so that when we pass yet another in the endless stream of Tipping Points, with continued record setting World Agricultural Production, they can not be blamed for misleading anybody.

            In that regard they are much smarter than the Left Wing politicians who cry that the End is Nigh if we don’t pony up some money for our “sins”. But since everybody who is doing climate research studies every day (why? if it’s settled science, is another stupid question:) ) that’s where the money is, so they’ll all act like the Vicar of Bray. You will have to look up our old pal the Vicar, because your liberal education would never expose you to such satire.

            If you look at what the Politicians tell you about AGW (your first mistake is believing anything they say) then go check out the source of the study, or it’s date, like I do, you start to shake your head!

            Most folks don’t care to spend their time checking out the actual science. They are like you accepting what they hear from everybody around them at face value. There’s a lot of science on crowd behavior and orchestrated propaganda.

            Remember Global Warming is a plank ONLY in Left wing Parties.

            NOAA says the satellite record shows an anomaly of 0.27 degree for April over the entire 38 year record.

            As Shakespeare (another PC no no) would say “It’s Much Ado About Nothing!”

          • JWrenn

            “Most folks don’t care to spend their time checking out the actual science” Please show me the actual science that says either the earth is not warming or that the earth is not warming due to man made causes.
            I have read a few papers…not in a while I admit, but a few. I have read man many articles reporting on papers/studies about this. It is a settled fact according to most of the scientific organizations representing climate. How do you get that the science doesn’t agree? Does it say it is absolutely sure? HELL NO! Science never does that!
            Please show me the science that says otherwise.

          • OWilson

            I just gave you, again, NOAA’s most recent satellite data.

            Now we are being silly, or being trolled!

            Have a nice day!

          • JWrenn

            No you reported a number. You didn’t show anything that supports your claims. You also didn’t show any science that us supposed layman don’t read and you do.

          • OWilson

            You already thanked me for the chart!


            You’re done here!

          • JWrenn


          • JWrenn

            I didn’t thank you for it, and it is a chart pulled from the report I referenced. I did not see your reference to the blog you got it from though, and for that I apologize.

          • JWrenn

            Let me put it to you another way. Show me where it says this and state what you think this means. Without that you are not showing scientific data…you are making claims. Generally that is fine as most of the time claims are not misleading (or at least that used to be true). However if your primary claim is that nobody looks at the science and we just believe what we are told, then I shouldn’t take you at your word.

          • JWrenn

            I find nothing in the Global Climate Report – April 2017 from NOAA that says we are .27 degrees above anything. This month was in fact, according to noaa .90 degrees Celsius hotter that the 20th century average for the month of april

          • JWrenn

            The only thing I can find the matches your .27 is the margin of error for f reading on land.

          • OWilson

            I’m talking NOAA satellite record, you are talking ancient tidal gauges, steamship intake valves. tree rings, and ice core proxiies that go back to 1850.

            You thanked me for the satellite chart, remember? Those are NOAA figures, not mine!

            I have no more time for you!

          • JWrenn

            Noaa uses satellite and all sorts of other options. Also just so you know as you claimed there was no margin of error listed the .27 rating is not noise according to NOAA.

            “or recent years the error bar for global annual means is about ±0.05°C, for years around 1900 it is about ±0.1°C.” Neither are the old methods of collecting temperatures.

            So even if the margin went exactly wrong, and I don’t agree with your read on that graph by the way…we still have .22 degrees c to talk about.

            I don’t understand how you can point at one graph pulled from a complete report agree with the graph then say the organization that produced the report is wrong on it’s assessment. Your number is not the number they give. You use their data but only the parts that most agree with you. That is not science.

          • JWrenn

            OH god…I just figured out that you are not using the NOAA charts at all…you are using the UAH number. Not the graph in the article, but rather the one you inserted in the comments of the article you referenced. Brilliant! Even though the 2 other satellite studying it the Hadley and Giss are reading 1/3 higher readings that the UAH and are aligned much closer…why not pick the outlier…sure why not.
            UAH .128 c per decade
            GISS .161 c per decade
            HADLEY .160 c per decade

            Cherry picking is not science

          • OWilson


            Have a nice day!

          • JWrenn

            Or maybe you should not misrepresent UAH data interpretations as NOAA satellite data.

          • OWilson

            Now you are reduced to lying.

            Took a while though. Congratulations!

            “Since 1979, NOAA satellites have been carrying instruments which measure the natural microwave thermal emissions from oxygen in the atmosphere. The intensity of the signals these microwave radiometers measure at different microwave frequencies is directly proportional to the temperature of different, deep layers of the atmosphere. Every month, John Christy and I update global temperature datasets that represent the piecing together of the temperature data from a total of fourteen instruments flying on different satellites over the years. A discussion of the latest version (6.0) of the dataset is located here.”

            I’m outta here!

          • JWrenn

            The UAH data is not NOAA only. Directly from the uah global temperature report.

            ” use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth.”

            It is also an interpretation of the NOAA data because they don’t use any of the adjustments that NOAA has implemented to deal with retrograde of their satellites orbit. In addition the number is based on only a 30 year average. In other words we are .27 degrees C hotter than the average over just the last 30 years.

            You put that graph half a page down from the graph NOAA put out. I am not lying. You are misrepresenting one graph as NOAA satellite data when it is in fact a hybrid data set. You even did it on the same page with the actual NOAA data.

          • OWilson

            “In other words we are .27 degrees C hotter than the average over just the last 30 years”

            Make that over NOAA’s entire satellite record of 38 years, and we are in agreement.

            Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

          • JWrenn

            I do think it is funny that you believe .27 degrees hotter in 30 years is not a big deal though…very entertaining.
            I also think a link I posted may have been pulled. Found a great video showing exactly how often the UAH has been shown to be wrong on these things, and how shrinking a data set to manipulate averages is silly.

          • OWilson

            Bye! :)

          • JWrenn

            Good luck to you. I hope you start being scientific about things like this.

  • CB

    “it’s unclear if such a voluminous release of methane would in any way affect levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

    Uh… What?

    “Molecule per molecule, methane is 22 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide on a 100-year timescale, and 105 times more potent on a 20-year timescale”

    (NASA, “Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?”, Alan Buis, June 10, 2013)

    • tommyskoog

      Methane oxidate and become carbondioxid, so it should effect climate as levels of both or at least one of the gases encrease.

      • CB

        “Methane oxidate and become carbondioxid”

        Tack för det. Du har rätt.

        Both methane and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gasses.

        It seems clear to me that releasing either must affect the level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere…


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