[About the Project]
[About the ApocaDocs]
[About Equal Share]
[TwitterFollow: apocadocs]


SEARCH

More than 6,000 stories!

OUR BOOK
IS NOW
IN PRINT!

The ApocaDocs have a Book!
Humoring the Horror
of the
Converging Emergencies
94 color pages
$24.99
Read FREE online!

Explore:

Play:

It's weekly, funny, and free!
Play:

Click for paper-free fun!

Ads for potentially
microfunding this site:


Apocadocument
Weekly Archives:
Sep 26 - Dec 31, 1969
Sep 19 - Sep 26, 2011
Sep 12 - Sep 19, 2011
Sep 5 - Sep 12, 2011
Aug 29 - Sep 5, 2011
Aug 22 - Aug 29, 2011
Aug 15 - Aug 22, 2011
Aug 8 - Aug 15, 2011
Aug 1 - Aug 8, 2011
Jul 25 - Aug 1, 2011
Jul 18 - Jul 25, 2011
Jul 11 - Jul 18, 2011
Jul 4 - Jul 11, 2011
Jun 27 - Jul 4, 2011
Jun 20 - Jun 27, 2011
Jun 13 - Jun 20, 2011
Jun 6 - Jun 13, 2011
May 30 - Jun 6, 2011
May 23 - May 30, 2011
May 16 - May 23, 2011
May 9 - May 16, 2011
May 2 - May 9, 2011
Apr 25 - May 2, 2011
Apr 18 - Apr 25, 2011
Apr 11 - Apr 18, 2011
Apr 4 - Apr 11, 2011
Mar 28 - Apr 4, 2011
Mar 21 - Mar 28, 2011
Mar 14 - Mar 21, 2011
Mar 6 - Mar 14, 2011
Feb 27 - Mar 6, 2011
Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2011
Feb 13 - Feb 20, 2011
Feb 6 - Feb 13, 2011
Jan 30 - Feb 6, 2011
Jan 23 - Jan 30, 2011
Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2011
Jan 9 - Jan 16, 2011
Jan 2 - Jan 9, 2011
Dec 26 - Jan 2, 2011
Dec 19 - Dec 26, 2010
Dec 12 - Dec 19, 2010
Dec 5 - Dec 12, 2010
Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2010
Nov 21 - Nov 28, 2010
Nov 14 - Nov 21, 2010
Nov 7 - Nov 14, 2010
Nov 1 - Nov 7, 2010
Oct 25 - Nov 1, 2010
Oct 18 - Oct 25, 2010
Oct 11 - Oct 18, 2010
Oct 4 - Oct 11, 2010
Sep 27 - Oct 4, 2010
Sep 20 - Sep 27, 2010
Sep 13 - Sep 20, 2010
Sep 6 - Sep 13, 2010
Aug 30 - Sep 6, 2010
Aug 23 - Aug 30, 2010
Aug 16 - Aug 23, 2010
Aug 9 - Aug 16, 2010
Aug 2 - Aug 9, 2010
Jul 26 - Aug 2, 2010
Jul 19 - Jul 26, 2010
Jul 12 - Jul 19, 2010
Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2010
Jun 28 - Jul 5, 2010
Jun 21 - Jun 28, 2010
Jun 14 - Jun 21, 2010
Jun 7 - Jun 14, 2010
May 31 - Jun 7, 2010
May 24 - May 31, 2010
May 17 - May 24, 2010
May 10 - May 17, 2010
May 3 - May 10, 2010
Apr 26 - May 3, 2010
Apr 19 - Apr 26, 2010
Apr 12 - Apr 19, 2010
Apr 5 - Apr 12, 2010
Mar 29 - Apr 5, 2010
Mar 22 - Mar 29, 2010
Mar 15 - Mar 22, 2010
Mar 7 - Mar 15, 2010
Feb 28 - Mar 7, 2010
Feb 21 - Feb 28, 2010
Feb 14 - Feb 21, 2010
Feb 7 - Feb 14, 2010
Jan 31 - Feb 7, 2010
Jan 24 - Jan 31, 2010
Jan 17 - Jan 24, 2010
Jan 10 - Jan 17, 2010
Jan 3 - Jan 10, 2010
Dec 27 - Jan 3, 2010
Dec 20 - Dec 27, 2009
Dec 13 - Dec 20, 2009
Dec 6 - Dec 13, 2009
Nov 29 - Dec 6, 2009
Nov 22 - Nov 29, 2009
Nov 15 - Nov 22, 2009
Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2009
Nov 1 - Nov 8, 2009
Oct 26 - Nov 1, 2009
Oct 19 - Oct 26, 2009
Oct 12 - Oct 19, 2009
Oct 5 - Oct 12, 2009
Sep 28 - Oct 5, 2009
Sep 21 - Sep 28, 2009
Sep 14 - Sep 21, 2009
Sep 7 - Sep 14, 2009
Aug 31 - Sep 7, 2009
Aug 24 - Aug 31, 2009
Aug 17 - Aug 24, 2009
Aug 10 - Aug 17, 2009
Aug 3 - Aug 10, 2009
Jul 27 - Aug 3, 2009
Jul 20 - Jul 27, 2009
Jul 13 - Jul 20, 2009
Jul 6 - Jul 13, 2009
Jun 29 - Jul 6, 2009
Jun 22 - Jun 29, 2009
Jun 15 - Jun 22, 2009
Jun 8 - Jun 15, 2009
Jun 1 - Jun 8, 2009
May 25 - Jun 1, 2009
May 18 - May 25, 2009
May 11 - May 18, 2009
May 4 - May 11, 2009
Apr 27 - May 4, 2009
Apr 20 - Apr 27, 2009
Apr 13 - Apr 20, 2009
Apr 6 - Apr 13, 2009
Mar 30 - Apr 6, 2009
Mar 23 - Mar 30, 2009
Mar 16 - Mar 23, 2009
Mar 9 - Mar 16, 2009
Mar 1 - Mar 9, 2009
Feb 22 - Mar 1, 2009
Feb 15 - Feb 22, 2009
Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2009
Feb 1 - Feb 8, 2009
Jan 25 - Feb 1, 2009
Jan 18 - Jan 25, 2009
Jan 11 - Jan 18, 2009
Jan 4 - Jan 11, 2009
Dec 28 - Jan 4, 2009
Dec 21 - Dec 28, 2008
Dec 14 - Dec 21, 2008
Dec 7 - Dec 14, 2008
Nov 30 - Dec 7, 2008
Nov 23 - Nov 30, 2008
Nov 16 - Nov 23, 2008
Nov 9 - Nov 16, 2008
Nov 2 - Nov 9, 2008
Oct 27 - Nov 2, 2008
Oct 20 - Oct 27, 2008
Oct 13 - Oct 20, 2008
Oct 6 - Oct 13, 2008
Sep 29 - Oct 6, 2008
Sep 22 - Sep 29, 2008
Sep 15 - Sep 22, 2008
Sep 8 - Sep 15, 2008
Sep 1 - Sep 8, 2008
Aug 25 - Sep 1, 2008
Aug 18 - Aug 25, 2008
Aug 11 - Aug 18, 2008
Aug 4 - Aug 11, 2008
Jul 28 - Aug 4, 2008
Jul 21 - Jul 28, 2008
Jul 14 - Jul 21, 2008
Jul 7 - Jul 14, 2008
Jun 30 - Jul 7, 2008
Jun 23 - Jun 30, 2008
Jun 16 - Jun 23, 2008
Jun 9 - Jun 16, 2008
Jun 2 - Jun 9, 2008
May 26 - Jun 2, 2008
May 19 - May 26, 2008
May 12 - May 19, 2008
May 5 - May 12, 2008
Apr 28 - May 5, 2008
Apr 21 - Apr 28, 2008
Apr 14 - Apr 21, 2008
Apr 7 - Apr 14, 2008
Mar 31 - Apr 7, 2008
Mar 24 - Mar 31, 2008
Mar 17 - Mar 24, 2008
Mar 10 - Mar 17, 2008
Mar 2 - Mar 10, 2008
Feb 24 - Mar 2, 2008
Feb 17 - Feb 24, 2008
Feb 10 - Feb 17, 2008
Feb 3 - Feb 10, 2008
Jan 27 - Feb 3, 2008
Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2008
Jan 13 - Jan 20, 2008
Jan 6 - Jan 13, 2008
Dec 30 - Jan 6, 2008
Dec 23 - Dec 30, 2007
Dec 16 - Dec 23, 2007
Dec 9 - Dec 16, 2007
Dec 2 - Dec 9, 2007
DocWatch
methane release
Twitterit?
News stories about "methane release," with punchlines: http://apocadocs.com/d.pl?methane+release
Related Scary Tags:
climate impacts  ~ arctic meltdown  ~ holyshit  ~ global warming  ~ anthropogenic change  ~ fracking  ~ permafrost meltdown  ~ carbon emissions  ~ corporate farming  ~ death spiral  ~ airborne pollutants  



Tue, Jan 5, 2016
from The Guardian:
French MPs vote to force supermarkets to give away unsold food
French MPs have voted unanimously to force supermarkets to give away unsold food that has reached its sell-by date. Shops will also be banned from destroying food products, as they have in the past - sometimes by soaking them in bleach - to prevent them being distributed. ...


Let them eat (bleached) cake.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 23, 2015
from PNAS, in Washington Post:
Bad news: Scientists say we could be underestimating Arctic methane emissions
"...The fact that this was done not just at one site, but multiple sites, is a breakthrough in our ability to quantify [methane] budgets for tundra ecosystems." The researchers found that cold-season methane emissions are not only not negligible -- they're pretty significant. While emissions varied somewhat from one site to the next, Zona said that, overall, emissions from September to May accounted for about half of all the methane emitted from those sites throughout the entire year. This might seem a little baffling when you consider the fact that methane is generally released as Arctic soil thaws -- a process that should be most pronounced during the warmest part of the year. Zona said the key to understanding where cold-season emissions come from lies in the way Arctic soil is structured and how it reacts to changes in temperature. ...


Oh, right: bacteria never sleep!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jul 10, 2015
from Esquire:
Climatologists' Psyches: When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job
... I wanted to meet Box to find out how this outspoken American is holding up. He has left his country and moved his family to witness and study the melting of Greenland up close. How does being the one to look at the grim facts of climate change most intimately, day in and day out, affect a person? Is Box representative of all of the scientists most directly involved in this defining issue of the new century? How are they being affected by the burden of their chosen work in the face of changes to the earth that could render it a different planet?... Among climate activists, gloom is building. Jim Driscoll of the National Institute for Peer Support just finished a study of a group of longtime activists whose most frequently reported feeling was sadness, followed by fear and anger.... And many scientists now think we're on track to 4 or 5 degrees--even Shell oil said that it anticipates a world 4 degrees hotter because it doesn't see "governments taking the steps now that are consistent with the 2 degrees C scenario." That would mean a world racked by economic and social and environmental collapse. "Oh yeah," Schmidt says, almost casually. "The business-as-usual world that we project is really a totally different planet. There's going to be huge dislocations if that comes about." But things can change much quicker than people think, he says. Look at attitudes on gay marriage. And the glaciers? "The glaciers are going to melt, they're all going to melt," he says.... And the rising oceans? Bangladesh is almost underwater now. Do a hundred million people have to move? "Well, yeah. Under business as usual. But I don't think we're fucked." Resource wars, starvation, mass migrations . . . "Bad things are going to happen. What can you do as a person? You write stories. I do science. You don't run around saying, 'We're fucked! We're fucked! We're fucked!' It doesn't--it doesn't incentivize anybody to do anything." ...


"We're fucked" just isn't scientific.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jun 28, 2015
from Arctic News:
Arctic Heat Waves
Warming in the Arctic is accelerating. On June 25, 2015, high temperatures hit North America. Temperatures as high as 30.3 deg C (86.54 deg F) were recorded where the Mackenzie River is flowing into the Arctic Ocean. ... The image below shows that on June 27, 2015, temperatures of well over 40 deg C (104 deg F) were recorded in Europe and in Pakistan, where temperatures earlier this month had reached 49 deg C (120.2 deg F) in some places. The heat wave reportedly killed 1233 people in Karachi alone. This in addition to the 2500 people killed earlier in India by high temperatures.... Very warm water is also flowing from the Pacific Ocean through the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean. As the image below shows, the water that is flowing into the Arctic Ocean from the Pacific is much warmer than it used to be, as much as 6.1 deg C (10.98 deg F) warmer. ...


This Arctic heatwave is burnin' in my heart / Can't keep from crying, it's tearing me apart.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 10, 2015
from Bloomberg:
You're About to See an Incredibly Rare Cloud, and It's Proof the Climate Is Changing
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Share on Google+ E-mail In a few weeks, you may get to see evidence the atmosphere is changing -- if you're lucky. That's when noctilucent clouds, the world's highest, peak in number and show up in the night sky just after sunset as electric-blue swirls in the mesosphere, the coldest place on the planet... Changes in the clouds reflect "how we affect the atmosphere down here," Elsayed Talaat, AIM's program scientist, said by telephone from Washington. "If you increase the methane down below, you are going to increase the water vapor up above." Carbon dioxide also may play a role, Randall said. The gas, which warms the lower atmosphere, "can actually cause the upper atmosphere to cool," she said. ...


If one of those clouds looks like Jim Inhofe, we'll know we're onto something.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 18, 2015
from PhysOrg:
Ocean currents disturb methane-eating bacteria
Offshore the Svalbard archipelago, methane gas is seeping out of the seabed at the depths of several hundred meters. These cold seeps are a home to communities of microorganisms that survive in a chemosynthetic environment - where the fuel for life is not the sun, but the carbon rich greenhouse gas.... There is a large, and relatively poorly understood, community of methane-consuming bacteria in this environment. They gorge on the gas, control its concentration in the ocean, and stop it from reaching the ocean surface and released into the atmosphere.... "We were able to show that strength and variability of ocean currents control the prevalence of methanotrophic bacteria", says Lea Steinle from University of Basel and the lead author of the study, "therefore, large bacteria populations cannot develop in a strong current, which consequently leads to less methane consumption." ...


Bubble, bubble, roil and trouble, microbes fail and methanes double.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, May 2, 2015
from New Zealand Herald:
Hundreds of methane gas flares found off coast of Gisborne, NZ
"Preliminary indications are that methane is reaching the ocean surface - this is the first time this has been measured in New Zealand," he said. "However, to understand how much methane, and then what this means for atmospheric contributions, will require detailed analysis of the data."... The discovery of this high concentration of gas flares in shallow water depths - 100m-300m - on an active tectonic subduction zone was unique, as gas seeps usually occurred much deeper, at 600m to 1000m below the surface. The team identified methane gas in the sediment and in the ocean, and vast areas of methane hydrates - ice-like frozen methane - below the seafloor. This year's research voyage continued the work of an international project focusing on the interactions between gas hydrates and slow-moving landslides called SCHLIP - Submarine Clathrate Hydrate Landslide Imaging Project. ...


You say "clathrate" as if it's a real word!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 12, 2015
from Phys.org:
Methane emissions from natural gas industry higher than previously thought
World leaders are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it's unclear just how much we're emitting. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a new program to track these emissions, but scientists are reporting that it vastly underestimates methane emissions from the growing natural gas industry. Their findings, published in two papers in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, could help the industry clamp down on "superemitter" leaks. ...


Forgive me Father, for I have Emitted.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Dec 30, 2014
from Washington Post:
Delaware-size gas plume over West illustrates the cost of leaking methane
The methane that leaks from 40,000 gas wells near this desert trading post may be colorless and odorless, but it's not invisible. It can be seen from space. Satellites that sweep over energy-rich northern New Mexico can spot the gas as it escapes from drilling rigs, compressors and miles of pipeline snaking across the badlands. In the air it forms a giant plume: a permanent, Delaware-sized methane cloud, so vast that scientists questioned their own data when they first studied it three years ago.... The country's biggest methane "hot spot," verified by NASA and University of Michigan scientists in October, is only the most dramatic example of what scientists describe as a $2 billion leak problem: the loss of methane from energy production sites across the country. ...


We call 'em Man-made Earth Farts.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 10, 2014
from Reuters, via HuffingtonPost:
Abandoned U.S. Oil Wells Still Spewing Methane, Study Finds
Some of the millions of abandoned oil and natural gas wells in the United States are still spewing methane, marking a potentially large source of unrecorded greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study released on Monday. Researchers at Princeton University measured emissions from dozens of abandoned wells in Pennsylvania in 2013 and 2014 and found they were emitting an average of 0.27 kg (0.6 lbs) of methane per day, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "These measurements show that methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells can be significant," according to the study. "The research required to quantify these emissions nationally should be undertaken so they can be accurately described and included in greenhouse gas emissions inventories." ...


Should the land, I don't know, scab over or something?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 23, 2014
from University of Arizona, via ScienceDaily:
As permafrost soils thaw soil microbes amplify global climate change
Tiny soil microbes are among the world's biggest potential amplifiers of human-caused climate change, but whether microbial communities are mere slaves to their environment or influential actors in their own right is an open question. Now, research by an international team of scientists from the U.S., Sweden and Australia, led by University of Arizona scientists, shows that a single species of microbe, discovered only very recently, is an unexpected key player in climate change.... The new research nails down the role of the new microbe, finding that the sheer abundance of Methanoflorens, as compared to other microbial species in thawing permafrost, should help to predict their collective impact on future climate change.... "But we find that in thawing permafrost, most methane initially doesn't come from acetate as previously assumed, but the other pathway. This ratio then shifts towards previous estimates as the frozen soils are turned into wetlands and acetate becomes the preferred carbon source." ...


Anything called Methanoflorens -- "Methane's Flower" -- scares the bejeezis out of me.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Oct 17, 2014
from Associated Press:
Study: Natural gas surge won't slow global warming
...Five teams of experts from around the world, using five different sets of computer model simulations, looked at what would happen if natural gas -- also known as methane -- remains cheap and plentiful and nothing else changes, such as policy mandates. They all came to the same conclusion. "It doesn't reduce climate change," said study lead author Haewon McJeon, an economist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Two computer models even found that when considering other factors like methane leaks, cheaper natural gas could lead to more trapping of heat by greenhouse gases, the mechanism that drives global warming. Methane traps even more heat than an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. ...


It won't "slow global warming" but it will make it more fun!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Oct 7, 2014
from Houston Chronicle:
Methane emissions soar in drilling boom
WASHINGTON - Methane emissions from oil and gas wells on federal lands and waters jumped 135 percent from 2008 to 2013, an analysis shows, driven by a drilling boom in New Mexico and North Dakota that has outpaced the building of pipelines and processing centers. ...


Let's spell this so as not to frighten the children: t-i-p-p-i-n-g-p-o-i-n-t

ApocaDoc
permalink


Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Wed, Aug 6, 2014
from Washington Post:
Scientists may have cracked the giant Siberian crater mystery -- and the news isn't good
...By now, you've heard of the crater on the Yamal Peninsula. It's the one that suddenly appeared, yawning nearly 200 feet in diameter, and made several rounds in the global viral media machine... There's now a substantiated theory about what created the crater. And the news isn't so good. It may be methane gas, released by the thawing of frozen ground. According to a recent Nature article, "air near the bottom of the crater contained unusually high concentrations of methane -- up to 9.6 percent -- ... Some scientists contend the thawing of such terrain, rife with centuries of carbon, would release incredible amounts of methane gas and affect global temperatures. ...


Apocahole!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jun 15, 2014
from InsideClimate News:
U.S. Natural Gas Exports No Better for Climate Than China's Coal, Experts Say
As the Obama administration inches toward a major expansion of natural gas exports, one of the thorniest questions is how that growth will affect greenhouse gas emissions, possibly worsening the problem of global warming. Although gas contains less carbon than other fossil fuels, it emits more methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 in the short term. Methane leaks into the atmosphere from gas production wells, and from the pipelines that deliver the gas to export terminals. Then you have to count CO2 emissions from the significant amount of energy needed to liquefy the gas so it can be shipped abroad. Finally, exports would likely boost natural gas prices--and that could encourage burning dirtier coal instead. Quantifying all this pollution is enormously complicated, and attempts to do so can lead to some surprising results, as shown by a new study from the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory. It reached the startling finding that in terms of global greenhouse gas emissions, for China to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States might be no cleaner than for China to keep on burning its own coal. ...


The sooner we harness the true power of hamsters the better!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 6, 2014
from The Tyee:
Canada's 500,000 Leaky Energy Wells: 'Threat to Public' -- Fracking Makes It Worse
Alberta, for example, has failed to collect baseline data on the state of its groundwater resources prior to and after intense oil and gas activity for decades despite repeated warnings by scientists to do so. In recent years the increasing use of hydraulic fracturing has had the effect of drawing a red circle around the hidden liability of wellbore leakage. Fracking has not only added more wellbores (and methane pathways) to the landscape in the rush to develop difficult hydrocarbons trapped in shale rock and coal but added more pressure and stress to wellbores causing more leaks. The Waterloo report, quietly released last month, notes that the fluid injection of steam, water, sand or chemicals to force out more hydrocarbons "elevates the mechanical and thermal loading on wellbores, and significantly increases the probability of leakage problem development during the operational lifetime of the wellbore, before final abandonment." ...


This looks surprisingly like cause, followed inevitably by effect. How crazy is that?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 15, 2014
from McClatchy:
EPA drastically underestimates methane released at drilling sites
Drilling at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times higher than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows. Using a plane equipped to measure greenhouse gas emissions in the air, scientists found that drilling activities at seven well pads in the Marcellus shale formation emitted 34 grams of methane per second, on average. The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that such drilling releases between 0.04 grams and 0.30 grams of methane per second. ...


Decimal points have always been my downfall.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 8, 2014
from Florida State University:
Permafrost thawing could accelerate global warming
Researchers have found new evidence that permafrost thawing is releasing large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere via plants, which could accelerate warming trends. Permafrost is soil that is frozen year round and is typically located in polar regions. As the world has gotten slightly warmer, that permafrost is thawing and decomposing, which is producing increased amounts of methane. ...


There is no "I" in methane.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 31, 2014
from New York Times:
Panel's Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come
Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world's oceans, scientists reported on Monday, and they warned that the problem was likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control... "Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change," Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the intergovernmental panel, said at a news conference here on Monday presenting the report. The report was among the most sobering yet issued by the scientific panel. ...


I'll drink to that!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Feb 25, 2014
from Bloomberg:
Colorado First State to Clamp Down on Fracking Methane Pollution
Colorado regulators approved groundbreaking controls on emissions from oil and natural gas operations after an unusual coalition of energy companies and environmentalists agreed on measures to counter worsening smog... "This is a model for the country," said Dan Grossman, the defense fund's Rocky Mountain regional director. "We've got this simmering battle between the oil and gas industry and neighborhoods throughout the state that are being faced with development. That degree of acrimony is pushing the industry and policy makers to look for ways to get some wins." ...


Well I'll be fracked!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Feb 14, 2014
from The Hill:
Study: Natural gas may not be 'bridge fuel' to fight climate change
The U.S. natural gas infrastructure has far more leaks than federal authorities previously reported, according to new findings. A study released Thursday by Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) revealed that, while natural gas emits less carbon dioxide during combustion than other fossil fuels, the potential for leaks -- which emit the more potent greenhouse gas methane -- put a damper on its "climate benefits."... the study's team of authors who reviewed more than 200 reports found emissions of methane are significantly higher than official estimates, with leaks from the natural gas system being one significant contributor. ...


Environmental Perfidious Agency

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jan 25, 2014
from Arctic News:
Strangely high methane levels over the Arctic Ocean on January 14, 2014
Did these high methane levels originate from releases from the Arctic Ocean, and if so, how could such high methane releases occur from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean at this time of year, when temperatures in the northern hemisphere are falling?... These high levels of methane showing up over the Arctic Ocean constitute only part of the methane that did escape from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. Where these high concentrations did show up, the ocean can be thousands of meters deep, giving microbes plenty of opportunity to decompose methane rising through the water first. Furthermore, the methane has to pass through sea ice that is now getting more than one meter thick in the area where these high levels of methane showed up on satellite records. In conclusion, the quantities of methane that were actually released from the seafloor must have been huge.... Huge releases from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean have occurred persistently since early October 2013, even when releases like this may show up for one day in one area without showing up in that same area the next day on satellite images. ...


The "known knowns" have to compete with both the "known unknowns" and the "unknown unknowns," especially about a future of "unacceptable unknowns."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Dec 31, 2013
from USA Today:
Plastic made from pollution hits U.S. market
Two childhood friends spent a decade, beginning in college, figuring out how to cheaply make plastic from carbon that's been captured from the atmosphere... Today, the 31-year-old co-founders of California-based Newlight Technologies have two factories that take methane captured from dairy farms and use it to make AirCarbon -- plastic that will soon appear in the form of chairs, food containers and automotive parts. Coming next year: cellphone cases for Virgin Mobile. "You'll be able to hold carbon in your hand," Herrema says of the products, which an independent lab says remove more carbon from the atmosphere than their manufacturing emits. By replacing oil-based plastics, he says he wants to help reduce global warming: "We actually want to change the world."... ...


Conceivably, my kitchen sink could be a carbon sink.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Dec 27, 2013
from Care2:
Tax Meat to Reduce Methane Emissions and Global Warming, Say Scientists
You've probably heard that methane from cows, sheep, goats and buffalo (that is, ruminant farts) has been linked to global warming. There are 50 percent more cows and similar animals today than half a century ago (3.6 billion) and methane released from their digestive systems is the biggest human-related source of this greenhouse gas. So, to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases cows and the like produce, we need to tax meat. That's what some scientists have recently proposed in an analysis in Nature Climate Change. Only by increasing the price of meat so people consume less can we cut down on the amount of methane emissions and halt the warming of the planet. ...


Why don't we tax the animals for farting?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 9, 2013
from Associated Press:
Environmentalists, unions seek to fix gas leaks
Unions and environmentalists have found one point of agreement in the bitter debate over the natural gas drilling boom: fixing leaky old pipelines that threaten public health and the environment. It's a huge national effort that could cost $82 billion. The leaks are a problem because methane, the primary component of natural gas, is explosive in high concentrations and is also a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. The Department of Transportation estimates that more than 30,000 miles of decades-old, decaying cast-iron pipe are still being used to deliver gas nationwide. ...


Boy, the cost of duct tape has skyrocketed!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 2, 2013
from New York Times:
Urban Schools Aim for Environmental Revolution
... With any uneaten food, the plates, made from sugar cane, can be thrown away and turned into a product prized by gardeners and farmers everywhere: compost. If all goes as planned, compostable plates will replace plastic foam lunch trays by September not just for the 345,000 students in the Miami-Dade County school system, but also for more than 2.6 million others nationwide. That would be some 271 million plates a year, replacing enough foam trays to create a stack of plastic several hundred miles tall. ...


Let them eat plates.

ApocaDoc
permalink


You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Tue, Nov 26, 2013
from New York Times:
Emissions of Methane in U.S. Exceed Estimates, Study Finds
Emissions of the greenhouse gas methane due to human activity were roughly 1.5 times greater in the United States in the middle of the last decade than prevailing estimates, according to a new analysis by 15 climate scientists published Monday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The analysis also said that methane discharges in Texas and Oklahoma, where oil and gas production was concentrated at the time, were 2.7 times greater than conventional estimates. Emissions from oil and gas activity alone could be five times greater than the prevailing estimate, the report said. ...


We're on methane-phetamines!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 26, 2013
from University of Alaska Fairbanks, via EurekAlert:
Study: Arctic seafloor methane releases double previous estimates
The seafloor off the coast of Northern Siberia is releasing more than twice the amount of methane as previously estimated, according to new research results published in the Nov. 24 edition of the journal Nature Geoscience. The East Siberian Arctic Shelf is venting at least 17 teragrams of the methane into the atmosphere each year. A teragram is equal to 1 million tons. "It is now on par with the methane being released from the arctic tundra, which is considered to be one of the major sources of methane in the Northern Hemisphere," said Natalia Shakhova, one of the paper's lead authors and a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Increased methane releases in this area are a possible new climate-change-driven factor that will strengthen over time."... ...


I'm making mine a double, too.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Nov 23, 2013
from New York Times:
Bloomberg Wants Restaurants to Compost
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who is slowly bringing New Yorkers around to the idea of recycling their food scraps, is trying to expand his composting campaign by bringing it to large restaurants. The mayor said on Friday that he was proposing a bill to require restaurants that generate more than a ton of food waste a week -- about 1,200 establishments -- to separate their food waste from the rest of their garbage so it could be sent to a composting plant. There, the food scraps would be converted to fertilizer or energy, part of the mayor's long effort to divert more of the city's trash from landfills... The city already collects food scraps in a pilot program from roughly 31,000 homes in about a dozen neighborhoods in the Bronx, in Brooklyn and on Staten Island. By 2015, the city plans to expand the program to 100,000 single-family homes and 70 high-rise buildings across the city. ...


Dispose of that Big Apple core responsibly.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Nov 20, 2013
from INRS :
Global Warming in the Canadian Arctic
Ph.D. student Karita Negandhi and professor Isabelle Laurion from INRS'Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre, in collaboration with other Canadian, U.S., and French researchers, have been studying methane emissions produced by thawing permafrost in the Canadian Arctic. These emissions are greatly underestimated in current climate models. Their findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, illustrate the importance of taking into account greenhouse gases emitted by small thaw ponds, as they could have a significant impact on climate."We discovered that although the small shallow ponds we studied represent only 44 percent of the water-covered surface in a Bylot Island valley, they generate 83 percent of its methane emissions," notes water sciences doctoral student Karita Negandhi. ...


I have long maintained the small thaw ponds would get us in the end.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Nov 7, 2013
from BBC:
Concentrations of warming gases break record
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), atmospheric CO2 grew more rapidly last year than its average rise over the past decade. Concentrations of methane and nitrous oxide also broke previous records Thanks to carbon dioxide and these other gases, the WMO says the warming effect on our climate has increased by almost a third since 1990.... Scientists believe that the new data indicates that global warming will be back with a vengeance, after a slowdown in the rate of temperature increases over the past 14 years. "The laws of physics and chemistry are not negotiable," said Michel Jarraud. "Greenhouse gases are what they are, the laws of physics show they can only contribute to warming the system, but parts of this heat may go in different places like the oceans for some periods of time," he said. ...


Physics are for geeks. Me, I'm thinking party like it's 1999!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Sep 20, 2013
from Climate Progress:
Study Of Best Fracked Wells Finds Low Methane Emissions, But Skips Super-Emitters
The good news: A sample of what are probably the best fracked wells in the country finds low emissions of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas. The bad news: The study likely missed the super-emitters, the wells that are responsible for the vast majority of methane leakage. The ugly news: Same as ever ďż˝" natural gas from even the best fracked wells is still a climate-destroying fossil fuel. If we are to avoid catastrophic warming, our natural gas consumption has to peak sometime between in the next 10 to 15 years, according to studies by both the Center for American Progress and the Union of Concerned Scientists. If natural gas is a bridge fuel, it has got to be a very short bridge. Otherwise it is merely "a bridge to a world with high CO2 Levels," as climatologist Ken Caldeira put it last year. ...


Natural gas might be a bridge to nowhere.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Sep 19, 2013
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Masses of food wasted - 'use by' dates mislead
Americans throw away 40 percent of the food they buy, often because of misleading expiration dates that have nothing to do with safety, said a study released Wednesday by Harvard University Law School and the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group. "The date labeling system is not a system at all," said NRDC staff scientist Dana Gunders, co-author of the report, the first to assess date labeling laws nationwide. The report said 90 percent of Americans toss good food into the garbage because they mistakenly think that "sell by," "best before," "use by" or "packed on" dates on food containers indicate safety. One-fifth of consumers, the report said, "always" throw away food based on package dates. ...


Homo Wastiens

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Aug 22, 2013
from East Bay Express:
Waste: The Dark Side of the New Coffee Craze
...For the unfamiliar, single-cup coffee comes in individual portions, encased in plastic capsules or packets that you put in a special coffeemaker to brew one cup at a time. It's the polar opposite of the pour-over artisanal coffee that's so popular in much of the East Bay, but tens of millions of consumers have already switched to single-cup brewing nationwide, likely because it's ultra-convenient....the explosive growth of pod coffee overall includes an often-overlooked dark side: It creates a huge amount of waste. In fact, it's already producing hundreds of millions of pounds of unrecyclable trash for the nation's landfills each year. ...


Thank goodness I can eat my teabag.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 24, 2013
from BBC:
Arctic methane 'time bomb' could have huge economic costs
Scientists say that the release of large amounts of methane from thawing permafrost in the Arctic could have huge economic impacts for the world. The researchers estimate that the climate effects of the release of this gas could cost $60 trillion..., roughly the size of the global economy in 2012.... Previous work has shown that the diminishing ice cover in the East Siberian sea is allowing the waters to warm and the methane to leach out. Scientists have found plumes of the gas up to a kilometre in diameter rising from these waters. ...


A trillion or two could put up a lot of solar panels.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jun 30, 2013
from The National:
Renewable power to eclipse natural gas within 3 years, says IEA
Clean power is set to eclipse gas-generated electricity by 2016, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast in a report that challenges conventional knowledge about economic hurdles to renewables.... The number of gigawatts generated by hydro, solar, wind and other renewables is set to increase by 40 per cent in the coming five years, making them the fastest-growing segment in the global energy mix. "As their costs continue to fall, renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil-fuel generation," Maria van der Hoeven, the executive director of the IEA, said at a presentation in New York.... “And worldwide subsidies for fossil fuels remain six times higher than economic incentives for renewables.” ...


That's why I say "let's frack this afternoon whatever we can sell to investors this morning." Time's a-wastin'!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 14, 2013
from NASA:
Is a Sleeping 'Climate Giant' Stirring in the Arctic?
...Over hundreds of millennia, Arctic permafrost soils have accumulated vast stores of organic carbon - an estimated 1,400 to 1,850 petagrams of it (a petagram is 2.2 trillion pounds, or 1 billion metric tons). That's about half of all the estimated organic carbon stored in Earth's soils. In comparison, about 350 petagrams of carbon have been emitted from all fossil-fuel combustion and human activities since 1850. Most of this carbon is located in thaw-vulnerable topsoils within 10 feet (3 meters) of the surface.... "Permafrost soils are warming even faster than Arctic air temperatures - as much as 2.7 to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius) in just the past 30 years," Miller said. "As heat from Earth's surface penetrates into permafrost, it threatens to mobilize these organic carbon reservoirs and release them into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane, upsetting the Arctic's carbon balance and greatly exacerbating global warming."... If climate change causes the Arctic to get warmer and drier, scientists expect most of the carbon to be released as carbon dioxide. If it gets warmer and wetter, most will be in the form of methane. The distinction is critical. 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. ...


Nothing stinks up the joint like melting permafrost.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 3, 2013
from University of Arkansas, Fayetteville:
Dairy's Carbon Footprint: Flatulence Tops the List
Researchers at the University of Arkansas are attempting to help the U.S. dairy industry decrease its carbon footprint as concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere reach record levels... The researchers found that for every kilogram of milk consumed in the United States per year, 2.05 kilograms of greenhouse gases, on average, are emitted over the entire supply chain to produce, process and distribute that milk. This is equivalent to approximately 17.4 pounds per gallon... The largest contributors were feed production, enteric methane -- gas emitted by the animal itself -- and manure management. ...


Crying over spilt gases.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 16, 2013
from Science Daily:
Methane Emissions Higher Than Thought Across Much of U.S.
After taking a rented camper outfitted with special equipment to measure methane on a cross-continent drive, a UC Santa Barbara scientist has found that methane emissions across large parts of the U.S. are higher than currently known, confirming what other more local studies have found. Their research is published in the journal Atmospheric Environment.... Leifer was joined by two UCSB undergraduate students on the road trip from Los Angeles to Florida, taking a primarily southern route through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and along the Gulf of Mexico. They used specialized instrumentation, a gas chromatograph, to measure methane. The device was mounted in the RV, with an air ram on the roof that collected air samples from in front of the vehicle.... The researchers meandered slowly through areas of fossil fuel activity, such as petroleum and natural gas production, refining, and distribution areas, and other areas of interest. The wide range of sources studied included a coal-loading terminal, a wildfire, and wetlands. ...


This would be scarier if I believed in "science."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 8, 2013
from Bloomberg News:
Coal Mines' Methane Curbs Fall Victim to EPA Budget Cuts
Methane emissions from coal mines escaped being curbed by the Environmental Protection Agency, which said mandatory U.S. budget cuts didn't leave it with the resources to determine if the pollution is a significant risk. The EPA rejected a petition from environmental groups, which three years ago asked the agency to limit the greenhouse gases released from the mines.... The denial, set to be published tomorrow in the Federal Register, is at least the fourth category of emitters the agency has refused to regulate, disappointing groups and some lawmakers who say that EPA needs to take bolder, quicker action to combat the threat of global warming. EPA turned down a petition to curb emissions from aircraft, ships and off-highway trucks in June. ...


EPA: Environmental Pusillanimity Agency

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Apr 29, 2013
from Associated Press:
EPA methane report further divides fracking camps
The Environmental Protection Agency has dramatically lowered its estimate of how much of a potent heat-trapping gas leaks during natural gas production, in a shift with major implications for a debate that has divided environmentalists: Does the recent boom in fracking help or hurt the fight against climate change?... The scope of the EPA's revision was vast. In a mid-April report on greenhouse emissions, the agency now says that tighter pollution controls instituted by the industry resulted in an average annual decrease of 41.6 million metric tons of methane emissions from 1990 through 2010, or more than 850 million metric tons overall. That's about a 20 percent reduction from previous estimates. ...


Does this mean we are only 80 percent frucked, after all?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Apr 15, 2013
from Politico:
Environmentalists fear weaker fracking rule
Environmentalists fear the oil and gas industry has the Obama administration's ear as the government prepares to release a new draft rule to govern fracking on federal lands. Though the Interior Department has yet to release an official draft, each subsequent leaked version contains less of what environmental groups want, the activists say, taking the rule further away from its potential of setting strict standards for the industry. "What we see is every step of the way, these rules are getting weaker,” said Fran Hunt, senior Washington representative for the Sierra Club's Beyond Natural Gas campaign. ...


Perhaps we'll end up with guidelines instead, which are rules with wiggle room.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Apr 5, 2013
from Washington Post:
Methane leaks are undermining the shale-gas boom. Here's how to fix that.
At first glance, the recent shale-gas boom in the United States looks like excellent news for efforts to slow climate change. Natural gas is nudging aside dirtier coal in the electric-power sector, which is driving down U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions. But the one huge caveat in this story has always been methane.... That brings us to a big new study from the World Resources Institute, which tries to compile everything we know about methane leaks. The bad news: We have no idea how much methane is actually seeping out of our natural-gas wells and pipelines. The good news: The technologies to plug those leaks are readily available, but new regulations may be necessary to make sure they're widely adopted. ...


That sounds like a bad news/good news/hopeless news scenario to me.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 7, 2013
from Environmental Defense Fund:
Study Intends To Determine Methane Leakage Associated With A Growing Natural Gas Transportation Sector
In a paper published last year, EDF scientists and other leading researchers examined the impact of potential fugitive emissions on the climate benefits of a switch from diesel to natural gas heavy-duty trucks. The study found that, according to the best available data, methane leak rates would need to be below 1 percent of gas produced in order to ensure that switching from diesel to natural gas produces climate benefits at all points in time. They also found that - using the EPA leakage rate estimates at that time - converting a fleet of heavy duty diesel vehicles to natural gas would result in increased climate warming for more than 250 years before any climate benefits were achieved. EDF is working with leading researchers and companies in a series of studies designed to better understand and characterize the methane leak rate across the natural gas supply chain. The studies will take direct measurements at various points across the production, gathering and processing, long distance transmission and storage, local distribution, and transportation. The first study, led by researchers at the University of Texas, is measuring emissions from natural gas production. Results will be released in the coming months. ...


I'm from the energy industry, and I'm here to help you.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Mar 3, 2013
from Dave Weigel, in Slate:
"They're the Birthers of Fracking." A Conversation with Josh Fox.
... "I wouldn't blame a person for leasing if he's one mortgage payment away from foreclosure, and the lease can fix that," says Fox. "But these companies are exploitative. The government's not helping by providing a way out. These same people could lease their land for solar, we're one line change away in the solar power laws, to allow this. Instead, they're turning PA into Nigeria as we speak." Meaning: The fracking business is expanding faster than its affects can be studied. "The impacts of fracking go far beyond methane migration," says Fox. "Chemical migration has been confirmed by the industry. That's not surprising -- we're talking about wells up to three miles deep, with one inch of cement keeping the chemicals inside. We've seen industry documents saying 5 percent of wells fail immediately, and 50 percent to 60 percent fail over a 30-year period. And they have known about this problem for decades. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection did the same thing, they had video of cracking cement. they didn't publish for 16 months until Rendell said, you should do something." ...


It's obvious: those so-called "leases" were printed in Kenya!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 4, 2013
from Arctic News:
Dramatic increase in methane in the Arctic in January 2013
... Sea ice is declining at exponential pace. The big danger is that a huge rise of temperatures in the Arctic will destabilize huge amounts of methane currently held in the seabed. Comprehensive and effective action is needed now to avoid catastrophe.... As said, there appears to be a strong relationship between the location of the high levels of methane and the contours of land and sea ice, as illustrated by the above animation. There appears to be little relationship between methane levels and depth of the sea, as illustrated by the animation on the right. ...


Hah! Those environmenterrorist nuts won't be able to blame this one on humans!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 29, 2013
from Essex Chronicle:
Writtle College aiming to tackle global warming with burping sheep
BURPING sheep are the subject of a ground-breaking study at Writtle College which aims to tackle global warming. While most people do their bit for the environment by recycling food packaging, switching off lights and saving water, student Francine Gilman is researching ways to stop sheep from belching so many harmful greenhouse gases into the environment. As part of her MSc in Livestock Production Science this spring, the 24-year-old is studying to improve the digestive systems of sheep with therapeutic essential oils. "Of all the greenhouse gases produced by agriculture as a whole, methane from livestock accounts for 80 per cent, so it is a major problem all over the world," said Francine. ...


Can't they learn to swallow it -- like I do?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jan 21, 2013
from EcoWatch:
How Factory Farming Contributes to Global Warming
... Today, nearly 65 billion animals worldwide, including cows, chickens and pigs, are crammed into CAFOs ... CAFOs contribute directly to global warming by releasing vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere -- more than the entire global transportation industry. The air at some factory farm test sites in the U.S. is dirtier than in America's most polluted cities, according to the Environmental Integrity Project. According to a 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, including 37 percent of methane emissions and 65 percent of nitrous oxide emissions. The methane releases from billions of imprisoned animals on factory farms are 70 times more damaging per ton to the earth's atmosphere than CO2... Nitrous oxide pollution is even worse than methane -- 200 times more damaging per ton than CO2. And just as animal waste leaches antibiotics and hormones into ground and water, pesticides and fertilizers also eventually find their way into our waterways, further damaging the environment. ...


That is, like, almost 10 animals per human!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 27, 2012
from London Daily Mail:
Melting permafrost 'will DOUBLE carbon and nitrogen levels in the atmosphere'
As much as 44billion tons of nitrogen and 850billion tons of carbon could be released into the environment as permafrost thaws over the next century, U.S. government experts warn. The release of carbon and nitrogen in permafrost could make global warming much worse and threaten delicate water systems on land and offshore, according to scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey. It comes after the UN last week warned of record levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. ...


Just when you thought there was no hope there really is no hope!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 20, 2012
from Climate Central:
CO2 Hits New High; World Could Warm 7 degrees F by 2060
The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a record 390.9 parts per million (ppm) in 2011, according to a report released Tuesday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). That's a 40 percent increase over levels in 1750, before humans began burning fossil fuels in earnest. Although CO2 is still the most significant long-lived greenhouse gas, levels of other heat-trapping gases have also climbed to record levels, according to the report. Methane, for example hit 1813 parts per billion (ppb) in 2011, and nitrous oxide rose to 324.2 ppb. All told, the amount of excess heat prevented from escaping into outer space was 30 percent higher in 2011 than it was as recently as 1990. ...


Humans: born to outdo ourselves even if it kills us!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Nov 1, 2012
from PhysOrg:
Not-so-permanent permafrost
As much as 44 billion tons of nitrogen and 850 billion tons of carbon stored in arctic permafrost, or frozen ground, could be released into the environment as the region begins to thaw over the next century as a result of a warmer planet according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey. This nitrogen and carbon are likely to impact ecosystems, the atmosphere, and water resources including rivers and lakes. For context, this is roughly the amount of carbon stored in the atmosphere today.... "While the permafrost of the polar latitudes may seem distant and disconnected from the daily activities of most of us, its potential to alter the planet's habitability when destabilized is very real." ...


As we said in 2008, "It turns out permafrost ain't so perma, after all."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 22, 2012
from Trinity College Dublin :
Rice Agriculture Accelerates Global Warming: More Greenhouse Gas Per Grain of Rice
More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising temperatures cause rice agriculture to release more of the potent greenhouse gas methane (CH4) for each kilogram of rice it produces, new research published in this week's online edition of Nature Climate Change reveals.... Methane in rice paddies is produced by microscopic organisms that respire CO2, like humans respire oxygen. More CO2 in the atmosphere makes rice plants grow faster, and the extra plant growth supplies soil microorganisms with extra energy, pumping up their metabolism. Increasing CO2 levels will also boost rice yields, but to a smaller extent then [sic] CH4 emissions. As a result, the amount of CH4 emitted per kilogram of rice yield will increase. ...


Not nice of rice...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Oct 9, 2012
from Charleston Daily Mail:
Natural gas wells proposed on Capital High grounds
Kanawha County Schools officials say natural gas wells might be drilled on Capital High School property. School officials said Friday no plans are finalized and there would be no risks to students associated with drilling on the large property. Instead, they believe it could provide much needed savings and revenue to the school system for years to come. "Any relief to the taxpayers is always welcome," said board President Pete Thaw. ...


What could possibly go wrong?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 12, 2012
from Mother Jones:
Is Fracking Good for the Environment?
Is increased production of natural gas from shale deposits good for the environment? At first glance, yes: natural gas releases less CO2 into the atmosphere than coal, so replacing coal-fired electrical plants with gas-fired plants is a win for global warming. And since fracking makes natural gas cheaper, it helps stimulate a switch from coal to gas. But wait: It turns out you also have to account for leakage. The problem is that natural gas is methane, a powerful greenhouse gas in its own right, and when you extract natural gas from shale formations, some of it inevitably leaks out. That's decidedly bad for global warming. But David McCabe, an atmospheric scientist at the Clean Air Task Force, reports that the news is fairly good on this front: "From the best of the collective work, we believe that burning natural gas for electricity produces about 30-50 percent less greenhouse gas than burning coal, even accounting for the emissions of methane (and carbon dioxide) from producing and transporting the natural gas." Unfortunately, the story doesn't stop there, and it gets a lot grimmer as you dig deeper. The problem is simple: If you make something cheaper, people will use more of it. ...


Looks like we're frucked no matter what.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 29, 2012
from Live Science:
Billions of Tons of Methane Lurk Beneath Antarctic Ice
Microbes possibly feeding on the remains of an ancient forest may be generating billions of tons of methane deep beneath Antarctic ice, a new study suggests. The amount of this greenhouse gas -- which would exist in the form of a frozen latticelike substance called methane hydrate -- lurking beneath the ice sheet rivals that stored in the world's oceans, the researchers said. If the ice sheet collapses, the greenhouse gas could be released into the atmosphere and dramatically worsen global warming, researchers warn in a study published in the Aug. 30 issue of the journal Nature. ...


The Arctic's quiet little sister is about to start screaming!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jun 14, 2012
from New York Times, via Treehugger:
New York Fracking Proposal Creates Sacrificial Zones in Poor Counties
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's administration is pursuing a plan to limit the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing to portions of several struggling New York counties along the border with Pennsylvania, and to permit it only in communities that express support for the technology.... The strategy has not been made final and details could change, but it has been taking shape over several months. It would be contingent on hydraulic fracturing's receiving final approval from state regulators, a step that is not a foregone conclusion but is widely expected later this summer. Department of Environmental Conservation regulators last year signaled their initial support for the drilling process around the state, with exceptions for environmentally sensitive areas like New York City's upstate watershed.... "Sending a polluting industry into our most economically impoverished communities is a violation of environmental justice," Sandra Steingraber, the founder of an umbrella group called New Yorkers Against Fracking, said in a statement. "Partitioning our state into frack and no-frack zones based on economic desperation is a shameful idea." ...


Just make Mississippi, West Virginia, and Arkansas sacrificial zones. Problem solved!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 21, 2012
from BBC:
Arctic melt releasing ancient methane
Scientists have identified thousands of sites in the Arctic where methane that has been stored for many millennia is bubbling into the atmosphere. The methane has been trapped by ice, but is able to escape as the ice melts. Writing in the journal Nature Geoscience, the researchers say this ancient gas could have a significant impact on climate change. Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after CO2 and levels are rising after a few years of stability... Using aerial and ground-based surveys, the team identified about 150,000 methane seeps in Alaska and Greenland in lakes along the margins of ice cover. ...


I call these seeps ApocaLeaks!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 24, 2012
from The Independent:
New climate threat as methane rises from cracks in Arctic ice
A new source of methane - a greenhouse gas many times more powerful than carbon dioxide - has been identified by scientists flying over areas in the Arctic where the sea ice has melted.... Eric Kort of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said that he and his colleagues were surprised to see methane levels rise so dramatically each time their research aircraft flew over cracks in the sea ice. "When we flew over completely solid sea ice, we didn't see anything in terms of methane. But when we flew over areas were the sea ice had melted, or where there were cracks in the ice, we saw the methane levels increase," Dr Kort said. "We were surprised to see these enhanced methane levels at these high latitudes. Our observations really point to the ocean surface as the source, which was not what we had expected," he said. "Other scientists had seen high concentrations of methane in the sea surface but nobody had expected to see it being released into the atmosphere in this way," he added. ...


That tipping point is tap-tap-tapping, tap-tap-tapping on our climate door....

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Apr 20, 2012
from USAToday:
EPA issues air pollution rules for fracking wells
Federal regulators issued first-ever air pollution rules for "fracking" wells on Wednesday, requiring that drillers burn or capture the gas and its smog-producing compounds released when the wells are first tapped. Going into effect in 60 days, the rules cover the period when a well is first drilled when natural gas is still venting but before it begins actual production. In a compromise with the industry, regulators said the drillers can flare, or burn off, the gas for now, a process that can last for weeks. But starting in 2015 they would lose that option. Instead, they'll be required to collect it -- so-called green completion of new fracking wells. "We wanted to encourage 'green completions' as soon as the technology can become widely available," McCarthy said, explaining the 2015 "phase-in" of the rules. The announcement came in response to a lawsuit involving the Clean Air Act. EPA estimates the rules will cut 95 percent of the smog-related chemicals released by fracking wells, ones linked to asthma, respiratory ailments and cancer. ...


Something still stinks around here.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 10, 2012
from HazMat Management Magazine:
Important ruling on "fracking": HazMat Management
Just eight weeks before ExxonMobil's annual shareholder meeting, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sided with the company's investors in their battle to address concerns about the energy giant's hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") operations.... In response to the shareholder proposal, ExxonMobil argued to the SEC that it had substantially implemented the requests shareholders laid out in their resolution. However, deeper research revealed a large gap between information shareholders requested and what ExxonMobil disclosed. "ExxonMobil has provided fragmentary and incomplete information on some of the community concerns, does not disclose government enforcement actions as requested by the proposal, and has disclosed far too little analysis useful to investors on the short- and long- term risks posed by these developments," says As You Sow's attorney Sanford J. Lewis.... ExxonMobil asserted to the SEC that it had no hydraulic fracturing-related environmental violations. It made this claim by limiting reportable violations to activities detectable deep underground, ignoring impacts occurring near the surface. In fact, in Pennsylvania alone, 156 notices of violations related to natural gas extraction operations where fracking is underway were issued to ExxonMobil or its recently acquired subsidiary, XTO, between 2010 and 2011. ...


We tell all the truth that fits our business model. Something wrong with that?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 22, 2012
from Truthout:
About That Dimock Fracking Study: Actually, Result Summaries Show Methane and Hazardous Chemicals
Claire Sandberg, in an interview with Christine Shearer:
The industry likes to state that their number one safety precaution is thousands of layers of impermeable rock and that essentially there is no possible way for the methane to get into the ground water. And we know that the available science conclusively debunks that. The only peer-reviewed study that has been done on groundwater contamination from fracking has found that it occurs a majority of the time, so there is something really wrong here if methane is getting into the groundwater a majority of the time, often at explosive levels of methane. At the same time, the industry does have a point that a lot of the contamination is not from the actual fracking itself - the process where you are injecting chemicals deep into the ground. A lot of the contamination is just from drilling and I think a lot of people are discovering - and this is part of our message with Water Defense - that the risks to water and health are just endemic to drilling and to fossil fuels and it is not specific to fracking. In general, this is the way these companies operate; it is how they have operated around the world, it's "pump and dump." The difference now is that, for the first time, the impacts of fuel extraction are literally in millions of Americans' backyards. And increasingly, it is extreme fossil fuels, more devastating kinds of extraction as we run out of the easier-to-access sources of fossil fuels, but ultimately these problems are inherent to fossil fuels. We need to move to a renewable energy economy. ...


OMG! This could mean turning away from our comfortably suicidal course!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 19, 2012
from McClatchy Newspapers:
As natural gas production grows, questions arise about methane leaks
As natural gas production in the United States hits an all-time high, a major unanswered question looms: What does growing hydraulic fracturing mean for climate change? The Obama administration lists natural gas as one of the "clean energy sources" it wants to expand. When burned, natural gas emits about half the heat-trapping carbon dioxide as coal. Yet natural gas production can result in releases of methane into the atmosphere. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Methane can enter the atmosphere when gas is stored or transported, but it's particularly a concern with shale gas production during flowback -- when fracking fluids, water and gases flow out of a well after drilling but before the gas is put into pipelines. ...


This leak is the Mother of all farts!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 14, 2012
from Wired, via Ars Technica:
Mysterious hog farm explosions stump scientists
A strange new growth has emerged from the manure pits of midwestern hog farms. The results are literally explosive. Since 2009, six farms have blown up after methane trapped in an unidentified, pit-topping foam caught a spark. In the afflicted region, the foam is found in roughly 1 in 4 hog farms. There's nothing farmers can do except be very careful. Researchers aren't even sure what the foam is. "This has all started in the last four or five years here. We don't have any idea where it came from or how it got started," said agricultural engineer Charles Clanton of the University of Minnesota. "Whatever has happened is new." A gelatinous goop that resembles melted brown Nerf, the foam captures gases emitted by bacteria living in manure, which on industrial farms gathers in pits beneath barns that may contain several thousand animals.... Disturb the bubbles, and enormous quantities of methane are released in a very short time. Add a spark--from, say, a bit of routine metal repair, as happened in a September 2011 accident that killed 1,500 hogs and injured a worker--and the barn will blow. ...


Ickily, this smells like an opportunity.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 8, 2012
from Nature:
Air sampling reveals high emissions from gas field
When US government scientists began sampling the air from a tower north of Denver, Colorado, they expected urban smog -- but not strong whiffs of what looked like natural gas. They eventually linked the mysterious pollution to a nearby natural-gas field, and their investigation has now produced the first hard evidence that the cleanest-burning fossil fuel might not be much better than coal when it comes to climate change. Led by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado, Boulder, the study estimates that natural-gas producers in an area known as the Denver-Julesburg Basin are losing about 4 percent of their gas to the atmosphere -- not including additional losses in the pipeline and distribution system. This is more than double the official inventory, but roughly in line with estimates made in 2011 that have been challenged by industry. And because methane is some 25 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere, releases of that magnitude could effectively offset the environmental edge that natural gas is said to enjoy over other fossil fuels. ...


This natural gas leak is the Mother of all Flatulence!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 24, 2012
from London Daily Mail:
Livestock identified as having biggest impact on global warming - even more than usual suspect, carbon monoxide
Forget the toxic fume-spouting industries. Livestock - mainly cows and buffaloes - has been identified as one of the primary contributors of greenhouse gases in India by Brighter Green, a US-based public policy action tank. The animals play a major role in the emission of methane - a gas with a much more lethal impact on global warming than the usual suspect carbon dioxide. Livestock is known to release a huge amount of methane through belching and flatulence, though the latter accounts for a smaller quantity. ...


My old Ford SUV burps and farts: that must be really bad!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 21, 2011
from Nature News:
Permafrost science heats up in the United States
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is embarking on a US $100-million research programme to investigate what will happen to the 1,500 billion tonnes of organic carbon locked up in frozen soils of the far northern permafrost when they thaw in the rapidly warming Arctic climate. ...


For two cents I'll tell ya: the Apocalypse!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Sep 2, 2011
from PNAS:
Permafrost carbon-climate feedbacks accelerate global warming
Permafrost soils contain enormous amounts of organic carbon, which could act as a positive feedback to global climate change due to enhanced respiration rates with warming. We have used a terrestrial ecosystem model that includes permafrost carbon dynamics, inhibition of respiration in frozen soil layers, vertical mixing of soil carbon from surface to permafrost layers, and CH4 emissions from flooded areas, and which better matches new circumpolar inventories of soil carbon stocks, to explore the potential for carbon-climate feedbacks at high latitudes.... Methane emissions from high-latitude regions are calculated to increase from 34 Tg CH4/y to 41-70 Tg CH4/y, with increases due to CO2 fertilization, permafrost thaw, and warming-induced increased CH4 flux densities partially offset by a reduction in wetland extent. ...


See? Climate forcing occurs naturally!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 2, 2011
from AFP, via The Independent:
Russia may lose up to 30 percent of permafrost by 2050: official
Russia's vast permafrost areas may shrink by a third by the middle of the century due to global warming, endangering infrastructure in the Arctic zone, an emergencies ministry official said Friday. "In the next 25 to 30 years, the area of permafrost in Russia may shrink by 10-18 percent," the head of the ministry's disaster monitoring department Andrei Bolov told the RIA Novosti news agency. "By the middle of the century, it can shrink by 15-30 percent, and the boundary of the permafrost may shift to the north-east by 150-200 kilometres," he said.... Permafrost, or soil that is permanently frozen, covers about 63 percent of Russia, but has been greatly affected by climate change in recent decades.... Scientists have said that permafrost thawing will set off another problem because the process will release massive amounts of greenhouse gas methane currently trapped in the frozen soil. ...


Splendid vacation homes now available in Omsk, Tomsk, and Krasnoyarsk!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jul 29, 2011
from Associated Press:
EPA targets air pollution from gas drilling boom
Faced with a natural gas drilling boom that has sullied the air in some parts of the country, the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed for the first time to control air pollution at oil and gas wells, particularly those drilled using a method called hydraulic fracturing. The proposal, issued to meet a court deadline, addresses air pollution problems reported in places such as Wyoming, Texas, Pennsylvania and Colorado, where new drilling techniques have led to a rush to obtain natural gas that was once considered inaccessible. More than 25,000 wells are being drilled each year by "fracking," a process by which sand, water and chemicals are injected underground to fracture rock so gas can come out. The proposed regulations are designed to eliminate most releases of smog- and soot-forming pollutants from those wells. New controls on storage tanks, transmission pipelines and other equipment, at both oil and gas drilling sites on land, would reduce by a quarter amounts of cancer-causing air pollution and methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, but also one of the most powerful contributors to global warming. ...


Can somebody remind me why fracking is supposed to be a good thing?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 14, 2011
from Huffington Post:
Global Warming: Nature Can't Save Us From Ourselves
The notion that nature itself will act as a check on the atmospheric excesses of humanity has long held a fair amount of appeal, not least because it draws on a nugget of high-school science that most people can quickly comprehend. Plants inhale carbon dioxide, after all -- they need it to grow. Add more CO2 to the air, as human civilization has been doing in copious amounts since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and the result will surely be thicker, more expansive biomass.... It's a conviction readily embraced by climate skeptics.... But scientists generally agree that the influence of increased biomass will be modest, essentially acting like a brake on a runaway freight train. It might be able to slow steadily rising temperatures, but it will hardly be enough to stop global warming in its tracks.... "To solve the carbon-climate problem, we need to transform our energy system into one that does not dump its waste into the sky," Caldeira said. "Land plants help. It looks like they won't help quite as much as we thought they would. Clearly, we can't expect nature to solve our problems for us." ...


Aren't we lucky that just around the corner, there's technology to save us from ourselves!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 3, 2011
from North Carolina State University via ScienceDaily:
Biodegradable Products May Be Bad for the Environment
Research from North Carolina State University shows that so-called biodegradable products are likely doing more harm than good in landfills, because they are releasing a powerful greenhouse gas as they break down. "Biodegradable materials, such as disposable cups and utensils, are broken down in landfills by microorganisms that then produce methane," says Dr. Morton Barlaz, co-author of a paper describing the research and professor and head of NC State's Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering. "Methane can be a valuable energy source when captured, but is a potent greenhouse gas when released into the atmosphere." ...


For goodness sake can't we get anything right?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 31, 2011
from London Daily Mail:
Melting of the Arctic 'will accelerate climate change within 20 years'
An irreversible climate "tipping point" could occur within the next 20 years as a result of the release of huge quantities of organic carbon locked away as frozen plant matter in the vast permafrost region of the Arctic, scientists have found...Billions of tons of frozen leaves and roots that have lain undisturbed for thousands of years in the permanently frozen ground of the northern hemisphere are thawing out, with potentially catastrophic implications for climate change, the researchers said. ...


If only ancient people had invented the rake.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, May 28, 2011
from Reuters:
Big oil companies face growing concern on fracking
Large blocks of investors in the two biggest U.S. oil companies on Wednesday demanded more disclosure about the environmental risks of extracting oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing. Exxon Mobil Corp defended the practice at its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, even as investors peppered Chief Executive Rex Tillerson with concerns and questions about it. A proposal requiring more disclosure by Exxon on the impact of "fracking" received about 30 percent of the votes by shareholders in the world's largest publicly traded oil company. At rival Chevron Corp, which became heavily involved in fracking through a recent acquisition, 41 percent of shareholders backed a similar resolution. "Breaking 40 percent on a first year resolution has only happened a few times in the last few decades, so it shows how seriously the company's shareholders are taking this issue," said Michael Passoff, who focuses on fracking at San Francisco-based corporate responsibility group As You Sow.... However, Passoff said even regulators acknowledge that the current regulation by states is inadequate. ...


It's as if stockholders recognized a potential liability from pumping toxics willy-nilly into shattered subterranean layers. Can it be so?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 27, 2011
from Reuters:
Australia's burping cows more climate friendly than thought
Australia's huge cattle herd in the north might be burping less planet-warming methane emissions than thought, a study released on Friday shows, suggesting the cows are more climate friendly. Cattle, sheep and other ruminant livestock produce large amounts of methane, which is about 20 times more powerful at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. One cow can produce about 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year. Half of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and most of that is from sheep and cattle. Most of the cattle and sheep emissions are, contrary to popular belief, from burping. Scientists at Australia's state-backed research body the CSIRO say the amount of methane from cattle fed on tropical grasses in northern Australia could be nearly a third less than thought. ...


Well played! That headline is lots better than "Australian cow-burps a third less lethal"!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, May 8, 2011
from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory:
As Climate Changes, Methane Trapped Under Arctic Ocean Could Bubble to the Surface
A two-part study by scientists from the U.S Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Los Alamos National Laboratory paints one of the most detailed pictures yet of how climate change could impact millions of tons of methane frozen in sediment beneath the Arctic Ocean. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases. The initial phase of the project found that buried deposits of clathrates, which are icy crystalline compounds that encase methane molecules, will break apart as the global temperature increases and the oceans warm. In the second phase, the scientists found that methane would then seep into the Arctic Ocean and gradually overwhelm the marine environment's ability to break down the gas. Supplies of oxygen, nutrients, and trace metals required by methane-eating microbes would dwindle year-by-year as more methane enters the water. After three decades of methane release, much of the methane may bubble to the surface -- where it has the potential to accelerate climate change.... Their research counters the view held by some scientists that the oceans will always consume big plumes of methane. Indeed, small-scale methane releases have been seeping from seafloor vents for eons. In these cases, hungry ocean-dwelling microbes quickly oxidize most of the methane before it escapes into the atmosphere. But this cycle will be disrupted if the Arctic region's vast stores of clathrates break apart and unleash a rash of new methane seeps, the scientists found. "Large-scale methane releases have a greater impact than we anticipated," adds Reagan. "When this happens, microbes cannot consume all of the methane because there isn't enough oxygen to fuel them." ...


How dare the physics and biology of the Arctic waters impede our continuous growth and prosperity!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 21, 2011
from Guardian:
Fossil fuel firms use 'biased' study in massive gas lobbying push
Senior executives in the fossil fuel industry have launched an all-out assault on renewable energy, lobbying governments and business groups to reject wind and solar power in favour of gas, in a move that could choke the fledgling green energy industry. Multinational companies including Shell, GDF Suez and Statoil are promoting gas as an alternative "green" fuel. These companies are among dozens around the world investing in new technologies to exploit shale gas, a controversial form of the fuel that has rejuvenated the gas industry because it is plentiful in supply and newly accessible due to technical advances in gas extraction known as "fracking".... Burning gas in power stations releases about half the carbon emissions of coal, allowing gas companies to claim it is a "green" source of fuel. Central to the lobbying effort is a report claiming that the EU could meet its 2050 carbon targets 900 billion euros more cheaply by using gas than by investing in renewables. But the Guardian has established that the analysis is based on a previous report that came to the opposite conclusion - that renewables should play a much larger role. The report being pushed by the fossil fuel industry has been disowned by its original authors who referred to it as "biased" in favour of gas.... For the last two months, company lobbyists have been besieging government officials in Europe, the US and elsewhere to push the report. Their efforts are being boosted through alliances with energy-intensive industries, which are joining in the pressure on government in the hope of securing cheap energy. ...


It ain't biased if I agree with it, and it makes me more money.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 5, 2011
from ProPublica:
Deteriorating Oil and Gas Wells Threaten Drinking Water, Homes Across the Country
In the last 150 years, prospectors and energy companies have drilled as many as 12 million holes across the United States in search of oil and gas. Many of those holes were plugged after they dried up. But hundreds of thousands were simply abandoned and forgotten, often leaving no records of their existence. Government reports have warned for decades that abandoned wells can provide pathways for oil, gas or brine-laden water to contaminate groundwater supplies or to travel up to the surface. Abandoned wells have polluted the drinking water source for Fort Knox, Ky. [2], and leaked oil into water wells in Ohio and Michigan. Similar problems have occurred in Texas, New York, Colorado and other states where drilling has occurred.... The task of finding, plugging and monitoring old wells is daunting to cash-strapped state governments. A shallow well in good condition can sometimes be plugged with cement for a few thousand dollars. But costs typically run into the tens of thousands, and a price tag of $100,000 or more isn't unusual.... The vents and alarms are just part of life in Versailles. The mayor, James Fleckenstein, recently bought a house with two vents on the property and an alarm in the kitchen. "We've been living with this problem forever," Fleckenstein said. "People would have a vent in their yard burning 24 hours a day all year long, a one-inch pipe sticking out of the ground. People would put a coffee can and light it and it would just burn all the time." ...


Oh, right! We forgot to factor in time!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 15, 2011
from TEDX:
What you need to know about natural gas exploration
An astonishing 48 minutes of Dr. Theo Colborn, on the mechanics, engineering, resource use, health impacts, and environmental impacts of fracking and the natural-gas process. Wordy, nerdy, factual, but utterly straightforward. A natural-gas version of "An Inconvenient Truth." Scarier, in many ways, than GasLand, the Oscar-nominated documentary. ...


Toxic from top to bottom, side to side, inside and out. What's left?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 8, 2011
from Montreal Gazette:
Fracking will cause 'irreversible harm'
A geological engineering professor whose specialty is rock mechanics and hydrogeology says hydraulic fracturing to free natural gas from shale rock formations will cause "irreversible harm" lasting thousands of years. And the gas companies will be long gone, leaving behind costly remediation, Marc Durand said in an interview, suggesting the gas producers should be forced to establish a reserve fund. "The billions required would be much more than all the profits beckoning now," said the retired Universite du Quebec a Montreal professor. The circulating gas left behind will threaten the water Quebecers drink and could jeopardize agriculture, he said. The Utica shale field gas deposits between Montreal and Quebec City lie under some of the best farmland in the province.... The rock formations shattered by fracking will be "thousands of times more permeable," allowing the remaining 80 per cent of shale gas and underground water, 10 times more salty than sea water, to continue circulating, bubbling to the surface through the disused gas wells. Over time, methane could leak into the groundwater and gas leaks could gush, uncontrolled, into the air. ...


Why should we believe someone who's retired? If he's so smart, why isn't he rich? And besides, the economy.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 24, 2011
from Washington Post:
UN: Global warming rate could be halved by controlling ground-level ozone and methane, black carbon
The projected rise in global temperatures could be cut in half in coming years if world governments focused on reducing emissions of two harmful pollutants - black carbon and ground-level ozone, including methane - rather than carbon dioxide alone, according to a U.N. study released Wednesday. The study, "Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone," by the U.N. Environment Programme, shows the impact that the two short-lived pollutants have on the environment, compared with carbon dioxide, which can stay in the atmosphere for decades.... The impact from reducing short-lived pollutants such as black carbon and ground-level ozone such as methane is more immediately felt. Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for years, so the effects of reducing the emissions take longer to register. To reduce black carbon emissions, the study recommends placing a ban on open-field burning of agricultural waste, replacing industrial coke ovens with modern recovery ovens, introducing clean-burning biomass cook stoves for cooking and heating in developing countries and eliminating high-emitting vehicles. ...


Am I allowed to light a candle of hope?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Feb 11, 2011
from ecohearth:
Abandoned Oil Wells: The Coming Environmental Disaster of Epic Proportions
Failed gas and oil well capping technology and lax oversight make tens of millions of abandoned oil and gas wells ecological landmines. A three-month EcoHearth.com investigation has revealed this developing environmental catastrophe that almost no one is paying attention to and which gravely threatens ecosystems worldwide. There are at minimum 2.5 million abandoned oil and gas wells, none permanently capped, littering the US, and an estimated 20-30 million globally. There is no known technology for securely sealing these tens of millions of abandoned wells. Many--likely hundreds of thousands--are already hemorrhaging oil, brine and greenhouse gases into the environment. Habitats are being fundamentally altered. Aquifers are being destroyed. Some of these abandoned wells are explosive, capable of building-leveling, toxin-spreading detonations. And thanks to primitive capping technologies, virtually all are leaking now--or will be. Largely ignored by both industry and governments, this problem has been growing for 150 years--since the first oil wells were drilled. Each abandoned well is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. The triggers include accidents, earthquakes, natural erosion, re-pressurization (either spontaneous or precipitated by fracking) and, simply, time. ...


I'm sure the oil companies are on it.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jan 26, 2011
from ProPublica:
Climate Benefits of Natural Gas May Be Overstated
The United States is poised to bet its energy future on natural gas as a clean, plentiful fuel that can supplant coal and oil. But new research by the Environmental Protection Agency -- and a growing understanding of the pollution associated with the full "life cycle" of gas production -- is casting doubt on the assumption that gas offers a quick and easy solution to climate change. Advocates for natural gas routinely assert that it produces 50 percent less greenhouse gases than coal and is a significant step toward a greener energy future. But those assumptions are based on emissions from the tailpipe or smokestack and don't account for the methane and other pollution emitted when gas is extracted and piped to power plants and other customers. The EPA's new analysis doubles its previous estimates for the amount of methane gas that leaks from loose pipe fittings and is vented from gas wells, drastically changing the picture of the nation's emissions that the agency painted as recently as April. ...


Can we at least still call it natural?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jan 17, 2011
from Science, via Mongabay:
Amount of carbon absorbed by ecosystems each year is grossly overstated, says new study
According to a new paper published in Science, current carbon accounting methods significantly overstate the amount of carbon that can be absorbed by forests, plains, and other terrestrial ecosystems. That is because most current carbon accounting methods do not consider the methane and carbon dioxide released naturally by rivers, streams, and lakes. This new paper suggests that rivers, streams, and lakes emit the equivalent of 2.05 billion metric tons of carbon every year. (By comparison, all the terrestrial ecosystems on the world's continents are thought to absorb around 2.6 billion metric tons of carbon each year). This is, as the lead author of the paper said, is a "major accounting error".... Previous papers have suggested that freshwater ecosystems may also be storing large quantities of carbon dioxide--perhaps as much as 600 million metric tons. There is an urgent need for further study, as precise measurements of natural carbon sources and sinks are vital for shaping policies on conservation, deforestation, and other issues. ...


"Major accounting errors" usually precede bankruptcies.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 13, 2011
from Washington Post:
New global network to precisely measure emissions
A D.C. area company and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography will announce Wednesday that they are launching an ambitious project that aims to precisely gauge how human activity is affecting the climate. The $25 million, five-year commercial venture will include 50 sensors in the United States and another 50 around the world to measure atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Most governments and industries estimate their carbon footprint based on an inventory of the fossil fuels they burn, the trees they cut or the landfills they create; this technology will allow experts to quantify how much carbon dioxide and methane has entered the air. ...


We better be able to see this in 3-D.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Nov 21, 2010
from AP, via PhysOrg:
That 'other' climate problem
Gas locked inside Siberia's frozen soil and under its lakes has been seeping out since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. But in the past few decades, as the Earth has warmed, the icy ground has begun thawing more rapidly, accelerating the release of methane - a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide - at a perilous rate. Some scientists believe the thawing of permafrost could become the epicenter of climate change. They say 1.5 trillion tons of carbon, locked inside icebound earth since the age of mammoths, is a climate time bomb waiting to explode if released into the atmosphere.... Yet awareness of methane leaks from permafrost is so new that it was not even mentioned in the seminal 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warned of rising sea levels inundating coastal cities, dramatic shifts in rainfall disrupting agriculture and drinking water, the spread of diseases and the extinction of species.... As the Earth warms, the summer thaw bites a bit deeper, awakening ice-age microbes that attack organic matter - vegetation and animal remains - buried where oxygen cannot reach, producing methane that gurgles to the surface and into the air. The newly released methane adds to the greenhouse effect, trapping yet more heat which deepens the next thaw, in a spiraling cycle of increasing warmth. ...


Apocaiku: The ice-age microbes / reawaken. Can we wake / all the sleepwalkers?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Nov 11, 2010
from Yale360:
China Turns to Biogas to Ease Impact of Factory Farms
His farm is also different than the American pig farms you usually detect with your nose before you see any animals: it smells only faintly of waste. He says that's because it's an ecological CAFO, which sounds a bit like an oxymoron. "The whole system is pollution-free, zero-emission, and energy saving," says Ye. "The key is the biogas digester." Biogas digestion takes the nuisances of most large animal farms -- solid, liquid, and gaseous wastes -- and turns them into resources that farmers can use and even sell. Raw pig waste is usually a liability for farmers: It's full of pathogens and compounds like ammonia that can ruin crops and soil if applied directly. It also is prone to running off into waterways and leaching into groundwater.... The South China Sea today is largely a dead zone with frequent red tides and little remaining life because of run-off from upstream agriculture.... Ye thinks his biogas digester may be part of the solution. It cost about $600,000, but Ye only paid for half while the central, provincial, and local governments picked up the rest with subsidies.... To avert future environmental disasters like leaks or spills of wastewater from large farms and to capture methane, the government has decreed that all farms with more than 1,000 cows, 10,000 pigs or 100,000 chickens must install biogas digesters. In Zhejiang province, one of China's richest and most environmentally progressive, the local government recently decided that all farms with more than 50 pigs must have biogas digesters. ...


Y'know, in this country we'd call that socialism. We like our freedom to do whatever the hell we want to others.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 20, 2010
from Voice of Russia:
Permafrost temp rise in Siberia: 3 degrees
This year's anomalous heat has told also on the Arctic regions. The Murmansk forum will outline some guidelines for the study of its impact on the region's wildlife. Speaking on the subject Aleksandr Frolov, the head of hydrometeorology and environment monitoring said: "The anomalous heat on the European territories was felt in Siberia and the European parts of the Arctic, be it even with a lower amplitude. The western parts of the Arctic had no ice - and that's another anomaly. We monitor the climatic changes in the Arctis using our 49 research stations including 3 observatories that are quite well-equipped, and satellites. Another important goal is the study of permafrost in Siberia and Yakutia that was also affected last summer." "The rise of the upper temperature level of the permafrost amounted to 3 degrees, and that that's a serious thing given that houses there are built on pillars, and if permafrost starts to melt, the pillars may sink with cracks in the walls of the houses. Then there are oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure laid down in the permafrost. We are speaking about big cities - Norilsk, Dudinka and Vorkuta. Besides The world's northern areas and their southern extremities can also be affected by temperature rises, spelling trouble to up to 800 million people. If the temperatures rise above 2 degrees or the trend of their steady growth can in the coming two decades result in the 57 centimeter level rise of the world ocean," said Sergei Shoigu, the Minister for Emergency Situations and President of the Russian Geographic Society. ...


Is that three degrees Fubar, or three degrees Collapse?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Aug 30, 2010
from Xinhua, via China.org.cn:
China sets up base to explore deep-sea energy
China will build a multi-million dollar research base on its east coast to accelerate the study and exploration of deep-sea energy resources, officials with the preparatory group of the base said Thursday. The base covers 26 hectars of the ground and 62.72 hectares of the sea in the coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong Province, and will serve as a ground support station for China's manned submersible vehicle "Jiaolong".... Scientists believe sea beds at a depth of 4,000 to 6,000 meters hold abundant deposits of rare metals and methane hydrate, a solidified form of natural gas bound into ice that can serve as a new energy source. ...


Use it or lose it, right?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Aug 21, 2010
from Guardian:
Rwanda harnesses volcanic gases from depths of Lake Kivu
In a world first, the barge is extracting gases that are trapped deep in Lake Kivu's waters like the fizz in a champagne bottle. Methane, the main constituent of natural gas used for household cooking and heating, is then separated out and piped back to the rugged shore where it fires three large generators. The state-owned Kibuye Power plant is already producing 3.6MW of electricity, more than 4 percent of the country's entire supply. But the success of the pilot project, and the huge unmet demand for power in Rwanda -- only one in 14 homes have access to electricity -- has encouraged local and foreign investors to commit hundreds of millions of dollars to new methane plants along the lakeshore. Within two years, the government hopes to be getting a third of its power from Lake Kivu, and eventually aims to produce so much energy from methane to be able to export it to neighbouring countries. "Our grandfathers knew there was gas in this lake but now have we proved that it can be exploited," said Alexis Kabuto, the Rwandan engineer who runs the $20m Kibuye project. "It's a cheap, clean resource that could last us 100 years." ...


Isn't that methane supposed to be used to warm the planet?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Aug 14, 2010
from Anchorage Arctic Sounder:
Borehole network confirms, permafrost is thawing worldwide
An expanded network of boreholes across the northern hemisphere has confirmed that permafrost throughout polar and sub-polar regions is thawing, say scientists who studied the topic during International Polar Year... Using information collected from 575 boreholes located throughout North America, Russia and the Nordic region, researchers found that permafrost temperatures during the International Polar Year were as much as 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than they were 20 or 30 years ago. ...


My blood runs cold when I hear news like this.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Aug 1, 2010
from London Guardian:
Insects could be the key to meeting food needs of growing global population
Saving the planet one plateful at a time does not mean cutting back on meat, according to new research: the trick may be to switch our diet to insects and other creepy-crawlies. The raising of livestock such as cows, pigs and sheep occupies two-thirds of the world's farmland and generates 20 percent of all the greenhouse gases driving global warming. As a result, the United Nations and senior figures want to reduce the amount of meat we eat and the search is on for alternatives. ...


Now where is my bbq dipping sauce?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 19, 2010
from London Independent:
Curry spices for cows and sheep could cut methane emissions
Curry spices could hold the key to reducing the enormous greenhouse gas emissions given off by grazing animals such as sheep, cows and goats, scientists have claimed. Research carried out at Newcastle University has found that coriander and turmeric -- spices traditionally used to flavour curries -- can reduce by up to 40 per cent the amount of methane that is produced by bacteria in a sheep's stomach and then emitted into the atmosphere when the animal burps. Working rather like an anti-biotic, the spices were found to kill the methane-producing "bad" bacteria in the animal's gut while allowing the "good" bacteria to flourish. ...


Might be hell on those first-date kisses, though.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 6, 2010
from Science News:
Methane releases in arctic seas could wreak devastation
Massive releases of methane from arctic seafloors could create oxygen-poor dead zones, acidify the seas and disrupt ecosystems in broad parts of the northern oceans, new preliminary analyses suggest. Such a cascade of geochemical and ecological ills could result if global warming triggers a widespread release of methane from deep below the Arctic seas, scientists propose in the June 28 Geophysical Research Letters. Worldwide, particularly in deeply buried permafrost and in high-latitude ocean sediments where pressures are high and temperatures are below freezing, icy deposits called hydrates hold immense amounts of methane... ...


I am not high on these hydrates melting.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 5, 2010
from Wired:
Study claims hydroelectric dams hurt climate more than oil
Hydroelectric power is normally listed in the same breath as solar, wind and wave as a world-saving renewable energy source. But a study from Brazil's National Institute for Research in the Amazon claims that it could be considerably more damaging to the atmosphere than generating the same amount of energy from oil. The study, which is due to be published in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, asserts that Hydroelectric's "green" image is false and that traditional dam-based hydroelectric power generation systems could be releasing significant amounts of methane into the environment, thanks to the rotting vegetation submerged when the reservoir floods. ...


Dam!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 1, 2010
from SolveClimate:
Methane Dead Zones in Gulf Waters Confirmed, Gas Levels 100,000 Times Normal
Scientists are confronting growing evidence that BP's ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico is creating oxygen-depleted "dead zones" where fish and other marine life cannot survive. In two separate research voyages, independent scientists have detected what were described as "astonishingly high" levels of methane, or natural gas, bubbling from the well site, setting off a chain of reactions that suck the oxygen out of the water. In some cases, methane concentrations are 100,000 times normal levels. Other scientists as well as sport fishermen are reporting unusual movements of fish, shrimp, crab and other marine life, including increased shark sightings closer to the Alabama coast.... Joye said her preliminary findings suggested the high volume of methane coming out of the well could upset the ocean food chain. Such high concentrations, it is feared, would trigger the growth of microbes, which break up the methane, but also gobble up oxygen needed by marine life to survive, driving out other living things. Joye said the methane was settling in a 200-metre layer of the water column, between depths of 1,000 to 1,300 metres in concentrations that were already threatening oxygen levels. "That water can go completely anoxic [extremely low oxygen] and that is a pretty serious situation for any oxygen-requiring organism. We haven't seen zero-oxygen water but there is certainly enough gas in the water to draw oxygen down to zero," she said. ...


I thought they only let fertilizer runoff make dead zones!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 25, 2010
from Science:
Hydrogen Isotopes Preclude Marine Hydrate CH4 Emissions at the Onset of Dansgaard-Oeschger Events
The causes of past changes in the global methane cycle and especially the role of marine methane hydrate (clathrate) destabilization events are a matter of debate. Here we present evidence from the North Greenland Ice Core Project ice core based on the hydrogen isotopic composition of methane [{delta}D(CH4)] that clathrates did not cause atmospheric methane concentration to rise at the onset of Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events 7 and 8. Box modeling supports boreal wetland emissions as the most likely explanation for the interstadial increase. Moreover, our data show that {delta}D(CH4) dropped 500 years before the onset of DO 8, with CH4 concentration rising only slightly. This can be explained by an early climate response of boreal wetlands, which carry the strongly depleted isotopic signature of high-latitude precipitation at that time. [Translation provided in Science's TOC: "Catastrophic destabilization of marine methane clathrates did not trigger rapid warming episodes 39,000 and 35,000 years ago."] ...


If these guys are so smart, why can't they write?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 18, 2010
from Associated Press:
Gulf oil full of methane, adding new concerns
It is an overlooked danger in the oil spill crisis: The crude gushing from the well contains vast amounts of natural gas that could pose a serious threat to the Gulf of Mexico's fragile ecosystem. The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill. That means huge quantities of methane have entered the Gulf, scientists say, potentially suffocating marine life and creating "dead zones" where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives. "This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," Kessler said. ...


In other words this is the most massive fart ever!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 14, 2010
from Science:
What the Gulf Disaster Could Tell Us About Sudden Global Warming
Oceanographer John Kessler of Texas A&M University, College Station, and his colleagues have been awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation for a research cruise on the R/V Cape Hatteras, to measure concentrations of methane gas. Methane makes up about 40 percent by mass of what's spewing out of the well, according to measurements by BP.... But the burst well has also become an unlikely scientific windfall for Kessler, who studies natural methane seeps and their link to rapid climate change.... "Knowing if it's 1 percent or 90 percent that makes it out to the atmosphere will be a very big discovery for us," says Kessler. If the methane stays dissolved, it could trigger a feeding frenzy among microbes, he says. Their consumption of oxygen could create hypoxic zones and have "a serious influence on biodiversity at those times as well,"... Given the disaster unfolding in the gulf, says Kessler, "if we can make a little lemonade out of the lemons we've been given, then at least maybe some good will come of this." ...


I'm not sure I'd call methane plumes "lemonade."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 28, 2010
from Science (AAAS):
Extensive Methane Venting to the Atmosphere from Sediments of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf
Remobilization to the atmosphere of only a small fraction of the methane held in East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) sediments could trigger abrupt climate warming, yet it is believed that sub-sea permafrost acts as a lid to keep this shallow methane reservoir in place. Here, we show that more than 5000 at-sea observations of dissolved methane demonstrates that greater than 80 percent of ESAS bottom waters and greater than 50 percent of surface waters are supersaturated with methane regarding to the atmosphere. The current atmospheric venting flux, which is composed of a diffusive component and a gradual ebullition component, is on par with previous estimates of methane venting from the entire World Ocean. Leakage of methane through shallow ESAS waters needs to be considered in interactions between the biogeosphere and a warming Arctic climate. ...


I hear Lindsay Lohan has a new gal-pal.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 25, 2010
from Sydney Morning Herald:
Mammoth gas emissions helped keep planet warm, scientists say
Gassy mammoths helped fill the atmosphere with methane and keep the Earth warm more than 13,000 years ago, scientists say. Together with other large plant-eating mammals that are now extinct, they released about 9.6 million tonnes of the gas each year, experts estimated. When the megafauna disappeared there was a dramatic fall in atmospheric methane, which may have altered the climate. Analysis of gases trapped in ice cores suggests the loss of animal emissions accounted for a large amount of the decline. ...


And now we have mammoth humans doing the same.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 14, 2010
from NUVO Newsweekly:
Foul Farms
Barbara Sha Cox knows that there's nothing funny about leaking, underground gasoline tanks or abandoned, polluted industrial sites known as brownfields. The lifelong family farmer is part of a group of environmentalists that meets monthly with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). And she is a regular at committee meetings of all kinds held by the General Assembly and other state agencies like IDEM. But she chuckles when considering how little state government has learned from the past. "I sit in those meetings, and I think, 'They're talking about all these underground tanks, the brownfields, and how they've got to deal with them and all the leakage,'" the retired nurse says. "I keep thinking, 'How can you not have the foresight to see that you have this huge environmental problem that you are not acknowledging?'"...just a few hundred yards away, looms a 7.2-acre manure lagoon that has lately drawn national media attention from publications as diverse as the Huffington Post and Wall Street Journal due to fears it could explode from methane gas buildup. ...


It might explode just from all this media attention!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 24, 2010
from BBC:
UN body to look at meat and climate link
UN specialists are to look again at the contribution of meat production to climate change, after claims that an earlier report exaggerated the link. A 2006 report concluded meat production was responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions - more than transport.... But a new analysis, presented at a major US science meeting, says the transport comparison was flawed.... In an attempt to capture everything associated with meat production, the FAO team included contributions, for example, from transport and deforestation. By comparison, the IPCC's methodology collects all emissions from deforestation into a separate pool, whether the trees are removed for farming or for some other reason; and does the same thing for transport. This is one of the reasons why the 18 percent figure appears remarkably high to some observers. ...


Oh, I see -- transportation may be more, so meat might be somewhat less proportionally -- so bring on the BBQ!!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Mar 20, 2010
from Digital Journal:
Expert Says Policy Makers Underestimate Climate Change Problems
In a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Oceanography, March 2010, Greene, Cornell professor of Earth and Atmospheric Science, has published a paper called "A Very Inconvenient Truth" along with colleagues D. James Baker, professor of the William J. Clinton Foundation and Daniel H. Miller of the Roda Group, Berkeley, California. They conclude that the United Nations Panel on Climate Change of 2007 underestimated the specific dangers that man-made climate change has created. The social problems now and in the future are considerable, according to these scientists.... "Of course, greenhouse gas emissions will not stop tomorrow, so the actual temperature increase will likely be significantly larger, resulting in potentially catastrophic impacts to society unless other steps are taken to reduce the Earth's temperature." ...


Don't worry -- we'll get back to preindustrial levels eventually!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 16, 2010
from Stanford, via EurekAlert:
The environmental and social impact of the 'livestock revolution'
Global meat production has tripled in the past three decades and could double its present level by 2050, according to a new report on the livestock industry by an international team of scientists and policy experts. The impact of this "livestock revolution" is likely to have significant consequences for human health, the environment and the global economy, the authors conclude.... # More than 1.7 billion animals are used in livestock production worldwide and occupy more than one-fourth of the Earth's land. # Production of animal feed consumes about one-third of total arable land. # Livestock production accounts for approximately 40 percent of the global agricultural gross domestic product. # The livestock sector, including feed production and transport, is responsible for about 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. ...


Gosh -- that's almost, almost enough to make me go vegetarian.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 4, 2010
from National Geographic:
Arctic Sea Belching Tons of Methane
Arctic seabeds are belching massive quantities of methane, according to a new study that says ocean permafrost is a huge and largely overlooked source of the powerful greenhouse gas, which has been linked to global warming. Previous research had found methane bubbling out of melting permafrost -- frozen soil -- in Arctic wetlands and lakes. But the permafrost lining the deep, cold seas was thought to be staying frozen solid, holding in untold amounts of trapped methane. "It's not the case anymore," said study leader Natalia Shakhova, a biogeochemist at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska. "The permafrost is actually failing in its ability to preserve this leakage."... The scientists found that much of the seawater above the shelf is laden with methane, which in turn is being released into the atmosphere. What's more, the team found that current atmospheric methane levels in the Arctic are three times higher than those recorded across previous climate cycles going back 400,000 years. This phenomenon most likely isn't limited to the East Siberian Sea, the researchers note. If permafrost is melting in this part of the Arctic, all shallow areas along the Arctic shelf should be similarly affected. ...


Methane: the organic alternative to CO2!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 2, 2010
from Washington Post:
Manure becomes pollutant as its volume grows unmanageable
...Animal manure, a byproduct as old as agriculture, has become an unlikely modern pollution problem, scientists and environmentalists say. The country simply has more dung than it can handle: Crowded together at a new breed of megafarms, livestock produce three times as much waste as people, more than can be recycled as fertilizer for nearby fields. That excess manure gives off air pollutants, and it is the country's fastest-growing large source of methane, a greenhouse gas. And it washes down with the rain, helping to cause the 230 oxygen-deprived "dead zones" that have proliferated along the U.S. coast. In the Chesapeake Bay, about one-fourth of the pollution that leads to dead zones can be traced to the back ends of cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys. ...


That is just a shitload of shit!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 3, 2010
from New York Times:
California Sets Up Statewide Network to Monitor Global-Warming Gases
California is preparing to introduce the first statewide system of monitoring devices to detect global-warming emissions, installing them on towers throughout the state. The monitoring network, which is expected to grow, will initially focus on pinpointing the sources and concentrations of methane, a potent contributor to climate change. The California plan is an early example of the kind of system that may be needed in many places as countries develop plans to limit their emissions of greenhouse gases. ...


Unless we'd rather NOT know.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 26, 2010
from NPR:
Methane Causes Vicious Cycle In Global Warming
Carbon dioxide is the gas we most associate with global warming, but methane gas also plays an important role. For reasons that are not well understood, methane gas stopped increasing in the atmosphere in the 1990s. But now it appears to be once again on the rise. Scientists are trying to understand why — and what to do about it. Methane gas comes from all sorts of sources including wetlands, rice paddies, cow tummies, coal mines, garbage dumps and even termites. Drew Shindell, at NASA's Goddard Institute in New York, says, "It's gone up by 150 percent since the pre-industrial period. So that's an enormous increase. CO2, by contrast, has gone up by something like 30 percent." ...


I think I hear the Mars-bound space shuttles warming up their engines...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 7, 2010
from BBC (UK):
Methane release 'looks stronger'
Scientists have uncovered what appears to be a further dramatic increase in the leakage of methane gas that is seeping from the Arctic seabed. Methane is about 20 times more potent than CO2 in trapping solar heat. The findings come from measurements of carbon fluxes around the north of Russia, led by Igor Semiletov from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. "Methane release from the East Siberian Shelf is underway and it looks stronger than it was supposed [to be]," he said.... According to a report by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the springtime air temperature across the region in the period 2000-2007 was an average of 4C higher than during 1970-1999. That is the fastest temperature rise on the planet, claims the university. ...


Can we call it "biogas" and start ignoring it again?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 3, 2010
from The Economist:
The seat of power
...Less and less waste, these days, is actually allowed to go to waste. Instead, it is used to generate biogas, a methane-rich mixture that can be employed for heating and for the generation of electricity. Moreover, in an age concerned with the efficient use of energy, technological improvements are squeezing human fecal matter to release every last drop of the stuff. Making biogas means doing artificially to faeces what would happen to them naturally if they were simply dumped into the environment or allowed to degrade in the open air at a traditional sewage farm—namely, arranging for them to be chewed up by bacteria. Capturing the resulting methane has a double benefit. As well as yielding energy, it also prevents what is a potent greenhouse gas from being released into the atmosphere. ...


Our last hope: Shit.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Dec 26, 2009
from Deutsche Welle:
Food waste turns stomachs in environmental circles
Christmas has become a traditional time for over indulgence in Western countries. The holiday season seems to provide everyone with an excuse to eat and drink to excess. Supermarkets burst with sweet treats and a mind-boggling selection of festive fare. While most of it will be ingested, more than a third of food in Europe and the United States will grow moldy fur in the back of the fridge, pass its use-by date and land in garbage.... Experts believe that much of the responsibility for reducing food waste rests with the manufacturers. The food industry must find ways to reduce waste throughout the production and supply chain, and find ways to redistribute finished food products and reuse by-products of the production process. ...


Plus, I can let a hungry human live in my fridge and eat my leftovers!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Dec 24, 2009
from Wired:
7 Tipping Points That Could Transform Earth
...when the IPCC meets in 2014, tipping points -- or tipping elements, in academic vernacular -- will get much more attention. Scientists still disagree about which planetary systems are extra-sensitive to climate shifts, but the possibility can't be ignored. "The problem with tipping elements is that if any of them tips, it will be a real catastrophe. None of them are small," said Anders Levermann, a climate physicist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Levermann's article on potential disruptions of South Asia's monsoon cycles was featured in a series of tipping element research reviews, published December 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Also discussed were ocean circulation, polar icecaps, Amazon rainforests, seafloor methane deposits and a west African dustbowl. Each is stressed by rising planetary temperatures. Some are less likely than others to tip; some might not be able to tip at all. Ambiguities, probabilities a limited grasp of Earth's complex systems are inherent to the science. But if any tip, it will be an epic disaster. ...


Only seven? I can keep track of that!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Dec 12, 2009
from Alaska Journal of Commerce:
Climate change eroding coast at accelerating rate, scientists find
Coastal erosion isn't the only climate-related problem confronting rural communities. Health officials now are concerned about food and water safety in northern villages as warming temperatures thaw ice cellars and melting permafrost increases the organic content in rivers, creating problems in village water treatment plants. Increased erosion is presenting problems within the petroleum reserve. Erosion has the potential to expose old oil and gas drill sites and reserve pits, where contaminants are stored. ...


The Great Thaw is going to unearth a whole lotta old shit.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Nov 29, 2009
from BBC:
Australian aims to breed 'green' sheep that burp less
The scientists have been trying to identify a genetic link that causes some sheep to belch less than others. Burping is a far greater cause of emissions in sheep than flatulence, they say. About 16 percent of Australia's greenhouse emissions come from agriculture, says the department of climate change. Australia's Sheep Cooperative Research Council says 66 percent of agricultural emissions are released as methane from the gut of livestock....The scientists' goal in the long term is to breed sheep that produce less methane, which produces many times more global warming than carbon dioxide. ...


While we're at it, can we teach them to bleat "pardon me"?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Nov 27, 2009
from Science:
Americans' Eating Habits More Wasteful Than Ever
After their biggest meal of the year, Americans might reflect on the fate of those moldering Thanksgiving leftovers. Nearly 40 percent of the food supply in the United States goes to waste, according to a new study, and the problem has been getting worse. "The numbers are pretty shocking," says Kevin Hall, a quantitative physiologist at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in Bethesda, Maryland.... Much of the waste is probably happening at home, say experts. A study published earlier this year by Jeffery Sobal, a sociologist at Cornell University, and colleagues examined food waste in Tompkins County, New York, through interviews. They found that production accounted for 20 percent of waste, distribution for about another 20 percent, and consumers for the remaining 60 percent. "Food waste used to be a cultural sin," Sobal says. ...


Now, apparently, food waste is a virtue.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Nov 21, 2009
from AFP:
Permafrost thaw threatens Russia oil and gas complex: study
According to the report by the environmental watchdog, up to 55 billion roubles (1.9 billion dollars) a year is spent on repairs to infrastructure and pipelines damaged by changes in the permafrost in western Siberia. "For Russia, the biggest threat of the permafrost melt is to oil and gas company infrastructure," said Vladimir Chuprov, who heads Greenpeace's energy programme in Russia.... Russia's main raw export industries are spread across the Siberian permafrost, which makes up over 60 percent of its territory and includes 20 cities and several hundred thousand people. The permafrost thaw has accelerated in recent years.... In a complex cycle, permafrost melts at the edges of lakes that previously were iced over year-round, he explained. Organic material -- the remains of rotted plants and long-dead animals -- then melt into the lake from the soil and decompose to form methane. With the thaw, the methane bubbles to the surface and is released into the atmosphere. ...


It's so sad when nomenclature leads to a death spiral. Tempofrost would have changed everything.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Nov 1, 2009
from Times Online (UK):
Methane's impact on global warming far higher than previously thought
The effects of a critical greenhouse gas on global warming have been significantly underestimated, according to research suggesting that emissions controls and climate models may need to be revised Methane's impact on global temperatures is about a third higher than generally thought because previous estimates have not accounted for its interaction with airborne particles called aerosols, NASA scientists found. When this indirect effect of the potent greenhouse gas is included one tonne of methane has about 33 times as much effect on the climate over 100 years as a tonne of carbon dioxide, rather than 25 times as in standard estimates. ...


And when, pray tell, will we finally see an "our models underestimated the Earth's natural resilience" story?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 15, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Arctic will be ice-free in a decade, according to Pen Hadow
The explorer trekked more than 269 miles towards the North Pole this winter in temperatures below -40 degrees C to measure the depth of the ice. The average thickness of ice floes was 1.8 metres, suggesting the ice sheet is now largely made up of first year ice rather than "multiyear" ice that will have built up over time.... An analysis by Cambridge University has concluded that the Arctic is now melting at such a rate that it will be largely ice free within ten years, allowing ships to cross the Arctic Ocean. Further analysis by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warned that the "irreversible trend" will cause dangerous feedback because water absorbs more heat from the sun than ice, therefore further speeding up the global warming process. The melting of the ice could also trigger extreme weather patterns as the ocean currents change and release even more greenhouse gases stored under the ice. ...


Whoo-ee! We are kicking Nature's ass!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Oct 11, 2009
from Reuters:
Russian climate goal weak as 'methane bomb' ticks
The snows are late in coming on the Arctic Yamal peninsula where moist, dark permafrost entombed for 10,000 years crumbles into the sea at the top of the world. Western scientists and environmentalists say collapsed river banks, rising tide waters and warmer winters in northwest Russia are clear signs of climate change, but they add Russia is in denial, ignoring a potentially disastrous "methane bomb". "We are appealing to world leaders as this issue is overlooked in Russia... there is a carbon, or methane bomb embedded in our earth," Vladimir Chuprov, head of the Russian energy unit at environmental group Greenpeace, told Reuters. He added that Russia -- which has permafrost covering 60 percent of its land -- most likely holds the world's biggest methane threat. By 2050, vast amounts of methane will "explode into the air" from Russia's melting permafrost, Chuprov said. ...


There's something Strangelovian about this time bomb.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 30, 2009
from Indianapolis Star:
Purdue researchers monitor cow emissions
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue University is leading a new study that seeks to answer the smelly question of how much greenhouse gases are produced by dairy cows. The study won't just look at the issue of cow flatulence -- it will also examine the amount of greenhouse gases that cow manure releases. A Purdue professor is leading colleagues at Purdue and four other schools in the study. They'll monitor carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide at five barn sites and two manure lagoons in Indiana, Wisconsin, California, Washington and New York. ...


'Cause we know just how vital the issue of cow flatulence can be!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Aug 31, 2009
from Associated Press:
Climate trouble may be bubbling up in Far North
...Pure methane, gas bubbling up from underwater vents, escaping into northern skies, adds to the global-warming gases accumulating in the atmosphere. And pure methane escaping in the massive amounts known to be locked in the Arctic permafrost and seabed would spell a catastrophe. Is such an unlocking under way? Researchers say air temperatures in northwest Canada, in Siberia and elsewhere in the Arctic have risen more than 2.5 C (4.5 F) since 1970 — much faster than the global average. The summer thaw is reaching deeper into the frozen soil, at a rate of 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) a year, and a further 7 C (13 F) temperature rise is possible this century... ...


How many carbons does it burn up to have to add Fahrenheit equivalencies!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Aug 24, 2009
from Canadian Press:
Climate change doubles tundra plant life, boosting shrubs, grasses
Climate change is already having a dramatic effect on plants in the High Arctic, turning the once rocky tundra a deep shade of green and creating what could be another mechanism speeding up global warming. In a new study to be published in the November issue of the journal Ecology, University of British Columbia geographer Greg Henry has, for the first time, confirmed that rapidly rising temperatures in the Arctic are creating major changes in the plants that live there... the average temperature in the area has increased by about 2.5 C -- "an extremely rapid change," says Henry... Henry said the new, denser, shrubbier tundra could speed up global warming even further simply because that vegetation is darker and absorbs more solar energy. Previous studies have suggested that a global spread of thicker plant growth on the tundra could have the same effect as doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. ...


Say, maybe shrubs would make the perfect biofuel.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 27, 2009
from London Observer:
Poisonous gas from African lake poses threat to millions
More than two million people living on the banks of Lake Kivu in central Africa are at risk of being asphyxiated by gases building up beneath its surface, scientists have warned. It is estimated that the lake, which straddles the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, now contains 300 cubic kilometres of carbon dioxide and 60 cubic kilometres of methane that have bubbled into the Kivu from volcanic vents. The gases are trapped in layers 80 metres below the lake's surface by the intense water pressures there. However, researchers have warned that geological or volcanic events could disturb these waters and release the gases. The impact would be devastating, as was demonstrated on 21 August 1986 at Lake Nyos in Cameroon, in West Africa. Its waters were saturated with carbon dioxide and a major disturbance - most probably a landslide - caused a huge cloud of carbon dioxide to bubble up from its depths and to pour down the valleys that lead from the crater lake. Carbon dioxide is denser than air, so that the 50mph cloud hugged the ground and smothered everything in its path. Some 1,700 people were suffocated. ...


Sounds like the Mother of all Belches.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jul 18, 2009
from New Scientist:
Mystery methane belched out by megacities
The Los Angeles metropolitan area belches far more methane into its air than scientists had previously realised. If other megacities are equally profligate, urban methane emissions may represent a surprisingly important source of this potent greenhouse gas...a research team led by Paul Wennberg, an atmospheric chemist at Caltech in Pasadena, estimated methane emissions for the Los Angeles region, then subtracted all known sources of methane, such as livestock, landfills and sewage. They ended up with an enormous amount of methane – about 0.14 to 0.34 megatonnes per year, or up to half of the total emissions that could not be accounted for by known sources. ...


My invisible friends must be farting again.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 2, 2009
from G Magazine:
Frozen carbon stores pose big warming danger
There is double the amount of carbon stored in frozen soils than previously thought, new research has found, which could significantly increase global temperatures by the end of this century if released. "Massive amounts of carbon stored in frozen soils at high latitudes are increasingly vulnerable to exposure to the atmosphere," said Pep Canadell, from the CSIRO's Global Carbon Project. "The [newest] research shows that the amount of carbon stored in soils surrounding the North Pole has been hugely underestimated."... Canadell and colleagues have revealed that frozen high-latitude soils have the potential to release vast quantities of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, and subsequently influence carbon-climate feedbacks. ...


But if we didn't know it before, it can't be true now, can it? Can it?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jun 18, 2009
from Scientific American:
The Arctic Thaw Could Make Global Warming Worse
...In a complete Arctic thaw, these lakes could discharge a whopping 50 billion tons of methane: 10 times the amount already helping to heat the planet. Whether a total or more moderate release is in store is still anyone's guess. But pound for pound, methane in the atmosphere traps 25 times more of the sun's heat than CO2 does. Consequently, even a modest thaw of the perennially frozen soil that lies under these ephemeral lakes and caps the dry land around them could trigger a vicious cycle: warming releases methane and creates lakes, which thaw permafrost and liberate more gas, which intensifies warming, which creates more lakes, and so on. Some Arctic lakes are growing larger, and researchers are eyeing them suspiciously as a reason why global methane concentrations shot up in 2007 and have stayed high ever since. Other signs indicate that permafrost thawing on the Arctic seafloor may be loosening the cap on large pockets of methane stored deeper down. ...


Please put this in terms I can understand: how many Babe the Blue Ox farts is that?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 5, 2009
from New York Times:
Greening the Herds: A New Diet to Cap Gas
Since January, cows at 15 farms across Vermont have had their grain feed adjusted to include more plants like alfalfa and flaxseed -- substances that, unlike corn or soy, mimic the spring grasses that the animals evolved long ago to eat. As of the last reading in mid-May, the methane output of Mr. Choiniere's herd had dropped 18 percent. Meanwhile, milk production has held its own. The program was initiated by Stonyfield Farm, the yogurt manufacturer, at the Vermont farms that supply it with organic milk. Mr. Choiniere, a third-generation dairy herder who went organic in 2003, said he had sensed that the outcome would be good even before he got the results. "They are healthier," he said of his cows. "Their coats are shinier, and the breath is sweet." ...


The best ideas make everyone happier -- including the cows!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 28, 2009
from American Society of Agronomy, via EurekAlert:
Landfill cover soil methane oxidation underestimated
Landfills are classified as the second-largest human-made source of CH4 in the U.S. Additionally, landfill gas contains numerous non-methane hydrocarbons that are either volatilized directly from waste materials or produced through biochemical reactions during waste degradation.... A value of 0 to 10 percent oxidation has been recommended.... The overall mean fraction oxidized across all studies was 36 percent with a standard error of 6 percent. For a subset of fifteen studies conducted over an annual cycle the fraction of methane oxidized ranged from 11 to 89 percent with a mean value of 35 [plus or minus] 6 percent, a value that was nearly identical to the overall mean. ...


The mean of the means means that landfills are producing three times the recommended maximum. I mean it.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Apr 26, 2009
from NOAA, via ScienceDaily:
Greenhouse Gases Continue To Climb Despite Economic Slump
Two of the most important climate change gases increased last year, according to a preliminary analysis for NOAA’s annual greenhouse gas index, which tracks data from 60 sites around the world. Researchers measured an additional 16.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) -- a byproduct of fossil fuel burning -- and 12.2 million tons of methane in the atmosphere at the end of December 2008. This increase is despite the global economic downturn, with its decrease in a wide range of activities that depend on fossil fuel use. "Only by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and increasing energy production from renewable resources will we start to see improvements and begin to lessen the effects of climate change," said scientist Pieter Tans of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo. "At NOAA we have monitored carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouses gases for decades and will continue to do so to help assess the situation and advise decision makers." ...


You mean all it takes is a radical restructuring of society, its economic presumptions, and its power dynamics?
What are we waiting for?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Apr 25, 2009
from Scripps Institution of Oceanography / UC San Diego via ScienceDaily:
No 'Burp' Accelerating Climate Change?...
An expansion of wetlands and not a large-scale melting of frozen methane deposits is the likely cause of a spike in atmospheric methane gas that took place some 11,600 years ago, according to an international research team led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego... "This is good news for global warming because it suggests that methane clathrates do not respond to warming by releasing large amounts of methane into the atmosphere," said Vasilii Petrenko, a postdoctoral fellow at University of Colorado, Boulder, who led the analysis while a graduate student at Scripps.... "This study is important because it confirms that wetlands and moisture availability change dramatically along with abrupt climate change," said [co-author Jeff] Severinghaus. "This highlights in a general way the fact that the largest impacts of future climate change may be on water resources and drought, rather than temperature per se." ...


What a relief: We'll die of thirst, not heat!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Apr 13, 2009
from New Dehli Business Standard:
Add agriculture to climate talks, says global body
A global farm policy think tank has recommended that agriculture should form part of the international negotiations on climate change in the forthcoming apex conference of parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Copenhagen in December 2009. A policy brief issued by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has pointed out that with suitable technology and management, agriculture, which now contributes about 15 per cent to green house gas (GHG) emissions, can actually become an important sink for emissions even from other sectors. Besides, agriculture will be adversely affected by the climate change and millions of poor farmers will need help in adapting to the weather patterns. The mechanism for funding research on climate adaptation and mitigation by the agriculture sector needs to be discussed at the UNFCCC meet at Copenhagen. Apart from agriculture’s direct contribution of 15 per cent to the GHG emissions, land-use related changes, including forest loss, account for additional 19 per cent to harmful emissions. ...


How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm, after they've seen Copenhagen?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Apr 12, 2009
from TIME Magazine:
Cows With Gas: India's Contribution to Global Warming
By burping, belching and excreting copious amounts of methane - a greenhouse gas that traps 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide - India's livestock of roughly 485 million (including sheep and goats) contribute more to global warming than the vehicles they obstruct. With new research suggesting that emission of methane by Indian livestock is higher than previously estimated, scientists are furiously working at designing diets to help bovines and other ruminants eat better, stay more energetic and secrete lesser amounts of the offensive gas. ...


Methane: the silent but deadly environmental killer...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 16, 2009
from Nature:
A sleeping giant?
In 2007, scientists scouting the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean began to notice some troubling signs. In about half of their seawater chemistry samples, the concentration of dissolved methane was two to ten times higher than in samples taken during previous years from the same locations. Then, last summer, they observed large rings of gas — sometimes as wide as 30 centimetres in diameter — trapped in ice, as well as methane plumes bubbling to the surface over hundreds of square kilometres of the shallow waters along the Siberian Shelf.... large quantities of methane are becoming destabilized as the planet — and the ocean — heat up. Researchers have long speculated that warming could unleash vast stores of the greenhouse gas from where it lies frozen beneath the sea floor and locked up in Arctic soils. If those deposits were to melt, it would almost certainly trigger abrupt climate change. Methane heats the atmosphere with an efficiency 25 times that of carbon dioxide, and its release could put in motion a positive feedback loop in which warming releases methane, causing further warming, which liberates even more of the gas. Whether that's already happening is anyone's guess. ...


Call it the Great Gaia Fart.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 10, 2009
from eTaiwanNews:
Norwegian monitors show rising methane levels
The concentrations of methane gas measured at the remote islands of Svalbard rose by 0.6 percent in 2007 compared to the previous year, according to a statement by the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority. The latest figure was also 1 percent higher than in 2004. A sharp rise in methane levels could dramatically increase global warming, the authority said. Similar increases were noted at other monitoring stations in Ireland and northern Canada. The cause has yet to be determined but preliminary figures suggest the trend continued in 2008, the statement said.... "That is a relatively large increase, especially since methane levels were virtually stable from 1999 until 2005," said Myhre. "The increases being bigger at Svalbard than other areas can be an indication that the source is in the far north." ...


It could also be Santa's reindeers, or something. Let's not jump to conclusions.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 25, 2009
from International Council for Science:
Polar research reveals new evidence of global environmental change
The wide-ranging IPY findings result from more than 160 endorsed science projects assembled from researchers in more than 60 countries. Launched in March 2007, the [International Polar Year] covers a two-year period to March 2009 to allow for observations during the alternate seasons in both polar regions.... [R]esearch vessels ... have confirmed above-global-average warming in the Southern Ocean. A freshening of the bottom water near Antarctica is consistent with increased ice melt from Antarctica and could affect ocean circulation. Global warming is thus affecting Antarctica in ways not previously identified. [International Polar Year] research has also identified large pools of carbon stored as methane in permafrost. Thawing permafrost threatens to destabilize the stored methane -- a greenhouse gas -- and send it into the atmosphere. Indeed, IPY researchers along the Siberian coast observed substantial emissions of methane from ocean sediments. ...


Focused climate research always seems to discover things we wish we didn't have to discover.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Feb 21, 2009
from Los Angeles Times:
Bubbles of warming, beneath the ice
As permafrost thaws in the Arctic, huge pockets of methane -- a potent greenhouse gas -- could be released into the atmosphere. Experts are only beginning to understand how disastrous that could be.... International experts are alarmed. "Methane release due to thawing permafrost in the Arctic is a global warming wild card," warned a report by the United Nations Environment Programme last year. Large amounts entering the atmosphere, it concluded, could lead to "abrupt changes in the climate that would likely be irreversible." Methane (CH4) has at least 20 times the heat-trapping effect of an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide (CO2). As warmer air thaws Arctic soils, as much as 50 billion metric tons of methane could be released from beneath Siberian lakes alone, according to Walter’s research. That would amount to 10 times the amount currently in the atmosphere. ...


Methane bubbles ... that's almost a stripper name!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 19, 2009
from Science Daily (US):
Permafrost Is Thawing In Northern Sweden
"At one of our sites, permafrost has completely disappeared from the greater part of the mire during the last decade," she says. In areas where permafrost is thawing the ground becomes unstable and can collapse. This can be a local and regional problem in areas with cities and infrastructure. Moreover, the thaw can cause increased emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane from the ground. Roughly 25 percent of all land surface in the northern hemisphere are underlain by permafrost. The thawing of permafrost that occurs today is likely to continue, in Margareta Johansson's view. She regards it as probable that there will be no permafrost in lowland areas around Abisko in 50 years. ...


Thank goodness it's only happening in Sweden!


ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 11, 2009
from New Scientist:
Eating less meat could cut climate costs
Cutting back on beefburgers and bacon could wipe $20 trillion off the cost of fighting climate change. That's the dramatic conclusion of a study that totted up the economic costs of modern meat-heavy diets. The researchers involved say that reducing our intake of beef and pork would lead to the creation of a huge new carbon sink, as vegetation would thrive on unused farmland. The model takes into account farmland that is used to grow extra food to make up for the lost meat, but that requires less area, so some will be abandoned. Millions of tonnes of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, would also be saved every year due to reduced emissions from farms. These impacts would lessen the need for expensive carbon-saving technologies, such as "clean coal" power plants, and so save huge sums, say Elke Stehfest of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and colleagues. ...


Have it your way.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 2, 2009
from Popular Science:
The Big Thaw
Nowhere is global warming having as obvious an impact as in the Arctic, and people living in Alaska, northern Canada, northern Scandinavia and Siberia have front-row seats. Some experts say that temperatures in these regions have risen by 3 to 5 degrees F over the past 30 years. And the temperature in the Arctic has warmed at twice the global average rate in the past century, according to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Permafrost is ground that maintains a temperature below freezing for at least two years. In some areas, that frozen layer is thawing, causing roads to collapse, runways to crack, and homes to sink, split apart, or even fall into the sea. But inside that icy ground is a threat more dangerous than crumbling infrastructure: massive amounts of greenhouse gases that, if released into the atmosphere, have the potential to quickly intensify climate change. ...


The scientists have been saying this for awhile. But now that it's in Popular Science, maybe I should start considering it.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Dec 18, 2008
from Science Daily (US):
Scientists Find Increased Methane Levels In Arctic Ocean
A team led by International Arctic Research Center scientist Igor Semiletov has found data to suggest that the carbon pool beneath the Arctic Ocean is leaking.... Geophysical measurements showed methane bubbles coming out of chimneys on the seafloor. "The concentrations of the methane were the highest ever measured in the summertime in the Arctic Ocean," Semiletov said. "We have found methane bubble clouds above the gas-charged sediment and above the chimneys going through the sediment."... The new data indicates the underwater permafrost is thawing and therefore releasing methane.... Methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, is thought to be an important factor in global climate change. ...


Said the Permafrost to his mother: "I can't hold it in any longer!"

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 17, 2008
from Oregon State University, via EurekAlert:
Some climate impacts happening faster than anticipated
A report released today at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union provides new insights on the potential for abrupt climate change and the effects it could have on the United States, identifying key concerns that include faster-than-expected loss of sea ice, rising sea levels and a possibly permanent state of drought in the American Southwest.... While concluding that some projections of the impact of climate change have actually been too conservative -- as in the case of glacier and ice sheets that are moving and decaying faster than predicted -- others may not pose as immediate a threat as some scenarios had projected, such as the rapid releases of methane or dramatic shifts in the ocean current patterns that help keep Europe warm.... The "overarching" recommendation of the report is the need for committed and sustained monitoring of these climatic forces that could trigger abrupt climate change, the researchers concluded. ...


"Sustained monitoring" is all well and good -- but let's also do some "sustained remediation," shall we?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Dec 16, 2008
from AP News:
More than 2 trillion tons of ice melted in Arctic since '03
More than 2 trillion tons of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted since 2003, according to new NASA satellite data that show the latest signs of what scientists say is global warming. More than half of the loss of landlocked ice in the past five years has occurred in Greenland, based on measurements of ice weight by NASA's GRACE satellite, said NASA geophysicist Scott Luthcke. The water melting from Greenland in the past five years would fill up about 11 Chesapeake Bays, he said, and the Greenland melt seems to be accelerating.... A second study suggests even larger amounts of frozen methane are trapped in lakebeds and sea bottoms around Siberia and they are starting to bubble to the surface in some spots in alarming amounts, said Igor Semiletov, a professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. In late summer, Semiletov found methane bubbling up from parts of the East Siberian Sea and Laptev Sea at levels that were 10 times higher than they were in the mid-1990s, he said based on a study this summer. ...


Don'tcha hate it when they use numbers you can't understand? I mean, who can get their mind around "eleven Chesapeake bays"?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 30, 2008
from Massachusetts Institute of Technology via ScienceDaily:
Methane Gas Levels Begin To Increase Again
The amount of methane in Earth's atmosphere shot up in 2007, bringing to an end a period of about a decade in which atmospheric levels of the potent greenhouse gas were essentially stable, according to a team led by MIT researchers. Methane levels in the atmosphere have more than doubled since pre-industrial times, accounting for around one-fifth of the human contribution to greenhouse gas-driven global warming....pound for pound, methane is 25 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide... ...


Methane is the Hummer of all pollutants!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 27, 2008
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Biogas converters -- making fuel and fertiliser from biodegradable waste
Most of the food we throw away in this country ends up in landfill sites, where methane emissions are a real problem. Not so long ago all these gases were allowed to waft up into the atmosphere or were simply burnt off with flares to stop explosions.... The digestors are really silos designed to speed up the rotting process and collect the methane that's released. The brilliant thing about it is that all the gas can than be used for electricity generation -- or even for vehicle fuel. And what's left behind is a great fertiliser -- so almost nothing is actually wasted. ...


Maybe we should put silos over all the permafrost!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Oct 21, 2008
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Cow burps are making a growing contribution to global warming
Dr Andy Thorpe, an economist at the University of Portsmouth, found a herd of 200 cows can produce annual emissions of methane roughly equivalent in energy terms to driving a family car more than 100,000 miles (180,000km).... He added that while carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have increased by 31 per cent during the past 250 years, methane has increased by 149 per cent during the same period. ...


Maalox? Bean-o? What's the right additive? Or maybe we just stop eating so much beef!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Oct 14, 2008
from CBC News (Canada):
Methane hydrates: Energy's most dangerous game
All the energy America needs for the next 100 years lies under the sea off the coast of South Carolina. One problem: Digging it out could cause a global climate disaster. Welcome to the final frontier in fossil fuels, the wild card in climate change theories and the dark horse in the scramble to secure access to clean energy. Meet methane hydrates, the world's most promising and perilous energy resource.... In other words, the extraction process, if done improperly, could cause sudden disruptions on the ocean floor, reducing ocean pressure rates and releasing methane gas from hydrates. A mass release of methane into the sea and atmosphere could have catastrophic consequences on the pace of climate change. More than 50 million years ago, undersea landslides resulted in the release of methane gas from methane hydrate, which contributed to global warming that lasted tens of thousands of years. ...


Exxon: Heck, we'll be careful, don't worry.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 8, 2008
from PhysOrg.com:
Arctic soil reveals climate change clues
Frozen arctic soil contains nearly twice the greenhouse-gas-producing organic material as was previously estimated, according to recently published research by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists.... Wielding jackhammers, Ping and a team of scientists dug down more than one meter into the permafrost to take soil samples from more than 100 sites throughout Alaska. Previous research had sampled to about 40 centimeters deep. After analyzing the samples, the research team discovered a previously undocumented layer of organic matter on top of and in the upper part of permafrost, ranging from 60 to 120 centimeters deep. This deep layer of organic matter first accumulates on the tundra surface and is buried during the churning freeze and thaw cycles that characterize the turbulent arctic landscape. ...


Surprising what you find when you dig deeper.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Sep 26, 2008
from Telegraph.co.uk:
More methane plumes found in Arctic
Hundreds more methane plumes have been discovered in the Arctic raising fresh fears that the greenhouse gas is contributing to global warming.... The findings follow the revelation earlier this week that Russian scientists have discovered vast quantities of methane being released by the melting permafrost from the seabed off Siberia. Scientists believe that sudden releases of methane have, in the past, been responsible for increasing global temperature, dramatic climate change and the extinction of species. The latest discoveries came from researchers on the British ship the James Clark Ross. They said they had observed around 250 methane plumes in a 30 sq mile area. ...


Holy hockey stick, Batman!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Sep 23, 2008
from London Independent:
Exclusive: The methane time bomb
The first evidence that millions of tons of a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed has been discovered by scientists. The Independent has been passed details of preliminary findings suggesting that massive deposits of sub-sea methane are bubbling to the surface as the Arctic region becomes warmer and its ice retreats... its release could accelerate global warming in a giant positive feedback where more atmospheric methane causes higher temperatures, leading to further permafrost melting and the release of yet more methane. ...


The "death spiral" has just entered the phase of "hellish, inescapable vortex."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 8, 2008
from Times Online (UK):
Wind of change on farms as cows help to save the Earth
Hundreds of cattle in Britain are being fed a new diet to reduce their burping and cut emissions of greenhouse gas. Chopped straw and hay are the vital ingredients to settle a cow's stomach and reduce emissions of methane by 20 per cent.... It is the wind from the mouth of the cow, not the gases from from the rear, that does the most damage to the environment. If every dairy farm in the UK adopted this method it would remove the equivalent of 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year. ...


Or, if we ate less beef....

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 24, 2008
from London Daily Telegraph:
Cow power could generate electricity for millions, US study shows
"...Scientists have calculated for the first time how much of a country's electricity needs could be provided from the manure of cattle and other livestock. They estimate that 3 per cent of America's total electricity demand could be created from animal waste, enough to power millions of homes and businesses... Broken down and then burnt, the scientists estimate that the manure from hundreds of millions of livestock in America could produce approximately 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year." ...


That's probably enough juice to run the milking machines!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jul 6, 2008
from Nature Geoscience, via ScienceDaily:
New Pathway For Methane Production In The Oceans Discovered
A new pathway for methane production has been uncovered in the oceans, and this has a significant potential impact for the study of greenhouse gas production on our planet. The article, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, reveals that aerobic decomposition of an organic, phosphorus-containing compound, methylphosphonate, may be responsible for the supersaturation of methane in ocean surface waters.... Interest in this research crosses many specialties. Oceanographers will be excited because it offers a solution to the long standing methane paradox. Microbiologists will be excited because it shows an aerobic production pathway of methane, which goes against everything that is currently known about methane, and Climatologists will be interested because it's a potent greenhouse gas that we don't have constraints on, and this new pathway is very exciting. ...


Exciting indeed.
Oh, and scary as hell, too.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 3, 2008
from Chicago Tribune:
Reminder: Siberian permafrost and feedbacks
Among Zimov's findings: The release of greenhouse gases — particularly methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide—from thawing permafrost underneath Siberian lakes could accelerate global warming and represents an especially worrisome trend in the battle to slow climate change.... Melting permafrost awakens dormant microbes that devour thousands of tons of organic carbon, creating methane as a byproduct if no oxygen is present. ...


Time to declare war on microbes.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 30, 2008
from University of California - Riverside via ScienceDaily:
Large Methane Release Could Cause Abrupt Climate Change As Happened 635 Million Years Ago
An abrupt release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, about 635 million years ago from ice sheets that then extended to Earth's low latitudes caused a dramatic shift in climate, triggering a series of events that resulted in global warming and effectively ended the last "snowball" ice age, a UC Riverside-led study reports.... The researchers posit that the methane was released gradually at first and then in abundance from clathrates -- methane ice that forms and stabilizes beneath ice sheets under specific temperatures and pressures. When the ice sheets became unstable, they collapsed, releasing pressure on the clathrates which began to degas. "Our findings document an abrupt and catastrophic means of global warming that abruptly led from a very cold, seemingly stable climate state to a very warm also stable climate state with no pause in between," said Martin Kennedy, a professor of geology in the Department of Earth Sciences, who led the research team. ...


Then we won't have a snowball's chance on earth.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 17, 2008
from Der Spiegel:
A Storehouse of Greenhouse Gases Is Opening in Siberia
"Researchers have found alarming evidence that the frozen Arctic floor has started to thaw and release long-stored methane gas. The results could be a catastrophic warming of the earth, since methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. But can the methane also be used as fuel? ... In the permafrost bottom of the 200-meter-deep sea, enormous stores of gas hydrates lie dormant in mighty frozen layers of sediment. The carbon content of the ice-and-methane mixture here is estimated at 540 billion tons. ...


It's so tempting -- and it's not very likely anything could go wrong...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 25, 2008
from Reuters:
Methane, permafrost, and the Wild Card
"More research [is] urgently needed into the possibility of a runaway release of methane, a powerful heat-trapping gas trapped in frozen soils in Siberia, Canada, Alaska and Nordic nations, it said in a 2008 yearbook issued at 154-nation talks in Monaco.... Vast amounts of methane entering the atmosphere "would lead to abrupt changes in the climate that would likely be irreversible," UNEP said. "We must not cross that threshold." ...


Siberian, Canadian, and Scandinavian permafrost, as it melts, will radically boost climate change gases, creating a serious feedback loop that will make it all worse.
Did you hear about this (even in 2005)?
Follow the money.
It ain't you and me who benefit.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Copyright 2009 The Apocadocs.com