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Big trouble coming from Siberia

  1. Aug 10, 2005 #1
    Warming hits 'tipping point'

    Siberia feels the heat It's a frozen peat bog the size of France and Germany combined, contains billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas and, for the first time since the ice age, it is melting

    Ian Sample, science correspondent
    Thursday August 11, 2005
    The Guardian

    A vast expanse of western Siberia is undergoing an unprecedented thaw that could dramatically increase the rate of global warming, climate scientists warn today.

    Researchers who have recently returned from the region found that an area of permafrost spanning a million square kilometers - the size of France and Germany combined - has started to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

    Article continues
    The area, which covers the entire sub-Arctic region of western Siberia, is the world's largest frozen peat bog and scientists fear that as it thaws, it will release billions of tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.

    It is a scenario climate scientists have feared since first identifying „tipping points” - delicate thresholds where a slight rise in the Earth's temperature can cause a dramatic change in the environment that itself triggers a far greater increase in global temperatures.

    The discovery was made by Sergei Kirpotin at Tomsk State University in western Siberia and Judith Marquand at Oxford University and is reported in New Scientist today.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,12374,1546824,00.html

    :grumpy:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2005 #2
    Thanks for posting this. Methane seems to be such a large problem, be it in the sea or land.
     
  4. Aug 12, 2005 #3
    Can it be extracted? The surface is frozen, not the methane, so couldn't you start making holes everywhere and catching what comes out?
     
  5. Aug 12, 2005 #4

    Pengwuino

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    Probalby not on the scale that you would need to prevent any decent amount of damage. Of course who knows how it is 'entombed' so to say. Is it just scattered around or are they in large pockets...
     
  6. Aug 12, 2005 #5
    Isn’t it curious that the permafrost formed AFTER the ice age, in that area whilst herds of large grazers, (horses, aurochs, etc oh yes also mammoths) were flourishing on the large steppes DURING the ice age? It never stops to surprise me that nobody seems to find that strange and everybody seems to understand how the ice ages tells us about the runaway climate conditions, about which this article so lavishly scaremongers

    Check this out:

    http://sciborg.uwaterloo.ca/~twdedwar/reprints-pdf/2000-qr-macdonald.pdf

    For the record, 10,000 carbon years is about 11.500 calendar year, the species under investigation are Larix, Betula (birch) and Picea (Christmas tree). Do those grow on permafrost? This makes me wondering how “perma” the permafrost is.

    3 degrees temp increase in west Russia?

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

    Scroll down and click on the map to find weather stations in West Russia, follow the links to download data and play a little with Excel to find the following trends for the last 40 years (1965 – 2005)

    Moscow 0.039 degrees per year or 1.6 degrees in 40 years
    St Petersburg: 1.9 degrees in 40 years

    Now the rural stations in the area in between Moscow and St Peterburg to the North warming in degrees C in 40 years:

    Junsuu: 1.80

    Reboly: 1.48

    Vytegra: 1.97

    Vologda: 0.83

    Archangelsk: 1.41

    So where is the 3 degrees? This is well over 50% exaggeration and this is an very good example how the slippery slope of the global warming myth works.

    Incidentely, suppose that we were curious for the trend of Archangelsk for the whole record as of 1881 we find 0.075 degrees per decade. But if we were curious for the last say 68 years, we would find a cooling of 0.022!! Why? Start point bias, starting with the hottest year on record 1937. See how you can manipulate data. And for that article: unfounded scaremongering. There may be some permafrost thawing but runaway things is gibberish.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2005
  7. Aug 21, 2005 #6
    But even if they couldnt get all of the methane, youd think that Russia would want to acquire it for industry, they obviously have one of the largest concentrations of this hydrocarbon then anywhere else in the world. It seems to me that it would be economically plausible, even if it doesnt stop the environmental disaster. And any little bit extracted would probably help.
     
  8. Aug 22, 2005 #7
    Probably not that easy to extract the clathrate from the sediment. Don't expect concentrations over 5%. You need a lot of frozen soil to process.

    But perhaps its more important to understand that nothing is pointing towards an environmental disaster. First of all the particular area has been much warmer in the 1940ies, around the turn of the century 1000BC and especially during the Hypsithermal 4-9000 years ago. Furthermore methane is a much weaker greenhouse gas as CO2 and saturation of it's effect will occur much earlier. Moreover it's unstable and will oxidize in some decade.
     
  9. Aug 22, 2005 #8
    Anyway, the real problem with this kind of article is the need for the state of fear.

    Here is the real story:

    http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20050822/41201605.html

     
  10. Aug 22, 2005 #9
    ok, thanks for the link, I havent heard of the issue until now, I was just stating what seemed like a good idea with the information I had.
     
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