Typical summer’s weather-fare this Wednesday afternoon on California’s north coast — sunshine smothered by fog.
Although there’s still a faded-yellow glow, it won’t last long as a deep gray has been slowly floating onto shore the last couple of hours.
As T-Rump becomes more repugnant with each passing day, the changing climate is also getting frightfully weird — last week a new study on a hidden horror of global warming — intro of methane into the atmosphere.
Via Inside Climate News last week:
Global warming may be unleashing new sources of heat-trapping methane from layers of oil and gas that have been buried deep beneath Arctic permafrost for millennia.
As the Earth’s frozen crust thaws, some of that gas appears to be finding new paths to the surface through permafrost that’s starting to resemble Swiss cheese in some areas, scientists said.
Although right now not considered as important as CO2, the situation is viewed as a ‘climate bomb’ — recent IPCC reports estimate there’s up to 205 gigatons equivalent of carbon dioxide waiting be released due to melting permafrost.
If it gets out, it will contain nearly twice as much carbon as currently in the atmosphere.
Further from the study cited above:
In those areas, the peak concentrations of methane emissions were found to be 13 times higher than levels usually caused by bacterial decomposition — a well-known source of methane emissions from permafrost—which suggests the methane is likely also coming from geological sources, seeping up along faults and cracks in the permafrost, and from beneath lakes.
The findings suggest that global warming will “increase emissions of geologic methane that is currently still trapped under thick, continuous permafrost, as new emission pathways open due to thawing permafrost,” the authors wrote in the journal Scientific Reports.
Along with triggering bacterial decomposition in permafrost soils, global warming can also trigger stronger emissions of methane from fossil gas, contributing to the carbon-climate feedback loop, they concluded.
“This is another methane source that has not been included so much in the models,” said the study’s lead author, Katrin Kohnert, a climate scientist at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, Germany.
“If, in other regions, the permafrost becomes discontinuous, more areas will contribute geologic methane,” she said.
What’s not clear yet is whether the rapid climate warming in the Arctic will lead to a massive surge in releases of methane, a greenhouse gas that is about 28 times more powerful at trapping heat as carbon dioxide but does not persist as long in the atmosphere.
Most recent studies suggest a more gradual increase in releases, but the new research adds a missing piece of the puzzle, according Ted Schuur, a permafrost researcher at Northern Arizona University.
Since the study only covered two years, it doesn’t show long-term trends, but it makes a strong argument that there is significant methane escaping from trapped layers of oil and gas, Schuur said.
“As for current and future climate impact, what matters is the flux to the atmosphere and if it is changing … if there is methane currently trapped by permafrost, we could imagine this source might increase as new conduits in permafrost appear,” he said.
All this as this year is still cranking hot — even without an El Nino, this is still a record year, being the earth’s second hottest in 138 years..
Per The Weather Channel: ‘All six months so far in 2017 have ranked in the top three warmest for each respective month, NOAA says. February, March and April all ranked second warmest, while January, May and June came in third.
Earth’s last below-average temperature month in NOAA’s database occurred in December 1984.’
Meanwhile, the distractions continue…
(Illustration above found here).