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View Diary: eSci: Arctic Glow-in-the-Dark Clouds Spreading South Linked to Increasing Methane (107 comments)

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  •  No, this is good news actually (3+ / 0-)

    Feedbackwise that is. The methane is escaping in large amounts and quickly breaking down to form the clouds.
    The methane can only be lost in the fall, it recesses soon. So the methane levels will fall. This is a dampening on positive feedback.

    It would be worse if the methane was staying in the lower atmosphere.

    •  I want to see figures on the amounts involved (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AdirondackForeverWild, oldhippie

      There could be some good news in this story. Researchers need to quantify amounts and rates. The atmosphere is so thin at the altitude of noctilucent clouds that the total mass may not be as much as you might be thinking.

      The basics of the greenhouse effect are well understood. The general principles of global warming were described over 100 years ago and the physics was laid out for all to see.

      The role of methane in rapid climate change, however, is still a subject of vigorous debate and ongoing study.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 06:05:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Measuring with any precision (0+ / 0-)

        would require a net of sensors at all altitudes. Seriously not going to happen. Basic discoveries are still being made at a much simpler level than would be called for to get a good answer on this one.

        Methane is light and it rises. We do also know that it measurably remains in the troposphere. Pre-industrial levels were only 600 to 800 ppb.

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