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View Diary: Watching Earth as it Breathes (83 comments)

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  •  I will think that over. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PHScott, Polly Syllabic, WarrenS

    Thanks for stopping by.


    Predicting is hard...especially the future. ~ Y. Berra

    by jim in IA on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:04:44 PM PST

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    •  I was thinking of an article I read many years ago (7+ / 0-)

      about the tundra releasing methane as it thaws - that was one of the "tipping points".
      and yes there are other natural sources. But isn't fracking a new source?

      I do like how you can encapsulate & explain these subjects

      Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      by PHScott on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:30:43 PM PST

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      •  I've seen those articles and shows, too. (8+ / 0-)

        With the thawing of permafrost, there is a large amount of trapped methane being released. And, methane has a greater greenhouse effect than CO2.

        According to this EPA site...(worth a look).

        Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 on climate change is over 20 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.
        I appreciate what you said. It's the teacher in me at work.


        Predicting is hard...especially the future. ~ Y. Berra

        by jim in IA on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:37:33 PM PST

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      •  as far as I know (8+ / 0-)

        this is something feared to happen, but not happening yet on the feared scale. Of course, as northern climates warm, frosted areas are already melting and are already net-emitting methane. However, in terms of their climate significance, this is not - yet - on a scale to surpass what we put directly into the atmosphere. What people are fearing, and what we know will come - only we dont know just when, and just how quickly, and just how overwhelming - would be that the warming by itself causes so much more melting that that liberates so much methane /CO2e that that alone again causes enough warming to keep the process going - irrespective of what we do. When that point is reached, then we will have truly lost control because we will have set in motion a self-sustaining feedback. Then our only chance to deal with climate change would be not just stopping any emission, but actively and articifially removing CO2 from the atmosphere - on a scale comparable with the rate with which we´re filling it up now. And to do so with what energy? Its completely unclear where the energy to do so would have to come from without that itself again having ruinous consequences. So once the permafrost feedback seriously kicks in, then we´ll be in a truly difficult situation. But my understanding is that we are not quite there yet - though it could come at any time in the near future.  

        Current fracking isnt nice (in its "by product" methane release) but that pales to insignificance compared to the permafrost threat.

        Disclaimer: "as far as I know" ....

    •  Maybe just track CO2eq (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marsanges, jim in IA, Polly Syllabic

      It'll tell a similar story

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:59:52 PM PST

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