Skip to main content

The one thing we can predict with certainty about Global Warming is, we are in for many surprises as our climate convulses from it's relative stability of the recent past, to who knows what lies ahead in the future.

Yet another explosive hole has been found in Siberia.  The 3rd crater was found hundreds of miles to the east of the first 2 craters.  It seems this crater has a similar structure to the others.

As scientists continue to study this phenomenon, some are leaning toward a theory.

Large spikes of methane being released into the atmosphere above Siberia may be tied to the mysterious craters which have appeared in the landscape, according to a US scientist.

...

The geologist's blog links the craters to climate change, as the melting Siberian permafrost is allowing the greenhouse gas to escape and create the enormous holes.

There is not a consensus yet as to what is really happening in Siberia, but new data are being collected and the dots are starting to connect.

Using data from a ground-based climate observing station in Tiksi, a small town in the Sakha Republic on the Arctic Ocean coast, Dr Box discovered "high end" levels of methane. The readings were backed up by data from similar stations in Alaska and Canada, according to News.com.au.

The spikes, which Dr Box calls "dragon breaths", may well be connected to the unusual holes that have appeared in the Siberia landscape over the last month.

It appears that witnessing the formation of these craters can be rather frightening.
'Observers give several versions. According to the first, initially at the place was smoking, and then there was a bright flash.

And you better watch your step when you're wondering around out there.

The third crater and hole is in the Taymyr Peninsula and was accidentally discovered by reindeer herders who almost fell into it, in the vicinity of the remote outpost of Nosok.
The funnel is a perfectly formed cone, say locals who are mystified over its formation.
Its depth is estimated at between 200 to 330ft (60 to 100 metres) and its diameter - more than 13ft (four metres).
So we now have 3 craters in Siberia.
As Robert Scribbler says on his blog.
A single event of this kind might be easy to overlook as an aberration. A freak case that might well be attributed to unique conditions. But over the past two weeks not one, not two, but three large holes, all retaining the same features, have appeared within the same region of Yamal, Russia.

A single event may well be easily marked off as a strange occurrence, but three look more like the start of a trend.

Dr. Box goes on to speculate that the release of methane from the ground and the oceans can change the effects of Global Warming very quickly.
"If we don't get atmospheric carbon down and cool the Arctic, the climate physics and recent observations tell me we will probably trigger the release of these vast carbon stores, dooming our kids to a hothouse Earth," Dr Box wrote.

Similarly to Siberia's craters, bubbles of methane have been recorded rising to the surface of the Arctic Ocean since 2011.

"Atmospheric methane release is a much bigger problem than atmospheric carbon dioxide release, since methane is around 20 times more powerful greenhouse gas," he added.

As the denialists continue to spew their pseudoscience nonsense, and as the fossil fuel industry puppets in congress continue to block anything that might secure a stable climate for our children's future, the dragons in the earth are beginning to roar.

UPDATE: An article was just published a few hours ago in Scientific American about this.

Still nowhere near a definitive answer, but some interesting speculation.

The crater's formation probably began in a similar way to that of a sinkhole, where water (in this case, melted ice or permafrost) collects in an underground cavity, Romanovsky said. But instead of the roof of the cavity collapsing, something different occurred. Pressure built up, possibly from natural gas (methane), eventually spewing out a slurry of dirt as the ground sunk away. Anna Kurchatova, a scientist at the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Center in Russia, made a similar observation to The Siberian Times.
There are still a lot of scientists who are betting Pingo.  I just like saying Pingo because it's such a cool term, so I'm going to use it as much as possible.  :)

Originally posted to pollwatcher on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 06:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Astro Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  "A bright flash" sounds mildly encouraging (67+ / 0-)

    If these are methane explosions with combustion, we'll be a lot better off.  Turning methane into CO2 at the time of release through an explosion will significantly mitigate the heat-trapping effects.  I don't suppose we can count on that happening, though.  And it doesn't appear to be happening over the sea.

    I stand with triv33. Shame on her attackers.

    by Dallasdoc on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:07:15 AM PDT

  •  Like any system (28+ / 0-)

    The climate will oscillate around it's mean, until perturbed enough.  Then it'll tip into a new pattern.

    It seems the tipping point has been reached if these craters keep popping up (pun intended).  With the recent news that methane is leaking out of the Siberian Arctic ocean, it seems bleak...

  •  "All that you know is at an end." Silver Surfer (16+ / 0-)

    Dudehisattva...

    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:13:30 AM PDT

  •  If only it WERE dragons, like in GOT (16+ / 0-)

    That would be a much better way to go than drowning in our own farts.

  •  Are there any long term measurements (8+ / 0-)

    of methane concentrations in the atmosphere - similar to the ones for CO2? I wonder if we are seeing a similar hockey stick-like trend in emissions.

    Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

    by bear83 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:17:05 AM PDT

    •  Methane doesn't last like CO2 (16+ / 0-)

      From what I can gather, the life of Methane in the atmosphere is roughly 15 years.  The problem of course is that it is roughly 20 times the greenhouse gas that CO2 is and there's an awful lot of it in the permafrost and oceans, and it looks like a lot may be escaping from fracked gas wells.

      •  What are the breakdown products? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SuWho, BvueDem

        If C02 is one of them, aren't we still screwed?

        America, we can do better than this...

        by Randomfactor on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 10:40:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Should be water and CO2. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BvueDem, Angie in WA State, G2geek

          It's still bad news, and it makes the problem much worse, but the good news is it's probably not the last step on the path to Venusforming the Earth.

          -- If corporations are people, is the stock market for the sale of slaves?

          by Orakio on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 11:54:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That is the problem (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leema, G2geek

          Methane escapes to the upper atmosphere where it slowly breaks down (oxidizes) to CO2 and H2O. While it breaks down it absorbs several times more heat than CO2 which is the primary greenhouse gas. So even when it breaks down it does not stop warming the environment.

          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

          by RMForbes on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:33:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
            So even when it breaks down it does not stop warming the environment.
            When methane is oxidized, either partially or completely, it is no longer methane -- it is then a different chemical compound, so it is impossible for methane to continue to warm the environment, as methane, after its oxidation.

            Partial oxidation products of methane include compounds that are rapidly removed from the atmosphere, like methanol, acetic acid, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde and formic acid.   All of those partial oxidation products are rapidly removed from the atmosphere by precipitation and/or further atmospheric oxidation processes.

            While complete oxidation of methane does result in CO2 as a greenhouse gas, atmospheric chemical reactions of methane in the ambient atmosphere will favor partial oxidation over complete oxidation because of the conditions of ambient temperature, atmospheric pressure and ultraviolet light (which also plays a role in atmospheric chemistry).

            •  So you are saying that methane does stop warming (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leema

              the planet at some point? I'm not saying that's wrong but I don't think it's an important distinction when you are talking about a process that takes several years. Even if (and that's a big if) almost all of the methane released precipitates out of the atmosphere in X number of years, the damage is already done.

              The main problem with methane is the positive feedback loop that has already been triggered. The release of methane warms the planet a little more which in turn releases more methane and on and on we go. There may be ways to reverse this process but I don't see it happening in our current political climate.  

              Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

              by RMForbes on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 02:52:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  methane (0+ / 0-)

                ceases contributions to radiative forcing in the atmosphere as methane when methane has been converted to something else.  

                The main problem with methane is the positive feedback loop
                It does not make any sense to talk about a 'methane feedback loop' that is somehow idealized separately from all other radiative forcing that goes on with all other greenhouse gases.   The total radiative forcing that occurs is a total summation of radiative forcing occurring in the atmosphere from the gas concentration of each greenhouse gas species, plus water vapor.

                The only basis for methane release from terrestrial permafrost comes from atmospheric effects on surface temperatures and heat conduction to layers of permafrost below.   Those physical parameters, in turn, depend on the present radiative forcing that is occurring.   Nothing about methane in the atmosphere can have the potential to affect permafrost melting absent a direct effect on surface temperatures and soil heat transfer.  Those parameters, in turn, are affected only by the total radiative forcing that occurs, and not just radiative forcing as a result of atmospheric concentrations of methane.

    •  Yes. And yes. (4+ / 0-)

      http://www.environment.gov.au/...

      Although it's not clear whether the "hockey-stick" is leveling off at about 1.8 ppm in recent years, after hanging around 0.7 ppm in pre-industrial times (back to 1000 CE).

      Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

      by Mike Kahlow on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:32:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt it will or can level off. GHGs have been (12+ / 0-)

        more or less mirroring human population growth. Don't think you can cap the former without capping the latter.

        Climate change and human population are like two trains heading straight towards each other on the same track.


        "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandeis

        by Pescadero Bill on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:32:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's driven by technology (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cai, hooper, bethann

          switch to renewables

          •  I=PAT (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Theoleman, bethann, G2geek, TomFromNJ

            Impact = population x affluence x technology.

            Not exact, but a better proxy than just population.  Otherwise we'd have to start killing a whole lot of people.  We could live well if we didn't waste.

            Fat chance.

            •  solar lighting is going to be big in africa (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ypochris

              cheap simple and grows like mad, for small bucks.

              no grid, no diesel, just a little teacup light.

            •  If we lived in a smarter way then like all animal (0+ / 0-)

              populations the breeding will rise to match the improvements putting us back to polluting by the numbers and pushing out other species. This is what some call success. I believe control of our urges is the best way to prevent our species killing itself. I see the diebacks of other animals when they have overpopulated their territory. And those other animals don't have technological advancements...

              I love science but science in the hands of corporations is often warped to highlight benefits while they either hide or deny the effects of their discoveries (until decades of effects are presenting  huge bills and lists of victims) to keep the money rolling in.

              Science discovers and then human urges take over and someone makes the atom bomb or the engine. Looking at just the engine seems to create a huge list of effects but the drives and dreams drown out looking for negatives or acknowledging them. Now we have grown so much in population because of our engines and we depend on them. They are crashing into effects on the environment that we will feel increasingly in our food supply. Not just pollution, not just global warming but consider the drawdown of the great aquifers. That waters the Midwest farms that produce so much of the worlds population food supply (a needed side effect is balance of trade so we don't watch every ounce march off into pockets of those who sell to us which devastates our economy).

              One of my recent sci fi books looked at the wonder of nano machines and the negative uses such as programming to disassemble objects including humans. If we survive so long will we see this play out as so much educated AH creates a monster. Will nano engineers one day be writing like the A bomb scientists?

              Fear is the Mind Killer...

              by boophus on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 04:38:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  renewables won't matter if population continues... (5+ / 0-)

            ... to increase.

            There is no substitute for reducing human population to a sustainable level, which is about 3.5 billion at a universal Western European standard of living or 6 billion at a universal Cuban standard of living.

            The only question is How.  

            We can do it the nice way, with equality for women worldwide, and family planning education, and universal availability of birth control.

            Or we can do it the less-nice way, of which there are plenty of examples, most of the current ones being in the Middle East.

            Or we can have a nuclear war, which is faster and more humane than slow attrition, and has the added benefit of throwing a bunch of fine particulates into the atmosphere to reduce incoming sunlight and slow the warming.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 04:14:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Population growth and development (like more (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TomFromNJ

              countries adopting the western diet with more meat and consuming more energy) will be problematic with climate change because of the lack of water.

              The other thing that can reduce a population quickly is an epidemic, for which we are overdue. Antibiotic resistance is a concern now for the medical community.

              I am glad that you brought up women's reproductive healthcare.  It is so important to promote and support such.  Immunization is also important.

            •  If humans stopped reproducing today, in little (0+ / 0-)

              over 100 years we'd be extinct.

              Something to think about I suppose.


              "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandeis

              by Pescadero Bill on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 07:28:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Bill--if you get a chance (0+ / 0-)

          check your Kosmail. :-)

          A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame/Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name/Mother of Exiles.

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:07:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  In addition to Mike Kahlow's comment (12+ / 0-)

      and link above, this is what is going on the front range.

      NASA, EPA, NCAR launch air-testing blitz to track pollution

      The testing should mean a better understanding of pollution — whether it is from power plants, urban centers, the oil and gas industry or feedlots — leaders of the multi-agency project said Monday. ...

      NASA picked Colorado for intensive testing (looking at benzene, ethane, methane, formaldehyde and more) as the final area for its DISCOVER-AQ project. NASA previously focused on Baltimore, Houston and California.

      Video on study.  (also linked in article)

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:30:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah. There are such measures. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bethann

      Google will take you there and methane has been rising pretty sharply. I think cows and pigs are a major source actually. And termites. In fact, one exobiologist once stated that detection of oxygen and methane in the atmosphere of another plant means it has life.

      Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

      by Anne Elk on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:56:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The climate change asshole deniers so glibly (24+ / 0-)

    explained away melting ice sheets.  Let's hear what they have to say about this shit.

    This news needs to be pumped into the mainstream news.  People have the right to know the truth.  Or maybe not.

    Just ask Jack Nicholson.  http://www.youtube.com/...

  •  An earlier diary on the first hole (10+ / 0-)

    had some persuasive comments arguing that it's a pingo. So while the trend in atmospheric methane in the Arctic is alarming and there do appear to be some kind of rapid-release events indicated in the data, I'm not sure the two are related.

    "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

    by jrooth on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:30:47 AM PDT

    •  It might be classified as a pingo (10+ / 0-)

      even if it is caused by the melting of the permafrost and the release of methane from below.  It may not be an explosive event, but the release of the permafrost methane may be the same or even worse.

      It's really early in this mystery and a lot more data needs to be collected, but some scientists are beginning to lean toward methane release.  No conclusions can be drawn until more data is collected and a consensus opinion starts to form.

      •  Dr. Box's blog says they are different (5+ / 0-)
        As a physical geographer, I’m aware of pingos that these features resemble but these features are holes and pingos are mounds.
        http://www.meltfactor.org/...

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 09:52:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a bad answer (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, jessical

          One theory is that the first hole (there are no pictures of the others yet that I'm aware of) was a collapsed pingo.

          What he's saying is equivalent to "They say that pile of rubble is a building, but I know the a building is straight-sided structure with vertical walls, which that pile of rubble is not."

          If he's claiming to be a physical geographer and not know that, he really needs some remedial education in landforms.

          •  While subject to debate (10+ / 0-)

            He is not alone in his assessment

            Helicopter video footage of the first hole shows it is surrounded by a mound of loose dirt that appears to have been thrown out of the hole.
            But Romanovsky said the hole doesn't look like a typical collapsed pingo; such features usually form from larger mounds that slowly cave in over a period of decades, with all the material falling inside.
            The crater's formation probably began in a similar way to that of a sinkhole, where water (in this case, melted ice or permafrost) collects in an underground cavity, Romanovsky said. But instead of the roof of the cavity collapsing, something different occurred. Pressure built up, possibly from natural gas (methane), eventually spewing out a slurry of dirt as the ground sunk away.
            http://www.scientificamerican.com/...

            “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

            by Catte Nappe on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 10:42:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Pingo or otherwise, if it's starting to happen (6+ / 0-)

      rapidly when it never used to, I think that would indicate we have a problem.


      "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandeis

      by Pescadero Bill on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:23:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can't reallly say there is a problem or what the (0+ / 0-)

        problem is until there exists a reasonable degree of scientific certainty that the actual causation process for the phenomena has actually been identified....and that has not yet happened.

        •  between now and then, emplrical observations. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pollwatcher

          And since one of the hypothetical causal mechanisms is climate change, and this has enormous implications as to consequences, it's worth our while to step up the data collection to epic levels.  This should be done by assigning satellites to constantly monitor the area, and drones to be in the air at all times also transmitting video.  The drones might "get lucky" and catch something close-up, but more likely they'll be directed toward any area spotted by the satellites.

          The more, faster, and better data we have, the more quickly we'll understand the mechanisms for this.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 04:21:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. As a general rule... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jrooth, bethann

      ... if you hear hoofbeats outside, assume it's horses, not zebras.

      I find it disappointing that this is what people here are hanging their hat on concerning global warming when there's all sorts of real, well established, definitive, essentially unassailable stuff out there. This "siberian holes" thing is like jumping on the latest trend.

      Here, want some real stuff? I live in Iceland. We have a new tallest waterfall. Seriously, our glaciers have melted so much that one near Skaftafell retreated up past a cliff that now has a river flowing off of it, giving us a waterfall higher than our old one (Glymur). Or here's another: Snæfell (Snow Mountain) has always been glaciated in all of its recorded history, you can see the ice cap on clear days from Reykjavík. Except that we've gotten several times now where it's started melting through at the peak in the summer. The glacier is on track to fully disappear in just 20-30 years. They better rename the Extreme Chill: Undir Jöklu (Under a Glacier) music festival. Even Iceland's biggest glacier, Vatnajökull, will be gone in 200-300 years at current rates alone. Iceland will have no permanent ice. That's consequences of warming for you. We're on track to next century hit the sort of temperatures we were at when sequoias, magnolia, etc covered Iceland 8-15 million years ago.

      The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendant's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendant's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

      by Rei on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 03:51:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which, by the way... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jrooth

        ... I should add that I feel people doing long-term forestry are often short-sighted about. It's pretty much a general assumed rule here that giant trees can't grow in Iceland (even though they have in the past) because it's too cold. They forget that when you're talking about a tree that lives for a thousand years or so (give or take half an order of magnitude), its not today's climate that's the limiting factor, it's tomorrow's. Trees need to survive today's climate, to be sure, and not be subject to anything that would permanently stunt them. But they'll be spending most of their lives in a warmer, higher CO2 world. Their childhood is their winter; their adulthood their summer.

        That's good for us here. Not so good for many of you elsewhere, unfortunately. Your subtropical climes are generally going to become more monsoonal, following the shifts of the expanding ITCZ, and your river flows more irregular due to decreased snowpack. The US southwest is a big example of this. If you want giants that can survive the world of tomorrow, I recommend drought-tolerant ones like California incense cedar.

        The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendant's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendant's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

        by Rei on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 04:00:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dragon breath can also be tough on a marriage. (4+ / 0-)

    We are all made of star stuff, so please be kind to dust bunnies.

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:34:00 AM PDT

  •  Notice he does not say "grandkids." (25+ / 0-)
    dooming our kids to a hothouse Earth

    Everything good a man can be, a dog already is. - pajoly

    by pajoly on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:38:48 AM PDT

  •  Years ago (9+ / 0-)

    I remember hearing, probably a decade ago, on some radio broadcast that this would start happening in the oceans due to climate change.  I am not surprised, I hadn't thought of the permafrost but it makes sense.

    Nothing will be done, deniers have all the influence.

    Manufacturing outrage; the only manufacturing jobs Republicans won't outsource.

    by get the red out on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:41:57 AM PDT

  •  The rich old men who own the oil companies know (26+ / 0-)

    they are bringing hell to the planet... but they expect to be dead before catastrophic climate change happens.

    This is a true failure of civilization that we allow this to happen.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:43:01 AM PDT

  •  What Ignites Them? (6+ / 0-)

    In the cases supposedly witnessed by people, there's no mention of lightning. So what ignites the methane, if that's what these are caused by?

    And if they're from methane explosions, shouldn't qualified investigators be able to quickly tell from the combustion products and patterns that's exactly what they are? Why would there be any doubt?

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:43:54 AM PDT

    •  good points (7+ / 0-)

      "Eye witness" accounts always need to be looked at with a grain of skepticism.  The explosions may not have been caused by ignition, but possibly from pressure built from below.

      It's all speculation right now, but Dr. Box claims methane measurements with confirmation from Alaska and Canada.  We just won't know for sure until we get more data and more scientists can do better analysis.

      •  Pressure Explosions? (11+ / 0-)

        If not from ignition, then the pressure from below would have to be extreme. Which would mean slightly less extreme resistance from a frozen cap. But I'd think that would leave frozen shrapnel around the crater, which a qualified investigator would see, in place of ignition products. Again, I don't see why there would continue to be any doubt.

        Also, to be clear, the detected methane coming from the permafrost is the highly alarming proven phenomenon. Along with the "vast methane plumes" coming from the Siberian Arctic Ocean as reported this week on DKos (but measured since 2012), the methane transition from ground to air is some of the worst news I've ever heard. Even if these craters are unrelated to methane, and are in the "UFO" category, the manifesting methane threat should be frontpage news everywhere now.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:50:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am curious about this too (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, pollwatcher, BvueDem, G2geek

        Lightning strikes make the most sense for ignition.

        Wouldn't the pockets, while trapped, lack enough oxygen to create an explosion?  

        It seems that there would need to be some event prior to the explosion to introduce oxygen to the pocket, and create enough of a fuel mixture to create such a catastrophic explosion.

        Unless there is no explosion when the pockets go pingo.  

        There would be an equilibrium of the downward pressure from the ground and the upward pressure from the gas.  A small fissure in the ground could cause the ceiling to collapse, causing the violent release of all that pressurized gas without combustion.  This release should create the craters we are seeing.  

        The evidence would be around the crater.  Either the ground and surrounding vegetation would be burned, or not.

        A lack of combustion would explain the heightened presence of methane in the atmosphere around that area.

        •  Aren't we observing the Earth from space? It oc... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          defluxion10, G2geek

          Aren't we observing the Earth from space? It occurs to me that, were one of these to occur at night, we should be able to analyze the spectra of light from the explosions (assuming, of course, that there *is* a flash of light) and conclusively determine that it is, in fact, methane.

          Or is that not possible with what we have in place in orbit right now?

        •  methane (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BvueDem, defluxion10, G2geek

          trapped in ice crystals for eons will expand dramtically when the ice melts- like a ballone popping- maybe it's not an explosion, since no combustion- but I suspect that once the breaching gasses reach the atmosphere, there will be a handy spark around somewhere...

          BTW methane is a much worse greenhouse gas than CO2, especially in the short to middle term.

          •  An Explosion (0+ / 0-)

            can be sound waves without any ignition at all.  Remember those toy sound guns that were taken off the market because they could damage hearing?  Couldn't the sudden escape of the methane produce sound without fire?

            Enjoying the Age of Aquarius so far?

            by sendtheasteroid on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:58:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
          A lack of combustion would explain the heightened presence of methane in the atmosphere around that area.
          No aspect of the causation of the three phenomena has anything at all to do with atmospheric methane concentrations measured at Tiksi, Russia.   Only the diarist and the British journalist are conflating a claim that Dr. Box's data has something to do with evidence or causation of the 3 phenomena.  Dr. Box didn't say that.

          The entire claim that atmospheric methane concentrations at Tiksi, Russia a pertinent and relevant to the investigation of the 3 sites of the phenomena is a figment of the diarist's and the British journalist's imagination.

          Only measurement of methane emission rates from the 3 pits in question would be relevant and pertinent.

    •  Despite the claims of climate change (6+ / 0-)

      deniers and hoaxers, scientists are painstakingly careful in drawing conclusions and making a decision like this. In this atmosphere of dissing science and scientists, all the more reason to be really close to sure before you release conclusions.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:45:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The claims of the diary that atmospheric (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gof

        measurements of methane constitute some kind of 'dragon's breath' and that such atmospheric methane measurements, which were not taken at the actual site of the anomalies, have anything at all to do with what caused these anomalies is pseudoscience right here on Daily Kos.

        •  Global Methane Levels Still Pretty Flat Last 20 Y (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qofdisks, gof

          Doubled in the last century and isotopic analysis showed most of the methane was natural gas that nobody was trying to recover.

          Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

          by bernardpliers on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 10:11:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If the gas release is high-velocity (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, davidincleveland, G2geek

      (as opposed to seeping), you get particulates carried along by the jet.  A particle impact on something solid can result in enough energy to ignite a flammable mixture.  

      •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

        So methane ice sublimating to gas below permafrost can go "bang" hard enough that the driven particles can ignite the methane gas?

        Is there any observed evidence of this ever happening?

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:50:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Worked in the gas products industry. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bethann, DocGonzo, pollwatcher, G2geek

          Yes, saw instances of H2 or CH4 ignition if the flow was critical and the pipe was dirty.

          Here's a phase diagram from Wikipedia:

          If the temperature gets above 10 deg C there's a hell of a lot of gas pressure from the hydrates.

          •  However, you cannot assume that all (0+ / 0-)

            soil/permafrost layers achieve the same heating and the same temperature vs. depth profile in the soil and permafrost layers to achieve sudden and rapid pressure buildup absent an explosion.  

            In order to get a sudden and rapid expansion in an underground gas void sufficiently energetic without an explosion would require a precipitous release directly from layers surrounding the void and/or rapid volumetric communication with another void at higher pressure.

          •  Finally Some Reality (0+ / 0-)

            Yours is the most plausible explanation yet, since it's actually backed by physical reality you actually experienced and can document clearly. Thanks.

            We'll see, I hope, whether or not that's the actual explanation. I wonder why it's taking so long. I suppose it's not a priority for anyone with the competence to have other priorities.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 03:23:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Dude nearby lighting cigarette. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Sparks between grinding metallic rock? (0+ / 0-)

      Heat from friction of moving matter under pressure?

      It could be mechanical, right?

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 10:42:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

        Any evidence that ever happens?

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:51:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No idea. Base level conjecture. Lightning seemed (0+ / 0-)

          to be the only other mention as a cause of the explosion.

          I could totally see a rockslide creating sparks, but perhaps not. And what is the likelihood of that happening twice.

          I kind of envision a massive burp, or blup, like in a smoothie or shake when you blow into the straw, and thought it might be possible for grinding sparks or heat from friction.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 01:03:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Like otherwise passing gas, no fire required (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, G2geek

      I think Box is likely wrong -- I'm with Team Pingo -- but even if this is methane caused, it's like a bubble rising in the batter when you cook a pancake.

      These holes look like a collapse of some kind.

      This is certainly due to warming, and the tundra absolutely is bleeding methane right now, but the process of water freezing and melting again, rising to the surface, is the likelier candidate.

      To be on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is to be on the right side of history.

      by mbayrob on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:07:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pingo hypothesis should be easily confirmed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DocGonzo

        I'm going to make the assumption (just a guess) that some graduate students somewhere are going over recent sat images as we speak.  It should be relatively easy to find the pingos before they collapsed.  Although, the crater rims on these holes don't appear to be very high, so maybe spotting them from sat images may not be as easy as I'm assuming.

      •  Batter (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher, Bob Guyer, G2geek

        I don't think the permafrost is like batter, which is a viscous fluid emulsion. Is there any evidence for such a bubble causing such a crater in these conditions anywhere before?

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:53:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's why it's a mystery (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          From what I've read, and everything is speculative, this seems like a pretty new phenomenon.  But it sure wouldn't surprise me if someone eventually relates it to something similar they've seen.  But then again, no human has ever seen the climate change like it is now, so who knows what it'll end up being?

    •  I don't think they are assuming that the methane (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, maryabein, G2geek

      was necessarily igniting. These are believed to be pressure explosions. The gas pressures increases and weight of the ice on top of the gas pocket decreases as the temperatures increase. When the pressure exceeds the weight of the plug there will be an explosive release.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:55:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well I've wrote a few comments wondering (0+ / 0-)

      about if any research is being done on Permafrost to see if heating by bacteria would melt it from the inside out and one of the examples I mentioned involves bailing wet/damp or green Hay and putting in the Barns were it can get hot enough to catch the hay and barn on fire also other examples was damp Saw-Dust Piles and wet Coal piles and other cases like oily rags with such oils like Linseed in trash containers that have burned down many a wood-working shop and so could this be happening in the frozen dead plant matter that is found in many Permafrost regions that has thawed enough to allow Bacteria to grow and product the heat needed to melt more permafrost and get hotter and in some cases get to smoldering deep inside and when it does something like this it is the ignition source for the Methane?  

  •  Pingo - - (4+ / 0-)

    Given the fact that pingos are naturally occurring throughout the High Arctic by the millions, wouldn't it be more "scientific" to view these instances within the regional topography before jumping onto theories which support one's preconceptions?

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/...

  •  Pity the poor reindeer herder on a smoke break (9+ / 0-)

    Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.

    Everything good a man can be, a dog already is. - pajoly

    by pajoly on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:49:58 AM PDT

  •  Incidentally, Dr. Box declines to link (11+ / 0-)

    these holes to what he calls "dragon breath" events. In a new blog post he write:

    An Australian news piece juxtaposes mysterious Siberian holes with my Arctic tundra carbon release concerns but I have no idea about the cause of the holes. As a physical geographer, I’m aware of pingos that these features resemble but these features are holes and pingos are mounds. If you ask me, talk to field scientists with expertise in permafrost.

    "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

    by jrooth on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:02:03 AM PDT

    •  good move on his part (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jrooth, jessical, davidincleveland, G2geek

      It's too early to say anything definite, especially for a scientist.  I'm sure the news report made it sound more definite than he wanted it to be.

      It's still a mystery, but this summer has been exceptionally hot in Siberia and I believe last summer was warmer than normal also, so it sure seems something very strange is happening in the permafrost up there.

  •  We need to cool down the oceans near the (5+ / 0-)

    permafrost.

    You know those frozen cubes that you buy in yuppy catalogs that don't melt in and dilute your cocktail? We need a giant version of those and a gazillion deployed to the region immediately.

    Where's all the super-duper technology that's supposed to save us from our idiotic selves?

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:10:07 AM PDT

  •  Fireball Earth .... INCOMING!!!!!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pescadero Bill, WarrenS, pollwatcher

    Better build underwater facilities to act as "Ark's" to save land based species, especially humans. Living underwater for a few ten's of centuries, we may be able to ride out the catastrophe and repopulate the surface once Earth re-stabilizes back to a more normal equilibrium.

    •  Is this a serious comment, or is it supposed to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek

      be snark?

      •  How is that not a serious comment. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leema

        The vested interests will nt allow action until it is too late.

        Do you understand what too late means?

        It means that the NON-ZERO possibility that warming will release Methane in  a runaway feedback loop leading to the temperatures rising and the amount of Methane rising to the point where one lightning bolt literally IGNITES the atmosphere and burns the surface of the Earth ... AND .... consumes most of the atmospheric oxygen available, thereby SMOTHERING anyone and anything left not burned to a crisp.

        You understand, Fireball Earth HAS HAPPENED in Earth's history. It isn't even a hypothesis, there is physical evidence in the geologic record.

        Assuming the inevitability of this for a moment, how exactly do you propose the Human Race and the ecosystems of Earth survive? The only way is to build massive habitats underwater in the oceans, protected from the conflagration to come ... meaning a good 500+ feet down, as an enormous amount of the oceans will evaporate in the process.

        Ocean dissolved oxygen will provide enough to survive on long-term, until the surface can be re-inhabited.

        You understand, this is the kind of long term planning we as a species are now faced with having to contemplate, or FACE EXTINCTION.

        And you wonder why we can't find any signs of other advanced civilizations beyond Earth .... because they always end up with fucking Republican assholes and end up killing themselves off from stupidity.

    •  Here's a proposal from Usenet during the '90s (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical, G2geek, METAL TREK

      Build space elevators and a Dyson ring around the Earth. Move everybody up there and wait out the climate mess on the planet below. We don't really need the Earth anyway; Space is waiting for us.

      That would be snark if I said it, but it was offered in all seriousness by the technology sci-fi enthusiasts of that period.

      American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

      by atana on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 11:05:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  While we try to figure out what's happening here (15+ / 0-)

    and how much greenhouse gas is emitted by each explosion, it might behoove us to cap the gas flare-offs in the Bakken Oil Fields in our own country.

    That's something we know how to do.  An executive order or EPA ruling, in fact, is three years overdue on this egregious expulsion into our shared atmosphere.  

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:20:55 AM PDT

  •  Cabin In the Woods, the ending. (4+ / 0-)

    They're here.

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:32:58 AM PDT

  •  What is causing this? (1+ / 0-)

    Is it man-deposited methane that has been trapped in the ice and permafrost?  If so, then it has been locked in there for a very long time!

    If so, I am certain the deniers will claim that it is a naturally occuring burping of the earth, to get rid of its natural methane stores.

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:34:42 AM PDT

    •  In a (10+ / 0-)

      youtube video I watched on the methane bubbling in Alaska ponds, the scientist said the methane there was the result of decaying plant and animal matter (e.g., fallen trees, etc) that had been frozen under the lake for a long time but the warming was causing bacterial growth leading to decay and creating methane.

    •  I really doubt it's man made (4+ / 0-)
      The organic matter in permafrost contains a lot of carbon. It is made of dead plants and animals that have been frozen deep in permafrost for thousands of years. As long as this organic matter remains frozen, it will stay in the permafrost. However, if it thaws, it will decay, releasing carbon dioxide or methane into the atmosphere. This is why permafrost carbon is important to climate study.
      •  no one is claiming that that part is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        We know that was naturally made was trapped under the ice. Because it was under the ice and not in the atmosphere, it couldn't contribute to global warming.
        The CO2 that we released into the air held in heat like a blanket when it comes from the sun. That heat is what melts the ice and releases and allows the natural methane/CO2 into the atmosphere.
        Now, because that naturally occurring gas is also in the atmosphere, it WILL contribute to further warming.

      •  You're right, the organic matter was not directly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher, bethann, G2geek

        put there by humans but the burning of fossil fuels for the last 150 years has warmed the entire globe enough to melt the permafrost exposing this trapped decaying organic matter to the atmosphere for the first time in thousands of years. So even though the direct production of the methane is not being caused by humans, the release of the methane into our environment is being caused by human activity.

        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

        by RMForbes on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 01:08:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The methane is created by decomposing (4+ / 0-)

      organic material in the soil. The rate of creation and release of the methane gas is increased as atmospheric temperatures increase (i.e., melting of the permafrost). So the methane is not directly deposited by our activities, but its concentrations increase dramatically because of the higher temps resulting from global warming. I'm sure someone can give a more detailed explanation but that's a quick summary.

      Science literacy is a vaccine against the charlatans of the world that would exploit your ignorance. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

      by tgypsy on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 09:23:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Uh-oh. (4+ / 0-)

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:35:19 AM PDT

  •  If one ignites can it influence our orbit? (0+ / 0-)

    What a scary thought.

    Instant ice age or inferno?

  •  Over 50 years ago, as a child, I wondered what (18+ / 0-)

    all the CO2 from cars, etc was doing to the atmosphere, I realized the Earth was basically a 'closed system' and I was concerned. At the time, the adults I asked about it said the earth was huge and it wouldn't matter. If a nine year old could figure it out how are the deniers getting alleged adults to their point of view?

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:40:23 AM PDT

    •  Money. (8+ / 0-)

      No, they're not giving them money, but they've convinced them that there's no other alternative to fossil fuel and even if there were it would be too expensive for them to afford it.  Then they bring the haymaker: Regulation is killing business and it'll cost you your job so you won't be able to afford ANYTHING.

      They bring it down to a personal level -- that battling climate change is going to hit you in your pocketbook, and for what?  To keep the planet 3º cooler?  Poppycock.  Bad ROI they say.

      The truth is more that if it cuts into the profit margin, it must be stopped.  And if that means we all die, then they die with the most toys... so they win.

      Evil, evil, mass-murdering fuckheads.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 09:12:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  in a just society, those evil mass-murdering... (0+ / 0-)

        ... fuckheads would be charged with time-delay genocide and sentenced to life in prison.

        In a society that meted out justice harshly, they'd be sentenced to death by firing squad and it would be broadcast live on national TV.

        In a lawless society, random people would track them down and kill them by whatever expeditious means were available.

        And in a society reduced to a caveman existence by the impacts of climate change, the tribal chiefs would order them rounded up and burned at the stake or stoned to death.

        Since we haven't quite regressed to caveman level yet, we still have the option of defeating them and their enablers at the ballot box.

        GOTV like the survival of the human race depends on it.  Because it DOES.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 04:55:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The mass-murdering fuckheds (0+ / 0-)

          aren't running for office.  Their lackeys are, but they themselves find it more expedient to let someone else take the point so they can lurk behind the curtains pulling the strings.  And anyone who's ever watched a Bond movie knows, there's an almost inexhaustible supply of lackeys.  (Though as an aside, I wonder if the presence of really, really STUPID lackeys lately indicates a dwindling supply? Nah...  that's crazy talk.)

          Anyway, you know the movie never ends until the shadowy Big Boss Villain is exposed and perp-walked down Main Street.  We're only just beginning to see the leading edge of that with the Kochs and ... that guy they just identified as bankrolling most of the Heartland Institute. (I forget his name, which I suppose is the point, but he's not an unknown in billionaire circles, and has probably been on the cover of Fortune or some damn thing, but nobody had ever linked him to Heartland until recently.)

          That's not to say that GOTV is pointless AT ALL.  Whoever is behind it, if we don't defeat the lackeys, we miss the forest for the alligators.  Or some other bizarre mixed metaphor.  But that's only fighting the tactical battle.  An overall and lasting victory depends on keeping up the pressure and peeling away the layers and layers of fortifications behind which the true evil lies.

          I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

          by mojo11 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 07:16:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  it's hard being more sensible than most people (5+ / 0-)

      or being more immune to noxious group think.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 09:15:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The earth is huge, the atmosphere isn't (7+ / 0-)

      The analogy I've always heard is, if the earth were scaled down to the size of a basketball, the atmosphere would be the thickness of a layer of saran wrap.

    •  Like this: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      METAL TREK

      If, when you were a kid, some grownup said they'd give you lots of toys if you just stopped wiping your ass and changing your clothes, how many toys would it have taken to make you put up with walking around with a poopy bottom?

      That's how many toys the deniers are getting, except the poo is on all of our bottoms.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 04:43:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In 1967, my science project (0+ / 0-)

      in junior high school was on the greenhouse effect (it wasn't very well done, just some milk jugs with soot at the top of one of them, a heat lamp and thermometers). I certainly didn't think it through the way you did, but the library research I did made it clear there was something to worry about...

      "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

      by tubacat on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 09:49:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All Big Oil is thinking is (7+ / 0-)

    "We've got to get to Siberia to get all that natural gas"

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:51:52 AM PDT

  •  yep. (5+ / 0-)
    Mother Earth deserves a long, long rest with no people on her.

                                                   - Spalding Gray


    "I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ....... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car ..." - Emo Philips

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:53:39 AM PDT

  •  Lightning Strikes (4+ / 0-)

    My thought is that these pockets of methane are being set off by lightning strikes.

    It seems like the most likely source of ignition.  

    Since most of the comments cover all the climate change aspects of this phenomenon,  I thought I would mull over the formation process instead.

    •  I mentioned mechanical ignition - friction, sparks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek

      from moving stone - above, but thinking about it, it could just be a composting effect within a closed, or pressurized system.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 10:51:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The End Is Near! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, METAL TREK

    Signs of the time are all around us. Climate change deniers abound, but not among our fellow primates. They are brushing up on their cubit measuring (a cubit is a measurement from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, see photo below), and are having blueprints drawn up to build a solar and wind powered Ark. They can see the melting polar ice caps and the rising sea levels when they watch CNN (FOX is for chumps). It's a threat to their very existence, and will require more than just giving humans the finger (mankind not invited aboard the Ark).
    Some primate has to step up to the plate and make good use of the large brain size we possess. If you are willing to work for bananas, even better.


    I'd like to check you for ticks.

    by glb3 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 09:27:52 AM PDT

  •  It seems totally feasible now (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, G2geek, METAL TREK

    To switch to non-fossil fuel energy. The short term costs I'm sure are greatly outweighed by the long term costs in life and property if we did not switch.

  •  My problem with this diary is this: (7+ / 0-)

    1.  There is no scientific certainty at all presently available on what caused each of the 3 anomalous features to appear, and any such certainly is likely to take a considerable amount of time to achieve.  

    As a result, the claim of the diary that these anomolies have something to do with atmospheric measurements of methane is an exercise in pseudoscience.

    2.  Measurements of atmospheric methane by the scientists mentioned at remote monitoring stations and all of the 'dragon's breathe' comments cannot have anything at all to do with the physical phenomena of what caused a large plug of rock, permafrost and soil to be ejected from the holes in the manner of the 3 anomalies.

    Methane detected in the atmosphere does not have anything to do underground accumulations of methane that might be capable of causing an explosion capable of having the physical/mechanical effects demonstrated by the anomalies.

    3.  Atmospheric measurements of methane at a few observation stations that are not located directly above the opening of the anomalies have zero bearing, connection or relationship to any physical/mechanical phenomena capable of causing the anomalies.  

    4.  The diarist has linked to secondary sources and not to primary sources of information that would have more scientific credibility.

    5.  Allusions to 'dragon's breath' does not constitute scientific speech or valid description of physical phenomena capable of causing the anomalies.

    6.  This:

    As the denialists continue to spew their pseudoscience nonsense, and as the fossil fuel industry puppets in congress continue to block anything that might secure a stable climate for our children's future, the dragons in the earth are beginning to roar.
    ...isn't a measured scientific statement about anything at all.   Inventing a mythology term, 'dragon's breath,' to characterize this problem when its cause has not been determined and when such a term is not a scientific term is also an exercise in pseudoscience.

     

    •  I have to agree with much of LS's comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pvasileff, LakeSuperior

      because I find it hard to believe that explosive concentrations of methane are occurring beneath permafrost, especially at Siberian temperatures.

      The pictures of the craters and the accounts of their creation are fascinating, but let's wait on the evidence.

      “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

      by 6412093 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 10:01:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My comment didn't address underground (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093, jrooth, KenBee

        concentrations of methane.....it addressed the matter of claims that atmospheric measurements of methane made remotely from the 3 anomalous sites have anything at all to do with a physical basis for causation of the anomalies.

        Because methane hydrate as a solid can sublimate directly to a gas, and because the boiling point of methane is far below any ambient temperatures in Siberia, methane gas accumulation in underground voids under capping layers of soil and rock is entirely a realistic physical possibility for potential causation of the anomalies.

        •  Thanks for the response LS (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LakeSuperior, KenBee

          You had mentioned earlier that methane's explosive/flammable properties can occur only within a narrow (5-15% of air volume) range of percentages.  I understand that Sub-freezing ambient temperatures could affect that range.

          “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

          by 6412093 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 10:54:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the gas develops serious pressures after it melts (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bigjacbigjacbigjac

            the water produced by melting freezes, the gas accumulates under the ice, the growing ice being the above ground pingo portion of the mounds.

            The gas and ice weight reach accomodation and the gas vents dramatically.

            Look around google earth and see the many many similar water features just like this one: a dark deep center with a shallower ring around it, just like these will look like when it gets filled up...in the basically dry Arctic. No inlets, no outlets often seen. Just holes with water.

            I believe methane is an essential part of pingo formation, it just hasn't been found to be so, and not part of the wiki text about pingos.....the obvious is that the water freezes and expands, 'some' source of water is freezing at that spot, what is that source?...it is not underground water streams or springs, the area is permafrost with low snow levels, it's a desert of sorts. and permafrost.

               I believe we will find the main source of the water forming the pingo is from a melting methane formation that is venting until it becomes trapped and capped, perhaps by the freezing former methane hydrate water...a molecule of which is a methane molecule surrounded by a ring of water molecules.

            That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

            And if there was a water source that formed a pingo, why is it empty still after two years, why is there a lake next to it 100 yards away that is full? why is there a remnant water runoff feature FROM the hole, now empty, that one can see from the original helo pictures.
                 It was a pingo with a reservoir of melted methane hydrate gas accumulation under the permafrost. The gas (still at low atmospheric pressure)was trickling thru cracks but at some point became trapped and then built up pressure...in other cases it perhaps more or less continuously vents and the underground methane hydrate formation keeps melting ( a hot spot, a plume in the mantle, something anomalous but happening under the hydrate formation, perhaps a much lower level hydrate formation that is slowly melting but the deep but hotter gas has finally forced its way thru the non permafrost and warmer earth below and formed a hotter spot near the permafrost cap..
               The melted water from below meets the permafrost and freezes, the freezing water expands upward relieving the pressure of the expansion, more water freezes pushing upwards etcetc.

                 In the summer, topside the water still melts, melting off the top in the summer (the remnant water runoff feature seen) and continuously adding water from the gas and water mixtures in the chamber forming below where the frozen formation once was..amongst the sand and gravel in the hydrate/clathrate matrix) refreezing and perhaps trapping gas over the winter...venting less dramatically for some pingos than others. Perhaps the 'chamber' that fills with gas is the obvious hole that a melting methane hydrate formation was in before it subsequently melted, the ice is formed from water vapor frozen out of the venting gas, the pingo grows upwards to lower pressure region above ground, more escaping water vapor is carried to the permafrost vent and accumulates, gas escape then blocked by whatever movements that can happen with perhaps a partial collapse due to warming summer conditions, melt water fills the crack and freezes......in the first pictures we can see the cave formed at the bottom that runs off under the surrounding land area...that would sure contain a large amount of methane and if trapped could develop a seriously high pressure for a Big Release. No flame necessary...it would be over in minutes.

            As to the hole size the water is carried out by the escaping high pressure gas, blown across the landscape as ice that melts, as water vapor that freezes as snow ( the picture of the third hole shows snow) and as water that after melting runs off, soaks in, or dries...leaving the original thin topsoil to fall around the vent along with whatever few heavier sands and gravels from the hydrate/clathrate melting that get caught up in the venting..as shown there are not very much soils around the edges, certainly not enough to fill the hole they surround...no calculation necessary, just look at it.

            But something forms those lakes like that, I think this hole creation has been a natural process since the Ice Age ended 10,000 years ago, we're all not going to die from it real soon. Altho we had better try not to contribute to the process.

            The unknown is of course how fast do these pingos form, do they all explosively vent like this, can we should we be looking for them as point sources of methane venting on land that can be:

            1. captured and used

            2. flared to lower the greenhouse gas problem

            I am liking this theory more and more...the plausibility is higher the more I maunder on..haahaa.

            On perhaps a similar track, I think it odd that PBO is soooo gungho right now dam the whiners GOING to air gun blast the east coast, I believe he is looking to methane hydrates along the continental shelf to map them out for whatever reason..a new danger, a new energy source as many oil companies have fantasized about it, but none or few have actually made it work. Or admitted so...I wonder....

            We'll see....

            This machine kills Fascists.

            by KenBee on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 03:25:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Why does your comment remind me of the tobacco ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leema

      Why does your comment remind me of the tobacco lobbyists from the early 1980s?

      •  Because you are not well informed at all (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WarrenS, johnnygunn

        about these matters:

        1.  You've misinterpreted my comment as climate science denial when it is not, and you haven't engaged against the pseudoscience in this diary.

        2.  You refuse to engage in any of the specifics of my message because of laziness or lack of insight on your part.

        3.  You don't have any real understanding of what the tobacco industry did with scientific misconduct.   I do, however, after spending 15 years at the American Lung Association.

        4.  It is easier for you to make a cheap shot than a detailed statement.

      •  Hey, don't argue with this guy (4+ / 0-)

        He knows everything.

        He's done everything.

        He has apparently unlimited amounts of time to argue over the slightest points of his disagreement with what he thinks you are saying.

        And he doesn't mind insulting your intelligence while doing so.

        There are only two types of Republicans: 1) racists; and 2) people who are willing to be associated with racists.

        by hillbrook green on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 10:51:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pollwatcher, happymisanthropy

          But I'm bored and he's a fun and obvious one to toy with.

        •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
          Hey, don't argue with this guy

          This sounds like you're trying to shut down the discussion....I'm sure not in favor of that.

          He knows everything
          Denied as to your 'everything' claim.
          He's done everything.
          Denied as to your 'everything' claim.
          He has apparently unlimited amounts of time
          Denied.
          to argue over the slightest points of his disagreement with what he thinks you are saying.
          Denied as to your characterization saying that my dispute with the diarist is over 'slightest points of his disagreement.'   The diarist published a diary claiming that Dr. Box's ambient atmospheric methane data has something to do determination of the causation of the physical phenomena of the 3 anomalies.  It doesn't and Dr. Box didn't say that.  The diarist is thus repeating the same pseudoscience conflation committed by the British journalist's article to which he linked.
    •  DailyKos is not a scientific journal (9+ / 0-)

      If you want the pure scientific journals, I would suggest Nature, and I'm sure there are dozens of geomorphology journals that can go into much greater scientific detail.

      This is an ongoing mystery, and I was very careful to emphasize that this is by no means settled.

      As scientists continue to study this phenomena...

      There is not a consensus yet as to what is really happening in Siberia...

      Dr. Box goes on to speculate

      When you're at the edge of something new, a scientist has to speculate about the possibilities, without talking in certainties until the data confirms and the consensus is built.

      I'm trying to bring the latest possibilities about this mystery to the community, while throwing in my own $.02 as well, in hopefully, an informative and entertaining way.

      I'm always willing to fix any mistakes, but DailyKos diaries are not scientific publications.

      •  You've laid out an entire diary with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnnygunn

        'speculation' claiming that atmospheric measurements of methane have something to do with causation of the anomalies and that such atmospheric concentrations of methane have any physical basis at all for the observed phenomena.

        However, there isn't any realistic physical or evidentiary basis for these claims, and maintaining such speculation without such a basis is an exercise in pseudoscience.

        Saying "Daily Kos is not a scientific journal" does not have anything to do with the practice of science here on DK.   Democrats are supposed to be the ones who get science right, even as republicans engage in science corruption and attack.

        When there is a chornic republican war on science, there's no room for pseudoscience on Daily Kos.

        •  You are way off base (5+ / 0-)

          There are plenty of scientists who are "speculating" that these craters might be related to methane release from permafrost.  I happen to believe that it's far too important to ignore and that they should definitely continue to collect data and research the possible connection.

          Calling such speculation (which is exactly how science on the edge works, multi-verse, string theory, even global warming was speculation back in the 70's) pseudoscience is ridiculous.  And then you said this:

          and all of the 'dragon's breathe' comments cannot have anything at all to do with the physical phenomena

          I made it perfectly clear that there was lot more that needed to be learned here and we don't know the answers, and you respond with "CANNOT"!  B.S.  You speak in such certainties as if you have the certain answer.

          Go off and make your case in a scientific journal if you are sure that methane release "CANNOT" have anything to do with these holes.  

          I wrote a diary that clearly lays out possibilities and you come back with criticisms talking as if you've got the proof and every bit of scientific speculation is invalid.

          Don't talk to me of pseudoscience!

          •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
            There are plenty of scientists who are "speculating" that these craters might be related to methane release from permafrost.
            This is not quite the issue I'm objecting to in your diary.   What I'm objecting to is your diary's claim of this:
            Large spikes of methane being released into the atmosphere above Siberia may be tied to the mysterious craters which have appeared in the landscape, according to a US scientist.
            And then the subsequent citation of methane air quality data from a single atmospheric monitoring site far removed from the physical location of the 3 anomalous phenemena:
            but new data are being collected and the dots are starting to connect.

                Using data from a ground-based climate observing station in Tiksi, a small town in the Sakha Republic on the Arctic Ocean coast, Dr Box discovered "high end" levels of methane. The readings were backed up by data from similar stations in Alaska and Canada, according to News.com.au.

                The spikes, which Dr Box calls "dragon breaths", may well be connected to the unusual holes that have appeared in the Siberia landscape over the last month.

            You are conflating the information about atmospheric methane concentrations with the 3 anomalous phenomena and a discussion of the causation of these phenomena.

            By making this conflation, you are attempting to claim that measured atmospheric concentrations of methane has something to do with the causation of these phenomena.   That is objectionable because there is no physical basis for considering that atmospheric methane concentrations caused or have anything at all to do with the observed phenomena.

            Nothing about atmospheric methane could ever have been a causation factor for the observed phenomena.   Dr. Box is not making the claim you are with the diary, and you're not being strait and forthcoming about that issue.  

            For any physical basis that could have caused the mass ejection seen with these phenomena would require an explosive void under a cap (like the ice cap on the lake in one of the videos posted in the comments).   The only methane air sampling data that would be relevant would have to be conducted inside the voids at the three sites.   Only an underground void in which methane accumulated could have caused an explosion.   Atmospheric ambient concentrations of methane are not relevant at all to that determination, and your erroneously promotes trying to make atmospheric data relevant to the phenomena causation problem.

            Calling such speculation (which is exactly how science on the edge works, multi-verse, string theory, even global warming was speculation back in the 70's) pseudoscience is ridiculous.
            Pseudoscience is the correct term to apply to your claim that Dr. Box's atmospheric methane data has something to do with the phenomena since there isn't a physical-mechanical basis to make any such determination.   There were no methane explosions in the atmosphere that caused these phenomena.  Atmospheric methane concentration data measured at remote ambient methane monitoring sites have zero physical relevance to the determination of the causation of these events.

            You're just repeating the conflation from the British journalist claiming Dr. Box's data show that there is a connection between atmospheric measurements of methane and the phenomena.   Dr. Box didn't say that.

            Go off and make your case in a scientific journal if you are sure that methane release "CANNOT" have anything to do with these holes.
            The only methane release information that would be relevant to a scientific determination on the causation of the phenomena would be to sample the methane emission rate coming from each pit to see what is presently being emitted.   There is no physical basis to think that measurement of methane concentrations in the atmosphere near Tuiksi, Russia has any relevance at all to determining the cause of the phenomena being discussed.
            I wrote a diary that clearly lays out possibilities and you come back with criticisms talking as if you've got the proof and every bit of scientific speculation is invalid.
            You wrote a diary that repeated a conflation made by a British journalist that contained a allegation and speculation that Dr. Box did not make.   The British journalist created this conflation and you lapped it right up.

            "Pseudoscience" is the name for doing that kind of thing.

            •  Bullshit. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pollwatcher
              Nothing about atmospheric methane could ever have been a causation factor for the observed phenomena.   Dr. Box is not making the claim you are with the diary, and you're not being strait and forthcoming about that issue.  
              Why is it wrong for him to speculate with weak evidence, but perfectly OK for you to throw around categorical assertions with no evidence whatsoever?

              There is no possible relationship between the regional phenomenon of increasing atmospheric methane levels and local mysterious voids that some have tentatively attributed to gas eruptions?

              Or could it be that melting permafrost is allowing methane to escape, usually slowly and invisibly but occasionally in violent burps? Naw, impossible.  

              You are way out of line here.

              •  You asked: (0+ / 0-)
                Why is it wrong for him to speculate with weak evidence, but perfectly OK for you to throw around categorical assertions with no evidence whatsoever?
                The diarist so-called 'speculation' consists of repeating a claim made by the British journalist to which the diarist linked.  

                That claim was that atmospheric methane concentrations measured at the far distant location of Tiksi, Russia and cited by Dr. Box  are somehow pertinent and connected to the causation and scientific explanation of the 3 anomalies located.    

                This claim is a fabrication of the British journalist and of the diarist and is not a claim being made by Dr. Box.

                The diarist is not 'speculating with weak evidence,' but is instead simply repeating a false claim made by a British journalist.

                My 'categorical assertion' saying that the Tiksi methane atmospheric concentration data is not pertinent or relevant [or not 'connecting the dots' as the diarist claims] to the explanation of these phenomena reflects the physical reality that the presence in the atmosphere of methane could not have caused or precipitated the physical phenomena under review....the ejection of tons of rock, soil and debris from the 3 pits in question.  

                Methane present in the atmosphere cannot cause and explosion cannot cause an explosion precipitously over the three sites.   Methane present in the atmosphere could not have contributed to buildup of methane in an underground void.   There is not any physical basis for considering that atmospheric methane at Tiksi, Russion has anything at all to do with the 3 sites.

                There is no possible relationship between the regional phenomenon of increasing atmospheric methane levels and local mysterious voids that some have tentatively attributed to gas eruptions?
                Yes, the atmospheric data on methane at Tiksi, Russia has no bearing on any explanation of the physical phenomena that occurred.  Nothing about this data explains or addressed the methane gas concentrations that might have been present under a capping layer before a potential underground explosion under such a capping layer....if indeed that is what happened.

                The only relevant possible methane sampling that would be pertinent would be to measure the present methane emission rates being released from each of the sites.

                Or could it be that melting permafrost is allowing methane to escape, usually slowly and invisibly but occasionally in violent burps? Naw, impossible.
                Destabilization of permafrost is indeed occurring in northern regions, but that fact does not explain any aspect of an explosion or 'violent burp' as you put it.

                An explosion in an underground void would require a source of oxygen and would further require that the methane concentration be between 5 and 15% as that is the lower and upper explosion limits for methane.   A violent physical release without an explosion would require an extremely rapid transfer of large amounts of methane to such an underground void....something not easily addressed or explained.  

                In order to have such a phenomena occur with an underground void, there would have to be precipitous release to the void from permafrost around it, or precipitous transfer of methane from another void at higher pressure than the destination void.   Heat transfer in soils is a slow process and no apparent underground physical process could have caused such a precipitous mass transfer.

                •  The diarist clearly communicates his uncertainty (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pollwatcher

                  You mask your ignorance with arrogance.  I know which side I'm taking.  

                •  Ok, fine, I'll address your blogorrhea. (0+ / 0-)
                  My 'categorical assertion' saying that the Tiksi methane atmospheric concentration data is not pertinent or relevant [or not 'connecting the dots' as the diarist claims] to the explanation of these phenomena reflects the physical reality that the presence in the atmosphere of methane could not have caused or precipitated the physical phenomena under review....the ejection of tons of rock, soil and debris from the 3 pits in question.  

                  Methane present in the atmosphere cannot cause and explosion cannot cause an explosion precipitously over the three sites.   Methane present in the atmosphere could not have contributed to buildup of methane in an underground void.   There is not any physical basis for considering that atmospheric methane at Tiksi, Russion has anything at all to do with the 3 sites.

                  Wow, you fucking killed that strawman.  Blockquote for me where the diarist said/quoted that methane in the atmosphere locally was the cause for the voids.  You pulled that straight out of your own ass.
                  Destabilization of permafrost is indeed occurring in northern regions, but that fact does not explain any aspect of an explosion or 'violent burp' as you put it.
                  Clearly not all cryosphere geologists agree with you.  Maybe you should express your difference of opinion as an opinion, not by insulting the diarist and everyone else with a different opinion.
                  •  First I apologize for (0+ / 0-)

                    mangling this...

                    Methane present in the atmosphere cannot cause and explosion cannot cause an explosion precipitously over the three sites.

                    I should have instead written it in this manner:

                    Methane present in the atmosphere cannot cause or contribute to an underground explosion in a capped and pressurized subterranean void receiving methane for adjacent melting permafrost.

                    The atmosphere does not have spontaneous methane explosions as the high range of ambient methane concentrations is a couple orders of magnitude below the lower explosion limit gas concentration that is a property of methane.

                    Melting permafrost as a source of underground methane building up in a void at the 3 phenomena sites does not have any relation to or connection with the methane concentration in the atmosphere measured at Tiksi, Russia.

                    You said:

                    Wow, you fucking killed that strawman.  Blockquote for me where the diarist said/quoted that methane in the atmosphere locally was the cause for the voids.  You pulled that straight out of your own ass.

                    Again I apologize for not being more clear....what I started out to try to say is captured in my 3 paragraph expansion of the paragraph I mangled.

                    Your request for the blockquote isn't framed very well.  My complaint about the diarist comes from the portrayal that methane concentrations of the atmosphere at Tiksi, Russia has a connection to the causation and forming process for the 3 anomalous pits.  The diarist was not claiming "methane in the atmosphere locally was the cause" as you term it.  

                    As a result of my clarification and this response, your specific request is moot.

                    Clearly not all cryosphere geologists agree with you.  

                    That is fine.  How about being specific and telling me exactly what is wrong with anything I've said?...and then be able to give me examples of any geologists willing to claim, for example, that methane resident in the atmosphere is capable of having a direct causation effect on the building up of methane in capped underground voids.

                    Maybe you should express your difference of opinion as an opinion, not by insulting the diarist and everyone else with a different opinion.
                    This is really a very vague allegation.  Could you please be more specific?  
          •  I asked an earth science professor at one of the (0+ / 0-)

            best schools in the country ( we're social friends) and he had no better info on pingos and hydrates than the wiki articles and a few commercial sites explanations, it just hasn't been much of an area of study I think....so to the degree of 'why is this happening?'

            I think it's obvious it has been happening a long time (google earth it) and it hasn't been seen or sensationalized to date.

            It's an area of high interest for so many reasons, us speculating is hurting no one, these diaries are certainly better than the media reporting, they can't but mangle a simple quote from any of several puzzled scientists. Huffposts articles are regurgitations of the popular media argle bargle so anybody whining about dkos' reputation is wrong.

            Nobody knows, nobody has yet a clear simple explanation.

            This machine kills Fascists.

            by KenBee on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 03:35:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with most of this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical

      But I don't really have any problem with Dr. Box coining the term "dragon breath" to refer to an observed phenomenon: large positive spikes in atmospheric methane measured at various arctic stations. Nothing wrong with a colorful term which might help call attention to what seems to be an important and real thing.

      Note, Dr. Box does not ever suggest any connection between these holes and the methane spikes. That appears to have been done by a non-scientist writer.

      "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

      by jrooth on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 10:49:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mostly agree (0+ / 0-)

      Though I wonder at whether something called a "diary" on a public internet site should be judged on the basis of "scientific speech".  Giant holes in the earth are just....fascinating to people.  It's a primal fantasy, what we all want to happen when our pants fall down, the beginning or end of a catastrophe book or movie...I personally like The Giant Instant Fucking Holes of Immanent Doom myself.

      But I think you're right...we don't know diddly yet and we won't for awhile.   It's cheerleading when science already has all the news we need about climate change, incoming now, and on some level this makes us look like idiots.  But the speculation and comments are hard to resist.

      Because giant sudden holes are intrinsically fascinating, I think we will know more soon.  And some lucky dog will get a grant to camping and do science.

      ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

      by jessical on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:19:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CO2 is better than methane... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher

    So perhaps a partial fix to the permafrost release would be siting  huge numbers of catalytic igniters in areas where methane releases are to be expected.

    Note that the size of these [crater] releases is large enough that being nearby is likely a death sentence.

    Of course, with the Antarctic ice sheet melting from beneath, climate change may be moot as a destructive force.

    •  Some types of algae eat methane (0+ / 0-)

      Wouldn't it be better to trap and process methane into biofuels and use it to generate electricity instead of just burning it in the atmosphere?

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 01:16:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Algae utilize carbon dioxide through a (0+ / 0-)

        photosynthesis process.   Some bacteria consume methane.

        If you have information about methane consuming algae, please post link.....I've not heard of a species of methane-consuming algae before.

        •  There are types of algae that grow in swamps (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pollwatcher

          that feed at least indirectly on methane. The ecosystem likely does also include something like pink slime bacteria just like our body uses other organisms to digest our food. Impermeable heavy algae mats grow over the methane source trapping the methane bubbles so it can be utilized as food. There is no reason we couldn't replicate this process commercially.  

          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

          by RMForbes on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 03:24:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What do you mean by (0+ / 0-)

            'indirectly on methane?'

            Do you have an authoritative sources for your claim that algae ingest methane?

            •  Are you denying there are types of algae (0+ / 0-)

              that grow in the wild which trap methane for food? How do we ingest food? Is it necessary in your mind for an organism to absorb it's food directly without the help of other organisms?

              Your reductionist arguments are getting ridiculous. We live in a complex environment in which are full of symbiotic relationships. Just because the algae that traps methane requires the presents of symbiotic bacteria to process that into a form it can absorb does not mean it's not feeding on methane. That is just like saying that the food we eat isn't really our food because it is broken down into nutrients our body we can use by symbiotic bacteria. I thought you understood basic biology.

              Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

              by RMForbes on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 04:11:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'll take your defensive response as an admission (0+ / 0-)

                that you don't have any authoritative information showing that algae directly ingest methane as part of their metabolism.

                •  You are being ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

                  I never said that algae directly absorbs methane, I said it ate it as food. There is a difference which you seem to completely ignore. Most every organism uses biological processes to breakdown the food they find into nutrients they can absorb. Plants require symbiotic organisms in the soil to absorb the nutrients they need to grow and reproduce, why would algae not have similar symbiotic relationships?

                  Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                  by RMForbes on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 05:59:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  The general methane trend . . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . . is disturbing in itself.  I wonder how significant the feedback amplification for atmospheric heating by methane will become?

  •  One might think, "How do we know (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093, pollwatcher, Catte Nappe

    these just formed?", and the answer is, "Because the locals almost fell in."

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 10:16:24 AM PDT

  •  A map of methane concentrations. (6+ / 0-)

    Methane concentrations are mapped by special infrared satellites. Take a look at the 1 minute mark and note the upper part of the map.

    Below is a video of methane's outgassing effects on frozen lakes in Siberia. Things get hot at the 2:43 mark where tall pillars of fire come out of the frozen lake.

    The same thing is happening in Alaska (1:15):

    When things aren't frozen, you have this in certain areas of Siberia:

    A million Arcosantis.

    by Villabolo on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 11:06:01 AM PDT

  •  This may well be serious (3+ / 0-)

    But I just calculated the distance and one of these craters is over 600 miles away from the others (which are about 200 miles apart).  Are they are really in the "same district"?

    I'm genuinely asking.

    This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

    by Ellid on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 11:17:25 AM PDT

    •  I noticed that also (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee

      I was wondering why some of those news reports were saying these were in the same area, when they clearly are not in the same geographic area.

      But I would suggest that these are in very similar "cryospheric" regions.  It's definitely permafrost, for now, and the reports that I've read said they were in regions of natural gas, so maybe it wouldn't be a stretch to say they are in similar geologic or climate areas?

      •  Maybe? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher

        I'm pretty sure that these reports are referring to geography, which is simply inaccurate.  It's like saying that a brushfire in Massachusetts and a brushfire in Pennsylvania have the same cause.

        We simply don't know yet.

        This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

        by Ellid on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 01:06:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Has Putin blamed the CIA, China, & Ukraine yet? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher
    •  Of course not. CHECHEN TERRORISTS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      You even needed to ask?

      To be on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is to be on the right side of history.

      by mbayrob on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:14:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cryo-banderites! :) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy


      Actually, there is no unanimity in Russian officialdom over this issue and Putin has been found on both sides of the arguments.  Russia may be the only place on Earth that can use a few extra degrees to improve its agriculture and its resource extraction.  (Canada's agriculture is limited by the Canadian Shield more than by its climate.)

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:44:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  but but...! (3+ / 0-)

    The fishing is good in Alaska, so this is all alarmist clibkbait, amirite??

    "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

    by ozsea1 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 11:46:26 AM PDT

    •  Pass the pie! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical, pollwatcher, Matt Z

      The diary you linked is fact based. This diary is fact based. I only wish both were the kinds of diaries that would be clickbait.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 11:56:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we're here and reading, aren't we? (0+ / 0-)

        Let the facts speak for themselves.

        "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

        by ozsea1 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 01:14:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  21st Century version of Crop Circles? (0+ / 0-)

    We can only hope.

  •  The reality is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher

    Russia is farting on us?

  •  oops! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher

    Pollwatcher,  I'm on your side and don't intend to be nit-picky but I'd like to offer a useful comment.      

    To a scientist, the use of the singular demonstrative pronoun "this" with the plural form of the noun "phenomenon" (i.e. "this phenomena", above) sounds like fingernails on a blackboard, as does the use of the (present-tense third-person) singular form of the verb "be" with the plural form of "datum" (i.e. "data is", above).  

    I've listened to the debates over the evolution of language and I understand that there will be those who support continued misuse of these words on the straightforward grounds that they've already entered the vernacular via misuse over decades, but I continue to hold out forlorn hope that an interest in scientific precision might hold the line on what are, after all, scientific terms.  

    Please don't take offense.  I seldom comment and, though I looked for a private correspondence option, I could not find one.  

    English professors out there might easily correct my grammar and punctuation as well.   On the other hand, while I've painfully learned over the years that folks will not stand for their tweets, comments and other casual musings to be held to any semi-rigorous standard of correctness no matter what my own opinion on the matter might be, there may still be support for such rigor in pieces that are intended for general distribution.

     

  •  Spelling/usage check!! Ugh.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher
    As scientists continue to study this phenomena...
    This phenomenon (singular="this")

    These phenomena (Plural="these")

    Sorry, it is the teacher in me....

    "There's no ideology [t]here [on the right]. It's just about being a dick." Bill Maher, June 22, 2012.

    by caseynm on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:49:54 PM PDT

  •  Methane release? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher

    These three are the ones we have found, only because they are ~close to inhabited areas. Imagine how many are already out there in the barrens, just waiting to be discovered...

  •  Pingo? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LakeSuperior, pollwatcher, tubacat

    Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

    by expatjourno on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 02:09:19 PM PDT

  •  Earth's Climate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher

    is not changing and man made pollution has no effect on our atmosphere or environment.

    Signed,
    Conservative Morons and Affiliated Buffoons of America

  •  This is really bad (0+ / 0-)

    At this point, even removing most of the carbon from the atmosphere would not fix things -- the albedo is changed, and the new methane will heat things up even without CO2.  But even if we could reverse the trend fully, we would still be looking at permanent change -- the period of stable weather is now over.

    Basically, I think we have to realize the following:
    1)  technology to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere is still 15 to 30 years away,
    2)  technology to remove the CO2 from the ocean and the methane from the air is 20 years beyond that, and
    3)  even the theoretical science to understand how to alter major weather trends is 50 to 100 years away.

    I do not think there is anything to be done at this point -- the deniers have actually defeated us all.

  •  Someone finally noticed? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bethann

    >>"Similarly to Siberia's craters, bubbles of methane have been recorded rising to the surface of the Arctic Ocean since 2011."

    I remember reading about this twenty-five years ago.  It was probably discounted because the scientists reporting it were Russian.

  •  Maybe global warming (0+ / 0-)

    has woken up the prehistoric giant moles that were hibernating in Siberia and they're now on the move.

  •  Before after satellite photos will tell if a pingo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher

    melted definitively, but I reviewed some of the movie footage from the and saw a nearby lake, no pingos and the deep pit with water way way down. If a pingo had melted the water would have had to drain out of a very wet and icy area in a completely inexplicable manner.

    The stories of apparent explosions are completely inconsistent with the pingo melting hypothesis. Those would be methane explosions.

    To me, someone trained in geology and geochemistry, it looks like gas burst out with or without ignition.

    Excellent job covering this story, pollwatcher. I was aware of it but I have been very busy today. These reports verify my initial hypothesis of methane bursts linked to Arctic warming that could lead to catastrophic climate warming.

    “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 06:35:40 PM PDT

  •  Reminds me of the scene (0+ / 0-)

    in 'Titanic' where the "unsinkable" ship is sinking and water is exploding upward -- only this time it's methane, and it'll doom a lot more than 1500 people.

  •  That deep? (0+ / 0-)

    Has permafrost really melted as deep as 200 - 300 feet?  Do we know whether the earth displaced by the explosions was still frozen, and if so, does it still contain methane?  I know that the permafrost is thawing and releasing methane, but it just feels unlikely that multiple explosive releases occurring so close together in space and time would result without other contributing factors.  What about other places in the Arctic tundra, like Canada?  Have temperatures this summer been significantly warmer in Siberia?  Perhaps there's still a lot to learn about Arctic permafrost.

  •  dammit, it's two words: it is (0+ / 0-)

    If you want the possessive, drop the apostrophe.
    Writers oughta know this. Spoils a good article. Thank you.

  •  Huge Craters Found In U.S. Gee THANKS, fracking! (0+ / 0-)
  •  To paraphrase George R.R. Martin... (0+ / 0-)

    "Summer is coming"

    I would rather face the hordes of the North than the coming slow cooker the earth will be turning into...

    Almost makes you wonder if another species already pulled the same shenanigans we are currently engaged in on Venus.

  •  Get an editor (0+ / 0-)

    "from it's relative stability of the recent past"

    ITS.  ITS.  The possessive its.  Not it is.  

    Holy freaking blazing divinity on a fork, why don't people -- whose job it is ostensibly to write -- understand this incredibly simple thing??

Meteor Blades, a gilas girl, mickey, Thumb, Alumbrados, Angie in WA State, Mimikatz, vicki, Bill in Portland Maine, Mogolori, grollen, copymark, Timaeus, left of center, tiggers thotful spot, Gooserock, Danno11, Powered Grace, NYmom, surfbird007, karlpk, Shockwave, wu ming, jazzizbest, Wintermute, liz, OLinda, eeff, TX Unmuzzled, expatjourno, dpeifer1949, hubcap, Creosote, Heart of the Rockies, eyeswideopen, missLotus, TracieLynn, theRoaringGirl, lippythelion69, nyceve, susakinovember, Agathena, chuckvw, vmckimmey, Cedwyn, sidnora, aitchdee, Getreal1246, psnyder, figbash, Urizen, ranger995, johanus, exiledfromTN, Damnit Janet, yet another liberal, texasmom, HeyMikey, flatford39, Jujuree, Chirons apprentice, defluxion10, Catte Nappe, lcrp, Dood Abides, Brian82, Bluebirder, Matt Esler, zerelda, Steven D, poemworld, eztempo, boran2, Sassy, sb, rapala, davidincleveland, G2geek, Simian, marina, Tinfoil Hat, NoMoreLies, Jeffersonian Democrat, subtropolis, chimene, sap, Alice Venturi, wallys son, ChemBob, YucatanMan, Kevskos, FutureNow, fixxit, eru, dansk47, cfk, where4art, GreyHawk, Fury, Overseas, Ozymandius, Sandino, kaliope, jtg, brentut5, Ginny in CO, Rusty in PA, FindingMyVoice, sodalis, mightymouse, Oye Sancho, redcedar, vigilant meerkat, Yellow Canary, cookseytalbott, seefleur, mooshter, Prognosticator, smokeymonkey, AoT, KenBee, Loonesta, kto9, Gottlieb, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, Farradin, SherriG, MJ via Chicago, global citizen, Rosaura, JVolvo, Fox Ringo, Turbonerd, onionjim, lastamendment, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, crystal eyes, bstotts, sea note, markthshark, BeerNotWar, cpresley, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, pgm 01, hooper, Cronesense, jessical, Habitat Vic, Cat Whisperer, tgypsy, camlbacker, bigjacbigjacbigjac, Debs2, devis1, Dartagnan, ColoTim, offgrid, EdSF, aravir, edsbrooklyn, FishOutofWater, some other george, jeanette0605, Matt Z, mommyof3, deepeco, DWG, sfbob, Shadowmage36, FischFry, bnasley, artisan, jayden, jnhobbs, millwood, Moderation, jhop7, carpunder, Timmethy, skod, on the cusp, TomP, jwinIL14, MKinTN, revm3up, GAS, MikePhoenix, 6412093, OleHippieChick, bill warnick, LI Mike, skohayes, CDH in Brooklyn, VL Baker, jamess, beltane, mayim, NYmama, boatjones, Cassandra Waites, hwmnbn, dewley notid, pickandshovel, mofembot, Womantrust, petulans, get the red out, doppler effect, MinervainNH, My Spin, dmhlt 66, CIndyCasella, BvueDem, maggiejean, multilee, greengemini, nchristine, don mikulecky, bobatkinson, dharmasyd, bsmechanic, Carol in San Antonio, TheFern, CanyonWren, Alex Budarin, Nebraskablue, maryabein, sweeper, elziax, asym, bfitzinAR, papahaha, kevinpdx, Shelley99, histOries Marko, sfarkash, jfromga, astral66, citisven, Leftcandid, Larsstephens, Words In Action, flitedocnm, The Jester, NJpeach, serendipityisabitch, kjoftherock, Aramis Wyler, Crabby Abbey, LOrion, mookins, VickiL, cordgrass, samanthab, pixxer, paradise50, DerAmi, cai, nirbama, DrTerwilliker, Loose Fur, cocinero, Oh Mary Oh, fiercefilms, slice, dot farmer, Wisdumb, indubitably, Mister Met, Pakalolo, Onomastic, Colorado is the Shiznit, kerflooey, Bluefin, ozsea1, slowbutsure, FarWestGirl, Teiresias70, mrsgoo, marleycat, Jasonhouse, thomask, Wolf10, sasidechick, Claudius Bombarnac, Ojibwa, blw, worldlotus, RMForbes, MuskokaGord, myrmecia gulosa, disconnect the dots, Marihilda, Hayate Yagami, SoCalSal, blackjackal, imlpdx, jadt65, DRo, bassinduo, Auriandra, ParkRanger, No one gets out alive, DawnN, SuWho, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, livingthedream, hulibow, sow hat, IndieGuy, Eric Nelson, oldcrow, joanil, 2thanks, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, RockyMtnHigh, BusyinCA, Canines and Crocodiles, rat racer, RottenRoddy, stvnjon, Glen The Plumber, James Wells, peptabysmal, Windowpane, Robynhood too, madcitysailor, flevitan, Captain Chaos, MarkW53, Lily O Lady, Chaddiwicker, hillbrook green, atana, wozzlecat, jbob, Late Again, JayRaye, goodpractice, PHScott, Alhambra, leeleedee, ggfkate, Jollie Ollie Orange, howabout, Jon Sitzman, northerntier, GreenMother, Smoh, nice marmot, Demeter Rising, tampaedski, Knockbally, maregug, Halfton81, skepticalcitizen, Rich Lyles, eagleray, ExpatGirl, patbahn, Penny GC, Darwinian Detritus, Gurnt, JimValent, hbk, P E Outlier, liz2339, AJayne, nerafinator, bethann, kfunk937, windsong01, laughingRabbit, Katannah, 22niel, NoBlueSkies, SirLikesAlott, Ferreteer

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site