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Strong Methane Emissions On the Siberian Shelf

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the carbon-dioxide-times-twenty dept.

Earth 582

rrohbeck writes "The Independent reports brand-new results of high concentrations of methane — 100x normal — above the sea surface over the Siberian continental shelf. A large number of methane plumes have been discovered bubbling up from the sea floor. This is probably due to methane clathrate, buried under the sea floor before the last ice age, breaking up as higher water temperatures melt the permafrost that had contained it."

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582 comments

Hollow Men (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201315)

So this is how the world ends. Not with a bang but with a flatulent belch of ancient methane.

Re:Hollow Men (5, Interesting)

Chris Rhodes (1059906) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201343)

On the bright side, we might get to test this theory. http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn2088 [newscientist.com]

Re:Hollow Men (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201641)

> On the bright side, we might get to test this theory.

Wait. We might have the world's biggest fart on our hands, and your "bright side" is that we get to "test" (smell?) it? 0_o

SIBERIA? Give me a break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201975)

If that's the worst thing going on in Siberia that's good for them.

Re:Hollow Men (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201403)

humanity dies from a giant fart. I seriously didn't see it coming.

Don't worry about global warming (5, Interesting)

jimdread (1089853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201659)

humanity dies from a giant fart. I seriously didn't see it coming.

Actually humanity dies from lighting the fart. Consider what Professor Gregory Ryskin wrote [stanford.edu]:

"The consequences of a methane-driven oceanic eruption for marine and terrestrial life are likely to be catastrophic. Figuratively speaking, the erupting region "boils over," ejecting a large amount of methane and other gases (e.g., CO2, H2S) into the atmosphere, and flooding large areas of land. Whereas pure methane is lighter than air, methane loaded with water droplets is much heavier, and thus spreads over the land, mixing with air in the process (and losing water as rain). The air-methane mixture is explosive at methane concentrations between 5% and 15%; as such mixtures form in different locations near the ground and are ignited by lightning, explosions and conflagrations destroy most of the terrestrial life, and also produce great amounts of smoke and of carbon dioxide. Firestorms carry smoke and dust into the upper atmosphere, where they may remain for several years; the resulting darkness and global cooling may provide an additional kill mechanism. Conversely, carbon dioxide and the remaining methane create the greenhouse effect, which may lead to global warming. The outcome of the competition between the cooling and the warming tendencies is difficult to predict."

You can see there's no real need to worry about global warming. If the "explosions and conflagrations" don't get you, the smoke and dust might cause global cooling. Or global warming, it could go either way. But the methane explosions are predicted to be the biggest killer.

Re:Don't worry about global warming (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201743)

Well, that certainly puts the Wall Street meltdown in some sort of perspective.

I feel so much better about my 401K.

Re:Hollow Men (1)

JStegmaier (1051176) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201725)

When I saw this story, I tried to guess what the top post would be: a far joke or a pro/anti-global-warming theorist.

Glad to see I guessed correctly.

Mass extinction at end of Permian (5, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201881)

The mass extinction at the end of the Permian has been attributed to numerous causes. One of the prime theories also has to do with rapid release of methyl hydrates from ocean-floor clathrates.

The theory goes along the lines that oceanic overturning (exchange of bottom waters with surface waters) was limited in the Permian (even after the end of the Permo-Carboniferous glacial period), allowing accumulation of clathrates in oceanic sediments. However, overturning increased in the late Permian due to changes in oceanic circulation. This is conjectured to have caused massive releases of methane from methyl hydrates, with consequent large rapid swings in climate on land and in sea.

The evidence is not conclusive, but is strong. Most of it is derived from studies of marine fossils and isotope ratios. Discussion of the evidence and assessment of this and other theories for the extinction may be found, for example, in:
D.H. Erwin, The Great Paleozoic Crisis: Life and Death in the Permian, Columbia University Press, New York NY, 1993. ISBN:0715301306.

Of course, oceanic overturning is much stronger in the modern world, with deepwater formation especially strong in the North Atlantic and at the margins of Antarctica. This suggests the potential for clathrate release is probably rather less than it was in the late Permian, but not necessarily negligible. Another conjectured effect of global warming is slowing of oceanic overturning

The degree to which evidence supports these conjectures regarding ancient disruptions to climate is open to interpretation.

Re:Hollow Men (4, Interesting)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201973)

Eh. While it isn't good, remember this is one of the cooler portions of Earth's history, and we are technically still in an iceage. So it can get quite a bit hotter and life will still be sound.

Sure our civilization might not like it but life will go on.

We've got a long way to go before the run-away venusian greenhouse effects are seen. Still that doesn't mean we should do nothing.

Speculation (-1, Troll)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201317)

"probably warmer water"... Yeah, nothing to do with the fact we're sitting on a huge fucking lump of molten rock and metal.

Re:Speculation (3, Informative)

psychicninja (1150351) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201381)

Except that these are _recent_ findings. The outer core of the Earth has been molten for a long, long time. (At least, heck, 6000 years or so)

Re:Speculation (4, Insightful)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201397)

Um.. what? You do know that the depths of the ocean tend to be very cold, right? Or are you suggesting that somehow the crust is thinning beneath the methane deposits and warming them, but at the same time there are no seismic events tied to this phenomenon, even though it is happening across a very large geographic region? Or are you just talking out your ass?

Here is a theory for ya (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201593)

> You do know that the depths of the ocean tend to be very cold, right?

Normally..... unless there is volcanic activity in the region like is currently going on around the north pole.

Study finds Arctic seabed afire with lava-spewing volcanoes:canada.com [canada.com]

But oh no, it just has to be global warming. It get shot somewhere: Global Warming! Record cold? That's Global Climate Change for ya. Floods? Drought? Plague of Locusts? Manmade Global Warming every time and the ONLY solution is the destruction of Western Civilization, replacing the values of the Enlightenment with Socialism and Planning.

Re:Here is a theory for ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201667)

Have you even read what he posted all the way through? There haven't been any seismic activity (such as a volcano would produce).

STFU and RTFP.

Re:Speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201833)

When you dig down the temperature gets hotter. There is this thing called the core and it's made of molten lava. Do some research on how mines operate when they tunnel underground. Hint: they don't need block heaters.

Re:Speculation (1)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201879)

You do know that the hottest water found in nature is in the depths of the ocean, don't you? Superheated water turns to steam at 100C at the surface of the earth, but this same water released at the "depths of the ocean" are under intense pressure so the boiling point is much higher.

There are many places in the world where methane oozes from the surface. In some places, they support an open flame. This story is interesting, but it's probably just nature doing what nature does.

Re:Speculation (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201985)

Yes, near geothermal vents, which is like saying that if I light a match in my house that the entire house is burning at 1000 degrees. The ocean is very very big, the small hot spots you speak of are not enough to melt the kind of area we're talking about here. This scenario was in fact exactly what scientists were worried about when these fields of methane were first discovered. Of course, at the time they talked about it more out of a sense of wilf speculation on possibility, not as something they thought was going to happen in their lifetimes.

Re:Speculation (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201409)

"probably warmer water"... Yeah, nothing to do with the fact we're sitting on a huge fucking lump of molten rock and metal.

That lump was no less molten when those clathrates formed. The fact is that the water temperatures have been going up and that the methane that was trapped long ago is now being released.

Get it while it's hot! (1, Insightful)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201461)

Of course water is warmer... since the last glacial period... since the Little Ice Age... Oh, but recently oceans and atmosphere have been cooling. Well, there's still that free gas available at the moment - got a funnel and some pipe?

Re:Get it while it's hot! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201531)

Oh, but recently oceans and atmosphere have been cooling.

That's why the ice caps are melting?

Geez, you global warming deniers really are total idiots.

Re:Get it while it's hot! (4, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201555)

If you mean that the oceans and atmosphere have been cooling in the Northern hemisphere in the past few months, yes. It is Fall. If you mean they've been cooling for the part several years, no. Global temperatures are still increasing. It's called "global warming." It's why there have been record low amounts of Arctic ice [nationalgeographic.com] the past several years.

Mods (1, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201873)

"Of course water is warmer... since the last glacial period... since the Little Ice Age... Oh, but recently oceans and atmosphere have been cooling."

How is this bullshit insightfull?

Re:Speculation (3, Informative)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201523)

Works like this - first the permafrost/ice melts...this reduces/removes the main barrier that keeps the underlying water and sea floor at one relative temperature. Once that barrier is removed, the water and sea floor heat up, with the result being an increase in the release of otherwise captured methane.

It is actually a very simple, process...one that we could perhaps do without, of course, but hey - the times they are a change'n and Mother Nature is making the calls.

Own up (2, Funny)

gringer (252588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201325)

Alright, who farted a few hundred thousand years ago?

Re:Own up (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201347)

He who smelled it, dealt it. (I'm looking at you, gringer!)

Methane's not a greenhouse gas, right? (3, Funny)

Talisein (65839) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201333)

Luckily the methane emissions won't cause further warming. Hurray!

Methane is worse than Co2 (4, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201349)

By a factor of 27 or so. That's why effluent processing plants will burn the stuff off (apart from the fact it gives them some power).

yes and no (4, Interesting)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201449)

Methane has an atmospheric half-life of about 7 years (turning into CO2 and water), fairly independent of any biosphere.

CO2 has an atmospheric half-life of somewhere between 50-100 years, with some nasty feedback (more CO2 = higher temperatures = longer half life).

So, per-volume, methane is worse, but what's gonna get us is the CO2 because that hangs around much longer and has the positive feedback.

Re:yes and no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201601)

someone mod this up!

Re:yes and no (4, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201681)

Normally the relative greenhouse strength is corrected for a 100-year period (ie the shorter half life is already accounted for in the 27x number; I haven't checked the number, though).

It sounds like methane does have a feedback loop -- methane causes warming releases more methane. Sure, there's a limited amount down there, but it's a rather large amount. We'd really rather it stay put.

Not saying the CO2 isn't bad... but there's no shortage of other effects to go with it.

Re:yes and no (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25202015)

more CO2 = higher temperatures

No. That theory has been soundly rejected by real science in the last 10 years. Get with the times.

Is it recoverable? (3, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201341)

Could this be used to drive electric plants? Is it recoverable? Anyone have a match? A really fucking big match?

Re:Is it recoverable? (3, Interesting)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201411)

I doubt it. I saw a special on the discovery channel about this stuff once, and they basically said it is so diffuse and spread out on the ocean floor that there is no economic way to recover it. And I doubt it is concentrated enough to achieve ignition in open air.

Needs more study (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201351)

Let's look at this for a few decades and see if it's really happening.

Could this explode? (2, Interesting)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201353)

So, what happens if lightning strikes over one of these plumes?

Re:Could this explode? (2, Insightful)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201423)

It changes the spectrum of the flash a little.

Re:Could this explode? (3, Funny)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201581)

A blue scene of death.

Actually, there are very few lightning events over the ocean compared to over terra firma, but they do occur, especially when you are trying to save important objects.

Re:Could this explode? (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201941)

Actually, there is the possibility that methane being released underwater may end up with enough water mixed in with it that it may stay close to the surface. If this is true, we could end up in situations where large clouds of methane stay low and drift along with high enough concentrations that if it drifts over land, it could kill most of the life.

It could even reach concentrations where lightning could cause combustion, resulting in massive firestorms, stripping areas bare.

I'm not sure if it's in the "likely" column, but it's a scary, scary scenario.

Well (4, Funny)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201375)

We're advising all our customers to put everything they have into canned foods and shotguns.

Re:Well (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201547)

That's all I have right now. Saved for everthing else. Any suggestions what to buy?

Re:Well (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201845)

Buy some Chinese currency. That's an asset that is guaranteed (as much as any investment can be, that is) to hold and likely increase its value relative to the dollar.

Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201395)

This is what it would be like, if the majority of people were athiests.
ATHIEST KID: Mom, I'm going to go fuck a hooker.
ATHIEST MOM: Okay, son.
ATHIEST KID: Afterwards, I'm going to go smoke pot with my friends, since it's "not addictive."
ATHIEST MOM: Okay, come home soon!

The athiest kid leaves the room. The father comes home from work several minutes later.

ATHIEST DAD: Hey!
ATHIEST MOM: Hi, honey! I'm pregnant again. I guess I'll just get another abortion, since "fetuses don't count as human life."
ATHIEST DAD: Okay, get as many abortions as you want!
ATHIEST MOM: Oh, and don't go in the bedroom.
ATHIEST DAD: Why not?
ATHIEST MOM: There are two gay men fucking eachother in there.
ATHIEST DAD: Why are they here?
ATHIEST MOM: I wanted to watch them do it for awhile. They just aren't finished yet.
ATHIEST DAD: Okay, that's fine with me!

Suddenly, their neighbor runs into the house.

ATHIEST NEIGHBOR: Come quick, there's a Christian outside!
ATHIEST MOM: We'll be right there!

The athiest couple quickly put on a pair of black robes and hoods. They then exit the house, and run into the street, where a Christian is nailed to a large, wooden X. He is being burned alive. A crowd of athiests stand around him, all wearing black robes and hoods.

RANDOM ATHIEST: Damn you, Christian! We hate you! We claim to be tolerant of all religions. But we really hate your's! That's because we athiests are hypocritical like that! Die, Christian!

THE END

Scary, isn't it?

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201435)

Meh, you guys were funnier when you were being eaten by lions.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201535)

Yeah, it's scary how stupid you are.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201537)

Why the hell do they put on black robes? I think you're confusing atheists with satanists.

And seriously, atheists use condoms, so we don't get pregnant, unlike the religious folks who think condoms are immoral.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201693)

And I think you're confusing satanists with nuns.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201647)

Okay, this was stupid, but it does touch on a point I've wondered about: religion seems to be the foundation of much of our societal moral code. Without the framework of religion, why is it "wrong" to kill someone?

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201793)

Without the framework of religion, why is it "wrong" to kill someone?

It isn't. Regardless of religion. You just have to follow the correct protocol. War is something that never goes out of fashion.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (4, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201809)

Evolution has hardwired it into our brains: Killing fellow tribe members is bad for survival, ergo it will be perceived as immoral.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201821)

Okay, this was stupid, but it does touch on a point I've wondered about: religion seems to be the foundation of much of our societal moral code. Without the framework of religion, why is it "wrong" to kill someone?

Answer: It isn't.

But all the folks wishing there was no religion don't seem to get that. They've got this crazy fantasy that without religion everyone lives in peace and harmony with their fellow man. Of course they're fucking idiots so they're dead wrong about that.

Society would be a lot more barbaric. In fact I don't even know if there would be anything that could be called a society.

To elaborate on your question "Without the framework of religion, why is it "wrong" to kill someone?" a bit more, I'll say the only thing that would make it "wrong" would be if someone took exception to a killing.

Of course, having taken exception to a killing, they'd have to actually be able to do something about it, and by "able to do something about it" I mean they'd have to be capable of either killing the person who performed the killing they took exception to or to do something even worse to that person.

If they were not capable of doing either of these then they'd really be best off just shutting up and minding their own business. They could of course try their luck by having a protest or a sit-in, building giant puppets or something like that. But I really don't think they'd have much success. Someone would probably just laugh at them and then kill them for shits and giggles.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (2, Insightful)

TheDugong (701481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201827)

I was told it was "thou shall not murder" rather than "thou shall not kill" by gun toting right winger christian wack-jobs. Christianity seems not to have this framework. Judging by Islamic extremists, neither does Islam. The death penalty only seems to be part of the legal code of countries with a religious majority as well. From my own coincidentally atheist point of view, it is wrong to kill someone because if we spent all our time worrying about being killed civilization would fall apart. Well actually, we are here precisely because we are able to work, for the most part, cooperatively and not worry about killing each other. Then again, I do wonder why I am responding to an AC...?

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (5, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201901)

The Hebrew verb originally used is generally considered to be interpreted by "murder" (too lazy to look up a reference, but I've heard it a number of times) - so it is thou shalt not murder. No large scale social framework could function for a long period of time without the ability to kill. I guess you could point to certain eastern religions like the Jains as having functioned, but they generally get their asses handed to them throughout history.

It's the difference in interpretation of exactly what "murder" is that determines the destructive societies from the constructive ones.

Funny thing is that Islam has an even stronger moral code against killing innocents than Christianity, yet they are the ones which have the least problem with targeting purely civilian populations.

Perhaps this goes to show that it's not necessarily what your holy book says literally, it depends on who your contemporary religious leaders are.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (0, Offtopic)

rossz (67331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25202007)

Funny thing is that Islam has an even stronger moral code against killing innocents than Christianity, yet they are the ones which have the least problem with targeting purely civilian populations.

Easily explained. "Innocents" is defined as "muslim". Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc, don't count. And they are killing each other off because they tend to not extend the the definition of "innocent" to other muslim sects. Or they are just murdering assholes who are complete nut jobs. Religious extremism tends to do that to people.

I read a paper by some muslim cleric justifying the murdering of civilians in Israel. Jewish babies grow up and everybody is Israel is required to server time in the military. Therefore, they are fully justified in killing future "zionist" soldiers. Sick fucker. I'd say that cleric needs killing.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (1)

beckje01 (1216538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201991)

So why would you judge based on extremists? They are the outliers you have to throw them out of the sample.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (3, Insightful)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201843)

The current Rehabilitating Mr Wiggles [mrwiggleslovesyou.com] answers this question: because it's kind of a dick thing to do.

Seriously though, if everyone went around killing each other whenever it suited them, you'd always be in danger of being killed yourself. There's very compelling reasons for a society to collectively agree that killing each other is a bad thing and that it won't be tolerated. No need for a fear of divine retribution.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (0, Offtopic)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201863)

Why is it that it is wrong to kill someone in just about every religion? Somehow, regardless of culture people have all figured it out that killing each other is bad. It's really not that hard.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (0, Offtopic)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#25202017)

That's just what The Man keeps telling you to keep you down and subservient to the white man's dominion.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (0, Offtopic)

cgoodric (1311355) | more than 5 years ago | (#25202025)

And yet some of the world's worst atrocities were committed (and are still being committed) in the name of those very same religions. Hmmm ...

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (0, Offtopic)

rossz (67331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25202029)

Not all religions preach against killing people. The muslims are told very specifically they must either convert non-believers or kill them.

Re:Siberia: crazy liberal myth or FACT? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201699)

This is what it would be like, if the majority of people were athiests.

All I can say to the OP is:
BEST. SITCOM. PITCH. EVER.

not the warmest temps (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201399)

we aren't currently getting the warmest temperatures of this century, so why has it just started now??

Re:not the warmest temps (2, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201433)

Maybe a warming trend has lasted for long enough that it's finally hit the ocean bottom in that area?

Re:not the warmest temps (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201889)

maybe, but the warming trend peaked in the 1930's, well before we were pumping anywhere near the levels of CO2 that we are now. i'm not seeing any kind of relationship here between the popular global warming theory.

http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=61b0590f-c5e6-4772-8cd1-2fefe0905363 [nationalpost.com]

Re:not the warmest temps (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201927)

Global warming is the wrong term anyways. Global climate change is what we are looking at - and just because it ain't getting hotter where you are, some areas of the world are seeing 1-2 degrees higher average temperature, which is a big deal.

Re:not the warmest temps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201579)

we aren't currently getting the warmest temperatures of the summer, so why did my fridge die today??

Re:not the warmest temps (4, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201785)

"we aren't currently getting the warmest temperatures of this century, so why has it just started now??"

It's called thermal inertia, however your question is still interesting.

I have followed the IPCC for many years and one of their biggest failures in accuracy has been what is sometimes called the "missing methane" problem. The 1997 IPPC report (and those that followed) predicted methane would keep rising but the follow up observations have (until now) shown the trend to be flat for the last 10yrs or so.

In otherwords the question is not why has it started rising again but rather why did it take an unexpected break for a decade?

BTW: I find it odd that the psuedo-skeptics have not lept on the missing methane issue as a way to discredit the IPCC, surely that would be more plausable than denying the North Pole is disintergrating, but that's politics for ya!

Re:not the warmest temps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201801)

we aren't currently getting the warmest temperatures of this century, so why has it just started now??

Obviously! The warmest temperatures of this century will come towards the end of the it and we're not even 7 years into the century yet.

If you meant to write that some recent years were even hotter globally than this year, well yes. However there are two things to consider: artic temperatures as distinct from global temperatures have been very high; and the cummulative effect of the recent warm years.

Plumes of methane (5, Funny)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201469)

A large number of methane plumes have been discovered bubbling up from the sea floor over the Siberian continental shelf.

In other news, the Russian Navy announced a successful test of a submarine powered by a brand new propulsion system. The exact details are still classified, but sources claim there is a mysterious link between it and a new food and beverage contract awarded by the Navy to Taco Bell

Re:Plumes of methane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201637)

You're trying to hard, if you aren't careful, you're going to stain those boxers...

Kids & Ice (1, Funny)

quarrel (194077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201561)

Damnit. Kids these days.

In my day we were happy sniffing our own farts the old fashioned way- but no, that wasn't good enough. These days everyone is into their damn methane ice.

Who thinks this stuff up?

--Q

OK, this is it... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201565)

We're sooo totally fucked now!

People have been expecting these Methane clouds (5, Informative)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201595)

People have been expecting these Methane clouds:
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5j3U0vEk53bVXHIcGUqqO64rvDAUg [google.com]

"Melting of methane ice unleashed runaway global warming some 635 million years ago, according to a study released Wednesday that has implications for today's climate-change crisis.

Release of the potent greenhouse-gas, at first in small amounts and then in massive volumes, brought a sudden end to the planet's longest Ice Age, its authors believe.

During the "Snowball Earth" era, Earth froze over completely, with glaciers that crept down into the tropics and possibly even reached the equator."

The Hives: Hate to Say I told You So:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsm2hSKkH7E [youtube.com]

Re:People have been expecting these Methane clouds (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201717)

Of course, by "sudden" they mean "a mere million years".

Re:People have been expecting these Methane clouds (1)

Randall311 (866824) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201813)

Uh, if it was "runaway" global warming some 635 million years ago, then how come the Earth doesn't currently resemble the surface of Venus? Oh right the Ice Age that balanced out the "runaway" global warming.

Methane prime suspect for greatest mass extinction (4, Informative)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25201707)

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn2088 [newscientist.com]

"The release of massive clouds of methane from icy hydrates buried under shallow ocean floors is the leading suspect for the most devastating extinction in the fossil record, according to a new analysis.

Methane best matches the unusual carbon-isotope fingerprints found at the scene of the crime, says Robert Berner of Yale University in Connecticut, US, though it cannot explain atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at the time.

Berner says: "It's possible that you could have a combination" of effects causing the mass extinction that ended the Permian period, 250 million years ago. The event wiped out the vast majority of marine species and left Europe a near-desert."

Oh shi...

The real cause of global warming? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201865)

Ok, so if methane caused runaway warming 635 million years ago, and we're experience global warming now, then man-made global warming may be a myth after all.

Come on "scientists", can we get at least one thing from you that isn't yet another "PANIC!" report?

Just imagine if programmers started writing code this recklessly!

The swarm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25201969)

Read the book the swarm this shit aint funny the book was fiction but it got all of its science from this shit and its pretty solid, and can show easily how bad this can get and how fast.

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