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Burning Ice Drilled from Alaska's Slope

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the snowballs-that-pack-a-punch dept.

Power 233

bagboy writes to tell us that as sources of renewable energy are being sought, BP has announced a new method of extracting natural gas from ice underneath Alaska's North Slope drilling fields. "Scientists with the federal Energy Department paid $4.6 million to drill for the hot ice just below the surface of the Milne Point well, which is situated northwest of Prudhoe Bay. [...] Now, scientists from around the world are waiting for pieces of this strange ice to conduct their own tests and determine whether Alaska's frozen grounds contain untapped, clean-burning energy."

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"Hot ice"? (-1, Offtopic)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101798)

Hot ice? Is that anything like "cold steam"?

Re:"Hot ice"? (2, Funny)

SirStanley (95545) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101896)

I liken it more to Transparent Aluminum.

Re:"Hot ice"? (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101906)

I thought "Hot Ice' was stolen diamonds. Guess I better quit watching those old movies and get with the modern term. Mining (drilling?) this stuff could cause problems, it has to be melted and the water left over has to go somewhere. I suppose they could just make the water back into snow or ice and no harm with that.

Re:"Hot ice"? (1)

Shayneisgreat (1052124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101912)

I want to be known as the person who quotes the name "Ice Hugger" for those who complain that destroying Ice for energy is going to destroy the world.

Re:"Hot ice"? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102498)

Well, we definatly want to slow global warming in order to stop the hot ice from melting. So sure, there will be ice huggers but probably in a different sence.

Re:"Hot ice"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102294)

"Cool Slashdotters"?

Re:"Hot ice"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102662)

On a side issue, you actually can have cold steam. You just have to give the water particles enough energy to go from a liquid state to a gaseous state. This energy need not be heat energy and can easily be kinetic energy - the mechanism that's used by the vapuorisers you can easily buy at the pharmacy.

Re:"Hot ice"? (1)

JJVH (1067000) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102688)

You know what my secret is? Hot Ice. Hot Ice? You HEAT up the ICE CUBES! It's the best of both worlds!

Re:"Hot ice"? (4, Funny)

dan828 (753380) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102864)

No no no. You got it all wrong. You slowly warm the ice cubes in an alcohol solution. I'm going to begin some preliminary experimentation this evening with an eye towards large scale experiments this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

Clean-burning? Sure... (4, Funny)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101814)

Now, scientists from around the world are waiting for pieces of this strange ice to conduct their own tests and determine whether Alaska's frozen grounds contain untapped, clean-burning energy.

Clean-burning? Sure. But at $4.6 million a gallon, I'll stick with oil.

Re:Clean-burning? Sure... (2, Insightful)

linkedlinked (1001508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102010)

Clean-burning? Sure. But at $4.6 million a gallon, I'll stick with oil.
Which, coincidentally, can also be found under Alaska.

Re:Clean-burning? Sure... (4, Informative)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102334)

At any rate, it's not as if there's a shortage of natural gas in Alaska. There are vast quantities in the Prudhoe Bay fields; the problem is that without a gas pipeline, there is no way to get it out of Alaska and to market. There is a lot of interest in building a pipeline, but you can imagine the various considerations- environmental impacts, terrorism threats, negotiating terms with the Canadians and Native American peoples in order to cross their land, what cut the state gets of the revenues- so it's not happening immediately. However, it will eventually happen if energy demands keep growing the way they have been.

Re:Clean-burning? Sure... (1)

Cartack (628620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102656)

Isn't methane already transported via ship/land in liquid form?

Re:Clean-burning? Sure... (-1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102128)

"Clean-burning? Sure. But at $4.6 million a gallon, I'll stick with oil."

are you really that fucking stupid? obviously it's going to cost that much to setup a research site and drill that first barrel, but are you honestly so dim as to think every barrel will cost 4.6 million?

Re:Clean-burning? Sure... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102404)

Wow. You must be a real hoot at parties.

Re:Clean-burning? Sure... (1)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103062)

Wow. You must be a real hoot at parties.

I've noticed this one a lot lately. It's also my most favourite troll one-liner right now. Whoever you are, please, please keep posting this.

Also, in before "you must be a real hoot at parties".

Re:Clean-burning? Sure... (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102442)

the humor is weak with this one

Re:Clean-burning? Sure... (4, Informative)

johnny maxwell (1050822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102488)

clean-burning...
It should be emphasized that methane (and it is methane ice we are talking about) burns clean in that it produces but CO2 and water. However, being a fossil fuel it is dirty in the sense of CO2 emissions.

I give this... (5, Funny)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101832)

a snowball's chance in hell of ever working.

Clathrates (5, Interesting)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102226)

This mixture forms all over the contenental shelves. And, as pointed out here, in Alaska as well http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_hydrate [wikipedia.org] .

There has been an ongoing effort, especially by the Navy, to figure out ways to exploit these deposits. The rapid release of the methane may be a hazard to drilling and shipping and is also considered a possible cause for rapid climate change in the past.
--
Solar really is clean. http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]

Ahh, one step closer... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102566)

to the day when we tell the Arabs to take their oil and shove it.

You better watch out there mister (1)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103088)

Those Arabs will give us the flag-burning of a lifetime if we ever fuck with them. I bet you didn't think of that, did you?

chemical reaction (2, Interesting)

zyzzx0 (935520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101854)

if memory serves correctly, natural gas = CH4
so the chem reaction:
CH4 + 2O2 -> CO2 + 2H2O

Seems like a lot of CO2 for being such a clean energy source.... but what the hell do i know?

Re:chemical reaction (1)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101902)

Good point. I was going to comment that this seems to be the wrong direction for energy research seeing as this will produce CO2.

Re:chemical reaction (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101954)

The point is that the old problem we knew about in the atmosphere was small particle pollution. Ironically the small particles in the air have been shielding us from the full effect of global warming through a process coined as global dimming. Even though the earth is more of a greenhouse now it is in fact getting less sunlight overall, this means that some of our models about how much CO2 relates to a certain tempurature chance in the atmosphere might be off. The terrible part is that we might undervalue CO2 and other greenhouse gasses' effect on global warming.

Re:chemical reaction (1)

CommunistHamster (949406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102040)

The other problem with global dimming is that less light reaches crops, which causes lower global crop yield. The amount lost may only be a small fraction, but globally thats a few thousand people without food.

Re:chemical reaction (1)

sholden (12227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102368)

Surely we could just pump out some more CO2 to give those plants more food, to counteract that...

Re:chemical reaction (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102584)

No, Plant pump out enough Co2 on their own. It is called asperation and is why the Co2 reading will be higher at night.

Re:chemical reaction (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102856)

Um....
As I understood it plants release O2, not CO2, they are more active with an energy source (sunlight) which is why you will see less O2 at night.
-nB

Re:chemical reaction (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102158)

umm no we pretty well understand how co2 fits in on the scale of green house gases, and it's not a major player as you've been lead to believe by the cult of global warming.

WATER VAPOUR is MOST of the green house effect. but i guess it's not as sexy cool to state that the green house effect mainly comes from evaporated water from the oceans, is it?

Re:chemical reaction (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102530)

[water vapor] is [the gas most responsible for] the green house effect.

Yes, and your point is?

the problem with global warming is not the greenhouse effect per se, but rather its increase. Unless you have a 65,000 year trendline for water vapor, it's essentially irrelevant to the debate.

Re:chemical reaction (1)

dank zappingly (975064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102608)

I thought global warming was caused by methane from cow farts.

Re:chemical reaction (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102692)

This is because the focus has been primarily on "human caused" global wamring. In these models, they suggest water vapor is a feedback and not a forcing. If you were to look at the Sun as the cause, then it would be a forcing but the problem would corect itself when the solar radiation returns to normal.

And with a model like this, You don't get famous, don't have grants offered to furhter the doomsday studies, you don't get failed or rejected policies being promoted as "the cure"(you know who you are Kyoto) to advance a political position no one wanted in th first place and most important of all, If we are wrong about it being the sun, then were are in a heap more danger then having the "other" knowledge about it before hand.

But yea, The global warming religion doesn't want anyone to know about alternatives. It is blasphemy of sorts.

Re:chemical reaction (4, Informative)

pz (113803) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102006)

Clean burning fuel has nothing to do with C02, but everything to do with nitrogen and sulfer compounds, often call NOx and SOx ("x" because the number of oxygen atoms varies depending on the species). Those two classes of compounds are responsible for smog, acid rain, and, in part, the ozone layer depletion. Given the choice between burning, say, coal, which produces an excess of NOx and SOx, and methane which produce only traces of same when properly combusted, I'll take the methane, thank-you-very-much.

Clean burning is relative (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102214)

There folks in Pennsylvania that will tell you that they have clean burning coal. And compared to what is coming our of a number of mines in China, they are correct. Of course, the west tells you that we have the clean burning coal. And compared to the east coast, it is. Now the methane folks say that they are clean burning, and compared to coal, they are. But The only true clean buring is pure hydrogen. And I would not be surprised that down the road somebody will show that there is a side reaction that occurs if you are not using pure O2 as opposed to air (i.e. creation of [NS]Ox )

COx is also a "greenhouse gas" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102894)

Because it tends to selectively absorb in the wavelength range that reflected IR from the earth's surface is in. Energy comes in, bounces up ... and bounces right back down. Ergo, "greenhouse".

Re:chemical reaction (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102030)

Well, "clean" and "environmentally friendly" aren't always the same... Methane burns cleanly, pretty much as cleanly as combustion can possibly get. "Clean" here is implying "without partial combustion byproducts that result from burning gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, wood, or pretty much any other organic substance". So in the sense of what we traditionally think of as pollutants, the noxious fumes that come from your car's tail pipe, it's clean. Is it going to reduce greenhouse gasses? Well, not so much.

So it turns out that this particular find is not a solution for global warming. Yet if we are going to continue burning organic materials for energy, and we assuredly are for the next decade at least, then I'd rather it be a "clean" burning hydrocarbon.

Re:chemical reaction (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102032)

"Clean" used to mean "Won't poison us".

I suspect that the major corporations are playing both sides of the greenhouse gas war. After all, with everyone oh so focused on CO2, nobody will notice a little dioxin leak here or a mercury leak there.

We even had a letter to the editor at our paper the other day talking about a whole whopping pound of dioxin once leaked out of a plant in italy or something, and it killed off a bunch of stuff but just gave people open lesions, so it can't possibly be so bad that the government has to force poor, poor companies to spend money keeping it in containers instead of just dumping it out in the back yard. A few months back another person wrote to the editor claiming that the cost of poisoning no more than one person in a million with cancerous substances was forcing his company out of business.

If global warming turns out to not happen, you can bet companies are going to be using the hype and subsequent failure in order to justify releasing all sorts of chemicals that are known to actually cause harm to people, and the suckers who felt burned (or who were saying "told you so all along") will be more than happy to agree.

Re:chemical reaction (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102052)

CO2 + 2H2O? It outputs carbonated water? Get Pepsi to invest.

Re:chemical reaction (1)

grimdestripador (1034528) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102072)

CH4 + 2O2 => CO2 + 2H2O + heat

Its clean burning, in the fact there are few hydrocarbons and junk like sulfur as exhaust.

The whole natural gas in ice thing, isn't that spectacular. Considering natural gas is probably easier to change no LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) than it is to compress into a snowballs' ice lattice. ... .. Something about high pressures and low temperatures that accomplish both.

Are we going to boil decomposing cow pies, and fill up a warehouse of with fake snow? I can't see this as a viable resource.

Although it would be a NICE science experiment to go to Prudhoe bay and light one of those ice fields on fire.

Re:chemical reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102430)

Quite correct. There is a large store of ice that contains a high quantity of methane. I presume the Alaskan ice is essentially the same makeup. This fuel-ice has two major downfalls, the first is the extreme difficulty in attaining it (even in very small quantities) and the second is, as you've pointed out, that it contains releases a large quantity of CO2 when burned.

Basically it's a great fallback if we run out of oil, develop a means of extracting the ice, and quit caring about the future of the planet.

Re:chemical reaction (5, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102680)

In hydrocarbons burning the hydrogen provides most of the energy. Burning the carbon provides some, but the carbon is mainly useful for packing the hydrogen in a form more dense than H2 gas for convenient storage and handling.

As hydrocarbons go, CH4 has a higher ratio of hydrogen to carbon than any other molecule: Every bond on every carbon holds a hydrogen, none are "wasted" connecting to other carbons.

So if you're going to burn hydrocarbons for energy, methane releases the least CO2 for a given amount of energy produced.

Re:chemical reaction (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103068)

Burning it is better than letting the methane itself become a greehouse gas. IIRC, methane about 130x times worse than CO2 in terms of greenhouse gas potential. A lot of this stuff is naturally just bubbling out of the ocean floor. Our cattle are making some too, but I don't know if it's significant compared to other sources.

Re:chemical reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103092)

Oh wow. Basic chemistry... too bad you forgot basic physics. Ya know, the part where CH4 is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. [sciencedaily.com] You global warming goofballs are all the same. "Oh noes! Don't burn it!! That creates teh greenhouse gasses! Oh noes!! It's escaping into the atmosphere causing 20 times as much damage!!!" Make up your damned minds already, fucktards.

"Clean Burning?" (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18101888)

Soot, maybe not, but this would still be adding CO2. Hydrogen is what I would call clean burning -- it produces water. Though hydrogen isn't a fuel, but rather a fuel storage mechanism.

Drilling in Alaska? (3, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101894)

Scientists with the federal Energy Department paid $4.6 million to drill for the hot ice just below the surface of the Milne Point well, which is situated northwest of Prudhoe Bay

I guess Prudhoe Bay is OK. As long as it's not in ANWR a few hundred miles away. I guess there is no wildlife at Prudhoe Bay.

Re:Drilling in Alaska? (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102610)

Barring the unsightly machinery infrastructure and pipelines to actually drill and transport natural gas (NG), wouldn't this be far less potentially destructive to the environment anyways (than say oil)? The recent corrosion of the oil pipeline shows it can happen. If the transportation medium was Liquefied NG, would that be more manageable than an oil spill? If LNG requires -120 F (or so) for transport, wouldn't it just vaporise quickly once exposed? Granted, you still have the methane gas released.

Re:Drilling in Alaska? (1)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102612)

Someone mod parent up. Humor is in short supply when it comes to environmental debates.

Re:Drilling in Alaska? (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102840)

I think we need a new term instead of "environmentalist". Basically, in a sense, everyone's an environmentalist. They don't want to breathe smelly air and they don't want the planet to become uninabitable. But that's not what people intend when they refer to "the environmentalists". What people actually have in mind is "someone favoring hampering economic activity as long as that also helps some environmental concern that most people don't share".

What's a name we can use, just for that group? "Anti-growther"? "Static worlder"? "Pretenser"? "Ecotraditionalist"?

Re:Drilling in Alaska? (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102948)

Btw, I found this recommendation [nrdc.org] . They seem to outline some reasonable guidelines to follow for the Prudhoe Bay region and NG.

Re:Drilling in Alaska? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102994)

I guess Prudhoe Bay is OK. As long as it's not in ANWR a few hundred miles away. I guess there is no wildlife at Prudhoe Bay.

So, it's ok to paint grafitti on the Washington Monument because the Lincoln Memorial is right there. Or are you saying that, given equal resources under an unremarkable farm in Iowa and under Old Faithful geyser, you might as well dig up Old Faithful because there are other geysers around?

One area is a National Fucking Wildlife Reserve and the other is not. Do you not understand the difference? Are you happy ripping up protected lands as long as it gives you lower energy prices? Or do you think that someone shouldn't be able to extract the resources from the land they own? Either way, your comment makes no sense, except to point out that you are a moron.

Why ruin Alaska for natural gas? (4, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101900)

There are tons and tons of the stuff at the bottom of the oceans. It's called methane clathrate [wikipedia.org] and I'm sure it'd be easier to extract than ice.

Re:Why ruin Alaska for natural gas? (4, Informative)

MaineCoon (12585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101988)

Clathrates are exactly what the article is talking about, without using the word - methane trapped within the structure of water ice.

Better to burn it before it melts on it's own from global warming (if there is any possibility of that). Methane is something like 23x worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas by mass.

Re:Why ruin Alaska for natural gas? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102038)

Why ruin Alaska for natural gas?

We are already drilling at Prudhoe Bay. Are you implying that the drilling there has done no damage? The why not drill at ANWR?

Ruin Canada Instead (1)

tzhuge (1031302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102138)

Hey, don't worry, I'm pretty sure they have that stuff in the Canadian north as well. We'll need a pretext for the invasion though. Has Celine Dion been classified as a WMD yet?

Re:Why ruin Alaska for natural gas? (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102182)

ok, so please disconnect your power and phone, and stop driving your fucking car so you can quit feeling guilty about all the sea otters you are murdering by having hot water,lights and transportation.

Re:Why ruin Alaska for natural gas? (2, Funny)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102352)

Why ruin Alaska for natural gas?

They're trying to remove the snow. I know you've been in an igloo all your life and this probably seems frightening but trust us, it's going to be OK.

Re:Why ruin Alaska for natural gas? (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103096)

I know you've been in an igloo all your life and this probably seems frightening but trust us, it's going to be OK.

Oh yeah, I should just trust you. That's exactly what the doctor said when he wanted me to leave the womb, and I've regretted that decision ever since. I'm not falling for it again!

Clean Burning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18101904)

whether Alaska's frozen grounds contain untapped, clean-burning energy.

Whats their definition of clean burning? Presumably this is some form of natural gas, which means it will release CO2 when burned. Less dirty, maybe...

Re:Clean Burning? (1)

vincpa (646684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101916)

Great, lets start screwing with the ice caps so they melt faster!

not renewable (2, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101924)

This is certainly not renewable.

Re:not renewable (5, Funny)

AgentBif (1061974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102124)

This is certainly not renewable.

Do you even know what the hell you are talking about?

Of course it's renewable. All you gotta do is:

  • grow some dinosaurs
  • kill em
  • let em stew under the ice for another hundred million years
  • ...
  • profit!

Nor is it 'clean burning' (anymore) ... (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102126)

makes CO2 (greenhouse gas) - if you want to burn it you need to find a way to sequester the carbon

methane hydrate (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18101930)

It's almost certainly methane hydrate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_hydrate [wikipedia.org]

Let's hope to God there isn't (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18101970)

Clean burning energy? Only if the burning bit is our whole planet. [energybulletin.net]

Mods for this article.... (4, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102044)

... just remember that if you mod something "flamebait" in the threads for this particular submission, they should automatically also be modded "insightful".

Homer Simpson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102082)

"Dhooo"
Stupid global warming; lost my renewable energy.

NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (-1, Offtopic)

vandan (151516) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102160)

You would think that by now people would get the idea on this point.

Fossil fuels are not clean-burning. They have carbon that's been captured over long periods of time, and when you burn them, you release carbon-dioxide and contribute to climate change. Simple as that.

What's more, disturbing the few remaining bit of ice left on the planet to get to fossil fuels seems to be the absolute height of arrogance considering the position that organisations like BP ( Big Polluters ) has put us in with their past carbon industry. Does anyone think it's actually a good thing that actively contribute to breaking up the ice to grab fossil fuel? The mind boggles!

Australians, Dick Cheney is coming to visit us today. Please come to:

AFTERNOON RALLY: 5.30PM THURSDAY FEBRUARY 22, SYDNEY TOWN HALL

MORNING PROTEST: 8AM FRIDAY FEBRUARY 23 @ SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, CNR ESSEX ST & GEORGE ST THE ROCKS
(Cheney will be giving a speech inside the hotel at approx 9.30am)

See http://www.stopwarcoalition.org/ [stopwarcoalition.org] for more details on events. Let's let them know what we think of their energy and foreign policy!

Re:NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102250)

it's natural gas idiot - it's as clean burning as it gets.

"the few remaining bit of ice left on the planet"

are you for real? there is litterally billions of tons of ice on this planet. i'm going to just assume you've never even been outside your own little burb on this one.

i think i know whats going on here, your one of these people who needs to feel self rightgeous about something, but because the world you live in is really quite good, you make up this imaginary enemy to attack. your own confusion is eveident in the fact you advertise an anti war demonstation in a thread about drilling for methane trapped in ice

Re:NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (-1, Troll)

vandan (151516) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102486)

it's natural gas idiot - it's as clean burning as it gets.

No, idiot. It's as dirty as it gets. It releases CO2. You didn't do well at comprehension at school, did you?

there is litterally billions of tons of ice on this planet. i'm going to just assume you've never even been outside your own little burb on this one

There are 'literally' billions of tons, yes, and they'll largely be gone in 5-10 years. I'm going to assume you've had your head up your arse for the past year or so - climate change is now globally accepted as happening. Catch up.

i think i know whats going on here, your one of these people who needs to feel self rightgeous about something

Dude you have some pretty strange ideas about what motivates people. You're the one who's obsessed with yourself. I'm involved because I see an oncoming catastrophe and I'm going to do something about it. Interpret it as you will, but history ( and the majority of people around the world at this point, I should add ) have already spoken against you. Get off your high horse and come to terms with the effect that you're having on the environment.

ut because the world you live in is really quite good

From where I'm sitting, it's all turning to shit. We have oil wars, growing imperialism, decreasing wages, increasing attacks on civil liberties. I don't see the nice part to it. Nice in your ivory tower up there, is it?

you make up this imaginary enemy to attack

What the fuck dude? You are deluded! There is a very real enemy related to this topic, and it's BP and other Big Polluters who want to profit at any cost - including the entire world we live in. There is the enemy of global capitalism, which drives the destruction of the environment and workers' rights. None of this is a part of my imagination. You are seriously deluded.

your own confusion is eveident in the fact you advertise an anti war demonstation in a thread about drilling for methane trapped in ice

Not at all. The issues are all linked. And this isn't an 'anti-war' demo, it's an anti-Cheney demo, and pulls together grass-roots activists from many different areas, including unions, climate change groups, socialists, peace activists, muslim groups, etc. On the contrary, I think it's highly on-topic. Cheney represents everything we're fighting against collectively, and climate change / oil dependence is one part of the puzzle.

You aren't very good at keeping up with this stuff, are you?

Re:NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103042)

So um from your stop the war site,(http://www.stopwarcoalition.org/about.php) just exactly what does "Justice for Palestine " look like, and what the $%@$%# does it have to do with invading Iraq for oil?
Is it anything like what Muslims around the world call for daily?

("The Hour [Resurrection] will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews, and kill them. And the Jews will hide behind the rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: 'O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!'")
43. Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, pp. 2238-2239; Sahih Bukhari, vol. 3, p. 1070, no. 276, and p. 1316, no. 3398; Sahih Ibn Hibban, vol. 15, p. 217, no. 6806, and others.

If it is the the total destruction and removal of a race, and total religious and political domination by Islam through a violent and bloody war. I would say that your views don't match what you are saying, and you are supporting the most extreme and oppressive ideology that has ever crossed our planets surface.

Either you are Dhimmi, or practicing Taqiyya. http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-marcus-crook-f05.htm [jcpa.org]

Re:NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102262)

As others have pointed out clean has nothing to do with CO2, but sulfur and NOx gas which cause acid rain and smog and things like that, CO2 is not harmful to people or plants in any quantity that will exist here on Earth naturally or man made. Global warming while it may be real is not anything this planet hasn't been through many many times in the past, change or die the planet will go on with or without Venice under water and with or without polar bears. It will be better for many species and areas and they will thrive in a high CO2 warm earth. Mass quantities of acid rain is good for nothing alive.

Re:NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (1)

vandan (151516) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102626)

Global warming while it may be real is not anything this planet hasn't been through many many times in the past

That's not really true. We have had climate change in the past, but not this fast. We're seeing changes that would have taken tens of thousands of years in previous changes take tens of years instead. And that's because we're digging up billions of tons of CO2 and pumping it into the atmosphere. No-one's done that before. Things haven't happened this fast before. Even the conservative reports are saying that in 10 year's time, we'll have hundreds of millions of environmental refugees because of changed rain patterns, not to mention other people's land simply being under water.

Re:NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (1)

Initi (1031362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102892)

That's really the part about climate change I don't understand: "We're seeing changes that would have taken tens of thousands of years in previous changes take tens of years instead." My understanding, at least, is that reliable weather data on a tens of years scale is only available for the last several hundred years.

Long term trends can exhibit high variability (above and below the trend) in the short term. We know in the past that over its history the earth cooled and warmed cyclically; we know the "larger trends" such as Ice Ages, Interglacials, &c. But what do we know about the short term variation around those trends.

My guess is it's close to little if anything.

But I don't know. If someone wants to comment on this particular topic I'd be appreciative.

Re:NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (1)

vandan (151516) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103044)

There are a number of ways of tracking historical temperature and CO2 levels. One leading way is by drilling into ice ( ironically ) to extract 'cores' that can be sliced up an analysed. The ice traps a number of indicators of environmental variables, in much the same was as the fossil record is created, and new layers are added to the top each year. Analysis of radioactive isotopes present in organic matter gives us an incredibly precise indicator of the date that something was initially frozen. These combine with CO2 levels trapped in the ice and other indicators that allow scientists to build a precise map of conditions over an extremely long term.

So basically, yes we do have accurate data about long-term climate change activity, and the most striking difference that we're seeing now is that the temperature and CO2 levels have always moved together, but never moved this fast.

For more info, and from a decidedly conservative source, the Stern Report ( Stern is an old World Bank Chief Economist, so you don't get much more conservative / establishment than him ) is very eye-opening. He drives the point home very strongly that:

a) Climate change is happening rapidly
b) Our CO2-producing activity is the main driving force behind it
c) Already it will have massive costs monetary and human costs
d) The best plan is to invest massively in a phased shut-down of all CO2 producing activities, to minimize future costs

There are other reports due out soon, including a multi-phased UN report which is coming in the next month or so.

Re:NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (2, Funny)

DrRevotron (994894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102290)

By your logic, anything that releases CO2 is contributing to Global Warming, am I correct?

Well, in that case, let's kill all the animals. Dogs, cats, cows, every last one. After all, they're creating dangerous CO2. And then we can all starve to death and we'll die too. That should teach us for breathing. *cough* :P

Or maybe you could read up a bit [wikipedia.org] and see what happens to that CO2.

No disrespect or flamebait in any way. It just gets on my nerves when people assume that CO2 is the driving factor behind global warming. (Cow farts are more dangerous than CO2. So do the world a favor and eat steak.)

By the way, good job at shamelessly plugging your political views in a scientific discussion. :/

Re:NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (5, Insightful)

vandan (151516) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102570)

By your logic, anything that releases CO2 is contributing to Global Warming, am I correct?

No. Only releasing CO2 that has been locked out of the ecosystem for an extended period of time affects climate change. All the rest is already factored into the system, and simple cycles around between plants and animals.

Well, in that case, let's kill all the animals. Dogs, cats, cows, every last one. After all, they're creating dangerous CO2. And then we can all starve to death and we'll die too. That should teach us for breathing. *cough* :P

That's the standard line from the pro-oil PR companies, yes. But it's absurd. The CO2 already in the ecosystem, as I pointed out above, is not contributing to climate change. It's in balance already. The old 'cows farting' line is quite warn out, and completely discredited. Only *new* sources of CO2, such as those locked up in fossil fuels, and which therefore add substantially to the atmosphere when burned, contribute to climate change.

This is a key point that people unsure on climate change are being fooled by. It shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the relationship between plants, animals and CO2.

Fertilizer (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102664)

CO2 is not pollution, it's incredible aerial fertilizer!

(I am only half kidding)

Re:NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (0, Offtopic)

vandan (151516) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103078)

By the way, good job at shamelessly plugging your political views in a scientific discussion. :/

Forgot to comment on this one.
Cheney is a big oil trader, in the same vain as Bush. I hardly think it's off-topic to communicate to other link-minded people that he's coming to Australia, and that there's a demo on today, considering we're talking about fossil fuels, renewable resources, and all. Just because you don't personally agree that burning fossil fuels is wrong, doesn't mean that I shouldn't let others on the left know about what's going to be a great day of activity against one of the most oiled-up neo-cons around :)

Re:NOT 'clean-burning' by any mean (0, Troll)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102398)

I was going to tell you to go change a lightbulb, but then I realized you already did.

You're quite right on on topic.

global warming (1)

kswtch (790406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102166)

looks like global warming is not enough, now we melt our remaining ice actively.

Re:global warming (1)

rogtioko (1024857) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102216)

What is this idea of global warming anyway?

What? (0, Redundant)

cybermage (112274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102172)

So burning polar ice is the plan to prevent greenhouse gases from melting polar ice? What kind of Bizarro world is this?

This FP 7or GNAA. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102184)

bulk of the FreeBsD a8other troubled

If we melt the ice... (0, Redundant)

pseudorand (603231) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102198)

If we melt the ice to get the natural gas, isn't it just like circumventing the CO2 part of global warming? All the melted ice will just make more dark, solar-energy absorbing dirt.

so many dumb shits (1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102276)

all you dimwits making posts about melting ice before global warming does it, i'd hate for you to think your orginal or funny, it's already been posted about 50 times.

CO2 (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102332)

This is a step in the wrong direction - burning this natural gas will still produce greenhouse effect, causing all this ice to really become hot sooner than we would prefer. Even burning fast-growing wood would be more ecologically friendly.

Re:CO2 (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103086)

Depends. If the ice is going to melt sooner or later anyway, we're a heck of a lot better off burning it to produce CO2 than letting it simply melt and release the methane, which has a much bigger greenhouse impact than the CO2 would. Long term, it's a step in the right direction. It might be a short term back step, however, as the CO2 release will come earlier than the methane release would. Basically, you're causing a bit more greenhouse effect right away, but causing much less greenhouse effect long term.

Every Joule is Precious (3, Insightful)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102408)

Coming on the heals of this article Fuel Tanks Made of Corncob Waste [slashdot.org] , this could be quite serendipitous.

They use lots of Natural Gas for taxis in China. I asked a driver about it, he claimed it to be about half the cost per mile compared to gasoline. Seeing how the tank dominated the trunk of these taxis, I suspect it could rupture in a rear end collision. I doubt these particular taxis would be permitted on American roads, but perhaps the new "Corncob Waste" tanks will make them smaller, safer, and economical for American use.

While methane releases CO2, it still decreases our reliance on foreign oil sources. I think de-funding terrorism is higher on most Americans to-do lists than stopping Global Warming. You can argue whether these priorities are out of wack, but I'm sure this is the way most will see it.

I personally think we Should drill for oil in Alaska as well as pursuing these other cleaner sources of energy. Failing to do so will only result in more reliance on Coal and even worse ecological damage as we rip up the Earth for Tar Sand and Oil Shale. Oil is a passing fad. We will have fusion someday, but for now we have little choice but to use what is at hand. This isn't to say conservation is not good also, just that some conservation measures fail the unintended consequences test. The DOE has an over 20 billion dollar year budget, the world barely can scrape together 15 billion over a 10 or 15 year time span for ITER. If we through 5 billion a year at it, I bet we'd have commercial fusion up and running in under 10.

Is there a military application? (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102412)

Remember the old ice bullets? Just imagine tanks firing flaming snowballs! They might not do much damage but they're likely to scare the hell out of the enemy. Just dress our troops in red suits with horns and they'd think they were fighting the devil himself with a legion of demons.

Re:Is there a military application? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102814)

freeBSD beasties?

Milne Point (1)

TheCrig (3178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102450)

If it's at Milne Point, why don't we just ask Eeyore?

"burning" "ice" and "drill" (4, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102518)

Those three words come up in searches revealing some interesting, if not bizarre porn...

renewable?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102528)

"burning ice" is absolutely NOT a renewable energy source. one should not even mention these words in the same context.

So... (1)

Lithdren (605362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102580)

How long before the US invades canada?

Seriously, they have vast oil feilds trapped in sand, huge oldgrowth forests, and now tons of methane traped in glacial ice. Our friendly neighbor to the north might want to start reinforcing its boarders. Im not advocating the invasion.

Im simply warning its becoming inevitable, at this rate.

cold fire? (1)

abnoctos (992655) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102638)

someone notify david bowie...

Clean burning does not solve everything (4, Insightful)

DuckWizard (744428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102726)

When you take energy that has been stored for millions of years (such as oil or methane in the ground) and burn it, you are releasing its energy (which has been out of circulation for a while) as heat into the atmosphere. Do some calculations and see that since we started burning oil, we've unleashed a disturbing amount of energy into the atmosphere - enough to cause some global warming on its own without even considering the greenhouse effect.

It's like printing an enormous amount of new currency. Sure, you can spend it, but there are consequences to releasing that much new currency into the economy.

wtf about global warming (1)

jaimz22 (932159) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102778)

scientist 1 "our ice is melting! ON NOES!"
scientist 2 "hey i've got an idea let's mine ice and burn it"
guinness guys "BRILLIANT!"

Sweet! (5, Funny)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102860)

So now instead of burning fuel which causes global warming and in turn melts the ice, we'll have cleaner fuel which doesn't melt the ice, and all we have to do is melt the ice to get it!

I love it when a plan comes together.

Renewable??? (1)

busstop (36269) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102876)

bagboy writes to tell us that as sources of renewable energy are being sought, BP has announced a new method of extracting natural gas from ice underneath Alaska's North Slope drilling fields.

And could someone please explain whatever this has to do with renewable energy? It's really just another source of non-renewable energy

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