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Earth Science

Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor 273

Posted by samzenpus
from the bubbling-up dept.
sciencehabit writes Researchers have discovered 570 plumes of methane percolating up from the sea floor off the eastern coast of the United States, a surprisingly high number of seeps in a relatively quiescent part of the ocean. The seeps suggest that methane's contribution to climate change has been underestimated in some models. And because most of the seeps lie at depths where small changes in temperature could be releasing the methane, it is possible that climate change itself could be playing a role in turning some of them on.
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Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

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  • Re:Global Warming? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anon-Admin (443764) on Monday August 25, 2014 @01:19PM (#47749795) Homepage Journal

    No this is naturally occurring seeps. We have known about them in the past but recent discoveries have shown that more exist than was thought and with methane being 30x more potent of a green house gas than CO2 it throws the models and calculations off.

    There is however the hypothesis that we create the CO2 that causes the base warming and the because we are warming the oceans it may be causing more methane to be released.

    However, this is not known for sure and the extent at which methane is being released from natural sources is still in question.

  • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Monday August 25, 2014 @01:19PM (#47749797) Homepage

    From TFA-

    "Even in the more likely event that aerobic microbes devour the methane while still in the ocean, it is converted to carbon dioxide, which leads to ocean acidification."

  • Re:Global Warming? (Score:5, Informative)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Monday August 25, 2014 @01:26PM (#47749869) Homepage Journal

    And let's break from the summary and go to the article for an even more damning quote(emphasis mine):

    Jens Greinert, who heads the deep-sea monitoring unit at GEOMAR, downplays the effect of the new seeps on the atmosphere or ocean chemistry because the magnitude of the releases is dwarfed by human-associated inputs, such as livestock, or even other marine sites. “These little bits of bubbling here or there will not make a memorable impact,” Greinert says. He is more interested in what will happen as the world warms. “It becomes interesting only if you have a catastrophic release,” he says.

  • Re:Feedback loops (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anon-Admin (443764) on Monday August 25, 2014 @01:39PM (#47750001) Homepage Journal

    Hey, look, HornWumpus, you don't know shit.

    Our planet, has, in it's history, quite provably been over 10 C warmer, due to different carbon levels. That's huge, FYI. Earth has a proven history of going extremely warm(and no one is saying Venus is our future, thanks for the implied strawman there). That kind of change would murder our system of agriculture, almost everywhere.

    Not exactly, higher CO2 levels and warmer temperatures would provide more arable land, more plants absorbing CO2 etc. That is one of the feed backs that mitigate CO2 concentration buildups. I do know that plants in higher CO2 concentrations can handle higher temperatures. Raising the CO2 concentration to 1500ppm in an enclosed green house promotes plant growth and the plants do much better at temperatures up to and a little above 32.2c (90f) I did a study a few years back on that and was surprised at the results.

  • Re:Global Warming? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ganjadude (952775) on Monday August 25, 2014 @01:51PM (#47750117) Homepage
    thats actually not what i was saying at all. where did i say do nothing? what I am saying is that the "models" are wrong, because they dont have all the variables in place, as such we can take them with a grain of salt AND AT THE SAME TIME... work on ways to reduce our contribution to the "problem"
  • Re:Global Warming? (Score:4, Informative)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Monday August 25, 2014 @02:00PM (#47750189) Homepage Journal

    No, you just imagine that. The evidence is just rather overwhelming that man's contribution to CO2 levels massively disproportionate, and overwhelming natural sinks.

  • by Applehu Akbar (2968043) on Monday August 25, 2014 @02:04PM (#47750249)

    Methane may be 23 x more effective as a greenhouse gas than CO2, but it's also much shorter lived. Which is really worse?

  • Re:Global Warming? (Score:4, Informative)

    by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Monday August 25, 2014 @03:14PM (#47751019)
    the hiatus? that scientists now think is being caused by heat being sent to the deep oceans [nationalgeographic.com]? where we're now seeing significantly increased methane seeps?
  • Re:Global Warming? (Score:5, Informative)

    by smaddox (928261) on Monday August 25, 2014 @03:36PM (#47751253)

    Clearly a troll, but for the benefit of anyone who may miss that point, I will simply state that there is no known mechanism for farts causing rain, whereas the greenhouse effect [wikipedia.org] is a thoroughly understood and experimentally verified mechanism for CO2 causing warming.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340

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