Two months in, Porter Ranch [California] gas leak compared to BP Gulf oil spill: More than 1,800 families have been relocated by the gas company and more than 1,000 remain on a waiting list. Some say they can’t remember a displacement of residents this large since the Northridge earthquake in 1994, when 20,000 people were left homeless. Two local elementary schools have been impacted, with nearly 2,000 schoolchildren and staff slated to be moved to other schools in January. Enough methane gas is being released to fill the Empire State building each day, state officials have said, and the concern has even reached the Federal Aviation Administration, which issued temporary flight restrictions over the area for small aircraft and helicopters. [more inside]
BBC: "The Philae lander has detected organic molecules on the surface of its comet [67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko], scientists have confirmed. Carbon-containing "organics" are the basis of life on Earth and may give clues to chemical ingredients delivered to our planet early in its history." [more inside]
The Yamal Crater (previously) mysteriously appeared on the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia sometime in early 2014. Thought to be the result of methane accumulation in thawing permafrost, when first discovered the giant hole was too dangerous for people to enter. Now that the ground has frozen, scientists have explored the hole and released a a set of otherworldly photographs documenting their expedition.
Ignoring the Arctic Methane Monster: Royal Society Goes Dark on Arctic Observational Science. "The exclusion also highlights a large and what appears to be growing rift between those who observe the Arctic system and some that model it. Concern for larger carbon release from the Arctic system appears to be steadily rising among Arctic observational specialists, while some modelers appear to have retreated into silos in an attempt to defend previous understandings that were based on earlier work." [more inside]
Forty years ago, a vast molten cavity known as the Darvaza crater – nicknamed the "door to hell" – opened up in the desert of north Turkmenistan, and has been burning ever since. Last year, George Kourounis became the first person to descend to the bottom of the crater. [more inside]
A new article in Nature warns that "the costs of a melting Arctic will be huge", thanks in part to the likely release of "a 50-gigatonne (Gt) reservoir of methane, stored in the form of hydrates" beneath the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, "either steadily over 50 years or suddenly". An abrupt release is "highly possible at any time", says Natalia Shakhova of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, who has observed plumes of methane up to a kilometre wide bubbling to the surface in the area. [more inside]
Methane hydrates, also known as clathrates, are crystalline ice structures which trap molecules of natural gas. They are fairly ubiquitous in near-shore seafloor sediments, where methane from decaying organic matter is trapped in an ice structure at low temperature and high pressure. Though methane hydrates are believed to contain substantially more natural gas than conventional deposits, extraction of the natural gas was thought to be impractical. Until now. [more inside]
To a fisherman, all areas of the sea have names, just as a farmer will name his fields or streets have formal and informal names. For instance, there is the Witch's Ground, an area where the fishing is good, but the bottom is very rough and gear can easily be damaged or lost. Or if you're really unlucky, an undersea methane burst might make water less dense, and the sea could swallow your whole trawler. [more inside]
Fart jokes! Everybody loves them! And everybody knows a couple of good ones. But did you know that they date back to the 5th century BC, and appear prominently in two plays by Aristophanes, "The Knights" and "The Clouds"? [more inside]
Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane have been have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean. [more inside]
According to two research scientists the mystery of vanished ships and airplanes in the region dubbed "The Bermuda Triangle" has been solved. [more inside]
Who knew that dams worsen global warming? Long ignored "run of river" or streaming hydro power now offers an alternative by avoiding a large reservoir. [more inside]
Climate change could be accelerated by 'methane time bomb' Atmospheric methane levels began rising in 2007, when an Arctic heatwave caused sea ice to shrink significantly. Now new preliminary results suggest levels have continued to rise through 2008 and 2009. The new figures [were] disclosed [earlier this week] at the start of a two-day conference on greenhouse gases at the Royal Society in London. (more here; via).
A British tabloid claims that NASA will today announce the probable presence of life on Mars. Planetary and atmospheric scientists from NASA's Mars program will address a press conference at 2PM EST, apparently about concentrated methane
plumesthat bloom and dissipate [pdf]. There was a false alarm about a similar briefing a few months ago; is this the real deal?
The clathrate gun hypothesis has been discussed previously, but now might be a good time to start considering it less hypothetical. [via] [more inside]
China and India have reported massive finds of frozen methane clathrate off their coasts and, along with Japan and other countries, are spending large sums to develop it into a new source of fossil energy. This is important for developing countries as there may be more frozen methane in the world than all the oil, gas and coal combined, and it is available right off their coasts. Some believe it can be extracted in a carbon neutral manner, but methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and the scarily named clathrate gun hypothesis provides some fuel for thought about digging this stuff up.
All these worlds are yours, save Europa. Attempt no landings he...llo! What the hell is wrong with you!? Did you just nuke Jupiter?
Ohio Valley Creative Energy Ohio Valley Creative Energy was founded to provide a heat intensive multi-arts facility for glass, clay, and metal artists that will be powered by methane, AKA landfill gas.
Titan Sea and Lake Superior
This movie, comprised of several detailed images taken by Cassini's radar instrument, shows bodies of liquid near Titan's north pole. These images show that many of the features commonly associated with lakes on Earth, such as islands, bays, inlets and channels, are also present on this cold Saturnian moon. They offer strong evidence that larger bodies seen in infrared images are, in fact, seas. These seas are most likely liquid methane and ethane.Radar Shows Evidence of Seas
Livestock's Long Shadow, a new UN FAO report (full report) says livestock (cows, pig, sheep, etc.) generate more CO2 than all forms of transportation (cars, planes, etc) combined, with the worlds live stock expected to double by 2050.
The Fart Heard Round the World. An extraordinary performer, who farted for his living for 20 years, Le Pétomane (YouTube) was the highest paid stage artist of his time in 1897 France. He farted songs, impressions of people, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and farm animals, among other things. The management of Moulin Rouge had to hire nurses to help members of the audience who passed out laughing so hard. He was pusued for many years by an obsessed doctor. Two movies were made about his life in English, the 1979 short film (33 minutes) of Le Pétomane (Google video) and in 2005 Parti Avec Le Vent, which translates as Gone With the Wind. [more]
Grasses and other green growth may produce 10 to 30 percent of Earth's annual methane output. German researcher Frank Keppler reports in Nature [reg req] that living plants give off between 60 and 240 million tonnes of methane per year, which may mean that the use of carbon sinks to offset CO2 emissions may need to be rethought. [Also: audio on NPR ]
"Killer in Our Midst : Methane Catastrophes in Earth's Past and Near Future" (a free net book) - During the greatest extinction pulse known to have happened in the history of life on Earth - the Permian catastrophe - 90% of then existing species perished. This astonishingly well written, authoritative, free book may be the most important thing you will ever read on the net or off of it : it explains in great detail an inevitable Methane catastrophe, if humans do not stop adding CO2 to the Earth's atmosphere, during which "not only would a considerable percentage of existing plants and animals be killed off, but a large percentage of the human population as well" (or the whole species). In the worst scenarios the atmosphere itself could become poisonous to Oxygen breathing life. Mundane laws of physics, expressed in impending Methane Hydrate release, dictate to humanity : cut CO2 release or perish. Simple.
It's not the other white meat, but it seems cows have yet another use.
"That's some good shit, man (in my very best Tommy Chong!)."
"That's some good shit, man (in my very best Tommy Chong!)."
Real-Time Biological Natural Gas Generation. A research lab has discovered that microbes living in Wyoming's Powder River Basin are generating methane (natural gas) through their natural metabolism of local coal beds. In relation to the many Peak Oil discussions here, could be way to get more energy for the future. (via SpaceDaily.com)
Life on Mars? Methane has been found in the Martian atmosphere which scientists say could be a sign of present-day life on Mars. It was detected by telescopes on Earth and has recently been confirmed by instruments onboard the European Space Agency's orbiting Mars Express craft. Methane lives for a short time in the Martian atmosphere so it must be being constantly replenished. There are two possible ways to do this. Either active volcanoes, but none have yet been found on Mars, or microbes. The Independent has it as Methane find on Mars may be sign of life. The second group to detect signals of methane in the Martian atmosphere is led by Michael Mumma of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, who used powerful spectroscopic telescopes based on Earth. This team is even believed to have detected variations in the concentrations of methane, with a peak coming from the ancient Martian seabed of Meridiani Planum, which is being explored by a Nasa rover. This could indicate a subterranean source of methane which is pumping out the gas, either due to some residual geological activity or because of the presence of living organisms producing it as a waste gas. Asked whether the continual production of methane is strong evidence of a biological origin of the gas, Dr Mumma said: "I think it is, myself personally." As to how...
Cow Belching and it's effect on the Environment. Not only is it rude, but it also bad for the environment.
Mr Methane is the world's only performing flatulist. His site is ... well, you just have to see his site.
[blame riothero, he made me remember this. ]
[blame riothero, he made me remember this. ]