Skip to comments.Billions of Tons of Methane Lurk Beneath Antarctic Ice
Posted on 08/29/2012 6:47:54 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Microbes possibly feeding on the remains of an ancient forest may be generating billions of tons of methane deep beneath Antarctic ice, a new study suggests.
The amount of this greenhouse gas which would exist in the form of a frozen latticelike substance called methane hydrate lurking beneath the ice sheet rivals that stored in the world's oceans, the researchers said.
If the ice sheet collapses, the greenhouse gas could be released into the atmosphere and dramatically worsen global warming, researchers warn in a study published in the Aug. 30 issue of the journal Nature.
"There could be tons of methane hydrate beneath the Antarctic ice sheet," said study researcher Jemma Wadham of the University of Bristols School of Geographical Sciences. "If you start to thin that ice cover, that hydrate starts to become unstable and turns into gas, and that gas can go into the atmosphere."[Earth in the Balance: 7 Crucial Tipping Points]
Microbes produce methane
Microbes that thrive in extreme environments often create methane as a byproduct of their metabolism; the breakdown of organic carbon under no-oxygen conditions creates methane.
"It's a way of microbes getting energy under really, really oxygen-deprived conditions," Wadham told LiveScience.
The team suspected that icy, silt-laden sediments trapped beneath the continental glacier could house such extremophiles. Thats because the sediments, possible relics of an ancient Antarctic forest and ocean, could provide a carbon-rich food source for methane producers. But drilling up to 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) through the ice to find out was extremely expensive and difficult.
Instead, Wadham and her colleagues sawed chunks of sediment from the fringes of an Antarctic glacier, where the ice was much thinner. They melted the ice and identified the methane-producing microbes living in the sediment.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
extremophiles; something that can live pretty much anywhere without public assistance.. like OWS protesters.
So, they’re saying this would be worse than cow flatulence? Will it smell as bad?
That settles it. It’s obvious we need to raise taxes to fix it.
(insert ‘We’re DoomEd! script Here)
Hundreds of billions of tons of carbon may lurk in methane reservoirs below the continent, the study found. That dwarfs the 600 million tons of carbon released through natural methane emissions like wetlands, livestock, burning of biomass and agriculture every year, she said.
Methane is a potent global warming gas, capable of trapping 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide, though it lingers in the atmosphere for much shorter periods of time.
Hey, if the OWS pukes could survive 2000 feet under the ocean on a volcanic vent, I'd buy 'em a bus ticket to get there.
Who's with me?
Why is it lurking? Why doesn’t it just join up like everybody else on FR?
Now we know where Albore’s home away from home is.
I don't like putting conditions on gifts. I'd help buy 'em a ticket even if they can't survive there. ;)
Wondering how much they got in grants for that one?
Wow, let private enterprise find a way to extract this out and save the world instead of hand-wringing.
The Norwegians planted their flag at the pole first and during WWII the Germans planted all kinds of markers everywhere during overflights by Luftwaffe crews. Since the Europeans claimed it, let them solve this crisis.
Since the ice is basically miles thick across the continent, the danger of collapse due to decomposing residues from ancient forests is pretty slim. Of course, I’m not a hydrologist of climatologist or any other earth science researcher. I’m just a skeptical schlep - with credentials similar to Algore (better, actually).
Just think. All those Republican microbes...
I doubt it.
>Methane is a potent global warming gas, capable of trapping 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide
Well there you have it. I say we nuke it from space so it will ignite, burn off and convert to CO, NO2 and other less nobel gasses.
Either that or send OWS and other misfits down there with Bic lighters and a hole punch so they can touch it off like lighting a fa^h^h breaking wind.
Sky is falling BS. Watch, this will be used for measures to curb our rights and freedoms.
Drill for it and use it.
Make a car that runs off methane.
Right on AU! The left sees fear everywhere they look because they thrive when others panic. The right sees opportunity everywhere we look because we thrive on progress.
Drill baby Drill..before it to late
“If the ice sheet collapses, the greenhouse gas could be released into the atmosphere and dramatically worsen global warming, researchers warn in a study published in the Aug. 30 issue of the journal Nature.”
Translation: Give Us Government Grant Money, Baby!!!
actually, they only lasted about 3 days before they were robbing from and raping each other while srceaming for handouts from the 1%
Ummm.... If the ice sheet collapses..... It will FLOAT!
The article doesn’t mention that billions of tons of methane hydrate coat the sea floor on continental shelfs all around the world. Not just in Antarctica.
Could probably power a lot of cars for a long time. We should start mining the stuff.
I for one would like to hear what these oxygen-deprived lurkers have to say. Or I can just stop by the local Coffee Party meeting, I guess.
“Billions of Tons of Methane Lurk Beneath.....”
That’s how I feel in church on Sunday morning after Mexican food on Saturday night.
Obama and the EPA could care less what you think. They are shutting down coal plants left and right for what amounts to an idiot's science. Your electric rates are going to necessarily skyrocket.
Obama doesn't care when you get cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Same for your children and grandchildren.
we are going to die. . . lol
They are wrong.
All the earth’s excess methane is in my dog.
We difinitely need to start burning that stuff to power our toys and AC.
For the good of Gia and all.
Don't forget, we also have to develop electric cars, quit driving SUVs, stop burning any fossil fuels, and learn how not to freeze without wearing fur. The only approved fuels will be refined from our food supply. Forget about AC in the summer and brace for malaria epidemics because we can't use any pesticides.
In a lengthy paper, Cussler has clearly shown this not to be true.
I wonder how long it took for an antarctic environment suitable for trees to grow, to have them cover the area in forest? It must have been warm then.
QUICK! We MUST hire ice researchers to study this danger! The Government must provide $70,000 grants to as many experts forecasting this danger as possible! Otherwise we are DOOMED!
Gas hydrates occur abundantly in nature, both in Arctic regions and in marine sediments. Gas hydrate is a crystalline solid consisting of gas molecules, usually methane, each surrounded by a cage of water molecules. It looks very much like water ice. Methane hydrate is stable in ocean floor sediments at water depths greater than 300 meters, and where it occurs, it is known to cement loose sediments in a surface layer several hundred meters thick.”
The Permian Extinction is generally thought to have included, as a last straw, massive releases of methane. It likely was triggered by the volcanic Siberian Traps and related burning of coal seams. So, I would guess we can get worried when a crack in the continental crust opens up over a thousand mile length and spews lava hundreds of meters thick and ignites the coal in the ground near it over a period of a million years.
In other words, WE ARE ALL DOOMED AND GOING TO DIE!!!!!!
Stop that! Common sense has been outlawed by Executive Order.
OR, we could just tap it and burn it and heat our houses for a million years. How about that, Envirowhackos?
"may be" generating
a new study "suggests"
"If" the ice sheet collapses
the greenhouse gas "could be released" into the atmosphere
There "could be" tons of methane hydrate
Or not. They're just phoning it in now. I don't think think these clowns even believe this crap themselves any more.
Scientists are taught to write like that. It's meant to reflect the fact that scientific research is uncertain, and there is always the possibility that someone else with a different hypothesis or experimental approach can show that the research doesn't show what the first scientist thought it shows.
The time to be extremely wary is when a scientist (or someone claiming to be one) states the results of research as if they are solid, undisputable facts. If they aren't using words like "could be", "we think", "probably", etc., they're quacks who are probably using sciency language to hoodwink you into buying something that you don't need.
Today’s solution is tomorrow’s problem
Years ago the Greenies required that landfills be capped. This generated gases - including methane - that has to be vented in to the atmosphere. Look for the white tubes if you drive by a capped landfill.
Go back and red the second sentence. While they didn’t put a number on what’s in the world’s oceans, it said the amount under the ice would dwarf it.
Something to ponder about what really happened to trigger plant changes in earlier ages of earth
It’s not just down under
Do a search on methane plumes arctic and read more about the theories
A warmer Arctic? I sure hope so. I’ve been buying acreage on Baffin Island in anticipation.
We have done some test drilling on the Alaskan North Slope.
The problem is you not only need to reach it, you need to get the ice crystals to release it.
It will be done, but the most economical method it still being researched.