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Billions of Tons of Methane Lurk Beneath Antarctic Ice
LiveScience.com on Yahoo ^ | 8/29/12 | Tia Ghose, LiveScience

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 Bristol’s 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. That’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: antarctic; gas; hydrates; ice; lurk; methane; microbes; naturalgas
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1 posted on 08/29/2012 6:47:58 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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extremophiles; something that can live pretty much anywhere without public assistance.. like OWS protesters.


2 posted on 08/29/2012 6:51:01 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: NormsRevenge

So, they’re saying this would be worse than cow flatulence? Will it smell as bad?


3 posted on 08/29/2012 6:51:41 PM PDT by RonInNaples
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To: NormsRevenge

That settles it. It’s obvious we need to raise taxes to fix it.


4 posted on 08/29/2012 6:52:02 PM PDT by MNnice
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(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.


5 posted on 08/29/2012 6:53:20 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: NormsRevenge
"extremophiles; something that can live pretty much anywhere without public assistance.. like OWS protesters."

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?

6 posted on 08/29/2012 6:55:23 PM PDT by West Texas Chuck (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. That should be a convenience store, not a Government Agency.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Why is it lurking? Why doesn’t it just join up like everybody else on FR?


7 posted on 08/29/2012 6:56:35 PM PDT by irishtenor (Everything in moderation, however, too much whiskey is just enough... Mark Twain)
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To: NormsRevenge

Now we know where Albore’s home away from home is.


8 posted on 08/29/2012 6:59:57 PM PDT by deadrock
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To: West Texas Chuck
if the OWS pukes could survive 2000 feet under the ocean on a volcanic vent,

I don't like putting conditions on gifts. I'd help buy 'em a ticket even if they can't survive there. ;)

/johnny

9 posted on 08/29/2012 7:02:19 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: NormsRevenge

Wondering how much they got in grants for that one?


10 posted on 08/29/2012 7:02:51 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Wow, let private enterprise find a way to extract this out and save the world instead of hand-wringing.


11 posted on 08/29/2012 7:02:51 PM PDT by AU72
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To: NormsRevenge

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).


12 posted on 08/29/2012 7:03:28 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (I'm for Churchill in 1940!)
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To: NormsRevenge
There’s something down there...and it’s farting.
13 posted on 08/29/2012 7:05:55 PM PDT by RichInOC (Palin 2012: The Perfect Storm.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Just think. All those Republican microbes...


14 posted on 08/29/2012 7:07:28 PM PDT by jonascord (Any Democrat = Classic examples of the Downing Effect.)
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To: NormsRevenge
If the ice sheet collapses, the greenhouse gas could be released into the atmosphere and dramatically worsen global warming, researchers warn ...

I doubt it.

15 posted on 08/29/2012 7:13:23 PM PDT by TigersEye (dishonorabledisclosure.com - OPSEC (give them support))
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To: NormsRevenge

>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.


16 posted on 08/29/2012 7:14:50 PM PDT by soycd
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To: NormsRevenge

Sky is falling BS. Watch, this will be used for measures to curb our rights and freedoms.


17 posted on 08/29/2012 7:27:52 PM PDT by vpintheak (Occupy your Brain!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Drill for it and use it.

Make a car that runs off methane.


18 posted on 08/29/2012 7:29:55 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: AU72
“Wow, let private enterprise find a way to extract this out and save the world instead of hand-wringing.”

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.

19 posted on 08/29/2012 7:33:33 PM PDT by LaserJock
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To: NormsRevenge

Drill baby Drill..before it to late


20 posted on 08/29/2012 7:42:44 PM PDT by montanajoe (Blame Flame Shame or Beg I won't vote for R/R)
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To: NormsRevenge

“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!!!


21 posted on 08/29/2012 7:45:22 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: NormsRevenge

actually, they only lasted about 3 days before they were robbing from and raping each other while srceaming for handouts from the 1%


22 posted on 08/29/2012 7:48:28 PM PDT by digger48
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To: TigersEye

Ummm.... If the ice sheet collapses..... It will FLOAT!


23 posted on 08/29/2012 7:49:03 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: NormsRevenge

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.


24 posted on 08/29/2012 7:49:03 PM PDT by Colinsky
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To: NormsRevenge

Could probably power a lot of cars for a long time. We should start mining the stuff.


25 posted on 08/29/2012 8:02:39 PM PDT by wiley
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To: irishtenor

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.


26 posted on 08/29/2012 8:06:11 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: RichInOC

“Billions of Tons of Methane Lurk Beneath.....”

That’s how I feel in church on Sunday morning after Mexican food on Saturday night.

;^)


27 posted on 08/29/2012 8:12:47 PM PDT by elcid1970 (Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind. Deus vult!)
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To: NormsRevenge
"Microbes possibly feeding on the remains of an ancient forest" ... no doubt, those forests, in addition to trees and other types of vegetation, contained an abundance of BUSHES!.

So that settles it. Once again, Bush's fault!
28 posted on 08/29/2012 8:12:49 PM PDT by zencycler
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To: NormsRevenge
Brain_Fart1
29 posted on 08/29/2012 8:12:56 PM PDT by Wings-n-Wind (The main things are the plain things!)
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To: TigersEye
I doubt it.

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.

Electric Rates Through the Roof

30 posted on 08/29/2012 8:21:36 PM PDT by politicianslie (Obama: Our first Muslim PRESIDENT,destroying America $1 Trillion at a time! And America sleeps)
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To: NormsRevenge

we are going to die. . . lol


31 posted on 08/29/2012 8:29:08 PM PDT by dila813
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To: NormsRevenge

They are wrong.
All the earth’s excess methane is in my dog.


32 posted on 08/29/2012 8:32:14 PM PDT by SparkyBass
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To: wiley
Yeah.

We difinitely need to start burning that stuff to power our toys and AC.

For the good of Gia and all.

33 posted on 08/29/2012 8:32:17 PM PDT by going hot (Happiness is a momma deuce)
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To: MNnice
That settles it. It’s obvious we need to raise taxes to fix it.

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.

34 posted on 08/29/2012 8:34:28 PM PDT by Wingy (Don't blame me. I voted for the chick. I hope to do so again.)
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To: NormsRevenge

In a lengthy paper, Cussler has clearly shown this not to be true.


35 posted on 08/29/2012 8:40:25 PM PDT by gasport
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To: RichInOC

36 posted on 08/29/2012 8:42:43 PM PDT by tumblindice (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: VanShuyten

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.


37 posted on 08/29/2012 8:44:24 PM PDT by healy61
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To: NormsRevenge
"If the ice sheet collapses, the greenhouse gas could be released into the atmosphere and dramatically worsen global warming, researchers warn in "

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!


38 posted on 08/29/2012 8:52:01 PM PDT by garjog
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To: NormsRevenge

abiogenic hydrocarbons


39 posted on 08/29/2012 9:10:29 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: garjog
There are far more serious problems than stinky gas on ice, my friend. Far more serious ... If the Deadites gain control of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis mankind faces the greatest evil, uh, faces some really bad stuff and a bunch of other words I just can't remember. Dammit.
40 posted on 08/29/2012 9:10:54 PM PDT by tumblindice (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: NormsRevenge

“USGS —
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!!!!!!


41 posted on 08/29/2012 9:12:17 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: VanShuyten

Stop that! Common sense has been outlawed by Executive Order.


42 posted on 08/29/2012 9:55:49 PM PDT by TigersEye (dishonorabledisclosure.com - OPSEC (give them support))
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To: NormsRevenge

OR, we could just tap it and burn it and heat our houses for a million years. How about that, Envirowhackos?


43 posted on 08/29/2012 10:21:23 PM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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To: NormsRevenge
"possibly" feeding on the remains of an ancient forest

"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.

44 posted on 08/30/2012 1:44:33 AM PDT by Unruly Human
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To: Unruly Human
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.

45 posted on 08/30/2012 3:29:23 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: NormsRevenge

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.


46 posted on 08/30/2012 3:49:19 AM PDT by Makana
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To: Colinsky

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.


47 posted on 08/30/2012 3:52:59 AM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: TigersEye

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


48 posted on 08/30/2012 4:31:20 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: NormsRevenge

A warmer Arctic? I sure hope so. I’ve been buying acreage on Baffin Island in anticipation.


49 posted on 08/30/2012 5:16:01 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: Venturer

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.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1787903/posts

It will be done, but the most economical method it still being researched.


50 posted on 08/30/2012 5:24:15 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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