Jaw-Dropping Arctic Methane Levels Up 9 x Global Average

Arctic Methane Measurements over Eastern Siberian Shelf Are Now the Highest Ever Measured: 1 of 2 // Oct 10, 2019

A group of Russian scientists led by Igor Semiletov, aboard one of the world’s largest research ships, the RV Akademik Mstislav Keldysh over the Arctic Ocean’s Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf have directly measured extremely high methane levels in the water column and atmosphere above. Seafloor permafrost sediments are thawing with high ocean temperatures and the organic material is then decomposed by microbes to produce methane which bubbles up to the surface. Methane levels in air were as high as 16 ppm which is 9x higher than global average levels.
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Jaw-Dropping Methane Levels up to 9 times Global Average Measured Recently Over Arctic Shelf: 2 of 2 // Oct 10, 2019

In our world of satellite data, computer models, and simulations, on-the-ground (on-the-ocean in this case!) field work is invaluable. UK’s Peter Wadham’s is the sea-ice expert and Russia’s Igor Semiletov is the Arctic methane expert, both exploring via numerous expeditions over many decades. Recent data from an expedition led by the latter report report stunning methane levels 9x higher than global averages. This is very serious, given methane’s global warming potential of 34x, 86x, and over 150x with timescales of 100 years, 20 years, and a few years, respectively.
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Is Greta Thunberg the Catalyst that Tips Humanity to Understand Huge Climate Risks and Finally Act? // Sep 27, 2019

As I marched in today’s Climate Strike for in Ottawa along with thousands of people I had time to reflect on what is really going on. Many years ago I figured out that inevitably humanity would reach a tipping point in its understanding of the huge risks that all life on Earth faces from accelerating climate system destabilization. I also said we would likely only recognize reaching a tipping point in the rear view mirror, after it occurred. Is it possible that Greta Thunberg is the catalyst for thrusting us beyond this tipping point of understanding? It certainly feels like it.
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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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