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ENS article on hydrate research

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  • mike
    WOODS HOLE, Massachusetts, February 26, 2003 (ENS) - New research suggests that warming oceans could cause intense eruptions of methane from the sea floor,
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 3, 2003
      WOODS HOLE, Massachusetts, February 26, 2003 (ENS) - New research
      suggests that warming oceans could cause "intense eruptions" of methane
      from the sea floor, leading to "catastrophic" global warming.
      Scientists have found new evidence indicating that during periods of
      rapid climate warming, methane gas has been released from the seafloor in
      intense eruptions. In a study published in the current issue of the
      journal "Science," Kai-Uwe Hinrichs and colleagues Laura Hmelo and Sean
      Sylva of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) provide a direct
      link between methane reservoirs in coastal marine sediments and the
      global carbon cycle, an indicator of global warming and cooling.

      Molecular fossils from methane consuming bacteria found in sediments in
      the Santa Barbara Basin off California deposited during the last glacial
      period - 70,000 to 12,000 years ago - indicate that large quantities of
      methane were emitted from the seafloor during warmer phases of the last
      ice age. Methane, one of the major greenhouse gases, is stored on the
      seafloor as an ice like solid known as methane hydrate.

      Previous evidence for such massive eruptions was based on isotopic
      properties of calcite shells of foraminifera, microscopic marine animals
      called forams. Because a variety of factors could lead to very similar
      signals in their shells, that evidence has remained controversial.

      The preserved molecular remnants found by the WHOI team result from
      bacteria that fed exclusively on methane and indicate that large
      quantities of this powerful greenhouse gas were present in coastal waters
      off California. The team studied samples that were deposited between
      44,000 and 37,000 years ago.

      "For the first time, we are able to clearly establish a connection
      between distinct isotopic depletions in forams and high concentrations of
      methane in the fossil record," said Hinrichs, an assistant scientist in
      the Institution's Geology and Geophysics Department.

      "The large amounts of methane presumably released during one event about
      44,000 years ago suggest a mechanism different from those underlying the
      emissions at warmer periods, i.e. slow decomposition of methane hydrate
      triggered by warming of bottom waters," Hinrichs continued. "The sudden
      release of these enormous quantities of methane was probably caused by
      landslides and melting of the methane hydrate."

      Since there was already indirect evidence of methane eruptions in the
      Santa Barbara Basin area, Hinrichs and colleagues looked for fossil
      remnants of bacteria that would have flourished only under high
      concentrations of methane. In a 44,000 year old sediment sample, a
      distinct type of biomarker representing bacterial communities that
      oxidize methane in the absence of oxygen provided evidence for an abrupt,
      catastrophic release of methane, presumably trapped as hydrate below the
      sea floor.

      The WHOI team's data, from sediment cores taken by the Ocean Drilling
      Program off southern California, show that substantial quantities of
      methane were released at least several times during the past 60,000
      years, leading to periodic fluctuations in the levels of methane in deep
      waters in the Santa Barbara Basin.

      The researchers say increased bottom water temperatures could mobilize or
      release large amounts of methane hydrate in shallow waters. According to
      some current estimates, there are about 10,000 billion tons of methane
      stored beneath the ocean and on continents.

      In comparison, the contribution of humans to the atmosphere's inventory
      of greenhouse gases by fossil fuel burning amounts to about 200 billion
      tons of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide. If even a small portion of
      the stored methane were to escape into the atmosphere, the resulting
      greenhouse warming would be catastrophic.

      "It was a surprise to find this sort of evidence," said Hinrichs, who was
      looking for evidence indicating mechanisms other than methane. "Although
      this research tells us something about the amount of methane consumed by
      bacteria in the ocean, it doesn't tell us anything about methane
      emissions into the atmosphere because neither forams nor methane
      biomarkers record the portion of methane that escaped out of the ocean."

      "But one thing is for sure," he said, "our results clearly show that
      relatively minor environmental changes can have a major impact on
      sensitive coastal regions with yet unknown consequences for climate and

      Hinrichs plans to look for similar evidence elsewhere to determine
      whether this process, as a driver of climate variation, happened
      simultaneously at other locations around the world. This work, he said,
      is just the beginning of better understanding of the role of methane in
      the carbon cycle and ultimately on climate on geologic time scales.

      "We have a very poor understanding of the biogeochemical mechanisms that
      control production, destruction and accumulation of methane in sediments
      underlying the ocean," Hinrichs said. "We need to understand the big
      picture of what drives methane and the carbon cycle and the actual impact
      of methane emissions from hydrates on climate."


      In the late 1990s when I first started researching climate a runnaway
      methane hydrate meltdown was one of the biggest concerns. In April 2000
      Clinton signed the methane hydrate research bill--which passed Congress
      without a vote in opposition--giving 5 million a year in research over
      the next 10 years. In contrast, the Japanese spend 50 million in
      research. Then I spoke frequently with Dendy Sloan, from the Colorado
      School of Mines, about phase change energies and then later about the EMF
      consequences of the hydrates. One of the key things that should be
      understood is that methane in the ocean is like pure food to many
      creatures there--and is consumed rapidly. Further, the methane is DEEP in
      the ocean and dissolves almost immediately. The best research is on the
      McKenzie River delta along the near shore ocean, where coring over 1,000
      meters under the ocean surface have revealed microbrial communities! As
      it turns out, the mass of the biosphere under the surface of the ocean
      rivals the microbrial biosphere on the terresphere. So when humans farm
      the land and add chemicals and fertilizers and so forth and it runs off--
      it goes to an equally large biosphere! At this time it is too energy
      costly and costly to harvest the hydrates--and all climate concerns are
      of the CO2 as a GHG concern--which is flat wrong.

      The key feature here relative to this research and a potential for
      climate change is the mobility and containment of conductity altering
      materials by the biosphere. Hydrates are EMF insulating. Think--rubber.
      Contained biology is conductive--think wire. Water and methane quickly
      turns to dissolved methane and salt water in the deeps of the oceans--
      which are conductive. The impact on large scale EMF of large scale
      changes brought on by massive FEILDS of hydrates would be significant to
      these waves and how they move from ionosphere to cloud to ocean/sea and
      back up.

      These are the electrical properties that will QUICKLY alter climate.
      Witness the fires and drought in the SW and the Colorado River and Sea of
      Cortez/Gulf of California.

      This is what is the concern in the SOC/GOC--where there are hydrates,
      when we build a Hoover dam (that helps cause a Dust Bowl) or don't let
      any biological material flow down it under CAP and Mexican water usage of
      the Colorado River on their side of the border. The resulting fair
      weather over the GOC and the drought, fires in the SW should be no
      surprise. Equally of no surprise is once upwellings occur that the
      biological activity would be intense and storms like those in Arizona--
      the snows there, should occur like they are at this time.

      Read--extremes (drought and precip events) with hydrate melting events
      BUT as long as the hydrate fields are there--MODULATION by them. IOW
      extremes of MODULATION. Not the way chaos idiots

      look at the problem. Interestingly, at the end of the Wisconsonian--as it
      was peaking 20,000 years ago BP, west of Italy there were hydrate fields
      that unformed as the oceans were at a low point. 10,000 years later very
      powerful volcano erupted in the region, and the glacial ended and 14,000
      years later the Sahara turned to dust. What did those hydrate fields mean
      to climate in the region? I suspect MUCH. Current directions and
      induction values, EMF insulation, EMF conductivities--all would mean more
      precipatation in the region.

      The Mediterranean is now the perhaps strongest fair weather water body on
      earth, with the nearby central Africa the most struck region on earth. If
      anyone wants a graph of worldwide strikes that show this--I have a link I
      could look up.

      It's all electrical and biological, baby.
    • foryeshua1@juno.com
      David, Thank you! You are a blessing! May God continue to increase our knowledge of His wonders. Amen! Walter On Mon, 03 Mar 2003 03:55:59 -0000 David
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 3, 2003
        David, Thank you! You are a blessing! May God continue to increase our
        knowledge of His wonders. Amen! Walter

        On Mon, 03 Mar 2003 03:55:59 -0000 "David <b1blancer1@...>"
        <b1blancer1@...> writes:
        Walter, we may not agree with everything you have to say, but that
        doesn't mean we aren't listening. You're one of the few active people
        in this group, and I for one would like you to stay.

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      • foryeshua1@juno.com
        Ok, Lets try this again. . . On Mon, 03 Mar 2003 04:22:08 -0000 David ... and ... We disagree in this, Walter. The Earth s
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 3, 2003
          Ok, Lets try this again. . .

          On Mon, 03 Mar 2003 04:22:08 -0000 "David <b1blancer1@...>"
          <b1blancer1@...> writes:
          > I
          > must insist that the current that makes our magnetic poles is the SE
          > that its positioning in and around the ice poles is not an accident
          > because the SE is coming from and going to the Sun.

          We disagree in this, Walter. The Earth's magnetic field is generated
          from within, not created from the outside.

          > It is inducting the
          > Magnetic field, which in turn is inducing what you have been

          Now here, you have something. The Earth's magnetic field is
          definitely influenced by the sun. No doubt about that.\

          > The equator turning motion on the Sun is East to West, meaning that the
          > major electric flow direction is from its north to South.

          Whoops! You got that one backwards. The Earth's magnetic field lines
          emerge at the south pole and re-enter at the north pole, which means
          that the north pole is actually the South pole. Confused yet?
          Ok lets try again. In my understanding the Sun's spots appear to us
          to be twisting from East to West as we look at it. According to the
          right hand rule its rotation turning would be caused by a current flowing
          from its North to its South. This current when it flows out its South
          comes out and around in an eddy current through its planets and back to
          the Sun. As it comes up through the Earth it twists our rotation in
          (according the right hand rule) in a West to East rotation. All of the
          meteorites that land on the South pole that come from space come there
          because of this flow. The clarity of the air in this area is clear
          because this Solar Electrojet current charges all particles and takes
          them down to the ice. The circumpolar current around the South pole is
          in the direction of the same twist of the earth, West to East. It is
          going that direction because the SE is spinning it in that direction.
          Now if you insist that the magnetic field lines are coming out of the
          South pole and going around to the North, then it must be induced to do
          so because of Solar Electrojet going from the South to the North. In my
          way of thinking the currents that drive our compasses are basically
          surface flow of solar electrojet, which hasn't been generated by the
          Earth at all, but are coming in from the Sun and flowing over the surface
          of the earth as well as up through the center, causing its great stirring
          and heating. In order to prove this point we will have to drill a hole in
          the center of the South pole and see which way current flows in it. If
          the current flows into the South pole as well as up towards the North
          over the surface of the earth than it is SE. If the current flows up out
          of and around the earth Northerly, then it is generated by the earth and
          is doing what you say. This would not make sense for it would be turning
          the earth in the opposite direction according to the right hand rule. If
          you put your right thumb up into the South pole indicating the direction
          of the direct current flow that is inducing the secondary field twist in
          the right hand direction and is turning the earth from West to East. (as
          it does). If the magnetic flow which is according to my thinking
          generated by the SE is going in that direction down the center, then it
          is Not causing the earth to rotate because of its flow, because it would
          be turning the earth the other direction. The same direction that the Sun
          turns. One other proof of the SE coming in and up through the South, is
          the shape of the ozone hole itself.. It is shaped by the SE's passage by
          the South Ice cap, for it goes into the earth around the ice cap and into
          the earth. Its path through the Ozone hole is guided by its direction of
          path down and around the ice cap shape. Too bad the bays in the South ice
          pole that were there a few years ago are not still there, for they would
          show distinct shape in the ozone hole that would be unmistakable. As it
          is I think you can still see the shape. Walter
          > CMEs are not the SE, but
          > are like shot from gun - particles.

          Yes, that is correct. Specifically they are a blast of plasma from
          the sun's corona, as opposed to the solar wind, which originated from
          lower down beneath the corona.

          > The SE isn't the current that is
          > blasting through the Sun and holding our Solarsystem by its flow
          > our Sun in its position in our galaxy. The SE is a residual flow
          > the blasting flow from and to the galaxy.

          I'm not quite sure what you're referring to. There is such a thing as
          an interstellar wind, believe it or not. It is a very tenuous, but
          high speed flow of particles that is generated by supernova
          explosions. It permeates the entire galaxy. Where our sun's solar
          wind is finally stopped by the interstellar wind is known as the
          heliopause. With a little luck, Voyager 1 and 2 may survive long
          enough to reach that point and report back their findings. The
          heliopause is considered the true boundary of interstellar space.
          Excactly where the heliopause is isn't really known. In fact, it's
          probably somewhat dynamic, moving in and out with the sunspot cycles.

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