Siberian Permafrost Methane Shows Growing Eruption: Number of Global Warming-Induced Craters Now Estimated at 20-30

Siberian Crater Locations

(Siberian methane crater locations. In total, 7 methane blow holes with features similar to the Yamal Crater have now been discovered. Unofficial reports from observers on the ground have local scientists placing the likely count now at between 20-30 original craters with many more secondary craters. Image source: The Daily Mail.)

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The ground smoked for hours. Then, with a great flash and an enormous boom, the land exploded. When the smoke cleared, all that was left was a great, black hole. Ejected earth lay scattered around it — sheer sides plunging into the permafrost like some gigantic, gaping gun barrel.

This was the scene last summer in Yamal, Siberia — a region of extreme northern Russia.

Mysterious Holes Emitting Methane Gas

Speculation about the cause of this mysterious hole became rampant. It looked like a sink hole, except for the ejected material surrounding it. Some said it was a pingo. But pingos weren’t known to form due to explosions.

Teams of scientists rapidly descended upon the hole. And there they found high readings of methane at the hole’s base — in the range of 10% concentration, which is a very explosive level for the gas. At the base of the hole they also found evidence of hydrate. A form of frozen water-methane that is quite unstable unless kept under high pressure and low temperature.

The initial conclusion of the Russian scientists was that relic hydrate sealed beneath the previously flooded Siberian permafrost had been destabilized. Eventually reaching an explosive concentration, it then erupted from the ground.

Discovery of this methane crater spurred a sweep of the area. Almost immediately, two other craters with similar features were discovered. And throughout fall and winter, both ground searches and satellite reconnaissance identified still more.

Methane blow hole lake surrounded by small craters

(Newly discovered methane blow-hole found by satellite observation. In the top frame we see tundra absent the newly formed hole. In the bottom frame, we find the hole forming a lake [B2] surrounded by 20 or more ‘baby craters.’ Image source: The Siberian Times.)

Now, according to recent reports in the Siberian Times, a total of seven craters with features similar to the Yamal eruption have been pinpointed by observers. Just one of these craters (shown above) hosted about 20 smaller ‘baby craters’ surrounding it. In this instance, a large methane store below the permafrost is thought to have explosively displaced a shot-gun pattern of frozen soil sections before filling with water.

Most of the craters, like the one above, were observed to rapidly fill with water even as they continued to emit methane. In many instances, the methane emission was visible as bubbles on the newly formed lake surface.

Bubbles from Methane Crater Lake

(Bubbles from suspected methane crater lake as seen by an observation aircraft. Image source: The Siberian Times.)

Additional reports from reindeer herders have led these same scientists to believe that in the range of 20-30 of these methane eruption holes are likely to exist in this region of Northwestern Siberia.

A Problem of Relic Hydrates Facing Rapid Warming

The fact that reindeer herders keep discovering new holes and that the first Yamal craters discovered earlier this year were recent events have led local scientists to believe that the eruptions are a new phenomena for Siberia. There, temperatures have warmed by a stunning 2 degrees Celsius within the mere span of 14 years. A very rapid rate of warming that is putting severe stress on the geophysical stability of this Arctic region.

Last night, as polar amplification again ramped up, we saw an example of this very rapid warming with locations in Yamal, Russia experiencing -3.1 C temperatures as of 1 AM Eastern Standard Time. A very warm measure for this region during winter time — representing an anomaly at least 20 degrees Celsius above average. For reference, North Texas, an area far south of the Arctic Circle, experienced similar readings (-3.4 C) at the same time:

imageimage

(Side-by-side frames showing 1 AM EST temperatures in Yamal Russia [left frame] and North Texas, US [right frame]. Location in the frames is indicated by the small green circle. Temperature, wind speed and direction, and grid location are given in the lower left hand corner. Image source: Earth Nullschool. Data Source: Global Forecast Systems Model.)

In other words, it was colder in North Texas last night than it was in Yamal, Siberia near the 70 degree North Latitude line beside the Arctic Ocean.

This extremely rapid warming is thought by Russian scientists to have destabilized zones of relic hydrate trapped beneath the permafrost. There, the methane gas bonded with water to form a kind of methane ice.

Sandwiched beneath frozen permafrost, the hydrate remains stable so long as temperatures and pressures are relatively constant. Any increase in warmth — either through geological processes working below the hydrate, or from changes at the surface causing permafrost to melt and warmer, liquid water to contact the hydrate — would result in increased hydrate instability.

Yamal Crater Wall

(The Yamal Crater as seen by Russian Scientists who investigated the scene last summer. The crater’s structure and surrounding ejecta was indicative of an explosive outburst. Image source: The Siberian Times.)

In some cases, the gas would very rapidly liberate from its frozen traps forming increasingly high pressure pockets beneath the permafrost. If these pockets reach 10 percent methane concentration, they become very explosive and can be ignited when in contact with a catalyst or ignition source. The result, either due to very high pressure or ignition, is plugs of permafrost exploding from the ground as the gas erupts to the surface.

Conditions in Context

It is important to note that the amount of methane liberated by these initial eruption events is likely rather small — when considered on the global scale. However, what we see in Siberia now may be part of a growing and ominous trend.

First, we do not know the size of the potential methane store that could be liberated in such an explosive fashion. And the question must be asked — if we are looking at such rapid warming of methane hydrates in shallow sea and former shallow sea regions, what scale eruptions could we potentially experience in the future? Could very large sections of hydrate go critical? Areas possibly covering hundreds or thousands of square meters or more?

The Russian scientists seem very concerned. And, ironically, it is for the future safety of their oil and gas infrastructure, which sits atop what is potentially a rapidly destabilizing zone. A zone that could see explosive eruptions of the ground beneath pipes, equipment and extraction fields. (One would think that the Russians would also begin questioning the continued exploration and production of oil and gas considering its contribution to the dangers they are now identifying. But that level of wisdom appears absent in the recent assessments.)

Second, it appears that these methane eruptions provide pathways for ongoing release. Not all of the gas in the relic hydrate is initially liberated. And the structures that remain apparently release methane gas for some time — as is evidenced by continued high methane concentrations found at crater sites and by observed emissions from crater lake surfaces.

In essence, if this is a growing trend, then it is a rather unsettling one. Especially when one considers that it is just a single instance of many possible amplifying carbon feedbacks set off by a very rapid human warming. Particularly, the explosive land and ocean floor-altering nature of this specific carbon feedback makes it especially troubling. For it encompasses the very nature of a catastrophic upheaval.

In the end, the question must be asked — is Siberia sitting atop a methane volcano that is being prodded to rapid wakening by high-velocity human warming?

Links:

Dozens of New Craters Suspected in Northern Russia

Are Siberia’s Mysterious Craters Caused by Climate Change?

Earth Nullschool

Global Forecast Systems Model

More Siberian Craters Prompt Urgent Call For Investigation

Hat Tip to James Cole

Hat Tip to Wili

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob

Leave a comment

78 Comments

  1. Jeremy

     /  February 24, 2015

    Do I cry now for my 10 year old son’s future, or later?
    http://www.onbeing.org/blog/remembering-how-to-weep/7323

    Reply
    • Cry for all the children, all life. The world we are giving them is deadly — the unkind result of our neglect.

      Then get mad and do something to improve their prospects.

      Reply
    • Sad Jeremy, isn’t it? And as a culture, we’re racing toward the cliff with our foot on the gas. I’m in my thirties, and it is the single most important factor in my intending to remain childless. For a while I was still in the “maybe if…” category, but that was a decade ago and now our government officially denies that reality exists! I’ll just adopt a dog or two. Educate your son so he’s more prepared than the ignorant masses, and do what you can to help us stop this runaway train.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  February 25, 2015

      In my humble opinion as a fellow parent of young one’s Jeremy, I offer this advice. Enjoy every day, every moment with your son. Don’t spend any of that time worrying. Do what you can to raise awareness of our needed actions, and let your anger fuel your convictions, but don’t worry your time away. For perspective, we could look at the worries of parents for the last hundred years, they have all had them. Was 1914 a year with no worries? Hardly. 1924? Maybe for a few years but that didn’t last too long. 1934? Things were not exactly rosy then. 1944? Worse. 1954? Bombs got even bigger. 1964? The senseless meat grinder was just getting started. 1974? Too many sleepless nights worrying about WWIII. 1984? More of the same. 1994? The smart one’s were already very worried about the future of our climate.
      The point here is not to diminish in any way the terrifying prospects of their lives in a changed world because it is really and truly a heartbreaking thing to consider. The point is that our past as parents has always been filled with worry, what transpires is simply unpredictable. So enjoy what you have today, let tomorrow’s worries be dealt with then, and don’t give up hope yet.

      Reply
      • I think this is fantastic advice.

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  February 25, 2015

        Thank you. As a parent, I need a healthy dose of this wisdom sometimes. I have been struck recently by the comments of those who survived the bombings in London and, in reflecting on their entire lives, said it was the time they felt the most alive. I tell my kids that they are likely born into the most dynamic time in human history, that they will live with constant change, that they are in the top one percent of the world’s top one percent by virtue of their location and education are therefore leaders whether they recognize and like it or not. Finally, there will be no end to the challenges available to them so prepare themselves and stop whining about the snow and have some fun in it. They may have to take vacations to see the stuff in the future.

        Reply
  2. Christina

     /  February 24, 2015

    Thank you for this interesting post. I was wondering where you obtained the information included in your first paragraph stating that the “ground smoked for hours.” Is this based on an eye-witness account?

    Reply
  3. Great job Robert, thank you! This seems to be yet another curve ball to come our way as warming increases. Those reindeer herders have been in that region for many generations, so if they’re discovering them now then it is definitely a new development. They follow the same routes with their herds and know the area very well. The photo with the researchers standing by the rim really puts the size of the crater into perspective. That must have been a rather large explosion!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the analysis and spot-on insights, Ryan. Any more info on the habits of reindeer herders may also be helpful for future reference.

      Reply
      • Hi, Robert.
        Has any of these methane out gassing releases been picked up on any earthquake monitoring instruments — just curious?

        Reply
      • Locals near the sources reported trembling ground. The Russians are now moving seismographs closer to the region to see if they can detect an event. Overall, they haven’t been large enough yet to show up out of the noise on the global graphs.

        Reply
  4. There may be a positive feedback in the works here: these deep craters will bring warm surface air (and water) down into the ground, heating soil and hydrates from within, like sticking your fork inside a potato before baking.

    Reply
  5. Twenty years ago I considered myself lucky to have been born at this day and age with great technological advances. Boy, was I wrong.

    Reply
  6. Griffin

     /  February 24, 2015

    Robert, your comment on the water trickling down popped an idea in my head. The same channels with water flowing down could become a conduit for the ignition source, such as a lightning strike. Even a nearby strike could send the tiny amount of voltage needed for a spark to ignite a 10% methane concentration. This may be a stretch of a theory and may not account for all the events but, if the sublimation of the hydrates is widespread, there may be many such pockets in the region. Then the likelihood of such an event would seem to enjoy higher chances of happening.

    Reply
  7. Reblogged this on jpratt27.

    Reply
  8. Thanks, great piece & terrifying, science is being ignored.

    Reply
  9. Mark from New England

     /  February 24, 2015

    What are the chances that similar methane outburst craters will be found in arctic Canada or Alaska? Is there something unique about the geology or soils of the northwest Siberia coastal plain?

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  February 25, 2015

      The craters are very dramatic, but the amount of carbon under/in the vast melting permafrost is staggering. I believe it is unstoppable now.

      Reply
      • Arctic scientists believe it will equal 10 percent of the current human emission by the end of this century even if we rapidly draw down human carbon emissions.

        Reply
    • There appears to be more carbon store on the Siberian side. However, the most rapid warming has happened in that region as well. Also, it appears the most vulnerable regions are areas that were previously covered by the Arctic Ocean or currently submerged Permafrost.

      Reply
  10. Mark from New England

     /  February 25, 2015

    Colorado Bob’s prediction from last year:

    “I fear, the methane monster will come out of the box . This hole in Russia makes me more fearful . If Siberia keeps getting hotter , these pimples will break-out like a 14 boy all over the North. We have not seen the last of these”.

    This summer should be interesting…

    Reply
  11. Andy in San Diego

     /  February 25, 2015

    This summer should be interesting to see if these continue to appear, and by how many.

    Mackenzie delta permafrost is now ~1.5C from 0C. From 1960/70’s to 2003/07 the permafrost ground temperature went from -3 to -4C, to the -1.5 to -3C range.

    If this type of ground temperature delta has occurred offshore as well, then the hydrates there may be in a very unstable situation.

    Some decent info, and links to data.

    http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/state-environment/131-ground-temperature-permafrost-zones

    Reply
  12. wili

     /  February 25, 2015

    Thanks for the hat tip. I should point out, though, that james cole was the first to post a quote on this. He didn’t site as source, though (always a good thing to include).

    Thanks also for the article. Much to consider.

    Reply
  13. wili

     /  February 25, 2015

    It still strikes me as weird that these pictures don’t show more snow on the ground, and that they show green vegetation. Just how warm has it been up there, lately? Or are most of those pictures from archives of the earlier holes??

    Reply
  14. Gerald Spezio

     /  February 25, 2015

    The methane dragon is spewing her deadly venom.
    What a year we are in for.

    Reply
  15. A pot of water simmers for a while before it suddenly boils. Will Earth’s methane hydrate deposits behave the same way?

    In related news, America’s coastal shellfish industries are very concerned about the rate of ocean acidification. Oysters, clams, and mussels have difficulty growing in such conditions.

    Reply
  16. “Methane dragon”?? No, you’re being generous. The photo of that crater screams, “Satan’s Rectum.”

    Reply
  17. So many people are being blindsided by this. i.e. everyone having children.

    Reply
  18. I’m mildly surprised that there haven’t been any reported outbreaks of patricide, or matricide in acts of self defense. It seems likely that sooner, or later, am offspring of any age will figure out that their parents are putting their lives in grave danger.

    Who knows, maybe they won’t, or can’t resist since the parents themselves have been so willing to stand aside and watch as their own children lose any chance of a viable future.

    Maybe the human gene pool has become so infected that it can’t stop. Maybe the children are as dysfunctional as their parents. This, in spite of evidence that this is madness.

    I’ve often considered this subject.

    I put it in this context: the global climate etc. is being destroyed by fossil fuel emission pollution. This applies to local and regional airsheds and climates.
    All official and common sense notices tell us that air pollution effects children first, then the elderly, then the sick and the infirm. Look at any agency or government site — the dangers are listed in that order.

    Do you not see that this means that the children — our future, is the first to be sacrificed. Further the elderly — our past and our wisdom keepers, are next to the officially sanctioned emission slaughterhouse. Then it is the turn of the helpless ill and infirm. Bam — done deal. Business and parenting as usual.

    But that’s where we are, and that’s how we conduct ourselves — and there goes our future. The children go down as willingly as their parents allow it.

    Maybe this is a sign of a gene pool at its end.

    We still must keep up our efforts.

    Peace to all.
    DT

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  February 25, 2015

      DT it’s not just our kids getting screwed, it’s everyones, yet only 20% at the most got the majority of the goodies. 20% for a few generations got to eat pie. Now we use that same violence and ideology we used to get the resources so we can fight over the dregs. The neocons might do us in before the environment does.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  February 25, 2015

        Perhaps relevant to the general grimness of the conversation here is this quote by jai mitchell, one of the more careful of the mostly very careful number crunchers over at neven’s Arctic sea ice forum:

        “…I have considered Chinese aerosol reductions to be the impetus of the climate shifts we are seeing in the northern hemisphere since 2011. However, the effect on the ITCZ and the AMOC with regard to northern hemisphere vs. southern hemisphere aerosol loading is terribly understudied. Also the effect of point source aerosol loading in east pacific vs. west pacific causing a shift in the pacific surface winds.

        >>This effect on the PDO is unknown, however, I am 100% certain that, if all anthropogenic aerosol emissions were stopped today, within 2 weeks we would experience a .5C jump in surface temperatures and there would be complete agricultural collapse as precipitation belts and heat-wave zones shift.<<

        We are going there only gradually, but when we do, and we will, it will not be pretty.

        Reply
      • Immediate removal of aerosols would be a bit of a shock. Complete ag collapse is probably an overstatement, though we would certainly see severe stresses and probably a number of regional collapses. Total warming at 1.4 C above 1880 is quite brutal and the Faustian Bargian is a bi+<#.

        Reply
    • sensato

       /  February 25, 2015

      There was a case in our small community last year where a single mother took herself and her daughter out, in reaction to the fearsome world she saw arising. I expect there will be more of this.

      Reply
  19. Something on the lighter side. This group can use all the little glimmers of hope we can get. P.S. This is from my phone so I’m not sure if this will actually be a link or just a copied address. I apologize. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/25/3626863/shell-shelves-tar-sands-project/

    Reply
    • Good news — primarily due to the fact that oil demand has been lower than expected. Over 2014-2015 global demand is predicted to grow by just 1.9 mbpd vs predictions of 3 mbpd in 2013 for the same 2 year period. This, in turn, reduces carbon emissions growth.

      More efficient energy use, solar, wind, and electric vehicles all contribute. So the pace of their adoption has a critical impact on peak fossil fuel use and peak emissions. We should have peaked emissions back in the 1990s, but if we can peak soon and go to net negative over the next few decades, then we can prevent some of the worst impacts. But, to do that, we need to be very serious about winding down fossil fuel burning now.

      Reply
  20. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    High latitude warming appears to have begun releasing frozen methane. The coming summer may tell. If the process has begun, it will continue contributing to global warming for centuries after we terminate our CO2 emissions now.

    Reply
    • We’re learning that 380-400 ppm CO2 (410 to 425 CO2e including aerosols) was a level to be avoided — one that began to shove tipping points.

      Reply
  21. JPL

     /  February 25, 2015

    This is probably a dumb question, but out of curiosity, anyone have an idea of how the potency of methane as a greenhouse gas changes after it has combusted? I would guess that unburned methane is more potent. Follow on question would be, overall, would it less harmful to the atmosphere to flare/burn the hydrates as they warm and escape, rather than to just have them release as methane?

    Thanks
    John

    Reply
    • wili

       /  February 25, 2015

      Not dumb at all. Methane oxidizes (burns) into CO2, and yes, that is considerably less potent as a greenhouse gas than methane.

      One problem with your plan is that we don’t know when or where the releases will take place.

      Another is that in most cases it will be slow enough that the methane concentrations won’t be high enough to be combustible.

      Finally, when concentrations _are_ high enough, the explosion could be…quite considerable!

      Who is going to volunteer to hold the match??!!

      Reply
    • Better just to reduce human emissions to net negative and remove the heat forcing entirely.

      The issue is that the methane sources are so widespread so often diffuse and so unpredictable in their release that flaring is practically a non option. And, considering the size of the deposits, burning them as fuel is an even worse prospect. Better to just leave them be and work on cutting human carbon emissions as rapidly as possible.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  February 25, 2015

        You guys just reminded me of my Welsh grandfather’s response to an accidental methane release: pull out a wooden match, swipe it on his pant leg to ignite, and wave it around the room. Sound idea, poor science….the concentration was too low and believe you me, it did not work! Or as Slim Pickens said in the beans scene from Blazing Saddles, “Boys, you’ve had enough!”

        Reply
      • JPL

         /  February 25, 2015

        Thanks. I was just curious about the science of it. I’m obviously not suggestion flaring methane as some sort of solution, although you can bet it will be proposed by some in the future when our species finally lurches from collective denial/apathy to panic and the desperate search for ‘technological solutions’…

        John

        Reply
  22. Greg

     /  February 25, 2015

    Newly posted article by Bob Henson:
    Are We Entering a New Period of Rapid Global Warming?

    “The PDO index, as calculated at the University of Washington, scored positive values during every month in 2014, the first such streak since 2003. By December it reached +2.51, the largest positive value for any December in records that go back to 1900.”

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2923

    Reply
  23. I’m waiting for news of “denier-cide” where groups of people seek out these stupid global warming deniers, who unfortunately are still having an effect on a meaningful response to this AGW crisis, and either tar and feather, kick ass, or outright kill them.

    John, methane (CH4) is significantly more potent at trapping heat than CO2, and eventually slowly degrades to CO2 or if in a Siberian pimple, rapid burns to CO2. Half-life for the slow degradation is on the order of decades. Half-life for CO2 is on the order of centuries.

    In short, humanity and so many other species, is toast. If there is one thing human beings are good at, it’s killing, and the whole AGW story is demonstrates once and for all that we are the ultimate killers, capable of killing most of life on an entire planet, including driving our own species to extinction (I hope!).

    Reply
  24. Charlie

     /  February 25, 2015

    Having lived through the Russian forest fires of summer 2010, I am wondering what happens if they overtake one of these methane stores this summer – could we have a sudden ignition of a large region leading to either hundreds or more such holes, or a handful of massive holes?

    Reply
    • The permafrost is already involved in the massive Arctic fires we’ve seen over recent years. Primarily, it presents a top layer of fuel source (about 3 feet deep). As more and more channels develop to relic hydrate in basement regions, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some set off as a result.

      In addition, peat tends to burn for long periods underground. There’s quite a lot of peat in the Arctic and thawing permafrost in drier regions turns to a peat-like matting. Burning peat — possibly year round — could be another ignition source.

      Reply
  25. A critical fact that the world needs to wake to: Climate change is non-linear and very disruptive shifts in earth systems can happen (and are happening) quite suddenly. http://m.livescience.com/49928-east-coast-sea-level-amoc.html

    Reply
  26. Kevin Jones

     /  February 25, 2015

    ….before I’m misconstrued, I kinda like it. A better battle cry than say ‘350dot org’ : “Boys! You’ve Had Enough!”

    Reply
  27. Kevin Jones

     /  February 25, 2015

    TGriz: I can hardly disagree. I’ve busted my tail trying to learn the whole nine yards of the consequences of the Anthropocene. (so that I might in some small way help others) Forgive me ALL for sometimes resorting to humor……but folks like Vonnegut have saved my life with theirs! hope against hope their (and our) efforts aren’t a waste….

    Reply
    • I’m just trying to cut and cut and cut my carbon. I’m Sure it makes no difference in the global scene but there is some value in walking the walk.

      Reply
  28. Never been happier not to be a parent right now..

    Reply
  29. lisa beitsch

     /  February 25, 2015

    I just posted the other video of what i think is happening with these methane ejections/explosions. Here is another view of one in russia. They keep calling them a mystery, either meteors exploding (though obviously NOT coming down from the sky) or “missles” because it appears to come from the ground. I immediately thought of the craters in Yamal and this region isn’t THAT far away. I think methane explosions from the melting permafrost is the most viable answer! https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=russian+explosion+at+night

    Reply
  30. lisa beitsch

     /  February 25, 2015

    ONE MORE! here is another. I can’t find where anyone is connecting the dots here! So many of these have silly theories, when these methane craters are the obvious origin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKeBM5LeT20

    Reply
  31. lisa beitsch

     /  February 25, 2015

    part of that last one is connecting and saying it is from ukraine. Part of this video is, part looks like another methane explosion to me…here is the best and original video of these methane bursts…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cdy7Efxd9A

    Reply
    • An FAE bomb basically takes petroleum and aerosolizes it, then ignites it. They’re among the most powerful conventional weapons. I think that’s what we’re seeing here. That said, if a large amount of methane were to ignite, it would have a similar signature. Given the proximity to a war zone, and not to the Yamal/Siberia region, we should probably consider that this is likely related to the conflict there.

      Reply
      • lisa beitsch

         /  February 25, 2015

        yeah, i think so too. i posted in my excitement to find ANOTHER video that (part of it, at least) and i think most of it is about ukraine, unfortunately. The first two videos have me convinced that they are actually video of these methane bursts igniting. ESPECIALLY on the second video, which obviously originates from the ground…

        Reply
      • This did not happen near the Ukraine. It was filmed from locations in the Sverdlovsk region in Russia, November 14, 2014. I’m trying to figure out where this actually took place(direction/general location) considering the sunset and digital time stamps on the dash cams. The earlier link to the “nuclear” explosion in Ukraine is unrelated to these videos.

        https://www.google.ca/maps/@57.1643117,60.7883131,8z/data=!5m1!1e4

        The supposed explanation is an old gunpowder burn by the Military they didn’t want to admit to in this Video. I only know it was filmed from/in Sverdlovsk.

        Apparently this next video was taken on the road into Rezh(no direction given) (I’m guessing from the South since the sky is so dark at 18:39 – I found someone saying the timestamps are off 1 hour so it is actually 17:39) Rezh is about 50 mi NE of Yekaterinburg.

        Yekaterinburg is 1300mi(2000km) East of Kiev, just to rule out the conflict zone.

        I don’t know where these kids were situated when it occurred, but they are genuinely amazed.

        Where do you guys think this explosion occurred? Lots of snow, so it is pretty far North.I have not seen evidence of any shock wave. Hard to believe that was just a gun powder disposal.

        Reply
  32. Mark from New England

     /  February 25, 2015

    Did someone already post a link to this article?

    “First direct observation of carbon dioxide’s increasing greenhouse effect at Earth’s surface”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150225132103.htm

    I haven’t read it yet, but it looks important!

    Reply
    • Great catch Mark — direct atmospheric observation confirms greenhouse effect of heat trapping gasses…

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  February 26, 2015

        But I see that its snowing in Virginia, so how can there be global warming?😉

        How much snow are you estimated to get out of whatever the Weather Channel is calling this one? Just curious. If you want more snow, I have some (lots) for sale.

        Reply
  33. Bill H

     /  February 26, 2015

    The irony,the irony.

    It’s the Daily Mail, or as it is widely known in the UK, the Daily Fail that’s reporting this.

    The “news”paper of David Rose and Christopher Booker, that publishes Monckton’s opinions on AGW, house journal of Bishop Hill, Watts, Tallbloke et al. Yet it leads the pack in reporting on what is indeed a smoking gun for AGW. Stand by for a THIRD article at WUWT by “tundra expert” Don Easterbrook on why these are actually pingos. (Actually he’s a geologist with a specialism in the effects of glaciation, which isn’t a terribly good qualification for commenting on these holes).

    Reply
  34. Boy, I love a good soils mystery, and in this case, I know the ending.

    Reply
  35. bill shockley

     /  March 3, 2015

    If I’m understanding this right, cryopegs are speculated to be the conduit of heat (“migration pathways” to use Shakhova’s preferred term) from the active layer to 70 meters below.
    http://www.rgo.ru/sites/default/files/gi214_sverka.pdf but a thorough study is needed.
    Came across the link in a comment on a Siberian Times article.

    Interesting that the craters are all within rock-throwing distance of ESAS-connected water. “Pockmarks” on the sea floor are cited as structure/process analogs to the craters.

    The lead author of the above study was interviewed by Revkin last July:

    youtube: On Siberian Holes, Top Permafrost Expert Separates Fact & Fiction

    She downplays the alarmist view, but I think that is job-preservation coming from a Russian working in Russia.

    Reply
  36. Here — don’t listen to me, I’m some guy on the Internet. But find a source you consider reliable and make the guidelines your guide. This is one such good source:
    https://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/you-can-quote-me-on-that-advice-on-attribution-for-journalists/
    This is who he is:
    https://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/about/

    You don’t need me to quote bits and pieces or paraphrase what he’s got to teach.

    Reply
    • Hank —

      This is a good resource and I appreciate you posting it.

      You may want to think a little about your level or presumption in future communication here, however. I take seriously not only the tone, accuracy, appropriate attribution within my work, but also the tone of the discussion in forums. I do not give equal time to nonsense, personal attacks or petty bickering. The forum is meant to be a more comfortable haven for those who understand climate change to discuss issues, share links and new sources, and to discuss the topic at hand.

      Generally helpful contributions are appreciated, but attacks on the moderator are not and will not be tolerated.

      You’re right. I don’t know you from Adam. You could be some big wig for some major press operation for all I know. But if you come here, you are on my turf and you play by my rules. And I don’t tolerate crap.

      All that said, I have taken the criticism that you have provided, regardless of a ridiculous level of presumption on your part, and done my best to make improvements that I believe are appropriate to the tone of my work. The issue RE Dr. Yerganov was an easily corrected issue that did not involve my conflating Arctic News reports with Yerganov’s own (I didn’t use Arctic News for any of the Concerns piece, which was a presumption on your part that I found to be both odd and off base) but a mere misrepresentation of contexts. In the ‘normal’ context the methane build-up in the Arctic atmosphere is rapid — very rapid on any geological time scale. But in the context of a potential catastrophic methane release, as you pointed out in your AGU link, the rate of build-up is generally gradual.

      I didn’t have time to explain definitions or split hairs, so I erred on the side of caution and used the AGU reference point blank (which I appreciate you providing).

      Since I used direct quotes from Dr. Yerganov, there is less likelihood of misinterpretation. However, since Dr. Yerganov was not available for comment, I cannot be completely certain. I only know I did my best to be clear given the material at hand.

      Now, as for the issue of foot notes… I maintain that for this blog and this format that footnotes are not appropriate, especially given the broadness of my audience. If I were writing for a think tank, a more formalized agency, or a different audience, then I believe footnotes would be more appropriate. But the links at bottom and textual hyperlinking are more than enough given both my format, institution, and audience considerations. I am more than capable of giving appropriate attribution through such means and footnoting is not necessary, even if it would provide added utility for some of my more serious minded readers. A trade off, but one I feel is appropriate given the traffic here.

      Furthermore, on the issue of reports from the Siberian Times. The issue was addressed directly and notation to the source (which was already in the Links section) was added to text for clairity. I cannot further improve the comprehension of one who cannot find line and paragraph referenced from the source cited. That is above and beyond my responsibility as an attributor, even though I exceeded all expectation by directly addressing the issue in forum.

      Finally, I decided to include hat tips to the various scientists due to the fact that previous reading of their works likely influenced my own analysis in ‘Concerns.’ I did not use these works as direct sources for “Concerns” but their previous work fed into my narrative so they were listed.

      I have written hundreds of widely read science based articles and not once have I received complaint from a scientist who believed I had misrepresented their work. Any comprehension and communication, however, is not likely to be perfect and so I am ever open and happy to respond to any concerns. But I must assert to you the boundaries of our relationship — you are not the editor of this publication and I make final style and attribution decisions. My way of doing things is notably different from many pubs, so I am not surprised that the more traditional have ruffled feathers. And this way of writing and forum management, I believe, has done much to place science and scientists in the public view through less formal and, dare I say, stuffy, channels.

      Warmest regards to you and thank you for your contributions and concerns. Your presumption, however, is not appreciated, and you can keep that to yourself.

      –R

      Reply
  37. Keith Antonysen

     /  December 30, 2015

    An uncomfortable article I came across a few months ago in relation to underwater activity in the shallow Siberian continental shelf.

    http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/f0183-leaking-pingos-can-explode-under-the-sea-in-the-arctic-as-well-as-on-land/

    Reply
  1. Siberian #Permafrost #Methane Shows Growing Eru...

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