Unconfirmed Reports of Giant, 1 Kilometer, Methane Crater Found in Siberia

“We have just learnt that in Yakutia, new information has emerged about a giant crater one kilometre (0.6 miles) in diameter,” the deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vasily Bogoyavlensky, told AFP.

*   *   *   *

Sometimes, when writing a blog about the latest cutting edge climate science, you feel like you’re tracing the footprints of a Godzilla-like monster. One of Steven Pascala’s proverbial ‘climate monsters in the closet.’ This week has been filled with those days. Days when you get the sense that one might have gotten out.

METOP Methane 2359 ppb

(Arctic methane overburden continues. NOAA’s IASI METOP sensor again shows elevated methane readings today peaking at 2349 ppb [average 1819 ppb] with highest levels [pink] concentrated over the Arctic and upper Northern Hemisphere Latitudes in the 18,000 foot altitude layer. Image source: METOP.)

Just this Monday, I penned a narrative analysis of the signs of methane and carbon store destabilization in the Arctic, the various risks involved, and the potential that the methane blow holes we’ve been witnessing may be linked to giant craters previously found on the ocean floor. Craters ranging from 250 meters to seven miles across.

Yesterday, the deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) issued the above statement to the Associated Press, in which he described a newly discovered 1000 meter crater in the Yakutia region. The statement was then circulated in the Guardian and at Physics.org.

The Maw of Yamal Crater
(The Yamal Crater, as seen above, would be miniscule compared to a Yakutia Crater reported by Russian Scientists yesterday. Image source: The Siberian Times via Vasily Bogoyavlensky.)

The statement was a few paragraphs down in a report that announced a likely link between climate change and the seven other methane craters discovered throughout northern Siberia over the past eight months. It provided no additional context, simply reporting a massive crater. One that, if it proves to be a confirmed recent event, could completely reshape the way we look at how thawing lands and sea beds impact sequestered methane and carbon stores in the Arctic.

But there is still quite a lot we do not know about this crater, including its potential age.

The first Crater, discovered in Yamal was just a bit more than 100 feet across and 220 feet in depth. Of all the craters discovered up until yesterday, it was the largest. According to reports from the Russian Academy of Sciences and from the Russian Center of Arctic Exploration, often through the Siberian Times, these craters were likely caused by explosions of methane under high pressure through a top layer of melting permafrost. The reports identified destabilized relic methane hydrate as a likely source of the eruptions, which the scientists are now stating are somewhat similar to volcanic explosions.

Global Temperature Anomalies

(Global temperature anomalies from the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer today shows extraordinary temperature departures in the range of +20 C above average over Yakutia, Russia. A region that has experienced an extraordinary pace of warming coincident with raging polar amplification. Data Source: Global Forecast System Model.)

The new crater is said to be located in a region of Yakutia, which is a Siberian province many hundreds of miles east of the Yamal Crater. Yakutia hosts some of the densest permafrost deposits in the Arctic. It has also experienced extraordinarily rapid warming similar to the Yamal increase of 2 degrees Celsius in just 14 years. Over coming years, the pace of warming is predicted to be equally rapid. Climate models for the region indicate as much as 8 degrees Celsius warming through the end of this Century. The result is that we see Yakutia, as much of Siberia, in a state of very rapid and destabilizing climate change.

Stresses to permafrost due to this raging rate of warming are extraordinary and involve not only permafrost melt and subsidence but also horrific wildfires that individually burn hundreds of square miles. These enormous wildfires are not normal, garden variety infernos. They often alter the weather, forming enormous fire thunderstorms overhead. They have been reported to burn so hot as to ignite the soil itself, incinerating everything to at least three feet of depth. Near surface methane pockets also likely become involved in these fires and the peat-like structure of the permafrost, once thawed, can result in continued basement smoldering long after the surface fire is extinguished.

siberian-fires-july-23
(Massive wildfires belching out immense plumes of smoke on July 23, 2014 in the Yakutia region of Russia. For reference, bottom edge of frame is about 2000 miles. Image source: LANCE-MODIS.)

These massive, fearsome fires are anything but normal. They are directly linked to the rate of warming, permafrost thaw, and carbon store release in Arctic Siberia. And it appears that for Yakutia, which has seen some of the worst of these fires, a rather large scale methane eruption risk — enough to produce 1000 meter craters — may also now be involved as well.

Links:

Concern Over Catastrophic Methane Release
Russian Scientists Say Climate Change to Blame for Mysterious Siberian Craters
More Giant Craters Spotted in Russian Far North
More Siberian Blowholes Found in the Permafrost
LANCE-MODIS
The Siberian Times
METOP

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to Ouse, MD

Scientific hat tip to The Russian Academy of Sciences

Leave a comment

257 Comments

  1. eleggua

     /  March 13, 2015

    Wow! You’re fast, Robert. Links are working great, too.

    Considering the source of the report of this newly discovered jumbo hole, seems likely that it’s no joke:
    Vasily Bogoyavlensky, Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

    Reply
    • I agree. But with a report of this kind, it’s good to be cautious until we at least get a visual. Still, though it’s shocking, from my point of view, this isn’t too surprising. Scarey, but not surprising.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        I think Colorado Bob is searching Lance Modis for a shot of the new, jumbo hole; he mentioned something about it a couple of days ago.

        Reply
  2. Ouse M.D.

     /  March 13, 2015

    Of course no joke.

    Take a look at the temp anomalies over Siberia:

    Reply
  3. Good to see you still have a leg up, CB!
    But which way should we run?
    and
    Robert Scribbler:
    I’d like to propose [your/et al.] obtaining a parallel site for catloguing links, in some sorting.
    Although, you probably have a decent catalogue already.

    And, the winds of change keep blowing us forward, looking back, askance….

    Reply
    • If I had the money, I’d hire a web indexer to go back through and develop a catalogue of all the links/sources from posts and comments. I have my own short hand version but it is not anywhere near as comprehensive or organized as it could be.

      Alternatively, it’s a two week project…

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        “…a web indexer to go back through and develop a catalogue of all the links/sources from posts and comments. ”

        Estimate on the cost of that?

        Reply
        • I can find out. Probably a few thousand for the index. Then maybe another bit if we wanted a separate website for a climate links/resources catalogue. We could probably do a parallel on wordpress but it might not have the same functionality. Depending on how large, I could publish it here and use a widget in the side bar to link it. Of course, it would then need updating, probably annually. But that wouldn’t cost as much as the initial.

      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        “Alternatively, it’s a two week project…”

        Any volunteer/s in here?

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        When the show’s on next week, will try to get a call in and ask for volunteer/s. Lots of good, regular listeners and many with ‘free’ time and great concern. Also will see about having it mentioned, if unable to call in.

        Reply
        • Not sure if it’s that critical. I had three people interested in hyper-linked foot notes and RWood interested in the master sources list. Perhaps if it develops into a more pervasive theme.

      • I would want an index by topic and then with related sources. For example:

        Anoxia
        Arctic Amplification
        Biological Carbon
        Canfield Ocean

        etc.

        It would be a huge amount of work and might not be worth the time/money investment if only a few people used it. It could be a very useful service to climate research orgs, climate reporters, and think tanks, though.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        “t would be a huge amount of work and might not be worth the time/money investment if only a few people used it.”

        Depends on who those few people are and their influence/inspiration. If you think it’s worthwhile, it’s worthwhile.

        Reply
      • mikkel

         /  March 13, 2015

        I hate to say it, but I believe that this blog will have increase its traffic by multiple orders of magnitude over the coming years (and what that portends) and the index will be invaluable.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        I love to echo it:
        “I believe that this blog will have increase its traffic by multiple orders of magnitude over the coming years (and what that portends) and the index will be invaluable.”

        Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  March 13, 2015

        Well, keep me in mind for taking instructions.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        Robert, if there was one post dedicated to the effort, the comments therein could serve to organize a collaborative effort, that’d be helpful to the cause. A sort of wiki, if you will.

        rustj2015 is on board, yes?

        Reply
        • I’d have to set up WordPress to manage multiple users. That’s something I haven’t even looked into yet. Will get back with you guys. Thanks for the offer.

      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        Yay! You’re welcome. Looking forward to contributing as much as possible.

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  March 14, 2015

        A “spider crawler” program can do it. If you need help, gimme a yell.

        Reply
      • Andy — I would be interested in that. How should I contact you?

        Reply
  4. Kevin Jones

     /  March 13, 2015

    Just out of curiosity I looked up the NOAA ESRL GMD Tiksi CH4 data and they show a 2100+ ppb couple of points from around August 2013. Not saying anything….

    Reply
  5. Great methane graphics from the European Space Agency –
    http://www.esa-ghg-cci.org/?q=node/116

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 13, 2015

      Whoa.

      Hopefully this gif from that piece will embed below:

      Reply
      • Hey Eleggua! That was what I wanted to post , but I couldn’t make it work!

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        Cool beans! Glad that synchronized.

        I did it by copy’n’pasted the link below a line of text. That works with .jpg and .jpeg links; wasn’t sure if it’d work with a .gif link. Now we know! Always have to include a line of text.
        Not sure if that works if the text is below the link.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        “Here is your scarab.”

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  March 14, 2015

        Ouch

        Reply
  6. cjd

     /  March 13, 2015

    Interesting article on National Geographic web site:

    Oceans Are Losing Oxygen—and Becoming More Hostile to Life

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150313-oceans-marine-life-climate-change-acidification-oxygen-fish/

    “These are not coastal dead zones, like the one that sprawls across the Gulf of Mexico, but great swaths of deep water that can reach thousands of miles offshore. Already naturally low in oxygen, these regions keep growing, spreading horizontally and vertically. Included are vast portions of the eastern Pacific, almost all of the Bay of Bengal, and an area of the Atlantic off West Africa as broad as the United States.”

    After anoxia the next step is a Canfield Ocean…

    Reply
    • After anoxia, the next step is a Canfield Ocean. National Geographic printed it…

      Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  March 13, 2015

        The natgeo article is fantastic for its pictorial content, awesome. But this is its gestalt:

        The web of life, which has dealt with cataclysm and rebuilt itself each time with protean creativity may indifferently still be doing what it always has, retreating now before the knife, its elaborately redundant layers of stability decreasing, its turbulent chaos increasing, its more contingent life forms unregretfully disposed of as it responds to physical necessity alone. So whatever sadness there is at the daily diminution of vividness may only be ours. But the more you look at other species, the birds and the mammals, even the stoic plants and fish, the more you feel that all species can experience loneliness and melancholy at the ending of their desire.

        the knife of modernity, Christy Rogers

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 13, 2015

        Wow. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. My sense, we are entering a wonderful age of chaos; a time of amazing symbiogenesis that sort of bookends the prokaryotic-to-eukaryotic transition.
        It is going to become more and more turbulent, this time, on every level.
        Best to keep a level head. And smile.

        Reply
      • Eleggua — I wouldn’t call it wonderful at all. These creatures have lives just like us. Sure, they are not winners of the I am a human living in an advanced civilization lottery. But we would be wrong to think they value their own lives less than we do. It is the very imperative of life to try to live. Any regression of life, any forced death, as an extinction is, is a holocaust on a mass scale. If we don’t see that, then we have turned our faces away in order to comfort ourselves. But the truth of this age is one of the great harm we’ve inflicted upon lives far more innocent than our own.

        And it is a chaos, a terrible chaos, we would not escape in the end if we do not find a way to keep it from continuing to worsen.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        Robert, seems you misunderstood me. I mourn the loss of every individual creature. I agree with every point you make regarding their lives and the equality of all living things.

        What’s wonderful is the likelihood that I see for great positive change. The ending of the age of degradation of life and creation, and a great new age where life and nature will be celebrated and cherished.
        It’s not going to be easy to help bring it about, nor to watch and experience the loss of many individual living beings due to the degradations much less the loss of entire species of beings. That’s terrible and saddens me in each and every instance.

        Reply
        • Crisis does bring opportunity. Let’s hope we make the good choices this time. If we are wise and fortunate and lucky, we may earn the wonderful future you are able to envision. But the test comes first and we are still making it worse.

      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        Nature finds a way. We are a part of nature, a very hyper self-aware part of nature. The expansion of that self-awareness is a big part of what I foresee. These discussions are part of that expansion.

        Reply
        • I’d say we are hyper-fast. But despite all the expanded senses afforded to us by science, it would be tough to find a good measure of awareness. Understanding is still greatly lacking and needs much improvement.

      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        Paraphrasing John Donne:
        “Each being’s death diminishes me,
        For I am involved in llife.”

        Reply
        • That is the understanding and compassion we should share. Connection and cooperation with other life means both enrichment and survival. If we support life, we support ourselves. If we destroy life, willingly, or haphazardly, we find both poverty and, in the final event, a bitter, lonely end.

      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        “Let’s hope we make the good choices this time. If we are wise and fortunate and lucky, we may earn the wonderful future you are able to envision. But the test comes first and we are still making it worse.”

        Agreed. Any misunderstanding was my fault for not being more precise and not elucidating the point well enough.

        The old age of control doesn’t allow for truly democratic participation in making good choices.
        New age of chaos allows for all voices to have an equal vote.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        That is the understanding and compassion we should share. Connection and cooperation with other life means both enrichment and survival. If we support life, we support ourselves. If we destroy life, willingly, or haphazardly, we find both poverty and, in the final event, a bitter, lonely end.

        Yes. Bears repeating.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        Thank you, Robert.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        You’re welcome. 🙂

        Reply
  7. eleggua

     /  March 13, 2015

    Oklahoma could be in danger of strong earthquakes March 10, 2015
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/oklahoma-could-be-in-danger-of-major-earthquakes/
    …a new study in Geophysical Research Letters suggests the future could be more dire, with the state possibly seeing larger temblors. It found that the same fault lines that have triggered earthquakes of between 3 and 4 magnitude are capable of producing events as high as 6….
    ….there were 3,639 earthquakes in Oklahoma between late 2009 and 2014, which was 300 times more than in previous decades….

    Several studies have traced the increase of earthquakes in Oklahoma as well as Ohio to the oil and gas industry’s increased use of injection wells to bury huge amounts of wastewater underground. Resulting from enhanced hydrocarbon extraction operations, scientists believe the wastewater may increase the pressure on the rocks enough to cause seismic events.

    A paper in Science last year concluded that four of the highest-volume disposal wells in Oklahoma are likely behind 20 percent of hundreds of quakes since 2008 east of the Rocky Mountains. And a 2013 study in the journal Geology concluded that a 2011 earthquake in the tiny remote town of Prague – a 5.6 magnitude temblor that was the largest in Oklahoma’s history – was due to the injection of wastewater underground….

    “If a similar size earthquake were to occur in Oklahoma City or near Cushing oil facility, you can image there would be a lot more damage and higher costs,” said McNamara….

    …the study acknowledged that a “fundamental change in the earthquake triggering process may have occurred” and, of particular concern, is “whether wastewater injection by the oil and gas industry is influencing seismic activity.”

    “It’s hard to image what else it would be,” McNamara said. “Such an increase of seismic activity you only really see in volcanic regions or some place with very active tectonics like California or Alaska. It’s very unprecedented to have such an increase in activity without something as crazy as a volcano happening and everyone knows there is no volcano happening in Oklahoma. If it’s natural, it’s unexplained.”

    The oil and gas industry initially insisted that fracking played no part in the earthquakes. But it recently has come to accept it may be partly to blame and embraced several measures being tried in Oklahoma to better monitor the earthquakes.

    Among those is a “traffic light” system instituted in December 2013 where Oklahoma has the authority to shut down wastewater disposal wells when they appear to be linked to a flurry of earthquakes. It has twice take action, most recently shutting down several wells near the town of Cherokee after three magnitude 4 quakes occurred within a week….

    Katie Brown, a spokesperson for the oil and gas advocacy group Energy In Depth, also said state regulators and geological surveys have formed an induced seismicity working group, as part of the State Oil and Gas Regulatory Exchange, to share science and develop best practices.

    “Effectively addressing this issue requires a site by site approach, taking into account the fact that geological conditions are not uniform and similar wells in different areas may or may not have any nearby seismicity,” she said by email.

    Beyond the increased monitoring, McNamara also said it would help for the industry itself to be more transparent, a challenge when much of the oil and gas data is proprietary.

    “Working with the industry a little more would be great,” he said. “If we could get some of the information on their fault system, any detail they have on injection volumes. More data sharing would help.”

    Reply
  8. eleggua

     /  March 13, 2015

    No fracking.

    Reply
  9. Andy in YKD

     /  March 13, 2015

    One might think that an explosion that would blast a hole 1 km wide in frozen permafrost might register as an earthquake on some sensor somewhere.

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 14, 2015

      True, once there are eys on this thing and an estimate of age, that could be referenced to validate / verify / invalidate once analyzed.

      Reply
  10. -The ghost of Sarah Palin:

    Alaska To Build A State-Owned Gas Pipeline?

    The state of Alaska is considering a more aggressive approach to oil and gas development in order to make up for its collapsing revenue.

    Alaska relies on oil and gas to fund 90 percent of the state’s discretionary spending. With oil prices half of what they were last summer, Alaska’s tax collections from the industry are down 80 percent.

    Not only are prices down, but production continues to slowly decay as well (see chart).
    \With Alaska’s finances in ruins, the state government is actively seeking ways to revive oil and gas development. The Governor and state legislature, along with its delegation to the U.S. Congress, have loudly called for opening up parts of the state under federal control, as well as the offshore Arctic.

    Related: The Easy Oil Is Gone So Where Do We Look Now?

    Governor Bill Walker is also very enthusiastic about TransCanada’s plan to build a tar sands pipeline from Alberta to the Alaskan coast.

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Alaska-To-Build-a-State-Owned-Gas-Pipeline.html

    Reply
    • Agitprop Dept.: Quicker than you can say, “Sarah Palin”.

      Sarah Palin Deregulated Ronald Reagan Sarah Newt Gingrich Koch Sudser

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        Good one, dt! Palin gives new meaning to ‘Rolling Thunder’.

        Reply
  11. Reblogged this on jpratt27.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 14, 2015

      John, saw the comment on your reblog by stalker stefanthedeniertroll:
      “or a crater as Scribbler is lying – would need tons of TNT explosive; methane doesn’t explode like that and that much ”

      Methane does indeed explode like that, from all sorts of sources and circumstances.
      Here’re a few vids to share with the deniertroll:
      CCTV manhole explosion firecracker dropped down sewer ignites methane man injured

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 14, 2015

      Exploding sperm whale carcass

      A camera captured the moment a sperm whale carcass, which washed up in the Faroe Islands, exploded….
      As he made incisions in the whale’s side the carcass exploded due to a build up of methane gas from the decomposition creating a loud sound and releasing a pungent smell.

      Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  March 14, 2015

        If you listen closely, you can hear another smaller explosion go off just a split second later in that guys pants.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        Thar she blows!!!

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 14, 2015

      Amazing video of exploding under-ice methane gas in Siberia

      Methane gas locked inside Siberia’s frozen soil and under its lakes is currently being released at a dangerous rate. Scientists believe it can pose threat to the world’s climate. However the lack of data over a long period of time casts uncertainty over the extent of the threat. More than 50 billion tons of methane could be unleashed from Siberian lakes alone.

      Reply
  12. Great work Robert. We seem to be passing global tipping points.

    Reply
    • It’s very concerning to see things progressing as they are.

      Reply
      • Yes Robert we really need dramatic change now. What do you think of my last post on nuclear waste option?

        Reply
        • I think it’s an advance from our current nuclear energy system. One that poses a good opportunity for waste reduction. However, though instances of catastrophic failure are unlikely, the cost of that failure, as with all things nuclear, is potentially monumental. I do not doubt that safety has been improved with these systems, but have they improved enough. Furthermore, I wonder how many of these new systems will deploy in regions vulnerable to sea level rise. No easy choice.

  13. bassman

     /  March 14, 2015

    Feb 2015 comes in as 2nd warmest on record .79 anomaly for NASA LOTI.

    This is behind the mega el nino boosted 1998 Feb of .86. 2015 is now at .77 so far for the year with only a small influence from el Nino at this point. I know its early but I already don’t see how 2015 isn’t the warmest year on record except for a rapid and very unexpected shift into la nina conditions. Other years have started off this warm, especially 2007, but 2015 is likely to have some very warm months if this shift back to positive PDO remains. We could be looking at a much warmer year than 2014.

    March, by the way is already looking like a + .7 month so far according to GFS numbers.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    Reply
  14. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    “You’ll never win the lottery, but you could enjoy a lucrative career as an oil industry-funded climate science skeptic! – John Fugelsang

    It’s nice how some folks agree with science once they find some science that agrees with them. – John Fugelsang

    Very funny guy: https://twitter.com/johnfugelsang

    Reply
  15. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    Cyclone Pam: Dozens feared dead in Vanuatu March 14, 2015
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/cyclone-pam-dozens-feared-dead-in-vanuatu-20150314-143y5a.html
    “We’ve seen villages that have just literally been blown away.”
    With these words, Chloe Morrison, World Vision’s Vanuatu emergency response officer who sheltered in a colleague’s cement house in Port Vila on Friday night, described the impact of Cyclone Pam after it changed direction and made a direct hit on the archipelago….

    According to Simon Allen, a senior meteorologist at Bureau of Meteoreology, Cyclone Pam “is one of the most intense cyclone’s ever recorded in the southern hemisphere”….

    No fatalities have been confirmed – a fact that Ms Morrison puts down to failing communication networks, with mobile telephone networks fluctuating in and out of reception.
    The damage incurred on Port Vila, where even some of the cement-reinforced buildings had roofs blown off, is an early indication of the expected catastrophe in the less developed islands, where locals predominantly live in traditional thatched housing.
    The huts on those islands would have been picked up “like confetti” by the winds last night, Ms Morrison said….

    A red alert remains in place for the Malampa, Shefa and Tafea provinces, which are still being hammered with “very destructive winds” and “very rough to phenomenal seas”, according to the Vanuatu Meteorological Service. A landslide is also expected, the service warned….

    Reply
  16. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    Cyclone Pam: Dozens feared dead in Vanuatu March 14, 2015
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/cyclone-pam-dozens-feared-dead-in-vanuatu-20150314-143y5a.html
    “We’ve seen villages that have just literally been blown away.”
    With these words, Chloe Morrison, World Vision’s Vanuatu emergency response officer who sheltered in a colleague’s cement house in Port Vila on Friday night, described the impact of Cyclone Pam after it changed direction and made a direct hit on the archipelago….

    According to Simon Allen, a senior meteorologist at Bureau of Meteoreology, Cyclone Pam “is one of the most intense cyclone’s ever recorded in the southern hemisphere”….

    No fatalities have been confirmed – a fact that Ms Morrison puts down to failing communication networks, with mobile telephone networks fluctuating in and out of reception.
    The damage incurred on Port Vila, where even some of the cement-reinforced buildings had roofs blown off, is an early indication of the expected catastrophe in the less developed islands, where locals predominantly live in traditional thatched housing.
    The huts on those islands would have been picked up “like confetti” by the winds last night, Ms Morrison said….

    A red alert remains in place for the Malampa, Shefa and Tafea provinces, which are still being hammered with “very destructive winds” and “very rough to phenomenal seas”, according to the Vanuatu Meteorological Service. A landslide is also expected, the service warned….

    Reply
  17. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    The eye of Cyclone Pam

    Reply
  18. Mblanc

     /  March 14, 2015

    Hi there,

    great subject to talk about, its prompted me to comment for the first time.

    Because I found out that widely-respected author Elizabeth Colbert is worried too, so you are in excellent company Robert.

    http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/siberia-mystery-craters-methane-climate-change?mbid=rss

    She also makes reference to other geological responses to climate change, some of which have only recently been reported, which is exactly the subject of a book I am reading at the mo…

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/26/why-climate-change-shake-earth

    McGuire isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he isn’t a lightweight, and I feel that climate scientists have been a bit slow to pick up on this. Now that Colbert is starting to highlight the issue, and with other recent work reinforcing concerns, I’m sure that the crossover into the scientific mainstream is now happening, as it clearly is with methane.

    Its high time we all got frightened enough to get Marshall Plan-style busy!

    Thanks for a great blog

    Mark

    Reply
    • Thanks to you, Mark.

      The issue is finally getting some of the press attention it deserves. And she’s sharp to note that the issue is not just one of methane release large scale enough to rapidly warm the Earth, but also an issue of geophysical changes. The kinds of changes rapid warming can evoke in the land, sea, and ice environment itself. It may take as little as 10-50 MT of methane to unearth a crater of the kind Siberian scientists are discussing. And while that is quite a lot of methane for a single instance, it is not enough to constitute what scientists call a catastrophic release as it relates to warming. Imagine what an event 20 to 5,000 times a 1 km crater would look like. Imagine how that might reshape lands and oceans. In the very worst case, that’s what we are talking about.

      Reply
  19. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    – Cyclone Pam | Dozens Feared Dead in Vanuatu
    – Perth Bracing for fierce storms as Olwyn continues to hit Pilbara region
    – Rain easing in Far North Queensland as Nathan moves away from the coast

    Reply
  20. Andrew Taylor

     /  March 14, 2015

    If this one km hole proves to be real (ten times bigger than the previous), and methane is the cause, just how big could the holes become?

    Reply
    • GEOMAR report in the Concerns article on this site shows 250 meter to 7 mile craters in active methane zones off New Zealand.

      Also the size difference is 1 million square meters vs approx 1,000 square meters surface area. Approx 1,000 times larger than the Yamal blowout.

      Reply
  21. – H2o, drought, nutrients in the drying Western landscape:

    Toxic algae prompts warning at Lake Mead

    By HENRY BREAN
    LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

    The National Park Service is warning people to stay out of the water in parts of Lake Mead National Recreation Area now being colonized by a potentially toxic algae.

    The blue-green growth has turned up at several popular areas of Lake Mead and Lake Mohave.

    …the authority has been sampling the water at and around its intakes and its two treatment plants since traces of a toxin first turned up in the lake late Tuesday.

    ###

    …Why is it here?

    Algae spores are common in most bodies of fresh and salt water. The species identified in Lake Mead (Pyramichlamys) has been quite prevalent throughout the entire United States over the last three years. It takes several factors for algae to bloom. One factor is abnormal weather conditions (cold, then warm, then mild alternating over a several day period). In order to bloom, Pyramichlamys requires a large concentration of nitrogen and a small concentration of phosphorous. This is not unusual. The phenomenon has occurred in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2001 in the inner Las Vegas Bay. The 2001 growth was the largest of these and expanded into an extensive algae bloom.

    nps-govlakelearnnaturegreenalga

    Reply
  22. Eric Rignot: “It’s not holly shit moment. It’s worse than that. We are not ready for this.”

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 14, 2015

      Season 2, Episode 2 (it’s on youtube) subject matter is Greenland.

      Reply
      • james cole

         /  March 15, 2015

        The most shocking aspect of the Greenland Episode was the dark particle deposits on the ice. Making vast areas of ice surface look like coal piles! I don’t know how much of this was worked into models of Greenland’s future melt, but the real world situation up there is a disaster. With Siberia experiencing these vast fires the last few years, it just looks like loaded dice for more dark particulate deposits on Greenland’s surface.
        Also in Greenland, a mad rush of mineral prospectors is on! Greenland’s government has just set aside a vast area of southern Greenland as a protected zone. Not protected from future exploitation, but protected for exploitation. I think for large corporate mining interests, but can not confirm that yet.

        Reply
        • Jason Box has done spectacular work on the blackening of ice from soot on the GIS. As for the prospecting, let’s hope it’s for rare earths and not coal, oil, gas…

    • Thanks for posting, Alex. This is extraordinarily well done. Hats off to everyone involved.

      Reply
  23. Kevin Jones

     /  March 14, 2015

    Hansen shows last 12 months–March ’14-February ’15 at .71C positive anomaly. First 12 months to pass .70…….more than +1C above first decade of 20th century Land & Ocean surface air temps.

    Reply
  24. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 14, 2015

    Low-oxygen impacts on West Coast groundfish, research shows

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150311160529.htm

    Reply
    • Yes, AiSD. It’s part of the cycle as I see it: Nitrogen nutrient pollution feeds algae, the algae thrives resulting in oxygen depletion.

      Reply
  25. Everyone’s calling them Craters, but I think they should be called Blowouts. ‘Cause that’s what they are: methane blowouts.

    Reply
  26. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    Sea Stars Could Be Making a Comeback Feb 17, 2015
    http://www.thestranger.com/blogs/slog/2015/02/17/21725501/sea-stars-could-be-making-a-comeback
    …monitoring sites have picked up on the explosion of new, healthy-appearing babies and the absence of adults. But just because the babies look healthy now doesn’t mean that they won’t get sick. And just because there are lots of them at present doesn’t mean they’ll survive into adulthood.

    “The real question is: Will that class of babies correspond to adults in the future?” asked Peter Raimondi, sea star researcher and chair of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California-Santa Cruz. “It’s certainly a good sign.” But, he said, expectations will be tempered if more babies than usual end up dying prematurely. “We’re not sure that the disease is gone,” he noted.

    That’s the other mystery afoot. Despite a major report identifying a possible culprit of sea star wasting disease late last year, scientists still don’t really know what caused the sea star deaths. In November, a national research team (including Raimondi) published a study showing that sick sea stars carried something called a densovirus, a malady typically found in arthropods (like insects and crustaceans). The researchers found that viral tissue from sick sea stars injected into healthy ones got the healthy ones sick. At the same time, they also discovered that the virus has existed in what were thought to be healthy sea stars going as as far back as 1923….

    “We’re calling it one disease, but it’s probably a set of symptoms that can be linked to many things,” Hewson said. “I’m not discounting the possibility that there’s some unmeasured environmental factor in this disease.”

    It’s likely sea stars will recover from this last bout of sea star wasting, Raimondi added. But scientists still need to figure out whether humans played a role in the startling die-off. Otherwise, it could happen again, and sea stars might not bounce back.

    In response to the ongoing concern, last week Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA) introduced legislation that would fire off a 120-day emergency research protocol to stop sea star wasting disease—or other marine diseases like it—from spreading.

    “Starfish are a keystone species, meaning their decline will hit the ecosystem and economy hard if something isn’t done soon,” Heck said in a statement. “The Marine Disease Emergency Act will work to save our delicate ecosystem and prevent the inevitable backlash for our marine environment and fishing industries.”

    Reply
  27. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    The domino effect of an underwater disease outbreak September 19, 2014
    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/218234-the-domino-effect-of-an-underwater-disease-outbreak
    …An emergency causing ecological disruption can include immediate losses of biodiversity, local extirpation or extinction, or disruption of ecosystem services. Massive seagrass epidemics, occurring first in the 1930s and, more recently, in the 1980s in Florida, are an example of this. Each outbreak extirpated an entire ecosystem that had provided valuable ecosystem services and habitat for important species.

    An emergency that threatens large economic losses can include disruptions to wild fisheries, aqua-cultured species or threats to essential marine habitats. In a recent study, Kevin Lafferty of the University of California, Santa Barbara catalogued 67 different pathogens that can impact the economy of marine resources. The most costly epidemics have been those affecting commercial species. A shrimp white spot outbreak cost billions globally following a global pandemic that started in the 1980s. Disruptions to biodiversity can also threaten tourism revenue. For example, large-scale coral bleaching and disease can close marine parks and destroy vast areas of coral reefs, which are essential fish nurseries.

    An emergency that threatens social or cultural values may jeopardize public safety and health. This includes unsafe seafood and beaches. The seafood-borne bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus causes human gastroenteritis, usually associated with the consumption of raw oysters. One serotype of this species is more unsafe and appears to be spreading….

    Reply
  28. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    Obama’s Newly Harsh Tone on Keystone Seen Signaling Rejection March 13, 2015
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-13/obama-s-newly-harsh-tone-on-keystone-seen-signaling-rejection
    …Now when Obama describes the next proposed Keystone segment he says it will only create about 300 jobs. He calls the Calgary-based pipeline builder TransCanada Corp. a “foreign company” and says the oil won’t benefit American motorists.” …

    While the White House insists Obama hasn’t made up his mind, some analysts say his rhetorical shift suggests otherwise.
    “Our view is that it’s pretty crystal clear it’s not going to be approved under this administration,” said Patrick Kenny, an analyst at National Bank Financial in Calgary….

    He’s even denigrated the project overseas.
    “Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land down to the Gulf where it will be sold everywhere else,” Obama said during a visit to Myanmar in November.

    In the South Carolina address last week, Obama called the process for extracting oil in Alberta extraordinary dirty and said Keystone wouldn’t provide many permanent jobs…

    Reply
  29. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    Oil CEOs said to ask Obama administration to lift export ban March 14, 2015
    http://powersource.post-gazette.com/powersource/policy-powersource/2015/03/14/Oil-CEOs-said-to-ask-Obama-administration-to-lift-export-ban/stories/201503140106
    About a dozen U.S. drilling executives, including ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance, were in Washington this week trying to persuade White House officials and lawmakers to lift the 40-year ban on U.S. oil exports, according to two people familiar with the meetings.

    Chief executives from the lobbying group Producers for American Crude Oil Exports, or PACE, met with White House senior energy policy adviser Brian Deese on Wednesday, seeking a rollback of the U.S. oil export ban imposed after the 1973 Arab oil embargo, according to two people who asked not to be identified because the discussions weren’t public.

    Producers are eager to lift the ban because oil in the U.S. is selling for about $10 less than the global benchmark. The meeting preceded a report Friday by the International Energy Agency that record U.S. crude supplies may soon test the limits of the nation’s storage capacity, further threatening prices.

    “We’ve had a series of very productive meetings with senators from both parties and the administration and look forward to continuing those conversations in the months ahead,” George Baker, PACE’s executive director, said in a statement that didn’t outline what the talks included….

    Reply
  30. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    The Gas Nazi. Gas station owner’s way of slowing down the consumption of fossil fuels.

    Why The Hell Is This Marin Gas Station Charging Drivers Nearly $8 a Gallon? Mar 13, 2015
    http://www.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2015/03/13/why-the-hell-is-this-marin-gas-station-charging-drivers-nearly-8-a-gallon
    …we….are both puzzled and a little pissed about how much this Sausalito gas station is charging drivers for a tank of gasoline….

    “Obviously, he isn’t planning on selling much gasoline and when he does, he sells to people desperate and not paying attention,” says Borenstein, director of the University of California Energy Institute. “But this is not a viable strategy for keeping a gas station open.”
    Usually, when gas stations do jack up prices to surreal amounts, it has more to do with gas stations being at odds with refineries over wholesale pricing. But a Bridgeway isn’t a branded gas station, thus it’s more than likely getting its gas on the spot market and not paying high prices for it, Borenstein tells us….

    From the comments:
    Gas prices at the Sausalito station back to “normal.” Found the owner today, older guy, Arabic channel on the TV, delighted to talk. “People kept complaining about my prices. Complain, complain. So I raised the price. They complained more, I raised it again. I don’t care. Now it’s back. They complain again, the prices go back up.” He buys from a distributor, is an independent, so a one-cent difference between grades doesn’t bother him. “Thank you for laughing,” he said. “I need more of that.
    Suddenly this guy is part of our slightly crazy community. The gas Nazi. I like him.

    Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  March 14, 2015

    The scary idea that won’t go away: Global warming messing with the jet stream and your weather

    “That’s why they’re saying that it’s more likely to have summer extreme events,” Francis said. “Because the weather just is not changing as much, and the weather systems themselves are just more stagnant and lethargic.”

    The new study points in particular to the devastating 2010 summer heat wave in Russia. “By late July and early August, numerous cities witnessed a crescendo of record breaking daily readings near 40ºC, more than +10ºC warmer than what would normally have been experienced at this warmest time of year,” noted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the time. The resulting death toll could have been as high as 55,000.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/12/first-it-was-crazy-winters-now-global-warming-may-also-be-driving-crazy-summers/

    Reply
  32. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 14, 2015

    Season 2, Episode 2 VICE – Greenland

    Reply
  33. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 14, 2015

    Colorado River Update.

    Powell is at 45% full pool. Water transfers are done for the winter.
    Mead is at 41% full pool. Water transfers are done for the winter.
    Mojave is at 95% full pool. Water transfers are done for winter.
    Havasu is at 91% full pool. Water transfers are done for winter.

    Powell & Mead are the tenuous ones. Powell content was transferred to Mead this winter in the hopes of good run off this spring / summer.

    However snow water equivalent above Powell is 12″. This ties it with 2012 for lowest snow pack for this time of year. Water level is 70 feet higher than 2012 for this date for Powell.

    Mead is at 1087 feet. It was 1131 feet same date 2012 with the depleted snow pack. Water is 44 feet lower today.

    Mead was at 1105 feet last year, same date. We are now 18 feet lower today. 2014 saw the lowest records hit since filling.

    Lowest recorded level was Aug 12, 2014 at 1080 feet. If consumption, usage and replenishment track the same as 2014 (which is probably unlikely, but used as a course gauge here), then that would put the level in mid August at roughly 1062 feet.

    At 1075 feet by the Colorado Treaty, Nevada loses it’s access to Lake Mead (it gets 0 allotment at 1075 and below). Currently it is within ~12 feet of this level.

    It looks like a strong chance Mead will head towards 1075 feet, and my suspicion is that an emergency release from Powell will be used to avoid passing that threshold. However, the diminished snow pack above Powell will make this a carefully orchestrated transaction.

    I think we’ll get through 2015 with careful transfer juggling. If we have depleted snow pack for another 2 years (my guess), then there will be no wiggle room left and the trouble begins.

    http://lakemead.water-data.com/

    Reply
    • It’s probably time to start swiftly shutting down those water heavy FF power plants for this region. Lawn watering, beef farming and poultry farming should also see restrictions in the Lake Mead/Powell footprint. We need to take a lesson from São Paulo and not begin response after the fact. The SW is a water poor region already and has less wiggle room, even if our management is currently better.

      P.S. Great report, as ever, Andy.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        Posted here a couple of days ago; encore:

        California has about one year of water left. Will you ration now? 3/12/2015
        http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-famiglietti-drought-california-20150313-story.html
        …Several steps need be taken right now. First, immediate mandatory water rationing should be authorized across all of the state’s water sectors, from domestic and municipal through agricultural and industrial. …

        Second, the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 should be accelerated. The law requires the formation of numerous, regional groundwater sustainability agencies by 2017….

        Third, the state needs a task force of thought leaders that starts, right now, brainstorming to lay the groundwork for long-term water management strategies. Although several state task forces have been formed in response to the drought, none is focused on solving the long-term needs of a drought-prone, perennially water-stressed California….

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  March 14, 2015

        I suspect that the intra state water wars are underway. Since California (then Arizona) have senior water rights they have Havasu & Mojave full (that is where they pump from). They don’t want to leave that portion of water in Mead & Powell as Nevada will not shut off the pumps if 1074.9 is hit.

        We may see continuous transfers this year as Cali / Az keep their portions out of the draw areas for Nevada as much as possible. Will be interesting to see.

        We saw an emergency transfer from Powell to Mead last summer to stay above 1075, but Powell had good storage. If they don’t get good run off, then the intra state chess game will be a foot.

        eleggua – It is bad out here as that article states. We had diddly for rain so the soil is very dry. It is 90 degrees today. Rain is done for 2015.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        Yes, it’s been hot the past two weekends, from the Bay Area all the way south to where you’re located.

        ,b>Traffic Snarled on Sizzling Saturday, Lifeguards Brace for Record Crowds at Beaches March 14, 2015
        http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Patient-Lifeguards-Expecting-Heavy-Beach-Traffic-Record-Heat-Saturday-296317921.html
        With a heat wave expected to melt temperature records Saturday, highways near the Los Angeles coast were already jammed by mid-morning, raising concerns about heat stroke and water safety.
        Temperatures were expected to cross into the 90s in Los Angeles, Burbank, Long Beach and other places in Southern California, according to forecasts — the average high for March 14 is around 70 degrees.

        Pacific Coast Highway near Hermosa Beach was packed at 10:45 a.m., according to NBC4’s traffic map, along with stretches of the 405 and 10 freeways near the coast. Highways were snarled in downtown LA, the San Fernando Valley, near Corona and in south Orange County….

        Ugh. All of that traffic: positve feedback effect.

        Reply
      • Yes, Andy. NIce work. Thanks

        Reply
  34. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    Natural Hazards Risk Atlas 3/04.2015
    http://maplecroft.com/portfolio/new-analysis/2015/03/04/56-100-cities-most-exposed-natural-hazards-found-key-economies-philippines-japan-china-bangladesh-verisk-maplecroft/
    The strategic markets of Philippines, China, Japan and Bangladesh are home to over half of the 100 cities most exposed to natural hazards, highlighting the potential risks to foreign business, supply chains and economic output in Asia from extreme weather events and seismic disasters, according to new research from global risk analytics company, Verisk Maplecroft.

    The 5th annual Natural Hazards Risk Atlas (NHRA) assesses the natural hazard exposure of over 1,300 cities, selected for their importance as significant economic and population centres in the coming decade. Of the 100 cities with the greatest exposure to natural hazards, 21 are located in the Philippines, 16 in China, 11 in Japan and 8 in Bangladesh. The analysis considers the combined risk posed by tropical storms and cyclones, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, severe storms, extra-tropical cyclones, wildfires, storm surges, volcanoes and landslides….

    The highest risk cities in Japan and the Philippines are highly exposed to a variety of hazards, including earthquakes, typhoons, severe storms and landslides. Tuguegarao (2nd), Lucena (3rd) and Manila (4th) in the Philippines, along with Kawasaki (15th), Osaka (16th) and Nara (17th) in Japan are highly prone to earthquakes and typhoons – two of the deadliest and costliest hazard types….

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 14, 2015

      The 100 cities most at risk of natural hazards by region

      Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 14, 2015

      It makes one think about the airports in places like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Vancouver BC.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        And in the US.

        U.S. Airports Face Increasing Threat From Rising Seas June 18th, 2013
        http://www.climatecentral.org/news/coastal-us-airports-face-increasing-threat-from-sea-level-rise-16126
        U.S. Airports Most Vulerable to Sea Level Rise

        San Francisco Int’l (SFO)
        Oakland International (OAK)
        Honolulu International (HNL)
        New Orleans Louis Armstrong Int’l (MSY)
        Tampa International (TPA)
        Miami Int’l (MIA)
        Ft. Lauderdale Int’l (FLL)
        Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA)
        Newark Liberty Int’l (EWR)
        LaGuardia (LGA)
        Philadelphia Int’l (PHL)
        John F. Kennedy Int’l (JFK)

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        Changing winds herald climate risks for Arctic airports Mar. 08 2015
        http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/science/arctic-airports-hit-with-changing-winds-and-safety-risks-due-to-climate-change/article23353583/
        …As part of a continuing study, Mr. Leung has been gathering meteorological data from small airstrips around Hudson Bay and the Eastern Arctic. The results, which have yet to be published, suggest that gradual shifts in average wind speed and direction due to climate change will render at least some of those airstrips less safe in the future unless costly upgrades are put in place to help mitigate the increased risk….

        Climate change is an issue of growing relevance for airport operators in the Arctic for a number of reasons, including the threat to runway stability posed by the disappearance of permafrost and more days of “shoulder season” weather in the spring and fall when temperatures are near the freezing point and there is a greater change of ice buildup on runways and aircraft….

        Mr. Leung’s research on wind adds a new wrinkle. Ideally, pilots prefer to land in a direction that minimizes dangerous crosswinds. Depending on a runway’s alignment, either an increase in average wind speed or a shift in prevailing wind direction – or a combination of two – can serve to increase crosswinds. Even a modest increase could push runway conditions over a threshold that makes it riskier to attempt a landing, he said….

        “Patterns of wind direction appear to be changing,” said Adam Fenech, who works with computer models of future climate at the University of Prince Edward Island. Over the previous 30 years, prevailing winds have typically flowed west-to-east across the Arctic, he added, but more recently are they are blowing more from the south during the summer months….

        Reply
      • – Again — the wind seems to be a common denominator these days.

        Changing winds herald climate risks for Arctic airports Mar. 08 2015

        … “Patterns of wind direction appear to be changing,”

        Thanks, eleggua.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 14, 2015

        You’re welcome, dt. How’s the temperture and sun in P.Ore today?

        Reply
      • I meant to say: “wind behavior(s) ” seems to be common…

        eleggua, PDX at Lat: 45.5°N is way too warm — day and night. Rain event in forecast but weather unable to get organized for any rotation. SNAFU

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 15, 2015

        PYSKE

        Reply
  35. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    The Salt of the Earth – Official Trailer

    For the last 40 years, the (social documentary) photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever changing humanity. He has witnessed the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvations and exodus.
    He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of the wild fauna and flora, of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet’s beauty. Sebastião’s Salgado’s life and work are revealed to us by his son, Juliano, who went with him during his last travels, and by Wim Wenders, a photographer himself.

    Reply
  36. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 14, 2015

    Robert – this is an open source web site scraper. This may be able to pull the links from your old articles. If you need help, just shout out (myself & others would be happy to help).

    http://scrapy.org/

    Reply
  37. Your recent post on methane blow holes and sea floor craters seems eerily prophetic. Events are unfolding so rapidly it’s difficult to keep up. That’s part of the problem of dealing with climate change. By the time a hypothesis is proposed, research is published, conclusively confirmed, translated to lay men’s terms and finally picked up by mainstream media as a problem (if ever) so that a major portion of the population becomes aware of said problem, many years have elapsed and the problem has grown more dire, producing new problems which require new hypotheses and new experiments, etc.

    Reply
    • I think that’s why we should be looking at this in terms of — preparation, forecasting for most likely and most dangerous events, detection, analysis, response.

      Reply
  38. – This applies to casualties everywhere.

    Arlington West Santa Barbara “The flapping sound…is the sound of the dead, asking…why?”

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  March 15, 2015

      If any question why we died
      Tell them because our fathers lied Rudyard Kipling

      Reply
  39. Griffin

     /  March 14, 2015

    I would be very interested in knowing if anyone has seen any good reports from geologists that have studied these features at the site of a hole. While we can see ejecta around the rim, it is not clear if this matter was pushed up from below in a frost heave fashion or explosively thrown out. Is there subsurface matter scattered around the area consistent with the volume that was previously in the hole? Or did it sink into a cavern below? I understand that the end result is indicative of a warming region but these holes are very exciting and I wish we had more good data on them.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 14, 2015

      Andrei Plekhanov, a senior researcher at the Scientific Research Center of the Arctic, stands at a crater, said there were no traces of an explosion
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2708345/Mystery-Siberian-crater-deepens-Scientists-left-baffled-two-NEW-holes-appear-Russias-icy-wilderness.html

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 14, 2015

      Take a trip inside the mysterious Siberian hole: New footage emerges from deep within the strange structure 21 July 2014
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2699853/Take-trip-inside-mysterious-Siberian-hole-New-footage-emerges-deep-strange-structure.html

      Reply
    • RAS appears to be sending quite a few scientists after these things. But it’s pretty clear from image analysis that this was a high energy blowout event with ejecta scattered about the rim region. Whether the eruption was due to ignition (problem of oxygen for burning) or over pressure from below, has yet to be determined.

      The most likely cause appears to be due to over pressure.

      So imagine stable hydrate in ice form. Then imagine just a little added heat pushing a pocket or system to destabilize. Then, very rapidly, the solid transitions to gas which creates a huge over pressure trying to occupy a greater volume. The gas would then force the ground above, breaking out through weak spots and displacing an equal volume of Earth.

      That’s probably the leading hypothesis at this time. If there is some presence of oxygen and a catalyst/ignition source, then there is a potential explosion. But given an anaerobic environment, that would be less likely.

      Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  March 15, 2015

        Given this is a new phenomena with potential major implications, I would think scientists would be knocking each other down to be first to collect the data and publish. Being first can make an enormous difference for a scientists future prospects. Alfred Russel Wallace would attest to that if he were still here.

        Reply
      • Good thematic description, Robert O’ Scribe.
        You’re on a roll…

        Reply
        • In pretty sharp focus lately due to a decent helping of worry right now. I don’t like Arctic summers anymore. And the winters are getting worrisome too. Not looking forward to fire season with all that water content in snow and the high temp deltas over Yakutia again.

    • Griffin

       /  March 15, 2015

      Thank you all for the responses. From the perspective of understanding exactly what happened, it is unfortunate that the events have occurred deep inside Russia. It’s not like a site survey team can just heli in and start an analysis, given the current political situation. Incredibly interesting even if it is a terribly frightening thing to see pictures of! Thanks again.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 15, 2015

        You’re welcome.

        “It’s not like a site survey team can just heli in and start an analysis”

        Wondering if Gazprom have sent in a team or even teams. It’s in their interest to know whether or not the holes are a threat to their operations in the area.

        How global warming could turn Siberia into a giant crater ‘time bomb’ 25 December 2014
        http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news
        A number of expeditions have taken place to the Yamal hole, the latest of which was at the beginning of November. Since then several conferences, seminars and meetings have been held by scientists and other experts to share their opinions about what caused it….

        One of the first to view the site was Marina Leibman, a senior researcher at the Institute of the Earth’s Cryosphere, of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
        She is convinced global warming is to blame, and told this to delegates at the recent Scientific Conference on Arctic Exploration….
        ‘In the last 14 years, the overall temperature in the depths of the Yamal has increased by at least two degrees Celsius. …
        ‘I would argue this is a new process, which was not observed previously. It can be seen as a reaction to changes in the temperature, which releases gas, possibly hidden in the form of relic hydrate, from the upper layers of permafrost.’….

        Larissa Kozhina, the head of the laboratory centre of hydrocarbon resources and reserves at energy firm Gazprom, said: ‘The crater at Bovanenkovo is above the gas trap, where prospective reserves are estimated at 17 billion cubic meters. What does this mean? All fields, all pipelines and railway tracks could be affected by such dangerous objects behind them and should be monitored.’…

        In November the Siberian Times told how scientists have been carrying out tests in the funnel to see if it could harness a new, highly efficient, gas energy source of the future.
        Japan, Canada and the United States have all ploughed millions of dollars into research projects to uncover and utilise global reserves of methane hydrate, as oil and coal dwindle.
        But now the discovery of the compound within the Siberian craters could give Russia the lead in the race to dominate the market over the next century.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 15, 2015

        Yamal crater in winter

        Reply
  40. – PNW Oregon USA 0314

    Perilously low snowpack levels in two southeastern Oregon counties have Gov. Kate Brown ready to declare a dought-related emergency.

    The state’s Drought Council has decided conditions are so dry in Lake and Malheur counties, a crisis is underway. After receiving pleas from both counties to recognize a drought, the council has sent recommendations to the governor to make it official.

    “It is likely that she will sign them upon receipt,” probably on Monday, Brown’s spokeswoman Melissa Navas said in an email Friday.

    Declarations for Harney and Klamath counties likely aren’t far behind, said Cory Grogan, a spokesman for the state Office of Emergency Management.

    The news comes hours after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a drought in three regions of the state, including the Olympic Peninsula, the east side of the central Cascades and the Walla Walla region.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/03/gov_kate_brown_to_declare_drou.html

    Reply
    • “Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a drought in three regions of the state, including the Olympic Peninsula…”

      – This is troubling as much of the Olympic Peninsula has rain forest’

      Hoh Rain Forest

      Reply
      • All the way to Washington now… That is abnormal in the extreme.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 15, 2015

        The Hoh, one of my most favourite places on Earth. Incredibly lush. So many wonderous things there. Walking, some places, the soggy ground rebounds with the step.

        Have observed chinook salmon spawning there in winter. Huge, beautiful creatures, spinning, spawing, digging out redds. River otters eating dying fish, dragging the big bodies to the shore. Amazing.

        Mindblowing that there’s hardly any snow – 4″-to-7″ – in the Olympics. Wondering how the salmon spawn went this past winter.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 15, 2015

        “All the way to Washington now… That is abnormal in the extreme.”

        And all the way up to B.C.
        Forest fire risk rising due to low snowpack
        Provincial authorities raising warnings earlier than usual due to drier than normal season
        Mar 06, 2015
        http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/forest-fire-risk-rising-due-to-low-snowpack-1.2985588

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 15, 2015

        Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin – March 1, 2015, British Columbia
        http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/bulletins/watersupply/current.htm
        Temperatures across British Columbia continued to be well above normal through the month of February. Temperatures were generally 3-5°C above normal, with the largest temperature anomalies occurring in southwest British Columbia. February sea surface temperature anomalies in the Pacific Ocean off the shores of British Columbia have continued to be several degrees above normal.

        February precipitation trends have been varied across the province. Vancouver Island, South Coast, and the Kootenay’s experienced below normal precipitation. Above normal precipitation occurred in the Okanagan, Central Interior, Northwest and Northeast BC. With increased temperatures, rainfall was the dominant form of precipitation through mid-elevation terrain.

        Snow Pack
        Snow pack accumulation trends from early in the season have persisted throughout February. Modest declines in snow basin indices were observed in most basins between the February and March surveys. With the exception of the Upper Fraser West, all regions of the province have near normal or below normal March 1st snow basin indices (Figure 1). Snow basin indices range from a low of 15 % on the South Coast to a high of 142% of in Upper Fraser West (Table 1 and Figure 1)….

        The extremely low snow packs in southwest BC and low snow packs in the low to mid-elevation terrain, are the result of both warmer temperatures and drier conditions through the winter. A high proportion of precipitation has been delivered as rain rather than snow. Snow basin indices are at historic minimum values (30 years of record) in the Lower Fraser, South Coast and Skagit basins, and near minimum values on Vancouver Island. Similar low snow pack conditions in southwest BC were observed in 2005….

        Outlook
        Warm Pacific Ocean temperatures and weak El Niño-like conditions are expected to persist into the spring. However NOAA is suggesting that the influence of El Niño through the spring is likely to be small given the weak nature of the El Niño conditions. In the north Pacific, well above normal temperatures continue to persist and are likely to have a stronger influence on temperature patterns into the spring, particularly along coastal sections of the province. Environment Canada is forecasting a high likelihood of above normal temperatures over the March to May period across British Columbia. ..

        With the current seasonal weather outlook and snow pack conditions in southwest British Columbia, it is unlikely that snow packs will recover significantly. With extremely low snow packs in the Lower Fraser, South Coast, Skagit and Vancouver Island, runoff from snow melt will be limited. Low flows are expected to occur earlier than normal this year, very low flows can be expected in the summer unless significant rainfall occurs through the spring and summer. To a lesser extent, lower snow packs in the East Kootenay, Boundary, Stikine and Northwest indicate an increased likelihood of summer low flows in these regions as well. A summary of seasonal volume runoff forecasts for select rivers in the province is below. Near normal runoff is forecast for most basins, with below normal runoff forecast for the Nicola (70-78% of normal) and Okanagan (85-86% of normal) and Kalamalka-Wood (59-63% of normal).

        Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  March 15, 2015

      Thanks, tweet scheduled on Oregon. Had previously done a couple on the Olympic.

      Reply
  41. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    Officials seek source of explosion near F&M; ‘frost quake’ proposed as a cause Mar 12, 2015
    http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/officials-seek-source-of-explosion-near-f-m-frost-quake/article_b600defc-c8dc-11e4-9769-9f7b5addcdb4.html
    Kate Carlisle, director of media relations at F&M, said some officials are calling it a frost quake, or frost heave….

    However, two local experts are less sure of that explanation.
    “That does happen here during the winter,” said Millersville University meteorologist Eric Horst. “It is kind of odd to happen now, though, while it’s thawing.”

    Charles Scharnberger, professor emeritus of earth sciences at Millersville, agreed.
    “In my experience, the only time you get frost quakes is when it’s very cold and the ground is frozen,” he said. “Obviously, that’s not the case today. I’ve never heard of a frost quake when it’s 50 degrees out.”
    Nothing shows up on seismic records taken at MU and F&M, he added.
    “It’s clean as a whistle. Absolutely nothing,” Scharnberger said. “So we can certainly rule out an earthquake. And the frost quake explanation just doesn’t make sense to me.”

    Reply
  42. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    Bullseye: Total Solar Eclipse, March 20, 2015, terminates at the North Pole

    Reply
  43. eleggua

     /  March 14, 2015

    Bullseye:

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2015

    The Arctic’s Ponds Are Disappearing Even As the Region Melts

    New research has revealed that the Arctic is losing its ponds, with the important habitats shrinking more every day. This may seem like a strange revelation for some, as past research has revealed that the Arctic continues to melt in the wake of climate change. Wouldn’t more melt water mean more ponds? Now, a pair of researchers explain what’s really going on.

    “Plants are taking over shallow ponds because they’re becoming warm and nutrient-rich,” Christian Anderson, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at El Paso, said in a recent statement. “Before you know it, boom, the pond is gone.”
    http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/13444/20150314/arctics-ponds-disappearing-even-region-melts.htm

    Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2015

    Several good maps with this article –
    Global warming could happen quicker in Russia’s coldest region

    Temperatures are rising twice the global rate in Russia’s coldest region because of warming, and this is likely to continue in the future, says a leading scientist.

    Delivering a lecture in Yakutsk, Professor Oleg Anisimov, from the State Hydrological Institute in St Petersburg said: ‘The UN group of climate experts anticipate global temperature increase from two to four degrees Celsius by the end of the century.’

    For Yakutia – also known as the Sakha Republic – climate models predict up to 8 degrees Celsius temperature rise.

    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/casestudy/features/f0065-global-warming-could-happen-quicker-in-russias-coldest-region/

    Reply
  46. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 15, 2015

    I feel like an unusual creature, I am anticipating April 2nd when the Greenland melt index comes out of calibration for 2014 and starts reporting values. Shouldn’t I be concerned about some damn Kardashian posting twitter tweet instagram’d pinterrested selfies of their ass instead?

    Reply
    • You are the way we should be. Kim is an adult cartoon character.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 15, 2015

        I blame OJ.

        Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  March 15, 2015

        Worth noting, however, that the Twitter account @KimKierkegaard is a fruitful source of humor (mashup of Kim and Kierkegaard). Sample recent tweet: “Today’s look: A terrible, insatiable existential hunger, plus my new favorite boots.”

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 15, 2015

        The philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard mashed with the tweets and observations of Kim Kardashian.
        https://twitter.com/KimKierkegaard

        My selfies are such that they will only be properly understood after my death. This too is my penance.

        Reply
  47. Heat wave sets new temperature records across California

    Downtown L.A., Long Beach, San Diego and other spots set new temperature records for the date — for the second day in a row. Downtown L.A. was at 93 degrees by 1 p.m

    … The heart extended to Northern California, where San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto set a new record for the day of 84 degrees.

    The heat is caused by a high-pressure system moving across the region, according to the National Weather Service.

    With temperatures 20 degrees above normal, the heat this weekend will break records that have stood for more than 60 years, said meteorologist Stuart Seto. On Saturday, highs will hit the 90s inland and the 80s on the coast.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-recordbreaking-heat-wave-broils-southern-california-20150314-story.html

    Reply
  48. BREAKING NEWS🙂

    Headline tells us:

    Methane in Arctic Lake Coming from Unexpected Places | The Weather Channel

    – The Weather Channel does act like it’s on some sort of ‘vapors’.

    Reply
  49. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2015

    The paper was better , the thaw is adding methane to ponds and lakes in the far north via seasonal melt water flowing into them . See my comment at 6 above. The ponds are disappearing . The ponds are are growing plants , methane is a plant food when it’s dissolved in water. The season is getting longer, the plants have more food . This greening is a real wild card. Ain’t nobody got this in their models. Really amazing things coming to Arctic.

    Reply
    • That groundwater flow will continue to intensify with warming. A real catalyst for sequestered carbon transport. We are starting a new carbon cycle up there. And it is in fast forward.

      Reply
  50. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 15, 2015

    Sao Paulo’s Drought Pits Water Prospectors Against Wildcatters

    Randomly drilling for water in the city is not always the best idea.

    http://www.npr.org/2015/03/10/392014833/sao-paulo-s-drought-pits-legitimate-prospectors-against-wildcatters

    Reply
    • Well, we were talking about this happening six months ago and here we are. Even in the rainforest country, they drill for water…

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 15, 2015

        New wildcatter stories now , A real wild west in Sao Paulo now . Every man for himself .

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  March 15, 2015

        “Every man for himself .”

        Spot on Bob. And it will expand further to other regions, locales.

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 15, 2015

      “He says his orders have doubled in the last year and have come from some unusual places, including a love motel.

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  March 15, 2015

        Love motel REALLY REALLY needs the showers to work!

        Reply
  51. RWood

     /  March 15, 2015

    A greater commitment, that may be heard:
    The world must act and act fast,” Mori said, appealing for more effective measures to curb carbon emissions seen as causing climate change.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/head-urges-safeguards-climate-disasters-29632984?utm_content=buffer24e94&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  52. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2015

    “water refugees.”

    In a 1984 article published in the journal Science, researchers Eneas Salati and Peter Vose of the University of São Paulo describe this “unique precipitation and water recycling regime” and warned of the dangers of massive tree-cutting.

    “Continued large-scale deforestation,” the scientists wrote, “is likely to lead to increased erosion and water runoff with initial flooding in the lower Amazon, together with reduced evapotranspiration and ultimately reduced precipitation.”

    http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/13/lessons-from-sao-paulos-water-shortage/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 15, 2015

      “water refugees.”
      This is why we all love science , you ask a question , you work for the answer that you think will solve the question. You publish your work. Time will tell if you are right.

      31 years after researchers Eneas Salati and Peter Vose of the University of São Paulo published their work , São Paulo is out of water.

      Reply
    • I remember bright eyed and hopeful college students selling plots via save the rainforest funds. That was the 90s. They’d read these reports. They wanted to help prevent this.

      But all that individual action was impotent compared to what amounted to a gross negligence on the part of the Brazilian government. They looked the other way on deforestation and climate change. Now they have a national water crisis in what was once the most water rich land in the world. They thought selling the forest would make them wealthy. But now they experience water poverty.

      Reply
      • Andy in YKD

         /  March 15, 2015

        The rich aren’t going to experience any water poverty. They made their money, and have some of it safe in a Swiss account. When the protests and riots make them too uncomfortable they will leave the country. They obviously don’t have any depth of allegience to Brazil, the country they plundered at the expense of the Brazilian people and the rest of the biosphere.

        Reply
  53. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 15, 2015

    A really good read on Peak Water. The author deserves a compliment.

    http://northdenvernews.com/lester-brown-on-peak-water/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 15, 2015

      When I was small boy in West Texas the irrigation engines never stopped. We would fall asleep to their roar. At the time, we never asked if water the would dry.

      You have no idea how clean ,and cold it was , we put water melons in it to cool them.

      Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  March 15, 2015

      Lester is great. Long record of big-picture global vision.

      Reply
  54. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2015

    When I was small boy in West Texas the irrigation engines never stopped. With straight stacks , no mufflers , no clean up . Just pumping water out of a 10 inch pipe. And it roared out of the pipe. As fast as we could pump it.

    That was over 50 years ago.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 15, 2015

      My uncle Doc was a post war leader in all this. By the early 60’s he had the coolest house in the family. This was poor white trash from north Texas. Most his younger brothers followed him. My dad was driving red and white 58,59 60 Chevys. . He couldn’t read , but he gave me the life I have today.

      Reply
      • The good news today is that many will have similar opportunities taking advantage of practically unlimited energy sources like wind and solar. Too bad there isn’t a similar advance for water. That’s where some tough choices really come into play.

        Reply
  55. eleggua

     /  March 15, 2015

    Keeling Curve spike on March 10 corresponds with NOAA for that day.

    NOAA:
    March 13 – 401.87
    March 12 – 401.26
    March 11 – Unavailable
    March 10 – 403.43
    March 09 – 401.56

    Reply
    • Yes. Rather large spike for the day. We’ve seen this kind of variation before where the measure will swing rather strongly over hours or days. It’s the already high level of CO2 that causes a bit of vertigo during these instances.

      Reply
  56. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2015

    My dad also drove in the Red Ball Express. .

    Reply
  57. Colorado Bob

     /  March 15, 2015

    My dad was part of this 70 years ago in France –
    The Ludendorff Bridge (sometimes referred to as the Bridge at Remagen) was in early March 1945 one of two remaining bridges across the River Rhine in Germany when it was captured during the Battle of Remagen by United States Army forces during the closing weeks of World War II. Built in World War I to help deliver reinforcements and supplies to the German troops on the Western Front, it connected Remagen on the west bank and the village of Erpel on the eastern side between two hills flanking the river.

    At the end of Operation Lumberjack (March 1–7, 1945), the troops of the American 1st Army approached Remagen and were surprised to find that the bridge was still standing. Its capture enabled the U.S. Army to establish a bridgehead on the eastern side of the Rhine. After the U.S. forces captured the bridge, Germany tried to destroy it multiple times until it collapsed on March 17, 1945, ten days after it was captured, killing 18 U.S. Army Engineers. While it stood, the bridge enabled the U.S. Army to deploy 25,000 troops, six Army divisions, with many tanks, artillery pieces and trucks, across the Rhine. It was never rebuilt. The towers on the west bank were converted into a museum and the towers on the east bank are a performing art space.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludendorff_Bridge

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 15, 2015

      70 years ago tonight my father was in his deuce and a half. He was part of the engineers trying to save the bridge. He told me about it, when they got there, under fire .

      They were hauling 3 in. planks of wood. to deck the the holes in the bridge. They drove on the bridge, men unloaded their trucks , and they turned around and left. The bridge was under fire the entire time.

      Reply
  58. Ouse M.D.

     /  March 15, 2015

    +1 C anomaly in the NH seems to be holding on

    Reply
  59. dnem

     /  March 15, 2015

    I have a general question: Does heat generated intrinsically on Earth – say from geologic processes and human industrial activity – contribute to the energy imbalance of the planet? I would think more of such heat would also be trapped by an enhanced greenhouse atmosphere, but I don’t know if its amount is trivial or meaningful compared to the heat generated extrinsically by the Sun. Anyone?

    Reply
    • Ouse M.D.

       /  March 15, 2015

      Humans are the No 1 geologic force since industrial revolution, but since 1950s, surely.
      7,2 billion of us, out of that ca. 3 billion burning fossil fuels, all the plastic, heating, electricity etc.
      That’s not one Pinatubo….

      Reply
    • Increasing ghg is the primary forcing due to its ability to capture, for significant periods of time, radiative energy coming from the sun. Since the sun provides orders of magnitude greater radiative forcing than any other source and because ghg is so effective at RF capture, the change in ghg concentration as it relates to initial solar forcing is the primary governor. Other RF sources are background signals on the global scale by comparison.

      Reply
    • james cole

       /  March 16, 2015

      The heat radiated from the earth’s core itself, the heat coming from the core, has a given figure, and compared to the heat radiated to the earth by the sun, the core heat rising to each square meter of surface is insignificant in the extreme. It is all about the heat the sun delivers and how much can escape back. I apologize for not having the figures and the equation, it was so long ago that I looked at this. But a climate denial proponent once hit me with the idea that the core was releasing more heat to the earths surface causing the warming. The facts, which I had at that time, blew him out of the water, and he disappeared from the discussion board never to be heard from.
      Deniers favor the sun as their counter argument. This guy was the first I encountered who ever used increased heat transfer from the earths core.

      Reply
  60. entropicman

     /  March 15, 2015

    Dnem

    Total geological heat release is about 44 Terawatts. To put into perspective this is 3 times humans civilizations energy budget 15 Terawatts.

    Gealogical heat leaves the surface at the rate of 0.09 watts/square metre. This is 0.03 percent of the solar energy reaching the earth’s surface. In the context of climate this is a very small and insignificant part of the Earth’s total energy budget..

    Reply
  61. Kevin Jones

     /  March 15, 2015

    Hansen commented recently that the human enhancement of the greenhouse effect trapped 20 times the energy of the total (heat) of human energy use itself. And as Archer points out in The Long Thaw, a quarter of this CO2 will remain in the atmosphere for the next 100,000 years.

    Reply
  62. – Arctic News – San Carana

    Strong Winds And Waves Batter Arctic Sea Ice

    Waves as high as 41.5 ft (12.65 m) were recorded between Svalbard and Norway on March 13, 2015 (green circle on the left part of the image below), while waves as high as 23.13 ft (7.05 m) were recorded close to the edge of the sea ice on March 15, 2015 (green circle on the right part of the image below).

    Reply
    • “Sam” Carana

      Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  March 15, 2015

      That is brutal. It may fracture the ice and make it more vulnerable to melt sooner in the season on the periphery.

      Reply
    • Very high waves associated with the periodically intense meridional pattern raging across the Barents and North Atlantic have been a prevalent feature in the Feb-March time frame. This does provide added stress to the ice edge in these regions.

      We are at record low levels for the date now. That said, the Arctic is experiencing a slight rebound in ice coverage and may return to near or above 2006 thresholds as AO swings negative and the polar region cools a bit from the more recent amplification in the March 15-20 timeframe. Beyond March 20, AO is predicted to swing positive again and the melt pressure will be likely to strengthen once more. Whether this will be enough to maintain or return to record daily lows remains to be seen.

      All that said, the very high temperature differentials near the ice edge, especially in the near Barents region, are generating strong winds over long distances (fetch) together with a very hostile swell environment for sea ice in that, near polar, region.

      Reply
  63. eleggua

     /  March 15, 2015

    Alarm over Kara Sea permafrost thawing January 09, 2015
    http://barentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2015/01/alarm-over-kara-sea-permafrost-thawing-09-01
    …Not far from the shores of the Yamal Peninsula is Gazprom planning for extensive drilling for more natural gas. Both the Leningradskoye- and Rusanovskoye fields are on the Western shelf of Yamal in the Kara Sea. In total, Gazprom plans to develop 20 offshore fields in the Kara Sea.
    (PhD Alexei) Portnov (Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrrate, Climate and Environment (CAGE) with the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø)
    and his colleagues have recently published the results from studies done on the seafloor of the Kara Sea in the Russian Arctic. The results are scary reading: The West Yamal shelf is leaking at depths much shallower than previously believed.
    “Significant amount of gas is leaking at depths between 20 and 50 meters,” the paper reads…

    The study has discovered that gas is released in an area of at least 7,500 m2, with gas flares extending up to 25 meters in the water column….

    Reply
  64. Kevin Jones

     /  March 15, 2015

    With little knowledge on this topic, I do wonder if there is a race between sea level rise increasing the pressure-thus helping to stabilize undersea clathrates and the rate of warming waters fighting to destabilize them….

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  March 15, 2015

      I have just been reading a book which mentions this very subject, and you are broadly correct.

      Reply
    • J.R

       /  March 16, 2015

      Not likely when you consider what the additional pressure of “rising seas” would really be (very low). The current amount of sea level rise is still being measured in a few inches at best (depending on location). That amount of water would not insulate the water column at all against warming temperatures, nor would it’s “increased pressure” do much for stabilizing clathrates. The amounts are simply too small. It’s more likely that lower albedo / less ice is a primary contributor to the warming waters in these regions and rising ocean temperatures globally (and rising greenhouse gasses of course).

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  March 16, 2015

        http://www.billmcguire.co.uk/books/waking-the-giant.html

        sorry that was a bit lazy!

        that reference for the book I’m reading, Its called Waking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunami’s and volcanoes.

        P196

        “As it is highly unlikely that the effect on marine gas hydrates of warmer seas will be exactly matched by deeper seas, looking ahead it seems as if a race is on the cards to see which will win out. If the rate at which ocean temperatures rise is significantly greater than that at which they deepen, then the odds favour the breakdown of gas hydrates and the release of quantities of methane to the atmosphere likely to ramp up global temperatures further and faster. Should rising sea levels take the lead, then the stability of marine gas hydrates could be assured, at least for a time.”

        So its sounds like Kevin is probably about right, and I think that pressure/sea level rise may well lose, looking at the recent evidence

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 16, 2015

        Thanks for the link, Mblanc.

        Robert, are you familiar with this book and thesis?

        An astonishing transformation over the last 20,000 years has seen our planet flip from a frigid wasteland into the temperate world upon which our civilisation has grown and thrived. This most dynamic episode in Earth history saw the crust bouncing and bending in response to the melting of the great ice sheets and the filling of the ocean basins; triggering earthquakes, spawning tsunamis and provoking a lively response from the world’s volcanoes. Now there are signs that human-induced climate change is encouraging the sleeping giant beneath our feet to stir once again. Could it be that we are on track to bequeath to our children and their children not only a far hotter world, but also a more geologically dangerous one?

        The ground beneath our feet may seem safe and solid, but earthquakes, volcanic blasts and other hazardous natural phenomena leave us in no doubt that this isn’t the case. The Earth is a dynamic planet of shifting tectonic plates that is responsive to change, particularly when there is a dramatic climate transition. We know that at the end of the last Ice Age, as the great glaciers disappeared, the release in pressure allowed the crust beneath to bounce back. At the same time, staggering volumes of melt water poured into the ocean basins, warping and bending the crust around their margins. The resulting tossing and turning provoked a huge resurgence in volcanic activity, seismic shocks, and monstrous landslides—the last both above the waves and below. The frightening truth is that temperature rises expected this century are in line with those at the end of the Ice Age. All the signs, warns geophysical hazard specialist Bill McGuire, are that unmitigated climate change due to human activities could bring about a comparable response. Using evidence accumulated from studies of the recent history of our planet, and gleaned from current observations and modelling, he argues convincingly that we ignore at our peril the threats presented by climate change and the waking giant beneath our feet.

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 16, 2015

        I was thinking along the lines of Hansens’ up to 5 meters by 2100 prediction….but yeah.

        Reply
    • If we warm the Earth by 3-9 C in one century, there’s no way SLR will catch up with the heat pulse. I just don’t see a precedent even for the rate at which we are warming now (0.2 C per decade). In the very worst case for SLR, we might hit 16 feet.

      The other problem that does not appear to be mentioned. And that comes in the form of the manner in which ice melt outflow affects ocean heat distribution. Cold, fresh water outflow from glaciers is less dense than warmer, saltier waters from lower latitudes. A high volume of cold water outflow expands from the polar zone. This cold water over-rides the heated equatorial water and drives it toward the ocean bottom. In this way, ice sheet melt drives warm waters to the bottom zones where hydrate is impacted.

      Reply
  65. rustj2015

     /  March 15, 2015

    WARNING: “left” political discussions in the vast context of the conditions so carefully revealed by Robert Scribbler and the readers and contributors here.

    Indictments of the central actors of the sale of the world. The conditions of the multitudes and their reactions to the environment. A heavy fare for a Sunday.

    1. In Naomi Klein’s brilliant new book and her husband Avi Lewis’ forthcoming film, ‘This Changes Everything’, we find crystal-clear linkages between climate (“This”) and practically all other areas of social struggle. For Klein, it is the profit motive that, universally, prevents a reasonable solution to our emissions of greenhouse gases: from energy, transport, agriculture, urbanisation, production, distribution, consumption, disposal and financing.
    In other words, the intersectionality possibilities and requirements of a serious climate change campaign span nearly all human activity. Through all these aspects of the world’s value chains, we are carbon addicted. In each sector, vested corporate interests prevent the necessary change for species survival.
    It is only by linking together our single issues and tackling climate as the kind of all-embracing problem it is, that we can soar out of our silos and generate the critical mass needed to make a difference.
    But in turn, that means that any sort of systemic analysis to save us from climate catastrophe not only permits but requires us to demand a restructured economic system in which instead of the profit motive as the driving incentive, large-scale ecologically-sound planning becomes the fundamental requirement for organising life.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/13/disconnecting-the-minerals-energy-climate-dots/

    2. The gender divide is not just a mirror image of humanity’s external dislocation from nature: it is both a symptom and driver of that dislocation.

    But it is not working. Contemporary global capitalism might be making some people richer, but it is making more people poorer and unhappier, in a context of accelerating uncertainty and conflict. And by the end of this century at least, we face the prospect, according to the consensus of our best scientific minds, of a largely uninhabitable planet if we continue business-as-usual.

    The global system is failing, and the mass murder, abuse and murder of women by men is central to that failure: misogyny is an integral function of planetary destruction.
    http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2790589/patriarchy_is_killing_our_planet_women_alone_can_save_her.html

    3. ‘In those regions where we have been able to carry out successfully these interesting experiments, where we have watched man being created by revolutionary beginnings’, because people began to realise that one works more with one’s brain and one’s heart than with one’s muscles and sweat.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/13/the-legacy-of-frantz-fanon/

    and the costs better illustrated to those who would resist the sale of the world:
    4. Fracking and resistance against an effective gas grab in Algeria has become an issue for the opposition to utilize in its attempt to develop another kind of politics in the country. However, the opposition, itself, remains fractured and disorganized.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/13/the-ain-salah-uprising/

    I do not intend to encourage response here, as that would deter the point of this gathering. But I will claim the contents above are enlightening and encouraging and believe many may agree.
    However, if so directed, I will desist this less scientific promotion. Suggestions of better venues will be appreciated.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 16, 2015

      Not getting the purpose of the “Warning” tag.

      Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  March 16, 2015

        It’s not a “balanced” presentation. And Frantz Fanon could be difficult for some. Thanks for looking.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 16, 2015

        Got it. 😉 You’re welcome. Thanks.
        This is an appropriate venue. It’s obvious here that a global ‘regime’ change of sorts is necessary – the key, really – to allowing the radical solutions needed to stop fossil fuel madness and mitigate climate change to take effective hold. (Hope ^that made good sense.)
        Thanks again.

        Reply
    • Thanks, rust. These are essential issues.

      Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  March 16, 2015

        Thank you for the forum. I felt the engagement with those resisting as I read and gathered the quotes — but then…

        Reply
    • danabanana

       /  March 16, 2015

      “For Klein, it is the profit motive that, universally, prevents a reasonable solution to our emissions of greenhouse gases”

      I hope all the profits from her book and her hubby’s movie are given away.

      Anyway, she’s not saying anything knew. Solution would be to end lobbying (bribes) and death penalty to those who’d still do it.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 16, 2015

        “death penalty”

        That’s extremely unnecessarily harsh. Ask yourself, are you personally willing to kill those whom you condemn to death? Are you willing to become what you condemn?

        There’s been enough killing and unnecessary, premature death wrought by humans throughout histroy. Change the tune; change the pattern; create a better future than the past.

        Reply
      • danabanana

         /  March 16, 2015

        “There’s been enough killing and unnecessary, premature death wrought by humans throughout history. Change the tune; change the pattern; create a better future than the past”

        Humans excel at copying, deceiving and killing. We didn’t get were we are without those and you shouldn’t dismiss them just because we think of them as negative traits. Life goes hand in hand with death, can’t have one without the other since for you to live a fish, plant, mushroom or mammal has to die.

        Now, those responsible for hiding facts and spreading misinformation about the impact of burning fossil fuels are backed up by the fossil fuel industries, no secret there. It is them that are killing everyone and it is to them that I’d apply the death penalty to.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 16, 2015

        You didn’t answer the question. Would you kill them yourself?

        Reply
      • danabanana

         /  March 16, 2015

        You’re asking the wrong question… If I did kill them, then I would be humiliated, painted as a terrorist and eventually possibly killed too. Don’t you know how much power & control the Fossil fuel industry has had and still has?

        2,000 years ago some guy called Jesus ended up crucified cause he disagreed with merchants in the temple making dosh… people has not changed.

        You spoke of a need for radical thinkers yet you can’t accept a radical approach like death penalty for a bunch of self serving, greedy, corrupt individuals that are taking us (and many, many species) down.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 16, 2015

        “You’re asking the wrong question”

        danabanana, I totally, wholeheartedly, respectfully disagree. If you wouldn’t do it yourself, then you cannot condone it in good conscience.

        I speak of a need for radical solutions, positive solutions. There’s nothing positive about murder.

        You evoke Jesus and his sacrifice. WWJD? Murder? Check Matthew 19:18, if that helps.

        Reply
      • danabanana

         /  March 17, 2015

        Why are you obsessed about me killing others? laws define society and right now we lack any laws to mitigate AGW. We have a law system that allows for some things while banning others. If you break the law you pay a penalty. Penalties vary from small fines to life in jail depending on to the laws broken and circumstances. In many countries death penalty is still used as punishment and life still goes on.

        What I have proposed is a change in laws to ban the practice of lobbying which is in essence legalised bribery. The penalty for breaking this law should be death because you need a very strong deterrent which fines or jail sentences are not.

        From this you turned the comment into a personal quarrel about my morals ignoring entirely the fact that lobbyist, (and in this case Fossil Fuel lobbyists) have a lot of blame on their shoulders for the situation we see ourselves in with AGW and therefore responsible for AGW related deaths.

        Reply
      • danabanana

         /  March 17, 2015

        re Jesus analogy. A group of humans (Temple Traders) got together to protect vested interests from a threat (Jesus). These group goes to great lengths in order to eliminate the threat so much so that they took it all the way to the prefect of the Roman province of Judaea and in the end they got him killed. 2,000 years later, people still do this sort of thing.

        The commandments are not quite right, are they?

        take “HONOUR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER” if a father sexually abuses a child (something that does happen often) should the child honour him?

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 17, 2015

        No quarrel. Discussion. Have a great day!

        Reply
  66. Greg

     /  March 16, 2015

    Don’t know if the link below this is a repost but this kind of experimentation with soil carbon uptake inspires me as a soils scientist and is a win/win similar to renewables. Once carbon is properly priced internationally and there is regulation and/or incentives for carbon sequestration such that everyone gets in on the action then the small scale stuff is going to be as, if not more, important than the large scale work to remove carbon from the atmosphere. I have no doubt that this will happen, assuming we begin this process in earnest and do so while we still have maintained societal structures.

    http://craftsmanship.net/the-carbon-gatherer/

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 16, 2015

      Encore presentation.
      Bob Nickson posted it here a couple of days ago, however it definitely deserves more attention.

      ‘The Carbon Gatherer’
      ….“carbon sequestration”…

      That’s where John Wick has come in, with a novel way to supercharge the process—and some valid studies to back it up. His protocol has now been approved by the American Carbon Registry for use on the voluntary carbon trading market. It also just recently got the nod from the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association, which means that California counties can offer emitters the ability to purchase credits from ranchers using the system….

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  March 16, 2015

        Thank you. Don’t forget Biochar as well. It is a force multiplier, a win-win like renewables and beautiful to be behold:

        Reply
  67. Apneaman

     /  March 16, 2015

    So what did-in the dinosaurs? A murder mystery…

    Scientists have assembled a slew of new forensic evidence – from high-resolution dates to microscopic fossils – to prosecute the dino-killer. Their indictment has worrying implications for us.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=2892

    Reply
    • Is the hothouse coming back as the Dino killer? …

      Reply
    • Sounds like the Permian all over again. There’s been an undercurrent of this in the paleo sciences for some time. Now it looks like impact theory may be on the ropes.

      Reply
    • entropicman

       /  March 16, 2015

      Perhaps a ropadope? The vulcanism stressed the dinosaur populations and the impact finished them off.

      Reply
    • Well, it makes things more consistent, I guess, if the flood basalt triggered methane release, ocean acidification and oceanic anoxia scenario is a general explanation for all major mass extinction events . So all of the major mass extinctions seem to have the same cause – sudden climate change. All of them are also consistent with major methane releases, so far as I know.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 19, 2015

        Check my comments below re: the Chicxulub event. Links included. Thanks.

        Reply
  68. Kevin Jones

     /  March 16, 2015

    Thanks Mblanc for directing me to the Waking the Giant book. It’s on my list. Thanks everyone else for great continuing input. Robert: I just don’t see a (Northern Hemisphere) temp spike near 4-5C UNTIL the torrential ice cold 21 feet of sea level rise of Greenland outflow is mostly complete… When? I do see storms. Lots and lots of storms.

    Reply
  69. eleggua

     /  March 16, 2015

    “Perhaps a ropadope? The vulcanism stressed the dinosaur populations and the impact finished them off.”

    That’s the widely accepted theory of late:
    https://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S32/14/62G75/
    A cosmic one-two punch of colossal volcanic eruptions and meteorite strikes likely caused the mass-extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period that is famous for killing the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, according to two Princeton University reports that reject the prevailing theory that the extinction was caused by a single large meteorite.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 16, 2015

      Chicxulub was sulphur-rich, too; the debris was literally toxic to the dinos:

      Production of sulphate-rich vapour during the Chicxulub impact and implications for ocean acidification
      22 January 2014
      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n4/full/ngeo2095.html
      Our experiments suggest that the Chicxulub impact released a huge quantity of sulphur trioxide into the atmosphere, where it would have rapidly combined with water vapour to form sulphuric acid aerosol particles. We also find, using a theoretical model of aerosol coagulation following the Chicxulub impact, that larger silicate particles ejected during the impact efficiently scavenge sulphuric acid aerosol particles and deliver the sulphuric acid to the surface within a few days. The rapid surface deposition of sulphuric acid would cause severe ocean acidification and account for preferential extinction of planktonic over benthic foraminifera.

      Reply
  70. Mblanc

     /  March 16, 2015

    A bit more about Bill McGuire, seeing as some posters showed some interest. This magazine was published by the Royal Society in 2010. I think McGuire is the guest editor. I believe it gives many of the references used in his book (published in 2012), and a relatively brief outline of the evidence.

    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/368/1919/2317

    I think McGuire is best known in the US for his part in the BBC Horizon program (2003?)on the possibility of a Tsunami created by the collapse/landslide of part of a Canarian Island volcano. The original calculations of the size of the potential wave have been challenged and reduced, but I don’t think he has won many friends in the US as a consequence, particularly amongst US East coast property owners!

    When I asked Realclimate about his work in 2010, because I’d read about the magazine issue linked above, I got the feeling that commenters there had no real interest in links between climate and geology. A few posters made reference to the BBC Horizon program, and McGuire’s well known links to the insurance industry, and that was all.

    I think this was because there was held to be no substantial evidence of a link, at that time. Because I didn’t have a copy of the magazine to reference, I left it at that. If your gonna comment on RC, as an interested amateur, you need to really know what your trying to say, and have all your references to hand, which is probably as it should be, given the academic quality of many of the posters.

    But I bought the book just after Xmas 2014, and its clear to me that most climate specialists are not geologists, So I think its difficult for them to assess this work. Here in the UK, McGuire is the most prominent TV disaster ‘talking head’, wheeled out after every natural disaster for comment, and is featured in numerous documentaries.

    When it comes to methane, his main concern seems to be the evidence of a link between submarine landslides and the breakdown of gas hydrates, both as a cause and an effect. An interesting case study he mentions is the Storegga Slide.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storegga_Slide

    anyway, thank you for your patience, if you have read this far, I’ll stop banging on about it now, at least until I’ve finished the book!

    Reply
  71. Hi Robert-

    Thanks for all your great work.

    ” “We have just learnt that in Yakutia, new information has emerged about a giant crater one kilometer (0.6 miles) in diameter,” the deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vasily Bogoyavlensky, told AFP.

    He said this brought to seven the number of reported pits.

    “Footage allows us to identify minimum seven craters, but in fact there are plenty more,” he said. ”

    Minimum of seven craters, he says, but there are plenty more. Plenty more? How many?
    Is this crater forming process the source of ALL of the circular lakes in the region?

    That would be tens to hundreds of thousands of craters.

    Readers can go to Google Earth, and cruise around up there around Yamal, and look at the circular lakes. They are there in very large numbers, and are different sizes, up to several kilometers in diameter.

    A few months ago I speculated on Skeptical Science and elsewhere that the craters forming in Yamal would progressively enlarge, as the edges of the hole keep falling into the lake in the bottom. I speculated that this process in which the craters are formed by blowouts, then are progressively made wider and shallower by undercutting of the edge of the crater, was the source of all of the tens of thousands of circular lakes in the area.

    Why? Because Occam’s Razor says that one circular lake forming process is a simpler explanation than two or more, operating in the same region.

    Bogoyavllensky seems to be confirming a lot of that speculation, sad to say.

    Here’s one scenario:

    Sometime in the fairly recent geological past, the Yamal region of Siberia was covered by an ice sheet. The pressure of that ice sheet allowed a shallow layer of methane hydrate to form. That area has also been sea bottom, so there are lots of high salt sediments there.

    http://www.arlis.org/docs/vol1/ICOP/40770716/CD-ROM/Proceedings/PDF001189/151104.pdf
    (Sources of Natural Gas Within Permafrost, Northwest Siberia)

    After the ice sheets retreated, the layer of relic methane hydrate was kept stable by the permafrost. During warm periods, that layer starts to create more free methane gas. Some areas have mixed hydrate and salt deposits, which create areas of unstable “triple point” methane hydrate. Such hydrate at the triple point of the gas/liquid/solid system can flash, I think, and a wave of dissociation from solid hydrate to methane gas could conceivably flash through such a deposit, like a bottle of champagne when the cork is removed.

    One way or another, through simple pressure accumulation or the more complicated triple point salt phenomenon, the free gas accumulations blow, and create deep craters a hundred meters or so in depth.

    Those deep craters continue to evolve methane for months, so calculations of the amount of methane in the initial eruption are beside the point. The real story is the chronic emissions, I think. Likely, plumes of buoyant methane rise from the center of each crater, with fresh air flowing down the sides of the crater. The craters keep enlarging by subsidence, as the undercut permafrost keeps falling into the progressively enlarging lake.

    The result? Tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of circular lakes – each associated with a blowout release of methane and a much larger chronic release of methane.

    They are going to be popping like popcorn, up there, I think.

    Underlying these areas lie huge deposits of natural gas, containing tens of billions of tons of methane – several times the amount of methane in the atmosphere right now. I worry that these lakes will form taliks of thawed permafrost, extending a couple of hundred meters deep into the permafrost. I worry that such taliks might link up with deeper geological faults, and start releasing gas from these giant gas fields.

    Reply
    • Hello Leland and thanks for the comment and discussion.

      Ever since the first discovery of these blowouts this past summer, there has been quite a bit of speculation and concern. But I think we can say for now, at least, that we are very early in the discovery process and that other mechanisms for permafrost lake formation do exist — such as subsidence and thermokarst formation. That said, even if this is a relatively new set of events featuring moderate or few blowouts, currently, I certainly think it is a risk worth taking seriously that more (perhaps quite a few more) of these (possibly larger) eruptions could occur. To this point, I think you’re right to be concerned about this as a mechanism for linking larger gas pockets through taliks or other structures. I also think it’s worth considering that some of these gas systems may form and link prior to a blowout and, thereby, enhance it.

      As with all things methane, we have a lot of speculation and potential risk at this point, but so far very little in the way of scientific work or monitoring on the ground. I think this is a problem which we would want to swiftly define to the best of our ability. So you can add my voice to those calling for a broader investigation.

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  March 18, 2015

        Hi Robert-

        Thanks so much for the reply. I do hope subsidence and thermokarst formation are the dominant mechanisms. Really, there is nothing…absolutely nothing…in the world I would rather be wrong about.

        In my job as an analytical chemist doing method development, I get to form and test hypotheses on short time scales. I’ve been doing that for a long time.

        So, I went looking for predictions that the blowout hypothesis would make that the other mechanisms would not. It turns out that if you map the giant gas fields in Western Siberia, they just about all have these circular lakes. It is almost as if there is some deep connection between the lakes and the gas fields. Look for the largest concentrations of circular lakes, and there you will find the biggest gas fields. The first crater we heard about on Yamal, for example, is very, very close to Bovanenkovo – about 5 kilometers from the closest gas well I could find on Google earth.

        If the blowout hypothesis is correct, then there would reasonably be a strong correspondence between circular lakes and gas fields – the more gas, the greater the possibility of slow leakage from it accumulating in permafrost around it, perhaps, and the greater the probability of a blowout. The other mechanisms do not make this prediction, so far as I am aware.

        The circular lakes have been attributed to subsidence and thermokarst formation in the past…before we knew about the blowout mechanism. What if the scientists involved just attributed the lakes to processes we knew about at the time?

        You’re right, it’s early in the process. I’ll sacrifice some Kentucky Fried Chicken to the Gods tonight, and pray that there is another explanation.🙂

        But really, I think that the blowout mechanism is the dominant mechanism for producing these lakes. It’s a new explanation for them, but the hypothesis and the predictions from it started to line up in a way I have experienced many times before on the job – when I had the correct hypothesis. The blowout hypothesis explains the entire life cycle of these lakes, explains otherwise randomly occurring observations, and seems to make good predictions.

        Vasily Bogoyavlensky seems to be buying the blowout hypothesis and is quoted as saying “but really, there are many more” [blowout caused lakes – LP] and he is a real expert in the subject.

        Andrey Plekhanov, Senior Researcher at the State Scientific Centre of Arctic Research, also seems to buy it, at least for some lakes:

        “Quoting Plekanhov- “‘I also want to recall a theory that our scientists worked on in the 1980s – it has been left and then forgotten for a number of years.
        ‘The theory was that the number of Yamal lakes formed because of exactly such natural process [blowouts – LP] happening in the permafrost.
        ‘Such kind of processes were taking place about 8,000 years ago. Perhaps they are repeating nowadays. If this theory is confirmed, we can say that we have witnessed a unique natural process that formed the unusual landscape of Yamal peninsula.””

        Thanks again for the reply.🙂

        Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  March 18, 2015

      Interesting post during interesting times!
      thanks

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  March 18, 2015

        Yes. Fascinating. Thanks.

        Reply
      • Thanks. The times are way too interesting, we both agree. Hope the blowout hypothesis for the generation of most of the circular lakes is wrong. .

        But, it’s not, I think.

        If it’s right, we have a planetary emergency, I think, even more than CO2 based warming, and maybe even more than past methane catastrophes.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 18, 2015

        “…we have a planetary emergency…”

        That is true, no matter if your hypothesis is correct or not. Thanks so much for your posts on this subject. Food for thought. If you scan over the comments in the previous three or so articles here, I’d posted images of some maps of the region detailing the locations of the holes and of the oil fields and pipelines, and links to articles re: the Bovanenkovo/Novoportovskoye oil and gas fields. Might be helpful in your research. Thanks again.

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 18, 2015

      Colorado Bob, have you had any success in locating the new, mega-hole via Lance Modis?
      Would be interesting to see if there’re more circular lakes in its vicinity.

      Reply
  72. By the way, some of the comments seem to be based on the assumption that a 1 kilometer wide lake would require a 1 kilometer crater, after the initial blast. So, a huge initial blast is implied.

    Maybe not. It looks like these craters might progressively enlarge in diameter as they turn into lakes, as the surrounding permafrost keeps being undercut by the lake in the bottom of the crater and keeps falling into the hole. They might also link up, and now there is this strange phenomenon where big lakes seem to spawn smaller baby lakes.

    Neglecting the ice content, fooling around using a spreadsheet, and calculating equivalent volumes of cylinders, it looks like a 1000 meter lake 20 meters deep would require a 450 meter diameter by 100 meter deep initial crater. The volume of the sediment falling into the crater would change that number somewhat, depending on the ice content of the permafrost falling into the lake.

    So, a big initial eruption would likely be required, but not as big as you might expect by looking at the final diameter of the resulting lake.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 19, 2015

      Good point, Leland.
      However, the 1 kilometer wide crater reported recently isn’t a lake yet, if the report is correct,
      and there’s no mention of when the crater was formed nor when it was found:

      http://www.chinapost.com.tw/life/discover/2015/03/14/431005/More-giant.htm
      “We have just learnt that in Yakutia, new information has emerged about a giant crater one kilometer (0.6 miles) in diameter,” the deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vasily Bogoyavlensky, told AFP./

      As to the lakes in the vicinity of the known holes, that’s a very good point.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 19, 2015

      We need you on the ground in Yamal, Leland. 🙂
      Great posts re: the holes. Thanks so much.

      Reply
  73. Haven’t been keeping up with developments a lot recently, but seems things are proeeding as one might have envisaged generally if a little slower than I’ve tended to think, Do people really still think there is any path through this excepting through collapse? There comes a time to shed inappropriate optimism and attack the problem realistically.

    Reply

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