Comments on: The Continuing Mysteries of the Ice Ages Global environmental challenges Wed, 16 Nov 2016 08:14:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Anubis Fri, 05 Jun 2009 23:12:53 +0000 Dan, thank you for illuminating truth. This may well be a factor in climate models getting time frames wrong on computer generated forecasts.

By: Dan Zimmerman Thu, 28 May 2009 17:46:21 +0000 I’m assuming that the oceanic methane and solid methane being referred to are methane hydrates (MH), which is gaseous methane wrapped in ice. As recent reports from Norway and other stations show, there has been a significant increase of methane in atmospheric concentrations, especially in the northern latitudes. As Katey Walter’s work, and that of Russian scientists, has detailed, methane hydrates in both permafrost and oceanic deposits in the Artic have been releasing methane in large amounts for the past few years. Whether or not this is the beginning of feedback loop initiation is unknown but suspected.

Also of concern is the fact that the oil and gas industry has kept a dirty little secret from the public eye for many years. They have been drilling into and through these MH beds with terrible results, including over 500 gas blowouts worldwide in the last 25 years. But because these blowouts occur from shallow gas hydrates, before any oil pocket has been penetrated, these purely gas blowouts aren’t considered a pollution event and don’t have to be reported as such, since they evaporate and leave no tell tale sign.

The truth of the matter is that they have released massive amounts of methane from the MH reservoir, and none of this, including methane release from the Artic, is included in the modeling used to estimate global warming scenarios, which is probably why methane concentrations have been increasing once again.

I have put together a report entitled “Fire in Ice” which details all of this. If interested let me know and Ill get a copy to you.

By: Stuart Tue, 26 May 2009 14:45:59 +0000 Don,

Methane (CH4) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) have long been known to be intimately involved in the ice age cycles. Indeed these ice core greenhouse gas (ghg) change discoveries are among the biggest ‘breakthroughs’ from other disciplines (atmospheric chemistry, glaciology, etc) that I was referring to.

The causes of these ice age ghg changes are quite important, to say the least, for our current CO2 and CH4 situation. Many different hypotheses have been put forward including, for CH4, coastal and continental shelf source changes you mention. But a consensus on the dominant mechanisms, if there is one in each case, does not exist yet, is my understanding.

It’s safe to say these ghg changes acted as key positive feedback process for ice age cycles through their effect on atmospheric thermal radiation, like today.

I don’t discuss these ghg cycles directly in my paper because we don’t have data on how CO2 and CH4 may have changed during the Cretaceous 1-3 million year sediment cyles I discuss. However I do believe that such changes probably took place because coastal processes have such an important influence on ocean chemistry among other things. As proxies for paleo-atmospheric chemistry improve over time, hopefully we will know more about this.

By: Don Sun, 24 May 2009 13:53:14 +0000 Stuart, have you considered the involvement of the methane cycle? In order for methane to convert from a solid to liquid and then gas, it must extract heat from the surroundings. Methane is gas at most temperatures. But under high pressure and in cold climates, there is a solid form of it underwater that is tremendously abundant.

Since the earth has many natural mechanisms intended to maintain equillibrium conditions, it makes sense for a cooling system to kick in if the system overheats. Heat would be taken from the surface and carried up where it would radiate into space leaving a frosty surface on the planet.

During a chill-out period, there would be widespread loss of life. But among the first to recover during a warming would be bacterial populations which would have time to break down the residual matter. So all of the nutrients including trace elements would be returned to the soil for the next age of plant and animal life. Then the who thing repeats. That is my guess anyways.

By: Sunny G Thu, 21 May 2009 00:41:23 +0000 A breakthrough in the ice age mysteries will undoubtedly be interesting. Lots of unknown facts still remain hidden in Antarctica and the ice just got a lot more interesting. Recent research shows that frozen influenza strains are becoming active as a result of the global warming. Now who would have known that? ozen-killers-in-antartic.html