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Old 05-21-2012, 05:10 AM
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Default Methane now boiling off FASTER in arctic

Well, anyone who thinks that the atmosphere is not in trouble hasn't been reading the news.
We knew about the methane that was being released in the northern polar regions, and yesterday it was announced by NOAA that it was the first time since Hurricane tracks were recorded, that tropical storms were spawned in BOTH the Atlantic AND Pacific Oceans on the same day, and that was 12 days before the start of the season.
NOW comes the report that due to the rapid melting of the
arctic ice that Methane is being released into the atmosphere at higher than earlier reported rates.
The atmosphere of this Planet is in deep trouble, and if things aren't changed NOW it will go over the tipping point before too many years.
I know, then the heavy industries on this planet will call for ANOTHER STUDY that they will debate the findings of.
The link to the BBC story is here:

BBC News - Arctic melt releasing ancient methane
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:10 PM
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Arctic Methane Emergency Group - AMEG - Home

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Old 05-22-2012, 09:55 PM
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What I'm about to write will be controversial: we cannot waste this opportunity, free natural gas without (well, nearly without) any effort in exploring or drilling. This is a great chance to capture this methane and use it as a, relatively, clean fuel! It's time for engineers to make things happen.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:31 AM
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How do you propose to capture it?
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Sempu View Post
How do you propose to capture it?
Oh yee of little faith.

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Old 05-23-2012, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice View Post
What I'm about to write will be controversial: we cannot waste this opportunity, free natural gas without (well, nearly without) any effort in exploring or drilling. This is a great chance to capture this methane and use it as a, relatively, clean fuel! It's time for engineers to make things happen.
NO.

CH4 + O2 = CO2 + H2O.

All you're doing is trading one greenhouse gas for another.

Now it's my turn, so buckle your seatbelt, kid.

South American cities don't seem to understand that they can't go through the same kind of industrial revolution that the US/Europe did, because it would literally ruin the world.

Just because first world countries made some mistakes (and really, they were some pretty big ****ing mistakes) during their revolutions does not mean that it's okay for everyone else to do the same thing. In fact, it means that they have more responsibility to look into the past and make better decisions than those who came before them.

Furthermore, since Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, and all the others live in such an important area biodiversity-wise, your country and the others have a responsibility to keep those resources safe.

So far, this hasn't really happened. I would like to personally eviscerate the government of Brazil and Bolivia, and most of the others aren't much better. Brazil pretends to care about how importat the forests are, but they're doing just as ****ty of a job as ever, they've just figured out how to hide if from people.

If these countries made efforts to restore former forests and pursue renewable energy for power and jobs, they could be heroes. Instead, they're no better than pigs wriggling around in their own feces.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:34 AM
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You've got that "feces" right Raiden!! I have felt the way that I do now about the Brazilian rainforest since the early seventies. Those governments take the fact that the U.S., and the Europeans did it the way that we did as license to do it the exact same way.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:50 PM
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CO2 is less of a potent greenhouse gas than CH4, so it would actually be better to burn it - especially as it eventually will become CO2 anyways. But there is just no technical way to capture these bubbles. It would require massive application of technology, probably not be economic at all and would take decades to implement - if someone wants to do that, fine, but thats not the message in these studies.

Re the "global south" and development. I agree Raiden. I sometimes feel that argument of these countries like China and India and now South America and Africa about having the right to pollute because the western states did the same some decades ago and it would be unfair to deny them to prosper as well is rather stupid. I think basically what they are insisting on is to make the same mistakes that "we" did in the past. How insane is that to not only make the same mistakes again, but to actually insist on having the right to do so. Instead they should learn from the mistakes.
The problem is, that they dont see it as a mistake. They see westerners with their big houses and cars and flat screen TVs and think that the whole thng worked out pretty well thanky ou very much and they want the same. This lacks totally the bigger picture - that it is not mandatory to destroy your environment for increasing wealth, that a lot of the wealth of the westerners is based actually on exploiting poorer countries (and there are few countries left to exploit for those who now are "developing") and that while westerners may have these gadgets, they miss a clean and healthy environment, there is a lot of cancer and diabetes and heart desease and depression and anxiety. But thats not televised of course (except as a humourous sidenote).
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:27 PM
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Methane is much worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, as Aurora wrote (and easily verifiable). We can let the methane escape to the atmosphere as a pollutant (which would be a disaster) or to develop a technology to capture the methane and use it as a fuel. As for the ethical issue, then we can have and endless debate.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice View Post
Methane is much worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, as Aurora wrote (and easily verifiable). We can let the methane escape to the atmosphere as a pollutant (which would be a disaster) or to develop a technology to capture the methane and use it as a fuel. As for the ethical issue, then we can have and endless debate.
There is no debate.

The countries of South America has a responsibility, and they are shirking it and acting like grimy, petty cretins.

That forest is vitally important as a carbon sink, and it is horribly unjust for people to be destroying it without consideration of the other lifeforms that live there.

In addition, the biomes of South America will not support a human society like those found in the US and Europe; it just can't. It's too fragile, and because of the loss of trees, it is becoming drier. What will your distant relatives do for water in 2154 if the jungle turns into an inhospitable desert?

It is also foolish to think that anyone can have the same progression as the US/Europe as far as industrialization and not ruin the world. When those countries underwent their expansion, they dealt untold damages to the environment, they just didn't know at the time. Now we know, and there is no excuse for developing nations not to be exploring renewable energy. Hell, Brazil could be an international hero if it switched entirely to solar, wind, and algal biofuels, and promoted ecotourism and sustainable agroforestry. It could probably even overtake the US as a world power once the leaders here finally run out of fossil fuels.

But no, nobody seems capable of thinking any farther ahead than getting the next big payoff from drug traffickers and corrupt farmers. As far as I'm concerned, they can all go to hell and stew in an endless cauldron of their own boiling feces.

As for the greenhouse gas issue, we should be pulling carbon out of the atmosphere, not putting it in. Sure, CO2 is a less potent greenhouse gas, but it's still there; it also reacts with water to form Carbonic acid, and if the oceans get too much more acidic, the Earth's whole ecosystem could begin to collapse.

I don't think that the methane vents should be left alone, but I think that a way of capping them off somehow would be preferable to burning it. The goal here should be to remove carbon from the atmosphere by doing things like planting trees and eelgrass beds, using algal biofuels, and inciting phytoplanktonic blooms in the south Atlantic.
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Last edited by Raiden; 05-24-2012 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:42 PM
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So, WE, South Americans, shouldn't be allowed to have a decent life? Shouldn't WE be allowed to have clean water, abundant food, clean clothes and organized cities? Wasn't the "global warming" triggered by European and North American industrial revolutions? Why should WE conform with a level of life called poverty in order to allow the developed world to name themselves "protectors of nature" and enjoy their level of life?

IMHO, at this point there really is nothing to do about Climate Change, it is already among us and playing the blame game is futile. If we really want to keep the planet green, then it is a matter of ALL the world. "Developing" countries would be much more efficient in energy, resources and land use if we were allowed to develop our nations with new technologies, which obviously, are too expensive for us so, guess what? we have to use obsolete technologies while we develop ours.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiden View Post
In addition, the biomes of South America will not support a human society like those found in the US and Europe; it just can't. It's too fragile, and because of the loss of trees, it is becoming drier. What will your distant relatives do for water in 2154 if the jungle turns into an inhospitable desert?
As someone with little knowledge of the mechanics involved, I do have to question this bit: where would the water go? It can't just up and vanish.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:33 PM
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I think there is a misconception about how these vents look like. It is not like they are volcanoes or boreholes that one could cap or plug or put a pipe into it an burn it. These areas are vast, many small vents bubble methane all over the place. Its like in a swamp where at all places there are occasionally little bubbles forming - overall the emissions are great, but locally not. The only thinkable way to actually capture that methane would be to cover many square kilometers of ocean by some cap - like a plastic foil maybe - and funnel the methane into one place, then dry it, compress it and ship it off. This is technologically not feasible because of the weather, ocean currents, etc - and economically not viable (high investments for low output).

Re the "ethics of pollution" - it is not about denying others the desire to have clean water and abundant food (rather probably to the contrary if one looks at China and the trouble it increasingly has with getting clean water). But the flaw here is that the developing countries think that the only way to get there (wherever "there" is and if this is desireable is another topic) is by burning fossil fuels and operating with lax environmental regulations, basically turning the wealth of Nature into material wealth for the people. As I said - the argument is often that "you did it too, dont blame us now", directed at the West. But if Humanity is a sane and conscious species, it should be able to learn from mistakes. No one in Europe would now want to put lead into gasoline, put untreated wastewater and chemical waste into rivers, burn sulfur rich coal without scrubbers or even drill for oil without triple safety measures. These are lessons learned and I think the learning should apply also to others, so that they can make better choices. Otherwise, we are all doomed to repeat the mistakes of others, that would be sad.

@Clarke - The water goes into two places. The atmosphere (which can hold more moisture in a warmer climate - which by the way increases greenhouse effect even more) - and the oceans (where it contributes to sea level rise and is only accessible to humans by energy intensive desalination and transport)
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Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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