Man-made Earthquakes, Arctic Methane and Runaway Global Warming

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Such a global rise in temperature, you know… 5 or 6 degrees in a few decades, …but the picture is a bit more complicated because… massive changes in the jet stream, that we are seeing, can cause very large redistribution of temperature, … and… it can kind of be… I think the methane is probably still required, I think that there can be huge changes locally, like say over Greenland’s ice cores, or over Antarctic ice cores in certain regions, that can just be due to the jet stream changes. – But that methane gas, doesn’t that, in the atmosphere, create the higher temperatures, more damage, at a faster rate? – Yes, the methane… there’s definitely more… since 2007 we have seen a rise in methane in the atmosphere. It kind of flattened off through a decade or so; started to sharp rise in 2007 .

.. and I think… you know, the levels coming up in the Arctic from… … the sources of methane, you know, we have the permafrost and tundra thawing out, that exposes the organic matter broken down by bacteria and so on and if there’s no oxygen available it’s mostly methane that comes out of it, if it’s near the surface and emerges then the oxygen can get down and it’s CO2 that comes out; there’s generally a mix of CO2 and methane and the amount of either gas depends on how much oxygen is available, so we’re talking about anaerobic or aerobic decomposition. So there’s that source but there’s also these… the methane is also in the settlements on the sea floor. So the sea floor is warming over the eastern Siberian Arctic shelf, the water temperature has up-risen 5 to 6 degrees Celsius; remember that water temperature alters the sea floor…

and this has caused thawing of those sediments on the sea floor, and bubbling of methane up above the shelf, I mean the Russian scientists have been measuring this, so this is another form, but also in the settlements there’s pockets of this frozen methane in the water, and these are the methane clathrates that people talk about and, Peter Wadhams wrote a paper on what would a 50 Megaton burst of methane over a few years or a decade or even a few decades, what would that do, and he came up with some 60 billion dollar ??? or something, he worked with an economist, he tried to put a number on it, but these sort of things, these type of methane… If 1% of methane in the Arctic was released, that would increase atmospheric levels I think in a factor of 10 or something and… we’re on a different planet, because in the short term, the global warming potential of one molecule of methane is..

. …close to 200 times more effective than one molecule of CO2, and that’s on a 1 year or 2 time scale… – But you and I are the only ones that know that. That’s the problem! These people seated in this room did not know about that. – Yeah, so people that… The David Arthur’s and the Gavin Smith’s, and some of these folks who… we always go to talk to them when methane comes up and they say: “Well, it’s going to take a long time to come up… the computer models show it’s gona take a long time to come up, but the computer models mostly rely on how long it takes heat to transfer through a uniform material, they’re the so called ‘slab models’, I mean… I argue with David Arthur: well, there’s fractures in the sediment, there’s areas where there’s unfrozen and frozen pockets and, if you get a small fissure and you get a little bit of methane coming up then the actual methane coming up will make the hole getting larger and so on – You can’t use the slab-model, you can’t.

.. It’s funny; I don’t understand the rationale but… they say it will take a long time to come up and I just don’t think that… I’m at wishful thinking myself. – I’m worried about my great-grandchildren. – Your great-grandchildren… You might wana worry about yourself first. – I’m an old man [laughter] – What I’m saying is that… there is a problem… You know, people have been told repeatedly “by 2100 this can happen” “by 2100…” and so they’re worried about their great-grandchildren and their great-great-grandchildren but we are seeing… the time frame… I see those numbers of 2100 and I say “Well, how about 2 decades?” or something, that type of thing. It’s… I think… you know… What we need to do is clear, I think… I think that.

.. We need to slash emissions, there’s no question. Ok? Things are starting to wake up, I mean, Obama is talking about it, trying to do stuff… but it’s mostly adaptation on his side. There is divestment from fossil fuel campaigns “???”, one of the religious communities is starting to say “yes, we have to do something”; a lot of the university endowment and so on, the students have actually got them to divest from fossil fuels… Things are happening but nowhere near enough to start reducing emissions. We’re getting large increases in renewable energy, we’re getting prices of solar, wind ???, we’re using less coal in certain regions but other regions are using a lot more. – In the 70s and the 80s we had… acid rain was the big problem and we did do something about it here in the United States, and stopped using coal with sulphur in it and creating sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere. China, right now, I’ve been there recently and I see those smoke stacks blowing that coal smoke into the air..

. I’m telling you, this entire planet has to start becoming aware of these… the carbon dioxide that we’re giving off, the plants eat that up and make wood out of it or whatever. We’ve got to start capturing the carbon dioxide and quit use, so that we keep the methane gas captured on this planet and not in the atmosphere. – Yes, we need to slash emissions, there’s no question, but we need to do more than that, we need to… I mean, if we could figure out a way to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, to lower levels, back to 350 parts per million (ppm), then that would go a long way to constraining the negative effects of climate change. We’re so going to have lots of warming, because of the built-in nature of the system, the lag time, it takes time for the system, you know, a lot of energy has gone into the oceans, for example, and that’s gona be coming out, so.

.. we need to do that,… If we have… if the sea ice is going and we have food prices doubling or tripling in a 2, 3, 4 years time-frame, then we need to seriously… one of the things that the Arctic Methane Emergency Group have been talking about for 2 years is that we have a method that, perhaps, if we could apply to try to cool the Arctic and keep the methane in place… but this is a stop-gap, I mean, this is not a solution; we have to slash emissions. This is a method… ‘The Cooling of the Arctic’ method, you can google it and see some of the things I talk about, but this is to buy us some time to… you know, if the extreme weather events get completely out of hand, as I think they will… What we are seeing now with the floods and droughts and things is just scratching the surface. I think that as the sea ice is gone in 2 or 3 years, I think the extreme weather events, the frequency, the intensity, the duration, it’s just gona skyrocket up there, … We’re talking about an order of magnitude increase ramping up by 10 or 20 times, and then, this will really really wake people up, you would think, right? – I’m afraid it might be too late.

– Well, too late… When you say “too late” what do you mean? Ok so we’ll spiral up and we’re all gona perish off the planet or…? I guess that “too late” is very… you know, “it doesn’t matter”, (???) We’ve got to try to do it. – We’ve got to start trying. Right now. People need to know. – ??? the idea of reducing growth, the idea of sustainability, all of those things will be tossed out and the idea, the meme or whatever will just be “survivability”. You know… how can we grow our food, how can we get our water, how can we deal with the extreme weather events, right? So, you know, this survivability. All the University departments and ??? for sustainability, will become “survivability”. At least they can video some of the letters that they have..

. [Laughter] -Let… have some of the other people talk to you out here. – Sure – Would someone else like to ask him a question? Common then Peter. – Hello Sir. – Hi! How are you? – I’m good. The methane group that you’re a part of, can you give a short synopsis of what the projections are for our methane game? – Yeah. It was a conference… I guess 2 and a half years ago in the UK, a bunch of people there, you know; the scientist people, a film maker and a medical doctor and… a bunch of retired people; I guess they got tired of playing chess or bridge at the local club, and they started to worry about the methane and the climate and so on, so they had a sort of kick-off meeting and I found out about them about a month later, because my thinking was very aligned with theirs, I mean without even knowing about them.

So basically is a ??? group; for the most part we exchange ideas, we put together presentations, there’s a website which is not kept up very well, but we also exchange ideas so the view of the Arctic Methane Group is “We have a huge problem”. There’s no change in the thinking in the last 2 years, 2 and a half years, all these ideas and things were there. What has happened is that in the last 2,5 years there has been a hack of a lot of change in the climate system, in terms of extreme weather events, in terms of melt rates of the ice caps and… so the whole planet is… the Arctic… the methane in the Arctic is going to be a problem. – Right. and you spoke about… – Get the sea ice melting out and we get the warming accelerating, we get large releases of methane from the Arctic coming up causing additional warming and we reach this scenario where we jump up in temperature to a different climate state. – Right, and that’s a “order of magnitude” you are talking about, and the feedback loops, they keep feeding each other and theoretically make these time periods go by much faster because..

. I think I heard something, not too long ago, that you had said that you were thinking maybe the 2100 or 2070 or something and… seems like your time-line is coming down. – Yes. With 2070 I was talking about sea level rise and so on… I think… We’re just… We’re gambling, really, I mean we are throwing that precaucionary principle out the window, I mean we’re talking about… up till now this has been… the probability, the risk is being entirely to assess from things like methane and all that, because it was thought that the probability was extremely low of methane coming up. In fact even in the latest IPCC repport they don’t consider methane a big problem, but even if the probability of the Arctic methane… even if those worries… even if that would be like a 1% probability of occurring problem, it changes the entire world. The risk is the probability times the significance or the effect and the effect is everybody and everything changes.

Right? And even a 1% is, the same, you need to look at the problem you need to measure or we need to have better measurement of methane in the North, we need to have more collaboration between the scientists, we need to let the public know what’s at stake. … The Russian measurements… I mean the observations are… the observations of methane coming up from the Eastern Siberian Arctic shelf show large increases in the amount of methane, in the size of the area where it is bubbling from… – And that giant hole? – …the measurements show large amounts of methane coming up and we know the cause is warming, so… I haven’t done all the calculations but one of the papers I’m working on will be to look at how much local warming is there in the Arctic because the methane is already coming up? I think it’s pretty significant.

– Right. An what about that big hole in the ground the last days? – Well that big hole in the ground is interesting; A) because – I was just having a look at it about 10 minutes before our call here – because, I mean it looks like a photoshop hole in the ground and then we see the video from the helicopter flying over it and you see the edges and so on and… it’s not a big methane related phenomenon, I think. I don’t think it’s a meteor impact. One of the theories is this Arctic type of feature working up a big ice chunk, creating a hill and… then the ice expands and pushes dirt on the sides and then melts and creates a hole, the same hole type of thing… yeah, it’s interesting. There’s people there measuring, big measurements, so that we know…

– I guess the only way to possibly stop the methane challenge is to attempt to geoengineer our temperature from rising and the CO2 but… Are there any technologies that are close to… eat CO2? – I think that we have technologies that could do it, actually. I don’t think it’s a technology issue, it’s a political issue; it’s recognizing that this is a huge problem and we need to try to do it. Right? I think that’s the issue. I think that a long time ago, a year or over a year ago, I saw that if you google “anthropogenic arctic volcano” you’ll find my blog. I chose that title… It’s a good title, right? If you have a volcano in the Arctic, the sulphur dioxide is gona cause cooling but then there’s some people that are arguing that, well, that only happen 6 months in the year. During the winter when it’s completely dark there, there’s no sun coming in there, all this extra sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere would actually stop radiation of energy out into space, so, it could actually cause warming in the winter and it does the cooling in the summer when the sun is here but warming in the winter.

Stephen Salter is one of the ??? people, he is an admin; he’s on the forefront of geoengineering. I think he’s at, I don’t remember if he’s at Edinburgh… anyway, he’s talking about using these big towers to evaporate sea water and spray salt spray into the atmosphere, making low-line clouds to cause the cooling, and then, if you shut off his device those clouds are gone in a week or two, so that would maybe get around the problem of causing the warming in the winter that the sulphur might do, so, there’s lot’s of people that are good at looking at this sort of thing but certainly the ocean acidification problem requires a removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, so, any of these other methods – the sulphur dioxide, the water spray – they do nothing about [ocean] acidification. There would be stop-gap measures to try to restore some semblance of jet streams that we’re used to, and while the missions were being slashed they would just sort of buy us the time but we need to get CO2.

.. we’ve got to stop dumping it in the atmosphere, there’s no other option. – Thank you Paul. Thank for answering about that… I was also reading about that hole in Siberia, so thanks for answering that. – It looks really weird, doesn’t it? – Yeah it does. It doesn’t look real; I had to really look at it like, is this photoshop is this… – I mean you can photoshop a movie too, right? If you have enough time you can photoshop every single frame, put it together and it looks like a movie. Like you see the guy walking on the swimming pool, on those surfaces of water, – Right. Yeah. – I mean, that one apparently uses some ??? wires and stuff, I was looking at it closely and thinking: Is this photoshoped every frame? – Yeah. You really have to check, don’t you?! – But you know, some of the images of clouds and storms are incredible these days and..

. – Yeah. … and… “This is fake. This is fake.” I used to post those and there’s a retired meteorologist, Bob Jones, he always comes on and says: “photoshop” “photoshop”, but some of them now are just… even the weather channels post this, right? You would say they’re pretty good. These storms look like they’re out of a Hollywood movie or something, right? – Yeah, they do. I have another question for you. Come over here and sit down first. – I don’t know if it’s a done question or not? – No, no question is done. – Hi, my name is Molly. I wana know: Is there a relationship between extreme climate change and Eartquackes, which appear to be becoming larger, the Earthquackes? – Yes, that’s an excelent question. There’s all these people who ought to know about that question but.

.. not myself, not Bill McGuire. Bill McGuire I think is a geologist or he’s an Earth scientist in… He has been looking at this issue and he wrote a book… he wrote a book about a year or so ago. I’m trying to remember the name of the book, it’s something about… ‘the angry earth’ or… I don’t remember the title but if you google ‘Bill Mcguire earthquake climate change” you’ll find it. The idea is… we know that glaciers are melting very quickly… Ok, ice is heavy, right? But the ground in the sides is heavier, so the density of the ice – the mass per a given unit of volume – is about 1/3 of that of the soil, typically, so if you’ve got a glacier that forms on land and the glacier is a mile thick, then it will actually push down the land about 1/3 of a mile. – Hmmm, so it will make the plates move. – Yeah, it pushes it down. The weight of this ice just sitting on that ground, it pushes it down and then as the ice melts then the weight is less and less and the ground can come and rebound up. And that takes time.

In fact all the parts where we did have big glaciers, I think Northern Canada and Siberia and Europe and [other] places, the ground was pushed down and the peak of the ice-age was about 20 thousand years ago, and so since then the ice melted off, most of it was gone by about 10 thousand years ago, the last remnants are in Canada, anyway, ??? of 8 thousand years ago, so every since then the land has been moving back up. – Oh, since that long. – But when you think about it, right where the ice is sitting on the land it pushes it down but then outside where there is no ice, the land actually moves up a bit, but because the ice was pushing land down that land has to go somewhere, so it kind of slashes to the side and you can get it to rise at the edges. So now that the ice is gone and the land is rising, the edges could be falling. So when you measure sea-level you have to be very very careful. So the thing is…

People have been looking in the records and when there has been periods of very rapid ice melt there has been larger numbers of Earthquakes and larger numbers of volcanoes. What we’re seeing in Alaska, they call them “ice-quackes”, and because of some very rapid melting of the ice, the land wants to rebound quickly and it causes earthquakes and causes… you know you can get volcanoes. What we’re also seeing is another factor; if you have a volcano that’s not active the magma inside builds up pressure over time and the thing erupts but if it has been building up over time and then you get extreme rain events, so you get torrential rains on this volcano; if it causes a land-slide on the top of the volcano, then all that earth, part of it, moves down and that relieves the pressure, so that land-slide can actually trigger the volcano to erupt.

Some… It’s interesting because some volcanos can be triggered by a large movement of earth on the top of the volcano sliding down. So it’s all connected. What you have to look at is when you talk about connections and whether one thing affects another thing, you always need to keep in mind the time-scale, because the time-scale is very important. If you don’t ask about the time-scale, included in your question, it’s really difficult to have an answer because… If your question was saying “instantly”, you know, “Does climate change instantly causes a volcano?” and maybe the torrential rain could do it, but in terms of the rebound effect, some sort of time has to go by before the volcano is triggered or before there’s an earthquake. We’re finding out that we pump water and different chemicals deep into the Earth, to fracture rock, and we’re lubricating ??? and we’re causing earthquakes. Right? – Right. – .

.. i mean It’s interesting, you know there are climate deniers. Are there “fracking earthquake deniers”? There are, right? There’s people that are saying “fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes” but… I think that… look at Oklahoma and the number of Eathquakes… and they’re proximities and tracking… like it’s… It’s pretty obvious. Right? So, what do we call these? “Anthropogenic earthquakes”. I haven’t seen that term “human caused earthquakes”. We cause earthquakes. So all of these processes….

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