Home | About | Donate

Methane-Explosion Craters Could Be Latest Indicators of a Warming Planet


#1

Methane-Explosion Craters Could Be Latest Indicators of a Warming Planet

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Numerous newly discovered massive craters across Siberia—believed to have been formed by methane gas exploding through a thawing permafrost—may be the latest visible sign that climate change is here, and it's changing the very contours of the earth's surface.

A 100-foot crater was first spotted last summer in Yamal peninsula, a freezing cold land 2,000 miles north of Moscow, and two other funnels were discovered soon after.


#2

"It is important not to scare people, but to understand that it is a very serious problem and we must research this," said Bogoyavlensky.

He may know his ass from a hole in the ground but it IS important to scare the hell out of everybody! That's a pretty good sign that you screwed up your planet when it starts blowing up.


#3

Your post runs just like the police departments that having seen their "men in blue" shoot down innocent kids turn their attention towards any dirt they can find on said victims. Then, they make THAT (rather that the crime of homicide) the issue.

The issue is not the verbiage here. What's at issue is that these Methane "bubbles" could show up more and more and Methane is a stronger atmospheric (as in global warming) disruptor than CO2.

Sooner or later all the Fracking that's TEARING explosively into the crust of Earth Mother is going to see more implosions of land just like this one.

But go ahead and try to disparage the integrity of this writer. What are you, paid by some underground agency funded by the Koch Brothers?


#4

What post were you responding to, oh paranoid one? Certainly not evolvers'. There was no disparagement of the writer and no reasonable basis for calling evolver a Kock hack. Get it together!


#5

I guess it boils down to a philosophical question.
* Will we achieve the next mass extinction before Mother Nature beats us to it?
* My impression is that She has been perhaps sitting back, watching us use our own "Do it Yourself Kit."
* But, with these Methane blasts, maybe not.
;-})


#6

Earth farts


#7

Gee this story is short of facts about this hole in the ground. Russians are reporting a lot about these. A very important unknown fact is the depth of the holes. Less pressure or heat would destabilize the methane clathrates producing a gas burp. The depth of the hole indicates the penetration of heat or lack of pressure. Really important piece of a model that could determine future releases. They have been described as carrot shaped, point down. This one looks like a really really big carrot.


#8

Q: WHAT CAUSES IGNITION ... not familiar with how it all works ... you seem to know


#9

I'll take a guess at ignition...
Thawing clathrates create gaspockets which puff area up like a blemish on the skin, or a bubble on thick boiling soup (Yellowstone pool?). As the rocks deep within fall/collapse, a spark ignites the methane.


#10

Hi IDRACULA, ignition is something set on fire. This would be a change of state of a gas. Methane clathrates are methane and H2O water frozen in a structure. It was created when perhaps a tree fell into the mud and got covered. The buried tree turned into carbon then methane and Co2. Both are gases and gravity says go up. If they get trapped by pressure ( overlying sediment, ice) or get below a certain temperature methane changes from gas to solid. It forms a clathrate structure. I am not an expert but I have read they suspect these holes are funnel/ carrot shaped. To not really answer your question, either temperature or pressure set these off. Whatever kicked it off generally starts at the bottom and rises and expands. When it gets to the surface it blows the top layer of permafrost to the sides. This area is surrounded by Arctic waters. Other holes were surrounded by smaller holes showing a greater than pin point origin. Maybe pressure from rising sea popped the bubble or warm ocean currents intruding enough to warm ocean floors.


#11

Ssssoooo, by the time there are more of these, or we "study' them more... we will have lost.... Time is of the essence here... let's call a kettle black...


#12

Who said anything about ignition? A pocket of gas could have just burst open the surface without igniting, but since it seems no-one has actually witnessed one of these events happening all is just speculation for now. If they are afraid to be in the area for personal safety reasons, then where this is happening just set up some sensing devices - cameras, gas detectors analyzers, and wait.

I've looked at many images of these things now and one thing that strikes me is the eroded appearance of the uppermost layers. That could suggest several things, but again, until more is known this is all just speculation. Seems with all the orbiting surveillance satellites there should be a chance of catching one in progress if indeed ignition occurred. Then again looking at the pictures there seems little evidence that fire or combustive explosion happened.


#13

deleted post


#14

Lightening would be one source - but the methane explosion hypothesis is dodgy for other reasons - see my recent comment.

edit: never mind... as justaman noted - and the WaPo link makes clear, the hypothesis is that it was gas pressure buildup under the rigid and impermeable permafrost layer, not ignition. This seems credible.


#15

That's your stock in trade sister, as you again demonstrate here with your ten-thousandth personal smear.


#16

In this case, use of the word "explosion" in the headline is somewhat misleading. So far there's little hard physical evidence to suggest an "ignition" took place, though residents of a village in the area have reported they saw a large flash of light on one occasion. Using the word "ejection" to describe a massive release of methane gas under pressure would probably be more accurate. A really good article on the subject, including photos:

siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0127-dozens-of-mysterious-new-craters-suspected-in-northern-russia/


#17

If all it takes is a spark, imagine what a lightning bolt can do - NO MATTER how the pressure manages to accumulate.


#18

Once the methane bursts out and sends dirt and rocks flying and mixes with air, it could have ignited from any stray spark - as happens when a HP gas pipeline bursts - but the energy making the crater was the gas pressure, not ignition/explosion.


#20

Hello Siouxrose. I attempt to warn of the danger posed by not sounding the alarm to the level that is appropriate. That you would conflate that with murdering children and deflecting blame to innocent parties is as bizarre as it is offensive. It is clearly implicit that I concur with the author's premise.

The sharp instrument of your exceptional communication skills and passion turns from tool to weapon as you wield it with abandon on friend and foe alike. The acrimony and drama that you manufacture has led to the exodus many heartful posters from Common Dreams’ caring and thoughtful community, leaving this site a ghost town compared to how it was before the clumsy shut down of the comments.

I have valued CD and it’s community very much for well over a decade and I resent forces that would do it harm. Wind mills are clean alternative energy, not giants that would stomp on you. I am not a child murdering liar, and like many that are attracted to this site, I can be sensitive and metaphorically bleed when cut.


#22

Wow,

Great insights from a person who has actually lived with Lava and active geology!

Thanks!