A Study in Infra-Red
Part thirteen - Footprints of the Fallen Angels
“and in this place, can you reassure me
with a touch, a smile - while the cradle's burning
all the while the world is turning to noise
the more that it's surrounding us
the more that it destroys
turn up the signal
In part 12 we surveyed the traces left behind by the ongoing, clandestine campaign traversing the planet with the intention of bringing on global warming.
The reader may be forgiven for assuming that this study had reached a conclusion. However, we have yet to turn our attention to an application of a technology, without which, no study on climate modification is complete.
Before we do that, to illustrate the importance of this technology, we need to take another look at the proposals made by the alliance of concerned scientists that call themselves the Arctic Methane Emergency Group (AMEG).
Recall from part 4 that AMEG warn of a terrible and impending disaster in the form of a methane mass expulsion resulting from a series of positive feedback mechanisms initiated by Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). This entails the ever-increasing discharge of methane from the thawing of land and subsea permafrost within the Arctic. The vast quantities (over a trillion tons) of organic material may decompose anaerobically to form methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than CO2. This permafrost sits on top of an even larger store already in the form of methane.
Atmospheric Methane Trends
Although this cycle has not yet fully manifested, scientists believe the land permafrost will thaw completely by the end of the century, causing global temperatures to rise over
In the atmosphere, methane is eventually broken down into carbon dioxide and water, providing, along with convection, the water vapour necessary for upper cloud formation and polar stratospheric clouds. This is a secondary warming effect of methane that must also be taken into consideration.
While methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, there is over 200 times more CO2 in the atmosphere. The amount of warming that methane currently contributes is calculated at 28% of that caused by CO2.
However, AMEG have a different view of matters.
“For now, the IPCC's estimated annual increase in global methane levels may seem small, but this figure appears to be based on low-altitude data collected over the past few decades. The total methane burden may already be rising much more rapidly, also because methane is rising in the atmosphere, increasing the burden especially at higher altitudes, as evidenced by the increasing occurrence of noctilucent clouds.” Emphasis mine
“Methane is entering the atmosphere at high latitudes and spreading across the globe from there.”
“What is causing methane to be released in large quantities in the Arctic?”
The answer is the vast amounts of subsea methane hydrate frozen in the Arctic ice. As the globally warmed ocean currents make their way around the Arctic, they destabilise the methane hydrate which vent vast clouds of the gas into the atmosphere.
AMEG are convinced that these reserves of methane, estimated at 140 times that in the atmosphere, are much more unstable than previously believed due to global warming and positive warming feedback.