By Ed Caryl
I wish to thank the commenter styling himself SpaceScience for drawing our attention to the article at Nature GeoScience titled Atmospheric observations of Arctic Ocean methane emissions up to 82° north.
The comment was in response to my comment pointing to an article stating that the Arctic was a net sink for methane.
The problem with both articles is that they both bow to the “Group Think” prevalent in the climate research community. Both articles clearly assume that global warming is a problem that is, or will, exacerbate methane release in the polar regions, leading to catastrophe. Each approaches the science as if unprecedented global warming were a proven fact, where, as we know, no additional warming has occurred in the last decade and a half, and previous warm periods within the last millennium have exceeded the current one.
The article that this author cited, All About Frozen Ground, by Kevin Schaefer of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, at least admitted that the Arctic is a net sink for methane, then warns that if the permafrost melts, this will release methane that will increase global warming. The logical disconnect is not addressed. Why is the Arctic a net sink? Because warming and additional CO2 is increasing biological activity, the plants growing in the tundra are growing faster and bigger, and the tree line is moving northward, storing additional carbon. There is no explanation of when or how this process might reverse.
The article cited by SpaceScience (behind a paywall) has only the abstract available, but which begins with the word “Uncertainty.”
Uncertainty in the future atmospheric burden of methane, a potent greenhouse gas1, represents an important challenge to the development of realistic climate projections. The Arctic is home to large reservoirs of methane, in the form of permafrost soils and methane hydrates2, which are vulnerable to destabilization in a warming climate. Furthermore, methane is produced in the surface ocean3 and the surface waters of the Arctic Ocean are supersaturated with respect to methane4, 5. However, the fate of this oceanic methane is uncertain.”
The reader will immediately notice all the necessary words that the climate community uses to insure publication, like: “potent greenhouse gas, realistic climate projections,” and “vulnerable to destabilization,” You will also notice all the fudge-factor words like “challenge” and “uncertain,” that keep these papers from being quickly recognized as misleading. The researchers find that methane is released only from open water in the Arctic; ice puts a lid on it. The implication is that with the loss of ice there will be more methane. This author would like to point out that currents in the Arctic constantly recycle all the water into and out of the Arctic, so that within just 3 to 5 years, all the water finds itself without a lid. They would always find methane! There is no methane in the surface waters that is permanently trapped, so there can’t be any additional methane in the long run. This is not to mention that the ice cycle is currently recovering in the Arctic.
GroupThink is a huge problem in climate science. It colors every paper published. Well researched facts are presented in such a way that they support the preconceived idea that AGW is real with a big C in front of it, when they are just facts that have no relationship to that idea. This is proved time after time in paper after paper by all the “fudge” words that are needed to make the facts fit the premise. This problem makes separating the wheat from the chaff in the climate field very difficult. I for one will be very happy to see the premise collapse.