Methane Bomb Squad Part 2 – Dr Aradhna Tripati on Undersea Methane

October 15, 2014

I’ve interviewed a lot of scientists in the last few years, and Aradhna Tripati has one of the quickest, clearest minds I’ve run into.  I asked her to comment on the undersea methane question when I spoke to her in January.


Aradhna Tripati is a Professor in the Departments of Earth and Space Sciences & Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. Her research is focused on applying innovative experimental approaches in order to use the geologic record as a rich laboratory for the study of climate processes. The primary tools she uses include the new ‘clumped isotope’ thermometer, and the elemental composition of carbonates. She also integrates geochemical measurements with field-based observations, sedimentologic and micropaleontologic data, and models.

39 Responses to “Methane Bomb Squad Part 2 – Dr Aradhna Tripati on Undersea Methane”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    No disrespect intended, but Dr. Tripati’s expertise would seem to be in fields a bit removed from what is going on right now with methane in the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic. Since the first methane bomb post today I have been reading up on the latest “controversy”, and suggest that Drs. Shakova and Semiletov should be high on the interview list and their work should be featured on Crock, as should any rebuttal of Archer and Schmidt. I am definitely not gojng to sleep well tonight.

  2. iconickevin Says:

    My take on it is that the issue of sudden releases of Methane Hydrates poses an enormous problem I agree that the microbes have an efficient ability to convert the methane into organic matter but combining the acidifying of the ocean and the potential for this to reduce the ‘microbidal community’ combined with the potential explosive release of large quantities of methane suddenly doesn’t allow said community time to absorb much methane considering there are gigatons of hydrates in clathrate form. I would advise preparing for the worst case scenario as would any half decent skipper and seeking out more information via members of the Arctic Methane group.

    • iconickevin, methane is more harmful when is ”converted” BECAUSE: braking down methane is: for every molecule of methane is destroyed 4 atoms of oxygen; to turn methane into water and CO2. On the other hand, creating methane is RELEASING 4 oxygen atoms for any methane molecule created – we need more oxygen, not more water in the sea:
      CH4 + 2O2= CO2 + 2H2O
      Therefore: you people are not just wrong, but back to front as well…

  3. iconickevin Says:

    I can understand how modeling on historic data can normally provide excellent conclusions as to what can happen in the future but correct me if I’m wrong humans hadn’t dumped 400ppm of carbon into the atmosphere before. It’s great to see Robertscribbler coming to the defense of Dr’s Shakhova and Semiletov . I had previously thought that Robertscribbler avoided the worst conclusions with his work but have recently noticed a changing tone in his writing of the perils we face.Great to see him quoting our friend Sam Carana and quoting Sam’s work.

    • iconickevin, human did dump more than 400ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere in the past!
      By inventing how to make fire artificially, by rubbing two sticks – human burned most of the vegetation and created all the deserts on every continent in the past. Unfortunately, the shonky scientist cannot charge carbon tax to the stone age man, so they are conveniently overlooking it. Now you people have difficulty to understand the truth, because looks like there is no secular Warmist & Skeptic left in the blogosphere… tragic…

  4. redskylite Says:

    An excellent couplet on the “Methane Bomb” Peter – thanks for the time and effort in preparing and releasing the articles and videos.

    Most (if not all) mainstream publications on climatic tipping points, include permafrost methane (usually diagrammed in the Earth’s Siberian region) outbursts as a tipping point, and it is suggested as a major contributor in the Permian–Triassic (P–Tr) extinction event known as the great dying (252 million years ago).

    Methane also makes interesting press as the recent Siberian holes have shown, and a recent satellite survey indicates a very high concentration over the U.S Four Corners (around San Diego) region, an area of extensive gas exploitation as well as fracking. Even if new methane sinks and absorption in biological processes are being discovered there is no need to be cavalier about releases due to our industrial activities, and this is something that needs investigating urgently (the Martian Curiosity methane sniffer has been adapted for terrestrial use).

    Methane is on the radar – but the primarily concern is CO2 which is extremely long lasting in comparison to methane, and the danger of methane preoccupation is that it will divert attention from the major cause of AGW.

    It is difficult to know what level of CO2 will cause a global temperature anomaly of +2°C (considered dangerous), an international symposium came to a conclusion that stabilising CO2 atmospheric concentrations at 450 ppm would only result in a 50% likelihood of limiting global warming to 2 °C. We are at 400 ppm now – so at the 2 ppm rise per year we are currently experiencing the red line will be hit very soon.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      A note—the Four Corners area is not “around San Diego” but is where UT, AZ, NM, and CO all come together at one point, and if they have put the marker in the right spot, you can stand on it and be in four states at the same time. The San Juan basin has been a fossil fuels “sacrifice zone” for a very long time.

      The impact of methane should not be dismissed just because it persists in the atmosphere for a much shorter time than CO2. While it’s only here for 10 or 12 years before it’s converted to CO2, it is 25-30 times more potent as a GHG during that time, and it DOES add to the CO2 level once it is converted. The “major cause” of AGW is the release of GHG of all kinds through the production and burning of fossil fuels of all kinds, and methane is part of that mix, not something that “diverts attention”.

      The “preoccupation” with methane comes from its potency as a GHG and a legitimate concern about its ever-increasing concentration in the atmosphere. If we DO have massive releases of methane from “burps” and melting permafrost on top of those from drilling and fracking for gas and oil, transport and processing of same, and mining of coal, we will be in serious trouble.

      The release of more methane on top of the increasing CO2 levels will get us to that “red line” sooner. Although we may not yet be “sure” about the 450PPM and 2 degrees, we need to err on the side of caution—-tipping points are just that, and there is no going back once they’re exceeded.

  5. Peter Carter Says:

    Please check out the links I have here for the Lawrence Livermore US govt lab M hydrate research. This is part of the US govt project on abrupt change set up in 2009 . Clearly they already know Arctic MH is a catastrophic risk and have been directed to do the R&D for an emergency methane response. It is quite amazing how LLLab agrees with all that AMEG has been saying that has only been met with derision from the western experts. Also below the LLlab links is the link for the big Russian ESAS review also finding ESAS a catastrophic risk. Our experts are really saying there is not enough evidence for them of a catastrophic risk so they say there is not one. But they do not consider today’s committed Arctic warming. The science says past Arctic amplification has always been 3- 4X average. We are committed to 2C (more in fact). So committed Arctic warming is at least 6C. That is a commitment to Arctic methane planetary catastrophe for sure. James Hansen has put the danger limit for methane hydrate at 1.5C. The Siberian methane thaw down limit is 1.5C (Anton Vaks). Arctic methane planetary catastrophe is not far away but we are told not to worry.

    It was Dr Tripati who established today’s CO2 is highest in 15 million years. Her GWP of 10 for methane is the lowest I have ever heard. It is 86X CO2 by IPCC for 20 years. The methane consuming bacteria produce CO2. There are methane producing bacteria that increase with warming.

  6. dumboldguy

    #1: 2C is not scary enough… if you check the newspapers printed around 95-99, they were ALL ”predicting” phony global warming by 5-6C. Dropping down from 5-6C down to 2C is much more than what in few yeas will be dropped from 2C down to zero. For now; every day of the year for the Warmist & Skeptics is First of April…

    #2: methane is burned in the atmosphere by UV in hours, not decade. b] they should put a wine cork to every Warmist & Skeptic’s butholle, not to release methane – until they blow themselves up as balloons – get airborne and release the methane high up, where UV is more potent / highly recommended

    #2b: when I erupt, my methane is released with other compounds together and drops down to the ground and spreads like clouds; I feel like an angel walking on that cloud. Methane by itself is odorless, but released with other compounds, my methane stinks – if you don’t believe me old boy – come and sniff it, to see for yourself (make appointment first, so I can eat onion cabbage and hard boiled eggs first, not to appoint you)

    #3: the gas in the air around you is not methane (CH4), but similar compound called ammonia (NH4) – because you warmist are so scared from the phony GLOBAL warmings -> you constantly wet the bed -> so, that’s ammonia, not
    methane… some shonky ”climatologist” should ”research” for how long ammonia stays in the air. Old boy, maybe Al Gore will be made to start paying for your diapers…?

    • redskylite Says:

      That is offensive and disrespectful – I hope you get banned from this site.

      • redskylite; ”banning” doesn’t change the truth = you must be suffering from ”truthphobia” also, BUT, for your own benefit is better if you know the truth about methane!

        1] methane with other compounds together released, is heavier than air and sinks in the ground – if hard ground, is released daytime- gets burned by IR&UV in a jify.

        therefore: ”SILENCING IT” -> IT STINKS MUCH MORE, after… you must have tried that experiment already in the past, admit it

      • greenman3610 Says:

        “hope you get banned”
        On the contrary – beautiful example of denialist mentality. He’s making my points for me.

    • dumboldguy Says:


  7. andrewfez Says:

    Off topic but may be of some interest:

    Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.

    • redskylite Says:

      Also an announcement from Cambridge University of the Integral Inherently Safe Light Water Reactor (I2S-LWR) a project initiated by the US Department of Energy and led by Georgia Institute of Technology which could be ready in 10 years. Lots of progress being made, still have a chance of keeping below 450 ppm.

    • Andrew my friend: fusion will never be used for electricity = it’s only another scam…

      For fusion needs two ingredients 1] tremendous pressure 2] temp over 21000C for chain reaction, to fuse deuterium.

      On this planet there isn’t any metal or alloy that can sustain tremendous pressure essential, on temp over 21000C, anything used as chamber would melt as butter after 50-80 seconds.

      Don’t let them to trick and brainwash you anymore, start using your own brains for a change, OR ask me for an advice

    • Andrew, I hate to agree with stefanthedenier about anything, but his comment below (ie “fusion will never be used for electricity = it’s only another scam”) is about right in my opinion. Of course, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, so I’m not inclined to bow before his knowledge.

      On the other hand, I am interested in what redskylite (also below) linked to about thorium fission reactors. This is a technology that was under development in the 1960s, and just got shelved because it was too different from what was needed to make nuclear weapons. Such a pity – we could have had these decades ago.

      The USA developed the original technology but don’t be surprised if the first commercial thorium reactor gets built in China.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Cy, you should never agree with stefanthedumber about anything, because he is appallingly ignorant of science and agreeing with him makes you look stupid as well. Fusion is not a scam, it is a theoretically possible source of almost unlimited carbon-free energy. It is also proving to be very difficult to develop the technology to harness it, but that doesn’t mean we never will.

        stefanthedumber shows his abject ignorance by talking about “chain reactions”, a term better used when discussing nuclear fission, as well as in:
        “On this planet there isn’t any metal or alloy that can sustain tremendous pressure essential, on temp over 21000C, anything used as chamber would melt as butter after 50-80 seconds”.

        He obviously doesn’t understand that one of the main goals of research on fusion is developing “containment” methods that do not allow the plasma do contact the “chamber” and melt it. I don’t know where he came up with “21000C” either—-PFTA? (Which with stefan means not “Plucked From Thin Air” but “Plucked From Troll’s Anus”). The actual temperatures needed are upwards of 10,000,000 degrees C.

        Please do not ask STD for advice or feed him. (And note that STD stands for other unpleasantness beside being the handle of a disgusting troll).

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Comment reposted from “Carbon Cuts…” thread.

      Move over Solar Wind Energy Tower and Solar Roadway. Lockheed-Martin is either looking to run up its stock with a publicity grab or latch onto some government grant money with this “breakthrough”. Fusion research has been going on since the 1950’s and has seen many bright ideas but few lasting “breakthroughs”. I myself was impressed by what I saw in the 60’s on a visit to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, home of the Stellarator and various Tokamaks—-both of which provided much knowledge but didn’t come close to “breakthrough”. Dozens of labs in many countries have been working on various fusion technologies for years, and we are not yet close to success. Fusion is a way more difficult process to harness than fission.

      “Apparently a 100MW test machine could be ready NEXT YEAR??”

      Reread the article. They are talking about five year-long generations of design-test-build, followed by 5 years to build a prototype IF the first five years shows them how. That’s TEN years, and since it’s likely that they will have slippage in that schedule, it will be more like 15 years until we see much (during which time CO2 will approach 440PPM).

      I’m no plasma physicist, so I won’t say “never”, but don’t hold your breath waiting. Considering that fusion could go a long way toward solving our carbon addiction and saving us from ourselves, I think it would be great if it happened, but you need to ask why it hasn’t happened yet.

  8. […] the Methane Bomb Squad Methane Bomb Squad Part 2 – Dr Aradhna Tripati on Undersea Methane Methane Bomb Squad Part 3: Dr. Carolyn Ruppel on Siberian […]

  9. If only heat was essential for fusion – every star in the universe would have combusted in less than 10minutes and wouldn’t be any universe; because throughout every star is sufficient heat for fusion – but is only enough ‘’pressure’’

    Cy Halothrin (@cyhalothrin) AND old boy:

    close to the center of a star (reason bigger stars burn out quicker). Because the stars have 1000 times bigger gravity than the earth, the ‘’plasma’’ is pressing down and fusion happens close to the center

    ‘’Plasma’’ what the old boy is referring, is the deuterium – if you fill up a bottle of deuterium and same size bottle empty (only air in) – the empty one would have being heavier. To prepare it for fusion, you have to compress so much hydrogen in the bottle, to be heavier than if it was filled up with lead. The pressure is as if you are holding the planet in your own hand… No metal can sustain that pressure under 21000C heat + fusion itself produces even higher heat. How can they ‘’compress’’ that ‘’plasma’’ without chamber / casing… in a thin air? They have nothing to ‘’research’’ the process is known – we have already produced the hydrogen bomb (2H2=He) simple process, BUT we are not going to have that metal / alloy to sustain that pressure under 21000C plus heat, not in 15 years or in 15 million years!

    The scam has being going for over 50y – they say that: -‘’can be done in 2years, but needs more funds’’ – when they get funds they declare – will be done in 10-15y and the process is repeating over and over = scam. Old boy is a Warmist, he know what a scam is: ‘’scam is: fleecing the Urban Sheep under false pretense = same as the phony GLOBAL warming…

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