The Weekend Wonk: Vladimir Romanovsky on Arctic Methane

July 29, 2017

Vladimir Romanovsky, of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, is one of my go-to experts on permafrost. What he says in this recent talk is worth your consideration.

4 Responses to “The Weekend Wonk: Vladimir Romanovsky on Arctic Methane”

  1. redskylite Says:

    What I like about Peter’s posts are the experts he carefully chooses and goes to for the latest knowledge. That was an interesting talk, sound quality a little poor, but the magnitude of carbons buried away under the Arctic is staggering and hard to get one’s mind around. At the end Vladimir expressed surprise at the findings, saying that some colleagues found it unbelievable. In the years I’ve followed these posts the Arctic has really come alive, but what really comes into my mind is that the Antarctic also has vast amounts of methane buried, even greater than the North, and that region is beginning to stir. Vladimir stated all would return to status quo during the next ice age. But the latest understanding is we have probably done enough to postpone that into the very distant future.

    What have we done ?

    No it is not a dream . .

    Climate change evident as icebreaker sets mark for earliest Northwest Passage transit

    After 24 days at sea and a journey spanning more than 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles), the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica has set a new record for the earliest transit of the fabled Northwest Passage.

    The once-forbidding route through the Arctic, linking the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, has been opening up sooner and for a longer period each summer due to climate change. Sea ice that foiled famous explorers and blocked the passage to all but the hardiest ships has slowly been melting away in one of the most visible effects of man-made global warming.

    • redskylite Says:

      PBS and Associated Press there to report it.

      A Finnish icebreaker has completed the Northwest Sea passage, which links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans across the Arctic. The trip, from Vancouver to Greenland’s capital city Nuuk, took 24 days — a new record, in part because climate change has melted sea ice, making the journey easier. Frank Jordans, an Associated Press reporter who took the trip, joins Hari Sreenivasan from Greenland.

  2. lracine Says:

    Did he say at the 5 min mark that if things continue as they are… referring to the current rate of warming, that the permafrost at Dead Horse Alaska, located on the North Shore, on the Beaufort Sea will be gone by 2050?????????

    This is assuming that the rate of warming remains linear…(ie no positive feed back loops). and is based on historical data…… am I understanding this correctly???

  3. Tom Bates Says:

    Not to dampen your parade but the ice in the arctic is an artifact of the little ice age lower temperatures. Per NASA studies the arctic was ice free in summer for around 2000 years a while back. Since it was warmer in 1000 AD than today, the arctic back than while not totally ice free had less ice which is the reason Greenland was warmer and got settled by the Vikings. The Viking expansion corresponds to the medieval warm period, the collapse corresponds to the following little ice age. Studies have been done on the methane content of permafrost and what happens when it melts. It turns out bacteria in the permafrost love methane and eat a lot of it up within days of melting. Since we know it was warmer in the past and the world did not end from methane heating up the biosphere, the hype about methane is most likely just that hype.

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