Mike Mann on the Arctic “Methane Bomb”

February 9, 2019

Well, I didn’t get into this to make friends – but one of the benefits of this work is that, over the last dozen years, I’ve come to know a number of the most well known experts in a variety of fields. They’ve been my mentors, my teachers, and in some cases, yup, my friends.

I spoke yesterday to Michael Mann of Penn State U – one of the world’s pre-eminent atmospheric experts. Our conversation was wide ranging, but I asked him about the widespread panic that exists in the internet fever swamps about an imminent arctic “methane bomb”.
In the last week since I produced a video that portrayed the best science on the issue, it’s clear that to question the “game over man” meme on methane is to kick a hornet’s nest online.  


In response, I posted a number of additional vids from my interview with Dr Carolyn Ruppel, who leads the US Geological Survey team on Gas Hydrates. Also, I, and my editors at Yale Climate connections, have heard from several key scientists who are grateful that we took this on.

Mike’s words are informative and welcome.

I’ve added Jim Hansen’s complete statement to me on methane here.


This Facebook comment kind of confirms Mike’s take on the catastrophe cult.

“The problem is historic error of the Climate establishment. The direct corruption of the process by captalist science. The extent of rigging of the data choices and complete shameless denial of the correct predictions that came from the “cult.” Yes there are many more now who see what the complete failure of the acedemic establishment to do anything about this in time to save us and wonder why we should trust your insane 2100 time lines and livable business as usual 4-5 degrees over baseline bullshit. If Mr. Mann feels victorious over the ignorant masses by dismissing rapid releaes of methane as being a valid concern, I am not going to ignore the issue because everything is changing so fast….faster than expected…..uncovered unknown variables and feed backs off the cliff are just to hard to predict with the data gathering issues and miles of unknowns.”


20 Responses to “Mike Mann on the Arctic “Methane Bomb””

  1. Ann Says:

    Thanks, Peter! I hadn’t thought about what entities might be pushing this agenda before and for what reason. I had thought that it was just a hysteria that caught people’s imaginations, much like a paranoia that critical thinking might refute. I always appreciate hearing from Michael Mann and others and am thankful for this platform that you give them…as well as your own hard work. Glad you have made some friends among them! 🙂

  2. Terry Donte Says:

    Michael Mann has a PHd which should make him carefully evaluate his statements about the climate and how it relates to the worlds problems. The world has many problems, to many people using to many resources in destructive ways is the major problem, at least in my opinion after researching the literature.

    When one uses the term Methane bomb, that term borders on propaganda which is designed to ramp up emotions not distribute facts that people can rely on when asking their representatives to establish policy. Many studies have been done on past climate, both when it was warmer and c older than today. We can use those studies to evaluate the term Methane bomb.

    (Sannel et al., 2018), subarctic Northern Sweden has yet to rise out of the range of frigid, permafrost-friendly temperatures coeval with of the Little Ice Age (roughly 1400 to 1900 AD) is one such paper. It was 3*C warmer before that. This would indicate that large areas of permafrost are pretty recent which would suggest the total Methane content is not anywhere near the estimates used for the Methane bomb hypothesis.

    Cronin et al. (2003) used Mg/Ca paleothermometry on microfossil shells to show temperature shifts of 2–4°C in the Chesapeake Bay, including cold excursions during the Little Ice Age and warmer periods during medieval times (about A.D. 800 to 1300.

    Those warmer periods would mean less permafrost and less methane trapped in the permafrost. If that is true Mann’s claim is simply not supported by the evidence.

    • Emily Pawley Says:

      Did you watch the video? It’s an attack on the idea of a Methane Bomb.

    • kevinboyce Says:

      You’d look a lot less a fool if you listened to the video before commenting on it. Probably.

      • Terry Donte Says:

        I stand corrected on the use of Mann, I simply typed that in without doubly checking the correct word which would be the methane bomb folks. The rest of the comment is simply a snapshot of the literature on the subject. I admit Mann in my opinion is not much of a scientist, He is a very good public relations guy who has made a lot of money and gotten a lot of attention as he sounds like a wise man, the witch doctors of a few thousand years ago. In his actual research he has made a whole bunch of claims which are simply not supported in other studies like the Hockey stick which got him famous or his claim it had been cooling for 11,000 years up until the industrial revolution. I simply prefer to look at the actual data rather than rely on opinion which is often worth zero when it comes to reality. One thing I do try to do is not call people fools or other names which is something that may be of use in your life.

  3. John Says:

    Reblogged this on jpratt27.

  4. rabiddoomsayer Says:

    I don’t think Terry listened to what Michael had to say.

  5. gasbuggy Says:

    These two perspectives willfully ignore two important factors.

    1) Many of the amplifying positive feedbacks are now kicking in, rather then being future events. The methane issue is only one of a dozen other feedback issues.

    2) During the last two decades there has been a minimal reduction in the emission of greenhouse gasses emitted by humans into the atmosphere despite many warnings. There is no evidence that the world is going to suddenly take the level of actions needed.

    It has become fashionable to give people a sense of hope to take action when the urgings, to change lightbulbs and turn down the thermostat has not resulted in significant progress in reversing the rising temperature trend.

    Some of us recognize that that history of failure is highly significant.

    Accept that there is a point beyond which no level of concerted effort will prevent collapse of the biosphere.

    • Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

      Sooner go down fighting than surrender, and bend over forwards. Not as if you are relinquishing anything but despair.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Dang, you’ve just dragged on of the monsters out from under my bed and it’s chewing on the furniture—–“amplifying positive feedbacks are now kicking in”.

      “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” ― Albert A. Bartlett

      “Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.― Kenneth Boulding

  6. dumboldguy Says:

    ‘The devastation of human life is in view’: what a burning world tells us about climate change, Edited extract from “The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story Of The Future” by David Wallace-Wells, Environment, Guardian, Feb 2, 2019″

    “But no matter how well-informed you are, you are surely not alarmed enough. Over the past decades, our culture has gone apocalyptic with zombie movies and Mad Max dystopias, perhaps the collective result of displaced climate anxiety, and yet when it comes to contemplating real-world warming dangers, we suffer from an incredible failure of imagination. The reasons for that are many: the timid language of scientific probabilities, which the climatologist James Hansen once called “scientific reticence” in a paper chastising scientists for editing their own observations so conscientiously that they failed to communicate how dire the threat really was; the fact that the country is dominated by a group of technocrats who believe any problem can be solved and an opposing culture that doesn’t even see warming as a problem worth addressing; the way that climate denialism has made scientists even more cautious in offering speculative warnings; the simple speed of change and, also, its slowness, such that we are only seeing effects now of warming from decades past; our uncertainty about uncertainty, which the climatewriter Naomi Oreskes in particular has suggested stops us from preparing as though anything worse than a median outcome were even possible; the way we assume climate change will hit hardest elsewhere, not everywhere;…”

    • Dale Says:

      Perhaps, rather than relying on the Guardian for your scientific learning, you should consider looking at some of the actual research and data.
      Seemingly, you are very concerned about the ~1C “claimed” increase in global temperatures (as if anyone would know) over the past 130 years. As we would experience at least that much of a temperature change in rising to a standing from a squatting position in our own home, a day in my area where temperature frequently changes by 20C or more in a single day, would really set you off.
      Perhaps you should check into the scientific method and then explain to us why it doesn’t apply in climate science (as you would have it). Then maybe you can explain to us that even though CO2 levels have continued to rise, there has been no statistically significant increase in global temperature for the last 20 years.
      After that, maybe you will explain to us why we should all be alarmed about our anthropogenic CO2 output (not C as intentionally misstated) when there hasn’t been a single scientific study/paper published to date which explicitly confirms that anthropogenic CO2 can have anything more than an insignificant, at most, affect on global climate temperatures.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        HUMMMMMMM!! Another denier with nothing new to say. And quite smug about it, too!


        • Dale Mullen Says:

          bumboldguy: Apropos name.
          Beyond ad hominem attacks and name-calling using terms you apparently don’t even understand, do you actually know or have anything factual to offer about the CAGW scam? I’m guessing that you are likely limited to lunging out of your hole after anyone who threatens your fantasy.
          Too bad…

          • dumboldguy Says:

            As I said, smug is the word for our newest denier, Dale.

            WHAT terms “don’t I even understand” (apparently)? Please enlighten us.

            I DO understand “ad hominem”, and it is NOT an ad hominem to point out truth and facts in response to liars and charlatans. You do NOT have anything new to say, and your feeble repetition of long-debunked denier bullshit makes it seem like you’re in a time warp—you sound like someone from 10 years ago.

            PS, quoting a quote of an author in the Guardian does not mean I am “relying on the Guardian for my scientific learning”, and “we would experience at least that much of a temperature change in rising to a standing from a squatting position in our own home” is one of the dumbest things said recently on Crock.

            Go away and stop disturbing our nap time! ZZZZzzzzz…(fart)….zzzzz!!

  7. Patrice Ayme Says:

    I was writing about, and publishing, the potential methane disaster, a decade ago. Now PhD Mike Mann says it’s overblown… because CH4 is tiny and fearing it is pushed by the fossil fuel industry

    First time I hear that the fossil industry tells us climate catastrophe is inevitable… just to sell more of its products?

    There were methane induced tsunamis at the end of the last glaciation, and there has been methane explosions in Siberia, hundreds of them. And this, with only very little warming (one degree Celsius). It seems unlikely the effects are going to stay tiny: the methane density has been increasing recently…. And we have many degrees Celsius to go while CO2 emissions keep climbing…

    Catastrophes, man made, have happened before, even in climate matters… That, while facing the greatest catastrophe ever, potentially, is becoming a reason to reject reason defies reason…
    Patrice Ayme

  8. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Many facts have been omitted in MM’s bemoaning of the catastrophic catastrophism of those who look at the worst case scenario… As we should. Here are some facts, and that was written ten years ago:

  9. redskylite Says:

    Two excellent videos with two excellent scientists, hopefully easing worries and fear felt by some. It really is a huge task setting the juggernaut in the right direction, and critically populations in the free world must be educated enough to use their vote for the party that will work hard cutting out further carbon emissions in energy use. This is not the time for fear and resignation, this is the time for action.

    We’ve listened to Mann, Hansen, Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and many others, it’s also worth listening to James Lovelock at 99.

    James Lovelock is one of the most influential environmental thinkers of our time. Now aged 99, he reflects on the climate change challenge.


  10. Dale Says:

    Isn’t it amazing how man and the animals produced all that methane on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

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