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Siberia's Methane Release Larger Than Previously Thought 135

Posted by samzenpus
from the bubbling-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "New research suggests that the amount of methane being released from Siberian permafrost is much larger than previously thought. From the article: 'Thawing permafrost gets a lot of attention as a positive feedback that could amplify global warming by releasing carbon dioxide and methane, both of which are greenhouse gases. Because of this, a lot of effort goes into studying Arctic permafrost. An international group of researchers led by Natalia Shakhova at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has been plying the remote waters of the Siberian Shelf for about a decade to find out how much methane was coming up from the thawing permafrost. They didn't expect to find it bubbling.'"
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Siberia's Methane Release Larger Than Previously Thought

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  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @06:13PM (#45570681)

    Methane ice under the ocean also does this. Interesting?

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      Methane ice under the ocean also does this. Interesting?

      So does cabbage.

      • Methane ice under the ocean also does this. Interesting?

        So does cabbage.

        ... and the fat kid from middle school.

        • by giorgist (1208992)
          Those two put out what they swallow. The undersea stuff ... not so
          • by slick7 (1703596)

            Those two put out what they swallow. The undersea stuff ... not so

            Everything thrown away eventually gets swallowed by the ocean, one way or another.

  • We need a world Soviet planned economy. Capitalism will kill us all!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Free Pussy Riot!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You had me at Free Pussy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Please quit giving socially minded individuals a bad name with your trolling. I have offered links and the names of organizations to you in the past that provide great materials to people spreading the idea that capitalism isn't the answer only to be countered with some outdated stereotypes.

      Why am I even wasting my time... :/

      If you are actually interested in helping to change America then start here: http://www.answercoalition.org/ [answercoalition.org]

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by starworks5 (139327)

        Actually, a central planned economy is not a bad thing, people who argue about the "economic calculation problem", fallaciously think that a distributed network of calculators, are more efficient than a centralized clearing house.

        Furthermore our version of capitalism is riddled with market failures, one for instance not recognizing that non humans are also producers and consumers, because they are unable to "vote with their dollars" in our economy.

        • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @07:46PM (#45571199)

          God damn it. Capitalism is not a style of managing an economy. Capitalism is how money works when left alone. Any government regulation that does anything other than inform the public is NOT capitalism. The only pro-capitalistic regulation would be something like weights and measures, it informs by governing a system of common measurement preventing deception.

          As such there is no truly capitalistic society in the world. If anything the economics of rural Africa are more capitalistic than any western society. The majority of the problems we have in the west with regard to our economies are our poorly thought out, half implemented attempts at socialism. If we'd just go all in, it would probably not be so bad. But as things are, we institute weak regulation which interested parties with large capital then manipulate to their advantage usually to the detriment of those the regulation was intended to help. Look to our financial markets to see some real regulatory abuse.

          • by tragedy (27079)

            Capitalism is how money works when left alone.

            Does money work when left alone? Pretty much every form of "money" ever, including gold and other precious metals, has worked by government or public consensus controlling its value. By that definition, capitalism only applies to barter.

          • by femtobyte (710429) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @08:52PM (#45571561)

            By "money is left to its own," one of course means "the rich are left to their own" (being the ones with the most money, which controls how money is used to produce more money for the rich, etc.). "Capitalism" left to its own is an inevitable slide into oligarchy, with an oppressive tiny elite at the top. The "invisible hand of the free market" is not a beneficent God working for the good of all if only entrusted with our full hearts; it is the manipulating iron fist of whoever has the most money, squeezing the labor and life out of those with less.

            • By "money is left to its own," one of course means "the rich are left to their own" (being the ones with the most money, which controls how money is used to produce more money for the rich, etc.).

              Why shouldn't the rich be left to their own?

              "Capitalism" left to its own is an inevitable slide into oligarchy, with an oppressive tiny elite at the top.

              Ok, name me a system that isn't an oligarchy with an oppressive tiny elite at the top. Government is always small group with power over a large group without power. Capitalism, at least, is something of a meritocracy, even if not perfect.

              The "invisible hand of the free market" is not a beneficent God working for the good of all if only entrusted with our full hearts; it is the manipulating iron fist of whoever has the most money, squeezing the labor and life out of those with less.

              I call bullshit. Show me anywhere in the capitalist western world where anyone is forced to labor. If you've taken a job, I suspect it's because you're better off taking it than not taking it. If you have a valuable skill to sell,

              • If the highly rich we're left to their own they'd starve to death, whilst trying to manage each other and stab each other in the back. Their money would have little value if they couldn't use it to obtain huge quantities of other people's output, at vast multiples of those people's hours of work compared to what's required of their own. Money and economic exchange is a fundamentally social bargain, not private property. It's not illegitimate to democratically adjust it (it's just much more often a bad idea
              • by ixuzus (2418046)

                I call bullshit. Show me anywhere in the capitalist western world where anyone is forced to labor. If you've taken a job, I suspect it's because you're better off taking it than not taking it. If you have a valuable skill to sell, then you have options. If you have a lack of options, that indicates you have a lack of valuable skills. Your failure to better your skills isn't the fault of the market economy.

                So let's say, for the sake of argument, that everybody went and got these magical skills which gave us all 'options'. I doubt that very much would change. The guy working in aged care might be a skilled structural engineer, the guy picking fruit in the scorching heat might be a diesel mechanic and the poor girl who has to serve coffee to self-righteous fools probably has a better grasp of computer science than most of us will ever dream of. Why? Because there are only so many jobs available and a signif

                • by khallow (566160)

                  Why? Because there are only so many jobs available and a significant proportion of them are crappy, low-paying jobs - and that is the fault of how the market economy is set up.

                  Or they can start their own businesses. That's a huge option you completely missed. It's not the market economy which punishes people for creating new businesses and hiring people. It's the zero sum people who think that there's only a fixed amount of work to go around and then set political policies based on that assumption.

                  Let's give an example. Say society creates or raises a minimum wage. By zero sum thinking, this means that there's more money being paid in wages - because the number of jobs hasn't

                  • by ixuzus (2418046)

                    Or they can start their own businesses. That's a huge option you completely missed. It's not the market economy which punishes people for creating new businesses and hiring people. It's the zero sum people who think that there's only a fixed amount of work to go around and then set political policies based on that assumption.

                    Nope, didn't miss it. In theory they could - but for any given skillset there is only a finite amount of demand in the job market. So in this world where everyone has gone and started their own business are we just going to abandon the aged to their fate and not have anyone wait tables?

                    Let's give an example. Say society creates or raises a minimum wage. By zero sum thinking, this means that there's more money being paid in wages - because the number of jobs hasn't changed. In reality, people whose labor was worth less than minimum wage become unemployed and the quantity of jobs shrinks.

                    I do see where you are coming from but let me give you a counter-example.

                    Let's say company X employs 100 people at the absolute minimum they can get away with. Management is well rewarded for keeping costs down and a pro

              • by dkleinsc (563838)

                Ok, name me a system that isn't an oligarchy with an oppressive tiny elite at the top.

                Athenian democracy. There was class stratification, no question, but there were thousands of relatively ordinary men with real political power, and any elites who got too oppressive would be promptly voted out of office and not infrequently ostracized (kicked out of the city for a decade). A couple of factors that probably helped create this environment was that much of it was run by direct democracy, and a lot of the rest of it was run by picking names out of a jar. Think of the election day coverage being

            • by Anonymous Coward

              This has actually happened many times in the known history, and most likely multiple times before that. I know the invisible hand is usually not imagined as a mob of fists that will eventually dethrone the elite. But according to history that happens. There is nothing the elite can do to prevent it. They won't even see it coming, being too busy playing their own elite games with eachothers. When it's 1 to 99, the 99 eventually realize there is nothing the 1 percent can do if they just walk in and take every

          • The Constitution is not capitalistic then, because it mandates the government to provide for the General Welfare. Money doesn't care about the suffering of people. It's perfectly willing to allow human sacrifice.

          • by Artifakt (700173) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @09:57PM (#45571851)

            Adam Smith himself defined his perfect "Free Market" as including everyone knowing how much the productive process cost, and broke this down into such costs as labor, raw materials, and financial charges in his examples. Even by a very strict pro-capitalist model, that sounds like the government would be legitimately supporting capitalism by providing a lot more information than just weights and measures. Consumer safety information for one example, or average salaries for a given area, or an acurately derived inflationary index for others. (Of course, modern capital theory claims there would be no inflation in a pure capitalism, but even so, the government would need to accurately index inflation in a mixed economy trying to move towards that pure state - not reporting it would be retarding the motion). I'd point out too, that all of these could also fit your clause about preventing deception to a greater or lesser extent. But, that still means a medium-large role for governments, although yes, it's theoretically much less in some areas than what we see currently.
                      Such things as a business holding trade secrets while continuing to seek the protection of patents or copyrights are not really part of theoretical Capitalism, by Smith's original work. Most modern business and all publicly traded corporations would not want anything like this level of "money being left alone" This is another reason why we aren't moving towards what you call "truely capitalisitic society" - the people crying out the loudest for more capitalism actually oppose many of the most basic elements of it, and fear the very possibility.

          • by starworks5 (139327) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @10:00PM (#45571855) Homepage

            Did you even bother to read the definition of capitalism:

            a way of organizing an economy so that the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) are owned by individual people and companies rather than by the government

            You don't even address the main point, that capitalism inherently produces market failures, for instance what we call externalities. If you think that the failures of socialism is bad, nearly every ecological indicator that we see seems to indicate failure, most of which are borne from a market failure of capitalism.

            Furthermore what people refer to as "the third way" or otherwise known as a hybrid of socialism / capitalism IS actually the most stable, as it provides checks and balances to prevent excessive corruption from either the public or private sectors, they are two halves of the same coin the introverted and extroverted locus of economic growth.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              False. By socialism/capitolism you get failed ideas funded by tax payers and continue to be funded well past failure with no results. See Obama's solar agenda like Solyndra. Because of that other compaines that MIGHT have been sucessful are forced into failure by unfair competition with goverment funding that they are taxed and forced to pay for. In that situation you are funding a failure by robbing a potential sucess and forcing unfair competition.

              Forced socialism/capitolism is just socialists taking

            • by khallow (566160)

              You don't even address the main point, that capitalism inherently produces market failures, for instance what we call externalities. If you think that the failures of socialism is bad, nearly every ecological indicator that we see seems to indicate failure, most of which are borne from a market failure of capitalism.

              No. For example, a lot of the pollution in China comes from state-owned industry. And throughout the developed world, governments are notorious for excluding themselves from externality reducing regulation.

              As to the third way of a hybrid system, it can be better or worse. If regulation successfully keeps government and business separate, then you have a good division of power. If it doesn't, then you can have a corrupt mixing of the two (say in some form of fascism or "corporate republic").

          • by gtall (79522)

            Pure capitalism generates monopolies. Monopolies are bad, just look at the railroads in past years and the oil companies in the early part of the 20th century...or MS today. Pure capitalism generates banks that are too big to allow to fail lest they take the entire economy with them, car companies that are too big fail lest they take unemployment to ridiculously high levels, insurance companies (AIG) that couldn't be allowed to fail without taking down the credit markets, etc. Pure capitalism generates unac

          • Capitalism is how money works when society sets up a certain set of legal rules. Say, for example, the government arresting you or fining you because you failed to follow some kind of copy write law, or sold a medical drug the government thinks another company owns. Indeed the idea of property itself requires a certain social norm and agreement. Genghis Khan is how money works when it is left alone.

            FYI, if Capitalism worked perfectly, there would never be economic bubbles or monopolies.

        • by khallow (566160)

          Actually, a central planned economy is not a bad thing, people who argue about the "economic calculation problem", fallaciously think that a distributed network of calculators, are more efficient than a centralized clearing house.

          Name the fallacy that supposedly applies here.

          The thing about economics is that for the most part economies are very local and distributes well, especially when combined with markets to propagate more large scale economic information. For example, the basic input and output computations that central planning theory tends to do, can be done just as well by local parties with near optimal results, just by considering their local situation and the market price of inputs and outputs.

          Another big problem wi

        • Actually, a central planned economy is not a bad thing, people who argue about the "economic calculation problem", fallaciously think that a distributed network of calculators, are more efficient than a centralized clearing house.

          Well, of course it is. Any computer scientist can tell you that centralizing decision making in one process doesn't scale.

          • by retchdog (1319261)

            If by 'scale,' you mean compute power, then it obviously depends on whether the processing power reaches some kind of saturation level. By analogy with graphics, we may well reach a point where centralized is 'good enough' to simulate decentralized, but may be preferable for some other reason. Or, once financial trading is 99%+ algorithmic, how much does it really matter who is running the algorithm?

            The usual free market argument is that the actual information involved in a free market cannot be elicited in

            • This is where it usually all falls down, of course.

              That's one place it all falls down. There's plenty of others.

              1) The government can try to force centralization of all the information, but it won't be able to effectively process it. As I said, centralization doesn't scale. The government will drown in data and will not be able to formulate sensible policies even if it wants to.

              2) The government can *try* to force centralization, but it won't succeed. People will want what they want, not what the govern

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @06:20PM (#45570721)
    There must be something in Siberia that makes people and nature go genocidal. First the Permian extinctions, then the gulags, now the methane. Go figure!
    • Kilometers and Kilometer of stunted trees, frozen nights, stunted trees, gulags, stunted trees, vodka, stunted trees, blowing and drifting snow, stunted trees ....

      Well, you get the idea.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Binging on Vodka always gives me the toots, too.

  • Okay, who farted?

  • Hmpffff (Score:2, Insightful)

    by no-body (127863)
    Studying doesn't reduce it. Looks like a runaway process to me. Mars-like surface to come at the end - thanx a lot. Probably not the only idiotic failure in the universe.
    • by stox (131684)

      Not Mars-like, but more Venus-like. Our magnetic field isn't going anyway, so we'll retain the atmosphere. Nothing a few hundred nukes can't fix.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly, the earth has never been hotter than now. It's got to be a runaway process, no way back. O wait ... LOL @ slashdot.

    • Re:Hmpffff (Score:5, Interesting)

      by c0lo (1497653) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @08:31PM (#45571443)

      Studying doesn't reduce it. Looks like a runaway process to me. Mars-like surface to come at the end - thanx a lot. Probably not the only idiotic failure in the universe.

      However, studies show an interesting fact: it is not (yet) a runaway process. TFA (at the end):

      Finally, this is not the first time this region has experienced warmer temperatures. During some of the warm periods between past ice ages, it has been as warm as, or warmer than, it is today. No sudden spike in atmospheric methane shows up in climate records from those times, however. That tells us that, fortunately, it takes a pretty strong kick to awaken a methane giant.

      (mind you, I'm not saying that we are out of Siberian marshes yet: the previous ace ages didn't have an industrious population of hominides willing and capable to burn fossile fuel at a massive scale. We are still in the race for that "idiotic failure" prize that you mention).

      • by Dasher42 (514179)

        It is teetering close to a run-away process, and most of the world still has its foot all the way down on the gas.

        I am in despair of the industrialized world being any different from the many civilizations that destroyed their land base and then imploded - the Nile, Babylon, Greece, Easter Island, the Maya, the list goes on. The destructive acidification of the soils where tobacco was grown was a major factor in the American Civil War - with that and the Dust Bowl and ongoing topsoil loss, the USA is well

        • by khallow (566160)

          It is teetering close to a run-away process, and most of the world still has its foot all the way down on the gas.

          So what? Not everyone shares your unjustified certainty.

          I am in despair of the industrialized world being any different from the many civilizations that destroyed their land base and then imploded - the Nile, Babylon, Greece, Easter Island, the Maya, the list goes on.

          Civilizations have changed. We're no longer in the era of not having a clue how agriculture works.

          We managed to fix the soil with applications of lime and crushed shells, but we're going to have to learn deeply about the ecology of soil, not just its chemistry

          Ok, we'll probably have that inside of 50 years. It's worth noting that we probably already know enough about soil to completely address your current concerns.

  • Sorry guys, that was me.

    #extra_large_burrito

  • Well I guess we can ignore about any puny effects we're having on the environment, let's keep burning! /s
  • by khayman80 (824400) on Monday December 02, 2013 @12:49AM (#45572397) Homepage Journal

    Cowtan and Way 2013 [wiley.com] compensated for missing HadCRUT4 surface temperature measurements in places like the Arctic and Africa by using the spatial pattern of satellite data to produce a hybrid satellite/surface dataset. Jane and Lonny ponder the differences between Cowtan and Way's hybrid dataset and HadCRUT4:

    I keep asking: what's wrong with my basic premise: that if your measurements are shown to be off by 100%, there's something wrong with your science? That was my point. [Jane Q. Public] [slashdot.org]

    ... They are saying that it is not the 0.05 degrees C per decade that the AR5 report gives for the last 15 years, but that it is, instead, 0.12 degrees C. Which is actually a difference of not 100% but 140%, for the most recent 15 years. [Jane Q. Public] [slashdot.org]

    @ScienceChannel @jimmygle PLEASE tell the Anthropogenic Global Warmists! Yet another report surfaced saying their "science" was off by 140% [Lonny Eachus] [twitter.com]

    Jane and Lonny's basic premise wrongly ignores the large error bars on these noisy, short-term trends. The SkS trend calculator [skepticalscience.com] can calculate the trends and error bars from 1997 through (including) 2012 for both HadCrut4 and Cowtan and Way's hybrid dataset:

    1997-2013 HadCRUT4 Trend: 0.049 0.126 C/decade
    1997-2013 HadCRUT4 hybrid Trend: 0.119 0.150 C/decade

    The hybrid dataset's central estimate is inside the error bars of the original HadCRUT4 estimate.

    ... they haven't been right yet... They admit that they have no explanation why their models, which projected continued if not increased warming, do not explain why it has dropped by more than half (0.12 to 0.05 deg. C / decade) over the last 15 years. Or, for that matter, why their margin of error (-0.05 to +0.15 deg. C) for the last decade and a half is 4 times the size of their actual estimated warming. Nope... it's pretty damned clear. Something is wrong with their science. [Jane Q. Public] [slashdot.org]

    I calculated error bars on UAH trends [dumbscientist.com]. The black line on the second page shows the UAH trend ending in 2012, for different starting years. The error bars are shown in red; they're 95% confidence uncertainty bounds. Note that error bars on longer trends are smaller than the large error bars on shorter trends.

    Anyone can reproduce my results by downloading the free "R" programming language [r-project.org] used by professional statisticians. Then save this code as "significance.r":

    # run using R CMD BATCH significance.r
    # outputs to Rplots.pdf and significance.r.Rout
    # load custom functions

    # for generalised least squares
    library(nlme)

    # options
    xunits="year"
    textsize=1.4
    titlesize=1.8
    colfit="red"
    pch1=20#points

    # read basin data
    indata = read.table("greenland2013/GIS_climate.nasa.txt",header=T)
    title="Greenland mass"
    yunits="gigatons"
    tlims=c(-350,-190)
    alims=c(-60,0)
    #indata = indata[which(indata$x>2002.0),]

    # remove mean
    indata$y = indata$y - mean(indata$y)

    n = length(indata$x)
    n

    midpoint=(indata$x[n]-indata$x[1])/2.0+indata$x[1]

    # fit model
    fit=gls(y~x,data=indata,corr=corARMA(p=1,q=1))
    #fit=gls(y~x+sin(2*pi*x)+cos(2*pi*x),data=indata,corr=corARMA(p=1,q=1))
    #fit=gls

  • Onion style satire? (Score:4, Informative)

    by nitehawk214 (222219) on Monday December 02, 2013 @01:23AM (#45572499)

    Here is a list of articles on this site:

    What Ancient Secrets Lie Within the Flower of Life?
    Church Group Kicked Out Of Public Park For Handing Out Thanksgiving Dinners To Homeless
    SSDI Death Index: Sandy Hook ‘Shooter’ Adam Lanza Died One Day Before School Massacre?
    15 Citizens Petition to Secede from the United States
    Will U.S. Troops Fire On American Citizens?
    Ceceliafox: Before his Death, Father of ADHD Admitted it Was a Fictitious Disease
    Debbie: Mexican Government Releases Proof of E.T.’s and Ancient Space Travel

    • Were you trying to reply to someone else's comment rather than the main story? The summary only has one link which goes to a story on Ars Technica. None of the headlines you've given are on their site. The article there links back to the study on Nature.com, which also does not have any of the headlines you've given.

  • Surely our bankster overlords know the right solutions and will soon implement a comprehensive Siberian development plan where methane becomes the rights of large corporations and runoff and byproducts become the responsibility of Siberian natives.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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