Extreme Temperature Diary-February 19th, 2019/ More Ominous Methane Issues

More Ominous Methane Issues

Tuesday February 19th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials.

Today Inside Climate News presented two articles, which I invite all to read, concerning methane. As we know methane, or CH4, is about 100 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 but does not remain in the atmosphere nearly as long.

Here is the first article, which I invite all to read in its entirety, that mostly deals with cattle farming:


Sharp rise in methane levels threatens world climate targets

Experts warn that failure to act risks spike in global temperatures

Robin McKie

Sun 17 Feb 2019 02.00 EST Last modified on Sun 17 Feb 2019 05.34 EST

Livestock are a leading source of the rise in methane levels.
Livestock are a leading source of the rise in methane levels. Photograph: Alamy

Dramatic rises in atmospheric methane are threatening to derail plans to hold global temperature rises to 2C, scientists have warned.

In a paper published this month by the American Geophysical Union, researchers say sharp rises in levels of methane – which is a powerful greenhouse gas – have strengthened over the past four years. Urgent action is now required to halt further increases in methane in the atmosphere, to avoid triggering enhanced global warming and temperature rises well beyond 2C.

The second deals with methane being released from mostly Arctic bogs. I’m quoting the first three paragraphs:


Arctic Bogs Hold Another Global Warming Risk That Could Spiral Out of Control

As warming brings earlier spring rains in the Arctic, more permafrost thaws, releasing more methane in a difficult-to-stop feedback loop, research shows. P

By Phil McKenna

Feb 19, 2019

Alaska wetlands. Credit: S Hillebrand/USFWS
A doubling of the rate of methane released in the Arctic could have consequences that climate change projections don’t currently take into account. Credit: S Hillebrand/USFWS

Increasing spring rains in the Arctic could double the increase in methane emissions from the region by hastening the rate of thawing in permafrost, new research suggests.

The findings are cause for concern because spring rains are anticipated to occur more frequently as the region warms. The release of methane, a short-lived climate pollutant more potent than carbon dioxide over the short term, could induce further warming in a vicious cycle that would be difficult if not impossible to stop.

“Our results emphasize that these permafrost regions are sensitive to the thermal effects of rain, and because we’re anticipating that these environments are going to get wetter in the future, we could be seeing increases in methane emissions that we weren’t expecting,” said the study’s lead author, Rebecca Neumann, a civil and environmental engineering professor at the University of Washington. The study appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Both articles are rather alarming and interact with tipping points. You can view my list in which we delve deeply into each item here: h


In particular for today’s topic here were some of my insights from last year:


What we are most interested in is how much additional global warming will occur before bogs and permafrost tip towards much more warmth, and that means without additional carbon pollution. Looking at the last article perhaps much less than Will Stefen’s +5C above preindustrial conditions. We will see.


Here is some more weather and climate news from Tuesday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)

Speaking of the much advertised flooding for the mid South:

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The Climate Guy

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