methane

Ocean Roundup: Methane Seeping from U.S. Atlantic Seafloor, Iceland’s Caught Scores of Endangered Fin Whales, and More

Posted Mon, Aug 25, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to fin whales, killer whale pods, methane, ocean plastics, sea level rise

The U.S. Atlantic coast is seeping methane in 570 locations

Methane rising from the seafloor off Virginia. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Flickr Creative Commons)

- According to a new report by the Assembly Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy, California is “woefully unprepared” for sea level rise. The report projects that agriculture, tourism, and fishing industries will be most impacted by sea level rise. Think Progress


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Workers Evacuated As Another ‘Out-of-Control’ Gulf Rig Leaks Methane Gas

Posted Fri, Feb 7, 2014 by Andrew Menaquale to bp oil disaster, methane, offshore drilling

(Photo: J. Stephen Conn)

Last Thursday, a natural gas well operating off the coast of Louisiana began leaking methane gas into the air. Given the recent number of large number of spills and leaks taking place on Gulf rigs, it’s hard to believe that the federal government is now considering allowing drilling to take place in the Atlantic Ocean. Clearly, the government is more concerned with increased drilling rather than ensuring safety of our workers and the environment.


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Vanishing Arctic Ice

Posted Tue, Sep 25, 2012 by admin to bunker fuel, carbon dioxide, greehouse gases, methane, National Snow and Ice Data Center, positive feedback loop, sea ice minimum, shipping

Previous low from 2007. This year's minimum smaller by an area the size of Texas ©Wikimedia Commons 

The National Snow and Ice Data Center has announced that Arctic sea ice melted to its yearly minimum extent last Sunday, which was the smallest extent since measurements began in 1979 and a whopping 49% below the 1979 to 2000 average. With ice vanishing at rates that exceed even the most sophisticated computer models there is one guarantee, that it’s going to shrink even more

We know Arctic sea ice will continue to shrink for two reasons.  First, we are continuing to spew greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.  And second, solar radiation and melting sea ice interact as a system known as a positive feedback loop. Sunlight that hits white arctic sea ice is largely reflected back to space. Throughout modern civilization Arctic sea ice has acted as a sort of thermostat, regulating the earth’s temperature. But as the climate warms, and the Arctic ice melts, the sunlight instead hits much darker seawater. Rather than reflecting that energy back to space, open-ocean waters absorb vastly more of the sun’s energy, which in turn warms the water, accelerating the rate of melt.


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