Saturday, 21 March 2015

More on methane

Global methane emissions off the chart

In putting together my article Countdown to extinction yesterday I had the chance to compare two graphs compiled by Sam Carana. The levels of methane emissions measured early this year were much higher than anything hitherto measured.

Sometimes when we read words we lose something and it was only on reflecting on what I had seen that I got to reflecting what this actually means.

I decided to see what would happen if I put this into a new graph based on one one earlier by Sam Carana.

What I saw when I did the following rough graph BLEW MY BRAINS!

I had finished drawing when I realised that I had made a mistake in tranferring the 2015 readings onto the graph.

At an average of 2372 ppb they were way off the chart!

Here is my rough, hand-drawn graph

Will someone please tell me that my brain is addled and I have got this all wrong!

NOTE: I am well aware that this is mixing mean annual data with data taken from a short period of time. However, it has to be pointed out that this figure of 2372 ppb is a mean figure, not a peak one.

What this tells me, in terms of the clathrate gun we have crossed some sort of Rubicon and, unless we believe these emissions were a simple one-off event, we are well-and-truly into exponential territory.

The climate moderates, sitting with their computer models say:

"The methane releases so far are relatively small (on the global scale) and there are all sorts of reasons why future releases will be moderate, slow in coming, and non-catastrophic" 

Even Robertscribbler says:

"….We should be quick to point out that the rate of increase, especially on the global scale, has been mostly steady so far.... Though there has been a bit of an uptick in global and Arctic methane increase rates during recent years, they have maintained about a 4-7 ppb annual increase since ending a decade-long pause from 1995 to 2005."

All of this makes me feel sightly schizophrenic. Have I, or someone else, got something wrong in the data!?

I look forward to hearing from the experts,meaning in the first instance, Malcolm Light, Sam Carana, Guy McPherson, Paul Beckwith, and AMEG.

If anyone can comment further on this from a position of knowlege, I would love to hear.

In the meantime, here are Sam Carana's chats.

See an enlarged version of Malcolm Light's chat HERE


I received the following replies from Sam Carana

Note that there's a difference between mean methane levels and peak methane levels.

The peak level that is reached each day is much higher than the mean global level reached on that day. The peaks in early 2015 are on the image at

The highest global mean in 2014 was 1839 ppb, reached on September 7, 2014.

I am currently working on a comparison of 2015 peaks with the 2014 peaks, to show what kind of increase we're witnessing.....

..The big danger is that warm water will trigger further releases of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. Peak daily methane levels recorded in early 2015 averaged a very high 2370 parts per billion, as illustrated by the image below. 

And from Malcolm Light - 

I am writing to you about the new mean atmospheric methane content for 2014. Unfortunately it is dramatically higher than in 2013 and indicates that the rate of methane expulsion from the subsea Arctic methane hydrates has increased from 2.5 to 5 times. This has greatly speeded up the rate of global warming and we can expect planetary wide global extinction to occur between 8 and 16 years in the future (2023 - 2031). The poster (see below) summarises all the available information. The problem is the "All of the Above Energy Policy" put in place by President Obama and the United States administration is now producing giant pollution clouds that move north - east into the Atlantic, heating up the Gulf Stream, which had already increased its flow rate by three times since the 1940's. This hot Gulf Stream makes its way to the Arctic where it is destabilizing the subsea methane hydrates at exponentially increasing rates. Five Nations (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, United States, Australia and Canada) hold the position of the most extreme carbon footprints per person on Earth, but the US also has a giant carbon dioxide emission rate making them the greatest waster of fossil fuels on Earth and the greatest threat to humanity’s future existence. I would be grateful if you would pass this information on to all scientists and administration officials dealing with climate prediction and to the government. The imminent and precipitous nature of this global warming catastrophe requires instant reaction at all levels of society or we will all be dead.

Please look at these internet pages.

Updated version of the poster is at .

Also added at

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm. P.R. Light (Dr)
Earth Scientist


  1. When you scare people with methane; you must ad BOO!!!

    Guys, here is the truth about methane, IF you are interested in the truth::

  2. Robin, our brains are addled because we calculated correctly & we can see the horror that awaits us & soon.

    1. gerard, burning methane is bad - because every molecule of methane turns 4 oxygen atoms into water and CO2 molecules - we have plenty water in the see no need for more BUT: creating methane RELEASES 4 oxygen atoms as a free agent - that cannot be bad; reverses the damages!!! You people are back to front on everything: CH4 + 2O2 => CO2 + 2H2O - on the other hand: cow + grass = methane 2H2O + 4O => CH4
      Can you get the truth?! read my post and get the proofs


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