Methane gas: an environmental holocaust

Global warming is a natural phenomenon brought about by human activities and biological processes. Under normal conditions, plants and animals, including humans are capable of adapting to the environmental changes. However, global warming at it’s present rate is aggravated by the release of a great amount of “GREENHOUSE” gases into the atmosphere which forms an enveloping barrier that blocks the infra-red radiation coming from the sun from bouncing back into outer space, causing the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere to rise.


[Image courtesy cTrade.com.au.]

The principal and most common source of greenhouse gases, as we all know, is the burning of fossil oil and coal used to fuel energy generation for human industries and luxuries. With crude oil alone, there are about seventy thousand derivatives that can be obtained, each of which when heated, or burned emits into the atmosphere tremendous amounts of greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrous oxide, methane, hydrogen cyanide, and various CFC compounds.

This on-going process, now threatens the very existence of our planet, as it happens at such a rapid pace that the inhabitants of our planet are largely unable to adapt themselves to the sudden changes in their environment that it induces. Global warming also triggers extreme climatic conditions which in turn results in destruction, calamities and death. Furthermore, as the temperature rises, it melts the glaciers and the polar caps resulting in sea levels arising and endangering life in the low lands. It also melts permafrost. Permafrost is permanently frozen remains of pre-historic rain forests buried along the Siberian plains and the polar regions. As the permafrost melts, it releases into the atmosphere tremendous amounts of “methane”, a non toxic, colorless, odorless, but highly combustible greenhouse gas it held frozen for billions of years. This “methane release” augments the process of global warming.

Methane is an extremely combustible gas which will burn over a narrow range of concentration of 5-15% in air. It may form explosive mixtures with the atmospheric gases and is violently reactive with oxidizers, halogens and some halogen-containing compounds. What does this mean? We all know that our atmosphere is made up of 21% free oxygen, and some 2 percent of halogen and halogen compounds. But what we do not know is that there is already a dangerous concentration of methane gas within the explosive range in the Earth’s atmosphere. This has become evident particularly in the polar regions as the gas tends to move to the cooler places.

Now, here is the dilemma:

If global warming continues unchecked, and the regions of the earth where there is a 5-15% concentrations of methane gas in the atmosphere reaches the temperature of 53 degrees Celsius, which is the flash point of methane gas, it could result in a spontaneous ignition of atmospheric gases and wreak unimaginable destruction to our planet.

Our planet has now become in reality, a “TIME BOMB” and the clock is ticking fast unless measures are adopted to avert this inevitable holocaust!…

[Photo of permafrost cross section courtesty International Polar Foundation.]

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About coolass

"We all lived under the same sky, ruled under one heaven...but see things on different horizons"

16 Comments on “Methane gas: an environmental holocaust”

  1. Dude, you have to consider that at just a few degrees above the global average temperature, everything dies. So, if the earth’s temperature reaches 53 degrees Celsius, i think most living creatures on earth would be dead and I guess most people would miss seeing the world explode into flames.

    I think the sudden massive release of methane is considered as one of the many dooms day scenarios not because of an impending explosion but rather because it is the most destructive green house gas.

    Its ability to destroy the ozone layer is several times above that of any other gas.

    1. there are places actually hotter than the other, here in Rub Al-Khali, we reach as much as 62 degrees during summer, and we are still alive, because of technology we are able to combat high desert temperature…so if methane concentration in places with atmospheric temperature as hot as in Rub Al-Khali desert, then there will be expplosion in the atmosphere…

      1. Yes but you also have to take into consideration the temperature gradient in the atmosphere. As you get higher up in the atmosphere, the temperature actually gets cooler which explains why there is ice on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro even if it is located near the equator. Since Methane is bouyant in air, it should be way up in the atmosphere where 53 degrees up there could mean about 120 degrees down here. Hence, I think it is highly unlikely that Methane would explode in the atmosphere before we become fried eggs.

  2. “However, global warming at it’s present rate is aggravated by the release of a great amount of “GREENHOUSE” gases into the atmosphere which forms an enveloping barrier that blocks the infra-red radiation coming from the sun from bouncing back into outer space, causing the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere to rise.”

    I’m not a climatologist but I can comprehend technical papers. There is this explanation about them which I consider more believable:

    “MYTH 3: Human produced carbon dioxide has increased over the last 100 years, adding to the Greenhouse effect, thus warming the earth.

    FACT: Carbon dioxide levels have indeed changed for various reasons, human and otherwise, just as they have throughout geologic time. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the CO2 content of the atmosphere has increased. The RATE of growth during this period has also increased from about 0.2% per year to the present rate of about 0.4% per year,which growth rate has now been constant for the past 25 years. However, there is no proof that CO2 is the main driver of global warming. As measured in ice cores dated over many thousands of years, CO2 levels move up and down AFTER the temperature has done so, and thus are the RESULT OF, NOT THE CAUSE of warming. Geological field work in recent sediments confirms this causal relationship. There is solid evidence that, as temperatures move up and down naturally and cyclically through solar radiation, orbital and galactic influences, the warming surface layers of the earth’s oceans expel more CO2 as a result.

    MYTH 4: CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas.

    FACT: Greenhouse gases form about 3 % of the atmosphere by volume. They consist of varying amounts, (about 97%) of water vapour and clouds, with the remainder being gases like CO2, CH4, Ozone and N2O, of which carbon dioxide is the largest amount. Hence, CO2 constitutes about 0.037% of the atmosphere. While the minor gases are more effective as “greenhouse agents” than water vapour and clouds, the latter are overwhelming the effect by their sheer volume and – in the end – are thought to be responsible for 60% of the “Greenhouse effect”.

    Those attributing climate change to CO2 rarely mention this important fact.”

    More on that on http://www.globalwarminghysteria.com/ten-myths-of-global-warming/

    There is also this other explanation:

    “But carbon dioxide does not determine temperature in the way that Gore suggests. On the contrary, temperature controls carbon dioxide by modulating its release and absorption from the oceans. The temperature changes found in the ice core data cannot be caused by carbon dioxide changes, because the increases in atmospheric temperature precede increases in carbon dioxide by several hundred years.”

    One must also google “climategate”.

    One good reading is on http://tinyurl.com/yeeyrhm

    1. As stated in the article, “GLOBAL WARMING is a natural process brought about by human activities and biological processes…”
      every single thing we do will ultimately contribute to global warming, when we breath, when we talk, when we digest our food..our body is actually releasing carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrous oxide and methane…all these are hazardous greenhouse gases…pero dahil natural na paraan, nakokontrol yan ng ating kapaligiran, Trees absorbs carbon dioxide, bacteria in the soil absorbs nitrous oxide and turn them into nutrients, hydrogen sulfide and methane, at lower concentration level dissolves naturally with atmospheric gases.

      BUT…because we are using HYDROCARBONS and COAL to power our industries and luxuries, and inadvertently releasing the gases into the atmosphere, hindi na kayang i-absorb by means of natural process yung mga toxic gases na ibinubuuga natin sa hangin!…FOSSIL OIL and COAL are actually carbon stored by nature millions of years ago. Then we drill them, refine and burn them and release them into the atmosphere…it took nature billions of years to capture and store them underground. Considering that Carbon Dioxide and other GHG’s does not contribute to heating of the atmosphere (as you claimed) still, we cannot deny the fact that by the current concentration level of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other GHG’s had already disturbed the balance of our atmosphere…and we are already experiencing the worst natural disasters and worst climate conditions in recent years…

      1. “And by the way, my article is about “Methane gas” a more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.”

        My bad. I should have focus on methane more since it’s really your topic.

        When I wrote my comment, I was thinking of comparing the potency of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Methane (CH4) in global warming or climate change issue and eventually forgot to write it that way.

        According to Climate Change advocates about CH4 –

        “”A United Nations report has identified the world’s rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife. …

        …Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.

        Burning fuel to produce fertiliser to grow feed, to produce meat and to transport it – and clearing vegetation for grazing – produces 9 per cent of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas. And their wind and manure emit more than one third of emissions of another, methane, which warms the world 20 times faster than carbon dioxide.”

        And according to http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/05/barry-rill-methane

        Snippets:

        “There is no question that methane is a greenhouse gas, and that its atmospheric concentration owes much to wetlands, peat bogs, permafrost thaws, pipeline leaks, termites, ruminant livestock, landfills, rice-growing and other sources. As at 2010, the volume in the atmosphere is 1.8 parts per million, and New Zealand’s NIWA calculates that livestock accounts for approximately 15% of that total.

        Applying the above figures, the atmospheric concentration of CH4 is only 0.7% that of CO2. This would be so trivial as to be ignored, but for the fact that the IPCC contends that CH4 has a “global warming potential” (GWP) which is about 21 times greater than CO2.”

        From that site, CH4 and CO2 are benchmarked with respect to their weight, volume (or molecule), weight, and time factors. Their conclusion:

        “Conclusion [Updated June 25, 2011]

        The available data suggests that total warming from methane increases will be no more than 0.105°C over the next 360 years. If 15% of this total is to be laid at the door of livestock farming, it would amount to 0.015°C – about 0.004° per century.

        However, this calculation assumes that all of the world’s livestock are slaughtered to extinction. If the target is merely to cut livestock methane by (say) 10%, then the risk avoided might be one-thousandth of 1°C after 360 years. And that’s a high estimate, which only applies if all the IPCC theories turn out to be correct.

        What sane person would voluntarily pay any premium to insure against this risk?”

        (I would suggest you visit the site for the complete write-up.)

        I’ve already read a lot before, being a global warming skeptic, about CH4 and CO2 as factors in greenhouse gas. I find it more believable that CO2 is far more a factor as global warming contributor than CH4 because those skeptics support their papers with a more and clearer believable numbers.

        Perhaps, that one made me to comment only on CO2 and unintentionally forgotten the CH4.

    2. Perhaps we should not view C02 solely as greenhouse but a measurement of Human Activities. Human expansion and exploitation may have wreak havoc on things that helps cool down the Earth.

    3. afffrrruuuubbbbbb!!!!!!!!!!global warming is a hoax!!!!! perpetrated by socialists and communists to scare people to justify cap and trade, tax businesses to oblivion that would result in worldwide poverty to benefit the richest and most powerful people eg george soros, m. green…imagine co2 considered evil gas. we might as well all commit suicide coz we humans emit co2 for the plants to take in as nourishment for these plants to emit o2 so that human and other forms of life will survive…nyeta!!!! climategateeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  3. True…it is the burning of Fossil Fuel that is destroying this Planet Earth. This is the reason, we have to use Renewable Sources of Fuel like: Solar, Wind, Waves, etc…the Earth is facing destruction, and human extinction is possible. These are the threats, other than the possible Nuclear Wars, that can erupt anytime…

    1. The alternative energy sources that you mentioned are not cost effective with only a marginal yield…
      maybe we have to consider using “garbage” as an alternative energy source…what do you think?…two birds in one shot…we solve the energy problem, and the garbage disposal problem…

      1. Garbage in landfills can produce Methane Gas…used as an energy fuel. Incinerators with a hybrid of Solar , was developed in Israel, a few years ago. It can also be a source of energy. Solar and Wind Turbine, are cost Effective. They are easily installed; low maintenance cost; and non polluting. It can be installed in remote places. It does not require wiring from a long distance energy sources …

  4. coolass, in your comment to trosp you write: “FOSSIL OIL and COAL are actually carbon stored by nature millions of years ago. Then we drill them, refine and burn them and release them into the atmosphere…it took nature billions of years to capture and store them underground.”

    Great visual image of we humans running around the planet poking thousands of holes in the earth so the dirt can spew into the air, quickly changing the gas that protects us to a strange chemical concoction sure to gag us or boil us. Stupid R Man. Nice article.

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