More Antarctic melting threats

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A five-year study just published says methane hydrates buried under kilometres of Antarctic ice and sediment could accelerate global warming if released into the atmosphere. This has given the warmists much grist for their mills of alarm.

The paper, Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica, published on 30 August as a letter in Nature, is behind a paywall, so I’ve only seen the abstract and Supplementary Information (pdf).

The paper contains some interesting information. The sediments are in surprisingly deep basins – down to 10 km or even 14 km in rifts (measured from the earth surface, not the top of the ice), although most are between 0.3 km and 3 km deep. That’s a lot of silt. The amount of overlying ice is similar, from 1 km to 3.5 km. That must all melt before the sediment has any hope of warming enough to release the methane clathrates. Chance would be a fine thing. Continue Reading →