Warmists Debunk Arctic Methane Scare

Published July 26, 2013

The UK Guardian and dozens of additional media outlets are hyping a claim this week rapidly receding Arctic sea ice will trigger a methane-release catastrophe within just a few years. While the media predictably tries to scare the pants off of people who don’t closely follow the scientific debate, skeptics, mainstream warmists, and – yes – even prominent global warming alarmists agree the predictions of a methane catastrophe are over the top and ridiculous.

A new paper in the journal Nature claims summertime Arctic sea ice could disappear within a couple of years, triggering a chain of events that will release catastrophic amounts of frozen and trapped methane into the atmosphere. The warming effects of the methane release, the Nature paper claims, will send the planet over a tipping point for immediate, rapid, and catastrophic global warming.

Judith Curry, who generally agrees with the global warming narrative provided by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, noted on her Climate Etc. website that the predicted methane apocalypse “rests on two assumptions: (1) the ‘spiral of death’ loss of Arctic sea ice and (2) connection of the sea ice loss to a massive release of methane hydrates into the atmosphere on the time scale of a decade. Each of these assumptions is highly implausible, based upon my understanding; the combination of these two assumptions into a single scenario seems impossible to me.”

Even high-profile global warming extremists are calling B.S. on the methane apocalypse claims. Gavin Schmidt, for example, noted that even under a “worst case” scenario, methane “will probably not be a huge player in climate change in the coming century.”