18 March 2016

Methane feedback loop

I’ve posted about this before, but it’s been suspected for over a decade that global warming could trigger the sudden release of methane from permafrost, leading to a methane feedback loop. In the last year, Arctic temperatures suddenly rose much faster than the rest of the world, blowing straight past the 2°C target to a 3°C average.

Now here’s NOAA’s latest graph of the growth rate of atmospheric methane:

Methane graph

Notice that it’s not even restricted to the north pole.

Meanwhile, temperatures for February have spiked so fast that they’ve had to adjust the scale of the graph:

Methane graph 2

Yes, it’s an El Niño year — but we’ve had El Niño years before, and there aren’t any similar spikes in that historical graph.

I really think we’ve hit a feedback loop.

© mathew 2017