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:


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:


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.

2 thoughts on “Methane feedback loop

  1. Unfortunately I have to agree, and positive feedback, by its nature, builds at an ever-accelerating rate, until something breaks. Like your speaker, for example, or your bridge. So, what would break, to reduce the temperature rise? I can think of no good options there…

    1. Well, there’s only a finite amount of methane in the permafrost, and a finite amount of permafrost. Unfortunately, that amount is probably enough to completely screw up the climate.

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