“Methane, The Panic Du Jour“. Steven Goddard prefaces his misrepresentation of reactions to a report about Arctic Ocean methane emissions with a dumb denialist cartoon. Nice to have the quality of thought displayed right off the bat. He finishes with a repeat of his foolish obsession with Arctic sea ice extent by showing a chart of this year’s sea ice extent against the long-term pattern. (It still shows that recent years are visibly lower in comparison to the long-term trend. Shouldn’t you keep quiet about that Steven?)
What is Steven’s main point? Recent research in Science about the amount of methane being released by permafrost underlying the East Siberian Arctic Shelf indicates that the quantities are significantly higher than previously known. Actual scientists at RealClimate think it’s not likely to be a particularly serious matter, but there has been some tempered concern in the first newspaper reports (see this NYT article).
Steven takes this as a cue to pretend that this is invoking a new climate disaster. Somehow in his mind the battle over CO² has been won, and the “warmists” are regrouping to claim that methane is the real terror.
He accuses the newspapers of exaggerating for effect but the NYT article places the estimated Arctic methane emissions of 7 million tonnes in the context of annual emissions of 500 tonnes and describes the resulting local methane concentrations as being elevated by only 2 ppm. It’s funny when Steven ponders the evil cherry-picking motivation of the scientists reporting on the years 2003-2008. In fact, that’s the years that the scientists were actually working in the study area. His understanding of chemistry is no better, as his naïve analogy for “parts per million” shows. Molecules aren’t people Steven, although Soylent Green apparently is.
Climatologists aren’t particularly concerned, newspapers are speculating but staying in context. So much for that accusation.