Skip to content →

Your Doomed World: Will Smell Vaguely Of Old Farts, Scorched Earth

Jamais Cascio:

A piece in the latest issue of Science shows that there’s a considerable amount of methane (CH4) coming from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, where it had been trapped under the permafrost. There’s as much coming out from one small section of the Arctic ocean as from all the rest of the oceans combined. This is officially Not Good.

Here’s why: methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, significantly more powerful than carbon dioxide. There are billions of tons of methane trapped under the permafrost, and if that methane starts leaking quickly, it would have a strong feedback effect — warming the atmosphere and oceans, causing more methane to leak, and on and on. The melting of methane ice (aka "methane hydrates" and "methane clathrates") is probably the most significant global warming tipping point event out there…

Published in received goods


  1. I think it was John Barnes’ mid-90’s “Mother of Storms” which had a missile blowing up an arctic ice shelf and releasing loads of trapped methane.

    He thought it was Not Good too, given that it led in the story to a permanent gigantic hurricane in the pacific, firing off smaller ones…

    Damn, I love his books. Must read “A million open doors” again.

  2. James Bong James Bong

    Goddammit, all the old people got to have cool end of the world scenarios, like mutually assured destruction and super flue. My generation gets to die from ancient frozen cow farts that will hopefully boil us to death before the super storms come.

    Fuck That.

    Hurry up future tech, we need to get off this fucking planet so we can go fuck up another planet!

Comments are closed.