Methane Release
Primary Sources of Methane Release” by GRIDArendal is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Underreported Arctic Methane Release

by Stuart Scott

A copy of most of my letter to a friend of our work:

Global CH4 Monthly Means – May 2021, NOAA

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this email out. The chaos caused by the switch of venue from Chile to Spain has put me back into a very unhealthy state of stress, and adapting while ‘training’ a team to support and perhaps replace me has been extreme.

I wanted to give you at least a few things to present to contacts who want to start focusing public attention on the right things to be watching from my perspective.  In fact, I will try to include a piece in one of my programs on the matter.

I have to present them in linear fashion, but would not call them an ordered list. They will vary from simple to more complex, but once people get what some of them are, it will benefit us all.

– Just like there is a wind chill factor for cold air combined with wind, there should be a heat amplification factor. For instance, 36oC dry bulb reading becomes lethal to those whose lives take them outside when the relative humidity rises – laborers, people exercising for health, and kids walking to school and pensioners simply walking to the market who are perhaps most vulnerable.

– Naming it properly would be essential too. I’ve seen it as a ‘heat discomfort index’ in the EU (not reported, but beginning to be recognized). Calling it, for instance, the ‘Heat Distress Index’ would work better. There is a chart available here.

The methane release in the Arctic is under-reported and is perhaps one of the best kept secrets… we should discuss this part over the phone since even the so-called climate scientists are blocking it out of mind since the ramifications are so extreme. It’s left out of the models and the IPCC is only beginning to mention it (not track, quantify, extrapolate and include in their models). It’s hard to get their heads around the possible fatal blow that is underway.

– I am not sure if there is an ‘index’ that could be constructed, but perhaps more important than reporting ground temperatures locally is to develop a means of reporting the pattern of the Arctic jet stream over North America.

– This could be done by simply reprinting the visual data from Earth Nullschool and I have a scientist from your area who could help figure out how to make it a daily or weekly reporting feature. You don’t really need an index for that one. The reportage would be as colorful as any weather map, and quite a bit more helpful in explaining the increasingly frequent ‘climate anomalies’ that are occurring.

Let me also give things that should not be reported, at least not as they are.

– Any report that includes a prediction going out to 2100 or 2050 is counterproductive. It conveys the sense that the matter is something for our kids and grandchildren to worry about. This creates a smokescreen. These figures should be avoided or downplayed since they are part of the lying with statistics that is done at the international and national level. Instead impacts expected by 2025 are more of a wake up call. Hence reporting the decline of volume and extent of the Arctic ice sheet could be made into comprehensible reporting.

– The US intelligence community (backed by the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge, TN for instance) is expecting what’s called a Blue Ocean Event (BOE) between 2022 and 2026. This will mark a rapid turning point in the climate system and even more chaotic weather patterns ESPECIALLY in Canada and North America. Since the decline of ice extent (coverage) and the volume of multi year ice is proceeding apace (exponential decline) this should be explained and reported.

– The most important one of all will be extremely hard to get the media to report since it runs counter to the very basis of the ‘cargo cult’ of Western civilization… and this one we need to talk about–just because the reportage would be a major point of resistance.

– Fish kills should be major news, as should be the decline of ocean fisheries from the warming and acidifying conditions.

There are more. This is only what my 4:00 am Muse inspired me with.

I would be able to discuss these by video with you or them in a manner that could be shared electronically with the others in a position to change media reporting on climate.

Give me a call when … I leave for Spain next Thursday to rest and create the media for my programs.

For life on Earth ?
~ Nov 8, 2019, 7:20 am HST

7 Replies to “Underreported Arctic Methane Release”

  1. I suggest you pay close attention to agriculture reports, including from the USDA. This year was nothing short of catastrophic and data is slowly coming out.

    We may not need any more ice loss, arctic methane release or increase in temperature to have a few hundred million people on the move. We probably just need a repetition of this year a couple of times in a row.

    Ironically enough, the people paying closer attention to this is the grand solar minimum crowd. You couldn’t make this up.

  2. Mr. Scott,

    Thanks for your tireless commitment to sharing science on the climate crisis. I write a monthly article on climate change in the Montgomery County Civic Federation News Would it be possible to obtain high resolution JPGs of the graphs used in this post? I’ve written extensively on synthetic turf’s contribution to the climate crisis and several months ago I wrote on the rise in “Wet Bulb Temperatures” around the world. My latest article on climate change can be found here: (pg 19) and an article on synthetic turf is here: (pg 6). I would love to use your graphs to illustrate both of these concepts to readers.

    I also share information with school children to give them a scientific backstop for enacting change.

    I wish you renewed health and good luck in Spain. I wish I were there with you.

    Kind Regards,

    Bailey Condrey
    Kensington, MD

  3. Further to Mr Deus’ comment above, about US agriculture’s woes, I would like to make the following comment. For some time I have been saying to those who will listen – (mostly my wife!) – that with global heating is growing ( no pun intended) an increased threat to agriculture, and it would not surprise me if within only a few years, global harvests take such a hit that massive food shortages and actual starvation impact western countries. If this occurs, and governments cannot provide for the starving millions, anarchy will erupt and governments may fall. Here in Australia food production is taking a major hit due to the combination of drought and higher temperatures, and as we know, these will, with some variability, continue and worsen. Humanity faces a diabolical existential threat in this alone, without considering all the other threats that global heating presents.

  4. I’m an environmental scientist retired from the U.S. EPA after 30 years as Sr. Compliance Investigator. There is a serious problem with climate science reporting. The cautious nature of the IPCC means that there is a 5 to 7 year lag between the field data, review and critique, review and critique again, and issuing their report. Even their updates are two to four years behind the curve. There does not seem to be a working group realistically working on forecasting that is included in these reports. Therefore the “summaries for policy makers” are still looking in the rear view mirror. As our global situation accelerates we need to be looking farther and farther down the road not at our hood ornament. Your are precisely correct that 50 year and 100 year projections allow human perceptions of the crisis to be distilled. We need to illustrate the trends that are more immediate in terms of one or two decades. Just the rising cost of remediation after extreme events indicates that within the next two decades there will no longer be discretionary funds in the U.S. government left for the Dept. of Education, Interior, Forestry, Fisheries, BLM, U.S. EPA, NOAA, and NASA combined. The 2017-2018 fiscal year alone indicates recovery costs from storms, droughts, heat and cold extremes, crop failures, etc ran as high as $412 billion, up from about $280 billion the previous fiscal year and ~$150 billion the previous fiscal year. Projecting those numbers even one or two decades into the future should be enough to open some eyes.

  5. Chilling, and yet superb work, sir, thank you. It reiterates the extent of criminal negligence of the past 50+ years, in those lucrative industries that are most directly responsible for these cumulative effects and their impacts.

    I wanted to note also that that I have looked around for over 20 years for information on another threat, but have found no indication to date that anyone has been researching it: the impacts of Sea Level Rise infiltration into human waste repositories.

    By its very nature, SLR is impervious to the defences emplaced to prevent floodborne releases, IT will be coming from below, through cracks and interstitial spaces, lava tubes and animal burrows – especially into soft cliffs.

    Cemeteries, landfills, cesspits, sewers, mining spoils, toxic weapons (like the mustard gas buried in Avonmourth, on the coast near Bristol, here in the UK, where I live), as well as radioactive waste dumps, all will be subject to gradual inundation and those in closest proximity to the coast will be subject to tidal ebb and flow, as seeping saltwater dissolves clay liners, and infiltrates these noxious, hidden spaces, filled with all kinds of materials.

    The reactions and interactions of these alone could fill a great many ecotoxicology tomes, as could the biohazards that WILL be released in solution, suspension, washed out to sea under the pumping action of tidal ebb and flow (the Bristol channel has one of the highest tidal ranges in the world, second only to La Rance – France)

    Much will also seep into acquifers, contaminating them with such a bewildering range of chemicals as to defy cataloguing.

    Once these hit the coast, though, it’s when they will begin to really do the worst damage: the Longshore Drift,will be redeposit them time and again, before wshing them back out to sea, onto the next step of beach, shingle, or rocky shore., and eventually out to the open seas.

    We are looking at mass extinction of coastal species at first, but eventually benthic ones too, much of it through bioaccumulation.

    So, though this is a detour fro the subject of your article, it serves to illustrate the unseen body of the iceberg, moving ominously towards our collective consciousness, and about to give us some horrendous walke up calls.

    But I am accustomed to being the voice in the desert… I have published these speculations before, and never had as much as a second opinion, so…

    Good night!

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