Climate change mitigation

I had been wondering about why CO2 got what I thought was maybe disproportionate press, so I’m not entirely surprised:

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Methane is a very serious problem. Did you see that recent Nova episode called “Arctic Sinkholes”? Holy Crow, it’s a ticking time bomb!


The progress of climate change may be stepwise. Rise of CO2 and related stuff leads to warmer temperatures at northern latitudes. That leads to the next step, release of methane stores. If the stores of frozen methane are released, we have a real problem, rapid rise of temperatures beyond conservative estimates.

Methane is 25 times stronger as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but there is 250 times less methane in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (1.8 ppm for methane compared to 400 ppm for carbon dioxide). Methane also has a much shorter lifetime in the atmosphere as it is oxidized into carbon dioxide.

Unstoppable positive feedback loops. That goes for CO2, as well, of course.

The temp is going up all over!

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Not completely. A few spots are getting cooler, and most polar areas (Antarctic interior is an exception) are getting warmer faster than the rest of the world.

Yes, polar areas are warming faster. In northern Finland, temperatures have already risen more than 2 degrees C and up north the warming has been faster. A realistic scenario for the northernmost latitudes is that temperatures will soon rise beyond +4 degrees C. There will of course be local exceptions, as some places will receive lots of fresh water from melting glaciers.

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