I’m posting the video below for two reasons. One is that I’m interested in people’s views as to whether it is too alarmist or not? I like what I’ve seen of Thom Hartmann, but the video is clearly (both through what is said and the background music) intended to present an extremely alarming picture. It’s hard not to feel alarmed when watching it. I can’t really tell if what’s being presented is actually plausible, but it does appear as though there is a scenario in we could potentially see enough warming by 2100 to reach some kind of tipping point. Even so, does a video like this do more harm than good by both being too alarmist, and also playing into the hands of those who’ve had success in using undue alarmism as way of undermining the basic climate science message.
There was, however, another reason why I wanted to post this. I’ve been asked by someone whether or not we should really be concerned about the potential release of lots of methane. The Arctic-news site seems to have a number of recent posts about Arctic methane measurements and the posts seem to be indicating that we should be concerned. The recent paper by Hope et al. (2013), which used Shakova et als. (2010) methane release model, was – however – heavily criticised by many (Gavin Schmidt being one) for being completely unrealistic. Michael Tobis has a post called Climatifact: Seven points in support of Shakova? Or not? What was quite interesting about this is that this was partly a debate between Michael Tobis and Guardian writer Nafeez Ahmed. Nafeez Ahmed had been defending the Shakova model but eventually conceded that he had not realised that there was not much evidence (if any) to support the model assumptions. I thought this quite a positive situation in that a journalist actually delved deeper into a topic and eventually realised that they may have been mistaken in their original views. I wish more would do the same.
Anyway, what I’m getting to is that posting the video below gives me the opportunity to ask if anyone knows more about the significance of methane and whether or not we should be concerned about some kind of catastrophic methane release in the next 100 years or so. Maybe, more completely, what is our current understanding with regards to methane and what is the potential for a major methane release within the next century?