October 25 News: Changing Gulf Stream Destabilizing Frozen Methane Deposits Under The Sea Floor

A changing Gulf Stream off the East Coast has destabilized frozen methane deposits trapped under nearly 4,000 square miles of seafloor, scientists reported Wednesday. And since methane is even more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas, the researchers said, any large-scale release could have significant climate impacts. [NBC]

“It is unlikely that the western North Atlantic margin is the only area experiencing changing ocean currents,” [researchers] noted. “Our estimate … may therefore represent only a fraction of the methane hydrate currently destabilizing globally.”

… “We may approach a turning point” from a warming driven by man-made carbon dioxide to a warming driven by methane, Jurgen Mienert, the geology department chair at Norway’s University of Tromso, told NBC News.

“The interactions between the warming Arctic Ocean and the potentially huge methane-ice reservoirs beneath the Arctic Ocean floor point towards increasing instability,” he added.

Job growth in the U.S. solar industry, fueled by falling panel prices, will outpace employment in wind energy, which faces the looming expiration of a federal credit, according to a report from CleanEdison Inc. [Bloomberg]

In early October, E&E News and the MIT Energy Initiative held a wide-reaching energy and climate debate between surrogates from the two campaigns. The debate between Aldy and Cass was fascinating and substantive. [Wonk Blog]

Of the roughly 50,000 words spoken in this month’s three presidential debates, none were “climate change,” ‘’global warming” or “greenhouse gas.” [Associated Press]

PBS’ Frontline recently aired a documentary titled “Climate of Doubt,” examining how conservative groups, frequently funded by the fossil fuel industry, have pushed Republicans to reject the scientific consensus on manmade global warming. Media Matters looks back at how Fox News has contributed to that “Climate of Doubt.” [Media Matters]

Photographs of a dead Sperm Whale in the Gulf of Mexico offer a rare glimpse into how many whales came into close contact with the gushing BP well during the oil spill. They also show Obama administration officials tightly controlling information about whales and other wildlife caught up in the disaster. [Washington Post]

Hurricane Sandy made landfall in Jamaica on Wednesday afternoon, and it is increasingly likely to turn into a massive — potentially even historic — storm with the potential to spread hazards ranging from coastal flooding to high winds across a wide area from the Carolinas northward to New England. [Climate Central]

Lord Monckton had declared that he will shortly be presenting the results of a paper on climate economics, namely a hypothesis that it is up to 50 times more costly to try to prevent global warming today than to pay the cost of adapting to its consequences the day after tomorrow. [Gibraltar Chronicle]

The UK cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than any other European country last year, over-achieving on targets under the Kyoto protocol on climate change. [Guardian]

Major importers in Asia, including South Korea, Taiwan and top buyer Japan, have turned away from the United States as U.S. corn prices soared to record highs this summer, buying feed from South America and producers in the Black Sea region. [Reuters]

A project to help track Arctic climate change using volunteers to transcribe U.S. ship logs online was launched on Wednesday by the National Archives and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). [Reuters]