A story has been floating around the internet recently, written by Terrence Aym, that references Gregory Riskin’s theory that several times over the course of the history of the world, explosive releases of methane gas from under the ocean have caused mass extinctions. This theory is currently being debated in the scientific community particularly amongst geologists. According to Aym, the recent events taking place in the Gulf of Mexico, “may have triggered an irreversible, cascading geological Apocalypse that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years.”
Aym further discusses the signs that would be evidence of this cataclysmic event which would include: a splitting and cracking of the sea floor; a rise in the level of the sea floor; and massive venting of methane and other gasses. According to Aym, ALL OF THESE ARE HAPPENING!
You can find Aym’s story at:
Were this to actually occur what would really happen? According to Ryskin’s theory the explosive release of the methane would cause a massive sea floor collapse which would trigger a giant tsunami that would significantly inundate coastal zones potentially around the world. Secondly, as the methane entered the atmosphere, methane/water vapor clouds would form that would actually self-ignite causing worldwide fire storms. In the end, were this event to actually occur we are talking about the end of society as we know it and for any human survivors the beginning of Dystopian Times!
So, should you be terrified right now? Should you be suddenly investing in gas masks and fire suppression systems? Should you say the hell with it, spend out the limits of your credit cards and have the world’s last greatest orgy? Well the Libertarian in me won’t allow me to tell you what to do, but here are a few things to think about.
First off, Aym claims that all of the signs of a massive methane release have been demonstrated including fracturing of the sea floor, this is a rumor that has been floating around the net and is mainly attributed to comments made by Dr. Anatoly Sagalevitch which were debunked in this blog after we talked to Dr. Sagalevitch, you can read more about this at:
Secondly Aym asserts that the sea floor is rising, which he gets from reports that have ”filtered in” but yet he quotes no one specific, which has to raise some doubts about the validity of this statement. Additionally, Aym tells us, “Most disturbing of all: Methane levels in the water are now calculated as being almost one million times higher than normal.” He is quoting a Reuters article by Julie Steenhuysen where they do say they found concentrations in some places one million times the background concentration, however the article goes on to say that in other places they found much lower concentrations and they don’t know way. Also, were the entire gulf being flooded with methane at the levels suggested by Mr. Aym, then the oxygen concentrations would be severely reduced. While the researchers found some places where oxygen levels were 30% lower than normal, they also found areas with normal levels of oxygen. So it would appear that there isn’t a massive methane bubble in the gulf at this time. You can read the article for yourself at:
Finally, as with the comments attributed to Dr. Sagalevitch, someone actually did the smart thing and actually contacted Dr. Gregory Ryskin to ask him what he thinks? Well folks, he doesn’t think it’s even a possibility given his theory actually deals with completely different methane compounds then the ones being released into the Gulf of Mexico. So the guy who wrote the theory that all of the fuss is being made about doesn’t support Mr. Aym, and you can read about this at:
So at the end of the day is Terrence Aym just another tin foil hat lunatic trying to scare everyone to death for his own sick amusement, I doubt it. Sadly I think the real issue a serious issue that our society faces, a lack of science education. It is understandable that Mr. Aym could become terrified having been exposed to Ryskin’s theory, (probably on the History Channel special MegaDisasters), and then reading what would seem like those same things occurring in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, any digging and reasoned thinking shows us clearly that we are not on the edge of a global methane bubble disaster. Dystopian times might be coming folks, but not from this.